Blademasters are a close-range sword-using, predominately melee class designed to quickly kill single opponents. They are nimble and quick, focused on using with a variety of abilities centered around inflicting bleeding upon their opponents while building up Shin energy through successful strikes, which they then use to power more devastating abilities.
Two Arts - The dual arts of drawing a blade and striking with it.
Shindo - Enhance your physical abilities through the accumulation of Shin energy.
Striking - Empty-handed strikes targeting vulnerable pressure points in an enemy.
Recommended Learning Order
Two Arts is arguably the most important of all the Blademaster skills, containing most of the core offensive abilities and the Blademaster's token instant kill, Brokenstar. As such, this skill should be transcended as soon as possible.
However, early investment of approximately 90 lessons into Striking will allow the Blademaster to use Alleviate, an ability which will remove up to two afflictions from the Blademaster provided he or she is able to use their hands. This investment will also allow the Blademaster to strike at an opponents knees, proning them, and grant access to the fitness ability, which will provide an extra layer of protection against affliction based classes.
After Two Arts has been fully trained, the remaining lessons available should be invested in Striking up to Feet, as this will allow the Blademaster to sufficiently engage mounted opponents, and grant the Blademaster their only hindering ability, Hamstring.
Once this point has been reached, investing all further lessons into Shindo is advised, as doing so will open up a number of useful abilities which truly round off the class, such as an enhanced scrying ability through Detect, the ability to catch arrows fired at the Blademaster, and the ability to detect illusions and hidden adventurers in your location.
Once Shindo is fully trained, finishing off your training in Striking will grant access to the powerful elemental fist spells, which provide varying effects ranging from preventing an opponent from parrying, use of their tattoos and even a chance to prevent curative herbs from functioning, along with the powerful Deathstrike instant kill, which requires no preparation aside from a few seconds of windup.
As a Blademaster, the most beneficial stat to you is probably Constitution, followed by Strength, Constitution is most important due to the nature of blademasters, heavy offense while partially (though not entirely) lacking in defense. The added health from Constitution will help you survive long enough to get in those last few hits and end a fight. Strength is a close second, influencing the amount of damage you do with each hit, if damage is the option you desire to go for. In hunting the same order applies for importance of stats, for roughly the same reasons.
The following traits are often considered desirable for Blademasters:
- Nimble - This trait allows the bearer to regain balance approximately 10% quicker. As almost all of a Blademaster's offensive abilities function on balance, this gives the Blademaster a significant combat advantage.
- Robust - More health through an additional point of constitution allows the Blademaster to survive longer and also benefit slightly more from sipping healing elixirs or tonics.
- Cheap Shot - A skilled Blademaster with access to parrying may be able to utilize the extra bleeding granted on a successful parry to their advantage against some opponents.
Blademasters require comparatively little equipment when compared to other classes.
A Blademaster requires his unique, named blade in order to perform any of the Two Arts abilities at all. This blade is created by Murad, and may be upgraded by use of an elemental Band, a series of artefacts which progressively increase the speed and damage of the blade.
Alongside the named blade, a Blademaster also required a properly positioned scabbard to sheathe their blade within, as all Two Arts abilities require the named-blade to be sheathed in order to function.
Blademasters are able to wear ringmail armor, and cannot use shields at all, not even the artefact Shield of Absorption.
Basic Combat Strategy
The core combat ability of a Blademaster is separated into three key aspects - slashes, infusions and strikes. Slashes and infusions are found exclusively within the Two Arts skillset and form the bulk of a Blademasters offense, whilst strikes are trained solely within the Striking skill. The art of Shindo offers Blademasters a slew of utility skills which increase their resilience on the battlefield, and allow them to perform superhuman feats such as leaping and bounding across open spaces, and launching themselves high in the sky.
Slashes utilize the Blademaster's sword to inflict limb damage and bleeding on an enemy, with a number of different slashes available for use. These range from the humble Drawslash, to the nimble CompassSlash. These may be enhanced with infusions of Shin energy with only minimal training in Shindo, allowing the Blademaster to infuse his sword with a number of different elements which will afflict enemies upon landing a slash.
Directly after most slashes, a strike may be used. Strikes are quick attacks designed primarily to inflict or hinder opponents, and when under the effects of the ShinTrance found in the Shindo skillset, produce Shin energy, which is used for various Shindo abilities and the infusion abilities found within the Two Arts skillset.
There are many different ways to plan an offense as a Blademaster, as the class has a myriad of options for doling out death at its disposal, ranging from focusing on causing as much bleeding as possible to simply damaging an opponent out with the sheer strength of a Blademaster's slashes, particularly through the formidable multislash.
The most frequently used method is to cause an opponent to bleed enough so as to allow use of the Brokenstar ability, which will instantly kill them. This is usually performed by "preparing" an opponents legs by damaging them until they are just about to break, then doing the same to the opponents torso. The Blademaster then breaks both the target's legs in one legslash and sending them to the floor with a strike to the knees, allowing the Blademaster to impales them upon their blade. While the foe is impaled, the Blademaster may twist their blade within them to cause massive amounts of bleeding, edging the foe closer and closer to death. Particularly resilient opponents may be slashed while impaled upon the blade, inhibiting their ability to reduce their bleeding and making it easier for the Blademaster to cause more internal damage.
Once a Blademaster has discerned that their target is bleeding enough, they may begin the deadly Brokenstar, which will then instantly slay the foe where they stand.
Artefacts for Blademaster Combat
The most helpful ones for Blademasters are probably:
- Blademaster Bands
- Health Sip Rings
Each level of blademaster band increases the damage and speed of slashes by 5%, resulting in slightly more than a 10% increase in damage per second for each band level. This is an incredible return for the price and should almost certainly be a blademaster's first artefact purchase. Keep in mind that this affects limb damage- you will have to adjust your limb counting after attaching a band to your blade.
While constitution increases your total health thus boosting the amount of your sip, the abilities of many classes scale off of maximum health, reducing its effectiveness. A sip ring not only provides a large bonus to the amount of health regained from an elixir but it does so without raising your maximum health and thus increasing the damage you receive.
A bow is not the right choice for everyone. Those who prefer hunting over group combat should skip this, for example. However blademasters who are interested in Achaea's constant raids should consider purchasing a bow because the class lacks even a single ranged ability. While blademasters are deadly once a melee has begun, they are often left twiddling their thumbs on the sidelines for significant portions of a raid while the arrows are flying. A bow allows you to be useful during this phase of group combat.
Fighting Against Blademasters
The immense amount of bleeding a Blademaster is able to swiftly and consistently put out will massively drain the mana of those who regularly clot to keep themselves from bleeding enough to be hit with the Brokenstar. Coupled with the increased clotting cost imposed by an impaleslash, this can put a person in severe danger of rapidly having their mana and willpower depleted, leaving them unable to abate the bleeding and easy pickings for a competent Blademaster. It is often advised to prioritise sipping mana elixirs or tonics over health when fighting Blademasters, in order to keep mana reserves high enough to consistently clot away their bleeding attacks.
Blademasters are also capable of putting out an extremely large amount of damage very quickly with infused multislashes and drawslashes coupled with strikes to the sternum. Liberal use of the shield tattoo is vital to surviving Blademasters whom are focusing on the damage approach, as they will be forced to either raze the shield tattoo down or devoting their strikes to icefist in order to circumvent your shield tattoo, lowering their damage output temporarily.
Blademasters also possess the potent ability to Evade, which is a powerful movement ability that allows a Blademaster to silently enter and leave rooms past any and all obstructions, also losing anything following them in the process. Classes which focus on using entities in order to deal damage and afflict an opponent should keep a careful eye out for an evading Blademaster and make sure they reorder their entities to engage the Blademaster as soon as he re-enters the room.