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Spiral Knights Complete Equipment Guide

I normally lock myself in the suggestions subforum but I figured I may as well contribute something for new users to read through before they spend time and money on something they may not end up enjoying. For those unfamiliar with what I normally work on refer to this thread and go through either of the indexes to explore several articles proposed thus far. Similarly to the previously link I will be using the first post of the current thread as an index for analyses of weapons for those questioning whether the weapon they have their eye on is worth an arm and a leg. "You care about new people?" Not particularly, but if it means educating at least one person instead of leaving them to rot and suffer then it would be worth the effort. These notes are based on personal experience though personal preference may influence the tone of writing occasionally. Tutorials from others will be linked in the index so readers can skip to what they want to see instead of trucking through the whole thing. These notes are not the only way to use the equipment but tend to have more positive results than what most new users attempt. Feel free to point out errors and incorrect points. If anyone has questions feel free to chat with me personally in game; my knight name is the same as my forum name. Do not send personal requests for donation. Weapons, shields, and armor (helmet and torso) equipment will be discussed here in a somewhat relevant order to how commonly they are picked up by newer players, meaning Wolver armor will be one of the first few articles to address. The index is divided by equipment type to prevent ambiguity but will be listed in chronological order in their respective divisions. I intentionally exclude equipment which does not reach 4* at least because they are short term items which will be abandoned to make room for something which does continue. Equipment is listed at its base variant (lowest star rank available) but their maximum variants are addressed in the individual notes. Yerp.

Cobalt armor
After skipping through the dialogue in Faith in Armor you got some new armor, it has normal and pierce defense. Those trap/drone/what-was-that enemies were rolling around and more defense sounds good to you right now. You open up your inventory and equip it after headbutting that "are you sure you want to equip this" window in the face and you now look different. Your helmet has a little face visor lifted up and your armor looks sturdier. You must feel pretty good about yourself. Well, you should; Cobalt was the first armor set they designed and recipes have always been somewhat easy to obtain from an NPC in the bazaar at base prices, but you just got the 2* parts for free. Congratulations. As you can see there no status resistances or special bonuses, but it has more defense than what you are used to using; you decide to use it over your recently obtained mission reward equipment anyway. It looks too good to waste. Now that you have pierce defense you realize something: pierce attacks do less damage to you. This would be a perfect opportunity to fight some Wolvers or jellies. What would they do, make a stain on your new armor? Laughable at best. You jump right back into the Clockworks and start bashing heads. Since your head is metal and theirs are organic the sound of crunching bone reverberates with every clash. Your health still whittles down with every hit taken, but you are on top of the world today. Unfortunately this is your inevitable downfall: you are not invincible. You have more defense, but damage is still being taken. You still have to watch yourself. At least now you have more padding for when you use that weird new weapon that leaves you wide open for an attack. Cobalt set gives no other bonuses other than its normal health and defense effects, but at least it has more base defense than Wolver lines. If you want to work on something cheap and easy to obtain resources required to build armor up, Cobalt set gives you recipes for free starting with the armor at 2* (Cobalt) and giving you the recipes from then on up to 5* (Azure Guardian). It may not be the best armor around, but you got it for a lot less than the other knights around you with their fancy dresses and what not.

You still have that Cobalt armor coupling from earlier, now you have its matching shield: Defender. It also has more defense than your current shield and also gives you even more piercing. You still need to mind getting hit, because death is bad, but you can now take two hard attacks instead of just one. Whether that one deflection matters is entirely situational but most of the time it means not taking the hit. Like all shields you can use it to defend against attacks as the name implies. Shields can also be used to bump enemies away from you but I will leave tactics others have addressed out of this. You have a better shield now, rejoice. It may not have any status resistance or anything special, but you got it for free; not much to complain about. Just like the Cobalt armor you get the recipes for free throughout the mission storyline. You get free stuff for playing the game. I want to know why beggars exist when this system practically rewards them for having the initiative to reward themselves. But I digress, Cobalt is not so great later on anyway; it is still useful, but for most it simply does not satisfy what everyone wants in armor. The shield has decent defense, though. The armor may not be so great but the shield is worth keeping around.

This is going to be a doozy. Fasten your seat belts, keep all hands and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and do not remove your undergarments while the vehicle is in motion. You probably need those.
From personal experience, Blast is the most commonly used bomb for the Clockworks. Why? Because everyone gets it for free with their Defender from earlier. Hurray, something that explodes, everyone loves explosions. Unfortunately for us this bomb has a few stipulations to its use. The first problem is that bombs rely on the charge attack to be used, since being able to use it without a charge attack was removed back when dinosaurs roamed Cradle. That means you have to charge it before attacking, but since you have no charge bonuses on it yet you have to wait five seconds for the stupid thing to load. Then when it does charge you have to find somewhere to plant it, only for it to detonate a second after in a fairly small radius. What a disappointment. All bombs are like this at first, but later on you could walk into a bar and belch a bomb on someone and they explode into derpbillion tiny pairs of pants. Then you walk out because drinking is for chumps. But where we are right now, this is pretty disappointing. All that waiting, just for a little explosion? Fast forward an indefinite amount of time and effort and you have one of four variants: Nitronome, Irontech Destroyer, Big Angry, and the oddball Heavy Deconstructor.
Nitronome is the oldest brother. Best at everything overall, the only one to get a car from dad, quarterback for his college football team; the big guy no one wants to mess with. Unfortunately for those around him he tends to let his ego get in the way of what his father always told him: "Son, you have a little knockback on detonation; try not to misuse that in parties by throwing enemies into team members when it inhibits whatever they are doing." Nitronome always laughed and said "Dad, we both know everything I do is perfect." Then he laughs. Dad is not laughing. Dad knows back when he was in the war his best friend died because someone else was a little too demo-happy and ended up blasting an enemy into him, taking his life as dad watched in horror. It was awful. Dad still has nightmares about it. Fortunately Nitronome is one of the least of his worries along with the youngest, Heavy Deconstructor. The other two are the real worry warrants. Back on topic, Nitronome has maximum range at 5* (about four space radius), deals pure normal damage, and has some knockback from the epicenter of where the bomb was placed. If an enemy is chasing you and you want it out of your face, throw a Nitronome over your shoulder and see if they get a blast out of it; but keep in mind the fuse is what sets off the blast. You might be giving the enemy a free knockback ride onto your back if it comes between you and the bomb epicenter, resulting in it being knocked forward instead of away from you.
Irontech seems to be a hybrid between Nitronome and Big Angry so I will skip to the latter: the punk rocker second oldest, Big Angry. This guy is pretty beefed up, packing more punch than Nitronome; but from excessive physical excersize he became a little too buffed up, interfering with his physical abilities. He can still crack your head open like an egg with a headlock, but he has to catch up to you first; his muscles are too big and heavy to run as fast as Nitronome. In fact, while charging Big Angry the user slows significantly while charging. You also take one second longer than Nitronome to charge. Dad hates Big Angry because he is everything that killed his old buddy back in the war but in child form. Big Angry takes out his aggression on the other kids at school and has been expelled several times. Poor guy. Fortunately for those who seek the tale of this sad old giant I decided to adopt, though several knockback related shenanigans ensued. Herp derp. It has about a fourth more base damage than Nitronome but has a lower radius by one space at 5*, one second longer charge time, and forces the user to move significantly slower while charging; your only real advantages are the little more damage and hilarious knockback. Big Angry decided to go rogue after being belted a few times by dad so he went on the road and made a living with a gang of misused knockback spammers, Pulsar leading the gang; they wreaked havoc all across Cradle. Dad cried every night after reading in the paper about how his son Big Angry was affiliated with Pulsar. He was going to disown him but after the Graviton incident he decided to give Big Angry another chance. Maybe he would use his knockback for good instead of evil. Ha, what a laugh; use it to throw enemies far enough for them to think "what just happened" on the other side of Cradle. An ally is trapped in a group of obnoxious Mecha Knights? Nope, Big Angry slaps them all in the face and headbutts them in their main processors.
The youngest brother tends to be obnoxious or idolizing, right? Heavy Deconstructor is the latter; he thinks he wants to be like Nitronome but at the same time he likes to beat up robot related enemies. Little HDecon has an obsession with the crunching of metal, machines deactivating at the very sight of his power; unfortunately he stopped growing early at 4* so his use as an offensive bomb is somewhat low, meaning Nitronome outshines him in the long run, but they are so cute when they are young. As it currently stands Heavy Deconstructor is outmatched by Nitronome but in my thread in the suggestions subforum I have notes to help him bulk up in time for tryouts. Little HDecon may not be the biggest, toughest, or meanest, but at least he is different. Little hipster.

Originally this was going to be Cutter or Autogun, but since the mission update this sword has become fairly common. Yes, the classic we-are-not-copying-Zelda-at-all sword with the same old three hit combo in the same old bland sword design until you upgrade it more; however, there is one thing you have over almost everyone else: your spinning charge attack. Just do the twist.
Unlike those other wimpy swords which allow the user to hide in coward-land, you get to run right in the middle of everything and spin all over their hind quarters. Calibur can deal the damage from the spinning charge attack three times at the most, determined by whether the target is still close enough to hit as your spinning is too dazzling for those idiots to handle standing next to you. The solution? Find somewhere you can spin on them without blasting them to China. Like a wall. If it is something immobile like a turret then you are in luck, just do the twist and they explode in wimpiness; what are they going to do, spin more than you? What a joke. You own this dance. They are all sissies. Leviathan line is part of the Cobalt seriesesieses and its recipes are also given to you for free, so you get a sword for cheap that lets you dance all you want. Come on and twist, yeah, baby, twist.
For those a little more easy going, there is an option for you to still spin. Vanquisher line gives up a little damage, most of its knockback, and has some undead family bonus. You may not blast enemies to China, but Hawaii is still pretty far. Your damage may not be the best, but your sword has chains on it and you are not recklessly throwing enemies everywhere, meaning less chance to interfere with distance based allies. Even if they are hiding like little babies.
Be careful where you spin. Similar to the Blast lines, you still knock enemies away from the epicenter; that epicenter is you. Try not to upset dad, he just woke up from his nap. He would probably belt Leviathan if he catches him spinning recklessly. Vanquisher is just a little mischievous but normally he disappoints everyone from his slightly lower damage. He has to hold himself back to not become another Leviathan.

By now you have the Cobalt armor, shield, a Calibur, and that stupid Blast you plan to leave in your closet collecting dust. Unless you are into ballistics, in which case wait for the Spiral Demo stuff. We get to roll around in dirt and blast powder all we want. Now you have a gun to slap that old ball out of your hands, the Blaster. It acts a lot like your old Proto gun but with more damage and now your bullets are blue. It matches your other equipment in color design. You still have the same three shot clip, the charge attack still pushes the enemy back somewhat, but at the end of the day when you walk out of this lemonade stand with a Valiance you realize something: the normal attacks have a little knockback at all ranges of the bullet path. It may not have the obnoxious bullet vomiting Pulsar does, but you can flick an obnoxious enemy off your ally with a quick shot. Not blast them over to Russia, but just enough to push them into the ocean. Instead of being eaten by Russian schoolgirls they get to drown. The gun is basically just a more damaging version of your old Proto gun until it gets to Valiance, but when you get there you make a decent support flicker; yes, you get a job flicking things. Not that stuff in your nose, the enemies. Put the finger down. Blaster line always deals normal damage, but as you will notice each bullet is not as powerful as a single Calibur line swing; the sword forces you to stay in proximity of something about to rip your face off and staple it on your back while the gun lets you use the field around you to manipulate positioning by maintaining a safe distance while spitting loogies in their face. If an ally is just standing around and a bunch of pirahna headbutt them in the face, just throw a bullet and those little snots plop right off. The charge attack fires a giant bullet which knocks those stalkers right off your trail somewhat like Blast or Calibur knocks enemies off you. Be wary of your knockback, it may end up pushing the enemy right into someone else using the same gun. Then you get to play tennis with the enemy who eventually smashes both of your teeth in.

I know what you are thinking. It has a five swing combo, each swing has an after-hit which deals a little extra damage, and you can spam this thing everywhere anywhere all the time forever always. Sure, in lower tiers you might enjoy rolling around and slapping everything in the face, but at the end of the day all you have is a dagger. Yes, we do have daggers in this game; but there is no dual wielding, you just get one. Not that you have any reason to complain. Your basic attack combo is basically ten hits. What more could you want? The charge attack is pretty bad, but the basic attack is what you are using this sword for. The charge attack is only useful on a target which is not moving, not attacking, and basically just sitting there doing absolutely nothing. Which is almost never. The basic attack, on the other hand, lets you flail around all you want while the enemy is trying to face you to retaliate. Use this speed to your advantage. Try not to get trapped by a crowd of enemies, you have no knockback unlike the spin on Calibur or push on Blast.
Unlike Blaster but similar to Calibur, you have two options when upgrading this: Dread Venom or Wild Hunting.
Venom has no particular special effects, but it has a chance to poison the target on any of its hits. Poison decreases defense of the afflicted by a fourth, reduces their attack damage by a third, and completely prevents healing. Little do most know this weapon is intended for "assassin" tactics, sneaking up behind someone and derping out a spasm of slashes to poison the oblivious idiot. Trojans are a fun target to do this on. All you need to do is trick it into attacking, but be sure to get out of the way before the sword comes down and knocks you to India. When they are trying to lift that sword off the floor, because it is very heavy, their vulnerable back is completely exposed for some surprise action. If this does not shame them enough to commit suicide, you probably poisoned them anyway; they do less damage in case you do get hit and they take more damage. You win either way.
Wild Hunting is a little different. You have no status affliction ability like Dread Venom, but you have a bonus against beast family; lizards, Wolvers, those silly things. To be honest, Wild Hunting is more of a decoration than a weapon compared to Dread Venom; your attacks have pretty little animations, but in reality there are other weapons which outclass this thing immensely. If you still want to use this thing you basically do the same thing as with Dread Venom, but without the poison.
This weapon is best used against less targets at once since you have almost no area of effect or crowd control ability, but on a single target they are the one who has to bend over.

Finally, something which is not a copy of your old Proto. Autogun is one of the weird guns, not allowing mobility while firing yet firing several bullets at once. You may do more damage, but without mobility you are a sitting duck. Quack. You saw this on the auction or someone told you it has the most potential damage of any gun, so you figured you may as well buy it. All you have to do is face off against the opponent and fire first, right? Wrong. Autogun is not so simple. The key feature of this weapon, unlike Cutter, is its charge attack; the basic attack is useful sometimes, but the charge attack is where the funk is. It fires a floury of bullets at once on the charge attack, barraging the few targets who may be standing in range until they cry for their mommies. You may not be able to move while firing, but if you play your cards right they would be dead before you stop firing. Unlike Proto and company, this gun only has a two shot clip- but both of those shots is actually six bullets fired at once. While firing you are completely unable to do anything: no moving, no turning, no stopping, no shielding, no service. You are stuck. If you do plan on using this gun, be sure to mind precautionary hazards. Dying because the enemy out-maneuvers you is not your goal. Boolit go in other man. Or woo-man. Or whatever you are firing at.
Autogun has three upgrade lines, all of which are useful in different ways: Blitz, Plague, and Volcanic Pepperbox.
Blitz trades in its normal damage for piercing bullets of death. Of the three possible lines for Autogun, Blitz has the most damage alone; if the enemy trips and their face is in the dirt, turn them into a pincushion. A dead pincushion. That is dead. From boolit. Your tactics will stay the same as with Autogun but you have to watch out for enemies resistant to your damage.
Plague is a little different from Blitz. It gives up some damage in exchange for the chance to inflict poison status. You may not deal as much damage, but poison means the target takes more damage and does less to you. Normally if you can set up using an Autogun in a certain situation you can have someone else also using one; more specifically, someone else using a Blitz. Plague opens the target up for more damage, Blitz comes in and sits on their head. Plague still works alone, but it contributes to team tactics better than isolating yourself.
This last one is more of a tactical weapon than its counterparts. So far all we know about Autogun is it deals a lot of damage in a berserk outburst of bullets everywhere. V.Pepperbox is the only one of the three lines which stays with normal damage, but is significantly weaker; to compensate they gave it the chance to inflict fire status. This means you can frolic around with a V.Pepperbox, fire a round on something so it starts burning, and run away. Most try to use V.Pepperbox like a Blitz or Plague, only to realize the charge attack pushes enemies away. Come back, I just want to kill you! Although its overall damage is lower in spite of the fire status, the biggest neon sign is the knockback on charge: you can keep things away from you. More specifically, you can trap a target in a corner while maintaining distance from it. Plague and Blitz want the target to be stuck in one place so they can blast it. Pepperbox can pin a target in a corner. The problem with this is the charge time; it takes a few seconds to prepare that knockback effect. If one person has a Blitz, another one has a Plague, and two have V.Pepperbox your party can keep a couple targets pinned down and gang ba- gang kill them. It takes a lot of balls to use this one.

You probably looked back at that old Blast and thought to yourself: "Why are you not useful for me? I just wanted to blow everything into tiny pants." Dry those tears, you have hope yet to be gained in bombing even if you only want to use it as a sidearm. Vaporizers are the status based bombs. They take a second longer than the standard charge time (five seconds) but you get a little cloud that inflicts the suiting status for a few seconds. Amazing! Now those burning Oilers can be cooled off without having to kill them first. At first the cloud is too puny and short lived to satisfy, but later on you can walk into the same bar as earlier and stink up the place with a Venom Veiler or burn the whole place down with Ash of Agni. Actually, there are several statuses to choose from: fire, shock, freeze, poison, and stun. Unfortunately collecting them all does not win you a prize. There is also no option to combine them into a giant robot which belches statuses in the faces of your enemies, although that would be interesting. Since all Vaporizer bombs have the same mechanic I am forced to discuss how the status is used. For the mechanic itself, basically you are using it to inflict a certain status on the giant crowd of targets chasing after you; once the cloud is set, it only takes a couple seconds to trigger. If the target is affiliated with a certain status they are immune to it. Technically this bomb does have an offensive use, but the damaging effect only occurs when the bomb detonates in a single space radius around the epicenter upon detonation. It can still be used to attack, but the main focus of this weapon is the giant mist cloud.
Everyone likes doing more damage. Fire likes to deal damage. Make some damage babies or something. Ash of Agni is the fire Vaporizer line, burning down those morons chasing you for kicks. It may not have any fancy mobility or bonus effect like the others, but everything would have burned to death already. Usually this weapon is avoided for its lack of support utility, but against a dozen or so Mecha Knights this thing melts their metal until they are all squishy. Fire deals damage to a small area of effect around the afflicted, approximately in a 0.3 space radius; do not stand on top of someone burning. If they ask you to join in a group picture run away from them.
Zap. Spasm. Run. Zap. Spasm. Run. Repeat. That is Voltaic Tempest. Unlike most of the other Vaporizers, Voltaic line starts as a token reward from the Roarmulus boss. You have to fight the giant turrets a few times or buy the baby static shenanigan from someone who did. If fire and freeze had a baby, it would be shock; you get the constant damage of fire, but not as much, and the mobility crippling of freeze, but only sometimes. The key point of this status is the complete incapacitation phases when the status ticks, or when it takes effect every second; the afflicted spasms, during which they take a little damage from the status and are completely out of control of themself. All they can do is stand there. If it just stopped the afflicted from moving it would be the perfect middle ground between fire and freeze, but instead it completely stops whatever they thought they were doing. This also dominates Kats of all ages, preventing them from moving at all; Kats have to move before they can attack, so take one of these whenever you feel like getting the Kat back in the bag. Similar to fire, shock also has a small area of effect for the damage. In fact, it counts as an attack; if an afflicted enemy stands next to a box in range of the effect it will break it.
Since I already referenced it, the freeze line of Vaporizer bombs is Shivermist Buster. This is the most commonly used one because its status completely stops movement so long as the afflicted is frozen, but if thawed by being attacked or over time they are free as a bird. A killer bird of death that wants to eat you. Usually this Vaporizer is used in support of someone else using an Autogun, keeping the target stuck while the Autogun brings the pain. Unlike shock, you can still attack and shield while frozen; but no turning or moving. Also, to be thawed you do not have to be attacked by something that damages you; an ally can take a swing and you bust right out. By the same token targets frozen can not be moved without being thawed, so try not to trap an ally by surrounding them with enemies then freezing them. If they stole your milk money when you were a kid then do it anyway. If the afflicted is allowed to stay frozen until the status wears off they take a single, larger hit from the status. Freeze something, leave it for a while, come back when room temperature; serves one to four.
Poison. This may be the most underestimated status, though stun rivals it fairly well. It may not deal damage like the three above, but it does lower enemy stats and completely prevent healing while in effect. More specifically, one fourth of their defense and one third of their attack are confiscated from them. That does not mean you get to use those values, but that target is now more vulnerable and deals less damage until the effect wears off. It is also unhealable. That means no more of those pesky butterflies or medics. In fact, poison those too; they should be the first to die. Shut up, medics, I have a status that makes you useless. Similar to freeze this status is best used in support tactics, such as crippling a giant crowd of targets before someone else comes in and beats them all into various geometrical shapes.
Supposedly stun is still a broken status, though the last time I checked with my Sudaruska it works fine. That was a couple weeks ago. Anyway, the stun line Stagger Storm can only be obtained through Krogmo minigame rewards. You have to do silly minigames before you can play with this one. The shock Vaporizer comes from Roarmulus and the other Vaporizers are crafted as normal equipment. Ha, normal. Hipsters have no need for normality. Stun slows down reality for the afflicted in every way: movement and actions. Running is slower, attacks are slower, everything is slower. Someone came up to you and broke time. From what I have seen, this is the most rarely used Vaporizer of the bunch. It may not be the best or easiest to obtain, but for collectors this is the last one they need to form the giant belching robot mentioned earlier.

Bristling Buckler
I know what you are thinking. This is just Defender with some sword damage with a little less defense. And you would be right, that is exactly what this is; the difference is obtaining it is more difficult. Not that getting things for free is difficult compared to anything, but compared to the average crafted item this is one of the bigger dogs.
Bristling Buckler is, as previously mentioned, a slightly lower defense version of Defender line; however, instead of giving defense somewhere else it gives you a sword damage bonus instead. Lovely. If you do not like to use swords for your primary weapon Defender would be better for you if you still want a decent and cheap shield with normal and pierce defense, but in this house we are going to talk about Bristling Buckler or you are grounded for a week. With no dessert. Or lemons. This shield is obtained by exchanging some tokens obtained by defeating Snarbolax a few times at Brinks, along with a couple weapons we will discuss later. That means not now. Seeing as swords are the most commonly used weapon, this is one of the most commonly sought shields; it gives you more damage and all you lose is a little defense on the shield. At first this seems horrible, but at the end of the day you realize that it was completely worth it. You only lose a little bit of defense on your shield, which regenerates eventually anyway; when you get in later tiers that little defense rarely ever matters. If you prefer guns and/or bombs that little defense is more viable than buffing a weapon you never/rarely use anyway, but for the majority of people this is one of your offense bonus shields to use when you want to hit hard. From 2* to 4* it only gives a +1 (Low = +1, Medium = +2) sword damage bonus and at 5* gives you a +2 sword damage bonus. This type of bonus only stacks up to +6. Similar to Defender, you do not have any element or shadow defense; be careful around those suckers. Back to how to obtain this spiked chunk of bark with eyes on it, it is a token reward from Snarbolax. Snarbolax is currently the only T1 boss. You only need ten tokens from the crunchy fluffy behemoth and you get somewhere between one and five tokens each time you fight it, depending on how recently you joined the party. If you created the party to begin with and you have been there for the whole tier all the way, you are likely to get at least three. If you joined right before the boss you are probably only going to get one or two. The more floors you do before the boss, the more tokens you are supposed to get.

If you use swords primarily you probably switched out that old Defender for the Bristling Buckler after repeating the Snarbolax mission a few times for tokens and crowns. You have a shield that gives you more sword damage, what about your armor? Cobalt is nice and all, but you want more damage. Fortunately for you and the other derpbillion people who use swords primarily, there is armor specifically designed for each weapon with at least two options of bonuses. For swords Wolver can give you either sword damage or attack speed when maxed out, but until you get there your only bonus is some damage. Similar to the Bristling Buckler line you only get +1 sword damage per item (the helmet and torso each give the bonus) until 5*, where Skolver gives you +2 sword damage per part and Vog Cub gives you +2 sword attack speed per part. Before moving on to those two, sit around the table for a while before going out to play. As referred to a few times already, Wolver is one of the most commonly used armors. Why? Because most people like using swords; they do damage now, no questions asked. All you have to do is smash your face on your keyboard and everything dies. Not literally, of course, but most know what I mean. If you do not know what I mean get your eyeballs out of your toes and put them back in your noggin. So the pupils face outward. Yes, both of them. Wolver line prefaced the Bristling Buckler in terms of trolling the Cobalt set by giving up only a little defense in exchange for damage bonuses, meaning Cobalt is abandoned to people who think they want to tank while everyone else rolls around with damage bonuses. Again, Wolver and Bristling Buckler only gives their bonuses to swords; the bonus does not apply to guns or bombs. Unlike Bristling Buckler, Wolver equipment (helmet and torso) is obtained through regular crafting or purchase from someone else who crafted it. Since the crafting cost for a 2* is about 700Cr not including the energy, which can use your free mist, it is up to you whether crafting it or buying it is more reasonable. Keep in mind recipes can be used infinite times and are not consumed when you craft. This means you can craft that same item, if you have the materials required, as often as you want; try not to use more than your mist when crafting 2* and lower rank items because they do not require it. You want to save that crystallized energy for 3*+ when you have to use it. While crafting you have a 10% chance of getting what is well known as being a UV (unique/unusual variant) which gives an extra effect. Depending on what the item is has various options for what a UV may give. For example, only armor (helmet and torso) and shields can give defense against damage types and statuses, but only weapons can have damage bonuses against enemy families, charge time reduction, or attack speed increase (does not apply to bombs because bombs do not have an attack speed applied to its mechanic; there is a speed amount on bombs but that tends to refer to movement speed while charging). You can only obtain UVs two ways: crafting and Punch. If you get the UV(s) you want early in the crafting process you can save yourself money in exchange for some time, but you would be saving a lot of money depending on what UV you want. If you go through Punch you have to slash your wallet, but the price does not change regardless of what star rank the item is; this is mainly used for items which are not craftable, like that Bristling Buckler you obtained earlier, after being crafted to their highest variant and no UV appeared or you got something you do not want. When did this become a UV tutorial?
Skolver stays consistent with the sword damage bonus effect and pierce damage, as well as keeping freeze status defense. You probably never noticed it had freeze defense the whole time. Each part (helmet and torso) gives +2 sword damage bonus, meaning if you get both of them and max out that spiked shield you get the maximum sword damage bonus. You have a little less defense than someone who stuck with their old Cobalt and made it to Azure Guardian, but you do more sword damage and have some freeze defense. Life is good. Besides, by the time the Cobalt guy manages to kill one thing you already cleared the next couple rooms. You have more dents and bruises, but you deal more damage overall.
Vog Cub is a little strange. You may not have the damage bonus you used to, but now you have element defense instead of pierce and fire resistance instead of freeze. Strange. You try to swing that old Troika you found for some reason. Suddenly it swings as fast as the Calibur you have always used, which is now a lot faster as well. Strange. You also now have element defense instead of pierce, meaning you can take hits better against different enemies. Those robots will never know what hit them, now that your attacks are faster and their damage is pathetic. Fire defense also helps back you up by resisting that status that usually kills you. Skolver may have freeze defense, but you are too busy swinging around everywhere before the enemies even see it coming to notice. Fire? Nope, resistance. It may not be perfect resistance but Skolver is busy smashing everything while Vog Cub slashes and move on.

In higher tiers this weapon becomes an obvious fan favorite. You have split normal-element damage and the charge has a little range to use; more specifically, a series of explosions equal to the star rank which may inflict a status depending on which alchemy line you are using: Combuster for fire, Glacius for freeze, Voltedge for shock, and Acheron for shadow damage instead of element but no status. There is another line, Cautery, but as it currently stands this thing is useless. If you have money to burn and you want a pretty little toy, after you eat your vegetables you can make it. All Brandish line swords have the same mechanic. The basic attack is the same as Calibur, but the charge attack is significantly different. You may not be able to spin with this, but with a solid slash and a few linear explosions you will see why people often prefer it. The explosions also increase in size with star rank, so do not cry about your puny little 3* explosions. I said stop crying. Do you want to wake up dad? He hates whining more than I do. In the war he was the sergeant for all the new recruits and he had them beat the not-chocolate pudding out of each other every day as part of their exercise. Would you prefer to go to camp dad and have your digestive process sped up the painful way? Then eat your vegetables. The first part of the charge attack is the swing which does decent damage but has a small area of effect. That means you have to get in the face of your opponent before cutting their head off similar to how Calibur runs up to a crowd of them and spins their internal organs out of their nostrils in reverse alphabetical order. The explosions following the attack are often wasted if you do this, and I may be giving more power to the papaya, but if you use the attack next to the target and shield bump them in the direction of the explosions it will usually make them follow the trail depending on your timing. From what I have seen a lot of people prefer to keep a distance like babies and spam the explosion trail on targets. Because they are babies. You waste the initial swing damage if you do that, so get in their face and take them surfing. Surfing on a wave of death. That kills them. Until they are dead. Hurr. This does not work as well with status lines which inhibit enemy movement such as freeze or shock so find something else to do with those. When using the charge attack it does count as a projectile so be wary when using it against defending enemies such as Mecha Knights. Now go wash your dishes.
I may as well start with the apparently more common one, Glacius. This is probably due to Lockdown, Vanaduke, or both. In Lockdown you stop one of the main abilities anyone relies on, mobility. You want to run around to bomb or gun? Nurp, you are frozen. A robocicle. All you need is some flavor and we can make a profit off you. In Vanaduke everything likes fire. There are fire pads, hotspots, and zombies that vomit fire all over the place. They are disgusting. What do you do about it? Apparently you freeze them with a Glacius. Personally, I always take my Shivermist with me for the big guy and a few moments in the floors before. I keep all four weapon slots open to keep variety while rolling around, more recently taking Radiant Sun and Storm Driver with me. The fourth weapon is usually a sword or something. I have Shivermist and Storm, usually those are all I use anyway. Them gunning tactics. Anyway, Glacius; you freeze stuff. You do not have to use the initial swing if you do not want to, but that means not doing as much damage. Be that way. See if I bring the drinks next time. Of all the alchemy lines only the explosions on the charge attacks for Combuster, Voltedge, and Glacius may inflict a status. No normal attacks, Acheron, or Cautery status affliction. None. Keep in mind when using the status afflicting lines that enemies may be affiliated with a status, meaning their attacks may inflict that status and they are resistant or like being afflicted with it.
Oddly enough, Voltedge is second. Unlike the other Brandish lines, Voltedge can only be obtained from Krogmo minigames through the reward recipes. It still upgrades from Brandish, but the recipes are only available if you do Lockdown and/or Blast Network. You can still use this to attack up close with the charge, but the status may interfere with surfing. Going surfing, surfing U.S.A. Why is this the only one not craftable through normal recipes? Shock. That is the reason. I am somewhat surprised the shock Alchemer is not there as well. The shock Vaporizer is already a boss token reward. Voltedge can be used as Glacius or Combuster, you have more versatility with this thing. Have fun. The normal definition of fun.
As Agni users say: "Burn everything everywhere forever always!" Combuster, if you could not tell by the name, inflicts fire on the charge attack explosions. Unlike the two above, this weapon is best used on the offense. Get in the fray, bash some heads, roll around in their ashes. Sounds like a homicidal pyromaniac. Dad would be proud. If you want to be a sissy you can still use the charge attack from a distance, but considering you want the world to burn and cry ashes you probably want to do more damage. What are you still doing here? Go burn those Lumbers down.
This one is a little silly. When a new person sees this weapon they automatically think something along the lines of: "Look a katana it are gudd because it look gudd I are buy now hurr". Weeaboo scum. Acheron is also the primary reason people try to suggest dual wielding, because when equipped the sheath is held in your shield side hand. That sheath does not necessarily need to be there, but it supposedly adds to the balance of having it look nice in exchange for not inflicting a status. Though this is used the same way as Combuster it does not inflict a status and has shadow damage instead of element, but still shares with normal. You may not have fire anymore, but now you can tackle what had resistance against your old Combuster and squish their faces into the shape of a walrus.

Similar to Brandish and Vaporizer lines, you have several status and non-status options: Magma, Storm, Hail, Nova, and Umbra. Also similar to how Brandish variants and Vaporizer variants are, Alchemers all have the exact same mechanical function: two shot clip, average boolit speed, approximately the same damage, and starting at 3* the bullets bounce off objects and enemies. The more you rank it, the more bouncing the bullets do; at 3* the basic bullets bounce once, at 4* they bounce twice, at 5* they can bounce three times. Since you have a two shot clip you can bounce boolits around all you want, except reloading may get in the way of maintaining a distance. Not that you need to be far away, the bullets bounce from any distance though if they do not bounce within a certain length of travel they will dissipate. The status variants are also similar to those of Vaporizer and Brandish lines but in gun form. In terms of basic tactics there are two options for using an Alchemer: primary attack and quick shot. Primary attack uses the charge attack almost exclusively against groups of enemies, using the bouncing bullet effect to use enemy placement as an advantage. Yes, you benefit from where they are standing when you fire. With the charge attack regardless of star rank the after-bullets which come from the giant orb fired in the charge attack follow a slightly arced angle toward the position fired from. This means firing straight forward will not make the bullets which come out of the charge attack after the big one dissipates go forward unless they bounce off things. The bouncing effect appears to go to random angles from what I have seen. It would make more sense for it to bounce in appropriate angles in reference to the position of the user, but instead it goes random. Stand perfectly still in front of a wall and fire a few times. Random ricochet directions. This means exact positioning on the basic attack is not reliable for the tactical gunner, though it should be to further reward skill over mindless spamming. Like Pulsar. In the right hands Alchemer combines area of effect damage with mobility, where Autoguns rely on gang tactics to take down something by leaning on each other the Alchemer tactically outmaneuvers and confuses the enemies. Quick shot uses the Alchemer as a sidearm, switching to the Alchemer for a single shot then switching back to whatever other weapon for a surprise attack when the opponent did not expect the Spanish Inquisition. I am the only one I have seen use an Alchemer for this but it is more useful with a status afflicting Alchemer. Preferably Hail or Storm. They thought you were going to swing your Brandish or something, but instead they are suddenly frozen. I would list the alchemy lines in order of how commonly they are used but I have only seen a couple people using one in the past few months. Including myself.
Magma has element damage and the ability to inflict fire. Sneak around while the enemies are having their tea party, then bust in a flaming bullet of bouncing death and tactically retreat or switch to another weapon to finish them off.
Hail also has element damage, but instead of fire it has freeze. I never would have guessed by the name. When you want to get away from your groupies, put them on ice. Give them the cold shoulder. Other ice puns. Hail is used similarly to Glacius in the sense of support potential, tapping several enemies at once on the shoulder and leaving them frigid.
Similar to Voltedge and Voltaic, Storm has the versatile status shock. You can spam the charge attack with this in a crowd and not worry about thawing, because they spasm regardless so long as they are shocked, and it keeps them relatively close instead of letting them roll around as they wish. Unlike them, Storm is not obtained through a token exchange or days of minigame spamming. It crafts like a normal weapon. No shenanigans to complete, no rolling around, just crafting. Exquisite.
Brandish has Acheron, Alchemers have Umbra, Vaporizers get nothing. Umbra has slightly more damage than the other Alchemers, unlike Acheron compared to the element Brandish lines. It also does not inflict a status. Why does Acheron not have more damage than element Brandish lines? Pants. It makes as much sense as any other explanation you will get.
Magma, Hail, and Storm all deal element damage and have a status to share. What about something without a status and a little more base damage? Nova. Element version of Umbra. Nothing special here, but no status means no distractions. Stop staring at that butterfly and pay attention. Blah blah blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah; blah blah? Blah blah.

This is one of the stranger bombs. Yes, it is a bomb. There are two alchemy lines, Ionized Salt and Radiant Sun. Both have different charge times, status affliction, and damage types, but have the same attack mechanic; upon completion of the charge and placement of the bomb, it fires eight projectiles in the map directions. Yes, it is a bomb. These projectiles travel approximately ten spaces before dissipating. Yes, it is still a bomb. These projectiles can and are used for distance sniping for targets too far to shoot at with a gun or spammed at close range of the target to have multiple shards make contact on a single target. This means either getting ready for a strafe-fest or hit and run tactics. Keep in mind movement speed does have a significant advantage for this bomb compared to more charge if you have to decide, but to what point of being dissatisfaction is up to you.
Radiant Sun is almost always chosen over Ionized Salt. It has a normal charge time, two specialized damages to share its attack ability, no status, and a +3 bonus against fiends. What else could you ask for? Because its damage is two specialized types your damage will vary depending on what family you are damaging, though most of the time it will outclass Ionized Salt on damage per hit. For the average bomber who wants to use something like this, start with Radiant Sun; Ionized Salt is a little out of your league for a while.
Ionized Salt gets hate and pity from everyone. Some want to throw out the whole thing, others want to give it its bottle; before changing it, does anyone know how to use it to begin with? Most likely not. Ionized Salt may have lower general damage than Radiant Sun and a seven second base charge time instead of five, but the significant rate of shock allows for assassination and preemptive preparation tactics. If the target has their back to you and is talking to another target about the game last night, start winding this misused scientific alteration to food storage and neutralize them as statically as possible. Stuffing it into orifices and/or pockets is encouraged. Using the projectiles to fire from a distance is also encouraged. The reason this bomb is more advanced is because it is not offense based as Nitronome or Radiant Sun, meaning it is unreliable when the jig is up and you forgot your dancing shoes. It can still be used in direct combat, but compared to Radiant Sun it cries in its sleep.

Owlite is a shield with normal, element, fire, and shock defense; slightly more element than normal. Do you know what this means? Remember those robot turrets which deal element damage from their attacks? Nope, Owlite eats those bullets. Stuck in a fire/shock pad/zombie breath? Nope, Owlite. Owlite will hoot a boot up their toot. This shield is often favored by bombers because of its ability to defend against two more devastating statuses, shock and fire. Shock inhibits your ability to move regularly for everyone, but for bombers this also means that charge you almost finished is now gone and you have to start over. Unlike swords and guns, bombs force the user to charge; there is no basic attack. There used to be a while ago, but it was changed because of how ridiculously overpowered it was. What were we doing? Owlite, right; good for bombers generally, good for defensive purposes generally. It is crafted through normal means through normal recipes available normally, and it has some normal defense; a fairly normal shield. It may not have the pierce defense of your old Defender or Bristling Buckler, but it does have two status defenses and is better suited for projectiles. You would think gunners would always jump for this shield, but that will be discussed later. For sword users they usually want to stick with their Bristling Buckler for more damage, but as a bomber this thing is great. Gremlins and robots have nothing on you with this weird metal owl floating over your wrist. As all shields go, you are not invincible forever; use it sparingly. But when you do use it, you really use that thing. Hardcore shielding.

I know what you are thinking. Yes, again. This thing gives you more health so it must be good, right? Not necessarily. Unlike basically everything else, Vitasuits do not follow their own alchemy path. In fact, you only have three variants where only the last one is part of any alchemy line. The first one is 0* like your dusty old Proto, but gives one health. Sure, that would be useful in the baby camp for babies, but when you get out of that crib and put the rattle down you realize you can do better. In fact, you suddenly have a 2* armor which scientifically appears from nowhere and you stand triumphantly as if you did something spectacular. No, not really. You only imagined that. You are still in that tiny Vitasuit. So you grind floors until you have enough money to get something better, then you stand triumphantly and you actually did something this time! So, what did you get? Vitasuit Plus? Sure, it may be a 2* armor, but this is basically the same thing as before. You may have more normal defense than your piers, but the extra couple bars of defense do not necessarily compensate for the lack of specialized defense. Go back to your old Cobalt and work on that or you are grounded. Alright, now you have a 4*, what did you make? Vitasuit Deluxe? What did I tell you about those? You now have three more base health, but you are still using that stupid obesity suit. Keep in mind that your knight does not have regenerating health independently. Just because you have a little more health does not mean you are a tank. Not that tanking damage is a viable strategy around here, but for the scenario you think it is. Sure, you now have more health to tank enemies with; but is it the best armor to use for that? Exhibit A, your rival. Plate lines are well known for their tanking ability and will be discussed later, but to spoil a little of what is to come it has ridiculous normal defense. Anything that tries to hit you in melee wets itself because you have a metal crotch plate. Your crotch with a Plate set is better at tanking than that silly Vitasuit. You may have an attack speed reduction, but you are too busy sitting on people and crushing them with your immense weight in thick armor to care. Your weapon is not literally sitting on them, but if you want to do that I will not stop you. It would be too time consuming to roll you off everyone. Vitasuits in general are supposedly for the "medic" archetype, but we do not and will not have the ability to heal through an attack. Do not go to the suggestions subforum and attempt a healing weapon. I will personally fix your plumbing, if you know what I mean. No, I do not mean the upstairs toilet with the broken pipe. The "medical" idea comes from having more health, which means if you revive someone with that greater amount of health you are giving them more health than if you had more defense instead. Since this relies on protecting your own health, you would be useless in combat by hiding behind people and waiting for them to die. Not that support tactics are bad, as any half decent bomber knows, but if you are only useful when waiting for people to die something is wrong.

Flourish/Snarble Barb
Someone is going to whine about this.
Flourish and Snarble Barb are rapier/foil/toothpick swords often favored for speed and thrusts. No, not that kind of thrust. Slap yourself with a foot for thinking that. As a rapier, its swings are swift and all; but the first swing is arguably overpowered. Arguably. It has knockback, interruption, and can be spammed with shield cancelling very easily. For any fencer this is immediately illogical; why does a blade so delicate have the same knockback and interruption of the first swing of a heavy sword, such as Troika? Why does a thin little string of metal compare to the giant cleaver of death and squishing? Ask Three Rings. It was most likely given knockback to make the basic combo more difficult to complete all hits, seeing as you have to stand too close for comfort to get all three hits in and not miss one. Try not to do anything inappropriate while close to the enemy. The second and third swings are more linear, forcing the user to lunge in the direction they are attacking. The second and third swings have less width but more length toward the direction stabbed. The charge attack is essentially a dash version of the full basic attack combo, but the wide swing is on the last hit instead of the first. Flourish has three alchemy lines and Snarble Barb is forever alone.
We may as well start with the loner. Snarble Barb actually has a different charge attack than the Flourish lines, taking a swing and releasing several spike projectiles similar to the tubby-metal-six-eyed-thing itself. It has the same damage rate as Final Flourish but looks different in coloration; it is mostly black with a few red designs on the blade tip and on the handle.
Final Flourish is the most commonly used of the Flourish lines, mostly because it has more damage than its two counterparts in its alchemy line and does not have a status to inflict. Just damage. How bland.
Fearless Rigadoon seems more common than Flamberge, though their damage seems to be the same; the difference is Rigadoon has a chance to stun on any hit while Furious Flamberge has a chance to inflict fire. Rigadoon and Flamberge lines have less base damage than Final. These both work the same as Final otherwise.

This is easily the most misused gun.
Pulsar has a three bullet clip and fires fairly slowly. Boolit slow. At first the projectile is tiny and stupid, but after a few spaces it transforms into knockback mode and explodes on anyone who touches it. Since it has three rounds in its clip this gun can easily be spammed to push things away, similar to a broom. This gun is a broom. Sweep crowds out the door if needed. If not, and everyone else in the party is trying to fight but you are being obnoxious, expect to be kicked out. Your Pulsar damage does not compare to their Calibur/Brandish/other even if you are only interfering with one person. Before the boolit expands its damage is the same as basic boolits on Catalyzer, but when they expand their damage increases to about 120-143% on neutral targets. Herp de derp, you can push enemies to Russia by spamming. You can finish them yourself while everyone else moves on. This sweeping tactic is often used in retreat or to manipulate positioning, though very often it is used to attack normally. There are two alchemy lines for Pulsar, both of which function the same excluding a couple characteristics.

Polaris line has element damage instead of normal, a little less base amount of bars on its damage, and the ability to inflict shock. Hurr. Usually people go for this one because Pulsar is useful against turrets, shock adding onto its utility.

Supernova sticks to normal damage but does not have a status. This means it can push enemies without giving them the spastic effect of shock which would ignore knockback while in effect, though it is as obnoxious as Polaris regardless. Supernova is almost exclusively used by people who know how to use Pulsar correctly though a few rare cases have appeared otherwise.

"The explosions also increase in size with star rank, so do not cry about your puny little 3* explosions. I said stop crying. Do you want to wake up dad? He hates whining more than I do. In the war he was the sergeant for all the new recruits and he had them beat the not-chocolate pudding out of each other every day as part of their exercise. Would you prefer to go to camp dad and have your digestive process sped up the painful way? Then eat your vegetables."
Luguiru wins the forums.

Spine Cone
Remember how Nitronome has that constant damage rate in a large area? Imagine that with pierce instead of normal damage and the fuse being slightly slower. That is this. The main difference is the lack of almost all knockback and a significantly less obnoxious animation of a dark explosion and no screen shaking. That means you can spam it in parties without blinding or crashing anyone. Dad would be proud.
Similar to Bristling Buckler and Snarble Barb, Spine Cone is the last of the three Snarbolax token reward weapons which also only requires ten tokens. Similar to Snarble Barb, you only do pierce damage with this weapon. Mind enemy resistances when using it. Its lack of obnoxious features on Nitronome may have been countered by the specialized damage, appealing to the chaining tactic yet removing inhibiting features on Nitronome to make room for team empathy. If you like working with other people and constant damage in a large area of effect, grab an explosive pine cone and get hopping, little rabbit. A little rabbit of spiked death. Explosive death. Like that morning after Taco Bell night. When Nitronome came home from football practice one day he brought home his buddy, Dark Briar Barrage. We all know how dad has issues with the colored bombs so there was a little tension, but when they went out back dad was amazed by Barrage. A team player built to work with others without inhibiting them while being perfectly able to work independently. Barrage was like the son he never had. Nitronome tries to get dad interested in his life again, but dad is preoccupied with the new guy. Barrage was disciplined not to inhibit others before joining the team of implementation, meaning he had more time to prepare for acceptance in the community than Nitronome which was the original bomb to work off of as a stepping stone.
Spine Cone was actually my first bomb, before which I almost exclusively used my Calibur line (it was Cold Iron Carver at the time) and my old Gran Faust in terms of weapons. I also happened to use Plate line which is currently Volcanic. Dat horned bucket grate face. When Snarbolax came out and I became interested in bombs, Plate was immediately set aside to start on Mad Bomber. This was back when Graviton was still part of Blast line, but that is another story. With Spine Cone I was able to damage in a decent area of effect in a party without interrupting other knights, meaning I could also get sidetracked so long as pierce worked well for what was there. If not I always had old Gran Faust to split some sides. Not from laughing, from slicing them in half. Not much to laugh about when you were just cut in half with a giant purple sword. After this followed a series of bomb related exploration and shenanigans, inevitably bringing me to where I am today; obsessed with weapons in general though favoring bombs slightly over the others.

Supposedly, tanking is what Plate lines are designed for. It has more normal defense in proportion to its specialized defense, unless you are using Ancient in which case you have no normal defense, and always has an attack speed loss. It still has enormous normal defense. Enormous. Sit in front of Vanaduke with both Ancient Plate parts and take it like a man. Or woman. Or fish. Whatever you think you are. You may not have especially high health, except for Ancient in which case you have eight bars per part at H10 instead of five at H10 with basically ever 5* armor piece. "Ancient has more health? It must be perfect!" Movement decrease. Ancient is fairly more tank-esque than Volcanic and Ironmight, though it is completely independent of the Plate crafting line. Continue below.
Ancient Plate line has no specialized defense yet has substantial normal defense. It also has more health than other equipment, including Vitasuits, and the average melee hit feels like its knuckles broke trying to punch you in the face. You wuss out against projectiles, but when you bash skulls all you have to do is flick them and the enemy turns into a puddle of urine. Your mobility and attack speeds are both lowered, but at least you can take a couple more punches than the other guy. Or gal. Whatever you are.
Ironmight and Volcanic Plate lines are both fairly similar, the major difference being pierce and element specialized defense respectively. Both have a lot of normal resistance along with stun resistance and sleep weakness. Where they differ is the secondary defense of specialized type and Volcanic has fire defense. What does Ironmight have instead of fire defense? Its shield has pierce defense whereas its counterpart has no specialized defense. All three parts for Ironmight have normal, pierce, stun defense. Volcanic has element defense on its two armor parts but not on its shield, compensated by having fire defense for all three. Volcanic also has the same high normal defense and stun resistance, its specialized damage is the same, the major differences are having more defense against pierce or fire. Would you rather defend against being impaled and shredded apart or burned to a molten pile of metal? The shields themselves are more suited toward close range defense rather than projectiles, though the combination of normal and stun defense at once means three things: Lumbers, Trojans, Vanaduke. Head down, shield up, this is how we like to f- defend, yes, that was what I was going to say.
Supposedly, Plate lines overall are supposed to be the "guardian"/"tank" archetype in a group; however, your greatest advantage is high normal defense for melee combat. It trades some specialized defense for more normal defense, meaning its overall defense is essentially the same additively compared to Skolver, and you have no bonus effect to the armor unless you like losing attack speed. Excluding the shield, Volcanic only has an advantage over the commonly used weapon based equipment (Wolver, Gunslinger, Demo) in having two status defeses. Ironmight only has an advantage in having split defense for its shield, not that stun defense on a shield matches up against a giant bonus effect or something.

Imagine a two handed sword. That is not what this is. This is a giant one handed sword which should be too heavy for you to carry even in two hands, yet works anyway because logic does not always apply to how things work. Big sword make smash good. Unlike smaller swords such as Calibur or Brandish, Troika is a heavy sword; that means you only have two swings in the basic combo, both of which are obviously slower than standard swords, but you will notice swings have more knockback and swing range. This thing is like a giant cleaver, its swings have width and length unlike its shorter counterparts. Its swing speed is substantially slower but each swing covers more area. Usually a swing from a heavy sword tends to do more damage than smaller swords because they only have two swings in their basic combo and slower swings, but that does not make this thing a two handed sword. This is not happy time and it is not big enough to have to use two hands. So many inappropriate implications possible.
Troika itself is actually the first heavy mechanic sword, often looked down upon by Sealed line for its lack of damage in comparison. However, Troika is not supposed to be used for damage; it is part of the "guardian" archetype along with Plate items, giving up the offensive characteristics of most other equipment in exchange for substantial melee defense and bland damage. Both Troika upgrade lines only deal normal damage but both may inflict a status on the charge attack depending on which line. Both share the same mechanic, the only real difference is the status the charge may inflict. Both have the same charge attack, a lunge followed by a smash followed by an explosion near the end of the sword which is supposed to blast enemies away. By blast I mean blast. Imagine Big Angry. Now imagine that with a sword. Now imagine the knockback only goes in the direction of where the charge attack was aimed since swords require positioning whereas bombs have a radius. That is the charge attack. The smash and explosion both deal about the same amount of damage in pure normal. That means you can use this thing against any family and do the same damage. Pretty versatile as all normal weapons go.
Now to the fork in the road between the statuses. You can go with the easier route where normal recipes obtained normally are rolling around with Sudaruska, or you could do Krogmo games for a while and get Triglav. Both are the exact same in use outside the status and rates of the status. They also look slightly different from coloration.
Sudaruska has the ability to inflict stun upon the charge. Yes, a giant pillar-sword-thing which smashes people on the noggin before blasting them to Jupiter. That is what this sword is. When an ally who relies on mobility and/or distance is trapped in an obnoxious group of enemies, blast them away with an old fashioned Sudaruska charge. By the time they realize where they are they would be dead from your ally nailing them. Dead enemies make decent wall decorations. Stun is essentially time slowing down for the afflicted, slowing down all animations; movement, attacking, rolling, eating ham. Everything is slower. Unfortunately there seems to be an issue with stun where if the afflicted was in the middle of an attack when stun was inflicted on them that attack instantly follows through and the attack process begins again automatically. Be cautious of what you are trying to decorate your room with.
Triglav is a little different. By a little I mean its status is completely different. Unlike Sudaruska, Triglav instead has the chance to inflict freeze on the charge attack. This means if the target is frozen they will not be blasted away because freeze prevents movement. Your charge still hurts them, but you skipped the part where they go to Jupiter. I hear the weather is exquisite there this time of year. Unlike stun, freeze does not directly do anything to the target; all it does is prevent them from running around or turning where they are frozen. They can still attack. If anything frozen is impacted by an attack, ally or enemy, it is thawed; this goes for knights and enemies alike. If you try to use your Triglav charge against a large group of jellies they will try to jiggle their way out of it since they are most likely close enough to do so. Should have brought the cooler. Normally this is used for short term escape or simply to keep the crowd pinned for a couple seconds while someone else is standing by with whatever attack they are about to use.

Administration says this gun will be modified "soon" so this may be invalid at any update. Keep your pants on. I mean it, keep them on; no one wants to see what you are doing.
Magnus is somewhat similar to Autogun in the sense that while firing the user is unable to move. No strafing allowed. Unlike Autogun, Magnus only fires a single bullet with more damage rather than several bullets for rapid fire. Since Magnus does not have to wait for several bullets to fire the user can simply fire a single bullet and move on. This may seem like a huge advantage, but its damage per attack does not match up against Autogun at all. It does more damage per bullet, but Autogun is designed to have as many bullets as possible everywhere forever so that when you wake up the next morning you find some in your pants. The pants which you should still be wearing. Magnus bullets are larger, travel decently far, and the charge attack is a giant bullet which recoils the user a couple spaces back because of how ridiculously large it is even though it came out of the tiny gun. Magnus has two alchemy lines, one of which favored for obvious reasons seen below. Both have the same damage against a neutral target but one is specialized and has a status. At the same time. Evil.
Iron Slug has normal damage and no status. Nothing else. If you like the attack mechanic above and want a gun to use against anything, Iron Slug would be better suited compared to the other Magnus line.
Callahan has pure pierce damage and the chance to inflict stun. This gun literally nails the enemy with a giant piercing bullet and stuns them. Fiends are easily interrupted by almost any attack. Piercing does bonus damage to fiend and beast families. Do it.

Remember the reference to gravity manipulation? That is what this bomb is. It has the radius of Big Angry at all ranks (three) but the actual effect is the suction. At 3* the suction radius is only one, at 4* the suction radius is two, and at 5* the suction radius is three. The fuse radius shown when you set the bomb is actually false. Unlike other bombs, the suction lines do less damage but have one of the greatest team supportive mechanics: not only does it keep enemies in the suction, but if you repetitively place it you can keep them there. The main problem with attempting this is avoiding attacks since movement is significantly lowered and the base charge time is six instead of five with Nitronome or Barrage. This bomb is mostly used at 4*+ when the townsfolk are chasing you to the windmill, but with the 4*+ suction area you can easily trap several enemies in there at once. Remember how Nitronome blasts enemies into other people to make it their problem? Graviton and Electron take enemies annoying other people into itself. Winning. Be careful when using this, if you are still standing in it and enemies are sucked in it is easily possible and death inevitable.
There are two branches for this mechanic, though unlike most other weapons they are never part of each other. Graviton is pure shadow damage and Electron is pure element, though originally Electron had shock; it was removed from the effects listed on the item but it still seems to work regardless. They raised the damage on Electron to match Graviton but they apparently forgot to remove its shock. Three cheers for each ring which forgot to fix that.

Unlike most other equipment, Skelly has shadow defense. This means taking less damage from undead and fiend families which tend to be more difficult for most people. Since the removal of fire weakness Skelly no longer has any negative effects, unless you count the lack of defense against other things. This is also one of the specialized defense armors intended to defend against the specialized damage type rather than general defense with normal. It also has defense against poison and freeze, two of the more passive statuses which disable common abilities anyone needs. This supports more of a blitzkrieg user who goes for offense, even though it gives no offensive bonuses itself, skipping the worry about defense, damage, or mobility loss. It may not defend against damaging statuses such as fire or shock, but we already have several things with that setup. Since the armor and shield basically have the same stats, other than one being armor and the other being a shield, they may as well share the same dance. A lot of shadow defense, freeze and poison resistance, and it makes you look like a weird zombie with teeth on your neck. Stay in the fray.

This sentence got a typo I
This sentence got a typo I suppose:
Vitasuits in general are supposedly for the "medic" archetype, but we have and will not have the ability to heal through an attack.
Shouldn't there be: (...) but we don't have and will not have?
Apart from that, what you have done is a great arsenal guide. Good read, and I pretty much agree with all you have written (at least about those items I have first-hand experience with). Very unbiased and solid review of every item.
I like the fact that you've sorted weapons by their categories (game mechanics) rather then damage types. That way you cover basic facts about weapon and explain its mechanic first, and then goes into details about damage types or statuses. Two thumbs up.
A manual that every aspiring Spiral Knight recruit should have in his/her backpack.

Pulsar was probably the most biased one I will make, but even then it seems fairly neutral. Almost everyone uses it to interfere with allies so I based it on how very few, including myself, use it.
When the index is filled out I plan to recommend it on the stickied thread of useful links unless someone does it before, though they may not accept incomplete guides. I intentionally did the more common equipment first to attract majority attention then show them the rest of the game they could be exploring rather than raising more clones.

Almirian Crusader was not
Almirian Crusader was not mentioned in Cobalt section as well, so I suppose it's intentional. I think it's because the guide is aimed toward new recruits and Shadow Lair gear is not something an average player is going to have until the very end-game. Of course you can buy anything from other players so theoretically you can start mission 1-1 wearing some Shadow Lair set, but is good guide supposed to suggest such lame solution to newcomers?

I've seen there's a little debate about poison in this thread. Recently I've seen lots of monsters killed by standing inside healing rings while poisoned. Also, even if Menders are smart enough to not heal poisoned comrades directly, Silkwings are different story. They fly around injured monsters, poisoned or not, and those poisoned ones die rather quickly (especially if there are two Silkwings).

Shadow Lair armor is excluded because newcomers would not be able to obtain it unless they bought a bucket of CE and poured the blubber onto the market to pay their way into the game. That does not teach them how to play, it teaches them how to steal a credit card from mom and get beaten later. By the time the average player is able to run Shadow Lairs they are able to figure things out on their own.
I probably would have never found out that. I always go for healing enemies first and rarely use poison weapons, if anyone else is with me they tend to go for anything except the medic.
Remember how Troika works on the basic attack? This is another one of those. At 3* it only has normal damage, but you will notice the charge attack is significantly different. Instead of a giant overhead smash with knockback that makes you giggle, Sealed lines deliver a wide swing and somewhat of a projectile. See the Troika stuff for the basic attack mechanic. You probably picked up a Troika before this sword anyway so yo would have read over the stuff for it. That means this is for the charge attack and different damage values. Both alchemy lines have the same charge attack concept, a swing which fires at least one wide sword projectile which pushes enemies with it, though there is one defining characteristic between the two: Avenger line is best with its charge attack while Faust line is best with its basic attack. Both Avenger and Faust lines have split normal and specialized damage.

Avenger line has the same swing speed as Troika. However, when you get to 5* the charge attack fires three sword-laser-what-is-this-nonsense projectiles in a cone pattern. Avenger line also has split normal-element damage. If you like to spam charge attacks and just kill stuff, Avenger asked for your number. Be home by ten tonight. With your pants on.

Faust line is notably faster than Avenger and Troika, but not necessarily considered fast. Its swing speed is definitely higher. Unlike its blonde and hyper sibling, Faust line not only has split normal-shadow damage but also has a chance to inflict curse on its second basic swing and the charge attack. However, using the charge attack risks giving curse to the user. Be cautious. Since the swing speed is faster the basic swing is suddenly more useful whereas with Avenger line it was fairly bland. Faust may be a little anti social and masochistic at times, but unlike Avenger will call you back after the first date. Unlike Divine Avenger, Gran Faust still only has one projectile upon charge attack; it may inflict curse, but you only get one. Faust line is often used as a sidearm or support sword due to its lack of efficacy on the charge attack where Divine Avenger kills everything, but manages to cripple enemies more easily without having to blatantly murder everything.

Remember how Autogun fires several bullets at once but limits mobility while firing? This is the opposite. It only fires on bullet per click as basically all guns except Autogun do, but each bullet does not do particularly high damage. Unlike other guns, Antigua and both its alchemy lines always have a six shot clip with strafing. The bullets may not have a spectacular effect, but you can now be the cowboy you always wanted to be. You never wanted to be a cowboy? No one is going to force you to wear chaps. I thought so. Both alchemy lines are basically the same except the damage type, one being pure element and the other pure shadow. Originally they both had some pierce damage, but somewhat recently they changed it by taking the pierce damage and adding it to its other damage type so the neutral damage is the same. The thing about having two different specialized damage bars on the same weapon is they can neutralize each other. When you find the ratio of less and more effective damage rates it makes no sense for having something weak and something strong against a certain family balance each other out when it should be significantly lower from neutral. This is part of why people see pure normal damage weapons as underpowered. At 3* Antigua has puny pierce damage, when it upgrades to 4* it can either trade that in for element with Silversix or shadow with Blackhawk. Other than their damage type and some colors, there is no real difference between the two. The charge attack at 4* fires a few bullets before a large bullet, at 5* this large bullet is replaced with a holographic owl. The large bullet and owl both push enemies along with it if they continue to stay in contact with the projectile. Unlike Autogun, Antigua lines are often preferred for the basic attack for a few quick shots while maintaining mobility rather than a flurry followed by fleeing. Use Antigua while on the run, chase, or moving in general. Take it on the go. We even have a drive through. Would you like fries with your order?
If you decide to go with Silversix line as most do, your wimpy little Antigua now does element damage. You will also notice a bonus against undead family enemies. At 4*, Silversix only has a +1 family bonus. When it gets to 5* as Argent Peacemaker that bonus bumps up to +2. Seeing as zombies are slow enough to outrun with your feet chained together, that leaves Kats to take the blunt of the swing metaphorically. Kats like mobility. When they try to rush after you, run toward them while firing a few rounds into them. When they are about to start their attack and are close or if you are able to when they are right next to you as they rush, shield bump the Kat away to fire even more bullets at it. This can also be used with swords for "jousting".
If you decide to go with Blackhawk there are two things you should know. First, congratulations on not being generic. Second, this is one of the few shadow weapons in the game. Having this weapon means you want variety in your arsenal rather than the generic weapons which anyone would have. This gun works the same as Silversix and Peacemaker with one defining difference: instead of an undead bonus you get a gremlin bonus. This is especially useful in T3 gremlin floors since Thwackers have shields and Menders should be your first target. Antigua is great for picking off single targets, even in a crowd. Shadow also does more against jellies but other weapons are better suited for that type of enemy. What would you do, kill the jiggliest one first?

Seerus Bombs
Today you decided you want the expansion pack, the only downloadable content we have so far. Apparently Snarbolax, Jelly King/Royal Jelly/giant-jiggly-purple-box-with-a-hat, and Roarmulus are too simple for you now. Not good enough for you. You have yet to face Vanaduke but you still want more. Be that way. Buy the expansion for six bucks. See if I care. Well, I do care; it means when you complete any tier you get a certain pair of weapons which you probably want to know about. The one most people like is the hammer which has a dash attack and seems to have the heavy sword mechanic on the first and third swings since the second swing is the dash, but it only has element damage. No normal at all. It is not a normal weapon. The other weapon used to be far more powerful with twice the speed and damage, now a shell of its former glory; however, it still has use even after having its legs cut off. We have wheelchairs.
The Seerus bombs are not like ordinary weapons. They do not follow a crafting series at all. In fact, there is no way to craft or trade them at all. If you want it, do the expansion. No wussing out. You get different variants from doing different tiers of the expansion for the bomb: T1 gets you the 2*, T2 gets you the 3*, and T3 gets you the 5*. The mechanic creates a few large purple spheres (two at the T1 version, three at the T2 version, four at the 5* version; for some reason the Wiki says 2* has three and 3* has two) which orbit around the epicenter, but do not affect the center area. The initial detonation does damage the whole area, but the effect following is the main feature of the bomb: giant purple orbs flying around and damaging things for several seconds. All the bombs deal pure shadow damage meaning it is best used on jellies and gremlins, enemies which tend to swarm after you in crowds. It also works against robots and animals which also are prone to swarming tactics, meaning a few of these and their health is spun to dirt. Use spinning to kill things for you. Windmills. Break dancing. Broken dancing. Spin to win.

Drake (Dragon Scales)
Drake is one of the weird armors. Not because it has a weird effect or obtained from a boss, weird because it has no normal defense. All melee attacks deal some normal damage. However, all projectiles have significant specialized damage. The armor itself gives a beast family bonus and has several defenses: element, pierce, fire, and poison. No normal. Be very careful in close range. Dragon Scale is usually used by the same people who would use Owlite as their shield, more concerned with projectiles than melee because they can dodge well but become overwhelmed when the entire area has projectiles flying everywhere. Remember the snot blobs with purple internal organs, when they combine they can spin spikes out at you? Dragon Scale, your only concern is when you get close. The family bonus on this armor is somewhat counterproductive seeing as beasts usually use melee attacks which you have little defense against, but from afar you have trench warfare where you throw rocks at each other while hiding behind a bigger rock. Not snow, rocks. Robots use rocks instead of snow. Manly robots. Manly robots with no feet and giant heads. The poison defense was added fairly recently as compensation for the lack of general utility, yet people still avoid it. This may seems strange, but Dragon Scale is very useful for gunners when it comes to taking hits from projectiles. Fire defense somewhat makes up for the bland offensive bonuses for running Vanaduke, but other than that this is more of a defensive gunner armor.

Unlike Jelly and Skelly lines, Magic has multiple alchemy paths to choose from. Jelly specializes in pierce defense, Skelly in shadow, Magic in element. What does magic have to do with the game? Nothing, everything that does element damage is science related, which means it is actually the Science equipment. Now that you bought your Science armor for the element defense, you probably want to know what you can do with it. You probably noticed robots and gremlins now do less damage to you. You will also notice you have fire and shock defense. You also have slightly more element than normal defense similar to how Jelly and Skelly have more specialized defense than normal. The fire and shock defense helps against the two more common offensive statuses, allowing you to focus on the fight rather than being on fire. Yes, I am walking around ablaze, nothing to see here. No need to worry, I have my Science set on. Magic/Science has three alchemy paths. Only one keeps all the same defenses as previous variants, but the other two are a change of pace for those running a marathon.
If you like having the same defenses, Grey Feather is ready and fluffy. The only difference is you suddenly have stun weakness. Originally the Science armor had stun weakness, Skelly had fire weakness, and Jelly had no weakness. Yet no one wants to make Jelly anyway.
Remember how Dragon Scale has no normal defense? Divine is like that. You get element, shadow, fire, shock, and curse defenses but no normal. The helmet has a +2 fiend family bonus but the torso does not. Weird. It would make more sense to either give both +1 or +2, most likely +1 since it has curse defense. Since the helmet has the bonus and both parts have the same stat, if you have to choose one go for the helmet if you want the family bonus. Also similar to Dragon Scale, be careful while using Divine in close range.
Chaos! Discord! Pandemonium! That is what this is supposed to be. Chaos still has normal and element defense, but not as much as Grey Feather. It has weakness to poison, fire, freeze, shock, and curse; but not stun. You will also notice the +1 universal damage and charge bonus per part. It may not have the defenses other armor have, but you get two major offensive bonuses.
Rocket Hammers
This is supposed to be a slow sword, yet at the same time not.
Unlike Troika and Sealed lines, the Seerus hammers have an attack between the first and second swing of the basic attack: a dash. The first and last swings for the basic attack are the same, though they do pure element damage, but the dash between them allows the user to move a short distance while still being able to damage. You know what they say about sliding. While dashing, making contact with something will count as hitting it; your slide is an attack. This means trying to slide through a hall of explosive boxes is not a good idea. The first and third swings of the basic attack are essentially the same as Troika, except pure element instead of normal, and the charge attack is the overhead smash of Troika lines with a slight lunge for two smashes. Troika lines have the explosion following the first smash which may blast enemies away with hilarious knockback where the Seerus hammers simply smash twice. Approximately the same damage on neutral targets, but Troika would have thrown the crowd of enemies to France with the explosion and its damage whereas the hammers simply smash twice.
This gun requires intelligence and patience to use. Your basic attack may not be fast or powerful even though it has three shots in a clip, but the real attraction for this weapon is the charge attack. No, it does not make a giant boolit of death or inflict a major status on everything everywhere forever. It creates little sticking explosives. Yes, a sticky bomb launcher. However, the mines only stick to enemies; no inanimate objects, no walls, no dessert before supper. The mines and basic bullets fire at the same slow speed, meaning you have to be able to plan ahead when trying to stick explosives. There is another notable feature of the charge attack: it only takes a second, even without any charge bonuses. You may not be able to move as quickly while charging, but each mine fired only takes a second to fire. The mines stick to the target and may be detonated by the basic attack. Say your buddy is with you and they are also using a Catalyzer. Not any kind specifically, just something which was a Catalyzer at some point and may have been upgraded. Guess what? They can still detonate your mines and you can detonate theirs. While one person distracts the enemy or group of enemies your buddy can tag them, then you switch to your own Catalyzer and blast them to itty bitty pieces you can use in your salad for the picnic next weekend. No one will know what the weird little pieces are. Just tell them it is a trade secret. When tagging multiple enemies, try to keep them close; the explosion of one mine triggers others within the explosion. The explosion also does not differentiate between the target they are stuck to and all the enemies within the blast range, meaning you can tag one target and have them in the middle of a crowd or tag everything and have them all blow up. You probably want to use Pulsar instead anyway, right? Pulsar is used differently. Catalyzer can be used with multiple people to help each other rather than everyone using a Pulsar to spam everything away and making the battle take forever. When using Catalyzer, keep in mind mines will only stick if they impact a vulnerable point; it will not stick to the front of Trojans because they have a shield nor bosses during invincibility stages. The main reason Catalyzer is one of the abandoned weapons is because it requires patience in battle whereas Blitz or an Alchemer would have already cleared all enemies. Technically, that is true; other guns can outclass its damage in ratio to time. However, if you like to play with your food before ripping it into burger meat this gun is for you.
Similar to Pulsar there are two alchemy lines, though instead of the specialized one being element with shock it is shadow with poison. The normal one, if you can consider this weapon normal, is Neutralizer. It has slightly more base damage over the alternative but no status. The specialized damage line, Biohazard, has shadow damage and the chance to inflict poison. Biohazard has a little less base damage but is otherwise the same; it has a chance to inflict poison on any damaging effect, including the basic bullets and detonation of its mines.

Spiral Demo
This should have been lower on the list due to the scarcity of bombers, but most of the armors at this point and under are all rarely used so derp.
Spiral Demo, as you probably would have guessed by the name, is the weapon specialist armor for bombers. We already went over Wolver and how sword users love it, but for bombers you have one major issue: you can only use your weapon by charging it. With swords damage and swing speed is nice, but for bombers you need charge buffs like Mitt Romney is desperate to appeal to voters without proposing anything. Some of your weapons (Graviton/Electron, Big Angry) cripple your speed while charging, during which moving is all you can do. You have to get that bomb planted now. Not tomorrow, right now. Unless you are a conservative bomber. Unlike Wolver, SDemo has four alchemy paths and only one is Shadow Lair relevant. The rest are crafted normally. They all have split normal-element defense and give bomb charge and/or damage bonuses. For bombs charge buffs mean planting quicker while damage means more damage per hit. Keep this in mind when using different bombs; do you want to plant faster or hit harder? Do you need damage bonuses for a Vaporizer? Demo lines are often used for hybrid gun and bomb users since most are afraid to only use bombs. Nothing is wrong with that. However, keep in mind bombs have various uses; Blast and Vaporizer lines are different.
The most "commonly" used line for this armor is Mad Bomber. "Commonly" is in quotes because very few people actually stick with SDemo to begin with. Mad Bomber is undoubtedly the offensive bomber set, giving +2 bomb charge and damage for a single part. There are two parts of the armor. You can get +4 bomb charge and damage from this. Why would you need anything else? Mad Bomber has less normal defense than the other three lines and has weakness to poison, fire, freeze, and shock statuses. It also has a Mohawk on the helmet. Most people like to be on offense, Mad Bomber is pure offense, most people use it for bombing. Looking at the recipe you may notice something: most of the materials are shadow related, so why does Mad Bomber have element defense instead of shadow? That is what I want to know. That is what many bombers want to know.
The second most "common" line used is Volcanic Demo. Unlike Mad Bomber, Volcanic has no negative resistances; you have average normal and element defenses, you have a lot of fire defense, and you get +2 charge per part. It may not have a Mohawk, but you get +4 charge for the set. Combine that with a H10 (heat level ten) bomb and you now have max charge for that bomb. Originally the torso for this line only had +1 bomb charge. They wanted Mad Bomber to have all the fun with max charge. This was also before charge attacks were not resettable by being damaged, including from fire; once that charge finishes, only death and use can take it away from you. Herp de derp, walking around with this Barrage and a full charge. What was that? You set me on fire? Nurp, I still have my charge. What was that? You want to try it? Sure, let me shove it down your throat first. What was that? You are suffocating? Now you exploded and your guts are everywhere. Punk.
Oddly enough, the second to least used line is the Shadow Lair one. No questions. Unlike Mad and Volcanic, Mercurial Demo does not give any charge bonuses; instead you get +1 movement and bomb damage buffs per part. Why would you want more running speed over bomb charge? Hit and run tactics. More specifically, Crystal line bombs. You rely on staying in close proximity of the target. While you are playing patty cake with the swarm of zombies, you probably want to be able to step out of their swing range before they slap you in the face. You may not charge a bomb as fast, but you can run circles around those idiots before they can even think of attacking. Yes, this is an exaggeration of the movement speed bonus; but as a bomber it becomes very obvious how beneficial the effect is. Mercurial Demo has the same normal and element defense values as Volcanic, but instead of fire resistance you get shock. For bombers shock is a common fear. Stay close, but not too close; roll around the enemy and shove shard bombs up their a-
Moving on, Bombastic. This also has the same normal and element defense as Mercurial and Volcanic, though similar to Mad Bomber its original materials to craft did not fit to the defense; it used to consume pierce relevant materials to make Bombastic. You also have a couple opposite effects to Volcanic: instead of fire resistance you get freeze, and instead of +2 bomb charge per part you get +2 bomb damage per part. Why would anyone want this? Imagine you wanted to craft one of each of the Vaporizer lines, a Blast, a Graviton, a Spine Cone line, and a Crystal and got +4 bomb charge on all of them; or the ones you plan to use, anyway. When those suckers get H10 they would have full charge without help outside the weapon, meaning further bomb charge buffs would be useless for you. What do you do? Slap a Bombastic set on yourself and headbutt everything with the damage bonus. You may not have more damage than Mad Bomber line, but you have no status weaknesses compared to that maniac.
If you plan on being a primary bomber and do not use any of these, I have news for you.

What do you mean, procrastinating Spur?
Scarlet is similar to Swiftstrike somewhat. It only has a 3* variant, but unlike Swifstrike it has some normal and element defense as well as some extra health. How much defense? Not much. How much health? Not much. Does this thing go anywhere? Not mu- No, just like Swifstrike it does not continue to 4*+. Compared to other 3* shields, Scarlet has decent defenses; however, it has a health bonus instead of status resistances. Do you want more health over status resistances? That depends on you, but before you buy anything think of what you really need. Do those two health bars counterbalance the complete lack of status resistance for your shield? Would you rather have your shield last longer against status related enemies or have two more bars of health? For T2- you can roll around with the bonus health, but as you continue you will realize this is the shield version of Vitasuit and Omega. At least you get more health. That health is a major factor for bombers who only need a shield for the occasional bump or block, though while charging more health over shield defense has its advantages when you are unable to defend. Gunners may also benefit from the health though Swiftstrike would suit better if you want more offense benefits from a shield.

I probably should have done this before Scarlet.
Similar to Scarlet, Swiftstrike only has a 3* variant; no previous variants to upgrade from or later variants to upgrade to. You are stuck with only one to choose from. Unlike Scarlet, Swiftstrike only has normal defense. No specialized defenses, no status resistances, just normal. For a 3* shield it actually has decent defense, but it has no upgrades to aspire to. What do you get out of this shield? A fat +3 universal attack speed. That bonus is so fat it takes up all the lanes on a freeway. That bonus is so fat it has its own area code. The bonus may be universal but it does not affect bombs because the weapon does not have a modifiable attack speed; supposedly their attack speed is the fuse speed, though it seems unaffected by the bonus. For swords and guns you get faster swings and boolits. Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe, maybe. I have yet to meet one who can outsmart boolit. This shield is often used by the elusive strafe-swordsman and volley-gunners. As a sword user with this puny shield you have substantially less defense and health for your shield, meaning you have to rely on mobility and bumping to evade death. For gunners this shield may become a crutch, depending on how dependent you become on the speed bonus. Keep in mind this shield has low defenses, meaning if you are caught in the fray as a gunner you have to bump your way out. How do you avoid this? Stay out of the fray. Avoid the spotlight. Some guns are exceptions to this for occasional attack deployment, but as a gunner you should not be standing in the middle of a bunch of Lumbers for too long. They have another kind of wood they want to hammer you with.

The first thing you will notice is the pierce defense. Wolver and Cobalt also have pierce defense, but Jelly has more pierce than normal; this is another one of those specialized defense kinds of armor. Similar to Skelly and Magic, Jelly has more specialized defense than normal and has two status resistances. Its specialization is pierce, it still has normal defense, but its status resistances are stun and sleep. Stun is known to be a broken status causing invisible attacks when the animation was about to finish so it does anyway and sleep was removed long ago. Stun is still threatening, but your other status resistance is useless because nothing inflicts it anymore. At least you have pierce defense, even though several other armors and shields are better suited and more versatile. The main focus of this armor is the pierce resistance, though it also has normal defense making it more melee based. Beasts and jellies do less to you, especially jelly spikes. Wolvers only have melee attacks, their bites. Lizards either spit or lick, the spit being a short range projectile. Then again their spit may also deal element damage from the status, meaning Dragon Scale would be better suited. Polyp turrets are less threatening with Jelly, seeing as you have no way to track their aim visually; again, if they have a status which will deal element damage you would rather have Dragon Scale. Jelly, more specifically the helmet, is most commonly used as a costume rather than practical armor because of its regal appearance. The shield is still useful as a pierce version of Owlite, but with stun and sleep resistance instead of fire and shock; sleep still does not exist so all you have is the stun, which Plate line shields tend to be better suited for. 

Swords get Wolver, bombs get SDemo, guns get Gunslinger. It makes you look like a cowboy. Wolver gives sword damage until other branches are available, SDemo gives charge bonus until other branches are available, and Gunslinger gives gun attack speed until other branches are available. Boolit firing more good. You can fire and get out of there faster. To cancel the reload, more attack speed means shorter intervals to wait between firing. Remember how Autogun lines force you to stand still to fire? Derp that, you have gun speed buffs. Waiting is for chumps and chimps. And chocolate chips. Are you a chocolate chip? If you are, you should be in a cookie and not shooting guns. Gunslinger in general has two defining features: it starts at 3* instead of 2* and it had four branches before Wolver or SDemo did. This is old school branching. Older than the kindergarten you grew up in. Older than dirt. But not as old as dad. He ran that kindergarten. Then he burned it down to the ground using only his pinky finger. Fire is for sissies. Similar to Wolver, Gunslinger has split normal-pierce defenses with more normal than pierce. Gunslinger does not have status resistances until the 5* branches.
Justifier sticks to split normal-pierce defenses and gun attack speed, but has some stun resistance slapped on. It gives +2 gun speed bonus per part (helmet and torso). This is usually favored by gunners who despise piercing projectiles from jellies and Alpha Wolver bites. Show those gelatinous punks and stupid animals who owns the territory by urina- shooting them between the eyes. Or in their cores. Wherever their brains are supposed to be.
Nameless is a little different. It gives the same attack speed as Justifier, but instead of pierce defense it has element. It also has freeze resistance instead of stun. Construct and gremlin families tend to keep you moving, so jog in place if you have to stand still. No one likes cold feet. In fact, kick around in some antifreeze then kick freeze enemies in the face. Better yet, cover all your bullets in antifreeze and shoot those morons up the bu-
Shadowsun is often favored for two characteristics: generic gun damage bonus and shadow defense. It also has poison defense, but what you really care about is the damage bonus. Gun speed is nice, but you can get a UV slapped on your gun for that. What about damage? You can only get family bonus UVs. What do you do about it? Shadowsun, +2 gun damage per part, Swiftstrike. You still get +3 attack speed from the little shield, but that +4 damage makes shooting faster seem stupid for most guns. The shadow defense also comes into play when fighting certain enemies, such as the endless zombies in Firestorm Citadel or Legion of Almire. What family are Deadnaughts? Who cares, you have bonus damage against everything for your guns. Shut up and shoot.
Deadshot is probably the only armor with a family bonus which is 'often' used other than as a costume. It still gives gun attack speed, but only +1 per part; it also gives +2 undead bonus per part. What does that mean? It means you do more damage to undead while wearing this, even for your swords and/or bombs. It has shadow resistance just like Shadowsun, but it has one undeniable advantage which makes the other lines look stupid: curse resistance. Not just a little, but an equal amount of status resistance as the other three Gunslinger lines have. Some Shadow Lair armors also have curse resistance, but then they have fire or shock resistance to make you sad and give tiny bonuses. Deadshot has no negatives. You may not get the extra +1 gun bonus per part, but the defensive and family bonuses make you more of a specialist gunner for enemies which will become particularly numerous later on.

Roll that tongue back in your mouth, punk.
Chroma is based on the enemy, Chromalisk, which happens to look like a lizard and cloaking ability. No, that does not mean it makes you cloak. Everyone would use it otherwise. Instead you get a family bonus against jellies. Exciting. Similar to Gunslinger, Chroma starts at 3* and does not have a 2* variant. As a 3* you will notice it has poison and fire resistance. It also has split normal-pierce defense, but having two status resistances at once? Outrageous. That must mean this is a defensive armor, right? Wrong. So very wrong. Go sit in the corner and think about what you have done. Sure, you start with some resistance for two statuses, but as soon as you want to go 4* on it the resistances change. All variants of this armor have some jelly family bonus, meaning specialists who want to storm the crowned jiggler himself using a variety of weapon types can do whatever they want. They may not get the fancy charge bonus for bombs SDemo has or the gun attack speed Gunslinger has, but all three weapon types benefit from the family bonus. There are tw- three branches for Chroma. One of them comes from Shadow Lair crafting.
Virulisk keeps poison and pierce defense. At 4* you still only have +1 jelly, but at 5* that bumps up to +2 per part. Herp de derp. Poison is more of a nuisance than a major threat when facing simple enemies, but against a tidal wave of colorful blobs your weakened defense is akin to bending over. Not only do you have more damage against those snots, you also have defense against the main source of their damage. Who holds the crown now? The lizard.
Salamander takes the fire defense from Chroma and trades in its pierce defense for element. It still has the same family bonus rates as Virulisk, but the combination of element and fire defenses makes it better suited for Firestorm Citadel. Its defenses are not particularly high nor its benefits. Compare it to Vog Cub. Take the +4 jelly bonus for the V.Salamander or +4 sword speed with Vog Cub. Oilers are pretty obnoxious though only a few appear in there. Salamander branches as well, going with Volcanic or Arcane. Volcanic is essentially Vog Cub with jelly family bonus instead of sword speed, but Arcane has its element defense bumped to match its normal and splits its family bonus from +2 jelly per part to +1 jelly and +1 beast per part. It also has the same fire defense as Volcanic. That means Arcane has +2 jelly and beast for the armor set and more accumulative defense than the other two. Mathematically, 5* armor with family bonuses should be about +1.5 in ratio to every +1 weapon specific bonus to balance the utility in varying scenarios but apparently only being useful one sixth of the time is equal to being useful one third of the time. Go tell Three Rings to change family bonus armor to be like Deadshot, +2 family bonus and +1 weapon bonus per part. For example, for V.Salamander keep the +2 jelly bonus per part and add +1 sword speed or something. No charge bonuses for swords or guns, no attack speed bonuses for bombs.

You probably expected Fang of Vog.
Tough tortoises.
Quicksilver is very similar to Jelly. In fact, the normal and pierce defense values are the exact same. However, Quicksilver starts at 3* as a boss token reward from Roarmulus. You have to repetitively fight the giant turrets to get these things while Jelly only takes some quick dumb crafting. Why would you want to work so hard for something with the same damage type defenses? Jelly may have resistance against two statuses, stun and sleep, but Quicksilver only has one and a bonus effect: shock defense and +1 movement speed bonus per part. Quicksilver is based on the shock jelly, also named Quicksilver, which is often referred to as a static pinball. Once one of these little boogers gets a buzz it likes to bounce around. Does that mean this armor does that? No, but the movement bonus is nice. Shock resistance also helps when you want to keep moving and stay alive at the same time, meaning everyone. Shock itself is the hybrid between fire and freeze but plays a few cards of its own. Unlike freeze, shock subjects the afflicted to a spasm at every damaging interval rather than simply keeping them stuck in place. The constant damage may not be as high as fire but the spasm opens the afflicted to attacks since they are unable to shield or move. The movement bonus is often belittled for its insubstantial effect, though little appreciation is given for how useful that miniscule bonus can be. It could mean evading an attack by a hair. It could mean outrunning those derpbillion turret bullets vomited by derpty-herp turrets on the other side of a ditch. It could mean moving out of the way of a zombie trying to steal your internal mechanisms then shoving a bomb down their throat. Whether the miniscule bonus helps you or not, Mercurial and Mercurial Demo are the only things which increase movement speed we have so far. Notice how both have shock defense. This is the kind of bonus befitting people who like to strafe at close and medium range. If you like gunning from as far as possible, use the bonus to run faster. You can still shoot, though while attack animations are going your movement is slowed for the attack. Throw some bullets at them, run a while, throw some more bullets at them, run again, repeat until everything dies from exhaustion.

Changing that. Get out of here, extra consonant. Your kind is not welcome here. I was organizing index for a couple of my threads last night and my eyeballs started to go to sleep without me.
I was juggling between the Vanaduke sword or shield next. Most people want the sword, but the shield is pretty useful. People like throwing more damage out there but the shield has high defenses.

Them prices be high, even though all >+4 UVs are a huge jump. Then again, max UV. Then again hen, I would only buy it as a collectable. Then again hen Ben, I could make it into a decent melee tanking helmet. Then again ten hens named Ben, I already have V.Plate. I would buy it if I had the energy to burn, but I would rather burn it on M.Demo or something I could at least pretend to want to use. If I were you I would keep it and make it Almirian.
I have never heard of that before but it probably does have a chance to happen. If a Dread Skelly shield can drop from Vanaduke, why not?

"Spin to win" has probably existed from several games, but I use it as a reference to Vindictus; more specifically Lann using a spear, one of the attacks allowing the user to spin for a while until their stamina wears out and all you can do is stand there like an idiot. I personally prefer using twin swords instead of twin spears because swords have incredibly dodging ability while spears give up a lot of dodging and evasion ability in exchange for more damage while cutting your own health for even more damage.
Owlite is here, Drake only has specialized defense to protect against projectiles better, Plate can defend against melee attacks well so you can bump them away, Swiftstrike gives you some attack speed but has low defense values, Scarlet gives you some health but has low defense as well, Jelly and Skelly have the normal and specialize defenses as Owlite but with different statuses; go through the shields and find what you want. I am not here to force my preferences onto others, otherwise there would be more bombers running around.

Fang of Vog 
This sword is very similar to Calibur in its basic and charge attacks but has split normal-element damage, a substantial rate of fire, and slower attacks. Fang of Vog is another Vanaduke boss token reward and is often used for its charge attack, which due to the slowed attacks allows its spin to potentially damage four times rather than three with Calibur lines. Unlike Calibur lines, Fang of Vog is a 5* token reward and is not craftable; the only way to obtain this sword is through boss tokens or someone who did it for you and unbinds it. Only sissies buy Fang of Vog from other players. Fang of Vog has a chance to inflict fire on both basic and charge attacks, though the damage rate for the basic attack is often neglected; people want that giant charge attack of death. However, when using the charge attack the user has a chance to burn themself; avoid equipment vulnerable to fire if you plan on repetitively using the charge attack.

 Blackened Crest
This shield combines several desired features of other shield into one fancy not-wearing-pants defensive tool which everyone will have at some point. At first all it has is normal and shadow defense as a 4* shield from the Vanaduke tokens, but when it upgrades its defenses jump and it gains both shock and fire defense. Before upgrading it, you have to grind for this stupid thing. Once you get enough tokens after about ten repetitions, you probably think you want to grab Fang of Vog or one of the Ancient Plate parts. Stop that. You want the shield. Fang of Vog is one of your priorities, especially as a primary sword user, but this shield is pretty important for most of the more difficult areas. Why do most higher areas have shadow damage? Ask the producers, I have no idea. A lot of Shadow Lair armors have shadow defense, explain that to me. Apparently shadow is the final damage type. Does that mean to drop whatever you are doing and scramble for Skelly/Snarbolax/other shadow stuff? If you want. What am I, your babysitter? This shield is similar to the specialist shields (Owlite, Skelly, Jelly) but has decent normal defense and status resistances. In terms of versatility it still depends on what kind of enemies you plan to face, but this is a decent shield for versatile use against projectiles and melee attacks as well as defending against the two most common offensive statuses. Do you want to burn? No. Do you want to be electrocuted? No. Do you want to be reconstructed by mauling zombies? No. Do you want to die by flying skulls vomiting bullets? N- What did you say? No, absolutely not. Two of the common upper difficulty areas where this shield stands tallest are Firestorm Citadel and the new daily prestige mission, both obese with undead and shadow damage. Zombies are everywhere. Zombies think you are flesh flavored. Apparently breathing on you is a natural means of killing their prey, and there are other types of enemies, but for the most part these are zombies and dead things trying to kill you because you are trespassing in their house. What are you doing in here? Did you find the key under the mat?

Angelic makes you look like a pretty princess.
This is one of the few armors with shadow defense and is often favored for its defenses: mainly its resistance to curse, at least until 5* branches. Its normal and shadow defenses are mirrored, meaning it can be used against projectiles as well as melee attacks fairly equally though it is best to avoid being hit to begin with. The point of fighting is to stay alive long enough to kill the other moron. The poison defense is nice at times, but the fire weakness often keeps people away from this. Everyone and their sister are obsessed with spamming Firestorm Citadel for profit at later tiers, rolling in the dough to make a nice pizza, but the monotony gets stale quickly. Not everyone is satisfied with doing the same thing constantly forever, especially if you have no reason to be grinding for money. Sometimes you need to beat the weird giggling out of Seerus, other times you feel like playing patty cake with Deadnaughts, other times you are in the mood to join lower tier parties to help less experienced players. Only you can prevent yourself from doing what you want. Do you want to pet Snarbolax? Get in there. Is there always room for gelatin? Stop asking me, just go do it. Angelic line starts at 3* and branches at 5*, but from 3* to 4* it only has +1 fiend bonus per part. While those Devilites are busy laughing at you for wearing a dress you will be slicing them into neatly organized sandwich meat before packaging and selling them to other unsuspecting knights. Do not tell them where the meat comes from.
There are three branches for Angelic, one of which being a Shadow Lair armor; they all have split normal-shadow defense and at least some kind of bonus.
Valkyrie line is the extension of the line from the start, continuing its preexisting values: the normal and shadow defense are still equal, it still has poison and curse resistance, and it still has fire weakness; it also has +2 fiend bonus per part and has a very bright color scheme. You may burn like a dry leaf, but no one will doubt you are the belle of the ball.
Fallen line is jealous of Valkyrie. She always asks dad if she is as pretty as Valkyrie but he always has to do something elsewhere, for some reason. Unlike the pretty blonde, Fallen has her curse and fire weaknesses switched: resistance to fire but weakness to curse. The fiend bonus also turns negative, but gets +1 universal attack speed per part. While Divine Avenger and Valkyrie go to a party, Fallen and Gran Faust stay at home. Sometimes Faust is risky around Fallen due to the curse weakness, but the attack speed means the basic attack is satisfactory. Why do you have to use the charge attack? The basic attack is fine. They may not be as effective against fiends, but at least Fallen has the same defenses as Valkyrie. Sure, Valkyrie is better for just dealing damage, but Fallen works behind the scenes to significantly cripple enemies while unnoticed.
The last line is strange. Originally mom and dad wanted another daughter like Valkyrie, but instead they got Heavenly Iron. He has more normal defense without losing shadow defense, keeps +1 fiend bonus per part, still has decent curse resistance, but gives +1 sword damage bonus and has a lot of shock weakness. They still love him for the better defenses and decent bonuses for sword wielders, but the shock resistance makes them a little hesitant to embrace; shock is a very versatile status, but when afflicted is devastating. Not to say other statuses are useless, but shock is common enough to think twice before jumping into the fray. Mom always tells Heavenly Iron not to play with shock Devilites, but he would rather suffer the shock than hide like a coward. He learned how to evade and has the skill to get through, but the occasional unpredicted stapler can mean a major change in the tide of battle. Hopefully Valkyrie will fly in and help him in case that happens, but otherwise he can stand on his own.

This weapon could have easily been significantly favorable.
The swing mechanic was changed to imitate standard lines, Calibur and Brandish, though the original mechanic was more favorable: every attack would lunge the user toward their swing though the swing area was strange. From the mechanic it seems to be a hybrid between foil and Cutter swords, but with less damage and stops at 4*. The charge attack is somewhat similar to Brandish and Sealed lines, but the projectile is fairly small and has significantly lower damage with absolutely no status. Spur line always has pure normal damage but at 4* the basic swings fire little projectiles on the basic swings. The projectiles do not travel very far and have very low damage, but at least it has a projectile. The original lunging mechanic made it similar to foil swords, but how is this similar to Cutter? The projectile from the basic attack at 4* allows for consecutive impacts, meaning if you are fighting something which is easily interrupted by attacks you can swing and throw at the same time. Spur may not have the same lunging ability to keep you on the offensive, pushing the enemy along with you, but at least it still has the projectile. The charge attack from 2* to 4* is relatively the same, a swing which fires a disk which damages along its path, but if you try to shield cancel before the projectile is fired it cancels the projectile completely. Brandish and Sealed lines let you shield cancel before the projectile is on its way, why does Spur not do the same? Because it is not Sealed or Brandish lines. Similar to Cutter, Spur lines have the ability to chain several impacting attacks on the same target rapidly but lacks in damage; however, Spur is more lacking in damage than Cutter, has no 5* variants or bonus effects such as a status or family bonus, and is favored for its basic attack over charge. The weapon itself has mediocre interruption ability compared to other swords and has low damage; its main use, for the few who do use it, is as a bastardized Cutter. It thinks it wants to be a Cutter and Flourish at the same time, but then it wants projectiles; Spur is all over the place. Supposedly this is supposed to be a fancy sword, but the only redeemable factor which this weapon has over other swords is the projectile on the basic attack at 4*; unlike Pepperbox line it does not have a significant secondary use, but it still has little projectiles. They can be used to interrupt enemies which have attacks easily interrupted, such as Greaver flips or zombie breath; though other swords often do the job better and have more damage at the same time.
 Liquid Lawnmowers
I am "temporarily retiring" from the forums, meaning until further notice I will not be as active in the forums as I have been since a week or so ago and earlier. I have been having skull splitting headaches for over a week and it shows no sign of leaving anytime soon. Imagine smashing your forehead with a meat tenderizer. Now imagine the mallet is twenty pounds of solid stainless steel. Now imagine that beating constantly on your head for hours at a time. I still plan to update this, this, and the current thread when it stops for about an hour every once in a while.
The next update for the current thread will be the new shard bombs and the changes to Big Angry. If I had an Irontech I would re-review it as well, but I am hesitant to invest in yet another weapon when I already have too many. It should be up tomorrow. Before anyone asks, I am against the change made to shard bombs but especially against the three reskins which branched from the new mechanic. I am also against the changes made to Big Angry. The addition of stun to Radiant Sun line appears to be with the intent of forcing players who still want to use the mechanic with piercing damage to switch to the new piercing shard bomb to consume more energy, meaning Three Rings pockets more off their backs. What a cheap trick. I could continue this rant about shard bombs but I have already done so a couple times in past threads against the change. Update tomorrow. Headaches. Pretending to be a parrot. Polly want a justice.

"The next Dark Retribution"
This new mechanic is basically the complete opposite of how it originally worked. This new mechanic has six repeats; all have the exact same mechanic, two of those six are the old Radiant Sun and Ionized Salt lines. Before we get into the excessive branches, we need to go over the mechanic all of them are forced to share. The bomb has an average base charge time, including old ISalt. Once planted a relatively small blast radius appears and the bomb detonates upon completion. After this detonation eight shards land a short distance away from the blast radius, in place of the old eight projectiles which would fire in every map direction (north, west, east, south, northwest, northeast, southwest, southeast) which also detonate. When the initial detonation occurs enemies caught in the blast are pushed conveniently to where the shards land, though there is a delay between the first explosion and the shard explosions. The first explosion has relatively low damage, comparable to the initial detonation of the Seerus bombs, and the shards do less damage per hit; which is also comparable to the Seerus bombs. When I refer to the Seerus bombs here I mean the nerfed version. Keep that in mind. In spite of the damage type variation amongst the branches, they all have the same basic purposes: if you chain/constantly plant bombs while staying in the blast radius of the first explosion, enemies who approach you will be repelled into the shards. This does not work if the target(s) can attack while repelled, especially if they have any form of distance attack. For those you are forced to stay mobile, but at the same time you still have to be able to attack. What do you do? Well, first you need to know how to kite. Nearly all weapons are used best with kiting ability, but this mechanic especially relies on it. If you are still chaining with this mechanic you need to direct the enemies to be hit by the shards or at least the initial explosion. Remember, the first explosion knocks enemies out of the blast radius to where the shards land. Do not stand where the shards are if an enemy is about to be bounced right into your face. You need your face attached to the rest of you for face purposes. This mechanic and tactic combined relies very heavily on the enemies staying within attack range and not rolling away. Both of the attacking points of this bomb have small areas of effect but cover an average area. The area near the epicenter is covered by the first detonation followed by the shard detonation which is allegedly designed to accumulate damage against large crowds of enemies. However, why would you want to use this when you could use Nitronome for more damage per target in more area of effect? Actually, that was a bad example. Nitronome is supposed to be the superstar bomb which makes the other ones look bad. Regardless of how "modest" Nitronome is the new shard bombs fail where other bombs already exist. What was the point of the change if it has no offensive benefit? Apparently it was "not bomb-like" even though swords and guns are not sword-esque or gun-esque. Herp derp. Unless these bombs get a damage buff, users of these weird chunks of crystal rely on using it for utility. This is coming from a primary bomber who thinks Winmillion is kind of useful and Valiance is an amazing sidearm. Try to resist the urge to smash your head into your monitor. The knockback on the first detonation allows ally bombers to plant without worrying about enemies who do not use distance attacks to stand with you and chain their own bomb, likely a Vaporizer or something without knockback or suction. With a Vaporizer you can deal constant damage to the crowd while your buddy vomits some status affliction all over their new clean shirt. It may have been washed not too long ago, but now they need to replace it completely. If the Vaporizer happens to be Shivermist line you can safely plant while they are frozen and being constantly refrozen by your buddy, meaning you two can juggle damage in the area for a while. However, this will take longer than using an offense based bomb in place of your shard bomb because of the lower damage rate. Take a Barrage or something. The damage may not be as low as I make it seem, but if you are using a shard bomb as if it were Barrage or a Blast line you are not going to do as much damage.
We have six branches for this. I am not exaggerating. I have heard that they all have the exact same mechanic and the only differences are damage type and status inflicted.
The first branch is the classic Radiant Sun; or should I say Scintillating Sun, the 5* upgrade of it. They took its element damage and kept its pierce about the same as it was before, then slapped a decent rate to inflict stun as the cherry on top. A rotten, maggot infested cherry which has been stepped on. This bomb also has a +4 fiend family damage bonus on it derived from its old +3 fiend bonus on the orignal RSun. Yes, stun is still broken. It appears to work some of the time. More specifically, when something is inflicted with stun and attempts to attack between each second as the status counts down the afflicted performs a double attack; the attack which would occur without being stunned follows through with no animation, then the delayed attack which follows the visual animation occurs. Fortunately for owners of Radiant Sun before the update, Three Rings gave you a triple UV ticket and let you keep the bomb. When I logged in and saw this in the mail I honestly expected it to be taken out of my arsenal but it was still there. Unfortunately for all Radiant Sun owners stun is still broken and has been for a long time rendering this bomb nearly useless. Thanks a lot.
The second branch, Deadly Splinter, is closely related to Scintillating but has no status to inflict and higher pierce damage. Why make a new branch instead of having this be the new Radiant Sun? People who already had the original would have little/no use of the "improved" version, meaning if they still want it but without stun they have to spend for a new weapon. Imagine going to the grocery store and buying the same kind of bread you usually do. Now imagine, one day, you go home with that bread and find the entire inside of the loaf was hallowed out and filled with wadded paper. You go back to the store demanding a refund but you do not have the receipt. The manager says you messed with the bread and if you want a replacement you have to buy a new loaf. That is what this branch is. That second loaf.
The third branch which technically should be the second is good old Ionized Salt, or Shocking Salt in its 5* form. This baby had its split normal-pierce damage traded in for pure shadow, its old jelly/slime family bonus bumped from +3 to +4, and keeps its amazing rate of shock. The rate is the same as stun for Scintillating, but shock is not broken and has a lot of benefits with this weapon mechanic. Imagine Nitronome combined with Voltaic with less damage but longer lasting shock. And shadow damage. And if you owned this at 4* before the update you got another triple UV ticket, just as with RSun, and the bomb is now amazingly useful. I find it strange that the significant rate of shock was kept in spite of its original function on the old ISalt, designed to creep up behind someone and shove an electrical chunk of salt in their pants and run away flailing your arms in the air while making gibberish noises. If you absolutely need to have the new shard mechanic but only want one of the many branches, go for Shocking Salt. If you are deterred by the shadow damage make one of the other specialized damage ones or skip Shocking Salt and just get the normal damage one.
The fourth branch which appears to be somewhat common now is Deadly Dark Matter, the spinoff of Shocking Salt with more shadow damage, no status, and no family bonus. Honestly, the only reason to get this over Shocking Salt is if the status bothers you. Want to use the new shard mechanic against Quicksilvers? Okay. Shocking Salt has a fat jelly/slime family bonus, but whatever. You do what you want to do and I do what I want to do.
The fifth branch is a lazy attempt to make the "damage DPS" bomb people have been crying for. Do we need it? Not really, but the same applied to branching Graviton to make Electron. Think about it. How many people would use Graviton over Electron these days unless they had it before the update which added Electron? Me. Punk. This branch is named Deadly Crystal and imitates Deadly Dark Matter and Deadly Splinter but with element damage. No status, no family bonus; just pure element damage. Boring.
The sixth branch is yet another lazy attempt to create more versatility options for bombers. We already have enough branches of these, stop making more. This one is similar to the three specialized damage branches but in normal damage rather than a specialized type. Unlike most normal branches from the same mechanic, this branch has the same amount of damage as the other three specialist branches. These four have slightly more damage than Shocking Salt and Scintillating Sun lines, but with no family bonuses or statuses to inflict.
And now for a small rant/moment of whining.
Why are there six branches of this? Why does Scintillating Sun have stun? Deadly Splinter would be pointless if there was no stun on Scintillating Sun. The deviation for the two shadow branches is acceptable because of Quicksilvers, but with the pierce branches Three Rings is just trying to sell us that punk bread. Is this how you get your sick kicks? Selling us bread full of wadded paper? The element line is barely tolerable, but since they made a normal line all they really need are the two originals and the normal. Why did they make six branches anyway? More variation means more crafting, more crafting means more energy spent, more energy spent means they make more money. Do not buy the fake loaf. Get the one or two you want and get out of this nonsense. This is coming from someone who has all the Vaporizers except Stagger because stun is still broken and I have no intention of making any of the new branches because I already have the two originals. Before the update Ionized Salt was one of the weapons always put down for how useless it was. With this new update it trumps its past superior and has become an amazing utility bomb. When I heat up my old Ionized Salt to beat it into 5*, unless either no UV pops up or I get a bad UV, I am going to slap one of the triple UV tickets on it. Even if my Scintillating Sun had no UVs on it I would not so much as spend a single UV roll on it now.

Big Angry and Irontech
From what I can tell, all they did was extend the blast radius from three to four to match Nitronome and add stun to both. Damage rates seem to be the same, stun is still broken, and the increased range is not a significant incentive. These two alternative lines, more so for Big Angry, are essentially tsunamis compared to normal wave currents; the tsunami has more power, but the other waves have more speed and height. One has the power to squish you into liquids, the other is big and rolls in fast but is less powerful in water pressure. Which is more threatening?
The main appeal to the old Big Angry and to a lesser extent Irontech was more damage per hit and knockback. Big Angry has a big model but the blast radius was smaller. The explosive strength of the bomb was condensed so targets caught in its blast would be damaged more, but since we fight in open areas that would not make sense; how does something condense the explosion if there is nothing to condense it? Try filling a balloon with water until it pops when the balloon is a barrel. This may have been why they increased the range instead of the damage, though with more damage Big Angry would slowly creep towards being the single target fan favorite for bombers since Three Rings took the old shard bomb mechanic away. Irontech can still be the middle ground between Big Angry and Nitronome, but Big Angry is supposed to be more bang for the buck while Nitronome allows users more mobility and speed. Speed or brute force. With a larger blast radius on Big Angry its animation was also increased, meaning laggier explosions and more deterrents for a bomb which could be far more useful than it has become. Bombs are allegedly designed for area of effect, swords for melee, and guns for range, but there are distinct deviations from this triangle for swords and guns. No one is saying to have a bomb with a normal attack which damages independently. No one is saying we should have bombs which are specifically designed to fire projectiles. Some say there should be a bomb option for single/few targets to deal more damage to less targets, which the old shard bomb mechanic did with multi-impact effects. Those are hardcore bombers. If I were to have changed Big Angry it would have been to decrease the blast radius from three to two spaces and increase the damage so it does more against one to three targets than Nitronome would but less with more targets. More damage against less enemies. Less damage against more enemies. Irontech can be in that weird middle ground or have a completely different bomb mechanic, though the latter is unlikely.
Why was there no change to Deconstructer line? Ask the same for Spur line. And Vanquisher. And Chroma lines. And Jelly line. And Magnus lines. And Plate lines. In fact, there are far too many underpowered equipment items.

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