Guides

Nioh: How to Use a Sword Build

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Sword Build – Nioh

The sword is by far the most balanced weapon in all of Nioh, as it offers skilled users a variety of approach options without limiting them to a specific playstyle or mentality. While it may not have the same flash or flair as say a kusarigama, the sword is still a reliable weapon that is useful in almost any situation. The basic attacks with the sword revolve around slashes and thrusts, that can keep foes at a safe distance allowing players to dodge incoming counter attacks. Like any weapon in Nioh, Ki management is very important so make sure to practice and understand when the combos end. This can ensure perfect Ki Pulse so you can continue your onslaught. The sword is really good at stun-locking enemies in Nioh, so being able to pulse between barrages will only enhance this ability.

Yet, in order to understand what makes a good sword build you’ll need to have an understanding for the three stances you can shift between. Just like the other 4 weapons, players can pick between Low, Mid, and High stances all of which fundamentally change how the sword works and thus allow you as a user to be more adaptable to changing fights. After all, predictability will get you killed in this game, especially if you try to force specific stances when they don’t work.


Low – This is the fastest attack pattern that a Nioh sword wielder can use, with many of the strikes focused downward. The sheer speed can let you stun weaker targets such as base Yokai soldiers who are crawling on all fours, preventing them from retaliating. The Low stance is good for when you need to get quick bursts of damage in before retreating. If you’re facing off against a Revenant using the High stance, the Low stance is a fantastic counter to it as it can stop almost all of their attacks.

Mid – Mid is your bread and butter, as it is the less situational of all the three stances. These strikes come at a moderate speed and inflict a good amount of damage against your foes. This stance will typically be used in boss fights against large monsters and even some of the quicker humanoid opponents. However, it’s key that you obtain certain skills for this stance to truly excel, as it can be easy to run out of Ki rather quickly when using a sword build in Nioh.

High – Finally, the High stance is your slower, guard breaking build. There are quite a few times that a player will run across an enemy that just won’t lower their defense. Given High is the most powerful of the three, use this stance to hammer away at someone’s defense until their stamina either runs out or are forced to retreat. Make sure to watch your Ki here, as High stance can leave you depleted in a matter of seconds.

Mastering these three stances will be critical to separating those who simply use the sword as a weapon and those who know how to squeeze out every bit of advantage they have over an enemy. When fighting, make sure to constantly switch up stances based on either your opponent’s style or weapon of choice. The sword is less punishing than say a spear or kusarigama, so don’t worry if you miss a few strikes and leave yourself open for an attack. There are plenty of solid defensive skills to keep you alive.

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