Shotgun (dps) Shortguide


Personally I recommend this way of playing (double barrel+shell salvage) for offhand. Shotgun has the beauty of not needing constant use to give you profit from the weapon mechanic and with the slower energy regain it’s probably way easier to fit in the 8 (actually 10/offhand 9 since reload+shell salvage + reload until you can spend energy again) energy into the bar without losing energy getting over 15 while your other weapon who doesn’t get as much from shell salvages passive gets the better regen rate plus the 5 energy from SS.
Basically every twenty seconds you have lots of energy to throw out.
Never thought that someone would play the same idea main hand but definitly wanna try it. I do have the double barrel for it stored.

For your 5 shell “issue” with full salvo. Ever thought of combining full salvo with opening shot? While not really optimal often it does sync the full salvo and opening shot to one 6 shell combo. Only issue I have with it is that full salvo activates it’s CD after finishing the cast which makes syncing it opening shot+Full salvo impossible and only allows full salvo+opening shot which puts the crit power buff behind the biggest spikedamage you have in shotgun.

All in all I love your post to bits and may use it as inspiration for future build shenanigans. Gotta see if I can’t squeeze out some nice build out of it. Not sure if my blood will suit as a offhand for it or if I have to grind up another offhand.


Yep I think i mentioned that opening shot + full salvo is great for burning that extra shell. Plus it ensures all 5 shots benefit. You are right about the sync up, and it will gradually result in less opening shots to your group, but overall it works out well. Plus people are always happy to have someone running opening shot. Since you are doing full salvo on cooldown for energy regen it makes it easier to throw opening in that rotation. You can also just throw in something like crystalized blaze instead and just use a basic attack.

The build is very tricky to get the hang of because it plays so differently than normal shotgun. It takes a bit to rewire the brain from the power, basic, power rotation. . You have to be watching your energy for both weapons, and planning ahead to make sure you are using shell salvage or full salvo at the right time. If you blow them to close together you can energy starve yourself 10s down the road. 1 or the other every 10s is probably best. Also You never want to use full salvo at 15 energy since it regens for 2 seconds and then takes the 3 energy at the end. Using it at 15 gets you 12. Using it at 12 also gets you 12. Reload puts you at 13 which is enough to fuel the next 3 raging bullets at least. Factor in trying to keep your elemental energy above 5, below 10 so your heat is high and you are using enough attacks to allow for bare minimum shotgun regen while maximizing ability to use voltaic shunt procs is a complicated dance. Furthermore you want to try and use shell salvage at 6 shells, occasionally 4 if you have a lot of procs and end up at say 7 energy and 6 shells. Better to shoot, salvage, reload, and resume shooting than delay.

Your shell usage also changes. You go from DB-DU-DB to DB-DB-DU-DU-DB-DU-DU-DB. Takes longer to build to six stacks, but you don’t waste as many shells maintaining six stacks. If you do it right you get to six with 6 shells (3 shots, reloads 3 shots) then dump 6 shots of DU (3 shots, reload, 3 shots) and then can swap back to DB to refresh. You might even drag that out to DB-DU-DU-DU if you dont mind sitting at 5 stacks for 4s before the refresh. As long as you build to six and make every 4th reload DB you will constantly be between 4-6 stacks ticking with less waste than refreshing to six with your first or second shot, and having 4 DB shells do no extra damage and just refresh the dot.

With the voltaic shunt offhand you always want to have 5 energy for the offhand when that procs, i setup an alert on screen. From there you want to weave in the occasional offhand mjolnir (or something else) for the times when your double barrel energy is low. However the higher your crit gets the longer you can do spamming raging shot. Its not uncommon to do 3 raging shots, reload, do a 4th shot, shell salvage, do a voltaic boosted mjolnir dump, and then do 3 more raging shots.

This also carries over into PVE. HEAT round gets the bonus from using 2 shells on double barrel and destroys groups. Plus 3 raging bullets will kill most things. Opening a fight with a Mjolnir (to start the voltaic shunt timer) followed by 4x16k Raging bullet crits never gets old. Of course with better gear will come bigger numbers, as well as i could slow the passive and hug the boss for more damage. This may synergize well with a hammer offhand for maximum energy dump.


a quickview at Mjolnir (the depth of real usage is beyond simple model)… 3.43CP * 1.24 (average ele bonus for Mjornir, depends on fight) + 1.5CP (for voltaic, up to 2.5CP, depends on fight and gear) gives approx. 5.73CP (it REALLY varies as the damage/skill depends on how often it is used, which depends on fight and gear selection, but this would be close to dummy parse).

Just a note in otherwise non-applicable “math”, because the reality goes beyond this simple comparison.

And ofc. there is the thing with voltaic/mjolnir particularly doesn’t fit blood main because of its 2 slot requirements for offhand.


Ran some quick numbers for a post on reddit, wanted to add them here in case anyone is interested.

Also i am unsure why you mentioned a 2 slot requirement for offhand voltaic + mjolnir. I only use one slot for elemental. Unless you meant both an active and a passive slot, but in regards to blood main ive never can it so i could not give a solid answer.

Fun with fuzzy math:
To throw some numbers into the equation my power attacks hit for about 7k and crit for about 17k. My basic attack hits for about 3.5k Effectively every power attack i do has double the damage of a basic attack, in my gear, currently.

Now lets look at a 20 second rotation with a 1s GCD. Full salvo is going to use 2.5 seconds (effectively 3). 1 of these global cooldowns will be shell salvage. and so far 2 will be reloads. This leaves us with 15 seconds to make attacks. 3 of these attacks will be offhand 5 energy power attacks to maintain energy neutrality (10 energy regen on offhand every 20s. 5 energy from Shell salvage). This puts us at effective 12 global cooldowns for use with shotgun attacks.

Regular shotgun would be 6 Power attacks. 5 basic attacks. 1 reload, and leave us with one shell. Using my numbers that would be 42k in Power attack damage 15.5k in basic attacks. Assume 0 crits for simplicty. This puts us at 57.5k

Double barrel shotgun will be 9 power attacks and end the rotation already reloaded at 6 shells ready to start over. 63k.

Worth noting double barrel gives me currently an extra 584 damage on each power attack which is added into the weapon damage, is not a separate hit, and is therefore buffs crits even higher. Pulling this out of the regular shotgun means it is actually at 54.5k and any other proc needs to add 8.5k damage over 20 seconds to break even. A plasma forged shotgun adds a baseline 6k in total across 3 hits. Assuming 25% chance to proc You are going to get a baseline of 2 procs from your shotgun rotation, and likely 3, possibly 4 during your full salvo. Average this across three rotations and the extra damage is about 8k total, still short of the double barrel math if not by much. (25 dps)

A spes gives a 20% chance for an extra 2k damage. Assuming You spend 6 shells on shell salvage, 6 shells on opening shot/full salvo. and 11 shells on attacks per the rotation you are going to get about 4.2 procs. best case scenario not counting any kind of stacking. Or about 8k total damage.

Shotguns in this game are very close, but assuming no crits double barrel will eek out a small win. At the high end currently my Raging shot crits for about 17,000. My basic attacks would crit for 8400. Every power attack for me is worth the damage of two basics. By doing nothing but power attacks my damage will always exceed a build alternating powers and regulars by the value of a at least a single power attack every 20s, or about 175-420 DPS. The power/basic rotation will also not reset until 22s once it has used the 6th basic, and reloaded.

TLDR: Double barrels will give slightly better results, rising as gear improves, in exchange for a more interactive rotation and the numbers will be higher but within spitting distance of the current meta BIS.

Other factors such as more usages of Depleted uranium shells, less over-capping on dragons breath, and more usages of the shotgun belt all serve to skew the numbers further into double barrels favor.


Because Mjolnir sucks. It just “do a job” but it’s quite behind alternatives. The reason why you use Ele as offhand like this is Crystallized Flame. If you don’t use that, don’t use Ele.

So the real alternatives you have are:

  • Inverter + Flame (one slot solution, with open position for Blizzard)
  • Voltaic + Flame + Mjolnir + Vali (two slot solution with the most damage, not open for Blizzard)
  • Frozen figurine + Ice Beam/Blizzard (requires Elite slot, brings group buff, open for subpar flame)

So if you only have one slot, use inverter instead.

With Voltaic without Flame you can’t have energy for keeping heat at 75+ range and that is necessary for Ele (DPS wise you would be better with Firebolt instead of Mjolnir). Mjolnir itself is worse then Flame even for single targets. But solo Flame without heat is not that good either (and CD doesn’t pair with Voltaic ofc).

So to get any good performance from Voltaic version, you need Flame because it’s the best DPS you have (on top of AOE and CC thing), you need Mjolnir to heat it up without spending too much time (as opposite to Firebolt without Vali version) and you need Vali to keep 80% of Ele damage with 37% damage boost from Thermonics.


Im less worried about “optimal” on my offhand since that is more of an aesthetic choice than a practical one. Honestly as you mentioned there are likely better options. However Since I run opening shot im pretty much restricted to one slot, if someone else is running it i can drop opening shot in favor of flame and get some more damage. Sadly usually im the guy with opening.

Secondly i need something that can burn 3 GCDs in a 20s rotiation since every other GCD is going to be used for Power attacks. If i could drop my basic (oh god id love to be able to remove my basic from my hotbar) id add flame. Are there better offhand solutions? Absolutely.

Inverter + flame sadly does not eat up enough GCDs for me to be completely energy neutral at the current level of gear. Bit more crit and it will be possible. Ive got an inverter of energy sitting in the bank if it ever occurs. Basically Voltaic and Mjolnir are the most attractive elemental option given my current constraints, but I do not disagree with you that it would be better to run blaze, and prefer to when possible.

As a shotgun main i tend to focus my math calculations toward that end. Currently Double Barrel is going to give you the most scaling of the other shotguns albeit only a very slight amount due to how balanced the shotgun abilities are. So far nothing has been added that really skews the power curve.


I tend to get triggered by such misleading information.

Here’s my answer on Reddit to that same statement / maths of yours about double barrel:

Basically, double barrel is probably the worst shotgun choice at the current state of the game, and it becomes worse when one gears up more and more, since the basic’s damage will scale a lot with the basic’s signet.

This is the biggest mistake for anybody to do regardless of the level of gear. It has been a mistake from the community back in the game’s release days, before maths about basic’s damage has been released. The opportunity cost for trying to go energy neutral is too big and yields to a DPS loss in the long term - what i mean is that, for instance, choosing Cold Silver Dice over Gambler’s Soul for shotgun mainhand is a bad choice.

You’ll certainly be using slightly more power abilities with more crit, i can agree to that. However, having a 0.475CP proc on each raging shot for an absurb cost of an extra shell makes this shotgun too bad. Check the maths i provided on the Reddit link - at 50% crit chance (so capped crit), SPES will still provide 32 times more damage than Double Barrel if you play with Shell Salvage.


I posted over there, and wanted to reply over here. I ran some tests this morning based on your math because when i first tested double barrel I swore the damage was added in. Now occasionally i am seeing a proc, but not 100% of the time. I did a post on the bug forums because something is very odd with the way its procing.

Short answer with SPES saving multiple procs it is going to win hands down. Most of my math had been focused on plasma and other more recent purple additions, and i had completely spaced the SPES. The good news is now we have more math on the forums, and more math is always fun.

Anyway thanks for chiming in!


The important thing for people to know in what i said is that basics are very important in the endgame context (or pretty much any context where people can start grinding the basic signet - even a purple 20 basic signet already makes a big difference). Out of every 6 extra shells consumed by double barrel, it translates into an extra reload, so this is a loss of a basic + average extra energy lost by an eventual basic’s crit. So the damage gain of 6 extra procs from double barrel will have to offset the loss of the basic by A LOT. In this situation, it barely does, the 0.475CP proc out of double barrel is just way too weak in its current state to be even considered. I’m not even talking about the bug you noticed with it (if there’s any bug), that was just some general maths about the weapon, the bug just makes things even worse.


Also touching on what @Szalord has said about the double barrel and basics is the fact that you will run out of energy HARD by throwing only power attacks. Each time you’re dropping basics that 1 energy regened from GCD + any extra energy from crits.

Also of a note for shotgunners would be the breakdown of how Shell Salvage works. It gives 2 + (number of remaining shells) energy


I really should come back to shell salvage and extend the text on it.
Especially since it lacks maths and has an error on my part in it. Not that I really changed my view on it but it deserves some deeper going into.

I seriously ask myself which satanic being has designed some elements of shotgun. Giving the weapon with the worst value (or at least one of the worst) for energy an energy regeneration skill… shakes head


Best and worst value. It gives less if you have 1 shell left, if you have 3 or more, it gives more. other weapons get 4 energy, shotgun gets 3-8. If they do something about reloading like we’ve asked in the past HE HINTED LOUDLY it can help put shotgun a bit more up there with other weapons. Right now its simply a very good offhand because of Shell Salvage with passive and the only group buff in the game.


As offhand, it falls apart when you start overgearing content, when you don’t have time to stack up DB anymore.


Anywho Leo’s guide is more of a basics to shotgunning so it covers a lot more than just DPS but I can offer my two cents on shotgun mainhand DPS.


Fire at will (Opening shot passive). This is kind of a mixed bag but ultimately I’ve ended up dumping this. The free shells require you to pay more attention to your shell count (thus more time staring at your UI less at the fight), the effect wears off it you take damage (so a hard pass for HR)

Point Blank Shot: A very solid damage boost but requires you to be in melee range. If your offhand is a melee this is a no brainer. If it is a fight where you will be running around a lot (MT) you may be better swapping thisfor something else.

Withering Salvo: If you’re using Full Salvo, get this.

Cleanup Crew(forget the name): Cleanup is too situational and finicky to be a reliable cleanse HINT DEVS so this is a waste of space.

Shell Expert: Passive that makes a good skill better. Yes it forces a reload on you but give how energy hungry your weapon is the extra energy is nice. The passive lets you keep the option of the shells you salvage with (can bite in you the butt if you are salvaging away greens) and gives you 5 offhand energy.

Fatal Funnel: CQC is already pretty situational for DPS, needing to impair a group is even more so.

Cluster Bombs: If you’re running Bombardment you should use this as well.

Odds and Evens: Mandatory for doing damage. Get this. Shotgun eats a lot of energy so weaving Power, Basic shots helps with your energy regen and this passive gives a reliable damage boost for it.

WP shells: This is a very solid passive outside of a few fights (HE2 the boss cleanses this each time he runs so you can’t really get much burn time going)

Enrich: I more or less skip this but if you’re one of those adjust your build every fight types might be useful in fights where you can’t benefit much from WP shells. Just bear in mind the default and advanced weapon UI do not show the bonus 2 shells, they come up as 2 stacks of a buff on your character. Need to test to see if they treat you as 6 shells for all of these shots or not.

Munition Expert: I disagree with Leo on this one and don’t run it myself as I run 5 shotgun actives so the odds of getting Green shelled is low but if you’re a ranged offhand as well could work in lieu of PBS.

Combat Reload: Hard pass. This passive creates more problems than it solves.

Bombardment vs Full Salvo: Salvo generally wins out due to overall usability, Bombardment is not as good on bosses that run move around or have STOP FIRING phases. Bombardment picks a target in the circle so it might grab an add instead of the boss for the main hit. Full salvo also applies shell affects (exception being green shells, it only procs their effect once a second) while ignoring the 1 proc a second rule meaning you can apply 5 stacks of DB, 5 DU damage procs or several AP procs if you’re lucky. Bombardment can apply exposed however if your teammates do not have ways to keep it up on the boss.


So…after promising to calculate through shell salvage I finally did it. It’s with a lot ifs (like certain talismans, shells, the museum…yes, the museum, and such plays into it and I had to kinda assume that you have lightningreflexes so that the decision which shell to reload goes in 0 seconds) I came to the conclussion that in average you lose dps over just firing a few basics. Shell salvage isn’t much worse than just firing basics so it’S a situational thing (like said lot ifs).
What the strongest point of shell salvage is: Your weapon. Shell salvage profits hugely from the SPES bis shotgun. Giving a whopping 1,8cp per shell salvage cast from that source. On the other hand the one second you have to spend for an additional reload costs you a whole truckload of proc effects and a basic attack which on shotgun is a pretty big deal and while the basic attack alone is not strong enough to do the same damage as the damage you get from shell salvage all the small proc effects add up.
All this assumes up front that you get the maximum energy out of shell salvage and that you hit your raging shot passiv when spending the energy. If any of those two conditions aren’t met the use of shell salvage becomes a huge waste of potential dps for no reason REALLY FAST.

If you still like to use it (on top of cold silver dice or a spes of energy) do it but I can not recommend it in any capacity with good consciousness.

ADDON: For any interested…here the math how I wrote it down. I started out figuring out how strong a basic and a powr is. Than calculated best and worst energyvalues and than stopped labeling things and start counting together diffrent proceffects/effets in general to come to a sum that is at the bottom right without and with raging shot passive proc. Excuse the lack of readability but as I went deeper into the material it became to time consuming to explain every little step over just doing it. If interest is there I can work on a fully explained version else you just have to trust me.


You don’t really need that good reflexes, salvage gives you 5 offhand energy so you can always use your offhand consumer while your bar flips, and then reload after that GCD.


Not sure if it is even readable but out of curiousity I went ahead and did a closer look into Howling dog:

Since Shotgun is at it’S core relative rng it took a bit more math than I am used too. But the essence is that:

A.Through the improving of the shellreloads you have avaidable you get from 0,08 Cp/s to around 0,2 Cp/s. Which is less than the lowest number you get from shoting the standard SPES (by at least 0,22 Cp/s to 0,1 Cp/s)

If dps was the only aspect of the new gun worth looking at that would be it. There is on the other hand two other factors to consider:

B.While not calculated in the base assumption The Howling Dog Shotgun is overpowering Munition Expert by a lot. Meaning the need to run munition expert to get a better shell-lineup isn’t there and you get a free passiv slot for White Phosporus or any other damage awarding passiv. How much you get from that is hard to say as each passiv does you a diffrent amount good dps wise. But in general just keep in mind that the real diffrence between SPES vs Howling is somewhere between 0,1-0,22 minus whatever the passiv gives you plus what percentile munition master gave you.

C. Another thing that becomes possible but is a diffrent kind of a beast in terms of shotgun is AP shells and expose. In a scenario where you are in a group doing groupcontent but do not have expose the new shotgun makes it possible to apply expose relatively consistent with uptimes up to 93,79% maximum. While still not as easy as some other weapons or bombardment for relatively static enemies it can’t be denied that the shotgun gives your group a damage plus far outweighing the damage you would get from the SPES or even Teamfocused shotguns like the Redeemer. But only if noone else wants to cast expose on enemies and at the cost of a bit personal dps (0,8cps) and the fact that you have to have 6 or at least 5 shotgun skills slotted for decent uptime (83-93%).

My thought:
It definitly isn’t something that will kick SPES of it’s throne as the Dps meta shotgun but it has it’S uses.
It frees up at least one passiv slot and might even make the dropping of a shellwaster for a further active slot worth considering. In the same breath it greatly reduces the rng of shotgun and streamlines the shotgun mechanic for dps. It also opens up possible expose shotgun support builds. What it on the other hand costs is a lot of survivability that the occassional green shell could bring and raw damage.


There is a lot of info here. I find the comments here just as interesting.

I would add thoughts about specific shotgun weapons. SPES, double barrel, flame charged, oni… ect. Even if it’s mostly subjective. For newer players or those who wanna get involved in shotgun. Especially, since many folks might wanna be leveling something new after getting their two main weapons 70 red…


I will try. It won’t be something grand but I think I should at least be able to cover the base capabilities and idea with the weapons.


Took me awhile but added your request (other people requested it tooso how could I not?)
Hope you like the addition.