Team Cherry’s Metroidvania action-adventure game, Hollow Knight, follows the journey of a nameless warrior called the Knight as he travels through Hallownest, which is now a kingdom in ruins because of a supernatural disease. As the Knight journeys through Hallownest, he can unlock new abilities, spells, and charms that will help him traverse through different areas of Hallownest and defeat enemies.
In the game, there are special abilities, which the Nailmasters of Hallownest teach, that involve the Knight’s Nail. In this guide, we’ll learn about the Cyclone Slash Nail Art.
With the Cyclone Slash Nail Art, the Knight will unleash a spin attack that looks like a cyclone and continuously attacks enemies in the Knight’s surroundings. The Cyclone Slash Nail Art can be performed by holding the assigned ATTACK button until it is fully charged, then releasing it during the UP or DOWN button.
This Nail Art has two phases: the first phase will hit enemies three times and takes about a second (0.45 seconds) and, in the second phase, the player can press the assigned ATTACK button repeatedly to hit enemies three more times and extend the duration of the Cyclone Slash Nail Art with an extra 1.2 seconds. The whole Cyclone Slash Nail Art, therefore, performs a total of six hits. However, while repeatedly pressing the assigned ATTACK button in the second phase, the Knight’s speed for moving horizontally will be greatly reduced, and, if the second phase is performed in mid-air, the Knight will fall back down slower. The Knight will not be able to do anything else except move to the left and right during the Cyclone Slash Nail Art. Taking damage, however, cancels the Nail Art.
The Cyclone Slash Nail Art can deflect projectiles of certain enemies and stop the charge attacks of many enemies, which makes this Nail Art effective in situations where the Knight is trapped in the middle of a lot of enemies.
One downside of the Cyclone Slash Nail Art is that it may leave the Knight vulnerable to attack from enemies because of the long duration of the Nail Art itself and the reduction of the Knight’s movement speed. Certain enemies may take advantage of this, like enemies with projectiles that the Nail Art cannot deflect or enemies that cannot be pushed back. It is also possible that fast-moving enemies may move out of the Cyclone Slash Nail Art range and deal little damage.
Each hit from the Cyclone Slash Nail Art pushes enemies back and deals 1.25x of the Knight’s current Nail damage. This means that the Cyclone Slash damage to h Nail Art’s damage depArtNail the Knight is using. The Cyclone Slash Nail Art will deal 6 damage per hit(36 damage for all six hits) performed with the Old Nail, 11 damage per hit (66 damage for all six hits) if performed with the Sharpened Nail, 16 damage per hit (96 damage for all six hits) if with the Channelled Nail, 21 damage per hit (126 damage for all six hits) if with the Coiled Nail, and 26 damage per hit (156 damage for all six hits) if performed with the Pure Nail.
The Fury of the Fallen Charm, which is a charm the Knight can use to increase the Knight’s Nail damage by 75% when on one Mask, can boost the effects of the Cyclone Slash Nail Art. With this charm equipped and with one Mask remaining (which is when the charm takes effect), The Cyclone Slash Nail Art will deal 11 damage per hit (66 damage for all six hits) performed with the Old Nail, 20 damage per hit (120 damage for all six hits) if performed with the Sharpened Nail, 28 damage per hit (168 damage for all six hits) if with the Channelled Nail, 37 damage per hit (222 damage for all six hits) if with the Coiled Nail, and 46 damage per hit (276 damage for all six hits) if performed with the Pure Nail.
There are also Charms that will not affect the Cyclone Slash Nail Art, like the Fragile Strength Charm or Unbreakable Strength Charm. The Mark of Pride Charm or Longnail Charm also does not affect its range.
The Knight will be able to learn the Cyclone Slash Nail Art from Nailmaster Mato in his hut in the Howling Cliffs area, which is northwest of Hallownest.
In the Howling Cliffs, the Knight will encounter different kinds of enemies. However, the Knight will encounter these specific enemies on the way to Nailmaster Mato: Crawlids, Tiktiks, and Vengeflies.
Before the Knight can head to Howling Cliffs and find Nailmaster Mato, it is recommended that the Knight must first have the Mantis Claw ability, which allows the Knight to cling to walls and jump off of them, and the Mothwing Cloak ability, which allows the Knight to perform a horizontal dash forwards, or the Monarch Wings ability, which allows the Knight to perform a secondary jump in mid-air. Additionally, the Knight must also purchase the Lumafly Lantern from Sly in Dirtmouth to light up very dark rooms. With this item and these abilities, reaching the Howling Cliffs area and finding Nailmaster Mato will be no challenge at all.
To find Nailmaster Mato in Howling Cliffs and learn the Cyclone Slash Nail Art, this is what the Knight must do (this is assuming that this is the player’s first time heading to Howling Cliffs):
- From the Bench in the middle of Dirtmouth, head all the way to the left, then, upon reaching the wall, jump and climb up the wall using the Mantis Claw ability. At the top of the wall, use the Mothwing Cloak ability to dash towards the platform or the Monarch Wings ability to perform a secondary jump towards the next platform, then take the entrance on the left.
- Upon entering the room, the Knight is now back in the King’s Pass area, which is the very first area in the game. Head to the left, drop down on the next gap, head to the right, drop down to the gap, continue dropping down to the platforms below on the left, and head to the bottom on the right side of the spikes.
- Next, continue to the right of what looks like a wall, and the Knight will be in a hidden part of the area. Continue to the right, jump over the spikes with the help of the Monarch Wing’s ability to double jump or the Mothwing Cloak’s ability to dash forwards in mid-air, and drop down on the gap where the Knight will start using the Lumafly Lantern to light up the area, and head to the left where you will find a Geo Chest which, after hitting it, will give off the Fury of the Fallen charm and not Geos.
- After that, head to the left, then drop on the narrow gap, continue to the left where the Knight will encounter a Crawlid, continue to head and jump on the platform on the left where the Knight will encounter another Crawlid, jump across the gap, and head to the left until the Knight reaches a large area.
- Next, continue to the left of what looks like the end of the path, and the Knight will be in a hidden part of the area with a Geo Deposit. Head up the narrow shaft using the Mantis Claw ability (watch out for the spikes!), then take the exit at the top.
- Then, head to the next platform above by using the Mantis Claw ability to cling to the wall on the right and jump up, then continue to the left, where you will find a wooden structure holding up a wall on the other side. Strike the wooden structure several times to destroy it and open up the path.
- After that, continue to the left and up the platforms, where the Knight will encounter another Crawlid, and the Knight has now arrived in Howling Cliffs! Continue to the left, where the Knight will encounter another Crawlid, drop down on the gap, and head to the bottom of this area.
- At the bottom, a narrow path leads to the right on the right side of the spikes. Head to the right, and you will see an entrance to a house. Enter the house, and you will see a Bench (this is also the only Bench in Howling Cliffs). Sit on the Bench to heal and save your progress.
- Afterward, head to the right, and you will finally find Nailmaster Mato after a narrow corridor!
Talk to Nailmaster Mato, and he will say that he has sensed the aura of a fierce warrior approaching. He will then say that he is impressed that the Knight has found him and his sanctuary and that he is sure that the Knight went through many trials and foes on the way to finding him. After that, Nailmaster Mato will say that he accepts the Knight as his pupil and will begin teaching him immediately. Confirm on the prompt to learn the master’s Nail Art, and Nailmaster Mato will teach the Knight the Cyclone Slash Nail Art!
Now that the Knight has learned the Cyclone Slash Nail Art, the Knight can now attack enemies and bosses in a new and powerful (and cool) way!