When it comes to combat in Ghost of Tsushima it is not enough to go in katana swinging and hoping for the best. The Mongol Invaders have all sorts of soldiers among their ranks and each type needs a different technique to deal maximum stagger and damage with.
This where Jin’s different combat stances come into play, and there are five in total across Ghost of Tsushima.
We have listed them all below and included which enemies they are effective against, as well as the upgrade options of each one.
Stone Stance is the first stance you will be made familiar with due to who it is effective against. That would be swordsmen who early on are the main type of enemy you will encounter in your journey as the ghost. To choose Stone Stance you press R2 and X. The unlockable techniques are:
- Puncture – Batter your foe with two piercing strikes. Hold Triangle then tap Triangle
- Strength of Mountains – Increase Stagger damage against Swordsmen from all Stone Stance attacks
- Full Puncture – Deliver three piercing strikes. Hold Triangle then tap Triangle twice
- Momentum – Perform Stone Stance heavy attacks with ferocious speed
Water Stance is a stance you will be using a lot as it is effective against enemies armed with a sword and shield unless they are larger brutes. This stance allows you to weaken an enemy so they stop shielding for a bit allowing you to slash at them with the katana. To choose Water Stance press R2 and Circle when unlocked. The unlockable techniques are:
- Flowing Strikes – Unleash a torrent of four rapid strikes. Hold Triangle, then tap Triangle three times
- Strength of Tides – Increase Stagger damage against Shieldmen from all Water Stance attacks
- Surging Strikes – Drown your foe with a flood of five rapid strikes. Hold Triangle, then tap Triangle four times.
- Downpour – Inflict increasing damage with each attack in your flurry strike
Wind Stance is most effective against spearmen. They will stab at Jin in quick succession so you will need to be able to block and parry those incoming strikes. When using Wind Stance Jin can stagger spearmen so they lower the spear, opening them up for attack, as well as use the Typhoon kick to knock them back. To select Wind Stance press R2 and Triangle when unlocked. The unlockable techniques are:
- Strengthened Typhoon Kick – Typhoon Kicks launch your enemy farther back and deal extra Stagger damage
- Strength of Gales – Increase Stagger damage against Spearmen from all Wind Stance attacks
- Spear Defence – Automatically Parry spear attacks during any Wind Stance attack
- Typhoon Kick Finisher – Enemies thrown by a Typhoon Kick are knocked down.
Moon Stance is the one for the larger, brute soldiers of the Mongol invasion force. These are soldiers that you will rarely be able to go toe to toe with in other stances. With Moon Stance Jin kicks at the brutes to stagger them, which will then allow Jin to strike with his katana. To choose Moon Stance press R2 & Square when unlocked. The unlockable techniques are:
- Whirlwind – Assail your foes with two spinning strikes – Hold Triangle then tap Triangle once.
- Strength of the Heavens – Increase Stagger damage against Brutes from all Moon Stance attacks
- Finishing Strike – The third Moon Stance attack deals extra Melee damage and Stagger damage.
- Tornado – Three fast spinning strikes. Hold Triangle, then tap Triangle twice.
This is the final stance that Jin will get access to and it is linked to story progress. Ghost Stance will not unlock until the Yarikawa questline has been completed, and that will come in the second act of Ghost of Tsushima. This Stance is not one you can choose to select when it is unlocked as it can only be activated in one of two ways. The first is by stealth killing a leader which will fill the Ghost Stance meter up. The second is killing enemies without sustaining any damage. Once the meter is filled up press L3 & R3 to activate it. This will change the screen so it goes into Kurosawa mode briefly (if you haven’t already got it active) and you will be able to instantly kill enemies until the meter is empty.
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