Lets talk about Swarm Blade

I wanted to like this transformation, but after extensive testing, I can safely say, that this skill needs a lot of work, to make it feel good, specially the minion portion with the hives.


I have been working around with it to see the different playstyles and interactions. In my opinion spriggan and and werebear are in a much better spot with spriggan winning out over all.


I agree, and I think its very clunky to summon locusts, and try to keep them alive, and maintained properly to buff your swarm aoe ability at higher end game content.

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I think swarmblades play fantasy isnt being taken advantage of.

Bear is slow, punchy and tanky like a bear should be, but if you get in close you can still tear shit up with swipe, he feels like a bear.

Spriggan feels like a nature caster, he summons the forest to aid him and has defensive/healing abilities as well.

Then you have swarmblade whos two play fantasies are supposed to be “Swarm master” and quick and agile fighter. And I feel like both of those fantasies are just weak in terms of feeling right now. Armblade slash feels good, its about the only ability that feels good. its smooth and fast, and viper strike tree is a perfect match for it. But dive, the thing that is supposed to give that fast agile playstyle feels anything but. its slow, short distance with damn near as long of cd as maul!

Then you get to the swarm master fantasy and honestly im not sold on swarm strike, it feels more like a way for the melee build to make use of the swarm then as a hybrid skill, and the locusts are frankly just insanely weak both damage and tank stat wise. The hive summon amounts feel too small for how weak the minions are.

I think swarmblade is savable, just needs some buffs to its core abilities.

I agree, but I also think Spriggan is less good than the previous Spriggan in terms of power.
It is more fun to play, but far less powerful.

I have to agree with you here.

I kind of have to agree, which is kind of weird because I’m actually playing SB right now, with a maelstrom/lightning strike stack build. I think there are a few things that are contributing to it.

  1. Visually, SB looks distinct, but as far as the playstyle goes, it doesn’t really have it’s own identity. The “swarm” part of it is so underwhelming that it doesn’t really factor into things. The only reason I use it is to distract enemies, and because one of my Idols happens to have a minion damage leech.

  2. You can’t get swarmblade form as a Shaman. I thought of this at first, and it feels as though all the synergies in Swarmblade really work well with Shaman, with cold damage, frostbite stacking, storm totem buffs, etc. But you can’t get SB as a shaman, the passive tree locks at 23 points level. This alone would make it way more interesting. SB has tons of ice/lightning synergies, so not getting it as a shaman actually feels overall like a missed opportunity.

  3. It doesn’t really have companion supports. Primalist has the companion as a unique mechanic over other classes, and yet the SB doesn’t have any synergies with companions. You’d think that, as an insect, he’d have something with scorpion, for example, but again, there’s nothing there. At lvl 90 I’m running around without any companions simply because they don’t do anything for me, and are way too weak, getting 1 shot constantly. Again, it’s kind of neglecting a core primalist mechanic, IMO.

Anyway, those are 3 things that I thought of off the top of my head.

One odd thing I did find out is that “+1 to minion skills” tags actually add +1 to Swarmblade, since it has the “minion” tag. So even though there are no “+1 to Swarmblade” affixes, you can still add to SB level.

+1 to physical skills also works. I am using a Thorn Slinger belt

I agree this would have made it much more interesting. Even as bm since all the minion stuff it has in the tree and aspect of the viper


I simply cannot understand where all the hate for Swarmblade is coming from. My Bearswarm druid is the most fun I’ve had in this game and I’ve played some pretty OP builds.
The thing that’s crazy about Bearswarm is that it just keeps getting stronger and stronger the more you push corruption, because when you get high enough your damage ramping rotation doesn’t kill the weeny mobs anymore so your damage gets dramatically higher via Bloodlust Swarm.

I won’t derail the hate train thread by going into details on Bearswarm here, I’ll make another thread for that. Just wanted to pitch in my 2 cents that Swarmblade isn’t in a bad place at all - it just sounds to me like people gave up on Locust Swarm when the supporting skill nodes weren’t working properly (pre-0.8.4c).

So to the devs: promote whoever came up with this Bearswarm concept, it’s suuuuuper fun and engaging playstyle, very unique how it ramps damage then lets you “autobomb” the screen for 16 seconds or whatever it is as you rampage around with your swarm. My only gripe with the build is you guys haven’t added +skills for Swarmblade yet, so I feel like I’m missing a few points that I’d really like to get in there for Bearswarm to feel complete. Please don’t take away/change my BearSwarm!!! ;D

To the players: Maybe Swarmblade as a stand-alone form is weak… I can’t speak to that as I haven’t tried much with it. But combined with Bloodlust Swarm, Swarm’s Fury and bleed Werebear, Locust Swarms are completely busted, in the best way possible. S-Tier build for empowered Monos and T4 Dungeoning. Fastest clear in the game once you ramp up your damage (unless there’s something faster than one-shotting the entire screen as you Rampage through your mono/dungeon). If you are disappointed in Swarmblade and haven’t tried BearSwarm since they fixed it’s nodes, give BearSwarm a try. I’ll make another post on how to gear and play Bearswarm for anyone who’s interested, should be up in these forums by the end of the day.

And one last thing…



They just put out E patch, so I’ll see how the 33% increased summoning speed of locusts feels. We finally also get the addition of + to swarm blade form affix.

If you mean by stacking the number of Locust, enhancing the damage and duration of Locust Swarm, applying minion damage, getting the extended 4 seconds through werebear and 200% minion damage form maul … Well, I’ve been using this mechanic since the very beginning of the new version, but frankly, it’s still a very poor experience, not in the damage (although the damage isn’t outstanding against bosses), but in the fact that the initiation steps are too many and the overall feeling is irrelevant

lol, what exactly is this supposed to mean? My guess is it doesn’t mean anything at all.

The rotations are long, yes, but you only have to do it every 16 seconds, between which you run around like a maniac erasing screens at rampage speed. And while the rotation is long, it’s not complicated at all and becomes muscle memory after playing it for a bit.

If you were playing something like this when it first launched, I’m not surprised you don’t like it, since 2 of the key passives (including Bloodlust Swarm) were not functioning at all until 0.8.4c.

You might not like the build, which is fine, but my point was it exists and it is strong AF, despite all the QQ in this thread about Swarmblade needing a rework. So far I’ve pushed it to 320 corruption without signs of slowing down and it can kill T4 Julra without much trouble (Posted a link to a T4 Julra fight in my BEARSWARM build thread earlier tonight).

Even at 320 corruption, the damage is still not at it’s fullest potential since weenie mobs are still dying before the Locust Swarm goes off. Its damage will be even better at 400+ corruption, which is when I’ll be posting the next video to show it off in my thread.

They said damage isnt an issue but the playstyle

I played a Detonating Arrow Marksman to 94, extremely strong build but very boring, you can offscreen almost everything, some people would love it but not for me I prefer standing in monsters faces

To each their own, I guess. I find this the most engaging, interesting playstyle of the 5 builds I’ve done so far in this game. I could spout off on why that is again, but have already done so in this thread and the BEARSWARM thread.

His paragraph I understood, except the 4 last words which I still don’t… comes off as baseless dismissiveness.

Circular AoE that follows the player are my favourite skills in these games ie Maelstrom/Fire Aura/Judgement Aura, Aura of Decay. Theres also Void Cleave but I dont like it

I tried Locust Swarm but its not for me, its just the overall setup making it feel clunky, I would rather hit mobs to ‘gain stacks’ than do a setup every 16s, the fact you need to keep up stacks makes it feel more naturally faster paced

I just played a build in PoE Static Strike where you hit 1 mob to proc lightning bolts then run around for 4s blowing up monsters and that even feels awful sometimes

This I can totally understand.

For me, the playstyle cycle is to spend 10-20 seconds rounding up a bunch of mobs (which in itself is somewhat engaging as you need to gauge how big a pull you can handle), then do the 6-7 second rotation while hitting as many mobs as possible (along with your hives) to maximize Bloodlust Swarm stacks, hit Swarm Strike and watch the screen explode before shifting to tank form and Rampaging around steamrolling screens of mobs for 16 sec. So for me at least it’s only 1-2 cycles per minute. That said, I can see why not everyone would like the stop-and-go playstyle.

I just like to advocate for the build because I’m having so much fun with it. Most of the complaints I’ve seen about it (in this thread and in in-game chat) have been that it’s janky because your locusts die in higher content, which is totally not the case if you build minion health. At least, not in T4 Julra or 320ish monos (as high as I’ve had time to push so far). It’s not just the DPS I like, it’s the versatility of having Swarmblade’s LS DPS while having Werebear’s tankiness along with the gather, nuke, and run playstyle which I personally enjoy quite a bit.

Admittedly, it can feel a bit clunky to me when I get a loot explosion upon popping Swarm Strike on a particularly large and generous pack of mobs and by the time I pick it all up and track down some more mobs, there’s only a couple seconds of it left because I spent too much time mulling over items. :smiley:

Oh I know exactly what you’re talking about bro, I filed the invalid bug with the two nodes in the beginning and as of now the bleed effect still doesn’t stack (it basically works, but not completely as described) …
I say it feels “irrelevant” because the game experience has only two states “lacking anything to do other than stack locust” / “maintaining Locust Swarm and running as fast as possible”
No linkage between skills, no action changes, no ability to change based on game progression
Honestly, I’ve talked to a lot of people about this gameplay, and I don’t reject it or disparage it, it’s just kind of boring in a way that has nothing to do with “me”

I’m not entirely sure why you call the feedback of this thread “hate”. Doesn’t seem that drastic to me.

Nice build btw, looks interesting.

I also saw a build from EpochBuilds of a tornado Swarmblade that looked really nice.

I personally like Summoner builds a lot but I can’t really identify with the Swarmfather fantasy. So I’m looking for a fast and swift “Rogue like” playstyle without summons.

I’m a bit sad EHG reduced the Dive range. And I also wished for a tad more synergies with some fast melee skills.

To anyone liking the Swarm rush but not the setup, try Herald of the Scurry. Six rabid squirrels stack up bleeds rather fast, especially if you aim them with Fury Leap’s Pack Leader. I’m only in the 90 monos but rushing around and letting the squirrels do the bloodletting feels pretty damn good so far. You can focus your prefixes on minion survivability given the absurd amounts of increased damage you get from Bloodlust Swarm. Get a weapon with tons of flat damage: that helps a ton when you’re low on Locusts.