Since the patch that changed up how bleed builds worked and increased the effectiveness of blood infusions I got curious and thought I would do some investigative pvp (both invasions and duels) at a few different level ranges to see what kind of results I could get. Over the past few days I have:
Invaded at SL 50-60 with a dedicated 35 luck/base str/dex build with a blood infused carthus shotel, barbed straight sword, and bandit knife at WL +7
Invaded/Dueled at SL90-100 with the same weapons at +10 with a 40 luck 20 dex/base str build with the same weapons.
Invaded/dueled at SL120 with the same weapons + black blade and O/U maxed with a 40 luck 40 dex/18 str.
Invaded/dueled at SL140 with the same weapons as previous + the lothric knight spear (I got desperate) maxed at 40 luck 57 dex/ 20 str.
All of this was done using all the weapons mentioned bleed infused to see how quickly/efficiently i could take down and or panic my opponents in different scenarios. My thought process was that even though I'd be sacrificing immediate damage, I would be making up for it by being able to proc bleed incredibly fast (3 maybe 4 hits).
The results? Horrible. Invading with a bleed build at the two lower levels is damn near hopeless (and meta levels aren't much better). The only way I was able to win any invasions on my lowest level character was due to the fact it's a twink and has boosted rings and estus, and even then I never managed to take down anything more than a lone host.
Overall the damage you lose out on to get the extra bleed build up is far too steep. and the extra bleed aux you get even with 40 luck still requires 4 hits to proc bleed on most opponents. What i soon discovered is that's 4 CONSECUTIVE hits. This is assuming you can maintain pressure without taking unnecessary damage yourself from being overly aggressive. Then of course there is the use of blood moss by smart duelists and if it's an invasion with multiple phantoms they just tag team you while the others wait off the bleed.
The greatest success I had with any of my attempts was with a bleed infused lothric knight spear on the SL140 character and that is only because it's a spear and thus allowed me to keep distance and maintain pressure but even that was a let down as the charge into R2 WA didn't count the multiple hits as their own separate bleed applications. So I basically just ended up killing people before they bled out because it was a fucking spear and not due to bleed damage.
Anyways, i realize i didn't try strength weapons like the spiked mace, maybe that's a better option for invasions at least with poise and its higher coefficient when infused but honestly after getting shit on as much as I have already I couldn't be bothered. I really wanted this to work and if someone has made this work I'd really like to hear what you did different, I'm not trying to shit on someone else's strategy here this is just my experience.
Shout out to the guy who posted on here about the Rosaria infinite respec. This is what made all this slightly more bearable. The real mvp
TLDR: Pure Bleed Builds Suck