The Science of Weapon Fusion

One of the most common search hits that this site gets is “What is the best weapon in Kid Icarus: Uprising?”, or people wondering which weapon is the best in its particular class. One of the great things about Kid Icarus: Uprising is that there is no definite answer to this question, as each weapon has its own unique properties and abilities. The most straightforward way to assess a weapon’s worth is its value, which is a value usually between 100 and 330. This value helps determine what abilities and attributes the weapon can have, as well as the amount of lifebar drained when your character is defeated in Light vs. Dark. While weapons earned as prizes online and in Solo Mode are very usable on their own, this article will focus on creating weapons with a purpose and playing to their strengths through weapon fusion.

The Basics of Weapon Fusion

Most of you playing Kid Icarus: Uprising will have done weapon fusion at some point, which consists of taking two weapons and fusing them into one (theoretically stronger) weapon. The new weapon takes on some average of the attributes (Ranged and Melee values) and modifiers (e.g. Shot range +1) from each weapon, as well as often changing its weapon class. As an example, let’s fuse a Violet Palm 219 with a Fortune Bow 228:

Violet Palm — Value 219 Fortune Bow — Value 228
Ranged 1, Melee 2 Ranged 1.5, Melee 0
Walking speed +1, Backward-dash ch. shot +1, Effect duration +3, In-peril attack boost +3 Overall defense +1, Poison +2, Side-dash ch. shot +4, Melee combo +1, Effect duration +1, In-peril attack boost +3

The fusion of these two weapons results in:

Babel Club — Value 236
Ranged 2, Melee 2
Walking speed +1, Backward-dash ch. shot +1, In-peril attack boost +3, Poison +2, Melee combo +1, Effect duration +1

As you can see, the two weapons, a Palm and a Bow, turn into a Club, sharing some of their ability modifiers while giving the attributes a slight boost. Note that not all weapon fusions will result in an attribute boost, and some will result in attributes appearing and disappearing entirely. Additionally, fusing weapons of similar values will give the best results, often resulting in a value increase. Now that we know how the basics work, I’m going to go further in-depth.

A Very Typical Situation

Let’s say that you’re playing Light vs. Dark online with the Violet Palm listed above, and you run into someone with a very powerful Ogre Club. It seems that this player hits you in a melee combo with the club, you’re defeated in two hits. How can a weapon’s hits be so powerful? The answer, of course, is by choosing specific attributes and modifiers to build a powerful weapon. Let’s go into more detail this time, using two examples of the site’s namesake:

Jetstream Orbitars — Value 291 Arlon Orbitars — Value 306
Ranged 4.5, Melee 3 Ranged 3.5, Melee 1
Melee defense +1, Knockback defense +1, Health +1, Speed +4, Full-health boost +2 Knockback defense +3, Freezing +4, Shot range +1, Shot homing +3, Dash cont. fire +4

Both of these weapons are quite effective in-game, with the difference being that the Jetstream Orbitars were obtained from playing online, and the Arlon Orbitars were made from carefully crafted weapon fusion. While the Arlon Orbitars do have 15 more points of value than the Jetstream Orbitars, this won’t be that big of a deal in our analysis. The Jetstream Orbitars have good Ranged and Melee scores, allowing for a balanced approach. However, most weapon types excel at either ranged attacks or melee attacks, making one of the two attributes almost irrelevant (except in the case of Blades and Arms, where you’ll probably want both to be effective). Orbitars fall into the ranged category, making the Melee 3 somewhat wasted. On the other hand, the Arlon Orbitars focus specifically on ranged attacks, as the Arlon Orbitars not only focus on ranged attacks, they also have the longest range of all Orbitars. Next we’ll look at the modifiers. The Jetstream Orbitars have many +1s, which don’t usually have that great of an effect on a weapon. It does, however, have that very nice Speed +4, which makes the user faster in all aspects of speed (walking speed and running speed), which is generally favorable for any weapon to have. In contrast, the Arlon Orbitars have offensive modifiers focused on ranged combat (Shot range +1, Shot homing +3, Dash cont. fire +4) as well as a very useful Freezing +4 that can freeze the opponent in their tracks. These specific modifiers really shine in-game, too, with the Arlon Orbitars dealing 91.1 (x2) damage with the backward-dash continuous fire from about 40 meters; whereas the Jetstream Orbitars can deal 78.4 (x2) damage with its forward-dash charge shot at close range, that weapon’s strongest attack.

General Methods for Good Weapon Fusion

Next, I’m going to talk about general guidelines to follow when fusing purposeful weapons. There isn’t a perfect, surefire way of guaranteeing yourself a fantastic weapon, but if you keep these in mind, you’ll usually end up with something very good.

  • Have a plan. The easiest way to start making good weapons is to know what you want to make. If you find yourself wanting a ranged weapon, fuse weapons with high Ranged attributes, as well as weapons with modifiers for charged shots, continuous fire, shot range, and shot homing. If you want a melee weapon, aim for a high Melee attribute, and look for melee combo and melee dash attack. Status effects, speed, and defense are great for any weapon type.
  • Fuse weapons of similar value. This point is somewhat obvious, but is worth spelling out. Fusions tend to work best when the two weapons involved are around the same value, with about 10 or 20 points difference. Any more than that, and you’ll probably end up losing net value (e.g. the fused weapon will be of a lower value than one of its components), which is often not what you want, as higher valued weapons allow for better attributes and modifiers.
  • Follow your modifiers of interest. If you have a weapon of low value with a powerful modifier, such as Weakening +4, try to keep it going as far as you possibly can. You should also follow modifiers that will enhance the type of weapon you want to make (see above), such as Dash cont. fire +4 on a Palm. Eventually you should be able to get a powerful weapon with two or possibly three of the modifiers you have been following, although it may take several fusions to get to this point.
  • Don’t waste your time following +1s. This is an extension of the last point. +1s and even most +2s rarely make or break a weapon, except in very few cases (e.g. Shot cancellation). Therefore, you’re better off focusing on stronger modifiers like +3s or +4s. Chances are some of the +1s you’re interested in will follow along anyway.
  • General modifiers are better than specialized modifiers. This point is very subtle, but is very obvious when you get familiar with the different types of modifiers a weapon can have. Many weapons will have modifiers such as Backward-dash ch. shot +3, or Walking speed +2. While these modifiers can be quite useful on their own, their more general counterparts (Dash ch. shot and Speed, respectively) will grant the bonus to each charge shot and speed that you have, so they’re generally more desirable. However, general modifiers may be more difficult to “move” onto other weapons, so this is another point to consider.
  • You may have to choose between attributes and modifiers. The choice between having high attributes and strong modifiers is one of the most difficult you’ll face when doing weapon fusion, as it can be very tempting to try to fit as many powerful modifiers onto a weapon as you can, at the expense of a weapon’s Ranged and Melee scores. While powerful modifiers are always good, a balance between a few powerful modifiers and a decent attribute score is usually optimal. Many Palms, Orbitars, Bows, and Staffs should focus on Ranged attributes with little regard for Melee, whereas most Arms and Claws should focus on Melee. Cannons, Clubs, and Blades will often focus on both attribute types, with one being more important than the other, depending on the specific weapon.
  • Don’t be afraid to have negative modifiers on a weapon. Negative modifiers can be unappealing on weapons for many reasons, but there is much to be gained for using negative modifiers as well. Negative modifiers will often drive a weapon’s value down while allowing more powerful modifiers and high attributes, effectively allowing you to cram more “stuff” onto your weapon. The lower the negative modifier, the more positive attributes and modifiers you can fit onto your weapon. Additionally, some negative modifiers will do very little to affect a weapon’s performance (e.g. an Ogre Club with Shot range -3), and some general negative modifiers (e.g. Overall defense -4) allow for very powerful weapons that you wouldn’t normally be able to fuse. Of course, make sure that the negative modifier is compatible with the type of weapon you’re trying to make, as a ranged weapon with negative modifiers in Shot range or Shot homing are often bad.
  • Play Solo Mode on higher Intensities to get better weapons. This is mentioned in game, but is worth mentioning again in this space. The higher the Intensity you play, the stronger the weapons you will acquire. I find that in order to make several good Value 300+ weapons, you can run through Solo chapters on Intensity 8.0 – 9.0 to get very powerful weapons. I find that Chapter 1 (The Return of Palutena) and Chapter 3 (Heads of the Hewdraw) are great for this, as both have Intensity doors that give good weapons for fusion material, and aren’t as difficult as some of the later chapters, even on higher Intensities.
  • Play Together Mode matches. Together Mode can be a bit daunting for players just starting out, but it’s a great place to test your skill with weapons and can get you some awesome prizes to boot. Together Mode can also help by teaching you what types of weapons work best for your play style, and can help you decide which attributes to focus on when building a weapon. While you won’t always get great weapons from Together Mode, you will get weapons in the high 200s and even low 300s with great attributes and modifiers to follow on occasion, so playing Together is definitely a worthwhile investment to consider when fusing.
  • Fuse Daily Weapon Gems obtained from SpotPass, as well as the gems you get from StreetPass. Many of the weapons given to you by Palutena will have a “theme” in mind, and many of them have at least one good modifier worth following. Additionally, weapon gem fusion can result in some powerful weapons on its own, so remember to check your gem combinations, too!
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment! Weapon fusion can be somewhat confusing at first, but you’ll get a better feel for it the more you try to fuse. Your first few weapon fusions may end up being less than stellar, but if you keep at it, you’ll eventually have something great. Keep working on it, and you’ll get there.

Well everyone, I hope you enjoyed this primer on fusing weapons. What guidelines do you follow for fusing weapons? What’s the best weapon you’ve obtained from fusion? Are the guidelines above helpful? Let us know in the comments!

Daily Weapon Gem for May 30, 2012

Hello, Orbitars!

My crazy busy May is finally winding down, so I should be able to update the site much more in the coming weeks (until I’m gone at the end of June for a couple weeks). For now, here’s today’s beauty of a Weapon Gem.

Arlon Orbitars — Values 270
Ranged 0, Melee 0
Confusion +3, Power attack +3, Item attack +3, In-peril attack boost +5, Heart bonus +2

This weapon goes to show how many great abilities you can fit onto a weapon when you sacrifice attributes, and is probably even great on its own for closer combat. It can be converted into a weapon for 32,600 hearts, or ground up into 222.

Have a wonderful day!

Daily Weapon Gem for May 25, 2012

Hello, Orbitars!

I didn’t get a Weapon Gem yesterday once again, but today’s is awesome.

First Blade — Value 305
Ranged 3.5, Melee 3
Melee defense +2, Health +2, Forward-dash ch. shot +1, Standing cont. fire +2, Recovery effect +4, Heart bonus +1

It can be converted into a weapon for 76,400 hearts, or ground up into 328 hearts.

A fairly large article on weapon fusion is forthcoming, so check back for that sometime this weekend, and have a great day!

Daily Weapon Gem for May 21, 2012

Hey all,

I’ve been very busy lately, so there hasn’t been much time for updates! Anyway, things should slow down soon, and then I’ll be able to add more content. For now, here’s today’s Gem.

Optical Blade — Value 261
Ranged 3, Melee 0
Confusion +3, Walking speed +3, Side-dash cont. fire +3, Power attack +2, Knockback recovery +1

It can be turned into a weapon for 25,500 hearts, or ground up into 199 hearts.