[DW melee] Beginner's Forgotten Blademaster

I’ve been playing this game for ~500hrs. Blademaster was my first character(always been a dual weilding guy) But couldn’t actually cracked end game content. My blademaster phys build(shit weapon) could barely farm fabius(but so far from efficient). He’s level 79(have sgit gear). I also had another character witchblade level 85(need gear, but couldn’t farm)…I come back to game this week, found your guide, with proof of faction item…wow, i could maybe own endgame content with this :smiley: I’m starting a new character, now level 42 act 3…found 2 slicers(superior/alacrity + puncture/alacrity) I hope this build’s gonna be my saviour :slight_smile: Thank you.


Hey man, great guide! I reached 100 on my Blademaster based on your guide, just killed Log and startingAoM and FG on Ultimate. I still die every now and then, and I think my damage is not high enough. I know Tooltip DPS isn’t everything, but your Tooltip DPS was in the 90k, I can’t even reach 50k, and my gear isn’t half bad. Could you take a look at my gt link and tell me what I’m doing wrong? I know my DA is low, working on it. Cheers!
Grimtools: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/0V0L4drV

For starters it would be good to know whether it’s DPS with Deadly Momentum up or not. Mine is with Deadly Momentum and Ulzaad’s Decree to boot.

Other than that you’re using a vastly inferior devotion setup. It doesn’t have a crapton of flat damage from Ulzaad, it doesn’t have 10% more attack speed from Jackal + Revenant and it doesn’t have a source of flat RR, which is Revenant in my case. So your damage being significantly lower than mine is no surprise. You’re also using gloves without attack speed, so there’s that too. You have 170% in GT without Ghoul’s proc, while a reasonable DW build should have 190%+.

If you’re lacking in Bloodied Crystals you can use Mark of Illusion as a cheap alternative, that’s +64 DA Also your ring/amulet augments are level 40, they are crap for your level. I use Hammerfall Powder, it’s pretty much +210 DA. It’s no wonder you’re dying on Ultimate with DA that low if you ask me.

Other than that you didn’t update your components to high level ones yet, that’s something you can improve too.

Skill-wise it puzzles me why you left Warcry not softcapped at 12/12. It contributes a lot to survival, just spam it in fights.

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If you can you point me towards what I must do now I would be so grateful. The farthest i reach in this game was Ultimate Cronley’s Hideout for Fabius with other character.

With this character I didn’t finish AoM campaign on normal, after unlocking Coven+Borrow Faction I went straight to Elite, I just beat Loghorrean in Elite. Should I finish AoM+FG or farm? (what should I probably farm?) or move to ultimate?

This is my character as of now. https://www.grimtools.com/calc/pZrM350V ~43k dps. Grimtool show less poison+bleeding+chaos res total. dont know why though.

This was my phys blademaster level 79 before :smiley: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/nZo8DjGN Was so stupid and not use any components :’( 9k dps… What would I do with this game if I didn’t find your guide here, can’t even imagine… :smiley:

A bit suboptimal if it’s your first character, but nothing that ruins your character.

Generally for any beginner I recommend to do almost full playthroughs of normal and elite, mostly because it’s a nice method to build up reputation with factions, which you would need to buy stuff from them later on. In some cases it’s even worth it to come back from elite to normal and complete a quest you didn’t had access before due to low reputation.

Basically, when I’m making a fresh new character I don’t think much about how to level faster, I think about how to max reputation with most factions in the game, because almost all of my builds are faction gear based.

Skipping content means you’ll be short on faction reputation so you’d have to do some faction bounties and / or boring grind. I think that answers your inquiry on what should you probably farm.

As for moving to Ultimate - it is a good way to boost your level for sure, but level isn’t something I pursue much before I have faction reputations maxed out, so my typical cadence is not stepping into Ultimate until levels 90. Some may disagree, but that’s just what works best for me when I emulate a fresh start.

Grimtools calculates your resistances based on average roll while it could be either above or below average in-game.

Looks fine, I’d replace relic with Zeal if you’ve got a blueprint. Generally levels 70+ is when you should have augments in all of your gear slots, but since you’re behind in faction rep it’s understandable.

Looks awful, but admittedly my first character that reached the same level had something like 4-5k DPS. :rofl:

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Thanks for fast reply. Okay…I think I have to finish normal campaign+elite since I consider this character as my first, others were pretty much garbage anyway…Thanks a lot :slight_smile:

Hello. I love this build. Simple and straightforward. Little to no kiting except when doing totems.

Currently at level 90. I am now scratching my head with skill & attribute points.
Did you take a look at “American dream” build which is very similar to yours? What do you feel is the main difference between your build and his?

I noted that instead of investing equally into Physique and Cunning. He put everything into Cunning which makes more sense in terms of damage but causes less regeneration. Is there a sweet spot?

What about his swords? I know that you rely on faction & easy to find gear. What about those Malmouth swords? Less Armor Piercing but I believe they are overall better in the end. I believe that using level 94 swords makes more sense than keeping level 65 swords. Are the Dermapteran Slicers limited in level ?

Yes, I’m well aware of that build.

The main difference is my guide attempts to provide full scale of information on how to level a character, while his build focuses on pushing the limits of the budget setup. You can say that his build is a good follow-up to mine.

That aside, his build is more up to date and I’d say more optimized overall, although among the choices he done there is both stuff I like and dislike.

Banana is a renown Crucible speedrun superstar while I just casually play the game on hardcore to my enjoyment. It’s not unusual for him to glass a character a bit since he’s just very good at piloting DW nightblade builds. I think my stat distribution is more balanced.

Less armor piercing is exactly the reason I don’t like them. But I didn’t test them in-depth. I think Derma Slicers are easy enough to farm if it’s just superior/puncturing of alacrity.

No, as with every MI item they have several tiers. If enemies are high enough level you can get a level 94 Slicer too. I wouldn’t had used them if they stopped scaling at 65 ofcourse.

Thanks StupidDragon for the detailed answer (and thanks again for the detailed path for leveling, I went back to that post countless times and learned so much from it).
Now at level 94 with my blademaster (my highest character). I’ll certainly go back to farm some slicers.

I luckily drop a Mythical Grasp of Unchained Might. I’ve read your replies about Unknown Soldier devotion nodes. Does the resistance reduction of glove stack with revenant skeleton. If not should I remove manticore+revenant+1 purple node and choose Harpy+Unknown Soldier. Will that be good? Seal of Blade still eluded me, that 6% life leech would be a loss until I found the recipe though.

My Character as of now: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/r2B03yBZ

I’ve just reach Homestead Ultimate. Will farm for some slicers :slight_smile:


It’s a standard practice once you have M. Grasp of Unchained Might, but the exact setup may vary from builder to builder. At this point I recommend to check other people’s blademaster builds, since they surely know better :slight_smile:

You’ll still be the best to me :smiley: Okay then, I’ll look for those guides or maybe do some tweak meself :grimacing: :+1:

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Im new to this game and maybe im just bad but im having a very hard time clearing since this skill seems to mainly be single target.

Indeed, it gets better once you get all key WPS procs like belgothian and whirling death, plus Azraaka in devotions. If you don’t have them yet you can put more points into Ring of Steel temporarily. But in it’s essence it’s a build with high single target and low AoE. It will never have a caster-like screen wide AoE. Which isn’t a problem since you don’t really need to kill every white skeleton, just kill heroes & tough enemies and move along.

I’ve played Grim Dawn on and off for several years but haven’t studied the mechanics too closely until now. I’m loving this build so far (and the guide) and am having good success blowing through the campaign on Veteran.

Quick question though, I currently level 41, made the transition to Cadence at 35 and the game got a lot easier as a result. I just picked up my first 2 Dermapteran Slicers a short while ago, however I have a mace that gives +2 levels to Cadence.

According to the tool tip on Page 2 of the character sheet for Cadence, its a big DPS loss to equip the second Dermapteran Slicer. However on page 1 under Damage per Second, the 2nd Dermapteran Slicer is better.

While leveling, is it worth it to keep the +2 levels to Cadence? Or am I losing out on DPS somehow not having a second Dermapteran Slicer equiped? Which tool tip do I believe?

Thanks for the help and any information on the mechanics you care to share.


Here’s the stats on the Mace:
Relentless Raider Bladed Mace of Alacrity
15-143 Physical Damage
1.80 Attacks per Second
10% Chance of 87 Physical Damage
19% Physical Damage
15% Attack Speed
+2 Cadence

Nice, glad to hear it worked for you. Recently I’ve got some feedback that it’s underwhelming when you first switch to Cadence.

To be honest it doesn’t really matter much, and that Cadence tooltip on page 2 takes into account only sheer damage from Cadence discharge, while the number on the first page is DPS. It’s not surprising that mace would result in higher peak damage but lose in dps. I usually just trust the 1st page, but with some caution.

how is this build working in 1.1.7 any changes or just follow what is stated in the guide? :smiley:

It still has Emp. Essence of Beronath which is a leftover from the old time when it gave +1 to all skills. At the same time there are now +1 to Soldier/Nightblade green belts as well as +1 to Soldier/Nightblade green amulets, so you can more or less reproduce my skills with that. Devotions still look decent, well, maybe I’d invest these 4 points in Targo in something else, but I’m not sure where. The new MI bias system is a boon for this char because it uses two Dermapteran’s Slicers.

While some aspects might be outdated and I’d certainly do stuff slightly different now, it’s still a viable build, perhaps even a bit stronger than it was.

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Hey, just wanted to say “Thank You” for this great Guide.

I’ve more than 1k hours in GD and i like to follow guides like this. Its well written and easy to follow.

While i am able to follow GDStah Builds or just a naked [SUPER AWESOME BUILD] LINK.
I doubt that a new Player could follow that kind of “BuildGuide”.

Thank you for your effort.

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Hello Dragon,

Dropping a message to say thank you for this incredible and still viable build.

This was my second build to 100 and it was a breeze to play. Killing all the quest content on ultimate wasn’t hard at all.

This is the current gear which i was able to kill all quests content including all dungeons.
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4Vxp7wJV (for some reason my medal is not showing up.)

They are still some bosses which I’m struggling to kill (lokhar and climbing SR), but its getting there.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.


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