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Blade Vortex Assassin Build Guide (POE Legion 3.7)

Path of Exile Legion

Blade Vortex is a bit of a special skill in Path of Exile, and as a result, this build is a little special. Blade Vortex builds up multiple stacks as it rotates, scaling up in terms of damage as time passes. The main source of damage for this skill is Physical Damage, often paired with 100% Critical Strike chance, and that’s what we’re going for here.

Offensively this POE build focuses on doing one thing, getting as many stacks of Blade Vortex as fast as possible. And since we can use BV from level 12, it’s a much easier skill to level if you have the right gear and knowledge. And since we’ll have 100% Critical Strike chance with the right gear, we will always proc big buffs to our damage, and keep our Power Charges up. Simply charge up your stacks and rush into mob packs and let the Blade Vortex do its thing.

Defensively you should pump as much Evasion as you can get, as well as Life. Since we’re going to be sacrificing some Life to keep our skills up, it’s vital that we don’t face-tank and instead learn to dodge Boss attacks.

You’ll find all you will need to construct this build down below. The guide assumes that you’re going all-out and are maximizing every aspect, but you don’t have to go that far at all to reach a point where the build is enjoyable. Even in the low 90s with less-than-perfect gear, the build runs Maps and Delves just fine. And it’s a great choice as a league starter build for any POE player. If you are a brand new Path of Exile player, feel free to check out our various POE guides for noobs.

Build Pros

  • Good clear speed
  • Great DPS
  • Budget-viable in terms of gear

Build Cons

  • Single Target damage isn’t the best
  • Weaker defensively than really tanky builds
  • Lab is a bit difficult

Passive Tree(s)

Partial Leveling Skilltree

Full Endgame Skilltree

Pantheon

Upgrade all of these.

Major God: Soul of Lunaris

A strong choice for the added movement speed and Physical Damage reduction. This can help with mapping speed.

Minor God: Soul of Shakari

The Poison immunity is helpful if you’re not getting it from another source. Abberath offers decent defensive help as well for fire damage. Any Minor is useful here though. Gruthkul is another strong option for bosses. Tukohama also offers more Physical reduction while stationary, so that’s an option.

Bandits

Helping Alira gains us Resists and Crit Multi, which are both badly needed for this build.

Ascendancy

Assassin

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Unstable Infusion – Better Power Charge generation
  2. Deadly Infusion – More Crit buffs with Power Charges
  3. Ambush and Assassinate – More Crit Chance
  4. Opportunistic – Must have for Bosses

Enchants and Corruptions

Helmet:
40% increased Blade Vortex Spell Damage
12% increased Blade Vortex Area of Effect
Blade Vortex has +3% to Critical Strike Multiplier for each blade

Boots:
0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you’ve Killed Recently
x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently

Gloves:
Commandment of Fury

You could also use these Corruptions on various gear slots:

+1 to Maximum Power Charges (Gloves)
(4–6)% increased maximum Life (Boots)
(40-50)% Increased Damage (Evasion Body Armour)
(6-10)% Chance to Dodge Spell Hits While Moving (Boots)
(6-10)% Chance to Dodge Attack Hits While Moving (Boots)

Leveling Items and General Tips

Leveling Uniques: Check out our leveling Uniques guide

Act 1: The Ledge

Act 2: The Fellshrine Ruins

Act 3: The Docks

Act 4: The Dried Lake

Act 5: The Chamber of Innocence

Act 6: The Ridge

Act 7: The Temple of Decay lv1-2

Act 8: The Harbour Bridge

Act 9: The Blood Aqueduct

Act 10: The Ossuary

Avoid these map mods:

* Any Damage Reflect

Be careful of these map mods:

* Monsters have #% increased Critical Strike Chance / +#% to Monster Critical Strike Multiplier
With high evasion, attacks should almost never crit you. Spells on the other hand can still hit hard.

* Monsters fire 2 additional Projectiles
Scary mod on some bosses and monster types. Some monsters are still able to spam out too many projectiles to handle.

* Area contains two Unique Bosses
Your goal to survive this mode is a combo of extreme DPS and Life. The faster you can down the bosses, the less threat they pose.

* #% increased Monster Movement Speed / #% increased Monster Attack Speed / #% increased Monster Cast Speed
Some bosses are going to be too fast to hit effectively, meaning you’ll spend more time than you normally should kiting them. This combination with Temporal Chains is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

* Players are Cursed with Vulnerability
Negated during mapping with a Warding Flask, but not against bosses. Ailments from bosses can kill you easily.

* Players are Cursed with Temporal Chains
I would personally avoid this on high-tier maps.

Final Skill Gem Setup

You’ll find recommendations for different attack skill setups for this build below. The basic buff and aura setups are down there too. The basic idea is to swap out to your single-target skill before taking on the boss, so keep that in mind.

=== MAIN ATTACK ===
Vaal Blade Vortex -> Power Charge on Crit -> Added Fire Damage-> Increased AoE -> Increased Critical Damage -> Hypothermia

You can swap out Added Fire Damage for Controlled Destruction if you have 100% Crit Chance, but make sure you have 100% Crit when you do this.

=== SECONDARY DPS SKILL ===
Vaal Righteous Fire

Only use for Bosses, and only in Softcore

=== MOVEMENT ===
Flame Dash -> Faster Casting (If Using Wands)

Whirling Blades -> Faster Attacks (If Using Daggers)

=== AURA/UTILITY ===
Immortal Call -> Cast when Damage Taken Support -> Summon Ice Golem -> Increased Duration

Hatred (In Essence Worm)

Herald of Ice

Vaal Grace (Can be used with Bosses for Evasion buff)

Assassin’s Mark -> Blasphemy (If you can get Assassin’s Mark on Hit Shaper, you can drop this if you want)

Build Uniques / Example Rare Gear

In this section you will find all the suggested items for this build. We always try to include optional gear in our listing, or try your own assuming you get similar stat rolls. Aim for high-quality Rares if you’re replacing Uniques. The Minimum/Optional requirements listed assume you’re using Rares as a replacement for listed Uniques (where possible).

Depending on your gear choices, you can go for either a lot more DPS at the expense of Life, or go for more defensiveness by sacrificing a portion of DPS. This is your choice. In most cases, I would prefer Life personally, as it’s just a bit more forgiving. If you’re a new player, this may the path for you.

Stat Priorities:

Life is super important for survivability, especially at end-game. Although be careful not to forsake too many damage mods for it or you won’t be able to kill mobs quick enough for your defenses to handle incoming DPS.

Physical Damage is your primary DPS, and it scales primarily as a percentage that converts to Fire with some skills. This means you should target Physical damage over direct Elemental damage scaling so as to not compromise defenses.

Resistances until capped.

Evasion Rating is your primary defensive scaling with the Unique gear for this build. You’ll naturally have some armour for Physical Damage reduction, but Evasion and Block Chance offer multiple defensive layers, buff Evasion with your Flasks and gear ahead of anything else.

Attack Speed means that you simply attack faster the higher it is. This stat becomes vital for scaling overall DPS. Attack Speed is great for your movement skill to keep Fortify up.

Crit Multiplier and Crit Chance are vital with this build, as BV scales off of them really well.

Power Charges help us gain a bit more Crit Multiplier, there are a handful of Corruptions, Elder and Shaper mods that can grant either more Charges or longer duration, these are a great addition, but will be very expensive.

Weapons

Blade Vortex and the way the skills are setup on this build affords us two options for what kind of weapons to use. And since you’ll be dual-wielding, try to get two of the same weapon with similar stats. This is because dual-wielding changed in a recent patch to where it now alternates weapon attacks, so you’re going to want similar damage on both weapons.

READ MORE  Path of Exile 3.13 Echoes of the Atlas Patch Notes, All Reworked Skills

Your two choices are to either go for dual Wands, or dual Daggers. Rare Daggers with the stats listed below will be very pricey in melee-focused Legion, so a better option is to go Wands if you want to get into endgame a bit faster.

Void Battery is a Unique Wands option, while a Unique Dagger set of Divinarius is another option

Here are the requirements I would aim for if going for a Rare option instead of a Unique:

Min. requirements:

Adds # Physical Damage
% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
% increased Spell Damage
% Increased Attack Speed
Crit Buffs
Optional affixes:
Chance to Deal Double Damage (Shaper Mod)
Increased Attack Speed (Elder Mod)

Helmet

A Rare works extremely well here, the enchant is where most of the power of this slot comes from. I would say going for enchants which increase your main skill damage are best. Evasion bases for Rares should be your target, Lion Pelt or Sinner Tricorne are good bases in this type.

Devoto’s Devotion is an OK replacement Unique that’s relatively affordable. A good unique option would be Starkonja’s Head for Crit players, as it’s affordable and synergizes well with this POE build. Rat’s Nest can also help if you feel a bit too squishy.

Here’s the stats for a Rare in any base type:

Min. requirements:
90 Maximum Life
Increased Maximum Life
Uncapped Resistances
Optional affixes:
Nearby Enemies take #% Increased Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil)
+1 to Maximum Power Charges (Corruption)
% chance to gain a Power Charge on Kill (Shaper)

Body Armor

The strongest option for many will be a Unique like The Covenant for the proper sustain due to the way Blood Magic works. I would go so far as to say this is best-in-slot for BV builds in Legion.

A Rare can work if you have the right corruptions/mods, and don’t mind losing a bunch of movement speed. Aim for an Evasion base. If going the Rare route, prepare to get needed attributes on other gear slots in order to get more DPS from your Jewels and other Affixes. Assassin’s Garb for pure Evasion.

There are several ways to further increase the effectiveness of a Rare here, but they will massively increase the currency cost, as a high-end Armour that fits these parameters would be Mirror-service-worthy.

  • A + Level to Socketed Gems Affix is extremely useful if running a Rare.
  • Getting Reduced Attribute Requirements can really help if you’re struggling with attributes. This can also free up other Affixes as you no longer need to waste them. This would allow you to further increase your DPS. Although getting this mod combination will be extremely hard, and will cost a lot of currency, so bank on just using a crafted affix instead. You only really need this on one item, so scale Physical DPS with the other items
  • Getting a high, or possibly Legacy, Increased Life and/or Chaos Resistance roll really helps with survivability if you’re lacking in resists.
  • A powerful corruption on a Rare, like 40% increased damage, can be game-changing if you manage to hit it, but it’s a very big gamble.

Here’s the stats for a Rare in an Evasion base type, use POEAffix for your desired base and look for mods that align with these:

Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
% Increased Maximum Life (Elder Mod)
Physical Damage Buffs
Optional affixes:
Uncapped Resistances
Gain Onslaught for # seconds on Hit (Essence Mod)
+ to Level of Socketed Support Gems (Elder Mod)
Spells have +x% to Critical Strike Chance (Shaper)

Belt

Abyss Belts with Life and Resistances are a good option for more difficult end-game sections and bosses. Other Rares might do in a pinch, but not having good rolls can make you a lot more squishy than is tolerable. Abyss Jewels are also a great source for damage buffs as well. Buffing your damage and Life is the best bet here with Jewels.

Elder/Shaper variants are good too, assuming you can get a good combo of Life and Resists on them.

Some Unique options are Belt of the Deceiver and The Magnate.

Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
% Increased Damage
x% Increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Optional affixes:
Reduced Flask Charges Used
Uncapped Resistances
% Increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil)

Gloves

Gloves can be one of the more flexible gear slots while leveling, pick any Unique Gloves which focus on buffing needed Attributes or damage types and you’ll be fine for leveling. Once you hit end-game, opt for a high-end Rare ASAP. If you need help choosing Unique Gloves, refer to the leveling items section above, or go to this list. Tombfist is also pretty good when paired with relevant Abyss Jewels.

Rare Gloves with buffs to Physical/Melee damage are great as and endgame option. Fingerless Silk gloves are one option for Increased Spell Damage. Always get some Attack Speed and added Physical Damage with this base to make it viable with this POE build.

Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
Uncapped Resistances
Physical Damage Buffs
Increased Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance

Boots

Rare boots with max rolled Life, Resists and Movement Speed are great as a generic choice, but you may find yourself a bit more prone to taking hits than you would like. This one is more of a personal judgment call. Here’s the basic requirements for Rare in this slot.

Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
Any Uncapped Resistances (>25%)

Once you’ve gotten decently into end-game, you may want to switch to a Unique that’s more tailored for the playstyle of the build.

Bubonic Trail – An excellent option for Uniques in this slot. Pair with Abyss Jewels targeting boosting Attack Speed and Physical Damage. Atziri’s Step is probably the best due to Evasion and move speed buffs.

Amulet

If using a Rare, Get a Shaper/Elder and stack as much Life as you can on your Amulet to prevent feeling too squishy. Aim for Crit buffs and lots of added damage to get the best Amulet for a BV build.

Min. requirements:
50 Max Life or % Increased Max Life
Crit Buffs
10% All Elemental Resistances
% Increased Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage (Elder Mod)
% Increased Physical Damage

Rings

You absolutely need one Essence Worm for Hatred, other than that, you’re fairly open in terms of what you can put here.

Ventor’s Gamble rings are a good choice here if you want some Magic Find. Always get a Ventor’s with positive rolls in all cases. It will be a bit more expensive, but not too much more. Another Unique option with similar MF potential, and even more DPS, is Le Heup of All. This latter option also allows you to scale more damage through affixes on other slots by getting needed Attributes.

If using a Rare Ring, use the following start priorities to help guide your selection. Steel Rings are a good base for this build. Rolling high Item Level Shaper/Elder bases with Essences is a great option if you have the currency.

Min. requirements:
60 Maximum Life
Uncapped Resistances
Crit Buffs
Optional affixes:
% Increased Spell Damage
Assassin’s Mark on Hit (Shaper Mod)

Flasks

Atziri’s Promise – Useful utility flask for better defense that also grants a bit more DPS.

Other Flasks:

  1. Chemist’s Diamond Flask of Heat (Freeze Immunity, can swap for Sulphur once you have 100% crit chance)
  2. Experimenter’s Quicksilver Flask of Staunching (Movespeed/Bleed Immunity)
  3. Catalyzed Divine Life Flask of Warding (Curse Removal)
  4. Ample Silver Flask of Reflexes (Onslaught and Evasion Buffs)

You can swap these mods around if needed due to RNG.

Jewels

Abyss Jewels that have a chance to gain Onslaught can also be used in a slot for a damage increase. Watcher’s Eye with mods targeting your Herald of Ice or Hatred buffs can also be really strong, but are very expensive, especially in Legion.

Rare Jewels can run with the following stats:

Recommended affixes:

  1. % Increased Maximum Life
  2. % Increased Attack Speed
  3. % Increased Physical Damage
  4. % Increased Area Damage
  5. % Increased Area of Effect

Optional affixes:
Attributes (Only if needed for max level Gems)

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