Retal Blitz feels horrible to play

I addressed the issue with Mythical Crest of Winter Fortitude in the general 1.1.9.1 discussion thread, but since it wasn’t touched in the patch, I wanted to make a specific thread on it.

Retal Blitz Grimtools Link

Since there are lot of conversions that aren’t shown in Grimtools, it’s best that I explain the numbers through pictures. Also, there’s supposed to be Poison Retaliation as part of Dreeg’s Affliction, but I don’t see any Frostburn or Poison Retaliation on this character?

Retaliation and Blitz stats



120K for Blitz that ignores Armor completely and has a 20% for reset cooldown? Numbers don’t look awful in theory, but I’ve had better numbers on Cadence and you get that every second compared to every 3 seconds. 70K-90K retaliation? I know Retal is being nerfed from its glory days from having 200K retal, so I don’t know what the standard is for Retal. What I want to bring up is just how bad this build feels compared to every other build I’ve played.

First things first, why Witchblade instead of Blademaster? For starters, while Merciless Repertoire provides both Cold Damage and Retaliation damage, there are exactly 0 items that provide Cold bonuses + Merciless Repertoire. The only synergy I was able to find was Retaliation gear with points to Aspect of the Guardian, so I aimed for maximizing Blood of Dreeg for the Acid Retal and Aspect of the Guardian to give my character tankiness and Retaliation damage. You’d think that a character with 40% Physical Resistance + 3,000 Armor would be tanky, right?

WRONG! My main gripe is that the only real options for hybrid Retal play is Blitz itself, the Ramming Speed movement augment, and the granted skill from the relic. There’s very few RATA devotions that aren’t triggered on Block, so there’s little way to get a steady source of damage since there are no weapon components that provide RATA (not that I can spam it anyway considering how pathetic my Energy Regen is). Dreeg’s Affliction is okay, I guess, considering how many projectiles there are, but they’re spaced just far enough that you can easily miss an enemy you’re hoping to kill, and the Piercing damage looks so out of place that it may as well not be there.

So you’re basically cycling through these three abilities, hoping that your Blitz actually hits more than 1 Enemy at a time, and cursing every time someone takes a few steps back, wasting your Blitz entirely. Menhir’s Wall helps a ton with sustain, but since you’re not actually killing anything, enemies are piling on damage and you’re not leeching anything back. Every stun, every trap and petrify just makes it that much more frustrating.

Lastly, anyone who’s designing anything to do with Cold damage has to remember that Kuba exists to make builds like this excruciating. I haven’t fought it, and considering how hard it was to take down Fabius (who at least is balls to the wall attacking to soak up more Retal damage), I really don’t want to.

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fallen kings, dreeg’s wounds?

suppose my main question is, why should retal blitz be a “thing” in the first place, and/or not feel horrible to play, just because there is a single item adding rata to it?

think i’ve asked the question before (iirc i’ve seen others do the same) of asking why there isn’t/wasn’t better synergy for “a” build, when there were mods/transmuters for it. The answer given, as i recall, being something in the line of, “just because something exists doesn’t mean it’s intended to be it’s own or complete thing”

anyways, good post/thoughts :+1:, i don’t really disagree with anything btw

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Did you try to take Hyrian?

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Northern Ram - same type of rune as Fallen Kings, except with Cold damage instead of Aether damage

Retal was given a lot of nerfs throughout the 2 years or so it’s been out, though the problem’s been much worse with Retal to Autoattack (Stoneguard Righteous Fervor + Shattering Smash, Retal BWC, Retal DEE) than Retal to nuke abilities. I also wanted to see how a Blitz build would play, as there are multiple items for Cold Blitz out there. Cold Blitz runs into the same problems any Cold Soldier-base build has: little RR, Blitz being a clunky ability in general, keeping enemies in place for Elemental Storm to hit.

Then there’s the larger issue of non-set Retaliation really not having anything decent in terms of item & devotion support. I’ve thought about Hylian, but the affinity requirements are too hard to get + no flat retal bonuses. You have Autumn Boar, Anvil, & Obelisk all requiring Block, leaving you with Vire’s Fist (which has a nice cooldown, but too small of a raduis) + Shield Wall, which has heavy node requirements and was just nerfed. Affliction is neat and has the most Acid retaliation, but has way too many node requirements + weird Vitality damage which isn’t doing anything since anything Vitality based is using Hungering Void or Abominable Might.

There are three general relics: Citadel, Reckoning, and Avenger, and none of them provide anything that Honor can’t do better. Dreeg’s Affliction is supposed to be the Occultist Retal version of Honor, but it has the weird Piercing damage + no shotgunning ability + easier to miss.

Then there’s the “let’s make Retal Nightblade a thing, but give it absolutely no item bonuses” factor, not to mention that neither Nightblade nor Occultist have supporting RATA skills since DEE no longer has that bonus. All in all, the non-obvious, non-broken retal items are far behind the support other playstyles have.

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but what is wrong with that, my original question still stands
“pure” rata is sorta a niche in itself, requiring some creativity to get going with the “obvious” stuff, which ofc then just compounds automatically with the retal balancing over time

but like you said, cold blitz is already… “something”/it exists, you are then trying to slap niche on niche, expecting somehow better results?
also, no disrespect at all, but who says NB is for retal, in anyway? 1-2 nodes of mild/minor or lets be honest “near non existent” support doesn’t exactly mean it’s tailormade for X/in this case retal, much less then doubly niche stuff (imo)
so like, as i read it, you’re partially expecting “niche on niche + niche” to somehow “perform”, in some way? it just seems weird to me, and almost obvious that it wouldn’t do super well if not being mega creative or potential fantasy green ?

and personally i don’t think it’s fair to use Honor as any example/retort for any retal comparison, as it’s straight up broken, still (which is weird) - i keep saying the nerfs for it are in the wrong place (if intended to be more effective at least)

also, in my humble opinion, when going for cold/fire, Hyrian doesn’t become as expensive, and if “starved” for rata becomes worth it, as it at least still offers 100% retal dmg bonus so it’s not a complete waste, with a proc

again, my main point was that it seems “overestimated” to have any expectations that stuff like this should perform well, or less so; on par with other things, because of the compounded “niche effect” if you will (at least imo)

i’m also personally of the note that retal has fully deserved the “nerfs” it’s gotten over the past 2 years,
feels like there have been a/some agreement that the mechanic was perhaps straight up “broken” in its power (potentially), at least with how much retal love that exists

suppose my thought was in the line of to make cold blitz feel awesome on its own, before even contemplating slapping rata on/expecting the same of a rata version?
anyways, just seem like too easy a sentiment to expect the second a skill has a rata mod that it should suddenly/automatically perform awesome, or even just on par with other previous broken rata skills, no? (just my thought at least)

No, I wasn’t expecting it to “perform.” I was expecting it to be bad, but Zantai has consistently mentioned in his feedback rules that the best way to give good feedback is to actually try to build something and test it out instead of calling the devs nasty names over something one sort of reads in patch notes. So I took the bullet and did the testing. Praise GDStash.

Honor is not broken. Elemental to Physical conversion + Stoneguard RF + Retal Shattering Smash is broken. You don’t see Fire Retal giving anything similar in performance. Even Acid Retaliation would be in a similar floundering place if Sentinel of the Three Set didn’t exist, which does a much better job of Retal because Vire’s Might >>> Blitz simply as an ability to make a build around.

It’s also not out of line to mention that 3 Mythical Relics are providing similar-ish bonuses and none of them have any place in an end-game build because offensive +class bonus relics do the job these relics do much better. It’s not out of line to suggest that Dreeg’s Affliction get buffs, since nobody uses it either since Acid builds either use Oathkeeper class + Meditation relic or Deathstalker for the nice stats + RR.

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i respectfully disagree
it still adds massive amount of rata, still shotguns half a screen, and you can slot it on basically “any” retal build, and the build will be better off for it
there is no other relic, regardless of mastery used, that offensively for raw retal offers the same dmg boost, (despite the potential gains during Cascade downtime) - to the point i deliberately try to slot in one of the other relics
adding it ontop of the other broken things you mentioned just makes it doubly so

lol, then i completely missed your intentions and real point of the thread, and i’m doubly sorry :sweat_smile:
basically makes all my “thoughts” raised completely superfluous and pointless (also even if i wasn’t disagreeing) :joy: :+1:

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Blitz isn’t the only one. I feel like a lot of people have suggested at or hinted for a long time now that certain skill modifiers that add Retaliation to a cooldown skill just don’t add enough when compared to other methods. 1-handed Forcewave via the Pummeler being another major one.

Compare these to other cooldown Retaliation nukes like Aegis of Menhir that can easily push 38% in it’s mastery at a minimum and as high as 70-80% on the right gear with a lower cooldown than Blitz/Forcewave and capability for resets. Grenado as well is capable of 60-66% with a lower cooldown than Blitz, slightly above Forcewave but has a chance for resets with Ulzuin’s Chosen. As mentioned, i don’t even need to speak on skills that are available to all masteries in Vire’s Cascade or to a lesser extent Flame Breath.

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Retal to attack is way more biased to no CD fast hitting skills like DE or RF. Unless your CD skill has big dick retal to attack, a no CD skill with retal to attack will most likely be better.

+1, feels like the RATA could be tripled without bumping it out of mediocre tier. It’s like a perfect storm of bad features:

  • Soldier already has 0 support for cold, occultist only has CoF, and nightblade has little retal damage.
  • None of the other cold-boosting blitz items have any retal synergy.
  • 18% RATA is about 2% over RF with stoneguard, without taking into account the Shattering Smash boost. For comparison to an actual nuke skill, Aegis of Menhir gets 44% with its modifier and 22/12 reprisal. You can get up to 28% more from skill mods, all of which are one gear with strong retal support. All of this is in easily convertible acid, a well supported damage type for oathkeepers.
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Even with 60%+ Retal, I haven’t seen anyone try and make a Retal Grenado work. Heck I made a Grenado Defiler work, but the equipment just isn’t there for Retal Grenado synergy. I know people have tried to make Hellbourne work, but that was with Retal RF gunner and not Grenado. Burning Vengeance Gun is clearly meant for Retal Elementalist, but getting all the necessary points (buffs + Mines + Raging Tempest + Ulzuin’s Chosen) is a challenge without the gearing providing perfect synergy.

Problem is really getting the right skill bonuses, and there’s no chance of messing around current gear which has been around for years.

Looked interesting, so I tried it out in tools to see how it would do in Commando. My opinion from the results. :Weapons and shields are in the back.

  • There are no best relics in Cold Retal. Here, too, i must rely on honor.
  • Not enough conversion from other things to cold air is a loss. Especially physical and lightning. Conversion is essential to build up a flat retaliation value.
  • The item’s skill bonuses are choppy and hard to cap.
  • There are no constellations that support cold air retaliation. (The same can be said for lightning.)
  • I’ll have to test this, but it does not appear to be survivable enough.

There may be others, but that’s all I can think of right now.
I hope adding the Cold Retal Blitz set will be considered! :wink: