Every melee weapon type in Nioh has three stances available: low stance, mid stance, and high stance. These all affect the moveset of your character, especially the quickness of attacks. But there's more to it than that.
Let's quickly go over why you should use all three stances and when.
Note that you can switch stances by holding R1 and tapping X, Square, or Triangle.
Sacrifices offense for defense, allowing you to withstand enemy attacks better when you defend. However, you’ll also be dealing less damage per attack, though you will be attacking more quickly. This stance is best used when you’re facing an opponent that doesn’t give large windows for you to attack, so you can quickly get in and deal some damage before quickly getting away. You will come across enemies that will crawl on the ground and are difficult to hit with Mid or High Stances, so switching to Low Stance is a must in these situations. It uses a small amount of Ki when attacking, and results in the loss of a small amount of Ki when attacked.
The most well-rounded of the three stances, which makes it the ideal stance to have set when venturing into unknown areas. Whenever you’re facing an enemy that you’ve never faced before, start with the Mid Stance to get a feel for how the enemy ticks. If your attacks are too slow then you should switch to the Low Stance, but if the enemy moves slowly and gives you big windows to deal damage then switch to the High Stance. It uses a medium amount of Ki when attacking, and results in the loss of a medium amount of Ki when attacked.
Sacrifices defense for offense, allowing you to deal the maximum possible damage at the expense of being able to get yourself out of harm’s way as easily. You’ll find that once you’ve gotten a feel for many of the game’s enemies that you’ll be switching to the high stance, as you’ll memorize the windows for attack opportunities and then deal the maximum damage that you possible can. You can also use this stance to break through an enemy’s guard, which will stun them and give you a great opportunity to deal even more damage. It uses a large amount of Ki when attacking, and results in the loss of a large amount of Ki when attacked.
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