Speculative tier list for Guardian Spirits in PvP. Just for fun.

First of all if you hate tier lists or just want to bitch about nasally voice 'we don't even know how pvp is going to work yet' just don't be a spoilsport. Theorycrafting is fun.

Second, relevance to your build is always going to be the number one priority. Itokuri is way down in the garbage pile for PvP, but the paralyze bonus it gives you cannot be ignored if you're running a paralysis build, and you should seriously consider using it even though it does nothing else for you. Also this doesn't take talisman attacks, armor set synergy, or LW quality into account, if you want to revise this list with those things in mind knock yourself out- or if you disagree with any placements, I'd like to hear it. This list will be operating under the completely baseless and arbitrary assumption that PvP will be an arena fight where both players are given one Elixir and a full LW gauge by default.

S TIER, Cream of the crop

  • Kato, number one overall. I'm sure all of us who choose him as our starter pokemon had serious trouble switching to anyone else just because of how ridiculously good he is. He does not have one single irrelevant bonus, and he has among some of the best in the game even with that. This spirit is absolutely bulletproof, and is literally never a bad choice for any situation. There are better choices in certain situations, but Kato will never fail you.

  • Atlas Bear, a very good choice overall. It especially stands out for the axe, but this big guy is perfectly suited for anyone with an extremely aggressive playstyle with any weapon. Grapple recovery should be pretty helpful in an environment where, god fucking willing, healing is very limited, especially if you roll it on your weapon too. Lightning is going to be the most dangerous element in PvP, since any other elemental status you can stall until it wears off, but lightning is severely hampering even for that, never mind actual combat.

  • Kara-Jishi This one is a bit more narrowly focused towards a certain build, but it will give you some benefit as long as you level skill a bit and use lightning. No useless bonuses here, and everything on it is quite good.

A TIER, Very solid choices

  • Suzaku The fate of this bird depends entirely on whether LW will be in PvP. Since I think it's fair to assume it will be, I'm going to say that this spirit is going to be extremely powerful. However since it's not a sure thing I'm going to put her in the A tier; if it's as good as it seems like it could be, like how it is in PvE, she could easily be in the S tier. This could be a serious bitch to deal with, and if I'm right we'll be dealing with it a lot. If players start with a full gauge, even more so. If not, you might be able to blitz them before the spirit can even charge, giving a viable strategy to dodge the problem entirely. If LW is dropped, which would surprise me, she will be complete and total trash.

  • Tengen Kujaku I'll admit I've underestimated this guy for a while, partly because of how complex he is. In doing research however, I've discovered that he's actually very, very good- the elemental stuff is good, makes it easier to maintain weapon buffs and generally increases your damage, but the amrita absorption bonus is where he really shines. The buffs you get off this are insane. Damage bonus for absorbing Amrita in high stance is very, very significant, damage reduction for mid is nothing to scoff at, and Ki recovery for low is equally great. Amrita on attack makes your character a ton more powerful, and all you have to do to keep these buffs up is land hits. It's effortless for how much you're getting out of them in return, if you mix up your stances it's basically like having sacred water, power pills, and steel talismans all up simultaneously for the entire level. For fucking free. No maintenance or stopping to reapply. This should work in PvP too, since your enemies won't even think about it, just keep scoring hits. If you fight a TK user in PvP, I think a good idea would be to back off and wait out the buff, take it really slow, you'll have to be cautious and patient when fighting these guys once PvP drops.

  • Genbu Yes, the dash speed hurts and looks extremely goofy. But the amount of defense this thing provides for a magic build is unbelievable. A big fat chunk of Onmyo power also helps, and the hyper armor casting is going to catch a lot of people off guard. This is a very, very good spirit, and it's definitely my choice for PvP onmyo builds.

  • Enko Rock solid pick. No outstanding weaknesses and the strengths are pretty good. This guy is going to have a very good use- breaking guards. Getting lit on fire in PvP is going to cause a dilemma, do I sit here and let myself burn? Or do I dodge around four times and waste some ki? If they choose the former, that's some nice extra damage. If they choose the latter, you have +25 break to smash their now weakened guards with and 30% grapple damage on the other end of it.

  • Fuse-Ushi +300 life is nuts. Guard ki reduction is going to come in very handy, and the life recovery from amrita absorption is crazy good when paired with the accompanying roll on the chest piece. The poison stuff is weird and redundant, I don't know why there's two of them- antidotes would be able to take care of that just fine anyway, but hey, now you don't have to worry about poison as much, which is cool.

B TIER, Situational

  • Izuna Pretty good, for a wind build that uses amrita heals. CC ki reduction can and should be remarkably helpful even if you don't use those. But if you're going to use this spirit you should, you'll want to get the most out of it. I think your guardian spirit is the best thing to build around as opposed to a set or a particular weapon.

  • Hi-nezumi Maybe he should be the highest in this tier, idk, he's quite good actually. The stealth for enemies thing obviously isn't doing anybody any favors, but everything else is pretty alright. Onymo magic power is good, fire resist, a really big bonus to critical attack, and lots of unlimited onmyo for long fights or shot spam. At first I thought he would be bad for PvP, can't imagine why now.

  • Gyokuto My favorite ninja spirit, dash speed may be deceptively helpful, disorienting your opponent, running around instead of dodging, it will be helpful for the chaos that a ninja playstyle should cultivate. Some extra damage for quick attacks not bad, A big chunk of ninjutsu power, and elixir bonus to make the few/only heal(s) you have go that much further. Biggest problem is that the growths from 1-30 are quite weak.

  • Shinka Got some good stuff here, but absolutely none of it is anywhere near exceptional. It's a very middling spirit. It's the one I use though, so don't get too caught up in the rankings here, it fits my build pretty nicely. Strong attack life drain pairs well with an extra roll on a spear, pokes give a nice bit of HP back. The small number is deceptive.

  • Isonade Fuse-ushi offers double the life, Kato gives you pretty much the same CCD, and the strong attack ki usage is highly overshadowed by Izuna. But nobody gives you these things together. There are better picks, not much reason to use this guy really, but if you really want to he's not that bad by any means and offers a reasonable combination of bonuses.

C Tier, Probably better choices

  • Daiba-Washi I know I said I wouldn't rank spirits based on their talisman attacks, but this one deserves a bit of a shout out. The spirit itself is decent at best, but it's attack is basically a free crit if you can land it, which I expect should be somewhat possible… against bad players. Once people get wise to this, Daiba-Washi is just a middle of the road pick.

  • Usura-hicho Actually not a terrible spirit. Much better for PvE but it has it's uses. Not bad for a water build. Not much to say really.

  • Aya-Komori The big number that everybody loves on this spirit is the ~20% unlimited ninjutsu. I'm not so enamored by it. I doubt it will be all that decisive in PvP, more as a crutch to make up for poor use of resources, and it's other bonuses are… well, we'll have to wait and see. This is a very good PvE spirit, but back attacks, killing strikes, and paralysis are simply not going to be major concerns most likely. The extra killing blow heal might be nice, but a good player will probably get hit by them very rarely, and the window against players is tiny so you'll need to be right on top of them. The Agility bonus can just get rolled on a cannon if you're so determined to use that also. That said, if you can make use of this stuff, if you're a really crafty ninja that needs lots of tools and can use the confusion to get behind people, maybe with makubishi or something, I could see it working. I'm curious to see how this functions. Could be a lot better than I'm giving it credit for.

  • Paired Raiken The only bonuses it gives that are relevant to PvP are trivial. It's not useless, but it's certainly not good. I suppose you could be focusing on breaking guards with it, but that's the only thing it offers that's worth a shit.

Garbage Tier, you'll need a very good excuse to whip these out

  • Narikama Tanuki would require some seriously cheesy, obnoxious tactics to be any good. If you get low and then run around like a baby scared of it's own shadow for 30 seconds, then yes, it will be painfully viable, but it's slow. If you get lucky with the unlimited elixir, holy shit fuck off. It's the only reason it's this high, it might be really good for a healbitch. Outside of that though? Trash. 13% strong attack damage? Kato gives you 13% damage to all of your attacks. Vs. Earth? Who gives a shit. Get your roll-catching skills ready guys. Unfortunately this one might have to go a little higher if it works as I fear in PvP.

  • Yatagarasu Sorry Peeve, I really, really don't see guns or bows being a factor in PvP. In invasions or any other kind of dynamic level-based hunt, certainly. If you can paralyze the opponent, sure, but unlimited ammo would be overkill for that. If they introduce dual pistols that are faster to draw and can lock on, things get a lot more interesting. If you're really good as using sleight of hand and smokescreens like broth or explosions to line up a shot, holy shit you're cool. But as things stand, look elsewhere.

  • Itokuri Unless you're really focusing on paralyze, forget about it. Literally not one good reason outside of that. If you are doing paralyze though, hard to pass up.

  • Saoirse The special effects (critical) is interesting. But the rest of the spirit is nowhere near good enough to justify that. If you're looking to farm Amrita you've come to the wrong place.

  • Mizuchi Looks can't kill unfortunately. No good for PvP, only thing nice it gives it water resistance.

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