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Blade Vortex

I just hit lvl 80 on my BV build, and feel like I can give a decent review now.

(also, to answer you, no, it's not an attack hit. It will trigger blind effects, cybils, PCoC, and other things that effect any or spell hits).


BV is a great single target skill that synergizes well with several other attributes. First off, I want to discuss the hit rate.

This is a blessing and a curse. It's really nice to have a spell with a high hit rate when attempting to get power charges, or proc blinds (which vortex does incredibly well at, since it sticks around rerolling it's chances continuously). However, thinks like lightning thorns and the slug-spawning talisman wreck you pretty hard. Shavronne instakilled me several times before I switched to Bladefall to just kill her. The hit rate also means it should be quite viable for cybils.

The Area of Effect: Overall, the AoE is fine for single target (meaning, there is no AoE). My build uses both witch and templar AoE nodes, and it wasn't convenient to use BV as a main clear until I picked up the second one, and leveled the gem to 15-ish (if level affects the AoE).

Damage: The damage is great, but is really unbalanced (not in the normal way though). BV lets you kill single targets crazily fast if you have time to prep-cast. I summoned Abaxoth form a pack of blues, and ran away pretty fast (in trop. island). I just hid behind a tree, cast solidly for 5 seconds, and then attacked him again, dodging and just running circles around him for 2/3 seconds before running away again. It only took 2 rounds of this to kill him because having all those stacks deals so much damage. Any boss in the game so far died the fastest out of any leveling build I'd had, but for actual map clearing, other skills (with higher AoE) are much better.

Synergies: The best think I've found to work with BV is the poison skill gem. If you start shadow, this gem really is the highest damage modifier you can pick up, and since you're using BV for single target anyway, the DoT delay doesn't matter much to you. I use Vulnerability for greatly increased damage, which doubly scales, and ming's heart for nice damage increases. Also, you are already taking skill effect duration nodes (or gem) for BV, and this also applies to poison. My shadow build spends only 4 extra points on chaos damage from the tree (next to the phys damage), and the poison support gem, over it's 4 (or more) second duration, deals 175% of base BV damage (or, 175% *more* damage). As a side note, I've found the unique wand eclipse solaris to be the best survivability synergy for it, but flicker-fortify is also pretty useful because of how close and fast you need to get in, and spend all the time you can keeping your casts up.

Utility: BV is excellent as a utility spell. You can run BV with, PCoC, Blind, Curse on Hit, and it is an excellent way to keep up a passive buff selfcast. I personally am using blasphemy atm cause I don't need any other auras, but BV curse on hit is a 100% golden selfcast option (for me, I just recast it every 7-8 seconds, and it curses every mob you touch). The blind effects work pretty well as well. I'm using a lv 1 CWDT BV-Blind-PCoC, and I notice the blinds regularly, which scales really well with enfeeble/hybrid casters (which you are, cause you need shit tons of dex for BV. Constantly a problem). As a melee character, using a self cast BV-Blind-PCoC-Inc. Duration set up will be very viable, especially if you pick up any other inc. duration nodes elsewhere. If you stack 4 or 5 casts before tackling a touch boss, you are pretty much guaranteed to blind him, and generate some charges.

Crit: Crit, in my opinion, is a trap for this build. While the 6% crit chance is enticing, it really isn't worth it; the very nature of the skill is against you here. The main benefit of crits normally is applying status ailments. This means that, if you're doing a crit build, you should be using hatred/added fire/phys to light. This isn't that bad obviously, (though, either determination or Grace are probably better cause you have to be in the middle of the fight all the time), but the problem is BV low base damage, and high hit rate mechanics. The duration of status effects are calculated based on what % of health your hit dealt, and then calculated shock/ignite/freeze based on that. If the hit doesn't pass a certain damage threshold, then the status effect doesn't apply at all. What I noticed when I went crit, is that it helped with low level clearing, and with hatred, I could shatter mobs, but even with hatred, I almost *never* freeze any packs (only white ones from time to time). Against bosses, your status ailments never apply at all (except ignite, but it's total garbage). Crit in general is a nice dps increase, but that's all it does. It doesn't provide the bonuses that make going crit normally worth it.

Gameplay: BV as a main skill works pretty well once you get enough AoE, and some practice. Timing is everything, and you really need high movespeed/flicker strike to quickly engage your enemies before your stacks run out. Clearing normal mobs is ok by mapping with both AoE nodes, and you just run in, cast in the middle of the pack 1 time, then run to the next one. If they are blue, you cast 2/3 times, and you can stack up a little more on rares. I usually have 10-ish stacks up while doing normal clears. My duration is is about 7.5 seconds (atm. I'll use the inc. duration gem on my 5L eventually). This means I'm casting about half as much time as I spend moving. This is why fast engages are necessary to make this skill work (seriously, get a +% movespeed blue quicksilver and the alchemist wheel, or use flicker-fort. to initiate and instantly recast). Movespeed and momentum are essential to actually clear at a decent speed with this skill. That said, the damage is really crazy for single target. I obviously haven't done atziri yet, but am planning too once I upgrade my chest, and level a bit more. It is really, really high damage (especially with poison)

Overall thought: I really like the skill now that I hit a rythm/feel like I figured it out, but this took until about lvl 75-ish in standard (hc would be really difficult with a "melee" spell (not to mention lightning thorns)). It is not beginner friendly in the least outside of normal/early cruel difficulty, when you can facetank everything, and your defenses are really important because of how you have to play. That said, the damage is really crazy strong for bosses, but lacks for normal/is annoying for normal packs. However, if you're running a 5l, this will probably get considerably better (Increased duration), but pretty much any spell runs much smoother on a 5L, and many are just fine on a 6L. I'm almost tempted to say that the utility uses of the skill is actually more important to notice than the potential of the skill as a main means of dps. The fact that any char (looking at melee specifically here) can throw a CWDT BV Curse on Hit/blind/PCoC on their char is really effective and important. Curse on hit applied this way causes curses to constantly be recast on all enemies your attacking for BV's duration. This can cheat the 1-curse limit by purposefully having ranged curses and melee curses. BV can apply something like warlord's mark, punishment, or vulnerability at close range, while a Herald or other cast set up curses ranged attackers with enfeeble/ temp chains. Also, I cannot stress how much the blind set up helps.

Suggestions: Say on the gem description how often blades hit, or if having more than 1 blade increases the hit rate, or if it just increases the damage of each "pulse". The early level damage seems a little high, and the late game, and basically trivializes all boss fights until normal Malachai. It would make the skill more viable as a main skill if you increased the AoE by a little more (maybe 15%? You basically need both AoE skill nodes to make it work, and I thought you were trying to move away from that), but, the late game damage is absolutely crazy with stacks (much like the SRS problem). A potential option I could see is that decreasing the max stacks from 50 to 40 (but the skill isn't as OP as people first thought, and shouldn't be hard nerfed). The mechanics of the skill itself make it extremely potent against bosses, but mediocre at best against normal mobs. For future builds, I'd recommend EK/Bladefall as a trash clear, and then BV for boss killing (if you have the defenses). I don't think this skill can make it in Hardcore simply because of the tiny AoE/melee playstyle. The skill gem needs tons of dexterity, and AoE nodes, and armor to work really well, and unfortunately, these things are pretty sparse for all characters except Scion, who will sacrifice a lot of damage to do it. Though, in Hardcore, Eclipse Solaris is OP as hell with this skill.
This skill works like a miracle for any ranged char if u support it with cwdt, blind and knockback.
"
Kroughfire wrote:
I just hit lvl 80 on my BV build, and feel like I can give a decent review now.


I'm really sorry to say that but i dont think you have the right build or links/gear at all.

I am lvl 80ish aswell and i love Blade Vortex more than any other skill atm.

1. As you already mentioned single target dmg is really good
2. Not sure what kind of build you're running but my AoE is just fine and i didnt even used Increased AoE so far. I am playing together with a friend and he is running a Reave build and i can keep up with his clear speed without any problem and we all know how fast Reave clears maps.
3. Crit is the strongest way to build Blade Vortex since you're going to use Herald of Ice + Assassins Mark + Hatred anyway. I dont know any reason to go non crit BV.
4. I am running T5-8 Maps right now and i usually pull between 120.000 and 150.000 DPS. The AoE is more than enough if you pick up the increased AoE nodes + Divinarius + once you get a 6 link use Increased AoE.

I prefer BV over Reave because for me it is more fun to play. All you have to do is pre-cast BV once you enter the map and then just use whirling blades to clear the whole Map.
7777777777777777777777777777777777777777
Well, I'm only 73, but Blade Vortex feels like the next Incinerate when combined with Cybil's.

Sure, it lacks the range, but AoE and counts makes up for it.

Doing some math, 2x Cybil's Paws gives 16 Life Gain on Spell Hit.
Blade Vortex hits twice a second. I can summon about 40. 50 with Vaal Haste.

40 Blades x 16 x 2 = 1280 Life Gain A second.
50 Blades x 16 x 2 = 1800 Life gain A second.

And if I add Warlord's Mark, assuming Blade Vortex does 400 damage.

2% of 400 = 8, making the Life Gain on Spell Hit = 24, and Mana Gain on Hit = 8.

40 Blades x 24 x 2 = 1920 Life Gain a Second.
40 Blades x 8 x 2 = 640 Mana Gain A second.

50 Blades x 24 x 2 = 2400 Life Gain A Second.
50 Bladex x 8 x 2 = 800 Mana Gain A Second.

Pretty absurd at this moment.

With the above setup, I could sit on all the bosses, turn Righteous Fire on for more damage and constantly cast Blade Vortex with no fear of death. It overtrivialises all early-game contents.

Merciless Dominus, Malachi, Kaom and Daresso are the only bosses I can't sit and hold my mouse button, partially because of gear, and partially because of the amount of damage they put, so there's that.

I've yet to try it on Atziri, but if Incinerate can obliterate Atziri in the past, what's stopping Blade Vortex now?
"
Tr3Angel wrote:
I'm really sorry to say that but i dont think you have the right build or links/gear at all.

I am lvl 80ish aswell and i love Blade Vortex more than any other skill atm.

1. As you already mentioned single target dmg is really good
2. Not sure what kind of build you're running but my AoE is just fine and i didnt even used Increased AoE so far. I am playing together with a friend and he is running a Reave build and i can keep up with his clear speed without any problem and we all know how fast Reave clears maps.
3. Crit is the strongest way to build Blade Vortex since you're going to use Herald of Ice + Assassins Mark + Hatred anyway. I dont know any reason to go non crit BV.
4. I am running T5-8 Maps right now and i usually pull between 120.000 and 150.000 DPS. The AoE is more than enough if you pick up the increased AoE nodes + Divinarius + once you get a 6 link use Increased AoE.

I prefer BV over Reave because for me it is more fun to play. All you have to do is pre-cast BV once you enter the map and then just use whirling blades to clear the whole Map.


why is crit the strongest way to build BV?
im going to build BV but not crit. i was thinking about working with righteous fire but i have to further look up just how well it would work. i think it might be better and definitely safer without it. i also will and need to test it.

but anyway im looking to super buff the damage by MORE multipliers, and not by trying to stack added damage from sources such as heralds since its such a crazy low effectiveness. from my calculations i would do better in utility and damage by spec'ing blood magic, not using any heralds, and using concentrated effect rather than socketing blood magic and running heralds.

so right now im thinking my links will be Blade vortex, iron will, spell echo, increased duration, concentrated effect, and controlled destruction.
no crit because i'll be using passives on other things as well as using controlled destruction. i'll be getting loads of inc spell damage from iron will and all the str i'll have (about 620-640). MORE damage from conc effect, controlled destruction, and frenzy charges (i'll have 9-10).

still researching what the best option for a secondary weapon or shield would be, if i don't run RF and use rise of the phoenix.

i think i'll just need to test everything out. i don't and won't mind getting so close to the action, so it won't be necessary for me to run inc aoe.
You certainly *can* go crit, and it's a very nice damage boost. What I was saying is that you don't receive the normal benefits you should get when going crit, and imo, you should spend those points on increasing your defenses (since the BV playstyle inherently puts you in harms way all the time)
Skill is absolutely amazing, I run a Blade Vortex + discharge. The idea is using blasphemy with Warlords mark and Assassin's mark to build up charges thus granting more crit and defense. Blade Vortex I mainly use for building up power charges.

For my boots I use Blood dance to gain frenzy charges (before I used the dual curse boots and Bloodrage which worked fine as well). The cool thing is I can use a proper armor and sacrifice only a ring to gain dual curse to make discharge work. The biggest problems of discharge was mana but warlods mark insta refills mana. For reflect mobs you just rely on blade vortex to kill them. Even without discharge blade vortex just destroy's everything.

I tested this on T10~T13 maps and can kill most bosses including dominus with extra dmg mods. So either make a better build and learn to play with a skill until you whine about it that it sux :)

Oh and flask charges on crit + blade vortex is infinite granite up.... :3
It's really fun to build and grind but unfortunately, I feel "slow" in actual gameplay.

Since it's a duration skill, we can move while the skill duration. It's the most fun part but assuming from my experience, we cannot scale enough in all of its essence, duration, AoE and cast speed so that I have to go right and left, re-cast frequently and end up with low damage output in a long fight.

I suggest to reduce casting time a little. Could be a longer duration but more casting, more control and fun from my personal preference. This only makes every steps quicker and enables more space to build in the restriction.
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Crit is vital for leech. You can lose most or all of even 2% leech with bv due to rounding. It also does a really weird thing when you first whirl and it all hits at once instead of as a series meaning you freeze with hatred for a really long duration.

If they fix the freeze it gets when it hits too many dudes I Would love this skill above all others. Just cap the number of hits it can do so that I dont rip on every large pack or the now gamebreaking allies cannot die.
Stun_chance [%] = 200 * damage / defender_effective_max_life

The default length of stuns is 350ms.

Each blade stack of blade vortex hits at a fixed rate of 2 hits per second regardless of cast speed.

Does anyone see a problem here? Even if the damage is very small, you can have full stun uptime simply due to the high hit rate. i.e. even a piddly 100 damage blade vortex on a 5000 life target, with only 30 stacks, would be stunning the target constantly, without any investment in stun duration or threshold reduction. Throw in a warlord's mark and it's silly.

This is not just a pvp problem. The way blade vortex behaves with the stun formula provides exceptional survivability in pve as well. All you need to do is build around thorns/tempest shield (i.e. cybils paw, leech, aegis, etc) and it's EZ mode.

*correction: If %chance to stun below 20% is ignored, blade vortex would need to do 500 damage vs a 5000hp target in pvp to effectively perm stun once they walk into you. Assuming warlords mark works the way I think it does, with that curse (via blasphemy aura or whatever), the damage requirement would be 125. So with a 125 damage blade vortex and just 9 stacks, you've reached perma stun with warlords mark (actually that might be 5 stacks, due to the stun recovery reduction from warlords). Drop that to just 62.5 damage with a level 21 stun support gem added.
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Last edited by Vhlad on Dec 31, 2015, 9:47:45 PM

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