So I’m aware people have a problem with Dreadwind. And in many of the discussions brought up about it I see that people comment how his kit is lacking without Dreadwind. So I’m going to attempt to breakdown his Helix Tree in comparison to Phoebe’s, a character of similar range and playstyle who is generally considered balance, and see how much of each category of skill they both get. The categories being:
Direct Damage, any helix that directly or situationally increases the dps of a character or damage of their skills, Attack Damage/Damage increasing debuffs/Upgraded basic attack combos.
Indirect damage, any helix that makes it easier to deal damage or in some way alters damage, Shield penetration/Cool down reduction/Projectile Speed.
Survivability any helix that helps a character recover from, take, or avoid damage, Lifesteal/Shield Recharge/Speed Boosts.
Crowd Control, helix additions that apply debuffs like stun/slow/silence or strengthens their effect.
I will be ignoring Rank 10 in this calculation because it focuses with Dreadwind which is not part of the lacking kit problem. Although this was a bit tricky for Phoebe because Phasegate and many of its Helixes are far more flexible in application and improve potentially two or more of these categories. Points were distributed and rounded out for her. The same with Rath’s Smash AoE altering skills that go both in to Indirect Damage and Crowd Control.
So I think this shows the big issue. Having 80% more direct damage options is a huge increase between two assassins. And Rath innately has better survivability with his Siphon, but gets more survival and CC helix options. I also did a quick tabulation on Deande and would say she has 7-8 skills that in some way directly increase her damage output, still well above Rath’s 5.
More so, 2 of Phoebe’s damage options directly increase her Basic attack and 3 increase True Strike, her most available sources of damage, and 1 increases the damage of all her skills. Rath however has 3 skills that only boost the damage of Crossblade, and none that boost the damage of Catalytic Smash. Rath’s not only has less damage options, but they are more limited options.
While it can be difficult to add new options, expanding the scope of his current options should be fairly easy. Some suggestions would be Brutal Blades only boosts Crossblades damage but could also boost his Smash. Softened Target could make enemies more vulnerable to all damage or at least to Rath’s Basic attack. And Zealous Smash could also affect the cooldown of crossblade.
More complex ideas would be to have Swordsman’s Salve be replaced with something else entirely, maybe Attack Speed to increase his Direct Damage count by 1, as SS is rarely ever a justifiable helix in any build, giving up range healing with Crossblade and the healing performance of Dreadwind. It’d also be nice to see the phasing blades helix from the promotional site, allowing Crossblades to pass through a number of enemies and boosting his wave clear. I don’t think either of these options would make him substantially more complicated either, letting him retain his ‘easy’ descriptor while also boosting his combo potential.