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    PVP Guide by EWGF

    Version: 1.5 | Updated: 08/22/11 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    
    
    
    
     _ .-') _     ('-.  _   .-')                     .-') _       .-')
    ( (  OO) )  _(  OO)( '.( OO )_                  ( OO ) ),--. ( OO ).
     \     .'_ (,------.,--.   ,--.).-'),-----. ,--./ ,--,' \  |(_)---\_)
     ,`'--..._) |  .---'|   `.'   |( OO'  .-.  '|   \ |  |\  `-'/    _ |
     |  |  \  ' |  |    |         |/   |  | |  ||    \|  | )    \  :` `.
     |  |   ' |(|  '--. |  |'.'|  |\_) |  |\|  ||  .     |/      '..`''.)
     |  |   / : |  .--' |  |   |  |  \ |  | |  ||  |\    |      .-._)   \
     |  '--'  / |  `---.|  |   |  |   `'  '-'  '|  | \   |      \       /
     `-------'  `------'`--'   `--'     `-----' `--'  `--'       `-----'
    
      .-')                                         .-')
     ( OO ).                                      ( OO ).
    (_)---\_) .-'),-----.  ,--. ,--.    ,--.     (_)---\_)
    /    _ | ( OO'  .-.  ' |  | |  |    |  |.-') /    _ |
    \  :` `. /   |  | |  | |  | | .-')  |  | OO )\  :` `.
     '..`''.)\_) |  |\|  | |  |_|( OO ) |  |`-' | '..`''.)
    .-._)   \  \ |  | |  | |  | | `-' /(|  '---.'.-._)   \
    \       /   `'  '-'  '('  '-'(_.-'  |      | \       /
     `-----'      `-----'   `-----'     `------'  `-----'
    
     _  (`-')      (`-') _  (`-')
     \-.(OO )     _(OO ) \-.(OO )
     _.'    \,--.(_/,-.\ _.'    \
    (_...--''\   \ / (_/(_...--''
    |  |_.' | \   /   / |  |_.' |
    |  .___.'_ \     /_)|  .___.'
    |  |     \-'\   /   |  |
    `--'         `-'    `--'
    
    
    
    _-_-                  ,          -_-/    ,               |\
     /,       _          ||         (_ /    ||    _           \\
     ||      < \,  _-_, =||=       (_ --_  =||=  < \, \\/\\  / \\
    ~||      /-|| ||_.   ||          --_ )  ||   /-|| || || || ||
     ||     (( ||  ~ ||  ||         _/  ))  ||  (( || || || || ||
    (  -__,  \/\\ ,-_-   \\,       (_-_-    \\,  \/\\ \\ \\  \\/
    
    
    
      ,- _~,  |\        ,
     (' /| /   \\   '  ||   '
    ((  ||/=  / \\ \\ =||= \\  /'\\ \\/\\
    ((  ||   || || ||  ||  || || || || ||
     ( / |   || || ||  ||  || || || || ||   Plus.
      -____-  \\/  \\  \\, \\ \\,/  \\ \\
    
    
      ------------
      Version 1.51
      ------------
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------
    Build, PvP, and Strategy Guide (version 1.51)
    ---------------------------------------------
    
    
    -----------------
    The Contributors:
    -----------------
    The players below have transcribed the game of duelling, and as such,
    garner all due accolades such as the rights to your girlfriends and
    any food you may have.
    
    - VarietyX/Damoene, ggDoom/Marth Player, and TMRaven were the largest
    contributors. Without them I never would have made it through all seven
    versions of this guide.
    
    - Nick1Nintendo
    - NOSCOPEHERO/Troider
    - HIM
    - Rhzkao
    - Mo_Food
    - True_Remembrence
    - The Moonlight Knight
    - TheDeadsider
    - Garl_Vinand (of GameFAQs)
    - Throwmasta
    - Aneed4speed
    - God's Poison
    - Meralonne
    - Haagar the Horrible
    
    - Special thanks to Mud Chan for the calculator.
    - Special thanks to Oscilet for the help with testing.
    - Special thanks to Denis Jr. for coming over with coffee for those DS
    sessions. Good luck with the kidlet chief.
    
    Also Wikidot has composed a large build library that I advise you to take a
    look at. Its quality stuff with some gag builds, and it’s tended to quite often,
    so if you want up-to-date builds, head on over:
    
    http://forums.demonssouls.info/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8457
    
    Thanks to all those who submitted builds for Wikidot.
    
    
    
    Versions Information
    
    - Version 1.0:
     Guide completed.
    
    - Version 1.1:
     Small cosmetic changes.
     Some fixed errors.
    
    - Version 1.2:
     Small cosmetic changes.
     Updated Legality (0099).
     Updated "Stunlock" section with Claw/Knuckle push-lock (0009).
     Small update on "Spears" (0030).
     Small update on "Katanas" (0023).
     Updated introduction to "Understanding Stats" (0001).
     New section "PvP Morality" added (0098).
    
    - Version 1.3
     Small cosmetic changes.
     Large update on "Warding Versus Second Chance" (0016).
     New Section "PvP Rings" added (00RG).
     Added more ASCII art.
    
    - Version 1.4
     Numerous minor updates and revisions.
     New Builds: 5-Slot Dexterity, 5-Slot Strength, Dragon/Makoto Gouge, Luckless
     BBS, iCat Light Weapon MC.
     Legality Changes.
     Large BS section updates/revisions.
     Large Parrying in PvP section updates/revisions.
     New Section "Push Lock/Stun Breaking" (0018.i) added.
     New Section "Counter Hit" (00CH) added.
     New Section "Setup Parry Series" (0019.iv) added.
     New Section "PvP Casting" (0021) added.
     New Section "Cheating and You" added (CHEA).
     Several Weapon section updates (Rapier Redub, BBS/Straight Sword Redub) and
     minor updates added.
     More people thanked, more ASCII art.
    
    - Version 1.5/1.51 (Last Stand Edition Plus 1.51)
     *Most weapon combos were added and confirmed.*
     Large amount of trimming of several pieces.
     General revision. Fixed up numbering. No more weirdly numbered sections using
     characters for shortcuts.
     Removed most of old duping section. Added Thomas Dupe.
     Removed weapon sections with outlining discussions. Added simple swing
     analysis.
     Removed old spell discussion. Added Toggle/Pivot cast, and revised spell
     discussions.
     Fixed up BS section. Better descriptions on techniques.
     More ASCII as per usual.
     Finally did a "Claw/Knuckle" outline.
     Simplified stealth section to include just a few tips instead of a lengthy
     dissection.
     Simplified build discussions.
     Added an impromptu Legend.
     Ring section moved.
     Added Dead-Angle/Cross-Up section (0026).
     Added Discussion on shield evasion (0026.i).
    
    
    
     *The weapon combos in the weapon section were tested on multiple occasions by
     me and some others (notably Oscilet). Some were very precise making even a
     small mistake in regards to timing caused failures. I noted the ones that had
     incredibly low failure rates if done correctly. I also didn't include any
     Fireball combos and missed some weapon swings to Ignite.
    
     "Combos" themselves I restricted to any series of moves that could not be roll
     escaped, since if done correctly Toggle Escape would reduce all but 2 combos to
     essentially 1-hit.
    
    
    
    
    
    
                               -------------------
                               ===FINAL VERSION===
                        -------------------------------
                        ===A Message To The Faithful===
                   ------------------------------------------
                   ===THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT===
                   ------------------------------------------
      _, __, __,   , _  _, _,_   _ _, _   __,  _, __, _,_    _,  _, _,_ _,   _,
     (_  |_  |_    \ | / \ | |   | |\ |   | \ / \ |_) |_/   (_  / \ | | |   (_
     , ) |   |      \| \ / | |   | | \|   |_/ |~| | \ | \   , ) \ / | | | , , )
      ~  ~~~ ~~~     )  ~  `~'   ~ ~  ~   ~   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~    ~   ~  `~' ~~~  ~
                    ~'
                                  ------------
                                  ===Umbasa===
                                  ------------
    
                                    - EWGF
    
    
    
    
    
    ---------
    Contents:
    ---------
    
    (0000) - Introduction, and about this guide, and legend
    
    (0001) - Understanding Stats
    
    (0002) - Strength-Based Builds
    
    (0003) - Dexterity-Based Builds
    
    (0004) - Faith-Based Builds: a variable primer
    
    (0005) - Blueblood Sword builds
    
    (0006) – Northern Regalia Builds
    
    (0007) - Meat Cleaver Builds
    
    (0008) – Magic-Based Builds: a variable primer
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Non-Specific Build Information and Basics:
    ------------------------------------------
    
    (0009) - What is “Stunlock”?
    
    (0010) - Talisman of Beasts: the best item in Demon's Souls?
    
    (0011) - Freke is not your friend: Steal From Him (Spell Hijack)
    
    (0012) - Character Tendency and You
    
    (0013) - Thomas, a Generous Soul: Duping and Other Amusements
    
    ------------
    Comparisons:
    ------------
    
    (0014) - Shield Basics
    
    (0015) - Rings
    
    (0016) - Weapon Buffs (Curse versus Light Weapon)
    
    (0017) - Warding versus Second Chance: Which and Why?
    
    (0018) - Negative Status (Plague vs. Poison vs. Bleed)
    
    (0019) - Counter Hit (the Demon's Souls Critical System)
    
    -----------
    Techniques:
    -----------
    
    (0020) - Off-hand Katana/dual wielding
    
    (0021) - Push/Stun Breaking
    
    (0022) - Parrying in PvP: Setup Parries & Blind Parries: a brief primer
     (0022.i) - Setup Parries & Notes
     (0022.ii) - Blind Parries
     (0022.iii) - A few final notes on parries
     (0022.iv) - Setup Parry Series
    
    (0023) - Backstabs: a brief primer
     (0023.i) - Pivot BS
     (0023.ii) – Locked/Running BS
     (0023.iii) – Rolling BS
     (0023.iv) – Counter BS
     (0023.v) - Original Counter BS (BS Reversal) by True R.
     (0023.vi) - A few final notes on back-stabs
    
    (0024) - Roll Punishing
    
    (0025) - Pivot Casting, Toggle Casting/Instant Cast and Spell Usage
    w/ Nick1Nintendo.
     (0025.i) Soul Ray
     (0025.ii) Fireball
     (0025.iii) Ignite
     (0025.iv) Firestorm
     (0025.v) Firespray
     (0025.vi) Homing Soul Arrow
    
    (0026) - Cross-Up/Dead-Angle (attacking through shields)
      (0026.i) - Cross-Up/Dead-Angle Part 2 (Turtle Killer) w/ ggDoom.
    
    (0027) Stealth in PvP: a Brief Discussion, w/ Meralonne and God's
    Poison.
    
    ---------------
    Weapon Primers:
    ---------------
    (0028) - Great Axes/Blunts
    (0029) - Poles
    (0030) - Asian Swords
    (0031) - Large Swords
    (0032) - Katana
    (0033) - Rapiers
    (0034) - 1-Handed Swords/Blunts/Axes
    (0035) - Daggers
    (0036) - Spears
    (0037) - Claws/Fist Weapons
    (0039) - Great Swords
    
    (0098) - Friendship and You
    
    (0099) - Guide FAQ & Legality & Other Stuff
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
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       /  /\         \  \:\        /  /\      /  /::\       /  /::\
      /  /:/          \  \:\      /  /:/     /  /:/\:\     /  /:/\:\
     /__/::\      _____\__\:\    /  /:/     /  /:/~/:/    /  /:/  \:\
     \__\/\:\__  /__/::::::::\  /  /::\    /__/:/ /:/___ /__/:/ \__\:\
        \  \:\/\ \  \:\~~\~~\/ /__/:/\:\   \  \:\/:::::/ \  \:\ /  /:/
         \__\::/  \  \:\  ~~~  \__\/  \:\   \  \::/~~~~   \  \:\  /:/
         /__/:/    \  \:\           \  \:\   \  \:\        \  \:\/:/
         \__\/      \  \:\           \__\/    \  \:\        \  \::/
                     \__\/                     \__\/         \__\/
    
    -------------------------------------------------
    ===(0000) - Introduction, and about this guide===
    -------------------------------------------------
    
    "It is far harder to kill a Phantom than a Reality."
    - Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth and Other Essays
    
    Welcome to my guide! Here is a brief intro before we get started. Enjoy!
    
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: What should I know about Demon's Souls before reading this?
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    A: You should have a competent grasp on game mechanics. I explain most stuff
    in some degree of depth, however, you should still know what a Parry is, or
    what a Push is. You should know about Character Tendency, World Tendency, Eye
    Stones, etc.
    
    You should also know how to get stuff. I'm not including farming info, the
    locations of weapons, or anything like that. That stuff is outside the
    jurisdictions of this guide, and are readily available in quite a few places on
    the web.
    
    Also, all builds are aimed at the 120 level. This is where the sternest level
    of PvP takes place. You can make proper adjustments to go higher or lower
    depending on your needs. 125 is now considered the standard PvP cap.
    
    As a side-note, generally if you plan on playing in body form, you can go
    quite a bit higher and still keep your PvP steady. The same rules apply for a
    Red Eye Stones. If invading, your SL likely shouldn't exceed 120 due to the
    fact you can only invade players of a higher Soul Level. I play on SL 110
    characters, and I can invade into 4-1 basically 24/7.
    
    There are a several terms that are not intuitive, and may require some
    investigation on your part. It doesn’t help that there are no set terms for
    techniques/states in this game (unlike say modern fighting games which DS
    does share some traits with).
    
    This can make things a little confusing when traversing forums and the web.
    I've included a brief legend in this introduction.
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: This guide is big. How the heck can I find what I want in this mess?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Ctrl +F
    
    There's a table of contents, and almost everything is coded by a bracketed
    number. Punch it into the search function to quickly and easily find what you
    need.
    
    
    
    
    -----------------
    Simplified Legend
    -----------------
    There are a lot of terms in this game relative to PvP. Some are intuitive,
    some are not. You will find as you read this guide from end to end it
    becomes increasingly cryptic. This is not chosen by design, but it allows
    me to express my ideas quickly.
    
    Here are a few things that will carry you pretty far in regards to the
    contents of this guide.
    
    
    WD = While dashing. Context is generally in regards to executing a move.
    WD R1 means the special while-dashing R1 attack. Moves are stance sensitive.
    
    WR = While rolling. Context is generally in regards to executing a move. WR
    R1 means the special while-rolling R1 attack. Moves are stance sensitive.
    
    WB = While blocking. Context is generally in regards to executing a move.
    WB R1 means the special while-blocking R1 attack. Moves are not stance
    sensitive, as they require a shield and are thus 1-handed. Only
    Spear/Rapiers are capable of WBs.
    
    ">" = Chain inputs. Context is generally in regards to executing a series
    of attacks that may or may not combo. R1 > R1 > R1 would imply three R1
    swings in rapid succession.
    
    "/" = Either or. Context is generally in regards to a choice with two
    successful outcomes that may be executed. R1 > R1 > R1/R2 would imply two R1
    swings in rapid succession and a 3rd consecutive attack that can be either
    a R1 or an R2.
    
    f+R1/Push/Shove. Any move performed by pressing a direction on the analog
    stick and R1 at the same time. Generally a non-damaging push attack that
    staggers. However certain weapons have special attacks from this input.
    Pushes landed with every non-Curse enchant will deal damage.
    
    Hit-Stun/Stun. The stun against an enemy awarded for landing a successful
    attack, and for certain weapons guaranteeing the following attack may land.
    Hit-Stun varies by attack. Often called "stagger".
    
    CH = Counter-Hit/Critical-Hit. Any attack landed while the opponent is
    dashing, in guard break, in a "pushed" state, rolling, or attacking
    themselves. Provides 38%-42% more damage on average, and can affect stun
    length. Applies to BSes, ripostes, slash, and spells. Essentially all attacks
    are eligible.
    
    Hyper/Hyper Armor. An attack that is uninterrupted by normal means, and any
    hit landed against a Hyper Armor attack will not provide Hit Stun. Generally
    large weapons like Great Axes and Great Swords provide the most Hyper Armor
    attacks. Hyper Armor attacks largely cannot be Parried.
    
    Phantom Range. A characteristic of any attack/weapon in which a hit is
    possible despite appearing to narrowly miss an opponent's Hit Box. A product
    of lag resulting in miscalculated hit detection. Generally some weapons and
    weapon swings are more capable of this than others.
    
    Phantom Hit. Any hit resulting from Phantom Range.
    
    KB. Knockback. Any move that knocks an opponent down. Comes in two types:
    "Flings" and "Grounds". Flings will knock an opponent away, and Grounds
    will simply drop them where they are.
    
    Glancing Blow. Typically found on large weapons. Some large weapon swings
    when narrowly missed still produce a very small amount of damage, and a
    stagger. A sort of AOE capability.
    
    Oki/Okizeme. Moves used to attack opponent's whom are rising from a grounded
    state.
    
    BS. Shorthand for "backstab". Varies with different techniques (Roll BS,
    Pivot BS, etc.). Other terms often used here and on forums will be "Run Stab",
    "Lag Stab", "Roll Stab", etc.
    
    
    
    
    
     )\.--.  .-,.-.,-.    /`-.   .-,.-.,-.   )\.--.
     (   ._.' ) ,, ,. (  ,' _  \  ) ,, ,. (  (   ._.'
      `-.`.   \( |(  )/ (  '-' (  \( |(  )/   `-.`.
     ,_ (  \     ) \     )   _  )    ) \     ,_ (  \
    (  '.)  )    \ (    (  ,' ) \    \ (    (  '.)  )
     '._,_.'      )/     )/    )/     )/     '._,_.'
    
    
    ----------------------------------
    ===(0001) - Understanding Stats===
    ----------------------------------
    
    Stats are the most rudimentary thing in Demon's Souls after basic game play.
    Knowing how to properly increase your stats will determine the quality of your
    build.
    
    -----------------
    Diminishing Gains
    -----------------
    Stats at large govern the damage for spells, miracles, and almost all weapons.
    However, all stats in Demon's Souls suffer from one thing: Diminishing Gains.
    
    This means you get the biggest jumps in damage from your stats from 1-30.
    31-50 will still provide decent growth, however 51-99 is god awful. So you'd
    think this would encourage balanced builds right? Not at all. What this
    instead means is you'll focus keenly on a few choice stats (always Vitality),
    or find a series of “sweet spot” gains for utilizing particular setups
    (BBS/Cleaver).
    
    ---------------------------------
    40 is the new 50 for damage stats
    ---------------------------------
    Golden Age builds were aimed at mostly 50 points for damage stats. A lot of
    people now go for 40, as the damage loss works out to about 10%-20%.
    
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Melee class? Customize your Endurance to suit your needs
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Another Golden Age rule that is instead a preference now. Generally, melee
    builds went with 40 Endurance to maximize stamina. As the metagame matured
    a lot of players started using less, simply because they were able to play
    with less, and enjoyed the points in another stat. Do as you please.
    
    ---------------------------------------
    Get the knowledge... go with a homebrew
    ---------------------------------------
    Although this guide is strongly dedicated to builds, there's no need to follow
    any exact formulas I've outlined.
    Even if you decide to ignore the build templates, you can it least get a good
    idea about how to spend your stat points wisely, and make a tight build of
    your own.
    This guide will never be even close to definitive in terms of PvP builds.
    There are way too many variations out there to even try.
    
    
    Wikidot builds archive: http://forums.demonssouls.info/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8457
    
    Mud Chan's Damage Calculator:  https://sites.google.com/site/darksoulstats/
    
    
    --------
    Vitality
    --------
    
    =Effects=
    - Maximum HP increases.
    
    =Important breakpoints=
    - 10 VITALITY = 572HP
    - 20 VITALITY = 792HP (+220)
    - 30 VITALITY = 1100HP (+308)
    - 40 VITALITY = 1325HP (+225)
    - 50 VITALITY = 1500HP (+175)
    - 60 VITALITY = 1588HP (+88)
    - 99 VITALITY = 1900HP (+312)
    
    =Notes=
    As you can see, Vitality falls off completely after 50. Beyond that, it's
    largely a waste of points. It peaks in gains from 20-30, but you should largely
    consider taking it to it least 40. 50 is what most builds aim for.
    
    ------------
    Intelligence
    ------------
    
    =Effects=
    - Maximum MP increases.
    - Spell memory slots increase (the total number of magic spells you may equip).
    
    =Important breakpoints=
    - 14 INTELLIGENCE = 2 spell slots, 97MP
    - 15 INTELLIGENCE = 100MP without accessories
    - 18 INTELLIGENCE = 3 spell slots, 119MP
    - 24 INTELLIGENCE = 4 spell slots, 157MP
    - 30 INTELLIGENCE = 5 spell slots, 200MP
    - 40 INTELLIGENCE = 6 spell slots, 280MP
    
    =Notes=
    As you can see the effectiveness of investing into Intelligence largely
    tapers-off after 18. 15-18-24-30 should always be your goal, as you require
    100MP to cast Second Chance, and some builds rely on Curse Weapon which
    requires 3 spell slots, and finally builds often splash additional
    Intelligence for slots to gain Warding in addition to Curse.
    
    ---------
    Endurance
    ---------
    
    =Effects=
    - Maximum stamina increases.
    - Equip weight increases (you are able to wear increasingly heavy armor
    without suffering movement penalties).
    - Fire resistance increases.
    - Poison resistance increases.
    - Bleed resistance increases.
    
    =Important breakpoints=
    - 10 ENDURANCE = 91 stamina, 39 pounds equip weight
    - 20 ENDURANCE = 110 stamina, 49 pounds of equip weight
    - 30 ENDURANCE = 133 stamina, 59 pounds of equip weight
    - 40 ENDURANCE = 160 stamina (maximum stamina), 69 pounds of equip weight
    
    =Notes=
    160 stamina is the maximum, and Endurance should never exceed 40 because of
    this cap. A lot of people will debate continuously on the merits of slightly
    less Endurance versus the full 40.
    If your build and play-style does not require stunlocks, blocking, or
    stamina-hungry weapons, you can probably take a fair portion of your Endurance
    allowance, and put it somewhere else. Anywhere from 20-something has become
    exceedingly common place... template your stamina based on your preference.
    
    --------
    Strength
    --------
    
    =Effects=
    - Physical damage increases on appropriate weapons. Please note this “damage
    increase” is only applicable to bare-handed attacks, or to weapons that
    receive a bonus according to Strength.
    
    =Notes=
    Strength breakpoints aren't relevant. You will always want the minimum
    possible unless you are pumping Strength, or trying to use a certain weapon.
    KEEP IN MIND that you can cut down on a third of a weapons Strength
    requirement by 2-handing the weapon. This can save you points if you decide
    your build/style is suited to a 2-handed style enough to abandon 1-handed use
    altogether.
    
    ---------
    Dexterity
    ---------
    
    =Effects=
    - Physical damage increases on appropriate weapons. Please note that again,
    this increase is only relative to weapons that receive a bonus according to
    Dexterity.
    
    =Notes=
    Dexterity, like Strength should not be invested into unless it's required for
    your build. Yes, this largely means abandoning the use of a bow in PvM,
    however if you are not ready for that commitment then you are not ready for
    a tuned PvP build.
    
    -----
    Magic
    -----
    
    =Effects=
    - Spell power increases (note that this is only spell power, and not miracle
    power).
    - Physical/magical damage increases on appropriate weapons. Please note that
    again, this increase is only relative to weapons that receive a bonus
    according to Magic.
    
    =Important breakpoints=
    
    - 6 MAGIC = Base Magic for a Temple Knight. If making a Strength or Dexterity
    build, this should stay at 6 (unless hijacking spells).
    
    - 10 MAGIC = required to learn spells from Sage Freke or his apprentice,
    however note that Yuria DOES NOT require 10 Magic to teach spells (IE Cursed
    Weapon). HOWEVER, you may level your Magic to 10, and then delevel it to base
    6 Magic while still retaining all the spells you have learned (although to
    remember them you will need to speak with Yuria).
    
    - 12 MAGIC = effective use of Northern Regalia
    
    - 16 MAGIC = effective use of the Insanity Catalyst
    
    - 18 MAGIC = effective use of the Blueblood Sword
    
    - 30+ MAGIC = beyond 30 Magic the Light Weapon + Insanity Catalyst combo
    will begin to have diminishing returns on further points invested into
    Magic. It would be considered wise to stop here if using this combination.
    If you are pushing for increased damage, taking it slightly further would
    not be completely unwarranted though.
    
    - 50 MAGIC = the maximum Magic you should aim for with a caster build. Beyond
    this gains are hilariously paltry.
    
    -----
    Faith
    -----
    
    =Effects=
    - Miracle power increases (note that this is only miracle power, and not
    spell power).
    - Miracle memory slots increase (the total number of miracles you may equip).
    - Magic damage resistance increases.
    
    =Important breakpoints=
    The one and only breakpoint required to know is 16 Faith to have 2 miracle
    slots, and thus use of the mighty Second Chance. I cannot express how
    important this is. Investments beyond 16 should be reserved for a Faith build
    only. The sole argument to the contrary is with Meat Cleaver builds.
    
    ----
    Luck
    ----
    
    =Effects=
    - Item drop rates.
    - Disease resistance increases.
    - Increases the damage of the Blueblood Sword.
    
    =Important breakpoints notes=
    Luck should never be increased for any reason. The only case to the contrary
    would be if you're using the Blueblood Sword.
    
    As for the gains associated with the Blueblood Sword, you get the highest
    gains up to Luck 20, thus it would be wise to stop there if using that weapon.
    Increasing it further is not a mistake if craving greater damage, however
    anything beyond 30 may largely be a waste as the gains become rather paltry at
    that point. Standard builds aim for 20-30.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ------------
    ===Builds===
    ------------
    
    "There is a Shadow under this Red Rock."
    - T.S. Elliot, The Wasteland
    
    
    Here we'll be going over several builds, and generally variations on each of
    them. These builds represent the latest PvP climate in DS, and as such are
    widely proven by both myself, and many other prominent PvP players.
    
    I recommend checking out Mud Chan's Stat calculator to plan your damage
    stats accordingly:
    
    https://sites.google.com/site/darksoulstats/dark-souls-calculators
    
    Also Wikidot has composed a large build library that I advise you to take a
    look at. Its quality stuff, and it’s tended to quite often, so if you want
    up-to-date stuff, head on over:
    
    http://forums.demonssouls.info/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8457
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    .-.-. .-.-. .-.-. .-.-. .-.-. .-.-. .-.-. .-.-.
    '. S )'. t )'. r )'. e )'. n )'. g )'. t )'. h )
      ).'   ).'   ).'   ).'   ).'   ).'   ).'   ).'
    
    ------------------------------------
    ===(0002) - Strength-Based Builds===
    ------------------------------------
    
    -------------------------
    Golden Age Crushing Build
    SL120 Temple Knight (1-21 point(s) remain)
    ------------------------------------------
    Vit - 50
    Int - 18
    End - 30-40
    Str - 40-50
    Dex - 12
    Mag – 6 (10, then delevel to 6 once Sage Freke's spell are obtained)
    Faith - 16
    Luck - 7
    
    -----------------------------
    Dragon Bone Smasher Variation
    SL120 Temple Knight (0-10 points remain)
    ---------------------------------------
    Vit - 67
    Int - 18
    End - 30-40
    Str - 34
    Dex - 12
    Mag – 6 (10, then delevel to 6 once Sage Freke's spell are obtained)
    Faith - 16
    Luck – 7
    
    --------------------------
    Crushing 5-Slot Meta Build
    SL121 Temple Knight (0-10 points remain)
    ---------------------------------------
    Vit - 50
    Int - 30
    End - 30-40
    Str - 40
    Dex - 12
    Mag – 6 (10, then delevel to 6 once Sage Freke's spell are obtained)
    Faith - 16
    Luck - 7
    
    ------------------
    NR Strength Splash
    SL120 Temple Knight (5-15 points remain)
    ----------------------------------------
    Vit - 50
    Int - 18
    End - 30-40
    Str - 40
    Dex - 12
    Mag – 12
    Faith - 16
    Luck - 7
    
    
    --------------------------------------------
    (0002.i) – Common Strength Weapons/Utilities
    --------------------------------------------
    
    - Common Strength Weapons Include the Following:
    
    1) Dragonbone Smasher +5
    
    2) Crushing +5 Weapons (notably Hammer, Great Axe, Knight Sword)
    
    3) Northern Regalia/Dragon weapons as a Warding Crush.
    
    -----------------------------------
    (0002.ii) - Strength Build Factoids
    -----------------------------------
    1) This build comes in dozens of flavours: Regular, Dragonbone, and 5-Slot.
    
    1a) A Drangonbone build is capped at 34 Strength to effectively maximize DBS's
    2-handed bonus. It then gouges Vitality, thus taking advantage of DBS's
    incredibly high static damage, and ignoring its diminishing gains while
    being held in the 2-handed grip, and still maximizing its 2-handed damage.
    
    1b) The 5-Slot build is a relatively new inclusion into this guide, but
    something I (and likely others) have been using for some time. It's a
    meta build designed to gain access to both Warding and Curse in exchange for
    10 or so Strength to better combat other Strength/Dex builds in a mirror
    match.
    
    2) The above stat-point distributions of both builds allow you to equip a
    cracked Talisman of Beasts for use of the Second Chance miracle and the bugged
    version of the Curse Weapon spell. Levelling Magic to 10 allows you to learn
    Sage Freke's spells, then promptly de-levelling it back to 6 allows you to keep
    those points invested into Magic while still accessing the spells you've
    learned (you will require Yuria however to remember spells).
    
    3) Again, you may be wondering why the DBS build only has 34 Strength.
    Basically, since Strength weapons receive a 50% bonus in double grip 34
    Strength is the equivalent of 50 Strength (34 x 1.5 = 50). After 34
    Strength the gains slow quite a bit. Beyond 66 Strength, 2-handing a
    weapon of no longer provides additional AR for added points into
    Strength.
    
    4) The Priest starting class will give you an extra point on many Strength
    builds if you don't mind abandoning Hammer use.
    
    
    
    
           __           __   __      __
          /\ \         /\ \ /_/\    /\ \
         /  \ \____   /  \ \\ \ \   \ \_\
        / /\ \_____\ / /\ \ \\ \ \__/ / /
       / / /\/___  // / /\ \_\\ \__ \/_/
      / / /   / / // /_/_ \/_/ \/_/\__/\
     / / /   / / // /____/\     _/\/__\ \
    / / /   / / // /\____\/    / _/_/\ \ \
    \ \ \__/ / // / /______   / / /   \ \ \
     \ \___\/ // / /_______\ / / /    /_/ /
      \/_____/ \/__________/ \/_/     \_\/
    
    -------------------------------------
    ===(0003) - Dexterity-Based Builds===
    -------------------------------------
    
    ----------------------
    Golden Age Sharp Build
    SL120 Temple Knight (0-24 points remain)
    -------------------------------------
    Vit - 45
    Int - 18
    End - 30-40
    Str - 14-18
    Dex - 40-50
    Mag – 6 (10, then delevel to 6 once Sage Freke's spell are obtained)
    Faith - 16
    Luck - 7
    
    -------------------
    5-Slot Meta Variant
    SL120 Temple Knight (0-14 points remain)
    -------------------------------------
    Vit - 43
    Int - 30
    End - 30-40
    Str - 14-18
    Dex - 40
    Mag – 6 (10, then delevel to 6 once Sage Freke's spell are obtained)
    Faith - 16
    Luck - 7
    
    -------------------
    NR Dexterity Splash
    SL120 Temple Knight (2-12 points remain)
    -------------------------------------
    Vit - 43
    Int - 18
    End - 30-40
    Str - 18
    Dex - 40
    Mag – 12
    Faith - 16
    Luck - 7
    
    ----------------------------------
    Common Dexterity Weapons/Utilities
    ----------------------------------
    
    - Common Dexterity Weapons Include the Following:
    1) Gripless/Hiltless +5
    
    2) Meat Cleaver (surprisingly)
    
    3) Sharp +5 Weapons (notably Katana, Sais, Kilij, Estoc)
    
    4) Northern Regalia/Dragon +5 (Warding Crush)
    
    
    ----------------------
    Dexterity Builds notes
    ----------------------
    1) The above stat-point distributions of both builds allow you to equip a
    cracked Talisman of Beasts for use of the Second Chance miracle and the bugged
    version of the Curse Weapon spell. Levelling Magic to 10 allows you to learn
    Sage Freke's spells, then promptly de-levelling it back to 6 allows you to keep
    those points invested into Magic while still accessing the spells you've
    learned (you will require Yuria however to remember spells).
    Unlike Strength, depending on your style you can largely get away without
    using Curse Weapon, which opens up the door to things like Warding, Cloak and
    clouds.
    
    2) The 5-Slot build is a relatively new inclusion into this guide, but
    something I (and potentially others) have been using for some time. It’s a
    meta build designed to gain access to both Warding and Curse in exchange for
    10 or so Dexterity to better combat other Strength/Dex builds in a mirror
    match. Although the stat spread makes it slightly worse against every other
    build essentially, I believe it to be the dominant of the 3 builds.
    
    3) 18 Strength gives you access to one the strongest Dexterity weapon:
    Gripless/Hiltless. You can also equip a Dark Silver Shield, or if you feel
    like something with a bit more hit resistance, Knight's Shield is an incredible
    alternative if you find yourself sucking up physical attacks with a shield a
    lot.
    
    
    
    
                      .--.           .
         _.._         |__|         .'|
       .' .._|        .--.     .| <  |
       | '       __   |  |   .' |_ | |
     __| |__  .:--.'. |  | .'     || | .'''-.
    |__   __|/ |   \ ||  |'--.  .-'| |/.'''. \
       | |   `" __ | ||  |   |  |  |  /    | |
       | |    .'.''| ||__|   |  |  | |     | |
       | |   / /   | |_      |  '.'| |     | |
       | |   \ \._,\ '/      |   / | '.    | '.
       |_|    `--'  `"       `'-'  '---'   '---'
    ---------------------------------
    ===(0004) - Faith-Based Builds===
    ---------------------------------
    
    -----------------------
    Standard Variable Build
    SL120 Temple Knight
    -------------------
    Vit - 40-50
    Int – 15-18
    End - 40
    Str - 14-26
    Dex - 12
    Mag – 6 (10, then delevel to 6 once Sage Freke's spell are obtained)
    Faith - 40-50
    Luck – 7
    
    ---------------------------------------
    (0004) – Common Faith Weapons/Utilities
    ---------------------------------------
    
    - Common Faith Weapons Include the Following:
    1) Large Sword of Moonlight
    
    2) Blessed +5 weapons (Crescent Axe, Great Axe, Knight Sword, Guillotine Axe,
    Claymore, Great Sword)
    
    3) Baby's Nail (backup)
    
    4) Istarelle
    
    ------------------
    Faith Builds notes
    ------------------
    1) What Faith lacks in sheer output over its Strength relatives is makes up
    for in diversity.
    
    - No Weapon buffs provide 2-3 free spell slots. Free Warding at least.
    
    - HP regeneration provides a favourable matchup versus turtling strategies.
    
    - Gouged Magic defence helps greatly with every non-physical build. Notably
    Magic-based builds that rely on medium output split damage weapons will
    suffer large damage losses over the course of a fight.
    
    - High Magic damage provides a built-in Warding crush.
    
    - Although uniques are not top notch, LSoM is a great weapon in a
    turtle-heavy meta.
    
    4) The Priest starting class will give you an extra point on many Faith
    builds if you don't mind abandoning Hammer use.
    
    
    
    
    
        ,---,.     ,---,.   .--.--.
      ,'  .'  \  ,'  .'  \ /  /    '.
    ,---.' .' |,---.' .' ||  :  /`. /
    |   |  |: ||   |  |: |;  |  |--`
    :   :  :  /:   :  :  /|  :  ;_
    :   |    ; :   |    ;  \  \    `.
    |   :     \|   :     \  `----.   \
    |   |   . ||   |   . |  __ \  \  |
    '   :  '; |'   :  '; | /  /`--'  /
    |   |  | ; |   |  | ; '--'.     /
    |   :   /  |   :   /    `--'---'
    |   | ,'   |   | ,'
    `----'     `----'
    -------------------------------------
    ===(0005) - Blueblood Sword Builds===
    -------------------------------------
    -------------------------
    Standard 1-Hand BBS Build
    SL120 Royal (1-11 points remain)
    -------------------------------
    Vit - 40
    Int - 15+
    End - 30-40
    Str - 18
    Dex - 18
    Mag - 30
    Faith - 18
    Luck - 20
    
    ------------
    Luckless BBS
    SL120 Royal (14-24 points remain)
    ---------------------------------
    Vit - 40
    Int - 15+
    End - 30-40
    Str - 18
    Dex - 18
    Mag - 30
    Faith - 18
    Luck - 7
    
    ---------------------------------------
    (0005) – Common BBS Weapons/Utilities
    ---------------------------------------
    
    - Common BBS Weapons Include the Following:
    1) Blueblood Sword
    
    2) Insanity Catalyst
    
    3) Backups in the form of NR and Moon/Dragon weapons.
    
    -----------------------------------------
    (0005) – Blueblood Sword Builds Explained
    -----------------------------------------
    1) It should also be noted since almost all the damage from a BBS build is
    magic, and not physical, it can be used quite well in one hand even if
    requirements for Strength are not met. This also makes it basically immune to
    Scrape tactics.
    
    2) Luckless BBS is a new build aimed at players who focus more on combos and
    harassing strikes then BSes/ripostes. The damage per hit with base Luck
    as long as Light Weapon is engaged loses about 15-ish percent, but provides
    quite a few points to access a larger Vitality pool, or even Warding. Although
    the loss of damage is not sorely missed, your BS damage will sink to just
    under 1k (BP with Foe, in +2 WWT), which means you will not be able to
    one-shot blues with a clean BS. This can be a favourable trade depending on
    your style, but it's not for everyone that's for sure. The big draw is Warding
    access without a doubt, to improve Dexterity/Strength matchups.
    
    
    
    
    
      _  _     ___
     | \| |   | _ \
     | .` |===|   /egalia (& other Gouge builds)
     |_|\_|   |_|_\
    _|"""""|_|"""""|
    "`-0-0-'"`-0-0-'
    --------------------------------------
    ===(0006) - Northern Regalia Builds===
    --------------------------------------
    
    -------------------------------
    Northern Regalia Vitality Gouge
    SL120 Temple Knight (0-21 points remain)
    ----------------------------------------
    Vit - 76
    Int - 15
    End - 25-40
    Str - 14-20
    Dex - 14
    Mag - 12
    Faith - 16
    Luck - 7
    
    ------------------------
    Northern Regalia, 5-slot
    SL120 Temple Knight (0-21 points remain)
    ----------------------------------------
    Vit - 61
    Int - 30
    End - 25-40
    Str - 14-20
    Dex - 14
    Mag - 12
    Faith - 16
    Luck - 7
    
    -------------------
    Dragon/Makoto Gouge
    SL120 Temple Knight (0 points remain)
    -------------------------------------
    
    Vit - 83-91
    Int - 15-18
    End - 40
    Str - 14-18
    Dex - 12-13
    Mag – 6 (10, then delevel to 6 once Sage Freke's spell are obtained)
    Faith - 16
    Luck – 7
    
    --------------------------------------
    (0006) – Common NR Weapons/Utilities
    --------------------------------------
    
    - Common NR weapons include the following:
    1) Northern Regalia
    
    2) Dragon +5 weapons
    
    3) (special) Morion Blade & Clever Rat's Ring (as left hand weapon when
    two-handing main attack)
    
    4) Makoto +5
    
    ---------------------------------------------
    (0006) - Northern Regalia Builds Explained
    ---------------------------------------------
    1) Friend's/Foe's Ring seems to have rather impressive results with this build
    (although this may be largely attributed to the fact that I see it seldom
    used except on hosts and new players, and thus the damage was largely less
    than impressive).
    Despite NR users should all technically deal similar damage, I found it varied
    greatly person to person (from neutral CT NR to host NR, to soul form NR, to
    Friend's/Foe's NR). Frankly, you never know what you're getting.
    Be forewarned: in phantom versus phantom combat NR can hit brutally hard.
    
    2) As a Large Sword of average range, it presents no particular strengths or
    weaknesses in terms of matchups (unlike Claymore which has many solid matchups
    due to its increased range). Even its absolutely worst matches often result in
    a series of R1 trades. Large Swords are odd beasts in this glorified game of
    paper/scissors/rock.
    
    3) These two particular builds are sample builds (the Gouge build seems
    obvious, the 5-slot Variation is a bit less so, however they're all pretty
    liquid). The +/- 6 Strength variation on both of them that allows for
    exclusive 2-handed use if so desired.
    
    4) The Dragon/Makoto gouge builds are lumped here because they are
    more-or-less the same as NR, with the exception of different weapons.
    Dual Makotos are swell, and Dragon weapons although somewhat weak can
    secure a victory. Basically, if you lie the idea of a Gouged build, and
    don't like NR, consider these (although a NR build can still use Makotos with
    a few points invested into Strength).
    
    5) NR is a stamina-light playstyle generally. Since you will never swing
    the weapon more than twice in a double grip, you can certainly remove a
    large portion of Endurance if you feel comfortable with it.
    
    
    
    
    
                                      ___
                                     (   )
     ___ .-. .-.     .--.     .---.   | |_
    (   )   '   \   /    \   / .-, \ (   __)
     |  .-.  .-. ; |  .-. ; (__) ; |  | |
     | |  | |  | | |  | | |   .'`  |  | | ___
     | |  | |  | | |  |/  |  / .'| |  | |(   )
     | |  | |  | | |  ' _.' | /  | |  | | | |
     | |  | |  | | |  .'.-. ; |  ; |  | ' | |
     | |  | |  | | '  `-' / ' `-'  |  ' `-' ;
    (___)(___)(___) `.__.'  `.__.'_.   `.__.
    ------------------------------------------
    ===(0007) - Standard Meat Cleaver Build===
    ------------------------------------------
    -----------------------
    iCat LW Cleaver returns
    -----------------------
    LW Cleaver was something TMRaven originally advocated, but after we discussed
    it in some degree of length, we decided it was a bit too rickety to include in
    the older guides (or at least I convinced him). That was a long time ago, and
    things have changed drastically in PvP.
    
    The shakiness of a MC build utilizing LW no longer isn’t that bad. A lot of
    builds these days are focused on diversity over sheer min-maxing, which opened
    the door for this old gem (also, a meta not full of katanas helps). Again, due
    to insanely rigid stat spreads, you’re not getting the best spread, or a
    variable spread... but this build will work nicely in a Warding-glutted meta.
    
    This revision is one of ggDoom’s creations. Praise be to him, and TMRaven.
    
    --------------------
    iCat Light Weapon MC
    SL120 Temple Knight (0 points remain)
    -------------------------------------
    
    SL120 Temple Knight
    Vit - 40-45
    Int - 14
    End - 35-40
    Str - 28
    Dex - 30
    Mag – 30
    Faith - 16
    Luck - 7
    
    ------------------------------------------------
    (0007.i) – Common Meat Cleaver Weapons/Utilities
    ------------------------------------------------
    
    - Common MC Weapons Include the Following:
    1) Meat Cleaver
    
    2) Dragon, Crushing, Quality, and Blessed weapons
    
    5) Talisman of Beasts/iCat
    
    -----------------------------------------
    (0007.ii) – Meat Cleaver Builds Explained
    -----------------------------------------
    1) Although inferior in damage output to a Crushing style build using a
    Cursed Great Axe, Cleaver still has a clear advantage on the range front
    improving Polearm matches, and it also has the ever-present backstab vacuum
    Cleaver is famous for.
    
    Similar to BBS this build suffers from a wide stat spread, keeping your
    Vitality at 40-ish or so. This can cause you to suffer at higher levels of
    play. Consider a Crushing build with Crescent Axe (similar damage, similar
    range, same move set) if you're concerned. The only primary difference between
    the two is that Cleaver does considerable damage through certain shield blocks
    and Warding that a Crushing build simply can't due to Cleaver's on-board magic
    attack and builds that can use iCat LW. If this is worth more than your
    Vitality, then go with Cleaver.
    
    2) Cleaver is one of the few weapons that gets a great return on Sticky White
    Stuff. This is solid in longer duels since you aren't forced to eat a spice
    before re-applying Curse Weapon. This also means Cleaver can still perform
    quite admirably without Curse, and again opens up spell slots to things such
    as Warding. Without a doubt this is the largest distinction between Cleaver
    and his Crushing GA/CA cousins. This is also good for wrecking Warding spam
    post duration of Curse using SWS as a rebuff.
    
    ---------------------------
    GGdoom's Random MC factoids
    ---------------------------
    Random facts I found out about scaling:
    In general Dexterity scales better than Str, even though at points it seems
    like Strength is doing better. Of course, Magic actually gives you the best
    returns in lieu of Light Weapon with Insanity Catalyst. Check it out:
    
    Increasing Dexterity from 18 to 30 nets you an increase of 48 AR.
    Increasing Strength from 18 to 30 nets you an increase of 42 AR.
    Increasing Magic from 18 to 30 nets you an increase of 58 AR.
    
    A notable point in Strength is when you level up from 19 to 20, this single
    point nets you 11 extra AR.
    
    Taking stats past 30 is more or less a waste of stats, unless you really want
    greater damage, but even then... there are 4 stats to focus on here (yeah, you
    forgot about Faith didn't you?).
    
    With the stats provided you have 652 AR on your MC, damage varies heavily
    because the weapon has a sweet spot.
    
    
    
    
    
     ,ggg, ,ggg,_,ggg,
    dP""Y8dP""Y88P""Y8b
    Yb, `88'  `88'  `88
     `"  88    88    88                           gg
         88    88    88                           ""
         88    88    88    ,gggg,gg    ,gggg,gg   gg     ,gggg,
         88    88    88   dP"  "Y8I   dP"  "Y8I   88    dP"  "Yb
         88    88    88  i8'    ,8I  i8'    ,8I   88   i8'
         88    88    Y8,,d8,   ,d8b,,d8,   ,d8I _,88,_,d8,_    _
         88    88    `Y8P"Y8888P"`Y8P"Y8888P"8888P""Y8P""Y8888PP
                                           ,d8I'
                                         ,dP'8I
                                        ,8"  8I
                                        I8   8I
                                        `8, ,8I
                                         `Y8P"
    ----------------------------------------------------
    ===(0008) – Magic-Based Builds: a variable primer===
    ----------------------------------------------------
    
    SL120 Royal
    
    Vit – 40+
    Int – 14+
    End – 8-X
    Str – 9-X
    Dex – 12-13
    Mag - 40-50
    Faith – 16 - 18
    Luck – 7
    
    Notes on allotments: As you can see, this is hardly a build, mainly because
    Magic builds are so incredibly liquid unlike melee which you can easily
    distinguish a handful of optimal builds, and certain concessions between
    variations on those builds.
    
    The only standard considerations are pumping Magic to 40-50 and Faith to it
    least 16-18. The biggest variables are almost everything else, especially
    Endurance/Intelligence. You need to think carefully: how much melee do you
    want to incorporate into your Magic-based build? Is it a melee build using
    Crescent/Moon weapons, or a caster build, or a hybrid? Let's take a look at
    four radically different stat allocations:
    
    ------------------------
    Non-Descript iCat Caster
    6 points remain, SL 120 Royal
    -----------------------------
    
    Vit – 50
    Int – 40
    End – 8
    Str – 9
    Dex – 12
    Mag - 50
    Faith – 18
    Luck – 7
    
    ---------------------
    Non-Descript ToB Push
    6 points remain, SL 120 Royal
    -----------------------------
    
    Vit – 50
    Int – 30
    End – 8
    Str – 9
    Dex – 12
    Mag - 40
    Faith – 40
    Luck – 7
    
    -------------------------------
    Non-Descript Hybrid/Spell Sword
    8 points remain, SL120 Royal
    ----------------------------
    
    Vit – 50
    Int – 24
    End – 30
    Str – 10 (2-handing Sais/Kilij)
    Dex – 13 (required to properly wield Sais)
    Mag - 40
    Faith – 18
    Luck – 7
    
    -----
    Notes
    -----
    1st off, there are like infinite combinations of these sorts of variations...
    even moreso with Magic-based builds.
    
    These 3 particular builds are just 3 random builds of many made to reflect the
    variation on setups relying on Magic. Basically, a pure caster can make a very
    twinked build as long as melee stays out of the equation. The second you start
    adding melee, you need to consider your now rapidly growing stat spread. There
    are no optimal Magic 120 PvP builds for this reason, at least no hybrids.
    
    In the New Meta magic has risen dramatically in use due to Pivot Casting, and
    a series of combos relying on Fireball Stun. Also the shift towards SL125
    characters provides a greater benefit to these builds most.
    
    -----------------------------------------
    (0008.i) – Common Magic Weapons/Utilities
    -----------------------------------------
    
    1) Insanity Catalyst/Talisman of Beasts/Wooden Catalyst
    
    2) Crescent/Moon +5 weapons
    
    3) Kris Blade/Monk's Collar/Ring of Magical Sharpness
    
    ----------------------------------------------
    (0008.ii) - Magic Builds Explained... Somewhat
    ----------------------------------------------
    1) Magic builds run the gamut from heavy caster, to melee-supplemented, so
    outlining specific traits of the builds is largely a flawed principle.
    Strategies, and explanations are variable... and although a complete strategic
    summary would be impossible, I'll make a few mentions.
    
    2) Spell access is obviously the biggest draw here. How much you have is
    determined by your Intelligence, and how much you can rely on it is determined
    by your Intelligence/Catalyst of choice.
    
    3) If you're heavy melee having access to powerful versions of every weapon is
    absolutely incredible. This is the biggest draw from the melee standpoint. A
    solid Great Axe and 2x Katanas on the same build sounds passable to me.
    
    4) Your catalyst/talismans should always be used in the off-hand. This means
    that Kris remains in the main-hand which you can backstab with, and panic spam
    if need be. Also Push-to-Ignite is broken.
    
    5) When invading opt for Foe's Ring over Ring of Magical Sharpness. Friend/Foe
    are actually superior on the spell damage front. This also means casters are
    incredibly good defending home turf as hosts due to retaining most of their
    spell damage.
    
    6) Kris/Monk's Collar/Ring of Magical Sharpness all lower your magic defence.
    This isn't just spell defence either... this is magic defence. This means
    Blessed Weapons/Moon Weapons/BBS/spells that deal magic damage... anything
    with magic damage will deal more to you.
    
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------
    A Final and Major Note About Magic Spells (updated)
    ---------------------------------------------------
    
    As of 1.5, I have modified this guide to include discussions on "Pivot Cast"
    and "Toggle Cast" as well as a modified version of Nick1Nintendo's notes.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------
    ===Non-specific Build Information and Basics===
    -----------------------------------------------
    
    "Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence
    of consistently applying the basic fundamentals."
    - Jim Rohn
    
    
    Here we'll be discussing information that's relevant to every build (mostly).
    It's mainly a few points I've decided to outline immediately after builds
    because I consider them somewhat fundamental in creating proper builds, and
    understanding the points I will illustrate in the guide.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    ===(0009) - What is “Stunlock”? How can I deal with it?===
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    
    Stunlock is the ability to score consecutive hits (generally, R1 swings) that
    cannot be blocked, or interrupted. This is akin to say combo hits in a
    fighting game.
    
    There are several factors to calculating a weapon's proclivity to combo hits.
    Here are some things to think about:
    
    ------------------
    The type of weapon
    ------------------
    Each type of weapon has a pre-determined ability to combo. Try to find out
    what yours is by duelling with it.
    
    ---------------------------
    1-handed or 2-handed stance
    ---------------------------
    Very few weapons have the capability to combo in one hand. 2-Handed stance
    will generally increase your combo capabilities with various weapons. In
    addition, 2-handed attacks generally apply more damage allowing you to
    potentially kill your opponent in a series of successful hits.
    
    -----
    Range
    -----
    The closer the better generally. Some stun-locks slowly push your opponent out
    of range, causing you to whiff earlier then you'd like. Longer weapons are
    also able to score potentially an additional hit than shorter weapons in the
    same class.
    
    --------------------
    Push locks (updated)
    --------------------
    Pushes can start or continue certain weapon locks (these are a bit more skill
    intensive then swinging your weapon wildly, while praying to the Stunlock
    Gods). This is largely the case for 2x Katana combos, however I've also seen
    it done to a lesser extent with larger weapons, such as a 2-handed Claymore
    (although they can't score a series of combo hits, even a couple hits is worth
    considering). It should be noted that successful hits preceded by push attacks
    deal additional Counter Hit damage.
    
    ------------------------
    Hidden factors (updated)
    ------------------------
    The above ones are mostly common sense, but certain weapon seem to have
    varying degrees of stunlocks that appear to hinge on game mechanics that are
    less obvious or completely obscured altogether. For example the ability of a
    Large Blunt/Large Axe seems to be able to combo with its 2-handed 1-2-3 combo
    swings... sometimes... while other times it's quite escapable.
    
    ----------------------------------
    Breaking Stun-locks and Push-locks
    ----------------------------------
    There is now a proven method for breaking locks:
    
    - Swapping Weapons.
    
    Yes, you've just uncovered the greatest secret to Demon's Souls PvP... pushing
    the D-Pad in order not to die instantly (I provide a discussion in the guide
    about this in its own section, but I figured I'd provide a brief blurb here
    too).
    
    There's nothing to this, but for some reason swapping weapons seems to cancel
    hit stuns. This means you can cut any extended combo down by 1-2 hits quite
    consistently (against katanas, this is particularly effective, as they have
    the potentially longest combos).
    
    The only thing that seems immune to this break are Claw and 2-handed Dagger
    push-locks. Luckily, they're exceedingly hard to land (unlike say 2 katanas).
    
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===(0010) - Talisman of Beasts: the best item in Demon's Souls?===
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Talisman of Beasts (ToB). It's hands down the most useful item in the game.
    Nothing comes close to the diversity and pure awesomeness of ToB. It literally
    can do anything. Let's review:
    
    
    ToB can be used in 3 very distinct ways:
    
    1) Normally.
    
    2) “Cracked”.
    
    3) “Pushed”.
    
    -------------
    1) Normal ToB
    -------------
    
    This is the general tool. It provides so-so spell power and the weak miracle
    power in a single package. Nothing special here really, other than it's still
    great.
    
    ----------------
    2) “Cracked” ToB
    ----------------
    
    This is what you'll see the most of at high levels of play from melee builds.
    It's commonly referred to as “Cracking” or “Bugging” ToB.
    
    A Cracked ToB is simply using a ToB while not meeting its requirements. It's
    much like not meeting the requirements for a weapon, you can still swing it,
    it just doesn't do any damage. The same goes for ToB. By not meeting it's
    requirements, you can still cast both spells and miracles with it... they will
    just be incredibly weak.
    
    The sheer brokenness of this is in casting spells that aren't governed by
    spell/miracle power (see: Second Chance/Warding). These spells simply just
    “work”. They are indifferent to your spell/miracle power.
    
    This becomes especially important for Curse Weapon (using it with a Cracked
    ToB is commonly known as “Cracked/Bugged" Curse Weapon).
    
    The bonus from Curse Weapon (as we've discussed) is not variable, but
    indifferent to your spell power. However, the HP loss per second does hinge on
    your spell power. This means when you use a Cracked version of Cursed Weapon
    you get the same damage bonus you would normally, however you actually take
    less damage.
    
    With 6 Magic (a Temple Knight's base Magic) Cracked Curse Weapon will siphon
    between 0-2 HP per second all the way up to 1500HP (it probably goes higher
    before shifting to 3HP loss per second, but I haven't tested it personally).
    
    The variable figure (0HP, 1HP and 2HP) will hinge on your total HP (generally
    being in soul form w/ no Cling Ring, being in soul form with Cling Ring
    equipped and being in body form will cause these HP drain variations).
    
    
    That's Cracked ToB in a nutshell. Broken as hell.
    
    ---------------
    3) “Pushed” ToB
    ---------------
    
    This one is much lesser known than his Cracked cousin.
    
    Pushing ToB is what happens when you gouge Faith and Magic to absurd levels
    and use ToB as a catalyst for extreme spell damage, pushing it beyond the
    capability of Insanity Catalyst (iCat).
    
    We all know that weapons have scaling, but a lesser known fact is that
    catalysts (and of course ToB) have scaling in regards to spell power.
    
    Now initially, iCat is far and away the best catalyst, however iCat scales
    only with Magic, whereas ToB scales with both Faith and Magic. Now the Magic
    scaling on iCat is superior to either the Faith/Magic scaling on ToB
    individually, however the combined scaling of ToB inevitably leaves iCat in
    the behind by a small margin. Here's a test I've recently performed:
    
    iCat: 45 Magic/Any Faith = 610 Damage
    ToB: 45 Magic/24 Faith = 548 Damage
    ToB 45 Magic/30 Faith = 574 Damage
    ToB 45 Magic/35 Faith = 588 Damage
    ToB 45 Magic/40 Faith = 601 Damage
    ToB 45 Magic/41 Faith = 603 Damage
    ToB 45 Magic/42 Faith = 607 Damage
    ToB 45 Magic/43 Faith = 610 Damage
    ToB 45 Magic/44 Faith = 614 Damage
    
    Rule of Thumb: if your Faith and Magic are equal, your ToB will out-damage your
    iCat, at around the 44-ish Magic/Faith. After testing at level 712, ToB does
    out-damage iCat by a considerable margin. There are two exceptions to this rule:
    Light Weapon and Enchant Weapon.
    They will always have superior results with iCat.
    
    
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===(0011) - Freke is not your friend: Steal From Him (Spell Hijack)===
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    It is widely considered that 10 Magic is required to learn spells. This is a
    falsehood in two respects:
    
    1) Yuria has no requirement for teaching spells.
    
    2) Although Sage Freke does indeed require 10 Magic, he doesn't seem to have
    any problem with you learning his spells, and then delevelling your Magic stat
    to base.
    
    Simply increase your Magic to 10, learn whatever spells of Freke's you desire
    then de-level your Magic to 6. 4 free stat points for builds that do not
    require Magic power.
    
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------
    ===(0012) - Character Tendency and You===
    -----------------------------------------
    
    One basic game mechanic I will discuss briefly is Character Tendency (or “CT”)
    and it's relevance to PvP. CT is a stat that hinges on your overall alignment
    towards good or evil (so to speak).
    
    Basically if you kill hosts or Blue Phantoms as an invader your CT shifts
    towards Black (or if you kill friendly NPCs in your own world).
    If you kill specific in-game NPC BPs or invading player BPs your CT shifts
    towards White.
    
    Pretty obvious stuff you probably already know. However CT alters a few things
    in PvP:
    
    1) With Black CT you will deal more damage as a BP.
    
    2) With White CT you will deal more damage as a Blue Phantom, or whenever
    you're playing in your own game as a host or in soul form.
    
    3) Black or white CT is required to effectively handle Northern Regalia
    (obviously, and yes, Demonbrand/Soulbrand).
    
    The big thing of note here is of course the damage.
    The figures I've been provided with by GameFAQs user Garl_Vinland (a cool
    handle) look something like this:
    
    For Blue Phantoms/Hosts:
    Black CT = -10%
    Neutral CT = +0%
    White CT = +10%
    
    For Black Phantoms:
    Black CT = +10%
    Neutral CT = +0%
    White CT = -10%
    
    Regardless of the exact figures, they're at large unimportant. All that you
    really need to know is this: Keep your CT working for you at all times.
    
    If you're constantly bouncing between being an invader and being a host you're
    putting yourself at a disadvantage. The “fix” to this simple enough to execute
    however:
    
    - If you like to invade... keep invading!
    - If you like to host... keep hosting!
    
    Most of the time you're going to have the CT that best serves you, but if
    you're trying to squeeze the most possible damage out of your character keep
    this information in mind.
    
    
    
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    === (0013) - Thomas, a Generous Soul: Duping and Other Amusements ===
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Most avid PvPers need a quick and fast solution to provide +5 weapons,
    ToB/iCat, high quality consumables, rings, and basically everything else
    required to gear a new character. A lot of forums endorse their own armories
    run by DS aficionados, with a selection of everything in the game available at
    basically level 1, to properly outfit PvPers outright as soon as possible.
    
    I think this is suitable; in fact I’ve used these services on a few occasions.
    The only thing that bothers me is that they’re prone to abuse (IE new players
    getting outfitted for Platinum, and avid chicken-hawkers).
    
    This isn’t a loot game... and only a few pieces of gear require more than a
    half-hour or so of work. Players get little benefit from this for PvP aside
    from high quality consumables.
    
    Here are a few methods I’ll be discussing about certain exploits to get your
    character geared, and keeping them geared.
    
    - Thomas Dupe
    - Smurf Dupe
    
    -----------------------
    === The Thomas Dupe ===
    -----------------------
    
    Requires
    - Thomas and Boldwin to be alive.
    - 1 of the following: Evacuate, Nexial Binding, Shards of Archstone
    
    This dupe has replaced most of the previous dupes, simply because it can
    do almost everything the other dupes can but faster, and in single-player.
    I've kept the Smurf Dupe because many players prefer to duplicate weapons
    to one another in this way.
    
    -------
    Step 1:
    -------
    Remove all copies of the item you wish to dupe from Thomas' inventory,
    if any. If you do not, it will not work properly.
    
    -------
    Step 2:
    -------
    Equip belt either a Shard of Archstone/Nexial Binding, or remember the
    Evacuate Miracle.
    
    -------
    Step 3:
    -------
    Speak with the Blacksmith.
    
    -------
    Step 4:
    -------
    Go into the "Purchase/Buy" menu, and select an item. Do not purchase it.
    
    -------
    Step 5:
    -------
    Walk over to Thomas while keeping this menu open. Get into range so you
    may speak with him (do not speak with him yet however, just get in range).
    
    -------
    Step 6:
    -------
    The inventory screen with the Blacksmith will close. Use your Nexial
    Binding/Shard of Archstone/Evacuate.
    
    -------
    Step 7:
    -------
    When the window pops up asking you if you wish to "Return to the Nexus"
    press start to cancel it.
    
    -------
    Step 8:
    -------
    Immediately speak with Thomas.
    
    ------
    Step 9
    ------
    Deposit the item you wish to have duped.
    
    If done correctly, you will instantly teleport back to the Nexus. There now
    will by 1024 copies of the item you deposited in Thomas' inventory. When you
    take any, that figure will be reduced to 99 (or 999 if its arrows/bolts).
    
    
    ----------------------
    === The Smurf Dupe ===
    ----------------------
    
    Requires:
    - 2 players in a similar level range with online capability
    - It least 1 Blue Eye Stone (although it can be done with a Red Eye Stone
    nicely too)
    
    This is a what you’ll generally see mass dupes take the form of, when one
    player dupes a ton of items to the other. It’s actually exceedingly simple:
    
    -------
    Step 1:
    -------
    The person with the items they desire to be duplicated will enter the host's
    world as Blue Phantom (generally pre-arranged via the PSN).
    
    -------
    Step 2:
    -------
    The Blue drops all items they wish to be duplicated on the ground.
    
    -------
    Step 3:
    -------
    The blue quits the game immediately via the PSN menu.
    
    
    That's it. This effectively bypasses the game’s auto-save feature. The Blue
    player will have all the items they dropped still in their inventory once they
    reboot their game, while the dropped items in question will still remain on
    the ground in the Host’s world too (thus making duplicates). If you’re at the
    120 range, it’s recommended that you go somewhere isolated to avoid invasions,
    which can be disastrous.
    
    
    
    
    
    -------------------
    === Comparisons ===
    -------------------
    
    Here we'll briefly discuss some more open-ended material. We'll be comparing
    shields, weapon buffs, status attacks, and Warding Versus Second Chance.
    Nothing fancy... let's get to it!
    
    --------------=--------------
    ===(0014) - Shield Basics ===
    -----------------------------
    
    The previous version of this section had lengthy comparisons between shields
    and lengthy discussions on the matter. I've decided to trim it to the basics
    while adding more relative information.
    Here are the only shields worth considering:
    
    ---------------------------
    Dark Purple Flame Shield +5
    ---------------------------
    - Requires 22 Strength.
    - 100% physical damage reduction on block, 90% fire damage
    reduction, and 70% magic damage reduction. It has 60% hit resistance.
    
    ---------------------
    Dark Silver Shield +5
    ---------------------
    - Requires 16 Strength.
    - At +5 has 100% physical damage reduction on block, 70% fire damage
    reduction, and 100% magic damage reduction. It has 65% hit resistance.
    - Gives you a passive magic damage reduction on both attack, and defence
    (similar to Ring of Magical Dullness).
    
    -------------------
    Knight's Shield +10
    -------------------
    - Requires 16 Strength.
    - Can be upgraded to +10 using Hardstone.
    - At +10 has 100% physical damage reduction on block, 70% fire damage
    reduction, and 30% magic damage reduction. It has 78% hit resistance.
    
    -----------------------
    Adjudicator's Shield +5
    -----------------------
    - Requires 14 Strength.
    - Don't ever attempt a block with Adjudicator: it’s awful for blocking.
    - Gives you a passive HP regeneration bonus rated at 8HP per second at +5.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    === Basic Shield Q&A (things you should know about shields) ===
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    Q: What does “hit resistance” do?
    
    A: It determines how much stamina will be drained on block and by extension
    if an attack will crush your guard.
    
    Hit resistance is the single most important attribute next to physical damage
    resistance. A shield with high hit resistance will allow you to make repeated
    blocks for less stamina.
    
    
    Q: What's “guard crush”?
    
    A: Guard crush is when a blocked attack successfully drains your stamina
    completely though a block. You repel back, and are left wildly open in a
    special critical state. While you're in guard crush the next hit will do
    40% more damage.
    
    
    Q: What's damage resistance/damage cut%? How does it compare to hit
    resistance?
    
    A: Damage resistance is how much damage you take on a successful block
    (successful block is a block which does not crush your guard). A shield with
    100% damage resistance will prevent all damage to you on successful block. A
    shield with less damage resistance will allow a percentage of the damage to
    slip though even on a successful block (extremely bad). Only shields with
    100% damage block are usable.
    
    Damage resistance comes in three types:
    
    - Physical (this must be 100% to even consider a shield)
    - Magical
    - Fire
    
    100% physical is required, while the others are not nearly as important.
    
    Again, hit resistance determines the amount of stamina required to block.
    
    
    Q: So, I should go with a shield with the highest hit resistance then and 100%
    physical damage resistance right?
    
    A: Not quite. Hit resistance is important. But it's not the sole qualification
    you should consider when choosing a shield. Consider this: the Strength
    required to wield a certain shield. You should NEVER be sinking points into
    Strength just to equip an afterthought item such as a shield.
    
    Also, although hit resistance is the “Star Player” on the series of attributes
    on a shield, it doesn't exactly mean it will fit your play-style the best.
    Case-in-point: Dark Silver Shield. At +5 it features a so-so 65% hit
    resistance, however it's the only shield that boasts 100% physical, 100%
    magical, and 70% fire and it can parry. These exceedingly high damage
    resistances plus the ability to nerf Large Swords/Poles with parries make it
    very easy to overlook the lower hit resistance (and for good reason). A lot of
    veteran players contend that DSS+5 (with its arguably bad hit resistance) is
    the best shield in the game. It is the best shield.
    
    
    Q: What's your number one piece of shield-related advice?
    
    A: Make your shield work for your build, not the other way around.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    .-------.   .-./`) ,---.   .--.  .-_'''-.      .-'''-.
    |  _ _   \  \ .-.')|    \  |  | '_( )_   \    / _     \
    | ( ' )  |  / `-' \|  ,  \ |  ||(_ o _)|  '  (`' )/`--'
    |(_ o _) /   `-'`"`|  |\_ \|  |. (_,_)/___| (_ o _).
    | (_,_).' __ .---. |  _( )_\  ||  |  .-----. (_,_). '.
    |  |\ \  |  ||   | | (_ o _)  |'  \  '-   .'.---.  \  :
    |  | \ `'   /|   | |  (_,_)\  | \  `-'`   | \    `-'  |
    |  |  \    / |   | |  |    |  |  \        /  \       /
    ''-'   `'-'  '---' '--'    '--'   `'-...-'    `-...-'
    
    ------------------------
    ===(0015) - PvP Rings===
    ------------------------
    
    “Knowledge is always accompanied with accessories of emotion and purpose.”
    - Alfred North Whitehead
    
    
    Unlike armor (which makes a remedial difference) Rings drastically effect your
    character. Surprisingly a lot of rings have some merit in PvP (obviously
    the effectiveness of some is greater than others). I will briefly outline
    which are PvP worthy, and largely ignore those that aren't.
    
    This is one of the few sections I will openly steal info from the English DS
    Wiki too.
    
    ----------
    Cling Ring
    ----------
    There's nothing to say here other then it's mandatory for Soul Form PvP. Never
    leave home without the mighty Cling Ring. It's the best ring for the road.
    
    -------------------
    Friend's/Foe's Ring
    -------------------
    Pretty much mandatory for BP/RSS and smurf PvP. They provide a potent
    damage boost, and give off no visible aura. Absurdly strong.
    
    ---------------
    Clever Rat Ring
    ---------------
    When your HP is below 30% of your total, your Attack power increases by 50%.
    Mandatory for Hyper Mode, and one of the best Body Form rings. A must have.
    Recognizing the aura this has is important when facing it, luckily it appears
    to overtake all other auras, so it's quite visible.
    Tied for the best PvE ring in the game, and the best ring for defending
    home turf.
    
    -------------
    Dull Rat Ring
    -------------
    When your HP is below 30%, your defence increases by 50%. Not shabby at all.
    Especially effective when your opponent relies on stunlocks to hit as this
    ring can buy you a free hit or two. Very underrated, and a great Body-Form
    ring... defend even harder at home.
    
    ----------------------
    Eternal Warrior's Ring
    ----------------------
    Increases rate of stamina regeneration by about 8 stamina per second. Not too
    bad. This ring was really popular a while ago, but it's mostly taken a back
    seat to Rat rings for hosts. It's still pretty solid though. It really shines
    when used with armor with no Stamina Regeneration penalty. Also, sexiest aura
    in the game... hands down, that vibrant green rocks.
    
    Can be practical for fighting turtles when combined with Plague.
    
    -------------------------
    Thief's/Graverobber's Ring
    -------------------------
    Stealth Rings are swell. Keep in mind that they don't stack, the strongest
    stealth Item/Spell simply overtakes all the others. The big thing to note is
    that Cloak is superior to the Thief's Ring, so if you're playing a ninja then
    there's no real reason to run a Thief's Ring if you're on the ball with your
    casting.
    Tied with Clever Rat for best PvE ring.
    
    ------------------
    Regenerator's Ring
    ------------------
    4HP per second is pretty meager... but it stacks up nicely with an Adjudicator
    and a Blessed weapon. Last time I checked 18HP per second wasn't bad. Not the
    best ring in town, but it's still slick for any Faith players guarding home
    turf.
    
    -------------------------
    Ring of Magical Sharpness
    -------------------------
    Increases magic attack power while decreasing magic defence... great for a
    Body-Form caster, but Friend & Foe outperform it by a very, very small
    margin, so you shouldn't use it while in Soul Form. However, it does stack
    with a Foe's Ring... which could be some fun with Firespray.
    
    ----------
    Conclusion
    ----------
    If you're a Smurf or a BP and you're not wearing Foe/Cling, you're doing
    it wrong. The only ring you'd ever consider running over foe is Clever Rat,
    and even then Hyper Mode is not the hottest in phantom versus phantom
    combat. I suppose under certain circumstances E. Warrior ring has its merits,
    but those will be few and far between.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------
    ===(0016) - Weapon Buffs Part 1: Which is the best?===
    ------------------------------------------------------
    
    There are several weapon buffs:
    - Turpentine (disposable item)
    - Black Turpentine (disposable item)
    - Sticky White Stuff (disposable item)
    - Enchant Weapon (spell)
    - Light Weapon (spell)
    - Curse Weapon (spell)
    
    Out of the gate, I will tell you that Light Weapon and Curse Weapon are far
    and away the best. Everything else is mostly unusable.
    
    Basically, because of the abundance of Cursed Weapon, Warding has returned as
    a considerable buff post cracking Second Chance at higher levels of play to
    stifle the surge in builds revolving around Curse Weapon. So, if you're using
    both Warding and Second Chance, and you have an enchantable weapon, you will
    want to consider using SWS/BT/LW (unless you instead opt to use a Moon/Blessed
    weapon of course, for your build or meta game choice).
    
    Naturally on Faith/Moon builds you're going to use un-enchantable weapon
    anyways, but if you're a Crushing/Sharp build, and you like the idea of having
    Warding in your stable, then feel free to switch up your setup as you see fit.
    Once you effectively hijack all of Freke's spells, there's no reason not to
    try it frankly, and no risk involved. You might like Warding as a backup in
    certain duels, but you might miss the damage of Curse in the long run. Your
    call.
    
    In the new meta, having both Curse and Warding is not uncommon due to the large
    number of players running Strength/Dexterity with Curse. Warding obviously
    improves the mirror match.
    
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (0016) - Weapon Buffs Part 2: Light Weapon versus Curse Weapon: Which and Why?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I contend that most of my writing is very accurate, and well-proven. However,
    since there is some debate on the nature of this, I can only offer my
    experience and the tested knowledge of others (notably TMR Raven).
    
    Each has its distinct set of advantages, and disadvantages. So, let's
    systematically go through those.
    
    
    The basics. How they work.
    
    - To boil it down to basic fundamentals, this is what you should know:
    
    1) Curse Weapon affects your DAMAGE ONLY, and not your ATTACK RATING (AR).
    This is how much life your opponent loses AFTER ATTACK RATING (AR) VERSUS
    DEFENSE HAS BEEN CALCULATED. ONCE THIS FIGURE HAS BEEN CALCULATED YOU GET 50%
    MORE DAMAGE TO WHATEVER DAMAGE HITS YOUR OPPONENT'S HP BAR WHEN USING CURSE
    WEAPON.
    
    
    2) Light Weapon affects your ATTACK RATING (AR) ONLY. This means that the
    bonus from Light Weapon is applied to your attack, and then your opponent's
    defence versus your AR is calculated, then DAMAGE APPLIES NORMALLY.
    
    
    They both work on fundamentally different levels. They apply their bonuses
    differently. Here's review the important points:
    
    
    A) Curse Weapon provides a 50% damage bonus as we discussed earlier (not a 50%
    bonus to your Attack Rating), Light weapon adds a static AR bonus (the bonus
    taken from a composite of your Magic stat and your wand's spell power).
    
    This is one of the larger points.
    
    What this means is that Curse Weapon isn't affected by outside factors when it
    comes to the damage bonus. You get 50% more damage after physical defence
    prevents damage... no questions asked.
    
    This also means that Light Weapon when used properly can add a large bonus to
    faster weapons (notably daggers) that Curse Weapon simply cannot rival.
    
    The Rule of Thumb is this: 30 MAGIC + LIGHT WEAPON + INSANITY CATALYST WILL
    OUTPERFORM CURSE WEAPON UP UNTIL ABOUT MID-300's IN AR!
    
    
    B) Curse Weapon requires much less stat investment to be used properly in
    unison with Second Chance (18 Intelligence, 16 Faith, and base Magic), Light
    Weapon requires much more (15 Intelligence, 16 Faith, 16-30 Magic). There's a
    7-21 point difference there in a basic Temple Knight build. Note that Light
    Weapon shows promising gains up until about 30 Magic.
    
    
    ------------------------------------
    Split Damage, and a theoretical test
    ------------------------------------
    
    Curse Weapon's damage bonus is mathematical (or rather the damage bonus is a 50%
    mirror of the weapon it enchants), Light Weapon's AR bonus is magic.
    
    What this means is that you get better damage results regardless of the
    numerical output when using Curse Weapon since your opponent will only be
    resisting your overall physical damage. Look at damage, not the number on your
    character screen. Here's a theoretical example:
    
    
    1) We have a 300 attack rating nondescript sword.
    
    2) We can Curse Weapon this 300 attack rating sword. It's AR remains the same,
    but it's damage has increased by 50%. This bonus applies after Defense vs. AR
    is calculated.
    
    3) We can Light Weapon this same weapon for 180 magical AR, to have a total of
    300 physical AR and 180 magical AR (460 AR split 300/180). The figure of 180
    AR is considered standard on Light Weapon with Insanity Catalyst equipped and
    16 Magic.
    
    4) Each enemy has both physical and magical AR resist (let's say on our
    example enemy resists 100 physical AR and 100 magical AR). Note that physical
    and magical AR resist is actually complicated to calculate on the fly, so
    we're going to use these arbitrary figures for simplicity's sake.
    
    5) The Curse Weapon sword will deal 300 minus 100 (physical AR minus physical
    defence) for 200 damage on an successful attack. After this, the Cursed Weapon
    bonus is applied. The attack will instead deal 300 damage (200 damage +50%).
    
    6) The Light Weapon sword will deal 300 minus 100 (physical AR minus physical
    defence) and 180 – 100 (magical AR minus magical defence) damage for a total
    of 280 damage on an successful attack.
    
    7) The same test is conducted, except this time we have 30 Magic when we use
    our combo of Insanity Catalyst & Light Weapon. This time Light Weapon enchants
    our 300 damage nondescript sword for 240 magic AR (this is a arbitrary figure).
    
    8) The Light Weapon sword will now deal 300 minus 100 (physical AR minus
    physical defence) and 240 – 100 (magical AR minus magical defence) damage for
    a total of 340 actual damage on an successful attack.
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    (0016) - Results and Conclusions on Light Weapon vs. Curse Weapon
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    The result is that more of our Curse Weapon bonus actually made it to the
    opponent's HP, and didn't get sucked up by magic defence initially. However,
    as we added a 30 Magic version of Light Weapon + Insanity Catalyst we got
    better results. These figures aren't accurate either, so keep that in mind.
    
    Now keep in mind, there are some cases where the AR on Light Weapon being
    magic is not relative (see: Blueblood Sword & Meat Cleaver). In both of these
    cases they have existing on-board magic damage that already "pierces" an
    opponent's magic defence. When either of these weapons are used with Light
    Weapon it will make a much larger impact in damage output. In both the cases
    of BBS and Cleaver Light Weapon is superior from a damage point.
    
    In the end, cracked Curse Weapon starts pulling away from Light Weapon +
    Insanity Catalyst + 30 Magic at about the mid-300's range (despite our “test”
    above Curse Weapon actually starts beating out Light Weapon at around the
    340-ish range).
    
    This was only in the case of weapons with equal AR (which is arguably easier
    to get with the additional 21 stat points from using Curse Weapon).
    
    ------------------
    === Final Note ===
    ------------------
    At the end of the day both are incredibly potent. Take this section with a
    grain of salt, and use what you like. Making a choice to use Light Weapon
    because if you like the color of one better that's a perfectly fair choice
    you can make.
    
    
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    ===(0017) - Warding versus Second Chance: Which and Why?===
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    As you may have noticed, in all of the builds 16 Faith is mandatory. This is
    to access Second Chance, which I, and a good chunk (100%) of the PvP
    populace believe is superior to Warding. Let's discuss why in another
    point-by-point:
    
    
    - Warding provides a massive boost to physical defence. It costs 50MP, and 2
    spell slots. It lasts for 40 seconds only, and must be rebuffed after its
    duration. It should be noted that the defence bonus granted by Warding does
    not hinge on Magic stat/Spell Assist like previously believed (it used to be
    widely believed that Warding's effectiveness was determined by Magic stat,
    but I can tell you that with my diligent testing that this simply isn't the
    case). This means it retains its full effectiveness with a Cracked ToB.
    
    - Second Chance returns you to life with 50% of your life total once you die.
    It costs 100MP, and two miracle slots. It lasts indefinitely (until it's
    "broken"), then must be reapplied.
    
    - Warding wears off within its 40 seconds, Second Chance doesn't. This is
    probably one of the larger advantages to Second Chance (SC).
    
    - Second Chance provides an advantage against magic damage while Warding
    doesn't. This is especially important with the arbitrarily large number of
    Faith builds out there, and the growing number of battle mages sporting deadly
    Moon weapons, and of course the ever looming threat of BBS. This advantage
    SC holds over Warding is massive.
    
    - Warding protects much better then SC in situations where it's good. This is
    great when your opponent is smacking extra hard with Curse Weapon
    Crushing/Sharp weapons allowing you to take several hits with little worry
    instead of 3-5.
    
    - Warding can be cast quickly in combat, and is very difficult to interrupt.
    This is important for a spell that has a 40 second time limit, and/or you're
    in heated combat. Mainly, being able to cast it in combat rather easily makes
    it a large boon.
    
    ------------
    The Verdict:
    ------------
    - Overall SC wins, it's simply much more diverse. Keep reading however.
    
    Not having to reapply it, and its enduring degree of usefulness in every
    situation simply beats Warding's set of advantages.
    
    If you have to choose one, always choose SC. That doesn't discourage me from
    saying using Warding is incredibly good too in unison with SC. The meta-game
    is shifting towards players using both Warding and Second Chance if they can
    swing it (battle mages, Faith builds, NR builds, and even Dexterity builds with
    2 Katanas are throwing out Curse Weapon in favor of Warding). With the rapid
    cast speed on Warding, it's easy to use in heated combat (unlike the slow
    casting speed of SC).
    
    The fact that some of the advanced Katana players switched to Warding and
    buffing with Sticky White Stuff/Black Turpentine is a very strong testament to
    how good Warding is in the ever-evolving meta. While Strength/BBS builds
    largely may not access it without sacrificing their very essential buffs, I
    expect at higher levels of play Warding backups post cracking SC will become a
    considerable contender, and likely more common. Also, other than time, there's
    virtually no sacrifice to learning it (level to 10 Magic, learn Warding,
    decrease back to base 6, use Yuria to remember spells).
    
    As of the latest update (ver. 1.4) a large shift in builds using both SC and
    Warding has become common. If I were to make a build tomorrow, it would likely
    use both.
    
    ===================================
    -----------------------------------
    Warding Performance by Aneed4speed:
    -----------------------------------
    ===================================
    
    "So in my invading session today I was lucky enough to come across quite a few
    'Warders' who managed to give me a few backstabbing opportunities. I recorded
    the damage inflicted with Warding on and off - thanks to cousin who has
    nothing better to do. Anyways here are the figures:
    
    My SL was 100, and Dex at 34. I was using a Cursed Sharp Uchigatana +5. I got
    to BS 4 blues both with and without Warding. The hosts all had SC... nice
    combination IMO. It should be noted I was also wearing a Foe's Ring.
    
    Blue #1
    - 356 damage with Warding
    - 1106 damage without Warding (lethal)
    (Damage cut to 31%)
    
    Blue #2
    - 312 damage with Warding
    - 1005 damage without Warding (lethal)
    (Damage cut to 32%)
    
    Blue #3
    - 398 damage with Warding
    - 1178 damage without Warding (lethal)
    (Damage cut to 29%)
    
    Blue #4
    - 298 damage with Warding
    - 1002 damage without Warding (lethal)
    (Damage cut to 33%)
    
    Warding does work!"
    
    
    ------------------------
    Additional notes by EWGF
    ------------------------
    This supports my long-standing theory that Warding cuts damage by about
    66%-71% or so, to about a 3rd or less.
    
    EDIT: There seems to be a surplus of people that are now convinced that you
    can OHKO through a SC, but this is untrue.
    
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    ===(0018) - Negative Status (Plague vs. Poison vs. Bleed)===
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Alright, there are 3 negative status effects in the game:
    - Bleed
    - Poison
    - Plague
    
    Right out of the gate I'll tell you that Bleed is total junk. Yes, I said it.
    I don't care if it's the 600 Bleed damage from a +5 Makoto, it's still outright
    trash. Forget Bleed, it sucks. The problem with Bleed is that damage over time
    by itself is a total joke. You can heal through it with relative ease, while
    with Plague/Poison this can be a little more risky and difficult.
    
    The real competition here is between Poison and Plague. Let's review:
    
    - Poison steadily lowers HP (rated at 5HP per second). It also cuts heal
    effectiveness in half.
    Endurance governs one’s ability to resist Poison. Weapons that can inflict
    Poison can do so through shield blocks.
    
    - Plague is basically the same thing with a few fundamental differences. Life
    loss over time (variable), and halved heal effectiveness. However it has one
    large advantage over Poison: it slows stamina recovery dramatically. Luck is
    the stat that determines resistance to Plague. That being said, BBS builds
    are quite resilient to infection.
    Weapons that can inflict Plague can do so through shield blocks.
    
    Q: So, Plague is the best right? Screw Poison!
    
    A: Yes, basically. The stamina penalty on Plague gives it many more uses then
    Poison. Poison still has its merits however... notably being stacked with Plague
    for a more dramatic effect.
    
    Poison also has more, and cheaper delivery methods:
    
    For Plague you have Baby's Nail and Death Cloud (2 slots, 30mp).
    For Poison you have Mercury weapons, and Poison Cloud (1 slot, 15mp).
    
    It should also be noted Kunai are great jamming attempts at recasting Second
    Chance, and as a defensive tactic against Running Firestorm.
    
    
    
    -------------------------------------------------------
    (0018) - Negative Status: When should I use it and Why?
    -------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NOTE: DUPED DARKMOON GRASS FREQUENTLY INVALIDATES ANY ATTEMPT TO USE STATUS
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BE FOREWARNED!
    --------------
    
    I'm a sincere advocate of Negative Status. However, in the North American
    meta, widespread duping has invalidated it as a tactic. There are only four
    cases in which it still sees play (excluding players you will want to use
    it on):
    
    1) Low-level invasion.
    
    2) Certain league/tournament formats.
    
    3) Low-Grass/No-Grass casuals.
    
    4) Invasion in which the enemy has no DMG.
    
    If you're in a duel in which Negative Status is allowed, and grassing is
    restricted (or your opponent simply has no DMG) status attacks still aren't
    good to constantly push.
    
    Only certain players qualify for it:
    
    - Against dedicated Turtles.
    
    - Against Faith builds as a low-damage build.
    
    - Anyone else without DMG who's not packing a weapon that can 3-shot
    you.
    
    A Faith player against a passive Estoc turtle you will want to land
    Plague very early. This forces them to play more aggressively since you
    have regeneration, and their general strategy is light attrition
    combined with error punishing. Also, any build will likely want to use
    Plague against a turtle simply due to the fact attempts to crush a
    guard will improve greatly if your enemy is infected.
    
    Faith also presents some problems for certain Hybrids/Spell-Swords
    due to gouged magic defence reducing opposing magic damage quite low
    combined with constant regen. Stacking statuses on certain Faith players
    can be beneficial.
    
    Anyone tapped of DMG and who's not rolling with a LW BBS or anything with
    "Purple Death" is a decent candidate for status attacks. The worst play in
    the game is trying to Nail anyone with a Cursed Kilij/Pole/Katana and
    getting dropped from one 3-hit combo with a Sais.
    
    
    
    
    -------------------------------------------------------
    (0019) - Counter Hit, the Demon's Souls Critical System
    -------------------------------------------------------
    
    ---------------------------------
    Q: EWGF, What is a "Counter Hit"?
    ---------------------------------
    
    -------
    Answer:
    -------
    Counter Hit (CH) is the only crit-like system found in DS (versus other
    RPGs where criticals are often "rolled or proc" based on a calculation).
    Unlike other RPGs however, the CH system is largely based on specific factors
    and mostly doesn't randomly trip. In addition to providing damage, it can also
    increase the time required to recover from hit-stun.
    The only other arguably similar system is Direct Hit, which varies slightly,
    and generally only applies to certain weapons (and is much weaker).
    
    ----------------------------------
    CH applies around 40% more damage!
    ----------------------------------
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    All damage in DS works in a fundamentally simple way:
    -----------------------------------------------------
    
    - AR is totalled (including Hyper/Weapon buffs, aside from Curse Weapon).
    
    - Modifiers are added by swing/BS/Riposte bonuses are added. YES, THIS
    MEANS RIPOSTES AND BACKSTABS CAN POTENTIALLY TRIP FOR 40% MORE DAMAGE.
    
    - Defense calculation is applied (likely at this point).
    
    - This point is likely where CT, WT, and Friend/Foe bonuses are likely
    applied. Presumably they all stack simultaneously (and aren't applied in
    layers). It's quite possible that these bonuses apply before defence
    calculations as well.
    
    - Counter Hit/Curse Weapon bonuses (if applicable) are added likely last.
    
    This means damage is incredibly static (although I'm uncertain of how the
    damage mechanics truly apply to Counter Hit, and 'when' in regards to Defense
    vs. AR calculation).
    However if an opponent stands without defending themselves and you hit them
    repeatedly with the same strike, damage will always provide the same value
    time-and-time again. It will seldom vary (except by a couple points, or with
    Direct-Hit capable weapons). Weapon performance is incredibly stable due to
    this.
    
    CH can modify mostly anything, and from my tests (my current ones, with more
    upcoming) I've learned that CH applies a bonus of roughly 38-41% (it least
    in the case of PBCT BPs wearing Foe). I've found I was getting 39.5-ish% rather
    consistently with both spells, swings, and BSes under my test parameters. It
    Also works with spells.
    
    -------------------------------------
    Q: EWGF, how to I score Counter Hits?
    -------------------------------------
    
    -------
    Answer:
    -------
    Your chances of CH are seldom controlled. There's only a few sure-fire ways to
    score a Counter Hit that can be easily controlled (push to slash), while
    the rest are seemingly random. Here are some ways (note "some") a CH is scored:
    
    - Attacks landed after a successful push
    - Attacks landed while an opponent is sprinting
    - Attacks landed after a shield guard is blown
    - Attacks landed at the beginning/end of a roll that successfully hit
    - Non-riposte attacks landed after an opponent has been successfully parried
    - Riposte attacks landed after an opponent has been parried can trip a CH too!
    - Attacks landed while an opponent is swinging (some swings are exempt)
    
    Aside from push, Counter Hits will occur normally through the course of combat.
    They are seldom controlled... however knowing what causes them to occur can
    potentially save you from being on the receiving end on occasion (notably not
    sprinting constantly during a duel will cut down on opposing CHs).
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ----------------
    ===Techniques===
    ----------------
    
    "Technique is what you fall back on when you run out of inspiration."
    - Rudolf Nureyev
    
    
    PvP at its most basic levels can be boiled down to two things:
    
    - Spacing
    - Timing attacks
    
    Correct spacing is fundamental in achieving victory in PvP as well as
    properly timing attacks. This in PvP in its most rudimentary form, and as
    such should always be considered.
    With that being said both of these things are incredibly intuitive. You will
    generally attack when you believe you can land a hit, and space yourself and
    evade to avoid being hit. There isn't much to say there.
    
    However, there are a near infinite other techniques involved in blocking,
    using specific weapons, parrying, backstabbing, and other techniques that are
    slightly less intuitive. All weapon setups except one can be boiled down to
    making a series of basic judgment calls on when to swing, and what swing to
    use.
    
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------
    ===(0020) - Off-hand Katana/dual wielding ===
    ---------------------------------------------
    
    It goes like this:
    
    Due to the high off-hand swing speed of Katana, you can chain off-hand swings
    with main-hand pushes. Only certain weapons have the push speed available to
    make this work (other Katanas, 1-handed Swords, Daggers, Spears, Poles etc).
    This stunlock is *mostly* inescapable if performed correctly with the right
    main-hand weapon. Also, since all your attacks are preceded by a push, you do
    40% bonus damage due to Counter-Hit status.
    
    At high levels of play, this is one of the setups you'll see commonly. It
    should be noted that this extends beyond a main hand Katana (although a
    main-hand Katana is probably the most well-rounded because of its ability
    to open with the running slash). Players have used everything from Winged
    Spears to Sais as main-hand choices.
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Help! I'm having major problems fight against 2x katanas! What can I do?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Of all setups I get mail/questions about, handling tough dual Katana players
    is the most common aside from poles.
    
    Rapier/Shield combo is the only truly less-than-favourable matchup for katanas.
    The blocking poke punishes them at almost every turn, and almost completely
    eliminates BS games.
    The same could be said about Spear/Shield combos using while-blocking pokes,
    but it's not quite as effective.
    The only clear counter a katana player has is the relative ease of parrying
    blocking pokes.
    
    Cursed Poles can still kill a person regardless of skill levels with complete
    ease. Also, 2-handed R2 has Hyper Armor, which allows you to use it much like
    a Great Axe R1. Pole R2 into a R1 string has some merits, letting you swing
    suicidally into potential deadly katana strings much like a Great Axe, and make
    a trade in your favor. It also stun-locks.
    
    Great Axe still has its Hyper Armor 1-2-3 combo which can punish sloppy
    katana thrusts (or anything) with a swift death.
    
    Mindless play is also very Parry-punishable. If the spam their push combo into
    a legit block, you can parry the push quite easily.
    
    Stun Breaking (see below).
    
    
    
    
    -------------------------------------
    (0021) - Push/Stun Breaking (updated)
    -------------------------------------
    
    Stun breaking is a relatively new tactic (see: glitch) that can be used to
    escape almost every stun (including off-hand katana pushlock). I've included
    it here because of its relativity to katana stuns.
    
    The method is hilariously simple:
    
    - A well-timed weapon switch while hit (no joke, you literally hit the D-Pad).
    
    What this does is cause a stagger to be interrupted by the weapon switch
    animation allowing you to roll out. It's not limited to push-locks either, and
    works nicely on poles and other R1 stuns.
    
    It also will not work on Dagger/Claw push-locks (the locks that solely use
    pushes
    with Light Weapon... not the off-hand Katana locks).
    
    ---------------------------
    === Fireball Stun Break ===
    ---------------------------
    It will also work on Fireball stuns, which is important since Pivot Casting has
    become incredibly good, and Fireball setups are a massive part of their game.
    
    -----------------
    HOW DOES IT WORK?
    -----------------
    As I've said, it causes a stagger to be interrupted by the weapon switch
    animation
    which allows you to roll out/block etc. But, there are some complicated game
    systems behind this. Things to consider:
    
    The properties on toggle escape are complicated to say the least. Lighter stuns
    can be almost entirely negated. In-fact if you were skilled enough, many combos
    would never go beyond the 1st hit, but it's not realistic to proactively toggle
    weapons every time you suspect you may be hit (in advance no less).
    
    Even the people that use it don't know how it works. You see, people think when
    they use toggle that they're "reducing the stun" of the previous hit that has
    just
    connected.
    This is incorrect.
    What they're actually doing is cancelling the stun of the following hit before
    it
    even connects. Much like a parry, it’s happening before you can see it.
    
    The Golden Rule: LIGHT STUNS CAN BE BROKEN AT THE BEGINNING, WHILE HEAVIER STUNS
    CAN BE BROKEN AT VARIOUS POINTS.
    
    
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    (0022) - Parrying in PvP: Setup Parries & Blind Parries: a brief primer
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    The difference between parries in PvP and parries in PvM:
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    
    In PvM parrying is simple. You use a visual reference of your opponent's attack
    to properly time a successful parry. In PvP, it's not like that due to lag
    (thus the consensus that parrying it impossible). However, it can still be
    done with almost the same level of accuracy as in PvM once you get used to it.
    
    Don't just go out and randomly try to parry in PvP without some practice. Try
    a friendly Red Stone duel with somebody you know to puzzle out the timing.
    Bring a whole host of unmodified/clean weapons to practice with. Switch back
    and forth between them constantly, and get a feel for each one.
    
    Each weapon in both 1-handed and 2-handed stance has a different parry window.
    Familiarize yourself with the ones you're used to seeing.
    
    ----------------
    THE GOLDEN RULE:
    ----------------
    Poles, Large Swords, Spears, Rapiers, and Uchigatanas provide plenty of easy to
    high-difficulty parries depending on what you choose to parry.
    
    Guillotine Axe and BBS are generally high-difficulty R1 Setup Parries with a
    couple easy alternate Setups sprinkled in.
    
    Some weapons, like Kilij simply aren't worth the exceedingly high risk of a
    whiff due to the difficulty.
    
    If you're not comfortable parrying it, don't force it if in a difficult duel.
    Save it for opponents that aren't exactly top-notch. Perfect it in practice
    first... then apply it to PvP.
    
    We are going to talk about 2 types of parries (the only 2):
    
    - Setup Parries
    - Blind Parries
    
    
    --------------------------------
    (0022.i) - Setup Parries & Notes
    -------------------------------
    1) You are required to block the first hit (as such a shield must be used...
    off-hand parrying weapons will not work). Also, this makes unblockable
    weapons impossible to parry due to staggers, although Blind/LSoM can be Blind
    Parried.
    
    2) Once the first hit is blocked you are ready to parry the following strike if
    your opponent follows up with another R1 hit without delay. This won’t work on
    every potential R1 string.
    
    Note: There is no visual reference to follow due to lag... but generally after
    the first hit lands, immediately perform a parry (they may not even be swinging
    yet) to land a successful parry. Certain slow weapons require a slight delay
    (“delay” being relative... we're talking about milliseconds here).
    
    3) After the first hit lands on your shield... parry almost immediately
    regardless of what is represented visually if you believe the opponent will
    attack.
    
    4) If you successfully parry, don't panic. If you hit R1 too quickly, you'll
    simply swing normally. Take your time to land the riposte.
    
    
    -----------------------------
    Look for other combo starters
    -----------------------------
    Also note that R1 strings aren't your only setups. Remember, anything that
    can possibly lead to an R1 string is a candidate for leading into a setup
    parry. Often they're better due to the larger delay between the swing, and
    the R1 slashes.
    
    Notably while-dashing (WD) and while-rolling (WR) strikes to R1 strings are
    good setups that people believe are safe because they aren’t strict R1 spam.
    This holds up especially good for R1 strings that are normally incredibly
    difficult to parry at 1st (BBS, Guillotine Axe).
    
    Here are 3 examples of potential setup parries against 1-Handed Swords in a
    double grip:
    
    2h BBS:
    1) R1 > R1 (parry) > R1 (parry) > R1 > R1
    2) WD R1 > R1 (parry) > R2 > R2
    3) WR R1 > R1 (parry) > R2 > R2
    
    The WD/WR parries are much easier then the 1st parry shown here. This
    pattern is similar for other weapons.
    
    
    -------------------------
    (0022.ii) - Blind Parries
    -------------------------
    
    Blind Parries are parrying the first hit in a string of attacks (being "blind"
    for almost a total lack of assumption). Once you get use to Setup Parries you
    can generally give Blind Parries a shot.
    
    -------------
    Surprise Love
    -------------
    
    Basically, your reads on your opponent have to be much better since you don't
    have the time to puzzle what you're going to do while blocking R1 spam.
    This makes Blind Parries much more dangerous in nature, and prone to whiffing.
    You have to commit to a Blind Parry, and you also don't have the luxury of a
    raised shield beforehand to repel swings.
    
    --------------
    The Advantages
    --------------
    
    The clear advantages are that since you're not fishing for R1 strings you can
    parry opponents that expect Setup Parries and do not R1 spam into a raised
    shield. You can also parry single attacks that aren't normally followed by a
    second swing. Also, since you aren't required to block the first hit, parrying
    weapons can be used.
    
    -----------------------------------
    Some Ideal Swings for Blind Parries
    -----------------------------------
    
    The best swings to parry under these circumstances are while-dashing (WD) and
    while-rolling (WR) swings as they can be spotted and accurately predicted. Here
    are some to get you started:
    
    - WD/WR 1h/2h R1 katana strikes (WD katana strike is a difficult parry, even if
    accurately predicted)
    - WD/WR 1h/2h R1 BBS strikes
    - WR 1h/2h R1 Estoc strikes
    - WD/WR 1h/2h R1 pole strikes (you seldom see these sadly)
    - WR 2h R1 Large Sword strike
    - WD/WR 1h/2h R1 Spear strikes & 1h R2
    
    Don’t let my meager instruction limit you. If you find a swing that makes for
    an easy Blind, whore it.
    
    -------------------------------
    Trick to the Katana WD R1 parry
    -------------------------------
    A lot of people emailed me about this one, saying their results were very
    ho-hum, and they were unhappy. Here's the trick to it to help you aspiring
    parry players out:
    
    - Parry the katana players hand, not the blade itself, and you will see
    improved results.
    
    This means moving towards a predicted Katana thrust unprotected which is very,
    very against the nature of a seasoned player.
    
    This is a wacky Blind once you get the hang of it, and you'll end up behind
    them and in all kinds of weird places after scoring a parry due to the fact
    they often keep their forward momentum. This is also likely the sexiest parry
    in the game.
    
    
    -----------------------------------------
    (0022.iii) - A few final notes on parries
    -----------------------------------------
    -------------------------
    Special Parry Conditions:
    -------------------------
    ------------
    1) Hit Parry
    ------------
    
    You can get hit-staggered but still score a successful parry, And if you're
    quick enough you can still land your riposte too.
    
    Sprint quickly towards your opponent once your hit stagger ends, and attempt a
    riposte. It will often land once you get used to the rhythm.
    
    Sometimes you will do a glitchy WD R1 right through them that looks pretty
    sweet. They'll slump to the ground in a normal riposte animation and take
    normal riposte damage.
    
    ----------------
    2) Partial Parry
    ----------------
    
    Sometimes you will attempt a parry, and be unsuccessful... yet something odd
    will happen: you will lose HP, and a large amount of stamina, however you
    will retain full mobility and not experience any hit-stun.
    
    This is a near miss, or a "Partial Parry" (usually just called a "Partial").
    
    This is good for setting up for a 2nd attempt at a Setup Parry if your enemy
    is mindlessly spamming R1s, although you might be stamina-starved at this
    point. It's also good for escaping.
    
    Oddly enough, although not every swing can be parried, every swing can be
    Partial Parried.
    
    -------------
    General Notes
    -------------
    
    - Although there are reports of 2-handed Great Weapons being parried in this
    way (while-rolling GA R1), I haven't seen it or done it. I've tried at length
    with GA, and so these testimonies are false.
    
    In general, I've gleaned that Hyper Armor swings simply can't be parried, and
    not Gaxes/DBS themselves. What this really means is most Gaxe swings in
    2-handed grip can't be parried, but 1-handed swings can. Either way, as a
    rule attempting a Blind on a GA/GS is unwise regardless, as Gaxes 2 best
    attacks at large can't be parried.
    
    As for other Hyper Swings (f+R1 Estoc and Kilij) they can actually be parried.
    The Estoc f+R1 is almost impossible... I did it several times in a practice
    session and have not been able to reproduce it since. The Kilij Hyper is
    actually
    easy to parry.
    
    - Daggers, 1-Handed Swords, Rapiers, and Katanas all provide increased riposte
    damage over other weapons of equal attack power (the same for backstabs).
    
    
    
    ------------------------------
    (0022.iv) - Setup Parry Series
    ------------------------------
    
    This will likely be an ongoing project outlining strikes/setups which are prone
    to Setup Parries. But, I figured I'd lay the foundations for likely the
    inheritors of my work, and/or other testers. Don’t let my work determine your
    parries, but use it for what it is: my experiences.
    
    These aren't the only setup parries in these strings either, merely the ones I
    use the most. More-or-less a starter guide for you to progress your own parry
    game, and provide you with a more intimate knowledge of the parry system.
    
    ------
    Poles:
    ------
    Most Pole Setups can occur on the 2nd or 3rd hit (or any) of almost any string,
    in ether 1-handed or two-handed grip. Although people seldom use it in 1-hand,
    most of the same strings still apply.
    
    
    Poles, 1-handed OR 2-handed:
    - WR R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - WD R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    
    --------------------------------
    1-handed Swords, Guillotine Axe:
    --------------------------------
    Largely, the same moveset, especially in regards to parries. Your safest
    parries are primarily WD/WR R1 to R1 strings (for 2-handed grip it least).
    BBS/Gill are also unique in the fact that the 3rd hit in their 2-handed R1
    strings are the safest parries. Even then, these should be practiced at length
    to get a feel for, as whiffs are incredibly dangerous against either of these
    weapons. R2 > R2 on these can make pretty good parries to.
    
    
    Maces, 1-Handed Swords, 1-Handed Axes, 1-handed OR 2-handed:
    - WR R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - WD R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - R1 > R1 > R1 (parry)
    - Any string ending in R2 > R2 (parry)
    
    -------
    Katanas
    -------
    Katanas provide all kinds of medium difficulty parries, but only a few
    incredibly easy ones. Practice constantly against katanas to get a feel for
    the numerous parries, and which ones you like the feel of the most.
    
    
    Double Kat:
    - WD R1 > L1 (parry) > f+R1 (parry)
    - L1 > f+R1 (parry) > L1 > f+R1 (parry)
    - WR R1 > L1 (parry) > f+R1 (parry)
    
    Katanas, 1-handed OR 2-handed
    - WR R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - WD R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - R1 > R1 > R1 (parry)
    
    ------------
    Large Swords
    ------------
    Since most players don't use a large variety of swings, you don't have much to
    work with frankly. However R1 spam is the slowest Setup in the game, and an
    easy steamroll. Advanced players won’t throw this at you often (or ever).
    
    
    Large Swords, 1-handed OR 2-handed:
    - WR R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - R1 > R1 (parry)
    - R1 > R2 (parry)
    
    ------
    Spears
    ------
    Despite never practicing against a Spear, I've scored plenty of Blind and Setup
    parries against them. Spears and Rapiers both appear to have larger chances of
    being successfully parries it seems.
    1-handed R2 and 2-handed R2 are your Blind Parries, it least in my limited
    experience. While-Blocking (WB) strikes also seem incredibly prone to either
    random Blind Parries or Setups.
    
    
    Spears, 1-handed:
    - WR R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - R1 > R1 (parry)
    - WD R1 > R1 (parry)
    - WB R1 > R1 (parry)
    
    Spears, 2-handed:
    - WR R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - R1 > R1 (parry)
    - WD R1 > R1 (parry)
    - R2 > R2 (parry)
    
    -------
    Rapiers
    -------
    Rapiers are also pretty easy to parry, and have numerous setups that are
    vulnerable. WB R1s are your best parry.
    
    Rapier, 1-handed or 2-handed:
    - WR R1 > R1 (parry) > R1
    - R1 > R1 (parry)
    - WD R1 > R1 (parry)
    - (With shield) WB R1 > R1 (parry, long delay)
    
    ------------
    Asian Swords
    ------------
    Asian Swords are outright impossible to reliably parry (it least while they're
    in double grip). I've heard people go on at length about how they can be
    reliably parried, but even the standard setup parries (WD/WR to R1) fail to
    be consistent. I've found one solid parry:
    
    2-handed WD R1 > R2 (parry) > R1
    
    Luckily, this is their best combo. However, you can never tell if they're
    going WD R1 > R2 or WD R1 > R1, so this parry is almost useless. If someone
    has a good setup parry they know about, I'm all ears.
    
    
    
    --------
    The Rest
    --------
    GA, Great Swords, Claws, and Daggers aren't really worth talking about. Great
    Axe and Great Sword don't really have setup parries (GS 1-handed R2 > R1 is
    solid, but GS players never spam this), and Dagger and Claw are basically
    more-or-less untested by me (I've scored plenty of ripostes against then, but
    it was mostly random stuff). For Claw/Dagger 2 out of 3 of the normal setups
    work nicely (WD R1 > R1 and WR R1 > R1), but I just never see them enough to
    care.
    
    -----------
    Conclusions
    -----------
    Notice a pattern?
    
    As you can see, WD R1 > R1 and WR R1 > R1 are your setups for basically any
    weapon in the game that can be reliably parried. Some straight-up R1 strings
    are harder than others to parry (notably BBS/Guillotine), so that's where these
    come in, providing easier parries. Mixing these in with R1 string Setups will
    improve your parry game dramatically.
    
    
    
     __                      __               __             __
    /\ \                    /\ \             /\ \__         /\ \
    \ \ \____    __      ___\ \ \/'\     ____\ \ ,_\    __  \ \ \____   ____
     \ \ '__`\ /'__`\   /'___\ \ , <    /',__\\ \ \/  /'__`\ \ \ '__`\ /',__\
      \ \ \L\ \\ \L\.\_/\ \__/\ \ \\`\ /\__, `\\ \ \_/\ \L\.\_\ \ \L\ \\__, `\
       \ \_,__/ \__/.\_\ \____\\ \_\ \_\/\____/ \ \__\ \__/.\_\\ \_,__//\____/
        \/___/ \/__/\/_/\/____/ \/_/\/_/\/___/   \/__/\/__/\/_/ \/___/ \/___/
    
    ----------------------------------
    (0023) - Backstabs: a brief primer
    ----------------------------------
    
    Backstabs (BSes) are great. They hurt a lot, look swell, and with a bit of
    practice and some know how you can land them nearly at will against many
    players.
    Like anything, at higher levels of play it becomes more difficult. Good
    opponents cannot be BSed as easily as poor ones. This stands to reason just
    like anything else. Before we get into a few advanced techniques, we're going
    to discuss the basics.
    
    Here are a few factoids to get us started:
    
    - The angle to perform a backstab does not require you to be totally facing an
    opponent's back. If you're on your opponent's peripheral and you have the
    proper angle you can still score a BS.
    
    - Rolling can often cause BSes to not deal damage due to a clear glitch.
    A very similar glitch I've discovered makes BSing an opponent who's locked-on
    to you with a raised shield basically impossible. Almost 100% of the time the
    BS will not deal damage.
    
    - The best "Oki" tactics include: re-positioning for a 2nd BS (BS Chaining),
    laying a Cloud, planting a Fireball, using certain attacks as roll traps.
    
    - Daggers, 1-Handed Swords, Rapiers and Katanas all provide increased BS
    damage over other weapons of equal attack power (the same for ripostes).
    
    - Certain BS tactics are prone to punishment/jamming by weapons with quick
    arching swings. Keep this in mind when attempting some of the techniques I
    discuss.
    
    - When you enter a BS animation, you're invincible. Nice when facing down
    multiple foes, who will spam into your back while you're backstabbing.
    
    -------------
    BS Techniques
    -------------
    
    Here we're going to discuss some basic techniques. Although they initially
    have much distinction between them, as your BS game evolves you will likely
    make a blend of these, and other BS techniques not discussed here.
    Try these out, and experiment on your own.
    
    I have included swell little paint drawings to give you some visual
    assistance. Make a note of them.
    
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    (0023.i) - Pivot BS (otherwise known as Unlocked BS, Running BS)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    -----------
    Visual Aid:
    ---------------------------------------------------
    http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/9623/pivot2g.jpg
    ---------------------------------------------------
    
    Pivot BS is the standard non-lock BS attempt. It's fast, and although initially
    tricky, it becomes rather easy, and it's the best BS to train you for other
    styles.
    
    1) Remove lock.
    
    2) Sprint towards your opponent, aim for either shoulder.
    
    3) As you pass an opponent’s side pivot back, and towards your opponent by
    sliding your left analog back and to either the right or the left (depending
    on which side you're aiming your attempt to).
    
    4) Attack. If successful you'll Pivot BS them.
    
    Basically, you disengage lock, and sprint towards your opponent's right or
    left side. Once you reach a proper angle, simply turn and attack (the degree
    does not have to be 180, as long as you're in their deep peripheral, it will
    work).
    
    This is a great way to get the hang of non-locking BS attempts, and works
    wonders. Some weapons can swing punish it, so try to alternate between right
    and left attempts (swings that can punish to one side can't necessarily punish
    to the other as easily, and switching to your right side is a "Dandy BS").
    This is also the easiest BSes to see coming.
    
    
    -----------------------------
    (0023.ii) – Locked/Running BS
    -----------------------------
    ------------
    Description:
    ------------
    
    This would be best described as an auto-pivoting lock-engaged BS, where the
    pivot occurs automatically due to lock-on. Kind of like you "sling-shot" around
    your opponent due to the lock.
    
    You sprint towards your target, and swing behind them to their backside then tap
    R1. Yeah, it’s pretty easy. If you can do a Pivot BS, this should be arguably a
    piece of cake.
    
    ---------------------------------
    Other differences from a Pivot BS
    ---------------------------------
    
    1st off... Pivot BS is easier to deviate with. You can adjust your approach
    incredibly easily, and it feels organic. Locked BS is easily the most
    predictable BS because of this. Linearity makes it a specific tool.
    
    2nd, Locked BS is ALL ABOUT HYPER FRAMES through swing punishing. This is the
    BS attempt you need to Counter BS, or throw surprisingly early swings to
    punish. A good Engager will constantly walk through swings.
    
    Why?
    
    It's laggy.
    
    Why is it laggy? Well simple: DS is running a fraction of a second ahead of
    what's on-screen, and when you're closing in on a moving target, DS tends to
    get glitchy as heck. Pivot and Roll BS don't gravitate towards your opponent
    with lock-on, so they aren't bad.
    
    By the same measure, it can also be punished (notably, "True's Reversal") in
    ways that a Pivot can't.
    
    
    -----------------------
    (0023.iii) – Rolling BS
    -----------------------
    -----------
    Visual Aid:
    -----------------------------------------------------
    http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/7328/rollingbs.jpg
    -----------------------------------------------------
    
    This one is the trickiest of the three methods outlined here, but it's also
    by far the best at high levels of play.
    
    First off, it's designed to be done at close range. Here's the low-down:
    
    1) You're squared off with your opponent. Lock engaged or not, it doesn't
    matter.
    
    2) They throw a swing.
    
    3) You roll towards them, the swing passes through you due to roll
    invincibility. Your roll needs to be aimed just behind them. Generally to
    either shoulder.
    
    4) As you're rolling, remove lock (if it’s on) and press back on the left
    analog. This will cause you to pivot back at the end of the roll.
    
    5) Once the roll completes and you pivot, hit attack. If done successfully
    you will BS them.
    
    Basically, you time a roll with an opponent's swing, and effectively roll
    through an opponent's attack followed by an instant pivot, and hopefully into
    a BS. The biggest advantage is the sheer ability to surprise an opponent with
    this. There are disadvantages however.
    
    Mainly, it's not going to work well against any weapon that can panic spam
    (you'll just roll through the hit, and they'll turn around and continue to
    spam in your face). Also, it's the easiest BS attempt to roll spam out of.
    
    -------------------------------------------------
    Q: Why is this the best at higher levels of play?
    -------------------------------------------------
    
    A: It’s incredibly safe to fish for. You can spend the whole time you fish
    for Roll BSes simply dodging instead of sprinting headlong into Pole spam,
    and having your guts strewn about 4-1.
    
    Attempts are also invisible if as long as you're not constantly rolling
    around aimlessly. Even then only more experienced will know what you're
    up to.
    
    
    ----------------------
    (0023.iv) – Counter BS
    ----------------------
    -----------
    Visual Aid:
    -----------------------------------------------------
    http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/6228/counterbs.jpg
    -----------------------------------------------------
    
    This is less of a BS attempt, and more of a defensive manoeuvre to be used
    against BS attempts on you. If you recognize an attempt at a Pivot/Circular
    BS you can Counter BS by attempting your own on the opposite side.
    
    What will often happen is that both players will become BSed, but neither will
    take damage (it looks rather odd frankly, as you both slump over to invisible
    opponents). Awesome. If you're counter BSed, that should tell you that you
    face an opponent of at least some pedigree, and you should almost not try
    another attempt outright (not yet it least).
    
    Why would you use this?
    
    Simple: because of the generosity of this mechanic, if your opponent is very
    good at landing BSes, this may be your best bet.
    
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (0023.v) – The Original Counter BS, by True_Remembrance, the "BS Reversal"
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To first explain counter back stab one must first understand the Running back
    stab.
    
    The running back stab is when you hold O then press forward-right or
    forward-left on the analog stick, when you reach the opponents back, you press
    R1 and you successfully back stab them; it's something of a reach around
    technique, that relies somewhat on lag to succeed. However, this has become an
    accepted part of combat, and is better for it in my humble opinion.
    
    Countering this technique is what Counter BS is intended for (It doesn't work
    well with Pivot BS, or any other unlocked BS).
    
    ----------------------------------
    EWGF asks True, "How do I use it?"
    ----------------------------------
    Now, how do you counter this?
    
    Well, what you do is this: when the opponent is running at you from the right,
    you press back-left on your analog stick, and an illusion of sorts happens:
    
    On your opponent's screen everything is great: They are circling you preparing
    to BS you. However on your screen something very different is happening:
    The opponent is circling absolutely nothing (A lag after-image), and giving
    up their back.
    
    Basically, in short, if the opponent is trying to back stab you from the left,
    by the opponent pressing up-left + O; counter, by pressing back-left, and then
    your opponent will show his/her back. Keep doing this until you're comfortable
    with it, and try to implement this into your play style as it is a somewhat
    useful technique once you get the hang of it.
    
    Credits: FearQ, who taught me how to do it.
    
    Note: A similar property can be noted with Estoc's f+R1 retreating thrust.
    
    
    ------------------------------------------
    (0023.vi) - A few final notes on backstabs
    ------------------------------------------
    
    Q: Are those all the known BS attempts?
    
    A: No. Although I've included now all common BS attempts, I've left out a
    couple advanced techniques (Inverted Pivot BS for example). That's the
    Cadillac of over-the-top BSes too.
    
    Q: What's your biggest BS advice?
    
    A: Knowing when to forget BS attempts. I can put anyone in the game on their
    back in PvP no problem with a BS. However, I've been laid out A LOT by R1
    spam while I was reaching for BSes I shouldn't have been going for to begin
    with. It's personally the biggest weakness in my game. Don't make it yours
    too. Know when to drop attempting a BS.
    
    How you perform and defend from BSes will often determine your ability to
    compete in a high level fight.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Q: Help me! I'm getting BSed all day! What can I do?!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    A: There are a few things that can lower your chance of getting BSed:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------\
    
    - Roll.
    Rolling provides 100% invincibility. It’s the best counter.
    
    - Pick a weapon that punishes BS attempts with its swings.
    Remember, horizontal swings although slower can generally punish better
    with wide swing arcs.
    Estoc is the clear exception here. The push attack punishes most BSes
    to your left with ease.
    
    - Learn to recognize BS attempts, and punish with said weapon.
    Another tip is to throw your swings early, especially if you're facing off
    against a BS player. Throwing your swings early will yield better results.
    Remember, the game is running slightly ahead of what's on screen. As such
    you must make the proper adjustments.
    
    - While locked-on with a shield raised, whoever you're locked on to
    will not be able to properly land BSes.
    
    Like the rolling problem with backstabs, this one is very similar. You can
    still of course take a BS while attacking even with L1 pressed, except in
    the case of Rapier/Spear WB R1 pokes. Estoc stuffs BSes hard
    because of this problem often punishing attempts, and flat-out never
    taking damage from BSes when they do land.
    
    
    
    
    
    ---------------------------------
    (0024) - Roll Punishing w/ ggDoom
    ---------------------------------
    
    Rolling is the equivalent of both jumping and blocking in Demon's Souls
    as it's both an evasion move, and provides invincibility.
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    While you're in a roll animation you cannot be hit... mostly
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Rolling provides 100% invincibility during most of the animation. In fact,
    almost all of it. Because of this, and Rolling BSes, many players prefer to
    roll almost constantly. We're here to discuss a way of producing damage from
    players who roll often and predictably.
    
    Hitting through rolls is arguably an advanced technique, because while its
    seemingly simple in nature to even attempt it might seem counter-intuitive
    for a lot of players. What am I talking about? Exactly what the title
    suggests: whenever your opponent rolls you can, in theory, guarantee a hit
    if you swing at the right time.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Don't rolls provide invincibility? How can we hurt them?
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: While a character's roll lasts "X" frames, the invincibility frames are
    indeed less than "X". This means that in the last portion of a roll your
    character is vulnerable to hits, but still in a rolling animation. Players
    who know about this can guarantee hits by hitting when their opponents roll
    (note also that attacks landed during rolls deal Counter Hit damage).
    
    ------------------------------------
    Q: When do rolls lose invincibility?
    ------------------------------------
    
    A: Unknown. Due to latency it varies quite a bit from person-to-person,
    however even if this wasn't an issue, there is no true frame data for DS
    that can be trusted.
    
    -------------------------------
    Q: What's next? How do I do it?
    -------------------------------
    
    This is the counter-intuitive part: Because of latency you're required to
    swing when your opponent is mid-roll (and invulnerable) for the hit to
    register, when his invulnerability frames have dissipated.
    
    Every hit from every weapon can potentially do this, but some are easier
    to land than others. Here are some practical tips:
    
    - Every opponent lags differently, so the timing to this can slightly vary
    with your opponent (sometimes it varies a lot with laggier people).
    
    - Because of the timing varies it's much easier to land the hit if your
    opponent doesn't roll again after that roll. The chances you have of
    effectively hitting between two rolls are relatively low... we're talking
    about milliseconds here.
    
    - Try to wait out the last roll before
    you throw your swing. Most players will roll away once or twice, so generally
    you'll want to make your attempts with one or two rolls in mind.
    
    - Weapons with large hitboxes are easier to land hits with, because they tend
    to "linger".
    
    - Almost all WD moves have some ability to hit rolls. Since most WD moves
    provide favourable stuns, they're ideal if you can master them. Also, anything
    that can punish a BS within a good distance is a decent candidate to hit
    during rolls.
    
    --------------------------------------------
    Here's a video with some hits through rolls:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D83U_wQ75BA&feature=player_detailpage#t=1399s
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Almost every weapon can do this more or less consistently, so I'll mention
    the best moves for every important weapon:
    
    Estoc: Vanilla R1, WR-R1. Make sure your opponent rolls away from you to
    maximize chances of the hit connecting.
    
    DBS/Gaxe: 1h WR R1 and 2h WD R1.
    
    Pole: 2h R1.
    
    NR/Claymore: R1, WR R1. They're basically the same swing so they work more
    or less the same.
    
    Katana: 1H/2H WD R1 if they roll backwards, L1/R1 if they roll sideways,
    and occasionally back rolls.
    
    Gaxe: WR R1, just hit them when you're close and it should land. Delaying it
    allows for some variation.
    
    BBS/KS: R1, if they're in range it will hit them regardless of roll
    direction. WD R1 is fair too.
    
    Kilij: WR R1 if they roll sideways, WD R1 if they roll backwards.
    
    Dagger: R1, WR R1.
    
    
    
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    (0025) - Pivot Casting, Toggle Casting/Instant Cast and Spell Usage
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    There are two spell-casting techniques (see: glitches) that are very commonly
    used in PvP. Both generally increase the speed in which you may cast spells.
    One is considered fair game for most duel formats (Pivot Casting) while Toggle
    casting is largely banned in league and tournament formats.
    
    1) Pivot Casting.
    
    2) Toggle/Instant Casting.
    
    -------------------------
    Q: What is Pivot Casting?
    -------------------------
    
    A: Certain Spells (notably projectiles) can be cast faster than normal. The
    technique is noted for its remarkable simplicity:
    
    1. Remove lock if its engaged.
    2. Tap L1/R1 to begin casting a Spell.
    3. During the cast animation, quickly perform a 180 pivot.
    4. Rapidly perform a second 180 pivot (not a 360, and these must be done
    incredibly fast).
    5. Aim.
    6. Optional: enable lock prior to the cast for certain spells.
    
    Basically, cast your spell and rapidly slam away and towards in a single
    motion on your left analog.
    
    There is also an alternative method that is essentially the same, but you
    face away from your intended target and pivot only once. This also good
    because if you pivot a second time just prior to the cast you can fizzle
    it.
    
    --------------------------
    Q: What is Toggle Casting?
    --------------------------
    
    A: A way to cast any spell much faster, and bring out other properties
    resulting in often very powerful glitches. The execution is similar to Pivot
    Casting, but requires you to have a "primer" spell (generally Firespray):
    
    1. Remove lock.
    2. Have Firespray as your active spell.
    3. Tap L1/R1 to begin casting Firespray.
    4. Press up to switch to your chosen spell.
    5. During the cast animation, quickly perform a 180 pivot.
    6. (optional) You can perform a 2nd 180 pivot.
    7. Tap L1/R1 a second time
    8. If it's a projectile, you may engage lock again.
    
    So basically it’s the same as Pivot Casting with the added complication of
    using Firespray to bug the cast.
    
    Like Pivot Casting you may alternatively pivot only once.
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Q: What are the differences/similarities between the two?
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    
    1. Pivot Casting only works for certain spells. Generally, its only used with
    Fireball and Soul Ray. Toggle Casting works with everything. This is one of
    the larger differences due to being able to cast instant SCs and such.
    
    2. Pivot Casting makes casts quicker... Toggle Casting makes casts almost
    instant. If you're using Firespray to Toggle Cast, you can move while casting
    your spells.
    
    3. Toggle Casting requires an additional primer spell such Firespray, giving
    it a much higher skill cap due to its inherent chunkiness. It also makes
    using toggle with more than 1 spell quite difficult. Pivot Cast is much
    easier to effectively use and master with basic projectiles.
    
    4. Toggle Casting has certain game-breaking properties. Instant God's Wrath
    and Running Firestorm are results of Toggle. It can frequently cause certain
    spells to be silent and invisible (all Cloud spells are invisible and silent).
    Certain spells will also cause abnormal amounts of lag.
    
    5. In tournaments, Toggle Casting is generally grounds for being disqualified.
    Most formats prohibit it.
    
    There are a few spells that I would consider for fair use in casuals with
    toggle:
    
    - Fireball
    - Soul Ray
    - Soul Arrow
    - Flame Jet
    - Any weapon buffs
    - Cloak
    
    These are pretty stable, and the method is clunky enough that I consider
    them quite fair in a duel. If you're interested in using them in any friendly
    format, I advise speaking with the organizers first.
    
    
    
    
     _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______
    |\     /|\     /|\     /|\     /|\     /|\     /|
    | +---+ | +---+ | +---+ | +---+ | +---+ | +---+ |
    | |   | | |   | | |   | | |   | | |   | | |   | |
    | |s  | | |p  | | |e  | | |l  | | |l  | | |s  | |
    | +---+ | +---+ | +---+ | +---+ | +---+ | +---+ |
    |/_____\|/_____\|/_____\|/_____\|/_____\|/_____\|
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    (0025) - PvP Casting Redub (EWGF's Nick1Nintendo Revision)
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    
    The old version of Nick1Nintendo's section has been trimmed and revised
    to reflect the current state of PvP casting. What's now here is a
    bastardisation of his original work.
    
    -------------------
    Soul Ray - (0025.i)
    -------------------
    A fast projectile spell.
    
    It’s high speed makes it very good for interrupting re-buff casts and
    pressuring opponents.
    
    Soul Ray + Warding: While Warding is active, the cast animation for Soul
    Ray is nearly greatly obscured.
    
    Due to the speed, this is a good random close range spell with
    Pivot/Toggle casts. If abused however, expect to be punished.
    
    Combos from a Fireball stun.
    
    Important to master with Pivot/Toggle.
    
    
    
    --------------------
    Fireball - (0025.ii)
    --------------------
    A powerful medium/close range spell. Has a AOE splash and Phantom Range
    make it difficult to dodge without rolling. Ironically, opponents who dodge
    early have a high chance of taking splash damage.
    
    Without lock-on FB becomes much more difficult to avoid at close-quarters.
    Many opponents take on the habit of rolling through Fireball when you cast it,
    allowing them to close any distance between you and attack while you’re
    recovering.
    
    Lock-off helps to solves this problem. Aim down slightly so that Fireball
    hits the ground in front of you. Often opponent's rolls towards you will cause
    then to haplessly roll into a Fireball you've planted at your feet.
    
    Fireball to Ignite: Opponents who take a hit from Fireball are temporarily
    stunned, and at close-medium range it is possible to close the distance and
    hit them with Ignite or a melee attack. Soul Ray can be used in a similar
    way from a longer distance.
    
    Due to splash properties, can often land successful hits through blocks.
    
    Important to master with Pivot/Toggle.
    
    Important to master manual aiming.
    
    
    
    -------------------
    Ignite - (0025.iii)
    -------------------
    A powerful close-range spell. It is difficult to see coming and the high
    casting speed makes it very hard to dodge. The real beauty of this spell is
    that it eliminates a Mage’s fundamental weakness: close combat. Aggressive
    opponents suffer against this spell because it is faster and deals
    significantly more damage per hit than most weapons. The speed is great
    enough that you can roll into certain weapon attacks (notably a Pole R1)
    and cast Ignite and either beat it, or trade with it.
    
    It has a small Hyper Armor window that proves useful. Most WD attacks will
    trade with an Ignite due to this.
    
    Back-stab Counter: if the Kris Blade is in your main hand, use the shove
    on opponents who are attempting an Running/Pivot backstab and immediately
    cast Ignite. It has a good chance of connecting, and since they are stunned
    from the shove they’ll take Counter Hit damage. Its success hinges on the
    direction they are pushed.
    
    Can combo from certain high-stun melee attacks.
    
    
    
    ---------------------
    Firestorm - (0025.iv)
    ---------------------
    A fire AOE spell where random pillars of flame spout from the ground. High
    damage, but since it cannot be controlled its quite random in results.
    
    Only two ways of using it:
    
    1) As the Ultimate Random Oki, basically run up and spam it after a knockdown.
    Switching to multiple off-hand equips between a knockdown and your cast seem to
    cause some degree of problems with this.
    
    2) Very seldom as a random cast on an approaching opponent after playing
    extended periods of spacing-intensive melee combat. An early Firestorm sets of
    Alarm Bells, and will seldom kill someone by itself. It will also leave your
    opponent be in a state of constant vigilance for the next one. A late Firestorm
    however is a decent Wild Card that can win you the occasional duel.
    
    Unblockable basically. In fact, blocking it will cause considerably more harm
    99% of the time: the 1st hit still blow your guard and deal chip through your
    shield, then 2nd hit do CH damage because of the guard break.
    If you're incredibly lucky the guard crush will cause you to repel back far
    enough to avoid a second hit... but its exceedingly rare.
    
    Toggle casting this with Firespray as your primer causes the "RFS" glitch.
    
    
    
    ---------------------
    Fire Spray - (0025.v)
    ---------------------
    A great control tool. Most players will constantly roll through Firespray spam
    which is favourable since it depletes their stamina, and stifles their assault.
    
    Good for Cracking an SC bar, or breaking Hyper Mode.
    
    Best use is drawing players into traps with Ignite/Fireball/BSes/FS as they
    sprint towards you. It’s the best herding tool in the game by a large margin,
    and makes your opponent's play a certain way.
    
    Degenerate with Hyper Mode.
    
    
    
    -----------------------------
    Homing Soul Arrow - (0025.vi)
    -----------------------------
    I high damage spell that's prone to missing. Like most documents on the internet
    the only reason it's mentioned is generally because many players enjoy it in
    PvP, and so I'll discuss it:
    
    - It's pretty bad.
    
    You largely can't control it... the range is bad, and it takes like a couple
    seconds to arm after casting. Using it with Toggle Cast with Firespray is
    instant
    and can be performed while moving... but it randomly makes it invisible, so its
    something you probably won’t want to do in anything aside from casuals.
    
    You can use it to rebuff weapons, grass, and spice as a sort of cover... but
    Clouds are better suited to the job.
    
    You can also use it prior to taking a trade with a slow weapons, but this will
    seldom work against even average players, and will almost never work if your
    opponent is from a good stock.
    
    Interestingly, the balls won't trip unless you're facing it least partially in
    the direction of your opponent, which is the only shred of control you have over
    it. A very gimmicky way of trying to land hits is to face away, and simply pivot
    towards your opponent as the get close... but I have yet to see this done with
    any level of precision.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    --------------------------------------------------------
    (0026) - Cross-Up/Dead-Angle (attacking through shields)
    --------------------------------------------------------
    
    -------------------------------
    Q: What is Dead Angle/cross-Up?
    -------------------------------
    
    A: It’s a technique of attacking through a shield block. The game determines
    a successful block based on the angle in which the attacker is facing. The
    premise is simple: If you are facing away from your opponent when your melee
    attack lands, it cannot be blocked.
    A blocking opponent may also compensate the direction they are facing to
    effectively counter this however.
    
    Dead Angle is a relatively new skill that isn't perfected yet (it may never
    see a skill cap since Dark Souls is coming out soon). As such, it’s not
    difficult to believe that you may find a method not listed here that's very
    effective for you.
    
    ------------------
    Q: How is it done?
    ------------------
    
    A: There are a number of ways to execute a Dead-Angle. The most common I
    will outline.
    What’s generally required for a swing to be eligible to DA a block is a large
    horizontal arc. The angles are incredibly precise, and although it seems
    simple in theory, it can be quite difficult due to the precision required.
    Weapon length also helps greatly. The longer the weapon, the more generous
    DAing becomes when setting up an angle.
    
    Every single technique here requires the removal of lock.
    
    1) For most weapons, most commonly rolling in, and pivoting away before
    attacking  to the proper angle in which you can still hit while facing away.
    
    2) Similar to Number 1, many players will sprint in, pivot, and then throw
    their DA attempt. Or, if a player is approaching, simply pivot away and swing.
    
    3) Certain rolling swings have a large arcs, and thus you can simply roll
    through an opponent (or to the side even) throw your WR swing, and score a
    DA. You'll generally want to aim your roll trajectory to just behind their
    shoulder.
    
    4) Block strings. Notably performing a normal attack into a shield, removing
    lock, and then pivoting for a DA works nicely if your opponent doesn't move.
    This is one of the better ones against fishy players looking for ripostes.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Q: What weapons/swings are the best for Dead-Angles?
    ----------------------------------------------------
    
    About half of all the basic weapon types are capable of some form of Dead
    Angle. Here are some per weapon. Keep in mind, this is not an inclusive list.
    
    1) Claymore/Large Sword.
    Clay is the essential Dead Angle weapon for constant damage. It's easy, and
    very forgiving.
    
    - 2h R1. Best DA in the game for straight-up chip.
    - 2h WR R1. Another good one.
    
    2) BBS/KS (plus Guillotine).
    BBS/KS can be devastating due to the ability to combo well with their DAs.
    BBS is much more generous then KS due to its increased length, and Penetrator,
    even moreso.
    
    - 2h R2 > R2. Difficult to execute... but extreme damage. You can block-string
    R1 > (DA) R2 > R2 if your opponent is fishing excessively for parries. You
    can try roll-ins too. Also works with Guillotine.
    - R1 mash. Same as above but impossible to do with roll-ins. 1h R1 for chips.
    
    3) DBS.
    Another great choice. Since every swing is massive, sweeping, and laggy you get
    accidental DAs all the time. Which swings are superior however?
    
    - 2h WD R1. Surprise. Aim away from face.
    - 1h WR R1. Awesome swing, and a good DR. simply roll towards your opponent's
    shoulder, slightly past them.
    
    4) Gaxe.
    Surprisingly there's only like 1 good swing with Gaxe. "Caxe" (Crescent Axe)
    however provides a few more options (like 2h 1-2-3), but I'm only going to
    discuss the single Gaxe DA.
    
    - 1h WR R1. Pretty much the same deal as the DBS version.
    
    5) Double Katana.
    There's only one. L1 does decent chip, and its fast. the big draw is that you
    can land a DA L1 into a push-lock. SUPER ADVANCED. I've done it once... and
    have never witnessed anyone else ever perform it in an actual match.
    
    6) Pole.
    Only 1 passable DA here: 2h R2. Slow, but it has Hyper Armor. You'll want to
    roll-in and pivot... or roll the shoulder for this one. Can give up to 2
    extra free hits on CH.
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    (0026.i) - Cross-Up/Dead-Angle Part 2 (Turtle Killer)
    -----------------------------------------------------
    
    Much akin to Katanas before it, and Pole before that, there is another "setup"
    to beat touted as degenerate: Turtling.
    
    --------------------
    Q: What is Turtling?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    A: Playing overly defensive. Well, that's not very specific is it?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------------
    Q: Well fine... What does Turtling mean in DS?
    ----------------------------------------------
    A: Generally playing little offense, shielding heavily, and backpedalling
    excessively. The strategy is to punish very large errors, or to steadily
    chip with WB attacks.
    ---------------------
    -------------------------------
    Q: Kay. WTF is this doin' here?
    -------------------------------
    A: Simple chief. I just gave you heavy instruction on how to beat it with DA.
    
    Well, instead of simply regurgitating my own words or someone else off either
    GameFAQs or wikidot. The next section is a mix of ggDoom's and my techniques
    for helping with turtles.
    
    ============================================
    GGDOOM AND EWGF TEAM UP FOR TURTLE KILLINGS!
    ============================================
    -------------------------------
    1) Secret Tech: You should parry
    -------------------------------
    WB pokes from an Estoc or Spear are very, very susceptible to random parries.
    Pokes are often done in 2-3 shots. WR R1 > R1 is standard Estoc fair, and
    it's relatively easy to parry either strike. In both cases you'll want to
    parry their hand, and not the blade itself.
    
    -----------------------------------------------
    2) Are they throwing parries? Punish with a BS!
    -----------------------------------------------
    Turtles will often fish for parries. If you suspect your opponent is trying to
    perform a Setup Parry, throw a non-lock BS after a point-blank swing (ideally
    when they're parrying). This requires some practice, but it’s a valuable
    technique against any "parry-crazy" fish. These can be escaped, but often
    passable players will throw 2 parries for the double fail, and assure your
    damage has no chance of roll-out.
    
    ----------------------------------
    3) More parries? More Hyper Armor!
    ----------------------------------
    If you have Pole, Estoc, or Kilij you can throw a Hyper Armor attack.
    These attacks do double duty be being difficult to parry (Estoc f+R1 and Pole
    R2 are mostly impossible) while still draining shield stam by not being jammed
    up by WB R1. Well, the shield drain is exempt from Estoc... but Pole and Kilij
    drain a fair bit with their Hypers.
    
    -------------------------------------------------
    4) Are they still trying to parry you? Delayed R1
    -------------------------------------------------
    Really, if you don't have the weapon or skill to perform the other 2, this is
    another fair option versus parry spam. It’s also dangerous for both parties.
    They can "Partial" your delayed swing (miss the parry, but still be able to
    act) and simply parry your 3rd normal swing. However, this method can also
    lead to big damage for the aggressor.
    
    ----------------------------------------------
    5) Slow and Steady Wins the Race. Turtle back?
    ----------------------------------------------
    This sounds lame but it's valid. Against poking setups your own shield is a
    great resource. Against retreating setups it's all about not losing your cool.
    Keep the pressure on and don't let them feel like they're winning. They will
    eventually apply pressure.
    
    ---------------------------------------------
    6) Back-stabbing... A Tender History in Trust
    ---------------------------------------------
    *This applies mostly to non-retreating opponents, because people who also
    walk back are pretty tough to get, however you can probably manage it with a
    pivot BS.*
    
    We all know that to stop those Pesky Pokers we should 'spam BS'. However, this
    is usually not very effective because more often than not their shield will
    "block" damage. Not to mention their poke will stop you most times before you
    even get there (if they're pro they'll use Estoc f+R1 to jam up your BS spam).
    
    Basically, there are 2 ways that you can make a BS do damage through a shield:
    
    A) BS at the EXACT SAME TIME as they poke. This translates into: LEARN TO ROLL
    BS WB POKES. Nothing fancy... and difficult to control, but throwing RBS
    versus WB spam will get you there if you have the talent.
    
    B) BS them through the right shoulder (Dandy BS).
    Similar to hits, a shield won't cover a BS coming from the other side. If they
    just poked or you're confident you can pull it off without getting interrupted,
    simply go for their Estoc/spear shoulder and BS. It will do damage much more
    often then vanilla left-side BSes. This can also work against a retreating
    opponent if you pivot through their right side.
    
    --------------------------------------------
    7. Bait WBs for a Blind Parry: Conditioning!
    --------------------------------------------
    There are two good ways to do this:
    
    A) Roll in with WR R1 into their WBs R1s.
    
    B) Simply walk in and throw a swing that can be jammed with a WB R1.
    
    In "Technique A" you're going to want to condition your opponent to punish your
    WR R1 poke with their WB R1s. When you're confident they'll punish, simply roll
    in and throw a Blind Parry. 100% invincibility into a parry works nicely.
    
    In "Technique B" you're going to want to condition your opponent to attempt free
    WB pokes while you're in the pocket to beat your R1. Simply walk in, swing once,
    eat their poke, and immediately parry the 2nd poke they will likely throw.
    
    --------------
    8. Play Ranged
    --------------
    A Pole, Claymore or even a DBS can poke at shields from safety, and then either
    push for a roll BS, or pursue for an effective guard break (see: next point).
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    9. Effective Guard Attrition: People can't block when they're dead.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    The truth is this you can seldom crush a well-played turtle, because the
    stamina you take to break his guard from repeated strikes leaves you unable
    to hit again.
    
    Instead, to actually break guards it's better to hit the shield once and have
    him poke, then bait additional pokes from just outside of his range. With each
    additional poke, simply throw another R1. It's often advisable to even take
    a WB poke or two if it lets you get there.
    
    Look for their roll-out... it's usually a good clue that they're almost tapped.
    Chase and apply pressure while keeping your stamina up.
    
    -------------------------------------------
    10. Taking 40% more damage is the noob play
    -------------------------------------------
    It's usually easy to miss, but even purple turtles hit for about 220 damage,
    which isn't much considering almost any other weapon will deal at least twice
    that. However, people running at shields, rolling near shields or attacking
    shields from too close eat Counter Hits for an extra 40%,  and eat and die
    before their tactics bear any fruit. Stop eating Counter Hit and you'll live
    40% longer.
    
    -------------------------------------
    11. BBS brains: Wait out Curse Weapon
    -------------------------------------
    This sounds pretty lame, but Estoc's are puny without Purple. A pretty simple
    way to get an edge.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    12. The best Turtles aren't Turtles at all... they're Snappin' Turtles!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    There are a lot of players that look very 1-dimensional because all they seem
    to be able to do is shield, backpedal, and poke. However, there are some
    players to whom turtling is just a way to apply pressure and force errors so
    they can mount an assault.
    In these cases you'll be trying to puzzle out how to beat WB R1s and suddenly
    come under aggressive pressure, get BSed, or eat a 3-hit WD combo off a bad
    roll.
    
    In these instances be on the lookout for signs that your opponent will shift
    gears. The good news is, this is when you can score some damage in trades with
    WR R1s.
    
    --------------------------------------
    13. Adjudicator's Shield/Blessed Regen
    --------------------------------------
    Nothing fancy other then every 15 seconds you get a poke back. Faith builds
    doubling-up provide a solid equip-based strategy.
    Also, LSoM with high Faith is a incredibly good deterrent.
    
    --------------------------------------------------
    14. Plague: The idiot's tech to stamina attrition.
    --------------------------------------------------
    If you're playing a grass-limited format, Plague is awesome. It gives you free
    Lotus punishes providing they even have them belted, and if they don't guard
    crush is much easier to achieve. They will need to blow a DMG, or risk serious
    damage from a punish of either a Lotus of a DMG, or just find themselves in a
    bad
    stamina deficit. None of these are bad for you (the aggressor).
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    15. Random junk swing to RBSing Estoc WR R1? Playing possum? Both Good.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Throwing a swing from just outside a roll length will often cause Estoc players
    to instinctively throw a WR R1 to punish. This can be roll BSed. It's especially
    effective with larger weapons since it's easy to give the illusion that you're
    tapped of stamina. Again, another reason to practice Roll BSes.
    
    ---------------
    THE BOTTOM LINE
    ---------------
    Many of these are difficult... many rely on certain sets of house rules... and
    many are setup specific. A combination of these will help you defeat Turtles,
    but
    you will need to sort through them through combat to find those effective for
    you.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ===============================================
    ==      =======================  ========  ====
    =  ====  ======================  ========  ====
    =  ====  ===  =================  ===  ===  ====
    ==  =======    ===   ====   ===  ==    ==  ====
    ====  ======  ===  =  ==  =  ==  ===  ===    ==
    ======  ====  ===     =====  ==  ===  ===  =  =
    =  ====  ===  ===  ======    ==  ===  ===  =  =
    =  ====  ===  ===  =  ==  =  ==  ===  ===  =  =
    ==      ====   ===   ====    ==  ===   ==  =  =
    ===============================================
    
    -------------------------------------------------
    ===(0027) - Stealth in PvP: a Brief Discussion===
    -------------------------------------------------
    
    I’ve been asked at length to do a section on Stealth builds for some time. I’ve
    also been asked to keep it out of this guide altogether. The disparity between
    Ninjas and Duellists is one of animosity, and a clear two different sides to
    the coin. Many Duelling community members consider Stealth players to be
    more-or-less chicken-hawking, while many Stealth enthusiasts consider it the
    most traditional way to invade. An interesting argument, none-the-less.
    When asked personally about Stealth, I find it's an interesting, and
    refreshing nod to the way the game used to be played (providing you're not
    utterly annihilating your opponents due to them being underpowered/unskilled).
    
    This is likely the most self-entitled and isolated section in the whole
    guide.
    
    I have included some excerpts from discussion with two prominent community
    Stealth Enthusiasts:
    
    --------------------------------
    ===God’s Poison and Meralonne===
    --------------------------------
    
    I would like to extend my personal thanks for Meralonne and God’s Poison for
    their mighty contributions. As I thank them, so should you if you meet them on
    the battlefield. But if you do... but beware.
    
    1) Learn About Aura Obstruction in regards to stealth:
    - There is none.
    
    Almost every possible ring/buff provides a visible aura that will not be
    obstructed by stealth items/spells... except FOE AND CLING. This includes
    weapon/shield buffs such the flame resistance aura from DBS, and the magic
    resistance aura from DSS. Knight's Shield is the best stealth shield for
    simply traversing a hostile world.
    
    Curse Weapon and Makoto will also give you away with their HP drain.
    
    Being cloaked with auras active, you will appear as a floating cloudy mass
    with no visible body.
    
    2) Just because Warding and Hyper Mode give you away, don't entirely discount
    them. Although these auras do give you away, they can also be controlled to
    some extent. Casting Warding in a tough spot can win you an encounter.
    
    3) Certain enemy spells are better left avoided. Anti-Magic Field will give
    you a visible aura, and Homing Soul Arrow ignores stealth effects, and will
    trip once you're in range.
    
    4) Stealth items/spells do not stack. The highest one simply overrides the
    rest. Here is the valuation on stealth items:
    
    - Thief's Ring 48%
    - Cloak 74%
    - Graverobber's Ring 54% (versus invaders only)
    - Hidden Soul 78% (versus invaders only)
    
    Despite this, due to the limited time Cloak provides, most stealth players
    opt for both Cloak as a re-castable aura, and a Thief Ring to aid in getting
    away from enemies, and allowing rebuffs, and reapplications of cloak.
    
    5) You will make footstep noise and kick up dust as Body Form Stealth.
    
    6) Best-in-Slot stealth weapons are as follows:
    
    - Sharp Secret Dagger/Estoc
    - Fatal Secret Dagger/Estoc
    - Northern Regalia
    
    With almost any of these setups, an off-hand katana is advisable (since these
    builds will largely have a fair bit of Dexterity aside from NR builds, and
    having an off-hand Katana will allow you to do a fair bit of slugging).
    
    7) SL goals for Stealth builds can be quite low. Generally most players shoot
    for
    30-80 with the occasional few trying their hands at 120 duelling. Stealth is
    not a duelling build generally. Any Dexterity/NR build can essentially run a
    120 Stealth build at will with a few changes in equips. Adjusting builds to
    accommodate lower levels is something that easily be done at the player's
    discretion.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
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    ------------------------------
    Weapon Analysis and Discussion
    ------------------------------
    
    "Any tool is a weapon if you hold it right."
    - Ani DiFranco
    
    
    In this section, I'll be outlining weapons by category.
    
    As of ver. 1.5 I've simplified this section to just a basic analysis of swings
    for each weapon. I found having lengthy dry discussions about weapon strategy
    was simply too much, and players are simply better off fighting with some
    clues about how they work rather than trying to outline a flawed "complete"
    strategy about a particular Weapon.
    
    
    
    
    ------------------------------
    (0028) Large Axes/Large Blunts
    ------------------------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1
    One of two passable 1-handed swings with a Gaxe/Caxe. Knockdown, and it's
    not super slow. Good for rebuffs.
    
    1h R2
    An essentially worse version of 1-handed R1.
    
    1h WD R1
    Similar to R2. Also, terrible.
    
    1h WR R1
    A rolling swing which sweeps from one side to another. Knockdown, Hyper
    Armor, and it can Dead-Angle. Only good 1-handed swing.
    
    1h f+R1
    A push that blocks and has Hyper Armor. similar to a shield bash, but worse.
    Since shield bash is bad... you can take a guess how good this is.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1 > R1 > R1
    A heavy chop with Hyper Armor. Does a 1-2-3 string. If you land the 1st hit
    while your opponent is tapped of stamina, you can land the 2nd and 3rd hit.
    If you land the 2nd hit for any reason, the 3rd hit will always land. Best
    use is throwing it into trades.
    
    R2
    Similar to the 1h R2, but a bit faster, and tracks more. Best use is after
    landing a R1, you can often land this after. Knockback too.
    
    WD R1
    Again, a slightly sped-up version of the 1h WD R1. The damage is colossal.
    Good to throw as an Oki on occasion, or if you're feeling sassy.
    Knockdown.
    
    WR R1
    Best WR in the game. Hyper Armor, tons of damage, AOE, massive Phantom
    Range, and be delayed as a mix-up or feint against pros.
    
    f+R1
    Another terrible "shield bash" push.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    - Almost every hit has knockdown and/or Hyper Armor.
    - 2h 1-2-3 and 2h R1 > R2 have some combo capacity. It's low however.
    
    
    
    
    -------------------------
    (0029) - Polearm Weapons
    -------------------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1
    A terrible chop-like move. No Range, bad damage, easy to parry and RBS.
    
    1h R2 > R2
    A 2-hit sweep to either side. Can randomly punish slop BS, and even
    Dead-Angle. Still pretty bad, and simple to punish with Roll BSes.
    
    1h WD R1
    A fast vertical hit. Not too bad really. The only passable move in 1h.
    
    1h WR R1
    Another bad shallow chop. Useless.
    
    1h f+R1
    Standard push.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    2h R1 > R1 > R1 etc.
    Pole's best move. Fast, incredibly hard-hitting, and great reach. 1st hit
    is roll escapable on clean... but not on Counter Hit. If you land the 1st
    hit on counter you will almost always get a 3-hit since 2nd-3rd cannot be
    escaped. Beats blocks once you're swinging if they choose not to roll out
    after the 3rd hit.
    
    2h R2
    A wide sweep with Hyper Armor. A good way to trade with a Hyper weapons as
    a  finisher. It Dead-Angles, and can't be parried. Also, if it lands you
    can score a follow-up R1, or a Push > R1. Only move that doesn't require
    CH to combo besides the 2nd hit of 2h R1 spam.
    
    2h WD R1
    Almost identical to the 1h version. A good move. Fairly quick.
    
    2h WR R1
    Another bad chop. Avoid.
    
    2h f+R1
    Standard push.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    - 1h pushes can combo with off-hand katanas.
    
    - Combos:
    1) 2h R1 (CH) > R1 > R1
    2) 2h R1 (CH) > R1 > f+R1 > R1
    3) 2h R2 > R1 > f+R1 > R1
    
    
    
    
    ---------------------
    (0030) - Asian Swords
    ---------------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1
    A nice chop. Good 1h damage, bad range, but nothing fancy.
    
    1h R2
    A more powerful chop. Better damage, bad range but nothing fancy.
    
    1h WD R1
    A very fast slice with low range. The best move in 1-handed stance. Can
    Combo with Ignite, and an off-hand katana swing.
    
    1h WR R1
    Pretty much the same as the rest of the 1-handed moves. Very mediocre.
    
    1h f+R1
    A hopping Hyper Armor attack. Decent.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    2h R1 > R1 > R1
    Best slugging mash in the game. Grants a nice 2-hit, and beats almost
    everything after a trade. Awesome damage... nasty Pivot BS punishing,
    and quite fast. Best Asian Sword move.
    
    2h R2 > R2
    A weird overhead swing that can be followed by a shallow hop attack.
    Both are slow compared to the rest of Kilij's 2h moves. The 1st R2
    can be used in a combo with 2h WD R1.
    
    2h WD R1
    A more aggressive version of the 1h move. High damage, fast, and fair
    Phantom Range. Also has a 3-hit: WD R1 > R2 > R1.
    
    2h WR R1
    Similar to the 1h version, but again, more aggressive.
    
    2h f+R1
    A hoping Hyper Armor attack.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    - In the off-hand it parries with L2.
    
    - The f+R1 Hyper Attacks are the only ones in the game that can be parried
    within reason.
    
    - Combos:
    1) 2h WD R1 > R2 > R1
    2) 1h WD R1 > R2
    3) 1h WD R1 > L1 > R1 (off-hand Katana)
    
    
    
    
    ---------------------
    (0031) - Large Swords
    ---------------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1 > R1 > R1
    Long horizontal sweep. Slow, easy to parry consecutive swings, easy to Roll
    BS. Can Dead-Angle, and if thrown incredibly early it can punish a pivot BS.
    Not too good if used as anything other than a poke. Hilariously enough,
    R1 > f+R1 > R1 is the only combo that doesn't require a CH. You can even
    land R1 > f+R1 > R1 > f+R1 > R1, but its exceptionally rare.
    
    1h R2
    An overhead slice. Fastest move start-up in 1h, and good damage. Good as
    follow-up to a single R1 against parry spam. Bad recovery however.
    
    1h WD R1
    Similar to R2, but slower. High stun, can be followed up with Ignite/Kat
    slice. Very dangerous to throw due to terrible recovery however, and easy
    to roll BS.
    
    1h WR R1
    A decent horizontal sweep if used sparingly. Dead Angles. Good for
    punishing bad Soul Ray/Fireball use. Pretty easy to Roll BS though.
    
    1h f+R1
    Standard push.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    2h R1
    Best move for a Large Sword. Great spacing tool, and most consistent swing
    in the game to punish a roll. Easy to parry consecutive swings, and easy to
    Roll BS. Most consistent Dead Angle in the game too. Can 2-hit on CH.
    Also R1 > f+R1 > R1 can combo somewhat if you can manage to get the push
    early enough (it seems to prefer to throw a vanilla R1 if you go for a push
    too soon). I tested it, and had varying degrees of ability to perform it.
    
    2h R2
    Same as the 1h version basically.
    
    2h WD R1
    Same as the 1h version basically.
    
    2h WR R1
    An improved version of the 1h swing. Good for punishing projectiles, can
    Dead Angle.
    
    2h f+R1
    Standard Push.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    Combos:
    1) 2h R1 (CH) > R1
    2) 1h R1 > f+R1 > R1 (can potentially combo for an additional push and R1, but
    you're at the mercy of lag frankly).
    3) 2h R1 > f+R1 > R1 (probably not an true combo)
    4) 1h WD R1 > Ignite/L1
    
    
    
    
    ---------------
    (0032) - Katana
    ---------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1 > R1 > R1
    A fast horizontal slice with a massive swing arc. Good to punish Pivot
    BSes, and can end push combos. General spacing tool. Can be roll BSed,
    but still quite safe. Easy to parry. L1 > R1 is a 2-hit with an
    off-hand Katana.
    
    1h R2
    A slow start-up thrust. Incredible tracking, and great stun, and very
    high damage. Easy to punish with Pivot or Roll BSes if your opponent is
    close. Great to throw occasionally at range against moves without Hyper
    Armor, and after a push. Can start a push combo.
    
    1h WD R1
    Best WD move in the game. Fast, damaging, and decent stun. Can start a
    push-combo or a vanilla 2-hit with an off-hand L1 Katana swipe. Best katana
    move.
    
    1h WR R1
    A shallow uppercut slice. Reasonably fast, but terrible range and so-so
    damage. Mediocrity abounds.
    
    1h f+R1
    Standard push. Can start a push combo.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    2h R1 > R1 > R1
    A fast horizontal spam. Quite damaging, but easy to Pivot, Roll BS, and
    parry is spammed. Not too bad.
    
    2h R2
    Worst katana move. Slow, bad, and awful. Tons of stun and damage... but
    the speed, lack of tracking, and range make it completely unusable.
    
    2h WD R1
    The same as the 1h version with way more damage.
    
    2h WR R1
    Pretty much the same as the 1h version, but with the ability to combo into
    f+R1 > R1 for massive damage.
    
    2h f+R1
    Standard push.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    - Off-hand L1 swings can punish BSes, combo, and basically do everything.
    Only off-hand in the game worth using. Can parry with L2.
    
    Combos:
    1) 1h L1 > f+R1 > L1 > f+R1 > etc. (can be opened with WD R1)
    2) 1h WD R1 > f+R1 > R1 (can be followed with another R1 that will catch
    almost any escape roll).
    3) 1h/2h WR R1 > f+R1 > R1
    4) 1h R2 > WR R1 > f+R1 > R1 (can be followed with another R1 that will
    catch almost any roll).
    5) 1h R2 > f+R1 > R1 (can be followed with another R1 that will catch
    almost any roll).
    6) 1h R2 > push-lock with off-hand Katana.
    7) 2h R2 > probably tons of stuff... but it's too bad to consider.
    8) 1h WD R1 > Ignite (requires an incredibly deep hit).
    9) L1 > R1
    10) WD R1 > L1 > R1
    
    
    
    
    ----------------
    (0033) - Rapiers
    ----------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1 > R1 > R1
    Vanilla poke. Spam can be parried, roll BSed, etc.
    
    1h R2
    A slower thrust. Almost useless. Stuns long enough to give you a free
    R1/f+R1 fairly often.
    
    1h WD R1
    A really slow hop attack. Pretty punishable, but good to throw as a roll
    punish on Oki. Massive stun, and can lead to insane damage. Combos into
    1h WR R1/Ignite/Kat L1 etc.
    
    1h WR R1
    A fast rolling thrust. Probably Rapier's best move. Massive Phantom
    Range, fast, can combo into f+R1/R1. Great utility poke, and the best move
    in the game for stopping a grass. Can be roll BSed is used excessively.
    
    1h f+R1
    A retreating jab. Probably the 2nd best move. Punishes Many BS attempts,
    has Hyper Armor, and it’s almost impossible to parry. Great against stun-lock
    weapons like Pole/BBS or Hyper Swings as a way to get suicidal damage.
    
    WB R1
    Blocking poke. Amazing move. Free damage. Easy to parry it if you spam,
    and at high-level play expect to be Roll BSed if you abuse it.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    2h R1 > R1 > R1
    More aggressive vanilla pokes. Rapier's only slugging move... and almost
    everything beats it. Great damage though.
    
    2h R2
    A slightly different version of the 1h R2. A bit faster and more damage.
    Nothing special. Combos from the 2h WD R1 for a 3-hit.
    
    2h WD R1
    A higher damage version of the 1h attack but with less range. Combos into
    like anything though.
    
    2h WR R1
    A higher damage version of the 1h WR R1 with less range and more damage.
    Same combos.
    
    2h f+R1
    Same as the 1h version pretty much. Hyper Armor, great move, etc.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    - f+R1 has Hyper... but can be parried. The window is beyond feasible it
    appears however. So much so, that I would still consider it basically
    impossible to parry.
    
    - Off-hand parries.
    
    - Combos:
    1) 1h WD R1 > WR R1 > L1 > R1/f+R1
    2) 1h WR R1 > L1 > R1/f+R1
    3) 1h WD R1 > L1 > R1
    4) 1h WD R1 > WR R1 > R1/f+R1
    5) 1h WR R1 > R1/f+R1
    6) 2h WD R1 > R2 > R1/f+R1
    7) 2h WR R1 > R1/f+R1
    8) 1h WD R1 > Ignite
    
    
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------
    (0034) - 1-Handed Swords (and 1-Handed Blunts/Axes)
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1 > R1 > R1
    Your regular probing, poking, roll punishing, hit trading, spammable,
    Oki-able attack. Very hard to roll BS or parry, or even run BS. Can hit
    through rolls with proper timing. Very punishable as a spam. Use single
    swipes only.
    
    1h R2 > R2
    A powerful thrust followed by an upward slice. A novelty move, unreal
    damage, but marred by a slow start-up. The follow-up is useless.
    
    1h WD R1
    Great long-range poking hit. Very easy to roll BS, run BS or parry
    when done too close, or predictably. Combos into f+R1 > R1.
    
    1h WR R1
    A vertical swipe with same damage as regular swings. It has next to no
    range, and good parry players will view any follow-ups as free parries.
    Still a passable poke.
    
    f+R1
    Standard push.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    2h R1 > R1 > R1
    Can combo into itself and kill through SC in 5 hits, hard to land with
    its low range, and easy to BS in any way and to parry. Can cross-up but
    extremely angle intensive. Unique as it’s the only infinite in the game
    by design.
    
    2h R2 > R2
    Great BS attempt punish, Oki, and cross-up. A good opening hit because
    it actually has range. Chain 1st R2 into R1 for a devastating effect. Can
    finish any R1 combo, although 2nd R2 seems to be prone to random roll
    escapes. R1 > (DA) R2 > R2 is the best Dead Angle blockstring in the game.
    Certain setups seem to do unreal shield crushing with R2 > R2.
    
    2h WD R1
    Slow. A hit does a full crumple stun, and insane damage, but it seldom
    lands. Better if done from a back-hop, but still pretty terrible.
    
    2h WR R1: Same as 1h version, can still combo to f+R1 > R1 off a CH. Also
    follow-ups equally susceptible to parries.
    
    f+R1: Standard push.
    -------------
    Special Notes
    -------------
    - Can be used with an off-hand katana to create push-locks.
    
    - Combos:
    1) 1h WD R1 > f+R1 > R1
    2) 2h R2 > R2
    3) 2h R1 > R1 > R1 > R1 > R1 (pretty much anything with R1s, pushes, and
    R2s, although sometimes the 2nd R2 can be escaped randomly)
    4) 2h R1 > R1 > R1 > R2 > R2
    5) 2h f+R1 > R1 > R1 > R2 > R2
    6) Push combos with Katanas can be ended with 1h R1, and begun with 1h WD R1
    7) 2h WD R1 > R1/R2 spam
    
    ---------------
    For Axes/Blunts
    ---------------
    Mostly they're the same with a few small differences:
    
    1) 1h WD R1 > R1 (push wont land)
    2) 1h R2 > R1
    3) 2h R2 > R2 stuff isn't as stable as the 1-handed sword versions. Can
    Combo fairly well, but more prone to random escapes.
    4) 2h R1s use less stamina. With 35 Endurance Axe will give you a 6-hit
    versus 1-Handed Sword's 5-hit.
    5) Less riposte/BS damage.
    
    
    
    
    ----------------
    (0035) - Daggers
    ----------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1 > R1 > R1
    Shallow slices. Good for a little damage if you're in the pocket and can
    occasionally punish BS attempts. Easy to parry if spammed. Also, easiest
    move to beat with Hyper Frames from BS animation due to range.
    
    1h R2 > R2
    High damage, better reach, and can punish BSes. Best 1h move, probably the
    best move overall in either stance. Can be used to finish a push-lock, and
    punish toggle escapes from a push-lock. They don't combo, but they're fast
    enough that you can expect to hits occasionally.
    
    1h WD R1
    A fast thrust. Tracking and range are meh, but its fast so you can use it.
    The only combo dagger has that can't be roll-escaped is 1h WD R1 > R1.
    
    1h WR R1
    Pretty much the same as the WD move with a slightly modified animation.
    
    1h f+R1: A really fast push.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    2h R1 > R1 > R1
    Fast slices. Good damage, but they don't really combo. 1st slice in the
    combo is a thrust.
    
    2h R2: A ground stab. High damage and stun but range is non-existent, and
    there are no follow-ups. Not a terrible move, but not good either.
    
    2h WD R1: Similar to the 1h WD R1/1h WR R1. Not bad, and you'll use it, but
    leaves something to be desired.
    
    2h WR R1: Take a guess? Just like the 1h WD/WR and the 2h WD with a slightly
    different animation.
    
    2h f+R1: Melee push. Very, very fast. 1 of only 2 true infinites. With LW can
    1-shot anyone. Can't be broken with Toggle Escape.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    - 1h f+R1 will support push-locks.
    
    - Off-hand parries.
    
    - 2h f+R1 with LW will infinite.
    
    - 1h WD R1 > R1/L1 Katana swipe combos (will start a push combo).
    
    
    
    
    -------------
    (0036) Spears
    -------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1
    Decent long range poke. Nothing special. Can be punished fairly easily if
    you get spammy with it up close.
    
    1h R2
    Best 1h move. Can start or finish a Katana combo... has insane reach, and
    is reasonably safe outside of Roll BS range. Can also land after a Fireball
    connects at about roll range which is good.
    
    1h WD R1
    Similar to the Hammer 1h WD R1, its fast... but that's about it. Nothing
    special, but a passable move.
    
    1h WR R1
    Again, quite similar to the Hammer move with the same input. Bad basically.
    
    1h f+R1
    Another push. Can be used with Katana combos.
    
    1h WB R1
    A slower version of the Rapier move. Easier to punish, but with more range
    and damage. Not quite as good, but seeing as it’s the only other WB R1, its
    still really good.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    2h R1
    A fast poke. Good spacing tool, but nothing special. Your primary move in
    2h grip due to the range and speed.
    
    2h R2 > R2
    A lunging spear thrust followed by a twisting spear strike. Both are slow,
    but do unreal damage. The 2nd move actually hits twice. The 1st hit isn't
    terrible for Oki if you're using it at maximum range, but 1h R2 is better
    and safer.
    
    2h WD R1
    Pretty much the same as the 1h version. Passable.
    
    2h WR R1
    Same as the 1h version mostly.
    
    2h f+R1
    Standard push.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    Combos:
    - R2 > L1 > f+R1 > L1 > f+R1 > R1/R2 (off-hand Katana... there are no
    Spear-only combos).
    
    
    
    
    -------------------------------------
    (0037) - Claws/Fist Weapons (finally)
    -------------------------------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1
    A shallow punch. Low damage... low reach... slow.
    
    1h R2
    A super slow uppercut. Low damage, low reach, incredibly punishable, etc.
    
    1h WD R1
    A slow overhead move similar to the 2h WD BBS strike. Can start push
    combos.
    
    1h WR R1
    A quick spinning punch. Stuns enough to start push combos. 2d best move
    by a mile.
    
    1h f+R1
    A very fast push. With LW can combo for nigh infinite damage.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    - No 2-handed stance.
    
    - Parries in off-hand.
    
    - Over a year in the making. 2 usable swings, and a degenerate combo.
    
    - Combos:
    1) 1h f+R1 infinites with LW.
    2) WR R1 and WD R1 will chain to push-locks. You can probably get a free
    R1 from either, but who cares?
    
    
    
    
    ---------------------
    (0038) - Great Swords
    ---------------------
    ----------------
    1-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    1h R1
    Good range, slow start-up and has Glancing Blow. Easy to run BS, roll
    BS. Speed is slow enough to hit after a roll but needs to be aimed
    manually. Can be chained from R2 but won't combo. Has a grounding
    knockdown unless you hit with the splash range, in which case it only
    staggers.
    
    1h R2
    Good range, better start-up but doesn't have splash range. Better
    opener and poke than R1. Easy to roll BS unless done at full range,
    hard to run BS. Has hard knockdown every time it
    connects.
    
    1h WD R1
    Fast start-up, good range and has Glancing Blow, as well as decent
    tracking. Hard to roll BS, run BS or parry if done at splash range but
    punishable close. It's a great poke and Oki-able. Grounds on clean.
    
    1h WR R1
    Has Hyper Armor. Slightly less range than other swings, but wider arch.
    Very good for Okis, and Dead Angle. Has knockdown. Similar to Gaxe 1h WR
    R1 with more range. 2nd best Delayed WR in the game.
    
    1h f+R1
    Slow push, can't chain into anything but can be chained from
    a 1h R2. Counts as if you were blocking with your left handed equip, and
    has Hyper. Terrible.
    ----------------
    2-handed Stance:
    ----------------
    2h R1 > R1 > R1
    (1st hit) High damage, good range but really slow start-up. Easy to interrupt
    and punish early, but once the swing starts it's difficult to punish. Has a
    Fling every time it hits. Easy to run BS, hard to roll BS. Follow-up R1s are
    all terrible. Use the 1st swing only. Can throw a fast R2 after the 1st R1,
    but it’s still dangerous to throw even on rare occasions.
    
    2H R2 > R2
    Another very slow attack with little range. Both swings are terrible. 1st
    R2 comes out fast from an R1
    
    2h WD R1
    Very similar to 1h WR R1 but it has more damage, comes out much faster
    and doesn't have Hyper Armor. Better for Oki. Hard to roll BS if timed
    right, relatively hard to run BS. Extremely punishable when you drain
    your stamina bar with it. Can Dead Angle.
    
    2h WR R1
    Another bad move. Works rarely as a surprise move and has Hyper Armor
    but it's very slow and easy to roll BS and run BS. Damage is obscene
    however.
    --------------
    Special Notes:
    --------------
    Almost every move has Glancing Blow on whiff, and Knockdown.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
     ______  ____    _____   __       __       _____   __       _____   __
    /\__  _\/\  _`\ /\  __`\/\ \     /\ \     /\  __`\/\ \     /\  __`\/\ \
    \/_/\ \/\ \ \L\ \ \ \/\ \ \ \    \ \ \    \ \ \/\ \ \ \    \ \ \/\ \ \ \
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        \ \ \ \ \ \\ \\ \ \_\ \ \ \L\ \\ \ \L\ \\ \ \_\ \ \ \L\ \\ \ \_\ \ \ \L\ \
         \ \_\ \ \_\ \_\ \_____\ \____/ \ \____/ \ \_____\ \____/ \ \_____\ \____/
          \/_/  \/_/\/ /\/_____/\/___/   \/___/   \/_____/\/___/   \/_____/\/___/
    
    
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    ===============================
    -------------------------------
    === (0098) Trolling and You ===
    -------------------------------
    ===============================
    
    Trolls are everywhere.
    They're in your wikidot/GameFAQs forums, they're hosting in 4-1, and invading at
    SL 10, and lurking in Mibbit chats. They've got plans for you.
    
    It’s just a game. Treat it as such.
    
    
    
    
    
    =================================================
    -------------------------------------------------
    ===(0099) - Guide FAQ & Legality & Other Stuff===
    -------------------------------------------------
    =================================================
    
    
    
       _     _      _     _      _     _      _     _      _     _      _     _
      (c).-.(c)    (c).-.(c)    (c).-.(c)    (c).-.(c)    (c).-.(c)    (c).-.(c)
       / ._. \      / ._. \      / ._. \      / ._. \      / ._. \      / ._. \
     __\( Y )/__  __\( Y )/__  __\( Y )/__  __\( Y )/__  __\( Y )/__  __\( Y )/__
    (_.-/'-'\-._)(_.-/'-'\-._)(_.-/'-'\-._)(_.-/'-'\-._)(_.-/'-'\-._)(_.-/'-'\-._)
       || T ||      || H ||      || A ||      || N ||      || K ||      || S ||
     _.' `-' '._  _.' `-' '._  _.' `-' '._  _.' `-' '._  _.' `-' '._  _.' `-' '._
    (.-./`-'\.-.)(.-./`-'\.-.)(.-./`-'\.-.)(.-./`-'\.-.)(.-./`-'\.-.)(.-./`-`\.-.)
     `-'     `-'  `-'     `-'  `-'     `-'  `-'     `-'  `-'     `-'  `-'     `-'
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Q: Who wrote this guide? Who would you like to thank?
    -----------------------------------------------------
    
    -----------------
    The Contributors:
    -----------------
    The players below have assisted my work transcribing the game of duelling, and
    as such, garner ALL DUE ACCOLADES.
    
    - VarietyX/Damoene, ggDoom, and TMRaven were the largest contributors. Without
    them I never would have made it through all seven versions of this guide.
    
    - Nick1Nintendo
    - NOSCOPEHERO
    - HIM
    - Rhzkao
    - Mo_Food
    - True_Remembrence
    - The Moonlight Knight
    - TheDeadsider
    - Garl_Vinand
    - Throwmasta
    - Aneed4speed
    - God's Poison
    - Meralonne
    - Haagar the Horrible
    
    ------------------------------------------------
    The Creators and Publishers, and Wiki Operators:
    ------------------------------------------------
    
    Also, a large thanks to From Software, and Altus. Thank you for this great
    game. I would also like to extend a thanks to Namco/Bandai for giving our
    friends across the pond a proper DS experience.
    
    Also The Operators of the English Wiki two good DS folks: Stooge and
    Ilkar!
    
    ----------------------
    Team Umbasa All-Stars:
    ----------------------
    
    Finally, I would like to thank the Team Umbasa All-Stars. The Kings of DS.
    
    - Jager8421
    - Vector-Invader
    - Decay41
    - GNS183
    - CH1VA
    - Pepero-Tom
    - SoufWestJustinXD
    - Yizamat666
    - Nr_Ez
    - Guntaniskun
    - ggDoom
    - Nick1Nintendo (EWGF's honorary inductee)
    - Denis Jr. (EWGF's honorary inductee)
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: I think I've got information you could use. How do I contact you?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: As of ver. 1.5 there will no longer be further discussions in regards to
    this guide. If you wish to thank me, you may though this email:
    
    E-W-G-F@hotmail.com
    
    ALL QUERIES SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE ENGLISH DEMON'S SOULS WIKI or GAMEFAQS
    COMMUNITY FORUMS!
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: I've read your guide, and I've seen similar builds elsewhere! What's the
    deal you thief?!
    ----------------
    
    A: My information has existed for many months prior to this FAQ on the GameFAQs
    forums, as an open discussion led by myself, Damoene, and plenty of others
    previously. I've seen PvP “builds” popping up on certain websites that have
    looked oddly similar to my own, and even discussed the same written points.
    
    However, since many builds can optimized, it's not unrealistic to think that
    two people could have come up with the same idea. Either way, I've been finely
    tuning my builds since the release of this game, and my builds have been
    traveling word of mouth since then.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Why did the last update come so close to Dark Souls?
    -------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: It was my farewell to DS. It worked out... up until now myself and other
    people were still discovering the game frankly. DS PvP has been an interesting
    zenith... it never saw a finalized toolset.
    
    --------------------------------------------
    Q: Will you be doing a guide for Dark Souls?
    --------------------------------------------
    
    A: I have something planned that I will not yet discuss. If it falls though
    expect another GameFAQs guide. Yes however, there will be another guide in
    one form or another.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: What websites are allowed to use this guide and its contents?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: GameFAQs... and that's it. Anyone else must ask permission, which almost
    certainly will be considered. The following 2 websites have been approved:
    
    - Neoseeker
    - Super Cheats
    
    Nobody else currently has my permission to use this, so if you see it let me
    know (E-W-G-F@hotmail.com). Regardless of who is currently using it, I retain
    the right to pull the guide from anywhere at will as it still remains my
    property. This almost certainly shouldn't happen unless someone is doing
    something they shouldn't be doing with it.
    
    Under some conditions in the future you may see this guide whole on the
    English DS wiki under the careful supervision of the ever-watchful Ilkar and
    VarietyX. This status may not be updated here to reflect this, however it's
    certainly been allowed.
    
    
    
    
    
    -----------
    -----------
    Legal Stuff
    -----------
    -----------
    
    
    This FAQ may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
    private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
    publicly without advance written permission.
    
    Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is
    strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.
    
    All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
    respective trademark and copyright holders.
    
    Demon's Souls is a 2009 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Licensed to and
    published by Altus U.S.A. Inc & Namco/Bandai Inc. Created by From Software.
    
    Copyright 2010, B. P. Pearce (EWGF).
    
    .------..------..------..------.
    |E.--. ||W.--. ||G.--. ||F.--. |
    | (\/) || :/\: || :/\: || :(): |
    | :\/: || :\/: || :\/: || ()() |
    | '--'E|| '--'W|| '--'G|| '--'F|
    `------'`------'`------'`------'
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

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