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Best and Least Favorite Melee Stances


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I'm mostly just curious how much people like and dislike melee stances. I remember when they reworked the stances, and messed up a bunch of them most, if not, all of which they've yet to fix.


Best: Blind Justice
Worst: Brutal Tide

Blind justice has many quick slash combos, if you combo it correctly you can get a short range ever lasting chain going.

Brutal tide used to be one of my favorites, but post rework they messed it up badly, it only has 2 combos, standing + melee, block + melee, and forward + melee are all the same. On top of that, the Block + Forward used to be a massive gap closer, now literally every other combo on it goes farther. XD

As a side note, one of my favorite parts of sparring weapons in general was the spin-kick you did when doing the air-melee, replaced by an awkward punch downward that really doesn't fit at all.

Edited by Joezone619
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Kronen prime is probably the best melee weapon in the game atm primarily because of Sovereign outcast stance.  It has fast multi hit combos with several forced slash proc's Im still expecting it to be nerfed at some point.

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I like Vermillion storm and my least favorite is either Vulpine mask or Defiled Snapdragon.

Vulpine mask was butchered with the melee rework, it was really nice to use it felt good but now it's just there.

Defiled Snapdragon feels uninteresting for the weapon type it belongs

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1 hour ago, TomCruisesSon said:

Rending Crane is definitely my favorite stance, the way Lashing Tempest glides through enemies feels so smooth and buttery.  Turning off the "align attacks to camera" option really lets this stance shine.

Definitely  one of my favorites aswell, Forword+E combo is just too good and increased slash damage is a plus too

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I know this is heresy, but I absolutely hate Shimmering Blight (polearms).  If you have basically any attack speed boosts, it requires rebinding your melee key to the mouse scroll wheel to actually perform the combo.  I don't want to do that, because I often accidentally brush the scroll wheel while playing.


There might be a staff stance that functions similarly.  Not sure.


I love stances that preserve my momentum while I'm holding forward and melee attacking.  Cleaving Whirlwind is one of my all time favorites as a result.

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If you just mean in terms of feel and not damage output, my favorites are Malicious Raptor, Vermillion Storm, Defiled Snapdragon, Blind Justice, Cyclone Kraken, Crushing Ruin, and Spinning Needle.  Some of these have very open movement and others don't, so apparently that's not a big deal to me.

Least favorites are all the fist, sparring, and staff stances.   And any stance that doesn't have four basic combos.

Special dishonorable mention for Vulpine Mask.  Not one of the absolute worst stances, but it's the only rapier option, and it's such a letdown to me as a RL fencer.  It's just blah.

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Rending Crane was always underrated and Melee 2.99999... only gave it better multipliers and dash distances. It is my baby. 

I'd still say the "best" stances are ones with easy and/or strong forced slash procs that don't sacrifice too much mobility for them. Sovereign Outcast, Vulpine Mask, Malicious Raptor, Crimson Dervish, Defiled Snapdragon etc all fit in this category. Look I love my edgelord stance too but Crimson Dervish deserves this for losing its guaranteed finisher on Coiling Impale OK?

The least favorite is probably a tie between Brutal Tide and Sinking Talons--there are some stances that I strongly feel DE flat out ignored in Melee 2.99999... and those 2 are included there. I'm slightly more inclined to grant this particular dishonor to Brutal Tide and sparring weapons in general; neither of sparring stances are outstandingly strong or, more importantly in my view, maneuverable when sparring weapons should be THE stylish mobility melee. And to cement their awfulness the weapon class' heavy attacks actively work against you. Prisma Obex and Kogake are some of my favorite melee weapons in this game and it's a shame only some meme-y ground finisher builds seem to work. 

Sinking Talons is another 2 combo stance that got diddlysquat with Melee 2.99999... and its close PvP cousin, Biting Piranha, has been doing this: 


Yes you look MENACING but you have both your hands up so you don't even block anything. You just stand there, menacingly, for the 1.5 seconds it takes to get gunned down and transform into Oro. 

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Both: Before it was ruined by changed in melee 2.999, Grim Fury. What a wonderful stance. Your slide attack was a sliding kick, so you could slide in and kick a Heavy Gunner into orbit. Your air attack was a spinning roundhouse. Charge attacks always opened enemies to finishers, so you could do an overhead kick and then uppercut them in the jaw for a OHKO, or snap their neck from behind. Slams knocked people down and you could pounce them for a multi-hit ground kill. And all of this just using quick melee! Now that the heavy attack uses up your combo meter and the S#&$ty Lifted effect makes your targets float away it's not nearly as good :(

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Favorite: Blind Justice (Nikana)

Why: It just feels good.  The attacks come at a good speed, they hit over a good area that's not too finicky.  And you gotta love the gap closer.


Least Favorite: Any Polearm Stance

Why not: It's just your upper-body moving independent of your lower-body.  Looks goofy, the hits come out a weird rate and seems finicky to connect with.  Dislike.

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Vengeful Revenant, Tempo Royale for their mobility.

Stalking Fan is the one i normally use for scythes, but the Impact combos hurt the dps of the weapons, the other stance Reaping Spiral is just so slow-slow as in immobile, i would still put this in the least favorite category.

I like all the stances for Nikanas and usually use Decisive Judgement for its visuals (because it looks more...professional)and because that's what i got used to.

Gunblades, iirc. the default one can be used for just shooting without interruptions (and without having to break combo), other than that i use High Noon.

Generally, whatever fits the polarity and isn't too impractical, most stances are pretty bad overall.

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stances with variety are best. my top 5 best and worst, in no particular order:

best 5:

- Cyclone Kraken: it saved us machete lovers from the horror of Sundering Weave and is a fast and fluid stance that looks good and hits hard.

- Final Harbinger: this is so much of an upgrade over Eleventh Storm it's unreal. you become a walking beyblade with high attack speed Ack & Brunt.

- Blind Justice: I actually didn't like htis stance originally, becasue I never really got the whole reverse-grip thing, but having been exposed to hollywood tropes at lot more since then, it's actually not a bad stance at all. then I discovered the dash combo, and fell in love with it.

- Twirling Spire: alright, it IS clunkier than Shimmering Blight I'll admit, but I like some of the movements it has, and I've spent years with Shimmering blight, it's just nice to have a change.

- Swooping Falcon: it's a really smooth stance, originally I favored Vengeful Revenant, but this one looks more... natural(?) than all the flippy-craziness of VR. 

worst 5:

- Tranquil Cleave: worst Nikanas stance IMO, it just doesn't look right: like it should have been for shorter one handed weapons like daggers or machetes.

- Wise Razor: you all know why... I love Two-Handed Nikanas as a class, but we desperately need another stance. 

- Iron Phoenix: it's just too basic.

- Sundering Weave: back when it was the only machete stance and all machetes were total garbage weapons. dark times, they were.

- Crossing Snakes: too slow for dual swords IMO, it just can't compare to the insane multi-hits of Swirling Tiger. Carving Mantis gets a pass though, it's not too bad. 

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🤔 I haven’t tried all the stances, so I’m no expert, but for the most part I really like stances that have at least 4 combos (though that’s subject to change if I like how a stance feels).

Top few;

- Cyclone Kraken; That initial chop of Gale Triton sold me on the entire stance when I first used it. It’s just so brutal, and I love bisecting enemies with it.

- Clashing Forest; Battering Roots is pretty fun to punt an enemy away with, and Resolute Flurry applies Lifted status, which has saved my hide a few times

- Gaia’s Tragedy; I like Mountain’s Rage as an easy-to-control distance closer, and that anticipation before the last strike of Forest’s Remorse really sells the sense of impact

- Stinging Thorn; Unfortunately I don’t have this one on my PC account yet, so I can’t quite remember how it feels, but I did like it, and I remember realising that the Warframe holds the dagger in their toes for Lacerating Spine 😋. That’s kind of awesome.

- Malicious Raptor; I like the feeling of blending enemies with the Venka claws. They look really good with this stance

I can’t quite remember what stances I didn’t like so much, and looking through the wiki doesn’t give me the sense of whether the animation felt good or not.

If I had to choose at least one, I think I recall not liking Twirling Spire so much because some of the attack animations felt just a smidge slower than I’d like (I was using it on the Kesheg at the time; maybe the innate attack speed didn’t help)

edit: I think also Brutal Tide felt a little weird. Kind of floaty and slow (I do love Grim Fury for its kicks)

Edited by (NSW)Greybones
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Already said which stances are terrible, now I'll get to the ones I like 


Twirling Spire is a favorite. I like the spinning, I like Cresting Peak alot, I pretty much like all 4 combo's available, and mixing them. 

Malicious Raptor is another favorite, I pretty much like every combo in this one too. I like the eviscerating gutpunches and jumping+spinning uppercuts in Jagged Gash. I like the cool headbutt that causes knockdown on targets in Venging Thrash and then maiming the knockdown enemies. I really like Lethal Crash and how much distance gets covered during the sliding then facepunch.

I like Tempo Royale, has good forward momentum, can move at good pace while mashing attack button. 

I like Crushing Ruin for same reason I like Tempo Royale, can mash attack button while moving with haste. Alternating Shattered Village and Slide Attacks. 

Edited by (XBOX)CaligulaTwily
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Tough topic. While I have "favourites", no stance ticks all my boxes.

The perfect stance for me would have:

  • 0 Liftup effects from the combos or heavy attacks (heavy slam being an obvious exception)
  • Neutral Combo - Good single target focus, with a slashproc and knockdown being the perfect effects contained in there, and slight forward movement.
  • Forward Combo - Fully mobile combo.
  • Block Combo - Quick CC attack(s)
  • Forward Block Combo - Non-janky gapcloser, followed by mobile and/or far-reaching strikes.

That said, I would say my overall favourites would be these:


(Scythes) Reaping Spiral - Imo, its issues / notable upsides are:

  • - Neutral Combo has Liftup, one that randomly has a PARTICULARLY bad habit of yeeting enemies really far behind you.
  • - Forward Combo's third (which is the final combo) stops you, but it's not as jarring as many other stances' Forward Combos stopping effects tend to be.
  • - Sadly has no Block Combo at all.
  • + Both of its heavy attacks have slashprocs, are wide, and are also thankfully not causing Liftup!
  • + On a massive plus-side for me, I think it has really cool animations (despite some animation issues if you interrupt the combos). It hits the sweet spot of having "crazy movements" while still remaining badass and genuinely deadly-looking (rather than just being goofy, like you can see a lot in for example Final Harbinger, or the toe-grip slash from Stingin Thorn, urgh).

(Dual Daggers) Spinning Needle - Imo, its issues / notable upsides are:

  • - Forward Combo isn't fully mobile, and has Liftup.
  • - Forward Block Combo ends with a very immobile set of combos.
  • + Heavy attacks come out fast, proc slash and cause knockdown
  • + I think the animations look fluid and cool

(Machete) Sundering Weave - Imo, its issues / notable upsides are:

  • - Forward Block Combo is quite poor for gapclosing and has a really stiff ending strike.
  • - Forward Block quite clunky, and is also boring animation-wise, due to it basicly just being the same as its two heavy attacks...
  • + One of VERY few stances which has a Forward Combo which is fully mobile AND also having all 4 combos to use.
  • + The Neutral and Forward Combos really feel like a "chop chop machete", having some true weight to the animations. I really like those.

(Nikanas) Decisive Judgement - Imo, its issues / notable upsides are:

  • - Neutral Combo has Liftup (but is not TOO bad, as the next attack has knockdown, which cleanses Liftup)
  • - Forward Combo second attack has stops you dead in your tracks, and it is just 2 combos repeated over and over, which means repetitiveness AND serious lack of mobility. This was something which sadly was all ruined by melee 2.9999. I still miss it T_T
  • - Forward Block Combo is a tiny bit poor in the gapclosing department
  • + Animation-wise, it's my clear favourite among the NIkanas (in particular the full Neutral Combo, I love it!), as it looks more "practical" than the other two. I don't often like the overly "crazy movement" stances, at least not when they go to the more silly side of things, which I feel the other two Nikana stances do a bit.

(Polearms) Shimmering Blight - Imo, its issues / notable upsides are:

  • - Forward Combo has only two repeating combos.
  • - There's no Neutral or Block Combo, making for an even further really repetitive stance
  • + It's incredible mobile, and the Forward Block Combo is both good for gapclosing and hits very widely along its travelpath
  • + Boring as it may be, it's a very practical stance

(Single Swords) Swooping Falcon - Imo its issues / notable upsides are:

  • - Forward Combo is not particularly mobile
  • - Block Combo has some weird animation loops. I have a feeling the first and second combos should be swapped for a more fluid animation
  • - Forward Block Combo's first attack basicly doesn't close any gaps at all, its a TINY dash only
  • + A big plus here is that, aside from the Block Combo issue mentioned above, the other combos' animations are all smooth and excellent! Practical, yet subtly flashy.

(Dual Swords) Crossing Snakes - Imo its issues / notable upsides are:

  • - Forward Combo is not fully mobile, but it's not the worst either (and it has very wide swipes)
  • -/+ Forward Block Combo has a big gapcloser, which can be both good and bad (as it's a bit hard to land). It looks totally awesome though!
  • - Neutral Combo has ZERO special effects! No slash, no knockdown. Real shame.
  • - Block Combo is just.... ugly. It is exactly this kind of "crazy movement" which I dislike. And it's the strongest combo, of course >_>
  • + I really like the simplistic and more practical animations on the Neutral, Forward and Forward Block combos. I just really wish the stance was stronger T_T

As for least favourite... I dunno, I kinda dislike most stances. Just some more, some less. Do note that most of them LOOK quite good, but don't play well (be it lack of mobility, too many Liftup effects, no slashprocs at all, or very narrow width on their attacks)

Edited by Azamagon
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Some Favorites:

  1. Pre-Old Blood Cyclone Kraken.
    Melee rework shortened its combos (and nerfed some of its multipliers/forced procs). The missing bits where stolen by given to Sundering Weave. It's still okay, but before it was the Broken Bull of machetes and just felt better
  2. Vermilion Storm
    A fast forward combo with a spin? Sign me up.
  3. Votive Onslaught
    Fast, stylish, and strong. Feels great to use.


  1. Stave stances
    Both could easily be merged into a single stance (and still be meh). What's sad is that Clashing Forest used to be alright, but something got messed up in the Old-Blood.
  2. Atlantis Vulcan
    Nunchuku are cool but their stance feels bad.
  3. Whip stances
    Still in purgatory for Maiming Strike's sins.
  4. Defiled Snapdragon
    A loser of the melee rework. Doesn't feel good to use now.
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A couple of my honerable mentions would be

-All Fist Stances
-All Polearm Stances

Both are heavily slam focused, which seeing as slam is the worst damage method in the game for a few reasons, automatically puts them on the lower end, but most don't even have complete combos.

As for why slam is bad, It barely does any damage, and lifts enemeis outside of melee range, essentially making it harder to damage them.
(seriously, who decided "lift" was better then channeling, sure we didn't use it but damn, at least it wasn't counter-productive.) 

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I'm going to throw Cleaving Whirlwind into the bin, purely for that stupid stagger that bites you if you lose track of what you're doing.

Cant say I'm much of a fan of Tempo Royale either. Every time I use that my heavy blade feels less like I'm holding a sword and more like I'm trying to brain stuff with a cricket bat.

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I do not use nowadays so much variation (mainly single, dual swords, polearms, hammers) I hate flailing branch by passion. Without stance the staves are crap but with this one it compete the worst stance ever created. Too many stances are stopping you during melee where the important is your mobility. Honestly the devs should play the game without godmode and then maybe realize this is not fun or if they still find it fun I suggest them report to Alad's Lab.

Iron Phoneix is good for my opinion because let me do quick melee and not disturbing me while fighting. The two polearm stance the bleeding willow and shimmerling blight what I use mostly also not stopping you when quick melee but their combos somehow is not terrible. Honorable mention could be sinking talon for daggers because that also not interupts that much. 

Most of the stances makes the weapons worse and stopping the momentum. I would like them revisit the stances again and make it more mobility friendly while adding new combos and speed up animations to already existing ones. 

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