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Flail (Kenji)
Weapon Info
Kanji 隠れた刃
Romaji Kakuretaha
VRMMORPG «Sword Art Online»
Weapon Type Weapon
Quest Various
Obtained/Made By Traditional means


The «Flail» (殻竿) was a sub-category of «Mace» available in «Sword Art Online». They were characterized by strong, albeit slow, area-of-effect attacks, whilst sporting range greater than that of a typical «Mace», drawing more parallels with a «Spear» or «Pike».

Overview

The «Flail» was a damaging sub-category of «Mace» with greater range and reach compared to the likes of the «One-handed Sword» or «One-handed Axe», not to mention its parent category. This made it play similarly to a «Spear» or «Pike» as the «Flail» suffered from the same set of weaknesses, namely the cancellation of their Sword Skills should the chained portion of the weapon hit an obstacle mid-transition.[1] Shinrei preferred the weapons use over others because the «Ball-and-chain» type could be used one-handed and thus allowed for the wearer to equip a shield. In fact, a shield helped mitigate the main weakness associated with the «Flail».[2] Unlike most weapons one could not simply find a «Flail» and equip it. A «Composition» consisting of «Mace» and «Throwing Blade» was required for «Flails» to be equipped and used by the player which,[2] according to Airi, was the same case presented by Ino's usage of «Chakram».[3] As one's «Proficiency» in «Mace» and «Throwing Blade» increased, so did the pool of Sword Skills available.[4]

Types

The «Flail» was a weapon consisting of a striking head attached to a handle through a sturdy chain, whose primary function was striking around a target's shield. There were two known types of «Flail»:

  • «Ball-and-chain» type -- a variant of the «Flail» that was operated by one-hand and used mostly at close-to-mid range. This variant was most commonly paired with a shield and served as Shinrei's initial equipment set when Kenji first met him.[2]
  • «Pole-arm» type -- a variant of the «Flail» operated by two hands with length similar to that of a «Spear» with a weighted chain portion at the tip.[2] This variant was most commonly employed as a damaging offensive option and possessed the same exact weaknesses as a «Spear».[5]

Acquisition

«Flails» were acquired in the same manner as other weapons:

  • Purchased from NPC shops.
  • Received as potential monster drops.
  • Looted from treasure chests.
  • Player crafted.

Sword Skills

As far as the system is concerned, «Flail» is a sub-category of «Mace». It does not use Sword Skills attached to the «Mace» Skill-tree however, using its own small pool of Sword Skills instead. «Mods» belonging to «Mace» still apply to «Flail», such as «Decreased Sword Skill cooldown duration». All the usable Sword Skills are produced through «Composition» and more become available the higher ones «Proficiency» is in regard to «Mace» and «Throwing Blade».[4]

As far as play-style is concerned, «Flail» allows for many stalling tactics, suitable for a Tank trying to keep targets in one place. The first three Sword Skills created through «Composition» come with a high likelihood of producing debilitating status effects, such as «Stun», «Tumble», and «Stagger». As for damage the second Sword Skill, «Hurricane», can inflict a long-lived «DoT» effect.

  • «Overhead Smash» -- the initial «Flail»-focused Sword Skill which is unlocked when one's «Proficiency» in «Mace» and «Throwing Blade» reaches 100. Comprises one-hit, causes a two-meter area-of-effect, and inflicts «Stun» with high likelihood. The area-of-effect can cause Human-type monsters to suffer the «Tumble» status condition. Cooldown -- 90 seconds.
  • «Hurricane» -- the second «Flail»-focused Sword Skill which is unlocked when one's «Proficiency» in «Mace» and «Throwing Blade» reaches 200. Comprises a sustained spin, lasting for approximately five seconds, with an area-of-effect encompassing three-meters. Produces a damage-over-time effect with high likelihood. Cooldown -- 120 seconds. DoT Duration -- 300 seconds.
  • «Interception» -- the third «Flail»-focused Sword Skill which is unlocked when one's «Proficiency» in «Mace» and «Throwing Blade» reaches 250. A defensive Sword Skill allowing one to interrupt and cancel an opponent's action with a system-enhanced counter similar to «Back Rush». Cooldown 240 seconds.
  • «Quick Whack» -- the third «Flail»-focused Sword Skill which is unlocked when one's «Proficiency» in «Mace» and «Throwing Blade» reaches 300. Comprises a single strike. The system-assist kicks in, allowing for a faster-than-normal strike, with high likelihood to «Stagger» the opposition. Low «Post-Motion» Sword Skill. Cooldown 60 seconds.

Known Flails

  • «Shinrei's unnamed Flail» -- a «Flail» wielded by Shinrei on the early Floors of Aincrad. This was a «Ball-and-chain» type.[2]

Known users

Author's notes

Behind the scenes

  • «Flail» was designed using the «Chakram» introduced in the Progressive series as a model, which is where the sub-category idea came from. The «Chakram» itself is described by Kirito as a sub-category of «Throwing Blade».[5]
  • «Composition» was used to create the «Flails» own set of Sword Skills. In Progressive Kirito did not recognize the Sword Skills Nehza used against «Asterius the Taurus King».[5] «Composition» allows for the acquisition of undocumented effects, abilities, and Sword Skills through complimentary abilities.[4]

Trivia

  • According to Kenji, the «Flail» was a rarely seen weapon on the front-line.[2]

References & notes

References

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