Katana - solid, balanced weapon as far as I can tell, but I think it’s a little underwhelming compared to the big two-handers.
Wakizashi - weird and gimmicky. Overhead is really hard to block. Still manages to be ineffective and unpopular, I imagine because it’s so short and pathetic-looking.
Kanebo - haven’t used it much. Seems balanced, maul-style weapon that’s good for team support.
Yari - Very good for team support and ability to combo makes it great against slippery classes like ninjas. Being able to hit pirates with that extra foot of reach before they can fire on you is also useful. The slash seems weak and the range isn’t great but it’s good for catching someone trying to flank you.
Nodachi - Not what it used to be, especially because of the …
Naginata - What’s up with this? The stats might be wrong, but it outclasses the nodachi in every department. Compared to the katana, it’s only slightly slower but with extra damage and much greater reach. I haven’t used this one too much but it seems to be the flavor of the month slash-spam weapon, and works great since so much of the game relies on footwork to escape attacks.
Yumi - Just weird as well, because it kind of sucks. I’m not a great shot but the bows drop and projectile speed make it much more useful at midrange, and the pathetic amount of damage you do often doesn’t seem worth it unless you’re trying to countersnipe someone or are low on health.
The thing is, why wouldn’t you take the yumi as a secondary? The game doesn’t give you any incentive to take two melee weapons, so we have loads of samurai hanging back and plinking during samurai vs spartan matches, accomplishing absolutely nothing. It looks ridiculous.
Footwork and reach are very important because it’s much easier to evade attacks now. The katana is supposed to be the samurai’s signature weapon but it definitely feels outclassed by the naginata and yari.