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Phantom Blade: Executioners Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Slay Kung Fu Masters

Wulin, the martial arts world.

phantom blade executioners intro
A great tale is about to begin…

Spanning across the land are various scholars, sects, and masters of their own style and art. For a time, peace flourished as every person living in this world sought to understand until the hubris of humanity took hold of the unsuspecting. To prove themselves, battles among the many schools have broken out for each and every one of them to show each other who is the mightiest of all.

Amidst the chaos and the violence, a forbidden technique has been discovered and taught to the weak, the insecure, the jealous, the desperate, and anyone consumed by all their inner fears, a technique that pushes the human body beyond its threshold and utilizes the full extent of Sha-Chi, the force within every living creature, above all possibility.

phantom blade executioners intro 2
True power at a cost.

This technique, Sha-Chi Mod, is slowly being spread and its causes are to make a kung fu master extraordinarily powerful overnight. Those who had undergone such a change have quashed all who opposed them at the cost of their sanity as well as their humanity.

With several villages, towns, and cities put to ruin due to quarreling schools and especially those who use Sha-Chi Mod, a mysterious organization, The Order, steps in to investigate the source of this imbalance. It’s only up to them to put an end to this madness and slay those who have been driven mad by Sha-Chi Mod.

Leap, dive, and cut through the darkness in S-Game’s action-packed, kung-fu-punk title, Phantom Blade: Executioners. A spiritual successor to the Rainblood series produced by the same studio, Phantom Blade was once again spearheaded by veteran Dark Souls artist, Michael Chang. Phantom Blade sets itself in the same world as Rainblood, but perhaps with a continuation to the stories before, world-building, and all-new game mechanics. There will be blood, bodies, and lots of fighting to save the Wulin, and you’re here to witness it all firsthand.

Have you just started on your journey to investigate the Sha-Chi Mod conspiracy? Are you ready to put your life on the line to save the innocent? Read our Phantom Blade: Executioners beginner’s guide below and prepare to fight for a better future!

A Brief Look at the Story

phantom blade executioners zuo shang
A young Zuo Shang wanders through the streets warily.

In case you’re curious about the story, here’s a very, very quick look into it. Otherwise, you may skip this section, if you wish!

The Wulin, as you’ve read from the intro, is already a very chaotic place to be. You have martial arts masters from all over the country (the Phantom World, as it’s called in-game), trying to get through this hardship by teaching people how to survive using techniques.

However, because there are so many of these masters rising up to help the weak and downtrodden, there are those that wished to only pursue goals that aided themselves. There are frauds, warlords, and other unscrupulous masters that try to make their school look like the best in all of the Phantom World.

Though, those that are aware of the motives of these bullies clash with them and try to keep the peace. Unfortunately, these little skirmishes leave many settlements destroyed or depopulated due to the sheer violence that sweeps across the land.

phantom blade executioners soul
Soul, one of the protagonists, trains with his master.

Naturally, this makes some martial sects very paranoid. The leaders of which have decided to undergo the forbidden technique, Sha-Chi Mod. This technique combines the Phantom World’s understanding of Sha-Chi, the advancement of machinery called Autotech, and the power of Illusions which is essentially magic. Sha-Chi Mod grants the bearer inhuman abilities overnight and, after exercising such might against their enemies, they slowly become drunk with power.

So drunk with power that they in fact go crazy from it. This also means that the Sha-Chi that flows within them has become extremely potent. The cybernetics that have become attached to them are flawlessly integrated into their body and their command over Illusions are multiplied tremendously, making them unspeakably dangerous. They inevitably become blood-starved beasts that only wish to prove their might to themselves in battle.

phantom blade executioners intro 3
As the saying goes: absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Some sects in the Phantom World try to harness Sha-Chi Mod with the intention of putting it to better use. The Allied Justice, for instance, which is under the leadership of the renowned Long Clan, tried to use it for the greater good and reshape the Phantom World through ideology. However, the reality of which seems much bleaker than they’d hoped and their efforts have thence dissipated.

phantom blade executioners intro 4
Are they heroes as well or do they pretend behind the veneer of righteousness?

With the Wulin now under the brink of collapse thanks to this technique, the very mysterious Order has decided to take justice into their own hands. The Order has martial arts warriors who excel in wielding the strength of Sha-Chi neither for good nor evil.

Just like the namesake of their organization, The Order only strives to maintain balance in the Wulin, instead of having the scale tip and incur more casualties across the Phantom World be they helpless villagers or once honorable kung fu masters. Your investigation begins with a woman named Tang Bing who tells you that her former lover, Tang Li, has become a victim to Sha-Chi Mod…

phantom blade executioners tang li
A chivalrous man, Tang Li is not.

We won’t spoil the rest of the story for you, though. We want you to experience it for yourself! But first, let’s talk a little bit about the game.

The Order’s Invitation and Why You’re Here

phantom blade executioners intro 5
Be not what tips the scale but the weight that brings balance to it.

Phantom Blade: Executioners is a dark, gothic hack n’ slash RPG set in a wuxia premise. There were a lot of terms in that sentence, yes, but don’t worry, we’ll go through them one by one.

The artistic leanings of Phantom Blade are quite inspired by dark stories such as the legendary manga, Berserk, or Dark Souls (though the latter’s a given). Each and every environment is grim and the situation almost anywhere in the world is completely dire. Wuxia (lit. martial hero) is a theme in Chinese storytelling featuring lots of incredible martial arts skills.

This particular theme is often invoked in movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, Reign of Assassins, and House of Flying Daggers. Here on LevelWinner, we’ve covered a game with a wuxia theme before, but in terms of gameplay, Phantom Blade could be quite similar to the likes of Swordash and Maximus.

phantom blade executioners warriors
A fearless pentet of warriors.

Starting out, you are given the choice among a cast of 4 protagonists (there are actually 5, but you need a high-level character to unlock the 5th character and the completion of a particular quest):

  • Zuo Shang — A tactician armed with a straight, pointed sword. He is a flexible balance between ranged and melee attacks thanks to his Sword Ki. His attacks are also quite quick.
  • Soul — A swordsman with a broad blade. His wide swings and flowing slashes make him great against multiple targets. He is capable of closing the gap between him and his foes using mobility.
  • Mu Xiaokui — The daughter of the head of The Order. Using a double-headed sword, she is a skilled warrior as well as a wielder of magic. Some of her attacks may also call on the strength of mysterious allies. Like Shang, she is a balance between ranged and melee attacks.
  • The Chord — A mysterious songstress with a magical zither. Her strumming emits energy waves and is quite deadly at longer ranges. That said, her attack range is impressive.

Choosing one character over the other has no significant changes in gameplay or difficulty, no character is stronger than the other. They each have their own kind of playstyle, so choose who you feel like you might enjoy best. After all, the part where you fine tune your character’s fighting style comes into play later when we teach you how skills work. Though, there is a benefit to having multiple characters all at once, but we’ll tackle that much later in this guide.

phantom blade executioners shield break
Among the drops of rain, onto the ground spills the blood of the wicked…

After picking a character, you’ll immediately be put in an action scene. Here, you’ll be fighting through a few parts of a stage. Typically, a stage has at least 3 parts, more of these get added as you play. By using this as an example, the first 2 parts are filled with enemies and exploration whereas the final part is a boss fight. This is the part where you need to give it your all since the boss won’t hold back on you. But fear not, there are a few techniques that could help you give the boss a run for its money (we’ll talk about them later).

phantom blade executioners traveling home
Your traveling home.

At the end of most stages (or before starting a new one, depending on if you’ve finished the tutorial), you will be greeted by a horse carriage. In gaming terms, this is your hub, a place where you can adjust your equipment, learn skills, sync your Phantoms, buy more gear, and more. It’s also a way for you to check your objectives, mail, and your friends list.

In other words, this part of the game is the phase in which your hero prepares for their next mission or study what they’ve gathered so far about the Sha-Chi Mod conspiracy (we’ll talk more about this later). It’s also a great place to relax, the music’s really good. Whenever you’re ready to go again, just board the carriage by going close to it and tapping the “Go!” button. This will then take you to the world map where you will now travel to your next mission.

Of course, your next mission won’t be as easy as your last one. Your enemies will grow ever stronger and victims of Sha-Chi Mod will come out from any corner of the Wulin. You’d best prepare yourself!

The Art of the Phantom Blade

phantom blade executioners terrified
Those who have been consumed by Sha-Chi Mod only have one way out… or do they?

As simple as the combat system is, Phantom Blade has its nuances. You won’t be hacking and slashing the enemy mindlessly, you’ll also have to keep your character alive. Apart from making the enemy dead, which is indeed a viable strategy of keeping yourself alive, you will learn how to do other tricks, too! Here are a few aces up your sleeve to arm yourself against the next Sha-Chi Mod user.

1. Explore Every Stage

phantom blade executioners stage
Ooh, a party? Sorry to ruin it.

The first thing you need to know in Phantom Blade is that every stage has its patterns and secrets. Some of them are a bit obvious, while others not so.

What you need to do in every stage is learn about anything and everything you encounter there. Observe the enemies and how they behave or attack, look at the ground for arrows to your next location, try jumping around and see if you can reach higher places that have treasure, etc.

The game has so much to offer and so much to explore, especially in the higher difficulties of each stage. A stage is divided into three difficulties: Normal, Master, and Inhuman. Naturally, the higher the difficulty, the tougher the enemy. But this also means that the quality of the loot you get from there is much better.

As you roam around each and every location, be sure to also try destroying any debris you come across. These can come in the forms of (but are not limited to) barrels, old pots, boxes, leaf piles, and treasure chests. This might seem like a pointless thing to do, but if you’re extremely lucky, one of these containers might drop an extremely rare item. Most of the time, it’s a piece of gear. Though, don’t let your guard down when doing this! Some treasure chests are actually Mimics that will try to eat your character alive. Stay on your toes!

We recommend doing the act of exploration as soon as you’ve done taking care of any enemies within the vicinity. It’s much easier that way and you won’t have to fear for your life. This is also a great opportunity for you to use the sprint (double tapping a direction) so your character gets around the map more quickly. Who knows what secrets you’ll uncover next?

We glossed over fighting in this bullet, but now, let’s talk about it. It’s the best part of the game!

2. Dodge and Parry!

phantom blade executioners dodge

Be swift like the wind, for the wind cannot be killed. Be steady like the mountain, for it shan’t ever fall.

When your enemies come at you with their sharp or pointy implements, don’t let them use these. They’ll cover you in cuts and holes and The Order will have to find a replacement for you. There’s an insurmountable volume of paperwork to be done, at least spare your superior of the headaches. Time to protect yourself. Learn how to dodge and parry the enemy’s attacks!

Dodging is one of the two ways your character can protect themselves. By pressing the Dodge button which is located between the Guard button (to its right) and the Jump button (to its upper-left). Pressing this will cause your character to throw themselves forward and behind their enemy. It’s a great way to perform counterattacks but, more importantly, it’s even better used to keep them safe from damage.

To further illustrate, an enemy will execute their attack if they have an exclamation point that briefly appears above their head, a red telegraph at their feet, or a circular telegraph that appears on the ground. These signify different attack behaviors but they can all be effectively dodged. Once you see any of these, hit the Dodge button away or toward your enemy.

If done correctly, you should be completely out of harm’s way. Some advanced classes will even be able to perform a Perfect Dodge that acts as a very, very quick counterattack. Practice this often and you’ll find yourself getting hit (and dying) a lot less!

Another way you can use the Dodge button is to increase the length of your jump (pictured above). If you have a particularly nasty group of enemies that are trying to surround you, you may get away from them by tapping the Jump button and then the Dodge button right after. Your character should glide through the air with no difficulty, gaining a fair distance away from their opponents. This is also useful for traversing spike traps and poisonous flowers. Try it out!

phantom blade executioners parry
A perfect parry.

Meanwhile, pressing and holding down the guard button will cause your character to stand still and raise their weapon up. This will slightly protect them from oncoming damage. You can use this if you’re unsure of how the fight will pan out and buy yourself some time or if you think your Dodge might land you in the path of the enemy’s next attack.

Just remember that when we say “slightly protect”, we mean that it only somehow mitigates the damage you receive from the enemy. There is also a small cooldown after you’ve released the Guard button, so use this only when you need it. While it may seem practical to do this, there’s a more efficient way of protecting yourself from enemy attacks.

Parrying is a technique often used in action games like Sekiro and the Souls Franchise, but it’s no different here in Phantom Blade. When done, you reduce the damage you receive completely but it has to be done by tapping the Guard button just when the enemy’s strike lands. If you do this perfectly, it becomes a Perfect Parry wherein the Guard button’s cooldown completely resets, you gain no damage at all, and the enemy will be knocked backward and stunned.

As soon as you see when the enemy’s weapon falls upon you, tap that Guard button immediately. If this is performed at a ranged attack, the projectile will be bounced back to its sender. To signal that you did this well, there will be a large Chinese character that will flash on the screen along with an inkstain surrounding the character as though an angry artist dropped their calligraphy brush on paper (pictured above). To do this, we recommend studying the timing of an enemy’s attacks. Learning this will turn bosses into a cakewalk since it stuns most of them and opens them for a lot of damage.

The Perfect Parry can take a while to practice, but don’t be deterred by its difficulty. If you do master it, you’ll find it to be an invaluable technique that you could use in many situations. In fact, it will also push your observation skills. You’ll understand the enemy better in a way that they won’t be able to touch you. Good luck!

Defensive techniques out of the way, let’s go for a counterattack! Onto offense!

3. Hit Your Enemies Hard

phantom blade executioners hit
Look at the upper-left.

Sure, the title sounds as obvious as it can get, but there’s actually a way you can hit them harder than you should.

On the upper left portion of the screen are a series of 5 flames that go up and increase your character’s stats. Among them are the damage you deal overall. This acts like a combo meter, a gauge which fills each time you strike at an enemy consecutively. When the 5 flames are lit, your hero will hit significantly harder than they did when the flames are completely out. Although they don’t dissipate immediately, the flames will stay lit for as long as you are fighting something. They will only extinguish once you’ve stopped fighting.

Speaking of flames, you will notice that wisps of flame will circle around you whenever you use certain skills. The wisps will appear when you use skills specifically with the numbers +1 under them. These skills generate Sha-Chi points. Not to be confused with Sha-Chi Mod (and don’t worry, your character won’t become the bad guy), Sha-Chi is just like Mana in most RPG settings except you have to generate this through the usage of skills.

Along your combo strings, you might see that some of your skills have a -2 on them. This isn’t a bad thing, this tells you that the skill can consume 2 Sha-Chi points to be a more enhanced version of itself. If the -2 is red before you press the skill’s button, this means that they will only be executed in their ordinary form and it won’t hit as hard.

If you’re still a little bit confused about how combos work, fret not o fledgling warrior. We’re here to enlighten you!

4. Put a Combo Together

phantom blade executioners combo
Your basic combos if you’re playing as Soul.

Chop, slash, parry, thrust!

As soon as you’ve found yourself comfortable in your moveset, as well as possibly covered in the enemy’s viscera, you’ll soon learn that Phantom Blade’s combo system is a little bit unusual compared to most hack n’ slash games. If you’ve stopped a combo, you will resume on the skill you haven’t pressed yet. For example, let’s pretend the string of letters below is your combo string:

W — X — Y — Z

You start with W and then you happen to kill all the enemies in the area after pressing X. The combo will stop at Y and will resume if you press that. With this as an example, we highly recommend finishing a combo in its entirety so you can start again and generate those precious Sha-Chi points. The tough part about putting a combo together is to make sure that every skill you put in it works.

Cooldown will also be a major factor in making a combo, so be aware of how long it will take before your character can do another combo. This is displayed on the far right of your combo string when you make it.

There are certain skills that don’t generate any Sha-Chi points at all but they make up for this by somewhat hitting rather hard. These skills act as a filler for the combo, Sha-Chi points come and go and there’s no point to storing them. You’d need to find a means to expend them somehow and that’s through the Sha-Chi skills we’ve discussed earlier, the ones that spend the Sha-Chi points with a -2 or so. Not only do these make for great finishers, but they also hit the hardest when they’ve got points to spend.

Let’s make a sample combo. To make things easier, we’ll put indicators of what they are. Filler Skills (FS) are those that don’t generate Sha-Chi points but cause plenty of damage, Generator Skills (GS) are what make Sha-Chi points, and Sha-Chi Skills (SS) are those that use Sha-Chi points. Here are a few suggestions of how you can make a combo work and we’ll use only 4 skills in a string since you’ll be using 4 skills at most for a while:

  • FS — GS — GS — SS
  • GS — GS — FS — SS
  • GS — FS — GS — SS

As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock more skill slots. This will give you more room for more Filler Skills or Generator Skills which might be needed if you happen to find a new skill that uses even more Sha-Chi points to bring out its full potential. Keep a lookout and pay attention to their behaviors.

Additionally, some pieces of gear can also increase the amount of Sha-Chi points you generate through the usage of specific skills. If you carefully plan your combos out, you’ll be able to create an endless loop of Sha-Chi generation making for truly devastating combos. Though, there are some equipment pieces that will empower your character the more Sha-Chi they have on them, but we’ll talk about that later.

phantom blade executioners skills
Read the info on the right!

Another thing you need to consider when putting a combo together is whether or not they’re a Ground Skill, an Aerial Skill, or either. These are indicated under the names of the skills. Ground Skills can only be executed while you’re on the ground and Aerial Skills will require your character to jump or be in midair before performing them.

Otherwise, it’s impossible to put these together if they don’t align. If you put a string of mixed Ground and Aerial Skills, it might be difficult for you to pull these combos off.  If you still aren’t sure of the skill’s behavior, you may hit the Preview button on the lower right to see what it looks like before adding it to your string.

phantom blade executioners costume
Complete the look.

Once you’ve unlocked skills for either one of your two advanced classes, equipping them will designate this as your new class (you may also look the part by changing your Costume at the carriage). Progressing further by putting more and more of these skills in your combos, you could even change the way that your character fights. Just remember that you can’t mix both advanced class skills in the same combo set, so choose wisely for your Loadout. We’ll tackle how Loadouts work later.

phantom blade executioners testing combos
Study your combos!

Last but not the least, if you feel like your combo is missing something, put it to the test. We recommend, instead of spending energy to fight in a mission, that you approach Utilitina by the carriage. Utilitina is the robot girl wearing the dark mustard robes. When you speak to her, she has a button that says Training.

Upon tapping it, you can see that this is where you may test your combos on different types of enemies: large enemies, small enemies, or a mixed group. There are no penalties to losing here nor is there much to gain upon defeating them all. The only thing you will gain is enlightenment on how your combo works.

One other thing you may need to test, however, is your Phantom setup!

5. Sync Your Skills with Phantoms

phantom blade executioners setup
Assistance from the great beyond.

With the word “phantom” in Phantom Blade, you’d wonder what the phantoms in this game actually are, right?

No, they aren’t what you kill, exactly. Phantoms are memories and energies of those who have passed from the Wulin. The Order has found a means to reproduce these techniques belonging to both storied heroes and villains and wield them as a means to augment their own techniques.

Some Phantoms have protective properties, while others assist in dispatching the foe with clinical precision. The powers of each and every Phantom are invoked by the activation of a skill by your character. But these can only be done by performing the action called Syncing.

Syncing Phantoms to skills is one step to making your character much stronger. Granted that Phantoms are the techniques of those who have come before you, invoking them from beyond the realm of the dead can be done to exact justice upon wielders of the ever-forbidden Sha-Chi Mod.

To further explain what we mean, a Phantom will allow their wielders to perform the techniques that they’ve been known for before being set free from the mortal coil. These techniques can range from dropping caltrops, slicing the enemy with a spirit sword, shooting a spear made of light through your enemies, or even summoning a tank (yes, there are tanks, just roll with it).

phantom blade executioners flight of phoenix
This is just like Shaman King, but with multiple spirits at a time!

To Sync a Phantom to a specific skill, simply go to the carriage whenever able and go to the Skills menu. When at the Combos tab, tap the skill you wish to Sync a Phantom to and then tap Sync. You should be given a choice among the Phantoms you have collected so far, be it through story quests or through summoning via Master Inanis at the camp (she’s the mysterious blue spirit lady). Once you’ve decided on the Phantom you wish to Sync the skill with, tap the Sync button and you should be all set!

Phantoms have a tier of rarities: Blue, Purple, and Gold. The higher a Phantom’s rarity, the more powerful they are. Their rarities can’t be increased, but they can be very much improved in strength as well as quality through both Ascension and Advancement.

This also means that they have special skills that grant their wielders perks to their skills. You might want to aim for Epic Phantoms since they add spice to your combos, but picking up Heroic Phantoms as well may give you a decent set of passive perks that indirectly affect your character. You will, however, need to increase your character’s Perception through leveling them up.

Perception is a stat needed for your character to wield multiple powerful Phantoms at a time. If your Perception rating is full, you can’t Sync anymore Phantoms to your skills. That said, Phantom rarity matters when it comes to their Perception costs. Rare Phantoms only require a Perception of 2, Heroic Phantoms require a Perception of 4, and Epic Phantoms will require a whopping Perception of 7.

phantom blade executioners phantoms
Empower spirits with the aid of other spirits.

Upgrading is a basic means to improve your Phantoms. Using Fodder Phantoms, Phantoms which don’t offer anything to being Synced to your skills, your Phantom will devour these in order to become even more powerful and effective in combat.

Be warned that you may also use Phantoms that are not classified as Fodder, but you may choose to protect these by ticking off the Protect square to the right of the Phantom’s window. Any Phantom consumed through Upgrading will be gone forever, so be careful with what you choose! Once the Phantom has reached a certain level, they may be granted the option to Ascend where you can improve them further at the cost of another Phantom in your inventory.

phantom blade executioners ascend
Their currency: ethereal, their wisdom: eternal.

Advancement, however, will require something else entirely, items called Mystic Pages and Memory Breath. These can be found in special dungeons found throughout the game. Doing this will give your chosen Phantom tremendous bonuses as well as more powerful versions of their skills. Take the time to pick Phantoms that you want to upgrade, especially if they’ve been useful to you whenever you execute your combos.

phantom blade executioners upgrades

We’d also like to point out that some Phantoms have specific skills that could help make your combos even more powerful. For instance, the very first Phantom you get, Deadly Hook, can be used to pull far away opponents close to you each time you Sync it to a skill. Feel free to experiment and try different Phantoms to find that perfect combo. You’ll never know what you’ll make out of these combinations!

The other things that you can equip other than skills and Phantom are, of course, your equipment. Certainly, this goes without saying, but there are nuances to how you can effectively make use of these pieces.

6. Manage Your Equipment Well

phantom blade executioners equipment
Dressed for battle… and the funeral of the enemy.

Phantom Blade, in essence, is an action RPG.

Because of this, there is plenty to do when it comes to raiding dungeons and quests for loot. You’ll be doing this a lot to obtain various kinds of loot, to equip your character with. That’s right, just like in every RPG, your character’s stats can be enhanced by the gear that they carry and you can obtain most of these solely by finishing different stages. As you complete them or even loot everything you can find within the stage, you’re bound to find equipment that you’ll want on your character.

phantom blade executioners weapon
A good sword, but there’s always a better one lying around somewhere.

Your gear is divided into 12 slots: Weapon, Exclusive, Gloves, Cloak, Clothes, Braces, Pants, Shoes, Amulet, Ring, Pauldron, and Belt. The last two, Pauldron and Belt, are unlocked later on as you progress through the story. Just like Phantoms, your gear has a set of tiers, but they have their own colors: Flawed (Gray), Common (White), Rare (Blue), Heroic (Purple), Epic (Gold), and Set (Green).

Naturally, gear on the Flawed tier aren’t as powerful as those on the Epic tier, but rarity isn’t always everything since as you explore the game later on, you’ll notice that stats are what matter more. A Flawed piece of gear with a level requirement of 40 can be more powerful than an Epic piece of gear with a level requirement of 10.

Gear pieces on the Set tier are special, they will only activate their perks if you’re wearing them all at once. The downside to having a Set tier is that they’re only powerful if you have their pieces with you, but this is also what makes them worth the trouble.

When putting your gear together, we highly recommend that you focus on a few stats to boost rather than having multiple stat bonuses scattered everywhere. What we mean is that if you feel like you wish to make your character sturdier than they should be, focus on getting or equipping gear that have stats like DMG Reduction, Health, or Defense.

Otherwise, if you’re looking for stats that improve your character’s attack power, focus on equipping gear that have stats that go well with ATK such as Critical Rate or Critical Damage, Shield Break, and others. If you think that a gear piece doesn’t fit in your current setup, you might want to set it aside for a different loadout.

phantom blade executioners shortcut
A costume change at the push of a button!

Loadouts can be managed in this game thanks to Utilitina. By talking to her and picking Shortcuts, you’ll be able to equip a diversity of armor sets, combo strings, and synced Phantoms. You may even use this to change your class to the other advanced class that you’ve not tried yet. Diversifying your loadout could help since each different class has its own kind of gameplay. You need to try them out at least once!

phantom blade executioners enhancement
Gear made better!

Gear pieces by themselves can also be upgraded individually. With that, you’ll need to speak to the blacksmith girl first until she starts traveling with you in the carriage. Whenever you choose to upgrade a gear piece, you will be given a chance for success with each improvement. A new improvement may add a random substat or improve any currently existing substat.

This will cost a sum of gold with each attempt up until the piece reaches Lv5. At Lv5, it will require an extra item, a Solvent, which you can pick up while questing. Your fees will get more and more expensive as you improve your weapon, so be watchful of your resources.

phantom blade executioners bondage
Fine precision.

Eventually, you’ll also unlock the Modify option when it comes to improving your gear. Granted that each gear piece has its own set of random stats, sometimes these stats may line up to your liking. To further fine-tune the stats of your gear, the Modify option is what might help making the skills something you’ll benefit from even more.

What Modification does is that you can choose a substat in a gear piece that you don’t particularly like and change it into something random. The downside to this is that after changing but a single substat, you won’t be able to modify any other stats on the gear piece, just the one you chose. This is the only one that can be modified repeatedly, so choose wisely!

phantom blade executioners batch recycle
Time for a little cleanup…

As you continue on with your journey, you’ll begin to collect more and more gear pieces that you become overburdened. Just think about the poor horse that drags your carriage around, give it a rest by recycling gear that you no longer need. To do this, simply go to the Gear section of the carriage and then tap the Bulk Recycle button below your gear selection on the right.

This way, you’ll be able to regain some lost funds from upgrading (or whatever expenditures you may have incurred), as well as some other materials. The best part of it is you’ll make more space for extra loot you’ll find on your adventures onwards.

Speaking of adventures, you’re a member of the Order and you’ve got yourself a purpose. Go investigate the Sha-Chi Mod incidents!

7. Go Questing!

phantom blade executioners map
Travel across all of the Phantom World.

You’re sent to investigate the spread of Sha-Chi Mod, and the road ahead is an unforgiving walk.

Just like many RPGs that have come before Phantom Blade, questing is an important mechanic. This is where you, as the player character, cross the fantasy world before you and attempt to somehow right whatever wrongs are present. You are the hero, after all, and it’s your duty to make the world a slightly better place to live in. In this game, there are at least 2 kinds of quests you can undertake: the main quest (or story quests) and the side quests.

phantom blade executioners bitter path
Bitter Path is the next part of the story, as indicated on its upper left.

The story quests are the most important ones. These involve basically the investigation of the Sha-Chi Mod cases, especially the ones that have befallen renowned kung fu sects and masters. Undertaking these also entail exhilarating boss fights as well as a glimpse into the dark undertones of the Phantom World. To find any story quests, board the carriage and look for locations that have a red “Story” banner on them. This is where you should be going next.

Another great part about completing story quests is that you will unlock more and more things along the way. A few of which, if you haven’t unlocked them yet, are the upgrade system of your gear, the Reality Rift, and the chef. You get these early on, especially after clearing chapters 1 and 2.

phantom blade executioners jianghu event
Doing these can give you some unexpected rewards.

The side quests, or Jianghu Events, are more scattered and will require some searching through some past locations and higher difficulties of said past locations. Side quests can be found, accepted, and completed by visiting the areas highlighted by the purple arrows. To give a specific example, the South Suburbs have a lot of side quests that are made available after progressing enough through the story.

You’ll be frequenting this area often and it will range from delivering news from one villager to another, solving mysteries unrelated to the Sha-Chi Mod, or even traps set up by the enemy (best be on your toes for this one).

Another benefit to completing side quests is you’ll be able to unlock special features that will make your playthrough more convenient. For instance, a particular old woman that you meet early on will help you unlock the minimap if you complete her questline. To find out which areas have Jianghu events, look out for a small, blue cube icon at the bottom of a stage after choosing a location on the world map.

phantom blade executioners special feature
Old-school instant messaging.

If you don’t know where else you can quest, you can visit the carrier pigeon’s perch in camp and then tap the Quest menu. This is where you can study what you need to do next. Additionally, you may claim the rewards you earned after successfully completing these quests. Don’t miss out, some of these rewards can be really special.

If you aren’t sure of where you should go next, perhaps you should take a step back in camp first and open up your journal.

8. Study Your Journal

phantom blade executioners journal
Wears cape, does martial arts, solves mysteries and fights crime? You must be Batman!

No adventure goes undocumented.

As a member of the Order, you will need to keep track of what your findings are and where you should go next. That’s what your journal is for, without it, you’d be running around like a headless chicken, assuming that the next wily villager you meet is possibly a malevolent nine-tailed fox spirit! Of course, that doesn’t exist here in the Phantom World (or does it?). Your journal basically points you to where your next destination should be.

Your journal is divided into 3 tabs: Ongoing, Clue, and Completed. The Ongoing tab tells you which side quests you’re currently performing. Tapping on the Go button will instantly show you where you should proceed next from here. The Clue tab will show you where you can find more side quests and investigate them as thoroughly as possible.

Read these very carefully so you don’t miss the next big thing. Lastly, the Completed button shows you the history of side quests you’ve accomplished. If you haven’t seen it already, they also come with their own slew of rewards. Be sure to claim them, some of them are precious Ingots that are the game’s premium currency. You can use these to buy some high-end stuff from the wandering thief merchant in camp.

We recommend spending more time doing side quests since these will greatly power up your character faster than going through the story quests. Visit your journal often and try to check out the Clue section. You’ll never know what you’ll unlock next. For all you know, it might be a powerful Phantom willing to help you on your journey!

No matter how strong your character is, they would still need sustenance to keep themselves at their best. Plate up some food and get ready for some power gains!

9. Eat Before You Head Out

phantom blade executioners gourmet
One with his food and his technique.

East Asian cuisine is revered by many people all across the world. That said, in some wuxia media, food is often given a spotlight since they can also be prepared in spectacular ways.

The spicy, savory, and umami flavors that are carried through different broths, sauces, dishes, and individual ingredients can reinvigorate any hungry warrior. With an array of noodles, vegetables, proteins, and means of presentation, East Asian dishes are quite hard to beat.

If you aren’t up for a burger or a steak, how does yang chow fried rice with some salty shrimp sound? Or how about a pork bun with a filling that simply melts in your mouth? As an NPC from another game said before: “A man who never eats pork buns is never a whole man!” Yes, there is plenty of food to be had here in Phantom Blade, and that’s through finding the chef.

As you progress through the story, you will encounter the chef who randomly appears in your camp. This ambitious young man, claiming to be both martial artist and cooking master, has chosen to channel his kung fu training into his culinary style. His deal is simple: bring him ingredients and he’ll prepare them just for your character.

When he serves them up to you, your character will get a significant, albeit temporary, boost in stats (by temporary, we mean typically one mission at a time). Ingredients can be found all throughout the game, and these range from vegetables, live chickens, eggs, and more. Just be sure to pick these up the moment you see them.

phantom blade executioners gourmet buff
Just the right amount.

However, you can’t stuff your character with a ton of dishes. Realistically, doing martial arts on a full stomach will certainly cause digestive problems. In-game, you’ll only be able to fill a capacity called Satiety, which only goes up to 100.

Some dishes fill your character’s Satiety more than others but usually, these dishes would often come with multiple stat bonuses compared to those that have low Satiety ratings. You can mix and match your meals but only if you have the ingredients for them.

We recommend eating up before a mission because the bonuses to your stats may give you an upper hand in almost any situation. If you think you’ll be going up against a boss the next time you set out, you might as well feed your character before departing. It’ll be sure to help you manage better. Don’t forget that these buffs are temporary and you’ll need to feed your character again with the last dish they ate if you want the same buffs!

There is one last thing you can do to improve all of your characters collectively. Read on, the next bullet should surprise you!

10. Start a New Character

phantom blade executioners new character
A certain red-coated, white-haired, gun-slinging demon slayer from the future would be proud.

There is no I in The Order.

You might have a favorite character to play, and you might’ve gotten really far with them, but in reality, the game actually encourages you to try playing different other characters. How, you ask? There is such a thing called the Organization Level which you can find right as you login. It’s on the middle right portion of the character select screen. This is very important.

phantom blade executioners organization level
Rookie numbers. We gotta pump these up further!

Cumulatively, the game will calculate the individual strengths of each of your characters and then sum them up into your Organization Level. This level grants passive stat bonuses across all characters you currently own but this only will come into great effect if each individual character you have is of a high level and far into the story (imagine having all of your characters at Lv40).

You can’t just have multiple characters at Lv1 and then focus on just one character if you want those juicy bonuses, you will need to work on the others, too. Think of it as each character setting off on their own to investigate the Sha-Chi Mod disturbances albeit seeing it from their angle of the story.

Apart from this, this may also let you study the moves of each and every character, keeping you aware of possible combo strings and class nuances. The reason behind this is due to encountering Sinners which are essentially clones of the same character you’re using. They copy your stats to a tee, and they’ll be some of the more difficult boss battles in the game especially since they’re unexpected. Be on the lookout and be prepared for anything!

phantom blade executioners fight

In the early stages of the game, Phantom Blade may feel like a walk in the park once you know its ins and outs. But the truth is that the game will test your precision and timing every step of the way as you progress through the story (as expected from something developed by a Souls franchise veteran). That said, you may want to at least keep in mind what you’ve learned from reading this guide:

  • Leave no stone unturned! Explore every nook and cranny of the stage. You’ll never know what’s lurking behind the corner, atop the roofs, or even inside boxes or leaf piles.
  • Your defensive actions can thicken the line between life and death. If you master dodging or the Perfect Parry, you’ll be able to survive even the toughest stages the game has to offer!
  • Combo up! Keep consecutive hits in and generate those Sha-Chi points to maximize skill usage. Strong skills may require at least 2 Sha-Chi points to be used as their perfect forms. Additionally, executing longer combo strings may give a temporary stat boost to your character mid-fight!
  • When it comes to building combos, manage them in a way that they build up Sha-Chi and spend them well. Put filler skills in between those that generate Sha-Chi and close the combo with a skill that expends Sha-Chi. Consider your enemies heavily damaged or dead by the end of it.
  • Phantoms make everything better! Sync your skills with Phantoms in order to create even more devastating combos. For example, if there are skills that pull the enemy closer, sync them with the Phantom named Deadly Hook to maximize damage!
  • Your equipment is what makes your character even more powerful. Put together only the best of the best (or a set) in order to keep your chosen character’s stats high.
  • Quests are what should keep you going in this game! Try following the main story or going on side quests for extra loot and rewards.
  • Getting lost? Check your journal by the carrier pigeons at camp. This should point out where you should go next!
  • You can’t fight well on an empty stomach! If you have any ingredients on you, visit the chef and make sure your character eats before you head out on another mission. Eating gives temporary stat bonuses.
  • Try to play as many different characters as much as possible. Having them at equally high levels will boost your Organization Level tremendously and grant stat bonuses to all of them. Teamwork makes the dream work!
phantom blade executioners fight 2

This brings our beginner’s guide for Phantom Blade: Executioners to an end. Remember that sometimes, your weapon is your sole companion. Tread carefully across the Wulin, find your way through the Jianghu, and put the victims of the accursed art to rest. Fight on and fight well, restore balance to the land before it’s too late!

Are you a martial arts sect master who hasn’t succumbed to the dark promises of Sha-Chi Mod? Is your weapon notched and well-used? Have you traveled far across the Wulin and back? Do you have techniques that you’d like to share with your fellow warriors of The Order? Leave your messages in the comment section below!