Learn about the Skills, Gameplay and Passives for the Dancing Strikes Bladedancer Build.
This skill keeps you in movement while performing a series of Melee attacks. The attacks themselves apply Shadow Daggers stacks and also build up buffs on you through Rhythm. Mastering this skill is the key to playing this build.
Umbral Blades applies up to 3 stacks of the Shadow Dagger ailment every second and persists for more than 5 seconds, making it a consistent applicator of Shadow Daggers. We can cast it through Shift by using Umbral Remnant along with Lasting Presence and Dancing Shadows.
Shift is your main Movement Skill while also casting both Shadow Cascade and Umbral Blades and providing an execute from Consumed by Shadow. It also provides us with Invulnerability and Dodge for a short duration, allowing it to fulfill movement, offensive and defensive roles.
Don't equip Shadow Cascade on your Skill Bar, instead equip unspecced Decoy and use it as a panic button to Taunt enemies. Shadow Cascade automatically procs every time you use Shift and provides a substantial number of Shadow Daggers stacks.
Smoke Bomb is typically a defensive utility skill, and while it still provides some benefits here it's the offense we want. Knives in the Dark constantly applies Shadow Daggers while Eroding Fumes shreds armor. Finally, Smoke Blades gives us a stacking damage buff while standing in the smoke.
Passives provide powerful effects that dictate the playstyle of a Class and its Masteries. Remember that you can allocate Passives on the first half of all Masteries regardless of the one you chose.
- Since we're almost always moving Evasion is a huge damage reduction buff.
- With the right gear and the Haste buff from Agility we can spend a lot of time well over 100% Movement Speed, making the damage buff from this node strong even without a full investment.
- Blood Dance and Melee Damage Leeched as Health from gloves are our primary sources of sustain so get this passive as soon as possible.
- Crit Multi is hard to come by so All In is a huge damage buff. Shadow Daggers always crits so there's no downside here.
- Swift Assassin and Once provide extra benefit since Shadow Daggers has both Melee and Throwing tags.
- While Pursuit is a decent damage buff, the main benefit it provides is Movement Speed.
- Thanks to Focus Fire and Wound Maker we don't need to worry about taking Dodge or Critical Strike Avoidance modifiers in the Monolith of Fate.
- Perfection stacks provide large buffs to damage as well as Armor and Dodge from Confidence. We also take one point in Exuberance to double our stack generation.
- If you play hardcore, investing in Death's Door is always an option for additional DR. Note that unlike stamina the DR from this node only kicks in once you're already at low health. This means it won't protect from potential one shots when you're above the low health threshold.
Make sure to complete the Campaign to get all your Passive Points.
To maximize both our damage and defenses we want to keep moving as much as possible. We also need to be hitting enemies with Dancing Strikes as much as possible to maintain Rhythm.
- Stay on the move and use Shift on cooldown
- Use Dancing Strikes against tanky enemies and packs. Weave in Shift but try to stay in Melee range by going through the enemies. This will also maximize Shadow Daggers stacks.
- In extended fights cast Smoke Bomb. Use it in between Dancing Strikes attacks. Do not use it directly before or after Shift or you will lose Rhythm
- If the enemies become overwhelming, use Decoy to taunt them and buy some time.
- Run to the objective using Shift on cooldown. Most of the enemies nearby will be killed from Shadow Cascade and Umbral Blades. Shifting near enemies will make it easier for Umbral Blades to find its target.
- Use [Dancing Strikes on Rare enemies along the way.
- Upon reaching the objective:
- If it's a single enemy cast Smoke Bomb then continuously cycle between Dancing Strikes and Shift until they are dead.
- If it's a group follow a similar strategy by using Smoke Bomb on cooldown near large groups or tanky enemies, then target enemies with your Dancing Strikes/Shift rotation. If you start to feel overwhelmed at any point use Decoy.
- Use Smoke Bomb on cooldown as long as it's safe to do so.
- Shift through the boss and then move into your Dancing Strikes/Shift rotation.
- Use Decoy in emergencies when you need a breather or to keep adds off of you.
Advanced Skill Tips
- Shadowslip from Shift gives us invulnerability while Shifting. This can be used to strategically avoid telegraphed attacks
- Multiple Umbral Blades cannot hit the same target, so when fighting large groups of enemies try to spread them around to maximize damage.
- Incapacitate from Shadow Cascade is our primary source of Frailty. Make sure powerful enemies maintain max stacks by using Synchronized Strike and Shift near them. One rotation will be enough to apply three stacks.
- Don't underestimate the power of Smoke Bomb. Along with applying Shadow Daggers it is also a major source of Armor Shred through Eroding Fumes and Swirling Fog and gives us a huge damage buff through Smoke Blades. On top of that, we get an immediate stack of Silver Shroud from Moonlight Bomb which guarantees we Dodge the next attack. The dodge can be used strategically to avoid telegraphed attacks and push DPS instead of disengaging.
- When using Dancing Strikes do not hold down the movement button. Holding it down while also holding down the Dancing Strikes button causes temporary breaks in movement that make you take more damage. This takes some practice but the benefit is worth it.
- For a more defensive setup you can switch out Shadow Cascade for Shurikens. Take the nodes Bladed Armor and Ethereal Blades in Shurikens along with Windmill Ballet in Dancing Strikes to get a huge Armor boost. This decreases your Shadow Daggers, Crit Vulnerability and Dodge Rating Debuff procs. You also need to find another source of Frailty since we were getting it from Shadow Cascade.
- You can also get more defense by moving points in Shift from Hidden Blades and Broad Sweep into Elusive. This is a big Dodge bonus but at the cost of more consistent Shadow Daggers procs.
Learn more about how to maximize your gameplay in the Build Scaling section of this guide.