[] Deathmarked reborn: Trickster + Blademaster, 5 mins Cruci, SR75+ cold DW melee

Deathmarked entering the Crucible once again. It’s been a while.

It’s time for cold DW melee, folks!

No matter how badly you’d want to be creative with it, there is just not enough viable items in stock to choose from: Chillheart, Korba and Deathmarked. There are million and one builds with Chillheart so we’ll go and mix Korba and Deathmarked, that’s how far creativity will take us.

I know people consider DM set to be overnerfed. But recent changes to cold-friendly devotions, buffs to blue items and some meta-switches have put this set back into the game.

The Build

dps is in Savagery


<<< GRIMTOOLS (outdated) >>> Update

The Trickster build changed a bit shifting focus to Nightfall. Blademaster build stayed the same (the version with Gragoyle or Spellbreaker belt that is, Chains of Anguish is worse than no belt now).

Crucible times went up a bit, SR performance didn’t change.

First stop is Trickster. It has smth new and it is faster after all.

The concept is simple: with Korba helm we get full bonus from Savagery and Stormcaller’s Pact which results in a very high melee dmg output.

Of course, full DM set is also a viable option. But in terms of Crucible and SR chunks clear you have to keep in mind that our cold RR is already very high. Casting the Reaper’s Mark on anything but the bosses will likely slow you down. And 25% pierce conversion from full set is no match for +1 skills to Nightblade and lightning conversion for AA. You can see that this +1 allows us to max two crucial skills - Nightfall and Lethal Assault.


The cornerstone of the build’s performance is not rare Alkamos rings. And not the busted blue belt. It’s the medal. +2 m radius to the aura and bonus dmg to it, combined with bonus dmg from the gloves and our huge RR, clears weaker most mobs without touching them.

Alkamos rings can be blue, it’ll be only slightly slower because +5% OA from the blues is pretty big for all the crit and frostburn dmg we have. And we already have dmg reduction from the Yugol proc.

Chains of Anguish is BiS here due to high leech. Single rare Gargoyle belt has similar performance due to vitality conversion for Nightfall but less consistency (for now, until the blue belt is nerfed/fixed).

Kuba pants are BiS, of course, it’s +skills can’t be matched by anything and it’ll be silly to try and build a non-green version. Even double magic roll will work (look for ele res). I chose a mid-tier version for the build.

@Plasmodermic had a suggestion to use Belgo relic but i didn’t try it, although it might be faster. Nidalla is more reliable source of dmg so i kept it.


I’ve settled on Yugol+Ultos+Amatok map for cold long before the Yugol buff and now it’s simply the best you can do for melee, in my opinion.

There is still some wiggle room to get more adcth from Bat or Revenant (i advice to take the latter for SR because we have no source of reduced RR outside of Crucible).

The bindings were tested intensively, watching replays with GI debuff icons turned on. On paper binding Rumor to SS and Blizzard to Savagery sounds like a great idea.

In reality SS+Nightfall doesn’t give consistent single target proc for some reason (and it should because it’s a 94% chance, maybe it’s my fps issues). And even though our SS cooldown is only 2 seconds binding Rumor to Savagery gives more consistent procs. Blade Spirits are worse for Blizzard than autoattack but what you gonna do.

I also suggest to try the Ultos proc. The dmg is still ok without lightning conversion, certainly worth 1 point, and it sometimes applies %RR to the enemies you haven’t touched yet. I couldn’t test its viability because it kills my remaining fps.


Finally bought new PC so here is a 4:06 run:

Crucible is 5:20 on average, very mutator-dependant. 4:50 run:

This is a 1lvl2+3lvl1 beacons + 3 buffs run - 2 tributes short from being sustainable with 3 runs. You can complete wave 1-10 once in a while to compensate the loss (takes up about 1.5 mins).

Due to fps issues i cannot provide the best possible result right now. Off camera best was 4:43. There was a ~4:30 attempt (with a single rare green belt btw) but i made a stupid mistake of greed and died.

Plasmodermic strikes again, with a 4:34 run:

With a build around the green belt, proving that the concept performs well without Chains of Anguish:

Shattered realm is, of course, farmable at 75-76. I’ve recorded a speedrun with a slower Blademaster so stay tuned for that.

Blademaster build Update


Classic Deathmarked BM, as old as this world. Nothing really new except the buffed items and, again, the medal.

dps is in Cadence

BM has lower sheet dps and lower RR but it actually clears a little faster in melee thanks to WPS pushing Cadence to more frequent discharge strikes.

As you can see, neither build took War Cry. It’s a decent source to make you more buff for the hardest encounters. But it requires 11 points investing and an additional button. And we have no CDR. It felt unreliable and not benificial to the build.

4:40 run on a new PC:

Crucible - 5:06 run:

Again, 1lvl2+3lvl1 beacons + 3 buffs run

Update: 5:01 Crucible run without the bugged belt (Spellbreaker insted):

Almost nothing is changed for the clarity of the experiment.

Lower clear times come from inability to max out Nightfall and NJE. And in here we really can’t take some +skills helm. The sacrifice of Reaper’s Mark on a single RR class is unwarranted.

That said, it ended up to be a pretty sturdy char with a potential of sub 5 min run. Considering the current state of the Cadence it’s pretty good.

SR75-76 run:

As always, the live builds replicate capabilities of a legit player with endgame experience: reasonable amount (5-6) of copies of blue/purple items at hand, single copy of each Alkamos ring, single copy of the relic with the desired craft, single rare copy of a farmable MI. 80%+ consistency for the build when played safely.

I’ve tested other classes with the set over the past months. Infiltrator showed good results. But we already have a fast cold Infiltrator with Morgo set so i went for smth different.


I don’t think that DM and Morgo set are overpowered. They still require careful piloting when built for dmg.

Fast clearing happens primarily for two reasons: 1) High dmg from high AoE aura allows to skip many interactions with weaker mobs 2) Main reason is, of course, Nightfall. Low cooldown blink with such high dmg and AoE just can’t be slow by definition.

If there had to be adjustments my suggestion would be to switch AoE values between Nighfall and Ring of Steel. RoS is rarely used for dmg these days simply because it’s no good. Nightfall on the other hand turns an already powerful single target-blink skill into a complete nuke monster. Which doesn’t sound right.

Another big, universal contribution to clear times are beacons which draw aggro very well and have RR on top of that. Unless this is somehow changed i don’t think we are ever coming back to “sub 6mins is OP” territory. Which is not bad, in my opinion, but that’s just me.

That’s all for now, guys. Join the army of the dead cold! :damage_cold::damage_cold::damage_cold:


I am cold DW builds fan but you put me to shame :astonished:

Nice :damage_cold: builds and monster times! That inspired me to retest my Reaper.

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Thanks! Reaper DM - i didn’t try that one. Should be pretty good with Gargoyle belt for vit conversion.
I like single mastery sets like this, you can build 8 chars with it, and each one will have some merit to it.

So Nightfall pays dividend even with no support gear? Who’d have thought! Really good idea to hybridize with SS. Also, I think you might have just nerfed it…

Can’t say I love that no flat rr devos but there’s no arguing it’s probably optimal for 3+4 crucible. But if you make it versatile with rr from devos, you lose shitload of oa and even more so if you lose the 1-season Anguish…

BTW what’s the cd on SS?

Cd is 2 sec. Trickster can be rebuilt with Gargoyle belt no problemo. BM will be hit hard.
There is a way to take Revenant without big stat losses.

You give up Ghoul and Amatok step though. For SR Ghoul is not so important.

Congrats on resurrecting Death Marked!

Just one thing - Chains of Anguish - its getting rightfully the shaft next patch - so maybe you can tweak the build with a gargoyle belt.

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4:42 was the best time I managed to get with the build (4:34 based on buff timers). I think Bat is the right way to go with the devotions, and I was using the green belt instead of anguish.


They already did. Now they’re saying cold is dead unless converts from lightning. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

This build is specifically designed for the new way.

Btw, what’s the difference between lvl2 beacon and lvl1 beacon? Is it really worth the satisfaction of being tribute sustainable? :wink:

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It’s huge, 12 RR difference. Makes the performance more consistent as well. Not sure if it’s more profitable than 4+3 time-wise but it has faster runs :smiley:

And since people already use unsustainable 4+4 i figured why not?

Damn, this is such an unorthodox angle for a classical melee build and it worked! I don’t like this belt and 2/10 Heart of the Wild (I think stacking hp is one of the Trickster’s strong suits beside damage) but damn, this works so well it seems! Gratz!


I’m guessing that using that as a basis for nerfs could, in turn, hurt new players who can’t compensate as well. Would that be a reasonable concern?

Good point. Banana squished out this trickster quite a bit to afford for that SS.

Some folks have been saying Blademaster won’t work without this broken belt. So here is a 5:01 Crucible run with a Spellbreaker belt.

The purple belt is, of course, a little worse, it’s just a better run. But it gives some good flat pierce which is not wasted on this build with it’s +1.5k% pierce and 54% pierce RR.


Hi banana_peel, im new in the game and in the forum, also im not an english native so please be kind with my horrible english.

Can you please put the order of the skill to lvl up and devotion? I dont know which skill I must lvl first and which path I have to make in devotion area. I will love you if you can! :smiley:

Thx for this build! Looks awesome.
Saludos desde Uruguay//Greetings from Uruguay!

Hi and welcome to the forum! No worries, i’m not native too.

This is an endgame build that implies you already have most of recipes, and your status with the most important factions is close to be revered.

Sometimes people explain the leveling process in an endgame build post if the leveling has some quirks to it. But in this case there is nothing unusual, and explaining it would take unnecessary space.

What you are looking for is a guide for beginners. There are many of those on the forums, and Blademaster is one of the most common classes of choice for a beginner’s build (not sure about Trickster but you will probably find one as well). Here are some examples for Blademaster:

When you follow one of the beginner’s guides for the class you want and get a grip on the game mechanics (this is a useful thread for that) you will feel more confident to proceed to any endgame build such as this.

Just a couple of quick tips: melee builds are not very easy to level with the skills they’ll use in endgame. I suggest to max out the Phantasmal Blades line early on and later, when your character will grow some meat, respec the points into Savagery (Trickster) or Cadence (Blademaster) and WPS (upper line of Nightblade). Also don’t forget to max out Night’s Chill and Veil of Shadows as early as possible, it’s a very useful skill on every stage.

Aproaching the endgame you will find a very powerful two-hander called Spite (recipe is available at lvl94 at one of the factions). It will be very easy to reach lvl100 with it (using Phantasmal blades) and level all your skills in the devotion map.

For early devotions i suggest to buff your resists and stats and respec them later the way it is shown in grimtools.



Hey Banana, how would you do devos for cold melee WITH flar rr?

Hey! Like this: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/p25daGyN
Some gear may need to be switched around to fill the CC res gaps, maybe Amatok boots -> Magelord.

This setup, despite losing Ghoul and some phys res, is actually tankier thanks to more leech and Skeletons. But it’s slower.

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A little update on best times before the nerfs to celebrate new PC.

Trickster, 4:06

Blademaster 4:40

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Referenced nerfs being the expected storm banner nerfs and the acknowledged anguish bug fix?

Storm beacons nerfs. The belt isn’t required here as was shown, and it’s a fix, yes.