Hello everyone and welcome to my 190th analysis, this time featuring Kihaku.
Kihaku is in Dragon books, and is one of the 3 deniers there to use Freeze, and one of the 2 who us Possession, but no monster in any book has access to both effects in one move! This may seem counterproductive as Freeze will make Possession useless, but this is a blessing in disguise, as it helps Kihaku nail the monsters who are immune to one of the effects but not the other, also it helps massively against monsters with Hardened, Tough and Bulwark. He has 2 more variants of this attack, variants with 50% chance of applying each, and this makes it so that you will pull off at least one the effects very commonly, so it makes the gamble worth it. The Hardened trait is also universally useful. However, Kihaku faces difficulties against Crissandre and Hydratila the Boltcaster, who are both faster than him. In addition, the other War rulings may allow monsters such as Baba Yaga and Jasastur to be used, which are faster than him, not to mention the Stamina problems he faces due to his high Stamina costs.
Runes: 3 Speed
Kuzushi Freezes and Possesses all enemies, a combination which no monster can truly resist except Artifacts. Katsu Jinken has a 50% chance of applying Freeze and Possession (separately, on all enemies), but most importantly, it has 0 CD, which makes this move extremely powerful when used against teams with no immunity to both effects since the 50% chance on both effects makes it pretty likely to deny such monsters. Agatsu is a single target variant of Kuzushi, but Kyudo can be used to have an AOE and a Stamina Leak under your belt just in case you need it. Lastly, Kiai can be used to have a super cheap move in terms of Stamina that gies your team Stamina and Life Regen, which can be crucial in some teams, but Kyudo can be used here too if you picked Agatsu in the last slot. 3 Speed is obvious for any denier.
Teammates: Kihaku doesn't need any specific teammates since he's a denier, but some monsters can take advantage of Kiai, such as Igursus and Zyla the Faithful/VoltaiK. Any monster with Stamina regen can allow Kihaku to use Kiai with no Stamina left since it costs a measly 16 Stamina, which is enough for even 20% Stamina Regen to generate. Ouros enjoys Kiai's ability to regenerate, and Kihaku's ability to lock enemies using Katsu Jinken to stall for Global Stomp.
Countering Kihaku: Using faster deniers is you best bet since the upcoming changes to Possession makes things like Igursus unreliable counters. Hydratila the Boltcaster and Crissandre are good choices for this. Also keep in mind that Kihaku is passive when left alone, so taking out his teammates is a good way to deal with him.