The Ultimate Ninja Guide

Version 2.1


Contributors (Discord ID #’s)


Zero#3192 Cid#9398 Koko#5074 Przemoboski#1352
美少女#1436 Azuline#1360 Jinxx#9661 Valeon#3910

Revision History

Date (yyyy-mm-dd) Version Contents Contributor(s)
2017-09-19 0.1 Initial draft and layout of guide Zero#3192, Cid#9398
2017-11-02 0.9 Content mostly present, almost ready for initial release Zero#3192, Koko#5074, 美少女#1436, Azuline#1360,


2017-11-04 1.0 Reviewed and formatted some more Cid#9398, Jinxx#9661
2017-11-06 1.1 Cleaned up Daunzo
2018-03-04 2.0 Absolute Skills, Updated/Fixed Gear & Skill Builds Valeon#3910
2018-03-14 2.1 Rabam Skills Valeon#3910


Table of Contents

Revision History 1

Table of Contents 2

  1. Foreword 3
  2. Introduction 3

2.1 Introduction to BDO 3

2.2 Introduction to classes in BDO 4

2.3 Is Ninja the right class for me? 4

2.3.1 Ninja or Kunoichi? 5

  1. Introduction to Ninja 5

2.1 Pre-awakening skills 5

2.2 Awakening Skills 22

2.3 Rahm’s Enlightenment and Absolute Skills 29

2.4 Skill Builds 29

2.5 Skill Add-ons 31

JackTheKnife’s Add-ons Przemoboski’s Add-ons 31

2.6 Gearing 32

2.6.1 What Offhand should I use? 34

  1. Strategy and Tactics 34

3.1 Movement and Weapon Swaps 34

3.1.1 Gap Closing and Engage 35

3.1.2 Escaping and Disengaging 37

3.2 Animation Cancelling 38

3.3 Combo Chaining and CC System 38

3.4 Large Scale Gameplay 40

3.4.1 Cannon Teams 40

3.4.2 Disruption 40

3.4.3 Slayer 40

3.4.4 Scout 41

3.5 Small Scale Gameplay 41

3.6 Class Matchups 41

3.6.1 Warrior 41

3.6.2 Sorceress 42

3.6.3 Ranger 42

3.6.4 Tamer 42

3.6.5 Valkyrie 43

3.6.6 Wizard 43

3.6.7 Witch 44

3.6.8 Striker 44

3.6.9 Ninja 44

3.6.10 Kunoichi 44

3.6.11 Berserker 45

3.6.12 Dark Knight 45

3.6.13 Maehwa 45

3.6.14 Musa 45

3.6.15 Mystic (Forthcoming) 46

  1. Other Resources 47

Glossary of Terms 47


1. Foreword

This guide exists thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Ninja/Kunoichi Discord community at If you have any feedback, want to learn more from the people behind the guide, or just want other Ninja and Kunoichi players to talk to, this is the number one place to go at the time of writing.

If you’re a Kunoichi fledgling, you’re more than welcome to read this guide. There will still be some sections relevant to you, particularly in the early Shortsword/Pre-Awakening sections of the guide. That said, Cid#9398 has written an excellent and in-depth guide specifically tailored for Kunoichis over here that you should really check out. In fact, his hard work was what inspired this guide in the first place, and several of the generic sections here were kindly donated by him.


Link to Kuno/Ninja discord found here. Link to resources for Kuno and Ninja players here. Link to a recent Ninja guide here.

2. Introduction

2.1 Introduction to BDO

Black Desert Online (BDO) is an action-combat MMORPG. BDO’s PvP is centered around large scale combat, with wars of massive scale (generally 100+ people) as the main focus. There are node wars throughout the week, except for Saturday nights, on which the most competitive guilds will fight over entire regions. Node wars are usually composed of 1-8 guilds each with 20-70 people fighting for the territory. Saturday nights are when sieges, for the region castles, take place. Sieges generally have hundreds of players in them. This is generally considered the end goal of BDO; to be able to effectively compete in this type of PvP.

However, there are other forms of PvP in BDO. For smaller scale PvP, there is Red Battlefield (RBF), an arena mode in which two teams battle and points are gained for each kill (dependent on the amount of points your slaughtered opponent had). There are multiple practice arenas throughout BDO, with one in each major city, and a new arena that can be teleported to from anywhere in the game. These arena allow free PvP and respawns, where anyone can fight another player. The newest PvP feature at the time of writing is the Arena of Arsha, where 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, and 5v5 fights can take place. This feature is still relatively and more geared towards player-run tournaments.

Besides PvP, there is a wide variety of activities to do in BDO, including: life skilling (fishing, cooking, trading, etc.), exploring the large map, farming, grinding mobs, breeding horses, sailing across the seas etc. You will likely never run out of things to do in BDO, even if you don’t enjoy PvP.

That said, BDO is a PvP oriented game and you will most likely have to fight another player at some point in your BDO career, whether it’s over a lucrative grind spot in the open world or in a guild vs guild declaration of open war. Whether you relish the fight or avoid it as much as you can, there is great benefit in being a confident, capable combatant with your class, and it’s highly encouraged to read as much external material (e.g. guides like this one) as you can to stay one step ahead of your opponents.

2.2 Introduction to classes in BDO

Each class tends to cover at least one specific role in BDO PvP. Some classes excel at large scale PvP while others excel at small skirmishes and duels. Some classes are very good in all types of PvP, but each class has weaknesses and no one class is unbeatable. However, some classes are certainly weaker than others in terms of damage, mobility, utility, etc. Regardless, you should play the class that you think seems the most fun, whether that be from experience, or watching someone else’s gameplay. BDO is a game that will last you a long, long time if you’re serious about it, so you should really pick the class you think you’ll enjoy most rather than the current overpowered classes – after all, the tides of balance are ever changing.

2.3 Is Ninja the right class for me?

The Ninja is a melee skirmisher that excels in small scale situations, particularly with the element of surprise. Ninja wields a Shortsword (same mainhand weapon as a Tamer or Kunoichi) as its Pre-awakening or Mainhand weapon with an offhand Shuriken (throwing star set), and wields the Sura Katana, a set of 6 katanas, as its Awakening weapon, which is unlocked after a level 56 story quest. You can switch freely between the Shortsword and Sura Katana during combat to chain blazingly fast combos with the Shortsword that weave in the ruthless burst damage of the Sura Katana.

Ninja is typically a very popular class due to its aesthetic and thematic similarity to rogues from other MMOs. Plus, it’s hard to argue against the sheer badassery of having 6 friggin’ swords. That said, Ninja is one of the most in-depth, complicated and technical classes in the game, and, at the time of writing, one of the most underpowered classes as well. Ninja requires excellent awareness and positioning, and rewards exploiting openings in the enemy’s attacks. Due to this precise gameplay, Ninja suffers in messy, large-scale battles where such opportunities are more difficult to isolate. Ninja is also one of the slowest PvE grinding classes and will easily be outfarmed by a Wizard or DK by a significant margin, no matter how skilled the ninja is, due to its lack of large AoEs in Awakening.

To succeed as a Ninja, you will need to be comfortable playing action games, have the patience to learn its intricacies, and, above all, have the discipline to understand that the greatest limiting factor of the class is the player behind it. While Ninja requires higher skill for lower effectiveness as compared to other classes, a master Ninja is a terrifying force on the battlefield, and if you manage to push past the class’ disadvantages, you will earn even the most stubborn foe’s respect.

2.3.1 Ninja or Kunoichi?

This is a very common question asked by new players, and rightly so, as Ninja and Kunoichi do share many similarities in their Pre-awakenings. However, they take very different gameplay styles after unlocking Awakening weapons. Kunoichi provides more AoE cc’s and defensive capabilities, while ninja provides more enclosed damage and fewer defensive capabilities. A summary comparison is below:


  • Male
  • 2 grapples (one in pre-awakening, one in Awakening) allowing for more aggressive play
  • Better lateral mobility; quicker directional changes etc
  • Less super armor and frontal guards during attacks making it easily interrupted
  • Higher single target burst damage
  • Able to use slightly lower attack power (AP) due to its main burst coming from Air Attack modifiers allowing for easier access to DP/evasion builds


  • Female
  • 1 grapple (pre-awakening)
  • More super armor and frontal blocks to increase the safety of combos
  • More AoE damage and CC abilities
  • Easier time farming post awakening; not necessarily a “better” farmer

2. Introduction to Ninja

2.1 Pre-awakening skills

This section of the guide will go through each pre-awakened skill. It will go through the pros/cons of the skill, whether it is useful in PvE/PvP (or both), how to use it (hotkey/key input), and any other miscellaneous things about the skill. Do not consider this section as a replacement for in-game tooltips – you are expected to read them thoroughly yourself.


  • Wind Slash (PVE, key input)


      • This is the basic auto attack for Ninja left mouse button (LMB). It will be useful for early-game PvE since it restores WP. It will increase in rank on its own as you level up without consuming any SP.


  • Flow: Sky Stepping (PVP/PVE, Spacebar midair)


      • This is the double jump for Ninja. It can be useful when trying to reach high places. Uses might include: scaling vertical objects to place cannons, escaping from enemies, etc.


  • Ninjutsu: Block Jump (PVP, hotkey, key input)


    • This skill is very important in PvP. On use, your character will disappear for about 2 seconds, during which you can press any directional key to perform an action towards your current target. Each direction casts a different animation. It provides +6 AP upon use and provides a long invincibility frame (iframe) while in use and stiffens the enemy if you land near them. This can be useful to avoid damage and/or to initiate in PvP. The 2 main animations you’ll probably use most are the W cast to get behind an enemy or the S cast to do a small dash backwards for a quick escape.

Example of Block Jump grab initiation.

Example of Block Jump Shadow Stomp initiation.

Example of Block Jump stiffen.


  • Fatal Wind (N/A)


      • Only applies to basic attack. Not extremely useful. If you don’t have points to spare, don’t level this.


  • Target Chase (PVE/PVP, key input)


      • Useful to get to the next pack of mobs if the mobs are far away and you feel lazy. Not extremely useful in PvP, but can come in handy occasionally. I have never found a great use for it in PvP.


  • Ghost Step (PVE/PVP, key input)


    • Extremely important skill all around. IFrame during the portion of the step in which you are invisible; SA after you reappear towards the end of the animation. Important to move, reposition, and avoid damage. Ghost Step can cancel out of almost any skill animation. This is an INCREDIBLY important technique to learn, especially when you get your Awakening and its relatively slower skill casts.

Ghost step used to iframe a golem stun.



  • Ninja Step (PVP/PVE, key input)


    • A quick, medium distance dash  that puts you in a short iframe and passes through enemies. Usable with both Shortsword and Sura Katana, this is one of our biggest sources of mobility. You will use this skill a lot!



  • Ninja Evasion (PVP, key input)


    • Useful in situations where you do not travel far enough with ghost step to get out of harm’s way. DOES NOT PROVIDE AN I FRAME OR SUPER ARMOR (SA) EXCEPT FOR PART WHEN YOU ARE IN THE AIR. This move can get you killed as you can get cc’d while using it and you cannot cancel it. However, you can control whether or not you use it by letting go of the direction key before you use it after ghost stepping.
    • An example of where Ninja Evasion might be useful: Suppose you are in a fight and someone is in front of you pelting you with cc. you can attempt to ghost step backwards and turn your camera to Ninja Step but you may get cc’d. If you ghost step into ninja evasion and then turn to Ninja Step, you may have enough distance between you and the opponent to not get cc’d and to make a get away. It is a tool make you travel more distance quickly.

Ghost step without ninja evasion (let go of the direction key (s) after the ghost step).

Ghost Step with the first part of ninja evasion (hold the direction key for a moment after Ghost Step).

Ghost step with the full animation of ninja evasion (hold the direction key for the dull duration).


  • Fatal Blow (PVE/PVP, key input, air attack)


      • Provides good filler damage when other important dps skills are on cool down. Can be used while in cooldown (5 seconds) but stiffens the target if used while not on cooldown.


  • Flow: Fatal Blow Combo (PVE, key input)


    • Provides a good second hit for Fatal Blow.



  • Brace (PVE, key input)


      • Provides useful WP recovery for PvE. Risky to use in PvP, just stick with WP pots while PvPing for WP sustain, but use this to cancel animations (see 3.2).


  • Crescent Slash (Lock skill)


      • I have this skill locked. May interfere with combos and does not provide much benefit. Cancels into Fox Claw very quickly.


  • Throwing Kick (Key input)


    • Not very useful in any situation.



  • Floor Sweeping (PVP, key input)


      • Provides a +10% down attack damage buff for 10 seconds. Can be used to animation cancel Shadow Stomp. It is good to use floor sweeping to cancel Shadow Stomp while using it to combo for the down attack buff.


  • Flow: Kick Down


    • Not very useful in any situation.







  • Shuriken: Moving Throw


    • Same as Evasive Throw. Allows you to throw stars while moving. Not very useful.



  • Shuriken: Malice (PVE/PVP, key input)


    • Your best shuriken skill. Stiffens your opponent, has decent damage, has bonus critical chance and can cancel out of most skills (see 3.2). Ranged attack with a small AoE on impact.
  • Shuriken: Flight
    • Floats in a radial AoE. Can be used to cancel into Shadow Stomp.



  • Shining Blade (Passive)


      • Attack speed is very important on Ninja; this passive is important and given to you for free.


  • Shadow Slash (PVE/PVP, key input)


      • Provides WP recovery on hit; good for PvE. Provides a +5% attack speed buff for 10 seconds when used, even if it does not damage anything. Very important to keep this attack speed buff up during PvP, but be careful as you can get cc’d during Shadow Slash.


  • Smokescreen (PVP, key input)


    • One of the most important PvP skills. Provides an important evasion buff to help mitigate damage. At max rank the buff has a down time of 4 seconds. Provides super armor during the skill animation. Stuns targets contacted by smokescreen. Smokescreen can be used through a hotkey. If you use Smokescreen via the Hotkey, the super armor is longer because the animation is longer. It can be used with space after many skills, but I recommend using it after Shadow Slash, since it can be cast very quickly so you have a lower chance to get cc’d, since the cast time is so short.
    • Smokescreen can also be used to animation cancel Shadow Stomp. It will also swap from awakening to shortsword if used on hotkey with awakening active.

Smokescreen using space after a Shadow Slash.

Smokescreen using space after Ankle Cutter.


  • Ninjutsu: Concealment (PVP, key input)


    • Important for mobility. Chains very well from Smokescreen using space after Smokescreen. DOES NOT HAVE SUPER ARMOR OR I FRAMES; YOU ARE VULNERABLE AND TAKING ANY CC WILL REMOVE YOU FROM STEALTH. Used to go invisible to retreat or engage. In my opinion this pre awakened invisibility is better suited for mobility rather than an engage.
    • Be cautious when using stealth in large scale. If a teammate walks near you and someone throws a cc at your teammate then you will get cc’d as well.

Example of conceal used after Smokescreen.


  • Heart Aiming (PVP, key input)


      • Used during stealth, stuns target if landed. Recently updated to be chainable after Shadow Slash. Not extremely useful after Awakening due to its long cooldown and mediocre damage. 100% accuracy tooltip is misleading and the skill does NOT actually hit 100% of the time the way Suicide Fall does.


  • Suicide Fall (PVP, key input)


    • Incredibly important skill for most PvP combos. Spacebar prolongs the iframe that grab (E) gives, which may allow for your cooldowns to come up while you are in the iframe. Can be chained with Ghost Step and Ghost Greeting to get out of a bad situation. Grab (E) will cc anyone near the target when you hit the ground. Suicide fall will disable this cc.

Suicide fall chained with ghost step and ghost greeting.


  • Ankle Cutter (PVP/PVE, key input)


      • Provides a very important -20 DP debuff on enemies. This debuff is the difference between full TET and full TRI boss gear. Easy to use in chain combos due to its animation speed, and has a powerful set of skill addons available to it.


  • Ghost Greeting (PVP, key input)


      • Very good gap closer and mobility. Provides iframe if used while off cooldown. Can be used during cooldown (9 seconds) but the lunge will only apply while off cd. Stiffness will also apply if you hit an enemy with this skill while it is off of cd.


  • Fox Claw (PVP/PVE, key input)


      • Good dps filler skill along with Fatal Blow. Provides stiffness on good hit off of cd but it provides no defensive traits so it is not good to use as an initiation.


  • Shadow Stomp (PVP/PVE, key input)


      • Very important skill. Very good for mobility. Very good as a float on a stiffened target (or a non stiffened target). Can be animation cancelled with Shuriken Throw (RMB), Floor Sweeping, and Smokescreen. DOES NOT HAVE SUPER ARMOR OR I FRAME. Be careful if you use this skill for mobility or initiation as you can easily get cc’d during it.
      • Lag/Desync and terrain can cause you to not move the length of the normal stomp animation. The distance will still be covered and things in front of you can be floated, but you will essentially be stationary when you do the animation. This may happen if you lag, get body blocked by another player, or attempt to stomp up a lope or into a rock on the ground. I do not know of any way to control this.


  • Ninjutsu: Shadow Clone (PVP/PVE, key input or hotkey)


    • Flow from Shadow Stomp. Air Smash and Down Smash. Provides 30 HP recovery per hit. This is the only pre awakened skill that provides base HP recovery. Can be used with key input (space) directly after shadow stomp, or through a hotkey for up to 6 seconds after shadow stomp. I have it bound to one of my mouse buttons, but I use it through key input as well.

Shadow clone used with space after Shadow Stomp.


  • Beheading the Dead (PVP/PVE, key input)


    • Good for clearing large packs of mobs before awakening. Has a short IFrame when you disappear into the air. Stuns multiple targets, including on the initial windup. Useful wide AoE stun for catching targets or for extending a stiffen cc with the stun. Black Spirit Rage 200% skill for Shortsword. Its long animation can be cancelled by Malice or Ghost Step; using Malice during the end of the animation can add some quick extra damage, as well as chain a stiffen after the stun. Cancelling Beheading makes it safer and the stun still applies even if cancelled. 200% Pre-awakened Black Spirit Rage Skill (For Ninja).

Beheading Cancel with Malice


  • Ninjutsu: Shackles (PVP, hotkey)


      • Provides a -45% movement speed slow on the enemy at max rank. However, it does not have any defensive traits and is risky to use unless the opponent is on the ground. It may be useful against super mobile opponents, such as Maehwa/Musa/DK. As with most Shortsword skills, this skill can be cancelled with Malice or Ghost Step, so use this to your advantage to reduce its long, vulnerable animation.


  • Ground Thrust (N/A)
  • LOCK THE SKILL. It provides little damage, has a long animation, and has no defensive traits.


    • If you do decide to keep it unlocked (which I don’t recommend), it can be useful if you jump off a ledge : Hold S + F after double jump > Hold space to instantly stealth when hitting the ground. Do keep in mind that you’re only gonna have 15 sec of stealth when used after ground thrust.


  • Ninjutsu: Blade Spin (PVP/PVE, hotkey)


    • A very, very important skill. It provides super armor (even though it does not say so in the skill description). It floats any standing opponents that it touches (including slightly behind you), with an Air Attack modifier increasing its damage, and it can down smash already downed opponents. It is one of the only ways to swap from Sura Katana to Shortsword without a manual C swap and thus is used commonly to chain from Awakening combos into Pre-awakening combos. As with most Shortsword skills, this skill can be cancelled with Malice or Ghost Step. This skill is unique to Ninja and not shared by Kunoichi.
    • BEWARE that this skill is our Black Spirit Rage 100% skill in Shortsword. Using it out of Sura Katana will still trigger the 100% animation, which is an incredibly long and useless attack and will usually get you killed. The only way to cancel this is to use Emergency Escape. It is HIGHLY recommended to use the Black Spirit Rage lock feature (Alt+B) to prevent this from happening.

Blade Spin used to swap from Sura Katana to Shortsword


  • Ninjutsu: Black Moonlight (PVP/PVE, hotkey)


    • Decent damage filler. Provides super armor, but only during the VERY BEGINNING of the animation. Stiffens the opponent. Do not use if there is a chance an opponent will throw a cc at you as you will get cc’d during this. The animation can be cancelled with ghost step if you accidentally use this at an inopportune time. Unfortunately, the damage does not go through if the animation is cancelled.
    • Two instances where I use this skill is when the opponent is on the ground and I have no other dps cooldowns up, or if the opponent is medium range away and they have cc skills on cooldowns. This second instance will stiffen the opponent, allowing you to start a combo.

Black moonlight cancelled with Ghost Step.


  • Boss Slaughter (PvP, key input)


    • A Ninja-unique single target gap closer with good range and speed at max rank. It’s prone to being blocked or resisted by superarmour so you’ll usually want to grab immediately after it. It has 2 distinct animations depending on whether you hold W or S while using it (it will default to the S animation if you don’t). The W animation (uppercut) is noticeably faster so use that over the S animation.

Note that the range of Boss Slaughter III is slightly further than the target cursor


  • Rage Absorption (PVP/PVE, key input)


    • Blade Spin 100% BSR is not useful in too many situations. This Z buff gives a buff of +30 all AP, but tests show it really seems to add about +20 true AP, which is still great. For this reason, try to absorb the 100% buff as often as possible, or use it with Awakening’s Drastic Measure instead.

2.2 Awakening Skills


  • Transitional Stance (PVP)


    • Transitional stance (RMB) gives you a frontal guard. This skill is a solid replacement for the regular block (Q) as transitional stance doesn’t lock you in place.
  • Silent Charge (PVP/PVE)
  • Your alternative mobility skill to ghost step. Silent charge can only be used in transitional stance. You can only move forwards and backwards with silent charge. This skill is an iframe and ignores collision, making it a good way to get behind opponents.


  • Flow: Block Jump (PVP, hotkey, key input)


    • This skill allows use of Ninjutsu: Block Jump with Sura Katana. It provides +12 AP for 10 seconds upon use and provides a long invincibility frame (iframe) while in use and stiffens the enemy if you land near them. Not getting this Flow will switch you back to Shortsword when you use Block Jump and only give 6 AP.



  • Murderous Intent (PVP/PVE)


    • Murderous intent is an excellent skill to engage with. It stiffens the opponent. When used in regular stance, the skill has lingering super armor up until the sword is sheathed or the animation is interrupted by another action. When used in transitional stance, the lingering super armor does not apply. If Murderous Intent is allocated to a hotkey then the regular stance version will always be used. Silent Charge is a great skill to use to gap close before using murderous intent.

Murderous intent used with a hotkey.


  • Flash Bondage (PVP)


    • Flash Bondage is a second grab usable only with the Sura Katana. Since grabs can be used during any cc state, this skill can extend your already long combos even further. It has a much longer cooldown than Suicide Fall (18s vs 10s) but it has a very powerful nuance about it – there is a short window immediately after Flash Bondage where you can still Float the enemy, assuming they were in a state where Float wasn’t already locked out before Flash Bondage was used (see 3.1.1 for details on usage).



  • Drastic Measure (100%/PVP/PVE)
  • Drastic measure is your 100% Black Spirit Rage skill for your awakening. The skill has super armor throughout during the 100% version. However, the regular version of the skill only has super armor during its charge up. You can use Silent Charge once before you cast the skill. Using Drastic Measure will automatically put you into Transitional Stance.


Drastic measure with silent charge. Keep holding Shift+RMB while you tap a direction to use silent charge.

Murderous intent into Drastic Measure


  • Serpent’s Ascension (PVP/PVE)


    • Serpent is your strongest skill because it has 100% crit and air attack as a modifier. Unfortunately, this skill has no super armor nor frontal guard. When used in regular stance, the skill will float at the beginning. When used in transitional stance, the skill does more damage but will not float at the beginning.


  • Katana Shower (PVP/PVE)


    • Katana shower is a very reliable skill with super armor. In fact, this could be our most reliable super armor other than Blade Spin. Despite Katana Shower being a decent Super Armor, the float on the skill is not reliable. Only use this skill at the end of combo or if you’re really in danger (for the on-call SA, but be careful to not be grabbed if you use it).


  • Seamless (PVP/PVE)


    • Seamless is a filler skill that can be used after most skills by holding spacebar. It has a frontal guard for the first swing. This skill recovers 100 HP per animation phase, up to 3 times in total. Seamless can be chained with Sudden Decapitation or Corrupt sword dance by holding RMB or LMB..

Murderous Intent into Seamless


  • Vacuum Slash (PVP/PVE)


    • Vacuum Slash is another useful filler with a partial frontal guard. The first 3 hits have a frontal guard effect, after which you can cancel with Seamless or Ghost Step to stop the 4th, vulnerable hit. The first hit floats, and this skill does have Air Attack, so its damage can be decent since it also has 100% critical chance. The final hit has a deceptively long range in front of it, as well as one of Ninja’s only knockdowns (which lasts longer than a Bound).



  • Sudden Decapitation (PVP/PVE)


    • Sudden decapitation is a great skill that dishes out good damage and recovers WP. One important thing to note is that it does more damage when used after seamless. A good way to use this skill is to use one swing of seamless into sudden decap (Space>RMB).

One swing of Seamless (space)> Sudden Decapitation (RMB). The final skill shown in this GIF is Flow: Execution which activates by holding RMB after sudden decap.


  • Flow:Execution


    • This skill isn’t that good and is only really used for filler damage. Using it is optional. While it has good damage potential, the fact that it’s at the end of Sudden Decapitation causes it to simply be too slow to use outside PvE.


  • Corrupt Sword Dance (PVE)


    • A weaker but faster version of Sudden Decapitation. Can be input the same way as Sudden Decapitation after Seamless by pressing LMB.



  • Sura Chaos Spree (PVE)


    • This skill offers a decent PVE heal. Its damage is mediocre and the frontal guard only lasts for the sheathing animations. Furthermore, this skill locks you in place rendering you a sitting duck.  You can turn the camera while using Sura Chaos Spree to turn the frontal block.


  • Flow: Mach Explosion


    • This is it. You’re level 60. This is your big, flashy Flow that you’ve been waiting for. Unfortunately, it’s a steaming pile of crap in its current state. It has no super armor or frontal guard, coming out of a long Drastic Measure animation which also has no super armor or frontal guard, making these 2 skills leave you EXTREMELY exposed for too long a time. Its damage is inferior to a clean Serpent Ascension hit and its risks far outweigh its rewards. That said, it’s a nice PvE nuke and heal (400 HP if all hits land), though be careful since even mobs can cc you during it.

Mach Explosion in all its useless majesty.

2.3 Absolute Skills And Rahm’s Enlightenment

This system has yet to be released outside Korea so this section is simply a placeholder for now.


Rahm’s (or Rabam’s) Enlightenment, also known as Skill Fusion, is a system that allows players above level 56 to combine a primary and secondary pre awakening skill to give you a new, separate skill that has its own cooldown and skill slot. Each primary skill that has this system available will have 2 choices for secondary skills, of which you can only choose 1 at a time.


Absolute (or JIN) skills are an extra rank for several core pre awakening skills that drastically increase their damage (and in some cases utility) to make them on par with the Awakened skills. For most classes, this opens up a lot more potentially-viable strategies. For Ninja, we already use the flexibility of our mainhand, so this just makes our core gameplay even deadlier. For an initial look at the Ninja and Kunoichi Absolute skills at KR launch, you can check out this article by Inven Global.


Note* that both these systems are still in the process of being balanced and tweaked on the Korean client so don’t expect them to be exactly the same whenever we get them.


2.3.1 Rahm’s Enlightenment Skills



  • Ninjutsu: Oni Shadow




  • Smokescreen V + Concealment


    • Level 56 Required
    • Certain CCs will knock you out of invisibility ; Non-CC attacks will not break invisibility
    • Ghost Step can be used as an invisible dash during this skill
    • Ghost Step is also used to put you back into invisibility if skill duration is up.
    • Any Skills used during the skill will render you visible for the attack animation
    • Magic DP +15 for 10 sec. upon using skill
    • All Evasion Rate +18% for 10 sec. upon using skill
    • 12 second duration for invisibility
    • Cooldown 30 Seconds



  • Shuriken: Moon Dive




  • Smokescreen V + Shuriken: Flight III


    • Level 56 Required
    • Forward Push Hit Damage 611% X 7 + Extra Hit Damage 220% X 3
    • Critical Hit Rate +30%
    • Magic DP +15 for 10 sec. upon using skill
    • All Evasion Rate +18% for 10 sec. upon using skill
    • Cooldown 30 Seconds



  • Illusion of Restraint




  • Block Jump + Shackles IV


    • Forward Push Hit Damage 1428% X 6
    • Critical Hit Rate +100%
    • Movement Speed -30% for 10 sec on good hits
    • Forward Guard while using skill
    • Invincible while moving
    • Stiffness CC
    • Down Attack
    • Cooldown 24 Seconds



  • Ninjutsu: Decapitation




  • Block Jump + Beheading III


    • Forward Push Hit Damage 412% X 3 + Extra Hit Damage 1236% X 4
    • Basic Attack Critical Hit Rate +100%
    • Invincible on warp
    • Super Armor on attack
    • Stiffness CC
    • Cooldown 20 Seconds

2.3.2 Absolute Skills


  • Absolute: Wind Slash (Low Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Wind Slash X, this raises the damage from 229% to 495%. The amount of targets the skill is able to hit increases from 5 to 10. There is also a slight increase in accuracy.


    • This upgrade is not needed for anything other than giving boss slaughter more damage.



  • Absolute: Fatal Blow (High Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Fatal Blow V, this raises the damage from 646 x 2 (1252%)  to 1542 x 2 (3184%). The max amount of targets also increases from 5 to 10. There is a visible blue aura added to the stabbing animation.


    • There is a noticeable increase in damage. Using this skill in a combo can prove to have devastating results!



  • Absolute: Brace (Mild Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Brace III, this increases the amount of wp gained to 300wp.


    • The increase from 200wp to 300wp definitely helps when you grind without pots. But with no reduction to cooldown, it is still a skill to take if you can afford the points.



  • Absolute: Crescent Slash (Low Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Crescent Slash III, this increases the damage from 368% x 2 (736%) to 825% x 2 (1650%). The cooldown is reduced by 1 seconds, falling from 8 seconds to 7 seconds. There is also an increase in max targets from 5 to 10.


    • There are not many scenarios to use this skill. The absolute damage compared to its pre-absolute version (Crescent Slash III) is marginal. This skill should only considering if you are trying to min-max the cooldown management of skills.



  • Absolute: Throwing Kick (Low Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Throwing Kick II. There is an increase of damage from 470% to 1080%. The accuracy is raised from 40% to 45%. WP regen is increased from 30wp to 40wp.


    • It’s throwing kick. What did you expected from its absolute version?



  • Absolute: Floor Sweep (Mild Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Floor Sweep II, damage is increased from 489% to 1120%. The accuracy of the skill is increased from 45% to 50%.


    • The skill’s absolute version should only be considered if you use it. It’s supposed three times increase shown in the tooltip does not translate well in actual combos. The increase in accuracy from 45% to 50% is not as much an impact as the jump from rank 1 to rank 2. I’ll repeat again, only take this skill if you have the points and want to maximize the damage output of your combos.



  • Absolute: Kunai Throw (Not a Priority at all)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Kunai Throw III. The increase in damage goes from 377% to 662%. The accuracy is increased from 9% to 11%.


    • If you truely main ninja. You’re definitely not using a kunai.



  • Absolute: Shuriken Throw (Low Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Shuriken Throw III. The damage increased from 287% x 2 (574%) to 411% x 2 (822%). The accuracy increased by 2%, from 9% to 11%.


    • Ninjas should only maximize the Shuriken Throw skill after they’ve taken all other skills.



  • Absolute: Shuriken Malice (High Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Shuriken: Malice III. The damage is increased from 551% x 3 (1653%) to 1340% x 3 (4020%). The Range of the skill is also increased.


    • Malice is a high priority pre-awakening skill that veteran ninja players use mainly for range CC, canceling other skills, and finishing off opponents. The exceptional damage increase is very visible between the two skills. The Attack range is a minor bonus, but a bonus none the less. Absolute Malice should be one of the first five skills a ninja chooses to upgrade.



  • Absolute: Shuriken Flight (Mild Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Shuriken: Flight III. The damage is increased from 180% x 3 + 498% x 4 (2532%) to 541% x 3 + 1050% x 4 (5823%). The maximum amount of targets is increased from 7 to 10.


    • The nature of Shuriken: Flight is situational at best. While the damage is an exceptional change, ninjas should only consider taking this skill if they have the skill points to afford it. Otherwise get your coreskills first.



  • Absolute: Shadow Slash (Low Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Shadow Slash V. Increasing from 365% to 824%. The maximum amount of targets is increased from 7 to 10. The attack range of the swing is increased. The Wp regen is increased from 15wp per hit to 20wp per hit.


    • The average ninja uses this skill for two things, the attack speed bonus and side-strafing when out of movement options. Upgrading the skill should be saved until the skill tree is maxed out.



  • Absolute: Heart Aiming (Mild Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Heart Aiming III. The damage is increased from 1589% x 2 (3178%) to 1765% x 3 (5295%). The cooldown is reduced from 30 seconds to 27 seconds.


    • Heart Aiming’s damage increase is there. The skill still suffers from a ridiculously long cooldown and its small range is still a problem for most ninjas. If you decide to take this skill, I do personally suggest you take the time to learn how to use it. When you are able to, its a considerable ok skill.



  • Absolute: Suicide Fall (Mild Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Suicide Fall III. The increase in damage goes from 1552% x1 to 1552% x2 (3104%).


    • Suicide Fall trades its 5% of max hp extra damage for an extra hit. There is no negatives to this trade. I would only suggest taking this skill after you get all the High Priority skills.



  • Absolute: Ankle Cutter (Mild Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Ankle Cutter V. The damage is increased from 394% x 2 (782%) to 864% x 2 (1724%). The amount of targets is increased from 5 to 10. The cooldown of the skill is reduced by 1 second (from 11 seconds to 10 seconds).


    • It is advised to only take this skill if you are min-maxing your damage output and cooldown of skills.This skill, like most of your pre-awakened skills, is still unprotected. The DP reduction applied by this skill is the main reason for maxing it to Ankle Cutter V. The overall increase of the skill’s damage is dwarfed in comparison to your other skills.



  • Absolute: Ghost Greeting (Mild Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Ghost Greeting III. The damage is increased from 799% x 2 (1598%) to 1635% x 2 (3270%). The amount of targets is increased from 7 to 10. The skill applies a 5% attack bonus for 10 seconds on good hits.


    • Ghost Greeting is mostly used as a pre-awakening gap closer and part of a pre-awaken movement chain. I personally wished this skill had a cooldown reduction with the addition of the Absolute skills. Sadly that did not happen. The increase in damage is marginal.



  • Absolute: Fox Claw (High Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Fox Claw IV, damage increasing from 354% x 2 and 1207% x 3 (4329%) to 485% x 2 and 1642% x 4 (7538%). The Accuracy is increased from 11% to 15%. The max amount of targets is increased from 7 to 10.


    • The skill sacrifices its 15% wp max damage modifier for additional damage. Though the damage is exceptional, it is dwarfed by other high priority skills. Absolute Fox Claw should skill be considered one of the better skills to get first.



  • Absolute: Shadow Stomp (Highest Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Shadow Stomp IV. Increasing Damage from 715% x 7 (5005%) to 1157% x 8 (9256%). The max amount of targets is also increased from 5 to 10.


    • This is the first skill you should upgrade to absolute, hands down. Damage is exceptionally noticeable. With it’s innately low cooldown, it is a skill meant to be abused. Please, this pre awakening skill is ABSOLUTELY wanting to be noticed senpai.



  • Absolute: Shadow Clone (High Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Shadow Clone III. Damage is increased from 882% x 4 (3528%) to 1585% x 4 (6340%). The HP recovered is increased from 45 per hit to 50 per hit.


    • Clone is one of those skills that have multiple purposes. But with the absolute upgrade, I recommend that you always try to use it after shadow stomp. The air damage applied after absolute it is mouth watering. Take this skill when you reach the level 60 requirement.



  • Absolute: Boss Slaughter (Low Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Boss Slaughter III. The damage is increased from two basic hits to four basic hits. The Movement Distance and Attack speed of the skill is also increased. The cooldown is reduced by 1 second, from 10 seconds to 9 seconds.


    • Absolute Boss Slaughter slightly increases the range and attack speed. I would only say this skill is worth it if you already use it. Due to the sporadic nature of the skill, I would advise you take this skill after you learn how to use it effectively.



  • Absolute: Shackles (Low Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Ninjutsu: Shackles IV. Damage is increased from 888% x 4 (3552%) to 1668% x 4 (6672%). The amount of targets is increased from 7 to 10. The movement debuff applied on hit is increased from -45% to -50%. The cooldown is reduced from 24 seconds to 20 seconds.


    • The Shackles skill is one of the lowest priority skills you can take, regardless of the damage it does. It is advise that you only take this skill if you intend to learn how to use it.



  • Absolute: Ground Thrust (Low Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Ground Thrust III. The damage is increased from 1004% x 2 (2008%) to 1500% x 3 (4500%). The max amount of targets is increased from 7 to 10. The cooldown is reduced from 10 seconds to 9 seconds.


    • Due to the nature of the skill, it is hard to recommend this skill. Take this skill only when you’ve filled out your skill build.



  • Absolute: Bladespin (High Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Ninjutsu: Bladespin. The damage is increased from 624% x 4 and 680% x 3 (4536%) to 1456% x 4 and 1240% x 3 (9544%). The cooldown of the skill is reduced from 15 seconds to 13 seconds. The WP required is increased from 50 to 70.


    • Absolute Blade Spin is up there at the top of the list for skills to be considered. The phenomenal damage increase is a blessing to have and a much needed upgrade.



  • Absolute: Black Moonlight (Mild Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Ninjutsu: Black Moonlight V. Damage is increased form 671% x 7 (4697%) to 1356% x 7 (9499%). The amount of targets is increased from 7 to 10. The cooldown is reduced from 22 seconds to 20 seconds. The Attack Range is also increased.


    • The mechanics of the skill makes it debateful to recommend to newer players. On one hand, it is a handy skill in catching opponents with its Stiffness CC, deals effective down-attack damage, and is also a Super Armor skill. On the other hand, the Super Armor on the skill is only attached to the attack phase. The last animations of the skill make it easy to be caught by your opponents. Regardless, the increased damage from the Absolute makes the risks and rewards worth considering. Sidenote, the damage alone is very considerable for PvE/Grinding.



  • Absolute: Beheading the Dead (High Priority)



    • The Absolute skill upgrade after Beheading the Dead III. The damage is increased from 1152% x 3 (3456%) to 1440% x 4 (5760%). The amount of targets is increased from 7 to 10. The cooldown is reduced from 20 seconds to 18 seconds.


    • The skill trades its 15% of Max WP extra damage for a fourth additional hit. Combined with the 100% crit rate, this Absolute skill is one of the hardest hitting skills in the ninja’s arsenal.


2.3.3 Absolute Skills Priority List


Highest Priority:


High Priority:


Mild Priority:


Low Priority:


Not a Priority at all:


2.4 Skill Builds

Green   – Must have.

Orange – Luxury/playstyle dependent (When you have skill points to spare).

Red   – Do not put points into the skill.


Extra notes: Complete order – Awakening > Pre-awakening green > Yellow (Don’t put points into red)


Keep in mind BDO has no skill point cap so you will eventually max everything. However, with the release of Rahm’s Enlightenment and Absolute Skills, the SP requirement is going to go up heavily.

2.5 Skill Add-ons

JackTheKnife’s Add-onsPrzemoboski’s Add-ons

2.6 Gearing

Note that these builds are NOT prescribed, cookie cutter meta builds – they’re simply suggested pathways and you’re free to experiment and vary them based on your personal preference and playstyle (and obviously budget).



We do not have any useful kunai skills!


New Player:

Heve is the recommended set to use since one can add up to two Boss armor pieces (Bheg’s gloves, Muskan’s shoes, Giath’s Helmet, Tree Armor, and Red Nose Armor) without losing the set bonus with Heve. The Grunil set is also an option; however, you will break the set bonus once you start swapping in your first boss armor. For accessories, use the Jarrette’s accessory set. This is given to you from the new player login rewards.

Early Game #1 (300 gs):


The next step is to get your armor and weapons to +15 ASAP. Kill monsters in Mediah to obtain the Asula’s accessory set.

Early Game #2 (+350 gs):

Upgrade your armor to PRI and your weapons to DUO. You can get the Concentrated Magic Stones which are used to upgrade your armor by melting a Sharp/Hard Crystal Shard with 2 blackstones (Sharp Shards and weapon stones, Hard Shards with armour stones).

Mid Game (400 gs):

Continue upgrading your armor to DUO and your weapons to TRI. Congratulations, you are now more likely to be accepted to a tier 1 node wars guild. Most tier one node wars guild recruit members with 400+ Gear Score.

Late Game #1 (450 gs):

By now you should have gotten your first boss piece. The recommended piece is Bheg’s gloves since it gives the accuracy you need to hit players. Also, it is time for you to slowly start upgrading accessories.

Late Game #2 (+480 gs):

By this point you should be at full TRI boss armor with DUO yellow grade/TRI Blue grade accessories. Keep the Red Coral Earrings because they are recommended for Ninjas due to the his lack of innate accuracy. (Bheg’s gloves alone won’t suffice).

General Late Game (lvl +61):

Evasion ( +61):

Accuracy (+61):

Nouver (+61):


These are the typical end game builds that most players go for. The first is an AP focused build; this is your standard NA build. The second is an evasion build to be tanky; this is your standard EU build. The third is an accuracy build to counter evasion builds. Note that all three builds are used on both servers.


Disclaimer: You will be fine with very little to no accuracy until you farm Pila Ku Jail/Aakman Dungeon/Kamasylvia or mostly focus on PvP.

2.6.1 What Offhand should I use?

This is a very common question but the answer to it will vary based on what situation you’re in. So we will list the offhands for you and what they’re useful against.

  1. Quitar (Accuracy offhand) does well vs players with full tri boss gear or higher (scales better when the opponent has more eva than just boss gear- e.g. evasion accessories) due to the accuracy you get. This offhand does make you squishy.
  2. Tadd/Rosar (Defensive Evasion Offhand) does well vs. AP monkeys because of the lack of accuracy AP stackers have. This offhand will be a good choice in large scale due to the effective evasion; you will get cc’d less often and take less damage. However, this offhand gets progressively better the more evasion you have. If you only run tri/tet boss gear and a Tadd offhand, you will still be relatively squishy. This offhand does make you deal less damage; it is recommended to get a lot of accuracy from accessories and crystals if you plan on stacking evasion. Tadd and Rosar are very close in their defensive value, but Tadd has slightly higher raw defensive stats whereas Rosar has 2 gem slots allowing it the flexibility to be a little more offensive as well. Which one you choose is entirely up to your preference and there’s no real community consensus on one or the other.
  3. Estique (AP offhand) does well vs Accuracy builds since you’ll have more AP than the accuracy build assuming you have the hit rate. This offhand is bad vs. evasion.


  1. Kutum (Boss PvE Offhand) does well vs. Accuracy stackers due to the damage reduction and higher AP. This offhand is a jack-of-all-trades. It will make you tankier but not super tanky, and it will allow you to maintain damage but not amazing damage. The ignore resistance (+10%) synergizes well with precision crystals. This is one of the best perks of the Kutum offhand.
  2. Nouver (Boss AP Offhand) does well vs. Buildings and structures. Many consider this offhand a meme but because you have 100% hit rate on structures it only makes sense to get the offhand with the highest AP value. This offhand is bad against evasion builds. Estique offhand will do more damage to players due to the special attack bonus. This damage gap between estique and Nouver will become larger the more AP you have. Only use Nouver if you can get +245 AP.


3. Strategy and Tactics

3.1 Movement and Weapon Swaps


  • Universal Movement


    • Shadow Slash, Ninja Step, Ghost Greeting, Ghost Step, Ninja Evasion, Target Chase, Block Jump, Murderous Intent, Silent Step and Smokescreen Into Concealment are your main mobility skills. You can also consider using Shadow Stomp for mobility as long as you’re confident you can cancel it reliably. Ninja requires very careful management of these cooldowns as they’re all very crucial skills that could be used for engaging or escaping, or even just as part of a combo – it’s not quite as trivial as other classes where they can just rely on 1 button to move pretty quickly with.

3.1.1 Gap Closing and Engage


  • Defensive Engagement


    • Ninja is typically a class used for its agility and ability to punish people who leave themselves open. However, the awakening meta is filled with classes that have nearly 100% super armour or frontal guard uptime, making the traditional Ninja style far more challenging to pull off, particularly outside of 1v1s. To counter this, some Ninjas prefer a more defensive playstyle that forgoes optimal DPS combos for a safer engage and more reliability vs super armour.
      • The animation to switch into Transitional Stance has frontal guard. Weaving this with Ghost Step generally allows you a mostly safe frontal guard/iframe animation. The advantage of doing this over Q block is you can turn quickly and continue to move instead of being rooted in one spot.


Weaving Transitional Stance with Ghost Step (RMB > RMB > Ghost Step, repeat forever)


      • Murderous Intent in non-transitional mode is a full super armour animation. This includes the sheathing animation up to when your sword is completely sheathed. This is just about enough for the cooldown for Murderous Intent to be up, so if you spam non-Transitional Murderous Intent, you’ll be almost in a 100% uptime super armour state. Note that interrupting the animation by any means, be it walking, attacking or dodging, will remove the super armour, and as such, this is a very uncomfortable tactic for most Ninjas. Being used to a high-APM class with complex combos, it’s not intuitive for most to patiently sit in super armour, but this strategy is highly viable for many encounters. You can use MI to attack an opponent also in super armour and then immediately grab them with Flash Bondage while they’re locked in their skill animation, then make use of Flash Bondage’s float window to Serpent for full air attack damage. The main vulnerability of this technique is other classes with grabs too, so be careful who you use it against and when.
      • QuickSlot SmokeScreen is used a lot to bait people in a Pre Awakening Grab. Often, you will Blade Spin Blade into Smoke and you will Grab your target safely because of the Combo of Super Armor and it is an Easy bait since people doesn’t think we have a Lingering Super Armor in Pre Awakening.


  • Boss Slaughter -> Grab


    • Can be used really quickly to surprise your opponent. Use carefully because there isn’t any Super Armor or Block during the whole animation.


  • Transition Into Silent Step Into Murderous


Probably the most used engage as a Ninja since it is quick and a reliable protected movement. You should always try to go a bit off your target to catch them in the back.



  • Transition into Silent Charge into Ghost Step into Murderous Intent


    • Covers a slightly longer distance while keeping you in the safer super armour animation of the non-Transitional Murderous Intent. This method also covers up the slight delay Silent Charge > Hotkey Murderous Intent has.


  • SmokeScreen Into Concealment Into a CC


    • This is a really good Gap Closing / Engagement combo to counter a Frontal Guard. (If your opponent is quick enough, he can catch you in his back.)

Can be followed by Shadow Stomp.

3.1.2 Escaping and Disengaging

  • To escape means to escape from your opponent’s CC chain. The concept is rather simple; spam your mobility skills to escape. You can use universal movement to escape once you get up.
  • Another method is to grab your opponent when you have been knocked down by a grounding CC (e.g. Float).
  • A lot of the time, You need to learn to recognize Desync. You will often be able to get out of a grab because of it and you need to be able to see it to abuse of it. Think of it like it was an in game mechanic. This will happen every time an opponent grabs you in an iframe. If you recognize that an opponent is trying to grab you, use ghost step, or another i frame. You will “auto recover” when you hit the ground and instantly bounce up. An easy way to spot if an opponent i framed your grab and will “auto recover” is if the opponent is moving while you are grabbing them.
  • To disengage, you will mostly use the same technic as Gap Closing or Engage. An example: You can use Murderous Super Armor to Gain some seconds on your Cooldowns.

3.2 Animation Cancelling

Shadow Stomp: One of the strongest skills in shortsword due to its float and air attack modifiers, this skill normally has a very long windup animation. You can cancel that animation by preceding Shadow Stomp with either RMB (Shuriken Throw), Smokescreen, Floor Sweeping or Star: Flight. The timing is fairly tight for these cancels and it really should be one of the first things you practice when learning Ninja.

Universal Cancels: Ghost Step, Malice, Smokescreen, Brace, Vengeful Barrier and Seamless are “universal cancels”, in that they can cancel out of most skill animations. They generally follow the same rules as each other and can fairly consistently be used in the same frames. Some skills CANNOT be cancelled by these at any point during their animations. These skills include: Ninja Step, Serpent Ascension, Drastic Measure (but not Mach Explosion), Sura Chaospree, to name a few. Experiment with what you can and can’t cancel to make your combos and movement more fluid.

Ninjutsu: Shackles being cancelled by Malice to reduce its long aftercast animation.

3.3 Combo Chaining and CC System

Before you can pull off some flashy combos, you need to do some homework. Understanding BDO’s cc system is crucial, as well as knowing exactly what effect each of your own skills applies on the opponent.

The types of Crowd Control effects in BDO you’re going to have to pay most attention to are stun, stiffen, knockdown, grapple, bound, freeze, float, and knockback effects. Technically, slow is a CC effect too, but that’s considered a soft CC and doesn’t quite play the same role as the aforementioned “hard” CCs that will allow you to lock down an opponent in a combo.

CC effects are designed so they cannot be infinitely chained. They have specific lockout rules after which the enemy is either completely immune to certain types of CC or the enemy has an increased chance to resist certain types of CC, for a few seconds.

Stuns and Stiffens are basic opening CCs. Stiffen lasts around 1 second, Stun lasts around 2 seconds. They will lock themselves out, but not each other, or other forms of hard CC! So you cannot Stun an enemy who is already Stunned, but you CAN Stiffen or Float them immediately after. In theory, you could alternate Stuns and Stiffens for a very long chain, but to do so puts your combo at greater risk of being resisted.

Bound and Knockdown both throw the enemy onto the ground. Bound drops the enemy right where they’re standing, and lasts around 1s, while Knockdown throws them back a little and lasts around 2s. The enemy becomes immune to all following forms of hard CC except for Down Smash, Grapple, and Freeze while they’re on the ground, and immune to repeated Bound or Knockdown effects for the next few seconds.

Float is an extremely important CC for Ninja, as it makes the target vulnerable to Air Attacks, which is the highest damage modifier in the game. Our main burst skills in both Shortsword (Shadow Stomp, Blade Spin) and Sura Katana (Serpent Ascension) apply Float and Air Attack, causing them to deal MASSIVE damage as long as the target isn’t immune to/resists/evades the Float. Float throws the enemy into the air and then onto the ground, a little similar to Knockdown. It makes the target immune to all other hard CC types except for Air Smash, Grapple and Freeze.

Air Smash and Down Smash (not to be confused with Air Attack and Down Attack, which are damage modifiers that deal increased damage to enemies in those states) extend the duration of a Float or Bound/Knockdown. Down Smash can be used after the enemy has landed from a Float, but to extend the Float itself, you have to use an Air Smash (Shadow Clone). Note that Air Smash and Down Smash can’t be chained together – it’s one or the other, and only once per chain.

Knockback and Freeze are irrelevant for Ninja since we have none.

Grapples can be used on characters in any state except ones that are currently already in a grapple animation (either as the user or the target). Obviously, you can’t grapple someone in an iframe either, which is what results in all kinds of grapple/iframe desync madness. Grapples can be used on a target in Frontal Guard or Super armour states, which is unique to this CC type. This makes our grapples VERY important for fighting classes like Warrior or Musa who tend to be CC immune almost all the time.

Based on the above rules, you can work out that a long combo that viably can work in BDO’s engine could look like:

Stiffen > Stun > Stiffen > Float/Bound/Knockdown > (filler) > Grapple > (filler) > Down Smash > (filler) > Grapple > (filler)

To translate that into actual Ninja skills, you could use something like:

Block Jump (W) > Beheading the Dead > Malice > RMB+Shadow Stomp cancel > Ghost Greeting > Ankle Cutter > Suicide Fall > Fox Claw > Shadow Clone (hotkeyed) > C swap > Flash Bondage > Serpent Ascension

Note, however, that a combo like that is very very long, and under most real circumstances, you should understand that the longer the combo, the greater its risk. Your opponent could resist or evade a segment at any point, or they could simply desync and teleport along the ground. They could have allies who might knock you down from behind, or use their Emergency Escape to get out. Think about the effectiveness of the skill as well as the type of CC effect it has before incorporating it in a certain way into your combos. A shorter combo that utilises the Float/Air Attack on Serpent Ascension will usually outperform a longer one that still includes Serpent Ascension but as a Down Attack filler, like the one above.

Combos are HEAVILY impacted by the amount of desync you run into, and that can vary considerably between every fight. Unfortunately, this is simply the side effect of playing an action MMO game over a large portion of the planet. A smaller landmass like South Korea is far more ideal since everybody is close together and has a relatively low latency with the server. You will have to learn to recover gracefully when things don’t go according to plan, and perhaps devise simpler and more reliable combos to mitigate the impact desync can have.

3.4 Large Scale Gameplay   

3.4.1 Cannon Teams

Ninja is very good at taking out cannons or using one. The potential of Ninja in small scale makes him very good at taking cannons out and with his triple jump, he can take other Ninja/Kuno cannon-teams out. If you’re shooting a cannon, you can get to a high building where other classes can’t reach you and basically shoot for free. Ninja does this through his double jump. You can also utilize a triple jump if you jump (space), double jump (space), and hit E (triple jump).

3.4.2 Disruption

Another important function of Ninja in large scale is his ability to disrupt base buildings very well. Through stealth, he can disrupt and generally live afterwards. Disrupting is basically cock-blocking the enemy base to repair their building. One of the thing you need to spot when you do this job is when an enemy is crouched on the ground. This means that he is building a new building. Wait for him to build it to kill it at the same time it pops or kill the guy building it and remember his name, he is probably the main builder and needs to be focused.

3.4.3 Slayer

Slaying in node wars is probably the most fun part of large scale. Once you get comfortable with the concepts in this guide (and once you get the gear), you should have no problem slaying people. Stealth, and the rest of the kit allows Ninja to kill effectively and rapidly once you have around 200+ ap with Quitar. It is hard to explain how to play a slayer role a large scale battle, as these battles usually revolve around what your guild’s strategy is for a specific war, the gear of the enemies, the makeup of the enemy guilds, etc. Most of the time, you will try to get behind enemy line (with concealment) to rapidly delete/finish their main DPS and to disrupt them. Note that unlike most classes, Ninja’s main burst relies on Air Attacks and not Down Attacks – this means your DPS actually suffers from teammates CCing your target before you can float them so try to take the initiative and get your Float Serpent Ascension out whenever an opportunity presents itself, before your teammates cut its damage (even though they mean well) by knocking your foe down.

3.4.4 Scout

Scout is a role that consists of staying around your main group of attack or your base and to find from where the enemy group is attacking. Most of the time, you will be in stealth turning around your objective to protect it and disrupt a group that is coming to attack it. It is a bit like being a slayer but you will play a more protective role. If you’re a defense scout, you will often have the job to find enemy cannons.

3.5 Small Scale Gameplay

Small Scale and 1v1 is where Ninja shines the most. There is not really a role in small scale since most of the time the goal is just to kill whatever comes at you. It is really important in small scale to eliminate the priority targets like a Wizard or a Witch since they can be a pain in the ass with their range. One of the most important thing that people forget about is that you need map awareness. You need to be able to see if someone is coming to backstab you while you’re comboing somebody. Be aware of what you can and can not use in different situation. Using Murderous Intent super armor could seem like a good idea but if there is 3 enemies attacking you, you will likely.

TL; DR. Learn your kit and learn to analyze a situation to be effective in Small Scale.

3.6 Class Matchups

3.6.1 Warrior

  • Warriors are a tricky beast as they have lingering super armor which refreshes on their block-this is arguably the strongest mechanic in their kit. A warrior has super armor on his Q block which lasts an additional 2 seconds after they release it. In essence, a warrior is very hard to CC when using his awakened form. The only weakness to a warrior’s block is the susceptibility to being grabbed. Grab a warrior when they spam block.
  • Warriors have a very strong 100% ult and they can turn it around. Be aware.
  • Warriors have a a grab. Make sure to go in and out to avoid being grabbed.
  • The Awakening Grab -> Serpent doesn’t work against a Warrior. Their lingering super armor will make them invulnerable to the float unless you grab them in their Pre Awakening or in one of their Skills.
  • Solar Flare can catch you behind a Frontal Block just like our Murderous.
  • Grabbing a Warrior while he does Grave Digger could be seen as an easy grab but if the grab fails, It is an instant death for you. Be Careful.
  • A Warrior can be grabbed in the animation of Slashing the Death.
  • Try to hit and apply chip damage to their back to make them unable to heal back by playing passively.
  • Try to remember the cooldown on Grave Digger and Slashing of the Dead; it’s their strongest ability and they’re vulnerable while on Cooldown. 10 and 8 Seconds (at level 60).
  • Most Warriors will do 3 Awakening Dash and block to maintain their Super Armor. The best way to catch them is to bait those dashes and to grab them when they go to reset their lingering super armor.

3.6.2 Sorceress

  • Sorceresses have a lot of reliable iframes-if not, the best. This gives them an advantage to escaping. You may have to engage multiple times on a sorceress in order to unleash your deadly combo.
  • Watch out for sorceresses when they charge up their scythe-they are going to unleash Grim Reaper’s Judgement-get out when they charge or try to go for a quick grab.
  • Sorceress are really vulnerable when they use violation (they only have a frontal guard on violation); abuse this weakness.
  • They can disappear and appear really fast from Nightmare, be careful with frontal block when they use it.

3.6.3 Ranger

  • Rangers have a bow which has deadly range and a sword which has deadly mobility and a grab. Abuse transitional stance and avoid using vengeful barrier (Q block) since when used a Ranger can easily lock you into place.
  • When a Ranger switches from bow to dagger, they have a frontal block (every class has a frontal block on c swap if they use a directional key while swapping) and can bait you to go ham on them. Be careful.
  • Most of Ranger’s skills are Frontal Block making them an easy target for Ninja.
  • Be careful about regeneration. It’s one of their strongest skills.
  • They have long cooldowns like us. Abuse this weakness.
  • Be careful about Blasting Gust. It can shoot quite far and knockdown you.

3.6.4 Tamer

  • Heiling has 100% accuracy and crazy CC capability. Avoid their pet at all costs. Their pet is probably stronger than the tamers themselves. Also, their pet is basically invincible.
  • You can easily Block Jump when a tamer does her Cloud Stomping to engage into a grab for an easy CC.
  • Tamer is one of the hardest matchups for Ninja.
  • A lot of Tamers think that their Void Lightning is a safe zone. You can kill them by surprise in it by extending every super armor. It is a risky way to kill them.
  • If they miss Legendary Beast Dance, most Tamers will back up or use Cloud Stomping to get Away, If they stay, they will probably use a frontal block; Block Jump them for an easy kill.
  • Allaround Spinner is one of their strongest skills since the pet attack with it but it is a frontal block. If they use it and you are not cc’ed, get away or engage. If you engage, be sure to dodge Heilang’s strong attack that can do half of your HP.
  • If the Tamer does Command: Attack, their pet will follow you to try to do a knockback. It as an extremely large distance of attack..
  • Tamer Grab has an excellent distance, be careful.
  • Their pet can see you in Concealment like mobs can if they’ve gained aggro on you at any point.

3.6.5 Valkyrie

  • The valkyrie is not as finicky as the warrior as she doesn’t have lingering super armor on her block. However, she does have some skills that have a vacuum effect.
  • They can be pretty easy to grab with the Murderous Lingering super armor since most of their skills have a dash and they will come on you.
  • You will face the opposite direction if they vacuum at the same time you try to grab her because the vacuum  will turn you.
  • Their awakening ultimate does A LOT of damage but you can grab her when she comes down from the sky and cancel most of the damage.

3.6.6 Wizard

  • The wizard has a grab and has better close range combat than the witch.
  • When the wizard does an AoE such as Aqua Prison, you can easily block jump and grab the wizard as he will be locked into place.
  • Watch out for the Wizard’s heal. Like the Witch, the wizard can heal back to full health.
  • Hellfire Can be easily block jumped for an easy stiffen or grab since it is only a Frontal.
  • Be careful about their 100%, it will easily kill your block and CC you at the same time.
  • Their pets can see you in Concealment like mobs can if they’ve gained aggro on you at any point.

3.6.7 Witch

  • The witch doesn’t have a grab but she does have a block.
  • Like the wizard, get into close range within the witch and get behind. From then, unleash your combo
  • LIke the wizard, the witch can heal up to full health.
  • Electricity skills are the most dangerous skills and are super armor. All of their Earth Skills are frontal block which leaves her open in the back.
  • Be aware, most of the Witch skills will continue even after a grab because of their flows, if you are low, it may be a bad idea to go for a CC even if you catch her.
  • Their pets can see you in Concealment like mobs can if they’ve gained aggro on you at any point.

3.6.8 Striker

  • The striker’s clones function like Tamer’s Heilang. 100% accuracy with deadly CC capability
  • Unlike the tamer, the striker itself is very tanky. Make sure you watch out for the clones as you pull off a full double grab combo.
  • Echo Spirit is their most dangerous aspect, get away when you see the Striker turn his back.
  • Striker can be grabbed in most of their skills pretty easily, abuse this.
  • Most Striker don’t know how to use their mobility making them easy to catch behind their block.

3.6.9 Ninja

  • Use your grabs sparingly. When you grab a ninja they can counter grab you.
  • It is one of the most desync-filled fights. You need to know some properties of desync if you want to win most of the time.

3.6.10 Kunoichi

  • The Kunoichi has a plethora of AoEs. Make sure to use murderous intent lingering super armor to avoid being caught in her AoE’s.
  • Kunoichi animation give us enough time to block Jump and Grab them. Bait Chain Crash or Lethal Spin for an easy kill.
  • You can grab or damage them while they are in Tendon Cutter.
  • Tendon Cutter can catch you in your back while you are using Frontal Block.

3.6.11 Berserker

  • If the zerker starts to slam the ground (Devastation), Run away or go for a REALLY QUICK grab. The slow on this attack is really strong (30%) but if you grab quick enough, it will cancel the debuff.
  • Same as Ranger, be careful. Zerker can CC you from a great distance.
  • The Most Dangerous thing about Zerker stems from our Own Kit. If you do an awakening grab when the Zerker is moving, he will get up really quick… be careful of this bug.

3.6.12 Dark Knight

  • This is considered the worst matchup possible from a Dark Knight perspective because of our mobility and Block Jump.
  • The weakness for Dark Knight are their Frontal block. Spirit Legacy and Shattering Darkness are all easily countered by one of the combo to get in their back or by Block Jump. Bait their frontal and abuse it. *They can go back while doing Shattering Darkness and can disrupt the Block Jump. For a perfect result, activate the Block Jump at the end of their skills.
  • You can grab a DK out of Twilight Dash but be careful. When they do this skill, they often try to go in your back for a quick stiff.
  • If the DK uses Seed of Catastrophe and doesn’t CC you then you have a good 9 sec to be more aggressive since one of their main skills is on cooldown.

3.6.13 Maehwa

  • Maehwa and Musa Match up is almost the same and it is pretty easy. The best way and almost the only way to fight them is to camp in Murderous Intent or Block Jump and to wait for them to engage so that you can grab them.
  • You can put pressure on them and get their Stamina to 0. They will be easy to catch after that since their Dash cost Stamina to be usable. Same for Musa.
  • Maehwa can come at you really quickly with her dash and jump attack. Be aware that she can catch you in your frontal with her jump.

3.6.14 Musa

  • It is the same as Maehwa, easy match up overall.
  • Musa Skill are a bit slower than Maehwa, it gives you a better chance to grab them than Maehwa.
  • Musa has one of the longest super armor combos. Behave the same kind of lingering super armor as Murderous Intent but on back flow. Be careful for the bait.

3.6.15 Mystic (Forthcoming)



4. Other Resources

The Ninja/Kunoichi Discord Server:

Cid’s in-depth Kunoichi guide:

General Ninja/Kunoichi resources document:

Glossary of Terms

AoE – Area of Effect. Technically, this term describes the radius or area of a skill effect, but the term “AoE” is typically used to describe skills that have a large area of effect.

PBAoE  – Point Blank Area of Effect. An AoE skill that specifically centers its effect on the user, e.g. Ninja’s Blade Spin.

BDO – Black Desert Online, the action MMORPG this guide is for, you crazy person.

CC – Crowd Control. A common MMORPG term to describe an effect that causes the target to have their actions temporarily hindered or halted in some way. In BDO, this includes stuns, stiffens, knockdowns, grapples, bound, freeze, float, knockback and slow effects.

Discord – A free cross platform text and voice chat application intended for gamers and gaming communities available at

IFrame – Invincibility Frame. A portion of an animation during which your character is completely immune to all damage or CC effects.

PvE – Player versus Environment. Any content that pits you against computer generated enemies or challenges.

PvP – Player versus Player. Gameplay that revolves around you competitively fighting other real world human players.


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