The Math behind Spectral Blade


Hey guys, Whitesushi here with a review of the new weapon, Spectral Blade. This is the latest melee weapon to be added to the game which you can obtain by surviving for 30 minutes in the Frostnite event. The challenge for this wek is no mini-map/map which is not that much a challenge so most people should be able to knock it out easily. If you are having trouble, you can consider either

– Getting a taxi to one of the lower zones
– Spamming more floor launchers as part of your build

With that out of the way, some of you guys are probably surprised that I’m covering a melee weapon. Well if you guys follow my posts, you will notice me mentioning my loadout quite frequently and would’ve easily picked up terms such as Silenced Specter and Wraith. However, I quite rarely mention the weapon for my 3rd slot which most would assume to be the Bundlebuss. Fact is, I run a Stormblade and I must say this new weapon **absolutely destroys Stormblade** when it comes to both damage and utility.

##### The Perks

To understand how strong this weapon is, we must first look at its perks. Below is a table of reference for all the perks in case you don’t already own the weapon.

||Slot 1|Slot 2|Slot 3 (Element)|Slot 4|Slot 5|Slot 6|
|Perk 1|Critical Rating|Movement Speed|Physical|Critical Rating|Movement Speed|Snare|
|Perk 2|Critical Damage|Critical Damage|Water|Critical Damage|Armour|
|Perk 3|Damage|Damage|Energy|Damage|Damage to Slowed|
|Perk 4|Attack Speed|Armour||Attack Speed|Attack Speed|
|Perk 5|Life Leech|Heavy Attack Efficiency||Heavy Attack Efficiency|Life Leech|

As you can see, there are some insane combinations of perk you can play around with such as

– Triple Attack Speed (although I heard it’s not that amazing)
– 4 “damage related” perks
– 2 Heavy Attack Efficiency
– 2 Movement Speed
– 2 Armour
– 2 Life Leech

Basically, the weapon is super flexible when it comes to how you want to build it and we will explore these options further in the later section. I want to however take this opportunity to talk about its right click ability – **Spectral Blade**. What this ability does is that the player would

1. Perform a dash towards the target closest to the cursor position similar to Phase Shift. The cursor automatically locks onto a nearby target if available. The dash is performed regardless of whether or not there is a target or if you can cover the distance

2. Execute a slash attack at the end of the dash. The slash attack does double the damage (similar to 2 hits) of a normal slash and if one of them crits, the other does as well as pointed out by u/ItWasUncalledFor.

Since this is a right click ability, it costs energy to execute. Below is the formula for calculating how much energy it would require

Energy Cost = Base Energy Cost / ( 1 + Heavy Attack Efficiency )

Where base energy cost is **30**. Here’s a table to give you guys an idea

|Scenario|Heavy Attack Efficiency|Energy Cost|# Casts|
|1 Legendary H.E.A Perk|120%|13.636|7|
|2 Legendary H.E.A Perk|240%|8.824|11|
|Assassin Sarah|300%|7.5|13|
|Assassin Sarah + 1 H.E.A|420%|5.769|17|
|Assassin Sarah + 2 H.E.A|540%|4.688|21|

> Do note that even though in-game values don’t reflect decimals, it does deduct the fully decimal value from your energy bar. You will notice this when you cast the ability twice and notice that it skips an additional number

Since your energy does not regenerate while repeatedly casting this ability, the maximum number of consecutive skills you can execute is **21**.

##### The “Best” Perks

I’m not going to place the usual disclaimer here because I’m doing something different today, and that is to look at not only the best perks for damage, but also the best perks for some utility and fun. That said though, I am going to start off with the best perks when it comes to dishing out maximum damage. Using the calculator on my [spreadsheet](, we find that there are a few ways to build this weapon depending on the hero you use.

> For the time-to-kill values I’m about to represent, we assume a player with max individual offense of 3251 and a level 50 Obsidian Spectral Blade up against a PL 100 Physical Smasher

**No hero and no support (general purpose)**

– Crit DMG / Crit DMG / Element / Crit Rating / Conditional DMG – 7.637s
– Crit Rating / Crit DMG / Element / Atk Spd / Conditional DMG – 7.833s (+2.56%)
– Crit DMG / Crit DMG / Element / Crit Rating / Atk Speed – 8.159s (+6.84%)

**Assassin Sarah (dashy build)**

– Crit DMG / Crit DMG / Element / Atk Spd / Conditional DMG w/ Crit Rating support – 4.895s
– Crit DMG / Crit DMG / Element / Crit DMG / Conditional DMG w/ Crit Rating support – 5.091s (+4.00%)
– Crit DMG / Crit DMG / Element / Atk Spd / Conditional DMG w/ Crit Rating support – 5.222s (+6.67%)

**Swordmaster Ken (sheer damage and more survivability)**

– Crit DMG / Crit DMG / Element / Crit DMG / Atk Spd w/ Crit Rating support – 3.590s
– Crit DMG / Crit DMG / Element / Atk Spd / Atk Spd w/ Crit Rating support – 3.712s (+3.41%)
– Crit DMG / Crit DMG / Element / Crit DMG / Conditional DMG w/ Crit Rating support – 3.818 (+6.36%)

Ultimately, you should pick one of the perk setups according to what kind of playstyle you wish to adopt. Personally, I use the weapon for general purpose and may want to use it for a fun dashy Assassin build (I rather use ranged weapons for try-hard content so I can easily rule out SMK). As such, I would pick **CRITD/CRITD/ELE/ATKSPD/cDMG** since this setup offers the greatest degree of **flexibility** to rotate between the two playstyles without losing out on too much damage

**The “Fun” Perks**

Now that we are done with covering the damage related perks, I want to talk a bit about the fun perks starting with the **triple attack speed setup**

> With this setup, you now possess one of the fastest swinging melee weapons in the game. However, I personally don’t think the attack speed is worth it (sorry Cam) because the weapon is better suited for a **dash -> kill**, combo-oriented playstyle and attack speed simply doesn’t benefit that in anyway. In fact, you may even end up in a situation where you lack the damage to 1-hit husks in a single right click which feels pretty bad.

> There was also mention of utilizing this with heroes such as Alchemist for very fast life leech and the problem with this is that it still doesn’t heal you enough to face-tank everything and is only good enough for surviving small skirmishes. In fact the higher you go, the less effective this is. You can also potentially use this with explosive assassin Ken to trigger more explosions but I heard it’s pretty doo-doo.

Next, the **double heavy attack efficiency setup**

> This was actually pretty fun especially with Assassin Sarah since it functions like a mini dragon slash that is super spammable. However, you lack damage so the only targets you can reliably kill is the non-tanky husks and flingers. As such, it is pretty fun if you are over-stat’ed for the zone you are playing in (Twine Peaks player in Canny for example) but any higher and you will find yourself struggling with Blasters and the likes.

The **double movement speed setup**

> Just don’t, the Shovel can get triple movement speed. However, you could throw in a double heavy attack efficiency which makes this weapon better than the Shovel for pure utility purposes such as getting around the map (very useful in Frostnite). You could also go for double H.E.A and 1 movement speed, it is really up to your preferences.

The **double life leech setup**

> That life leech tactical is better

Last but not least and before I forget, the reason why this weapon will be replacing my Stormblade (as mentioned at the start of the post) is that it out-dps the Stormblade by a staggering **31.96%** thanks to its ability to roll an additional perk… and that isn’t even including it’s ability to quickly close gaps with the dash.

##### The problem with this weapon

> or melee in general

I really wanted to make this weapon work and tried everything from using Survivalist support (for that additional armour) to Alchemist tactical (heal after 4 hits) and **it’s still not enough**… well at least for the most part. What I mean by this is that this weapon is absolutely amazing in **under-leveled content** with **little to no modifiers**. I went into Canny zones and absolutely demolished the encampments there, 1 shotting husks while constantly stealing health back. However, that’s about all the weapon can do. In higher level missions, there were a lot of threats to the build namely

– Bees (you just die)
– Blasters (you just die.. unless you use a ranged weapon but then you might as well use ranged to begin with)
– Deathbursts (not only do you just die killing husks, the lag generated from these going off gets you stuck in groups of husk very easily, again contributing to your death)
– Acid Pools (it’s like mini bees)
– Nature husks (having no energy is no fun)
– Water husks/slowing attacks (and then you get slower and get hit by more stuff)
– Most ranged enemies (cause without cover, they going to hit you)

and probably many more that I have yet to experience. Basically, you are **constantly putting yourself in danger** while **neither outperforming ranged builds in damage** nor **best TEDDY builds in “how lazy you can be”**. I know this isn’t a Spectral Blade exclusive problem but man did testing this weapon make me question **why would I use melee over the many alternatives available?** On the bright side, I was able to 2-dash Blasters in PL100 zone and melt Smashers in under 3-4s running a Swordmaster Ken so that was fun. However, that was just tests done on idling targets not during objectives so I did not have to worry about other enemies targeting me.

That said, that’s not all the problems I have to talk about. Another thing is that

**Swords are all bugged**

Yes, an actual bug mind you. When you attack with a sword, your character enters this animation consisting of **4 slashes**. Occasionally, one of the 4 slashes (the 3rd one in particular) will not register which basically means you lose 25% of your damage. If you guys want to try this out, there is a 100% guaranteed way to replicate this. All you have to do is to

1. Have the sword in your hotbar
2. Switch to another weapon or the pickaxe
3. Switch back to the sword
4. Swing at something (use structures/rocks for easy tests)

Every single time the 3rd hit should not register meaning not only does no damage numbers pop up, the health bar of the target doesn’t go down. Even if you are not switching weapons, switching targets at time will result in you missing the same hit although that is a lot less inconsistent. I have no idea what is causing this but if I have to guess, it might be related to de-sync issues commonly seen in changing tiles to place where places often enter a situation where even though they have a floor/wall/stair/pyramid selected at the bottom right, their character is actually trying to place a trap (Oh wait did I mention that is another bug?)

##### Conclusion

This is probably one of the best melee weapons released to date boasting some of the highest damage numbers and insane utility value. The flexibility of perks available also makes this weapon one of the more fun ones to build and play. This is all on top of the fact that the weapon looks absolutely amazing. If you don’t already have it, **definitely make it a point to pick the sword up**.

That said though, it suffers from the same problem most melee weapons have which is that it is a melee weapon (read section above on why). While it can be extremely satisfying to play in lower zones, players may struggle to use it in high-end content. It is also not as efficient as the T.E.D.D.Y when it comes to clearing enemies and adopting a more laid back playstyle so lazy players might find issues with it.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read through my post and do feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. I recently updated my [DPS calculator]( located on the spreadsheet so that’s where the time to kill values are coming from. If you find my posts helpful, consider supporting me through the support-a-creator program with my code being Whitesushi.

**TL;DR The best sword in the game but melee still sucks. Best perks would be CRITD/CRITD/ELE/ATKSPD/cDMG**

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  1. How about the heavy attack’s damage? It feels like it’s doing double damage of a normal attack (not a double hit, but that seems to happen sometimes too). Not just +100% damage either, but more like a global 2x modifier on it. That seems very noteworthy.

    I noticed this late last night but was too tired to test further and maybe I missed something.

    Also, for higher level missions I feel that Harvester is your best bet. She has +crit, +dmg, Shadow Stance for Armor, and dim mak for Shield Regain. There’s this common misconception that she is just a scythe hero. While she does best with scythe, she still performs amazingly well with swords and axes as well.

  2. I’m seriously thinking on improving it for two reasons:

    1. I don’t have a main melee weapon (I don’t have one leveled up at all) I have Sword Master Ken at 130 and I don’t even use it.

    2. When I run outlander or soldier it would be nice carrying a 3rd weapon for the flingers, mostly in high end Twine for 4x missions.

    I think this sword it’s a nice option and the special attack is awesome.

  3. Heavy attack efficiency is capped at 300% and will not reduce further than 7 energy costs

    Also this sword’s heavy attack can attack twice and crit – both attacks crit when it crits. [You can animation cancel with 3 auto attacks, 1 heavy attack to increase DPS further than any other sword]( and the dash increases the DPS when you factor in time between targets (Range)

    An interesting build is Assassin with sword crit rating tactical, energy thief tactical; crit damage x3, life leech x1, energy x1 where your heavy attack is naturally capped at 7 energy cost from 300% heavy attack eff on Assassin and you just spam heavy attack, making your crit heavy attacks deal triple crit damage, twice at a time while also healing you 2x

    And lastly, swords should really go shadowshard seeing as how the attack speed lost isn’t even noticable while the DPS increase is. And the durability, just like an obsidian melee weapon, lasts forever

  4. For its utility use, after using it with double speed I have switched to it from the shovel mainly because the heavy attack can be used to avoid fall damage. If you jump/fall, just Spectral Blade forward right before impact and you will not take fall damage, similar to how Outlanders can use phase shift. The third speed boost on the shovel only works when you attack anyway, and so the extra utility makes up for it IMO if you are primarily using it for running short distances

  5. My Spectral Blade setup:

    •CR (Blue role)
    •CD (Blue role)
    •Energy (Blue role)
    •ATK Speed (Legendary role)
    •30% Damaged to Snared (Blue role)


    Dire (1st slot support)
    Sarah Claus (2nd slot support)

    Anyway I could improve?

  6. One of these days you need to learn how to play melee. Your complaints about survivability just aren’t valid.

    You’ve made it a point to go out of your way to shit on melee any chance you get for the past year (gotta make sure to put those opinions in bold too). But the fact is that melee doesn’t suck. Plenty of people including myself have run hundreds of 100+ missions using swords and we don’t die like you apparently do (bees LUL).

  7. i was running this with an armor roll in the second slot, and having almost no issues with incoming damage up to an including level 100 super encampments on dim mak as well as sarah hotep. the armor and shadowstance result in some pretty tanky ninjas and damage is much higher than the shovel was. only time i was in danger was when 5 or 6 blasters started focus targeting me as i was soloing towards the later encamps. id highly recommend trying an armor roll on one spot at least.

  8. How come you don’t consider the major downtime between distant enemies?

    You can spend 30 energy 3x and suffer from the terrible energy gain in game (takes 2s to start regaining energy after expending it), and lose all your energy and then have to run to enemies doing no dmg

    Or take one dmg slot out and put heavy efficiency and have basically no downtime between dealing damage.

  9. Hey man! Me and some people on a discord server figured out that using Assassin Sarah with Assassin Sarah in support and Energy Thief Mari in tactical, with the Energy Pylon activated, while using the double heavy attack perks, if you hit a husk each time you use the ability, you can use it **37** times in a row.

  10. What is “H.E.A”? Cause Heavy Attack Efficiency is H.A.E.

    Also, as other people pointed out, why do you shit on melee combat every chance you get?

    I have no problem using swords even in 4x PL100 missions. Is it that hard to use the high mobility of ninjas for avoiding bees and other dangers?

    Yeah, it’s not as safe and boring as playing a soldier and standing still while holding LMB. But that’s the fun of it.

  11. Thanks for Whitesushi for letting me test a lvl 50 version of the sword tonight! That was a lot of fun.

    So I played some with Whitesushi tonight and was playing around with melee. I’m normally pretty good with melees and am not discouraged to use them in high level Twine missions. I feel like they can compete in most cases. I will say, my performance was very inadequate most of the time. I’m not used to playing with the kind of lag I was having and dealing with poor reaction time is pretty much a guaranteed fail. Especially with melee bc the margin for error is so low. Normally you don’t have to build elaborate builds to survive a Super Encampment. A few edited small walls and floors can do the trick but I wasn’t doing a great job of demonstrating that last night.

    – Spectral Blade: Is pretty awesome. I need to get used to using it for sure. It can close a gap pretty quick and does pretty good damage. Nature husks, dragon slash and the blade were a bit of a problem. Not having enough energy to Dragon Slash but enough energy to Heavy Attack created a few oh shit moments.

    – Melee in general: Melee is definitely very viable in a lot of missions. You can go into an Encampment mission with your friends and fight VERY comfortably and compete with high combat scores. Even at lvl 100. No doubt. We demonstrated that. You can get away with this in lots of mission types but the thing is, NOT all of them and even then, I wouldn’t use it exclusively.

    – Soloing as a melee: Soloing is much harder to do but still viable. I tried fighting as just melee, which is slow and tedious. I tried mixing up abilities with melee and when you have the entire package it’s much more viable. That begs to question to how you approach meleeing. Utilizing your other perks and abilities is key to supplementing it.

    To me, melee isn’t all about melee. Melee in StW is very situational. It really depends on the loadout too, how you approach going about your tactics. I went Dragon for a bit bc the Dragon Slash is so powerful, it can thin hordes, leaving you to focus DPS down who you want to. Other play styles don’t work that way tho. Some guys don’t have a powerful AOE ability.

    Melee has it’s downsides for sure. If you can’t close a gap on a Blaster, what do you do? Shoot them or hide. You shouldn’t always be meleeing. Playing a great melee character, to me, is about mixing it up and doing what makes sense situationally.

    I think what Sushi is looking at when checking out melee is, how viable is melee by itself, compared to other methods by themselves. I get it but melee needs supplements to be viable. You can’t just go all out melee and expect to be efficient. I think efficiency in Save the World is a very important word! He definitely has a point in some scenarios! It doesn’t always make sense.

    When you factor in something like Exploding Deathburst, it can be negated in lower difficulty missions BUT if you were to stick a pure melee into that lvl 100 4x Survivor mission we were farming tonight, with the Exploding Deathburst, they’d literally be non-functional and relegated to a full ranged DPS role. In which case, WHY use them? You wouldn’t use them. You’d use a UAH instead.

    Playing with Nature husks, which IMO dominate the late game in Twine Peaks is problematic too. I had a few issues just keeping the energy up, when soloing as a melee, and NOT being able to use an ability during a key moment can be fatal. Like Mantis Leap to get away from damage or Dragon Slash to reduce it. It’s a real problem.

    Final Thoughts: Melee definitely is situational. It’s very viable in most all normal missions but it isn’t viable all the time. There’s a reason why we were given powerful abilities to compliment it, too. The best use of it, is to pick and choose when to use it. There are tactics for melee to counter anything in this game but people need to acknowledge you can be overwhelmed by husks, too.

    IMHO In this game, nobody should be using melee 100% of the time. It just doesn’t make sense to. Even ninjas need ranged weapons. Also it has utility value. A Reclaimer can move pretty fast with the right Sword or Hammer. That ability to close a gap quicker can be an increase in DPS.

  12. Would this sword maybe benefit from shadowshard/sunbeam, since it has no % conditions to trigger? And AFAIK attack speed doesn’t affect the alt fire.

    Also, “Obsidian at level 50 against a PL100 Smasher”.

  13. imo Swords and melees in general have one and one job only, kill flingers. I am putting 2x movespeed modifiers on mine to help me close the gap between my blade and their throats faster.

  14. Wile melee dose need a huge buff i think you (and most of the reddit community) uses melee wrong. The reddit community tends to put tons of attack speed perks on the swords and just hit has many times as possible wile standing in bees and the gas lobbers. It is far more effective to play how gumbi plays, using slower hitting weapons that do tons of damage on each hit. Playing like that allows you to take less damage because what can hit you dies quickly and you can kill a lot more husk in the end. Sorry just needed to rant about this for a minute.

  15. why he choose on spectral sword :

    Crit Rating / Crit DMG / Element / Atk Spd / Conditional DMG – 7.833s (+2.56%)

    instead of this that have more +6.84 damage.

    Crit DMG / Crit DMG / Element / Crit Rating / Atk Speed – 8.159s (+6.84%) P.S. conditional damage what is? (+45 damage from snare?) thanks a lot sir.


    And he don`t says if the sword is in brightcore or sunbeam…

  16. you say melee is garbage in twine yet ive been runnin sara claus for the past 2 months and getting top combat cuz im able to sit in the husk spawn and literally slice them up for days


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