Rakuyo's Spear Build
A powerful spear build that makes heavy use of Merciless Barrage and Fluidity.
Spears are excellent, but it's unfortunate that their true potential is locked behind high level Way of the Warrior missions. I therefore recommend that you don't start this build until after you've completed Way of the Warrior Veteran, and preferable after you've completed Steel Across Steel. If you've completed Steel Across Steel, the first skill you want to get is the Mystic Art Fluidity. Fluidity turns every Ki Pulse you make (perfect or imperfect) into a quick attack that you can perform while recovering Ki. The Skill you want to get after that is Pole Kick, which I consider to be the best overall spear combo ender. After that you want to get Spearfall, a more powerful combo ender that's exclusive to High Stance. This also unlocks the path to The First Rule of Thrusting, a passive that will buff many of your attacks. The next skill to get Spear Shove, a humble looking skill, which actually does a very good job. Spear Shove is triggered from guard and essentially knocks enemies away from you while still doing decent damage. Next up is Merciless Barrage, the best Grapple in the game, which is unfortunately hidden behind a long list of skills that aren't as good. What Merciless Barrage does is perform a very cool looking Grapple, which unlike other Grapples, sets the target up for a Killing Strike. This more than doubles the damage you can deal to enemies who're out of Ki. Now, Merciless Barrage does triggers a little slower than a regular Grapple, but it's more than worth it. The spear generally doesn't have a lot of problems with knocking enemies out of Ki, especially if you're using Fluidity or if you're wailing on enemies from High Stance with Spearfall or the High Stance Strong Attack. Another one of the spear's more attractive features is the Mid Stance Strong Attack, which is a fast combo that outranges enemies and also works as a guard breaker. One problem the spear has is getting hindered by walls. The best way to circumvent this is by relying heavily on High Stance, the attacks of which don't get deflected easily, nor do the Mid Stance Strong Attacks. Still, the spear just isn't that reliable in tight spaces. You're adviced to avoid corners and always allow the spear a lot of room. Low Stance attacks are most vulnerable to deflection, which is one of the reasons that Low Stance is my least favorite spear stance. The basic game plan for this build is to rely heavily on High Stance and Mid Stance, maintain range and barrage the enemy with long range attacks. If you run out of Ki, feel free to walk up to enemies and Ki Pulse, for an additional attack.
Because the spear has such powerful Grapples, it's interesting to try and combine it with Paralysis Ninjutsu, my favorite tool in that tree being Medusa Powder. If you want to know the best method of breaking the horns off a Yoki or Namahage with a spear, it's the first attack of the High Stance quick attack combo.
Interesting spears to search for are: The Akaoni-no-Sankaku Spear (the powerful spear of Li, which carries Li's Set Bonuses), the Great Halberd of Hihiragi (a powerful spear that scales with Spirit and increases Ki recovery speed on Purification), the Tombo-Kiri (a powerful spear that deals Wind damage and is part of Warrior of the East's Set), the Chidori-Jumonji Spear (part of Righteous in the Eyes of Heaven set) and the Yamauba Spear (a powerful spear that deals Earth damage and increases movement speed when you perform a timely guard). The Red Demon Set is an armor set that improves Spearfall, while The Warrior of the East Set improves Merciless Barrage and gets more damage out of the Body stat. Enku is a Guardian Spirit that's designed to function well with a spear, and it combines very well with Li's Set Bonuses. That still doesn't mean that Enku is necessarily better than other powerful Guardian Spirits, like Fuse-Ushi, Blue Dragon, Tengen Kujaku and Kara-jishi.
Spear Skills In The Build
- Pole Kick
- Merciless Barrage
- First Rule of Thrusting (passive)
- Windmill (optional)
- Wild Spear (optional)
- Twisting Spear (optional)
- Celestial Spear (optional)
Spear Skills I Don't Like