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Everything about Blade Symphony: A Community Guide
By Xehanoth #WisdomTeethCutOut and 5 collaborators
By the community, for the community: This guide goes over characters, weapons, game modes, controls, options, and pretty much everything else worth mentioning about Blade Symphony. You can help by leaving a comment with your suggestion!
 
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Introduction
Hello reader, and welcome to the community's guide on Everything about Blade Symphony. This guide will go over basic game mechanics, advanced mechanics, weapons, game modes, characters, and more in detail. Our main goal is to help out anyone and everyone who wants to better themselves in this great and complex game, and hopefully by publishing this guide we will have done just that. Maybe we can help to sell some people on buying the game, too. That'd be neat.

Anyway we're gonna go over a lot of stuff, so while reading the entire guide in one sitting would be helpful, it'd be best to just refer to the guide when you're questioning something or just click on the table of contents on the right to see stuff that interests you.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get started.
Lore
From the official website:

Blade Symphony takes place in an age where the blades wielded by blind sword masters shape the fate of the Known World.

The Black Rose, a mighty kingdom forged from war by the Three Clans, ruled for hundreds of years with the aid of their Hokuten agents: spies and assassins of unearthly skill.

The Hokuten, betrayed their masters and took over the Black Rose from within. From its shadows they rewrote history and twisted it into the Greater Wing – a new, unified nation ruled in secret by the Hokuten.

Now, one hundred years after the war, a group of loyalists and surviving scions of the original Black Rose now fight to reveal the Hokuten’s plot. Those caught in the conflict, the Vagrants, are either hired as mercenaries against either side, or simply hunted to extinction.

The Black Rose

Former superpower betrayed by its greatest assassins, the Hokuten. Now they fight for revenge and justice, in hopes to regain control of what they feel is rightfully theirs.

The Hokuten

A secret society of master assassins, schemers, and spies using the Greater Wing as a guise for their own motives. Their name comes from the romanization of the phrase “Northern Skies”.

The Vagrants

Groups of warriors who train in the way of the blind sword caught between the conflict of the Greater Wing and the Black Rose. Men and women whom may be monks, grand masters, thugs, and mercenaries; outlaws one and all.

Judgement, Murai Knight
[Black Rose Kingdom]


The Murai Knights are the last defenders of the Black Rose – an alliance of noble clans who once governed the Known World according to the laws of the Old Way.

One of the oldest among his order, Judgement is the one who the Black Rose dispatch to send a loud and clear message to the enemy. The missing heads of soldiers he kills serve as a reminder to the Hokuten of the ruthless battlefields of old.

Phalanx, Hokuten Assassin
[Hokuten]



A secret society of mysterious cyber-assassins who control the Known World from the shadows, the Hokuten overthrew the reactionary Black Rose and created the oppressive Greater Wing to serve as their puppets.

Phalanx is without doubt the best assassin the Hokuten have at their disposal. Fearless, remorseless, augmented and skilled beyond compare, Phalanx is a veritable killing machine and an ardent believer in the Hokuten’s New World Order.

Ryoku
[Vagrant]



The Vagrants are a rag-tag collection of criminals and ideologists – misfit individualists who would rather be wanted men than live a life under the jackboot of the Greater Wing. Thieves, murderers, beggars and lunatics; all the dregs of society combine in this loose alliance of criminal gangs.

A master of the Blind Edge, this seemingly ordinary vagabond is a legend in Annex’s underworld. With the biggest bounty ever placed on someone’s head and no reason ever stated for his alienation from society, Ryoku sure isn’t lacking in enemies – but no one will stop him from fighting for his freedom.

Other fighters remain in secrecy...

(If you want more, you can read this.)
Basic Controls
Blade Symphony is one of those games that is easy to learn, but difficult to master. The default controls are pretty easy to get the hang of, with some of them being universal among modern video games. By default, the controls are:

Esc - Enter menu
Tab - Scoreboard / Duel Overview
W - Move forward
A - Move left
D - Move right
S - Move backward
Spacebar - Jump
Shift* - Shuffle
Ctrl - Roll
Left mouse button - Attack
Left mouse button (Held) - Charge attack
Scroll wheel - Cycle stance
Right mouse button - Use blocktech
E - Throw projectile
Q* - Grab
B - Bow
C - Flourish
V - Taunt
G - Spray
J - Sit (meditate)
X - Voice Chat
M - Enter loadout screen
R - Challenge a player to a duel (In FFA modes only)
1 - Enter fast stance
2 - Enter balanced stance
3 - Enter heavy stance
4 - Sheathe weapon
F10 - Open console

*These controls have options turned on by default that allow grabs with LMB + RMB and shuffles by double tapping a movement key. Most people would advise to turn these options off in the game menu, as accidentally grabbing or shuffling could lose you a match. Another option to play with is Lag Compensation, found in the game options; apparently this feature is not needed when fighting players that are very close to your latency.
Mechanics and Techniques
There are many important things a player can utilize in Blade Symphony that heavily influence the outcome of a match. In this section we will be reviewing these techniques and underlying mechanics.

Strings



Strings determine what attack you use depending on where you are in the string. Side attacks are always the same regardless of what string you're on, but forward attacks change based on your position in the string. As you attack, you will notice those little boxes in the bottom left corner start to become white instead of black. Those white boxes indicate that you have used that string and are progressing through to other strings. You can continue to progress through a string even if you switch up stances. However, if you're on string 4 and you use a balanced stance that only has two strings in it, using a balanced attack will reset the string back to 1 because there is no balanced 5. Each character has one or more strings for every style.

Charged Attacks

If you hold down your attack button, You will begin to charge your attack. There are 3 tiers of attacks: Uncharged (Tier 1), Half-Charged (Tier 2), and Fully Charged (Tier 3). Every tier of attack changes the move you would use for that place in the string. For example, Ryoku's Balanced 1 T1 is normally a quick jab forward, but charging it to T2 makes him do an acrobatic shuffle-stab forward, and a T3 is an instant double slash that knocks opponents down. An important quality of a good player is to memorize what attacks you can use and when you should use them. Fully charged T3 attacks always knock targets down on hit.

Parries

Parries occur when two blades meet each other mid-attack. Upon colliding, they leave at least one person stunned based on the stances and weapons used. Think of them as a seperate, miniature battle; You can win, lose, or draw in a parry. In parries, Balanced beats fast, Heavy beats balanced, Air beats Heavy, and Balanced and Fast beat Air.

If you win a parry, your attack plows straight through the opponent's attack and stuns them for a short time. If a parry is done with both sides using the same stance, then neither side wins, the swords clash, and both players are stunned for a brief period of time UNLESS one side had a higher tier attack.

If you lose a parry, you will be stunned for about one second or until you get hit.

You win a parry if you use a superior stance; A parry that you win is called a Riposte.

Generally, players will want to pay attention to what stance their opponent is using and then counter it with a superior stance. Every class holds their weapon differently depending on the stance they use; pay attention and beat them, especially when they use obvious T3 attacks.

Ripostes

Ripostes can either open your opponent up for further punishment, or go horribly, horribly wrong.
If your Riposte actually hits the opponent, then you can keep the combo going with some fasts and transition into other stances as needed, but if you simply break their attack then they may be able to recover before you do, which opens YOU up for comboing. So even though you won the parry, you can still lose in the long run. If you predict that you won't be able to punish an opponent after Riposting them, then shuffle backwards to prevent getting hit.

Knockdown

Getting hit by tier 3 attacks, getting grabbed, and being sniped out of the air with a Shuriken are all ways of getting knocked down. While knocked down, you have a limited number of possible options. You can roll around on the ground, get back up, Intercept any incoming attacks with your block tech button, or do a lunging, unblockable stab. To get back up simply press your jump button. To roll, simply use the movements keys. The lunging stab while knocked down is the only attack in the game that wins no matter what. You cannot block or win a parry against this attack.

Needless to say, getting knocked down in combat is very bad and you shouldn't stay down for too long. Often the best course of action is to simply roll away and get back up, but sometimes an aggressive player will attempt to attack you as soon as you're down. You won't be able to get away in time, so you have two choices: attack or intercept. Try not to go down too often.

Air Cancelling

Air Cancelling is the act of doing a Fast, Balanced, or Heavy style attack in the air. To do an Air Cancelled attack, simply attack and then jump immediately after pressing attack. Air cancelling attacks can give you improved range, but it also leaves you prone to being juggled.

Side Cancelling

Side cancelling is basically alternating between Left and Right attacks. Doing a left and then a right (or vice versa) cuts off the recovery time by a moderate amount of time. Try comparing 4 fast rights as phalanx to alternating fast lefts and rights to see just how much Side Cancelling can do.

Grab Reversals

Probably the easiest thing to do on this list, Grab Reversals occur when two players grab each other at the same time. They stun each player for about half a second. When being grabbed or anticipating a grab, simply press the grab button (Q by default) yourself.

Countering from Block

Nearly every decent player I know of knows how to do this. The longsword and scimitar blocktechs protect you from damage and stun, but good players go the extra mile and counterattack in between the gaps in their opponent's attacks. Some examples of attacks with holes in them are in between Ryoku's Fast 3 and 4, after Phalanx's Fast 3, after Pure's Balanced 3, or after Judge's Balanced 3. Learning how to Counter from Blocks is something you have to learn on your own; only you can make it happen through experience.

Charge Dashing

After you have charged an attack to T2, you can press the roll button to dash forward a distance and reset the charge. You can also jump during the dash to move even further. Players take 50% more damage during the charge dash cooldown (2.5s) and can't autoblock throwing weapons like usual.
Leagues, Rating, and Notes
Leagues

Blade Symphony has a ranking system that attempts to gauge a player's skill relative to their peers. Players are divided into leagues based on their ELO percentile (ELO rating is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in PvP games). There are 5 different leagues:



Oak - Where the lower 61 to 100% of players reside
Iron - Where the lower 26 to 60% of players reside
Steel - Where the top 7 to 25% reside
Diamond - Where the top 2 to 6% reside
Master - The top 1%, skill level can range from lucky spammers to extremely, unquestionably skilled players.

Once you're master, you should go by your rank instead of leagues when gauging skill. There's going to be a huge difference between the #1 and #50 masters (or at least there should be).

Rating

Rating calculations are based on who won what rounds in a match. The system makes a prediction on how the match should play out by giving both players a decimal number. Each round counts for 1 divided by the number of rounds needed per duel. Health by the end of a round does not matter, only the outcome of the round does. If the predicted number is not met, then the player loses rating based on how badly they fell under the expected number, and if the number is exceeded, they gain rating based on how much better they did than was expected.

Duels between players of different leagues do NOT count towards or against rating.



In the example above, the player on the left has a lot more rating than the player on the right. Thus, the prediction is that the player on the right is going to get wrecked. However, if the player on the right wins even a single round, they will still gain rating because they performed better (.3334) than what was predicted (.2080 / .2040).

Go to https://www.blade-symphony.com/ladder to look at ranking info for you and other players.

Notes

FluxBux Notes are an in-game currency used to purchase purely cosmetic vanilla weapons and masks. You only earn notes by playing on ranked servers, gaining 10 notes per win and 1 per loss. Currently there is no way to trade or use them in any way other than unlocking vanilla cosmetics.
Weapons
There are 5 weapon types, each with a different block technique (with one exception) and damage properties. Every weapon has both positive and negative properties that affect the playstyles of players. All 5 weapons can be used from the start; no unlocking is needed.

To old players who played before 2014- Katana and Longsword had their stats swapped.

Longswords



Of all the weapons, the Longsword is the most balanced. A favorite among many players, the longsword deals solid, consistent damage with any type of move. It has a fast multihit rate and deals 2 dmg per multihit. It has the Block defense method, which protects the blocker from attacks in a 120 degree arc in front of them at the cost of not being able to turn or move while blocking. All damage taken while blocking is changed to 1. Grabs, attacks from the sides or back, and T3 attacks can break your block though, so be careful!


Katanas



Katanas are the powerhouses of the 5 availible blades. Any riposte made with a katana does double damage. This makes it possible to instantly kill people from full health with certain moves.
They have about the same damage as the longsword and recover 30% faster on all parries made with side attacks. They have slightly lacking multihit rates, and slow the user down by 60% when charging attacks. The Katana's defense method is Feint, which allows players to perform fake attacks or shave off locktime of real ones. When the enemy comes in to punish the faked attack, you can riposte with a superior stance for massive damage!

Scimitars



Scimitars are really different than other swords. Basically, the longer your attack's tracers are inside your opponent, the more damage you'll deal. This is true with all swords, but with scimitar it's reversed; normally swords will do high damage on initial hit, a bit more if it multihits once, and then it'll do meager damage afterwards. Scimitar deals little damage on initial hit, but the more multihits the higher those damage values get. Side attacks multihit more frequently than forward attacks do, so sides will deal the most damage generally. Scimitar also charges attacks much faster than other swords and shares longsword's block.

Rapiers



A gentlemanly weapon often used by phalanxes, the Rapier excels in thrusting attacks and quick parries to gain the upper hand. Thrusting attacks gain damage boosts with this weapon, and side parries let you recover from parry stun much quicker than your opponent. However, forward parries will stun you for longer. Side attacks with this weapon do not multihit, but the forward attacks have a fairly good multihit rate. Rapier's blocktech is guard, in which you can completely defend against singular strikes from any move in the entire game. However, if the attack breaks through your initial guard and strikes you during the stun inbetween guard procs, you will still be hit for the full brunt of the damage.

Jians



Jians excel in creating fast paced combos well suited for aggressive players. They deal moderate damage and attack quickly. Every time you land a move on a player, your locktime on the landed move is reduced, allowing you to use another attack sooner to overwhelm the opponent. The blocktech is intercept, which deflects all non-t3 attacks and stuns your attacker, allowing you to attack them. The idea is to overwhelm your opponent with a lightning fast combo, and then when they're starting to attack you, you predict their attack and use Intercept.
Judgement

Judgement utilizes some of the slowest attacks of all the characters, and he has the smallest amount of innate mobility within his strikes. However, he makes up for this with his incredibly high damage output and large, sweeping attack animations, making him capable of overpowering enemies and shutting down their potential attacks.

Fast Stance

Judge's fast stance forward attacks are best used to catch an opponent off-guard with a single quick strike, then combo into a Balanced attack from there. The forward attacks also all count as Stabs, meaning that the Rapier can do surprisingly high damage in this stance alone. Charging fast forwards often makes a quicker or longer-ranged attack.

The charged fast side attacks are among Judgement's best attacks, although they can be a bit daunting at first. Fast Right and Fast Left allow him to charge quickly at his opponent, and either slash away a chunk of their health with Tier 2, or knock them to the ground and punish them further with Tier 3.


Balanced Stance

Balanced stance is Judgement's bread and butter. Forward attacks in Balanced hit hard, and they swing faster than many enemies expect. Their quick animations and damage potential allows this stance to shut down advancing enemies, especially the ones utilizing their parry-able Fast Stance (usually Ryoku, or Phalanx). Balanced forwards are also excellent when charged to Tier 2 or Tier 3, letting Judgement charge head-first at his enemies and grind through their hp bar.

Side attacks in Balanced stance are more situational, but also effective. In tier 1, they are nothing special, but in Tier 3, they are capable of surprising enemies with their double-swinging animation, baiting many people in closer, just to get punished for their mistake with upwards of 30-40 damage. Side Cancels work well at cutting down their long animations, as well. Tier 2 balanced left can also do up to 42 damage with longsword if you land it right.

Heavy Stance

Judgement's heavy stance is extremely slow, but can still be effective due to its insane damage potential. Forward attacks in this stance are usually best charged to Tier 2, which grants him high damage without being locked into place for too long.

Side Heavy attacks are slow and obvious, but their wide swing and high damage can still be used to crush through opponents' weaker attacks. These attacks are generally not to be charged to Tier 2 or 3, as these moves are so slow and lock Judgement up so long that they leave you open to getting hit for a while. You can move while performing all side heavies, but in general heavy right is better than heavy left.

Air

The air stance is situational, but extremely useful with proper timing and execution. One of Judgement's most powerful attacks and gap-closers is his Air Forward charged to Tier 3. This move allows him to rocket towards enemies and strike them while off-guard (Example in the Great Moves section).

Judge's Side Airs are quick, and therefore good at parrying Heavy stances, however they have somewhat low range. These should generally only be used on an opponent in Heavy stance, or in a Downed state. It should also be noted that Air Left is often considered easier to hit, so many Judgement players can be seen sticking to that one.

Great moves to use

Judge's 2nd fast attack performs a stab when charged to tier 2, letting you combo into a third strike easily:
Judgement F2 T2, into B3[i.minus.com]

Air Tier 3 can be useful in many circumstances, specifically for gap-closing. To perform it, charge any forward attack to Tier 2, then jump, so Judgement is mid-air when the charge "pops" into Tier 3:
Judgement Air T3[i.minus.com]

Heavy Forward 2 Tier 2 hits extremely hard and gives you the smallest locktime of all the forward Heavy Tier 2 attacks. This move will often end a round when landed:
Judgement H2 T2[i.minus.com]

Fast 1 Tier 2 into Balanced 2 is a good charging attack, as once the quick Fast attack lands, it opens your opponent up for some hefty damage and knockback from Balanced 2:
Judgement F1 T2, into B2[i.minus.com]

Balanced Right Tier 2 into Balanced Left is a great baiting move, even against highly skilled players. This move, utilizing Side Cancelling, closes gaps with the wide Tier 2 sweep, and then denies opponents attempting to punish with a swift Balanced Left:
Judgement BR T2, into BL[i.minus.com]
Ryoku
Ryoku is a very versatile fighter. He allows for open aggression, counteraggression, and even hit-and-run tactics, literally dancing around his opponent while still dishing out damage. However, his great versatility comes at a price: he is one of the more difficult classes to play as due to his diverse moveset. At low level play, you can get away with spamming your fast string into someone's face, but at higher levels you will need to utilize every trick Ryoku has in order to win.

Fast Stance


Ryoku's fasts are arguably the strongest in the game. He has 6 strings in the fast stance; his forward fasts have a number of moves that multihit often, close distance quickly, and open up all sorts of combo opportunities. Many Ryoku players start on opponents with the fast string and then transition into other strings as they go. However, timing is important; you cannot simply mash LMB, for if you do then some attacks may not hit due to knockback. Missing attacks in your fast combo can lead to harsh punishment from experienced players. Ask someone to help you get the timing down by letting you hit them in a FFA server, or beat on AFK players for a bit to figure out the timing for yourself. Try to branch off into other styles somewhere in the middle of the fast string. Switching to other stances in the middle of your fast string can really throw off your opponent's ability to counterattack.

Balanced Stance


Ryoku's balanced attacks are extremely versatile, allowing you to maneuver, trick, parry, hit and run, set up combos, and dart around and disorient your opponent while still doing heavy damage. The reason his balanced stance makes this wide array of options available is because attacks from balanced change dramatically as they are charged. Understanding every tier of every balanced stance attack allows for highly unpredictable (and flashy) attacks that keeps your enemy on their toes. One of Ryoku's most popular balanced attacks is to use an aircancelled T2 Balanced Left; it doesn't have to connect, as the attack has good direction control when aircancelled and can be used to bait your opponent, go all-in, or get into their flank. B1T3 is also a deceivingly long-ranged move that knocks opponents away with a nigh-instant stab followed by an upward cut. If you land the stab first, you can even turn around for the cut to bait your opponent into hitting you, and then while they're in recovery you can continue attacking. There are 2 strings in his balanced style.

Heavy Stance


Ryoku only has one heavy string. However, this doesn't mean that his heavies suck; in fact, it's quite the opposite. His heavy sides are great tools for both offense and defense; parry a move with a heavy left and then move in to punish, or throw in a air cancelled heavy right in the middle of your combo to deal quite a bit of damage and reset your string. The heavy sides are somewhat difficult to get used to, but doing so adds a powerful tool to your arsenal. His heavy forward can be used to riposte through weaker stance attacks, but can also be used at the end of a combo due to its strong knockback, if you wish to reset the fight. His T2 forward heavy comes out almost instantly and does decent damage, but has a very short reach and modest locktime, so use with caution.

Air


Ryoku's airs are both really good and really bad. His air sides are decent, but after landing on the ground it will lock you in place for a while, so always try to hit your opponent so you dont get smacked out of your miss. A neat trick with Ryoku's air sides is to charge up a balanced side attack and at the last second jump in the air and perform a T3 air instead, and if your opponent was paying attention to the style you initially used then they might have readied a heavy stance attack to parry it. This works out perfectly since by switching to air, you have the superior stance. They are decent attacks but fairly situational (especially his air forward), so use them in moderation.

Great Moves to use:

Air Sides: Ryoku's Air sides are easy to hit with, relatively safe in terms of parrying, and multihit frequently.
Ryoku Air Side[i.minus.com]

Fast Right: This spinning attack has a long animation and active tracers, making it great for interrupting some combos and parrying fast attacks, and also catching your opponent if they happen to walk into it. It multihits many times over the duration of the attack.

Fast Left: Ryo's Fast left T1 is exceptionally quick and can be used to parry, or as an alternative to F4 when in your fast string to avoid being grabbed. It also has nice range for quick swipes at your opponent.

Fast Left T2: A very fast and deceptively long-ranged attack that multihits frequently. Great for finishing off fleeing opponents or for a little bit of harass damage.
Ryoku FL T2[i.minus.com]

Fast 4 T3: Arguably Ryoku's best fast T3. Loads of range, decent damage, fast execution. Great for finishing off pesky blockers, and also has good direction control and a very low locktime which allows it to be used to get into your enemy's flank.
Ryoku F4 T3[i.minus.com]

Balanced left T2 into B2: This simple combo can disorient your enemies by dancing around them as you attack.
Ryoku BL T2, into B2[i.minus.com]

Balanced 2 T2: A great alternative to B2T1 as it gives you slightly more control over where you land, especially when air-cancelled. It's also better for starting up combos.
Ryoku B2 T2[i.minus.com]

Balanced 1 T3: Comes out instantly and usually parries lesser stances easily. If the first swing hits, make sure to turn the second swing away so they cant roll towards you and stab you from the ground.
Ryoku B1 T3[i.minus.com]

Intermediate combo:
A pretty basic combo used for relentlessly assaulting enemies that like to walk into you as you hit them. Panicking opponents will find it especially difficult to escape from this combo. Very brutal if everything hits. You can swap Fast 1 with a T2 Balanced Left for even more damage. Good players that block the first 3 attacks can grab you before you can hit fast 4, so you might want to skip 4 when fighting these players.

Fast 1 - Fast 2 - Fast 3 - Fast 4- Air cancelled heavy right - Balanced 2:
Ryoku F1, 2, 3, 4, Air Cancel HR, B2[i.minus.com]

Even though Ryoku has these time-tested popular combos and attacks, don't limit yourself to just using those same attacks over and over, as your enemy will learn to counter them. Instead, look for your own unique combos and mix up your attacks to remain as unpredictable as possible. Surprising your opponent by switching it up is one of the areas where Ryoku really shines.
Phalanx

Phalanx is a fencer type character. His strong attacks are his fast attacks and his balanced attacks. A lot of these attacks are straight attacks which have a long range but do not have wide tracers. He is probably one of the most versatile class in terms of choice in weapons. Phalanx can use all weapons quite effectively.

Fast Stance
Fasts are probably the strongest tool a phalanx has. Phalanx's F2, F3, and F4T3 make Phalanx lunge forward. These have a very large forward range and can close distance very quickly. All of Phalanx's forward fasts are considered straight attacks, so they work well with rapiers. F2 and F4 also have the property of making Phalanx jump backwards after the attack. The fast sides are low damaging, but they have plenty use as they come out extremely quickly, allowing them to easily parry incoming fasts / airs while allowing you to still combo from them. They are the only fast attacks with a horizontal tracer. When beating on someone's block, many phalanxes end their combo with fast sides to punish any attempts at counterattacking while pushing them away.

Balanced Stance
Phalanx's balanced attacks are his hard hitting attacks. a lot of them are used as follow ups after a bait, or a read. These moves are easy to punish but deal solid damage. B1 has a long wind up animation but hits pretty hard if it connects. B2 comes out fast and lasts a long time. It is comically dubbed the washing machine as you twirl your weapon into your opponents face. The only downside to this attack is if you don't hit with it, they have all the opportunity to punish you after the attack ends due to its long duration. Your left and right balanced do as much damage as the straight attacks and have very wide tracers. The left comes out faster than the right, but the right has a wider tracer. T2 Balanced sides have misleading range and can be used to start up a combo, parry / riposte, or throw your opponent off while dealing moderate to high amounts of damage. Fairly new to the game is Phalanx's balanced 3, which is a quick albeit light jab used to continue combos, keep pressure on the opponent, and at t3, knock them down in style.

Heavy Stance
Phalanx's heavies are probably his weakest point. His forward heavy has a long start up then lunges forward with a vertical overhead swing. The long start up really hurts this move, but it still has its uses. Charging the H1 to T2 makes the move come out much quicker at the cost of being predictable through charging. His left heavy is great; it comes out fast, has a decent range, does decent damage, and has wide tracers. The right heavy is identical to the left heavy except it comes with a delay, has a longer duration, and covers much more ground.

Air Stance
Phalanx's airs aren't too bad at all. They usually come out quickly and have a decent range, and can end or start combos, reset strings, and get around blocks. The tracer for air forward hits behind phalanx as well as in front! His side airs quickly strike at either side, making phalanx also go in whatever direction the strike is aimed.

Good moves to use

Fast 2 T2 - A good offensive tool for hit-and-run punishes, it makes you backstep after the lunge is complete, bringing you back to safety after the attack.
Phalanx F2 T2[i.minus.com]

Fast 3 T1 or 2 - A riskier version of Fast 2 Tier 2, it does not have the built in backstep, but it has a longer range than the Fast 2.
Phalanx F3 T2[i.minus.com]

Fast 4 T3 - It is a lunge like Fast 2 Tier 2 but it has a longer range at the cost of a heavily delayed backstep.
Phalanx F4 T3[i.minus.com]

Fast sides T1 - These moves are very useful. They come out almost instantly and with certain weapons they have a wide variety of uses. It can easily be used to parry fasts or airs of the same tier, or start / end combos.
Phalanx Fast Sides[i.minus.com]

Rapier recovers quickly from parries, while forcing enemies to turn to the side. To take full advantage of the rapier's capabilities, use this fast recovery to parry charging enemies and punish them.
Phalanx Rapier Parries[i.minus.com]

Bal 1 T1 - A good move for punishing easily read attacks, it does good damage and has lots of reach. It can be used immediately after a Fast 2 if you think the opponent will want to attack after, they will walk right into it.
Phalanx F1, F2, into B1[i.minus.com]

Bal 2 T1 (Washing machine) - Air canceling this attack onto your opponents head does a lot of damage, it is easily punished so use sparingly.
Phalanx B2[i.minus.com]

Heavy Left T1 - A great tool for parries and an equally great combo move, it comes out fast, deals decent damage, and is fairly easy to combo from.
Phalanx HL[i.minus.com]
Pure

Pure is one of the most mobile fighters in the game. Sporting an array of cartwheels, butterfly kicks, and speedy air attacks, Pure can lend to both an aggressive and passive playstyle very easily. Unlike other characters, she does not have a defining stance; you will most likely be switching stances very often when creating Pure's combos, making it one of the more technical characters to pick up.

Fast Stance

Similar to Judgement, Pure's fasts should be used to catch someone off guard, as Pure will not move forward when attacking like Phalanx or Ryoku, and for the most part lacks the range of Judgement. However, it can also be used to combo into a Balanced (or even a Heavy attack, if the opponent's reaction time warrants it).

Pure's forward Fast attacks are a quick stab followed by a circular slashing motion and then two stabs in a lunge forward. Her Fast Left T1 is great for getting around an opponent's block, and can be used to start into Balance, while her Fast Right T1 is a very quick horizontal slash used to interrupt your opponents and give you momentum you can use to do combos of your own.

Balanced Stance


Pure's balance moves are some of the most extravagant you'll see in the game, but can leave her open if you have poor positioning. A tier 2 Balance causes the attack to last longer, creating more multihits and a longer window for parrying/riposting from both you and your enemy. Her later Balance attacks can leave her open between swings, but can send Pure traveling quite a bit of distance. Balance 3 has a bit of locktime near the end, so do not be surprised if you're smacked at the end of it, rarely even if you land a hit.

Pure's New Balance String Tier 3 Attacks, a series of twice-hitting, slower and very grandiose attacks that can be used to surprise, and hit your opponent from an awkward angle. These confusing flourishes of body and blade are very deadly in the right hands.

Her side attacks are very black and white; one is a moderately slow, mobile swing, while the other is a fast butterfly kick that allows you to literally dance around your opponent, and smack at their exposed side. Similar to Fast Left, this also leaves you open for the beginning of the attack.

Heavy Stance


Pure has two Heavy strings; the first being a heavy overhead chop, the second a quick overhead stab. Her heavies are also unique, in a sense that her Tier 2 Heavy attacks are very powerful and long-lasting. However, this can lead to your opponent taking advantage of your locktime to go in for an air attack.

Pure's heavy sides, especially her left, sweep well into a combo, and also last longer when charged to Tier 2. Her Heavy Right has surprising range and high damage, but leaves you exposed if you fail to land the attack. Both her side attacks and Heavy 1 attack are good for an obvious riposte.

Air Stance


Pure's Airs are arguably the best in the game, from their sheer speed and reach and low locktimes. It's unusual for a Pure player to charge them to Tier 3, let alone Tier 2, but this is great for surprising players due to starting the charge in one of the other stances. While they seem simple at first, take care as you play longer that you realize that Pure's lower body can be hit if you try and start the attack too close; or worse, too far, landing right in the opponent's lap.

Her Air Sides have considerably more reach than her Air Forward, her Air Left the most commonly used, while Air Right has a rather noticeable range that can even reach around and hit your opponent from behind at times. The speed on her Air attacks are quick enough that you can possibly use them to interrupt someone if they're wildly spamming at you, or uncommonly while they're charging.

Great Moves to Use


Fast Left Tier 2 can be used to approach someone to the side, or be used as a gap closer, immediately moving into Balance 2, or even a fast.
Pure FL T2 into B2[i.minus.com]

Balance Right Tier 2 is a slower, longer butterfly kick of the same animation, except the sword's tracers are active the entire time! Excellent in simultaneously kiting and creating quite the shield, but a well-versed opponent can smack you when your sword isn't near them.
Pure BR T2[i.minus.com]

Fast Left Tier 3, in a similar manner to Tier 2, can be used to hit an opponent from any side of them - when used, Pure will pirouette in a 360° manner, knocking anyone slashed by the attack onto the ground. Try and be on the side of your opponent when used.
Pure FL T3[i.minus.com]

Balance 1 Tier 2 is an amusingly effective anti-air, especially against the likes of Phalanx and Judgement. Charge to Tier 2, and Pure will hold her blade overhead in front of her, allowing your opponent to drop right on top of it.
Pure B1 T2[i.minus.com]

Heavy Right Tier 1 as previously stated is an upwards sweeping heavy that can be used just about right after a series of comboes, or even provide a shield of tracers so to speak when parrying. Swing your camera into them to speed it up, or turn away if you think you'll whiff it.
Pure HR[i.minus.com]

Fast 3 Tier 3 is another interesting attack; Pure will thrust and hold her sword in front of her, sliding along the ground a moderate distance. Great to catch off guard, and can sometimes maneuver past their attack.
Pure F3 T3[i.minus.com]
Workshop / Sprays / Capes
Workshop Functionality

You can download player-made weapons and masks off of the workshop! Once in game, press M to bring up the loadout screen, click on steam workshop in the upper left, browse through the weapons, and subscribe to the ones that interest you. To use these weapons, click the left / right arrow keys near the workshop button to swap between vanilla and custom weapons. Custom masks are found to the right of vanilla masks. There are no differing stats on workshop items. Workshop items are seen by most players, depending on what their settings are and whether the particular item is approved by the devs or not.

If you're good with making models and textures and stuff, you can even make your own gear!

Sprays

There's already a nice guide out there specifically for this topic, so try it out.

What's a cape and how do I get one?

A cape is an item awarded from the devs to an individual player, usually for being a pillar of the community or winning a tournament. There are many different types of capes, each of which are awarded for a different achievement (sorry, not achievement as in 'steam achievement'!)
Additional info / Useful links
Himura made a very good, detailed list of console commands useful for both users and server owners.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/225600/discussions/0/558750985622544675/

Developer fug4life has compiled a massive list of helpful Blade Symphony-related information, links, tutorials, and more. If you needed some information that wasn't in this guide, you can guarantee it'll be here:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/225600/discussions/0/828937546144020594/

The thread linked covers things like:
  • Blade Symphony website links
  • Custom sword and mask guides
  • Level design tutorials
  • How to set up a training dummy bot
  • Blade Symphony steam groups

And more! So go check it out if you're looking for more. :)
Conclusion / Shoutouts
I hope you've enjoyed or at least learned something new from the guide, and we wish you well on your endeavors to get good at blade symphony. If you feel like you want to help the guide, then please do. One of the most important things a guide can have is a completeness of information, and that's where you come in. Anyone can help or suggest changes, be it through comments or whatever other method of communication. I read every single comment / notification as soon as possible, and credit will be given to those who help. Regardless of how old the item commented on is, your suggestions will not go unnoticed.

If you have any questions you can also leave a comment, one of us will answer it ASAP.

Shoutout to Skeleton? for painfully making .gifs of all the good moves / combos for every character section, updating the guide, and writing the entire Judgement section.

Shoutout to eBunny for updating the future/development section and suggesting to cover console commands, future works, sprays, development info, tournaments, and additional links.

Shoutout to Jahka for writing the entire Ryoku section.

Shoutout to Squidly Fishman for writing the entire Pure section and helping Skeleton out with .gif recording.

Shoutout to AltairAql for writing the entire Phalanx section.

Shoutout to Mkilbride for gathering all of the lore information and posting it to the discussion forums a few months back.

Shoutout to Samyong for his guide on sprays. It's all his, I don't think any of us helped him with it.

Shoutout to Himura for his post on console commands.

Shoutout to Cynoxious for suggesting a section on the community itself.

Shoutout to fug4life for his massive wall of links and info on the discussion pages.

Shoutout to KindredPhantom for giving the guide a spot on the Dystopia wiki, his post on joining the nightly version, and putting up with the community's sh*t on a daily basis (yikes).

Shoutout to Mindless for catching a few fu*kups I made and suggesting bal left t2 in phal's good moves. Also helped translate the guide to russian.

Shoutout to Tenkey, Polly-morph, Wolfloor, Neshzul, Mindless, and Gormarim for translating the guide to russian.

Shoutout to The Original Something for suggesting an update on judge heavy sides, including a few more vanguard details, and adding the "E-Peen" term.

And last but certainly not least, Shoutout to all the devs for making Blade Symphony. Without this great game I wouldn't have gotten to meet the lovable bunch of sh*tposters I now call friends, nor would I have ever been half decent at any fighting game.
58 Comments
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Xehanoth #WisdomTeethCutOut  [author] 3 hours ago 
two things

#1 this guide hasnt been updated in months and probably wont ever get updated again
#2 "iai technique" isnt so much a technique as it is just sheathing a sword, i assumed people would experiment on their own to find their niche and tbh nobody in the top 20 or even 50 use that style because its countered with a simple shuriken

tl;dr no
Hels Tamashi Ronin 17 hours ago 
You lack the Iai technique, as well. It is pretty simply. You sheath your sword with button 4. You change to balance state or fast one, and then u do your attack calculating to hit the enemy. The advantages of iai technique is the fact that the enemy can't predict in wich form you are currently, thus making it really effective with the katana, specially when wielded by Judgement or Vanguard, due to the posibility of making a fast, unpredictable attack with their F and B forms, which can punish hard your enemy in the case you riposte them.
Hels Tamashi Ronin 22 hours ago 
What about Vanguard. Needs a update, this guide. It would be fine aswell the lore of Pure and Vanguard.
Wolf Fit Apr 12 @ 7:31pm 
Nice guide >w<
can someone help me earn the achivment? i completed the tutorial and didnt get it. add me and message me if u can help. thanks
ManOfHonor Jan 4 @ 4:31pm 
I find some info is lacking from this guide
also I found the initial origin of rulen1 term
http://steamcommunity.com/app/225600/discussions/0/648817377403819339/
Xehanoth #WisdomTeethCutOut  [author] Oct 23, 2014 @ 3:38am 
well aint that sweet of you
looking forward to how exactly a museum will play out
raffle Oct 23, 2014 @ 2:04am 
hey xeha i plan on adding a lot of this guide to a museum i'll add in the sexy food map, a means to show BS history to new players and stuff
Seth Abercromby Oct 19, 2014 @ 5:36am 
(double post because Character limit)
A combo that I like with Phalanx is B1, F2, B3, F4. B1 allows you to intercept an enemy from longer range than expected, F2 allows to continue the combo without delay to keep you enemy under control, B3 hits for high damage and with good reach and F4 allows for immediate retreat to avoid enemy punishes.
Seth Abercromby Oct 19, 2014 @ 5:36am 
Interesting guide. I've been playing a lot with Jian Pure and Jian Phalanx. The faster hit cancels combined with the decent base damage make them really effective offensive chracters that hit with a very different timing as the same with any other sword type. A nice combo with Pure is aerial gap-closer, B2, Fast Left. The B2 keep the opponent under pressure, and the Fast Left allows you to get right behind them when they try to punish the opening in B3, which you can then punish with B1, F2 and F3. You should also add that you can Air cancel B2 and B3, that turn into air flips you can use to jump over your oppoenent. You can also jump cancel her Balanced Right to dodge some intecept attempts while still hitting with the same timing.