Observation about Saboteur gameplay diversity at high power-level

So I was checking all the great builds posted by the community trying to make a collection of builds with as varied gameplays as possible, and I was really surprised and amazed by the sheer quantity of powerful builds. No, there is the neverending question of what is a powerful build, but for the sake of the discussion, I’ll refer to the commonly used tags, [c], meaning (if I’m not mistaken) finishing Crucible 150-170 (with buffs), and [sr], meaning consistant SR 65-65 farming.

For every single classe combination, there was a lot of different playstyles possible, and while yes, some combinations struggle for some gameplay types, there are generally at least some diversity, be it as small as DW melee versus 2H melee.

Well, some classes are not this lucky, and Saboteur especially seems to stand out. The immense majority of builds are…DW melee. Mostly Cold, sometimes Chaos, mostly Fire Strike, sometime piano.

I’ve searched quite a while, and I have find 2 non-DW melee Saboteur build guide, which are very special since it’s a Rimetongue build and a Retal build :

Now, I won’t pretend that I know every single Saboteur build. In fact, if anyone can point me toward another non-DW melee Saboteur build, I’d be very happy.

Even some reknowned “weak” classes have multiple playstyles available at that power-level.
Battlemage has DW Melee, 2H Melee, AAR, even Spellscourge Blade Arc.
Deciever has DW Melee, DW Ranged and Caster.

I’ve check every single class combination, and Saboteur really seems to be the most pigeon-holed. Another outliner is Warder. Despite the class being deemed powerful, it’s mostly flavours of 2H Melee, with some Retal Shield and Retal Caster too. Now the difference is that there are Blade Arc, Cadence, Savagery, Primal Strike, Forcewave builds, and more. So the gameplay difference is there, if small, due to the base skills behaving differently.

Again, it’s just my personal observation, and maybe it’s just that the builders have not discovered some hidden gems among all the possibilities, have not published a guide, or that my observation is biased due to being mainly based on the Build Compendium X. If you happen to know some builds that offer different gamplays for Saboteur in particular, I’d be happy to learn about them.

But yeah, despite Fire Strike being reknowned as being the most powerful auto-attack replacer for ranged, no Ranged Fire Strike builds. Also, conversion seems to strongly favor Fire to Cold, and not Cold to Fire. And despite Nightblade and Demolitionist sharing Pierce damage, I see no piercing builds. :frowning:

What do you say? Is my observation incomplete? Or is Saboteur really in a bad place when in comes to build diversity at high power-level?

I believe caster sabos could be a thing with Harra, I even believe @Crittrain has made a few.

It’s a shame the only one you found is mine (rimetongue) since imo it’s bad, it’s not comfortable to play and not very strong, both because it’s not well made and I’d deem Rimetongue the worst set of the game to a point it can’t even be buffed. Cold grenado has fantastic support and it should be built without that set.

1.1.8 landed a short while ago so we’ve not seen yet what the class can offer.
Anyway, I did saw a crucible run of a pierce Fire Strike sabo, if anyone can find it, that would be great :thinking:


That’s good to know. Cold Grenado seems fun and a nice change of pace from DW melee.

Grenado in general is really fun to play and cold has the prettiest effect. I really look forward to someone putting a build together that isn’t a purifier.

Rimetongue is actually very strong on infiltrators… But cold grenado (and nado in general) is questionable at best. I know it got some much need extra radius and some item buffs in 1.8 so I can’t speak to it’s current efficiency

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Are you looking for Crucible/SR viable builds specifically?

Hm… this reminded me that I have yet to make a Pet Sabo…


@Knife Yes, exactly, I was looking for builds that can do 150-170 (not necessarily sub 7, that’s already quite powerful, imho), and SR 65-66 comfortably.

@Maya No idea how you would make it work, would be awesome indeed. Real pets or Blade Spirits on steroids? ^^

Fake Pets like Blade Spirits are an insult to use for the Fwuffy, so you will never see the Fwuff touch such things (that one Retal Warlord build not counting)

Behold: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/eVLYK59Z

Performance should be similar to this if not better: Bottle Fwuffy - Pet Battlemage

That’s…awesome! And it was super-fast. Do you mind if I add this link to your Bottle Fwuffy Battlemage post, or submit it for the Compendium?

Feel free :3

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