I Kagerro, DPS specialist of the Frog guild, present on the Darth Nihilus server.
If I am here today, it is to talk to you about the Vanguard DPS and more specifically about the Strategy spec. My guide is the first of a trilogy which therefore aims to teach those who do not know or improve for those who already know, the mastery of the class with a view to PvE HL.
Speaking of which, if I allow myself today to mention the PvE HL it is quite simply because I was able to finish all the current content in 16 & 8, HM and Nightmare and this since 1.2. So I have some perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the Avant-Garde dps and that's why I'm here today to talk to you about this class.
- Arbre the talent
- Offensive and defensive spells
- Equipment optimization
- Tips and final word
Before taking an in-depth look at the Strategy specialization, it's time to set the scene. You should already know that, contrary to what you can see in your talent tree, there are not two but three DPS specializations that are viable for the Vanguard:
- Strategy / Assault Hybrid
The specialisation Strategy is for me the easiest to play, it offers good tools, good static damage and easy heat management. I therefore recommend it when you are new to Vanguard DPS.
The specialisation Assault offers slightly worse damage in static combat than the Strategy specialization, but in return offers much more interesting damage in mobile combat. The cells are slightly more complex to manage, it is aimed more at people who already know a little better the class, the principle of cell functioning and its management.
The specialisation Strategy / Assault Hybrid is the best dps specialization for the Vanguard at the moment and subject to change up to patch 2.6 minimum. It offers very good damage but in return has more complex cell management than the two previous specializations. She's great at static combat and really good at hectic combat.
For my part, I hardly ever play the Strategy specialization since in static combat, the Hybrid does better and in eventful combat the Assault does better. However, I know how to play it and even if my goal is that at the end of the three guides you will all be able to play the hybrid specialization, for that you have to learn the basics, namely the Strategy specialization.
Arbre the talent
Now that we have set the scene, it's time to get to the heart of the matter:
It should be noted first of all that the special Strategy is played exclusively with the Powerful energy cell. This cell increases internal and elemental damage by 3% and that's a good thing since we're only going to do almost this type of damage.
8 / 36 / 2
We will now see the tree itself, there we do not have much choice, the only viable option for this spec is 8/36/2. As we need to get the 36 point spell, we only have 10 points left to place in the other specializations. That's good, since apart from these 10 points (8 in shield and 2 in pyro), the others will not serve us at all anyway.
I'm not going to go into the whole tree, I think you're old enough to read your talent points for yourself, but I'm still going to go into some of the talents that I think are crucial and define specialization.
- Stretching> Irregular blades and Triomphe: those 4 talent points alone already do about 12/13% of your damage if you know how to use them properly. To put it simply, with the Retractable blade, when you apply it to the target, it suffers a bleed that lasts 15 seconds, which does internal damage over time and which in addition to that it takes 3% damage in addition to all your attacks. A must-have.
- Cell Generator> Combat Strategy : These 3 talent points play a crucial role in your damage as they add a base 1,3 of heat dissipation per second, which takes your heat regeneration to 6,3 seconds when you are in the correct cylinder. In addition, every time you make a Lacrosse strike, your next Aligned shot will automatically be critical. In short, you have ammo comfort and a big source of damage for just 3 talent points.
- Aries: this talent will allow you to have even more simplified cell management because this one, each time you use your ultimate (Pulse of fire) and often with your Ionic pulse, your Butt kick will be free. You will quickly realize in the end that you will never use your Butt kick without the proc.
- Pulse generator: this talent alone represents the whole point of the Strategy specialization. If you don't take that talent, there's no point in playing it. To put it simply, every time you go to do a Ionic pulse, or Pulse of fire or a Explosive influx, you will gain a load of Pulse generator who will make your neighbor Pulse cannon Deals 20% more damage, becomes uninterrupted, and Slows targets hit by 30%. It can be stacked 3 times for a total of + 60% damage, -90% speed and in addition it will cost you 6 ammunition. Like I said, without this talent the Strategy specialization makes no sense, if you choose it and you don't use the Pulse cannon, it's the same thing, it doesn't make sense.
- Chaos Training: these are 3 points that give you 30% inflow on thePulse of fire,'Immolation Lacrosse strike and Stripping. Knowing that these are attacks that we will use at least 50% of the time, it is all profit as talent.
- Pulse of fire: This attack hurts quite a bit and causes you to activate your Pulse generator and your Lacrosse strike free, to take and to use above all.
The rest of the specialty is pretty obvious, there's just one talent point left that you can place either in Front defense to have a second less on the CS, or Power armor which will reduce the damage you will take by 1%. It's just a matter of preference. For my part, I took the point in reducing the CS because it's my way of playing, but i would say that in the vast majority of cases the damage reduction is more interesting.
Now that the tree is done, we should talk about the rotation of the Strategy specialization. We will already start with the basic and gradually increase the level so that you are professionals of the Strategy specialization at the end of the guide.
As I said earlier in the guide, the Pulse generator is the whole point of specialization; without it, you don't have to play it because you won't do much damage. But concretely, what does that mean? Quite simply, the optimal rotation of the Avant-Garde Strategy is based on the cooldown of the Pulse cannon, namely 15 seconds.
Moreover, we could even speak of a rotation of 12 seconds because of the 15 seconds, we already have 3 seconds of channeling of the Pulse cannon...
This means that we have 12 seconds left to do maximum damage and above all, most importantly, ensure that we have the 3 charges of Pulse generator so that it hurts, to have our bleeding on the target for the 3% more damage (via theStripping) and have enough heat to start the Pulse cannon without penalizing our regeneration.
The best over the 12 seconds is to start with theStripping, quite simply because all our following attacks will benefit from the + 3% damage, but not that. Since the bleeding lasts 15 seconds, starting the bleeding first results in your bleeding Pulse cannon finished, the dowry ofStripping is also finished and you can restart it. Smart!
Once the damage over time is established, we will continue with thePulse of fire, because she hits hard and she'll give us a load of Pulse generator, and since we need 3, we will do 2 Ionic pulses to have our 3 charges.
Once you have your 3 stacks, you must (if you used thePulse of fire) triggering of Butt kick free, then you have to use it and thus you have your next Thigh impact ir which is automatically critical, not bad!
Un Thigh impact ir criticism later and we have already done 9 seconds out of the 12 we had. We then have two spells to place before doing the Pulse cannon. For these two spells, I advise you if your heat allows it, 2 Ionic pulses or one Ionic Pulse and one Pestle shot (your white stroke) or if you are really fair on heat, two white strokes.
Which gives us in the end:
- 0.0 => Stripping
- 1.5 => Pulse of fire
- 3.0 => Ionic Pulse
- 4.5 => Ionic Pulse
- 6.0 => Butt kick
- 7.5 => High Impact Shooting
- 9.0 => Ionic pulse / pestle shot
- 10.5 => Ionic pulse / pestle shot
- 12.0 => Pulse Cannon
- 13.5 => Pulse Cannon
- 15.0 => Stripping
We kept our whole rotation on 15 seconds, since at the fifteenth second our Pulse Cannon is finished and we can rest theStripping.
Now you have to keep in mind that this is a rotation, not a cycle!
What I mean by that is that apart from the opening, it will almost never be in the same order. There are, however, a couple of things that will NEVER change.
- You need ALWAYS at least one Fire Pulse and 2 Ion Pulse to have the 3 charges, you manage to put them in the order you want but I don't want to see any Flamethrowers leave without having the 3 charges.
- You must have in PERMANENCE Bleeding from the Gut on the target, not having it is to deprive yourself of 3% more damage, as well as damage over time that hurts.
- You should always start your Pulse cannon as soon as it is available. Again it's the same, you do as you want but it has a 15 second cooldown, so you have to run it every 15 seconds. The only exception to this rule is that if you know that in the fight you will be bumped during the incantation, there yes obviously you have the choice between slamming the Immutability (I'll get to that later) and swing the Pulse cannon, or wait for you to bump and throw it on the way back. Otherwise, you must launch it as soon as it is available.
- Never throw the Lacrosse strike as long as it is not free and the same goes for the High impact shooting, do not launch it until it is automatically critical (thanks to your Lacrosse strike). By the way, speaking of the Lacrosse strike, if possible before doing a Fire Pulse if you have a free Searing Fist trigger use it rather than having it re-trigger. Wasting a trigger is never good!
- Still talking about the Lacrosse strike free, if you see that you are at zero heat, do not waste your trigger, do a few Ionic pulses just to get a little horny and only there, you make the Lacrosse strike to bring down the heat. You upped your damage and it didn't cost you more in heat.
As a bonus I put you a Youtube video of an example of rotation with annotations on it so that you can see in real what it gives. I also attach the lexicon of English history abbreviations so you can understand the video annotations.
- Fire pulse = IMO
- Pulse Cannon = FT
- Lacrosse stroke = RP
- Ionic pulse = FB
- High Impact Shooting = RS
- Explosive fuel = EF
- Shoulder cannon = SC
- Etripage = RB
Offensive and defensive spells
As Vanguard we have a whole panoply of interesting spells that it is from an offensive point of view as defensive.
Let's take a look at the spells that will allow us to increase our dps on an ad hoc basis.
- Combat Concentration: this spell is a real killing. For 15 seconds, he gives us 25% free criticism, without consideration. To use and abuse it even.
- Shoulder cannon: the only real addition to 2.0, it charges four missiles on activation and charges three more over time. This spell has the particularity of being usable OUTSIDE-GCD, that is to say that you can cast it between two activations of powers. For example, every time you cast a spell you have a 3 sec timeout during which you cannot do anything. This dead zone is called the GCD (for global cooldown). Well, thanks to this spell you can during each GCD between your attacks, block a missile that will do between 1.5 and 1000 damage. Super good for the burst then!
- Cell economy: this spell allows your next power to activate without losing ammo. Concretely, you end up with 50 ammunition (that's bad!) And you have not yet activated your Pulse Cannon. Rather than delaying the activation of Pulse Cannon (that's bad!) Or going even lower in ammo (it's even worse!), You use up your Cell Saving and activate your Pulse Cannon. As a result, you do not consume ammunition, on the contrary, thanks to your generation of passive cells, you regain some and in addition your dps does not drop because you have your Pulse Cannon banging.
- Cell recharge: the OH SHIT button. The name speaks for itself, this spell allows you to dispel 50 ammo over 3 seconds, so it's a spell to use in an emergency. Besides, for the little information, if you see that you go too low in ammunition, that you are already at 40, well go up to 10 and use the recharge, you might as well make it profitable to the end. Only, be careful, you only have it every 2 minutes.
Now let's take a look at the spells that will allow us to continue to do damage even in delicate situations.
- Reactive shield: This spell reduces all damage taken from all sources by 25% while active. Additionally, with the Energy Regeneration talent, whenever you take damage, its active cooldown (current cooldown) decreases by 3 seconds. So even though it has a base cooldown of 2 minutes, you will quickly find that with raid damage it is generally on 1 minute 15/1 minute 20.
- Adrenaline rush: this spell, if activated at the right time, is a true guardian angel. That is to say that if you know at some point that you are going to fall below the 35% health mark, you activate it, and when you actually go below the 35% health mark, this spell will take charge of lifting you up and keep you at 35% for 8 sec. And believe me that during those 8 seconds, unless you take a slap at 10k, you become very resistant.
- Shock absorber: this is not really a spell but a talent, which gives you 30% damage reduction against area effects (ex: death fields or the ugly red damage areas on the ground) but not only because you also have 30% damage reduction when stunned. An excellent talent therefore, two in one.
The other spells
I have a few spells left to talk to you about, and they're neither offensive nor defensive, or at least not the same as the previous ones. Let's see what it is ...
- Immutability : this spell has long been exclusive to the Strategy specialization. Now it is a basic spell for Soldiers (Commando and Vanguard) but in Strategy specialization, it lasts 4 seconds longer which is not negligible. Long story short, when under the effect of this spell, you run faster and you are mostly immune to any knockdown or slowing effects. For example, bosses cannot bump you while you are under Immutability. So when you know the boss is going to bump you and you need to cram your Pulse Cannon, your best bet is to use immutability and cast the spell. Thus, you troll the boss and you burn his face (or the posterior, it will depend on your position) at the same time.
- Car tires: fate known to Soldiers, it allows you to do damage from a distance. If I put it here, it's just so that, if you're wondering whether to use it, the answer is NO except in one special case: if you're stuck remotely for X or Y reason, you can use it, and it is also recommended.
- Adhesive grenade: roughly the same as auto fire, it's a spell to use when you're on the move or stuck and more than 10 yards from the target. If you are between 4 and 10 meters you have thePulse of fire, L 'Ionic Pulse and Pulse Cannon which will do more damage, and if you are between 0 and 4 meters, the question does not even arise.
- Explosive surge: the use of this spell is very situational. I would say its greatest usefulness in this specialization is being able to ramp up your Pulse Generator charges without hitting the target or doing area damage.
Here, we will talk a little about the statistics of the equipment and all that is related to it. Concretely, it is necessary to follow an order of priority at the level of statistics as follows:
Aim> Critical (150/180)> Potency> Accuracy (up to 110%)> Surge
Why this order of priority? So quite simply because we need a little criticism all the same in this specialization (moreover the equipment will be the same whatever the specialization), and that once reached we only take power. For the accuracy, I noted 110%, so it is in techno of course and it is COMPULSORY, it is not 109.5% but 110%. Namely, just because you don't see your spells fail when you do them that doesn't mean it isn't. Only a fairly fine analysis of your logs can prove it and believe me, from experience, it is better to have a little less influx but that all your spells pass rather than occasionally missing a Critical Fire Pulse at 8 / 9K or a Pulse Cannon charge at 5k which will lower your damage.
To give you an idea of what optimized gear looks like, here's a picture of my stats while buffed, without any proc:
Obviously, I still have excellent equipment (almost full 78, except the barrel, an implant and a relic and some sophistication which is still in 75) but it allows you to see a little what to aim.
For you as I said, the most important thing is to get the criticism at the beginning and the precision, the power and the flow will come with the equipment.
Besides, it also seems important to me to specify it, but in terms of improvements you must always take Aim / Stamina improvements, because we have a 9% bonus and an additional 5% with the inquisitor improvement. I don't want to go into the math and confuse you when you've already read the whole tutorial, but in short, at the damage bonus level, the targeted buffs are equivalent to potency buffs, except that they give you more passive criticism and therefore become more interesting.
In terms of the set bonus, you must take the Combat Technician set since the 2 piece decreases the cooldown of the weapon by 15 seconds. Concentration in combat and the 4 pieces increases the damage of the High impact shooting. Good thing we use both spells.
Besides in relation to that, the equipment Combat Technicianis not necessarily super optimized, but we have no choice but to do with and remodel it to obtain the balance of the statistics requested.
In terms of relics, I personally use a relic with automatic power activation and a power use. However with 2.5 approaching I think the best will be an automatic power activation and an automatic main statistic activation.
Tips and final word
I'll give you some tips that will allow you to increase your damage even more:
- Always sync your Concentration in combat with the Shoulder Cannon, like that you can benefit from 25% of critical strike on your spells and at the same time on the missiles that must fire out of global cooldown. As a result, you get a full return on your Concentration in combat because even the times of the GCD are used.
- Do not rest theStripping if the debuff is still present on the target, it is a loss of damage. Wait for the debuff to go away.
- Always use your Concentration in combat and Shoulder cannon as soon as they are available, unless the combat requires another use, such as a specific burst phase.
- If you have a relic in use or dopants, also think about using them as soon as they are available, obviously with the same reserve as given previously: if the combat requires it, keep your spells under recharge for this moment there.
Here is the guide coming to an end, it was entirely written and directed by myself, and like I said at the very beginning, this one is just the first in a trilogy, so stay tuned for others will follow?