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[Guide] Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 10 Mar 2015, 01:32
by Lis_
Greetings, first of all, I would like to dedicate the very first paragraph to refer to the fact that we need more guides. Not 'cause the game is hard to understand whatsoever, nor even 'cause there is too much hybrid builds out there; there are not. It is a simple matter of turning our forums a little bit more newb friendly.

So I was browsing our forums when I came across Ryth's "How to Axe" guide - I thought "Yea... that is a simple yet effective guide, we need more of those. It is pretty good." So even without his permission beforehand I will try and create my own guide, a little bit based off his format. Hope this does not rise any kind of trouble. I'll stress about the fact this guide is purely based on my own game experience, I am not making any of this up to look smart. It is up to you whether to read it and suggest the add/alteration of any of its info. Please do keep the thread clean, we have got a relatively grown up community, act as such.

Twin Blades

So how exactly do twin blades work in general terms? Give it some thought about other weapon styles: while Bows, Wands and Staves effectively use their abilities from a certain range, Spears do their business from close to mid ranges, Twin Swords get close and personal with whatever they are facing, much like Axes, Swords, Tachis and, to some extent, Spears.

However, Twins play very differently from Axes and Tachis, and ocasionally vary from Swords completely. This is given the fact that Twins mostly base their skills on multiple combos unlike a large part of Tachis, Swords and Axes' arsenal. A Twins skillset is basically as melee as it can be (with the exception of Axes) and has some of the shortest cooldowns, most easily canceled and longer combo numbers within its skills. While this may sound awesome at first, it does have its pros and cons. We will get to that later. This type of weapon also grants medium base attack values, similar to Swords but grants the smallest variation on damage, making it the second place when it comes to attack power (*Thanks to Ryxa for pointing the math out on weapon variations).

Note that all of the mentioned above has its own exceptions, obviously.

In simple terms, if you want a dexterous and quick to move around battle melee character pick Twin Swords.

Character Types

This is personal preference but does indeed have some impact later on when affinity gets harder to hit the cap without a proper title. It may also dictate how soon you are able to cast a staff's supportive skills in earlier game stages.

Types' stats are shown in game as scaling from 1 to 3.5, if you think about those green graphs. This basically means how your base stats start at level 1, ranging from 2 to 7. Taking this into account, and please do note that Dexterity, Mind and Wisdom lose some of their benefits after a TOTAL (base + equipment bonus + level bonus [basically, base + bonus as shown in the stats screen]) of 100 of said stat is reached, the most common types for Twins are either Cautious or Daring, since Twins affinity is based almost 100% out of Dexterity.

Regular Skills

Here we go, one of the main points of the guide. I will be giving a variable in length description of each skill depending on its worth. Again, this is but only my opinion and as Ryth said, it only applies up to and including the Edo patch. I will be following the wiki's arrangement for practical purposes.

Note: Canceling a skill is basically using a skill right after another, canceling partially the former one animation. In Onigiri, canceling a skill creates a similar effect to Just Guard, forcing the second skill to have its FIRST COMBO delivered faster than normal, not as fast as Just Guard though. This is one of the disadvantages of having multiple combo skills, as only the first one gets to land faster as opposed to single combo skills, which can deliver its full damage faster when canceled.

Note 2: Will be adding a FS mark for every skill that has a significantly fast scaling in Skill Force, as they might seem useless at first sight but quickly level up to be much, much more useful (*Thanks to Ryth for pointing it out).

Collapsing Blade - It has one of the largest areas for a regular skill that hits in an arc in front of you for quite a decent depth. It is also one of the most damaging skills in the early game and it is easy to level up due to its sheer ammount of combo hits. Unfortunately, like any other Collapsing variant, the durability cost far exceeds its benefits.

Crimson Cross Cut
- FS - This is about the highest DPS, and again, DPS not total damage, in a Twins arsenal. Slow starting but fast to deliver hits. Cannot cancel into another skill from its first combo but can be canceled from another. Has a very short range if you plan to deliver all of its hits. Decent mob capabilities. About to 3-4 mobs before it starts losing too much damage and critical chances. Note that this skill delivers much more damage from its first combo than its second one past rank 5 (including it); this might be the reason why we cannot cancel it into another skill from its first combo alone.

Crag Thrust - A fast to launch, single combo but multiple hitting, long duration skill. It thrusts your blades multiple times for a long duration. Higher range than Crimson Cut but little to no area when it comes to both sides. It basically hits 1-2 mobs at a time in front of you for about a 2 meters range, starting at its effective range. It is basically a high bursting skill, it hits especially high when used with Mist Tengu liquor but its animation length lowers its DPS. Very hard to mob with.

Double-Edged Cut - FS - Pros: It hits fairly high when on low HP, as any other Double-Edged (cept Axes, which hit harder). Cons: it is a multiple combo skill, causing it to progressively lose damage with each critical combo you land duo to the use of a Chian Magatama, which you should use most of the times. I would not bother much with this skill at all.

Ice Spear Dance - FS - Fast starting, long animation, long combo number skill. Delivers a sequence of icicles that hit in a small area in front of you one after another. It has one of the highest total Skill Force count due to its large number of combos but similar to crag thrust it takes so much time to use it to its full extention that it causes this to lose potential. It would be an extremely good skill if it weren't Impact Element, since it would land a continuous medium to high ammount of damage without causing too much DPS and consequently shifting a mob's aggro into you.

Lightning Slash - FS - Lunging, fast to execute multiple combo slash that hits for a large area in front of you. Extremely useful to lunge forward and cancel into another skill while still hitting a large area but unfortunately it is Impact Element based and relatively low when it comes to Skill Force. More of an utility skill unless used with some extra Lightning Element, in which case it starts to deliver a decent punch. Quite useful for early game stages.

Lunge Step - FS - Lunges forward quickly, further than Lightning Slash and slashes a small area right in front of you for its combo duration. While it does have a medium damage output it is extremely useful to close gaps between you and your targets and to cancel into other skills.

Misty Massacre - FS - THE area skill for Twin Blades, it has the very same animation and area as Collapsing Blade, it is always one combo count ahead of it, making it an awesome total Skill Force skill, and without the large durability penalty Collapsing has. Love this skill as it is extremely useful.

Poison Fang - Relatively slow to start, odd area of effect in front of you for each time it thrust the swords and unfortunately Piercing Element. The poison DoT is nothing to be considered. Would be usable if it had a higher Skill Force per combo. Note that this skill slows down while hitting its target, making it even slower than what it looks like when hitting no target at all. Stills quite decent in early and end game stages for a poison skill (due to faster attack speed values provived by enhancing and Power investement).

Sacrifice - Slow to start skill like most Sacrifices. Could be far more useful when used with a Chian if again it weren't Impact Element AND Dark Element. Crimson Cut outshines this skill.

Sunlight Strike - Pretty similar to Crag Thrust but consumes way less durability and executes much faster given the fact it hits for lower damage (simply 'cause it hits for a shorter duration) and again, Impact Element. The Holy Element is nice though.

Twin Blade Slash - FS - One of the most useful skills for Twins, it has one of the shortest cooldowns in all the game and has a high total ammount of Skill Force to it. Very quick in all aspects, it is something to consider if you want to keep your DPS high. Starts with a quick circular motion slash and combos into a dance of hits that looks just like your regular combo, but hits much harder and faster.

Blue Fang Blade - One of my personal favourites, relatively quick to start, 14 meters range, single combo single hit energy slash that flies all the way into its target. It is also homing. Really decent to cancel into another skills and really useful as an utility skill rather than a sheer powerhouse skill. In fact, it has relatively low damage output so as Ryth mentioned in his guide, don't go using this without making sure you can land a hard hitting Fang Blade.

Back Strike - A self supportive skill/buff that allows you to deal higher damage when striking an enemy's back. As a Bow user it does make sense. As one of the highest DPS and aggroing classes in the game, not so much. Perhaps used with Fang Blade? Even so I find it unecessary as it is too ocasional to be worth its weapon slot. Quite a few players still use this skill regardless of their main weapon for the extra damage on slow movement boss monsters, as their backs will be exposed quite often right after their patterns (*Thanks to Ryth for pointing this out).

Way of Twin Swords - Could be worse. It appears to be quite effective in case one builds his character around an elemental title instead of an affinity one. However it is indeed close to useless before you reach level 110+, Since 4000 affinity requires no effort whatsoever, whereas 6000 might need a little push.

Steal Attack - Don't go using this in your main damaging weapon. It is meant to farm materials by weakening a target and finishing it off with this. Curiously enough, Coin Explosion seems to be different in our server, boosting gained Ryou by 50% regardless of Critical hit or Rank; perhaps Steal attack functions exactly the same way? An unconditional +50% drop rate yet to be confirmed? Given the fact it does not rely on critical hits to boost its effect, it might in fact raise the drop ratio by 80% of its base value.

Ougi Skills

Unfortunately, Twin Blades lack the means to efficiently mob a whole room without the usage of Ougi skills, pretty much like swords and Tachis. This is where our so (in)famous Ougi come into play.

Festering: Violet Strikes - 4 combo hard hitting and several hit count Ougi that lunges you forward while delivering its hits (except when it hits a mob, where it no longer projects you any further). Harsh pernalty in durability but easily used to finish of a group of targets. Like any other Satan Ougi, its durability consumption makes it not so practical on the field. Still is good.

Fuujin's Circle Dance
- Contrary to popular belief, this Ougi is actually quite useful and hard hitting, even more now that it received a major Skill Force buff. It does have the major downside (especially if you evolve it to rank VI) of having a lenghty animation since it gains a combo upon evolving. Circle Dance basically hits everything immediately in front of you in a smaller but similar area to Asura's Thunder, repetitively and while stepping forward. Make sure you hit with the very lunge itself as it is half the damage of the combo, the other half being the tornado hit.

Sheol Slash - Oh Sheol slash... the black sheep among the 4th Ougi. It is extremely fun to aim and shoot with it though. It basically puts you in a charging stance for about 5 seconds at rank V and 3.5 at rank VI, projecting you forward depending on how long you charge it for, and hitting everything between the very place you released it and the place where you landed, piercing through anything in between. It also scales in damage and area covered depending on the charging time taken. Contrary to its description, it suffers from the very same issue Axes do: it starts losing way too much damage and critical chances after a 3 or 4 mob count. It does hit like a truck its main target, but the splash damage is just horrendous.

True Spirit Blast - Even though it is half Impact Element, the easy and quick to use True Spirit Blast has proved to be the second most popular Ougi among Twins and Swords. It hits hard and fast in a circular area around you and it has Holy Element to it! One element makes up for the other so this is a very, very good choice if you are planning on trying your luck with the Gasha.
Image *gif provided by Momiji, thanks

Thunder Beast - The bread and butter Ougi for Swords and Twins, it lunges your forward for a long distance leaving a trail of lightning behind that hits a large ammount of mobs. It does not suffer much from the same penalty on damage and critical as Sheol Slash did so it is the perfect mobbing tool. Don't rely solely on this skill to clear dugeons since it is not as hard hitting as one may think. It requires decent investement in Critical, Slice Element and somewhat discussable Lightning Element (D3 variants already offer major Lightning Element, going any further is discussable). Note that its composition is .3 Slice Element and .7 Lightning Element. It also pierces through targets so you dont have to worry about getting stuck in the very first mob you encounter; this is the main advantage it has over other Ougi.

Magatama Usage

Currently there are two choices of Magatama worth taking, possibly 3. First of all you will want a Chian ornamented with at the very least one Skill Force and one Critical mod. That is not a necessity but it is so very useful for a Twins user it is hard not to pick one. Basically,in practice, you hit for such a ridiculous ammount of hits per second that the Chian will eventually proc alot more than you could think of, allowing you to survive and covering some of your mistakes. Secondly, you will want 3 Skill Force Magatama and this is where it gets not so straight forward. You could use Nekomatas, Fuuris or a mix of the former with Hunters. Why Hunters? 'cause they may be ornamented with some higher level ornamentations than Nekomatas or Fuuris. If my memory serves me right, Untarnished Weapon is an option here. Refer to the wiki for details on Ornamenting. Now for the Nekomata/Fuuri choice. My personal preference is Nekomata as it allows you to rely on Rank 5 and above skills, whereas Fuuris limits your choices to Rank 6 and above, meaning you'll be relying too much on the Gasha's Skill Set Cards or you are extremely lucky with your weapon drops and Yoshitsune's Skill Change feature. Both these Magatama are best used with Fated Contractor ornamentations aiming for Critical, Slice Element and or Hit Points/Dexterity(higher affinity, noticeable past level 100). SP modifications are preference since a larger SP pool equals a higher SP regeneration, which comes in handy.

Stat points

Top priority is Dexterity maxed out. You could eventually lower your base Dex ammount according to your title and total affinity but I do believe you can't go wrong with a maxed Dex stat, providing extra Critical for every 12 points and Attack Speed for every 24. From here, a bare minimum of 40 total Mind is required to use Rapid Storm and, if you see the need for it, a total of 75 to allow both the use of Ressurection and a higher SP pool/regen and a higher cooldown reduction. Now is where your own preferences come into play. Vitality adds a neglectable ammount of Defense and a large ammount of Hit Points to your pool as well as HP regeneration. If you feel like you are being KO'd too often, some Vit might come in handy. Power provides a minor affinity boost to your Twins affinity, half as much HP as Vit increases per point and boosts your attack speed for every 12 points invested. While it is not a necessity you will find yourself either picking this or Wisdom. Wisdom grants a full point in Critical for every 24 points invested. It also lowers your Wand and Staves Skills' SP consumption, making it quite useful for Rapid Storm and Meditation.


For now, this is it. I will eventually add other info to this guide in accordance to feedback, if there's any. Might as well add some images to make it more appealing and easily understandable. This is just a rough start for something I will try and polish later on. Feel free to comment if you disagree or absolutely agree with anything as long as we manage to keep the thread/discussion civilized. Wish you all the best of luck.

Update Log

*Major corrections to the quality of the text
*Added info on ATK Power to match Ryxa's request
*Added info on Back Strike to match Ryth's request
*Added a FS mark to certain Regular Skills to match Ryth's request
*Added pictures for Regular Skills
*Minor corrections to the English grammar of the text
*Tekato is fat
*Added pictures to Ougi Skills
*Added info on Sheol Slash's Rank 6 performance
*Added different perspective images for Ougi Skills
*Added info on Poison Fang
*Updated Fuujin's Circle Dance's info
*Edited Cross Cut's info
*Updated Fuujin's Circle Dance and Stat point's texts to adjust to the 14th April 2015 patch
*Changed skill images for gifs; special thanks to Momiji for letting me know how to do it

Re: Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 10 Mar 2015, 07:50
by Ryxa
Lis_ wrote:This type of weapon also grants medium base attack values, similar to Swords.

I'd like to point out that when it comes to the base attack values, Twin Swords (At the same level, rarity, and grade as whatever you compare it to) have the second highest base attack value in the game. It is by no means a "medium" base attack value. Refer to here if you don't believe me - I know who did the math and the processes they went through so I'm 99% certain of it.

Edit: Rhythm pointed out something that may be confusing to some people. Do note that the attack stat shown in the in-game status window is your MAXIMUM roll when it comes to attack. All weapons have a range when it comes to the damage/attack they have. Although some weapons, such as Oodachi, will appear to have a higher attack stat, this is due to a higher fluctuation in their attack values. To compare, at level 115, an Oodachi will appear to add 8.4k worth of attack value at base, while a 115 Twin Sword will add 7.7k as base. However, Oodachi values fluctuate by + or - 20% while Twin Sword values fluctuate by only 5%. As such, if you take 8.4 and divide by 1.2, you get a value of 7.0k average attack, while taking 7.7 and dividing by 1.05 will give you 7.3k average attack.

Lis_ wrote:Thunder Beast - The bread and butter Ougi for Swords and Twins, it lunges your forward for a long distance leaving a trail of lightning behind that hits a large ammount of mobs. It does not suffer much from the same penalty on damage and critical as Sheol Slash did so it is the perfect mobbing tool. Don't rely solely on this skill to clear dugeons since it is not as hard hitting as one may think. It requires decent investement in Critical, Slice Element and somewhat discussable Lightning Element. It also pierces through targets so you dont have to worry about getting stuck in the very first mob you encounter; this is the main advantage it has over other Ougi.

Slice element gives you a low multiplier of (Slice percent)*(0.3) for Thunder Beast. Unless you're one of those people who like to min/max and math out their exact damage potential, critical and skill force should be sufficient in order to boost the damage your TB deals to be able to kill monsters in one cast (Assuming you hit 2 "bolts" per monster). Slice and Lightning should only be sought after if it is convenient for your specific build (Slice is extremely easy due to the overall usefulness of Fated Contractor).

Re: Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 10 Mar 2015, 08:42
by SupremeTentacle

Re: Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 10 Mar 2015, 09:46
by Lis_
Yes of course Ryxa, you are by all means correct. While Tachis and Axes might appear to have the maximum attack stat one needs to have its attack range/variation into account. I did not point this in order to try and keep it simple, but you are indeed correct, i should have made it clear perhaps. Will take this into account and will eventually edit the guide to squeeze this info in. Much apreciated for the feedback.

As for the TB matter, I will probably keep it as it is mostly because the lightning element boost is obviously much higher than its slice counterpart for everyone who even went and read the wiki for skills composition. Having this in mind, the only second mean to offer a passive boost would be the slice, hence my emphasis on it. While having alot of slice did not change the the overall damage by that much, it did make enough of a difference to mark the difference bewteen being capable of passing through certain entities and killing them right away and having to use a second damage source. It is by no means of the same weight as lightning as the .3 to .7 ratios obviously state but it's indeed there and in my opinion should be taken into account. Yet again you are absolutely correct. I'll just leave it as it is to stress a bit more the secondary elements importance. Thank you once again.

Re: Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 11 Mar 2015, 00:18
by SupremeTentacle
Just read through the whole thing now, and would like to mention a few things. (Was in class earlier, hence why I just dumped an image.) Pretty well done overall, but would like to mention a few things.

First of all, I'd like to talk about back strike. This skill is actually many times more useful than you've made it out to be in your guide. It may just be playstyle based, but I find that when fighting tankier bosses (starting from after Echigo), I always keep a weapon to cast back strike on hand. This is because bosses will generally continue to face the same direction for a small duration immediately after attacking. Furthermore, while attacking, they will also staticly face the same direction. Many bosses also take quite a long time to turn.

This opens a window of opportunity to deliver back strikes, and provide you with 30% increased damage. Regardless of what weapon you are using, I would recommend that you keep a weapon with back strike on hand for this reason.

Secondly, I'd like to point out that it may be worth noting that many of the stronger twin sword skills have a very high discrepancy between their power at lower and higher levels. (Note that I mean levels and not ranks. For example, Crimson Cross Cut VII scales from 191 skill force to 329 skill force.) There are a multitude of weapons that have poor level-based scaling and thus, many players may end up discarding superior skills because they did were not aware of this. Furthermore, many of the skill force numbers shown in game only apply to a single click of a skill, rather than the full combo.

Finally, I'd like to put in a word for Fuujin's Circle Dance. I believe this skill is currently not worth evolving to Rank 6 unless you are using rank 6 magatama, as it does it job better at rank 5. This is because the overall number of slashes increases by one at rank 6, however, the skill's total damage fails to change by much. In other words, the damage per lunge is significantly smaller, making the rank 6 pretty much inferior to the rank 5 unless you are able to one hit kill a monster with the rank 6 anyways, which probably won't happen in edo unless the player is extremely over geared. Note that this weakness is mitigated if the player is not powerful enough to make the rank 5 one hit kill monsters.

Naturally, all of the above only consists of my opinion, though there is some data backing it. Feel free not to include anything you disagree with.

Re: Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 11 Mar 2015, 00:54
by Lis_
No no, in fact i agree with every single point you have made. About the Fuujin's Circle Dance, I believe I made a reference to that issue; perhaps i was not clear enough, ill edit it right away. Will also include a note or a mark for every skill that has a significant scaling like CCC or Misty Massacre, maybe even Lightning Slash and others. Thank you very much for the feedback.

Re: Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 12 Mar 2015, 13:09
by zay.
Very nice ballz ( i think ur ballz ? o.o), but maybe u could be more detailed when it comes to the magatama setup about ornamatation and stuf, but still very nicely explained.

Re: Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 12 Mar 2015, 22:12
by Lis_
Yes it's ballz, and thank you, I will make sure to dedicate a paragraph perhaps to ornamentations or maybe leave a link to the wiki for that regard. Thank you for the feedback.

Re: Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 13 Mar 2015, 06:18
by Momiji

Sheol Slash 6 on Odin. What can i say...he got wrecked hard.

So Wow, Much damage.

OP is the one dealing said damage.

Re: Twin Blades Guide

PostPosted: 17 Mar 2015, 08:43
by SupremeTentacle
So uhh... pretty much 80% of what I said about fuujin's circle dance was nullified. As someone pointed out on the wiki, the rank 5 sf is now under 300 at max. Because the method by which the previous data was obtained, it was definitely correct, meaning that CS must have decided to nerf it some time between I last looked at it and now. ;X