Which Guardian Spirit to choose - Nioh 2

Deciding which Guardian Spirit to choose in Nioh 2 is tough, and while you can't go wrong with any, there is one that might be best for new players.

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There are three Guardian Spirits to choose when you first start Nioh 2. Much like picking a starter Pokemon, this is an important decision. Depending on your preferred playstyle, the Guardian Spirit you opt for will be different. It’s worth noting that you will collect more Guardian Spirits as you play, so you’re not locked to one forever!


Which Guardian Spirit to choose

When you first start Nioh 2, you will be taken through a thorough tutorial that introduces you to a lot of mechanics very quickly. One of the most important steps is picking a Guardian Spirit. There are three difficult spirits to choose covering the three main types: Feral, Phantom, and Brute.

Feral, Phantom, and Brute Guardian Spirits affect your Burst Counter and Yokai Shift. Brute Guardian Spirits will always have a shoulder-charge-like Burst Counter, Feral will always have a short-range teleport dash, and Phantom will have a protective shield.

As for the Guardian Spirits to choose from, there are three choices:

Ame-no-Mitoir (Bird)

Nioh 2 Guardian Spirit Ame-no-Mitoir bird
The bird Guardian Spirit, Ame-no-Mitoir, is a Feral type boasting agile attacks.

This is the bird Guardian Spirit of the Feral type. What this means is that the Yokai Shift features fast-hitting attacks and a Shadowstep. This is ideal for those players that like to get in and attack rapidly. The Burst Counter is a short-range teleport dash that is used to close the distance.

Kagewani (Shark)

Nioh 2 Guardian Spirit Kagewani shark
The shark Guardian Spirit, Kagewani, is all about defense and spells.

The Kagewani is a shark Guardian Spirit of the Phantom type. Its Yokai Shift is about ranged-attacks and spells. Its heavy attack pulls the player to the enemy. To supplement this playstyle, its Burst Counter is a protective shield that relies on being extremely close to the enemy. This is great for the player that wants to dabble in magic and who wants to keep enemies at arm’s length or be protected when things get tough.

Makami (Dog)

Nioh 2 Guardian Spirit Makami dog
The dog Guardian Spirit, Makami, is about raw power.

The dog, or Makami, Guardian Spirit is a Brute type. Its Yokai Shift features a powerful blunt weapon and slow, powerful attacks. Its Burst Counter is a slashing attack that relies on being somewhat close to an enemy.

When choosing your Guardian Spirit, you can “Read” the glowing wisp in the middle and select “Practice Yokai Shift” to test out the Guardian Spirit’s abilities. After the Yokai Shift tutorial, you can select the wisp again and choose “Change Guardian Spirit” to try the other ones.

To answer the question “Which Guardian Spirit to choose”, a good recommendation would be the Makami (dog) Guardian Spirit. This one’s Burst Counter window is a bit larger and easier to pull off than the other two. Its Yokai Shift is also easy to grasp and quite powerful. However, those who are more familiar with Nioh can pick whichever one suits them. Keep in mind, it’s always personal preference – go with the one that feels best.


Picking and choosing the right Guardian Spirit for you in Nioh 2 is an important decision. Do not fret too much over it though, as you will unlock more Guardian Spirits throughout the game and can swap between them without penalty. Take a moment to look over the Nioh 2 page for even more helpful demon-slaying guides.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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