Legion’s DPS/Survivability Combat HR
Hello all, this is Aeras Mythalbow@legion10398 here, bringing you my DPS/Survivability Combat HR build. The build is pretty simple, but works very well, especially in clearing dungeons with a lot of trash mobs. This build is mainly to give combat HRs a good way to PvE, but it is very viable in PvP, due to high hitpoints, high deflect, and good self-healing, which is rare in PvP.
So for ability scores, ideally you would role a starting score like this (not including racial modifiers); 15 Dex, 15 Wis, 13 Str, 12 Con, 11 Int, 10 Cha. Then, upgrade the scores like this:
Level 10: +1 Dex, +1 Wis
Level 20: +1 Dex, +1 Con
Level 30: +1 All
Level 40: +1 Wis, +1 Con
Level 50: +1 Dex, +1 Con
Level 60: +1 All
Level 70: +1 Dex, +1 Con
You would end up with (not including racials) 21 Dex, 19 Wis, 15 Str, 18 Con, 13 Int, 12 Cha. Ideally, you would play a wood elf, which would net you a 23 Dex, 21 Wis, 15 Str, 18 Con, 13 Int, 12 Cha. You could also play half-orc for the crit severity, in which case you would take +2 Dex, +2 Con, and put two more points into wisdom instead of constitution. Either way, you should end up with those ability scores, it just depends on whether you want +1% crit chance or +5% crit severity (and which race you think looks better!).
Feats and Powers:
I was going to post a screenshot of feats and powers, but I could not for the life of me find the Add Media button, so I am just posting the NWCalc link instead.
The most important feats are scything blades and battle crazed. 25% more damage and 15% higher lifesteal chance are two of the best feats out there. The former is as good as having 10,000 more power, and the latter is as good as having 6,000 more lifesteal. Piercing blades appears to be slightly broken in some way, but if it gets fixed, 40% piercing damage is almost as good as shadowy opportunity. I don’t like skirmisher’s gambit, because 10% crit chance is a lot to lose. Especially when it’s only for 28.57% more damage on criticals (175% current severity, then 225%, so you do 225/175, which comes out to 1.2857, making it a 28.57% damage increase on criticals). Basically, assuming a starting chance of 40%, you go from a 40% chance to do 175% damage to a 30% chance to do 225% damage, which is actually a damage decrease. Essentially this feat is a trap, unless you have a 50% crit chance or higher (making it excellent for niche archery/combat hybrid builds with ~90% crit chance).
As far as powers go, what powers you use matters quite a bit. Here is my setup.
Aspect of the Lone Wolf
Aspect of the Pack/Twin-Blade Storm/Seeker’s Vengeance/Blade Storm (very interchangeable depending on gear, skill, and where you are)
Thorn Ward-Thorn Strike
Split the Sky-Throw Caution to the Wind/Rain of Arrows-Rain of Swords
Fox’s Cunning-Fox Shift
Forest Meditation/Seismic Shot
Electric Shot-Clear the Ground
Aimed Shot-Aimed Strike/Rapid Shot-Rapid Strike
Why these powers? Well, for the class features, deflect is extremely important in this build for survivability, and Aspect of the Lone Wolf is the best deflect giving feature in the game (except for trappers who prefer pathfinder’s action because they can keep it up almost always with disruptive shot). As for the second slot, that is reserved for our DPS feature. I love Aspect of the Pack because it is great party DPS, and my CA Damage stat is pretty high, making this give me the biggest damage boost. Twin-blade storm is good when you first hit 70 because it takes no setup and gives good bonus damage. Seeker’s Vengeance is pretty good if you set it up or have some defender to flank with. Blade Storm seems to proc a lot, but it should only be giving me 3.75% more damage. However, according to ACT logs, I seem to be getting more like 10-15% of my damage from it, so I don’t know. I think it might be because it does the damage in an area around you, but can multi-proc on AoE attacks. Therefore, I think it’s probably proccing 2 or 3 times every swing of clear the ground, and hitting a large area, giving me a larger amount of damage than it would seem. If true, I would use Blade Storm until you get a lot of CA Damage stat, then switch it out for Aspect of the Pack for maximum party damage.
Next, the encounters. Thorn Ward/Thorn Strike is absolutely mandatory. The debuff from Thorn Ward is quite impressive, though the actual damage from it isn’t as good. Thorn Strike is far more disappointing, but useful enough on mobs with low health. It does better in boss fights, but is still nothing special. Split the Sky is kinda poor for what it is, but it is very useful to set up a zone for the party to fight in. Throw Caution to the Wind just plain sucks. Rain of Arrows is actually very good damage in a boss fight or in LoL (where we tend to be weaker due to lack of trash). Rain of Swords is decent, but the animation is slow. It can hit a lot of mobs though, because of no target cap. It’s just hard to gauge and be accurate with it. As for Fox’s Cunning/Fox Shift, also mandatory. Fox’s Cunning has gotten even better this module because mobs hit so hard any way to automatically dodge an attack is awesome. Fox Shift is still pretty high damage, especially against 3 or 4 mobs. The immunity frame is also useful to avoid attacks.
For dailies, Forest Ghost is pretty much all you’ll be using. It does good damage, especially when there are a ton of mobs. The big draw is the invisibility, extremely useful to get away from a lot of mobs. As for the other slot, seismic shot is good aoe damage, but nothing really special, while forest meditation is a nice way to keep yourself alive, and the auto-deflect and CC immunity are useful.
The at-wills are simple as well. If there are two or more mobs, use clear the ground constantly. If there is one, use aimed strike. Simple. Clear the ground is still underrated, and while it will never be as good as Wicked Strike or Weapon Master’s Strike, it is still a pretty good aoe at-will.
I will organize the stats into two categories; offensive and defensive.
The priorities for offensive stats are as follows:
- Armor penetration to 60%, this is the cap for the hardest content. Remember to factor in strength and any other sources when you total it.
- Critical chance to 35%, this is all you will ever need, it’s not our main focus.
- Recovery to 6k or so, we don’t really need to AP gain but the cooldown reduction is nice.
- Power as high as you want. Power is back to being the last stat to stack as it was pre-mod 4.
A quick word on the other offensive stats; CA damage is a good stat for us because of Aspect of the Pack. Stamina Gain is also good because of serpent weave to lower cooldowns. CC bonus is useless, and AP gain kinda sucks too, because we don’t need a lot of AP, and we already get 10% from lucky blades.
- HP is the first stat you want. You want to get HP up over 80k asap, this is pretty much how much you will need to not have mobs oneshot you all the time. After that, you can calm down and let it bring itself up. At the end, you will probably have around 100k, maybe a little less.
- Deflect comes next, and you will never stop stacking deflect really. It is actually really useful in PvE now, because of the number of monsters that can oneshot you. Even if you are great at dodging, attacks will slip through, and stacking defense will not be enough for an HR. With a 50% or higher deflect chance, oneshots become far less common and can be dealt with by your soulforged. You can only consider stacking anything else when you have over 10k deflect.
- As for lifesteal and defense, never stack lifesteal, we get enough from feats. Defense can be stacked when you have over 10k deflect, but I would advise only switching silverys for cruel enchants, not azure. If you really have a ton of deflect, you could also go for HP instead of defense. Rangers simply can’t stack enough defense to save them.
As for other defensive stats, none are especially good, but none are especially bad. I would say Incoming Healing and Regen are probably best because they improve our lifesteal. Also regen is nice to keep you topped up out of combat while soloing.
As I said, I can’t take screenshots, so I’ll just outline what boons I’ve taken. For the stat boons, they are pretty changeable based on what stats you personally are missing, but what I am using is what you’ll probably end up with.
T1: Dark Fey Hunter
T2: Fey Elusiveness
T3: Feywild’s Fortitude
T4: Elven Ferocity
T5: Fey Thistle
T1: Conjurer’s Gambit
T2: Evoker’s Thirst
T3: Illusion Shimmer
T5: Endless Consumption (doesn’t really matter, rampaging madness and augmented thayan bastion are fine as well)
T1: Weathering the Storm
T2: Appreciation of Warmth
T3: Rapid Thaw
T4: Cool Resolve
T5: Rousing Warmth
Tyranny of Dragons:
T1: Dragon’s Claws
T2: Dragon’s Shadow
T3: Draconic Armorbreaker
T4: Dragon’s Greed
T5: 1/3 Dragon’s Thirst, 1/3 Dragon’s Revival, 1/3 Dragon’s Fury
This gives a good mix of defense and offense.
Gear and Enchantments:
So I already outlined what stats are important for this build. But what specific gear is ideal? Well, for PvE you want to stay on the assault line all the way through; alliance assault, elemental alliance assault, elven assault, elemental elven assault. You won’t want to actually get the elemental alliance assault though. Just get the normal alliance and then start farming t2s for the elven, and upgrade that. For PvP, you can honestly take either, I have a set of elemental burning duelist that I use for PvP, but if you feel you get enough deflect from everywhere else, you can use executioner. For that, follow a similar principle; get grim first, then burning, then elemental. As for jewelry, I wear a greater imperial dragon cloak all the time. The Lostmauth set is obviously BiS, but I have a feeling the nerf hammer is coming (as soon as Cryptic feels they have made enough money from it). Also, I don’t like the artifact, strength is a useless ability score right now…there are a lot of reasons not to use it. Therefore, I use a greater imperial dragon cloak and a greater twined rope of dexterity, and choose my own artifacts. As for rings, I hate the lack of deflect on the personalized rings, and I opt not to use them in favor of a pair of elemental elven ward rings. The PvP ring set works well too for PvP; the stats are decent and 650 tenacity is no joke with all that tenacity helps now. However, I still prefer the ward rings for the massive amount of HP. If the personalized adamant rings of regeneration were called rings of deflection and gave 1576 HP and 394 deflect, they would be BiS, but they don’t, and I don’t need more power, armor penetration or recovery. Clothes are really a toss-up between shirt/pants and tunic/trousers, and mixing and matching wouldn’t hurt either. Critical is nice, but so is deflect. Really just whatever you need. If you want you can also switch a boon around and take the other option if you can get them cheaper (i.e. a guildmate has an extra pair of one specific type, or there’s a steal on the AH). Really just about price there.
Now for artifacts. I currently have a Wheel of Elements in my active slot, with a Sigil of the Scourge, Sigil of the Trickster, and Lantern of Revelation in the passive slots. These are the BiS options. The Lantern is of course free, and the Sigil of the Scourge and Sigil of the Trickster just require you to level those classes and unlock 3 boons in Dread Ring with them (or Sharandar, but Dread Ring is faster). If you can’t get a wheel, I would instead get either a Vanguard’s Banner or a Sigil of the Oathbound. Vanguard’s Banner is pretty easy to get, and it has a great active effect. Sigil of the Oathbound is also easy to get, but the active effect isn’t so good. Both give exactly the same stats except for the tertiary stat, which is Stamina Gain on the Wheel, AoE Resist on the Sigil, and Lifesteal on the Vanguard’s Banner. If Wheel gets nerfed, I don’t really know what artifact I will use in the active slot. Stamina Gain is great, but I will probably just switch the Icewind Dale boon to Stamina Gain and use my Vanguard’s Banner, it’s a great debuff and buff that scales excellently. Some guides recommend getting a Waters of Elah’zad while leveling for the active, but the stats on Lantern are just too good.
Finally, enchantments. Here are the enchantments I recommend:
- Plaguefire. Excellent no matter what rank, great debuff. Also, very cheap. Transcendent is really not worth it, it offers only minor improvement on Perfect. I have a Perfect, and it works great.
- Terror. Similar to Plaguefire, except it scales much better. Transcendent is actually worth it. Better for PvP, but good in PvE.
- Lightning. Slightly niche enchantment, but synergizes incredibly well with the whole Stormwarden AoE thing this build has going on. This build is one of the few that can actually perform well with a lesser. However, the scaling is extremely good here, and if you go lightning, get a transcendent. It’s just beautiful sometimes.
- Vorpal. BiS for so long. However, it has fallen off a bit, especially for this build. If you want one, or have one, you can use it, but if you don’t, don’t waste your money. If you want, you can also push critical a bit more and sacrifice some recovery, and you can probably get the 40+% critical chance required to make this optimal. I prefer Plaguefire, but it does look sick. Of course, there’s always Terror for that.
- Soulforged. Excellent because all you need is a lesser, making it a very cheap option. Also, in this new world of massive single hits, having a soulforged saves you a lot more than it used to. What I use, what I’ve always used, and the best option for this build.
- Negation. Best option for PvP. Not very useful in PvE, because you won’t survive the hits needed to build stacks, but its okay for solo content. Only superior to soulforged anywhere if you have a greater or better, otherwise a lesser soulforged will do you just fine.
- Elven Battle. Only really good if you get a Transcendent. If you do, however, this can sometimes beat Negation for PvP. Basically it makes you almost totally resistant to CC, which is pretty insane.
- This is pretty simple. Use darks until you hit 60% armor penetration. Then use azures until you hit 35% critical chance. Then use silverys pretty much the rest of the way. If you want, you can sacrifice some of that recovery for more power or critical, especially if you’re using Vorpal, but I prefer to keep it. At least stay above 5k recovery.
- This is even simpler. Pretty much exclusively use silverys. When you hit 10k deflect, you can start switching in radiants, but once again you will usually end up with mostly silverys. That’s okay, because with your 18 Constitution, you should have around 90k HP or more with just armor, rings, artifacts and boons. You usually don’t need much more than that.
Ioun Stone of Might
The Ioun Stone of Might has three offense slots and the stamina regen is nice for serpent weaver. Blink Dog and Intellect Devourer give CA damage bonus, excellent if you are using Aspect of the Pack (reasons why I do). Air Archon is basically a 5% damage boost. Lightfoot Thief, while nearly impossible to get, is absolutely amazing. It is the sole reason I ever did Sword Coast Adventures. It took me at least a hundred tries to get it, probably a lot more, but from what I’ve heard, I got lucky. If you can’t get it, there are other options that are solid. I would advise Fire Archon for an average 3.5% damage boost.
This build is not intended to bring max damage output like a proper striker such as a destroyer GWF. In the end, you will still have lower damage than other strikers. However, you will still put up respectable numbers, and you will do it while being very survivable and providing a lot of party damage bonus through debuffs and Aspect of the Pack. Most importantly, this build gives a viable alternative to trappers, and even encourages (I hope) many people to switch their build to this. I have a philosophy that the best builds are the builds that either buff the party, debuff the enemy, or provide some other way to play as a team (like AoE CC or pretty much every tank build). To me, if every person helps the other four people, then in turn that person has four people helping them, which in my experience works a lot better than every man just DPS’ing for themselves. That is the purpose of this build, and I hope you like it!