Athenian style is an extremely powerful fighting style that utilizes a shield and sword blessed by the gods. Some practitioners like to use it in an aggressive way and get close to their opponent. The light armor allows one to approach their opponent quickly and strike them forcefully with their sword and even their shield, making it the perfect style for claiming victory in one fell swoop. Tactics such as the shield throw allow for a continued offensive even from a distance. On top of that, a technique known as "Holy Smite" can be used to boost the divine power in the wielder's sword and shield, creating lightning or whirlwinds so destructive that no one on the receiving end can walk away unscathed.
Style Lesson: Beginner
Dealing Major Damage at Close Range
Cassandra fights best up close, where it is easiest to land some of her most powerful attacks. Stop your opponent in their tracks with a Twin Buster (6AA) or an Undertow (1A). Then follow up with a Heaven Lift (3B), an Argos Drive (6K), or a similar technique.
3B launches the opponent into the air, after which you can quickly unleash something like a Double Meteor (6BB) for additional damage.
When 6K lands as a counter hit, you'll shift to Titanic Struggle and climb onto the opponent, so get ready to unleash a Cyclops Hammer (during Titanic Struggle A or B or K) or a Cyclops Drop (during Titanic Struggle 4A or 4B or 4K).
Use Divine Force to Unleash Powerful Attacks
You can shift to a state called Divine Force to unleash the power of your sword and shield after landing a Cyclops Hammer (during Titanic Struggle A or B or K), a Centaur Smash (6A+B), which works well against opponents in the middle of an 8—way run, or a Meteor Shower (64A+G), which is effective against an opponent's standing guard.
During Divine Force, you have access to Holy Smite, a powerful move that deals massive damage if it hits and will deal some damage even if the opponent guards. At close range, Keraunos Punisher (during Divine Force 6BA+B) serves as an easy-to-use Holy Smite, dealing a large amount of damage.
Performing Holy Smite cancels Divine Force, so making sure you know exactly when to use Holy Smite is key to victory. Note that fulfilling the conditions for Divine Force while it is already active will charge the soul gauge, except for when you are soul charged.
Style Lesson: Adept
Getting Close from a Distance
From long range, you can use Angel Snipe (33_66_99A), which is useful against opponents in the middle of an 8-way run, or Raging Splash (33_66_99BB), which moves you forward a great distance.
Elfish Orbit (214A) boasts both strengths of the two moves above, but costs guard stamina to use; excessive use will therefore leave you vulnerable to a guard crush.
Moves that Consume Guard Stamina
It's not only Elfish Orbit (214A) that reduces your guard stamina; some of Cassandra's other moves do, too, and are just as powerful. Angel Discus (4A+B) involves throwing your shield and dragging your opponent in from a distance. It is useful as a means of closing distance and is easy to land against an opponent performing an 8-way run, but also reduces your guard stamina because shields are traditionally not used for offense.
Holding the button to perform the break attack Angel Discus: Regina (4[A+B]) will allow you to act before the drawn-in opponent, but at the cost of more guard stamina. Consider this tactic if you're struggling to get in close for an attack.
Seraphim Kick Out (214K) will also allow you to act before the opponent if guarded, but reduces guard stamina as well.
Recovering Guard Stamina
Using Holy Smite, which is available during Divine Force, will restore your guard stamina.
If you find yourself using moves such as Elfish Orbit (214A) very often, be smart and switch over to Divine Force followed by Holy Smite.
Style Lesson: Master
Using Holy Smite Effectively
As outlined in the beginner's guide, Holy Smite gives you access to various powerful moves, including but not limited to Keraunos Punisher (during Divine Force 6BA+B). Unfortunately, a number of moves will leave you wide open if you should miss, so make sure to get sufficient practice with them.
Boreas Wings (during Divine Force 2BA+B) launches the opponent into the air allowing you to land more hits, but when the first attack is a normal hit, the opponent can guard against it partway through. 2B will only launch an opponent if it lands as a counter hit, so be on the lookout for when to use it effectively.
The opponent normally has a 50% chance of grapple breaking out of a Titanic Struggle; however, Prometheus' Flame (during Divine Force & Titanic Struggle A+B) is a powerful Holy Smite throw that cannot be escaped. It, too, has a down side, though, which is that you also take damage.
The three Holy Smite moves Keraunos' Bolt (during Divine Force 3A+B), Helios Burn (during Divine Force 2A+B), and Breath of Anemoi (during Divine Force 1A+B) are limited in their range. As such, you need to consider carefully when to use them, such as when you are mounting an offensive against a downed opponent after landing a combo.
Shifting to Divine Force
In order to shift to Divine Force, you need to land certain attacks, such as Centaur Smash (6A+B). and Meteor Shower (64A+G).
After evading an opponent's vertical attack at a distance with an 8-way run, you can try using a Stardust Strike (33_66_99A+B). Once it hits, press 4 at the right timing to perform a follow-up attack and switch over to Divine Force.
When you manage to predict your opponent's attack correctly, you can use the opportunity to shift to Divine Force. The timing is tough, but you can launch Holy Smite if you manage to land such moves as Holy Purification (4A), which deflects middle and high vertical attacks, and Angel Step (236), which parries high attacks.
Shield Super Nova
A critical edge that balances attack with reach. Launch it during an air combo or when your opponent misses an attack.
Heaven Lift (3B) is useful for starting a combo, but also consumes guard stamina, so be sure to use it wisely.
Shield Big Bang
A critical edge launched during Divine Force. Because it is a Holy Smite move, it will both deal more damage than Shield Super Nova and also replenish your guard stamina.
Powerful Sword Attacks Infused with Lightning
While soul charged, your sword generates lightning, allowing for special attacks. These attacks are great for destroying your opponent's defense, and include the powerful low attack Cherub Sword (while soul charged 1KB), the long-reaching Cherub Orbit (while soul charged 214A), and the break attack Cherub Fall (while soul charged 214A+B).
Using Holy Smite
While soul charged, you will gain the beneficial effects of Divine Force until the end of the round, regardless of whether your soul charge runs out, and can use Holy Smite while the soul charge is still active.
This allows you to use Holy Smite without having to land a certain attack; however, be warned that doing so will reduce your remaining soul charge time significantly.
A soul attack that can be performed from both a normal stance and Angel Step. After the attack, you can switch to Angel Step with 6 or to Angelic Twirl with 4. Landing the attack in an air combo will ground the opponent, increasing your chances of breaking the opponent's guard with soul charge techniques and dealing even greater damage.
Following Up with A
Swing your shield forcefully for a horizontal attack. You will be left wide open if your opponent guards, but launching the move with [A] will enable you to shift to Divine Force when the move connects.
Following Up with B
Perform a damaging vertical attack that knocks the opponent down, leaving them open to more damage. Perfect for use against an opponent expecting you to follow up with A or K.
Following Up with K
Unleash a mighty kick that sends your opponent flying far. Use it to push your opponent to the edge of the ring with a single blow, but be careful: if your opponent blocks, you'll be left open to a counterattack.