Lv 95 PVP Duelist Guide

  • Hello, and welcome to my guide on how to build a pvp duelist. You may have heard the rumors that duelist is about to become very OP in all aspects regarding the super buff on balisong. I am here to make sure you don’t build a bad duelist, and to bring pvp to its knees.

    First things first, yes it is true, I am full +30 and I don’t expect that everyone can afford the same degree as me. Let us begin with the basics of what you need.

    You need:

    - Level 95

    - Level 60 red mastery or green mastery, I prefer red since it boosts balisong damage and that will be a major factor soon.

    - A huge load of fortifications for your pvp gear.

    Subweapons: The only viable one is bard sub sadly. As much as I hate this subclass, there are too many benefits it provides over others. As long as I can remember I have been katar sub but it was only suitable for nabbing kills or a very select few special cases. If you really do not care about dying, you can try Holy sword or shuriken sub.

    Weapons: Definitely take both pvp weapons, but holy level 90 pvp blades are the best that you can have. The damage to player +51% on each weapon is far too good to pass up. The element of the harp is not important. Yes, this also implies that you must run bard sub because the burst at level 95 is simply too much to handle without bard sub. The lava stones are good for adding on the damage that duelist needs. (There will be lots of raw and detailed damage sources which make up my build, which is enough to burst even those tough holy swords.) The stone’s stats are trash I know. But preferably you want CDMG 6 / DMG 3%.


    Armors/Accessories: Full Dueler armors and accessories is necessary for the build since you need quite a lot of damage still even though balisong will get buffed. Dueler offers a broken amount of cdmg to player, some dmg% to player, and some other little raw damage stats. The stones you want on these should be CDMG 6 / DMG 3%, but as you can see since the recent secret stone update, I have not updated my stones.

    Trophies: Twin and Eonus +30 are your go-to’s since everyone runs them and they offer quite a lot of GDT (general damage taken %). With full procs, including your Purple Lightning, you should cap it off at 75% general damage taken. You can try running other trophies if you want to up your dps even more (Synetar’s Shards, Delfonia Earrings), but I’ve found that these provide the best benefit for most people.

    Envoy Path:

    All basic envoys are taken here, such as frenzy, frenzied blades, bat fang, swift assassination, horn of reprisal, and focused target. This provides the maximum damage and cdmg possible at this point in time.

    In the future, I would move the two snowflower nodes over to the balisong nodes since that will provide even more damage to balisong.

    FaSaCxj.jpgA common question I have is why I don’t take deadly wink node. The reason is because the build is based upon using the cdmg boost from snowflower to power up your deadly wink or sanguine desire which you will use along with balisong to provide a lot of damage. What would the point be if you can’t spam snowflower as fast as you can spam deadly wink? And targets are always moving so you may never get a chance to take advantage of the very small cooldown reduction. In addition, the deadly wink node provides only -0.5sec when on Purple Lightning, and you won’t be on Purple Lightning all the time in pvp. 0.5 sec is not a lot of time in terms of cooldown, and you don’t have to spam deadly wink when you have sanguine desire at your disposal as well (and soon, balisong). Thus it is not worth it to waste 4-5 points just to reach the one deadly wink node which is very far away. In pve this is a different story, but I won’t go into that.

    Eidolons: The three eidolon buffs I usually use are here. Sometimes you see me strolling around with Astraea 4 star but really, I just use that for showing off my HP (lol). Why I don’t use Astraea for pvp is because the hp +30% and dt -15% aren’t as big a buff in tankiness compared to something like quelkulan. As duelists we don’t necessarily need to concern ourselves with tankiness since… well, there is NO tankiness in high level pvp to be had. The burst on most classes is always very high, and I found that with some players, the only way to go is either cdmg redux (quelkulan) or just go straight out dps to prevent the opponent from trying to stack any buffs or debuffs. Of course, I’m still rolling these for holy skill dmg +30%, so ignore the 4 star buffs being trashy.


    Mounts: These are the mounts I have currently. Almighty lv 3 is the default, since that provides you with more stats all around. Usually this is enough to go with, unless there are a few special cases. For example, against a player with very high cdmg redux, so I switch to cdmg +40% mount. Or, if someone wants to go glass cannon with a stackload of elemental damage, I use all resist +20%.

    In the upcoming future patch, I hope to switch to holy skills dmg +30%, thus boosting balisong even further (like everyone would want).


    Emblems: Again, I have catered these emblems towards complimenting the mounts, so they go together as a ‘set’, if you will. The default that I use is the dmg +8% emblem for 8% more detailed dmg. I would prefer offense emblem to defense emblem, but I just happened to get a cdmg 14% and holy skill dmg +6%, so I kept it.



    Basic: Cracking Slash, or Refrain of Paradise, whichever one you need. Cracking slash provides a little bit more dot if you use slash cut more often (which lowers your target’s def and by extension, their max hp). Refrain gives you extra mspd for when you use Blissful harmony.

    Attack: Zeal, no questions asked.

    Advanced Skills: Either pick From the Shadows for DMG +9/11% instantaneously, or Sad Love song to get DMG +3 or 4% per stack of ballad if you prefer to use that. Stacking ballad does stack tunes of harmony which gives more detailed dmg.

    Defense Spec: Extreme Speed, though you could use unyieldingness if you don’t like to move too much.

    Tactical Spec: Explained there, it’s situational.

    Special Skills: Either run Best defense, or Capoeira, or Deep Blue. This one does not matter too much.

    Weapon Mastery: I prefer red path to green path since red gives a little bit of extra hp plus the massive cdmg cap boost whenever you cast snowflower. Due to how snowflower works, it’s like a flokja buff… except the ‘damage coefficient’ you get out of it varies from enemy to enemy. On one hand, you could deal 25% more damage (3.75x cdmg compared to 3x cdmg is 1.25x) or you could deal 75% more damage on your next hit (1.75x cdmg compared to 1x dmg is 1.75x) either way, it’s a good way to amp up your next skill’s damage. Just be sure not to waste it on an auto attack. (thus, this is why I took 2 snowflower nodes instead) Green path is not as useful (especially post-balance since it does not have balisong +30% dmg) since it offers a very tiny boost to your near irrelevant Damage over time. Essentially the mastery skill you get out of red path is more useful since sanguine desire is way stronger than phantom betrayal and deadly wink. Mastery pts are as follows: MSPD 15, CDMG 20, ACC 15, HEAL 20, Resist 15, DMG 30, Dump into HP.




    Costumes: I have fully decked out on damage / cdmg against players, hence these costumes. The weapon costume I have provides ACC, but I only use it for looks. The weapon costume you should have is cdmg 5% + dmg 3% card. (Go to FAQ for explanation of why DMG cards + enchants)

    Foods: Personally I prefer misty heaven since its 12% chance to deal 110% damage is far too good, and Golden Latte which provides 12% detailed damage plus some more spd and raw dmg.

    Secret stones: Ideally, again, the stat would be to have cdmg 6%/dmg 3%. If you can get purple secret stones, it would have to be cdmg 8%/dmg 4%/hp 4%. They should be as follows:

    Head: Ambient Drone Range +5m (Indigo)

    Body: No preference, Sanguine Desire stone is nice though.

    Belt: Crimson or Sunrise Balisong Stone since that meta is coming our way.

    Glove: Azure Snowflower Stone.

    Boot: Golden Cross slash stone.

    Final product (offensively, no quelkulan)


    Note: That 300% cdmg to player is actually 345%, it just doesn’t show past 300%. Thus, my final cdmg is 581% cdmg. My cdmg redux is 15+114+150 = -279%, but it can go even higher if you use different foods, up to -314%. To pierce through this, a person would have to have 614% cdmg, + however much cdmg cap% they have (example: wiz needs 714%). However, this is rare because a lot of people do not run cdmg % stones anymore. Their cdmg floats around 500-530% if I remember correctly.

    Anyways, I hope this guide is helpful. Hope to see y’all in arena.

  • Apologies if the thread looks very funny. My document format is probably better. You can find me on AKUS discord and dm me if u require the document.


    Why don’t you go Damage taken stones or costumes?

    - Duelist really does need a lot of damage buffs in order to deal significant damage, despite +30. In addition, the calculation of how useful GDT is is very weird. Player dmg and GDT are 1:1 and subtracted as such: Player dmg % - GDT = final effective Player dmg %. (do a comparison between 0 GDT and 75% gdt with 200% player dmg which is very possible in pvp, you get only 25% reduced damage if you go from 0 to 75. In comparison, you only need to go -75% cdmg reduc to get the same result.) It’s the reason why in dungeons, we have mobs with GDT reductions of like 90%, and why people recommend having 90%+ boss dmg. The same logic applies here. In addition, because of purple lightning buff and the two trophy effects, you get a whopping -60% GDT, on top of the natural -13% from the trophies, which is already very near the cap. So it’s fine. (The two trophy effects are pretty common to see in the arena)

    Have you tried/ went up against people with golden gear?

    - I seldom encounter players with gold quality gear instead of purple gear (weapon, trophy, armors), but only the gold quality trophies are viable for pvp. Dropping purple quality armors and weapons causes far too much player damage loss, so drop any funny idea you had about ashe bottom or level 85/95 weapons.

    What’s up with your mspd being so fast?

    - I mean… I seem fast only because I use beebis a lot in arena and because I’ve played duelist for the entirety of AK…

    But I’ve seen you with 550-600k hp! What happened to that???

    - Again, I use Astraea for giggles. Also check if I got tonics on, I usually have them.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Nomad ().

  • An almost complete guide for newcomer Duelists in PvP.

    On quick notes :

    • What is your thought on the new contents' food ?
    • Are there alternate costume cards/secret stones setups ?
    • What skill rotation would you recommend ?
    • Do you have any sample taken from your PvP experience ?
  • New content food and other foods: The new content foods can be substituted in, like Starlight Platter for zeal food, Ethereal Tea for HP if you need it, Royal Jelly Tea if you feel more lucky, or Ranch Special for CDMG -20% reduction. You can also use Pepper Mushroom Platter for CDMG +30%, or Baked Chicken Curry for CDMG +20% and CDMG reduction -15%. Mix and match, pick what's best for your needs.

    Costume Cards/Secret Stones: If you're referring to the DMG +3% cards, there is no alternative for those. However, for hats, you could use purple lightning +5, or holy notes +5. The mask, you could use ballad +5 in alternative. The body, you could potentially use CDMG -13% from players. The wings, you could potentially use balisong +5, or slash cut +5. For the weapon, I thought the only viable one was snowflower +5, but it could be possible to go holy notes +5.

    Alternate secret stones can include the cooldown stones for holy notes and healing harmony, in place of the belt and boots stones respectively. You could also go with different stats on the stones, such as HP 3% / DMG 3%. To be really honest you could get by with just DMG 3% / waste stat. The extra cdmg on the stones can be very hard to get, and is just for people who try to go against you with their own CDMG reduction.

    Skill Rotation: Since red path boosts whirling dance damage, I recommend this rotation: whirling dance > slash cut > cross slash > snowflower > sanguine > wink

    This way, you can decrease your opponent's max hp, and snowflower should be placed before any sanguine desire or deadly wink in order to boost their damage.

    Samples of PVP experience: Pretty sure a lot of people know of me already but here are some arena screenshots.


  • Why would you do that?
    Crit oder SPD is much better

    Like if theres someone reducing your crit = rip you

    Procs are so important in pvp, put something in SPD for overcap maybe?

    I... huh? I talk about dumping into hp and then you talk about dump into spd and crit like what??? Crit is already high enough since I have quite some overcap and player crit rate is quite high as well. Therefore even after reducing crit from let's say an eido with crit -75%, it is fine. Also dropping points into speed raises your chance for rapid assault just a smidge and I have quite a lot of speed already.

    trash build

    ppl reading this please dont follow this build thx

    Lol of course someone would say this eventually. Listen buddy, I don't think people are gonna listen to you if you don't even provide anything except saying "this is trash" and I have proven everything by joining matches and people in phoenix have seen me around lmao. Please get your toxicity out of here because I'm trying to help people out for once : )

  • Imagine trying to show off in AK PVP.. in 2k18 kek

    you're 3 years late on this, the meta now is just begging newbies to join pvp queue every few hours to try to feel good about killing +9 PvE geared newbies

  • OK so explain to me how there's natoki, warcaholic, and shiragiku who are all +30 and how I still managed to die way less than them. And I don't beg anyone to go to pvp, they just join on their own volition. If a +9 pve person joins in it's on them and not only that, I always pick the bigger, more threatening targets first so my teammates don't get farmed. Also, I'm not late on this, it's simply due to the paywall of +30 in which only a select few people get over, and then those who don't get over it start ranting about pvp being irrelevant and only for those who want to inflate their ego by picking on noobs. And I get it, Ive been on both ends. Actually go to pvp for once and do your research on future patches before you start saying I only farm noobs : ) oh and some evidence might help instead of spitting out meaningless statements.

  • Player dmg and GDT are 1:1 and subtracted as such: Player dmg % - GDT = final effective Player dmg %. (do a comparison between 0 GDT and 75% gdt with 200% player dmg which is very possible in pvp, you get only 25% reduced damage if you go from 0 to 75.

    Player damage doesn't affect DT in pvp

    If you have 100k damage, 0% player damage against 75% DT, you do 25k.

    If you have 100k damage, 200% player damage against 75% DT, you do 75k (and not 225k)