Melee in Normal?

Been wondering how to run melee combat in Normal. Most builds I see are pretty advanced stuff; not really my speed. Especially 'cuz I don’t farm. All my char startups have been ranged so far. Right now, running with a pyromancer. Much fun and doing okay.

But sometimes ya need up close and personal. Only I haven’t worked out a way to do it.

So suggestions welcome: builds, gear, devotion(s), skills, etc. Keeping in mind this is Normal. Thanks.

Quick and simple: Demolitionist >Firestrike >Explosive Strike.

Turns all your melee attacks into AoE attacks.

Cadence can also function, and Callidor’s Tempest is halfway between a spell and a Melee Range attack. Savagery is also a good option, and has some added tankiness that the others can’t offer, in its second node. Primal Strike LOOKS amazing…In practice I found it just OK, once it reaches Ultimate, unless you go FULL Ultos Set. But then, I only made one Primal Striker.

If you feel like leveling and then getting a new option…Beronath’s Fury Skill can be an interesting option. Might be other granted skills I’m not thinking off offhand though.

If you want simple, get a sword and board cadence soldier. I recommend a witchblade or a blademaster so you have a heal. Bind cadence to left mouse, blitz to right mouse, and heal to 1. Other skills can be added to make things more interesting but those 3 are your bread and butter and can pretty much clear everything on normal in my experience.

Look into getting maces with low armor piercing and high physical damage output, keep updating your shield to block as much damage as possible, and put lots of your points into physique and your mastery bar to keep your health as high as possible.

If you want to convert your pyromancer to melee, you should consider grabbing a weapon that converts physical damage to chaos or fire damage and has buffs to the same type that it converts to.

A physical / pierce dual wield blademaster can do better than fine through normal, and probably beyond.

Grimcalc (1 possible build, through to about end of normal):

The secret Blood Grove vendor sells good dual wield swords for normal, with +2 to shadow strike as a standard mod. A pair of those with Attack Damage Converted to Health on even 1 of them and you’ll have good damage and decent sustain. You’ll still need to back off from time to time, while heal potions come off cooldown, so you can’t ignore the gyrations of your blademaster’s life orb. Ground effects can be quite dangerous, in my experience, so you want to try to avoid standing in pools of dangerous stuff when you can.

Key skills:

The build relies on strong defense, good crowd control, a heal when needed, Healing Rain from Tree of Life (later on), and attack damage converted to health. Field command helps for getting crits, while Fighting Spirit kicks up your OA and damage even higher, further upping the damage for the assassin’s blade and (later) assassin celestial skills.

Get a scaled hide component on an armor piece to complement scars of battle. You’ll be sitting at 99%-ish absorption for armor, at that point, so then focus on getting your armor score high. Even if you have a random bunch of gear your blademaster will stand up pretty well against most physical damage after that. Also, it’s worth prioritizing getting factions to honored, as that gets you access to ring / amulet and to weapon augments. They make a big difference in patching holes and/or adding to your damage.

I put shadow strike on LMB and blade trap on RMB. I’d often charge in with shadow strike, hit war cry, cast blade trap, cast ring of steel, and then blitz. I rely on default attack and weapon pool skills in between cooldowns for these skills, in most situations.

Make the slaughter relic when you get a chance.


tortoise (5) (turtle shell on field command)
assassin’s blade (5) (assassin’s mark on ring of steel early on)
panther (4)
lizard (3)
sailor’s guide (4)
eel (3)
tree of life (6) (healing rain on Oleron’s rage)
lion (3)
scales of ulcama (6) (tilt the scales on veil of shadow)
minus lion
obelisk of Memnir (3 points only, stop at 150 armor in each slot)
harvestman’s scythe (6)
crossroads primordial (1)
minus eel
assassin (7) (blades of wrath on something with AOE on it, hits lots of mobs)

Hopefully this helps.

Thanks, guys. Gave it some thought and now running a commando. So far, so good. Does seem a bit lonesome, tho. Been going with Occ/something hybrids and miss my pals Razorbeak and Grimfang.

But hey, sometimes it’s good to get out of the comfort zone and do something new. Easy to get stuck in a rut and hard to get out. Good thing I have a shovel.

ETJ, came by too late for yours. But made a note of it and will try in the future. First Nightblade didn’t do well and abandoned it early. This might make a difference. Thanks.

I’ve found Dryad on flash bang in normal for a commando is good. Basically a constant heal whenever your fighting someone worth ‘flash banging’.