Thanks to Sucker Punch, Ghost of Tsushima takes players on a riveting stealth-action experience that does a retelling of Japan's first Mongol invasion that took place on Tsushima Island. However, beyond Tsushima's compelling narrative lies the Ghost of Tsushima: Legends mode. This cooperative game mode allows players to don the mantle of the Samurai — now tasked to fight bandits, Oni, and Tengu with a team of warriors.

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The Samurai in Legends can imbue their blades with the power of spirits to unleash devastating attacks aided by their Stances. Additionally, their powerset allows them to soak damage and remain on the front lines. However, just what approach should players take to create the best Samurai build for their Legends team?

Updated on November 20, 2021 by Rhenn Taguiam: Thanks to Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, fans of the acclaimed Ghost of Tsushima franchise can play with their friends. Unlike the more grounded story of Jin and his role as the titular Ghost, Legends has players face off against mystical enemies in an effort to protect the land. In it, they take the form of one of four Classes, the most familiar of which would be the Samurai. Lifted from the frontline fighter of the main game, the Samurai focuses on melee combat, strength, and sheer power. As such, they tend to stay as defenders of the long-ranged Hunter, the stealthy Assassin, and the support Ronin. However, players can actually tailor-fit their Samurai to accommodate various situations if they know how to build them properly. As teamwork is crucial in Ghost of Tsushima Legends, a section dedicated to how to synergize the Samurai with the other classes has been added to this guide.

The Samurai: A Matter Of Survival Versus Offense

A quick look at the Samurai's Class Abilities and Perks immediately associates them with a tanking role. Ideally, Samurai should soak in damage for the party or start the assault against stronger foes. In turn, the best Samurai builds also depend on whether players want to prioritize survivability or an aggressive assault for the round.

A Solid Focus On Both Defense, Offense

Unlike other Classes in Legends, the Samurai is built precisely to outlast foes or eliminate them up close. Contrary to the speedy Assassin or the utility Ronin, the Samurai is best equipped to deal with melee threats. In that regard, players can build their ideal Samurai on either a defensive or offensive front.

  • A default defensive approach will rely more on Spirit Pull, Defender, Critical Defense, and Heavenly Strike. Ideally, this general approach allows the Samurai to outlast waves of enemies by sacrificing a bit of offense.
  • A default aggressive approach may opt for Explosive Blade, Deep Strikes, Resolve Increase, and Hachiman's Frenzy. This general build should allow the Samurai to eliminate his foes quickly before they push him on a corner.

Get Fluid With Stances

In Legends, certain swords only get access to specific Stances depending on their rarity. In turn, Samurai shouldn't forget to remain fluid with their Stances of choice. Here are some considerations:

  • Moon Stance: A niche option for players who want to focus on killing Oni, as their heavy attacks can stagger most foes.
  • Wind Stance: Great with its irritating kicks and anti-Spearmen parries.
  • Water Stance: A more fluid stance that can help players deal with Shieldmen as well as Brutes, Spearmen, and Swordsmen.
  • Stone Stance: The stationary focus of the Stone Stance makes them effective only against Swordsmen.

Class Ability: Healing Versus Aggression

The Samurai's Class Ability more or less dictates the general approach they want to take in combat, especially since each Class Ability either augments the Samurai's healing or their offensive capabilities. A Samurai should choose their Class Ability depending on the role they want to take on the battlefield. Here are some considerations:

Explosive Blade Debilitates Foes

Explosive Blade adds explosions when hitting enemies. When used against a multitude of foes, Explosive Blade can make quick work of enemy clusters more efficient. This transforms the Samurai into the main DPS or a tanking unit, perfect for protecting crucial points – especially when the team has to pursue other objectives.

Unfortunately, the heavy offensive focus of Explosive Blade does encourage unnecessary aggression. In sticky situations, this can cause missed strikes or panicked button-mashing, which can leave players open for attacks.

Spirit Pull Adds Passive Healing

Contrary to the explosive potential of Explosive Blade, Spirit Pull instead adds incredible sustain to the Samurai's abilities. Granted, this can drastically reduce their overall DPS output. However, Spirit Pull compensates for what it lacks in firepower with overall survivability.

This passive lifesteal enables Samurai to last longer without always relying on the Ronin. Moreover, Spirit Pull almost always guarantees that Samurai will never have to leave position. That way, their allies can pick off foes while they focus on the Samurai.

Perk 1: Brawn Versus Speed

Similar to the Class Ability, the Samurai's first Perk choice comes with a decision that can dictate their build. In this regard, the player needs to choose whether to bolster their defenses or increase their overall attacking speed.

With Defender, Samurai can become emboldened in combat thanks to the added survivability. This allows them to endure extended fights much longer. Meanwhile, Deep Strikes adds much-needed speed to help them hack their way through enemies faster.

Defender Helps Survivability

For Perk 1, the Defender's Health +25 boost seems attractive when combined with the Spirit Pull. However, a mere +25 boost to Health seems pale in comparison to percentile increases of Deep Strikes or Samurai Unleashed. After all, they adjust as the Samurai ranks up.

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Deep Strikes Adds Speed To DPS

Deep Strikes give a 10-percent Melee damage boost, enabling the Samurai to hack through opponents much faster. Samurai with a knack for counter-attacks might enjoy parrying and countering assaults faster with this Perk. Samurai Unleashed gives a 15-percent reduction to Class Abilities, enabling the Samurai to enjoy better passive healing from the Spirit Pull. This Perk works best for Samurai who want to boost their defensive abilities.

Perk 2: Defense Versus Resources

Most pro players know that parrying strikes and dodging powerful attacks are the first steps to chaining powerful combos. And in the case of the Legends' Samurai, players need to remaster the art of dodging or parrying against multiple enemies. While parrying blades is easy, trying to dodge through arrows can interrupt one's combat flow and deplete Resources much faster than anticipated.

The Samurai has three solutions to this. With Perk 2, players can either choose Lightning Reflexes, Critical Defense, or Resolve Increase. With the former, Samurai now have the ability to parry incoming arrows. Meanwhile, Critical Defense boosts the player's evasive windows when in low health. And lastly, Resolve Increase gives the user a plentiful boost to their Resolve resource.

Lightning Reflexes Adds Defense Against Ranged

With Lightning Reflexes, Samurai can use blocks in order to parry incoming arrows. Unfortunately, Lightning Reflexes encourages staying stationary instead of looking out for attacks from the archer's allies. While Lightning Reflexes does solve the problem of ranged attackers, the focus on parrying arrows can leave the Samurai open to other melee combatants.

Critical Defense Expands Protection In Low Health

Critical Defense increases the Samurai's window to parry and dodge attacks when in low health, giving them a chance to retreat. Despite the rather straightforward benefit, Critical Defense gives the Samurai the opportunity to turn things around with adequate protective measures.

Resolve Increase Adds Options In Emergencies

At its core, Resolve Increase adds 1 Resolve. Despite the low number, this Resource can become handy in pulling off critical moves in sticky situations. Resolve Increase allows players to do better Techniques to control the flow of battle, giving the Samurai more options in battle.

Perk 3: Equipment Versus Offense

A Samurai cannot be defined by their equipment, especially when they can come in the form of both a charm or their own fighting strategy. In Legends, a Samurai's Perk 3 can determine their overall performance in combat. At its core, a player can either carry another beneficial item with them, expand their stronger attacks, or come up with swifter strikes.

In this regard, the Samurai have three options for their Perk 3. The last to be obtained, Legendary, can have the Samurai carry one more Legendary item with them. Meanwhile, Heavenly Strike allows them to perform an unblockable quick attack. Lastly, Hachiman's Frenzy adds two more strikes to the deadly assault.

Legendary Relies Heavily On Item Choice

Granted, in Legends, the Legendary Perk can become a lifesaver, depending on the item being held. The downside of this option lies in the need to procure useful Legendaries in the first place. This encourages reliance on Legendary items instead of mastering Techniques first.

Heavenly Strike Gives A Quick Solution To Encounters

With Heavenly Strike, Samurai can focus on pummeling down heavily-armored foes that might impede the team's progress. That's because this Perk lets Samurai perform an unblockable strike. It's precisely thanks to its fast-paced nature that Heavenly Strike can become a solid asset to the DPS Samurai. With Heavenly Strike, a player can engage multiple enemies at once with a handy attack.

Hachiman's Frenzy Expands Ultimate

Hachiman's Frenzy adds two extra strikes to the blazing Hachiman's Fury, letting the Ultimate tear through various foes in quick succession. Straightforward as it is, Hachiman's Frenzy gives players more room to attack more foes or focus their strikes on a single elite enemy.

Ultimate: Target Wisely

Granted, using Hachiman's Fury becomes a fun way of hacking through an enemy wave quickly. However, the fast-paced Ultimate works best as a deterrent against stronger foes instead of being a mere wave finisher. In that regard, players should best reserve Hachiman's Fury against Legends' much stronger foes, such as Oni Brutes and Oni Defenders.

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Players shouldn't neglect the mobile potential of Hachiman's Fury. Remember, Samurai become almost invincible while an Ultimate like Hachiman's Fury is undergoing its animation. Ergo, players can use this Ultimate to get out of sticky situations by choosing their last target as someone far-off the area.

Ghost Weapon 1: Slow Versus Stagger

As with Perks, Ghost Weapons in Legends are extremely situational, but they are never solely kept by the Ghost-like Assassin. All Classes in Legends have access to Ghost Weapons that can augment their playstyles. In the case of the first Ghost Weapon, Samurai should choose based on their combat approach.

Sticky Bomb Stuns Enemies For Tactics

For instance, Samurai who want to focus on more defensive roles should pair their Spirit Pull with the Sticky Bomb. With it, Samurai can stun a group of enemies for a tactical retreat.

Kunai Can Lead To Devastating Kills

Samurai who prefer to make things explosive may appreciate the Kunai. Explosive Blade paired with additional Kunai can stagger opponents long enough for Samurai to land explosive killing blows.

Ghost Weapon 2: Reposition Versus Healing

Comparatively, the Samurai's second Ghost Weapon should supplement their first weapon of choice. That way, the Samurai can have more than one option at hand should they want a tactical approach in combat.

Caltrops Give Guaranteed Lifesteal

For instance, Samurai can pair their Sticky Bombs with Caltrops. These two Ghost Weapons, when paired, can damage enemies enough to siphon delicious health with Spirit Pull.

Healing Gourd Gives Guaranteed Healing

Samurai with a more aggressive approach should pair their Kunai with the Healing Gourd. Theoretically, a Samurai relying on Explosive Blade will likely have a lot of offensive Perks — meaning, a Healing Gourd can give them a breather they need for quick healing.

Playstyle: Melee Is Key

Despite the option to use the Half-Bow as a ranged weapon, Samurai should always remember to keep their fighting in melee. They should leave the ranged fighting to the Hunters. Due to the nature of their abilities, the Samurai functions best as a frontline melee fighter, particularly a Tank.

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In this regard, Charms should remain focused on damage boosts in order to augment the power of their Spirit Pull. Katanas should focus on extra abilities such as having fire attributes to give attacks that much-needed spice to rake up the damage. Moreover, despite the build, Samurai should never focus too much on hitting enemies. As a Tank, their primary objective is to soak in aggro while the rest of the team eliminates the wave with their own specialized tactics.

Best Class Synergies

Due to the Samurai’s nature as a frontline fighter, they boast a lot of great synergies with the rest of the Classes in the Legend game mode. When used properly, a Samurai can transition from a defender to a deadly slasher or even a decent support. Here are some great synergy opportunities the Samurai shares with the other Classes:

  • Assassin: At its core, the Assassin thrives in dealing massive single-target damage. When done right, a well-timed sneak attack can eliminate enemies in a few short blows - which is extremely helpful in more challenging Nightmare Modes.
    • However, despite their keen damage output and teleporting Shadow Strike (Ultimate), the Assassin does tend to be much weaker in terms of defense.
    • The Samurai can help in this regard by being a decent distraction, offering to become a frontline tank to take on multiple attackers - leaving more than enough openings for the Assassin to eliminate them one by one.
  • Hunter: The long-distance nature of the Hunter makes them very deadly when it comes to defensive incursions. Their barrage of arrows can eliminate hordes of enemies before they even reach their other teammates, which is a great way to support a Samurai defender from being overrun.
    • The Hunter's ability to control the battlefield from afar and their multi-attack Eye of Uchitsune (Ultimate) depends on how well they're protected.
    • As such, the Samurai can rely on the Hunter's long-ranged support to take care of mobs while they eliminate the more elite foes.
  • Ronin: Despite being a support Class, the Ronin can hold out on their own when it comes to melee incursions. Due to this, they’re expected to be in the front lines as often as the Samurai, but Ronin still need a bit more assistance compared to their more chivalrous counterparts.
    • Albeit not as powerful as the Samurai, the Ronin's nature as a support character makes them extremely mobile. Their Breath of Izanami (Ultimate) lets them revive their team, making them vital in almost any setup.
    • As such, the Samurai can expect to thrive against more difficult opponents thanks to the capacity of the Ronin to either heal them, buff their damage, or even receive assistance in the form of spectral animals.

Ghost of Tsushima was released on July 17, 2020, and is available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

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