The Nioh 2 Guardian Spirit classes — Brute, Feral, and Phantom — can be hard to pick between because you don’t know much about them when the game thrusts the decision onto you. What are their differences? What are the best Nioh 2 Guardian Spirits? Can you change Guardian Spirits? Also keep in mind that aside from the Burst Counters, these moves are only available when you use your transforming Yokai Shift move by pressing Triangle and Circle and all three of the forms have super armor.
Nioh 2 Guardian Spirits | Brute
The Nioh 2 Brute class is the most straightforward of the bunch. It’s more aggressive and offensively based so it’s probably the best for beginners and those who want to just wreck shop.
The Brute’s special moves are offensive and defensive. The Triangle and Circle button attack is a big slam that inflicts fire damage. Again, it’s a big club so it makes sense. The other special move is a sort of parry. By pressing L1 and Triangle when an attack connects, you’d do a parry that unleashes Amrita and will stagger the enemy. The timing is strict so you’ll have to get used it.
The Burst Counter is an “offensive” parry as your character performs a big horizontal slash. And if an enemy’s Burst Attack connects with it, you’ll stagger them. It’s the easiest of the three counters to use, but it does take a second to come out. You’ll need to react relatively quickly yet it is still very manageable.
Nioh 2 Guardian Spirits | Feral
Whereas the Brute class is offensively based, the Feral class is more for agile players who want to dodge. This is probably the trickiest form to master so it might be wise to learn the game first with another class, but that is up to you.
The Feral class’ special moves are also formed around agility. It has the Shadowstep (dodge while performing a quick attack with the Square button) and Shadowstab (press the Square button while performing Shadowstep) special moves that let you more easily cancel your attacks into dodges. You can even dodge while attacking and you’ll sometimes get some bonus Amrita if you dodge right as an enemy attacks. The Triangle and Circle button special move is a sort of a heel kick slam to the ground that’s also pretty quick.
The Burst Counter is the hardest to use of the three as it is, fittingly, a type of dash. The dash leaves a sort of ghost trail and if the Burst Attack connects with that ghost trail, the enemy will be staggered. Again, this one might be pretty tricky to nail as it isn’t as straightforward as the other two.
Nioh 2 Guardian Spirits | Phantom
If the Brute class is offensive and the Feral class is evasive, then the Phantom class is more defensive and projectile based. This is the middle of the pack of the three as it is easier to use than Feral but a slight bit more difficult than the Brute.
Its special moves are simple. The Triangle and Circle button move is an area of effect attack that summons a shark. The other special moves are ranged moves that are used to get you in. By holding down L2 to aim, you can throw your weapon with R2. If it connects, you’ll instantly zoom to that enemy. You can also do this by pressing the strong attack button (or the quick attack followed by a strong attack). Getting in with the Phantom is relatively easy.
The Burst Attack is a more traditional parry and faithful to its defensive core. The Phantom Burst Counter puts up a sort of shield and the enemy will be staggered if their attack connects with your shield. The shield is only up for about a second so it does take timing, but it’s relatively easy to use and a good parry.
Can I change Guardian Spirits in Nioh 2?
Yes, you can change classes in Nioh 2. You pick one to start out with but you can switch to any of the others once you get another spirit division that has one of the other classes attached to it. You usually get these for beating levels. To change classes, go to “Change Guardian Spirit” at a Prayer Shrine. From there, you’ll see all of your collected spirits like in the picture above where it’ll have the spirit’s name right next to what class it is. Later in the game, you even get the ability to instantly swap to one of the other classes (or the same class if you want) during gameplay.