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by Isaac Stewart
Related to Shardblades, Ten Essences
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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The ten Shardblade stances are used by the Shardbearers in Vorin culture. However, it may also be used not with shardblades, but with ordinary weapons.[1] There are ten in all, each based on one of the Ten Essences. The stances are entirely different styles of sword fighting, however they're mostly based on a philosophy rather than specific sword styles.[2]


Windstance utilizes sweeping, broad strokes that flow from one attack to the next. It is a two-handed stance with the body turned sideways, elbows bent and the tip pointed up and back over the head. The sweeps are majestic, and come from multiple sides. Sometimes they are small, quick blows that are meant to unnerve their opponent, other times the sweeps are wide.[3][1] Windstance is the best stance to use against multiple opponents, and can cause mass amount of casualties on battle field with its wide sweeps, but is very poor at parrying.[4][5]


Smokestance is a one-handed stance that has the blade forward, tip pointed at the heart of their opponent. The key in this stance is to stay in motion at all times. While the blade may move in a whirlwind, it focuses on thrusts rather than sweeps and slashes. One variant of Smokestance is a sword and dagger stance, which uses the dagger primarily as a second line of defense.[1]


Flamestance is an aggressive one-handed stance. Unlike other stances, the posture of Flamestance involves squared off feet. The blade is held in one hand, with the other hand resting on the blade. The stance is favored by those with shorter Shardblades. It is defined by furious constant attacks, but is weak to disarming as a result of the one handed grip.[2][6]


Vinestance is a defensive stance that focuses on defensive footwork and flexibility.[4] This is Relis Ruthar's favored stance.[citation needed]


Ironstance is a strong stance with a two-handed grip, sword held next to the head, and utilizes strong overhead blows.[2]


Stonestance is a form that relies on raw power. The stance involves holding the sword in front, arms fully extended, tip pointing straight up. On offense, the focus is on delivering the maximum amount of momentum in a single blow, jumping up, lifting the blade behind the head, and a diagonal downward cut. Since it doesn't require much strength to cut most things with shardblades, this stance is largely impractical when not fighting a shard bearer. When on defense, the stance relies on staying immobile.[3]


Bloodstance is a stance in which the wielder doesn't care about getting hit.[7]


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