When you see the throne of melee you can tell it belongs to pierce
I like melee, and pierce is currently the strongest dmg type for close combat. Naturally, i wanted to make a strong pierce dual-wield build (i already have a 2H one).
The only problem is there is an obvious king of pierce DW - Belgothian set. So we can either follow the king or try to dethrone it.
Belgo Blademaster is a classic and it was minmaxed to the limit. It leaves small room to be creative as it takes up two vital slots for creativity and forces to use it’s ridiculously overpowered autoattack in conjunction with Blademaster’s WPS for huge attack multipliers.
Spoiler: i can’t really say i succeeded with my dethroning as well. I did manage to make the build faster than Belgo but it’s more tricky to play and it has less survivability. But if you wanna know what a crazy person shows off a 4:45 Crucible run with a Cadence build and then asks for Cadence buffs (kinda), stay tuned.
dps is in Cadence with all permabuffs up
184.108.40.206 > <<< Grimtools >>>
220.127.116.11 > <<< Grimtools >>>
We focus on maximizing the Cadence damage output: classical double Reaver’s Claw for 5 target Cadence and almost capped Deadly momentum + fully converted and capped Lethal Assault for maximum WD value.
Originally i used pierce+bleed version of the build and it had even more dmg potential but i couldn’t make it stable.
Even though we have 3 green MI items, the build is not exactly green because the main value of the items is their base - +skills and conversion. The only thing you should look for is Amarasta’s Flurry suffix, it can be found on any of the green items used.
The easiest item to farm is Epaulets, they are raining like hell in the Tomb of the Eldritch Sun. Other affixes are pretty much irrelevant, just pick the best items you have to maximize the dmg and cover few res gaps left.
The build has 3 craftable items. Use them to increase physique or armor.
Skills and devotion
Skill destribution is nothing unusual for pierce blademaster except one thing - soft capped cooldown reduction for Shadow Strike. Not only it gives maneuverability, it makes for a good Blades of Wrath procer (Nightfall is a double area hit and with such high OA there is often at least one crit to proc BoW).
Devotion map is a place for experiments. I tried several of them, with different upsides and downsides. The one used for performance recordings was taken from @mad_lee 's Belgo BM specifically for direct comparison to Belgo as i thoroughly tested both builds.
In the Crucible the build feels more or less the same: nerfs of Amatok buff and beacons are somewhat compensated by +1 target to Cadence. In SR it is probably a little stronger now.
Here is 4:58 Crucible run with pierce res mutator:
Crucible 151-170 - 4:50 min (4:45 buff timer):
– So what was that talking about Cadence buffs? The skills looks fine if not OP!
The main source of survivability of a melee character is leech. Every autoattack skill in the game has a multiplier to the basic attack, even the puny Beronath’s Fury. But 2 out of 3 strikes of Cadence are basic, 100% attacks.
In the Crucible video you can see the leech dips when fightning a pierce-resistent Kaisan. You can only rely on 1/3 of your attacks. And what if two Cadence strikes in a row happen to be catched by fumble pools? That’s 8 attacks in a row with a very low leech rate.
The build has incredible attack dmg done by the best dmg type for melee but even 3.1k effective DA, 2.8k armor, 15% adcth, 25% impaired aim/fumble and 80% dodge on a proc, Serenity, Ghoul, Prismatic Diamond and overcapped AS can’t guarantee you safety because of how incredibly unstable Cadence is. It’s just not comfortable to play. In comparison, a Belgo set build with fewer layers of defense and lower DA value is simply immortal.
Instability shows in the dmg output as well: your Cadence strike lays waste on the enemies but the other two attacks might as well not hit at all. And it often takes 2 strikes to bring down a regular mob while any other autoattack skill would take just 1.
The staggering result of the build doesn’t come from Cadence, i can tell you that. First of all, it’s pierce. Not only pierce resistance is an oddity among the monsters of Cairn, it is also very easy to convert different dmg types into pierce.
Second stop is Reaver’s Claw. The one and only weapon for pierce Cadence. If it takes two outlier weapons to make the skill work, that’s not right.
Last but not least, Stormcaller beacons. Clearly a huge help for our build because they solve RR issue for a single RR class. But what will happen when the beacons see their deserved nerf? Meeting Kaisan while under armor mutator will be a nightmare for pierce Cadence.
Still, the net dmg output of Cadence is high. My suggestion would be to tone down the 3rd strike and maybe even Deadly Momentum for the sake of buffing the charge-up strikes to at least 133% WD.
It is simply not right that a minmaxed to the limit skill with a 40 point investment cannot match it’s rival - zero investment skill.