Shooting Fire: A Short Fuse and a Burning Templar
My first proper ‘guide’! This is not a general DPS guide, it is a guide to a specific build that I’ve fallen in love with and that is pretty easy to pick up while doing very respectable damage. The title explains it all, while Ciritty loves Pink I’mall about the FLAMES. (And the bad puns, of course.)
Although this build is not made particularly potent by anything in 1.8 the need for groups to carry a Final/Short Fuse rather than multiple DABS means that this build finally has a real niche in the metagame whereas before it was generally better just to stack more Pistol/Shotgun builds.
This is also the sort of build I wanted to play since I started to play – but the lack of viability of it in the raid combined with its slightly reduced mobility and utility held me away from it. This is a build about Pistols and FIRE – lots of fire (although there should be even more fire, but we’ll get to that!)
The new animation for Fire Manifestation makes this a very satisfying build visually.
This build relies on the standard trick of using Elemental Force to kick out a massive Shootout – although its damage is much more balanced than in a pistol/shotgun build so if you do have to dodge out of a shootout the impact is less severe. The rotation is straight forward – You build, you hit blaze, then you drop a Fire Manifestation and Shootout which both crit on every tick. Rinse, repeat. You are also bringing a massive group buff (+25% damage for the main burn.)
Actives and Passives
Actives: The Business, Blaze, Fire Manifestation, Shootout, Short Fuse, *Do or Die, [1 Utility].
Passives: Elemental Force, Iron Maiden, Lethality, Twist the Knife, Final Fuse, *Probability, [Brawler or Sudden Return]
The build’s main group contribution, other than top-tier (for ranged) damage is Final-Short Fuse. You still have one more Utility slot open which can be used to do several things. For group benefit there are all the great Pistol options: Win Win, Backup Drone, Greater Good. You can also bring Deadly Aim if nobody else in your group is running a Pistol (so, for example, if the tank brings Breaching Shot the other two DPS can then go melee!)
The alternative option is to load more personal damage and the way to do this is the usually-neglected Anima Charge. Although it isn’t quite as good as Lock, Stock and Barrel it still lets you activate it before the fight starts and then you can simply insert a ‘free’ Blaze at the start of your second rotation for a nice bump to your burn-phase damage.
Finally, if you need AOE damage for an encounter then both Wild Fire and Arc Flash could go here. Wild Fire gets bonus points for being flaming awesome but neither are as good as Suppressing Fire or Scattershot sadly.
The real debate here is between Brawler and Sudden Return. Sudden Return will proc almost every second because of the combination of The Business and Fire Manifestation – which gives it very nice sustained damage. Brawler gives worse sustained damage but significantly better burst/burn damage during DABSSF. For short fights (most dungeons) Brawler should be the better choice. Sudden Return excels on fights with lots of adds though – so in Darkness Wars you’ll probably want it.
A further (and naughty) option if you find yourself in a bad group where you are putting out 40%+ of the damage and the fights are taking 40 seconds or more is to take them both and drop Short Fuse. In a good group where fights are below 30 seconds you’ll find that both your personal damage and everyone else’s is higher with Final Fuse.
A lot of eyebrows may be raised by the lack of Highly Strung. The main reason for this is rotation simplicity, but depending on your choice of auxiliary weapons you may be able to go for this (you need to use either Crack+Jones in the Fast Lane or Pop Shot+Rocket Science.) If you do that then a rotation of 3x Builder, Blaze, 2x Builder, Aux, Manifestation, Shootout works. If you can pull that off without your EF counter skipping randomly then congratulations, for me EF inconsistently moved when it shouldn’t. Those two Auxiliary choices are also both quite bad and so taking the 8% Probability instead seems to give better overall results.
Finally, if you know that your group will finish the fight very quickly you can take Seal the Deal instead of Probability. Move the ‘free’ (Anima Charge)Blaze forward into the first rotation and, after having built to 5 and activated buffs, you can go Blaze, (StD) Blaze, Fire Manifestation, (StD) Shootout. The longer the fight goes on the worse this option becomes, and if you are doing much more than two full rotations (and you can skip Fire Manifestation in the second one!) then stick with Probability. If you want to get massive 14s parses though this is the way to do it with the build.
The choice that we should be taking, both in terms of thematics and effectiveness is Scorched Earth which can be used every second rotation (start in the second, straight after your first Shootout.) However, too many bosses have placement issues with automatic targeting of Scorched Earth for this to be a convenient option. You can manually place both though as they have non-instants before them – in relatively stationary fights this is fine, in mobile ones… you’ll have to decide for yourself if it is worth the hassle. It’s worth noting here that ACT does not give you credit for Scorched Earth and so you can add ‘extra credit’ of at least 200dps to whatever it says you scored (it does north of 4k damage every 11 seconds even without buffs!)
If you don’t want to mess around with that there are three good alternatives. Each have their merits in different fights, so decide for yourself when you like them.
Timber is always a solid choice for dps, you can use it in the same places rotation-wise as Scorched Earth and it will give you a very solid hit.
Crack is the selfless choice. With Whiplash and a Binding Signet it will significantly increase group damage while having the Whiplash debuff open for your burn-string of Blaze-Fire Manifestation-Shootout-Blaze is also going to be good for your own numbers in short fights.
Dragon’s Breath is a good in fights where there are lots of adds (but isn’t worth using for pure single target damage due to its long channel.)
Crack+Whiplash and Pop Shot+Rocket Science have already been mentioned. I don’t like them but I mention them here for the sake of completeness.
I don’t want this thread to become an argument about glyph stats. Standard/optimised DPS stats are what you want.
Unfortunately this is a poor build for the raid. Manifestation placement is a huge pain there and the fact you are constantly moving between two buff circles means that I wouldn’t suggest it. Blood/Ele (or even Rifle/Ele) are better choices there if you get Short Fuse duty.