Before we get into class-specific details, I want to point out that there are only so many different viable builds that you can make in Lost Ark PvP. Like all games, some builds are better and more meta than others, so it's common to see the identical builds across the internet, some with minor variations. This is the build I was introduced to through a Deathblade in my guild.
- It's essential to make sure that you're using your basic attacks while your skills are on cooldown, assuming your opponent is still CC'd. This is the biggest mistake I made when starting PvP and something I see pretty often. In PvE, your basic attacks are negligible; they're only beneficial to keep DPS up while your main rotation is on cooldown. Similarly, in PvP, you basic attack when your skills are on cooldown, but because the health in PvP is more equalized in Lost Ark, your basic attacks make a decent difference on whether or not you win lose a fight.
- Try your hardest to read your opponents. Nobody wants to get hit; sometimes you can bait out a dodge by your opponent. In most cases, I like to open with a skill that isn't part of my typical rotation, bait out a dodge, and go in for my combo.
Deathblade is very strong in PvP as of this season. They can dash away from the opponent's attacks, bait their cooldowns, and reinitiate with some straightforward and effective combos. Deathblade is one of the easier classes to play in PvP if you know how to play her right. She isn't everybody's cup of tea; you tend to play more passively while kiting your opponent around and poking them, and then striking hot when you see an opening. It can be a bit boring to some, but the more you play and the more confident you are in your reads on your opponent, the faster you can strike and control the fight's pace.
Stat Point Allocation
Your stats will be similar to just about any class in PvP; you want to use the following:
- 1 Crit
- 249 Domination
- 750 Swiftness
The primary stat we want here is Swiftness, and this dictates your attack speed, movement speed, and cooldown reduction. Next, we want to focus on Domination; this is what gives us increased damage to CC'd targets. And finally, we want a point into Crit, to provide us with the ability to Crit. The odds are lower than in PvE, but having that hail mary chance of a crit can make all the difference.
First, let's go over the skills you'll be taking for this build, and then we'll go over the combos you can use.
- Spincutter - This skill is primarily used for mobility. I personally use it to get away from my opponent more than initiating. There are no crowd control options for spincutter, so I use it as a way to punish my opponent for engaging by doing damage while kiting. For this skill, we only want: Swift Fingers
- Dark Axel - This skill is how you close the gap between you and your opponent. You can use it to initiate the fight and start your combos. When using Dark Axel, you'll want to try and use it when your opponent's dash is on cooldown. It won't always work out that way, so if your opponent dashes out, try your best to read their play before starting your combo. You'll want to take: Swift Fingers, Tenacity, and High Axel.
- Upper Slash - This skill is your bread and butter for most Deathblade builds, it's your main knock-up attack, and it's pretty forgiving in its hitbox. This is typically the skill that you use to start your combos. For this skill, we'll want to take: Swift Fingers or Sturdy Armor.
- Moonlight Sonic - This is one of your hardest-hitting skills, its long duration, and great damage make it the perfect combo ender. You'll want to avoid using it if your opponent isn't CC'd since it locks you into place for a couple of seconds and makes you vulnerable to their attacks. For this skill, we'll want to take: Fist of Darkness, Sustain Enhancement, and Shade Sonic.
- Void Strike is a very hard-hitting and punishing skill to use against your opponent. Landing your void strike guarantees you'll gain another couple of seconds of CC. We'll want to take: Swift Fingers, Fist of Darkness, and Dark Explosion
These skills, in particular can be combined for one of the most straightforward combos for a Deathblade. You can engage using Dark Axel, follow up with Upper Slash to knock up your opponent, into Void Strike to keep them CC'd, and end with Moonlight Sonic to deal some solid damage.
- Head Hunt - This is your hard CC skill. It's a quick stun that your opponent cannot roll out of if they're knocked down, making it a potent tool in PvP. We'll be taking: Quick prep, Quick Hunt, Enhanced Stun.
With Head Hunt, you have different combo options. You can use Head Hunt as an opener instead of Upper Slash, leading into Void Strike and Moonlight Sonic. You can also use it later in the combo sequence to keep your opponent CC'd long enough to use another skill to add additional damage, especially if you end up missing any of your other skills. It can also be used to break an opponent's combo on you if you can time it right.
- Blitz Rush - This is essentially your ranged attack. Similar to Upper Strike, it can be used as an opener to knock an opponent down and move into a combo, or it can be used to poke your opponent and bait out their moves so you can engage and get a combo off. For this skill, we'll want to take: Wide-Angle Attack, All-round, Shadow Rush.
Blitz Rush can also be used as a filler skill if your other skills happen to be on cooldown or you're not in an optimal place to start a combo. A super easy combo is to Upper Slash into Blitz Rush or Head Hunt into Blitz Rush, to do a quick CC and some poke damage.
- Death Sentence - Death Sentence provides you the best hard CC immunity you can get as a Deathblade. It's also got great tripods to knock up and prevent movement speed with the Cold Zone tripod. This skill can be replaced by others, such as Maelstrom with the Cold Touch and Stabilized Energy tripods, but I prefer to control the pace of the battle with Death Sentence, and it also provides assistance to your teammates as well.
A standard combo using Death Sentence would be Upper Slash to start, Blitz Rush for a quick ranged CC, Head Hunt to lock your opponent, and finally into Death Sentence. While they're slowed and taking tick damage from the Cold Zone, you can also prep a Void Strike to keep them CC'd, or you can follow with a Moonlight Sonic while they're down.
- Flash Blink - Like in PvE, Flash Blink provides a swift and difficult to dodge ultimate that dishes out a lot of damage with minimal effort. As long as your opponent is CC'd, and you're able to use it, Flash Blink can be a great finisher for any battle, especially against slower classes that might also be caught in your Death Sentence or other CC's.
And with all that said and laid out in front of you, remember, PvP is a different game than PvE. The best build won't guarantee you a win. It's up to you to understand how to utilize your build and your skills, while also understanding your opponent(s). You won't climb the ranks to Grandmaster if you aren't familiar with your strengths and weaknesses as a Deathblade and if you don't understand the skills your opponent uses against you, you might find yourself struggling to climb. Always stay positive, never be toxic, and enjoy the game.