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BZ's Blademaster Guide

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BZ's Blademaster Guide

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:47 am

Hi there, so you’ve just entered the world of PW and you’re deciding which class you want to play. There are six solid classes available and two others (Tideborn) that are just starting to find their footing as the Devs attempt to create more material more them. One class that might catch your eye is the valiant Blademaster, jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Inside this guide, you’ll find my personal opinion on Blademaster skills, techniques, etc, as well as personal experiences I’ve had playing a BM. Portions of this guide is inspired from Lyndura’s BM guide, as well as many other threads on the BM forums from the official site.

Why choose the Blademaster?

Blademasters (BM for short) are one the most versatile, if not the most versatile class in the game. In the world of BMs, weapon choice rules and the kind of weapon you equip determines what kind of skills are available to you. Granted, there are common skills available that are usable with any weapon equipped, but you’ll find that the most useful ones are connected to a specific weapon class. However, this can be remedied with the quick press of a button using hotkeys so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Again, versatility comes in to play, but you’ll have to learn when to use a specific weapon to maximize your BM potential.
Earlier, I mentioned that BMs are a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. You’ll find this is especially true when you’re doing instance runs or when you’re squadded with a few other people for whatever purpose. You’ll never be the best tank (barbs have skills that keep aggro and suppress the boss), or the best DD (wizards and archers totally outclass BMs in damage production, though it is arguable for high level fist/claw users, but more on that later). Instead, the purpose of the BM is to be the secondary tank, head of mob control, and basically manage the squad’s security. I’d also go as far as to say that BMs are possibly the most fun class to play due to the wide variety of things you’re asked to do, while having the full capability and tools at your disposal to perform them. Unfortunately, all this comes at the expense of playing one of the most controversial classes in the game, as it is never straightforward to determine how good a BM can be. For example, people will always doubt your tanking ability and will undoubtedly seek out a barb despite your best attempts to claim that you can tank just fine. Other times, squads will attempt to find an axe BM, and if they see that you’re not big on using axes, they will outright denounce your existence as a BM.
Having said that, BMs have a variety of ways to incapacitate their opponents (stuns, slows, seal), the best amp in the game (Heaven’s Flame works wonders), and are the best solo grinder due to the amount of AoE moves at their disposal.


Weapons

One thing you’re be confronted with right away when choosing to play a BM is the question of which weapon path to go for. Allow me to clarify right now that the one you choose initially is not the be-all, end-all choice for your BM. Contrary to what many people on the official forums would have you believe, it is definitely possibly to multi-path during higher levels, even as soon as level 60. As in, you will have enough coin/spirit to pump skill points into other weapon paths, in addition to your main one. In addition, please don’t confine yourself to one just one weapon tree. You will find that every weapon path has its uses, and can come in handy at just the right time. Having said that, I’ll outline the highlights of weapon paths for you.

In order of the skill tree, from left to right:

Swords, Blades, Dual Swords, Dual Blades
The key phrase here is single-target damage. You’ll find that three out of the four skills target only one enemy, but is very specific about its uses. Mage bane decreases channeling time for whomever its cast on, but the time duration is a joke. Keep in mind however, that it never misses, so it has its uses for high evasion junkies. Spirit chaser adds another ranged attack to your repertoire, and Atmos Strike is the highest damage dealing skill that doesn’t require a spark, up to sage/demon level. At that point, it’s a toss up between sage/demon Atmos and sage Farstrike. This tree is also home of Myriad Sword Stance, the hardest hitting BM skill (there’s some question as to how hard Flash can hit, so we’ll leave that out for now…either way Flash is a sword-only skill anyway) and can save the squad’s life in times of need.

Spears, Polearms, Pikes
Linear AoEs are the name of the game, and spear users have a unique skillset. Piercing winds adds a DoT skill to your game (damage over time, also called Bleed damage in this case) and it can be stacked with draw blood, making life pretty annoying for annoying arcane classes, as well as allowing you to deal damage over time to keep aggro when tanking (just an example, but there are better uses for a spark when tanking). Farstrike is the best ranged skill a BM has access to that doesn’t require sparks and becomes outright deadly at the sage level. Use its range to your advantage and it can be a very effective opener for grinding. Finally, Glacial Spike adds a physical/magical defense reduction debuff to whatever you’re fighting, allowing you and your squad to deal extra damage to your opponent(s). Keep in mind though, that this debuff doesn’t allow you to deal as much damage as HF’s amp (Heaven’s Flame), but it does indeed last longer.

Dual Axes, Dual Hammers, Polehammers, Poleaxes
Mass AoE. A little redundant, I know, but this is where the axe/hammer tree truly shines. I would go as far as to say that you can’t fully maximize your potential as a BM unless you have axes worked into your regular arsenal. Drake bash can be very damaging, where it shines is the stun it incurs. This lasts 6 seconds at level 10, and can go up to 7.5 seconds at the demon level, keeping anything or anyone incapacitated for a while. Highland cleave is your bread and butter AoE skill in the sense that its no frills, just pure damage, and it does a good job at that. Fissure is your secondary AoE skill and while it doesn’t do as much raw damage as Highland, it invokes a slow effect on whatever it hits, making your enemies move like molasses for a few seconds. Finally, the ultimate skill in this branch is Heaven’s Flame, which is the best amp in the game, effectively allowing you to double your damage for 6 seconds while maxed. Gratuitous use of this skill will make instances and bosses go down much, much quicker.

Fists, Claws
Home of the DPS (damage per second). Fists and claws are special in the sense that they don’t rely on skills for damage dealing. Quite the contrary, using skills proves to be quite the opportunity cost and takes valuable away time from actually hitting things. However, they still have their uses. Vacuous palm is another way to slow down your opponent for a few seconds but there are other options available to you. Shadowless Kick is great because it cancels the channeling of a skill and is very useful when fighting bosses that AoE. When alternating cancels with the barb, the two of you can basically make any AoE boss moves null, making the cleric fall in love with you. Cyclone Heel is an AoE move but where it earns its wings is the speed increase it gives to your normal attacks and the faster you attack, the deadlier you become. Sadly, Drake’s Breath Bash is pretty mediocre and affects enemies linearly, so keep that in mind. For this tree, I cannot stress how important it is to have equipment that have –interval stats on them. You’ll thank me when you’re doing 3 to 4 attacks per second and pulling out 30k DPS.


Stats requirement every two levels to wear different weapon paths.

Weapon path.
STR (Strength) DEX (Dexterity)
Axe/Hammer 6 1
Polearm 5 2
Sword/Blade 4 (5) 3
Fist/Claw 3 (5) 4


Lifted from Lyndura’s BM guide, this is the minimum requirement for stat point allocation for using a weapon at your level. One thing to note is that this is the minimum for every two levels. For example, when you level up twice, you will have 10 stat points to use. If you wanted to go the axe/hammer route, you would need to allocate 6 of those points in STR and 1 of those points in DEX.

A quick note about armor: you’ll definitely want to go for Heavy Armor to up your survivability and adequately tank things. For this to happen, you’ll need a minimum of 5 STR every two levels, with the DEX cost being covered by any of the weapon paths. This is why the two 5’s next to sword/blade and fist/claw are in parantheses, as I would highly recommend to have at least 5 STR every two levels for any build.

The extra stat points you have left over are up to you. Remember to account for multi-pathing requirements and to have enough STR or DEX to use whatever weapon you see fit. If, however, you still have points left over, then I would suggest to either make up for a weakness or add on to a strength of a weapon path. For instance, extra points in DEX for an axe build to account for the decreased accuracy, or extra points in STR for a fist/claw build to add more on to your DPS. Play with the points and experiment with what you like…stat reset items are available for purchase so you can always reset and try out new builds, provided you have the money for it.

Skills
A quick note: I will be assigning stars (*) to skills based on the priority with which you should get them, as well as their overall usefulness. Skills that I will not be assigning points to are the weapon path masteries, which are completely dependent on which path you choose initially. Your main weapon mastery path, however, should always be maxed.

Level 1 - Tiger Maw. **
This is your very first skill. It deals base physical damage plus an addon number that increases with the level of the skill. At initial levels, its good for piling on damage, but as you get higher, you probably won’t have use for it at all. That is, until the sage/demon level, where it can be worked into your stun lock rotation. More on that later.

o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will reduce channel and cast times by 0.1 seconds.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will give a 25% chance to regain Chi on a sucessful hit.
Level 3 - Draw Blood. ***
This skill inflicts base physical damage and causes the status "Bleed", which will deal a certain amount of physical damage over 15 seconds.
As a low level skill, its not too expensive to invest in it, and you’ll find that it helps drop mobs quicker up ‘til about level 40, at which point you’ll find fewer chances where the skill will be genuinely helpful. Keep in mind that the Bleed damage does indeed stack with the Pole tree’s Piercing winds skill. At the sage/demon level, you’ll rediscover utility from this skill because of the increased damage, as well as its quickness. Its very quick to cast and it works nicely in a stunlock rotation. I also find myself using it during tanking/pulling sequences to maintain a small bit of aggro
o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will reduce the bleeding duration to 12 seconds.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will increase bleeding damage by 15%.

Level 6 - Drake's Ray.
This is your very first ranged skill, it deals base physical damage plus an addon number, which increases with the level of the skill, as well as the range that starts at 7.3 meters at level 1 and ends up on 10 meters at level 10.
o This skill is a must to get since it's your first ranged skill, and depending on the weapon path you chose, it might be your only one.

o At PvE and PvP it works in the same way, you use it to attack an opponent that is running from you/coming to you and is outside of the range of your other skills. It can be used in combo with the level 79 skill "Smack" which is ranged too, and with the skill "Farstrike" (Polearm-only skill) and/or Spirit Chaser (Sword/Blade-only skill), both level 39 skills. You might also find it useful at PvE to pull mobs from a certain place.

o Even when it's a must skill, you shouldn't hurry to max it, just level it when you have spare skill points for it.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will increase the range to 12 meters.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will reduce the cooldown to 5 seconds.

Level 9 - Stream Strike.

o Your only aggro skill. For 30 Chi, it will deal base physical damage plus an addon number that increases with the level of the skill, and it will increase your threat level.

o Just get level 1 of this skill, you won't use it and it's not really necessary, unless you want to tank, but you should leave that to Barbarians.

o Level 1 and level 10 won't change the threat increasement, so level 1 is pretty good for when you want to keep aggro from a boss. You can keep spamming it with the 3 seconds cooldown. I suggest to leave it at 1, since you won't really ever use this skill, plus it is not good to rely on it to keep aggro.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will give a 25% to recover 800 HP on a sucessful hit.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will reduce the Chi cost to 20.

Level 9 - Cloud Sprint.

o This skill increases you movement speed from 45% to 90% for 15 seconds (depending on the level of the skill). When you first get it, level it to 1. Then just level it from time to time when you have spare Skill Points.

o You use it at PvP and PvE for the same: Running, either, chasing your opponent or running from them.

o Max this skill at level 59, since it's requirement for an important skill: Will of the Bodhisatva.

Level 13 - Aura of the Golden Bell.

o Your physical defense buff. A must for every Blademaster. It increases your physical defense by xx% for 30 minutes, best part, it's a party buff, so you can share it with other people.

o Always max this skill.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will increase the physical defense by 75% of the equipment value and give an additional 75% physical defense of the equipment value for the next 15 seconds.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will increase the physical defense by 90% of the equipment value.

Level 16 - Alter Marrow Magical.

o Tricky skill. It reduces your physical defense by xxx% and increases your magical defense by xxx% for 30 seconds.

o This skill is helpful for fighting pure magical mobs. I suggest to get level 3 of it at the beggining, because at this level you will away 50% physical defense to gain 50% more magical defense. When you get to a higher level (level 70+) you can get it to level 5 or 6, since at this point your physical defense will be high enough to get a good trade of defenses.

o It is used in PvE, PvP and TW for the same thing: Increasing your defenses against magical attacks and have a better survability.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will increase the magical resistance by 150% while reducing the physical defense by 90%.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will increase the magical resistance by 180% while reducing the physical defense by 120%.

Level 19 - Aeolian Blade.

o This will be your strongest skill for a long time, and not only that, this skill has xx% chance to stun the enemy for 3 seconds, and that's one thing Blademasters are good for: Stunning.

o At early PvP/PvE it is used mainly as a damaging skill, hoping that the Stun effect activates on the opponent. Since the duration of the Stun effect is only 3 seconds, this skill is mostly used to interrupt any combo/skill that your opponent is using.

o Max this skill.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will reduce the cooldown to 5 seconds.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will increase the damage bonus to 180%.

Level 23 - Roar of the Pride.

o Another must skill for every Blademaster. This is your AoE stun skill, it will effect all the enemies in a range of 10 meters for x seconds, being 6 seconds at level 10.
o Key skill for "stun locking" your enemy, a value skill for Territory War since one of your main roles is to Stun groups of enemies to stop them from damaging your guildmates and letting damage dealers to kill them.

o Remember that it requires 35 Chi to be casted, and a long cooldown (which decreases with a higher level of the skill), so you will need to time it wisely. Max this skill.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will reduce the cooldown by 1 second, and the skill always succeeds.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will reduce the Chi cost by 10.

Level 23 - Alter Marrow Physical.

o As same as the Magical version, this skill will reduce xxx% of your magical defense to increase your physical defense by the same %. Since the Blademaster is a meele class, and since it is required to have the most defense when "AoE training", this skill is for sure a great help when it is maxed; however, don't rush to max it as soon as possible, do it whenever you have spare spirit to use, and you don't have other important skills to level up.

o Try to get it to level 5 first, then slowly keep leveling it up. It should be maxed by level 7x.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will increase the physical defense by 150% while lowering the magical defense by 90%.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will increase the physical defense by 180% while lowering the magical defense by 120%.

Level 26 - Ocean's Edge.

o It will damage your opponent and reduce it's movement speed by xx%. It has a good damage and the effect is nice when used in duels or ground PvP. Level it up once you have finished maxing all your important skills.

o An important note: The slowing effect do not applies in the air.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will add a 800 damage bonus.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will give a 20% chance to freeze the opponent for 3 seconds.

Level 29 - Tiger Leap.

o Instantly leaps you xx meters forward. Used to catch up opponents that are running from you, or to get out of the range of an opponent. It is very useful in high level PvP, reason why it should be maxed once all your important skills are done. Level 1 will be enough until around level 80.

o Also, there're some mobs (usually past level 50) that use a magical attack as their first attack and then they will use physical attacks if you are in their meele range. Magic hurts to a Blademaster, so you can use this skill outside the range of the mob to skip the magical attack and land directly into it's meele range area, this way you are countering the first attack.

o It requires 25 Chi to be used, to don't abuse it.

Level 29 - Leap Back.

o It has the same effects and uses as Tiger Leap, the only difference is that this skill will leap you backwards. It requires 15 Chi, so use it wisely.

Level 29 - Diamond Sutra.

o This is your healing skill. For the cost of 1 Spark, you will be able to recover 20% of your maximum HP instantly; additionally, it will recover certain number of HP (goes up with the level of the skill) over 15 seconds.

o It is very useful to save money from constantly using potions, so it is a good idea to keep it leveled up. Try to get it to level 5, and from there level it up slowly once your main skills are finished.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will give a 10% critical hit chance increasement for the duration of the skill.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will give a 20% to recover 50% of the maximum HP.

Level 34 - Fan of Flames.

o This skill will damage all the opponents in front of you in a fan-like spray. Like 180° in front of you. It is an important skill because it is used to keep a constant "AoE'ing", specially for Axe/Hammer or Polearm users. Level it up slowly if you use Axe/Hammer as your main path, level it up more if you are Polearm, and for Fist/Claw and Sword/Blade users level 1 should be enough, at least until all the other main skills are maxed.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will double the range of the spray damage.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will reduce cooldown to 6 seconds.

Level 44 - Drake Sweep

o Damages all the enemies around you in a 8m radius. Another important skill for the "AoE'ing", if you're Axe/Hammer this is an important skill to level up; however, main skills of this weapon path should be put into priority. Polearm users should max this skill, since it will be their main damaging skill when it comes to "AoE'ing". Fist/Claw and Sword/Blade users should get level 1 of this skill, but just level it up once all the other skills are already maxed.


o Demon: The Demon version of this skill will have a 20% chance to gain 30 Chi on each sucessful hit.
o Sage: The Sage version of this skill will add a 500 damage bonus.

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