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> Guide to Handseals
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 Posted: Feb 12 2015, 11:59 PM
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You've probably seen something about handseals somewhere on the site, and may be asking yourself : What the heck are those? Well, you know that to perform jutsu, you need to use chakra. The thing is, chakra is a difficult substance to control-and you're making it do really weird things. To help you focus and direct that chakra, handseals, a set of twelve specific motions to perform with your hands (obviously) can be used.

The vast majority of techniques require handseals or some equivalent. Additionally, a technique will typically have a specified sequence of seals that requires memorization on the part of the performing ninja. However, it is possible through various means to reduce the handseals required-in some cases, one may even eliminate the required handseals altogether!

Below, we'll discuss the standard twelve seals, as well as a few unique seals and variants.

The Twelve Seals


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The above seals, used in varying sequences and amounts, allow ninja to perform different techniques. Most techniques use some form of these handseals, though the exact amount and sequence is wildly variable. You are not expected to tell us which seals belong to your jutsu, nor are you expected to memorize anything crazy-this simply is for your own benefit, so you know what the seals look like.

One Handed Seals


A handful of exceedingly rare ninja are capable of performing handseals with only a single hand, allowing them to defend themselves while still performing handseals. These seals differ from the normal twelve in appearance, but not in function-there are still twelve of them, and they are used in the exact same manner. To obtain One Handed Seals, however, you must possess the appropriate Trait.

Unique Seals and Seal Equivalents


Clone Seal - This seal is commonly used to create the various solid clones of the Naruto World. This seal is made by extending the two forefingers on both hands and crossing them in front of the user, forming a plus-sign with the user's hands.

Clap Hands - Not truly a handseal, this motion is still used in some jutsu, or to gather chakra. Additionally, some powerful summoning techniques end with clapping hands, as well as other powerful effects. When completing this "seal", the position is usually held until the desired effect is achieved.

Slam Ground - Typically used as an initiation for a technique, rather than as an actual seal-even so, this action is required in some jutsu, such as a large number of Doton techniques and Kuchiyose no Jutsu.

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Certain techniques may also use their own unique handseal, either in addition to or instead of the seals lifted above. These seals, should they exist, will be described in the jutsu itself, rather than in this guide.

Sealless Jutsu


A very small percentage of jutsu do not require handseals at all to perform-the benefit of these techniques is obvious; the element of surprise and the speed at which the technique can be performed is much greater than otherwise. However, jutsu that have no handseals usually require a great deal more concentration than otherwise. The exception to this is a jutsu that has been made Sealless due to becoming a Favored Jutsu-these techniques simply take the benefits of being Sealless for free. However, ALL jutsu have a minor pause after they're used for your system to re-orient itself. No, if a jutsu is a sealless, that does not mean you can use it infinite times in a post. The higher ranking a technique is, the longer the inherent cooldown. Use your best judgement.

Handseal Speeds


Handseals typically slow down combat; this is why many ninja try to find ways around them, or work to reduce the number of seals a jutsu may require. However, there are some guidelines to consider about handseals in general. Keep in mind, the following is only a guideline, and individual techniques may vary.

~ Typically, the higher the jutsu's rank, the more handseals it requires. The following is a GUIDELINE on how many handseals each rank of jutsu requires. Keep in mind that most genjutsu do not require these, and almost no taijutsu at all have handseals.

E-ranks - 1-3 Handseals
D-ranks - 2-6 Handseals
C-ranks - 5-10 Handseals
B-ranks - 8-15 Handseals
A-ranks - 12-20 Handseals
S-ranks - 20-30 Handseals

~ Additionally, one must consider their rank and any traits affecting their ability when figuring out how fast their jutsu might be. 30 handseals looks like a lot to an Academy Student, who can only perform one seal a second-but to a Sei Jounin, who could pump out 5 a second, it becomes much less of a problem. Below are the base numbers for how fast a ninja of a given rank performs handseals. This is NOT a guideline-this is a rule that must be observed, though the number can be altered with traits.

AS/D-rank - 1 Seal per Second
Genin/C-rank - 2 Seals per Second
Chuunin/B-rank - 3 Seals per Second
Jounin/A-rank - 4 Seals per Second
Sei Jounin/S-rank - 5 Seals per Second

~ A jutsu might not require as many handseals as most of its rank would. If a jutsu requires less handseals than its rank would otherwise indicate, it WILL be mentioned in the jutsu itself. If it is not mentioned, it is to be assumed that the jutsu follows standard handseal rules.
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