[2.6/BSC] Blade Flurry Assassin (Crit/Evasion/Life)

** No longer playing this variation of BF/this build in general. Will not be updated any further.

Preface - Why did you even make this guide? There’s 834,456,203 BF guides out there!

I made my POE account back when the game was in early closed-beta (Dec 2012), and you had to pay to join. Interestingly enough however I ended up disliking the game, and left it to rot. Anyway, I started playing about a month ago now, and have clocked in over ~200 hours according to Steam. My biggest issue as a brand new player, regardless of being familiar with RPG’s, was how daunting this game was, and how much guides/builds were geared and written towards players with at least more than the beginner’s average knowledge.

This really sucked, because I wanted so bad to immerse myself into this game, but the lack of understanding and difficulty in following along with guides and builds almost made me give it up again. With that said, after painstakingly making mistake after mistake, reading guide after guide, I have come up with my own. My guide here is essentially a massive compilation of other BF guides, but (in my opinion) better written towards newer players, and hopefully easy to follow.

Disclaimer - I’m still new too, and learning everyday. If you spot mistakes, or have improvements, let’s fix it together.

Remember in that this guide was written by someone who has only over ~200 hours played. Granted I have played BF all of those hours and have a decent understanding of the life-based version. So, like my mini-title here says, if you are an experienced player and spot a mistake or perhaps have a better suggestions, don’t hesitate to let me know.


Strengths - Why do I want to violently throw green blades from my body?

- Huge damage!

I hate when guides just say “yeah the damage is good”... okay, how? This build is driven by the controversial term “double-dipping” regarding our chaos damage (poison/bleeding).

Double-dipping is pretty in-depth and complicated, however the “Explain-Like-I’m-5” for double-dipping our chaos (poison/bleeding) damage is essentially: Our damage over time (poison and bleeding in this case for example) inherit damage types from our attacks/spells. If the damage type works on the DoT AND the actual attack itself, you’ve just double-dipped. So this build takes the Assassin ascendancy for Noxious Strike and Toxic Delivery.

We’re essentially converting a chunk of our physical damage to do a truckload of chaos damage, and when we crit, that chaos damage does even MORE damage. This is also why we use Death’s Hand as an off-hand weapon vs. another dagger. Death’s Hand is there solely as a “buff-stick” for our damage, especially double-dipping. I’ll go more into Death’s Hand in the gear section.

Damage over time aside, a lot of other factors play into double-dipping, such as frenzy charges (which we spec into and also generate with Blood Rage), etc. It’s a lot to understand, and I’d recommend further reading up on it yourself.

- BF is an easy skill to pick up, so it’s fun.

There’s a reason why BF is pretty FOTM, and that’s because it’s (so god damn OP, pls don’t nerf) so easy that it’s by default a pretty fun skill to use.

- Extremely fast clear speed.

Here’s a few videos displaying its clear speed on a 5L (which means we’re missing a huge amount of crit from not having 6L).

T14 Maze with a breach: https://youtu.be/uQUfni_rdDo

T12 Necropolis: https://youtu.be/BKJwTvODaeM

- All maps clear, however…

Physical reflect maps really suck, man. If you use Abyssal Cry and kill one enemy for example, it’ll explode all the other mobs around it. This is good because Abyssal Cry’s damage that explodes the other mobs does not count as your damage, even though your damage initially triggered it. Therefore, you don’t kill yourself in one-hit like you realistically would on a physical reflect map. Also, Abyssal Cry does chaos damage equal to a % of the monster’s health depending on the gem level.


Weaknesses - What does green blades man have to fear?

As this is a life-based build with a primary defense being evasion, you are susceptible to withering to dust in a single hit from abilities that you might otherwise possibly face-tank as CI. This is a weakness as we are lazy human beings, and whatever requires us to do the least amount of work is more “comfortable” in the long run. Fear not however, as proper flask play, life-leech, and doing good damage will propel us to success.


Skill gems - What do I use and where do I put it?

How to do the big pp damage:


Body Armour: Your BF and its supporting gems are all going to go in your chest piece, so it’s relatively simple.

5L: Blade Flurry, Faster Attacks, Melee Physical Damage, Added Chaos Damage, and Increased Area of Effect.

The exact same as the above, however you’re adding Increased Critical Damage.

For bosses, especially non-twin bosses (i.e just one boss), I strongly recommend swapping Increased Area of Effect with Concentrated Effect. The pro to this is drastically increasing your area damage, which means more double-dipping, which means massive pp damage. The con is you have to be pretty close to your target, so you are susceptible to getting destroyed into a thousand pieces of dust if you aren’t aware of the monsters’ one-shot mechanics (if they have any).

Ensure your green sharp knives are always hitting even the fastest targets:

Helm: Your damage is further supported by the 4L gem setup in your helm.

4L: Temporal Chains, Curse on Hit, Cast When Damage Taken (stop leveling gem at lvl 6), and Ball Lightning (stop leveling gem at lvl 9).

Okay, let’s explain. CWDT is stopped at level 6 as that’s a “sweet spot - 897 damage taken” IMO for our damage taken. We really shouldn’t be taking too much damage at all, especially more than that without getting one-hit, so it’s fine at 6. Ball Lightning is stopped at level 9 because CWDT being level 6 implies it can only support skill gems requiring level 48 or lower. Level 9 Ball Lightning just so happens to be a requirement level of 48.

Now, onto Temporal Chains and the Curse on Hit combo. Why aren’t these skills not stopped at certain levels? This is because we need to circumvent this in-game rule:

“We have restricted skills to only work with a single trigger gem at a time. Skills supported by multiple triggers will be disabled and won't work with any of them.”

So, by leveling Temporal Chains past what CWDT can support (remember, level 48), this allows CWDT to trigger Ball Lightning, and Ball Lightning to trigger Temporal Chains when it hits monsters. Leveling Curse on Hit itself simply allows the curse to last longer, therefore slowing the monsters for a greater period of time.

Gotta go fast:

Boots: Our movement mainly comes from a 4L in our boots, as well as some defense.

4L: Fortify, Blood Magic, Faster Attacks, and Whirling Blades.

Pretty simple, you dip and dive around with Whirling Blades, and the other gems support it. Faster Attacks makes you… well… go faster. Blood Magic allows Whirling Blades to spend life as a resource instead of mana, therefore you can go fast at your leisure and not worry about mana issues. Fortify is used that when you use Whirling Blades, you automatically gain a % of increased physical damage, and when you strike a monster with a melee attack (BF), you will gain 20% reduced physical damage for ~4 seconds.

Basically you want to constantly use Whirling Blades whenever the ~4s buff is about to fall off so long as your destination isn’t suicide.

Physical immunity and your ice buddy:

Gloves: This is where you gain physical attack immunity from a 4L, as well as your Ice Golem.

4L: Cast When Damage Taken (stop leveling gem at lvl 9), Immortal Call (stop leveling gem at level 11), Increased Duration, and Summon Ice Golem (stop leveling gem at level 11).

Similar to our boots, we stop CWDT at 9 here as Immortal Call at gem level 11 requires you to be level 54, and that’s the level where CWDT at level 9 can support up to. We stop our ice buddy at level 11 for the same reason, i.e level requirements. Increased Duration is simply used to allow Immortal Call to last longer, therefore making us immune longer. Yay!

Let’s get into explaining Immortal Call, shall we? Okay, so essentially CWDT triggers Immortal Call when we take exactly 1221 damage. Once we take 1221 damage, we will become invulnerable to further physical damage for the next X seconds depending on our endurance charges. The more endurance charges we have, the longer Immortal Call will last. So, what the hell are endurance charges and where do we get them from? We get our endurance charges from the bread and butter to this build, our Body Armor (chest piece - Daresso’s). I’ll get into it more in-depth in the gear section.

Onto the Ice Golem, why choose him? He gives us 25% crit chance and accuracy. Both are extremely important to the success of this build. We need at least 90% accuracy at all times to really shine with our damage, and the ice dude really helps us get there.


Off-hand weapon, or more specifically Death’s Hand: Absolutely dumb chaos damage from a 3L.

3L: Spell Totem, Wither, and Faster Casting.

Our damage succeeds based on buffing the ever living piss out of our chaos output, and Wither really just ties it all together and makes for absurd damage. Basically, when you put down Wither totem, it pulses an AoE debuff that stacks 20 times. Each stack increases that monster’s chaos damage taken by 7%. With that said, assuming a totem lasts/lives for 8 seconds and pulses on a monster for all 8 seconds, that’s an extra 56% chaos damage!!! Wew lad.

Faster Casting obviously just makes it pulse faster, and Spell Totem makes it take % less damage, and have a flat % cast speed reduction. TL;DR, abuse this totem on rares/bosses. Regular monsters typically die too fast.

Buffs and auras:

Main-hand weapon, or more specifically, Bino’s (until GG rare dagger): Extra nice stuff from a 3L:

3L: Grace, Blood Rage, and Herald of Ash.

Grace is key as it acts as a permanent aura (until death) that provides a flat # of evasion rating. As evasion is mostly our main defensive stat, this is basically a must. Blood Rage is our Frenzy Charge generator, as well as just an overall buffer to our physical damage + attack speed. Finally, similar to Blood Rage, Herald of Ash is there to act as an extra damage buffer.

To those who are going to argue Ice or Thunder is better than Ash, I disagree. Ash’s passive damage baseline is way stronger (15% physical damage as extra fire damage). As we do huge physical damage, we now also do huge fire damage. Also, the secondary buff which increases on gem level (the ignite) spreads to nearby monsters, and always applies on crit regardless of the damage. Therefore it’s far superior as well for general mapping, thus providing a faster clear speed.


Skill trees and the Assassin ascendancy:

This section is devoted to what our skill tree will look like while leveling, end-game, as well as discussion regarding the choice of the Assassin ascendancy.

Assassin ascendancy:

So, the Assassin ascendancy is chosen over Trickster for various reasons. First off, consider that our damage in this build is mostly chaos based that is further substantiated by crit. Therefore it’s very hard to pass up on the free crit which allows us to almost effortlessly reach the 95% crit cap with just our ascendancy choice + gear like Bino’s, etc. Also, consider that this is a BSC (breach softcore) guide, so if we die, all we really lose is XP. With that said, we can accept the loss of Trickster’s neat defensive buffs for the gain of massive raw damage.

Order of ascendancy: Unstable Infusion > Noxious Strike > Toxic Delivery > Deadly Infusion.

We rush Unstable Infusion first in order to receive a flat 15% crit chance, 10% increased duration on power charges, as well as the 10% chance to gain a power charge on a non-crit from an attack. Considering our main source of damage is BF, and how many times it hits, you essentially have permanent crit until there’s no monsters left to keep the buff up. Having this buff as early as possible carries our damage.

Next up is Noxious Strike for some nice chaos damage that will stem from a 30% chance to bleed monsters from our attacks. After the bleed sticks, other chaos debuffs will follow such as poison and maim (which is a movement debuff). After Noxious Strike, continue towards Toxic Delivery for a flat 15% DoT increase and flat crit strike chance.

Toxic Delivery itself is a massive buff to the chaos debuffs applied by Noxious Strike, and providing slight defense with the 10% reduced damage taken from DoT on ourselves. This is actually pretty nice considering bleeds deal a lot of damage, and the flat decrease helps us have more time to react and pop our anti-bleed flask.

After that, you’ll continue from Unstable Infusion to the final passive ascendancy skill, Deadly Infusion. This provides a massive DPS increase due to a flat 8% crit strike multiplier increase per power charge we have up, as well as a flat 0.5% crit strike chance per power charge. TL;DR - huge pp damage.

Skill tree:

I’m going to do things different and break down the tree in level blocks, so it’s much easier to follow for those trying the build. The final tree will of course be the end-game tree. The good thing about this build is there isn’t much to refund regarding passives at the end-game, except for a mana leech node. Note that we’re essentially hitting all life nodes first, while grabbing extra/easily accessible damage nodes along the way. After grabbing important life nodes, we then get our damage nodes.

Do not, I repeat, do NOT attempt to skip life nodes and go for damage nodes first. This is a common mistake and misconception with BF builds, in that we need our damage/dagger nodes first. Believe it or not, BF is so good at leveling because the skill quite literally carries itself with next to no damage/dagger nodes. This allows us to go for our life nodes first, therefore making our leveling experience not… terrible.

Phase 1 (28 skill points):

Phase 2 (48 skill points):

Why Acrobatics + Phase Acrobatics? Simply put, we are (as I keep reiterating) an evasion defensive based build, therefore Acrobatics is a must. However, when we take Acrobatics, we suffer a 30% less of dodge to attacks/spells. This is really shitty considering dodge is also playing a role in our defenses, so we bite the bullet and spend… *deep breath*... 4 points to grab Phase Acrobatics to get 10% extra dodge, and 30% flat spell dodge chance. It’s your choice if you want to test the extra 4 points elsewhere, but I personally haven’t bothered testing it.

Also note that we point 1 point into Mana Leech, and this is to support our early-game mana troubles as far as BF goes. You can refund this later once you get some mana leech on your gear, such as rings, etc.

Phase 3 (64 skill points):

Pushing more Evasion/Life.

Phase 4 (88 skill points):

As you can see, we’re starting to grab the jewel nodes along the way now as we’re around the level(s) in which our jewels that give us good stats can be equipped. You can also at this time optionally choose to spend your 87th point on Path of the Warrior. I’ve thought about it, but I will discuss what I chose instead later. In general, we're grabbing more defense nodes (especially resists).

Phase 5 (104 skill points):

Now we’re starting to go towards our dagger and crit nodes, which provide us good damage/attack speed. You can also at this time (or earlier if you choose, maybe early/mid phase 4) refund the Mana Leech passive as we should at this point have the mana leech needed from other sources, such as our gear.

I've reworked this a bit with some feedback regarding 2.6. I removed 4p regarding Flaying and its prerequisites to slot into Dervish and its prerequisites, as well as Aspect of the Panther early for better damage/defense stats overall.

Phase 6 (end-game, 113 skill points):

Obviously you can get more points, but realistically you probably aren’t going to level higher than this. I don’t mean to challenge your dedication, but one can only play one character for so long before getting bored.

At this stage (end-game), we have “choices”. By that, I mean you can choose what you want to do first. Do you want to pick up +1/better duration on power charges, +1/better evasion during frenzy charges, or perhaps +10 dex and a jewel socket for more stats, or perhaps you instead first choose to go Aspect of the Panther?

As far as the remaining skill points go (remember, there’s 123 total possible) if you for some reason manage to hit 100, just fill in wherever makes you happy.


Normal: HELP Oak - +40 to max life.
Cruel: HELP Kraityn - +8% attack speed.
Merciless: HELP Alira - +1 max power charges.

Stat priorities on gear:

Defensively, you want:


Life (to map “comfortably”, we need ~5.5k+).
Resists (always want to be capped on all resistances - 75%).
Accuracy (so we can stay above 90%)
Evasion (~woosh~).

Offensively, you want:

Physical damage (for damage).
Attack speed (for more damage).
Critical Strike Chance Multiplier (for big pp damage).

Jewel stat priorities:

Critical Strike Multiplier %.
Physical Damage %.
Area damage.
Life leech.

Flask stat priorities:

Flasks are pretty interchangeable in that almost every flask in this game can see use in certain situations. However, look for:

1x Bleed-HP (i.e will restore heal AND remove bleeding at the same time).
1x Atziri’s Promise (chaos resistance + life leech + massive chaos damage).
1x Basalt of Heat (removes chill/freeze).
1x Quicksilver of Gluttony (life leech during use).
1x Lion’s Roar (nice armor + knockback + flat % increased physical damage).

Personally I play without a Basalt of Heat most of the time and instead run a Witchfire Brew, which provides 100% increased evasion, level 21 vulnerability curse, and a flat % DoT increase. Vulnerability is a curse that makes monsters afflicted by it take more physical damage + DoT.

Current Gear:


Leveling - What’s the best way to do this?

This question has two separate paths/answers.


If you are a BRAND NEW player with no currency, your path will be known as self-found. This means you are going to level normally, and pick up gear that’s better than what you’re currently wearing. Repeat until you have the currency to begin buying some of your end-game gear. This is how I started, and it’s 100% doable. Ensure you’re always upgrading your daggers to maintain your damage, and keeping your life and resists as high as possible.


If you have currency to your name and can buy uniques that will aid in leveling, or already have them, then this is your path.

Level 1: Tabula, Lifesprig x2, Wanderlust, Goldrim.

Tabula - Used for free 6L which is ridiculously overpowered while leveling.

2x Lifesprig - Used for good boost to early-game spell damage.

Wanderlust - GOTTA GO FAST.

Goldrim - Solid resists.

Skills to use: Fire Trap + Freezing Pulse.

Level 5: Equip Karui Ward (dex/str for damage increase, as well as allows us to equip gear upgrades without having to stray too far in the tree. Also, GOTTA GO FAST.)

Level 8: Equip Wurm’s Belt (str/life/resists/leech - very nice).

Level 10: Drop 2x Lifesprig and equip 2x Axiom (MORE DAMAGE!!!).

When you get the opportunity to grab Whirling Blades, do it and put it into a green gem slot. You won’t be able to use it as you’re not technically using daggers, but you’ll still at least be able to rank it up.

Once you can obtain Blade Vortex, DO IT. Follow this 6L for it:

Blade Vortex 6L: Added Cold/Added Lightning/Added Fire/Increased Crit/x (can keep Fire Trap for 6th slot for extra single-target damage).

Level 20: Equip 2x Ungil’s daggers as you’re now mostly doing good physical damage from your skill tree points.

At the point of equipping 2x Ungil’s daggers, I also personally choose to swap from BV to Reave. BV is good, yes, but I personally DESPITE its ramp up while leveling, so I always swap to Reave.

Level 28: Dump Reave and replace it with our lord and savior, Blade Flurry. Follow this 6L for it:

Blade Flurry 6L: Faster Attacks, Melee Phys, Increased Crit Strikes (rather than crit dmg since low lvl we have poo poo crit), and final two slots are up to you since we don’t get Increased AoE until ~38. I chose Added Fire/Cold damage.

Level 35: Equip 2x Mightflay (MORE DAMAGE!!!).

Level 38: Swap one of your x2 extra “added” damage gems for Increased AoE.

From here on out, it’s basically just following the motions. If you have any requests to keep it going though (rip), let me know.

Thanks for reading, please leave comments/suggestions.



- 20170119: Guide finished/posted.
- 20170131: Videos added.
- 20170309: Skill trees updated for 2.6.
- 20170311: Skill trees updated and [URL] tags added for QOL.
Last edited by decyphier on Aug 4, 2017, 10:27:32 AM
Last bumped on Aug 28, 2017, 3:13:21 AM
Well-written and easy to grasp on with a twist of humor in there. didn't really finish reading it but will later, promise.

I'm torn between ES and life based build.
TaZma wrote:
Well-written and easy to grasp on with a twist of humor in there. didn't really finish reading it but will later, promise.

I'm torn between ES and life based build.

Thanks, glad you liked it.

I'm torn between ES and life based build.

I wouldn't go ES unless I could really support it with a 6L regalia, etc. I personally don't have the currency for that atm.
Hi, i am very new to this game and I am trying a blade flurry assassin. How important is the scepter in your off hand? can you do the same gem combination in a shield (f.e.) and reach the same effect? thank you for explaining and help me to understand it better.

How important is the scepter in your off hand?

Very, it pretty much ties this build together in one way or another.

This build thrives on double-dipping chaos damage, and Death's Hand serves purely as a buff stick to our chaos damage with the Unholy Might buff.

Also, the power charge on stun is huge and gives us a lot of additional damage. Stuns in POE don't work like other games in which you need an actual stun skill to stun, whereas in POE simply doing large amounts of damage stuns the target. Check up on the wiki if you want more information regarding stuns and how they work.
Last edited by decyphier on Jan 26, 2017, 11:56:07 AM
Thanks a lot!
Guide bookmarked and going to be my next one to play through :). Thank you for the write up was a good read and very helpful.
Marthus wrote:
Guide bookmarked and going to be my next one to play through :). Thank you for the write up was a good read and very helpful.

Thanks, have fun.
Having a blast with this build already.
Uberejho wrote:
Having a blast with this build already.

Glad you're enjoying it.

It was a good first league build for me, as it was pretty cheap due to being life and the ability for BF to pretty much carry itself with sub-optimal gear.

I still have a few additions to this guide coming up, even though I sold off the gear and don't play it. I have a bunch of videos to be uploaded, I'll try and get around to that soon. Busy with work.

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