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: http://i.imgur.com/IWbt0C4.png

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!


Updates are in order

Since February, a number of changes to the system and a lot of changes to my build have happened, and I’ve neglected my build published here for far too long.  Also, my son was born in June!  Between him and my 2 year old daughter, finding time to update my build here and play the game has been challenging to say the least.  Looking it over, there are a bunch of things that are just plain wrong, and I’m a little embarrassed to read it!  Sort of like when you watch a movie as a kid and think it’s the best movie ever.  Then, you see it again as an adult…  You still appreciate it for what it meant to you as a kid, but it’s not the marvel of cinimatography you first thought.


Don’t look at me like that, you know I’m right!

Anyway, I’m going to update this build this week if it kills me, (or my wife does).

At The Beginning

So, the question that you may be thinking right now is why start a blog on a Trickster Rogue build when there are so many other builds out there?  The answer could be that I find other builds often ignore the main function of a Rogue, which is single target DPS.  It could be that I’m a narcissist and think my build is just the best build ever.  Maybe, I just want to hook a bunch of TR players so, later, I can ask for money so I can finally retire from the strip club.  The fact is, I just enjoy playing the game, and I have found, through trial and error, a build that is highly effective for PVE and I like to share things that work.  The future retirement from the strip club is just a bonus.


So, getting down to business, why a Trickster Rogue?  Well, TRs take a lot of skill to master and, no matter how good, a well geared Great Weapon Fighter will always out DPS a BIS TR.  That’s what we hear all the time, anyway, and I want you to know that that is pure nonsense.  In fact, it really irritates me.  Every class has it’s job in the party.  The TR’s main function is single target DPS.  The GWF’s main job is to exercise the fingers of button mashers.


Just kidding.

GWFs are like a shotgun blast of DPS to everything.  So, when I say TRs can out DPS GWFs, I mean that, sometimes, we won’t out DPS them against large crowds of monsters, but what we lack there, we make up for at the bosses where we (should) do more damage than any other class, and make bosses die.


“I know there’s a peridot in here somewhere…”

To that end, I’m sharing my build here.  I believe that you can always improve on a build and I absolutely don’t know as much as some players out there.  Take this guide as it was intended, as a helpful tool to help refine and improve PVE TRs.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment!  Take a look and I hope it helps!