1.5 Sword Throw Blademaster - updated Flying Blademaster build

This is the updated version of the old Sword throwing build found here:

Ever since the nerf of the Bloodletter the old build suffered from way to low Boss Damage. The fight against the Cata 1 Boss took ages and you were allways hoping to get a phase or fire procc but it allways procced too few.

With the latest few patches though a couple of new items were introduced that changed the game abit. To be fair the biggest change in this build is not the new items but the fact that when bossing i went back to good old SoJ. But for the rest i use gun and actually shoot it (as opposed to the Vorpal statstick of the old build) and throw swords.

So now the Gameplay for clearing maps is throwing swords and shooting the gun, use whirlwind to get surge proccs and weave in Sword Typhoon for aoe. On bosses we hold down the key for SOJ :wink: - and gulp mana pots.

Skilltree:
The skilltree changed quite a bit:

https://waipahe.co.uk/web_drive/Tree/tree.html?build=Blademaster_210100-300600-340600-80402-90201-120401-260200-270300-280100-170800-180800-190500

I have changed the use of a whirlwind trinket in the old build to skilling whirlwind directly. We therefore waste the points in Sweeping Strike (there is a use for Sweeping Strike though in some bossfight situations when you get surrounded by alot of adds and Sword Typhoon is not enough) but since we use SoJ we dont waste all of the way down to whirlwind. And we can utilize any trinket that gives us skills that we use. Therefore i have added 4 additional skillpoints to the build which i put in the surge tree. Apart from bossing where i use double swords, i use a +1 skill gun and a +1 Helmet. So we get +2 when using Sword and Gun and +1 when using double swords.

As said SoJ is only used for Bosses and even with the minimal amount of 2 (+1 through Helmet) we kill Bosses alot easier than with any other means. I get around 1k peak dps with my Blade of Chaos/Hiki setup which on the one hand is ALOT more than throwing swords at him but of course the build is not focused on this and doesnt come even closely to the 3k peak dps a specialized build can achieve. But this build is more flexible, faster at clearing and imho more fun to play.

Whirlwind is used when clearing as a means to move and procc surges. It takes you into the battle and helps you get out when you are chewing too much. The points in Surge of restoration are your lifesaver. 5 points total (after bonuses) are good to tank most foes. But depending on your gear this can be more or less.
Surge of Wrath and Surge Mastery are fairly skilled but not maxed due to skillpoint restrictions. I stay away from Crusader wrath as surges get lost when using it and we only have whirlwind to get them back.
One point in Templar Restoration is an option but i decided against it because i am happy when i have surges. Due to the high percantage of ranged play i dont allways have surges and i am happy when i have them.

Obviously we max the Sword Throw Tree, Matched Blades and Aura of Zeal.

Expertise are quite important too. The first thing i do when hitting 50 is spend some points in Arcane Resolve to get my Ele defense up - at first 2 points and i later stop most of the time at 3 points. This is because i plan to go Catas soon and there you need some Ele defense. Then i simultaneously go for Affliction (Ele Attack), Tranquility (power reg) and Cruelty (Crit) and if i get past 40 i would max Enhanced Willpower (power points) too.

Achievements are all stat achievements. All Stats can be somehow converted to Strength so in the end this means damage.

Gear:

There are certain affixes that you should look out for on your gear. Stats are allways good as they translate into damage for your swords when you make a final restat. Though this build has a big affinity to restatting often because whenever you change something, some stat will have unused points and those could be in strength to boost damage. 400 Strength should be a value to aim for and can be reached in the very late endgame (i am not even right there atm but its reachable).
Also descreas powercost of Blademaster skills is good as it helps to maintain Soj spam against bosses. At least one armour piece should have shield penetration on it. Powerreg is not too bad either - it is not needed on any piece though. There are some armour slots where there is no unique that is definitly bis. On these Mythics or Double edged with either a high single stat or a heroic with a high AA roll are recommended. If you can get one with the weapon accuracy affix then even better as it decreases the massive spread of the gun we use.

Very important is also the stat requirements of armor pieces. Most of the times gear costs stam and strength. Strength is fine as we end up having more than enough. But every point in stam you need to stat to wear a piece of gear makes the way to 400 strength harder. So take a look at what a certain piece of armor costs and what does it give you in terms of stats. When levelling try to stat as few points as possible in Acc and Will because in the end you might not need those later. If you plan on restatting when you hit 50 you can go bonkers with statting though.

Helmet: Face of the crusader is an obvious choice with crit, critdam, strength and shield pene. We need the +1 aug though.
https://wiki.london2038.com/Face_of_the_Crusader

Shoulder: The newly added Butsutekkais Fervor is my favourite choice at best with additional group attack because the throw skill counts as group attacks. It has crit and more importantly critdam of which we profit alot because the throw skills have a very high critchance. Aura of Zeal gives us 2 valuable skillpoints

https://wiki.london2038.com/Butsutekkai's_Fervor

Belt: The current best choice is still Archangel Cincture as it can have a massive 20% phys damage and no other piece can touch that remotely. Ele damage serves as a multiplier to all our strength and crit related damage. So the 20% have alot of damage value.
The new Troyes Council is also ok with up to 15% electric damage. But dont go without anything less.

https://wiki.london2038.com/Archangel_Cincture
https://wiki.london2038.com/Troyes'_Council

Gloves: For the same reason as the belt Hands of Heaven are bis. You cant get more damage with any other item. It would be nice to aug decrease powercost on them which is a glove only aug.

https://wiki.london2038.com/Hands_of_Heaven

Boots: Archangel Gliders are nice to have i would say - for the Movement speed and stun especially.
Also it adds a free Path of Righteousness to your Arsenal a good “Oh Shit Button”.
Stun is very good when whirlwinding as stunned enemies dont hit you. But they are not bis. If you get good stat heavy mythics/double edged and manage to aug movement speed these coud be good to and yield more damage.

https://wiki.london2038.com/Archangel_Gliders

Legs: This is a free slot. And i use a double edged heroic piece (+17AA) with weapon accuracy inherent here. But any stat heavy piece is good. Sometimes low level ones give you more damage because of way lower stat costs.

Torso: This is also a free slot. I use a very stat heavy legendary seraph Torso in here. The movement speed inherent on those is kinda nice. Edit: Nearly forgot that this is a good place to get a Thornes aug because havin at least one Thornes is pretty nic to have as Thornes also procc surges.

Trinket: Ther are many trinkets possible but if you get a spectral dam/phase attack + 4 usable skillpoints total then i would say that is bis. We can make good use of additional skillpoints and ele dam and attack is allways nice to have. So i opt for a good squadros prism.

Weapons:

Set 1 for general use and clearing:

On this set we use a Bloodletter as sword. It has the best affixes for a Sword to be thrown. It is slow which doesnt matter for the throw skills and has good damage and the new version has 30% Group damage. Also 3 relic slots can be used to push userate. Further enhanced by userate on the sword itself. The more userate you have the more fluid you throw out swords and the more often you can use Sword Typhoon. I would stop pushing userate when you can seamlessly toggle between shooting the gun and throwing the sword- You need quite a bit for that though. I have slotted 2 userate relics with additional ele damage.

https://wiki.london2038.com/Kilij_Reforged

This Gun is kindof the build enabler. Before i used a 7 Slot Vorpal stuffed with userate and strength mods as a stat stick. It never got shot and was just there to boost my stats. Now Kilij has 3 slots less but it already has strength worth of 2 slots as an affix and userate worth of 3. So on that part it is pretty even to the Vorpal. But then it also gives +1 to all skills and movement speed. So from a stat perspective this is outright better. The best thing though is, it makes actually sense to shoot. With 30 rof it is easy to weave in between two sword throws. It does notable damage even in Catas and it also leaves a ticking field which makes it good for proccing sfx. And we use that to procc phase. Therefore all mods with stats AND phase attack are bis. Spectral damage is also needed either via a mod or the trinket. And dont forget to have some ignite either on the trinket or in 1 mod because even though the gun does fire damage it doesnt come with any ignite. At best also provide some fire damge via trinket or mod too because you then get double the procc chance. Modding the gun is quite a puzzle but thats part of the fun.

Set 2 is used for bosses :

At least one sword should be a Blade of Chaos. It is currently the highest damaging sword for SoJ. It needs its phase chance pushed by adding a phase mod. If you dont have a spectral dmg trinket the mod should also have spectral damage. The sword itself has spectral damage as base damage. But by adding additional phase damage you also get an additional chance to procc phase. Also since the sword has spectral damage inherently you can aug phase attack on it. Being a fast sword also helps with SOJ and proccing.

https://wiki.london2038.com/Blade_of_Chaos

The second Sword should be another Blade of Chaos but since it is hard to get you might aswell take a Hiki instead. It got similar damage and proccs ignite but it cant phase and doesnt have a modslot. Easy to come by though.

https://wiki.london2038.com/Hikida's_Lamentation

Set 3 can be up for experimantation and special tasks to procc certain sfx like eg poison. For Brompton runs or lower levels you can eg equip a global Dissector and do big splash/aoe dmg.

So this is it - Sword Thrower MK 2. It is a very alroundy char. You can fight from afar or go in close. You have a means for single dps but can also do considerable aoe dmg. However you are not excelling in these areas as others do but are good enough to handle all stuff on your own. I guess a group would prefer a single dmg oriented Soj build to have as BM but thats not everyones cup of tea.

3 Likes

typo thx. Changed!----------

Thanks for this, excellent work as always. Added to the guide index.

I’m still extremely happy with how good Kilij turned out to be, truly. I did expect it to be useful and rather viable, but not to this beautiful extent.

Adding a few more in depth and general things:

When levelling try to stay away from speccing Willpower or Accuracy. In your optimized build at the end you dont have any (or very few) points in these. You get enough Will from the dual sword skill.
Of course it is fun to try out stuff while levelling but then you must expect to restat and minmax when you hit 50.

Dont overspend on defensive skills. Blademaster imho is an offensive char and kinda feels out of place if he is too tanky and lacking in damage. Of course in group play you can define your role as sort of an off tank but there are better classes which also offer more group synergies.

As a Blademaster your survivability comes alot from killing fast or taking active(!) defensive measures as opposed to just tank it out. And we have several options to survive. We are quick and can have a good stun which helps alot especially with whirlwind. In times of need we use whirlwind and get a good amount of stuns around us while proccing heal surges and are able to get out and reg quickly to get back into the fray.

In the late game death most of the time comes in combination with getting some form of sfx put on us.
Therefore the ele defense perk is so important. As is the offensive ele perc because it also increases the chance to stun (and phase from the gun). Getting a stun aug on your Bloodletter is also a very strong defensive measure and it costs strength as a requirement - so good.
It is also VERY usefull to have enough shield emitters in your inventory or even on the hotbar.

So the use of Whirlwind to get out when the going gets tough, regging quickly, having good stuns, a good base sfx defense through the perk and finally shield emitters are good defensive measures that have little damage downsides. Also the now passive Evasion we get through the reworked thorns skills is nice to have and you dont have to invest heavily.

BM is also one of the classes where you need to have an extra eye on your stats because alot of your damage comes from strength. Every statpoint is valuable and every augment you do, every affix comes at a stat cost. And if the stat needed to equip it is not strength it takes away from your damage potential.
So the chances of “misauging” your gear are higher than on other chars. So for example you finally got a nice Archangel Cincture with 18% physical damage. Dont even think about auging it unless you have a second one and all other gear is auged fully. If you aug a bunch of HP on it, it will make you stat more stamina too to wear it and suddenly you end up spending 10 points into stam which essentially means 10% less damage as you are not investing into strength. This adds up. The best items are the ones where you find a lot of stats and very few other shenanigans. For example i found an Heroic Lvl 20 or something leg piece with +16 AA. and nothing else. On the first glance this doesnt look too good. But it doesnt cost alot of stats to equip as it is low level and therefore it turns out to be one of the highest damage legpieces i found so far.

There are two items that are just plain needed and you shouldnt go for anything else. Just want to stress this again. Archangel CInture and Hands of Heaven (Abyss Arms and Belt). BM has a very high “additive damage” pool. It feeds alot from Strength (like upto 400), from crits and other damage increases on your gear and skills. You can end up having 700% total additive damage. What this means is that added(!) elemental damage which isnt just added on top of those 700% but multiplies it yields so much total damage increase. The potentially 20% added physical damage on the two mentioned armor pieces then read like 140% additive damage increase - 2 times. Dont even think about equipping anything else. It is kindof a shame that these are so bis (for any BM) and with Troyes Council there is finally a contender appearing but it is what it is. But the good thing is these are the only really bis armor items. Other classes have a lot more.

Lastly Blademaster and Endgame Bosses. I have tried so hard to make an exclusive Shword throw build but it plainly sucks on the HP heavy endgame Bosses. If you want to kill these quickly it is SoJ and nothing else. Next best is burning these down and that says alot. I had to realize that SoJ is THE signature BM skill and accepted it. Like Guard uses Taunt in nearly every build Blademaster uses SoJ when he faces a Boss. It would be nice if SoR had the same damage potential as it is essentially a single damage skill too and doesnt differ that much from SoJ only that it has more downsides (less hits, less proccs but still rooted gameplay).

Here I’d like to argue some hp might very well be worth the trade-off, as SoRest scales off max hp too. At least that’s my definite mindset, perhaps a leftover from the Global days, so I’d always go for some combination of hp/armor/shields toward a set minimum before pumping damage.
But of course, if you’re 1) minmaxing toward damage, 2) can expect to survive through kiting/CC/AoD/evasion/etc, or even 3) know you’ll be with a tank, pumping STR to this degree is certainly the best route to take - especially when the class seems to want to fulfill its bosskiller role better.

Speaking of,

Absolutely. I’ve touched on this here, where my initial thought was to

Have SoR only use the mainhand sword, like Throws do and like how Guardians always used it, then adjust the damage bonus. This would set it on a course to replace SoJ as a damage dealer, leaving SoJ to be the multi-hitter and proccer it will always be the best at. In the meantime, it would also free up the offhand slot for utility while leaving the “Green” line for dual wielders.

This would still leave SoJ as

I feel, as by the numbers SoJ would always be the better pseudo-AoE and Surge/sfx proc skill among the two - and the class’s core mechanic is Surges and their poppers.

(At worst WW could surpass SoJ in that regard too, which I’d also find fine as proper progression where a lv30 skill outdoes its tree’s lv1 skill that served its purpose in carrying the class there. I wouldn’t actively seek this outcome, but I wouldn’t mind it at all design-wise - plus less strain on the power pool.)

But damage is the one role in which SoR can surpass SoJ, and having one class-defining spam skill and one useless one feels very unhealthy in my books.
Could not even be a mainhand-only type of buff like the above, that was just pulling from Thrower skill precedents; any type of damage buff that could make SoR better for single-target damage I’d find very desirable.