Blade’s entrance to The Contest in October of 2017 was a meta-shifting event. The Community was hyped for the character, largely due to the love for the Wesley Snipes movies. Blade did not disappoint and instantly became the must-have character in everyone’s roster. The Holy Trinity (Blade, Sparky, and Ghost-Rider) quickly became ubiquitous on Alliance War attack, eliminating Magik and Dormammu as top defenders. Those unlucky in their attempt to pull him initially hoarded shards for the long-awaited “Blade Day,” when he returned for the final addition of the old featured 5* crystal, which had a 20% drop rate for the featured champion. While there has been a lot of talk about Blade being “nerfed” by new nodes and champion counters, I would argue he is still as valuable as ever in almost all areas of the Contest. There are certainly a few ways to slow him down, but it’s really hard to stop him from a design standpoint, especially without hurting other champions to a far greater degree.
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One of the biggest reasons why Blade is useful and difficult to counter (and why attempts to counter him usually end up de-valuing other champs like Gwenpool) is that he has an extensive tool kit, and it’s all on demand. The player has an incredible amount of control over the champion. Blade’s bleeds are not random, so if you get in a situation where it would hurt you to bleed the defender, such as a cornered node or again a Cable, you simply don’t throw specials or parry.
It is Blade’s Danger Sense, though, that truly makes him a must-have champion for any Summoner. Danger Sense reduces the ability accuracy of the opponent and grants Blade an additional attack bonus versus Dimensional Beings, taking away the defensive utility of champions like Magik, Dormammu and Mephisto. With the Ghost-Rider Synergy this extends to all villains, with Mephisto it extends to all mystics, and with Stark Spider-Man Danger Sense gains a 45% additional potency (total of 58%).
So what’s so special about ability accuracy reduction from Danger Sense? Basically, it will stop positive effects from activating on your opponent and negative effects from activating on Blade. There is an incredibly long list of interactions that benefit the Summoner, including the chance to prevent buffs from triggering on opponents (like Juggernaut’s unstoppable), Magik’s Limbo, Mephisto’s Aura of Incineration and healing, Electro’s damage on-contact, and thorns damage. Danger Sense can also prevent debuffs from Void from sticking, and can actually turn off nodes like auto-bleed and poison at the start of the fight.
Blade can generate energy at an increased rate by standing near or attacking into a bleeding opponent. If the opponent is not bleed-immune, it is recommended to keep them bleeding for as much of the fight as possible either through parry or the SP1 or SP2.
Blade can also reduce the duration of debuffs placed on him by up to 95% based on stored energy. This greatly increases his sustainability and effectiveness on Alliance War Defense.
Another of Blade’s great features is his sig ability. If you have to play Blade unduped you still have access to all his damage mechanics, but the signature ability is what makes Blade so valuable in questing and AQ, as he will save you on units/potions/revives. By holding block, Blade consumes his stored power to heal back up to 71%. Again, this is another of Blade’s key benefits, totally controlled and on-demand when needed by the Summoner. While not required, Blade does benefit from a max sig level, simply because if you can heal faster for less power, you can start using your energy for special attacks sooner.
Team Building/Key Synergies:
Yet another reason why Blade is so valuable is his synergy team, which includes a character in Stark Spider-Man which is arguably more valuable than Blade, and who can take fights that Blade might struggle in. As mentioned above, Stark Spider-Man boosts the effectiveness of Danger Sense, and Ghost-Rider extends Danger Sense to all villains. These two champions are basically a must-have on any Blade team. Mephisto and Dormummu extend Danger Sense to all mystics. Blade already gets Danger Sense versus many of the most difficult mystic defenders naturally, but if you’re going up against a tricky Scarlet Witch, Ebony Maw, or Claire Voyant it will be a big help, so scout your lane.
If you don’t need Mephisto or Dormammu, or other champions to handle specific fights, I find Blade benefits most from an increased power gain synergy. Psylocke and Archangel is one such pairing that accomplishes this.
For Dungeons, save Blade for the Mystic path and run him with Stark Spider-Man and Mephisto or Dormammu, and you’ll have max Danger Sense every single fight.
Blade greatly benefits from a build that includes max ranks in Deep Wounds, Glass Cannon, and Recovery. Because of his healing ability and reduced debuff timer, Blade is a suicide friendly champion.
Alliance War Defense:
Blade can be a sneaky Alliance War defender, especially when placed on a Limber node and with the Limber mastery maxed out. Combined with Blade’s ability to clear debuffs faster, stun duration will be greatly reduced and an attacker trying to punish a parry or SP1 can run into an attack.
The SP1 is a solid attack to use, especially early on in longer fights as you build up to the SP2. In match-ups where you need to keep some distance or push back the opponent it also useful. The throwing discs can inflict bleed.
The SP2 is Blade’s best special attack, as it receives a greatly increased critical rating, inflicts bleeds on critical hits, and for all bleeds inflicted generates 6% of a bar a power. All things equal, this is the special you want to rely on.
The SP3 inflicts bleed as well, and has a 70% chance to stun for 3 seconds. Given the effectiveness of the SP2, it’s not any attack you will want to use in most situations.
With Danger Sense active, Blade counters many of the trickiest defenders in the game including Annihilus, Killmonger, Magik, Dormammu, Mordo, Diablo, Ebony Maw, Juggernaut, M.O.D.O.K. and Void.
Blade is an excellent Invisible Woman counter because his bleeds are not based on RNG.
Blade is extremely valuable for a progressing player, as all the bosses in Act 5.4 trigger Danger Sense.
While fights are not always quick with Blade when compared to a true glass cannon such as Stark Spider-Man, he will save you a lot of potions and revives if you are a patience fighter.
Blade requires absolutely no ramp-up.
Not available as a 6* character. Although Kabam has never officially weighed in, most of the community feels it would be very surprising if he is ever released as a 6*.
Requires 2-3 synergies to reach maximum potential, but all of his synergies are with other high quality characters.
No power control or true strike.
Playing Blade against a reverse healing node (Spectre) is tricky especially if combined with a stun immune node, as you can’t hold block/take blocked hits without taking damage from the healing from your signature ability.
Many of the newer defenders like Korg, Iron Man Infinity War, and Domino where designed to limit Blade’s effectiveness, particularly on AW attack.
Use Blade’s parry and SP1 to control Thing’s Rock Stacks. Note this will work even on a bleed/debuff immune node, as Thing is already bleed-immune.
If you accidentally fill up your power bar to full, and are under 71% health, just dash back and heal up a bit so you can then launch the SP2.
Blade has a multi-hit heavy attack that is very useful in situations where you have to bait a heavy and counter with one. He is a surprisingly good option for fighting IMIW in Variant 1, for instance, because of this heavy and ability to heal throughout the fight. This tactic can also be used against Mephisto in Variant 2.
If you a going against a thorns node or an Electro and don’t have Danger Sense active, you can often simply parry the opponent to death unless they are bleed-immune.
Play Cable and Omega Red fights as stun-immune and do not use specials other than to finish the fight.
Blade’s Danger Sense will prevent Sentinel from gaining Analysis Charges at the normal rate.
Blade has no active buffs (other than the dexterity mastery) so he is an excellent choice for Buffet Nodes.
Seatin – Blade Act 6 and Variant Gameplay
Lagacy – Blade Guide
RichTheMan – Blade Awakened vs Un-Awakened