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Surge Deathblade Build Guide

Last Updated: May 11th 2024

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Welcome to the Surge Deathblade Build Guide! This build revolves around generating Surge Stacks with multi-hit skills, during Death Trance (Z) state, to release an insane burst with your Surge skill. After casting Surge, your Death Orbs are refunded so you can repeat the stacking cycle instantly.

Surge Deathblade struggles to inflict reliable amounts of Stagger and Destruction, but compensates by bringing incredible amounts of potential damage to the table.

  • Good defense
  • Good mobility
  • Stylish Gameplay
  • Positional gameplay
  • Melee
  • High APM
  • Reliant on Party

Want a different twist on the playstyle around the Surge skill? Check out our Remaining Energy guide.


Chaos Dungeons
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Need some tips for general content? Check out our Guardian Raids and Abyssal Dungeons guides.

  • Surprise Attack quickly generates up to 7 stacks. It's your main Synergy skill.
  • Wind Cut is a lingering skill that generates up to 8 stacks.
  • Spincutter is your main mobility skill, and it also generates up to 6 stacks. It's a secondary Synergy skill to help you with uptime.
  • Blade Dance and Blitz Rush are your main damage skills other than Surge, and also generate up to 9 and 10 stacks respectively.
  • Earth Cleaver is your Counter skill, and does decent damage. It's typically also your only source of Destruction.
  • Turning Slash does decent damage. It generates up to 5 stacks. It can have different utility based on tripod choices.
  • Maelstrom is your buff skill, increasing the Attack Speed and Move Speed of you and your party through Dark Order. It also generates up to 7 stacks over time.
  • Flash Blink is the default awakening. It helps to start the rotation or recover from a bad cycle by generating a few Death Orbs on use.

Alternative Skill, Tripod, and Rune Options

Turning Slash can be swapped for Dark Axel, using Swift Fingers, Tenacity and High Axel.

  • This provides more mobility and allows you to phase through bosses, but reduces your stack generation and utility a bit.

Flash Blink can be swapped for Blade Assault

  • It generates up to 20 stacks, allowing you to do a very quick burst rotation every 5 minutes. You will need to use Stimulants or other sources of meter to start the fight.

Turning Slash

  • You can take the Concussion tripod if you need Stagger, or the Weak Point Enhancement tripod if you need Destruction.

Check the Rune Guide for more details on Runes and how to obtain them.

This build is optimized and meant to be used only in Chaos Dungeons. For Ebony Cube please use a Raid build.

  • Soul Absorber and Blitz Rush are your main Elite killers.
  • Death Sentence, Twin Shadows, Moonlight Sonic and Turning Slash all have decent AoE and damage to kill lesser monsters.
  • Maelstrom buffs your move and attack speed for faster skills, and generate Death Orbs faster to utilize Surge.
  • Spincutter serves as a mobility skill and to break Floor 3 crystals quickly.

Acquiring additional engravings leads to a faster clear potential, but the build can perform quite well with the bare minimum.

Minimum requirements

  • Preemptive Strike causes your attacks to deal immense amounts of damage to monsters that you haven't attacked yet, making it ideal for Chaos Dungeons.

Additional engravings

  • Contender is a stacking Attack Power effect that increases in strength once you kill a monster, making it ideal for Chaos Dungeons.
  • Raid Captain provides damage based on your Bonus Movement Speed, synergizing well with the Buff Nodes scattered throughout Chaos Dungeons.
  • Remaining Energy allows you to utilize instant Surges and spam them very often.

Gameplay & Skill Rotation

This build focuses on dealing massive amounts of burst damage repeatedly by quickly gathering 60 Surge Stacks during the Death Trance state and then using Surge. To do this you cycle between low-cooldown, multi-hit skills that generate lots of stacks.

Activating Death Trance (Z) grants you the following effects:

  • +20% Attack Speed
  • +10% Move Speed
  • +30% Attack Power
  • -50% Cooldown Reduction on activation

All attacks with a Back Attack affix receive +10% Crit Rate and +5% Damage when they land on the target's back-side indicator. It is important to position yourself accordingly as much as possible to take advantage of this.

Deathblade Identity

Death Orbs

Surge engraving provides up to 45/60/85% additional damage to Surge. If cast at max stacks (60), the damage is doubled (170%).

Basic Rotations

Bear in mind that the rotations shown here aren't set in stone. You can and will need to improvise when you fail skills or in other scenarios when you aren't able to reach the proper amount of stacks in time. There's also many alternatives depending on tripod choices for example.

Example #1 - Turning Slash
Example #2 - Dark Axel
Example #3 - Wind Cut pre-cast

Example Rotation #1 - Turning Slash

  • In this rotation you don't need to use Spincutter for stacks, so you can treat it as a mobility/recovery skill.
    • Your only Synergy in this case comes from Surprise Attack so avoid missing it.
  • You can use Surge just as you finish casting Surprise Attack since the stacks will reach 60 before the skill hits.

Example Rotation #2 - Dark Axel

  • If you opted for Dark Axel instead of Turning Slash, you need to use all 3 spins of Spincutter for stacks.
  • Your Spincutter and Surprise Attack apply your Synergy, remember to keep it up at all times.
  • You can use Surge just as you finish casting Surprise Attack since the stacks will reach 60 before the skill hits.

Example Rotation #3 - Wind Cut pre-cast

  • This rotation makes use of the lingering effect of Wind Cut to gain a couple stacks before going into the next cycle. This is achieved by using Wind Cut after Surge, and quickly activating Death Trance (Z) again to gain ~6 stacks and the cooldown reduction it.
  • Your Spincutter and Surprise Attack apply your Synergy, remember to keep it up at all times.
  • You can use Surge just as you finish casting Surprise Attack since the stacks will reach 60 before the skill hits.

Stagger Check

  • Long stagger checks will probably need you to do a full rotation and even use Surge. Remember you can also use a Whirlwind Grenade if you have one equipped!

Tripods and Gems

Tripod Levelling

Increasing the level of Tripods greatly enhances their effectiveness. You may only increase the level of 18 tripods at a time. Some of them cannot be leveled at all, or are left at level 1 - these tripods are omitted from the table, even if they are used. Here are the main tripods you should look out for in order to maximize this build's potential.

Skill1st Tripod2nd Tripod3rd Tripod
Surprise AttackExcellent MobilityTrailing Sword Burst
Wind CutQuick PrepSustain Enhancement
SpincutterQuick Prep
Blade DanceFist of DarknessWeak Point DetectionMutilate
Earth CleaverPushWeak Point DetectionLeap Attack
Turning SlashEnhanced StrikeConcentrated Attack
MaelstromDark Order
Blitz RushEnhanced StrikeDark ChargeDual Blitz

Tripods written in bold text are your highest priority, make sure to level them first!

For more information on where to obtain Tripod Amulets and how to use them, check out our Skill Tree System Guide.


Gems are another significant aspect of your build, as they directly impact the damage and cooldowns of your skills. You can equip up to 11 gems at a time. Here are the ones you should focus on in order to maximize this build's potential, listed according to their priority.

Damage Gems

  • Surge
  • Blitz Rush
  • Blade Dance
  • Earth Cleaver
  • Turning Slash

Cooldown Gems

  • Blitz Rush
  • Wind Cut
  • Blade Dance
  • Surprise Attack
  • Earth Cleaver
  • Spincutter

For more information on where to obtain gems and how to use them, check out our Gem System Guide.

Stat Priority

This build utilizes Specialization and Crit.

  • Specialization is the primary stat. It increases your Surge damage.
  • Crit is a secondary stat.

Standard Setup

  • Specialization + Crit
  • Specialization
  • Specialization
  • Specialization
  • Specialization
  • Specialization + Crit

Gear Set

Entropy Set

This set is optimal thanks to the large amounts of Crit Rate, Crit Damage, and positional damage it provides.

Check out the Gear Progression Guide for step by step instructions and early game gearing.

If you are interested in Sidereal Weapons, click here for more details.


Engravings are a core part of your build. Typically, most engravings will be used at level 3, but some can be used at level 1 or 2 in addition to the others, after reaching item level 1540 and unlocking Ancient Accessories.

Relic Gearing Build (5x3)

  • Surge
  • Grudge
  • Ambush Master
  • Adrenaline
  • Cursed Doll

Ancient Gearing Build (5x3+1)

  • Surge
  • Grudge
  • Ambush Master
  • Adrenaline
  • Cursed Doll
  • Ether Predator Lv 1

Engraving Explanations

Core Engravings

  • Surge is the core engraving of the build. It allows you to gain stacks that boost Surge significantly.
  • Adrenaline provides an additional source of Crit Rate and Attack Power. It is fairly easy to upkeep.
  • 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.
  • Ambush Master provides a massive boost to Back Attack skills, which comprise most of your damage.

Add-on Engravings (Pick 1)

  • Cursed Doll is a significant Attack Power increase at the cost of 25% healing. The healing penalty can be punishing for inexperienced players who are not familiar with boss mechanics, but it becomes easy to overcome with time.
  • Keen Blunt Weapon can be a good alternative if you don't want to use Cursed Doll, but will be slightly less average damage.
  • Mass Increase is an alternative to both options listed above, but the attack speed penalty will result in less casts per minute.
  • Raid Captain can potentially be the best option but you need to fit all your damage skills (including Surge) inside Dark Order duration, which can be difficult. You also need to have external sources of Move Speed like Stronghold Feast and Peyto Wine.

Level 1 and 2 Engravings

  • Ether Predator is the optimal level 1 engraving, but requires you to pick up orbs over the fight to gain stacks and reach its true potential.

Check out the Engraving Guide for more details.


Bracelets provide beneficial effects to yourself or to your party members depending on the rolls they have.

The primary goal is to get the main stats used by this build - Specialization and Crit. After that you should be aiming for Special Rolls to get more damage. Please note that this system is heavily reliant on RNG, and you should not expect to get much more beyond your main stats early on.

Optimal Bonus Rolls

Hammer + Wedge

Alternative Bonus Rolls

Hammer (without Wedge)
Wedge (without Hammer)
Weapon Power

Check out the Bracelet Guide for more details.


The recommended Elixir Set for this build is Master.

Check out the Elixir Guide for more details and general stat recommendations.

Card Sets

Cards are an endgame system that helps maximize your character's damage. Here are the recommended card sets for this build.

  • Deep Dive is used early on as it is fairly easy to obtain.
  • Light of Salvation is the standard endgame option, but it can take a long time to acquire 30-piece Awakening.
  • Kazeros's Legion Commanders is used as an alternative to Light of Salvation, in content where enemies have a weakness to Dark Damage.
  • Three Umar Families combined with A Voice Calls with is used as an alternative to Light of Salvation, in Guardian Raid content exclusively.

Check out the Card Guide for more details on how to obtain cards and interact with them.

Early Game Damage Card Set

End Game Damage Card Set


Written by Sekwah
Reviewed by Starlast

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