Cao Ren FAQ v1.1
Written by Rydain Darkstar 
Last Revised April 17, 2008

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                                Table of Contents
                           
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 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
 
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                                1) Introduction

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 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.
 
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                              2) Unlocking Cao Ren

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 Stage
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Battle of Fan Castle, Lu Bu's forces (unlocked in Diao Chan's musou mode)

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 Requirements
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 - Accomplish the second target - capture all bases.
 
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 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.

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                                  3) Move Set

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.
 
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                               4) Getting Equipped

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 Weapons
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 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.

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 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.

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                                5) Battle Advice

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 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.

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                       6) Analysis of Fighting Aptitude

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 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.

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 Shortcomings
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 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.

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                              7) Stats and Skills

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 Stats
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 At level 50 with a maxed skill tree -

 Health     932
 Musou      966
 Attack     937
 Defense    998

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 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

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 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.

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                              8) Revision History

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 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.

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                                 9) Legal Junk

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 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.