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Swordmasters have a small amount of usual builds, since the role they mostly excel in is support damage in groupbased combat, while their choices in PvE are limited due to similarities in between all ususal tank builds.
In RvR and PvP Swordmasters usually work as an offensive tank, supporting their group with guard and damage. Depending on group-setup, they might take some additional abilities to help out other groupmembers.
Ususally "Blade of Nature" is chosen as the enchantment, so that the swordmaster's group profits from having as many buffs as possible. Neither "Blade of Heaven" nor "Phantom's Blade" are as useful to the usual groups.
This is due to the fact, that "Phantom's Blade" only affects the Swordmaster and "Blade of Heaven" is only useful to magical damage, something that rarer among dps then physical damage. Both are better choices when soloing then "Nature's Blade" tho.
- For Renown swordmasters tend to go with strenght, chance to critically hit and parry. While the first two result in noticeable damage increases, the second works well with Eagle's Flight or Wall of darting Steel, that both increase Parry by a large amount.
- In any case Trivial Blows, a reduction to bonus damage from critical hits, is more or less a must have once you enter T4, since it is the most cost-effective way to keep damage-spikes on you low enough to heal through.
- The stat, that only a few unusual and specialised builds use is weaponskill, but in most cases we use to low amounts of physical damage to gain an output worth the cost.
- Due to having "Natures Blade" and a strong damage-channel in the Path of Khaine, it is a relatively common choice among swordmasters, maybe even more common then the Path of Hoeth.
- There are four builds, that are used in groupplay, with some minor variations depending on personal taste around.
- purely offensive potential: For this build grab Eather dance, Balanced Acuracy and Geatweapon mastery out of the Path of Khaine, while use all left-over points to either maximise the path of Khaine or the Path of Hoeth, giving you a high debuff on the enemies resistance.
- offensive and group oriented(1): For this build grab Whispering Winds out of the Path of Hoeth and complement it with Greatweapon Mastery or Balanced Acuracy from the Path of Khaine. Whispering Wind requires an organised group to really take advantage of it.
- offensive and group oriented(2): For this build get the knockdown from Vaul(Crashing Wave) and combine it with on of the already known tacticts from Khaine. Remember to watch out for CC-Immunities, because you have a long cooldown on this knockdown.
- pure support: Take both Whispering Winds from Hoeth and Crashing Wave from Vaul and dump your left-overs into Khaine for a bit better "Nature's Blade". As with the previous build containing Whispering Wind, you do need an organised group to really take advantage of it.
In PvE there are two options to work with your swordmaster. I will not cover the secondary tank, since the RvR and PvP builds work quite well here.
- As a tank the highest priority for you is to reach a chance of 0% to be crit by your enemy. The needed formulars and a calculator are noted on the official boards.
- Once you did manage to be crit-immune, you need to make sure, that you are not parried to often by increasing your strength enough. Something around 400-600 strength does work ok to good in t4-instances.
- Once you made sure, you can hole agression via renown and gear, you can start increasing your parry as much as you can. This works well, since we can get a very high chance of parry due to tactics and abilities, resulting in way less work for your healers.
- If you wear t4 defensive gear, you will have more toughness then needed, so normally don't bother speccing for it in PvE, either block or weaponskill can give you better returns.
- All tanking builds include Vaul in their specs, because this tree does increase our survivability by adding a high amount of absorbs to us.
- If you plan on twohanded tanking get Greatweapon mastery of the Khaine tree at all costs, while in either case using perfect defences is close to a must-have.
- To keep the agression and make sure your dps and healers won't need to keep their detaunts on cooldown, you should take Menance with you, a passive bonus to aggression, and remember to guard the person, that will most likely produce the most agression.
- Isha's Protection is also a good choice, making it easier to deal with damage-spikes you might actually take.