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Feedback - Balance request, based on my Blade Dancer experience

Hi,

I want to give some feedback for future balance on Blade Dancer with the skills I’ve been working with. This is just my take based on my own experience and feeling with the class.

I’ve been playing exclusively Rogue, I started playing soon after the release of the latest big patch with the Dungeon, new Crafting system and Legendaries, got a Blade Dancer up to 200 corruption, able to push further, but grinding at that level for blessings and gear upgrades.

I don’t think Blade Dancer is in a bad state but could definitively see some improvements/adjustments.

My Blade Dancer is about physical damage, main skill is Shadow Cascade, using Dancing Strikes as secondary/support skill, then Shurikens, Smoke Bomb and Shift. Gets guaranteed critical damage with cascade, about 55% with Dancing Strikes, has lots of synergies with Shadows and of course Shadow Cascade.

Lack of endgame unique support:

When we talk about Physical, Critical and Blade Dancer altogether, it has very little endgame support, everything I found either doesn’t make a definitive upgrade the payoff/opportunity cost is too much to bear, the only exceptions are Sulorón’s Step boots with at least 2 additional affixes, and Vipertail belt with some health suffix (this one is even tailored to another class). I can see some use in a high legendary potential Smoke Weaver, or Quicksilver Coil, but the upgrade is marginal at best. I know Rogue is the latest class, so I can only hope for more uniques that could help this kind of builds in the future.

I really feel Dancing Strikes needs some love:

  • The main feature of 33% of attack speed converted to more damage is too little in my opinion, attack speed is a direct multiplier in practice when the skill can be spammed (or even better because it adds consistency). At the end, Dancing Strikes must go the Shadow Daggers route if you want to see some damage, the skill damage is so low.

  • Shadow Steps (adds a shadow on second attack) and Perfect Choreography (5% more multi per Rhythm stack) +5 mana cost is huge, we are talking about a fairly repeatable skill with 3 base cost, I could understand doubling that cost, but 5 mana cost, that’s 166% increase in cost, when most skills get better stuff anyways without drawbacks.

  • Rhythm Mechanics: loosing all stacks in two seconds means is very hard to maintain those stacks even if you focus on using dancing strikes most of the time. You don’t make good use of this skill and all the perks related to it, I would consider rising the time to 3 seconds, or you lose one stack instead of all stacks each two seconds.

  • Other quite useless skill perks: Close combat 10% more multiplier at the cost of less movement kills the main attraction of the skill for a not that powerful multiplier (because the base damage is low to begin with). Deadly Waltz (10% phys shred per point), and Cutting Corners (15% armour shred per point), the magnitudes are not worth any investment other than passing by for other stuff.

I didn’t see any glaring issue in the other four skills, the way I was using them.

About glancing blows:

  • At the end of the day is a necessity in order to push for higher endgame content with rogue, as the class lacks high armor, shield support, or higher health, proper ward support, fitting uniques for damage reduction, etc.

  • If dual wielding melee, the 40% extra glancing from two swords + max Weapons of Choice passive is too good to be ignored, you are taking 15% increased damage thanks to dual wielding anyways.

  • Hardcore players are strongly pushed into using Apostacy for the dodge into glancing conversion, the tradeoff is quite harsh, you lose one of Blade Dancer’s main perks and an entire defensive layer in order to cap glance, and still you need to invest quite a bit in dodge, and all the conditional dodge you get from other sources is wasted. If I was asked to re-design it, I would change Apostacy as a 5 point passive with 10% of percent dodge added to glancing blows per point.

  • Would be great if you could get percent to glancing blows from other sources: as example, from rogue idol suffixes and at the first half of passives of the future Falconer class, for more flexibility with this mechanic.

Passives:

  • Argent Veil: Can’t see why you would waste more than one point in this skill, ward is nice, but as you will 100% dodge next attack, the ward decay will punish you further. If the huge 15s cooldown were affected by investing more into the passive… Maybe -5s cooldown with the 5 point investment, I don’t know.

  • Flash of steel: there’s no reason to waste points here past the 5 point mark. 5% increase is so common and meaningless, even when levelling.

  • Hooked Blades: While shred is a strong multiplier, just 10% shred with 5% effect per point is a bit too low to be worth investing over other passives. If the effect was 10% per point, or you add also 5% duration, would be much more compelling. You get more than an entire 5 passive point investment from a T3 shred in weapon suffix…

  • We miss a way to truly capitalize on dexterity, any percent increase in dexterity from passives would be amazing for dex stacking build strategies.

And… that’s about it, sure other places need further review, these are just the ones worth looking into (IMO).