Your core team of shadowrunners seems to have all the bases covered when it comes to combat in Shadowrun: Hong Kong. You have a gunner in Duncan, a hacker in Is0bel, a summoner in Gobbet, and even a master of Drones in Racter - but what's missing?
An incredibly powerful melee warrior with the discipline of a samurai and the biological warfare of a ghoul, that's what's missing. Enter Gaichu, an optional character you can pick up extremely early in the game. He's a Red Samurai infected with the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus, which turned him into a ghoul - a being that must subsist on metahuman flesh to survive.
Gaichu's Best Skills
You can recruit Gaichu by sparing him at the end of the Outsider mission, which is accessible as soon as you have the ability to choose your own jobs.
As with the other members of your team, you'll get to choose what skills Gaichu acquired whenever he levels up, which will happen after every two shadowruns you complete. Gaichu's upgrades are split between improving the skills he acquired as a Red Samurai and embracing the body he has as a ghoul.
|1||Active Defense: Gaichu learns a defensive ability that raises his Armor by 2 and his Dodge by 1. Costs 1 AP and has a 5-turn CD.||Rip: Gaichu learns Rip, a melee attack that does an additional 2 DMG and makes the enemy bleed for 2 turns. Costs 1 AP and has a 2-turn CD.|
|2||Shuriken: A ranged attack that scales with Strength. Deals 12 DMG at base, costs 1 AP, and has a 2-turn CD.||Spit: A ranged attack that ignores armor and deals 8 DMG, with ongoing damage for 2 turns. Has a 2-turn CD.|
|3||Coup de Grace: A vicious attack that deals over 100 damage, but only to stunned enemies. Costs 2 AP and has a 3-turn CD.||Bite: A melee attack that restores 8 HP to Gaichu and increases his Strength by 1 for 2 turns. Also deals AP DMG and has a 2-turn CD.|
|4||Metal Cover Bonus: Gaichu's Metal Stance now gives him a Light Cover bonus.||Disease: An area of effect ability surrounding Gaichu. Deals 16 DMG with ongoing HP and AP damage for 3 turns. Costs only 1 AP but has a 5-turn CD.|
|5||Whirlwind: An attack that hits all adjacent targets. Deals 2 additional DMG but cannot do AP damage. Has a 2-turn CD.||Regenerate: Bestows a regen effect that heals 6 HP per turn for 3 turns. Costs 1 AP and has a 2-turn CD.|
As you can tell from the skill descriptions, Gaichu's Ghoul skills are focused on dealing out pain to enemies, while the Red Samurai skills are generally a bit more defensive in nature. Either way, some of these upgrades make for difficult decisions.
If you have the spare cash, consider heading to Spider Shen's shop and purchasing a new, stronger sword for Gaichu. He'll happily take such a weapon off your hands and this can make him an even better combatant. If you don't want to shell out the cash, however, consider killing the Preternatural Mummy who accosts you at the end of The Dig mission - you'll get the Emperor's Sword, a sword that can do AP damage and lets Gaichu throw lightning around!
Our Recommended Build
This build takes Active Defense, Shuriken, Coup de Grace, Disease, and Regenerate.
It's quite revealing that taking only the Red Samurai skills is a perfectly viable build for Gaichu - those warriors are tough. That said, the Ghoul tree does have some very interesting abilities to consider.
Firstly, though, Active Defense is always going to be a great get thanks to the Armor buff. Gaichu is a frontliner who will often find himself out in the open - this makes the Armor crucial. You might be wondering why we don't take the Metal Cover Bonus, which would help Gaichu tremendously when he's out of cover - the reason is that Gaichu likely won't end up using Metal Stance all that much, and Disease gives him a great crowd control ability that makes it too good not to take.
Coup de Grace is a fantastic skill if you've built your other teammates (specifically Duncan and Is0bel) to shred your enemies' AP. If that's not the case, Bite is a decent alternative that gives Gaichu a bit of self-sustain.
The final upgrade is slightly underwhelming, all things considered. Disease makes for a stronger area coverage move than Whirlwind and Regenerate is a bit weak for how much HP Gaichu is likely to be losing. You're far more likely to want lots of Medkits and Heal Wound users around him. Ultimately, though, Regenerate has more applicability.