Ghost of Tsushima Legends Classes Guide: How to Master Each Class

Master each of the Ghost of Tsushima classes with this in-depth guide to abilities, ultimates, and strategies so you can choose the best class for your playstyle.

Ghost of Tsushima: Legends lets you play a distilled version of the core game, where combat and stealth take the forefront, leaving the vast open-world of Tsushima behind. You play as one of four Ghost of Tsushima classes — Samurai, Hunter, Ronin, and Assassin — each specializing in one part of Jin Sakai’s skillset. 

We covered the bare basics in our How to Start Co-op guide, but this tips article is a deep dive into what you can expect when you jump into the fantastical realms Ghost of Tsushima: Legends offers. At the end, you'll be able to pick the best class for your playstyle. 

Ghost of Tsushima: Legends Class Basics

Though each Legends class has a specific set of unique abilities, they all share a few core competencies you’ll be familiar with from the base game. Some mechanics are now tied to your gear rather than being unlocked through the skill screen. 

Here's what is universal to each class: 

Combat

Though the sword style you use is limited by the katana you have equipped, all of the abilities in the Samurai tree from the base game are present, horse mechanics notwithstanding.

Stealth

Every class can move between cover points, tall grass, etc.

Assassination

Every class has the ability to stealth kill enemies when undetected, whether on the ground or in the air.

Movement

Every class can make use of the game’s movement mechanics: walking on ropes, mantling, etc.

Ghost Weapons

Though certain weapons like blow darts are locked to the stealthier classes, every Legends class can use kunai, smoke bombs, bows, throw dirt and caltrops, etc.

Putting it all together

Much of the gameplay in Legends revolves around the proper usage of all these essential skills. The key to success at higher difficulties lies in combining the basics and specialized abilities and tools.

Put briefly, timing is everything, as Ghost Weapons and class skills go on a cooldown once used. You’ll only have access to a single consumable ammo type as well, and you’ll need to use it sparingly and effectively. 

Each class has an Ultimate ability as well that you use by pressing "L1+R1," expending three Resolve points. You gain resolve through kills, parries, dodges, and Assassinations, and certain upgrades to weapons increase your Resolve reserves. A well-timed Ultimate can turn the tide of a bad situation or ensure your team’s failure if you’re off by a second.

Note: This guide covers the special abilities of each class, as, by endgame content, you will have every unlockable ability at your disposal.

The Samurai Class

Playstyle

A Samurai is Legends' frontline fighter, the tip of the spear, so to speak. They’re built for survivability and damage output but have little to offer in the way of stealth beyond the abilities described above.

Class Skill 1 (Spirit Pull)

By empowering their blade with Spirit Pull, a Samurai drains the lifeforce of one nearby enemy at a time, refilling their health in the process. Judicious usage of life drain keeps a Samurai in the fight even if he’s taken a few hits.

Class Skill 2 (Explosive Strike)

Trade out life drain for additional damage with Explosive Strike, which causes an explosion to rock your enemies every time you're hit. You give up survivability for pure damage potential.

Ultimate (Hachiman’s Fury)

After a brief chant, the Samurai can deal heavy damage to up to five nearby enemies. You will need to aim the ability with the control stick if you want to attack different foes — or you can keep attacking the same enemy multiple times.

Best Samurai Class Strategies

How you play the Samurai class in Ghost of Tsushima: Legends comes down to how comfortable you are with the combat.

If you want extra safety, Spirit Pull will keep you in the action and add a cushion if things start to go sideways. If you’re confident in your ability to avoid damage, using Explosive Strike will let you put down even the tankiest foes much more quickly, but you’ll be punished harder for any mistakes.

Hachiman’s Fury, like all the Ultimates, has both an offensive and defensive use. If you want to start a difficult encounter with fewer enemies to keep track of, open with the ability. You can also use this ultimate to close out combat quickly and with low risk. 

If a teammate goes down and there is no good way to cover your revive, using the Hachiman's Fury to give yourself some space is more important than saving the entire encounter by yourself. In Legends, you live and die as a team. Lone wolf play does not serve here.

The Hunter Class

Playstyle

Focused almost entirely on both the long- and half-bow, a Hunter relies on fast reflexes and even better aim. Legends encounters take place almost exclusively in close quarters, but Hunters excel at thinning the herd from afar and keeping your enemies off-balance while you’re in the thick of things.

If you’re playing with a teammate you can trust, post up on a vantage point and rain death. Just know that arrows are a finite resource, and you’ll have to get your sword dirty eventually.

Class Skill 1 (Staggering Arrow)

Both Hunter abilities center around crowd control, but the first, Staggering Arrow, is a purer expression of the tactic. No matter how close or how far you are from your enemies, a single use of this skill with send groups of them tripping over themselves for a good few seconds, leaving them all vulnerable to attack.

Class Skill 2 (Explosive Arrow)

Exactly as it says in the name, the Explosive Arrow ability sends out an arrow that explodes on impact, dealing mild stagger damage, higher AoE damage, and setting enemies on fire.

Ultimate (Eye of Uchitsune)

The Hunter Ultimate is as easy to understand as it is deadly. Upon use, you will automatically target up to five enemy heads. As long as they stay within your line of sight, and once you loose your arrows, you will be hitting headshots with all the increased damage and effects that entails.

Best Hunter Class Strategies

The Hunter is effective up close and from a distance. They can be especially useful at higher difficulties where enemies have more health and abilities you might not want to deal with up close.

If you’re playing a Hunter, always open an encounter with about half the arrows in your quiver. Save most of your special arrows for finishing tougher enemies.

Staggering Arrow is best used defensively, as it buys you and your teammates time either to mount a counter-attack or to recover lost ground. Explosive Arrow can be used to either open or close an encounter because it is the more aggressive, DPS-focused option.

Eye of Uchitsune is, as most Ultimates are, something of a Get Out of Jail Free ability. If you need to thin a herd at the beginning of a big wave or make some space for a dangerous revive, the arrows will strike true.

The Ronin Class

Playstyle

The Ronin is as close to a pure support class as Ghost of Tsushima: Legends has, with a myriad of healing and recovery abilities at the ready to keep your team in the fight.

They have access to all of the basic skills, making them a powerful frontline fighter and bulwark against failure all in one. Still, you don’t want to be in the thick of things all the time, as you can’t use your abilities while downed.

Class Skill 1 (Spirit Animal)

You call forth an ethereal hound to fight by your side, distracting and damaging enemies and leaving them open for attacks from you or teammates.

Class Skill 2 (Healing Incense)

You create a healing aura around yourself for several seconds, healing yourself and allies for as long as the ability lasts.

Ultimate (Breath of Izanami)

Probably the most powerful Ultimate, Breath of Izanami revives all of your teammates and, fully upgraded, gives them life regeneration while burning enemies nearby when they revive. The ability functions regardless of distance, so even if you’re in one of the larger areas and your entire team is spread across the arena, you can get them all up and back into fighting shape.

Best Ronin Class Strategies

Ronin should not focus on running in first, nor should they be purely defensive. Their class skills only add value in close quarters, so you’ll want to stay close to your allies whenever possible.

Remember that your damage as Ronin is somewhat limited, as you only have your basic abilities to rely on there. Caution is imperative, as your team will rely on you to keep them topped off and ready for battle even in the harshest fights.

Choosing between Spirit Animal and Healing Incense comes down to how much of a support you want to be. Spirit Animal is a great distraction and creates more openings than you might expect, but it doesn’t do much damage and disappears after a short timer.

Healing Incense is a better option at higher difficulties, as it allows you to save a Healing Drum use for emergencies by becoming a small one yourself. 

Breath of Izanami has two primary uses. Either ensure you don’t fail a mission or give a mid-combat pick-me-up that keeps downtime to a minimum. You’ll need to use your best judgment on which is more appropriate at a given time, but only use it aggressively if you’re confident the team won’t squander the regeneration.

The Assassin Class

Playstyle

Assassins are stealth personified, and what they lack in upfront fighting ability they make up for by thinning enemy forces without them knowing until it’s too late.

Their skills offer the most overall utility and provide options for both offense and defense. Your upfront damage isn’t exceptionally high, but couple the damage buffs from Critical Strikes and the ability to vanish on command, and the Assassin can clear entire rooms without breaking a sweat.

Class Skill 1 (Toxic Vanish)

The Assassin vanishes and deals Stagger damage to every enemy in the vicinity. Other classes will thank you for the easier stun, and you’ll be able to land a free critical strike.

Class Skill 2 (Group Vanish)

Best used in the thick of battle with teammates all around you, Group Vanish turns you and your teammates in the vicinity invisible, with all the benefits that entails.

Ultimate (Shadow Strike)

Much like Hachiman’s Fury, Shadow Strike hits up to five enemies with critical damage, killing low-level mobs outright and softening up bigger targets for later butchering. 

Best Assassin Class Strategies

There are two phases to an Assassin’s gameplan. Before combat starts, you will want to clear every low-level mook you can from the field. Use your invisibility liberally to move from cover to cover. Then, once you can’t one-shot anything else, deal significant damage to the highest-value target in your way.

Once combat starts, your job is to confound your foes and make sure your allies stay alive through liberal use of Vanish and Shadow Strike. The same rules apply as Hachiman’s Fury, but with your extra invisibility, you can freely revive a teammate and possibly save your Ronin an Ultimate use of their own. 

Those are the core strategies for each of the four Ghost of Tsushima: Legends classes. Use these lessons well, and nothing will be able to stand in your way. For more on the new co op, multiplayer update, check out our other GoT guides! If you found this tips article helpful, please consider sharing it! 

Contributor

John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.

Published Oct. 22nd 2020

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