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 + 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](http://epic.gm/yx), 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?)
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](https://www.reddit.com/r/FORTnITE/comments/al4fb0/feature_rich_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**