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Passives for Build Enhancement

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Alessar    0

Hi folks, I started writing a guide to explain how to evolve a beginner/starter build into something more end game and it simply was too big and complicated. Instead I've cooked up this list of some of the most useful general passives for each type of situation, such as build needs more hit, build needs more pen, etc. The focus is for the new player and their survival build. I would love for some proofreading and comments before I finish formatting it all nicely and posting it on the official forums. Thanks!!


Here are some of the most useful passives in the game, organized as a general shopping list to add whatever you need to your deck. Many of these passives require a certain trigger. If I note that anyone can use it, there are no requirements. If a power says “If applying whatever” it means you have to actually be applying that status effect to get the benefit. If it says “If using whatever” it means you just have to be hitting a target with that status already, whether from yourself or a teammate (like in a dungeon you can assume every target will be weakened because your tank SHOULD be applying exposed). This list ignores the Impaired state as it can only be applied occasionally, and therefore isn’t the kind of every-attack boost most of these abilities are.  After each ability’s short description is the total cost in AP necessary to buy that ability starting with 0 points in that weapon tree, so you can see how much you have to invest in a new weapon tree if necessary. You’ll notice that many of the most commonly-recommended abilities turn out to be the cheapest options for what they accomplish. However, there are sometimes some nice, but more expensive, alternatives.


Since this is a general list it omits almost all passives linked to specific subtypes of attacks; there are booster abilities for all those sorts of things you can look up in the ability search pane. I made a few exceptions for frenzy and focus because of their special usefulness.


To add more Hit Rating (reduce glancing)

For anyone, Call Your Shots (+40 hit/stack on hitting, removed on glancing) [59 AP]

For anyone, Accuracy (+75 hit, +5% damage, flat) [157 AP]

If applying Weakened, Paradigm Shift (30% chance of Minor Hit reducing glancing by 10% on apply) [5 AP]

If using Weakened, Fever Pitch (10% chance to gain Major Hit reducing glances by 50% on hitting) [157 AP]

If using Weakened, Fixation (33% chance for +40 hit/stack on hitting) [47 AP]

If using Frenzy attacks, Hysteria (+40 hit/stack on hitting) [96 AP]


To add more PEN (increase penetrating hits, reduce blocking)

If applying Afflicted, Dark Potency (+40 PEN/stack on apply) [5 AP]

If using Afflicted AND penetrating somewhat already, Iron Maiden (on penetrating hit on Afflicted, +15% PEN chance) [59 AP]

If penetrating somewhat, Doom (after 4 penetrations, the next hit auto-penetrates) [59 AP]

If penetrating somewhat, Overpenetration (after 3 penetrating hits, +15% PEN chance) [123 AP]

If penetrating somewhat, Body Piercing (+40 PEN/stack upon penetrating) [96 AP]

If applying Hindered, Beanbag Rounds (+15% PEN chance on apply) [47 AP]


To add more Crit (increase Crit rating or just increase chance of critting)

For anyone, Elemental Force (every 8th hit automatically criticals) [3 AP]

For anyone, Rapid Getaway [E] (+10% crit chance after using a consumer) [19 AP]

For anyone, Death Density (+10% crit chance after you or teammate kills a foe) [59 AP]

If critting already, Mad Skills (+40 crit/stack on crit hit) [96 AP]

If using Manifestation or Turret or Drone, Critical Help (+40 crit/stack on summon) [96 AP]

For anyone, Seal the Deal [E] (+5% critical chance of all consumers) [207 AP]


To increase damage, generally

If using Chaos, Blade, or Hammer, add Breakdown to make foes take more damage with all hits (2% exposed/stack) [47 AP]


Elite Passive Selection

-Starter elite choices [19 AP for any]:

If penetrating, use Fluid Defense (+8% damage after you penetrate)

If critting, use Cool, Calm & Collected (+8% damage after you crit)

For anyone, use Rapid Getaway (10% crit bonus and 15% move speed buff after using consumer)


-Advanced elite choices [207 AP for any]

If using weakened and critting, use Thunderstruck (extra hit for damage on each such)

If using affliction [Bloodsport implied], use Gross Anatomy (extra hit for damage on each reapply of afflict)

For anyone, use Seal the Deal (+15% damage to all consumers, +5% crit chance)


Static damage boosts

Closer (+7.5% damage to all consumers) [157 AP]

Accuracy (+5% damage to all; +75 hit) [157 AP]

Knuckle Down (+10% damage for builders) [157 AP]

Specific skills for each weapon that add 10%

If penetrating, Twist the Knife (+3% damage/stack on pen) [59 AP]


Passive self-healing

For anyone, add Lick Your Wounds [1 AP]

For penetration builds, add Immortal Spirit [1 AP]

For critical hit builds, add Advantage Me [75 AP]

For critical hit builds, add Sweetspot [59 AP]

For affliction builds, add Circulation [157 AP]

If running Pistol Builds with AoE builder, add Coup de Grace [5 AP]

If running a frenzy build, add Leeching Frenzy [157 AP] (not in Tokyo until your AEGIS is advanced)


If critting reliably, reduce incoming damage by applying Debilitated with Insult to Injury [75 AP]

If penetrating reliably, reduce incoming damage by applying Debilitated with 12 Gouge [59 AP]


To Increase Damage with Procs (additional hits/effects)

These abilities are tricky to evaluate. Procs have a 1 second cooldown but it can be tied to the caster in which case it can only function once per second anywhere in combat (Molecular Exploitation); but some passives have the cooldown applied to each affected mob once per second (Sudden Return, Gross Anatomy). If a proc has a % chance to function on hit, such as Fortunate Strike, the chance can be checked each time a hit happens (if an attack multi-hits) until it processes and then goes on cooldown. (Some abilities which hit multiple times only count as 1 hit; but most channeled attacks do seem to treat all or at least most of their hits as individual full hits.) When in doubt, do ask the community about these choices or test them. Still, even a weak extra damage passive is more damage than an empty slot.



A note about affliction: Affliction itself is generally NOT a good/significant amount of damage though some abilities have specific passives tied to them that do yield moderately strong results. So no general affliction passive is recommended for its own sake. Instead, affliction is primarily valued for the many triggering effects it can enable. However, pairing any affliction--especially the weak but quick cycling Bloodsport which can apply to ALL attacks--along with Gross Anatomy is one of the most solid damage boosting combos in the game and is the cornerstone of one of the official Elite decks for Tokyo.

If using affliction, Fortunate Strike (chance of big bonus damage per hit. On average, markedly more damage than the other similar choices.) [96 AP]

If applying affliction, Salt in the Wound (small damage with each applying hit, but higher than Molecular Exploitation) [47 AP]

If using affliction, Molecular Exploitation (small damage with each hit; Fortunate Strike likely to deal more damage on average over time) [47 AP]



If using weakened, Gnosis (33% chance of bonus damage) [1AP]

If using weakened, Tenderizing (bonus small damage on hitting) [123 AP]

If applying weakened, Gunsmoke (bonus small damage on apply) [3 AP]


Critical Hit-based

If critting reliably, One in the Chamber (bonus damage on crit) [123 AP]

If using hindered and critting reliably, Damage Control (bonus damage  on crit) [75 AP]



Sudden Return (bonus damage  on pen; more damage than Arterial Pulse and outperforms it unless 4+ foes) [59 AP]

Arterial Pulse (bonus AoE hit on pen) [59 AP]


Focus Attacks

Finish the Movement (gain +1 builder resource for current weapon; which means a 2 resource consumer can immediately be used. This is the basis for bloodline/bloodshot spam builds.) [157 AP]

Torture (small bonus damage when finishing each focus) (note this is the only passive that automatically deals bonus damage for an entire attack type) [157]

Note that when Elemental Force triggers, it affects every hit of a focus ability.


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Pclav    33


Imho, looks pretty bad.



1) Lacks a good introduction.

You're using in game terms without explaining them and new players will not know all of them. What's status? What's impaired? 


2) It's confusing

Using phrases like "If a power says “If applying whatever” it means you have to actually be applying that status effect to get the benefit" is very confusing. What is whatever in this case? You need to have a real placeholder world for situations like that. Especially if it's shortly followed by "After each ability’s short description is the total cost in AP necessary".

What description? The ingame tooltip? The description in the guide? 

Also I'd stick to the same wording in all cases. If you're using the word ability, stick to it. Don't call it "power" shortly after. "Power" might be something new like Augment which a player doesn't know about and will be looking for those mysterious Powers. ;)


3) The list of abils you post there. 

They mean nothing. A new player will not know what he needs. He can get all of that from tsw-builder.com simply by clicking one of the drop boxes in that deck builder. He still has to hand pick passives but doesn't know which ones are "good". He may not know if he has a pen deck or a what deck - he's running on random drop talis somehow put together. Some of the abils you post are very sub par and with only 7 slots available your write up doesn't really help to choose the "good" ones. 


4) (Some abilities which hit multiple times only count as 1 hit; but most channeled attacks do seem to treat all or at least most of their hits as individual full hits.) 

If an abil hits multiple times [ie Bloodline or Dancing Blade] and those hits aren't marked in the tooltip as "additional hits" [ie Call for Eris] then all of those hits are considered Full Hits which can activate passive abilities. You have to remember that each passive can be activated only once per seconds due to it's internal cooldown. That means that Bloodline has 4 chances to activate a passive one time, but Dancing Blade can activate a passive up to 3 times, once per second of it's cast [2 hits + 2 hits +1 hit].

Saying "ask the community" or "test it yourself" in a guide when talking about a general mechanic doesn't give your guide credibility.


5) Direction you should head in.

Imho a write up of the most common "combos" would be more useful than a list like you're making.


Blade Torrent + Perfect Storm + Dark Potency - 9AP to gel all abils - very powerful starter combo. Boiling Blood + Corrupted blood works also [5 AP] etc 

Bloodsport + Gross Anatomy

Blade/Hammer/Chaos builder + Breakdown

Frenzy builder + Leeching Frenzy

Focus attack + EF

Focus builder + FtM

Impair + Guts and Gory + Cannibalize

Cannibalize + Exsa


or maybe a write up of most commonly used builders and consumers. ie why people use Ofak and not Raging Bullet explained 



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Mayahuel    10

I'm a very new player and I didn't think this was terrible, but it was hard to follow in some parts. I kind of like the way the abilities were separated because it was easier to see what was what--but the problem is that it still didn't give anyone like me (the noobest of noobiest noobs) any real idea of what I should be doing other than randomly trying out abilities.

What I would really love to see as a new player is a SUPER basic explanation for someone who hasn't played any other games before of what all these terms mean....I kill stuff all the time, but I can honestly say I have no clue what the difference is between "afflicted" and "weakened" etc. Maybe I've survived so far on sheer dumb luck or just figuring it out the best I can by trial and error. Oh, and dying. A lot! :D

I have tried to read forums/guides on these things, but I just find them overwhelming and give up, figuring that if I keep playing I'll eventually figure it out.

So I'd agree with an introduction to explain more, more explanation of terms, and maybe more emphasis on the abilities that a new player can use at the beginning? If your guide is going to be geared to new players, it doesn't make sense to add in a bunch of info on abilities that a new player would not be able to purchase with AP. 

Hope this all makes sense. I hesitated to even comment since I'm so not conversant in the language of builds!

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Mr-Pyre    17

Afflicted: a damage over time ability.  When you afflict, you deal a small amount of damage over time.  Certain abilities will process (aka proc) off of this state- Clearing the Path, Sword, for instance, if hitting an Afflicted target, increases the pen chance of Clearing the Path. Iron Maiden is another that increases your penetration chance when you penetrate an afflicted target.

There are 'weakened' status, those are Exposed (2% more damage for each stack on the enemy, up to 20% more incoming damage on the enemy); Debilitated (enemy deals 3% less damage, stacks to 10 stacks, 30% max damage reduction); and  Corrupted (3% up to 30%, enemy heals/barriers less when corrupted).

Some often used abilities to set those states (passive wise)-- Exposed is given from Intensity, Chaos, only works with Escalation; Breakdown, Chaos, applies a Exposed stack with any attack by a Hammer, Sword, or Chaos attack.

Debilitated: 12 Gouge, Shotgun, when you pen, you apply Debilitated; Improved Blasts, Shotgun, blast attacks will apply a status of Debilitated.

Corrupted is very rarely useful, mostly The Business + Magnum Passive (Pistol).


A useful trick to find an ability or subtype: Press N, right side of your monitor, Ability Search. Enter a keyword. It'll search the entire wheel for things that include that word.

Doing so will find you all abilities that either set a state OR exploit (aka process, or proc) off of hitting an enemy with that status on them.

This isn't an indepth explanation, but does give a few pointers to certain states/what they are/etc.  There's subtype attacks-- Blasts, Frenzy, Channeled, Burst, etc, that also can process off of other passives.

Edited by Mr-Pyre

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