Module 3: Curse of Icewind Dale brings us Combat TR interesting new toys to play with. Incidentally, these are not best-in-slot for the current PermaStealth META. So what does this mean? This means we dont have to hide anymore. I want to give you a build that can 1) contest nodes, 2) stand a chance against a permanently invisible rogue, 3) outlive the hunter, and 4) not get tossed around like a pancake by the GWF.
Ok. Less chit-chat, let?s get our hands dirty;
O.O?*speechless* ? ?? ??? Get out!
Brandon: I?m serious.
groupie: How on earth?
The answer was actually simpler than you might think. I found HP wherever I was able. From gear and enchantments to artifacts and companions. This is an Open World PvP build as much as it is a Domination build, and I?m not above pumping my augment companion with steroids *cough cough* hit points.
The silly thing that?s easily neglected is how the new BiS Purified Black Ice gear came with a tremendous pool of Maximum Hit Points. This gear alone racks a crazy 5000 HP when fully empowered with Black Ice. And don?t forget those shiny new Domination tenacity blues with 900 HP on a belt piece.
[Dominator?s Cloak]?comes from accomplishing 5/10 PvP Campaign achievements, and it?s the first epic neck piece to show up in the game with Maximum Hit Points and Tenacity. Where rings are concerned, defense slots are a bliss.
The?[Sigil of the Great Weapon]?artifact is worth ranking up as it gives 1,600 Maximum Hit Points as a final stat. Similarly,?[Vanguard?s Banner]?has 1,200 HP that gets maxed out at epic rank. These artifacts are solid for this build. Click the attachments below for more details about them.
This is my ?Maximum? HP in OPvP if I am to spec in a certain way:?(46,249). You might have already guessed, this isn?t a do-all be-all copy-paste build. It?s very customisable as to how you best see your rogue performing most efficiently. In Domination PvP I lose my augment companion, and my HP falls down to?40,250.?I am not complaining.
And just for kicks and giggles, if I were to have Rank 10 Radiant Enchantments, my HP would look like this:
I can?t think of any outside of relatively low damage output. However, by comparison to PermaStealth, the possibility of equipping Vorpal and Plaguefire enchantments can in fact compensate for this issue. The build initially suffers from lack of critical chance but this was overcome by stacked Dexterity, Executioner feats and a Master Infiltrator class feature.
This build puts great emphasis to defense and deflect. Disagree that a TR can be extremely durable as iron? When a GWF has unstoppable we have?Stealth, and it takes about one encounter slot to be able to restealth nearly as often as a GWF builds Determination. But you can?t underappreciate?Stealth.
Stealth?is our most distinct feature. It defines the class. Even if you were not to remain hidden forever, you can never neglect the importance of our class mechanic. In its own way, Stealth provides you 100% immunity to damage by allowing you to disengage from combat. Easily remove yourself from the foe?s effective range. Stealth allows you time to wait for cooldowns and, more importantly, it buffs your encounter powers and gives combat advantage that is equal to 15% more damage.
These are my stats with Purified Black Ice equipment sets. I?d let the numbers speak for itself.
Time to hit that respec button
Click the attachments below to see my choice of boons and artifacts. Follow this link?http://nwcalc.com/tr?b=pa7:25kegg:15?u5u1&h=1&p=min?to read up on my Powers and Paragon Feats. When you?ve done that, here?s my answer to your would-be questions:
Endless Assault: Wasn?t this a defensive build with defensive encounters? Then what use would 6% more damage on encounters do??That is a good and valid question. I have a human character and has 3 extra points. I just so happen to like my Lashing Blade crits with Perfect Vorpal, and this Heroic Feat buffs it. You may freely switch this with Cunning Ambusher for 6% more damage after leaving stealth, but only if you were Human and have spare Heroic points.
Cruelty?s Reward: Dude, why!?No reason. It was an eeny-meeny-miny-moe. This build has no use for Shocking Execution so Devastating Shroud was off the table. Thrill of the Kill was meh? Cruelty?s Reward won the day because it was the most useless of the three. You have to progress to the Executioner tree anyway and sadly, you have to pick one of three feats that are of no value to you.
PS: You might be better off choosing Thrill of the Kill because Cruelty?s Reward has the same icon as Overrun Critical, and it makes things confusing when you?re trying to do an auto crit.
Speed Swindle:?them slower, you faster. It?s absolutely your choice to swap this for Nimble Blade, which is about 4.2% of your damage output. You will have zero benefit from Cunning Stalker or Underhanded Tactics.
Berserk Vitality:?epic must have. Since you have 40,000 HP, this feat will grant you 1,000 Temp HP every 20 seconds. Healing depression? Not too worried about it. Every twenty seconds you would have Shadow Strike off cooldown. At certain times you will be able to proc this by combat advantage from stealth. 1,500-3,000 Temp HP per minute is not a bad deal!
Self Healing, Temp HP & Regeneration
Now that we have gone through the basics, let?s find out what makes it incredibly tanky. You sure can?t live off of 40K HP, damage resistance and deflection alone. The key factor is outhealing the damage you take through set bonuses, temporary HP and regeneration.
You have many sources of self-healing. You will have them all. Two of these are set bonuses, Purified Absorption and Purified Siphon, both proc from Black Ice gear. The third one is lifesteal.
Purified Absorption:?The way that this buff works is somewhat similar to barkshield. Only, unlike Barkshield, taking damage does not deplete the charge until it has shielded you for a total of 800 damage every 3 seconds. If a charge is not fully depleted in 3 seconds, you will be healed per charge for 600 HP (300 after HD). Interestingly this shield behaves against DoT much the same way Barkshield does. Let?s say you receive 500 damage much lower than the shield value, you will see a damage floater of 0, and the subsequent DoT will all tick for 0 damage.?Often enough, Purified Absorption will activate on Bilethorn poison so that it ticks for 0 damage and does not harm your stealth meter!?Purified Absorption has an uptime of 15 seconds every 60 seconds. It has a lowered proc chance when in cooldown and has 100% chance to activate when not in cooldown.
Purified Siphon:?This buff does exactly what the tooltip says. It has an activation chance and cooldown similar to Purified Absorption. Its heals, while affected by healing depression, is multiplied by the number of nearby enemies. This heals between 1500-3000 HP if it activates on a single target, 2400-4800 on two targets, and 3300-6600 on three targets. Realistically you would be lucky to proc it on two targets. The latter becomes a possibility when you are being focused.
Lifesteal with Endless Consumption:?When you steal health from your Life Steal stat, it has a chance to steal 3 times as much. Does not seem to have an internal cooldown and procs quite often.
Healing with Impossible to Catch:?Yes! ITC can heal! HOW? It?s a loopy heal that involves ITC?s deflection, Fey Thistle and Lifesteal. By now you already know that ITC when activated?out of stealth?grants you 100% chance to deflect all damage. I?ve emphasized in a past thread how you should use ITC against fast-hitting low-damage DoT powers. This is just all the more reason why. ITC procs Fey Thistle and Fey Thistle in turn procs Lifesteal. Since reflect from Fey Thistle can be mitigated, you can count on 300-350 damage, 31-37 HP healed by lifesteal (see my lifesteal % above), and 100 HP healed when Endless Consumption activates. If you take 10 hits in ITC, you would be healed for 310-370 HP. Considering that you take 75% less damage in ITC, mitigate 20% damage after average Armor Penetration, 370 HP can go a long way. Did you catch on that you were also reflecting 3,000 damage??Gold star!
Healing by Deflect:?This works the same as explained above. Makes stacking deflect on a TR all the more delicious doesn?t it? When you?deflect a DoT?you would reflect as many times as it ticks, healing you with lifesteal in the process. Now, bilethorn? Oh, I got your attention eh? GG.
Waters of Elah?zad:?More important than just staying alive, this artifact will irritate your enemies out of their wits. With all this wall of text about self-healing and lifesteal, it would take 3 people around 2 minutes to even bring you to half health. My artifact keybind is F1.
Battle Potion of Major Healing:?You should not be above using battle potions, because, what else would you do with that glory? Hit this lovely thing when you find yourself taking more damage than you can heal but not in a position to pop an artifact.
Soulforged Armor:?Just to be overly annoying, if your enemies somehow manage to bring you down, rise from the dead, spam stealth and disengage from combat. Either grab a field potion or sit someplace to catch your breath. Troll the node again when it is convenient for you.
Greater Purified Tempered Enchantment:?Affected by healing depression and comes with a one minute cooldown, but even then, this overload enchantment grants you 2750 Temp HP and 800 deflect. Your choices of overload enchantment vary between defense, deflect and lifesteal and they all come with temporary hit points. Equipping two of these in your overload slots will grant you two activations per minute. Overload slots appear to have separate cooldowns no matter what you put in them.
Berserk Vitality: just to reiterate, epic must have. Because you have 40,000 HP, this feat will grant you 1,000 Temp HP every 20 seconds. Healing depression? Not too worried about it. Every twenty seconds you would have Shadow Strike off cooldown. At times you will be able to proc this from stealth.
Regeneration?is still a valuable stat despite healing depression. Do remember that two factors affect Regeneration: Maximum Hit Points and your Regeneration stat. At?40,000 HP, 1,400 Regeneration heals you for?1,983 HP?once every 3 seconds. Halved by HD, this is still a reliable source of healing in battle. You can easily stack regeneration as a TR by equipping?[Rings of Preservation]?from the Pegasus Seal Traders. If you are not stacking Regeneration, alternate these rings with?[Ancient Priest?s Ring of Burning Light]?for 1200 more HP, 300 defense and 300 deflect.
Lurker?s Assault:?Did they think HR was the only class that can self heal with a daily power? Lurker?s Assault has no heal mechanic to it whatsoever, but if you are spec?d for regen, remember that being out of combat for 10 seconds will remove healing depression. Cast Shadow Strike, enter Lurker mode and finish with another Shadow Strike to prolong stealth. If you are able to sit someplace nearby where the enemy will not hurt you (even better while contesting a node), HD will wear off and you will have 20-30 seconds to regenerate. During the first 10 seconds you will regenerate 3,000 HP, and up to 10,000 before stealth ends, considering the diminishing behavior of Regeneration as you get closer to full health. This is more than Forest Meditation heals an HR under Healing Depression.
Dodge:?You have 3 dodge rolls. Purified Black Ice gear gives 150 Stamina Gain as a two-parts set bonus. With a boon from the Icewind Campaign, you can reach 400 Stamina Gain. Additionally, you have 10% faster Stamina regeneration from Swift Footwork. Why take damage? Avoid getting hurt in the first place.
Smoke Bomb:?In the core build?s rotation this encounter plays an integral role along with ITC and Shadow Strike. This is the third encounter that fills your power tray in the?default setup. You may change this out to adapt a different setup, but it is the ideal encounter to use when contesting nodes against many people. Even with low recovery you can easily rotate these three powers seamlessly with little marginal error.
Open World PvP & Companions
Things are getting more and more interesting in Caer-Konig. Open World PvP is all about having the right companions and using your environment to your advantage. As a Reflect TR, OPvP is my element! I gain two additional sources of reflect, as well as control effects when taking damage. I recommend these companions:
I have them all besides the Snow Leopard which hasn?t come out yet. Such a shame I can only pick five of my favorites. I love Minion Bear. It?s adorable and gives HP. Evoker is worth ranking up to Epic.
Some data on?companion active bonuses.
The Reflect TR is originally aimed towards an immortality build. When I was first unboxing this sweet new toy, the package came with an HP charger, batteries?lots of batteries, Purified Black Ice and all sorts of protective gear. The warranty sticker said ?No warranties, this item is unbreakable.?
- [Impossible to Catch]?For all the goodies we already know about it, and then some.
- [Shadow Strike]?Stealth being a class mechanic offers immunity in its own way, if timed properly.
- [Smoke Bomb]?One of the best, if not THE best, CC in the game.
- [Clouds of Steel]?Knives. Knives!
- [Sly Flourish]?More reliable source of damage.
- [Duelist Flurry]?More damage.
- [Skillfull Infiltrator]?A must have for 15% movement speed, 3% deflect and 3% critical chance.
- [Tenacious Concealment]?Protects your stealth meter.
- [Whirlwind of Blades]?Your strongest spike AoE damage. Use wisely.
- [Lurker?s Assault]?A Combat TR?s insurance policy.
- Contest nodes against multiple enemies.
- Clear home node where the enemy PermaStealth lurks.
- Control enemies targeting your allies.
- Facetank damage while ranged allies eliminate targets off node.
- Spike AoE damage in order to kill off straglers.
Spike Damage Dealer
Though your overall damage output may be low, dealing huge damage spikes is not a farfetched idea. You are a TR after all. You?ll need two items, a ring and a new primary artifact:
[Competing Ring of Heartiness]:?Believe it or not you get these for 900 glory in the first ToB merchant from the left. It has HP, deflection and tenacity as a stat, and offense slots. For offense slots, go for Azure enchantments. You will need higher critical chance for this setup.
[Sigil of the Devoted]:?Is a free daily once every two minutes. You will be using Whirlwind of Blades, hence the need for critical chance.
[Vorpal Enchantment]:?Grants you critical severity so your critical strikes can deal considerable burst damage.
- [Tactics]?Use this instead of Tenacious Concealment for faster 15% Action Point gain.
- [Lashing Blade]?Replace Smoke Bomb with this power. Auto crit it every time from stealth.
- Whirlwind of Blades crits individually. Different from common AoE powers, which either crit or not on all targets, WoB rolls a separate random number for each target hit. It means the more target you hit, the better odds you will deal critical damage. Your critical chance is, of course, taken into calculation. This is a trivia in RNG.
Versus Fighter Setup
Versus PermaStealth Setup
The Reflect TR can be tweaked solely for the purpose of defeating PermaStealth. You will need a few things from the current META:
Path of the Blades:?The most effective encounter power against?Stealth. Replace Shadow Strike with this power when fighting PermaStealth TR.
So Why not use Shadow Strike? You benefit the least out of this power against a Bilethorn-stacking TR. Against another class maybe you can blink in and out of Stealth, but not if they were stacking Bilethorn on you. The setup is mainly ITC+PoB and a third power of your choice.
[Plague Fire Enchantment]:?PermaStealth has low to average defense but it?s up to you if debuff adds a good flavor. The DoT on PF comes second only to Bilethorn. Alternately, Flaming Enchantment may as well serve this purpose.
[Bilethorn Enchantment]: This has been and always will be the best way to unstealth a TR. There is an important logic explained below why unstealthing the TR is your primary concern.
Realize that weapon enchantment choices do not jeopardize the build because you perform a defensive role. Amongst all TR META, I believe this one offers you the most freedom of choice when it comes down to weapon enchantments.
As you are a combat-type that has shorter?Stealth?you would lose when you try to fight?fire with fire. Fight fire with water. Douse the fire first and go from there. By this logic, you might as well slot out[Tenacious Concealment]?for another passive. Personally I wouldn?t, but to each their own. Suffice to say, you would not be entering?Stealth?often but that is the point I am getting at.
In almost everything between defenses and offensive, combat-type TR outperforms a PermaStealth TR?if they were to play out of stealth. Your primary concern is draining his stealth meter so he doesnt get Combat Advantage, has lower damage, lower critical severity, decreased movement speed, unable to land Duelist Flurry, reduced Action Point gain. The list goes on. A PermaStealth TR out of Stealth is a fish out of the water. Just add salt.
But it can be fatal to underestimate your opponents. Whisperknife TR can also be built as PermaStealth and surprise you with burst damage.?Skill will always be a determining factor*.
- Reflect builds are inherently good in countering PermaStealth in the way that stealth works. With increased deflection chances and ITC, you will have a reliable source of reflect damage to take an enemy out of stealth.
- Let the TR unstealth himself. When a TR drops PoB and immediately enters Stealth, this attack benefits from Combat Advantage. However, this also gives you the chance to step into ITC, reflecting 5 seconds/PoB ticks as well as Clouds of Steel. With proper timing you can use his weapon against him.
- Purified Absorption?will nullify damage over time effects. When it activates, you have a chance every?3 seconds over 15 seconds?to absorb all Bilethorn DoT?for 0 damage. There is an odd behavior to it where you still sometimes deflect?0 damage, thus reflecting Bilethorn with Fey Thistle and healing you over Lifesteal for as many times as the BT ticked.
Videos & Updates
I?m such a slob when recording matches and my machine isn?t up to par either, but I make do. This is the first video I ever made in my life so go easy on the comments!
That said, the Reflect TR is just as much an immortality build as any. In this video I demonstrate all of the above theories and whatnot. I was fortunate enough to have fought single matches, 2v1, 3v1, and even 4v1 all in the same game! And it was no ordinary mismatched PuGstomp. The enemy was in fact great?perhaps too great that their perma made two GWF in my team quit. However, this video was not about PuG teams but rather performing the intended role of a Reflect TR in domination:?contesting. I would leave soulforged, halfdead enemies that are easy-pickings to my teammates, moving from node to node capturing bases, controlling the battlefield and occasionally scoring a kill. It was incredibly fun to play. Enjoy!