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Blade Assassin Guide

Last Updated: September 26th 2023

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The Blade Assassin has a simple game-plan, throw traps and clear density. The Blade Skill package includes Blade Fury, Blade Sentinel and Blade Shield giving her the nickname "Bladesin."

The Blade Assasin focuses on Single Target damage, but utilizes Death Sentry to deal AOE Fire and Physical Damage. Once you drop the first monster of a pack, the Death Sentry domino effect goes off. Fade, Cloak of Shadows, and Mindblast provide great Crowd Control and makes the Bladesin quite versatile in combat.

While the Blade Traps can be a bit unintuitive, mastering the different aspects of each brings a great deal of Damage and play-style options that Assassin mains can really sink their teeth into!

Ideal Standard Setup
Ideal Standard Setup

Blade Fury

Blade Shield

Blade Sentinel

Death Sentry

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. Check out our Assassin Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.


Very Tanky ✔
Clears Density
Active Playstyle ✔
Passive Damage Sources ✔


❌ Low Magic Find
❌ Gear Dependent
Slow Build Up For Damage

Requires Huge Attack Rating

Sunder Charm Setup

Patch 2.5 introduces a new way of breaking Immunities: Sunder Charms. Any enemy that would be Immune to your damage type is instead reduced to 95% Resistance, before any other Resistance reductions apply. (e.g. Conviction, Lower Resist) The Charm also reduces YOUR Resistance against the sundered damage type! Check out our post on Sunder Charms to learn more about these new Charms. The following setup uses Bone Break, allowing you to farm anywhere you want.

Sunder Charm Setup
Sunder Charm Setup

Gear Changes

To optimize this Sunder Charm utilize Amplify Damage or Decrepify. Great sources of these are Atma's Scarab and The Reaper's Toll on your Mercenary.

Counteract the negative effect of Bone Break with Fade and Harlequin Crest.

Terror Zones

The new Terror Zone mechanic combined with Sunder Charms open up a wide range of farmable areas. The following list highlights the best and worst Terror Zones for this build on the Starter or Budget setup. With the Sunder Charm Setup, more Terror Zones become accessible. Learn more about Terror Zones here and see how they stack up in our Terror Zone Tier List.

Best

Pit - Quick Access, No Immunities, Many Elite Groups
Travincal - Council Members, Quick Access
Nihlathak's Temple + Halls of Vaught ONLY - Quick Access, Pindleskin, Nihlathak
Frigid Highlands - Eldritch, Quick Access
Bloody Foothills - Shenk, Quick Access

Worst

The Secret Cow Level - High Physical Damage, Tanky enemies
Tal Rasha's Tombs - Tanky enemies, Trash Mobility, Immunities
Arcane Sanctuary - Trash Mobility, Immunities
Burial Grounds + Crypt + Mausoleum - Low Density, Trash Mobility, Few Elite Groups
Crystalline Passage + Frozen River - Trash Mobility, Immunities

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. fade
2. Fireblast (6 points in total for Death Sentry synergy)

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Blade Fury
2. Blade Shield
(Only for its synergies unless your weapon is INDESTRUCTIBLE, NOT ETHEREAL OR HAS REPAIRS DURABILITY!)
3. Blade Sentinel
4. clawmastery
(If using a Claw type weapon ONLY)
5. Death Sentry

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

Utility

Attributes

Note: This section provides you with the standard Stat Point allocation. Build Variants can require a different allocation!

Strength

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Strength your gear provides when equipped.

Dexterity

Allocate enough Stat Points into Dexterity to reach max Chance to Block (75%). More Dexterity is needed at higher character levels. In addition to Dexterity and character level, shield bases also affect Chance to Block.

Vitality

Allocate any remaining Stat Points into Vitality after meeting Strength, Dexterity and Energy requirements.

Energy

Don't allocate any Stat Points into Energy. This build gets enough Mana from gear, buffs, Charms, and Mana Potions.

Essentials

Gear Options

Farming Spots

Mercenary

Playstyle

Breakpoints

Hardcore

Build Variants

Starter
Standard
Uber

Setup

The Starter Blade Assassin has to fight an uphill battle for build competency due to how difficult it is to outfit her early on. Luckily you have this guide to hack together an excellent set of super cheap Sets, and easily obtainable Runewords to rely on. Most Attack Modifiers are applied by bladefury so we use the Cleglaw's Set to add a TON of these to our kit. Then we want to prioritize bonuses to our Attack Rating and +xx Skills to bump up the damage and Skill AR from the Blade Skills. So 2 piece Angelics Set, along with Death's Guard and Sander's Riprap do the rest of the heavy lifting. Remember that Bladesin can rely on survivability from fade, shadowmaster and mindblast so you don't have to worry about Resistances and Life as much.

Mercenary

The Act 2 Offensive Mercenary grants us access to two incredibly important Auras. might and meditation from the Insight Partizan Runeword. He also acts as an additional meat shield to protect us to set up our Traps and Fury.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. fade
2. shadowmaster
3. mindblast

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Blade Sentinel
2. Blade Shield
3. Blade Fury
4. deathsentry
5. Fireblast (3 points in total for Death Sentry synergy)

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to equip your gear. Put ~20+ points into Dexterity if you're missing your targets a lot with your current gear. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Setup

The endgame Blade Assassin wants 3 things! Stack as many +xx Skills, Off-Weapon Enhanced Damage and Attack Modifiers as possible. The Blade Skill's Damage is applied before Off-Weapon Enhanced Damage even though the Character Screen calculates it incorrectly. After these 3 important considerations, she needs to stack a good amount of Attack Rating, and prebuffing with Demon Limb is crucial, so we can use a stronger mercenary option. We DON'T use bladeshield on this setup because it will brick our Ethereal weapon.

Use Fade to boost your Resistances and Damage Reduction. Use Bone Break instead of Entrapping Grand Charm of Vita to enable farming of any area.

Mercenary

We use the Act 2 Might Mercenary with The Reaper's Toll Thresher to gain access to a strong xx% Enhanced Damage Aura and decrepify. He often lags behind but against Physical Immunes, high Resistance or Boss monsters, the Curse drastically increases your kill speed.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. fade
2. Fireblast (6 points in total for Death Sentry synergy)

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Blade Fury
2. Blade Shield
(Only for its synergies unless your weapon is INDESTRUCTIBLE, NOT ETHEREAL OR HAS REPAIRS DURABILITY!)
3. Blade Sentinel
4. clawmastery
(If using a Claw type weapon ONLY)
5. Death Sentry

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to equip your gear. Put enough points into Dexterity to reach 75% Block Chance. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Setup

The endgame Uber Blade Assassin wants 3 things! Stack as many +xx Skills, Off-Weapon Enhanced Damage and Attack Modifiers as possible. So we swap to Guillaume's Face, Gore Rider and Death Ettin Axe to stack 100% Chance of Crushing Blow. The Blade Skill's Damage is applied before Off-Weapon Enhanced Damage even though the Character Screen calculates it incorrectly. After these 3 important considerations, she needs to stack a good amount of Attack Rating, and prebuffing with Demon Limb is crucial, so we can use a stronger mercenary option. Enigma is used when traveling through the Mini-Ubers and swapped to Fortitude to max our Resistance against Mephisto.

Mercenary

We use the Act 2 Might Mercenary with The Reaper's Toll Thresher to gain access to a strong xx% Enhanced Damage Aura and decrepify. He often lags behind but against Physical Immunes, high Resistance or Boss monsters, the Curse drastically increases your kill speed.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. venom
2. mindblast
3. shadowwarrior

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Blade Fury
2. Blade Shield
(Only for its synergies unless your weapon is INDESTRUCTIBLE, NOT ETHEREAL OR HAS REPAIRS DURABILITY!)
3. Blade Sentinel
4. fade
5. deathsentry
5. fireblast (Only 3 points)

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Note: Since this Variant can use the same Skill-Tree as the Standard Variant, you don't need to respec. Just swap the gear items mentioned above!

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to equip your gear. Put enough points into Dexterity to reach 75% Block Chance. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Mechanics

Death Sentry

Burst of Speed

Teleport

Summary

  • Use Blade Fury on single targets in combination with Blade Sentinel.
  • Use Blade Sentinel as supplemental damage and as a pseudo AOE.
  • Place 1-2 Death Sentrys after the first monster dies to blow up the surrounding mobs with Corpse Explosion.
  • Keep your Mercenary close by for the Blessed Aim Aura and additional DPS.
  • Utilize Dragon Flight on enemy targets for mobility, similar to Teleport.
  • Keep up Fade, Blade Shield, Shadow Master and Venom at all times.
  • Battle Command + Battle Orders boost your survivability and damage output.
  • Cloak of Shadows, Mindblast, and Shadow Master are great sources of Crowd Control.

While Bladesin may be a very niche build, the new NHD changes drastically increased its overall damage output! The Assassin's suite of Skills makes it a very versatile Character with easy access to powerful Crowd Control.

Good luck! In Bocca al Lupo!

Credits

Updated and Maintained by MacroBioBoi
Originally Written by BTNeandertha1
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi and Teo1904

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