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Dual wielding is the highest damage weapon style in the game. There are drawbacks however: In chasing DPS you lose defense and evasion. It also requires upgrading and managing two seperate weapons. DW has multiple paths: swords, katanas, axes, and maces.

Type Weapon ATK MYS Effect DEF M.DEF CO CD Evasion
Axe Might Splitter 153 72 CA +5 50 23 24% 38% 12%
Axe Shielding Hawkwind 189 112 Phys Resist +5 62 39 24% 38% 18%
Katana Nightbloom Mist 220 179 58 19 30% 48% 20%
Katana Nightbloom Virtutis 223 222 17 18 30% 48% 20%
Katana Parrying Tataraichi 184 135 Phys Resist +5 41 28 25% 40% 9%
Sword Might Longsword 149 74 CA +5 52 25 29% 46% 19%
Sword Shielding Bluesteel 174 127 Phys Resist +5 55 38 29% 46% 24%
Type Weapon ATK MYS Effect DEF M.DEF CO CD Evasion
Axe Might Splitter +9 198 93 CA +5 65 29 15%
Axe Shielding Hawkwind +9 245 145 Phys Resist +5 80 50 23%
Katana Nightbloom Mist +9 255 232 75 24 26%
Katana Nightbloom Virtutis +9 255 255 22 23 26%
Katana Parrying Tataraichi +9 239 175 Phys Resist +5 53 36 11%
Sword Might Longsword +9 193 96 CA +5 67 32 24%
Sword Shielding Bluesteel +9 226 165 Phys Resist +5 71 49 31%

Just by looking at the stats of the weapons, katanas are swords with lower defense and higher offense. Parrying Tataraichi, despite its name, has the lowest physical evasion of the bunch. Axes look like they are the ultimate melee weapon. They tend to have terrible mystic attack but good defense. Maces are for mages so were not included. Nightbloom Virtutis and Mist were added to the table because they are unique remnant weapons. Since they are drops rather than crafted parts, it is only possible to obtain one of each in a playthrough.

The problem with only looking at weapon stats is that weapon attack doesn't really matter that much. The weapon arts vary for each type of weapons, along with the weapon arts of the weapons. In addition, axes get an extra buff from Black Belt when chasing maximum DPS due to its Axe +5 effect.

As a general rule, might weapons do more combat art damage than shielding/parrying weapons, but at the cost of all other stats and weapon arts.

While katanas do less deadlocked damaged compared to axes, mastery of katanas is required for Ninja class, which benefits dual wielding but more interestingly, the Ambush skill. This helps make up for some of the damage loss but also turns katanas into a more defensive fighting style due to rear assaults not triggering direct retaliation. However this benefit only happens towards the end of the game due to the high requirements of Ninja. It is possible to train katanas and then axes to have Ninjas and axes, but this is basically a min-maxing strategy that doesn't really affect normal gameplay.

The tests in the chart below are done with Rush. Rush has maximum stats (255) and weapon strengthening (+9). I had only Rush in the entire party and attacked Demigod with full morale, skipping enemy attackings and repeating attacks. I got a good 5 or more samples after I excluded the critical or below average hits. The damage is displayed in thousands, so 96.6 means 96,600 damage. Demigod is a boss, so it has no weakness to any of the weapon attacks.

Type Weapon Belt? Damage Weapon Art Damage
Sword Might Longsword x2 96.6
Sword Might Longsword x0 82.2
Sword Shielding Bluesteel x2 77.3 Cerulean Rain 144
Sword Shielding Bluesteel x0 65.7 Cerulean Rain 144
Katana Parrying Tataraichi x2 77.3 Swordflash 152
Katana Parrying Tataraichi x0 65.2 Swordflash 152
Katana Nightbloom Virtutis + Mist x2 91.2 Snowpetal 143
Katana Nightbloom Virtutis + Mist x0 77.1 Snowpetal 143
Axe Might Splitter x2 91.4
Axe Might Splitter x0 58.4
Axe Shielding Hawkarang x2 86.2 Hawkarang 200
Axe Shielding Hawkarang x0 55.55 Hawkarang 154

I took into account the fact that Nightbloom weapons gives the Swift modifier, whereas the other weapons trend towards Peerless.

Doing some division you can see that at least here, a Black Belt increases damage by ~9%, or ~18% if we are dealing with DW axes. This is in contrast to the stated effect of the Black Belt (15% attack/15% axes). This probably has to do with how buffs stack.

You might be tempted to assume Cerulean Rain would do less damage than other WAs because it hits many targets in a union. This is not really the case, because Cerulean Rain is ranked higher (SS) compared to the other WA (S).

Why did I act like maces don't exist and I only tested against a single unit? Maces are primarily for MA rather than CA, and CA do more damage against single unit unions. The end game bosses in the game are basically all single unit unions.

Note that those arts are all single-hand style arts. Black Belt's DW +5 bonus does not apply here. However, the Axes +5 does if we are dealing with Hawkarang. While the Monocle of Guiding has Weapon Arts +5, WAs are too rare for WA bonuses to be as good as CA bonuses. How important the high damage of Hawkarang is depends on how often Hawkarang can be used.

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What the graph here shows is that which weapon has the highest damage depends on how many moves it take to use WA. If it takes 10 moves or less, then Hawkwind is better. Any more than that and Might Longsword would have better results. Open the picture in a new tab to view the picture in full size.

The weirdness with the axes has to do with Topspin and Black Belt's axe +5 bonus. Topspin is actually not a normal CA because it can hit more than one unit. As a result it is weaker against a single unit. The damage of Acala's Wrath, Triple Axel, and Topspin has been tested below. Keep in mind the settings used to test the skills here are different than above (different morale bar, etc).

Weapon Damage
Acala's Wrath 51.5
Triple Axel 40
Topspin 55.25

As you can see, Topspin still does more damage against a single unit than all other axe CA.

You might be curious as to whether two belts stack. My testing shows that it does. The following chart was tested with swords, not axes. The reason why I only tested with Black Belt is because Black Belt is the best belt and Milton's Handkerchief does not provide STR. While the Black Belt's Dual Wield +5 bonus only applies to melee attacks, that includes normal attacks without CA. The handkerchief only affects CA.

Belt? Damage
2 91.2
1 83.7
0 77.1


Type Weapon ATK MYS Effect DEF M.DEF CO CD Evasion
Axe Halphas Dominus +9 224 185 Axe +5 54 45 22%
Spear Buer Dominus 196 200 Spear +5 63 63 27%
Spear Rhongomynad Virtutis 255 255 59 55 26%
Axe Shielding Hawkwind +9 245 145 Phys Resist +5 80 50 23%
Sword Might Longsword +9 193 96 CA +5 67 32 24%
Type Weapon Damage Weapon Art Damage
QW Axe Halphas Dominus +9 84 Hawkarang 243
DW 2H Spear Buer Dominus +9 89.6* Heaven's Door 170.5
DW 2H Spear Rhongomynad Virtutis +9 78.8*
DW Axe Shielding Hawkwing +9 86.3 Hawkarang 200
DW Sword Might Longsword +9 96.6

The Halphas Dominus actually gives Swift modifiers, whereas the other two give Peerless. This was taken into account. The reason why Dual PG is not included in this chart is because a) DW in general does higher damage than PG and b) Retribution hits multiple units, like a repeat of Final Toll but this time without the extra unique bonus of axes.

When testing dual-wield spears with Sovani, I found some oddities. The damage varies a lot. Critical hits can hit from 140,000 to 190,000. The non-critical hits also shared that large variation. This makes testing an average harder to do. When I took the damage for DW I only kept the 'normal' damage (discard critical hits and very low hits). But with these dual wield spears the line between super low hits and the regular variation is blurred. Also, DW spears seems to miss A LOT. Hawkarang is much stronger than Heaven's Door due to the accessories. Black Belt has Axe +5 whereas the Kerchief's CA +5 is useless here.

Here we can see how attack can be misleading; while the Rhongomynad has much higher attack, its lack of offensive effect means the Buer Dominus is simply the superior weapon. FInally, for accessories, dual Black Belt was used for QW and dual Milton's Kerchief for DW 2H. This gives a penalty to DW 2H's normal attack damage.

Due to the high WA damage and very competent CA damage I believe QW is superior to 2H by quite a large margin.

Now we have data for both DW and QW, let's put them together. The data this time shows that QW Halphas Dominus is simply superior to DW Shielding Hawkwind. If it takes 12 moves or less to use WA, then QW is best. Any more and DW Might Longswords is best.

Some final points: Might weapons basically mean MA is not an option. Their mystic attack is way too low. On the other hand the Malystrix is very flexible. It has very high attack and magic attack, so if you want a hybrid, that would be a better option than QW. But its lack of WA makes it inferior to QW when considering brute damage. Might weapons' CA +5 excludes normal attacks, so any normal attack your unit ends up doing will be inferior to Shielding/Optimal weapons by quite a margin. The higher level your party, the more AP you can get. Eventually at max stats (unrealistic if playing legitly) you will be drowning in AP. This means WA becomes common and weapons without WA get a bit hit. The testing done in this post are all assuming the player is trying to maximize damage. Once you start swapping accessories for things like Doom Chain, the balance of the weapons are thrown off, particularly the axes. Might weapons have low defense, both in stats as well as effect. It also has low evasion.

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