Updated: Dec 13, 2016 (added links to relevant blog posts, updated feats, equipment, defensive stats, various parts regarding ITC, mounts, and replaced “Rotations” with “Tactics” and updated that whole section)
This build is for PVE MI Executioner rogues. I’ve been playing for a while, now, and this is what works for me and my style of playing. It is so much fun to play Rogues in this game and I see so many people say “Gosh, I love to play my Rogue, but don’t expect to be on the damage chart in PVE”. Or, “Rogues have terrible burst damage”. Or, “They just can’t perform as well as every other DPS class in PVE”. This is nonsense. It’s not as easy as some classes, but PVE Rogues are undervalued and underestimated. Admittedly, I have worked hard and am almost BIS, (at least until the next mod T_T), but I probably top the DPS chart (for whatever that’s worth) 90% of the time or more. I can’t think of the last time I wasn’t at least in the top 2, and my guild is not a high ranking guild with tons of boons, either. However, I have been dropped from groups before the run because they want “HDPS” and simply don’t believe me when I say I can do it. Fellow PVE rogues, we need to pull ourselves up and take some pride in our class’ potential. Take a look and feel free to offer me suggestions or criticism. I can take it, and you could very easily know more than me!
The race I picked was human because I like the extra feats. That’s not to say you’d be wrong to go with dragonborn or half Orc. I’m sure any of those would work and there is more than one path up the TR mountain. Pick whichever you like, but put your stats into Strength and Dexterity. The Combat Advantage damage from Charisma is nice, but the by moving the points from Strength into Charisma, you end up losing about 10% damage. My blog post Here explains the numbers a little better on why Strength is a better choice than Charisma. Combat Advantage is important to this build, but you will get greater DPS mileage out of putting those points into Strength.
The first offensive stats you want to build up is armor pen to where resistance ignored is 60%. Next, you’ll want crit and power. Eventually, you’ll want crit to be in the 80%-90% range and then stack power as high as it’ll go, but, if you are starting out, I’d recommend a ratio of 2:1 power crit, until you can get those bondings refined up. I’m gonna get into some numbers here to help explain my reasoning. First, armor pen is important to 60% because 60% is the highest resistance any monster has in PVE. After that, it’s as useless as an ejection seat on a helicopter.
Next we come to the power/crit optimization. Since mod 6, the optimal ratio is represented by this equation:
c – p = 40000 * (1 – b – 1/s)
c: points in your ‘Critical Strike’ stat
p: points in your ‘Power’ stat
b: your base critical chance (how high your chance to hit critically is if you have 0 points in the ‘Critical Strike’ stat)
s: your ‘Critical Severity’
For me, it states (I think I did it correctly) that I should have 640 extra points in my crit over my power. This is a good place to start, but, with rogues, you have the added advantage of critical striking automatically every attack you deal from stealth. This makes optimization a bit more complicated. For the rotation I use, most of my encounter powers are delt from stealth and crit automatically. However, most of the damage I do comes from duellist flurry which takes longer to perform than stealth lasts. Duellist flurry also hits a bunch of times for smaller damage (as compared to at wills of other classes). You definately want to maximize your crit chances, but I’ve found that if you can maintain a crit chance of around 85%-90%, where 9 out of 10 DF hits crit, you aren’t losing much in the way of damage. Also, in that last stretch to get from 90% to 100% in crit, you end up sacrificing a lot of resources better spent in power where you can get a lot more bang for your buck. Remember, for every 400 points you put into power, you do 1% more base damage. That’s also why the ratio of 2:1 power to crit, as you are gearing up, is more effective than going for straight crit to 80-90% right out of the gate.
The defensive stats you want to work on is life steal (to about 20%)> Deflect > Hit Points > Defense
Life steal is our main defensive stat. Many of our attacks hit multiple times which give us a better chance to proc life steal. It won’t help you if you are killed in one shot, but when your soul forged enchantment pops you back up, you’ll heal back up fast.
Our defense isn’t really easy to stack and there is a lot of research out there (mostly by @thefabricant , thank you!) that shows in PVE defense is better to stack than deflect. However, for most classes, deflect is only at 50% severity. For rogues, it’s 75%. Furthermore, we start out pretty close to 25% deflect to begin with. That makes points put into deflect more effective. Hit points are also nice so that you have a little more life to absorb the hits. When you think about it, it makes sense when a lot of the armor looks like a nightgown with a big crotch flap, or a skirt and a bikini top.
“Damn you frost goblins!!!”
As TRs have super long cool downs, trying to stack recovery is great as well. It’s doubly important for executioners because it takes a bit for us to recover from our burst damage before we can do it again. And, you really really want to do it again as fast as possible.
Whisper knife or master infiltrator? Although there might be a version of this build that works well for whisper knife builds, I sometimes still use Impossible to Catch (after the changes made recently). And, when you need it, it is very handy to have. Automatically deflect 75% of damage and resist control effects? Yes please. +10% power when I use it (feat)? Don’t mind if I do! Plus, it gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction to watch a dragon scatter everyone with a wing blast except me chopping away at his soft underbelly. Did you see how far that Great Weapon Fighter flew? Yes. Yes I did.
Before you say it GWFs, I know you can avoid being knocked away. I just didn’t have as good a picture for a pissed off Scourge Warlock. Incidentally, this is how I picture every angry GWF. Even the girl ones.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Bonding Runestones allow you to really stack stats up higher than you normally could before. They are the single biggest boost to your stats that you can have. Here are my stats before bondings and after bondings (and other buffs) are procing (note I forgot I was in stronghold so I got the campfire stat bonus):
I’m human so I get an extra 3 heroic feats. This build focuses on flat % damage increase and power increase. Here ya go!
Action Advantage: This tiny extra 4% Action point gain while dealing CA damage doesn’t hurt, but doesn’t help a whole lot. But, you gotta put some points somewhere!
Weapon Mastery: +3% Critical Strike
Toughness: +9% Hit Points
Cunning Ambusher: +6% more damage for 6 seconds after leaving stealth
Endless Assault: Encounter Powers deal 6% more damage
Lucky Skirmisher: +3% Deflect. Deflect is nice.
Scoundrel Training: At Wills do 9% more damage
Disciple of Strength: Increases the amount of bonus damage Strength gives you by 6%
Note: If you aren’t human I’d suggest dropping 1 point in Action Advantage, 1 point in Lucky Skirmisher and only put 2 in Scoundrel Training.
I chose three feats in the Scoundrel tree:
Bloody Brawler: +2.5% Lifesteal
Press the Advantage: +10% Power whenever you use Impossible to Catch
Back Alley Tactics: +25% damage immediately after a daily power.
In the Executioner tree:
Grim Pleasure: dealing a Critical Strike increases your power by 5% for 4 seconds.
Vicious Pursuit: +5% more damage for 6 seconds when you deal damage to that target
Deathknell: +25% more damage to foes below 30% health
Last moments: +25% more damage to foes below 40% health (70% when stealthed)
Shadowborn: +100% Power when entering stealth
Shadow of Demise: target takes piercing damage equal to 50% of the damage dealt over 6 seconds
There is a lot of debate over Grim Pleasure vs Arterial Cut. Arterial Cut is probably better if you are just starting out. Once you get your vorpal and your base power reaches about 20000, you are probably better off using Grim Pleasure. Here is my Blog post that explains these two feats in more detail than you probably expect or need.
For single target enemies: The powers I chose are all about maximizing damage over the 6 second window before Shadow of Demise procs. To that end, I usually dazing strike and lashing blade. More on that later. For the last encounter, I usually slot smoke bomb, or, if the situation calls for it, Impossible to Catch. If you need to help up the DPS of your group, use Wicked Reminder. The at wills I use are sly flourish (4th hit applies broken armor which increases all damage taken by 10%), and duelist flurry. Duelist Flurry (and the bleed ticks it gives) deals more damage than any other power we have, but once you have the bleed ticks maxed out (or even in between duelist flurries), 4 hits from sly flourish will really increase the damage taken. For passive powers, I use Invisible Infiltrator (for the extra stealth and bonus damage) and Infiltrator’s Action (more on this later). For dailies, the number one that you will use most of the time for single targets, is Lurker’s Assault. Sometimes, if a debuff is needed, I’ll use Courage Breaker. The DPS isn’t as good as LA, but if you all die, you lose.
One note: Shocking Execution may be nice in pvp, but if you are using it in pve, you are giving up a bunch of DPS. Seriously, don’t use SE in PVE. It’s terrible.
For mobs: the encounter powers I use are Lashing Blade or Blade Flurry or ITC (if needed), smoke bomb, and dazing strike. The daily I use is Whirlwind of Blades for the power boost (doubled) you get when you find yourself surrounded by trash mobs. For my at wills I like to use sly flourish mostly and duelist flurry with bigger toughies in mobs.
Passive Powers: I always use Invisible Infiltrator, and Infiltrator’s Action. More on these later.
I’ll cover all of this in more detail in the “Tactics” section.
So, I’ve spent some time working on my gear, enchantments, artifacts, weapons, mounts, and companions. If you are starting out, you won’t have all of this. It’s okay, because you can still do a lot of damage with this build. Don’t think you have to be BIS to make it work.
You need a vorpal weapon enchantment because that extra 50% crit severity is HUGE. You don’t really need to upgrade it past perfect because you get the 50% at that level. But, if you do upgrade it, go all the way to transcendent. The bonus you get from pure isn’t nearly as consistent as it is from transcendent. The armor enchantment I use is a soul forged enchantment. That keeps you alive if you make a mistake and get one shot killed, or if your tank loses agro and you suddenly become the target. With high Lifesteal and high damage, you often find yourself near the top of the healing and damage chart and this leads to drawing agro, even if you are a TR. This happens regularly, but not often, so just be prepared.
So, the new Shadewalker’s weapons are currently BIS. Their increase in damage alone means they are head and shoulders above the rest. However, the grind is seriously grindey. Seriously. Grindey. Seriously. So, don’t be in a super hurry to get them, unless you are just a masochist. Like me. 🙂 Until then, get the twisted set. They are much easier to get and upgrade. And, they work pretty well, because you hit things way more than you get hit (you hope).
The Artifact Weapon powers you want are the duelist flurry one for your main hand (+8% DF damage), and the Infiltrator’s Action one for your offhand (+5% more damage while Infiltrator’s Action is in effect). The bonus for the offhand I usually chose is the action points, but you can choose whatever floats your boat.
The artifact set bonus that is the best for TRs right now is the Orcus set. It fits nicely with this build as an overall % damage boost, but coupled with life steal as you take down bosses, you really notice an increase in damage. If you are starting out, I probably wouldn’t go with lostmauth at this point. I’d get a greater dexterity belt and grab the necklace and belt that helped out my stats that I need the most. Before I got the Orcus set, after the Lostmauth nerf, I switched to a dexterity belt and saw an increase in my overall DPS.
The artifacts I chose are Sigil of the Controller (power and crit), Orcus Wand Shard (for the set bonus), Heart of the Blue Dragon (Crit, Recovery, and Combat Advantage) and Wheel of Elements (my active set for the 30% damage bonus). If you need more Armor Penetration, swap out the Heart of the Blue Dragon for the Lantern of Revelation (Crit, Arm Pen, and Combat Advantage).
I do sometimes swap my wheel out for the DC Sigil for the AP gain. When it tickles my fancy.
Let’s talk about bonding runestones. I’m gonna be really honest here, bonding runestones are very very powerful. They also take a lot of effort to upgrade 3 of them to rank 12. However, with three rank 12 bonding runestones, and one of your companions being legendary, you get an almost constant uptime (unless your companion dies), of 300% of your companion’s stats. If you put, as I have done, a +5 Brutal ring on it, you’ll get +12000 power for 10 seconds every 30 seconds. That’s a lot. It’s not constant, but when we are looking to maximize our damage over 6 second intervals, it works out pretty well. Always always upgrade the enchantments on your companion with the bonding runestones first because you will be reaping over 100% of the stats from them with the bondings. To hell with your gear score.
I use a Fire Archon for my bondings because it has a relatively fast attack (helps with protector’s camaraderie and protector’s friendship- more on that in mounts) and doesn’t die as quickly because it is a ranged attacker. It also has 3 offensive runestone slots (bondings give power in offensive slots) and two ring slots and a nice active power (increases damage to enemies below 50% health by 7%). As my 4 other active companions, I take an Earth Archon (+7% damage when you are at full health (works well with life steal), an Air Archon (+6% damage against enemies not at full health, a Wild Hunt Rider (chance when using encounter to get +10% damage), and an Erinyes of Belial (+10% crit severity) The Wild Hunt Rider procs quite often with encounters that hit a bunch of enemies, like a stealthed dazing strike or smoke bomb. It procs more than you’d think against single targets, as well, but if I’m in a stronghold running Dragon Flights, I’ll swap out my Earth Archon for a Siege Master (+4% damage or +7% in stronghold) . The archons also beef up each other’s % increase by a small amount which is nice.
Okay, so here are the mount powers that I use. I finally got a legendary mount from my daily VIP key, so don’t give up!!!
Artificer’s Persuasion: When you use an artifact, your recovery, movement, action point gain, and stamina gain are increased by 10% of your power for 15 seconds
Assassin’s Covenant: You lose 10% of your defense, deflection, and lifesteal, and gain that amount in power.
Protectors Camaraderie: Increase your Power and Defense 3% each time your companion attacks and it can stack up to 4 times
Gladiator’s Guile: When your stamina is above 75%, move 15% faster. When below 25%, gain 15% of your strength as stamina gain.
Cavalry’s Warning: When you use a Mount Combat Power, you add 10% to your Power, Recovery, Armor Pen, Critical Strike, Defense, Deflection, Regeneration, and Life Steal.
Now, if you don’t have a legendary mount, that’s okay! Go with Protector’s friendship instead.
Pick the mount insignias that boost whichever stats you need. If you don’t need anything, go power power power.
Some of these boons depend on what your build needs. I have an axebeak, for example, so I don’t need to stack armor pen. Take what is appropriate for your character.
- Dark Fey Hunter: +400 Power
- Fey Precision: +400 Critical Strike
- Elven Haste: +3% Action Point Gain
- Elven Tranquility: When struck, you have a chance at healing 20,000 HP
- Elvish Fury: + 135 Power for 45 Seconds each time you kill something. Stacks 30 times
The only two that need explanation here are the last two. Elven Tranquility is so much better because dealing 20,000 extra damage is nothing, but getting 20,000 HP back can really make a difference. Elvish fury is not going to help much at boss fights, but the only other one I would consider is Fey Thistle because we will be using ITC a lot. However, after testing, the damage is so ridiculously miniscule that you are better off with Elvish Fury.
- Reliquary Keeper’s Strength: +250 Power, +250 Movement
- Evoker’s Thirst: +400 Lifesteal
- Illusion Shimmer: +3% Deflect
- Enraged Regrowth: When Struck, you have a chance as healing 20,000HP and +4000 Defense
- Rampaging Madness: Gain as stack each time you do damage. At 50 stacks get +4000 Power, lifesteal, and regeneration for 10 seconds
If you need the armor penetration, take Forbidden Piercing instead of Illusion Shimmer. Pick Enraged Regrowth for the same reason you picked Elven Tranquility. Some people like to pick Endless Consumption for the final boon instead of Rampaging madness, but I tried this and honestly didn’t notice a difference. If someone out there disagrees, feel free to comment and let me know why. But, until then, I’ll always pick Rampaging Madness.
- Encroaching Tactics: +400 Combat Advantage
- Appreciation of Warmth: +400 incoming healing
- Sleet Skills: +2% Critical Severity
- Cool Resolve: Gain up to 2000 power depending on how much Stamina you have left
- Winter’s Bounty: Chance to get +10% Action Points when killing a target
Cool Resolve is better than Cold Shoulder because reducing the damage of a hit by 2000 is so tiny compared to most of the hits you are going to take and, since I dodge a lot, I get more use out of the extra power. Winter’s bounty procs fairly frequently for me and, although I do get a bonus if my action points aren’t at full because of the Back Alley Tactics feat (+25% extra damage), I’m even happier to pop that daily and get a much higher buff to my damage from everything else.
Tyranny of Dragons
- Dragon’s Claws: +400 Power
- Dragon’s Gaze: +400 Critical Strike
- Draconic Armorbreaker: +400 Armor Penetration
- Dragon’s Greed: +400 Lifesteal
- Dragon’s Fury (1): +5% Critical Severity
- Dragon’s Thirst (2): +4% Lifesteal
I picked Draconic Armorbreaker because I needed it more than the defense. If you have plenty of armor pen, grab the defense. For the final boon(s), The Crit Severity is great for this build, but put one point in Lifesteal first because the bonus from the lifesteal will help you more initially than the extra 5% Crit Severity. You’ll get more Crit Severity than that from a potion.
- Wave of Force: +300 Power, +2000 HP
- Earth’s Renewal: +400 Regeneration, +2000 HP
- Searing Aggression: +400 Critical Strike, +2000 HP
- Wall of Wind: When taking damage, a chance to heal 24,000HP and Recovery increased by 1000 for 10 seconds.
I picked the Earth’s Renewal because having some Regeneration is nice to heal up in between fights and I find it more useful than the tiny amount of life steal severity with the other boon. I chose Wall of Wind over the Critical Strike boon because I honestly don’t really need any more Crit, and the Recovery is nice (even though it doesn’t really proc very often. You can choose whichever for the final boon. None of them are really that great.
- Primordial Might: +400 Power and +1600 HP
- Primordial Focus: +400 Critical Strike and +1600 HP
- Drow Ambush Tactics: +10% Combat Advantage damage bonus
- Dwarven Stamina: +5% Stamina gain
- Abyssal Strikes: +10% Damage verses demons
A lot of people like the sound of the Demon Slayer final boon, but what the “lesser demons” actually are I haven’t been able to confirm other than the really teeny ones that you kill in a hit or two anyway and I’d rather just have a flat 10% damage increase that I can use on the really big ones.
- Abyssal Regeneration: +400 incoming healing bonus
- Demonic Influence: +400 Combat Advantage bonus
- Demonic Swiftness: +3% action point gain
- Baphomet’s Might: When striking a foe, you have achance at gaining +2000 Critical Strike for 6 seconds
Not much to say about this one, except generally, it seems to me that the incoming healing bonuses seem to be a lot better than the life steal severity. If you are hitting for 50,000 and get an extra 10%, meh. But, the incoming healing bonus affects all sources of healing, so it just seems a lot better to me.
Storm King’s Thunder
- Cold Hearted: +2% Life steal severity and +1000 HP
- Survival Instincts: +400 incoming healing bonus, +2% Everfrost Resistance
- Chill Determination: + up to 2000 recovery depending on how much stamina you have missing
- Glacial Strength: +3200 HP and +2% Everfrost Resistance
- Chill of Winter: When striking a foe, a chance to gain a chill stack, at 50 you deal 10,000 damage. (woopty woo)
Really, most of these are meh. If you have something that you like more than what I put up, knock yourself out. I don’t pick the stamina gain stuff, for the most part, because several boons give me bonuses based on missing stamina, but I don’t feel especially strong about it either way. The last boon here is particularly useless, so pick whichever you like. I might change it to Frozen Reflection, but whatever.
Now for the play:
We are going to play a game called “let’s count the damage bonus!”
For this example, I’m going to assume a starting power of 30,000 and a critical strike of 90%.
So you just landed at Lostmauth and he’s especially hungry today (he’s always talking about meals), and no one has the guts to tell him that his triglycerides are dangerously high and that his diet may explain his murderous heartburn, but that’s beside the point. You have my build and equipment and you are there for a euthanasia. You first throw a dagger at him to get your companion to start attacking and stacking up Protector’s Friendship and Camaraderie, as well as procing the bonding runestones. Your companion has a power of 5500 not including the +5 brutal ring he’s sporting. You also have a +5 Brutal on your TR, so, instantly your power shoots up by 32,500 making it 62,500. You pop your wheel of elements first and take the fire element (+30% damage), and when you do this, your Recovery, Movement, Action Point Gain, and Stamina Gain go up by 6,250. You stealth and then Dazing Strike Lostmauth which procs Shadow of Demise. In addition you hit with double your power (Shadowborn feat), a damage bonus of +6% (cunning Ambusher), +6%(endless assault), +7%(earth archon), +6% (air Archon), +4% (Siege Master) +30% (wheel of fire) = +69% damage, and you crit because of stealth. Then you pop Lurker’s Assault, which gives you automatic Combat Advantage (infiltrator’s Action) and get your stealth back instantly (Invisible Infiltrator), so you stealth again and hit him with your Lashing Blade. Now, this is gonna get a little complicated, but stay with me here.
Primer on Combat Advantage: You can find the discussion on this since the changes here. Thanks again @thefabricant, where ever you are, I will toast you whenever playing this game. Anyway, damage from combat advantage used to be out of site with the various companions that gave you combat advantage bonuses because they multiplied and it was crazy. But, even though it’s been brought more in line, you still get quite a big bonus from it.
Damage now is calculated by the equation: Total Damage = Base Damage*(1+0.15+Crit Severity+Attribute Bonus+Companions+Stat Bonus+0.1(0.15+Attribute Bonus+Stat Bonuses+Companions)). Now, with potions, boons, vorpal enchantment, and companion, my crit severity runs about 150%. For this exercise, let’s assume lashing blade’s base damage is 20,000, we have a charisma of 15, and a combat advantage bonus of 9%.
Total Damage (critical strike) with Combat Advantage= 20,000 *(1+.15+1.5+.05+0+.09 +.01(0.15+.05+.09+0)) = 20,000 (2.79 + .1(.29)) = 20,000 * 2.82 = 56,400 + 5% from offhand weapon artifact power = 59,220
Total Damage (Critical Strike) without Combat advantage = 20,000 * (1+ 1.5) = 50,000.
That’s about 20% more damage on every hit, and, by the time your Infiltrator’s Action wears off, you are ready to pop another daily, so it stays up pretty much all the time.
Now back to Lostmauth: Lurker’s Assault gives you +30% damage and invisible infiltrator gives you another 20% damage. That’s +50%. Then you can immediately add +7%(earth archon) and +6% (air archon) +4% (siege master), +5% (offhand weapon power) and +6% (endless assault). So we are up to +78%. You now add 25% for Back Alley Tactics and +5% for vicious pursuit which brings you to 108% more damage. Yup, the wheel of elements is still going, so that’s another 30% which brings you to +138%. This is flat damage increase, not just when you crit. Add to that +100% power rating from Shadowborn (110% if you pop ITC). You also automatically crit from stealth and with 150% crit severity on top of all of that, we are dealing in some major pain with lashing blade. Then you start in with your duelist flurry. Your life steal insures that you still are getting the damage boost from your Earth Elemental. Six seconds after the first Dazing Strike, your Shadows of Demise procs. That’s 50% of all the damage you just did as piercing damage. Your stealth will come back after one run with duelist flurry, and you can pop stealth again for another increase in damage like lashing blade, and hit him with another Dazing Strike. This time, although you haven’t had time to get your Lashing Blade back, you are getting bleed ticks from your Duellist Flurry.
By myself, hitting on all cylinders (without super party buffs), Shadow of Demise will proc for 1.5 million damage. That means I’m dealing over 3 million damage in six seconds before SoD. That’s 4.5 million in 6 seconds. Take that people who don’t believe TRs have burst damage!
Don’t forget about Impossible to Catch! Once you commit with your lashing blade, you don’t want any interruptions until Shadow of Demise procs. Once Lostmauth’s health gets below 70%, we add another 25% damage from last moments and another +25% when he gets down to 30%. Also, by the time he is down to 50% health we are getting another +10% from the Orcus set which will just get more powerful as Lostmauth’s health dwindle. So, after he comes back from throwing rocks at you, you can repeat the whole cycle for even more damage. This also adds damage to all of your bleed ticks you are getting from duelist flurry. By the end of the battle, my bleed ticks are hitting for over 400,000 a tick. We’re talking over 200% damage bonus once he’s below 30%. If you are lucky enough to run with some buffing characters, get ready to proc Shadows of Demise for a lot more, but he’ll probably die before you can proc it if he’s down to 30% health. “Ouch ouch ouch”, says Lostmauth.
Now, he doesn’t have to worry about triglycerides! You’re welcome.
(Copied from my TR Tactics blog post)
Here are my disclaimers:
1) An awful lot of how the rotation works depends on your style of play. I have a friend in my guild who play a sabo build that is just as effective in his hands (in most situations DPSwise), as my build. Sometimes, even more effective! I tried it and just couldn’t get it to work for me. Likewise, he tried my build, and it just didn’t suit him. There is more than one right way to do this, and another rotation may work better. There are better players than me out there!
2) It’s practically impossible to put every scenario down here. This is a starting point, and when you work out something that is better, let me know!
3) It’s easy to get distracted by going for that top paingiver position at the end of a run. Try to keep in mind that it doesn’t really matter if you are the top damage dealer, if the run fails. And, just because you are the top damage dealer, doesn’t mean you have done your best to help the group.
“Thank God… Paingiver again!”
Situation 1, Close together mob: This is like the zombies in CN. I drop ITC on this and run Dazing Strike, Smoke Bomb, and Lashing Blade for my encounters. I sometimes run with the wheel, but mostly, the DC Sigil. Running into this one, you have a bunch of zombies to deal with. Assuming your daily is up, I usually use cloud of Steel or a doohickey to proc my bondings and brutality rings. As I get into range, I’ll stealth, jump in the middle, and use Whirlwind of blades (super 12 second power buff) I then immediately move to the most advantageous position to hit the biggest number of monsters with my dazing strike. Then, I’ll use smokebomb. If I have the DC Sigil, I’ll pop it (proccing Artificer’s persuasion giving me tons of recovery and other stuff from my buffed power for 10 seconds), hit one zombie with lashing blade (picking one with more health), and hit another with sly flourish. By the end, my dazing strike and stealth are back and I can stealth> dazing strike any that are left, but most of the time they are gone.
The advantage of this rotation is that it is fast. If you are competing with CWs and GWFs, it needs to be fast for you to not get left in the dust. You want to use it on fresh groups to maximize your damage, so if you see your CW or GWF already dropping the hammer on one group, you are better off running to the next. But, be careful, because if you aren’t careful, you’ll become a zombie snack. Not to mention, you’ll be the guy who runs ahead of everyone and gets killed. No one likes that guy. If you find yourself dying a lot, swap out lashing blade for ITC. It can still be useful. Really. In that case, I would pop ITC before stealth>whirlwind, and proc the buff on the new weapons (+10% more damage) as well as press the advantage (+10% more power). ITC should last long enough for you to get through smoke bomb, where your primary defense against the mob will be control.
If you have been damaging a mob and you get your daily back, don’t pop whirlwind just to finish it off. The advantage that whirlwind gives you is the power buff which lasts for 12 seconds. If you kill everything with WW, you don’t have any enemies to hit with the power buff. Just save it for the next group.
Also, it should be noted that you could swap Lashing Blade for Blade Flurry or maybe Wicked Reminder, and maybe get a little more DPS against these mobs, but I like to have LB for that one big focused attack you can use when, as in the case of Castle Never, a more powerful enemy shows up. That way you can be sure to proc Shadows of Demise against it. Also, I hate hate hate changing out powers in the middle of a fight.
Senario 2 Powerful Mobs: This is like the Giants on your way up the mountain on Fand Breaker Island. I run the exact same setup as Scenario 1, except I always run the wheels of elements for the extra DPS. Depending on the ability of the tank you are with, you may have to slot ITC instead of Lashing Blade. Those Giants hit hard! The reason I take LB out instead of Dazing Strike is that often, DS will hit more than one Giant and the cool down is roughly half the time of LB.
The biggest disadvantage we have in out DPS verses other classes is situations like this. Having to deal with powerful mobs that aren’t in range makes you want to go full single target, but it can kill you if you ignore the mobs or other giants. So, we gotta pick. I picked the mob set up because I find it is more helpful for the party to have that extra bit of stun our SB and DS gives. If the rest of the party is mob/control damage heavy, I’d be tempted to go full single target DPS. You probably won’t be able to keep up with them on your DPS in either case, but if your goal is to compete in DPS, you should try to stay as close as you can and make up the difference at the bosses where this build shines. That being said, the approach to FBI is one of those places where it can be very good for the whole party to switch to a support role/ DPS. More on that later.
Scenario 3, Spread out Mobs: If what you are facing is smaller, less powerful groups that are spread out, I’d be tempted to go with blade flurry/smoke bomb/dazing strike. Blade flurry comes back fast, so when one mob is dead, you can very quickly start damaging the next. In this situation, it is very important to have a high critical chance, because you’ll be moving fast and your stealth won’t be able to catch up before you are onto your next group. I’d save my stealth for the dazing strike attacks so you can maximize your group damage.
Scenario 4, Bosses: This is where this build can perform very well. I always slot dazing strike, and Lashing Blade. If I am fighting a boss with tons of knock downs or AOEs (Lostmauth or MSVA for example), I will slot ITC. You can use it effectively to proc the new weapon bonus, and the Press the Advantage power buff, on top of the automatic deflect and control resist. In the case of MSVA, usually your clerics have your cool downs so low that you can keep it up most of the time. That comes in especially handy with those damn AOEs that people don’t bother to leave the group for when they are targeted.
All other bosses, I’ll slot either smoke bomb or wicked reminder. I generally prefer smoke bomb because it isn’t as disruptive to my duellist flurries in my rotation. Remember that most of our damage on bosses comes from duellist flurry. If I’m sacrificing DFs for WRs, I’m probably not maximizing my DPS.
For my daily, I’ll use Lurker’s Assault unless there are adds around, then it’s Whirlwind.
I proc bondings and brutality rings with a doohickey, pop my wheel of elements, run in, sly flourish, smoke bomb (or ITC) > stealth > Dazing Strike > Lurker’s Assault > Lashing blade > duellist flurry >stealth >dazing strike , etc.
If your stealth isn’t back quite yet, I’d do another round of sly flourish.
If your daily comes back and you have only 10 seconds left on your wheel cooldown, I’d wait for it to maximize the burst.
I would use ITC as much as possible if it is slotted, and worry mainly about fitting it seamlessly into my rotation in between powers and worry less about trying to pop it only when the boss looks like he’s about to squash you.
If my daily isn’t up, I run through a little different rotation: sly flourish > smoke bomb (or ITC) > stealth > lashing blade > dazing strike > duellist flurry. The reason I switch up lashing blade for dazing strike is because, even at 95% crit, there is a chance you won’t crit with that next attack without stealth, so you want to be sure to crit with your strongest attack. You get the advantage of the sly flourish debuff, the ticks off of smoke bomb count towards your Shadows of Demise, and you can get some good damage in, even without your daily.
If you are fortunate enough to have a legendary mount and the Cavalry’s warning mount insignia power, I wouldn’t pop it at the same time as your wheel. I pop it when my wheel cooldown gets half way. That way, I have my buffs going at different times and don’t put all my eggs in one basket in case of interruption.
Here is a problem I run into occasionally at Orcus and against the Demogorgan: I’m doing a ton of damage and, because of life steal, I’m healing a lot. Suddenly, I agro the boss. It’s not good in any case, but with Demo, you have a chance to survive if it’s at the very end. Not so much, with Orcus. If he hits you, you fall. Both will turn towards you before they wack you, so you have a chance, if you are watching for it, to dodge out of the way. With Orcus, you just gotta wait until the tank gets the agro back again., then go to town. At any rate, dodge becomes your best friend when you become the target.
Scenario 5 Support/DPS: Usually, everyone can handle the mobs. Nearly every class has something they can do to damage/control mobs. But, bosses are another matter. I can carry any group through Lostmauth. Even if they all die in one hit a piece, I can still carry them. But, that won’t work for us in all dungeons. Places like FBI or MSVA require a certain amount of synergy to help everyone (including yourself) to complete the dungeon. This requires some flexibility.
If the party has a tank that is having a hard time surviving, I slot Courage Breaker to help reduce the damage the boss is doing. If you have multiple rogues, this can be especially effective. And, although you are giving up a bit of DPS, you can still do hella damage if you have proper buffers in your group. I ran a MSVA the other day and procced Shadows of Demise for over 3 million damage using Courage Breaker. That means in 6 seconds, I did over 9 million damage. Not too shabby!
If the party doesn’t quite have the DPS to take the boss down before the party gets killed, take smoke bomb or Lashing Blade out and replace it with Wicked Reminder. That helps everyone’s DPS. This is also particularly useful against bosses with tons of HP, or very powerful mobs, like the approach to FBI.
Check out my Blog post HERE for how to use Whirlwind of Blades to Power Stack your Power.
Check out my Blog post HERE for more detailed information on Lurker’s Assault Vs. Whirlwind of Blades, how they work and which is better in what situation.
Here is my Blog post about how the recent change to Impossible To Catch has affected my rotations and powers.
Here is the ACT from a random Lostmauth:
That’s it! My build here isn’t perfect and my writing skills are even less desirable. There is more than one way to build a great TR (I know, I know, even now). I will strive to keep this updated. Please share and feel free to comment with suggestions or improvements I can make! And, if you didn’t know, my blog is HERE. Feel free to visit, ask questions, and share with all your friends and enemies.