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 Blade Skills Build - ver. 1.0 - Phoenix-Hawk

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PostSubject: Blade Skills Build - ver. 1.0 - Phoenix-Hawk   Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:30 am

Blade Skills Build - ver. 1.0 - Phoenix-Hawk



Introduction:
Probably the most heavily changed set of assassin skills in 1.10 were the blade skills. Before they were ignored oddities no one really used, now we can make entire builds around them and work our way through the game using them.



Two-Handed Weapon Penalty:
Blade skills suffer from an unlisted damage penalty of about 50% when using two handed weapons (don't know if the penalty or the fact it is not properly listed is the problem/glitch/bug) and as there are no passive skills that will boost your attack rating against all targets with any weapon other than claws using two handed weapons means even hitting targets in Hell could be difficult. As about half the average of a two handed weapons base damage will be about the same as a good one handed weapon and as claws are pretty much in line with other good one handed weapons you'll want to stick with a good high damage claw and max Claw Mastery which will boost your damage, attack rating and give you decent odds of dealing double damage.



About Blade Skill Builds:
Your main attack skill will be Blade Fury and secondary skill if you want to use it is Blade Sentinel with Death Sentry being your area of effect damage. Both blade skills are really range skills in these builds so Fade for the added protection would be better for the most part, especially since increased attack speed has no real effect on blade skills (attack speed of all of them is fixed, only the cast rate of Blade Sentinel benefits but that has a cast delay so it won't help much) so all Burst of Speed really will do for you is make you run faster which you can get from boots or other sources fairly easily.

These builds are basically like a necromancer using bone spells and Corpse Explosion. At this time so long as you don't use two handed weapons you can work your way around in Hell, you won't fly through but no character really finds Hell easy any more so it's workable. Shadows work well here then Cloak of Shadows and Mind Blast can be used to great effect to keep crowds under control.




Skills: (110 points)

Martial Arts:
none

Shadow Disciplines:
20 Claw Mastery
20 Venom
20 Shadow Master
1 or 5-7 Weapon Block
5-10 Fade
1-10 Cloak of Shadows
1-5 Mind Blast
1 in the rest

Traps:
1 Blade Fury
1-20 Blade Sentinel
10-20 Death Sentry
1 in each of the Death Sentry prerequisites
0 in the rest



Stats: (505 points)
Strength: 90-130 (enough for your gear)
Dexterity: 175-265
Vitality: 150-200
Energy: 0



Dual Claw or Claw Shield:
With so much going into dexterity you should be able to keep your blocking up no problem but all shields will block are physical attacks. At range you'll be avoiding most physical attacks, you'll have two melee targets for critters to target, can use Cloak of Shadows and Mind Blast to great effect to keep attackers away and a fair number of the attacks being sent your way can be magical. So as you can really avoid most attacks quite well with range builds blocking isn't too important. You could then use the second claw for extra skill bonuses which will boost your damage (Claw Mastery and Venom), help you hit more easily (Claw Mastery), increase your blocking and resistance (Weapon Block and Fade) and boost your Shadow Master. So putting about four more points into Weapon Block lets you put three more into all of your other Shadow Disciplines which isn't a bad trade off.



Gear Notes:
For gear you need a good high damage claw (you could use an ethereal Suwayyah/Scissors Suwayyah and socket it with Chaos since Blade Fury and Blade Sentinel do not wear down your durability so this likely would be the best weapon you can get, if you can manage it). The second claw can only give passive bonuses like +skills and resistance so just try to get that one with +3 to Shadow Disciplines and hopefully with some other good skills on it. The rest of your gear should be +skills, resistance and damage reduction with the +skills ones focusing on Shadow Masteries as you don't really need to boost your traps too much and can get items with +3 to one tree but will get just +2 ones for those that boost all your skills. Likely the best properties with these builds are Open Wounds, those that boost your damage (+min/max, +% damage to demons/undead), give you better odds for double damage (Deadly Strike), Prevent Monster Heal and leeching.

Natalya's Odium (Nat's set) would be a good set to work with if you don't have a Chaos claw, just stick an Um run in the claw for Open Wounds. If you can get a Chaos claw then either have Nat's claw as the second claw or just fall back on the regular criteria mentioned earlier for picking new gear options. Look at all the options not just uniques or only high level uniques as there are a number of good rune words, lower level uniques, set items and rares that could be very helpful plus some standard magic items till you find the harder to find stuff can work well too.

For other gear ideas try the Chains of Honour rune word for your armour or one of the better unique suits of armour that give +skills and resistance if you can get them. The Harlequin Crest (unique shako) and some others are pretty good for a helmet. Laying of Hands (gloves from The Disciple set) boost your demon damage a good bit (350%, act bosses are all demons, so are many others) and fire resistance. The rest you can use to fill in other gaps like for leeching, Prevent Monster Heal, extra damage more resistance and other such things.

Do not look for items that increase your attack speed as they will not help you with Blade Fury. Crushing Blow just doesn't help here very much since it only removes some 6.25% of their life which could be even just their remaining life, it can be resisted with physical resistance (which pretty much everything in Hell has) and it sounds like its usefulness goes down when there are more players in the game. Also don't rely on Ignore Target's Defence to hit as it only helps with regular critters and minions and don't bother with the Piercing property as it does not help any of your blade skills.



Playing Tips:


* The idea with these when fighting groups is make a corpse, blow a corpse, make a corpse, blow a corpse. Due to this Death Sentry is a very important skill with these builds as more points in that will spread the damage of each corpse further. Also things that will apply cold damage or freeze your target will help in one way but will leave no corpse if they shatter so is a problem in another.
* Direct attacks like Blade Fury seem to direct your Shadow Master to attack that target so whatever you're attacking should also get attacked by her.
* Try to attack the same target as your merc so you can make a corpse faster. Although if you have the Open Wounds property available throw your blades around more so you can get more targets bleeding uncontrollably.
* Don't try to progress too far beyond your level as the level of both the attacker and defender are used in the to hit calculations so the wider the spread between your level and the average monster level the harder it will be to hit them.
* Good mercs would be the defensive Act II mercs from Normal or Nightmare. The one using Defiance from Normal will be easier to keep alive and helps make your shadow and any other melee characters you're playing with a harder target. The one using Holy Freeze will slow critters down to a crawl once you level him enough but is harder to keep alive and could reduce your corpse number due to the cold damage. If you can manage it an Act II defensive merc from Normal with a Doom rune word polearm would be about as good as it gets since you get the best of both mercs in one (Doom has a level 12 Holy Freeze aura).
* Once your Shadow Master is an available skill start stuffing most of your skill points into her as she'll make act boss fights a lot easier. Get her to around level 10 or a bit higher then you can ease off on her. Having a maxed Shadow Master in Hell will make things much easier for you so try to get her maxed by the time you hit Hell or at least the early part of Hell (you should be level 70 something by then so would have collected around 80 skill points).
* Until you get Blade Fury play as a melee assassin using Blade Sentinel and Wake of Fire to help you attack multiple targets at once. At level 24 when you pick Blade Fury up move back and attack from range.
* If you decide to go dual claw for late game play just keep using a claw and shield till you can get a good +skills claw to replace that shield with.
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