Scarlet Kisses/Hundred Kisses ★★★★ – Strider’s starting move sees its main rise to power much later in the game, as it is a rapid-fire flurry of stationary dagger strikes that can heavily punish downed enemies. Not only this, but it’s one of the only skills that can be activated while latched on to an enemy, making it an excellent option for wailing into enemy weak points.
Biting Wind/Cutting Wind ★★★☆ – After a lunge, the strider can make a series of passing dagger slashes at their enemies, cleaving through multiple targets, and perhaps the same target multiple times with fast passing strikes. Useful against both single, mid-size enemies, as well as crowds of small ones.
Toss and Trigger/Advanced Trigger ★★☆☆ – A decent disruption move for smaller targets, it deals up a strong upwards slash and throws a fire-damage explosion after them. It isn’t very effective against more heavily armored targets, however, as the charge doesn’t have much of an effect unless the enemy is sent flying by the first strike.
Ensnare/Implicate ★★☆☆ – Throws out a net that will drag enemies in. Mainly useful for control on pesky small/midsize enemies, but more of a utility rather than a fight-finisher. Can pull flying enemies out of the air, but it requires you to be on even altitude with the target – which isn’t that often. Reach is also fairly short.
Helm Splitter/Skull Splitter ★★★★ – Extremely powerful for what it is, Helm Splitter deals a jumping somersault strike that punishes enemies heavily. A combination of its capability of hitting high areas (such as the faces of ogres) and its benefits from the Eminence augment make it several orders of magnitude stronger than most other Strider attacks.
Dazzle Hold/Dazzle Blast ★★☆☆ – Flings out a crackling flashbang that stuns a crowd of enemies. Its main benefit is that it can apply debilitations to enemies very easily, but it both suffers from some long after-attack lag and low damage. It’s best utilized on supporting pawns.
Reset/Instant Reset ★★★☆ – Flat out one of the most convenient utility abilities on the Strider, Reset allows the user to use a bit of stamina to just reset their stance. This can be used in almost every situation, save prone on the ground (seconds before if you’re being knocked backward, for example, this can catch you midair and let you land gracefully). It can also be used creatively with slower skills to ready further attacks.
Sprint/Mad Dash ★★☆☆ – More of a novelty than a useful skill, Mad Dash allows you to make a long, forward run that can be transformed into one of three actions using the face buttons: either a sliding tackle that can knock targets down, a somersault to cross gaps, and an instant stop. Mad Dash (the upgraded sprint) is notable for having a very long distance, and counts as an attack animation rather than real movement (so you can sprint at full speed through waist-deep water or other obstacles, and at a much lower total stamina cost). It has its definite uses for mobility, but it’s a slot better spent on something like Reset.
Pilfer/Master Thief ★★☆☆ – This skill lets you get rare drops from enemy targets. However, it has a lot of caveats, such as requiring the target to be debilitated or prone in some way (i.e. knocked down, stunned, staggered, etc). Also, stealing will make it such that a target won’t drop anything on death, so it’s essentially just so that you can nab an item from an enemy and run.
Stepping Stone/Leaping Stone ★★☆☆ – Strider’s final dagger skill is an odd one, consisting of running up the face of a given enemy. This skill doesn’t do actual damage (and actually can let you climb off your pawns), but it does let you perform aerial attacks and can give you a big head-start on climbing tall enemies.
Threefold Arrow/Fivefold Flurry ★★★☆ – While not the best-ranged attack in the game, it’s a contender for such, and is closely related to the one. This rapidly fires a volley of several arrows in the general vicinity of where you’re aiming and can be used to either deal concentrated damage to one area of a target, or spray-and-pray to take down multiple enemies.
Triad Shot/Pentad Shot ★★★☆ – Possibly the most devastating attack to use in close-quarters with the short bow, it is a bit difficult to aim with at a distance, but it has surprisingly powerful stagger ability, and if each arrow hits, it can cause serious damage – even more so than the flurry.
Cloudburst Volley/Downpour Volley ★★★☆ – It’s awkward to aim with, but the Volley provides excellent capabilities for outright bypassing a lot of the precision required to reach the most vulnerable points of some tall enemies – such as the skulls of ogres or cyclopes. It also serves as a reliable AoE attack and is especially good at even catching flying enemies off-guard if you aim below them.
Full Bend/Mighty Bend ★★☆☆ – A slow, charged bow shot, the Mighty Bend is high-ranking in the bow category for staggering and stunning enemies, and well-landed shots to the heads of dragons can force them to the ground with ease. Its downside is that the overall DPS isn’t great, due to the slow charging period.
Splinter Dart/Fracture Dart ★★★☆ – So all the issues with Mighty Bend are canceled out here, providing a fairly quick arrow that can explode in a crackly, fire-based explosion that provides similar stun to aerial targets. This is king for ripping drakes and griffins out of the sky and has an even higher stagger rating than the Full/Mighty bend attacks do. Its use against ground targets, however, is a little more restrictive, as well as its usage in low-ceiling corridors.
Whistle Dart/Shriek Dart ★☆☆☆ – The final skill for the strider’s bow is… a huge letdown. Area stun that only works on lighter-weight enemies. Against such foes, usually spraying a series of the other arrow types will work better, or even just charging in and using those daggers!