Blade Vortex Assassin Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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Build Introduction

Blade Vortex has always been one of the more interesting skills in the game. You cast spinning blades which orbit around you and stack up to 10 times. The more times you cast it – the more frequently it hits the enemy and the more damage it deals. Blade Vortex Blade Vortex – especially with the Elemental Witch, used to be one of the top meta builds recently until it got nerfed. However, it is still a pretty viable ability, and we are going to try a different approach with the Shadow/Assassin ascendancy. With this build we will have a huge amount of damage against everything – it is a good boss killer and it has a great clear speed. We will mainly depend on severe Critical Strikes with increased Critical Strike damage, and we will also be running Herald of Ice Herald of Ice & Hatred Hatred. The build has the damage to clear all of the game’s content, but lacks in defenses, as we depend on dodge chance, health, and resistances only.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Very fast clear speed
  • Great League Starter
  • Easy to level up
  • Great boss killer
  • Cheap gear to start with

Cons

  • Not that durable as some other builds
  • Some of the best items for the build might be too expensive
  • Low life regeneration – we must use Life Regeneration flasks

Playstyle

As mentioned above, our main skill will be Blade Vortex Blade Vortex. Mainly, our playstyle will be casting Blade Vortex Blade Vortex so we get 4-5 stacks off of it and running around while everything explodes around us. We will have lots of bonus movement speed plus we will be using Flame Dash Flame Dash for extra mobility and dodging boss attacks. On bosses, we will be casting Blade Vortex Blade Vortex more times so we get the extra stacks, plus we will preferably have the Vaal version for extra damage – Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex. On bosses, we can also use Vaal Grace Vaal Grace & Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire for the extra spell damage and evasion, however we do not recommend you experiment with Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire in Hardcore mode.

The build depends heavily on Critical Strikes. We will even reach a point where we have 100% Critical Strike chance – that will be good because that we can put other gems like Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem instead Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem or even use Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support – while still keeping 100% critical chance.

Passive tree

Early Game

At the start of the game our Passive tree should look like this

Mid Game

Mid game build shood look like this

End Game Passive Tree

Your end game build should look like this

Note: The jewels for this build might be quite expensive, so before you spend points on jewel slots make sure you have the currency to buy them.

Ascendancy – Assassin

Normal Lab – Unstable Infusion

After we complete the Normal Lab we will pick Unstable Infusion. This one is pretty much self self explanatory. It gives us power charges on hit with a bigger chance to get one if we do not score a critical strike.

Cruel Lab – Deadly Infusion

Deadly Infusion might be one of the best things about this build. It gives us one extra Power Charge, plus critical strike chance while we are at maximum Power Charges. But the best thing is it increases our Critical Strike Multiplier by 8% for each Power Charge – we should preferably have 9 Power Charges – which means 72% Critical Strike Multiplier just from this node.

Merciless Lab – Mistwalker

After the Merciless Lab we will get Mistwalker – it will give us extra Dodge chance and cast speed.

Eternal Lab – Opportunistic

This one will give us 100% extra damage while there is only one enemy nearby – it will help us a lot for boss fights.

Gem Links

Blade Vortex (6 link)

This should be in your chest and the main gem links are as follows.

  1. Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex
  2. Power Charge On Critical Support Power Charge On Critical Support
  3. Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support
  4. Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support
  5. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support
  6. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support

Note: If you have 100% Critical Strike chance (depends on your gear) you can switch out Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support for Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support. Make sure you have 100% Critical Strike chance while having Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support or switching out will be pointless. You can also switch Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support for Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support on boss fights.

Flame Dash / Whirling Blades (2 link)

If we have the 2x Void Battery Void Battery we use Flame Dash Flame Dash.

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

If we are using two Daggers, it is better to use Whirling Blades Whirling Blades.

  1. Whirling Blades Whirling Blades
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support

Summon Ice Golem / Summon Stone Golem ( 4 link)

Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support
Immortal Call Immortal Call
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Note : We would be using Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem for the extra critical strike chance. If we have enough critical strike chance, however, we will start using Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem instead.

Assassin’s Mark

Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark
Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support

Herald of Ice

Herald of Ice Herald of Ice

Hatred

Hatred Hatred

Note: The only way we can run Hatred while having Herald of Ice and Assassin’s Mark supported by Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support is by obtaining the Essence Worm Essence Worm item. Note that Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark gives us some extra survivability, so it is more important than Hatred Hatred.

Vaal Righteous Fire

Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire

Note that this one is only a recommendation and mainly for softcore players. It is just a spell to use on bosses for the extra spell damage.

Bandits & Pantheon

Bandits

Help Alira. We benefit from all the bonuses, especially the Critical Multiplier.

Pantheon

Major God

For a major god, the best one is Soul of Lunaris, as it would reduce the damage we take for each nearby enemy and increase our movement speed as well. We often go into huge packs, so this one should be helpful.

Minor God

For a minor god, the best one is Soul of Tukohama, as it would reduce physical damage taken while stationary. Most of the time we would go inside and start casting Blade Vortex Blade Vortex and we will not be moving, so the extra physical damage reduction is great.

Gear / Items

Weapon

The best weapon by far for this build is 2x Void Battery Void Battery. However, that might prove to be a bit too expensive so you can start with a cheap option like 2x Divinarius Divinarius.
However, you can also go with Rare Daggers with the following stats to look for:

  1. + % increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  2. + % increased Spell Damage
  3. + % increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  4. + % increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells

Note: Good rare Daggers with these stats might be too expensive, so it is best to just buy Void Battery Void Battery if you have that much currency.

Note #2: If you are going for 2x Daggers, you can switch out Flame Dash Flame Dash and use Whirling Blades Whirling Blades with Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support – it will give us even more mobility.

Helmet

Starkonja's Head Starkonja's Head is one of the best options here and it is also pretty cheap. It gives us Critical Strike Chance, Life, and some extra Evasion.

You can also use a decent Rare Helmet with the following stats:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum life

Note: You can get an enchant from Uber Lab that increases your Blade Vortex Blade Vortex damage by 40%, but these helmets might prove to be quite expensive.

Body Armour

Our choice here will be The Covenant The Covenant, mainly because we need the Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support to sustain our Blade Vortex Blade Vortex properly. It also gives us extra health and more damage. The Covenant The Covenant is pretty much mandatory, but you can also try going with a Rare armour with the following stats:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum life

Note: If you are using a Rare armour, you will have trouble sustaining your Blade Vortex charges, as it would be too taxing on your Mana. Use Unleash Support Unleash Support to sustain your mana until you get The Covenant The Covenant.

Gloves

Just a decent pair of Rare gloves with the following stats would do the trick:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped) – 30% of all is the best if possible
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % Increased Maximum Life

Note : + % Increased Attack speed – is a decent option only if you are using 2x daggers with Whirling Blades
Another Note : Enchantment of Fury from the Labyrinth will help our clear speed.

Belt

A rare belt is the best option here with the following stats:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped) – 30% of all if possible
  2. + % to maximum life – at least 70
  3. + % Increased Maximum Life
  4. + % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack skills

Boots

The best Boots for this build are Atziri's Step Atziri's Step, as they give us decent dodge chance, evasion and life, however a great alternative are Rare boots with these stats:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped) – 30% of all elemental resistance if possible
  2. + % to maximum life – 70 at least
  3. + % Movement speed increase – 25% at least
  4. + % Chance to Dodge Attack hits

Note : Enchantment – Movement Speed from the Labyrinth is great for this build as it would increase our clear speed.

Rings

One Essence Worm Essence Worm where we will put our Hatred Hatred is pretty much mandatory, as for the other ring we are going with Rare one as it is the best option. Look for the following stats on the Rare ring:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  4. + % Increased Spell Damage

Amulet

Go for a Rare amulet with the following stats:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  4. + % Increased Spell Damage

Jewels

We are going to prioritize regular jewels over abyssal ones, and make sure they are a combination of some of the following stats:

  1. + % Increased Maximum Life
  2. + % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  3. + % Increased Spell Damage
  4. + % Increased Physical Damage
  5. + % Increased Area Damage

Flasks

Make sure you have good instant regeneration Life Flask . Make sure you have remove bleeding modifier on one of your flasks. % life regenerated per second while under flask effect is also a good modifier to have. Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise will increase our damage a lot against bosses. A diamond flask is great to have as it increases our crit chance – try to get one with increased duration support. A Quicksilver Flask is great to increase our clear speed.

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

This build is great for leveling up as we will be obtaining our Blade Vortex Blade Vortex on level 12. Before that you can level up with any spell you want; Frost Blades Frost Blades is great until level 12.

Use Dash Dash for mobility.

At level 12 get Blade Vortex Blade Vortex and link it with Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support for the extra damage. At level 16 you will get Herald of Ice Herald of Ice for the extra damage.

The next thing you want is to link your Blade Vortex with Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support as well. Reverberation Rod Reverberation Rod is great early leveling unique as it will allow us to use Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support with Blade Vortex. On level 31 you can now start using your Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark plus Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support combo, which will improve our leveling experience drastically. On level 38 I recommend you link Blade Vortex Blade Vortex with Unleash Support Unleash Support and Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support for smoother gameplay.

Praxis Praxis is a great leveling unique, as it reduces the Mana cost of our Blade Vortex Blade Vortex and we will have a lot of Mana troubles until we get our The Covenant The Covenant.

As soon as we get 5 Power Charges (preferably 6) with the ascendancy we should definitely use Power Charge On Critical Support Power Charge On Critical Support instead of Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support, then just follow the gem links above. As always make sure you upgrade your gear to get more Elemental Resistances, as that will be the only thing we will be lacking from our Passive Tree.

At level 38 we can equip our Essence Worm Essence Worm, if we have it, with Hatred Hatred.

At level 50 you can get 2x Heartbreaker Heartbreaker, as it is pretty cheap and will increase our damage tremendously.

Recommended leveling uniques:

Conclusion

This build is all great all-rounder. It has a nice clear speed and deals with bosses easily, and it is one of the greatest league starters as most of the gear required is pretty cheap. However, that comes at the price of low defenses – as we mainly depend on Dodge chance and Evasion.

Changelog
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