Introduced in Build X.28, the Samurai is the first new class introduced in nearly six years and the first new heavy armor class since the Paladin was introduced in January, 2010. The Samurai is a combination of sword class tankiness and the attack range of a Ninja, while sacrificing weapon damage-per-second compared to those classes. As a katana class that wears heavy armor as opposed to leather, the Samurai class marks the first time that a weapon type was paired with a second armor type. In Build X.31.4, he gained a buff in some of his stats, making him a more viable class. Unlocking him requires level 20 with Knight and Ninja. See his stat gains, averages, and caps here.
The most exceptional stat that the Samurai possesses is an attack cap of 75. This allows him to do considerable damage with each individual shot. In addition, with a DEF cap of 30, Samurai is the third class to receive a DEF cap above the usual cap of 25. A wisdom cap of 60 allows the Samurai to recover mana quicker than most classes, and he also has an above average VIT cap of 60, giving him good natural health regen compared to other classes. The Samurai can also run fairly fast, with a speed cap of 55. On the other hand, he has a quite low DEX cap of 50. The Samurai also possesses a lower HP capacity than the other heavy armor classes (average and cap are 625 and 720, instead of the usual 675 and 770). The Samurai’s stats and equipment gives him considerable survivability, at the cost of having inferior damage per second.
The Samurai’s weapon of choice is the katana. Katanas are similar to swords except that they have weaker damage, longer range, and most importantly, the ability to pierce enemies. Piercing makes the katana very effective against closely clustered enemies and bosses that surround themselves with damage-soaking minions. The drawback to the katana is that they have a relatively short range, meaning that the Samurai has to risk taking hits in order to land hits. The combination of katana range and heavy armor makes range anxiety less of a problem for Samurai compared to other melee classes. The nature of the katana options allow for the Samurai to fulfill a variety of playstyles.
The Muramasa and Masamune are the best tradable tiered katanas, dealing high damage to multiple enemies due to the Samurai’s high ATT cap. With a range of 4.75 tiles, the Samurai can stand a decent distance from enemies while still doing damage. The Sadamune is far more powerful than the Masamune, but it is an extremely rare and prestigous drop from the Void Entity. In addition, the Sadamune is soulbound, so you can only obtain one by fighting the Void Entity.
The Ray Katana is an untiered katana that drops from the Eye of the Dragon. This katana has a 6.12 tile range, allowing the Samurai to fight from much farther away than tiered katanas allow, and gives the Samurai the longest range of all heavy armor classes. However, the bump in range comes with a price of significantly lower (albeit consistent) damage output than most other katanas.
The Doku No Ken is an interesting untiered katana that can be found in the Crawling Depths. The Doku is probably the most practical katana for the Samurai. It has a range of 5.2 tiles and a 120% rate of fire. Its DPS curve follows the Masamune very closely; it has a slightly higher DPS than Masamune against enemies below 40 defense, but thereafter loses its edge by a similarly small margin. Its increased range can make it an upgrade over tiered katanas, although the Sadamune will always outdamage it. The shots fired from the Doku travel in a wavy pattern similar to a staff’s shots, which for some players makes it more difficult to land hits. The shots true up in the middle and at the end of their range, allowing you to attack at maximum range without drawback.
The Void Blade is an odd katana that can be found in the Toxic Sewers. In a similar vein to the Wand of the Bulwark, it has a slow rate of fire but high per-shot damage. Its DPS is higher than all tiered katanas as well as the Doku, and it edges out the Celestial Blade after 80 defense. However, the catch to this powerful DPS is that this katana has a range of 0. The projectiles fired by this katana float in place for 4.2 seconds before disappearing, and any enemy that runs into them will take massive damage (although one shot will not hit the same enemy twice). This katana is very effective against enemies with certain predictable movement patterns, such as fast chaser enemies. It has the potential to make short work of certain dungeon bosses such as Limon the Sprite Goddess. It can also kill many godlands and quest enemies in a single hit, especially in Samurai’s hands. In short, if you can manage to exploit enemy movement patterns and stack projectiles for maximum damage, this is a great swapout.
The Celestial Blade is a unique katana that has the third highest damage per shot of all the katanas only to be beaten by the Void Blade and Blade of Ages and shares the same 5.2 tile range as the Doku no Ken. The only negative is that it doesn’t pierce so it’s very powerful against single targets. This katana is dropped by Feargus the Obsidian Dragon.
The Kazekiri is a special themed katana that is part of the Akuma Slayer special themed set. It fires two shots that spread out slightly and converge at the end of their 4.5 tile range. Because of the second shot, it outdamages tiered katanas and the Doku against enemies with lower defense. It has the unique ability to pierce through certain obstacles as well as retaining its ability to pierce enemies. Its slightly shorter range compared to other katanas might compromise its practicality where keeping distance from enemies is paramount. This katana can be dropped by Daichi the Fallen.
The Reikoku is a special themed katana that is part of the Raijin Disciple special themed set. Just like the Kazekiri, this katana also fires two shots but it armor pierces so it’s very effective against high defense enemies as it outdamages most katanas at around 40 defense and the Celestial Blade at 125 defense. Note however it has 4 tile range. This katana can be dropped by Xolotl the Lightning God.
The Samurai’s ability is known as the wakizashi (or waki for short). The waki allows the Samurai to perform angled slashes that intersect with the crosshair (up to a certain reach depending on the waki). Tier progression gives the waki increased damage and the ability to inflict a debuff on enemies called Exposed (which reduces enemy defense by 20 points). The drawback to the waki is that they are less effective in confined areas (especially if there are walls near the origin of the shots). The waki will not cast if there is a wall or another obstacle, which would block the shots immediately after casting, near the spawn point of the projectiles. The Samurai can take advantage of the exposed status effect (as well as any other ability that reduces enemy defense) to maximize his DPS.
There is a bit of a learning curve to using the wakizashi. The waki shots will only intersect with your cursor if it is placed within the cast range of the waki prior to casting. Otherwise, if your cursor is too far out, the intersection will be placed at maximum range. This function gives Samurai the ability to aim the waki shots more precisely within their cast range. A visual aid on how this works is provided below.
The Jade-Imbued Wakizashi and Royal Wakizashi are the best tiered waki, exposing enemies for the longest period of time as well as providing very high burst damage, all at a cost of 80 mana. Tiered waki have a maximum cast range of 4.4 tiles and a shot angle of 90°, meaning that the shots come from the left and sweep to the right.
The Wakizashi of Eastern Winds is a UT waki obtainable from the Murderous Megamoth. Compared to a tiered waki, this untiered ability trades consistent damage output for a 4.6 tile cast range and a much longer Exposed duration of 4.5 seconds, while having the same 80 mana cost as a high tiered waki. This waki is best suited for Samurai that prioritize keeping foes exposed consistently, and for as long as possible. Keep in mind that the shots sweep from the right to the left with this waki because of its -90° shot angle.
The Wakizashi of Crossing Fires is a UT waki obtainable from Shaitan the Advisor. This is the polar opposite to the Wakizashi of Eastern Winds, possessing massive damage output at the cost of having only a 4 tile cast range and a slightly shorter exposed duration. This waki has the potential to outperform most Wizard spells! However, this waki demands Samurai to get closer to his target in order to deal that heavy DPS, and costs 100 MP to cast. Compared to the Eastern Winds, this is a waki best suited for Samurai that prioritize raw damage over anything else. The shots from this waki come from both sides, and at ±75° angles, effectively making it the least suitable waki for confined areas.
Ryu’s Blade is the ST waki that is part of the aforementioned Akuma Slayer set. The shots of this waki are angled at ±165°, which means that the shots will spawn far away from the Samurai and move toward him. This is the only wakizashi with a minimum cast range; its minimum and maximum range are both set to 3 tiles, meaning that the crossfire of this waki is always centered at 3 tiles away from the player in the aimed direction while the range all the shots cover is 9.6 range that leads to many considering this as the safest waki to use. Ryu’s blade has lower damage than high tiered waki, but the shots will armor pierce. This waki has the most shallow attack angle available, making it the most practical waki in straight, narrow corridors. It also allows Samurai to attack and expose enemies from well beyond the reach of any katana. Ryu’s Blade shares its expose duration with the T6 wakizashi, and its ability to expose from a long distance comes at a slightly higher mana cost of 85. This waki can be dropped by the old chest inside the Mountain Temple.
The Ronin’s Wakizashi is a unique waki that doesn’t expose targets but it’s main usage is to inflict slow instead and the debuff lasts for 6 seconds so it doesn’t have to be spammed as much. The damage is subpar compared to others, and the cast range and shot angle are identical to a tiered wakizashi but the offset angle of the shots are the opposite while having a noticably wider gap between each shot. The waki is obtainable from the Deholder, Lips of the Lost, and Hand of the Helpless enemies in the Cursed Library.
The Fractured Gemstone Wakizashi a very unique waki that summons a “Crystal Star” that orbits around you for 5 seconds dealing 350 damage to anything it touches and exposing enemies for 4 seconds. The damage is continuous and instantaneous so multiple hits are expected especially if the target moves in the same direction on the crystal. Although the waki’s range is closer towards the Samurai than others, it’s the only waki that doesn’t require you to aim with your cursor. The +5 defense boost this waki gives can be seen as benefical. This waki is obtained from the Crystal Entity.
The Samurai wears heavy armor, which usually amplifies only his defense but at far greater thresholds than robes and leather armors. This makes the Samurai more resilient than other classes and allows him to take hits that would otherwise be crippling to a class that wears robe or leather armor.
The Abyssal Armor (Abyssal) and Acropolis Armor (Acrop) are the primary armors for the Samurai. These heavy armors significantly improve the Samurai’s DEF stat by 23 and 24 points, respectively. This allows him to tank hits far more safely than other classes. The Dominion Armor (Dominion), with +25 DEF, is slightly more powerful, but as a drop from the Lost Halls, it is a rare and distinguished tiered armor. Like the Sadamune, the Dominion is soulbound and can only be obtained from the Lost Halls. These armors are ideal for tankiness, but they do not provide any additional benefits besides a boost to defense.
The Breastplate of New Life is a rare alternative to tiered armor that can be dropped by the Marble Colossus. It provides a rather low amount of DEF (+12) but it makes up for this by providing a massive +160 boost to HP. This armor is best when faced against enemies whose attacks have already been reduced to the minimum. Some players wholly prefer boosting their character’s HP above their DEF, and may prefer this armor over a tiered option.
The Kamishimo is the Akuma Slayer ST armor. It provides a DEF boost of 14, a DEX boost of 4, and an HP boost of 60. It does provide a decent level of survivability and an increase to DPS, but it is not particularly strong as a standalone armor; players may prefer a more purpose-oriented armor unless they have obtained at least one of the other Akuma Slayer ST set pieces and can benefit from the additional bonuses provided.
Mercy’s Bane is a DPS oriented heavy armor that is rarely dropped by Oryx 2. It provides a very poor DEF bonus of 10, but makes up for this by massive boosts of +7 to ATT and DEX. This armor will boost your DPS far better than any other heavy armor. However, with very limited defensive protection, it is recommended only if the player can deal with the low defense resulting from wearing this armor.
Samurai excels at dealing massive amounts of damage to single targets and groups of enemies thanks to his waki and piercing katana. The ring that Samurai wears should reflect this specialization, and one will find that many of the rings that are best for Wizard are also good for the Samurai.
The Ring of Unbound Health (UBHP) and Ring of Decades (Deca) are the best HP rings. They provide a boost of 180 and 190 HP, respectively. They are perfect for increasing the Samurai’s health and therefore increasing his endurance. The Ring of Unbound Defense (UBDef) provides Samurai with a high boost of +9 to defense, useful since Samurai does not gain additional DEF bonuses from his equipment besides his armor. These rings are the best single-stat boosting rings to prioritize when survivability is the prime concern. The choice of HP or DEF is up to the player. Too much defense would be less beneficial than having more HP when your character’s defense is already high enough to fully mitigate the damage you take. Since Samurai has an above-average DEF cap, it debatably makes a tiered DEF ring even less justifiable.
The Experimental Ring (Expo) is an untiered ring found in the Mad Lab. The Expo can prove to be a valuable general-purpose ring because of the bonuses it provides. It provides bonuses of +60 HP, +60 MP, +4 DEF, and +4 VIT. The MP boost is particularly useful because it almost if not allows Samurai to make one more use of his waki before needing to recover mana. The Bracer of the Guardian (Bracer) is an alternative that is more difficult to obtain, but provides bonuses of +6 to ATT and DEF in addition to the +60 HP and MP, which the Samurai can benefit from better than the Expo bonuses. The Expo can be dropped in the Mad Lab, while the Bracer can be obtained as a drop from The Forgotten Sentinel.
The Forgotten Crown (Crown) is a solid ring that any class can benefit from, and the Samurai is no exception. It can be obtained as a drop from The Forgotten King. It provides a bonus of 110 HP, and also provides a boost of +6 to ATT and DEX. In other words, the wearer will gain both a good degree of survivability and a nice DPS boost. The Magical Lodestone, dropped by the Marble Colossus, also provides +6 ATT and DEX to the wearer. But instead of boosting the wearer’s HP, it boosts their DEF and SPD by 6, which may be more or less beneficial depending on the player’s preferences.
As a katana class, the Samurai draws immediate comparisons to the Ninja. The advantages that Samurai has over the Ninja include the ability to wear heavy armor and superior ATT and DEF caps. The combination of heavy armor and higher base DEF makes the Samurai more resilient than Ninja, at the cost of lacking the dexterity bonuses provided by leather armor. However, the Samurai has inferior SPD, DEX, and WIS caps compared to Ninja, which ultimately makes him slower and gives him inferior DPS. Although Samurai has an above-average VIT cap of 60, his natural health regen is still lower than that of Warrior and Knight, and pales in comparison to Paladin’s HP regen under his Seal buff. As a result, he is more reliant on health potions, healing pets, and other players to keep him alive in rough situations.
In spite of his drawbacks, the Samurai is arguably the least disadvantaged by his weapon’s short range of all melee classes. Sword classes such as the Warrior need to get much closer to their target to land hits and incur a greater risk of tanking shots, while the Ninja needs to rely on his immense speed to dodge enemy shots as his inferior defense makes him more prone to damage. In that respect, the Samurai provides a combination of the attack range available to Ninja and the relative tankiness of a heavy armor class, while sacrificing primary DPS compared to other melee classes. The waki’s immense burst damage and defense-reducing effect both help to compensate for some, if not most, of the Samurai’s lack of DPS. However, Samurai is also reliant on mana in order to be able to match the DPS of other melees, and he can be crippled substantially by the effects of quiet shots. A Samurai should take as much advantage of his weapon’s range as possible, as he is not quite as tanky as other heavy armor classes.
The ability of the Samurai to cripple his enemies’ defense is a big help to any group. Lower enemy defense means each shot will deal more damage to an enemy affected by the waki’s Exposed status effect, and this increase in damage will add up rapidly in large groups. Since the ability to inflict Exposed is very accessible, featured on most tiered and all untiered waki, a group of two or three Samurai are easily capable of keeping an event or dungeon boss permanently exposed, especially with good magic heal pets. The Exposed debuff can be combined on enemies with armor breaking (provided by a Knight that has an Ogmur shield) to reduce enemy defense to negative numbers, and it also stacks with the effects of curse, allowing for even more damage to be done in a short amount of time. However, the downside to this strategy is the relatively short Exposed duration of most waki.
Because all wakizashi have a shorter cast range than the range of tiered katana, there is a risk-reward element to using it. Being daring enough to get up relatively close to the enemy pays off well because of the waki’s high burst damage. Ryu’s Blade allows Samurai to attack enemies from a long distance should he so desire the safety afforded by it. The Samurai is capable of utilizing the high burst damage and exposure to make short work of some dungeon bosses like Stheno the Snake Queen. It also makes the Samurai capable of playing effective hit-and-run against event bosses like Cube Gods, Skull Shrines, and Avatars of the Forgotten King. The waki also provides Samurai with the niche potential to land the killing blow on a boss, which is useful for earning the Oryx Slayer fame bonus.
The Samurai stands as a middle ground between the tankiness of a sword class and the attack range of a katana class. Although he lacks DPS compared to other melee classes, the katana and heavy armor combination, combined with the high burst damage and exposure of waki, can allow him to safely take on challenges that would be more risky on other melee classes. If you want a safe melee class that has a piercing weapon, can do fairly decent damage, and can provide a benefit to a group, then the Samurai is for you.