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A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

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A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  Valene on Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:49 pm

Hello! To introduce myself a bit first, I started playing this game around October, 2011. I’ve been playing this game for a while now and although I can’t claim to the be best or know the most, I know a bit about this game, especially from other talking with others and reading various guides and the forum.

The reason why I’m writing this guide is because I’ve noticed that there are many members of Aurora who are at T2 level and is just beginning to start building their arsenal of weapons and armor. It is important to know that this guide describes the most common, cookie-cutter loadouts in Spiral Knights. About 80-90% of players have this. I know that there might be some of you that want to be different and try out the new gear, go ahead. But the reason why so many players have these loadouts is because they work and are efficient, allowing players to be a valuable asset to the team.

One thing I pride myself in is that I’ve always been a die-hard swordie and will always be. Swords simply do the most damage in the shortest amount of time. So this guide will be about armor and weapons for swordies only, which make up the majority of the SK playerbase.

Armor______________________________________________________________________________________

Three words: Wolver, Wolver…and Wolver. If you are a swordie, don’t let me see you in anything other than Wolver.

A bit of background, there are three types of armor defense: Elemental, Shadow, and Piercing. All 5* armor pretty much give the same amount of elemental, shadow, or piercing defense. Wolver can be turned into any of these three types of armor. But what distinguishes them from the rest is that all of them give sword bonuses (attack speed increase or sword damage increase). If you are going to have armor with the same type of defense, why not get the ones with bonuses?

Here is the basic upgrading (both helm and amor): Wolver (2*) -> Dusker (3*) -> Ash Tail (4*) -> Vog Cub, Skolver, or Snarbolax (5*)

Vog Cub is Elemental defense with attack speed increase med on each part
Skolver is Piercing defense with damage bonus increase med on each part
Snarbolax is Shadow defense with damage bonus increase med on each part (note that Snarbolax is a Shadow Lair armor, which only means that you will have to be a T3 veteran before you can make a set)

Now, before you ask which one is the best, you need all three at some point depending on which type of monster you are up against. As to which one you should get first, usually people recommend Vog Cub first. Most of should you know that by now, Firestorm Citadel (Vanaduke) is a Tier 3 boss. Once you reach endgame (which is going to be pretty fast), you will be doing Vana pretty much all the time because it hands-down gives you the best crowns and heat, period. In FSC, the number one problem people have is fire – it’s EVERYWHERE. Vog Cub gives you fire resist (so you will be on fire for only 3 sec instead of 7, for example). It also gives you attack speed increase for swords, which is also the best way to defend yourself (see end).

So what does this mean for you guys now? Get a wolver cap and armor and start upgrading. You can decide later whether you want to upgrade to Vog Cub or Skolver first. This is what EVERY swordie will tell you.

Weapons_____________________________________________________________________________________

There are also three types weapons: Shadow, Elemental, and Piercing. I’ll list the swords that are commonly considered the best in their groups. The primary difference between these swords is in the playstyle. One style is 3 quick strikes with a narrow arc. The other style is 2 slow strikes with a wide arc. Don’t ask anyone which one is the best. The ONLY way to decide is to play both and see which style suits you best.

Shadow: Acheron (of the brandish line) and Gran Faust. Acheron is a brandish so it’s 3 quick strikes and Gran Faust is a slow 2 strike. Now even though they are both shadow swords, most people would recommend getting both since they both styles are useful to enemies weak against shadow (gremlins and slimes).

Piercing: There are only two types of piercing swords and they are exactly the same: Barbarous Thorn Blade and Final Flourish. They are exactly the same in terms attack style – only the difference is in the charge attack and both are good depending on the situation. People commonly call these swords toothpicks. They are very strong against fiends and wolvers. And this is THE sword to have in lockdown if you play. Definitely need one!

Elemental: Brandish (either shock, fire, or freeze) or Divine Avenger. Brandish is a 3 strike sword and Divine Avenger (commonly called DA) is a 2 strike sword. DA used to be THE sword but ever since OOO updated the Brandish charge attack, many, many people have switched over from using DA to Brandishes because of the charge. It is crucial that you get an elemental sword immediately and start upgrading because they are very useful against the zombies in FSC so if you want to run FSC, you need an elemental sword. It’s useful if you have both a DA and a Brandish but only pick one first and then get the other later after you have everything. I personally would recommend a brandish first, it’s cheap and easy to use.

Misc Info_____________________________________________________________________________________
Attack speed increase – increases your sword attack speed, not necessarily how fast you swing your sword but the decreases the time between your first and second swing. This is especially good for your defense because the faster you finish your swing combo, the faster you can shield and dodge. This is absolutely necessary if you are using the slow, 2 swing swords.
Damage bonus - Kinda overlooked because this game doesn’t show your damage to your teammates but is actually very important. All the old, veterans who are good really go after that damage bonus because it kills faster – and killing your opponent faster is sometimes the best defense. For example, in FSC, without any damage bonus, I can kill zombies in 3 brandish charges. But with damage bonus maximum, I can kill them in 2 brandish charges – that leaves less opportunity for them attack me.


Well, unfortunately, this has turned out to be another long guide XD But… below are two links that will really explain everything in detail for you. These will provide you with information on all the swords and gear. What I have provided is simply what every veteran knows and will pretty much recommend to you so that you won’t waste precious energy making gear that they might not as useful later on. But the ultimate decision is up to you.

A complete and pretty good swordie guide: http://wiki.spiralknights.com/Swordmaster_Guide

Spiral Knights wiki – AMAZING! (complete list of all gear and how you can make them) : http://wiki.spiralknights.com/Main_Page

Hope this helps and thanks a lot for reading =D

Valene

P.S. I tried be to as objective as possible but this ultimately is coming from one person. So please tell me if I'm missing something or said something incorrect =)


Last edited by Valene on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  Ankoku Flare on Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:00 am

Great guide, Valene

Haha, now I'm interested in making a shield bump video guide to go along with this. I know shield bump does a lot of good for close combat. (saved me many times if used right)
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Excellent guide Val!

Post  ReadReact on Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:36 pm

You should probably do this kind of thing more often Smile

What would you say to possibly a Divine Veil for Shadow defense instead of (or before obtaining) Snarby? It can be worn with your Vog Cub Coat for great FSC defense and with Skolver for nice balanced defense. Plus a fiend damage bonus for dealing with those annoying rascals.

Disclaimer: I am just a gunner after all, so I'm not sure I am qualified to comment on a swordy guide Wink
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  Valene on Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:06 pm

Sorry for the belated response XD

But yeah definitely Read! Skolver coat + Divine veil is often referred to as one of the best overall defense set since it gives you normal, shadow, elemental, and piercing defense as well as fire, shock, and curse resist. But that was mostly before the arsenal station updates. Before that, people had to run through the different strata with one only loadout so naturally covering all your defense was a good idea. But after arsenal stations came and you can change your loadout according to each stratum / depth, specialized armor became more favored because they are more effective against certain monster types.

Another aspect to think about is that once you get to T3 nowadays, FSC is pretty much the only thing that people run cuz it gives the best heat / cr per level hands down. If you are running FSC all day long, then might as well as get Vog first and once you farm enough crowns and heat, you can make Skolver and Snarby.

So I guess bottom line is that if you are short on cash, run clockworks (arcade gets) often, and can see yourself as only being to get one armor set for a very long time, then make skolver + divine veil one of your top choices. If you can afford to make all three wolver sets, then I suggest doing that because once you have those three, you pretty much won't be using any other sets (even if you gun or bomb once in a while Wink

And as for Snarbolax armor requiring Shadow Lairs, just call me up. Other three SL gates I'm not too sure about but I've taken a considerable number of people on their first Snarby SL runs.

Thanks for the feedback Read!
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  andersenio on Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:51 pm

nice guide, but i have one question!
which shield would you reccomend for swordies?
I have Barbarous thorn blade atm, but it is quite weak Surprised is it really the best or are others better? like the top owlite(the name eludes me!) or drake scale shield.
Im guessing it's to do with how good your dodging is, and as i have an awful comp I constantly have low fps (whenever more than 5 monsters appear Sad )so my dodging is awful! Razz
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  Gaidal on Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:23 pm

Barbarous Thorn Shield is definately the best shield in the game - period!! It's the only 5* shield in the game to offer any kind of bonus and since it's a sword bonus, it's a must for swordies. It is my default shield for all my loadouts although I do have 3 UVs: High Shadow, Low Elemental, Low Piercing. I know non-swordies who use it too.
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  Fradow on Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:35 pm

I just can't agree with you Gaidal. BTS is good for swordies ONLY, and only for piercing. Non swordies will be better served by a Ironmight Plate Shield or Royal Jelly Shield, which will protect them better (for swordies, the added defense is generally not worth it compared to the loss of offense you have by switching out the BTS).

And for other damage types, don't forget that the main purpose of your shield is to tank hits, not to provide you some bonus. If you are dead, you can't do any damage. If you are good enough, sure go ahead with a BTS, but I'll laugh at you when faced to a volley of furniture or flying axes.

For elemental shield, there is no contest : go for Owlite line : it has the 2 main resistances (fire and shock), and there is no significant elemental/freeze level (if there was, there would be a purpose to Heater. But there is not).

For shadow shield, Crest of Almire has the 2 main resistances and is cheaper once you farm Vanaduke, but some missions warrant the usage of Dread Skelly Shield : Heart of Ice and SL Snarby (lots of poison undeads). On the other hand, CoA is great for FSC and SL FSC (but I personnaly prefer Owlite for that). Legion of Almire is a draw since there is no status.

Dragon Scale Shield is pretty much a specialized shield for Compound 42. It doesn't have any practical use anywhere else, because of the lack of normal defense.

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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  Gaidal on Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:57 pm

For the record, I know I was being overly-zealous of my BTS. Very Happy
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  alphappy on Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:00 pm

Or, if you're not a sissy, Swiftstrike is obviously the best. It'll help you learn to dodge as well.
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  MushyMushy on Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:33 pm

im one for CoA e3e
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  andersenio on Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:40 am

Since I'm low on cash I'll keep my shield for a bit. But ill probably get owlite after some other 5* items
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  andersenio on Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:39 am

I know this topic is old, but since then I've got the CoA and got a swaggy new computer Very Happy Ive fully heated it and i cant see any difference in the shielding powers compared to BTS. Is this me being weird, me being able to dodge stuff now because i can see when they're gonna attack sooner, or just that slags don't do shadow damage...
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Re: A (relatively short) Swordmaster Guide

Post  alphappy on Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:42 pm

@andersenio wrote:I know this topic is old, but since then I've got the CoA and got a swaggy new computer Very Happy Ive fully heated it and i cant see any difference in the shielding powers compared to BTS. Is this me being weird, me being able to dodge stuff now because i can see when they're gonna attack sooner, or just that slags don't do shadow damage...
To start with, slags' primary attack is melee, meaning that it deals split normal-shadow damage. Either shield is already resisting it somewhat, CoA theoretically blocking off twice as much.

However, shield defense acts really oddly because it's not passive like armor and helm. If it works the same way otherwise, then the CoA blocks ~25%* of all incoming shadow and normal damage, reducing slags' damage by ~25%(because it's dropping their 50% normal by 25%, which is only 12.5% of all of their damage, and the same applies to shadow for the other 12.5%). The BTS blocks ~12.5% because it only covers normal, and as such, in the end, the difference may very well be negligible.

tl;dr: you're right, there's not much difference between the two. Just use BTS and dodge 12.5% more!

*this value is known thanks to Antistone et al.
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Strict swordies

Post  Miss-Pao on Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:40 pm

I had a knight that was a STRICT swordie, and I have but one thing to add. I find it easier to equip two swords of varying speeds (ex; Triglav/cutter line) and switched between them depending on the enemy's health/defense. I use the quick 3-hit sword for relatively large enemies that have high hp/defense and slower 2-hit swords for large groups of cannon-fodder-like enemies that can be killed in one combo. That, and the Triglav line has AMAZING knockback, so must have for robo-knights and bomb zombies. (NO idea what they're called)
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