TR Tactics

@Rustlord, over on the official forums, made a very good point.  That is, that the numbers are good to know, but the application of my build in real situations is, perhaps, even more important.  This is a valid point and deserves a little more attention than just one rotation for bosses and another for mobs.

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.

This isn’t perfect, by any means, and you may have better rotations that are more effective than what I use.  Please share!  Like I said, there is more one path up the TR mountain.




Enchantments 101

So, this subject has been beaten to death all over the place, but not always explained very well.  So, here is my stab at it:

Part of gearing up your character is deciding on which enchantments to use and upgrading those enchantments.  If you are gearing up, and are looking for, say, life steal, a lot of the time you are going to grab that dark and put it on your companion with bondings.  Let’s say you want to maximize your deflect as well.  So, you put silvery enchantments in all your defense slots on your character.

I used to do this, BTW, and it isn’t a terrible way to go.  But, when you get to the end game, you really should take a look at enchantments that give you 2 (or three) stats.  The total number of stats you get on enchantments with one stat, is 700.  On 2 stat enchantments, 840.  3 stats, 920.  Well, you say, that’s great, but I really need life steal more than deflect, and if I swap out my darks for double stat enchantments, like vicious enchantments (life steal + deflect), I may be getting more stat numbers, but I’m getting 280 less life steal on my bondings per enchantment.  Well, yes, but take a closer look.

We’ll use an example on my character.  I have 2 defense slots on my bonding companion, and 4 defense slots on my character.  If we have 2 rank 12 darks on my companion with rank 12 bondings, I get 300% of those enchantments, or 4200 (1400 * 3) life steal.  On my character, with rank 12 silveries, I get 2800 (700 * 4) deflect.

Now, let’s see what happens if we swap all of them out with rank 12 vicious enchantments (420 deflect + 420 life steal).

For life steal, we get 2520 (840 *3) from my companion with bondings, and an additional 1680 (420 * 4) from the defense slots on my character.  That gives me a total of 4200 life steal which is identical to what I was getting from the darks on my companion with bondings.

For deflect, however, we get a lot more.  The math is identical to what I just did for life steal, so we end up with 4200 deflect as well.  That is 1400 more deflect than we had before, so it’s a definite advantage over the single stat enchantments I was using.

Now, you look at frost goblins like:


Well, it’s actually 3.5% more deflect, but you get the idea.

This principle works for you well with other stats as well.  For example, if you are fortunate enough to be in a guild that gives you an extra 8000 power as a boon, you can probable replace all those radiants you’ve been carrying around for something like  cruel enchantments (power + recovery), and give a significant boost to your recovery.  Or, if your crit is low, go with brutals (power + crit).  Or, even better, go with Black Ice enchantments, which at rank 12 gives 460 power, 230 crit, and 230 recovery.

I hope this helps some of the newer players understand why the double stat enchantments are better than single stat enchantments, and why everyone says so.

Dr. Nerflove, or How I learned to stop worrying about ITC

So, I’ve been playing the last several weeks without using ITC since it’s abrupt change.  For what it’s worth, the devs are still scratching their heads, apparently, and trying to figure out what to do.  The patch notes clearly state what they were doing, but they say it was completely unintentional.


So, who knows when or if they will change it back.  We have, as I mentioned before, two options: 1) learn to use it in a more limited fashion in between powers, or 2) scrap it altogether and put another power in it’s place.

Here is what I discovered:

1) I didn’t die nearly as much as I thought I would.  TRs have a great dodge, 75% deflect severity, and, honestly, I found I actually died quite often thinking ITC would protect me.  If you are gonna be one shot killed, usually the damage is so extreme that, even with 75% deflect severity, you’re still gonna take way more damage than you have hit points.



It is still good for knock downs, and control stuff, though, (if you aren’t using any other powers at the time).

2) The bonus power from ITC is nice and can be used to give a pretty good extra buff to your damage, but having another encounter is even better.  We are a DPS class.  Drop ITC and increase your DPS.

3) If you relied on ITC to survive, you’ll have to pay closer attention.  If the game is laggy or you are having graphics problems, (like me…thanks nvidia), when those things happen, it is more devastating than when we had ITC.  Watch for red, and dodge when you need to dodge.


Dodge now.

If you are leveling, or gearing up, you can still use it, if it helps.  But, watch out for relying on it too much, because eventually, when you reach the end game and are trying to squeeze every bit of damage you can out of your TR, you’ll have to drop it.

Here’s positive takeaway:  it sucks, yes, but not nearly as bad as I expected it to.  Give it a shot.  I took Press the Advantage off and gave myself the extra deflect from that tree.  It works just fine.

And, hey, maybe the devs will fix their “unintentional” mistake…


Addendum:  In several situations, ITC is still very helpful.  For example, the new Master level of SVA.  Because of the necessary party make up, if you have good recovery and run ITC, it will be up 80% of the time.  That comes in very very handy when people get targeted with the aoe and don’t run away from the group 😵.  Even with easier dungeons like Lostmauth, ITC can be extremely handy for dealing with all the stuff that can knock you around and interrupt your rotation.  In other words, it isn’t useless, and can be quite useful, but most of the time, I run something else in that slot.

Whirlwind of Blades vs Lurker’s Assault (edited 12-2-16)

I got a couple of questions on why I didn’t recommend Whirlwind of blades instead of Lurker’s Assault on groups of less than 3 enemies.  After all, if you get two hits with Whirlwind and your power is 50,000, then it adds 20,000 power to you which is more than the 30% LA gives you.  Right?

Well, it’s not so simple, as I discovered.  First of all, boosting your (already) boosted power by 40% does not equate to a 40% boost in damage.

Normally, you can use this equation to figure out the effectiveness of WoB:

((1+(x*1.4))/40000) / (1+(x/40000)) *100 = effectiveness

Where x= your buffed power, and 1.4 is the buff from WoB for hitting two targets

So, if you had a base power of 50000, the effectiveness would be 122.22%.  So, in that case, with a 22.22% boost in DPS, it is not as effective as Lurker’s Assault, which gives a 30% boost.

However, after doing some testing, I found that Whirlwind of Blades was actually less effective than that.  When I looked at the hard numbers from my testing, I found that Whirlwind was just barely more effective than Lurker’s when hitting 4 targets.  In my test, it amounted to a 2% difference.  So, what’s going on here?

The fly in the ointment is the Shadowborn feat.  It adds your base power to the next attack from stealth, except in the case of whirlwind, it adds that power for the length of the buff from whirlwind.  But, since it is still buffing your power in both attacks, we have to account for it.

So here is how it breaks down for three targets. It’s gonna be a little math, so bear with me.


So, is this meme wrong because we aren’t using those equations or because it isn’t real life?  I need a drink…

Here is our equation from before, but for three targets this time:

(1+(( x*1.6)/40000)) / (1+(x/40000))*100= Effectiveness

Because Shadowborn procs independently of whirlwind, and because, combined with whirlwind, it lasts the full 10 12 seconds with the whirlwind buff, we have to add to the equation another variable:

(1+(z+(x*1.6))/40000) / (1+((x+z)/40000)) *100 = Effectiveness

z = your base power added because of Shadowborn.
x = your buffed power (not including Shadowborn)

If we further refine our equation, and separate our power into power from buffs and from base power, we can compare effectiveness between the two like this:

{1+([(z + x) * ((0.2*n)+1)]+ z) / 40000)} / {1+[(z*2 + x)/40000]}= effectiveness

n=number of WW hits
z= base power
q= all other power buffs

Any effectiveness over 1.3 (30%) means WW is better than LA.

Assuming we hit 3 things, 20k base, and 30k power from buffs, we get 1.27 or 27%

For 4 things, we get 1.36 or 36%

However, when we compare the other 12 seconds, after the initial attack, with 3 hits and the same power we get:

{1+([(z+ q) * ((0.2*n)+1)]+ z) / 40000)} / {1+[(z+q)/40000]}

Which equals 1.55 or 55%
For 4 hits it would be 66%


The Lurker’s Assault buff lasts 10 seconds and the Shadowborn power buff will only proc for one or maybe two attacks in that period.  Whereas the WoB attack procs Shadowborn for the entire 12 seconds.  That makes WoB definately better at 4 or more hits, and marginally better at 3 hits.

Hope this helps, and much thanks to Janne (again) for helping to work through this!

Defensive Stats Redux, and ITC is Playing with my emotions…

Okay, so here’s the thing:  ITC was my 1st line get out of jail free/don’t interrupt my rotation, defensive power.  The minute I see red at my feet, I pop that sucker and continue while death rains all around.  That was before 10.5 dropped and it was changed.  The big strength of ITC, was that you could pop it anytime.  In the middle of a Duellist Flurry?  No problem!  Oh, you’ve frozen me? Nope.  Death imminent?  I don’t think so.  And, not only did you not die, but you got a 10% boost to your power, as well!

It basically turned a kick in the nuts into cake.


Well, since 10.5 dropped, ITC can’t be popped anytime anymore.  It works just like any other encounter power, which means that you can’t be doing anything else when you pop it.  If you are in the middle of a Duellist Flurry and try to use it, you won’t be getting the cake.  You’ll be getting the crotch kick.

So, we have two choices at this point.  We either 1) continue to use ITC, and work it into the rotation for the power gain, while trying to use it preemptively or hope we get lucky and the red splat zone happens in between our powers, or we 2) drop it completely, drop Press the Advantage, add another encounter power for additional DPS and alter our defensive stats somewhat.  We’ll also have to dodge a bunch more.

On Defensive Stats:  

So, Janne set me straight on this and I will be changing my build accordingly.  Hit points are definately good, but what I failed to take into consideration, was that we start out with something like 25% deflect chance out of the gate from our stats.  That skews the effectiveness of deflect up.  The defense stat is skewed downwards because most enemies we face have a 15% resistance ignored themselves.  So, here is the graph, kindly provided by Janne, and thank you again!


If this is just to tiny to read, you can find it here:

So, to sum up, when figuring out which defensive stats to beef up on your TR, HP is better than Defense.  But, Deflect is better than HP.  I would say that life steal up to about 20% is most important, then focus on deflect.

Right now, I am going to try dropping ITC and Press the Advantage, swapping out another DPS encounter, beefing up my deflect, and seeing how it goes this week.  If it goes well, I’ll update the build accordingly.  If it goes poorly…


In other news, last night, I opened a glorious resurgence box with a VIP key and got a legendary pack (!!!!).  So, I finally got my Black Ice Warhorse!


TR Power Stacking (Edited 11-24)


There is a lot of confusion as to the efficacy of several of the feats and powers I chose to use in this build, so I’m going to try to clear up some of the confusion regarding how to effectively use Impossible to Catch (press the advantage), Whirlwind of Blades, and the Shadowborn feat to buff your power to great heights against groups of 5 or more.

When you run this rotation, your Character, more or less, looks like this:


Only, you know, with daggers.  The tiny head can be intimidating.

There are a couple of points we have to get through, though, to understand how this rotation works optimally.

1) the Shadowborn feat increases your BASE power by 100%, not your power after it’s been buffed by bondings, brutal rings, etc.

2) The Press the Advantage feat buffs your BUFFED power by 10% when you use ITC.

3) Whirlwind of Blades increases your BUFFED power by 100% (assuming you hit 5 targets) and keeps that power for 10 seconds (even if, like Press the Advantage, the original buff goes away when ITC stops.  However, with Shadowborn, it also keeps the original Shadowborn buff alive for that 10 seconds, as well.  However, the Shadowborn buff is not doubled with the rest of your buffs.

4) If you use Impossible to Catch in stealth, you will kill the Shadowborn buff.  I guess it counts as an “attack”, so it procs Shadowborn, even though ITC doesn’t do any damage itself.

The Maths:


Let’s assume a base power of 30,000, and buffs from bondings, rings, etc, of 20,000.

You are running through Castle Never and are facing a bunch of zombies.

Starting power= 30,000

You run into combat proccing your bondings, etc. (+20,000 power)

Power= 50,000

The first thing you do is stealth (+base power= +30,000 power),

Power= 80,000

run into the middle of them and pop your Whirlwind of blades (buffed power * 2+ Shadowborn = 50,000 * 2 + 80,000)

Power= 130,000 (this power lasts for 10 seconds)

You immediately use dazing strike to take advantage of the stealth (for a bunch of damage in a cone) and then use Impossible to Catch to keep the zombies you just hit from killing you and proc Press the advantage (+buffed power *10%= +13,000, which lasts only as long as ITC or about 5 seconds)

Power= 146,000

I then, typically, use Smoke Bomb, which at 90% crit rate, will mostly crit even out of stealth, as well as provide some control.  Of course, all of this doesn’t include the various damage buffs, combat advantage damage, crit severity, etc, which you can read about in my build.


Like this, but in, like, two hits.

Here’s a helpful picture of my power.  This is by myself.


Note:  if you hit 4 enemies with whirlwind, the end power (in this example) drops to 132,000.  Three goes to 121,000.  Two, 110,000.  Personally, I wouldn’t use this rotation on groups smaller than 3.  Even with three, it is a toss up between whirlwind and Lurker’s Assault.

With this rotation against mobs, it is often better to run with the DC Sigil to get your daily back asap.  You can rinse and repeat this devastating attack every time your daily comes back.  It also becomes very handy against very powerful mobs like those found in Fangbreaker’s Island.

Now, TRs, go out there and represent!


Strength Vs. Charisma

So, there has been some debate about this and I was right initially, but changed it, then after @Mick1p00 put the numbers down, I switched it back.  Here is his post, which I’m not going to try to improve upon.  Thanks again Mick!

About DEX/CHA etc..

The issue with CA, is that it’s added to existing CA and not a multiplicative buff like STR.

(levelbase + weapons_damage) * skill_modifier * power * str_buff * (1 + I[ca]*(ca_stat + ca_base + ca_companions + ca_ability) + I[crit]*crit_severity )

So to put some numbers, lets start with no bonuses, assume 100 base damage (and no skill modifier and power, not relevant for this), and CA:

base is 15%, stat is about 9%, companions 0, ability 0, and no crit.

100 * (1 + 0.15 + 0.09) = 124

Now with cha at 25, we get 15% more CA:

100 * (1 + 0.15 + 0.09 + 0.15) = 139

This is 12% increase in damage over the former.

Lets see STR instead, again 15 points over 10 (25 total):

100 * 1.15 * (1 + 0.15 + 0.09) = 142.6

And we get as expected 15% over no bonus.

The bigger problem starts when we look at it together with crit, at this crit severity and CA added:

So lets assume 150% severity:

100 * (1 + 0.15 + 0.09 + 1.5) = 274

With CHA:

100 * (1 + 0.15 + 0.09 + 0.15 + 1.5) = 289

5.4% damage increase from the 15 cha points.

And instead STR:

100 * 1.15* (1 + 0.15 + 0.09 + 1.5) = 315.1
(Same 15% increase over the without bonus number)

So baring mistakes and etc… STR is always significantly better than CHA.
Even assuming 100% CA uptime.

Feedback Updates

Thanks to everyone who has offered me feedback.  You all are great!!!  I’ve already started tweaking my build and the first changes I am making are to the Stats and Companions.

I originally said to stack strength, then split Dexterity and Charisma.  Thanks to @izwor for making me run the numbers and finding out that, when  you have combat advantage (95% of the time), the damage you lose from moving a point from strength to charisma is miniscule, and with Charisma, you gain a nice deflect bonus.  I still recommend Dexterity for the added Crit which is necessary, but moving 5 points from Strength to Charisma won’t change my damage noticeably, and give me +5% Deflect.  Thanks!

Thanks to @archangelzorak01 for telling me that you run the Wild Hunt Rider all the time instead of the Siege Master.  I am guilty, sometimes, of chasing flat damage bonuses and this was one of those cases.  After dropping the siege master, I did not notice a drop in DPS, but I did notice a significant increase, when the Wild Hunt Rider was procing.  Go Wild Hunt Rider, unless you are doing DF runs.  Then switch it to the Siege Master.

More tweaks will be coming!  I have more to test…  Thanks again for all the feedback!