As you gain experience and level up in Bound by Flame, you earn points to use toward the skill trees for each stance. Using your points wisely will make the game significantly easier to traverse. Each skill tree is divided by overall level. Novice is levels 1-5, Amateur is levels 6-11, Expert is levels 12-23 and you reach Master at level 24. New skills become available for purchase as you increase from Novice all the way to Master.
Novice: Heavy Weapons Mastery
Amateur: Force of Impact
One of the main advantages of the Warrior Stance over the other stances is that the damage inflicted by each attack is generally higher. This makes Powerful Attack very important to skill up. Heavy Weapons increases damage output by 10, 20 and 30 percent. That’s a significant increase once you reach 30 percent, but it’s only important if you plan on using the Warrior Stance more often than the other stances. If that’s not the case, the damage increase won’t matter.
Force of Impact allows you to frequently interrupt an enemy’s attack. The first upgrade provides a 10 percent increase, then a 20 percent increase and finally a 50 percent increase when your attack hits as a critical. In most cases, this should not be a priority. While it works well in large groups or even against singular enemies, good movement and parrying can more than make up for the inability to interrupt an attack.
The primary use of the Circular Attack is to hit multiple enemies at once with a strong attack. The charge attack is especially useful, so long as you have time to fully charge it. Whirlwind lowers the charge time, increases your resistance to interruption while charging and allows you to adjust your angle of attack while charging. If you find that you use the charge attack frequently, all of these upgrades should be high priority.
Tornado increases the radius of the attack, provides additional resistance to interruption and gives you a higher chance of interrupting an enemy’s attack. While the additional resistance to interruption is nice, once you have completed leveled up Whirlwind, Tornado should be secondary to Vitality and many other skill trees.
Once you reach Expert levels and have unlocked the Powerful Attack or Circular Attack skill trees, you gain access to Rage. As you upgrade Rage you gain increased health regeneration, ability to interrupt and resistance against interruption. If you’ve been leveling up Vitality, this isn’t quite as important because you should already have a decent amount of health regeneration. By leveling Force of Impact, Whirlwind and Tornado, you also gain improved interruption and interruption resistance.
Based on how you’ve leveled up your character on the way to Expert, you may not need Rage to be a priority. If you’ve already put a good number of points in Vitality. Force of Impact, Whirlwind and Tornado, you may want to look into Guard Break or Parry before focusing too much on Rage.
When you unlock Vitality, you gain access to regenerating health in combat, out of combat and an additional regen boost when your health drops below 30 percent while in combat. All of these are a huge benefit if you have difficulty avoiding enemy attacks. If you find that you’re agile enough in Warrior Stance to avoid most enemy attacks, then Vitality should be secondary for you.
Stability provides additional resistance against attack interruption, and allows you to get back up faster after being knocked down. If you’ve already been leveling up Powerful Attack or Circular Attack, this should be secondary as you already have a good amount of interruption resistance.
Resistance is basically just a defense boost. You gain resistance to poison, magic and physical attacks as you level up this skill. If you’ve already been improving your health regeneration, this skill should be secondary. While the defensive boost is nice, there are other abilities that should take precedence at this point.
Violence is the only skill in the Guard Break tree. It increases your chances of interrupting an attack, increases your chances of scoring a critical blow (which is guaranteed to interrupt an attack), and knocks down weaker enemies. This is extremely helpful when fighting against a large group of enemies, or during boss battles that feature a number of weaker enemies. Given the fact that Violence is the only upgrade for Guard Break, it should take priority as you level up.
Novice: Improved Parrying
Amateur: Parrying Mastery
Parry is one of the best abilities in Warrior Stance. However, it takes some skill to use. If you are skilled at using the parry, then this upgrade path should be a priority for you. If you are not skilled at parrying, this should be one of the last skill paths you upgrade.
Improved Parrying allows you to parry attacks from the side and behind your character, as well as providing faster recovery on the parry animation. All of these are extremely helpful if you’re good at parrying. Parrying Mastery gives you more time to input a counterattack and increases the chances of scoring a critical blow with the counterattack. The increased critical is nice, but should be secondary once you’ve completed the Improved Parrying skill tree.
Once you reach the master level, you can unlock Warcry. This is basically a boost to skills you’ve already unlocked as you get increased damage, interruption ability and resistance to interruption for 10 seconds. By continuing to upgrade Warcry, you gain additional health regeneration and the effect of Warcry can be extended.
The priority of Warcry depends on how often you use other stances and how many points you’ve used in the Warrior Stance. You should already have many of the base abilities you can gain by leveling up Warcry, which means Warcry just improves upon these abilities. The improvement makes combat that much easier, but not if you rotate between stances frequently and have yet to upgrade other skill trees.