The most important thing is to continuously keep pressure on your opponent. Use a Tower Shield TC (A: Whenever you can't do something else, B: If you don't already have one on). Blades are not always a necessity for hitting, but if you can find time to use them, do it.
If you are close to being able to use a Caterpillar, then wait until you can, HOWEVER, if you do not already have the shadow pip, DO NOT depend on getting it the next turn, it is better to weaver if this happens. If you have the shadow pip, then ready yourself to hit.
Keeping yourself alive is obviously a priority, that being said, making sure you ALWAYS have a heal in hand, is absolutely crucial. No matter how much it is, staying as close as you can to full health is always a good thing to do.
Using Shrike has a huge impact on you AND the opponent, using Shrike will basically make all of the opponents shields useless, at the same time, if you can't kill within three turns, you'll have to deal with a possibly large sum of backlash (depending on how you handle it). If you are certain that bypassing the opponents shields will kill, then of course, Shrike is perfectly fine to use. If you are not certain, be safe instead of sorry, don't waste the shrike OR your health, save them.
--// End of guide //--
If people want I can make a follow-up post to this, and if you have a question about something, ask!