The Nobushi are the defenders of the villages too far from the Imperial City for the army to reach. They are elegant fighters with a curious weapon. They have the lightest armor that allows them to move like the wind but cannot take a lot of damage. But don’t let their appearance fool you, they are one of the most effective fighters the Samurai have.
Wielders of the Naginata; a skilled nobushi is a terrifying and daunting opponent. Their attacks are lightning fast and long ranged but extremely versatile. A good Nobushi player can kill an enemy from afar or get in close and deliver swift deadly strikes.
The Nobushi is part of the Hybrid Class, a class that takes features from the other three classes. She plays with the speed and damage of an Assassin while having the versatility of a Vanguard.
The Nobushi, as do all classes, have weaknesses alongside their strengths. So, what are they?
– Long range, fast light attacks.
– One of the very few heroes to utilise bleed.
– Versatile moveset.
– Adaptable defense.
– Powerful offence.
– Hidden stance (seriously, this is great).
– Has some of the best looking animations in the game!
– Tricky to just pick up and play effectively.
– High skill cap.
– Relies heavily upon positioning.
– Low health pool, from assassin characteristics.
– Hidden stance timing takes some getting used too.
Now that we have strengths and weaknesses are out the way we can move onto specifics. First up is their unique abilities. These are what really bring the Nobushi into her own creating a very unique playstyle.
Way of the Shark: ”Does extra damage to targets affected by your Bleed.” This is a great skill to abuse during lower tier fights, considering how easy it is to apply your bleeds through light attack combos.
Hidden Stance: “The Startup has a Dodge property. Basic Attacks Startup can be canceled into Hidden Stance. Hidden Stance can be followed up by Attacks, Kick or Dodges.” This is what will make so many people mad, when you go into your unique ‘down’ guard you gain dodge frames for a brief moment and attacks will pass right through you. You can follow up this with an unblockable kick, dodge or attack. With this you also become the only class able to feint lights, by cancelling them with hidden stance. Hidden stance is not always the best option however. In some scenarios the hidden stance can cause more problems than it solves and would be better replaced by a parry, this could be because of the huge stamina cost or just poor timing.
Cancel Attack Recovery: “Attacks can be followed up by the Hidden Stance, Viper’s Retreat or Kick. Kick can be followed up by Hidden Stance or Cobra Strike.” This really makes your move set so incredibly fluid and adaptable. Every class after an attack has what is known as ‘Recovery Frames’. These are frames where your character is unable to react; the Nobushi can shorten these frames by chaining attacks into kicks, hidden stance and other attacks. This can lead to you performing some of the most devastating combos in the whole game.
Light Attack Combo: “Third chained Light Attack is guaranteed if the second one hits the targets.” Quite simple but powerful. Your third light attack also applies Bleed which is great.
Side Slashes: “Hit at the opposite of the direction of the Dodge. Side Slashes can be followed up by a Hidden Stance, Viper’s Retreat, Kick or Dodge.” This is great in lower level play but quickly becomes predictable against higher skilled opponents. It is however a very quick heavy and does quite a lot of damage; plus being able to be followed up into Hidden Stance, Kick, Vipers retreat or Dodge can lead to further combos.
Zone Attack: “Cancel Zone Attack after the first Attack.” Your zone attack always hits to the right right and the second part, again from the right, applies bleed. The first part of the zone attack is quite quick but the second part is a relatively easy parry, which is great! Because you can feint the second part like a regular heavy and attack from another direction.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/u1UxQeS.gifv )
Basic Attacks: Your basic light attacks are long ranged and quick. On their own they don’t deal a huge amount of damage but when combined with your Way of the Shark passive hit surprisingly hard. Your light attacks can be feinted into hidden stance which is a very strong ability to have as no other warrior can do it. It is incredibly effective to bait out enemy parries and initiate combos as it shows the red indicator without throwing out the attack. Your basic heavy attacks are incredibly damaging, especially when Bleed is applied, they are however very telegraphed and easy to parry so use them sparingly.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/Mw4eila.gif )
Poke the Nest: (PC – LMB, LMB, LMB / XB1 – RB, RB, RB / PS4 – R1, R1, R1)
This is a set of three light attacks in quick succession; the first being a regular light attack, the second is again a regular light but part of the chain as indicated by the blue glow of the blade and the third applying a bleed effect. The third hit is guaranteed if the second attack hits.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/RhBBZNc.gif )
Hiss and Bite: (PC – LMB, RMB / XB1 – RB, RT / PS4 – R1, R2)
This is a light attack into a heavy attack. Hiss and Bite isn’t typically used in effective Nobushi combos and is more so used to get extra damage if the opportunity presents itself.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/qWBKUaX.gif )
Death Rattle Form: (PC – RMB, RMB / XB1 – RT, RT / PS4 – R2, R2)
Death Rattle Form is two consecutive heavy attacks. It is not worth using however as both are easily parried and require fairly close proximity to the opponent. Even if the first heavy attack hits, the second is telegraphed and easy to counter.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/ttd3DX4.gif )
Slithering Thrust: (PC – Run, RMB / XB1 – Run, RB / PS4 – Run, R1)
Slithering Thrust is a light attack lunge from a sprint that applies a bleed effect. This typically isn’t very good for duel scenarios but is an excellent opener for an unexpecting enemy in Dominion.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/mlv3rDW.gif )
Coiling Slash: (PC – Run, RMB / XB1 – Run, RT / PS4 – Run, R2)
Similar to Slithering Thrust, this is an excellent opener for a Dominion engagement, but isn’t as effective due to Slithering Thrust triggering Way of the Shark.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/MoOTB1f.gif )
Hidden Stance: (PC – C / XB1 – RS Down (hold) / PS4 – R3 Down (hold))
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/4TBMnYV.gif )
Cobra Strike: (PC – A or W or D + Space, LMB / XB1 – LS← or LS↑ or LS→ + A, RB / PS4 – L3← or L3↑ or L3→ + A, RB) Cobra Strike begins with a dash in any direction followed by a light attack that bleeds. This is used best when closing a gap to get some easy poke. Cobra strike also applies the bleed effect if hit.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/OUwZ9M4.gif )
Cobra Strike Mixup: (PC – MMB ♦, MMB, LMB / XB1 – X ♦, X RB / PS4 – ⬜ ♦, ⬜, R1) The mixup begins when you guard break your opponent. Chain the guard break into a kick and then light attack to get a guaranteed bleed overhead light. However, this isn’t quite as valuable as some other unlisted guard break combos as it doesn’t do much damage or have as much value.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/j8UGDBS.gif )
Viper’s Retreat: (PC – S, LMB / XB1 – LS(down), RB / PS4 – L3(down), R1)
This is an excellent poke move as it’s quick, inflicts good damage and applies bleed. It always strikes the direction your guard is in but has the same animation for every attack. This can be used to play mindgames with your opponent and make them block in the wrong direction. Whereas the kick is used after a combo aggressively to continue an attack; Vipers Retreat is a great move to finish with and back off.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/6Ax4wlv.gif )
Kick: (PC – LMB or RMB, MMB / XB1 – RB or RT or RS(down), X / PS4 – R1 or R2, or R3(down), ⬜)
Usable out of hidden stance or after an attack. If the kick lands you will stagger your opponent and knock him back which can be followed up with a guaranteed light hit then inflicts bleed. This is a great mix up move to use to combo moves together. Dodging with hidden stance then kicking into a light attack is a great way to halt an opponent’s attack and start your own.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/rN4meJy.gif )
Sidewinder Form: (PC – A or D + Space, RMB / XB1 – LS(left) or LS(right) + A, RT / PS4 – L3(left) or L3(right) + X, R2)
Dodge one direction and your heavy attack comes from the opposite direction. Is quite hard to react too and deals good damage. Is great to use at the end of an attack chain. It is quite close range though so be careful. The more you use to the more your opponent will react; so you can always dodge into a cobra strike instead.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/i0hcKgY.gif )
Swift Recoil: (PC – Block, Space / XB1 – Block, A / PS4 – Block X)
If dodge is pressed immediately after a block you will quickly back off and create space between you and your opponent. It’s an excellent tool to reposition yourself to gain advantage over your opponent, due to the Nobushi generally having long range than other heroes.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/EY0WKly.gif )
Parrying is a technique you NEED to become comfortable with if you want to be a good player. The Nobushi has one of the best parry values in the game. Against long range lights, and any short ranged light attacks she can get in a free top heavy attack. If your opponent is bleeding this becomes the highest damage single strike attack in the game. You can also get off a free Guard Break off of parrying a close ranged heavy attack which again, leads to a free heavy. The heavy can be followed into a kick which gives you a free light with bleed. The only part of this combo that can be countered is the kick; with a dodge. As you can see parries are an essential part of playing this class well.
Parry (Light) >> Overhead Heavy >> Kick* >> Light (Bleed) >> Sidewinder Form*
This is a great combo. It causes a huge amount of damage but is also incredibly flexible. Any point where there as an asterisk (*) the combo can be mixed up into a Viper’s Retreat, Hidden Stance or GuardBreak. This combo is excellent against most opponents as the only points it is able to be countered is at the mix up points (marked with an *).
Parry (Short Ranged Heavy) >> GuardBreak >> Overhead Heavy >> Kick* >> Overhead Light (Bleed) >> Left / Right Light*
The same combo as above but initialised after parrying a heavy attack. The same advice applies as above!
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/dAQHlK0.gifv )
It’s important to note that all of these combos can be initiated after a hidden stance too. In some situations it may be easier to sacrifice some damage and counter with a hidden stance into kick and then a combo like the ones above.
(Alternative link: http://i.imgur.com/PduSdmQ.gif )
Feats: Feats are only available in the 4v4 modes Dominion, Skirmish and Elimination. They are unlocked by levelling your character and are usable in game when you reach a certain amount of renown.
Renown: Nobushi is a Hybrid class character, which mean she gains a balanced amount of renown points spread across all actions in the game. This generally means that she gets feats relatively quickly as she is so versatile in this regard. Due to the incredible importance of tier 4 feats in dominion, especially nearing the late game phase towards and including breaking, this makes her a rather strong pick in dominion, and elimination too.
Iron Lungs: “Passive: You can still sprint when Out of Stamina.” This is pretty good if you find yourself running out of stamina and needing to retreat. However, I feel it’s outshadowed by the other two choices which have a higher impact upon the game.
Speed Revive: “Passive: Revive fallen teammates fasters.” This is great! It makes reviving teammates so much faster. Normally it’s very difficult to revive someone but with this feat you can knock someone down and revive before they can get to you.
Body Count: “Passive: Killing soldiers grants you Health & Stamina.” Amazing in dominion. Pretty useless on any other gamemode. Enables you to stay and push B for as long as you want and is a great way to heal if you don’t have a safe place to do so.
Arrow Strike: “Active: Call in an arrow strike dealing moderate AOE Damage over an area.” This feat is really good to finish off enemies or clear soldiers in dominion.
Smoke Bomb: “Active: Throw a smoke bomb on the ground that breaks lock.” This is really good if you’re outnumbered or really need to back out of a combat.
Revenge Attacks: “Passive: Attacks fill the revenge meter.” Simple but effective, enables you to get revenge much faster while being on the offensive. Is nice as a passive if you don’t use actives too much.
Blissful Rest: “Active: Rapidly brings you to full Health Points.” Really strong. Can be used during a brief respite to bring you back to full health. Need I say more?
Longbow: “Active: Shoot a longbow for moderate Damage.” FUN. But is quite easy to miss. It does a lot of damage though.
Sharpen Blade: “Passive: Attacks inflict low Damage over time.” This is pretty good but is overshadowed by Blissful Rest. Doesn’t add a huge amount of damage. You have bleed; you don’t really need this.
Stalwart Banner: “Active: Nearby allies continuously regain Health Points.” This IS what you want. It’s so good. In a 4v4 situation there this makes your team nigh unkillable.
Arrow Storm: “Active: Aerial Attack that deals medium Damage in multiple areas.” Is just a buffed up arrow strike. Really good in a condensed area and against multiple opponents. Super strong in breaking during dominion, and if you catch people off guard in elimination.
Fire Trap: “Active: A trap that explodes and creates a fire AOE area of effect.” Only good on Elimination to leave on a body or cut someone off, can work on some choke points but the other two feats are just so much better. Nice trap to be used on non executed dead bodies during Elimination, to prevent revives.
To conclude, the Nobushi is certainly incredibly strong in the right hands. With a very versatile, long ranged moveset and incredibly powerful attacks a good Nobushi can turn the tides of a battle no matter the situation. With a tool set that can react to an opponent’s mistakes and punish incredibly hard plus the ability to play aggressively and force your opponent onto the back foot there is no real way to take a skilled Nobushi out of the fight.
I hoped you enjoyed our guide, and we hope we gave you a comprehensive introduction to the wonder that is the Nobushi. We also hope we have provided you with some insight into the vast tool set of the Nobushi, and hope to see you slaying out there on the battlefield on release day and onwards!
All credit goes to ‘For Honor Legends’