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Best Lost Ark Deathblade build: recommended skill levelling, engravings, and awakening skills for PvE and PvP

How to kit out your Deathblade for adventures in Arkesia

What is the best Deathblade build in Lost Ark? The Deathblade is one of Lost Ark's most intriguing character classes, with a popularity that belies a surprisingly low base damage stat. Perhaps it's the Deathblade's cool appearance that gets so many players past her shortcomings; after all, how many times in life do you get the chance to wield three swords at once?

There are no truly bad character choices in Lost Ark, and like any other class, the Deathblade can play like a dream with the right build. On this page we'll give an overview of the Deathblade's skills, levelling guide, and which bonus class and engravings to choose when you reach the endgame.

Best Lost Ark Deathblade build: Overview

The Deathblade's weapon set is made up of three swords — a duo of short daggers and a longsword — but unlike with Gunner character classes, you won't be in charge of manually switching between them. Instead, the Deathblade's identity skill and the nominal linchpin of her build is the Death Orb.

The Deathblade carries three Death Orbs which (re-)charge during combat. Activating a Death Orb triggers the Deathblade Arts skill effect which does the following:

  • Reduces the cooldown on all skills;
  • Increases movement speed, attack speed, and attack power;
  • Sets off a unique burst attack that deals a huge amount of damage.

The base duration of a Death Orb is 10 seconds; but if you choose to activate multiple orbs simultaneously, all effects (barring movement speed increase) stack for the combined duration.

To be perfectly honest, the main advantage of the Deathblade is that she's an incredibly fun class to play. The lack of manual weapon switching might be seen as a downside if you're into micromanaging during battle, but the fact that other factors determine weapon selection gives you the chance to just really enjoy some satisfying hack-and-slash combat. However, the downside of this class is definitely her base attack power when not under the influence of Death Orb, which leaves something to be desired. However, her impressive attack speed and fast cooldown times make her a force to be reckoned with in PvP, which goes a long way towards making up for her PvE shortcomings.


Best Lost Ark Deathblade build: Skills and levelling

The Deathblade's normal skills are overwhelming focussed on offensive attacks. Since you can't switch between her double daggers and longsword at will, skill selection is your chance to focus on one weapon choice or the other if you find you have a strong preference.

By the time you reach Level 50 you should have accumulated about 250 skill points, which is enough to put together a balanced normal skill build to take your character into the endgame. For the Deathblade, we recommend choosing a few favourite skills and going all in on their enhancements, as in the following:

Best PvE skills for Deathblade

Skill Tripod 1 Tripod 2 Tripod 3
Blitz Rush: Charge to move 5 metres forward before attacking foes. Uncharged attacks deal normal damage, charged attacks deal double damage, and overcharged attacks deal double damage and follow-up with a longsword hit that deals another 150% of normal damage. Vital Point Strike: Crit rate increased by up to 40%. Charge Enhancement: Damage inflicted is increased by up to 35% per level of charge. Shadow Rush: An afterimage attacks instead of you, inflicting 40% additional damage.
Dark Axel: Jump 6 metres forward, pushing foes back and knocking them into the air, dealing damage. Following up with a longsword slash upon landing deals additional damage and knocks foes back. Swift Fingers: Attack speed increased by up to 27%. Tenacity: Grants Push immunity during the aerial attack. High Axel: Move distance is increased by 4 metres. The longsword attack is removed, but subsequent higher jump allows you to go over Guardian level foes.
Moonlight Sonic: Perform a sweeping slash in front of you, dealing massive damage and pulling enemies in close. Fist of Darkness: Element is changed to Dark for 40% additional damage. Quick Preparation: Cooldown duration is reduced by up to 11 seconds. Shade Sonic: Movement speed is increased, increasing total attack damage by up to 105%.
Soul Absorber: Charge below 100% to deliver a powerful thrust inflicting damage. Overcharge the skill it does four times as much damage. Swift Fingers: Charge speed increased by up to 36%. Fist of Darkness Changes element to Dark for up to 60% increased damage. Halve: At the end of the Overcharged stabbing attack, the Deathblade moves in the cursor's direction and slashes at enemies, knocking them away and inflicting up to 144% extra damage.
Maelstrom: Create a tornado with a 6-second duration that shields you, inflicting immediate damage on foes and continuing to inflict a reduced amount of damage until it ends. Orb Control: Death Orb metre gains up to 30% charge when hitting with normal and awakening skills while Maelstrom buff is active. Dark Order: Upon activating Maelstrom, move speed increases by up to 19.8% for all party members within 24 metres for 6 seconds. Adds the Dark Order buff for up to 25% increase to attack speed. n/a
Spincutter: Spin 5 metres towards a selected location, inflicting damage to enemies in the way. This skill can be used twice in a row before cooldown. Open Weakness: On hit, grants the Open Weakness debuff, increasing outgoing damage from all party members by 3% for 10 seconds. Frontal attacks and attacks from behind get a 9% outgoing damage increase. n/a n/a

Best PvP skills for Deathblade

Skill Tripod 1 Tripod 2 Tripod 3
Blitz Rush: Charge to move 5 metres forward before attacking foes. Uncharged attacks deal normal damage, charged attacks deal double damage, and overcharged attacks deal double damage and follow-up with a longsword hit that deals another 150% of normal damage. Vital Point Strike: Crit rate increased by up to 40%. Charge Enhancement: Damage inflicted is increased by up to 35% per level of charge. Shadow Rush: An afterimage attacks instead of you, inflicting 40% additional damage.
Dark Axel: Jump 6 metres forward, pushing foes back and knocking them into the air, dealing damage. Following up with a longsword slash upon landing deals additional damage and knocks foes back. Swift Fingers: Attack speed increased by up to 27%. Tenacity: Grants Push immunity during the aerial attack. High Axel: Move distance is increased by 4 metres. The longsword attack is removed, but subsequent higher jump allows you to go over Guardian level foes.
Moonlight Sonic: Perform a sweeping slash in front of you, dealing massive damage and pulling enemies in close. Fist of Darkness: Element is changed to Dark for 40% additional damage. Sustain Enhancement: Adds a holding mode to the skill which doubles the attack duration, and increases damage by up to an additional 80%. Shade Sonic: Movement speed is increased, increasing total attack damage by up to 105%.
Upper Slash: Deliver a swift slash with your dual blades to inflict damage, then slash upward to create a deadly tornado that inflicts extra damage and launches foes into the air. Swift Fingers: Attack speed increased by up to 27%. Large Twister: Adds a third attack, delivering a rising slash with the longsword which creates a bigger twister and knocks foes into the air, along with a damage increase of up to 80%. Tenacity: Grants Push immunity during skill use. Minimum cooldown of 6 seconds.
Surprise Attack: Dash 4 metres forward and slash at enemies with your dual blades to inflict damage. Wide-Angle Attack: AoE radius increased by 20%. Excellent Mobility: Move distance increased by up to 3 metres. n/a
Spincutter: Spin 5 metres towards a selected location, inflicting damage to enemies in the way. This skill can be used twice in a row before cooldown. Swift Fingers: Attack speed increased by up to 27%. n/a n/a

Lost Ark characters start out with a decent suite of early-game abilities, and new skills unlock fairly frequently as you progress through the first 20 or so character levels. Gaining XP and levelling up gives you skill points that you can spend on improving skill levels and unlocking "tripods". Tripods are enhancements to skills that become available at skill levels 4, 7, and 10; applying one gives that skill a new secondary function. Every tripod has three options for you to choose from.

There's a limit to how much you can customise any Lost Ark character's build until they reach Level 50 and you gain access to endgame Engravings and Awakening skills (see below). Until that point, the path each class takes will be relatively linear; so throughout the early game, selecting your normal skills and their enhancements is the key to setting up a build that's to your liking.


Best Lost Ark Deathblade build: Engravings

Once a Lost Ark character reaches Level 50, you can apply Engravings to them. Engravings are part of Lost Ark's endgame content, and allow you to apply a variety of buffs and boosts to customise your character's kit a little more. As well as generic engravings available to all characters, every class has two "class bonus" engravings unique to them. Effectively, these let you pick a subclass for them to specialise in.

The Engravings for the Deathblade class are Remaining Energy and Surge, which come with the following bonuses:

  • Remaining Energy effectively adds two seconds to the duration of the Deathblade Arts triggered by a Death Orb, as with this bonus, the metre doesn't begin to deplete until two seconds after deploying. Furthermore, performing the Deathblade Arts burst attack grants another 30 second buff to movement speed, attack speed, and attack power.
  • Surge grants a stack of Surge Enhancement every time your Deathblade lands a hit with any attack (except for default attacks and Awakening skills) while Deathblade Arts are active. The maximum stack number is 20, and each stack increases outgoing damage by 7.5% (and, at higher levels, attack power increases by up to 1% per stack as well). Once Deathblade Arts reaches the end of its duration, each Surge Enhancement refills the Death Orb by 5%.

Both are good choices, though the apparent complexity of Surge, coupled with the excellent PvE benefits offered by Remaining Energy, mean that most players prefer to opt for the latter. However, Surge is easier to use than it is to explain, so if you like the sound of what it has to offer, don't be put off from incorporating it into your endgame build instead — it has the potential to deal the largest amount of damage the Deathblade is capable of in a single attack once you get the hang of it, making it a solid choice for late-game PvE and PvP combat.

The number of engravings you can equip is variable, and depends on the engraving slots you have available. Class-specific bonus engravings require Learned Engraving slots, which you unlock by reading books you accumulate throughout your adventures in Arkesia.

Meanwhile, the two "generic" engraving types that can be equipped by all classes (damage boosts and utility buffs) are equipped according to how many engraving points you have available. Your number of engraving points is based on a combination of your character's equipped accessories (such as necklaces, earrings, rings, etc.) and their Ability stones, all of which can be picked up as loot or from merchants throughout the game. Shuffle your loadout until you've maxed out your engravings points to 35 and you should be able to equip about three generic engravings in addition to your class bonus.

The following engravings supplement a Deathblade skill particularly well:

  • Master of Ambush: Base attacks deal up to 25% more damage. This a top choice for anyone disappointed at the low base damage dealt by Assassin character classes.
  • Super Charge increases charged skills' charging speed by up to 40%, making it an excellent choice of engraving for the Deathblade, whose best skills often require charging. Meanwhile, damage is increased by up to 20%.
  • Grudge increases damage by up to 20% when fighting Boss level or higher monsters, while reducing incoming damage from them by the same amount.
  • Cursed Doll increases attack power by up to 16%, but reduces incoming healing by -25% (not including natural passive health recovery).

Best Lost Ark Deathblade build: Combat Stats and accessories

In addition to Engravings, accessory items in Lost Ark (necklaces, earrings, and rings) are your source for Combat Stats. These substats can have a major effect on your character, and it is important to target gear with the right stats for your build. Deathblade should look for Specialization while leveling, to help build up the Art Meter faster. Crit is a nice secondary stat, increasing your critical strike rate and damage.

While most classes will adjust their Combat Stat priorities based on their class Engraving choice, Deathblade keeps it simple. Specialization and Crit remain your two best stats on both Surge and Remaining Energy. This makes it easy to transition into your endgame Engraving spec.


Best Lost Ark Deathblade skills: Awakening Skills

Like Engravings, Awakening Skills become available once a Lost Ark character has reached Level 50. Again, there are two options to choose from, and unlike with Engravings it's not an either/or proposition: you can unlock both Awakening Skills if you'd like, although you can only equip one at a time.

The Awakening skills for the Deathblade are:

  • Blade Assault: Inflicts damage in a straight line while moving forward and pulling in foes. A follow-up QTE allows you to hit the Perfect Damage Zone: if successful, you'll target your enemies with throwing swords to inflict even more damage, knocking them away and launching them into the air in the process.
  • Flash Blink: Dash forward 12 metres while slashing all three swords (somehow), dealing damage and knocking enemies into the air.

Both of these Awakening skills are such strong choices, it's hard to know which one to keep equipped by default. However, Blade Assault is a little more tailored towards PvP content, while Flash Blink makes for a better choice in PvE, so which you keep on your hotbar should depend primarily on the type of combat you plan on engaging in.


Since you need to be at Level 50 to take advantage of most of Lost Ark's character build materials, be sure to check out our guide to levelling up fast in Lost Ark to help you get there as quickly as possible. The Deathblade works best on a balanced character roster, so have a look at our Lost Ark classes tier list to help you pick a strong set of alts for her to play off of.

About the Author

Rebecca Jones avatar

Rebecca Jones

Guides Writer

Rebecca can usually be found working through her latest fiction-induced anguish by recreating all those lovely doomed characters in The Sims. More recently she discovered a fondness for Genshin Impact, which she pitches to bewildered friends as "Pokémon but with hot people instead of made-up animals". She also loves horror games and will play them at any opportunity, despite the fact that they make her so panicked she once threw her controller in a self-defence reflex. (The controller survived; Rebecca's dignity did not.)

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