Cao Ren FAQ v1.1 Written by Rydain Darkstar Last Revised April 17, 2008 =============================================================================== Table of Contents =============================================================================== 1) Introduction 2) Unlocking Cao Ren 3) Move Set 4) Getting Equipped 5) Battle Advice 6) Analysis of Fighting Aptitude 7) Stats and Skills 8) Revision History 9) Legal Junk =============================================================================== 1) Introduction =============================================================================== It's Iron Chef! And the ingredient for today is...people! Let's get the bad news out of the way first. For those unfamiliar with the drastic changes made in Dynasty Warriors 6, Cao Ren shares his basic move set with Guan Ping, Ling Tong, Lu Meng, and Xu Huang. He does not have a musou mode, either. The good news is that he's still worth your time, whether or not you were a fan of his style in previous games. Cao Ren may not get to be football playing Mega Man any more, but he continues to bring the brute force smashy smashy. The base halberd move set is solid, and he makes it his own with attack special effects and skill tree upgrades that crank up the awesomeness of his Robo RAGE! Swift Attack special. Even though he's yet another polearm guy, Cao Ren is still my favorite tank. =============================================================================== 2) Unlocking Cao Ren =============================================================================== Stage ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Battle of Fan Castle, Lu Bu's forces (unlocked in Diao Chan's musou mode) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Requirements ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Accomplish the second target - capture all bases. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recommended Method ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This one's not too bad. The biggest annoyance is that you must actually capture the enemy main camp, not just complete the battle, and Cao Ren loves to wail on you with his giant pitchfork while you're running around in his base killing his dudes. Depending on the state of your ally morale, it may be possible to hang back and let your allies take over the base for you instead. =============================================================================== 3) Move Set =============================================================================== Repeated button presses will cycle through all the attacks available at the current level of renbu. Attacks listed under each level of renbu are added to the currently available chain. Swings are horizontal, with well over 180 degree range. They provide the best coverage. Uppercuts and slashes are angled and therefore don't reach as far during some parts of the attack. To perform a dash attack, press the appropriate button after Cao Ren has been running long enough to glow green. If he isn't glowing green, he will do the first attack in his chain. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Standard Attacks ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Renbu 1 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Left to right swing. Right to left swing. Left to right swing. Right to left uppercut. Renbu 2 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Left to right uppercut while turning. Left to right downward slash. Right to left swing. Forward stab. Renbu 3 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Left to right swing. Right to left swing. Left to right swing. Right to left swing. Renbu Infinite --------------------------------------------------------------- Up to six 360-degree counterclockwise swings. Dash attack Cao Ren lunges forward and does a short right to left swing. Jump attack Left to right swing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Charge Attacks ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In addition to stunning enemies and doing extra damage, the bolt element projectiles carry attack-boosting weapon attributes, such as Flash. The ground hugging comet projectiles scatter. Renbu 1 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Left to right swing. Right to left swing. Renbu 2 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Left to right swing with a wide flat bolt element projectile. Renbu 3 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Right to left swing with a wide flat bolt element projectile. Renbu Infinite --------------------------------------------------------------- Stab with a ground hugging comet projectile. Hold charge Swing. Gets a wide flat bolt element projectile at Renbu 3. Dash charge Cao Ren lunges forward and does an overhead halberd chop, sending out a long range narrow bolt element projectile. There is an area of effect that will flinch enemies around you. Jump charge Cao Ren stabs the ground with his fork, producing a quake. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special Attacks ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tome special Swift Attack. When active, maxes renbu to infinite, increases attack power, and adds some resistance to interruption from enemy attacks. The renbu gauge stays infinite after the special is over, just as it would after picking up a max renbu item. ________________________________________ Musou A series of swings followed by a stab with a ground hugging comet projectile. True musou Same deal, except that each weapon swing has innate flame. Deadlock win Cao Ren sticks his fork in the enemy, spins around, and chucks them. Standard Halberd uppercut. grapple Charge Cao Ren sticks his fork in the enemy and chucks them. Seeing grapple a pattern here? Parry Cao Ren raises his halberd horizontally, stunning foes in front of him. Counterattack Wide range slash that knocks back enemies. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Horse Attacks ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Standard Up to seven back-and-forth swings on the right side of the horse. Cao Ren starts with three swings at renbu level 1. Charge Back-and-forth swing on the right side of the horse. =============================================================================== 4) Getting Equipped =============================================================================== Weapons ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Standard (green) - Phoenix Wing ---------------------------------------------- Reach increases at renbu level 2 or above. Renbu builds at an average rate. Skill (blue) - Tortoise Bite ------------------------------------------------- Attack speed increases at renbu level 2 or above. Renbu tends to build more quickly. Strength (red) - Dragon Scale ------------------------------------------------ Attack power increases at renbu level 2 or above. Attacks may break guard. Renbu tends to build more slowly. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recommended Weapon ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cao Ren works best with a green weapon. He already swings quickly and has useful charges for breaking guard. His attack coverage is good by default, excellent with enhanced reach. Longer reach translates to bigger chains and faster musou filling because he'll hit many more enemies with each swing. The Ice element is ideal. It freezes often, especially with Mystic Seal, improving safety in crowds and setting up foes for quick death. Lightning is a good second choice, though I prefer to use Cao Ren's innate bolt powers to stun enemies. ________________________________________ An ideal weapon should have the following attributes. Flash Occasionally causes extra-damaging hits. A must for higher difficulties unless you like taking half an eon to get anything done. Mystic Seal Enhances the effect of the weapon's element. True Musou Just as it says. ________________________________________ The following attributes may be helpful. Air Wave Attacks will fire off small waves. May be handy for bothering distant enemies until renbu is built up. Arrow Sight Prevents your attacks from getting interrupted by arrows. Balance The less button mashing you have to do, the better. Fully winning a deadlock does extra damage to your enemy, too. Leech Increases health when you attack. The drain-back rate is slow, but it can be useful on high difficulty. Renbu Spirit Renbu builds faster and doesn't drain away as quickly. Might be redundant if you are riding a horse with the same ability. =============================================================================== 5) Battle Advice =============================================================================== The following applies to all levels of play, but it becomes much more important on high difficulty. As in DW5, optimal battle strategy is all about filling and deploying musou. Musou attacks are powerful, and you're invincible for the duration. What's not to like? However, musou now fills slowly enough that it has limited use as general purpose defense when there aren't loads of enemies around to efficiently replenish your gauge. It helps to ride a horse with Musou Spirit, but you'll often want to save musou for officers if they are closing in and you don't see any recovery jars nearby. In a pinch, you can press the musou button instead of holding it, which will only consume part of your gauge. Learn when to attack and when to get out of the way. As mentioned in the move set listing, Cao Ren's halberd swings have wide coverage. The few standard attacks with less coverage aren't much of a concern, especially at high renbu with a green weapon. It is still good to know when they occur so you can roll cancel prior to them if necessary. After you have built some renbu, abuse the charge chain's far-reaching projectiles to hit enemies at a distance. When unleashing musou, don't forget to aim that final comet at someone. =============================================================================== 6) Analysis of Fighting Aptitude =============================================================================== Strengths ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As in previous games, Cao Ren is a tank. Even as a brand new character, he dishes out damage and soaks it up without much trouble. Most of the halberd moves are protective, with wide range and decent starting reach. With a green weapon and high renbu, standard chain swings will decimate huge swaths of enemies. The six-swing blender at infinite renbu is especially excellent. The assorted move set projectiles work well for sniping and keep-away. They travel far, and most have a decently wide area of effect. Cao Ren gets useful skill tree attributes to enhance his Swift Attack special. Thanks to Special Start, he can instantly max out renbu at the beginning of battle. Rage and Wild Rage provide some leeway to Leeroy Jenkins into a tough pileup. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shortcomings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cao Ren runs slowly. Depending on your tolerance for poky characters, this can be anywhere from a non-issue to a dealbreaker. At least he can roll like nobody's business and travel via horseback. His foot speed can still be an annoyance while he's trying to reposition himself within enemy hordes. =============================================================================== 7) Stats and Skills =============================================================================== Stats ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- At level 50 with a maxed skill tree - Health 932 Musou 966 Attack 937 Defense 998 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Skill Tree ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 01---02 / \ 03---04 05 06 07---08 / \ \ / / \ 09 10---11 12---13 14 15---16 17 \ / \ / / 18---19 20---21 / / \ / \ / / 22---23 24---25------26-27---28----29------30--31 / \ / \ 32---33 34---35 \ / \ / \ \ 36 37---38 39---40 41---42 43 \ / \ / \ / 44---45 46---47 48---49 ________________________________________ 01 Musou + 5 18 Musou + 5 35 Musou + 20 02 Ward 19 Defense + 5 36 Defense + 5 03 Health + 5 20 Defense + 20 37 Thunder Resist 04 Defense + 5 21 Musou + 20 38 Attack + 5 05 Defense + 5 22 Musou + 5 39 Arrow Guard 06 All + 5 23 Ice Resist 40 Attack + 5 07 Health + 20 24 Third Renbu 41 All + 5 08 Health + 20 25 Health + 5 42 Special Start 09 Defense + 5 26 Rage 43 Bonus Special 10 Fire Resist 27 Attack + 5 44 Attack + 5 11 Health + 5 28 Musou + 20 45 Defense + 5 12 Musou + 5 29 Pouch 46 Defense + 20 13 Defense + 20 30 Musou + 20 47 Musou + 20 14 Health + 5 31 Infinite Renbu 48 Attack + 20 15 All + 5 32 Attack + 5 49 Attack + 20 16 Overawe 33 Defense + 5 17 Wild Rage 34 Attack + 5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Skill Tree Upgrades ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arrow Guard Arrow damage taken reduced by half. Fire Resist Nullifies fire elemental attacks. Doesn't seem to help within a burning base. Ice Resist Nullifies ice elemental attacks. Thunder Resist Nullifies thunder elemental attacks. Ward Defense doubled when near death and knocked down. (30 sec) ________________________________________ Bonus Special Receive one Tome for every 300 KOs. Overawe Reduces the defense of nearby enemies while using your special attack. Pouch Allows you to carry two Tomes and they will appear more frequently. Rage Increases damage from Swift Attack and makes it harder to interrupt your attacks. Special Start Allows you to begin each stage with one Tome. Wild Rage Greatly increases damage from Swift Attack and makes it harder to interrupt your attacks. =============================================================================== 8) Revision History =============================================================================== v1.1 4/17/2008 - Added some more specific information on fighting strategies, moves, and weapons. v1.0 3/23/2008 - Initial revision of this FAQ. =============================================================================== 9) Legal Junk =============================================================================== This FAQ is copyright 2008 by Rydain Darkstar Feel free to pass it around, put it on your website, print it out for future reference (or kindling, toilet paper, or anything that floats your boat), et cetera, blah blah blah, whatever. Just don't sell it or take credit for any of my work expressed herein.