Swordmaster Guide

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The Swordsman's Handbook

While this guide is a thorough introduction to swords, links to more sources of useful information can be found at the bottom of the page.


Swords are the bread-and-butter of Spiral Knights, but to utilize them to their greatest potential, one must study them in great detail. Specializing as a Swordmaster is very fun due to the fact that you can easily deal vast amounts of damage. In most fights, swords are often the fastest way of getting rid of single enemies or small groups. Using swords the right way will allow you to face nearly any danger in the game.


A Swordmaster's most effective technique is the use of shielding. Swords remain the top damage-dealers in-game, but using them puts oneself in close proximity a wide array of enemies; this makes skillful use of the shield even more important for sword bearers. If one fights recklessly, one may find oneself quickly dying in many situations. Spiral Knights should familiarize themselves with the information in the Shieldbearer Guide, and especially with the technique of shield bumping.

It is equally important for a Swordmaster to keep attack patterns in mind. A Swordmaster needs to memorize the timing/rhythm of enemy attack patterns as well as how to break them. Doing so will enable a Knight to land as many hits as possible. Attack patterns are best memorized through first-hand experience.

Of course, it is essential for all Spiral Knights to familiarize themselves with the concept of damage. There are four damage types: normal, piercing, elemental, and shadow. Having three swords with damage corresponding to monsters is a great advantage for a Swordmaster. While good old Calibur and its big brothers are good enough to handle almost every monster in the Clockworks, specialized swords are better against specific threats.

Control Scheme

Control schemes are important for every swordsman. Having quick access to weapon-switching and shielding is important. Here is an example of a good control scheme for a Swordmaster:

Control Scheme
Attack Shield Aim Move Previous/Next Weapon
LMB RMB and LShift Mouse WASD Q/E

Left-handed Control Scheme
Attack Shield Aim Move Previous/Next Weapon
RMB LMB and RShift Mouse IJKL U/O


A good Swordmaster should put evasion as his top priority during battle; remember, you can always land another hit later! You could also let your friends finish a monster by themselves. Health is important, especially when going up against a great amount of enemies. Defense always comes first, except in a few specific situations (such as killing healing enemies such as the Gremlin Menders).

When facing a huge mob of enemies, a good attack pattern would be to:

Wait for enemy to come in range -> Attack once -> Shield and retreat -> Repeat

You can avoid having to attack before charging your weapon by using this pattern:

Shield -> Hold attack key -> Un-shield.

(See shield charge for more information.)

Slow two-hit swords have a wide swing; so, before attacking try to position and angle yourself to hit as many enemies as possible. This is sometimes easier with auto-targeting turned off (so you can aim between monsters rather than at one in particular), so make sure you bind the toggle to a convenient key.

Cutters, Spurs, Flourishes and Thorn Blades make you move a lot while attacking, which can be both a blessing or a curse. This allows you to dodge hits while attacking, but in some cases can put you in danger or make you run into spikes. Autotargeting is quite useful while using them (especially for Flourishes/Snarble Barbs), as it makes it easier to follow enemies with consecutive attacks, but can make it difficult to target small enemies (such as Silkwings) that are nearby larger ones.

Advanced Techniques

There are several subtleties in the mechanics and controls for swordplay in Spiral Knights that can be exploited to your advantage with a little practice.


The final attack of a sword combo generally does more damage than the attacks leading up to it, and may also have a larger hit area or greater knockback. While you can always begin a new combo, sometimes you really want to get that finisher, and the enemy just isn't in the right place.

Well, you don't need to attack as fast as possible to perform a combo; you can wait a fraction of a second between attacks and still build towards your finisher. Most enemies try to move towards nearby knights. If you notice an enemy is slightly out of range when you are ready to perform your next attack, waiting a beat will often give the monster enough rope to hang itself, allowing it to blunder into your attack range just before you complete your combo.

This can be especially handy when you see the enemy charging an attack, if you have a finisher capable of interrupting them or knocking them out of range before their attack goes off. Alternately, many enemies move forward while making an attack, and waiting a beat may be the difference between missing them as you step into their kill zone and letting them whiff before you strike.


If you hold down your attack button after making any sword attack, you will begin charging for a charge attack. If you release the button while you are charging but before charging is completed, you will perform a normal attack instead. If you release at just the right time, the release attack will continue your previous combo instead of starting a new one.

The trick is this: unlike while performing a combo, while charging an attack, you can move. If you continue a combo by holding the attack button and then releasing it with correct timing (rather than pressing it a second time, as normal), you can move up to one square in any direction between attacks without breaking your combo.

This can be done between any two attacks in a sword combo. However, because it relies on holding down the attack button when making the previous attack, a lunge cannot be performed before and after the same attack--you can do it at most once every two attacks.

Shield Cancel

Shield canceling is a general technique usable with all weapons, but sword users gain the greatest benefits, because they can use it to change which attacks are included in a combo.


Generally, swords have either Normal or split Normal and other damage. This prevents swordsmen from taking as much advantage of damage types as gunners can, but the bonuses are still quite significant. The only exception are the Flourishes and Thorn Blades which deal pure Piercing damage which allows them to greatly outdamage other swords while fighting enemies vulnerable to Piercing.

Still, it is a good idea to carry three swords with different damage types and alternate for different enemies.

Slow Swords

The slow swords - the Divine Avenger, Gran Faust, Sudaruska, Triglav, and Warmaster Rocket Hammer - have combos with two strikes (with the exception of the Warmaster Rocket Hammer). These swords have wide attacks with long range and good knockback, but they are very slow. Attack speed increases, be it from UVs or gear, will help greatly when using these swords. The second strike of these swords have a moment afterwards when the player is vulnerable and cannot shield. Attack speed increases can shorten this time, however there are some situations where it will always be better to use the first strike only and shield cancel.

Divine Avenger

The Divine Avenger is a split Normal/Elemental Sword. Its charge is very useful for a Swordsmaster because it gives them a powerful ranged attack, great for crowds of enemies or distant Gun Puppies, but the swing itself deals even more damage (nearly doubled 2nd hit damage). While the Warmaster Rocket Hammer outclasses it in DPS, the Divine Avenger is much better at keeping the user safe.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • Is able to hit otherwise inaccessible enemies/blocks with the charge attack
  • Projectile blades from charge attack make some enemies dodge or shield
  • It is possible to activate several switches at once with the charge attack

Gran Faust

Gran Faust is a Normal/Shadow damage version of the Divine Avenger. It is currently the only weapon that is capable of dealing Curse with its second strike or charge. Unlike the Divine Avenger, then Gran Faust's charge shoots one large blade instead of three smaller ones. This makes it more useful on single enemies or tightly clumped groups, but far less effective at crowd control. The charge also has an approximately 1/3 chance of cursing the user. While the curse time (usually 40 seconds) and amount of weapons cursed can be reduced with curse-resistant gear, the charge attack is often not worth using unless you are confident that the curse will wear off before needing to attack again. Keep in mind that the curse will only affect two weapons, if you have extra weapon slots you can continue attacking using the non-cursed weapons.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • Can Curse both opponents and you (with charge)
  • Undead and Fiends (excluding Greavers, Silkwings, and Howlitzers) are immune to Curse
  • Some enemies, such as Lumbers, can be afflicted with Curse but will take no damage from it. This may be a bug.
  • Is able to hit otherwise inaccessible enemies/blocks with the charge attack
  • Projectile blades from charge attack make some enemies dodge or shield


The Sudaruska deals pure Normal damage. It is slower than the Divine Avenger and Gran Faust (see data), with no more or less knockback (see discussion). Its charge attack is an overhead swing with good AoE range, high damage output and big knockback. The charge may also stun struck enemies. It causes rocks to erupt from the ground around the area you strike, but they do not appear to deal extra damage.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • Both the Sudaruska's and Triglav's charge attacks can leave you very vulnerable, as there is a recovery period right after the attack where you are unable to move or shield.
  • The charge attack deals enough damage to instantly kill most enemies in stratum-appropriate areas while traveling solo
  • The low speed means that the charge attack is almost useless in lockdown


Triglav is the final form of the alternate Troika (Grintovec) line, and freezes enemies instead of stunning them. It can cause freeze with both the second hit of the combo and the charge attack. Its charge attack is similar to Sudaruska, but creates a patch of ice instead.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • If an opponent is frozen by an attack, it won't be knocked back.
  • This sword is obtained as a PvP reward
  • The charge attack deals enough damage to instantly kill most enemies in stratum-appropriate areas while traveling solo
  • The low speed means that the charge attack is almost useless in lockdown

Warmaster Rocket Hammer

Possessing possibly the highest DPS of any weapon (Besides the Autogun line)in the game, the Warmaster Rocket Hammer is awarded for completion of the Operation Crimson Hammer Expansion Mission. It is somewhat different from other slow swords, as it not only deals pure elemental damage, but has a three hit combo attack instead of two, featuring a dash attack that can hit several times in between the two strike attacks. Its charge attack is a large overhead swing with a large knockback similair to the troika line charge, except that the smash is performed twice in succession. Remember that it is not always ideal to perform the dash attack in a combo. For this reason the shield cancel becomes vital: Shield cancelling after the first attack will turn the "dash" attack into a strike, allowing a knight to perform a 3-hit combo with this sword. Remember that the dash does not always have to be made in the direction of the enemy, so by striking once, then holding shift to disable Auto-Aim (or by disabling it in the options menu) you can dash away from enemies before they have a chance to retaliate. Like other slow swords, it is often wise to shield cancel after the second attack (strike or dash) rather than complete the combo with the final strike. This weapon can also interrupt elemental resistant enemies.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • This weapon can only be obtained by purchasing and completing the Operation Crimson Hammer expansion mission.
  • If used carelessly, this sword can propel you into traps and other unpleasant situations with both the dash and charge attacks.
  • Pure Elemental Damage is dealt, so it is much less effective than other split-elemental swords for fighting gremlins or beasts.
  • This weapon can dish out extremely high amounts of damage if all hits of the dash attack connect, provided the enemy does not resist Elemental.

Average speed Swords

They follow a 3-hit combo pattern, with the third hit usually knocking enemies over and/or interrupting attacks.

Leviathan Blade/Celestial Saber

The Calibur line is a good choice for beginning knights - they deal Normal damage and have the same attack pattern that Proto Sword does, with the addition of a powerful 360 spin attack charge with great damage and knockback. Normal damage makes them equally good against all enemies. Its charge attack is useful for dealing out damage or dispersing a crowd of enemies, and can deal heavy damage to stationary monsters such as Gun Puppies. All enemies can become stationary when they are shocked or frozen. Voltaic Tempest or Shivermist Buster, combined with Calibur's charge attack is a great tactic, which can turn this normal damage sword into a deadly, if not the deadliest weapon. The Leviathan Blade is recommended over the Cold Iron Vanquisher as a general use sword, as it deals more damage overall, and the charge attack provides far more knockback. However, Cold Iron Vanquisher's charge attack outdamages Leviathan's against: Chromalisks, Lichen colonies and Giant Lichen colonies, Silkwings, Devilites, Kats and all (other) Undead.

The Celestial Saber is very similar to the Leviathan Blade, but trades the ability to flinch most enemies on its third hit for a chance for moderate Stun on its charge attack. While it has a better charge attack than the Leviathan Blade, the Celestial Saber can only be obtained from a Equinox Prize Box promotion, so most players will not be able to get this sword.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • Charge attack will strike static enemies three times.
  • Charge attack has huge knockback and may throw enemies at your allies if used carelessly.
  • The charge attack of the Celestial Saber is capable of stunning enemies.

Cold Iron Vanquisher

The Cold Iron Vanquisher, compared to the Leviathan Blade, provides a damage bonus against Undead in trade for less damage against every other monster type. The charge attack also provides far less knockback than the Leviathan Blade, however, this can be useful in some cases as it is far easier to strike enemies with every hit of the charge attack.

Note that the Sweet Dreams sword offers a moderate Stun on its charge attack, with the only tradeoff being an Undead bonus of Medium instead of High. This makes the Sweet Dreams a better choice than the Vanquisher, however, the Sweet Dreams is only obtainable from a Slumber Prize Box promotion and therefore may be impractical for the average player to obtain.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • Deals less damage than Leviathan Blade despite appearing to have the same attack power.
  • Charge attack strikes enemies multiple times in exchange for poor knockback.
  • The charge attack of the Sweet Dreams is capable of stunning enemies.


The Brandish is a versatile sword, able to be upgraded into various different alchemy paths. The Combuster, Glacius, and Voltedge deal Normal/Elemental damage and may inflict their respective status effect with their charge attacks. The charge attack consists of explosions whose number and chance of triggering increase with each upgrade. There is no clear "best" choice between the three, as they only differ in which status effect their charge applies. Note that the explosions generated from these sword's charge attack will cause projectile-fearing enemies to try and dodge the explosions (this is rarely a problem if the monster was hit by the initial swing and knocked down as a consequence).

The Combuster provides raw damage and does not disrupt knockback with its status effect, meaning enemies may "ride" the full wave of their charge attacks and be knocked far away from the user. The Glacius provides utility by freezing mobs so you can deal with them one at a time, however enemies that are frozen by the charge attack will not be knocked back and thus this sword cannot be used to push enemies away like the Combuster. The Voltedge is a damage/utility hybrid that does neither job best, but truly shines when used in combination with a Graviton Vortex or Electron Vortex due to how well shock combines with those bombs.

Defense none.png Be Aware


The Acheron inflicts Normal/Shadow damage and lacks a status effect. The Acheron has very high damage and can even outdamage the 5* elemental brandishes against constructs. This gives the Acheron great versatility and makes it an excellent choice for any knight in need of a good sword. The Acheron is a popular choice to use against the Royal Jelly as its speed will allow great damage and quick shielding. Its charge is excellent for clearing groups of enemies.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • The explosions generated from this sword's charge attack will cause projectile-fearing enemies to try and dodge the explosions (this is rarely a problem if the monster was hit by the initial swing and knocked down as a consequence).
  • Does not inflict any status effects.

Obsidian Edge

The Obsidian Edge is another Normal/Shadow damage Brandish, but unlike the Acheron it shares its damage values with the elemental brandishes and can inflict poison with the charge attack. While generally weaker than the Acheron, it is still a good option and poison's ability to prevent enemy healing and increase party damage output should be considered. Note that this sword is an event reward so obtaining it may be difficult.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • This sword can only be crafted using special materials obtained during the Shroud of the Apocrea event.


The runt of the litter, the Amputator is a pure Normal damage Brandish that lacks a status effect during the charge attack. Its damage values are the lowest in the brandish family, with any other 5* brandish outdamaging it against neutral targets. Its only apparent upside, the high damage bonus against Slimes, does not help the sword's case at all as both the the Acheron and Obsidian Edge will deal more damage against Slimes. The fact that maxing out your sword damage bonuses will nullify the Slime bonus completely only adds insult to injury. It is highly recommended to avoid this sword completely, unless you're crafting it for the looks.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • This sword's apparent specialty is done far better by the Acheron and Obsidian Edge
  • Rock salt is required to craft this sword, so it could technically be considered a boss reward

Fang of Vog

The Fang of Vog has a chance of causing Strong Fire with all three hits and its charge attack. The Fang of Vog deals Normal/Elemental, and its normal attack is both slower and weaker than all other 5* average speed swords, making the Combuster outclass it for normal use. However, where the Fang of Vog truly shines is its charge attack. Similar to the Leviathan Blade, it is a 360 swing with great knockback. While risky to use due to the chance of setting the user on fire, it provides both better range and far more damage than the Leviathan Blade's charge. The damage is so great that it can one-shot many enemies, especially solo, and can make boss fights much easier. The Royal Jelly in particular is made a breeze with the Fang of Vog. It is also heavily applicable in fights with Lord Vanaduke and his shadow lair version, as the charge attack hits for massive damage on slag guards and the fire recoil is easily healed with the hearts the slags drop.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • This sword's charge attack is incredibly powerful, but may set fire to the user.
  • Avoid this sword if you do not plan on using the charge attack, as its normal swings are outdone by other 5* swords.
  • Getting this sword requires at least 14 full Vanaduke runs.

Fast Swords

Fast swords have various patterns (usually 3-hit patterns like the medium speed swords), but the common feature is their exceptional speed. If you are using a fast sword, it is advisable that you turn off auto-aim because this feature can cause you to be thrust into floor hazards by your own attacks. With auto-aim off a fast sword is much safer but it also requires some skill at aiming.


It has low damage, but to compensate, hits very, very fast with a ten-hit combo routine, and the Vile Striker and Dread Venom Striker, its 4* and 5* versions, are capable of poisoning enemies which increases damage they receive. It is a very good sword for T1 and T2, but in T3 its overly aggressive playing style requires much more skill to use safely. The Cutter line has an extremely high reward for leveling it to level 10, as it gains the 30-odd bonus from leveling up on each hit, effectively giving it 300 extra damage on the combo. The Wild Hunting Blade is usually overlooked, but is actually in some ways superior to the Dread Venom Striker. The charge attack of the Wild Hunting Blade interrupts a monsters attack, which is a feature that the Dread Venom Striker does not have, making the Dread Venom Striker's charge attack very hard to use without taking damage in return. Also, the Wild Hunting Blade has more range, since the phantasmal Wolvers bite in front of the blade, not behind as in the Dread Venom Striker.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • Can make you walk into floor hazards.
  • Has a long combo, which means that it takes a bit longer to give out the maximum damage output.

(These issues can be counteracted by player skill)

Final Flourish

The Flourish line has excellent swords for every Swordmaster that has trouble with Fiends or Beasts. They have the same damage as their Calibur counterparts but are faster. Their attack pattern allows you to follow enemies as they dodge, and enabling auto-aim helps you dance around the battlefield decimating whole groups of Devilites. Their second attack is able to interrupt Greavers, third even Trojans. It is not recommended to upgrade it to Rigadoon or Flamberge because they have nearly 20% less damage than pure Flourishes and the chance to Stun or Fire is below 10%. Flourish charge attacks are extremely powerful, but rarely useful - its main use is against a group of Devilites or a single Trojan which can barely survive such an attack.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • Thrusts have long range and can make you enter floor hazards.
  • Due to the strict piercing damage output, this sword is nearly useless against slimes and constructs

Barbarous Thorn Blade

The Snarble Barb line is identical to Flourish, except for the charge attack. Every sword in the Snarble Barb line shoots multiple spikes which makes it better against fairly close groups of enemies, but worse for single enemies (unless all of the spikes hit the enemy). It is also harder to obtain good UV's because it is a boss reward.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • Thrusts have long range and can make you enter floor hazards.
  • Due to the strict piercing damage output, this sword is nearly useless against slimes and constructs


The Spur line has a basic combo which is similar to the Calibur or Brandish lines, except that each slash will propel the user forwards a fair distance. At 4* and 5*, each slash also causes a small projectile to appear. The charge attack of the Spur line is a backstep followed by a strong slash which fires a projectile that deals low damage; the charge attack can have it's aim adjusted at any point until the slash occurs, and can be shield cancelled.

Defense none.png Be Aware

  • Each attack causes a high level of movement and can easily throw the user into traps.
  • Once the line reaches 4*, the projectiles that are added cause enemies that have reactions to bullets to use said reactions. This is a minor drawback when fighting those enemies.
  • The hitbox on the charge attack is bugged. It is centered at the user meaning that it can hit behind the user and has less range at the front than the normal attack.


While these are not all the options available, sword specialists or simply those who favor swords will often choose either a full or mixed Wolver set, which provides a low sword bonus on each piece. This is fairly simple up until 5*, where one must make the choice between Skolver, Snarbolax, and Vog Cub. While it is ideal for a sword specialist to possess both full sets, those who cannot yet afford this should conider the pros and cons of each.


Skolver is the straight upgrade of the Wolver line, it protects against normal and piercing damage, gives resistance to Freeze and offers a medium sword damage bonus on each piece, offering a very high bonus when both pieces are equipped. When used with the Barbarous Thorn Shield, a maximum sword damage bonus will be obtained. While very good offensive armor, and excellent armor all around for the Royal Jelly Palace, its lack of elemental defense, attack speed increases, and fire resistance can make you much more vulnerable than Vog Cub users, especially with heavy swords and in Firestorm Citadel. However, remember that player skill can make this set shine anywhere by simply avoiding attacks, and Elite Quick Strike Modules can be used to make up for the lack of attack speed increases.


Snarbolax provides the same sword damage bonus as Skolver, but has shadow defense in place of piercing, and loses some (not all) freeze resistance in exchange for poison. Since this armor can only be crafted after completing a Shadow Lair, it is not really a realistic choice for your first five-star armor, unless you are willing to pay someone else to craft and unbind it for you.

Vog Cub

Unlike Skolver, Vog Cub trades out medium sword damage bonuses for medium attack speed bonuses. It protects against normal and elemental damage, gives resistance to Fire, and will give a very high attack speed increase with both pieces. Of the two sets, Vog is more defensive than Skolver, speeding up swords for faster shielding and also providing increased DPS. Vog Cub is considered the best armor choice for Firestorm Citadel, providing both relevant defenses for the stratum, and being a great complement to heavy swords such as the Divine Avenger. Elemental defense is much more important than Piercing in tier 3, which usually makes this set a better choice than Skolver unless you are confident in your ability to dodge. To make up for the lack of sword damage bonuses, one could equip two Elite Slash Modules to obtain both Very High sword damage (max with Barbarous Thorn Shield) and attack speed, essentially providing the same bonuses as the Skolver set while also keeping Vog's Elemental defense and fire resistance.

Starlit Hunting

The Starlit Hunting set provides the same damage bonus as Skolver, but trades freeze resist for a far less generally useful sleep resist, and also adds on a stun weakness. This set also branches off at 3* rather than 5*, incurring extra recipe costs for those crafting more than one Wolver set. In short, this set is not worth crafting over Skolver unless you are specifically aiming for immunity to sleep bombs in Lockdown (or just really love doing Starlight Cradle levels).

Mixed Vog/Skolver/Snarbolax

A hybrid set will provide an average of the benefits of the sets you choose to mix. You can still reach the maximum bonus for either damage or attack speed using trinkets as long as you get a single "medium" bonus from a helmet, armor, or shield.

A given area of the clockworks will often have a strong bias towards a particular damage type, which means a pure defense against that type will generally serve you better than hybrid defenses. However, if you wish to play in many areas and can afford only a single set of armor, you might prefer to have a moderately hard time in two areas than an easy time in one and a very hard time in the other. Still, note that any combination of these lines will leave you defenseless against at least one damage type (probably shadow, given the difficulty of obtaining the snarbolax set), so you'll have to handle that somehow.

It is often said that elemental is the most common damage type, but several patches have reduced its prevalence, and its primacy is much more debatable now; there are certainly many particular levels with far more piercing or shadow damage than elemental.

Kat Claw Set

The Kat Claw Set is a unique piece of equipment, as each piece gives a bonus of both ASI Low and damage Low on swords. When paired with a Vog Cub armor piece and Barbarous Thorn Shield, this can create a balanced set for defense and offense alike (The bonuses will be High on both ASI and damage increase). This allows a player to deal moderate amounts of damage, and with the attack speed, one can avoid attacks more easily. (Other player opinions needed.)

Black Kat Set

For those who wish to deal damage without charging very often, the Black Kat Set can prove to be a useful piece of equipment, as the High Damage Bonus in each piece is universal. Swordbearers should look at quick weapons such as the Final Flourish, Barbarous Thorn Blade, Turbillion, Dread Venom Striker, or Wild Hunting Blade if they choose to wear this helmet.

Barbarous Thorn Shield

This shield and its predecessors are the best shields for a Swordsman, offering good piercing defense and a medium sword damage bonus, much like a piece of Skolver.

Swiftstrike Buckler

This shield greatly increases your attack speed, but can only be used for real blocking in T1 and T2, because on T3 it is far too weak to withstand most attacks. Unless you are very confident in your skill, it is better to use a different shield that will actually withstand attacks, and obtain attack speed from Vog or trinkets instead.


The trinkets received for PvP play are extremely powerful, and allow for a lot of customization, so obtaining them can allow to max sword statistics without using UV's. As defense UV's don't seem to work yet, it is recommended to obtain one of those. Try to cover the bonuses you don't have from your armor - eg. with full Vog, you won't benefit that much from Quick Strike, while Slash module will make a significant difference. By the time you can afford those, you will know which suits your playing style the most. Just remember that bonuses can be maxed, so taking two 5* Quick Strike Modules while wearing Vog Cub armor is pointless.

Sword damage bonus: Low

Useful for every swordsman, if you don't know which trinket to pick, choose this one.

Sword Charge Time Reduction: Low

Useful especially for swords with spammable charges, like the Divine Avenger, Calibur or Brandishes

Sword Attack Speed Increased: Low

Great for slow swords. Medium/fast swords' attack speed are also increased in the approximately the same rate.

Attack Speed Increase Vs. Damage Increase

The two armor boosts available for swordsmen have positive and negative aspects and present different ways to squeeze the life out of the monsters inhabiting the clockworks.


This is most useful when you can constantly attack. the more you wait the more possible damage you have wasted. It also works well with hit and run strategies.

Suggested Swords

  • BTB/FF. This will let you attack almost unimaginably fast and save your self with your shield much quicker.
  • Cutter. ASI on this sword makes it easier to avoid running into traps and allows you to execute its charge a bit faster.
  • Winmillion. Its smooth attack let you glide across the field much faster, allowing you to single out your prey faster.
  • Divine Avenger/Gran Faust. This is only recommended if you use the swings more then the charge attack; It doesn't increase the speed of the projectiles and minimally increases the swing speed of the slash.

Damage Increase

This is more for the strategic play style. It allows you to wait around and set up attacks (Or run) to deal lots of damage to a crowd or to not take damage from a boss by just waiting. Some attacks will leave you very vulnerable and some fast swords do get better with more damage.

Suggested Swords

  • Brandish line. The normal attacks are almost useless at high speeds if you do not have Auto aim on, it can cause you to miss the last swing of your attack and make you vulnerable. It's suggested to use the charge attack with Damage Increase because you can set up a large group to be afflicted with a status, and the damage boost just makes more of those wonderful numbers fly into the sky.
  • Sudaruska/Triglav. These swords are the slowest and also the ones able to hit the most number of monsters at once in one charge attack. The slow nature of the charge itself and the animation make the damage boost much better for crowds; allowing you to set them up and hit almost all of them at once.
  • Divine Avenger/Gran Faust. The damage boost is helpful here because it lets you deal massive amounts of damage to a handful of monsters
  • BTB/FF. It is suggested to use the damage boost in Lockdown because you can end most foes in 2-4 hits.

Further Resources

Bopp's sword guide Bopp's guide provides a deeper insight into how to pick the sword(s) that will best match your needs. It focuses its advice on which sword is optimal for a given role, whether you are a free-to-play or pay-to-play player, pure swordmaster or hybrid. It is easy to read and highly recommended for anyone who cares about optimizing their load out.

Lancer Knightz Guild - Sword data The Lancer Knightz guild has collected information on the combo time, charge speed, and movement speed effects while charging and presents the raw data in tabular format for those interested in a more in-depth analysis of swords.

Antistone's research on the mechanics of defense This page presents information on the mechanics of defense in Spiral Knights. It is relevant to all players, but it is only recommended reading for those who will appreciate a scientific approach to understanding the mechanics of armor defense.

Tutorials & Guides
Starting Out | New Player Briefing | User interface | Useful Links
Icon-bomb.png Bombing Guide | Icon-handgun.png Gunslinger Guide | Icon-sword.png Swordmaster Guide
Icon-shield.png Shieldbearer Guide
Defense increased.png Hybrid Guide
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