Hello, my fellow Blademasters…or just whoever is reading this…I would like to present a fundamental guide to those aspiring to know the basics to the Blademaster class. To those worried about?my qualifications to introduce such a guide:
It seems a bit pretentious, but whatever, I’m only showing this as proof of my competence(far from?Cassis’s or Jae’s?or Junho’s levels). ?The knowledge of the class I’m going to bestow upon you, cricket, is golden information, and unfortunately for me, I wasn’t taught this information starting out and had to learn through a lot of trial and error– fortunately for you, these essential understandings and tips will be a MONUMENTAL help in elevating your level of play as a Blademaster! The things I am about to indulge you on is absolutely vital to know as a beginner to the class. It will clear up a lot of confusion.?It will drastically improve your understanding of how and when to combo.?It will overall make the two stances of our class feel much more coordinated and purposeful.
I want to structure my guide into segments– one being a slight elaboration/explanation on the Blademaster abilities, the other focusing on combos. Perhaps the biggest setback?to my early Blademaster experience was the lack of understanding my class?abilities, and therefore the lack of utilizing those abilities to effectively?combo. But through a lot of experience and dedication, I was able to push past those temporary barriers and drastically elevate my level of play. Blademaster is not an easy class. It requires A TON OF EFFORT on your behalf to be competitive with the rest of the classes, FM being the only exception, because of the nature of the class itself and current 45 patch. However, this does not mean the class is weak– that it is not, and it can be a very formidable class in the right hands(just look at Junho or Jae). ?The learning curve is very steep due to it requiring almost complete knowledge of its own dynamics and of the various other classes. You basically need complete knowledge of the game. I, by no means, have this knowledge, but I know the fundamentals well enough to enlighten those that don’t. Many have tried Blademaster and quit due to the frustration of it being “weak” compared to the other classes, and their reasoning is just… to an extent. To really bring out the power of our class, it requires a high level of mastery that most aren’t willing to put the time and salt in to get–?ohhhhhhh…..you know what I’m talking about(all those bullshit matches against summoners and sins that made you bite your *cricket*ing nails off and smash your cats face in).
Now on to the good stuff:
Blademaster abilities explained:
There are 3 distinct categories of abilities: utility, cc, and damage. There are two different stances, being your “basic stance” and your “draw stance”, which utilize these abilities. Your basic stance is primarily a utility and cc focused stance, whereas your draw stance is primarily dps/burst focused. Essentially, what your?strategy as a BM will be is to use the utility and cc of your basic stance to get into your draw stance for dps. This applies to both pve and pvp.
However, it is not as simple as it sounds to just switch stances– as it requires careful consideration and application of when and how to work in your moves. Thus, you must know how your all your moves work! Well, at the very least, how your core skills work:
CC or crowd control-
- Knockdowns —
- soaring falcon(z)– if specced.
- shoulder charge(c)
- lightning retribution(c)– if specced.
- lunar slash(tab)– if specced.
- fivepointstrike(3)– if specced.
- trinket(tab)– if specced.
- rush(2)– if specced.
- flicker(lmb)– if specced.
- block(1)– if specced.
- You also have an extension of any status effect with raid(2)
There is a hierarchy of importance with your ccs. From most important to least: 1) stuns ? ? 2) dazes ? ?3) knockdowns.
The reason for this is simply due to the amount of counters each type has. For instance, knockdowns have 4 potential counters, dazes have 2, and stuns have only one counter(in some cases two, but that aside they still have the least). An explanation of the counters for each type of cc:
Can be countered by an opponents ground counters, there being two total ground counters– one that recovers them?and grants them resistance to?most status effects (stuns, dazes, knockdowns) for one second?, and the other which recovers them and counter-knockdowns you for 3 seconds(could be different for other classes).
- ground counters require the opponent to be completely lying on the ground for it to proc, making it a slower, but more lethal counter
- ground counters are classified as a “defensive skill”– it is important to remember this, so for instance if you have a defensive cancelling move, it will cancel ground counters.
Can be countered with retreat, which should be their “f” key, which has a very short opening to get off– think like 0.5– that procs off of a dazed, knockdown or unconscious state, ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? which grants them with like .5-1.0 secs of damage and status effect invulnerability and moves them back 4m.
- ?retreat does not require the opponent to be completely grounded for it to proc. once their body touches the ground, their retreat will proc, making it a very quick counter.
- retreat/roll is not classified as a defensive skill– it is important to note this.
Can be countered with trinket– if specced, trinket can counter ALL CC. Most people have it specced to counter stuns, dazes, and knockdowns, however, so you can always expect any cc
you have can be countered with a trinket.
- trinket can counter cc you within a certain radius(3ms I think), so be sure to be aware of that if you suspect them to use it.
- trinket can be cast as SOON as they’re cc’ed, so always anticipate a potential trinket if you cc them!
- trinket grants them a .5 second or so invulnerability to damage and status effects
- Do not attack them while they are in the beginning of the trinket animation because you can be counter cc’ed or counter attack very easily, if you’re not careful. Try to wait about .5 seconds for any counter cc and iframe?duration to end.
- Can be countered with retreat.
? ? ? 2. Can be countered with trinket.
1. Can be countered with trinket
2. Can be countered with certain class abilities, if they specced for it, although this is rare, and you usually don’t have to consider this.
Overall, stuns are extremely important to your combo rotation because it has the least amount of counters,?and once the enemy blows their trinket it is?guaranteed free damage— if you combo correctly– and a lot of damage at that(50%-70% atleast for a complete combo, or even one shotting if you can add in more combos). You should be specc’ing for stuns for this very reason, and prioritizing them over non-core abilities. Another note, which I’ll touch on later, is that you should be using your raid(2) after a stun to extend the “stun effect” for another 2 seconds because it adds in another two seconds of being able to freely damage your opponent(tab blown).
- Soaring Falcon(z)— if specced to pull, i’d classify this as both cc and utility. It penetrates parry, and also when an enemy is pulled they are completely vulnerable during the travel duration– they cannot use tab or anything to escape, meaning you can pull off a free hit in that timeframe.
- Q — gives you a 0.5-1 second iframe duration, and moves you behind the target as well as switch into draw stance. Has an 8 second cooldown. If you are hit, your cyclone is procced, allowing you to use it for additional iframes, chi regen.
- E — gives you a 0.5-1 second iframe duration, and moves you behind the target as well as switch into basic stance. Has an 8 second cooldown. If you are hit, your cyclone is procc’ed, allowing you to use it for additional iframes and chi regen.
- SS — moves you back 8m while also giving you a 2 second iframe duration(not sure for other classes), can also proc cyclone if you parry while ss’ing.
- Cyclone(lmb)— is both a utility and ?a damaging(very insignificant) move. Is procc’ed off a parry or a block, or both, depending on the spec, and gives you a 2 second iframe duration and if you land the move on the opponent it can regen either 15 or 9 chi, depending on the spec.
- Bladeguard(f)— defensive/utility version of flashstep, procs off switching to draw stance or using draw stance abilities. Deflects attacks for .5 seconds.
- Swordshroud(f)— can be procc’ed from your block if specced into it by blocking once every 45 seconds. Gives status effect and damage resistance and can give these buffs to party.
- Warding Spirit(x)– the user and nearby part members become resistant to projectiles for a certain amount of time. Not sure how long, I think like 5 or a little more seconds.
- block(1)— your go to defensive move that you will be spamming a lot! can proc certain effects, based on skill tree, when used. Has relatively short cd, cd dependent on what you spec into. Will have perfect 180 degree defense against frontal normal attacks, making your backside vulnerable.
- Flock of Blades(v)— your v specced for utility/cc. If specced two points, you can knockback for 11m and apply a 2 second knockdown afterwards; if specced 3 points, you have that and the ability to escape from grab, grapple, or phantom grip as well.
In short, your utility moves are what you’ll be using to increase your survivability. You should be spamming these moves a lot to bait out enemy cds/ give yourself openings to attack.
These moves provide you the burst and chip damage needed. There are certain specs and set ups that massively increase your burst and sustained damage.
- Lightning Draw(4)— if you spec atleast 2 skill points into this, you will gain additional damage on stunned, dazed, grabbed and phantom gripped opponents. The additional damage will be 60-70% more damage than the abilities base damage! More than doubling its damage output. All at one chi cost…If you have all your core abilities, you should be putting points into this for the much needed damage.
- Honedslash(rmb)— your main dps ability. You will be spamming this a lot. It has a high base damage, and it can proc additional damage on multiple prereqs:
–bladestorm— can proc about half of honedslash’s damage as additional damage if the target is affected by bladestorm.
–stunned, dazed, or knocked down— can proc about a 1/4 of honedslash’s damage as additional damage if the target is cc’ed by said cc.
It uses?a lot of chi, however– 3 points per use, so be very careful of your chi management before you combo with honedslash.
- Breeze(lmb) — your basic stance lmb combo. Mainly just used to regen chi and add in a little extra damage?between combos. Can also knock an opponent unconscious if you follow up with Breeze after you cancel the opponents defense with boot(x).
- Bladecall(v)— your v specced for damage. It can have some disabling effects if specc’ed to stage 3, but?specc’ing that way is inefficient use of skill points– as you don’t need the additional cc since you’re most likely doing your stun/combo rotation on the opponent, it’s completely unneeded. This will be by far your biggest burst ability, but it takes 5 seconds for it to complete channeling before it starts to hit and ?requires 2 seconds for all the damage to get through. It also generates 24 chi points over 12 seconds.?In order for the full v to hit, you have to cc lock them in the aoe while its channeling and during its animation(a total of 7 seconds).
- Whirling scourge— does a small amount of damage over 5 uses, but gives you two chi for every hit it does. This is very important because while you’re doing your v combo, the chi regen from bladecall and whirling scourge, allows you to dps in honedslash for a very long time. Make sure you get this move off during your v combo, so you don’t run out of chi! You want to continually dps!
- Sundering Sword(3)— in place of anklebiter, but?does a good amount of damage, and procs multiple times–?each proc generates 2 chi?– it doesn’t say how many times, but I?think its about 5-6, so a total of 10-12 chi regen. This spec is really meant for one shot combos, so you can continually dps in drawstance for pretty much their entire healthbar. it is not essential, but it is a very nifty ability to say the least.
- Bladestorm(x)–?this can only be used in draw stance during your V, it does a good bit of damage over time, and can proc a MASSIVE amount of damage with your honedslash if the debuff is active on the opponent. Any time you hit a person with bladestorm, you will want to try and dps them with honedslash, IF you are in your stun lock rotation. Otherwise, it may be wiser to use other moves, disregarding honedslash enitrely.
- Flashstep(f)–requires you to critically hit in draw stance for it to proc. you have a short window to use it, about one second, before it goes away. It is good damage, and also costs no chi to use. However, it is important to not use flashstep if you land crits during your stun/combo rotation because you can mess up your combo! If you are confident enough, then sure… use it, but really you should be using flashstep with your chip combos, not your main dps’ing ones. Can invest points into flash step for a lot more damage, but is overall not worth it?since it requires you to crit,?and in the arena your crit chance is very low without adequate equipment.
- Airborne(f)— really should be in the cc section, I messed up here, but it is the starting move to your aerial combos and does a nice amount of damage. It is a conditional ability that is procc’ed once you stun or daze the opponent and will stay procc’ed for the complete duration of the stun/daze. This allows you to fluidly chain combos between basic and draw stance.
- Rising Eagle(lmb)— requires the target to be airborne for it to proc. when used, knocks the target back into the air, and does a mediocre amount of damage.
- Heavenly dance(rmb)— requires the target to be airborne. when used, knocks the target back into the air. Does a lot of damage. You want to prioritize using this over?Rising Eagle, if it’s not on cd.
- Ascend(lmb)— requires the target to be airborne to use, and upon use ends the target’s airborne status. does a lot of damage.
- Crash(rmb)—?requires the target to be airborne to use, and upon use ends the target’s airborne status and knocks down the target and anyone within a 3m radius for 2 seconds. Not a lot of damage, but is good cc, especially against multiple targets, i.e, summoners.
- Divebomb(f)— has good damage, can cancel defense during its use only. requires the target to be knocked down. I would advise not wasting your skill points on this move as you can allocate them to more useful abilities. It is way too conditional, to really utilize the skill points effectively, but can give you good chip damage. If you’re really confident in its ability, use it, but just bare in mind you will be losing helpful cc or reliable damage in exchange.
This about sums it up with your damaging moves. It is important you know all of these moves and how they synergize with?your kit! Be sure you thoroughly understand your moves before you?learn?combos. Not only that, but once you get a solid grasp on your moves, you won’t have to rely on following pre-thought out combos in order to utilize your moves effectively; rather, you can weave in and adjust your combos according to what the situation calls for.
Now on to the good stuff….
You will want to use your dazes and knockdowns to bait out the enemy trinket, and you can even use a stun to bait as well. Getting their tab on cd is your primary goal. Also, to burn as many counters they have, mainly their f roll. If the enemy burns trinket, they have no escapes from your stun. If the enemy burns trinket AND their retreat/f roll, they have no escapes from your stun AND daze. Your strongest combos stem from enemies burning trinket and/or f roll, and your strongest potential combo stems from them blowing both f roll and trinket, allowing you to lengthen guaranteed damage with dazes. As such, the beginning strategy you, or any class for that matter,?should be implementing in a match is making them blow their tab, if you can get their f roll too, it’s usually gg after that.
For a reference guide of the abilities being used here:
*This is based off a lvl 45 build, with no hongmoon levels. Some of the skill points can be allocated to different moves, depending on personal preference or matchup*
Fundamental Combos:?? These combos give good chip damage, and also are good at baiting enemy trinkets and burning their counters.
- z > c > lmb > lmb > f > rmb > lmb– this is fundamental and something every BM should know.
— you can do this combo with any stun or daze, it doesn’t have to be c, and you don’t have to use z to initiate. However, following the “f” you should always try to use rmb is its up and lmb for the last combo for max damage. This is your basic aerial combo.
There is a risk of them using a trinket or f roll after the “c”, if they use trinket, perfect, just iframe it if you’re quick enough, counter tab(risky), or recover using counters. However, if you’re desperate to get the damage off, or you just want to ensure the damage hits, just immediately f after c, to airborne before they can counter. This technique is also good to bait a tab out with another following combo since after the first aerial, if they get cc’ed again they may panic and burn a tab here. For instance:
z>c> f > rmb>lmb…wait for them to touch the ground
? ? ? 2. Sprint> lmb> or
glide> stop glide> z > rmb
–these are your usual openers in pvp, and if landed can stun them. The latter being an aoe stun. This can lead to free combos and an early trinket blown.
? ? ?3. Another good opener: ? ? ?gliding> stop glide> z> ss> 3> f> rmb> lmb>
— if you’re wondering why you need to stop stride, it’s because you can’t be gliding in order to use z.
4. ss> 3> f > rmb> lmb
— use this in anticipation of hard engage, such as a gap closer, or a multi attack, so you can iframe the moves and counter with your own engage.
5. This is purely defensive/reactive
1 > cyclone(lmb) > continue combo according to how opponent reacts, so if :
- they continue trying to attack you, utilize your additional iframes by q’ing and e’ing, making them blow their attack and be vulnerable for a quick counter. best way to counter would be to immediately follow with a cc into an aerial or v combo.
- 1(if successfully block)> cyclone(iframe enemy moves)> q > e> x >
6. 1(successful block)> rmb(pierce with max boost) or 1(successful block)> cyclone> rmb(max boost).
— if you are low on chi, you can and should be using basic stance lmb to recover chi in order to continue combos or start them.
Basic Burst/Dps combos:?
— you want to either stun or daze before you do this, prioritize stun over daze– UNLESS they burnt their “f roll”, then either cc will be fine.
- flicker(stun)> 4
- block(stun)> 4
- raid(2) > 4
- shouldercharge(c) > 4
- tab?> 4
- lightning retribution(c) > 4
- fivepoint strike(set to daze not airborne)> 4
You will almost always want to use lightning only after they are stunned or dazed, never waste such a strong move without those prereqs meant. You’re wasting potential burst, and you needn’t worry about not getting that additional damage off since you’re literally loaded with ways to start that combo.
— for this you will be using your rush(2), raid(2), and your flicker(lmb). It is also important that you initiate this combo after their tab is blown, so it won’t be countered. Also another note is to not weave in your dazes, and especially knockdowns, in between your stuns, *if* their f roll is still up, if not you can, but as a general guideline it’s better to just stick to stuns.
–This is essentially your most fundamental combo for burst/dmg and stun locking that is pretty essential in ensuring your opponent is locked in your bladecall(v).
–Their are variations to this combo, but this is the one you should be using the most, and I’ll explain why after I show you the combo:
rush(2) > 4 > rmb > flicker> rmb> rmb> raid(2)> rmb> rmb
This requires a lot of chi to perform, making?you?either be in bladecall, ?land a cyclone or sundering sword— all for the chi regen– to be able to use this combo. That being said, alongside with bladecall essentially requiring the opponent to be stun locked long enough to eat its damage, make this combo the go to rotation attempting to land your bladecall on them.
Also it is better to use flicker right after your last possible rmb because it will have a faster casting than if you were to raid(2) extend stun because it ani cancels the rmb. It’s just more fluid.
- Bladecall(v) stunlock/burst combo
This is a pretty advanced combo, and requires you to have mastered knowledge of how cc and counters work and perfect timing with your moves?in order to pull off. Basically you never really want to initiate this combo when the enemy still has their tab up– there are ways to still land this combo if they have it up, but it is much riskier. This is the Blademasters heart and soul, their bread and butter, if you will…You can 75-0 or 100-0 people if they slip up here.
That being sad, before you start this combo, make sure you bait out their trinket, and to get them in a cc first. Let’s say they burn tab but still have their ground and f counters, you land a z> c on them, or you just got done airborning them and they land on the ground, there are 2 counters they can perform–2 ways you can also tech counter them! If you can counter their counters, and you initiate your blade call, you have to potential to stun lock/burst them for most, if not all, of their hp if you perform the combos correctly!
#1) ? ? z> c> f> v> v> rmb> lmb>
#2) ? ?z> c> >v> (wait out f roll)
? ? ? — here is where you need to tech chase or counter, perfectly, to stun lock them for your whole v duration.
? ? ? ? ? ?since the opponent will be in a knocked down state and without their trinket, there are two main counters they can do: ground counters and f roll.??You can counter these, ? ? ? ? ? ?though,?with?your rush(2) , or?your fivepointstrike(daze only), and even with your lightning retribution(c) and tab. To counter with your rush(2),?stand near where they will ? ? ? ? ? ? ?land and block in anticipation if they?counterstrike(which you can block), and now wait for .5-1 seconds to see what counter they picked. Keep in mind they have a one ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?second iframe during these counters! I also forget to mention that these iframes resist stuns as well, so you have to be sure you don’t stun them too early!
? ? ? ? ? ?If you incorrectly time your rush(2) you will not stun them, and it will be completely negated. They can just ss out of your v then. You need to make sure you cast your ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?rush(2) at the end of their counter animations to wait out their resistance time so you can stun them. It takes some practice.
? ? ? ? ? ?Even then, from my own experience, I don’t have 100% success with trying to counter this way– a lot more room to mess up.
? ? ? ? ? ?I’ve found the most success with following up with your fivepointstrike(daze).?Reason being is because you have a gap closing ability that will stun and cancel defense for 8 ? ? ? ? ? ?seconds?if one of the hits lands, and you perform 5 hits during that duration! So it has a higher chance of cc’ing them because you have a stun that has a chance of hitting ? ? ? ? ? for 5 attacks, instead of one, so it will eat through their iframe, and since it is a defense cancel, it will cancel the counters! So by using before/at the same time they ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? counter, you will get the daze off, which is also uncounterable since it cancels defense! It is important, though to remember that their f roll isn’t classified as a defense, so ? ? ? ? ? ? if they didn’t use f roll, and you got off your fivepointstrike, they cannot f roll out of fivepointstrike, but can f roll out of your other dazes.?Why can’t they f roll when you ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? fivepointstrike, but can if you daze after? Idk. I just know by trying it out myself.
z> c> f> v> v> rmb> lmb> 1 or walk a safe distance away> wait for near the ending?of counter animations(ground counters or f roll) and rush(2) so you get the stun off the end of the animation> 4> rmb>lmb(stun)> rmb> rmb> 2(extend stun)> rmb>rmb> tab> e> lmb> lmb> f> lmb>lmb
I think this is probably the best and easiest way to land your whole v combo, because there are less counters since they’re in a dazed state, the only way to escape is with their f roll.?so basically:
z> c > v> — with their tab blown, they will almost always f roll here. anticipate it and make sure you rush(2) at the end of their animation so the stun goes off, or even can ss> fivepointstrike into their f roll animation,?during which their resistance will end and you will get your daze/defensive cancel off– hell you can even use lightning retribution here since their only daze counter is blown–
either way works fine here, also it’s important to keep in mind since their f roll is blown, you can stun AND daze lock them without having to worry about ANY counters.
z> c> v> wait out f roll and either rush(2) or ss> fivepoint> ?4> rmb>flicker> rmb>rmb>?raid(2)> rmb> rmb> tab> e> lmb>lmb> f> rmb> lmb
These are your pretty fundamental combos. You don’t have to go in this exact sequence, you can switch it up, but it is important you do it correctly, so as to not allow them to escape because you dazed when their f roll was up!
Here is a beautiful example of how BM should be played ?and how strong it really is. The execution of his ability sequence is perfect– how he counters the destroyers grab, baits out a tab with his rush(2), baits out his f roll with boot(x), then correctly uses “z” to pull through the destroyer’s tab and then follow with shouldercharge(c) for an uncounterable cc since both his trinket and f roll are blown, and transitions into a beautifully executed BM bladecall/stun lock combo:
p.s, remember BAIT OUT COUNTER moves, most importantly their trinket and f roll, and afterwards initiate your bladecall combo with either a stun or daze! Timing is key.