||An unorthodox merging of magic and melee provides unprecedented power and versatility.
|Recommended starting class(es)
||Knight, Royalty, Temple Knight
|Recommended Soul Level
Recommended stats (Leave at default (**) if not raised)
Below are your weapons of choice and your combat attire. Those of primary status are deemed irreplaceable by virtue of their role as the infrastructure of this buildwhile those called secondary are interchangeable tools, which hopefully may guide you toward a more customized, well-balanced feel. The setup which I currently prefer is: primary right hand Northern Regalia, primary left hand Insanity Catalyst, secondary right hand Kris Blade, and secondary left hand Dark Silver Shield, with the Silver Cirlcet, Venerable Sage's Robe, Shaman's Armband, and Black Leather Boots.
Primary Right Hand
- Northern Regalia - Its astonishing 540 Attack Rating takes life with a single backstab. Independence from buffs to sustain high damage output grants the Northern Regalia's superlative capability in battles of attrition. Though its range is far shorter than other common Large Swords such as the Claymore, its consistent, unparalleled damage does more than compensate.
Primary Left Hand
- Insanity Catalyst - In tandem with the Northern Regalia, the Insanity Catalyst forms the crux of this build. No other Catalyst can offer such power, and of all the Catalysts and Talismans, only the boosted Talisman of Beasts surpasses it. This, however, requires an extraordinarily dedicated stat spread to be wielded properly. The Insanity Catalyst has but one drawback - a halved MP bar. This is typically not a problem in battle, since there are many opportunities to replenish MP by means of Old Spice.
- Talisman of Beasts - It is only used for casting Second Chance then switched out for the Insanity Catalyst.
Secondary Right Hand
- Crescent Estoc - Spectacular forward range, backstab avoidance capability, wherewithal for superb close-combat, and a backstab capable of breaking the Second Chance of most Phantoms are cumulatively what make the Crescent Estoc a force to be reckoned with. It can be a highly effective secondary weapon for people who find themselves not using wake-up Fireball for reasons below.
- Kris Blade - The boosted damage from Spells is where this blade's true value lies. A Direct Hit Fireball can deal around 725 damage with 45 Magic, whereas without Kris Blade's 20% boost, a Direct Hit Fireball is only capable of delivering approximately 535 damage. After a successful backstab from the Northern Regalia, a non-Direct Hit wake-up Fireball bolstered by Kris Blade is only capable of killing 50 Vitality Phantoms who do not don Dark Silver Shield. (This applies for Direct Hit Fireballs without Kris Blade's boost, as well.) With Kris Blade and Direct Hit bonuses, said Phantoms would still be slain by Fireball regardless of Dark Silver Shield's imbued Magic Defense.
- Moon Kilij - Arguably the most effective close-range weapon in the game, the Kilij is able to both out-speed most weapons and tear through shields. It lacks range, however, and this can prove to be problematic, since the Northern Regalia shares the same weakness.
- Moon Mirdan Hammer - With a smooth balance of speed, range, and damage, the Mirdan Hammer is always terrifying. Properly delaying the hits in an R1 chain can punish parries. Deliberately breaking the chain entirely and hitting repeatedly with the first R1 attack can catch foes as they come out of a roll and deliver devastating Direct Hit damage. It pairs well with the Northern Regalia, though it cannot make use of an off-hand shield nearly as much as the Northern Regalia, Estoc, or Uchigatana.
- Moon Uchigatana - Though it's damage output is fairly low in comparison to the Northern Regalia and opposing buffed weapons, the Uchigatana complements the Northern Regalia quite perfectly. While the latter is deficient in speed and forward range, the Uchigatana possesses these in abundance. What the Uchigatana lacks in sheer damage and lethal backstab capability, the Northern Regalia boasts aplenty.
Secondary Left Hand
- Adjudicator's Shield - HP regeneration works amazingly against builds that use Curse Weapon or Light Weapon. It redoubles one's defenses versus buffed weapons by turning time into a valuable asset.
- Dark Silver Shield - It possesses infamous synergy with the Northern Regalia and the build overall, since it allows for quick transitions between offense and defense: Insanity Catalyst and itself respectively. It also improves melee potential when MP is empty.
- Knight Shield - It functions similarly to the Dark Silver Shield. Contrastingly, it possesses higher Guard Break Reduction, lower resistance to magical damage, and higher resistance to fire damage. This makes it apter to face builds that deal only physical and/or fire damage, such as the Dragon Bone Smasher Mage or standard Dexterity, Strength, and Quality builds. Be wary of Sticky White Stuff, however, as it can effectively rip through the Knight Shield's petty magical defense.
- Moon Uchigatana - Equipping this elevates this build to new offensive heights, offering stunningly fast melee assaults and push-lock capability. It is especially useful against builds that use larger weapons, since it can interrupt their movements and proceed to unleash deadly combos.
- Morion Blade - By sacrificing versatility in the form of the Dark Silver Shield or Uchigatana, one may wield the potential for unrivaled destruction possessed by the Morion Blade. With 50 Vitality depending on the variant, many heavy hitting weapons will leave just a bit of HP remaining after two hits (without buffs or Direct Hit damage applied). Most backstabs will also leave one's HP below the 30% threshold for the Morion Blade's effect.
- Ancient King's Set - Oftentimes labeled as the best performing armor in the game, it is also notoriously generic. Most of the time, looks are more important than a slightly higher rate of Stamina regeneration; however, the choice is ultimately of the wearer.
- Dark Silver Set - It has higher Magic Defense than any other armor, counteracting the side effects of the Monk's Head Collar and the Kris Blade. Usually, only the Dark Silver Manifer and Dark Silver Leggings may be worn while staying beneath 50% of the equipment burden.
- Shaman's Set - An aesthetic alternative to the Black Leather set, this has slightly lower defenses. The difference is virtually unnoticeable, so this is still a viable choice.
- Venerable Sage's Set - The Venerable Sage's set boast significant Magic Defense, which will help to compensate for the severe lowering caused by the Monk's Head Collar and the Kris Blade.
- Binded Set - Similar to the Ancient King's Set, it is arguably the most effective armor set for its gender, as it does not impede upon Stamina regeneration. However, once again, aesthetics should ultimately take a higher priority than insignificant defense increases.
- Old Raggedy Set - This includes the Three-Cornered Hat. Its Fire Defense and Plague Resistance are both exceptionally high, proving useful against the Baby's Nail and Spells that deal fire damage.
- Rogue's Set - Being extremely lightweight, it is an alternative to the Black Leather set, similarly to the Shaman's set. Relative to its weight, it possesses high defenses compared to other light armors.
- Black Leather Set - It is one of only three armor sets in the game that does not affect Stamina regeneration. Additionally, it is the lightest armor in the game. For these reasons, it is a popular substitute for armor pieces of other sets that are too heavy to be worn.
- Monk's Head Collar - It comes with drastic pros and cons. On the bright side, it boosts the damage of Spells by 30%, stacking with an extra potential 20% from the Kris Blade. Soul Ray becomes able to kill off lower Vitality builds in two zaps. On the not-so-bright side, Magic Defense is lowered by 40%, and the collar's gargantuan appearance tends to block one's line of sight, causing special vulnerability to frontal assaults that require keen depth perception to foresee, such as the dashing attack of the Uchigatana or the rolling attack of the Estoc.
- Silver Coronet - In addition to looking much more appealing than the Monk's Head Collar, this handy little circlet boosts MP by 20%. It is almost a necessity for the first variant since it's original MP is quite low for a Spellsword. The boost to MP allows three Fireballs to be cast before consuming Old Spice.
- Cling Ring - In all proper duels, this is absolutely mandatory due to the unrivaled benefits it grants: a substantial increase to HP for Phantoms, fluctuating slightly based on World Tendency and Character Tendency.
- Foe's Ring - It increases all damage dealt by a Black Phantom by 20%. This is necessary for PvP as a Black Phantom.
- Friend's Ring - It is the Phantom's equivalent of the Foe's Ring.
Spells and Miracles ensorcel your potential with new layers of volatility. From furious gales of fire to thick mists imbued with all wretchedness, they are the edge you will boast above the competition. Choose wisely. My currently preferred setup is Firespray and Fireball.
- Fire Spray - Though the damage dealt is low, the potential to keep the opponent under constant pressure is invaluable. It typically forces reckless charges or forward roll spams, making an ensuing pivot backstab or quick-cast Fireball exceptionally easy to land. Furthermore, it can effortlessly smother the slight remnants of HP to which a Phantom may cling following two regular hits from the Northern Regalia.
- Firestorm - As another Spell with a troll taboo, Firestorm is the hardest hitting Spell in the game. That in mind, it is difficult to land. It is most effective as a wake-up attack, nailing inexperienced players nine times out of ten. However, if facing one who knows how to deal with wake-up Firestorm, prepare to get roll backstabbed. As a precaution, keep a safe distance from the opponent when casting, just enough so that roll backstabs are futile, but not too much as to keep roll spams in check. Realize that this Spell is only usable with a Wooden Catalyst or Silver Catalyst.
- Fireball - With great damage and splash range, this Spell is almost mandatory. It has all the qualities of an ideal wake-up attack: vast range, high damage, reliability, and a tendency to punish rolling backstab attempts. Fireball is typically cast unlocked to make most of the splash range, or to block the foe's vision as one fires off a quick-cast Soul Ray.
- Homing Soul Arrow - A direct hit can be even more devastating than Firestorm. The orbs generated by this Spell fire individually. If two break the foe's guard, the remaining three with hit for damage. If four break Second Chance, the last will hit after Second Chance breaks. It is the only Spell with this valuable ability, though many sets find little room for it. The main problem is landing it. The time between the actual cast and the moment the orbs fire is enough to give any opponent adequate time to react. Because of this, Homing Soul Arrow is best combined with other attacks that punish rolling, such as the repeated unchained R1 of the Mirdan Hammer or a correctly timed dashing attack from the Uchigatana.
- Ignite - Lethally instantaneous, Ignite is usually used by spell-casters who possess no other melee potential. For this reason, it is not as imperative that it be used; however, it is always ferociously unpredictable and punishing.
- Soul Ray - High speed and minor tracking ability are what make this a useful tool. It can also catch an opponent attempting to heal. Swift transitions between melee and magic are most noticeable in Soul Ray. It is most effectively cast as the foe begins backing off after a melee encounter.
- Second Chance - There is just simply no such thing as serious PvP without it.
|Gameplay tips and progression
Here, you will find all the knowledge of in-the-moment, player-versus-player game-play that I have managed to scrape together over the years, applicable to King Valefor. I do hope these elaborations upon actual dueling, as well as my logic behind the stat spread, serve to satisfy. My currently preferred stat spread is the first variant.
First Variant Stat Allocation
- 50 Vitality - The standard for many builds, 50 provides the basis for proficient chances of survival, and it boasts several breaking points that 45 and lower do not. This includes the ability to survive five hits from a Blessed or Crushing Great Axe or Great Sword rather than three, and five hits from a Cursed Weapon Crushing Mirdan Hammer rather than three. Additionally, 50 Vitality will endure one backstab from a Blessed or Crushing Great Axe or Great Sword before Second Chance breaks. These were all tested in Phantom versus Black Phantom battle, with 50 of each weapon's respective damage stat, in Neutral World Tendency. There are probably a few other breaking points with lower damaging weapons. 50 is also the point of diminishing returns for Vitality.
- 18 Intelligence - Seemingly sparse for a Spellsword, the low Intelligence is a sacrifice for other stats that makes this build particularly unorthodox. Only 71 MP is available with the Silver Coronet, translating to three Fireballs, four Soul Arrows, or one Homing Soul Arrow. Excessive MP, however, is a mere convenience and not a rigid limit to one's damage potential. If timed correctly, Old Spice is very easy to consume without punishment in the heat of battle, such as immediately after a melee confrontation because your opponent will be temporarily light on Stamina. Be aware that the only truly viable combinations of Spells are Fireball and Soul Ray, Fire Spray and Fireball, Ignite and Soul Ray, Homing Soul Arrow and Soul Ray, and Death Cloud and Soul Ray. These sets all contain either Fireball or Soul Ray, the two most straightforward, long-range, damaging Spells.
- 35 Endurance - Average for a Spellsword, 35 has proven to be workable yet not abundant. The Northern Regalia requires less Stamina than most weapons, as it does not combo nor soak up excessive Stamina per hit. In the end, Endurance and Vitality are interchangeable for preference within a range of five Soul Levels, meaning Vitality could be adjusted to 45 while Endurance would be raised to 40. The set values are merely a tested suggestion.
- 20 Strength - This is the requirement for one-handing the Northern Regalia as an alternate weapon against more powerful buffed opponents.
- 14 Dexterity - This is the minimum for wielding the Northern Regalia.
- 45 Magic - Spells become extremely dangerous, especially with Kris Blade and/ or Monk's Head Wrappings equipped. Fireball deals roughly 545 damage with Kris Blade out, and Soul Arrow tears off around 390 HP. This means that Fireball can kill in two hits while Soul Arrow kills in three versus a 50 Vitality build.
- 16 Faith - This is the requirement for Second Chance.
- Blueblood Sword with Dark Silver Shield or Uchigatana - The manifestation of burst damage, the Blueblood Sword is one of the most lethal weapons in the game - for 60 seconds. Once the Light Weapon buff wears off, it becomes a plaything of little threat. For the dangerous first minute of the duel, play cautiously. In addition to superb damage, the Blueblood Sword can spring from defense to unleash a dashing attack with nerve-wracking range, surprise with a powerful thrust attack after a roll, fish for backstabs without concern of retaliation upon a whiff due to high speed and horizontal range, or simply stun-lock into oblivion. With the addition if the Uchigatana as a left hand weapon, it gains the ability to push-lock and interrupt Spells and attacks. Do not be afraid to use a shield, as long at it is the Dark Silver Shield because it is the only shield to block all magical and physical damage. Be aware of the Blueblood Sword's significant range since it can potentially be greater than the Northern Regalia's. Trade hits with an un-buffed Blueblood Sword by means of Fireball, Ignite, or the Northern Regalia. Locked on Fireball cast while dashing toward the opponent oftentimes provokes roll spams, leaving a high chance for Fireball to deal Direct Hit damage.
- Claymore with Adjudicator's Shield or Morion Blade - Its range leaves only disbelief and devastation. Perhaps the most threatening setup to face, one should never underestimate the range advantage the Claymore boasts over the Northern Regalia. Backstabs are extremely difficult to land against experienced players since the range of the Claymore threatens to cut down those who attempt to approach the proper range for a rolling backstab. Additionally, properly timed swings can nail rolling backstab attempts as one is exiting the roll. Finally, pivoting and dashing backstabs are almost completely nullified by the encompassing arc of the Claymore's swings. One's greatest weapon against this setup is Soul Ray. Mastery of the pivot cast amplifies its effectiveness tenfold. Quicker weapons such as the Estoc and Uchigatana are capable of punishing missed hits from the opponent.
- Dragon Bone Smasher or Great Sword with Dark Silver Shield - The Extra Large Swords are perhaps the most risky weapons to use. The two-handed Dragon Bone Smasher hits harder per hit than any other weapon in the game, capable of sheering off Second Chance in one to two sweeps against a 50 Vitality build (damage fluctuates based on whether or not a buff is used, as well as whether or not Direct Hit damage is added). It is usually paired with a shield to gain footing in the defense department and to compensate for the monster weapon's inherent vulnerability. Playing cautiously does wonders. Seasoned players will throw all sorts of feints and counter-counters. In this way, the true challenge of overcoming this setup lies in outsmarting and consequently outmaneuvering the opponent, even more so than against other weapons. Use the speedy Soul Ray to surprise a foe who is hoping to bait and trap. Fire Spray also tends to mess with the common lure-and-kill strategy. Finally, with caution and a fair ability of prediction, rolling backstabs with the Northern Regalia can capitalize on the slightest mistake of the opponent.
- Estoc with Dark Silver Shield or Uchigatana - Blatant melee confrontations will only award the foe with one or two free blocking attacks or an Estoc-Uchigatana combo. More effectively, try baiting them into poking with their rolling attack with Fireball or Soul Ray, then countering with a rolling backstab. Pivot backstabs tend to work extremely well against those who abuse the blocking attack; however, an Uchigatana in the left hand effectively halts predictable pivot backstab attempts. Parrying a predictable rolling or blocking attack is relatively easy, as well. Look out for Estocs that are wielded with both hands. They are capable of stun-locking with a rolling attack to a regular attack. The additional damage of the two handed grip makes this combo capable of eliminating half of an HP bar. However, this setup is much more vulnerable to unlocked Fireball and ensuing rolling backstabs.
- Great Axe or Meat Cleaver with Adjudicator's Shield or Morion Blade - This thing effectively screws up most tactics at this build's disposal. As a balance, it is extraordinarily vulnerable to faster weapons and all forms of backstabs. The Great Axe's rolling attack is infamous for its dangerous speed, area of effect, and dead angle capability. Similarly to the Dragon Bone Smasher's quicker attacks, it is still vulnerable to a correctly spaced, pivot cast Soul Ray. The two differences between the Great Axe and the Meat Cleaver are range and stun-lock capability. These mean trouble for the Northern Regalia, as it is not able to outreach the Meat Cleaver. However, keep in mind that it is much weaker without the bolstering damage of Light Weapon, making it possible to trade hits with un-buffed rolling attacks.
- Kilij with Adjudicator's Shield or Morion Blade - Like the Estoc and shield setup, the Kilij possesses nearly unmatched melee ferocity, with the highest rate of damage per second of any weapon in the game. Luckily, it's lethal blade reaches only the closest enemies. Abuse this downfall. Try making contact with the only tip of the Northern Regalia. Soul Ray again proves extremely useful at punishing blind rushes. Lastly, the fourth hit in the R1 chain of the Kilij and the Kilij's rolling attack can be parried, though not with great ease. If mastered, however, this is the most effective tactic of halting the Kilij in melee range.
- Knight Sword with Dark Silver Shield - Though not as outright dangerous as the dual Uchigatanas or Kilij, the classic sword-and-board setup has always been one of the most well balanced. It is most known for superb versatility. Since what should be expected when facing this setup is never certain, exploit its universal weak points. The Knight Sword suffers from lack of range and high damage output. This means that trading hits utilizing Fireball or Ignite, and the Northern Regalia is a very effective method of defeating this setup. Fire Spray to Fireball nearly guarantees at least a melee range exchange. Try to stay away from Soul Arrow when facing a Dark Silver Shield. Lastly, be wary of rolling backstabs, as the sword-and-board has nothing to fear when fishing for them.
- Kris Blade with Insanity Catalyst or Talisman of Beasts - This setup is most frequently wielded by Mages and Spellswords. Since the pivot cast of the Kris Blade is much slower than that of the Northern Regalia, it is possible to intercept enemy Spells with a swift Soul Ray. Before blindly entering melee range, feint a few attacks and roll away to see if the foe is using Ignite. If so, continue to feint and fish for a rolling backstab. If not, press relentlessly into close quarters, staying cautious of backstabs. Do not attempt to trade hits with a Mage's Spells; this is asking to die.
- Mirdan Hammer or War Scythe with Adjudicator's Shield or Morion Blade - Whether or not it is wielded with skill, the Mirdan Hammer is an offensive force to be reckoned with. Great range, proficient speed, high damage, amazing tracking, and devastating stun-lock are what have altogether condemned it as a mindless weapon. The majority of users of the Mirdan Hammer tend to abuse the R1 chain, and this can be exploited by baiting with an unlocked Fireball, then following with a rolling backstab. Properly timed rolling attacks can punish the Mirdan Hammer's lack of horizontal range. The War Scythe is simply a less dangerous Mirdan Hammer, unable to tear apart shields as easily.
- Northern Regalia with Dark Silver Shield, Adjudicator's Shield, or Morion Blade - Nearly all traditional Northern Regalia builds pour most of their Soul Levels into Vitality. With the Dark Silver Shield equipped on the opponent, the Northern Regalia's backstab deals roughly 1150 damage. This is not sufficient to break the Second Chance of an 80 Vitality Northern Regalia build. Wake-up Fireball or Death Cloud work nicely to clean up the remaining sliver. Soul Ray effectively takes advantage of the Northern Regalia's short range and relatively slow recovery time. An Uchigatana in the secondary left hand slot is useful for interrupting the slower opponent.
- Uchigatana with Uchigatana - This ferocious setup has dominated the game ever since PvP began to emerge and develop. Its aggressive balance of range, speed, damage, and push-lock ability has contributed greatly to the dual Uchigatanas' popularity. It lacks only two qualities: defensive capability and major horizontal range. These are to be exploited if one plans to triumph. Fire Spray and its combos manage quite nicely by taking advantage of this setup's inability to halt Fire Spray's threat of continuous damage by means of blocking. Of course, Uchigatana wielders will strafe and zigzag while approaching, but at least they will be somewhat predictable. The Fire Spray to Soul Ray combo is preferred over Fire Spray to Fireball because it is best to hit an Uchigatana user before he or she closes into melee range. A shield should be equipped in the off-hand to avoid lethal melee confrontations too often. The wide sweeps from the Northern Regalia following a sideways roll do well to counter the Uchigatana's dashing attack, but that's hardly all the melee advantage that this build holds over dual Uchigatanas.
- Advantages - This build offers much utility. Continuous, consistent damage independent of buffs proves invaluable in drawn-out battles. The potential for absolutely devastating power in the form of the Northern Regalia's backstab is always looming over the opponent, a hidden beast that constantly threatens to spring out and devour them if they become too aggressive. Spells are capable wake-up attacks, and they add new layers of versatility to one's style.
- Disadvantages - The range of the Northern Regalia is recognizably puny compared to many other PvP-tier weapons. The Kris Blade and Monk's Head Collar cumulatively force the surrendering of 70% of one's Magic Defense, making both items completely undesirable when fighting Mages or other Spellswords. Constantly being burdened by the MP limit introduces more anxiety for yet another object to manage. Opportunities to consume Old Spice can be hard to come by if the opponent aggressively pursues with the threat of close combat.