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CrazyDogLady's Crazy Build Testing

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CrazyDogLady    14

I figured the build testing was probably going to start hijacking the "Build Request" thread, so I'm starting this one to post requests for build tests, results, conclusions, and all of that sort of thing.  Right now, we've got a couple of builds to look at, and we're especially focusing on the results of the new "Vulnerabilities" added to elites.

Everybody is welcome to join in, and we'll see what we can work out.  So far, it seems like if we tweak some of the old builds a bit, we can get some really nice dps without complicated rotations.

Ok, so...I'll start by listing the obvious to make it easier:  

Vulnerabilites by type:

Vulnerability to Magic:

Blade: Four Seasons

Hammer: Shockwave

Fists: See Red

Shotgun: Shotgun Wedding

Pistol: Gun Crazy

Assault Rifle: Red Mist

Vulnerability to Ranged:

Blade: Stunning Swirl

Hammer: Eruption

Fist: Gore

Blood: Plague

Chaos: Eye of Pandemonium

Elemental: Power Line - Voltaic Delta

Vulnerability to Melee:

Shotgun: Point Blank

Pistol: Bullet Ballet

Assault Rifle: Shellshocker

Blood: Cardiac Arrest

Chaos: Prisoner of Fate

Elementalism: Overload

Obvious (although not necessarily true) conclusion: The way they've changed it makes it better to mix and match so that you don't have two from the same category (melee, ranged, or magic.)  This will depend on how much the vulnerability increases damage.  Hmm....

Ok, going to try it out with the suggested Pistol/Blade build.  So far, I'm liking the result of Ele/Rifle, although I suspect my build could use some more tweaking.

Using Power Line - Voltaic can give crazy damage in long fights, but in short fights it's really overboard (and takes too long), so having something that doesn't have to rack up stacks would probably be better for survival builds.  Swapping to Shellshocker to give the bonus to the Ele skills instead of Rifle would do nicely there.  (So Power Line for dungeons, Shellshocker for outdoors?)

From what I've heard from other people testing, proc builds are nice at the moment.  That might still be a YMMV kind of thing, though.  There always seems to be a percent-based vs. proc-based argument.  At least they've made the calculation easier.

Ok, off to test.  We'll see how it goes.  I'll report the results here.

Anybody with suggestions, please chime in.  The changes to builds have made things...interesting.  And if you have experience tanking and/or healing, build advice with the new additions would be great (other than "Tanks need Stoicism", which seems to be a general consensus in the main forums.)






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Daedalus7    5

I'll keep an eye out here, as well.  Thanks for starting this.  In response to your observation in the previous thread... I had Shake and Bake purely as situational (I've been spending a lot of time in Tokyo, and I like the movement combined with Hinder better than other hinders or impairs available in Pistol/Blade).  It almost certainly could be replaced with something that could work into the rotation for DPS boost.

I did try the Voltaic Power Line, a bit with both Pistol and Rifle... especially with Rifle thinking it would be the new Rifle/Blood leach heal.  But it just seemed too clunky for me.  You are right, I think, that it would be a best choice for dungeons, but that's not my expertise at all.

I used a Rifle/Elemental combo with Red Mist to earn my Dance of Death achievement, so that one seems at least plausible.  The other combo I'm going to try is a Fist/Pistol build with a leading Gore (along with Gross Anatomy and Double Dash) and maybe Killer Flow and such.

A couple other things I think is important to keep in mind with the Vulnerabilities is that A) the three of them have different bonuses, and B) the abilities that apply them have different cooldowns.  I think in plenty of cases that may be the difference between a "vulnerability build" being worthwhile or not.  I'll be back with some results soon.

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CrazyDogLady    14

Yeah, I used Red Mist with Rifle/Ele, and it's much more forgiving than PLVD.  PLVD is also really only going to be useful in longer fights, since you have to let the stacks build up, and timing is critical with it, so it's probably not something you'd want in a survival build.

Hmm...now I'm wondering if this could improve Chaos/Rifle leech-tanking (or, in my case, leech-hoping-I-don't-get-face-planted-by-Cthulhu-soloing.)  You'd lose RnS, but...hmm...I might have to try that.

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CrazyDogLady    14

In the meantime, if you want to try it out, here's something I've been messing with...  Ele/Rifle DPS/solo survival - Blazing Bullets?  I don't know.

Requires decent crit/pen and high enough hit to not glance, because it's based on having Afflict on all the time.  This can be bursty dps, so in case of being in a nice dungeon group where you're buffed and the mob has 10 stacks of exposed...run to the tank if you get aggro.  This is a weird build, because you're also doing damage on builders.  If you're fighting something you can't hinder, your dps will go down, but in that situation, I expect you're probably buffed and the mob is debuffed, so you'll manage anyway.

I still have a few abilities from leveling solo, so I have a couple of actives and a couple of passives I can swap out.  I'm gladly taking suggestions on those.


  1. Electric Bolt
  2. Blaze
  3. Safety Off
  4. Where It Hurts
  5. Power Line - Voltaic Delta
  6. Flashpoint (extra non-consumer damage, can be swapped)
  7. the Panic Buttontm (in my case, usually Turn the Tables)


  1. Bloodsport
  2. Iron Maiden
  3. Elemental Force
  4. Sudden Return
  5. Live Wire
  6. Fortunate Strike (still playing with this one)
  7. Immortal Spirit (holdover from survival)

The non-Rotation:

Smack Power Line (at least, that's what I do.)  This applies Vulnerability to Ranged and sets off Bloodsport, which toggles Afflict on (and increases Pen using Bloodsport.)

Note: Watch Power Line stacks as you do the rest.  When in doubt, stop what you're doing and hit Voltaic, because you don't want to miss it by letting it go over 10 stacks.  That's a lot of missed damage.  If you're at 8 stacks and EF is about to disappear, you might want to hit Voltaic a bit early to catch it while EF is up.  Otherwise, try for 9 or 10 stacks.

With Power Line on, we use AR (taking advantage of vulnerability).  SO SO SO SO SO -> Where It Hurts.  This toggles on Hinder.

About this time, Voltaic should be getting near 10 stacks.  Smack Voltaic.

Hinder generates additional resources for EB, so now we swap to Ele:  Bolt Bolt -> Blaze -> Bolt Bolt -> Blaze

Back to Power Line and repeat.  While PL is up, use AR.  After hitting Voltaic, use Ele.

Flashpoint can be thrown in when you need to for a bit of AoE damage, since Afflict should be on.  Flashpoint can also easily be replaced with a buff or manifestation if you want.

The Panic Buttontm can also be replaced with a buff.  If you don't need an HoT, that passive is also replaceable.

I've tried throwing in things like Fuse, but that really only seems good in a dungeon group situation, since the CD is so long.  Anima Charge could be good if you have another consumer you'd like in place of Flashpoint (like Magnetic Wipe, maybe) and you don't need the "I'm really going to die now" heal.  Like I said, I'm really open to suggestions on this.

Saying "Burn, baby, burn" when you use Blaze is entirely optional.

Edited by CrazyDogLady

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CrazyDogLady    14

Addendum to the above:  You probably need QL10 purple for that to work reasonably well.  I'm trying to think of something decent to replace Flashpoint with when I don't want to remove the Panic Buttontm, but I'm still thinking about it.  Maybe it should be something Rifle just in case Hinder is bad or if Where It Hurts isn't back up when I get back to the Rifle part of the rotation.  Tactical Retreat is out, though, since movement is enough fun as it is while trying to keep track of Power Line stacks.  Hmm...

I guess it's more of a solo as is and swap a few abilities for dungeon build.  Also, very single target, so make sure to swap in at least an AoE builder if you're doing AoE.  Builders do damage in this build, so a builder is good enough.

Well, in the meantime, I'll have to try out the Chaos/Rifle and Shotty/Ele things.  Striker still works for Shotty/Ele, but not as well as it did, so we might be able to find a nice replacement.

Apparently Vulnerability and Afflict builds are the new alternates to just plain proc builds, so we might be on to something.

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CrazyDogLady    14

Ok, I really like Chaos/Rifle, although it's probably going to be another "watch the situation" build.  Shotty/Ele, not so much, although it might be better swapping the two (more Elemental, less Shotgun.)

The dps seems a bit more consistent with Chaos/Rifle, because of the stacks of Exposed.  Exposed + Afflict + Pen + Crit + multi-hit = nice damage.

I'll probably try out something with Blade/Rifle when I have my duo character on.  I'm thinking if Blade works nicely with Pistol, it might mesh with Rifle also.

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CrazyDogLady    14

@Daedalus7 Hey - do you mind checking something out for me?  I need to find a decent AoE skill to throw in for Ele/Rifle (or Rifle/Ele) and one for Chaos/Rifle in situations where I need to kill multiples quickly.  In both cases, I'm trying to avoid anything where the mobs will move out of the AoE (which is a problem with a lot of Chaos consumers and Ele manis and chain skills), and anything that draws excessive aggro (like Escalation.)  Right now, I'm doing the Wheel of Knives instead of Run Rampant thing for Chaos, and Wildfire instead of Bolt for Ele, but there has to be a better way.  If you can think of anything that does better damage, that'd be great.  Builders are good, but consumers work if I can use them fast.

I'm still really liking Chaos/Rifle, especially since dps is good with Exposed, Leech is possible, and Chaos can be a good tank weapon, so it might even be a good leechtank setup once I finally get everything re-glyphed and upgraded.  (Mind you, I don't leechtank dungeons with a group.  I'm using that to try to solo/duo the lower level dungeons.  Sure, I don't need to since the Sanctuary folks have been cool and I've actually grouped with people for a few things, but I'm just stubborn that way.  I will get revenge on Mighty Cthulhu.  I will.)

I still need to check out the Vulnerability to Melee stuff, since the damage increase is higher than Magic or Ranged.  Also, from what has been said in the official forums, vulnerabilities are applied to proc skills based upon the weapon tree they're from, not the weapon you're using, which is interesting.  Since several of the nice procs (like Live Wire) are magic, that makes Vulnerability to Magic a bit better than it would be.

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Daedalus7    5

So I tried the PL-VD thing again, and I think I had a bad first impression... Something about the range to the dummy was causing it to not build stacks, so I never realized that you could continue to use other abilities while it channeled and then come back to activate it.  Once I fixed that (stood in melee range), the damage and mechanics were much better.  That being said, I still didn't like it as much.  The rotation was wonky for me, always seemed to leave like a 2-3 second gap so I wasn't getting the PL-VD off on cooldown, or was skipping around to fill in the gaps making the rotation kind of random or inconsistent.  Nothing wrong with that if it's your playstyle (by "your" I mean anyone's) but it's definitely not mine.  Plus the overall damage I was getting was a good 400-500 DPS short of my other build.

Chaos/Rifle does sound interesting.  I do keep thinking there's probably some merit to working out a non-traditional Solo/Tank build with the Vulnerabilities now... Chaos/Rifle, or maybe Pistol/Sword or Pistol/Hammer.  I'll keep looking into those a bit, too.

As for an AOE ability, my go-to has been Shellshocker, but that's an elite so maybe doesn't do you much good in that build.  But the reasoning for it is three-fold... First, it does just monster damage, AOE or single-target.  So much so, that I'm using it in a couple builds without even taking advantage of the Vulnerability and not noticing any real drop off in DPS.  Second, the longer channel seems to help my rotation... it ends up being pretty much spot-on, so I use it on every cooldown with almost no downtime, and the rest of the rotation is the same so I don't have to improvise anything to fill in gaps.  Third, and this is key, it has a long hinder.  Combined with my Signet of Detainment (only using a blue, but obviously purple would be slightly better) it's enough to let me spam Conditional Force 5-6 times whenever I use it.  That's a lot of AOE.  That long hinder also means that if you just go straight builder x5 and then Transfuse Anima, you'll get the bonus leach every time.  That leech, plus Thirst, has been good enough for me to largely abandon using Anima Shot or Anima Burst as my builder and replace it with a builder that either does a lot more damage and builds for both weapons (like Safety Off) or an AOE (usually either Suppressing Fire if I'm doing Frenzy stuff, or Arc Flash if I'm doing Chain stuff).

So maybe you can use the same "tactic" -- something like Tactical Retreat or Coldwave (or both) at the end of your builder cycle, followed by as many Conditional Force hits as you can get (and maybe a Transfuse Anima at the start or in the middle just to get the leech).  They both are doing AOE damage on their own as well.  I'm using Seal the Deal in that set up and I'm not sure that it would be anywhere close to as good without it.  Oh, the other bit is that I frequently use Pop Shot with Rocket Science in that sort of build just for the extra and frequent AOE option.  There's so much "extraneous" AOE in that build that I tend to just use it all up on groups and rarely need any mop up.  There's likely some other ways to get the hinder going (maybe signet or passive I haven't looked at?) to make it work as well.

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CrazyDogLady    14

I like Shellshocker, and I use it in my Shotty/Rifle build, but I was thinking of situations where I need a lot of repeated fast AoE, like in the Undaunted fight.  Single kills go well on the adds at the beginning, where there aren't as many, but later you need fast repeated AoE, since the adds spawn a couple of times, you need to move around, and the platform is catching fire.  I also like fast AoE for some parts of Tokyo, although it doesn't matter for all of it.

Conditional Force is a possibility.  I'll have to give that a shot.  Thanks for suggesting it.

I still need to bring my crit up to balance out my pen.  I was doing a high pen build before the changes.  I really want glyph solvent now, so I can remove glyphs and swap them to other talis.  They have that for signets, but not glyphs.  Oh, well.  I'm going to be farming bullion like everyone else. :)

PL-VD is definitely an issue if you have any latency.  You pretty much have to get it to go off at 8+ stacks to get good value for it.  When the mob was exposed (during the golem fights, or lair bosses, for instance), even with 10.2 - 10.3 gear and nobody else's buffs (no SF or anything like that), I was getting 25k+ crits with it, and lots of nice afflict procs to go with it.  I know the people with 10.9.5 get much, much higher.  It's definitely one of those things that you have to hit at just the right time to make work, though, and you have to watch to make sure you don't move out of range, so it's harder to use in fights where you have to be more mobile.  It feels much better for big group (like world boss) or dungeon/raid fights, and not as good for survival.

Chaos/Rifle is great for the Expose.  I'm easily getting 10 stacks for the majority of the fight.  Add that to Afflict procs, multi-hit, and crit/pen, and it does some nice damage.  I have to try it with a bit more leech to see how that goes, but so far it's pretty sweet for damage.  If I can't stay still, it easily puts out higher dps than my Ele/Rifle build.  If you want, I'll post what I have once I've got it a bit more defined.  I'm still playing around with a few abilities.

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