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Thread: A Hundred Blades - Bladedancer Soloing in Storm Legion

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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Default A Hundred Blades - Bladedancer Soloing in Storm Legion

    NOTE: Because there's been some confusion, I feel the need to clarify: this spec is for open world content, mainly solo questing. Do not use it in dungeons, raids, or PvP. If you want something with a similar playstyle for group content, try 61 Bladedancer.

    New Guide and Spec Here


    I've had a fair number of people ask me about the soloing spec I use, so I decided to write this guide. This is the build I've been using for the last few months. I've found that it's more effective than any other level 60 solo build I've tried, but it's also a bit more complex to play.

    When played properly, this build is far more effective than any other rogue soloing build in the game. This build doesn't work very well before level 50, and is barely functional at all prior to level 31.

    If you rotate your dances properly, you have superb AoE and great survivability, and better ST than most soloing builds. Combine these and you have a spec that can hack down huge packs of enemies at once, while still finishing off single enemies and bosses very efficiently.

    That being said, this build isn't as simple to play as some of the other soloing builds out there. I wouldn't necessarily say that it's hard, but it can take some getting used to if you're unfamiliar with Bladedancer, and this may not be the best choice if you want a more mindless spec for grinding.

    The Build

    At level 60, you'll use 51BD/21RS/4Tact. For lower levels, just take points out of Riftstalker. The core of the build is 51BD for full dance uptime, 4 Tactician for Curative Engine, and 8 in Riftstalker for Boosted Recovery. Everything past that is nice, particularly the extra survivability from the Riftstalker gift, but it's not crucial.

    You have some leeway on where to place your points, particularly in Riftstalker. If you want to focus a bit more on defense, try dropping some points from Planar Boost or Shadow Assault to pick up some more resists or endurance.

    Buffs: Curative Engine, Planebound Resilience, Combat Preparation, Stalker Phase

    Why not take Reprisal?
    If you macro Reprisal in, it's actually a DPS loss, because it uses up Deadly Dance charges on a very weak attack. If you don't macro it and alter your ST rotation to QS->KS->QS->KS+Reprisal->Finisher every time you get a proc (or, for AoE, TS->TS->TS->Reprisal->Compound), it's a very small DPS gain.

    But considering how low your avoidance is, I find it to be way more trouble than it's worth. To put a talent into it, you'd have to drop either a stronger ST DPS talent, or sacrifice some AoE damage, and, in my opinion, neither of those are good trade-offs.

    Why not take Defensive Pose?
    It guts your energy regeneration and isn't very good to begin with. On top of that, it means you'll need to give up something else more valuable. You can use it if you really want, but again, I've found that it's not worth it, since this build is already extremely durable.

    The Basics

    If you ever played 51 Bladedancer prior to Storm Legion, or if you've played 61BD at level 60, then this will be very familiar.

    Let's start off by covering the basics.

    Bladedancer is all about the dances. These are a set of five 21-second self-buffs with 90-second cooldowns, and they overwrite each other if you try to use them while another is already on. In practice, this means you can have one up at all times. They are:
    • Blade and Soul Parity (B&SP): Gives a 50% boost to crit chance and crit damage, removes energy costs.
    • Dualism: Causes Quick Strike and Precision Strike to hit twice and grant an extra combo point.
    • Double Coup: Causes your builders to deal 75% more damage.
    • Blade Tempo: Increases Physical Damage by 30%.
    • Side Steps: Boosts your dodge by 50%.

    Keeping an eye on which dance you should be using can be daunting, so you may want to use an addon for that. Check the Addon section below for help on setting one up if you need help.

    On top of those cooldowns, you have Dancing Steel (DS) and Hundred Blades (HB), which both do massive AoE damage over six seconds, and have thirty-second cooldowns. Dancing Steel does damage in a circle around you, and Hundred Blades is a cone in front of you. Hundred Blades does slightly more damage than Dancing Steel. These two abilities will make up the bulk of your AoE damage.

    Now, your dances are good for different situations. Dualism is a huge increase to single-target damage, but doesn't affect AoE at all. B&SP is by far your strongest cooldown, and it also raises the damage of HB and DS. Double Coup affects both ST and AoE builders, but not HB or DS. Blade Tempo does affect HB and DS (although it's weaker than B&SP), but is worsethan the other dances for everything else. Side Steps makes you virtually immortal and also boosts your damage by making you get Strike Back procs like a madman.

    Put the following abilities on your bars:
    • Keen Strike
    • Precision Strike
    • Quick Strike
    • Dauntless Strike
    • Twin Strike
    • Compound Strike
    • Hundred Blades
    • Dancing Steel
    • Meditative Trance
    • Sprint
    • Blade and Soul Parity
    • Dualism
    • Double Coup
    • Blade Tempo
    • Side Steps
    • Shadow Shift
    • Shadow Assault
    • Shadow Blitz (you can macro this in with Shadow Assault if you want)
    • Flash of Steel
    • Weapon Barrage
    • Instigate (optional, but occasionally useful)
    • Disengage (optional)
    • Cleanse Soul

    Cooldown Management
    Now that that's covered, let's look at how to manage these cooldowns.

    You'll want to have a dance up any time that you're in combat. For single-target damage, Dualism>B&SP>Double Coup>Blade Tempo, but I tend to save B&SP for AoE whenever I can.

    For AoE, the priority is a bit more complicated. If you're using Hundred Blades or Dancing Steel, then B&SP>Blade Tempo. If you're using Twin Strike and Compound Strike, then B&SP>Double Coup>Blade Tempo. I try to save B&SP for when I'm fighting four or more enemies at once, and use other dances for smaller packs if they're available.

    Side Steps isn't really a part of the DPS-focused rotation, but if you can pull 6+ mobs to you at once, then you'll probably want to use it while burning them down with Hundred Blades.

    Try NOT to use Hundred Blades and Dancing Steel on the same pack, unless you know it'll be a while before you get back into combat. In general, you should be able to use one of them on each group, alternating with each pull.

    For the most part, cooldown management just takes practice. As you grow more experienced with this build, you'll start to manage your dances intuitively so that you can sync your highest damage spikes to the largest enemy packs you can find.

    Rotation and Priority

    First off, let's look at ST damage.

    The single-target priority is fairly simple: you want to use at least 3 builders after each finisher (so that you use up all of your Deadly Dance charges), you want to end each builder sequence with Keen Strike (so that you can use offhand->mainhand->offhand after your next finisher), and you want to get as many offhand attacks as possible (because they do more damage than mainhand attacks).

    Your mainhand attack is Keen Strike (KS), and your offhand attacks are Precision Strike (PS) and Quick Strike (QS). Offhand attacks can only be used after a mainhand attack. Precision Strike does slightly less damage than Quick Strike, but generates two combo points instead of one. Your finisher is Dauntless Strike (DS), but if you need healing, use Meditative Trance instead.

    This means that the basic rotation is:

    PS->KS->QS->KS->DS

    This gives you five combo points and lets you start the next sequence with another offhand attack.

    During Dualism, alternate between these two builder sequences:
    QS->KS->QS->DS
    KS->PS->KS->DS

    For the very beginning of a fight, if your offhand attacks aren't enabled, use:

    Gap Closer->KS->DS

    (Gap closers are Shadow Assault, Shadow Blitz, and Flash of Steel. The first two of those will proc Rift Guard and Stalker Phase, but have longer cooldowns.)


    AoE Rotation

    I've already discussed how to use Hundred Blades and Dancing Steel, and those are going to be most of your AoE damage. Still, you'll generally need to do some AOE without either of them.

    If there's only two targets, just use the single-target builder rotation and finish with Compound Attack instead of Dauntless Strike. For three or more, use this rotation:

    Twin Strike->Twin Strike->Twin Strike->Compound Attack

    Other Tips
    • Use Empyrean Bolt to grab mobs from 30 yards away and group them up for AoE. If you keep hitting enemies with it while they chase you, they won't leash back to their spawn point.
    • If one of your melee weapons is stronger than the other, put the stronger one in your offhand, because most of your attacks scale with offhand weapon damage instead of mainhand.
    • Use Weapon Barrage to interrupt casters-- this will silence them and force them to run to you, which helps to stack up enemies. Plus, interrupting the cast will cause you to take less damage.
    • Most of your AoEs cap out at five targets, but Side Steps lets you get Strike Back procs on an unlimited number of foes. There are a few quests and IAs where you fight a ton of weak enemies at once, and Side Steps will let you kill them quickly.
    • If you have Vampiric Essence from Death planar attunement, be sure to put it on both of your weapons. It'll provide a nice boost to self-healing, especially during Hundred Blades and Dancing Steel.
    • Hundred Blades actually has a pretty large cone, which means you can use it to kill spread out ranged and caster mobs. But because it's so big, it's also easy to pull enemies that you don't expect, so be careful.
    • If an enemy is going to die on the next hit at you're at five combo points, don't waste a finisher-- just kill them with a builder so you can start the next group at full CPs.
    • This spec plays almost exactly the same as 61 Bladedancer, which means that if you ever end up raiding with that spec, you'll already have a lot of experience under your belt.
    • When Side Steps is up, you can sometimes use interactable quest items even while being attacked, because dodged hits don't interrupt you. This is useful on rare occasions.
    • In areas with lots of ranged mobs and casters, try to find a spot where you can line-of-sight enemies around terrain to make them stack up.

    Karuul Alert

    I strongly recommend using Karuul Alert to track the durations and cooldowns of your dances. Try importing the following set:
    Code:
    KA::AQ0dXeNq1lt9umzAUxl+FJ+hsA7aRrwwYdRdboobdVUJucFpUChE2m7o/7z5D0hZSorGkCbl
    wOObk95nvHDtuG2mKunIggyxl21I+q6YfJvYKS5krR1a5s6rb0lnKpjDPjHtIxBQBSjlMIuIDBuw
    T3fxudFNsDIulkZ9uv32+lXdFaZ/JinVd6dtGfS+MLIufCq6v8lwz7LuMuh7zaPftGFgkvqbiphv
    B/nKBhUlfbve/cP9Xye+4tbn005Ac7clfQhxQzv0giH1PRJabz2bN1aZU625toOxZiR+cwgpfYZU
    lMs6y1ur9WqdsFOdJTCBMuPBCDDF2g9nYP2RT1k2eNUrmz9m21qZtVPamgFA4UPBLG7l+1H9Yulg
    eikE7MeEiTRdf9kE0krQqrDtWRm31+1eQskGUYx5z5MeRCGgIPBLOlqNtkkx3SXoFAaTnvINQrpZ
    Tbpnrc3yy0QnA54Bft1XeqNzpQfWUhIMZPIkwCjgROKQBSWI8e8XvugS5rNaqyR52SbP+ns7eanb
    somtn95lyESS9qkGEjKti33+84/0nVU/bmnHi+cAFIIkoIVQg//8UZabL8gFNZ8g04frLIFPsn9V
    77OssqvuuGlXZox62y9EEnoS2Yn0XEEExCimZ3zR3ebqKVeWkWwCLX9wy6iyHhhkHR55ZbDYPXa2
    G7WYzFDN2zXWrTWk7KUKJgIID6AYUxMibrWVTVLLUpikeFXyt4bGUf7bP5Mi+tTc9mjL9Bbauc7f
    ZPa4/hXuJNv9BvO7k8tbtXamcqG63FjiMOQhcSFyYeLZMT1hib/0hR5kB1dRx5kLQFKLz+kpb2SL
    T2hqgq5MB+pWRzb0ye7KuwxxMtUccT7iui32SCCH84JTCRJOFadmP70THzzN/AVCwSD0
    With that set, you'll get something that looks like this. (UPDATE: What you get will not look identical to that screenshot. I streamlined and changed the alert set, but I'm too lazy to upload a new screenshot. It's still mostly the same.)

    The bottom left icon shows the remaining duration on your current dance. The others show the cooldowns for your abilities, including your dances, Hundred Blades, and Dancing Steel. If an icon doesn't have a number on it, that means that the ability is not on cooldown and can be used right away. There's also a timer for Dauntless Strike (which you can usually ignore) with a stack counter for Blade Hustle right above it.

    Conclusion

    This build may take a bit more effort than others, but it's definitely worth it. If you have any questions, ask away.
    Last edited by Jester; 11-23-2013 at 12:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Soulwalker
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    Only 52 on my rogue currently, but this build seems to be working fantastically. Thanks for putting it up here and including a guide with it!
    Dathian - 60 Warrior
    Deckland - 60 Rogue

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    Rift Master Ymirson's Avatar
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    The part i like the most is implicating that someday, 61 BD will be worth raiding with again. :hope:
    A witty saying proves nothing
    - Voltaire
    One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.
    - Edward Abbey

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    Rift Master McWaffles's Avatar
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    This is actually very close to what i used to level and have been using as a grind spec and advising friends to use to level.

    I've found THIS to be best.

    For single target, it's too large of a loss to sacrifice double strike IMO, and firmly disagree about defensive pose. It poses no penalty to damage dealt, and during a BSP you have zero energy consumption, negating the regen penalty and making it all benefit. It's also good for get away if you pull too much together with guardian phase.

    Additionally, phantom blow hits VERY hard st and is a welcome addition after a shadow assault, as well as providing mitigation. (SA/PB/QS/KS for 5cp's with 3 hard hitting abils boosted by deadly dance)
    "You're just realizing the fault of your species, human beings are the most untrustworthy, backstabbing creatures on this planet. Except for bears."

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    Prophet of Telara Raynald's Avatar
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    Great guide and many thanks. I figured it was probably possible to get something with the old BD/RS Cusinart going.

    Although the last time I used BD was on akylios.... lol
    60Rog/PR64 - Cleared - FT | EE
    1-button TOTALLY AFK Rogue and Cheerleader for Blitz!

  6. #6
    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McWaffles View Post
    This is actually very close to what i used to level and have been using as a grind spec and advising friends to use to level.

    I've found THIS to be best.

    For single target, it's too large of a loss to sacrifice double strike IMO, and firmly disagree about defensive pose. It poses no penalty to damage dealt, and during a BSP you have zero energy consumption, negating the regen penalty and making it all benefit. It's also good for get away if you pull too much together with guardian phase.

    Additionally, phantom blow hits VERY hard st and is a welcome addition after a shadow assault, as well as providing mitigation. (SA/PB/QS/KS for 5cp's with 3 hard hitting abils boosted by deadly dance)
    Double Strike is less than 350 DPS on single targets. You'll still need to maintain Dauntless Strike's buff, and you spend so little time using single-target attacks, so it's not really worth it, in my opinion.

    Phantom Blow is a hefty DPS loss during Dualism and Double Coup, which are the dances you'll tend to use on ST, since you'll want to save Blade Tempo and Hundred Blades for AoE. The build is already incredibly tanky and does not need extra mitigation for AoEing, and Phantom Blow is an even bigger DPS loss on AoE-- I honestly can't remember the last time I died aside from the overtuned IA bosses.

    Defensive Pose is a DPS loss because it takes a point away from another DPS talent (or Rift Guard, but Rift Guard is better for survivability). If I were going to put another point into Bladedancer, I'd actually prefer Blade Finesse or Quick Reflexes, because both of those increase kill speed.

  7. #7
    Soulwalker
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    do you use any macros?

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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caztiell View Post
    do you use any macros?
    The only macro I use is a Shadow Assault/Shadow Blitz combo to save myself a keybind. Aside from that, no. Bladedancer actually doesn't have cooldowns on any of its rotational abilities, so macros don't do much good. You should never be pressing the same button twice in a row.
    Last edited by Muspel; 03-05-2013 at 06:58 AM.

  9. #9
    Telaran Kraxammer's Avatar
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    Thank you for putting this guide out and promoting this build. I'm only a level 38 Rogue and new to Rift, but I have been trying out many different role scenarios since I started and none have been as fun or as good as this one for that matter.

    Plus, I can't friggn' die! It seems to me if you play it right, your survivability chances are pretty high! I have never been able to take on 4 or 5 mobs and make it through with out crossing over to the after life like I can with this build. I could never take on more than 3 without dying using previous roles/builds....again, I'm sort of new so I still suck a bit, but with this build I feel invincible.

    Even more encouraging, you mention that this build gets even better one you level cap?! Sweet!

    Thanks again!

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    Soulwalker
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    I'm having some trouble with large mobs. if i am fighting like 4-5 i take a lot of dmg. any advice for handling aoe's

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    Rift Master Ymirson's Avatar
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    There is a guide somewhere, but dang, i can't remember where Muspel put it...
    A witty saying proves nothing
    - Voltaire
    One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.
    - Edward Abbey

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    Soulwalker
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    I'm having some trouble with large mobs. if i am fighting like 4-5 i take a lot of dmg. any advice for handling aoe's

  13. #13
    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caztiell View Post
    I'm having some trouble with large mobs. if i am fighting like 4-5 i take a lot of dmg. any advice for handling aoe's
    What level are you? Which mobs are you fighting? What's your gear like? Are you using Vampiric Essence? Are you using Meditative Trance? Side Steps? Are you saving HB/Dancing Steel for large pulls?

    Basically, I need a lot more information before I can tell you what the problem is.
    Last edited by Muspel; 03-07-2013 at 06:58 AM.

  14. #14
    Prophet of Telara
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    I'm struggling to understand why you're taking Planar Boost? With Deadly Dance you won't ever go over your 5CP so Planar Boost seems a complete waste of 5 points to me.

    Otherwise always had a softspot for Bladedancer, something satisfying about using the dodge CD and seeing all those strike backs on a big pack
    If you plan to kick that tiger in the rear end. You better have a plan for the teeth on the other side!!

  15. #15
    Rift Master Ymirson's Avatar
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    Planar Boost stacks also on getting a fifth combo point.
    A witty saying proves nothing
    - Voltaire
    One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.
    - Edward Abbey

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