1.6.6 Insane Arcane Blade Guide

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1.6.6 Insane Arcane Blade Guide

#1 Post by GrayStillPlays »

Let me start by saying I'm no pro player. I've been putting some hours in recently and as I start to get a few more Insane wins under my belt, I figure I'd contribute some of what I've learned about the various classes I'm playing. Most of the classes I've been winning with have extremely outdated (if fantastic) guides, so I thought I'd provide some findings from a slightly more updated play through. Here's my guy. 4 of those deaths were on an extremely annoying last boss fight where Aeryn got insta-jibbed somehow right at the start. Guide style credit to Mex and bpat, I can't provide as much insight as they did because I'm still decently 'new' to the game, but here we go.

Build TL:DR

Class Talents
Technique/Dual techniques: 1/1/1/1
Technique/Combat techniques: 1/0/0/0
Technique/Cunning: 1/0/0/0
Technique/Magical combat: 5/4-5/5/0-1
Spell/Earth: 1/1/1/5
Spell/Air: 5/5/4/5
Spell/Enhancement: 1/1/5/5
Spell/Fire: 1/1-5/0/0
Technique/Superiority: 5/0/0/0

Generic Talents
Race/Skeleton: 1/5/1/5
Technique/Combat training: 5/1-3/0/5/0/0
Cunning/Survival: 1/4-5/1/0
Spell/Aegis: 5/1/1/1
Spell/Conveyance: 5/1/4/0

Arcane Blade Thoughts

At the time of this guide I've got insane wins on Doomed, Anorithil, Solipsist, and Arcane Blade. In terms of overall power-level and survivability, they went Doomed, Solipsist, Arcane Blade, Anorithil. Arcane Blade felt insanely strong in the opening rounds of combat. Most fights were over with one Flurry, the issue was they lack layered defenses. Apparently since 1.6, the game has been a bit more damage bursty, but post 1.6 is all I really know. I wasn't around before then so I've just learned to enjoy the masochistic pain of being hit for 3.7k damage out of nowhere.

I went lightning because there just seems to be a lot of sick lightning gear that you can get that really buffs it up to ridiculous levels. That and honestly, I found every lightning spell in the tree to be useful and good. At the end game, I rarely actually hit any attack keys, I just kind of walked around and everything that wasn't a Unique or Boss died to Thunderstorm or (hilariously enough) Storm Fury (the bow that shoots lightning at stuff randomly, it was hitting for 2k at the end). I ended up going with Skeleton because I couldn't really get another race off of the ground as well through the early game. Skeleton just had fantastic added survivability due to their powerful, long lasting shield and their heal, and the fact that both of those things synergize decently with the Aegis tree. Drem would have been fun for Frenzy shenanigans, Ogre for wielding a 2h in one hand, etc.


1. Cheat sheet
2. Build rationale and analysis
3. Change log

Cheat Sheet

Stat distribution priority

Category Point Order
Technique/Dual techniques, Inscription, Inscription, Technique/Superiority

Movement/Blink (if Undead), Healing/Shield (if Undead), Rune of Reflection (if you can find it, Heroism if you can't. It counts as a spell and crits, so with Aegis I was getting around a 2.5k reflect shield with it), Dissipation (apparently people used to use Spellhunt Remnants, which you can't do anymore so this is pretty mandatory), Wild/Shatter Afflictions.

Cauterize and Flexible Combat.

Equipment priority
spell crit, spellpower/MAG, heal mod, increase crit damage, dmg shield mod, phy dmg, stun res, on hit (slow/blind/gloom), on teleport effects (especially if Skeleton due to the Blinks)

Alchemist Quest priority
+2 generic, +2 class +4% spell critical chance

I missed the class points quest!
+4 stats or +3 Cunning/Dex

Analysis and Rationale

A lot of the stuff you used to be able to do in the previous guides you can't do anymore. You can't get the Light category, you can't use Spellhunt Remnants, you can't get 5 rounds of immunities with movement infusions, all of the brokenly good gear has been changed (Mercy etc), you can't use Pulverizing Auger as your proc, etc. So I'll just go over why the various skills were useful to me, and how often I found myself needing them.

Weapon Choice

Most of the time you'll be running with the best 1H staff you can find and a dagger. I did tests on the training dummy with a plethora of daggers. Mercy, Icy Kill, Spell Drinker a few Randarts that added to lightning damage. Life Drinker and just a dagger that had a good lightning damage bonus ended up being the best just straight DPS wise until I hit 100% crit. At that point, Telos bottom half and another dagger that had a high crit multiplier overtook them by a decent margin.

If you're lazy like me the bow Storm Fury is kind of a good time late game. You can walk around with it in your main spot and it will mostly 1 shot stuff that isn't a boss or unique. It's not optimal, it's just fun.

Class Talents

Technique/Dual techniques

[1] Dual Strike: I used this a lot in the early game, and even into the late when opening with Dirty Fighting. Stunning is good, you could put more points in if you want a longer stun, but by that point in the game everything was either dead in the first few rounds or was so immune to stun it didn't matter.

[1] Flurry: 1 point is all you need. It's the skill that allows you to hit stuff for 6-10k damage and one shot everything that isn't some Randboss with 9k hitpoints and a mountain of resists.

[1] Heartseeker: Pretty neat ability, mostly because 1 point gets you a mini-rush that provides some much needed battlefield movement. It's got a super fast cool down and a range of 4 isn't terrible.

[1] Whirlwild: I was surprised at how much I used this. Besides generating an insane amount of attacks in a crowded room, thus causing more Flexible Combat/Arcane Combat procs, moving through people means you can push past stuff that's in your way if needed to put yourself in a position where you're not surrounded.

Technique/Combat techniques

[1] Rush: I guess you used to be able to target the ground with this. You can't anymore, but it's still very worth the 1 point.


[1] Dirty Fighting: It lowers annoying stuffs stun resistance. That's about it.

Technique/Magical combat

[5] Arcane Combat: The heart of the Arcane Blade. You'll be generating a LOT of lightning. So much lightning that sometimes Flurrying the Boss in front of you will insta-kill the 3 Rares stacked behind him.

[5] Arcane Cunning: Spellpower makes almost everything the AB does better.

[5] Arcane Feed: More crit and mana regen, awesome all around.

[1] Arcane Destruction: You could probably do 0-1 point here. I messed around on the dummies moving a point in and out, and it DOES generate a few hundred damage late game.


[1] Pulverizing Augur: I used this as an insta-dig option for when something that was my "off button" (Anti-Magic Oozemancer Uniques) was chasing me. Run through a hallway, throw down a stone wall, insta-dig out the back, keep running. If nothing else you need it to eventually get to Stone Wall.

[1] Stone Skin: I assume armor used to be super useful in the game. I've run some characters with insane armor just testing stuff, and it just doesn't help when you're getting hit for 3k damage. I never really die from getting chipped down, I die from a reaver/shadowblade teleporting out of nowhere and smacking me for 3k acid damage.

[1] Mudslide: I never ended up using it. But it leads to...

[5] Stone Wall: This spell is amazing. It's 16 turns of total isolation while everything comes off cool down. When I was up against something tough, some berserker/bulwark that just didn't want to die and I needed another round of all my shields/flurry/aegis/etc, this was my go to. Even early I used it with Pulverizing Augur as a get out of death spell.

Spell/Air: 5/5/4/5

[5] Lightning: The proc we'll be using. It does good damage, it hits instantly, and there's a ton of gear that makes it very, very good.

[5] Chain Lightning: I used this all the time. It does tremendous damage throughout the game, and it'll kill stuff off screen and around corners that you never even see. Many times I'd cast it at some creature in my LOS, and around the corner there would be piles of loot everywhere. Interestingly while the tooltip says that Chain Lightning will never hit the same opponent more than once, because each lightning is it's own beam I've absolutely had it hit opponents more than once, probably because some other target's beam arced through them to get to the main target.

[4] Feather Wind: 4 points will get you a good amount of pin/stun resistance, movement speed, and the little QoL stuff like more carrying capacity, less fatigue, and not triggering some traps.

[5] Thunderstorm: I guess this spell used to drain mana per hit, now it doesn't and it's insane. Besides generating a ton of damage, each Thunderstorm strike is it's own contained spell, meaning it will cause on hit procs and it's own on crit benefits. Effectively with Lightning Catcher just standing still for 1 round with some enemies typically insta-got me 10 charges. With gloves like Storm Bringer's Gauntlets, each Thunderstorm was also often proccing an additional lightning. If I would have found more on spell hit gear it would have been even crazier.

Spell/Enhancement: 1/1/5/5

[1] Arcane Strike: It generates some mana in the early game but mainly leads to the better stuff.

[1] Fiery Hands: Stamina regen and a bit more damage, I didn't activate this until LATE in my play through just due to the sustain cost.

[5] Shock Hands: This was an extra +17% lightning damage at the end, and since like, 95% of the damage in this build is lightning, it was a good time. The daze and mana regen is just icing.

[5] Inner Power: It's just a buff to a ton of stats which help you do everything you do better, although the strength isn't super important. The extra auto-damage shield proc every 10 turns is decent. It's not a huge shield, but it's something.

Spell/Fire: 1/5/0/0

[1] Flame: I didn't really use this except for when I fought Urkis. Then I floated 4 more points into it and made it my Arcane Combat proc to kill him in like 2 turns.

[5] Flameshock: I used this a lot, especially in the prides. It's a huge, long lasting stun cone effect.

Technique/Superiority: 5/0/0/0

[5] Juggernaut: You probably don't need this if you managed to find a great pair of Juggernaut gloves, but the Storm Bringer's Gauntlet's were just head and shoulders above every other gauntlet damage wise, and the insanely long lasting 40% physical resist and 24% critical shrug was doing work in the late game for all the damn brawler/bulwark randboss spawns I was getting. If you don't get it you free up a cat point and 5 more class points.

Generic Talents

Race/Skeleton: 1/5/1/5

[1] Skeleton: It gives a +4 to str and dex, which is cool. You can also float points into it to meet gear/talent stat requirements.

[5] Bone Armor: This single handedly kept me alive through the entire early game. In the early game it's a HUGE, long lasting shield, far larger than anything you'll find on a rune. In the late game it's still not bad at all, the only issue is it can't crit. Still, a 1.4k 10 turn shield isn't bad.

[1] Resilient Bones: This is really good. If you don't commit to 3 points in Armor (once I found The Calm, I stayed in it the whole game nearly, until I got the other busted robe) I'd put them here. Even just going from 1 to 2 points more than doubles the effect, going from 11% to 23% for me.

[5] Reassemble: It's a nice sized heal in the early game, works well with all of the +heal stuff we're looking for, synergizes with the Aegis tree, gives an extra life at level 5 etc. The only thing that's unfortunate is that it doesn't crit like Arcane Reconstruction. Still, it definitely made 1-40 much less painful with Bone Armor, and that's half the battle.

Technique/Combat Training: 5/1-3/0/5/0/0

[5] Thick Skin: It's universal damage reduction and this class needs it.

[1-3] Armour Training: I'd probably float some points here so you can take them out when you find The Calm or some other insane robe.

[5] Combat Accuracy: We need to hit to do half of our stuff.

Cunning/Survival: 1/4-5/1/0

[1] Heightened Senses: Just to get to...

[4-5] Device Mastery: This is either good or really good. If you end up with a ton of busted devices it'll be amazing. I was using Night Song for a while for more movement/out of phase stuff and being able to use it nearly twice as much is nice.

[1] Track: I get this through the pick your escorts add on, just so I don't have to spend 20 minutes scumming the first escort. It's just that good.

Spell/Aegis: 5/1/1/1

[5] Arcane Reconstruction: This can crit which can effectively instantly generate a 5k shield after Aegis in the end game.

[1] Shielding: Better shields.

[1] Arcane Shield: Shields from heals.

[1] Aegis: Makes big shields bigger.

Spell/Conveyance: 5/1/4/0

[5] Phase Door: Phase door is just amazing, both offensively and defensively. It allows you to move a pretty impressive distance, and late game when you're in High Peak it allows you to 'haha' the Stair Guardians. This Arcane Blade was my fastest ascent up High Peak I've had. Basically it was...find stair guardian, Phase Door stair guardian across the entire zone, Blink onto the Stairs, climb stairs. It also generates more out of phase if you end up stacking that (mid game I was getting about +35 to all resists and what not due to gear and I had like, 4 ways to go out of phase).

[1] Teleport: Just an "oh fu--" button. I typically cleared out a zone and then went for the toughest stuff last just so that this wouldn't teleport me into like 4 rares.

[4] Displacement Shield: So, I really ended up liking this spell. It doesn't crit which makes me sad, but Aegis stuff works on it. With this and Rune of Reflection I could reflect around 3.4k damage in the late game.


Cauterize: I just found this class really benefited from this. The Arcane Blade has mostly reactionary defenses, which doesn't really help when something blindsides you from off screen for 3k damage.

Flexible Combat: It does a lot of work. With the right gauntlet's it effectively doubles the DPS of the class. Even with sub-optimal gauntlets I was getting at least a 50% damage increase.

I did a bunch of scum testing between Flexible Combat, Adept, and Elemental Surge. Adept provided roughly a 10% net gain on everything, which isn't bad at all. 10% better DPS, 10% better shields, 10% better heals. Adept is interesting because even talent levels you find on gear gets effected by it. Elemental Surge is just too situational, and (if you have the right gloves) Flexible Combat increased the DPS damage by up to 200%. That's a big deal. The best gauntlets of the ones I tested were Storm Bringers Gauntlets. They just synergize incredibly well with this build, and the "on spell hit" lightning effect works through Thunderstorm...so it generates a LOT of lightning.

Cauterize was needed just because, as I said, AB just lacks any sort of layered defense like say, Doomed or Solipsist. It saved my life at least 10 times.



Movement: I use this on almost every character that isn't undead. In the early game it keeps you alive, and in the late game it's good because positioning will make you do a ton more damage and it's still good for keeping you alive.

Wild: The AB doesn't have a lot of ways to clear out effects, so it's kind of necessary.

Heroism: Just death insurance, it'll mostly be outdone by the Rune of Reflection or something else on this particular class though due to Aegis.

Heal: Pretty good for the AB, since we're looking for heal mod and heals turn into shields.


Shielding/Reflection: You should have one of these even if you're not undead, Reflection is nice because it crits, so if you stack crit damage and then throw an aegis down you can get a massive reflection shield.

Dissipation: I guess there's no Gloves of Dissipation anymore or something, and you can't use Spellhunt Remnants, so you really do need this rune. It's just way too good against insane casters. You can also use it to clear all magical debuffs from you so that's a thing.

Shatter Afflictions: Good for Undead, or anyone really since it generates a small shield and shields are kind of the AB's thing.

Blink: Pretty much a sad movement infusion for Undead, although you'll get some cool out of phase bonuses especially in the mid-late game. I was typically maxed out on every resist when using this after 40. It also lets you get around stuff that's surrounding you or what not. The thing about the Movement infusion is it's instant and this uses a turn.


[1.6.6]: Guide created.
2/7/20: Added Weapon Setup + fixed a bunch of grammar


This is my first guide, and like I mentioned I'm not really a pro TOME player that clears RL insane runs like it's nothing, so comments and what not are welcome. Again, thanks to Mex and bpat for the previous guides and templates.
Last edited by GrayStillPlays on Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:20 am, edited 11 times in total.

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Re: 1.6.6 Insane Arcane Blade Guide

#2 Post by tabs »

I'm a little unclear as to what your weapon setup was. The character sheet shows a lot of 2h staves in your inventory, which won't work with the Dual Techniques tree you skilled into. Before looking, I assumed you were doing 1h-staff main and dag/telos' offhand.

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Re: 1.6.6 Insane Arcane Blade Guide

#3 Post by GrayStillPlays »

Added a weapon choice section with some of my findings and updated my character sheet to my main setup.

Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:07 am

Re: 1.6.6 Insane Arcane Blade Guide

#4 Post by Requia »

Just a note on running this in 1.7.1, the last two dual techniques have a much shorter range. Whirlwind in particular is pretty useless until the second point.

Probably needs points into Dex earlier on, even rushing combat accuracy my staff was missing a lot of attacks by level 20, often 3 in a row in flurries. Dagger accuracy bonus (16) was enough to make the difference between success and failure though.
Failed saving throw against terrible idea and opened the wrong door. Again.

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Re: 1.6.6 Insane Arcane Blade Guide

#5 Post by dragonus »

This is an excellent guide in my opinion, although it seems to be the only guide in the forum for the reworked AB class after version1.6. Going the dual-wielding route is probably a more challenging choice in terms of stats management as you have to pump dex in addition to str mag and cun. AB build is not easy to pull together, it would be nice if the OP could let us normal players who follow this guide know by what point we should be able to have feather wind, thunderstorm, shock hands, shielding, and arcane shield all sustained while still be able to cast chain lightning and stone wall freely. Or, in another way, tell us by which level we should ideally have how much mag to allow which sustains and by which level we should have how much cun to get the arcane combat procs consistently(more or less). Sometimes I almost feel it's a normal vs insane issue(I'm a normal game player), that by the time I finished all four t2 zones and the halfling complex, I struggled to have around 200 ~ 250 mana, which is certainly not enough for all the AB sustains, and the stamina issue is even worse, I normally exhausted my stamina before mana for any longer fights. Also, I always wonder how the AB supposed to fight WB? Take off all the sustains and fight it with pure weapon skills? I hope all these questions ain't too much to ask, as I said, this is a good guide, otherwise I wouldn't try to follow it. Thank you and much appreciated.

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Re: 1.6.6 Insane Arcane Blade Guide

#6 Post by minheft »

Thank you on my side too. That was really comprehensive and self-explanatory.

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