Question on AR Pistol builds

I suspect this is not the ideal combo for dps, but as I slowly accumulate weapons – have blood and shotgun in addition, fist is next for a blood/fist healer build – I find this is the most damaging and survivable for soloing, since it has a good heal with essence grenade.

I started with Schmidy’s builds on Youtube where he advises against the pistol as secondary but I find the use of unload to time out the cooldown on HIgh Explosive Grenade creates a workable rhythm for me.

[quote=“KeeperOfTime, post:2, topic:27174”]
that one single BBQ aoe skill which can also slow down targets does even more dmg than almost anything else. (And it’s almost energy free.)
[/quote] What’s the name of the skill you’'re referring to here? I couldn’t find it on the activities panel.

Any suggestions or criticism would be appreciated, thanks!

Pistoal provides lots of helpful utilities, it can heal, it can stun , it debuffs both target’s damage and defense.
However, from pure damage per second point of view, which is mainly damage skills competence, there are better choices in the market.

After funcom introduced invertors, the element off hand is current meta, as that one single BBQ aoe skill which can also slow down targets does even more dmg than almost anything else. (And it’s almost energy free.)
Before that, shotgun works most well with rifle, as AR is energy hunger while shotgun can provide energy to other weapons. It sustains AR’s nade explosions.

A big problem with pistol offhand is, you can hardly take advantage of pisotal’s mechanic to max out dmg, there are just so much energy you have to shot out when get double red/blue/white as an offhand weapon.

That’s why I chose Unload as one ability, because it seems to both bring up and sustain the double blue and double red chambers, often for more than one round, and at the end of a round with either double I can also fire off Kill Blind and have it get the damage buff too. However the heals I can get off Pistol seem too small to matter, especially compared to the nearly full health bar that comes from essence grenade.

I’m not saying pistol’s an ideal secondary but as I accumulate MoF to purchase additional weapon slots, it seems the best compromise. The next weapon slot is 60K and I can only imagine what the one after that will be. I did not get far with shotgun, which I started out with along with pistols, because the range was so much less than AR and the arbitrary cycling of ammo types seemed too limiting.

I have seen elemental recommended often and plan to add it after fist, if I can ever afford it…

It also matters what specific weapon of that type you are using.
Elemental is recommend mostly because “invertor” reverted the heat mechanics in elemental so that you almost always can max out its dmg mechanic while other elemental weapons other than ice figure are still a bit under performed.

Regarding to main hand rifle, KSR is all about to rain as many nades as possible on target while MIRV and High Yield may need more patients and rotation on offhand weapons.

Well, I personally like the whole Ranged Primary, Melee Secondary thing (or a Shotgun as Secondary, possibly). For me, Pistol Primary with Hammer Secondary is great. It’s the idiot-proof build. It may not be the pinnacle of the DPS mountain, but both weapons basically just do their own thing, have Gimmicks that don’t really require input from you, and, with Pistol, you have energy efficient Attacks that do decent damage that you don’t even have to aim. If anything survives that long enough to get close, you smash them with fast, powerful Hammer attacks.
So, I would switch that Pistol to main, get one with the ‘Energy’ suffix, and pick up a decent 3 Pip Hammer. Or, if you genuinely like the AR, turn it into basically just a Rocket Launcher.

This is the combo I use, again, it’s not the best, but it’s a nice general usage build with lots and lots of flexibility with very little in the way of worry over the assorted Gimmicks.

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I can see how elemental is the way to go for secondary though I find the mechanics intimidating/not intuitive, but guess I’ll have to get over that.

if you genuinely like the AR, turn it into basically just a Rocket Launcher.
When you say that, I take it you mean to put as many grenades as possible in the ability slots, right?

What I’ve got is a high-yield launcher of alacrity, though I find myself regretting not leveling a KSR first, since it must have a phenomenal output.

I also got an Orochi Medical Launcher on a drop that if I ever level it seems like it would be a great heal combo with blood or fist.

Interesting that you have no hammer passives in your build. Not that familiar with it but I’d think there might be some really good ones.

Ele is kinda counter intuitive except for the inverter specificly mentioned.

When you say that, I take it you mean to put as many grenades as possible in the ability slots, right?

No. Only really need incind grenade if you’re DPSing. Means you want to put as many (cooked) grenades on target as you can. HE grenade is actually kinda trash, costs twice incind grenade and does pretty much the same damage. Can’t reliably drop it on CD. Again AR/Ele with an inverter works since you use crystalized flame and blizzard with the inverter whenever you’re at the lowest tier heat and since both are 20 second CDs by the time they come off CD you’re cooled off again.

Its not unusual to see no passives for your offhand in a build unless you use an offhand elite skill.

Thanks both Newbieshoes and Descendant, those are really well worked-out answers in areas where I had the most uncertainty. I’m aware of the need to make separate builds for solo and group. I’ll try the specifics you provide.

One reservation, while it certainly seems incendiary, of which you can get off two or three in the time of one HE, should do more damage, but that hasn’t been my experience. In Kaidan where I am now, a mob is usually vaporized by HE and a champion or scenario boss tends to lose at least half health, and neither is the case with incendiary. I’m using the slow burn passive too, and making sure the ground target is accurately on the opponent – kind of like how the HE more or less targets itself – but the boss damage is light, never more than a sixth of the health and the mobs keep coming so I need to heal with every second or third grenade. I’ve tired it on the training dummies too, and the numbers are similarly low.

I just tried it on the training dummies and Incendiary with the slow burn passive did 7414 damage with a normal hit, while HE did 10,072, so 3 Incendiaries should be better than two HE by about 2100. However, that’s not my experience, not sure why. Will try it further on actual missions and see how the figures come out. More glance maybe? My glance reduction is only 9.8%, though I wonder how that works with these AoE abilities anyway.

In any case, thanks for your time and expertise!

Excellent points, thanks again!

After reading this over and thinking some more I went for a KSR and see that it’s going to change my whole style of play, and the damage can really be piled up. I wonder about getting rid of explosives expert though because then when an attacker knocks me down between when I fire off full auto and trigger the loaded grenade I take the damage. The signet is a must, as is the Boincan device which I have in epic but have not seen legendary.

As far as the Hammer Passives go, at the point where I’m at, I kill most everything at range really fast. The 3-4 shots I get with the Hammer are enough to fill my Rage Meter and give me one good Rage fueled smash. By that point my Pistols have enough energy for me to start using them
at range again. I therefore get much more bang for my buck going all in on Pistols, passives wise.

And, yeah, I meant getting Cooked Grenades onto your target as often as possible, focusing any Passives you do use on your Grenade efficiency rather than your bullet-based abilities.

Hope this helps.

Yes that’s very helpful, thanks!

I just cleaned up a scenario with the Level 1 Superior KSR with ease, that gives me mad trouble when I use my Level 30 Epic High-Yield launcher, the difference being that I can just keep pumping out incendiary grenades one after another. And Descendent was right, there was not much need to heal, and what there was got taken up by the Ground Effect Rounds passive. I’m also looking at anima canister, which I never used before, for tough fights, but that goes against what seems to be the general wisdom of concentrating on damage.

When KeeperOfTime says above, “that one single BBQ aoe skill which can also slow down targets does even more dmg than almost anything else. (And it’s almost energy free.)” what’s the name of the skill you’'re referring to here? I couldn’t find it on the activities panel. Thanks!

KSR just changes your gaming experience with AR, I was going to change weapon before getting mine :slight_smile:

I am going to copy/paste what I told to another poster with similar problems about a scenarios AR/pistol build a few days ago, it should work for you too :

clean state is too good to not use it, heal + cleanse, at least in Castle its golden
same goes for AR healing passive Anima tipped bullets, use it instead then the pistol passives
fullauto is one of the best AoE powers ingame, range and area of effect. It also only uses 3 energy
high explosive grenade is good in scenarios becouse it also stuns, but if you dont have a CD head signet you may be better going with IG
if you still fall short of healing just use the healing basic instead then Placed shot, even at 100% attack you will still heal yourself enough
That said if I remember it correctly (was long ago) I went Leeching Ray, HEG, Clean State, Fullauto, burst fire, dual shot and the cannon as gadget (it will single target interrupt and push away it right at AR range).
IMO for soloing/scenarios dual shot is much better then unload as pistol power, as you want burst and not sustained damage. You will use pistol only to finish off mobs when they get close to you anyway, the biggest part of the job should be done by AR while they are far away.

That was for scenrios/solo, for the dps build absolutely ditch HE and go with IG, add lock&load (you never have enough energy with a KSR) and that leaves you with only 2 active ability free slots. One goes for the pistol power you choose and then you have to decide if you want an elite (trick shot) or one of the best skills ingame Kill Blind (with passive).

I noticed you made some confusion with passives too, you cant go without some mandatory ones like stability and slow burn (if you use IG). Forget the unload passive and the ground healing one, anima tipped bullets is much better. With KSR you should learn to live without explosive expert, at least in the dps build.
The tipycal AR dps passives are : stability, slow burn, secondary explosion, jungle style (only if you have room as its somehow bugged), then one or 2 slots for your secondary weapon passives.

Don’t forget that Incendiary Grenade benefits from the power signet (neck), so when you start leveling it up IG quickly reaches the same damage as HE if not more.
HE ofc benefits from head elite damage signet, and if you have it maxed out is the only case when it may still be worth using HE in a dps build.

Most people use a CD head signet tho, so HE quickly looses its spot on a dps bar. It is still nice in scenarios as with a CD sig you can have it ready at each new spawn and it stuns+debilitate, so if you have a free slot you can still use it there.

Why would any competitive DPS use an elite CD reduction signet ? It’s a huge DPS loss. I guess it doesn’t matter if, as you state, the idea is to remove the elite from your build, but at this point, you’d be just as good without any signet at all.

for a matter of flexibility, not everybody minimaxes only, some people play different roles :slight_smile:
I for one play all the 3 roles and a CD reduction signet helps both when playing tank and healer.
Maybe “most people” is not the right wording

The elemental skill is “crystaillised flame” with passive

Thanks again and always, this is very useful advice! The pistol as secondary seems most useful with Kill Blind and Trick Shot, and all the passives dedicated to the AR.

As I modify the AR build a few questions persist:

  1. Isn’t getting rid of Explosives Expert risky, as it can drop your HP considerably if you’re knocked down or otherwise immobilized with a cooked grenade in place?

  2. No one’s mentioned Anima Canister on AR, though trying it out I find it does the job of healing best of all, basically by turning a cooked Incendiary into an essence grenade that heals you and those around you for a lot. The healing is many times that of any of the others mentioned here. Isn’t this golden for soloing and scenarios?

  3. I’m indecisive about Secondary Explosion. Does the damage it adds make it worth using a passive slot as opposed to buffing secondary or some other AR passive?

  4. Isn’t Burst Fire preferable to Full Auto since it gives twice the chance of loading a grenade? Emergency Loader also boosts this chance and isn’t the key to this build to maximize the output of grenades?

Right now, I’m using for AR actives Placed Shot, Burst Fire, Incendiary and Anima Canister, along with Kill Blind and Trick Shot for pistol.

Passives are Slow Burn, Secondary Explosion, Stability, Emergency Loader (that boosts grenade likelihood to 80% with burst fire) and Explosives Expert.

  1. you will quickly learn how to avoid almost any risk (you can fire the grenade to the ground with ground targeting as last option) and it does little damage anyway
  2. grenade healing is not on demand as you need to proc one first, in most emergency cases you will not have one. There are better healing otpiton for soloing like Clean State and anima tipped bullet passive. If you still fall short of healing you better slot the AR healing basic
  3. it usually does a good 3-4% dps, which is pretty good for a passive. In a dps build it is almost mandatory, for soloing/scenarios you can change it with something you find more usefull
  4. for soloing you should slot them both. Every soloing build should have one AoE power. In scenarios fullauto is most usefull as it lets you tag whole packs of mobs at once before they reach the survivors, its passive is very good too

In your current build there are some flaws : Kill Blind is only good with its passive, you dont have a power for your secondary, healing grenades are for healers (or to top up sustain tanks in high elite tiers), emergency loader is not worth the slot (only works under 85% hp), you still have explosive expert :slight_smile:

lol I just noticed you are that same other poster :stuck_out_tongue:

No problem, I can always stand to be told twice, and thanks!

Okay, so here is the build I will try

AR Active: Placed Shot/Full Auto/Burst Fire/Incendiary Grenade
AR Passive: Slow Burn/Stability/Secondary Explosion/Anima Tipped Bullets

Pistol Active: Clean Slate Trick Shot
Pistol Passive: Rehabilitation

I chose Trick Shot over Kill Blind because Trick Shot seems better independent of its passive.