Fire Strike vs Cadence // Elemental vs Physical

Recently I experimented with a Commando build around the use of a shield and retaliation and near immortality. While killing goes slow, I don’t have a problem with getting around.

Currently my build is around physical and piercing damage, using cadence in addition to the retaliation damage (which is mainly piercing).

RP wise I would prefer this to be more towards fire and lightning, but while trying this out I felt my dps dropped massively (I consider not having the proper gear for the elemental build to be a prime cause).

Are both viable? If so, what are items to look for that complement either build?

This site will help you with determining what gear is available.

I’m not sure if you can make a viable DPS/Retaliation build, but I’ve wanted to use some of the retaliation gear I’ve collected for so long.


Both are viable.

Since in one of previous patches cadence got a insane buff (500% weapon damage, huge amount of flat physical damage from deadly momentum, etc) cadence now is best phys. damage dealer. Mixing cadence and Oleron’s wrath you got fast & simple way to destroy everything who dare to stand your way.

Fire strike is also very strong cause that skill also got a huge amount of “raw” flat fire damage.

In any case regardless of what you want to use you must think about resist reduction.

In the current Physical build I use Break Morale to bring down Physical Resistance.

Bringing down elemental/fire resistance down is more difficult.

Blackwater Cocktail would be an option. Downside however is that in the current build I have only spent 32 points in Demolition - the resistance debuff requires 8 more, + a minimum of 13 to get the skill (maxed). 21 skill points I could spent elsewhere. Finally a note is that it doesn’t really fit the current Paladin theme I got going.

Other sources of relevant damage reduction could come from:
Assassins Blade: Physical/Pierce for the Physical themed build


Soleal’s Witchblade / Rhowan’s Crown. Downside is that both include magic schools I am not using (Chaos, Frost), which is okay, but more challenging is that I do not have the constellation points for it.

A challenge here:
Currently I have the following constellations maxed:
Messenger of War
Ulo (the keeper of the water)
Solemn Watcher
Obelisk of Menhir
Light of Empyrion

Leaving me with 1 spare point that I currently have in the tree of life for 5% hp (could also have gone for one of the two crossroads).

In the current game I do not see any way to include one of the 3 afford mentioned resistance reductions. One option would be to trade in Obelisk of Menhir for Asssins blade should things become unkillable otherwise in the future (so far Break Morale does a fine job). But again that does not give a solution for a build with fire/lightning focus.

I was thinking of a combination of either Dawnbreaker (even, ignoring the skills it adds to the Shaman) or Justicar.’s-Beacon’s-Duty’s-Sledge


Only the shoulders would overlap and I will have to chose between the 4 piece set bonus:’s-Shoulderguard

Should I get all these pieces I will most likely be in favour of Dawnbreaker

If you are a commando tank with a shield you have no trouble standing still and should use thermites. And perhaps crown/witchblade too. Thats what I did to recover my versatile commando from vile 1.005 fire strike balancing, among other things.

Another tip if you are building Firestrike that is kind of obvious but may not be readily apparent to newer players (like me!).

Get a weapon that actually does fire damage. Flat fire damage if possible. But overall, I would think that something like Ortus would be BiS for a 1h Firestrike Commando (someone will correct me if I’m wrong).

There’s also Flamebrand and it’s Empowered version. There are a few blue maces that do fire damage too. And don’t ingore scepters - they ain’t just for casters!

If you’re melee or caster or anything but have some decent defenses then you can use Thermite Mines this has nothing to do with using a shield

You’re initial suggestion of using a weapon with flat fire damage is correct. Your second suggestion is wrong, Ortus is good but not BiS for fire melee

Ortus are perfect BUT only in combination with Nex :smiley:

I might be a noob cause i never managed to make it work :undecided:

Nex-Ortus is the one legendary set i can’t make an optimal build around

I even tried pairing the set with Elemental Balance rings.

Not that the build was bad, but something felt off. So i respec’d it

So… what is BiS for fire melee?

Edit: This?