Surge Deathblade Raid Build Guide


Introduction

Deathblades have two viable raid builds centered around each of their Class Engravings, Remaining Energy and Surge. This article focuses on the Surge build.

Deathblades have an Identity Gauge called Death Orb Meter that is charged by using any skill. Your meter is split into 3 Death Orbs. You can enter Death Trance as long as 1 Death Orb is filled, immediately reducing the cooldowns of all your skills and gaining access to a new big damage skill Blade Surge. Once used, Death Trance ends.

Normally a Deathblades gameplay is focused around gaining Death Orb Meter as quickly as possible, unleashing Blade Surge and then repeating the same process all over again. But Surge changes things. Surge replaces Blade Surge with Zero, providing a flat damage boost and introduces buff stack gain during Death Trance. The stacks allow the Deathblade to recover Death Orbs once Blade Surge is used.

Because you can regain Death Orbs, your gameplay will focus around multi-hit skills for buff stacking before unleashing Blade Surge for your biggest nuke. With instant Death Orb regeneration, your skills will constantly have low cooldowns, which contributes to the buff stacking loop and you will be able to use Blade Surge relatively quickly again.

Deathblades, no matter the Class Engraving, are heavily reliant on Back Attacks and landing your skills. You want to make full use of your buff from applying Open Weakness and the Back Attack +10% Crit Rate. When Deathblades miss their big Death Orb Meter gain skills, it is extremely punishing. Your skills take longer to recharge, your damage rotation is slowed, and as a result your overall damage uptime is lowered.

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 50 before transitioning to it. Check out the Deathblade Leveling and 1-50 Leveling guides to reach Level 50.
Check out the Remaining Energy Deathblade guide for an alternative playstyle. Check out the Guardian Raids and Abyssal Dungeons guides for an introduction to their content.

Difficulty
Average
Mobility
High
Survivability
Low
Back Attack
Mandatory

Raid Skill Build

  • Wind Cut and Spincutter are your main stack builders for Surge as they are multi-hit skills.
  • Soul Absorber and Void Strike are your two highest Death Orb Meter generators and deal high damage.
  • Blitz Rush is another high damage skill.
  • Earth Cleaver is your Counter skill. It can also be used to generate a couple Surge stacks.
  • Dark Axel is a great repositioning tool, as High Axel allows you to jump over bosses to Back Attack.
  • Maelstrom increases Death Orb Meter gain for a short time and provides an Attack Speed buff for party members.
  • Flash Blink is used over Blade Assault due to its utility. It generates a decent amount of Death Orb Meter with a much faster animation time. Flash Blink also allows you to phase through bosses for repositioning.
Use the Scroll Bar to see the minimum Skill Point allocation

Alternatives

  • If Surge stack generation feels too slow, consider Death Sentence, Moonlight Sonic and Blade Dance. These skills can replace Void Strike and/or Blitz Rush.
  • Dark Charge can be used on Blitz Rush to help with stacks in case you missed a couple of skills. You need to be close to the target for the ticks to connect for the stacks.

Gameplay & Skill Rotation

  • At the beginning of the fight, you want to start off by generating 3 Death Orbs. That begins your entire rotation. Afterwards, you want to ideally focus on accumulating 20 buff stacks during Death Trance before using Blade Surge. Each stack increases Blade Surge damage exponentially.(up to 100/110/120% total)
  • Stacks accumulate on each hit of a skill with a 0.4 second cooldown, so use Wind Cut and Spincutter often.

Starting Rotation:

  1. Spincutter applies Open Weakness
  2. Maelstrom
  3. Soul Absorber
  4. Blitz Rush
  5. Void Strike or Moonlight Sonic
  6. Flash Blink
  7. Generated 3 orbs.

Main Damage Rotation:

  1. Pre-emptively use Wind Cut so it starts building stacks when Death Trance is activated.
  2. Use Death Trance with 3 Death Orbs to refresh skill cooldowns by 50%.
  3. Spincutter applies Open Weakness
  4. Wind Cut
  5. Earth Cleaver
  6. Soul Absorber
  7. Maelstrom
  8. Blitz Rush
  9. Spincutter
  10. Void Strike or Moonlight Sonic
  11. Use Blade Surge at 20 Surge stacks to regain 3 Death Orbs. This is your hardest hitting skill, so make sure you Back Attack.
  12. You should be at 3 Death Orbs again to repeat the Main Damage Rotation.

Blade Surge is your main source of damage output, so make sure you Back Attack with it for +10% Crit Rate, Open Weakness and Master of Ambush. If you have to unleash Blade Surge early due to boss mechanics or situations difficulties , 17 stacks is the "save point" as it refunds 2orbs to be easier to generate back the 1 orb with just Void Strike or Moonlight Sonic when you have high Specialization. But Ideally you don't want to always unleash your Blade Surge at 17stacks since it is massive damage loss to the skill.


Stats Priority

Surge Deathblades prioritize high Specialization and Crit. The damage from Blade Surge scales with Specialization. It also increases the Cooldown Reduction effect from Death Trance and increases Death Orb Meter generation from skills.


Engravings

Class Engravings provide powerful benefits that can significantly change playstyle. Battle Engravings are generally used to increase damage. Below are the recommended Engravings for this build.

Check out the Engraving Guide for more details.

Starter Engravings

  • Surge is the core of this build, maxing this out greatly increases the damage of your Blade Surge at 20stacks.
  • Master of Ambush synergizes with Deathblades as they should already be Back Attacking with the Open Weakness debuff from Spincutter.

Add-On Endgame Engravings

  • Adrenaline provides an easy source of Crit Rate for Deathblades, since their skills are spammed with low cooldowns to upkeep the buff.
  • Sight Focus can be used to increase Blade Surge damage.
  • Super Charge works well with Blitz Rush, Void Strike and Soul Absorber charging skills.
  • Keen Blunt Weapon* is a decent choice, not the most optimal. It can be used if you are missing the above Engravings.

Advanced Engravings

Note: The Advanced Engravings are the Best in Slot setup for Tier 3 content. The penalties attached to these can be hard to overcome for new players. Only use the following engravings if you are experienced with the boss fights!

  • Cursed Doll* is an easy Attack Power increase at the cost of 25% healing penalty. The healing penalty can be punishing for inexperienced players not familiar with boss mechanics.
  • Grudge* increases damage done while also increasing damage received. The engraving is a highly effective damage increase without needing specific positioning, making it worthwhile even with the penalty.

(*)These Engravings should only be used at Engraving Level 3.

Optimal Setups

Engravings are listed in order of priority from left to right.

Standard

Surge
Grudge
Adrenaline
Master of Ambush
Cursed Doll
Sight Focus

Alternative

Surge
Grudge
Adrenaline
Master of Ambush
Keen Blunt Weapon
Sight Focus

Gear Sets

These are the specific gear sets for each tier.
Check out the Gear Set Guide for more details.

Notes :

  • If speedrunning your alts, you can skip Abyss Dungeon Gear up to 1370 gearscore by just honing Chaos Dungeon Gear.
  • If you're close to 1445 gearscore and were already doing Valtan/Vykas Normal Mode, you can skip crafting the Legendary Legion Raid Gears.
  • If you have already crafted Relic Gears, hold onto them because once you unlock the Gear Set Conversion feature, you will be able to freely swap between Relic Legion Raid Sets.

"Play at your own pace" Route

Tier 1

340 gearscore
Seraphic Oath Set


460 gearscore
Boisterous Elemental Set

Tier 2

840 gearscore
Marvelous Earth Set


960 gearscore
Unyielding Will Set

Early Tier 3

1302-1370 gearscore
Twisted Dimensional Set

Tier 3 Argos Set

1370 -1415 gearscore
Preordained Diligence Set

Tier 3 Legion Raid Set

1415 - 1444 gearscore
Preordained Diligence Gloves & Shoulders
Demon Beast Strength 4 pcs


Started at 1445+ gearscore
Earth's Entropy Set

Legion Raid Optional Path

Poem of Salvation Gloves & Shoulders is preference if you have Demonic Beast's Bone to craft them early and you'll be able to convert them into Earth's Entropy Set pieces after you unlocked Gear Set Conversion.


Runes

Runes enhance Skills with extra bonuses. All Rune drops are account bound and have limited availability, so placement of Runes on the correct Skills is important. Below are the recommended pairings.
Check the Rune Guide for more details.

SkillsRunes
Soul AbsorberWealth
Blitz RushGalewind
Void StrikeWealth
Earth CleaverOverwhelm
Wind CutRage
MaelstromFocus
SpincutterBleed
Rage
Quick Recharge
Purify
Dark AxelProtection
  • Rage is best used with Wind Cut or Spincutter to increase the speed of the Skill Rotation.
  • Galewind is ideal for speeding up your best damage dealing skills.
  • Overwhelm is used with Earth Cleaver to further improve its Stagger.
  • Wealth is used with the Death Orb Meter generation skills.
  • Focus reduces mana cost of skills.
  • Bleed or Quick Recharge can be used with a Spincutter because of its low cooldown, allowing for constant application.
  • Protection absorbs incoming damage while using Dark Axel.

Gear Skill Tree

While Gems add benefits to skills, you can also increase the effects of Skill Tree themselves. Skill Tree levels go up to 5 and each level can increase the damage, cooldown reduction or buff that they provide.

For more information on how to add equipment Skill Tree and how to get them, please visit our Skill Tree System Guide.

Soul AbsorberSwift Fingers
Fist of Darkness
Halve
Wind CutQuick Preparation
Sustain Enhancement
Blitz RushVital Point Strike
Charge Enhancement
Shadow Rush
Dark AxelSwift Fingers
Void StrikeOrb Control
Void Zone
Earth CleaverWeak Point Detection
Earth Explosion
MaelstromOrb Control
Dark Order
SpincutterQuick Preparation

Gems

Gems grant bonus damage and cooldown reduction to specific skills. You can only equip 11 of these Gems at a time so it is recommended that you prioritize the Gems for your most important skills.

Please visit our Gem System Guide for more information like how to create higher tier Gems.

Attack Gems

Soul Absorber
Blitz Rush
Void Strike
Blade Surge

Cooldown Gems

Soul Absorber
Blitz Rush
Void Strike
Maelstrom
Spincutter
Dark Axel
Wind Cut


Card Sets

Cards are an endgame system for maximizing your character. Below are the recommended sets for this class.
Check out the Card Guide for more details on how to obtain them.

Budget Card Set

Optional Card Set

Optimal Damage Card Set


Summary

  • Immediately activate Death Trance as Wind Cut is active to get 2-4 stacks at the beginning.
  • Deathblades, no matter the Class Engraving, are heavily reliant on Back Attacks and landing your skills.
  • Remember to not overlap skills too fast because of the 0.4 sec interval cooldown between stack generation.
  • Blade Surge is your hardest hitting skill, so make sure you Back Attack with it and don't miss!

Credits

Written by Rei
Edited by Yaen
Reviewed by Lexyu


Changelog

Sep 21st 2022
Updated Pros and Cons section.

Jun 11th 2022
Adjusted Gearsets section to include Vykas parts.