Nioh: Spears & You – Basics of Spear combat explained


I expected a lot from Nioh and its combat
and oh boy Team Ninja did deliver… in fact they did over-deliver. If you watch my videos
on a regular basis then you’re a cool human being, if you don’t – then you definitely
should… anyways, few weeks ago during the last chance trial I’ve tried every weapon
for couple of hours and I’ve used spear enough to call it boring. Yes. I did call spears
boring, I said ‘just like in real life, insanely efficient but boring’. I take that back, I
was wrong. Spears are INSANELY fun. In this video I go over my spear setup and break the
spear play down, so that you guys can get a better idea on how proper spear play can
carry you through the game. Since the combat in Nioh has more depth than
whole 3 games of Dark Souls – we need to start with analysing my personal skill setup, as
in skills that I have selected to be used for each stance. But before we get into that,
just because I did mention Dark Souls let me show you how incredible the spear combat
is in Nioh. By now all of you should know that Nioh does
features 3 stances – High, Mid and Low… so lets start with the lower one – heavy attack
is Syan’s Halberd, light attack is Santier’s Spear. Isn’t it fucking awesome? But wait
there is more. Medium stance is vanilla spear moveset with heavy attack being a tip poke
and light attack being a wide angle slash. When it comes to high stance – it has Halberd
moveset: with light attack being classic Dark Souls Halberd slam and heavy attack being
jumping attack poke. Now comapre this, to your average Dark Souls spear play… in Nioh
you get access to so many different moves just based on the stance difference – we’re
not even talking about skills yet. This makes Dark Souls feel like a joke. Time talk about skills – this is the skill
setup I prefer to use. Key to success in Nioh is ability to deplete Ki. Breaking Ki against
human opponents renders them staggered and vulnerable for grapple, Breaking Ki against
Yokai doesn’t necessary stagger them but breaks their Poise allowing you to combo them. Same
goes for bosses more or less. Breaking Ki is exactly why I have Pole Kick
equipped for my lower stance setup. Pole Kick is your best tool for breaking Ki and whenever
I get that sweet Ki break I can instantly follow it up a quick light attack mumbo-jumbo
Santiers spear stuff. As for the combo finisher, Flying Monkey is the best skill ever. It allows
you literally leap in the air and follow it up with the drop attack. Since you have to land a hit in order to start
a combo, it is not possible to continue the combo if your opponent is blocking. Because
of that, whenever I see enemies block my attacks I try throw one empty attack in order to start
the combo then I can get a Pole Kick or get myself in the air to perform plunging attack
because it is extremely effective. In general Lower stance is excellent for controlling
multiple enemies with fast slash attacks and Flying Monkey… but since I’ve added the
Pole Kick to the equation my lower stance is good enough to make a use of it in 1v1
situations, since I can rely on it to break Ki. Another good skill to have for hit and
run play is Back Slash. It is very similar to Dark Souls rapier ‘kick’… so much fucking
versatility. The reason I’ve added Pole Kick to the lower
stance and not the mid stance is so that I can have Water Wheel available with mid stance
moveset. It’s a light attack combo that allows me to have damage of mid stance with Santier
Spear like multi-hit combo. It is a really good alternative to low stance light attack
that can be used once you stagger an enemy, but the best part about mid stance is heavy
attack poke. You can kite enemies and dominate the game
with just that one move. Poke and back off, poke and back off. Easy. For the heavy attack
while guarding I decided to pick up Body Swap, because it is sort of a shield poke. It allows
you get a drop on the enemy and follow up with a combo without releasing block. You
can also use it to flux weapon swap and get backstab with Katana… but that’s a good
topic for another video. When it comes to High Stance I use it for
two things – nailing headshots and Piercing Rain. Don’t underestimate how powerful headshots
are in Nioh – one good hit to the horn can neutralize Yokai for short period of time
allowing you to sneak a high damage combo in. High spear stance is incredibly good for
nailing those headshots because heavy attack is a jump poke that can headshot short enemies
and light attack is a halberd slam that well… slams your opponent, a good old downward swing.
Convenient isn’t it? The second part of my High Stance mix is Piercing Rain – it is my
combo of choice for whenever I have wide opening on a boss. It does a lot of damage and paired
with Flux and a Spear Stance Change it allows you to do so much damage without wasting any
Ki. So thats what I’ve got for skills. Now how
do you use it all in action? Well, when you’re dealing with human enemies I’d suggest you
to bait a hit and sneak Pole Kick in. Breaking Ki and performing Grapple is the fastest way
to finish human enemies in Nioh. If you can’t start the Pole Kick because your enemy is
blocking, try whiffing your first attack or just get into mid stance and spam heavy attack
poke while keeping yourself at safe distance. Grapple and Ki breaking aside, Flying Monkey
is really good for navigating through the crowd and avoiding attacks from human sized
enemies. When you’re facing Yokai you can’t rely on
Pole Kick – because Yokai will just poise through it. I suggest you to use mid stance
heavy attack poke until you break their Ki and then follow it up with either a Piercign
Rain or Water Wheel – both are extremely good. You can also try to nail a headshot with High
Stance light attack if you are facing smaller sized Yokai. It is quite tricky when it comes to bosses,
because it depends on what kind of boss you are dealing with. For bosses that have weak
points it might be better to use High stance and get overhead slam hits in… for human
sized bosses kiting with Mid Stance heavy attack is the best way to break their Ki so
that you can follow it up with a combo. You can obviously try to style bosses with Flying
Monkey – it works, but not always. If you’re dealing with a boss that can’t break your
guard allowing you to block most of its attacks – then you should try using Body Swap or Back
Slash combined with Mid Stance heavy attack as it is a reliable way to get the safe damage
in. So that’s my spear vision, I hope I’ve inspired
you to experiment with stances… let me know what kind of spear play you prefer and what
moves are your favorite. Thank you for watching and I will see you next time!

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