Spellblade is a Mage mastery that focuses on a melee playstyle. However, this build chooses to use that melee playstyle to trigger a flurry of lightning spells, using those as primary source of damage. That being said, the melee attack we choose to trigger our spells, Mana Strike, still deals a decent amount of damage on its own.
Link to Dammitt’s build planner. Note that this is just a snapshot of my character, it’s not perfect, and every item/mod isn’t necessarily required. (Read the guide if you have a doubt on an item or mod, or ask in the thread if you can’t find your answer in there )
As I said in the introduction, we use a melee attack, Mana Strike, to trigger a lot of spells. This means that we fight in melee, and focus on attack speed rather than cast speed, but we still focus on spell damage, with stats like adaptive spell damage being very valuable. Also, the fact that we trigger lots of spells mean we land a lot of hits, which makes it very easy to inflict many stacks of ailments, like Shock.
As for the triggered spells themselves, they come from a variety of different sources. Here’s a diagram that sums it up, that I spent waaay too long making:
(As a reminder, “Passive trees” are the trees of your class and mastery, and “Skill trees” are the trees of your skills, like Mana Strike.)
Though I think it’s important to know what is happening behind the scenes, you don’t need to know this when playing. Every arrow is an automated trigger, and all of this functions by itself just by using Mana Strike and Surge.
There are no required unique items for this build. I do like using Oceareon for the shock effect (which is a very strong stat for us, since is increases the lightning damage shred on the enemy and makes it even easier to stun) and the chance to chill, which is always a nice defensive layer, especially considering how many hits we land per second, but it’s by no means necessary.
For what affixes to use, please refer to the build planner above. If you don’t have a given affix, or any shard for it, that’s fine! No affix is build-defining, though some (notably the “+X to level of […]”) are very strong and should be looked out for when looting.
One stat that is not to be underestimated is chance to stun on weapons. Since we inflict lots of stacks of shock, which make it easier for us to stun the enemies, an extra chance to shock goes a long way, and can allow us to reliably stun rare enemies, even in most level 100 areas.
Quick note: I specialise Lightning Blast, but do not bind it to my skill bar, since it’s always triggered; in its place, I use an un-specialised Enchant Weapon for more Mana Strike damage.
🗲 Mana Strike
The far left branch of the skill tree is the Lightning spell (“Lightning” is the name of the skill) which is triggered every time you hit an enemy. It does cost mana every times it triggers, though, so we grab the “Explosive Flurry” node to reduce its mana cost. Mana Strike itself does grant mana on hit, though, so it’s sustainable.
In fact, we invest a lot into mana gained, to the bottom right of the tree with the “Critical Mana” and “Mana Drain” nodes, and convert 75% of the mana gained by Mana Strike to Ward, through the “Transfusion” and “Mind Warden” nodes (top left of the tree).
This helps compensate the fact that, since Mana Strike costs no mana and the Spellblade mastery grants you the mana cost of your attacks as ward, we would otherwise generate way less ward than a Spellblade who uses their mana for attacks (like Shatterstrike or Flame Reave).
The “Spark Charges” node allows us to apply a Spark Charge on hit, a spell which triggers 1s later.
Finally, we grab the “Mana Spark” and “Celestial Precision” nodes to give Mana Strike itself a bit more punch.
Surge is the movement skill we will be using. While it has a shorter range than Teleport, it has the advantage of dealing damage. We grab the “Longstrider” node (bottom) to make its range longer. We make it apply a Spark Charge on hit with the “Charged Movement” node (top left) for more damage.
The interesting part is the right part of the tree, Stormbringer and Electropulse, which makes Surge trigger Lightning Blast a total of 4 times during the travel. We specialise Lightning Blast to deal decent damage, chain so it helps us clear, and grant us Lightning Aegis, a buff which increases our damage and decreases the damage we take - all just by using Surge.
Static builds up charges, up to maximum that we increase to 200, while we move, attack, or get hit. The sole purpose of these charges is to trigger Lightning Blasts every second while we are above 80 charges, thanks to the Unlimited Power node (bottom right). We also invest one point into Unstable (far right of the tree) to trigger two Lightning Blasts instead of one (those cannot target the same enemy, though), which helps us clear, but increases the charge cost drastically (by 40%). More points than one, and it becomes too hard to sustain Static charges.
I do enjoy running one “X Static charges gained per second” idol, which helps with the sustain of Static charges while clearing.
🗲 Lightning Blast
Lightning Blast is never cast by us directly - in fact, we won’t have it in our skill bar. It’s only triggered by Static (once every second) and Surge (four times per Surge). We invest in “Arching Power” (top left) to allow it to chain and “Closed Circuit” to allow it to chain to us, granting us a damage and crit buff.
The “Lightning Attunement” nodes (bottom) grants us Lightning Aegis 10% of the time on Lightning Blast use, which ends up giving us the buff almost permanently.
Then, the “Frontloaded” node increases the damage considerably, and the “Cloud Answer” nodes behind it applies Spark Charges for even more damage.
🗲 Flame Ward
This is a defensive spell, but that doesn’t mean it’s only a ward generator. We do invest into some ward nodes, to the bottom right of the tree, culminating in “Dual Aegis” for an extra Flame Ward charge, but we also invest in damage nodes, to the left, “Retribution” and “Telepyrosis”, as well as “Lightning Ward” to convert the damage to Lightning. What these nodes do is violently retaliating against any enemy that hits us, directly where the enemy is. If you are being shot by a pack of archers, pop Flame Ward, let them hit you, and they’ll get blasted to oblivion. If a huge pack of monsters is in front of you and you’re scared that you’ll get one shot, Flame Ward will take care of whoever attacks you in the pack before you’re even attacking. This spell’s damage is deceptively high, and its counter-offensive value is, in my opinion, underestimated.
Level 100 Elder Gaspar fight, with several hard modifiers
I don’t have any other videos so far! Maybe I’ll record more if people get interested in the build.
How far can it go?
Let me start by saying that I never run the Arena, so I don’t know how far it can go there. It’s just not my cup of tea, no matter the build.
That being said, I have been running Empowered Timelines (lvl 100) without much difficulty. It does help to avoid mods that add too much damage, since we are, at the end of the day, a melee character; but I haven’t been dying much, and everything melts quickly.
Overall opinion about the build
This is one of the strongest Spellblades I’ve built. It has very high damage, a unique playstyle, and (though this is completely subjective) feels very fun to play. The only drawbacks I can think of are its short range (though most Spellblade builds are short range anyway), and its ward generation which can be a bit lower than other Spellblades, though the high stun chance and the ranged Flame Ward retaliations help a lot with both of those.
Thanks for reading! If you have questions that are not answered in the guide, feel free to ask me and I’ll answer. Special thanks to @Crylios who helped me with a bunch of stuff in the build <3 Have a nice day!