The Karakuri Katana might be the most basic weapon in the Wild Hearts Arsenal, but it's not to be underestimated. It's a quick weapon, though slower than the claws. It's also less powerful than the Nodachi, falling between those weapons. Here's how to use and master it.
Karakuri Katana Basics
Like other weapons, it has a Light Attack combo (5-hit chain) and a Heavy Attack combo (3-hit chain). It also has three Special Attacks that can be combined with the above combos. You can use them alone, but using them with other attacks can be more effective.
These attacks fill the Release Gauge, which is the unique mechanic of the weapon. This unleashes the Karakuri within the katana, turning it into a bladed whip. All its attacks will now hit more times, dealing more damage than its base form. You can use a specific combination of buttons to exit the mode before the gauge depletes.
The Unbound mode makes the weapon faster, stronger, and give it more reach. Though many combos are the same, they might look slightly different. You want to be in the state more often than not. Charge up the gauge and then let it rip with the whip sword.
The Karakuri Katana also has several different moves when used with Karakuri.
- Crate - Jumping off one and performing an attack will make the character do a downward slash.
- Spring - The character makes a rolling double slash attack.
- Glider - Attacking from one makes your character descend in a rolling slash attack.
- Torch - The character does an iai slash that sets the sword on fire.
You can string the basic attacks into some truly terrifying combos. Here are some example combos you can do:
- Instant Twing Blade Slash Storm - Light + Special
- Sunder Slash - Heavy + Special
- Slash Burst into Sunder Slash - Light + Heavy + Heavy + Special
- Endless Tornado - Light + Special + Light + Special (for as long as you have the stamina)
- Super Heavy Combo - Heavy + Special + Light + Heavy + Special
The Sunder Slash is one combo you want to practice, as it repositions you on the battlefield. It's an important piece of your repertoire because most heavy damage-dealing moves use stamina. If you run out, you can dodge, but at least you can use this to get out of the way of an attack. You can even tack it on most of the other combos.
The Endless Tornado is a one high-damage move at uses up your stamina. You'd want to use it when the Kemono is stunned or otherwise vulnerable. It can also charge up your gauge, but again, you'd be susceptible afterward because of a lack of stamina to dodge.
You can also use 3 Light attacks and then a Special to deal massive damage. It's even better when in the Unbound mode, as it increases the weapon's output.
Best Skills for the Karakuri Katana
These will make your usage of the Karakuri Katana better. They give more damage, refill the gauge faster and make the weapon more efficient. With the Karakuri Katana, the following passive skills will make you a deadlier and more effective kemono hunter:
- Critical Master: Deal more damage and improve Critical Hit chances.
- Savage Skill: Boosts all attacks to deal more damage. Best used with airborne attacks.
- Stock Slash Skill: Reduce gauge consumption during the Unbound state.
- Ailment Wielder Skill: Improves your ailment stacking ability, increasing your damage over time and chances to defeat the kemono.
Karakuri Katana Tips and Tricks
If the kemono starts running away while you're in the Unbound state, you can deactivate it to prevent depletion while you chase it down.
The Karakuri structures are excellent mobility and attack aids, so use them as much as possible. The Crate and the Spring are the two best structures to make. Also, keep an eye on your thread count. You can't make more structures when you run out.
The Torch is an extra structure that can boost your damage, but that's secondary to the others. Make one if you have the threads to spare. The Crates and Spring are better for increasing overall strength, as the fire sword is temporary.
The Karakuri Katana does not offer any defensive abilities. Learning how to dodge the kemono's attacks when using this weapon is a must. Still, stamina management is a handy skill to learn.
In line with stamina management, your special attacks are costly. Make sure you time using those attacks well. Otherwise, you could lose your stamina and won't be able to dodge. Sure, you could use the Sunder Slash to reposition, but that also requires some mastery. If you use it willy-nilly, you could land yourself in a more dangerous position instead.
The Unbound mode is potent. However, it is easy to miss seeing when it's ready. Keep an eye out for the gauge, so you don't miss an opportunity to use it!
Use your most potent combos when the Kemono is knocked down, bound, or otherwise vulnerable. These attacks are stamina-draining and have long animations that can open you to attacks from the kemono. Timing these moves will let you survive longer because you don't leave openings for you to be attacked.
The Karakuri Katana might be basic, but it's one of the game's more reliable and consistent weapons. It doesn't have too much flair, but it's a good weapon for practicing dodging. It's the perfect beginner's weapon to figure out the mechanics and flow of battle.
Once you learn the latter, practicing with the other weapons becomes easy. Your knowledge with the the Karakuri Katana will be handy when you start using other melee weapons. Okay, the ranged weapons are slightly different, but only two exist. There will be some mechanics and parts that will translate. However, some things will not.
For the melee weapons, it's easier to switch between them. Much carries over, though, of course, they're not all the same. At any rate, the Karakuri Katana might not be specialized in one thing. Still, it gives you the foundations of being a good kemono hunter.