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Lookings for Good Blade Dancer melee build

Looking for a good melee build for blade dancer. I had tried something without looking at guides or references, but it’s just not working out too well (found out picking dancing strikes as a primary was a bad choice after looking it up).

Was running
Dancing Strikes
Acid Flask
Smoke Bomb
Shift
and Shadow Cascade.

Was trying to do both poison and bleeds but ended up somehow with ridiculously high poison chance and low poison damage and high bleed damage with low bleed chance.

Anyone have some better recommendations? Thank you.

you’re right that dancing strikes is kind of a bad choice for a primary damage dealer. if you like how it feels however (i know i do), it’s worth keeping in your setup as a support skill to buff up your damage and defense. the “fighting arena” node is extremely useful, as are the “rhythm” branches, as long as you don’t mind weaving different attacks together.

multiple ailment builds are notoriously hard to make work since they scale off of different values. bleed damage has the highest default base value and poison has the lowest, which is probably why you see such a disparity between those values. the only reason you would ever go for multiple ailments in a build is for skills that deal higher damage per stack of ailment. rogue has a few variations on this idea. even if you were to go for this type of build, it’s generally easier to stack ailment chance for one type.

here’s a few ideas on where you could go with your build, depending on what you want to focus on:

ailments - drop shadow cascade, pick up flurry. pick up Alacrity, Relentless, Adrenaline rush (just 2 points for now, fill in more later), and whichever ailment branch you want to focus on (Festering Wounds or Bloodplay). poison has a much higher ceiling, but bleed is also very strong. the higher base damage of bleed means it will feel better with low investment. then head to the right side of the lower branches and get Vile Tactics and Lethal Vector (max this out for a nice damage boost), and again whichever of the 2 ailment branches you prefer.

if you want some range on the skill, you could opt to travel to the right side first, and (spending only as many points as necessary to travel there) pick up Shockwave. this will come at the expense of your ailment damage, but it might be worth it depending on how you like the feel of the skill with or without the shockwave.

stack %increased phys or %increased poison damage, attack speed, and ailment chance. don’t worry about your weapon’s base damage. dual daggers for poison, or sword and axe for bleed (because of the bonuses from Weapons of Choice on the blade dancer passive tree). dual sword can also work for bleed, since there are idols and gear affixes for bleed per sword. this variant can also be very defensive because of the glancing blows bonus for dual swords.

if you go poison, acid flask is good to keep around, especially with the poison pools. for bleed, i would probably swap this out for decoy as a better defensive option. the massive bleed chance while inside dancing strikes arena will be really nice as well.

hit damage with shadows - drop acid flask, pick up synchronized strike. rush the bottom right node that makes shadows use shadow cascade, then the top left for more shadows and shadow damage. i recommend getting the mana efficiency node (Dynamics) early as well, as this will help sustain the heavy mana cost along with the nodes i’ll recommend for shadow cascade below. for the rest of the tree, it’s up to you. i like the crit vulnerability node (Harmony of Death), although you can get more than enough crit vulnerability from the passive tree. crit vuln is MASSIVE because you can essentially ignore crit chance on your gear and focus entirely on damage, attack speed and crit multiplier.

spec shadow cascade into the nodes that refund mana per shadow and the crit chance/crit multi. this will use up a lot of your points, invest the others as you see fit. damage per shadow is a good one.

spec smoke bomb into the branches that generate shadows and dusk shrouds. again, maxing out those will take most of your points, so invest the others as you like. i like armor shred and slow.

either of the above variations without dancing strikes - if you don’t care for the more tactical approach of using DS to set up your other skills, you can drop it entirely.

decoy is an excellent addition to any build. the frailty and armor shred branch is very useful, and the taunt is actually kind of insane. i expect to see it get a little love tap with the nerf hammer, because it currently overrides the monster mod “focuses on attacking player” which usually ignores taunts from things like minions.

lethal mirage has a node that deals more damage per stack of ailment on the enemy, which can make it a pretty potent tool for bossing. it was actually broken for a while and had no cap on the amount it could give, but thanks to boardman’s 10 million (before nerf) DPS build it was quickly adjusted. :laughing:

Apprentice’s Corner also made a great crit flurry guide aimed at newer players. he tends to focus on Solo characters, which makes his guides very new player friendly, while boardman’s tend to be a bit more gear-intensive (of course they still work without perfect gear).

hope i haven’t overwhelmed you with info here. happy to answer any more questions you may have! :slight_smile:

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Thank you. I’ll take a look at these suggestions.

What’s better end game? Poison or Bleed? Sounds like you’re saying poison eeks out ahead later on? Is this due to duration or what makes it more potent?

Have a look at Rimed’s approach here. I’m having the most fun with it after switching Shift+Smoke Bomb+Synchronized Strikes+Shadow Cascade towards creating shadows and “gain ward when creating a shadow” on Idols and Chest+Helm, plus using the unique belt Strands of Souls.

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the main strength of poison over bleed is that poison reduces enemy poison resistance per stack. it works the same as poison resistance shred, 2% per stack against bosses and the player (5% against normal enemies), but as far as i can tell, it doesn’t have a cap (unlike resistance shred which has a cap of 20 stacks). the limiting factor is how many stacks you can apply in the short time before the first stack falls off, so high attack speed and high ailment chance are the key components of the build.

other ailment builds require you to invest in resistance shred to maximize their damage against bosses, but poison does the job for you. (and you can also get poison resistance shred and penetration, which will boost your damage even further).

you can get more than enough damage with any ailment to do all content in the game, but poison has a slight advantage. if you’re interested in the endless arena and competing on the ladder, ailments are probably not the way to go. in that case, you want to go for hard hitting crit builds that kill enemies before they have a chance to attack. ailments are risky because even with very high damage they can leave enemies alive long enough to hurt you.

Not sure poison’s reduced resistance per stack effect has reduced effectiveness against bosses/the player.

the tooltip on the character sheet says it does, but that may just be a copypaste of the shred description.

The best Bladedancer build imo is Sync Strike Cascade and Shift, I actually stopped playing Bladedancer as it was actually too strong and tried mostly every other build - this build should of gotten nerfed a patch or 2 ago

You get 2x Idols with Sync Strike Mana efficiency and rest Shadow Damage and Cascade damage, the 2x idols allows infinite Mana of casting Sync Strike, you have ward per Shadow from the skill and mana regain - basically you just hold Sync Strike and occasionally do Shift.

Get damage per sword/dagger craft on helm, Shadow damage increase on Chest

I cant remember my exact character sheet but its something like 1750hp / 350-500 ward when attacking, 100% crit chance, 650% sheet crit multi, 500-700% damage, 40% unbuffed dodge, overcapped resists - character is basically god doing 400-500k crits per hit on the dummy

I miss the information in which bracket you want to play:

+easy leveling to 100? in a selffound run or similar (stash is empty and no good items)
+or more a echo/arena build, were you speedfarm lategame?

If you are knew to game, i would advice “Cinder strike”, go botton left to oic coasting, and pick +25% fire damage, +50 dogde per stack, and fire resi node.
Now make sure that you run 100-200% more attack speed, and you will run between 15-20 oil coating stacks.
You have you with your attack skill dogde cap, and get 250-300% fire damage.
Defence and offensive in one skill, so you are not depending on gear when you level up, and with “fire damage” only, you can stick to be focused on your gear.

Lategame ECHO/arena, farm items at level 100, than switch to the build you like.

Apparently, it does. I put Aura of Decay on my Acolyte & my poison resist went down in 2% steps.

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This was a very nice writeup/desc of how and why to use these skills. I’ve been working on something myself and reading this has helped me to understand how some of the stuff interacts. 'preciate this a lot.

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