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Thread: "The Blooddancer" - Terk's High-Dexterity Take on Melee [1.2]

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Default "The Blooddancer" - Terk's High-Dexterity Take on Melee [1.2]

    Hello, Rogue forums! Terk here with another simple and effective build for the masses.

    With the arrival of 1.2, I wanted to re-visit the Bladedancer as a primary Melee DPS spec to examine the effectiveness of the changes. I also wanted to test a build that pushes the Rogue's primary damage stat, Dexterity, to its maximum to see what kind of precise statistical improvements could be made. This post will outline some of my findings as well. One thing this build has going is that it will, theoretically, scale fantastically with gear since you have a 30% passive increase to Dexterity.

    As I play Marksman as my primary DPS role and have Riftstalker and Bard roles in my hotbar as well, I wanted my mDPS role to be versatile enough to use in a variety of situations. Bladedancer is a fantastic soul for solo play. While this isn't necessarily a raid-maximized build, it's certainly effective in many situations and a lot of fun to play.

    THE BUILD: 40BD/21SIN/5SAB
    http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree.j...w/x9kllmll4/B8

    Bladedancer Talent Notes:

    This build contains some of the reactive skills that are not commonly found in Bladedancer-based DPS builds. I wanted to get to 40 points to unlock Dualism and give me another damage cooldown to add to my CD rotation. While these skills are not widely useful in dungeons outside of situations where you pull aggro from your tank, they are very useful in doing dailies and fighting melee specs in PVP.

    I skipped the Hit rating talents as I am well over the Hit cap in my current gear. You may take points from other talents to add here if it works well for you. 5 points in the Hit talent is equal to 25 Hit rating on gear, meaning one gear upgrade could effectively nullify the talent points used here.

    Assassin Talent Notes:

    Up to 21 for permanent and improved stealth, one of the things that makes Rogue gameplay so much fun. Added points for Puncture as it is useful as a 2CP-builder and a dot. Serrated Blades is a fantastic addition to any melee build, and this is no exception. Other points spent in commonly used damage enhancing talents.

    Saboteur Talent Notes:

    5 points to increase dexterity. Adds Adhesive Bomb, Fragmentation Bomb, Blast Charge and Detonate to the build.

    GEAR NOTES:

    In a 0/0/0 spec in my best DPS gear, my stats are as follows:

    DEX: 465
    AP: 428
    CRT: 628 - 23.51%
    DOD: 465 - 11.02%

    In the full version of the build, my stats are as follows (including the BD Dexterity buff):

    DEX: 644
    AP: 517
    CRT: 799 - 30.29%
    DOD: 644 - 15.26%

    The dexterity additions added 6.74% to my crit rate, 4.24% to my dodge rate, and 89 to my attack power - a whopping 17% increase from the dexterity talents. The crit rate listed above does not include the 5% crit talent from Assassin, nor does it include the 5% crit increase from Lethal Poison.

    THE ROTATION:

    I tested this spec with a 6:30 parse on the Boss dummy in Sanctum. I did my best to keep up all of my damage buffs (Dauntless Strike, Baneful Touch, using Poison Malice, and rotating cooldowns to the best of my ability). I don't believe I did this perfectly as I am new to the spec.

    One thing that takes a bit to get used to in the Bladedancer rotation is the weaving of Quick Strike and Precision Strike into the rotation. Judging from reading the tooltips, I thought that you could only use either of those skills immediately following Keen Strike. However, this is not the case. Let's say your 5th CP builder is a Keen Strike. You move on to your finisher, Deadly Strike, and resume CP building. You can use Quick Strike or Precision Strike in this scenario, even though there was an attack in between Keen Strike and where you are in your rotation now.

    This micro-management makes Bladedancer rotations more difficult than the other melee specs, but a better handle on the rotation allowed me to gain ~12 DPS on a long parse on the Boss dummy since I was using more Quick Strikes and Precision Strikes than before.

    I always used Puncture immediately after a Deadly Strike in order to take full advantage of the damage buff the new Deadly Strike provides and apart from that, I raced to 5 CP's using whatever abilities were available.

    THE PARSE:
    6:30
    700.44 DPS
    Top Damage Contributing Skills, in order:
    1.) Keen Strike - 21% (149.5DPS)
    2.) Deadly Strike - 17% (119.9DPS)
    3.) Quick Strike - 13% (90.95)
    4.) Auto Attack - 11% (74.74)
    5.) Serrated Blades - 10% (72.43)
    6.) Puncture - 9% (66.5)
    7.) Precision Strike - 7% (51.3)

    Poisons and buffing finishers provided negligible damage. I used Virulent and Lethal on the test.

    The biggest surprise to me was that AA contributed a relatively high percent of my damage compared to my MM parses. I suspect this is a function of having higher attack power in this spec as well as fighting from melee.

    Using Puncture right after Deadly Strike helped it to contribute a nice overall chunk of my total damage, a number I didn't quite expect. As always, Serrated Blades proved to be a very nice passive damage increase.

    USING THIS BUILD IN PVP

    Melee rogues are tough to play in PvP due to their inherent squishiness, and this particular build is not an exception. Playing a squishier build requires a little more discretion when you are selecting your targets and also requires that you know where your healers are and stay within range of them. That holds true for any class, but especially lightly-armored melee rogues.

    Where this build shines is in its mobility and its ability to stick to a target like glue. It takes a lot of work to escape from a Bladedancer who also has a strong melee snare from Assassin and Adhesive Bomb. The hard-hitting combo point builders also help a lot as they provide a little more consistent pressure compared to, say, a Marksman using Swift Shot and relying on a big burst from Rapid Fire or Deadeye shot. You can also use Sprint from stealth, giving you 21 seconds of breakneck invisible running. It can also help you gain position in BG at the start of a match so you can immediately start pressuring the healers and mages at the back of the enemy zerg. If you find yourself flag running in WF, Sprint is a no-brainer.

    If you are opening from stealth, use Paralyzing Strike to root your target. Apply a Malicious Strike or drop an Adhesive Bomb to make sure your target won't be able to easily run away, and start building CP's by using your main CP builders as well as Puncture. You want to get to your first deadly strike as quickly as possible. If the target blinks or breaks your snare and uses a sprint skill, use Flash of Steel to close melee (and add 2 more CP's) and resume shredding. I also recommend getting some Performance Insoles from your local outfitter, which give you a small runspeed advantage that makes you a little tougher to escape once you make it to melee.

    The key to surviving as a Bladedancer is nullifying your opponent's ability to do damage to you. For casters, this means using Weapon Barrage as they are trying to use a non-instant spell and for melee, this means using Dismantle to leave them weaponless. If you have Side Steps up, use it against a melee opponent if you feel you don't have an advantage. While the extra dodge is nice, the best reason to use it is to proc Disengage from one of your dodges. Remember that your damage will increase after a dodge, so don't hold anything back once you stun them. The defensive measures for this build are very active and take practice to learn when best to use them.

    If a target tries to make a getaway at low health and you don't have any gap closing cooldowns, throw a few Blast Charges on them, toss a Frag bomb, and hit detonate right as the Frag is about to hit for a nice chunk of burst damage. You can use this same method as you are running on toward melee range to open up a damage lead as well.

    IMPROVEMENTS:

    I have recently used a version of this that drops the stealth improvements and takes the +15% to poison damage instead, which gives you a more dungeon-friendly variation with a minor DPS increase. If you use this in PVP, this will increase the effectiveness of your blast charge/detonate as well but the loss of stealth utility might be a deal-breaker for you.

    There are a lot of people out there more familiar with macros than I am, and I would encourage some Bladedancers to share their best macros here.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    This is a fairly straightforward build that seems like it will scale well with gear. Bladedancer already shines in solo play, and a lot of those improvements were not tested in the damage parsing but certainly make a difference in the fun factor as you are out clearing rifts or working on killing world trash for daily quests. The Assassin additions add a good amount of punch as well as utility with fast and permanent stealth.

    I expected it to parse below my favorite NB build (44NB/17SIN/5SAB) but I was delighted to see that it wasn't the case.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. Post your comments, macros, or experiences trying this build out below and as always, try to keep this thread constructive and free of flames/trolling/forum detritus.
    Last edited by Unit Five; 05-30-2011 at 08:45 PM. Reason: [1] Added info to the Rotation section. [2] Added a PvP primer. [3] Added a dungeon-friendly variant.
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

  2. #2
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    Is this for PvP or for PvE raid?

    I run a similar build, except I run 32 assassin, 29 bladedancer, 5 sab and only for PvP.

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    I'm gonna steal that build, perl. I was going to try something with sin/bd/rngr but having the snare bomb and 15% dex looks much better.

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perlfreak View Post
    Is this for PvP or for PvE raid?

    I run a similar build, except I run 32 assassin, 29 bladedancer, 5 sab and only for PvP.
    I think it's more of a PVE build to be honest. If I was going to make one like this for PVP, I would make sure to get things like Slip Away, Jagged Strike, Impale, and Cloak and Dagger and give up some of the BD defensive skills and cooldowns. Not that the cooldowns aren't useful, I would just rather have all those other tools than Double Coup and Dualism.

    I am going to give it a go in PVP though and see how well you can burn people down by using Dismantle --> Adhesive Bomb (to keep them in, rather than keep them away) --> (random damage cooldown) --> (ownage sequence).

    I prefer 40BD for PVE though since you can rotate the cooldowns through a long fight and keep your DPS up.
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

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    RIFT Guide Writer Hokonoso's Avatar
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    looks like a pve farming build. i simply use my gank build for pve grinding as my pvp gank build has high burst dmg and high survivability at the cost of low sustained dps, always nice to be able to kill ppl while farming mobs.
    Useful Rogue guides since I don't want to answer 50 billion questions anymore:
    Marksman, Ranger, Nightblade, Blink'Blade, Asstalker, Assdancer, and finally The Hoko Spec™
    Hoko, teaching noobs the way of rogue pve until 12/20/11.

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    Rift Disciple kashaun's Avatar
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    I think it would do fine in a warfont actually, since that build is more about supporting the team on the front and disabling their heavy hitters. Plus the way cc works you won't miss foul play and stuff like that so much. And don't discount things like dancing steel, even if it doesn't kill everyone, you'll proc serrated blades and it does enough damage to make them work on healing or for your teams aoe to finish off, I usually pop a blade tempo with it.
    "Never give up and never surrender!"

    So, it's just you 57 cops against KUNG FU JOE? Master of KUNG-FU, KARATE, JIU-JITSU, and all kinds of other shiz you ain't never heard of! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unit Five View Post
    I think it's more of a PVE build to be honest. If I was going to make one like this for PVP, I would make sure to get things like Slip Away, Jagged Strike, Impale, and Cloak and Dagger and give up some of the BD defensive skills and cooldowns. Not that the cooldowns aren't useful, I would just rather have all those other tools than Double Coup and Dualism.
    Pretty much exactly why I asked. I have all those things for PVP.


    I am going to give it a go in PVP though and see how well you can burn people down by using Dismantle --> Adhesive Bomb (to keep them in, rather than keep them away) --> (random damage cooldown) --> (ownage sequence).

    I prefer 40BD for PVE though since you can rotate the cooldowns through a long fight and keep your DPS up.
    Go to your main spammable macro and under keen strike add "cast Blast Charge". The last ability in the macro.

    Blast Charges not only build blasts, but they also build combo points. Also, detonate will still blow for it's full amount with 5 combo points, you just don't get the blast charge damages(detonates for about 600 or so).

    Adding that to the bottom will make it so that when you are out of range you can still put combo points on the person. And then when you get back to them, you can deadly strike right off and get the bonuses on your other stuff.

    Or if the person gets away and is low on life, you can detonate your combo points and finish them off. Maybe even add a blast charge or 2 before detonating if they have a little more health.

    Also, say you are fighting like 2 hard to kill mobs. You can sap 1 mob, kill the other. Then you can apply the blast charges and detonate on the sapped target without breaking the sap, detonate it and start with full energy and them with much less health(usually about half on a 3k mob).
    Last edited by perlfreak; 05-22-2011 at 10:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rennlc View Post
    I'm gonna steal that build, perl. I was going to try something with sin/bd/rngr but having the snare bomb and 15% dex looks much better.
    I'd post my build, but for some reason it looks like ZAM reverted back to 1.1 trees and is broken.

    ranger is not a bad choice for 3rd soul on the build if you go 6 ranger. 28 BD, 32 Asssasin, 6 ranger. Then you can get the AP buff from ranger.

    I think the quick shot -> headshot part will be better than the blast charge -> detonate combo, and the AP buff makes it comparable to the dex buff. You can put the 6th point in crippling shot for a ranged snare. I think it will be better for runners, and probably better for people with lower level gear.

    But the dex will most likely scale better with better gear. Which is the main reason I've picked it up to begin with.

    For 6 in ranger, add this to your main spammable macro at the end:

    cast Crippling Shot
    cast Quick Shot

    And you'll automatically snare and start shooting them on the same macro as your main melee abilities.

  9. #9
    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Looking forward to playing around with Blast Charge and Detonate in addition to the rest of this build. As of now, I only use the 2 bombs you get with the 5 points just to add a little flavor.

    For PVP though, its a great way to finish off a runner, or use the charges to build CP's --> Flash of Steel --> Deadly Strike --> Puncture --> Detonate.
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

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    Telaran
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    I just tried this and think it has more potential as a solo spec. In a dungeon/raid, you won't be dodging much and many of your abilities and bonuses are reactive to your dodging or parrying.

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iadar View Post
    I just tried this and think it has more potential as a solo spec. In a dungeon/raid, you won't be dodging much and many of your abilities and bonuses are reactive to your dodging or parrying.
    Having playtested it further, it's definitely at its best in a solo environment which is no surprise. I think the reason we see so many Bladedancer builds with ~30 or less points spent in them is for precisely this reason. The soul still suffers from a bit of an identity crisis.

    That being said, this build *STILL* parsed ~30 DPS higher than my 44NB/17SIN/5SAB build which relies on elemental attacks and has no reactive skills built into it - and a much simpler and more manageable rotation, to boot.

    I think this is a result of both the much higher dexterity and crit rate of this build, and the fact that the combo point generators contribute a comparatively higher percentage of my total damage. I have more tests to do to see what the exact contributions of the Bladedancer cooldowns are to overall DPS.

    I haven't started trying out some of the crazier hybrid builds yet to see exactly how high I can push my DPS with my current gear. I'm trying out different, simpler builds and testing their effectiveness so I can give some of the less experienced rogues in my guild some good starting points as we have recently added a lot of members and are finally getting ready to take on raid content.
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

  12. #12
    Prophet of Telara Raynald's Avatar
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    How is survivability for this spec like?

    I currently run the old 18RS/31BD/Sin spec where I farm pretty fast and still heal up on death for low downtime, but always wondered how other specs with higher burst might fare.

    Especially against elites such as the golems in stillmoor. I can down them, but I usually have to pop sidesteps or something else in order to burst down fast enough.

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    Rift Disciple Unit Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raynald View Post
    How is survivability for this spec like?

    I currently run the old 18RS/31BD/Sin spec where I farm pretty fast and still heal up on death for low downtime, but always wondered how other specs with higher burst might fare.

    Especially against elites such as the golems in stillmoor. I can down them, but I usually have to pop sidesteps or something else in order to burst down fast enough.
    I know a 44NB spec makes soloing elites a joke, so that might be a better route for you if that's what you want.

    This build can be pretty squishy if you get overwhelmed, but its overall survivability is pretty solid against any melee mobs. You just need to be smart about using Dismantle and Disengage, and open with Paralyzing Strike to buy yourself some time without any damage incoming.

    For grinding, it's the best build I've tried since you can use Flash of Steel, Weapon Barrage, or any stealth attack to engage a new mob, plus use Sprint to jet around. At decent gear levels, the other damage cooldowns are really for longer fights and you won't need them for world trash.

    Double bonus points... Assassinate + Deadly Dance buff can one-shot a lot of the trash mobs in Stillmoor. Hits for around 2k!
    Terk - Expert Marksman - Eternal IRON (Belmont)
    Eikke - Justicar (L4x) - Eternal IRON (Belmont)

    My Marksman can beat up your Pyro...
    Terk's Guide to Marksman PVP (Cloak and Arrow style)

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    Soulwalker Nixnynae's Avatar
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    Default Small thought

    Quote Originally Posted by Iadar View Post
    I just tried this and think it has more potential as a solo spec. In a dungeon/raid, you won't be dodging much and many of your abilities and bonuses are reactive to your dodging or parrying.
    I was thinking along the same lines.
    I made a theoretical spec some time ago.

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0M....Vf0Ahsoohbz.V

    It lost the dodge/parry abilities, but focuses more on poison in the Sin tree, to maybe make it more viable as a dps spec.
    I don't have the level yet to come near to trying it and maybe it's fail.
    My biggest concern is the poison proc rate.

    Mostly I was just hoping for some thoughts on it

  15. #15
    Rift Chaser inaliz's Avatar
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    Pretty sure the highest dex/ap build you can do is bd/rs/sabo. Think I had around 800 dex, 1028 ap with codex trink. Thing is a beast, get a bard for even more.

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