Blade Blast

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Last bumped on Aug 11, 2020, 12:57:14 PM
I played marauder chieftain last league and a bit this league.
All versions are using bladefall and blade blast, self-cast. Cast BF, then BB.

Sorry, this won't be concise, as I'm talking about actual and theoretical builds over two leagues.

Level 95
3.10 - actual character
100% fire damage, fairly safe. A few improvements, such as using an awakened unleash gem, could have increased the damage up to 60-70M DPS, depending on the size of the boss
Loads of damage from Herald of Ash with the rings that got nerfed
Average clear due to the 18 size of the blasts
The build was tanky enough and no life flask was needed due to the various forms of life recovery. Sirus 8 deathless was easy, unless I got caught out by the beams in the last phase. I did truckloads of damage to him and felt awesome.
Deathless simulacrum was easy. The big bosses at wave 20 usually died in one BF+BB volley.
3.10 - theoretical changes, based on my above character, I wanted to improve the clear by increasing the AoE, and get more defences
Blood magic, with no life reservation
Still 3.10, increased defences and life, still not perfect.
Uses Herald of Ash
35 size of the blasts
40-50M DPS quite regularly
3.11 - theoretical character. This is what I was hoping to build in 3.11. It uses the 3.10 gear, tweaked for the changes in 3.11. The circles of anguish no longer helped the mana reserve, they instead did more damage. Due to the large nerfs, herald of ash is still great, but nowhere near as good as the 3.10 versions.
Changing to mana makes things more awkward, in terms of making all the pieces fit, but it still looked worthwhile. Instant Enduring Cry on left click should make the character feel very tanky.
I also wanted to try this character as a league starter to see how it would feel.
35 size of blasts
30-40M DPS
3.11 - actual character
The league start was horrible until I got bladefall.
It's possible to use blade blast with ethereal knives, but oh god it was awkward, as the blades created by EK are almost always in the wrong place. It's almost compulsory to have a totem with EK placed behind you, in order to create the blades near where you are.
Once I got bladefall, bladefall and bladeblast felt good to level up with during the story and it was decent into maps. The first conquerers were okay, first Sirus squashed me cos I couldn't do anywhere near enough damage.
I quickly realised that my plans were terrible. Good enough circle of anguish rings would have cost a ton and good cluster jewels were way too hard to get. Good enough Megalomaniac jewels were impossible to get within the first month, simply because not enough of them were dropping.
Because the cluster jewels weren't available easily, I went for rings that helped with mana.
I abandoned the idea of getting Lone Messenger. Not only was Herald of Ash not good enough without the rings, it was also very expensive.
I went for Aspect of the Spider and Skitterbots.
I had lots of layers of defences and felt very tanky. 7437 life and 309 ES. Around 4360 combined life regen, life leech and ES leech per second. Note this is average and takes the average life regen from enduring cry into account. 75/62 block with glancing blows (spell block would have been max if I'd had better access to cluster jewels). Blind up almost all the time.
The gear wasn't perfect by any means.
Around 10M DPS
Sirus 8 was easy after gearing up. With defences and DPS as is, deaths were due to silly mistakes, instead of the fight being tough.
At this point, with this POB, the build would have cost about 35 exalts.

This was only one variant of the character, with conversion to fire that got nerfed ... but I did enjoy the experience. The felt much better in 3.10, but the tankiness was great in 3.11.
The huge 3.10 damage would only be possible in 3.11 if you neglect your defences, or have some really expensive gear.
The Megalomaniac jewels dropping so rarely means the upper limits of the build and lower, but frankly the huge amount of damage wasn't needed, even though it felt awesome.
I think the build can make a good tanky character, that deals 40M DPS and has 8k life, and has good clear ... but this would be hard to do without spending at least 50 ex, maybe 100 depending on the cost of the right cluster jewels.

Using bladefall and blade blast self cast was a good combination, but it requires a lot of button-pushing. For this reason, I doubt I'd play a self-cast version of it again, it simply feels too intense.

The clear and DPS is good, but from what I've seen, you need to put a lot of exalts into the build. Without having a good 10+ex bow, the damage is heaps lower. It can be done with other weapons, but it would sacrifice a fair bit of offence and/or defence, at least from what I've seen.

I theorised a few trigger versions of this build, but couldn't think of how to make it work with any decent amount of damage. Hopefully someone else found a way that they're happy with. I think halving the number of blades left in the ground (by bladefall etc) is fair, but it makes the build feel far worse, physically, due to all the button/key pushing.

Overall, I think blade blast falls into the category of, it works well if you throw tons of currency at it. Using blade blast as a main damage skill without a lot of currency would probably be a very frustrating experience.

Hope that helps!

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