Rakuyo's Tonfa Build

Rakuyo's Tonfa Build


A powerful Tonfa build for enthusiasts with tips and equipment advice.


A Tonfa is a very effective weapon and a lot of fun to use. It excels at delivering a large number consecutive attacks, and is great for guarding and breaking guard. The guard breaking abilities of the Tonfa are so inherently good, that it requires no more than spamming a standard quick attack on a guarding enemy to deplete that enemy's Ki and go for a Grapple. That's not as elegant as using Pulverize for the same purpose, but it certainly works. The Tonfa also deals a lot of Ki damage, which means that Ki domination is an excellent tactic to use with the Tonfa. The direct damage can be a bit underwhelming, and it's recommended to set up Grapples and Killing Strikes as much as possible. A powerful combo ender that you can get right away is Shove. It has a lot of Break and Ki damage, and it's fast. Unfortunately it doesn't work on Low Stance. Sweeping Kick is an alternative which I like less. It specializes in Ki damage but has consequently much less Break damage, and it's longer, which means you'll be more exposed to attack. An awkward quirk of the Tonfa is that it has no universal L1+Triangle attack. Each stance has one L1+Triangle attack which you can learn, but which only ever works on that stance. Wild Lions on the other hand is an L1+Square attack that you can use in every stance. It's also a very good attack, which unleashes a flurry of strikes that can't be deflected. At Novice level you can learn Crimson Lotus, and you can also start learning Pulverize attacks. Crimson Lotus is a combo ender for your Strong Attacks, while Pulverize is a bit special. In order to use Pulverize, you need to trigger a Ki Pulse after having learned Demon Dance, then press Square. But Demon Dance has to be learned for each stance individually, and the same is true for Pulverize. If you learn Demon Dance: Man you will have it on Mid Stance, but not on High Stance and Low Stance, not until you learn Demon Dance: Heaven and Demon Dance: Earth. The same applies to Pulverize. It's advised to start unlocking it on your favorite stance, and then unlock the rest after you've acquired the necessary Samurai Skill Points. Pulverize is very powerful, and can devastate an enemy's guard, but enemies are also inclined to attack you during Demon Dance, which is to be taken into consideration. One attack sequence that works very well is to trigger  Wild Lions, then Ki Pulse, then use Pulverize. At Veteran level you can learn Heavenly Chain, a powerful flurry attack that can replace Crimson Lotus. You can also learn Focused Strike, which is an interesting lead attack, particularly if you're using Kara-jishi, but it doesn't have the range of Twisting Spear and Devastating Rush. My preferred Mystic Art for the Tonfa is Apocalypse.

My favorite stance for Tonfa is Mid Stance, but there really aren't any bad stances on the Tonfa. High Stance is slow for a Tonfa, but it provides combos that can't be deflected, while Low Stance is more reckless than Mid Stance, but is nonetheless effective and fun to use. There are many ways to knock the horns off a Yoki or Namahage. The first quick attack on High Stance is a very straightforward vertical attack, but any flurry attack will do, like Wild LionsPulverize or Heavenly Chain.

The Tonfa is at its best when your Ki recovery is high, so it's advised to wear light armor, and preferably armor that provide bonuses to Ki recovery. You're likely to use a lot of Skills with the Tonfa, which combines very well with Kara-Jishi's Attack Boost, though you could also go with Kato, which provides more straightforward advantages, but offers less potential, or you can pick Blue Dragon, who comes with an excellent Guardian Spirit TalismanSets that provide Ki recovery bonuses are Li, The Red Demon (light armor with a fire orientation) and He Who Never Retreats (heavy armor with a Ki recovery bonus). The Ethereal Sets Grace of Amaterasu and Grace of Susano are also expected to work really well with the Tonfa. Sarutobi's Gunsticks are a unique Tonfa which add a small explosion to Devastation and Crimson Lotus. Because the Tonfa is especially suitable for a Ki dominator build, Onmyo abilities like  Lifeseal Talisman and Earth elemental spells have increased efficacy when used with a Tonfa.

The Tonfa scales B+ Skill, C+ Body and  D+ Dexterity. Rifles have an identical scaling layout, and the Spear and Kusarigama have similar scaling stats.
For more information on scaling and speccing see Weapon Scaling Tables.

Tonfa Skills In The Build

Tonfa Skills I Don't Like


Ashikaga Yoshiteru  ♦  Date Masamune  ♦  Date Shigezane  ♦  Date Shigezane and Katakura Shigenaga  ♦  Derrick the Executioner  ♦  Edward Kelley  ♦  Edward Kelley (Boss)  ♦  Gasha-dokuro  ♦  Giant Toad  ♦  Great Centipede  ♦  Hattori Hanzo (Boss)  ♦  Hino-Enma  ♦  Honda Tadakatsu (Boss)  ♦  Hozoin Inei  ♦  Hundred Eyes  ♦  Ii Naomasa  ♦  Ii Naomasa (Boss)  ♦  Ishida Mitsunari  ♦  Ishida Mitsunari (Boss)  ♦  Joro-gumo  ♦  Maria  ♦  Marume Nagayoshi  ♦  Nine-Tailed Fox  ♦  Nue  ♦  Obsidian Samurai  ♦  Oda Nobunaga  ♦  Ogress  ♦  Okatsu  ♦  Okatsu (Boss)  ♦  Onmoraki  ♦  Onryoki  ♦  Otani Yoshitsugu  ♦  Saika Magoichi  ♦  Sakata Kintoki  ♦  Sanada Yukimura  ♦  Sarutobi Sasuke  ♦  Shima Sakon  ♦  Shisenin Kosen  ♦  Tachibana Muneshige  ♦  Tachibana Muneshige and Honda Tadakatsu  ♦  Toyotomi Hideyori  ♦  Umi-Bozu  ♦  White Tiger  ♦  Yagyu Sekishusai  ♦  Yamata-No-Orochi  ♦  Yoshitsugu Otani  ♦  Yuki-Onna  ♦  Yuki-onna and Oda Nabunaga

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