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 Surge Skill. Once used, Death Trance ends.
Normally a Deathblades gameplay is focused around gaining Death Orb Meter as quickly as possible, unleashing Surge Skill and then repeating the same process all over again. But Surge changes things. Surge replaces Surge Skill with Surge Zero, providing a flat damage boost and introduces buff stack gain during Death Trance. The stacks allow the Deathblade to recover Death Orbs once Surge Zero is used.
Because you can regain Death Orbs, your gameplay is focus around multi-hit skills for buff stacking before unleashing Surge Zero for your biggest nuke. With instant Death Orb regeneration, your skills constantly have low cooldowns, which contribute to the buff stacking loop allowing you to use Surge Zero relatively quickly again.
Deathblades, no matter the Class Engraving, are heavily reliant on Back Attacks and landing your hard hitting skills like Soul Absorber, Blitz Rush and Surge Zero. 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 or Surge Stack generators, 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.
Check out the Remaining Energy Deathblade guide for an alternative playstyle.
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.
- Dark Charge and Charge Enhancement Skill Tree node on Blitz Rush can be swapped by preference. Dark Charge grants you an additional two Surge Stacks, while Charge Enhancement slightly elevates the damage output of the skill.
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 Surge Zero. Each stack increases Surge Zero 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.
- Spincutter** > Maelstrom > Flash Blink
- Generated 3 orbs.
If you do not have high enough Specialization stats to fill up your Death Orb Meter with just the skills mentioned above then added these skills in until you're able to just max out your meter:
- Soul Absorber > Blitz Rush
Main Damage Rotation:
- Wind Cut* > Death Trance with 3 Death Orbs > Spincutter** > Wind Cut > Earth Cleaver > Void Strike > Soul Absorber > Spincutter** > Maelstrom > Blitz Rush
- Use Surge Zero at 20 Surge stacks to regain 3 Death Orbs. This is your hardest hitting skill, so make sure you Back Attack.
- You should be at 3 Death Orbs again to repeat the Main Damage Rotation.
(*) Pre-emptively use it so it starts building stacks when Death Trance is activated.
(**) Applies Open Weakness.
Surge Zero 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 Surge Zero 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 when you have high Specialization. Ideally you want to always hit your Surge Zero with 20 stacks, however if you have a free Back Attack it is advised to rather unleash it with 17 stacks then to miss the window.
Surge Deathblades prioritize high Specialization and Crit only from necklace and bracelet. The damage from Surge Zero scales with Specialization. It also increases the Cooldown Reduction effect from Death Trance and increases Death Orb Meter generation from skills.
Bracelets provide beneficial effects to yourself or to your party members depending on the rolls.
Note: Bracelets should not be your top priority to optimize since it'll be much more efficient to optimize your other gear first. Bracelets are costly! So slowly build towards a Main Stat and a Sub Stat. Anything else is extra!
Check out the Bracelet Guide for more details.
Possible Special Effects to Roll:
Combat Stats(Specialization + Crit)
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.
- Surge is the core of this build, maxing this out greatly increases the damage of your Surge Skill 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 Surge Zero damage. Usually only use as an extra luxury 6th level 1 or level 2 engraving.
- Keen Blunt Weapon* is a decent choice at end game if you can get up to 58% Crit Rate as it'll have almost the same effectiveness as Cursed Doll but with higher damage ceiling and floor.
- 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.
Engravings are listed in order of priority from left to right.
These are the specific gear sets for each tier.
Check out the Gear Set Guide for more details.
Early Tier 3
1340 -1414 gearscore
Erupting Waves Set
Piercing Gaze Set
Craft any combination of the legendary gear sets listed above and try to push to 1415 as soon as possible.
Tier 3 Legion Raid Set
The name of your set will change with every higher tier gearset you acquire, but the set effect will remain the same. Look for the keyword of your set when recrafting it so you don't easily get lost.(e.g Entropy, Hallucination etc)
Recommended Sidereal Unity Effects for your Flowing Piercing Wind are Thirain and Balthorr.
Check out the Sidereal Weapon Guide for more details.
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.
- 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.
- Bleed or Purify can be used with a Wind Cut 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.
|Soul Absorber||Swift Fingers|
Fist of Darkness
|Wind Cut||Quick Preparation|
|Blitz Rush||Vital Point Strike|
|Dark Axel||Swift Fingers|
|Void Strike||Orb Control|
Weak Point Detection
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.
(*) It is recommended to get this gem upgraded as soon as possible as it contributes most of the damage in this build while other gems are fine to sit on level 5 or 7 depending on your current financial situation.
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
Budget Card Set 2
This card set does not replace Light of Salvation set or Kazero's Legion Commanders set, but it can be use if you're new to the game and has set to get your Light of Salvation/Kazero's Legion Commanders set +18 or +30 yet.
Optional Card Set
Optimal Damage Card Set
- 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.
- Surge Zero is your hardest hitting skill, so make sure you Back Attack with it and don't miss!
Written by Rei
Edited by Yaen
Reviewed by Starlast