[1.1.7.2] [Commando] Antiquated Armaments

charwindow
Stats shown with passives and Deadly Momentum active. Sheet DPS is Fire Strike.

Grimtools

Setup I use

Affixes aren’t perfect. I just grabbed what I could use to overcap resists in 1-2 days of farming.

Probably BiS setup

Introduction

To begin with, if anyone reading is looking to seriously play a Valdun build, i would highly recommend you look at a Purifier like @mad_lee’s Top Gun instead of this one.


Well someone has to do it…

So this build was an experiment of sorts. I wanted to see how capable Valdun Commando was and draw attention to it in the community. Commando is hopefully getting buffs to it’s masteries next update and Valdun is one of the few sets to support both Soldier and Demolitionist so I think it’s worth discussing as it’s another avenue for variety in the mastery combo.

Build Concept

  • Fire Strike is our main damage ability. While we could use Cadence, I prefer the consistent damage, stronger compatability with WPS and AoE provided through Brimstone that Fire Strike offers.
  • Cadence is still used as a devotion proccer for Assassin’s Mark (allowing us to put Fire Strike on Azrakaa) and is weaved inbetween for Deadly Momentum - we need the flat damage to keep up with the vast amount Inquisitor provides.
  • Defense comes from Fumble provided by Flashbang, Blast Shield, Serenity and the combination of Scales, Living Shadows and damage for ADCtH.

Abilities

Cadence (Assassin’s Mark): Used to keep Deadly Momentum and Assassin’s Mark up to increase damage.
Fire Strike (Shifting Sands): Our primary damage and AoE skill.
Flashbang: Provides Fumble as a bit of extra defense.

Field Command (Tip the Scales): Provides offensive/defensive ability, armour and attack speed.
Oleron’s Rage: Provides % damage, offensive ability and move speed.
Flame Touched: Provides offensive/defensive ability, flat and % damage.
Vindictive Flame: Provides some total speed.
Whirling Blades: Provides armour.

Resist Reduction

Assassin’s Mark: Reduces enemy Pierce resistance by -32%.
Valdun’s Clip: Reduces enemy resistance by 18 on a shot that fragments and can hit further surrounding enemies.
Scales of Ulcama: Reduces enemy resistance by 25 when we are hit sometimes.
Mark of the Blade: Reduces enemy Pierce resistance by -10%.

In total, this leaves us with -60% or -67% Pierce resistance. This is low and will struggle with Pierce resistant enemies, though the only ones with high resistance to it are Kaisan, superbosses and any human-style enemy that rolls a gear-piece with a high resistance Pierce affix.

Attributes

Enough Spirit to equip our rings/amulet. Enough in Physique to equip our armour (with the Physique equip reduction from Veterancy) and the rest into Cunning for as much additional damage and OA as possible.

Playstyle

Keep up Deadly Momentum. With our high attack speed, this is actually pretty easy to do. Occasionally throw out Flashbang to apply the Fumble and Fire Strike any other time.

That’s it. We have no resist reduction debuffs from our masteries we need to keep up so it’s easy to play. The only other keys you’ll need are for a health potion and movement augment.

Achievements

Lokarr

Final Word

So with all that said, I’d like to once again talk about how Valdun set fits on Commando and how it can be improved with community feedback:

Skill points are tight

There are very few places that I could shave skill points off here. It can just barely fit everything that I really care about sans some luxuries like Military Conditioning or a bit more attack speed from Vindictive Flame etc.

I think this could be improved a little bit if the Valdun set somewhere gave another +1 to Soldier. It’s odd that it provides +2 to Demolitionist, +2 to Inquisitor and just +1 to Soldier. Adding another +1 Soldier to the weapon or amulet wouldn’t be a bad idea. It may even open up some alternate gearing options.

Raw damage could be improved

While Soldier and Demo provide quite a bit in the way of flat damage, Inquisitor provides a competitive amount scattered across Ranged Expertise, Steel Resolve, Aura of Conviction and Arcane Empowerment. For example, compare the sheet DPS my Commando gets with mad_lee’s Top Gun Purifier. The main reason I’m choosing his is that both builds have the same investment in the Fire Strike line. You’ll notice they are fairly close on raw Fire Strike damage. The biggest difference is that Purifier also gets Death Sentence for a significant Pierce damage boost, and this doesn’t even include other boosts like the power behind Inquisitor’s/Jaxxon’s WPS and how they interact with Fire Strike.

Now I’m not asking for Purifier to get nerfs - i think it’s in a good spot. I want Commando to get a damage buff to bridge the gap even just a little that Inquisitor brings to the table.

The obvious suggestion then would be to just give Commando resist reduction to compete but there is no way to do so here without giving it to Purifier as well. Instead, I’d like to see Valdun Commando get the Krieg Arcanist treatment. Let me explain what that means with an image:

krieg
Similar to how the full set bonus for Krieg’s set adds a chunk of damage and another bonus to Reckless Power, I’d like to see something similar done to Oleron’s Rage on Valdun. Tacticians would then also have to choose between Aura of Conviction for the large amount of Physical resistance it provides or whatever additional bonus Oleron’s Rage provides as well.

6 Likes

So in short, it’s a fancy attempt to fill for the lack of RR by introducing a cancer playstyle of keeping Deadly Momentum up while shooting Fire Strike?

1 Like

Normally, I’d agree that trying to weave Cadence into a Fire Strike build is cancer. But it really isn’t here if only because Cadence and Fire Strike are practically the only skills you use. You could quite easily put one on LMB and the other on RMB and play without a problem.

Now how that effects damage and life steal is another question entirely but unless buffs necessitate adding in more skills into the rotation, it’s not as bad as you think.

1 Like

I wonder about that. I mean it wasn’t “that bad” for Savagery-PS too, and for LA, but at least these require only one hit. For Cadence you need to shoot two times, and the buff duration is only 4 seconds. Tbh it’s fairly possible you’d had been doing more damage if you ignored Cadence.

As for the whole making Valdun Commando great without breaking Purifiers I see only one option tbh - Valdun Commando has to use %physical damage, not %pierce. But for that it would need a non-set gun that converts Fire Strike to physical damage and doesn’t have pierce ratio.

Would Brimstone carry the flat from DM tho? Honest question.

Solid suggestions on how to fix Valdun Commando.

AFAIK added fragmentation via a modifier doesn’t carry any specs of the parent skill. Meaning, fragments won’t have neither WD from FS nor flat from FS or static.

Would self-buffing with Cadence just for DM really be a damage buff? @Evil_Baka is it faster with DM then without DM?

@Stupid_Dragon @mad_lee This is what sheet DPS and the damage breakdown looks like without Deadly Momentum active:

firestrikenodm
firestrikenodm_breakdown
Beyond that, i just quickly recorded myself firing at a training dummy with Cadence and tried to analyse how long it takes to fire all 3 shots / trigger Deadly Momentum and it seems to vary around 40-60 frames for me. In-game, it feels like it just takes 1-2 seconds or so.

That said, I wouldn’t be opposed to any buffs that mean Fire Strike can be used on it’s own either but they’d have to be significant. One of the other ideas I had while recording just now would be giving global Chaos->Pierce or Fire->Pierce conversion to Oleron’s Rage as another.

1 Like

+1 to suggested skill mods for oleron’s rage. But what about adding them to field command instead so tactician can benefit aswell and can still use conviction? Afaik valdun tactician also needs a buff, when you compare it to purifier.

2 Likes

If Valdun Tactician needs a buff then I’m all for suggesting they go on Field Command instead :+1:.

Personally, on a Valdun that uses soldier I prefer to use this Mythical Eye instead of the full Valdun set. Give full armor piercing ratio and ele to pierce convert with that belt, and more soldier skill, at the loss of some pierce damage and some speed.