This crit-based pierce gunfiltrator is a lot of fun; I felt compelled to make a guide . Capable of Monster Totems, Rogue Dungeons and somewhat deep SR (for a new player).
Ranged builds are difficult to make work outside of Fire Strike, even more so in only beginner gear. This build achieves it with high OA, Crit and shotguns galore. The combination of Inquisitor Seal + Blades of Wrath devotion puts out very nice damage (both for AoE and single target), demonstration of the single target carnage: https://clips.twitch.tv/SleepyRealTurnipDoritosChip
Note that Inquisitor Seal only tics once per second so there is only a need to recast it when a hero/boss moves away from the centre, or if you need to pullback. Due to shotguns it is optimal you stand near the edge of the seal.
This build uses Phantasmal Blades (needs to be used every 3 seconds asap), Inquisitor WPS (Chilling Rounds etc.), the Beronath Shard component skill (replaced by Blessed Whetstone for levelling) and Inquisitor Seal for offence.
The Gameplay is a little piano. Whilst it uses guns, damage is highest when close to enemies (Veil of Shadow and Inquisitor Seal (Blades of Wrath) damage). Lay down Inquisitor Seal, cast Horn of Gandarr, Word of Pain for pierce RR, Amarasta Blade Burst and then go to town with Phantasmal Blades and auto-attacks. Seal may need to be re-cast as targets take more shotguns when they are in the centre of the seal. In SR I used one hotbar space for Barrowholm’s Hungerer Oil (This is dropped at endgame for Horn Of Gandarr though).
The Beginner Build: GRIMTOOLS Notes: You could use Horn of Gandarr instead of the 2nd Behead skill for more defence. The gloves are also not necessary (I didn’t have them), but they are powerful.
The Final Build after farming: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YZeB3BXN (Credit to Val for the Amulet + Ring and impressive alternative build for endgame)
SR 50-51 (Not advised for HC as it is not reliable enough)
Pierce Phantasmal Blades takes off later into the game ~lvl 50 so until then we Auto-Attack:
Nightblade: Amarasta’s Blade Burst to rank 8. Rush to 15 in the Mastery for Lethal Assault and put the rest into this.
1 point into Inquisitor and 1 point into Ranged Expertise. DW guns has better synergy with Lethal Assault and ABB than 2H ranged (It can shoot twice in one go).
Max Lethal Assault. Then max Ranged Expertise.
Proceed in Inquisitor whilst putting 1 into Deadly Aim and 2 into Word of Renewal.
Rush to Inquisitor Seal and max it.
Rush to Aura of Conviction and begin to Max
After max Aura of Conviction, 1 into Veil of Shadow and 5 into Night’s Chill. Then max Phantasmal Blades and begin investing in Heart Seeker.
Spec out of ABB and Lethal Assault.
Take Heart Seeker to 10, and max Arcane Empowerment.
Put 1 into Vigor, Steel Resolve, more into Deadly Aim (up to 3). Take Nightblade to 20 for Anatomy of Murder, put 3 in this.
When Living Shadow Devotion is unlocked invest into either Chilling Rounds (if 2H), or Storm Spread (if DW) up to 5.
Otherwise continue with Nightblade mastery, 1 into Nether Edge. Feel free to invest into Steel Resolve, Elemental Awakening or Phantasmal Armor if you need the resistances. Otherwise all the rest into Nightblade mastery bar.
Nightblade to 50 and 1 into Blade Spirit.
If you want to focus on Defence then Max Word of Renewal, put more into Veil of Shadow, 1 into Pneumatic Burst and Max Shadow Dance. Steel Resolve for res. Otherwise take the other offensive choices, Anatomy of Murder, Night’s Chill, Death Sentence, and Deadly Aim.
Finish off whatever remains.
Suggested Levelling Devotion path
Worth noting devotions are very important for damage during levelling. I recommend:
- 1 into blue crossroads
- 5 into Tsunami
- Remove Blue Crossroads
- 3 into Sailor’s Guide (take movement speed)
- 3 into Eel
- 1 into Purple Crossroads
- 5 into Wolverine
- 1 into Yellow Crossroads
- 2 into Lion
- Remove Sailor’s Guide and Eel.
- Last point into Lion.
- 5 into Assassin for Blades of Wrath on Inquisitor Seal
After this I recommend acquiring Hydra by:
- 1 into Red Crossroads
- 5 into Ghoul
- Remove Red Crossroads
- 1 into Green Crossroads
- 5 into Spider
- Remove Green Crossroads
- 6 into Hydra
- 3 into Hawk
- Spec out of Spider
After Hydra I recommend going for Scales of Ulcama. After acquiring the Yellow devotions in the build, you will need to take Panther to unlock it, then after Scales of Ulcama is complete you can spec out of Panther .
Levelling: stats, gear and components
Stats: Cunning is extremely important early on to begin raising crit chance. Only put a max of 5 physique at the start of the game, then ~40 into cunning. After this you will need Physique again for armour upgrades. I recommend no more than ~33 or so Physique during levelling.
Gear: Focus on resistances, attack speed, and armour. In that order. There are no shortcuts to fixing res unfortunately, depends on what you find/craft, try to use efficient armour augments (important overcap are Elemental, Vit and Aether). Around level ~54 it is recommended to hit rank 24 Phantasmal Blades. This has to be done by purchasing a “Heart Seeker” or “Of Piercing Darkness” Gun, reset vendors until you find it (doesn’t very long).
Some nice early affix on gear:
- “of Zeal” belt and amulet
- “of alacrity” on fast weapons and hands
- “of haste” boots
Take a movement rune after Act 1 if you wish.
Useful components: Vicious Spikes x2 (Beronath Shard is endgame only), Chains of Oleron, Scaled Hide x2 (shoulder + Leg), Antivenom Salve (Waist + Feet (if needed)), Silk Swatch on Chest, Restless Remains on Hands, Wardstone x2, Soul Shard x2, Runestone.
Relic: Recommended to use Bone/Ivory/Sacred Talisman by keeping the quest item given by the elder.
Powerful Monster Infrequent: As level ~54 is approached you will want the extra projectile that rank 24 Phantasmal Blades provides. Cronley’s Gang - Murderer drops Murderer Epaulets which provide +3. This also convert some Vit damage from both Phantasmal Blades and Scales devotion power. This enemy will drop level 52 shoulders when the enemy is level 54 or over and can be farmed in the Four Hills (run to Cronley Hideout) and Hannefy Mine. Res Affix ideal, best farmed on high difficulty for higher spawn chances (use Phantasmal Armor for res if necessary).
Endgame weapons + Amulet: Bloodborer and Nightstalker relies on Cult of Bysmiel reputation. The sandclaw slicer, required to craft Bloodborer, drops from Titanovore at high chance on normal difficulty.
Nightblade Belt: Black Legion belts provide +1 all to Nightblade and some Pierce damage. The craft is cheap so try for res affix. When you want more damage or rank 24 PB craft this.
Fettan mask: Only needed at late level when it provides +1 all skills. Acquired in the secret area very close to the Korvan sands rift (at: https://www.grimtools.com/map/markers/chests/11734).
Legion Mark of Blades: This badge is sold by the Black Legion and provides +2 to Phantasmal Blades. Reset Vendor until you get nice res rolls.
Faction choices and gear
Devil’s Crossing sells useful Pierce + OA Augments for Jewellery at Honoured. Or use Res if you want defence.
Side with either Kymon or Death Vigil. Both provide the blueprint for Blessed Whetstone.
Coven provides our great faction body piece. Need revered for the lvl 90 version.
Assist Barrowholm for access to Hungerer Oils.
Malmouth Resistance at revered reputation will provide our Endgame Jewellery Augments and Ring. Make sure you reset Vendors until high rolls are achieved.
Cult of Dreeg provides the other Endgame Ring and requires Honoured to purchase. Reset Vendor until rolls are acquired (especially Elemental res).
Given the free hotbar button available I recommend Hungerer Oil from Barrowholm faction vendor.
Long lasting pots like Royal Jelly Essence also help.
Final Build Explained
ABB and lethal assault is taken only when the waist is acquired as it converts Acid and Cold into Pierce. Ideally you’d acquire decent conversion rolls (~53 or more on both) as the waist is crafted.
Hungerer Oil is no longer used. Horn of Gandarr is used every 5s for damage reduction, and Flacon Swoop is taken instead of Lotus and Jackal.
Elemental Res is a tad low so make sure you roll a high res on the Faction Ring!
For Min-Maxers: I have a personal aversion to Serenity since I have conversion, but this would probably be BiS.
Tips and suggestions
Crafting bonuses can be Angrim for Physique or Armour. Whilst Levelling, Steelcap CC res is another option.
During Levelling you will have low DA and receive Crit damage. For the most part this doesn’t matter too much in the Main Campaign quests. It will matter in Rogue Dungeons, and AoM boss has substantial Crit damage so it hurts. Take care.
Acquiring Relics, Bloodied Crystal, Prismatic Diamond and Shard of Beronath are what may take the longest to acquire (but try for thecomponents sooner than later). Blueprints can be farmed from vendors in the AoM and FG Rogue dungeons, Treasure Troves are good for component blueprints and Monster Totems are worth completing for these too. Just make sure you are careful since you are a glass cannon if you follow this build.
SR 50 is not necessary, and most likely not time efficient (you will have to pull back from time to time). 40-41 may well be be best. Endgame Rune might require SR 50, but it is best to wait until you find more powerful gear if you have troubles with it.
The Shoulder affix is a suggestion only. “Of Amarasta Flurry” is BiS for damage as every stat is very juicy. I would recommend to prioritise getting max phys res roll on all other item and try for Resistances and Health for Shoulder affixes. Then select the most efficient armour augments to finish off res afterwards, typically Elemental, Vit and Aether need to be over the cap by around 30.
Level 65 Coven Faction gear (and other Low armour) can last you until level 90 and beyond. Certain parts of the game with heavy hitting enemies will be difficult, feel free to level to 94 in Steps of Torment or other easier areas.