Soulstice‘s combat can be brutal, especially on higher difficulties, but investing in the right upgrades for Briar and Lute can help make everything a bit easier. To purchase weapon upgrades and abilities, you’ll need to collect red and blue crystals, then spend them at Layton’s shop.
Of course, there are a few abilities that you should consider buying before anything else, so we’ll help you figure out what to choose first for Briar and Lute in this Soulstice guide.
Beat Weapon Upgrades for Briar
Briar’s weapon upgrades work a bit differently from Lute’s abilities, mostly letting you unlock new combos. It should be noted that each weapon has three different effectiveness upgrades, but which ones you want to purchase mostly comes down to which weapons you like the best.
With that in mind, there are a few weapon upgrades that can be especially useful across the board, which we’ll detail below. Also note that Briar’s upgrades are final and can’t be refunded in any way.
- Ashen Vindicator – Piercing Lunge: This should be one of the very first weapon upgrades you unlock, as it quickly lets you close the gap on enemies. Once you start facing ranged enemies, you’ll want a move like Piercing Lunge to quickly close in for a combo.
- Ashen Enforcer – Arching Onslaught: Until you get the Tearing Penance weapon, Arching Onslaught is the only AoE attack you can get. That obviously means you’ll want to unlock it early, especially considering Soulstice throws more and more enemies at you as you progress through the story.
- Hand of Retribution – Immovable Object: The Hand of Retribution is fairly interchangeable with the Enforcer. However, the Immovable Object upgrade can be absolutely instrumental. This is essentially how you unlock the ability to parry, and while it requires a bit of practice, it’s a massively helpful defensive option.
- Tearing Penance – Lashing Storm: Tearing Penance is easily one of the best weapons in the entire game, and the Lashing Storm combo gives you an even more powerful AoE attack.
- Tearing Penance – Grappling Hook: Grappling Hook is the same idea as Piercing Lunge, but the move is a lot faster on execution. Once you unlock the Tearing Penance, you should invest in Grappling Hook and use it as your closer instead.
Best Abilities for Lute
Lute has a wide range of abilities that let you fine-tune your playstyle for different defensive and offensive approaches. What’s especially helpful is that all of Lute’s abilities can be refunded at any time, letting you mix and match things as you see fit. That being said, there are a few abilities that should always form the basis of every playstyle, so we’ll dive into them down below.
- Defense – Bulwark I-III: Bulwark should be the very first ability you unlock for Lute, as it lets her parry and deflect attacks from Medium and Large enemies. Without Bulwark, you’ll need to dodge, so it’s going to make your life a lot easier. Subsequent upgrades will let Lute use multiple barriers at once, meaning you can block multiple enemies.
- Defense – Sisterly Bond: Sisterly Bond can be an incredibly useful ability while you get used to the combat system, as it lets Lute automatically block an attack even if you miss the button prompt. The only catch is that you’ll need about 5-10 seconds before the ability is active again. Still, when battles get hectic, it can be easy to miss a prompt or two, which is where this ability comes in.
- Fields – Overcharge Explosion: Your goal while using Lute’s fields is usually to not let her enter Overcharge, as she’ll need some time to recover. However, Overcharge Explosion helps with just that, letting Lute’s field let off a massive explosion that blasts enemies back when she Overcharges. Not only can this ability cause damage, but it can also give you a bit of breathing room while Lute recharges.
- Offense – Synergy Surge: There are a few different Synergy abilities you can get, but for our money, Synergy Surge is the most useful. With this ability, whenever you use an Ashen Vindicator Synergy attack, Lute will conjure three explosive sigils on the field that explode if an enemy htis them. These sigils can cause huge damage, and further upgrades will let Lute conjure the sigils when any Synergy attack is used.
- Offense – Manifold Spirit I-III: While you battle, Lute will automatically hit enemies with blasts. If you want to make Lute as effective in combat as possible, you should invest in Manifold Spirit, as it lets Lute use two more blasts when you gain Unity. The next ability upgrades the damage Lute’s blasts cause in general, which is arguably even more important.
Now you should have an idea of which upgrades and abilities to purchase first and which are the best to use while you come to grips with the game’s combat system. For even more tips and help, make sure to check out our Soulstice guides hub.