Blade is an excellent jungler, especially in the early game, able to quickly clear out creeps with his huge DPS and the ability to jump over the walls. This hero almost completely focuses on basic attacks for damage output, and the attack speed is very important for him since you will want the Blood Edge passive to activate as often as possible. His early game is quite strong, but during the late game, he becomes a true powerhouse, although he’s a very squishy hero that has to get into the melee range, and that can be a problem if your teammates don’t want to initiate the fights.
- Very high DPS. Gains attack speed from Ultimate and true damage bonus from passive
- Very high sustain. Huge amounts of life steal from the Ultimate and S1
- Armor reduction. S2 can reduce the armor of several opponents at once
- Great for 1v1
- Can avoid nasty skills with S1
- Good at hunting down low health heroes (Can sense them with S3)
- Very vulnerable to control. Controlled Blade is a dead Blade (no life steal).
- Only one control skill.Your prey can get away if you miss with the S3
- Smart enemies can run away from him and wait for the Ulti to expire
Blade Item Build
Blade early game (lvl 8)
During the early game, Blade can quickly clear out the jungle and should look for ganking opportunities as soon as possible. Considering the skills, he should go for Silver Slayer so he can deal more damage and improve his jungling time. The second pick should be Killer Instinct for additional mobility, and finally the Shadowless Edge as the third pick. Further upgrading of the skills should look like this: max S2 -> max S3 -> S1. So, you might be wondering, why this order? Well, S2 is his primary source of damage and can reduce the armor rating of enemies by 30% when maxed out, making them (especially tanks) more susceptible to Blade’s attacks. The Killer Instinct is his primary mobility skill, often used to initiate the fights, and also his primary escape tool. On the other hand, Shadowless Edge can be used to avoid some nasty abilities, which is extremely useful on its own, but upgrading it further won’t give you that much more damage and healing unless you’re able to hit three or more enemies with it. Another downside of this skill is a relatively long animation, and using it against fleeing enemies is counterproductive (unless they’re really low, <5% health) since you’ll only strike them for minor damage, but they will get a few steps ahead of you, and will most likely escape. On the positive side, Shadowless Edge can be used to heal on minions/monsters, so Blade will rarely have to come back to base for healing, and can remain active all the time. It can be also used to tower dive on a very low health enemy because it makes the Blade untargetable – still, a risky action that shouldn’t be attempted if you aren’t completely certain that you can get the kill and live to tell about it.
In the very early game, Blade should focus on farming and only take moderate risks before he unlocks the Ultimate.
Once you reach level 6 and unlock the Blood Hunter (Ultimate), Blade can defeat almost anyone in one vs one combat, since he gains a huge attack speed and life steal bonuses, and also improved movement speed and attack range. Try to find an isolated enemy and quickly burst it down by a very simple combo. With Ulti activated Blade should fight his enemies head on, because of huge DPS and life steal.
Combo: Activate the Ultimate just before entering the combat and initiate the fight with the S3 to slow down your prey. The follow up should be S2 to reduce the target’s armor (so it will take more damage) and a flurry of basic attacks. Use S2 again if necessary to take out a fleeing enemy. If you manage to score a kill or get an assist, you will prolong the duration of Blade’s Ultimate, and that can sometimes lead to a snowball effect.
When facing enemies with nasty CC abilities Blade should use the S1 after initiating the fight, because he will able to (hopefully) avoid these abilities, and will also heal up some health. Remember to avoid using S1 when chasing or your prey will get a few steps head start and will likely escape. The major problem with this character isn’t winning the actual one vs one battle, it’s the lack of CC abilities, because of which opponents can sometimes run away from Blade.
With all that said, you just have to initiate the fight with the S3, and that leaves Blade with no escape tool if things go badly (for example, more enemies showing up) until this skill gets off the CD.
TIP: Avoid fighting other heroes when your Ulti is on CD, unless you already have level and gold advantage.
Blade mid-late game
During the late game Blade should fight isolated enemies or move around the flanks during team fights. I know it might seem tempting, but never initiate the team fight with Blade. Yes, he does have enormous life steal and DPS in the late game, but if Blade gets stunned, he will most likely die.
Instead, wait for your tanky allies to open up a fight before charging in. Blade can quickly burst down multiple heroes in team fight due to his huge DPS and longer reach of his basic attack that enable him to strike multiple foes at once, and also gain tons of life steal in the process. With each kill and assist, your Ultimate will last longer, and its duration is often long enough and will remain active during the whole battle, since 5 vs 5 fights with enraged Blade tend to be very short.
Also, as I already mentioned, Blade is a killing machine in the late game and can very quickly and easily take Surtur by himself, if he has to.
That’s it, remember to play carefully around CC enemies, and always have your Ulti ready for those moments when you actually need it, and your Blade should do fine.