Lies of P has some of the tightest parry timing I've come across in any action game, but it also gives you one of the most overpowered items I've ever seen in a Soulslike, let alone a true Souls game: an honest-to-god auto-parry.
For the uninitiated, Lies of P uses a weapon durability system built around grindstones that you can use to sharpen your weapon and, with special stones, apply temporary buffs. The best grindstones can add elemental damage, crit chance, or status effects to your attacks, but the king of all stones is the Perfection Grindstone unlocked by filling out Pulcinella's shop using the Venigni boxes found around the game.
I was genuinely shocked to read the description for the Perfection Grindstone: "Temporarily activates Perfect Guard when guarding." In other words, for a short time after using this stone, all you have to do is hold down the block button to auto-parry all incoming attacks. As long as you're facing the right way, you won't take any damage and every parry will chip away at the hidden stagger bar of whatever's attacking you.
The catch is that this stone has an extremely short duration, but there are two ways around that. By obtaining specific upgrades on the main character's Quartz skill tree, you can unlock a second charge of your grindstone and extend the duration of both of those charges. My testing has been a little inexact, but this combo gives you around 25 - 30 total seconds of auto-parry power, and you can pop both stones back-to-back in a pinch. I should also mention that you can increase how much stagger damage a parry deals, which is an upgrade I'd highly recommend even without this stone. (More handy Lies of P tips here.)
This stone is exactly as busted as it sounds in a game that's almost as parry-centric as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Yeah, just imagine an auto-parry against Isshin, the Sword Saint. You can't just use this stone willy-nilly, but if you're struggling to parry a certain combo – like the multi-hit chains that bosses like to bust out after their phase-two transitions – even a single Perfection Grindstone can totally change the outcome of a fight.
If you're low on health, you can use the auto-parry to essentially become invulnerable for a short time – maybe just long enough to finish the fight or deal enough damage to generate another healing Pulse Cell. If you know you're close to a stagger but don't want to risk any incoming damage, pull out the stone and let the automatic parries do the staggering for you. If you don't mind late-game boss spoilers, you can get a preview of the stone in action in this video.
The highest praise I can give the Perfection Grindstone is this: thanks to this monstrous item and the aforementioned enhancements, I beat Lies of P's final final boss on my first try. I was in the zone after the previous boss, sure, but that one-shot attempt was not happening without two extended Perfection Grindstones.
The second-highest praise I can give it is this: I haven't seen a single item warp combat like this since the Rocksteady, Evasion, and Temporal Mantles in Monster Hunter World. If you know, you know. Even if you don't, and even if you aren't struggling to parry in Lies of P, give this thing a whirl. It feels like cheating in the best way.
I've played a billion Soulslikes and Lies of P is officially the best one – here's what I want FromSoftware to steal from it.