As was pointed out correctly, softcaping Veil of shadows is very strong, mistake on my side. Feel free to remove 1 point to get 1 % RR back from thermite mines.
This is my personal all-time favorite build. I optimized a lot here, and obviously the build in the GT link has a lot of very good gear. Everything you see in the Performance section further down is with very well rolled purples, BIS MI’s double rares, sometimes even triple rares, BUT this build is very beginner-friendly (as friendly as Nightblades can be) and to have a good experience with the build you don’t need that level of optimization. If the demand for an LVL 1 to Lokarr guide exists, I will work on that but right now this is only an Endgame showcase, I hope you enjoy!
The idea i simple, Cold dual-wield (DW) night blades are very mobile and can dish out a lot of damage quickly, while struggling with taking damage. Since Nightblades, in particular Auto-Attack (AA) bases DW Nightblades got buffed heavily in damage (and convenience) this patch, I wanted to see how far I could push my favorite build in 1.2.
The concept is also rather simple, we want our Fire Strike from the Demolitionist side to deal as much damage as possible. For that we equip the main stars of the build, the purple set swords Nex & Ortus.
Together with very strong Monster Infrequents (MI’s) that are tailor-made for an cold damage based Saboteur, we want as much flat Cold damage applied to Fire strike as possible while converting all flat Fire damage added to Fire Strike we get to cold and a good chunk of acid damage too. We unfortunately cannot convert flat pierce to cold, and the damage that gets converted into Fire damage stays Fire damage, but as you will see it doesn’t really matter .
Let us talk about what makes these swords so good, because understanding these makes the understanding of everything else much easier.
- First the Obvious: + 1 to all skills, 110 offensive ability (OA), % Weapon damage to Fire strike and a lot of other very nice stuff for a Cold / Fire build
- We convert all Acid damage to Fire (2/3) and Cold (1/3) on Fire Strike. The split is unfortunate, but otherwise the build would be even stronger as it is, which would be insane.
- Sacred Balance this is the main selling point, adding 26 flat Resistance Reduction (RR) for 3 seconds with a 1-second Cooldown (CD), means it’s not only up all the time (if we crit of course), but also that we can skip a flat RR devotion, letting us be way more versatile there. You need High OA to keep this procing.
- Both the healing light proc for Ortus and the Shadow bolt for Nex provide a nice sustain boost.
Because Nex deal more damage and the proc has a lot less CD, put Nex in your offhand, so Amarasta’s Blade Burst (ABB) uses Nex.
For Ortus take the one with the highest amounts of flat Fire damage, attack speed, health and Chaos resistance, While for Nex the same applies, just that the % Cold Damage is more important than the Aether resistance.
Head: Namadeas Horns, these are absolutely essential and need an Overseer prefix. Up to + 18 % physical resistance, global Fire - > Cold, flat Cold to Pneumatic Burst these are just amazing!
Necklace: Ellena’s Necklace, also absolute top tier, Physical → Cold, innate flat cold, + 1 Nightblade, just amazing. Try to get a decent triple rare here, its actually quite easy. Chilled is extra flat Cold but good rare affixes provide a lot of resistances which you then don’t need to fix anymore.
Medal: Galeslice’s Mark, also absolute BIS. Flat Cold and + 3 to Flame touched, and global Fire and Chaos conversion makes this absolutely amazing. This is also very easy to farm, try to get a decent one.
Shoulders: Fabius’ Plauderon / Zantarin’s Shoulderguard, both are amazing. I personally like Fabius more due to hardcapping Fire strike (the 22nd point is the by far the strongest Point/Damage) and giving Belgothian’s Shear more points which is actually a good Weapon pool skill (WPS) thus patch. Zantarins give up to 736 health, making it the tankier option but choose by preference.
Legs: Kubacabra’s Chausses, These are only necessary if you go for Fabius Shoulder to hardcap Lethal assault. If you go Zantarin’s, you have options. Kubas require you to pump physique, which you want anyway for health and DA (not a meme stat anymore on melee, especially Nightblades)
Let’s make this quick,
Chest: Frostdread Cuirass, insane amount of flat cold, just amazing and + up to 9 % health
Belt: Chains of Nightfire, the conversion is not needed but up to 792 health, very high 108 armor and stun res making this BIS in my opinion
Feet: Amatok’s Step, BIS try get 5 % phys res
Hands: Icescorn Talons, + 2 Lethal assult, BIS, try get % Armor for completion
Rings: Rubi & Sapphire of Elemental Balance, these are made for this build. Perfect stats + bonuses and very cool aesthetic on the proc, try get % Armor here too.
Relic: Nidalla’s Outbreak, +1 Nightblade high % Cold damage, Aether res, high DA just a very solid relic, try to get +1 to Night’s Chill if lethal assault is maxed, if not, well you know…
Because we are a Squishy Class combination, we need defenses that cover this weakness. The high Physical resistance from the Gear, skills and devotions is very strong but that + getting our Armor as high as we can makes this Build surprisingly tanky.
Yugol: 16 % Damage reduction + high flat cold damage and leech, making this the best of the cold tier 3 Devotions
Crab: Nice shield + 15 flat elemental, very good
Hyrian: 5 points (we don’t need the proc), 18 % Armor, 10 % healing effectiveness, which scales leech, a lot of health and % elemental damage and the big one 16 flat elemental
The rest aims at getting more OA, leech, tankiness and affinity.
You are a melee DW Nightblade, meaning the skill floor is higher on this than on most other archetypes because you are a squishy class in melee. You need to know basically 3 things:
- What Fights can you take
- How long can you take them
- What is your priority target
All of these come with game knowledge + being familiar with your build. The general strategy is keeping lethal assault up 100 % of the time and Ring of Steeling (RoS) the dangerous enemies for the Fumble. Place Thermite Mine below your priority target and go ham with Fire strike.
Updates in the Replies
Before You ask, yes i leveled 3 separate Sabo’s for the Ravager kills
With the Embers Calling Set you can pull of a Fire / Chaos damage-based Fire strike Sabo, but it honestly does look weaker on paper than the cold version.
Thank you very much if you read all this, it took a while. I hope I inspired you to pick this build up and try it out for yourself, and maybe, who knows, it will become your new favorite build too .