I've been playtesting the Thorns Bombardment Crusader on the PTR for the upcoming patch 2.6.10 and have used the opportunity to test and re-confirm some of the build's more nuanced interactions that are relevant to gameplay, so all of this is clear at the eventual start of Season 22. I thought why not share my results, to reassure the people who still remember everything that these things haven't been changed throughout the many patches since Bombsader had a place in meta, and to let the people who don't remember or weren't around at the time know.
I guess most people know about general thorns mechanics so I'll keep that as short as possible and only include it for completeness. My emphasis is on Bombardment specific mechanics, in particular which of the many short buffs matter at the time of cast and which at the time of impact.
Thorns in general:
- Thorns stat = (item affixes + Heart of Iron + weapon Topaz + Boyarsky's Chip) * (1 + Iron Maiden) * (1 + Reflective Skin + 3.5 * Invoker 2pc stacks). Implication of this is if you have a lot of something in one bracket, the others within the same bracket become less important compared to those in other brackets or other ways to increase damage (see below).
- There's three ways how Thorns damage can be inflicted: 1. actual damage reflection (enemy hits you with melee attack), 2. item effects (Hack, Sanguinary Vambraces, Invoker 6pc), 3. Skills and Runes (Bombardment – Barrels of Spikes, Steed Charge – Spiked Barding, Consecration – Bed of Nails).
- All three types are affected by general damage modifiers (mainstat, nonspecific sets, some items like Oculus Ring), Physical damage increase ("Physical skills deal X% more damage" affix, physical rotation of CoE), increased damage to elites and/or bosses.
- Only type 1 benefits from Vo'Toyias Spiker, the item is one of the biggest noobtraps in the history of D3.
- Only type 3 benefits from skill damage increase ("Increases
damage by X%" affix) and can potentially benefit from Area Damage.
Bombardment – Barrels of Spikes specifically:
- fully benefits from Area Damage
- autocasted Bombardments from Belt of the Trove also fully benefit from Area Damage – this proc does proc procs, as an exception from the rule.
- Your Thorns stat is snapshot at the time of cast to determine the gross damage of all barrels. This means you want to have as many Invoker 2pc stacks as possible and Reflective skin active right before / when you press the button to cast Bombardment or BotT autocast triggers, which you can see from the outline of the first barrel's impending impact location on the ground.
- Convention of Elements (physical rotation), Norvald's Fervor 2pc, Armor of Akkhan 6pc and Oculus Ring are all dynamic damage buffs, they matter at the time of impact of each individual barrel, to determine the net damage of that barrel.
That's it. If you want something else tested, leave it in the comments.
So a full damage rotation looks something like this:
- Group up enemies as tightly as possible (Condemn – Vacuum and Steed Charge – Draw and Quarter can help). Goal: Setting everything up for Area Damage later.
- Make a stand in the middle the crowd wherever you get hit the most often. Molten, Arcane, whatever you are able to tank without dying. Use Provoke – Hit me, and hack at them with Punish as fast as you can. Goal: stack up Invoker 2pc as high as possible.
- Activate Reflective Skin and then immediately Bombardment ~2 seconds before your physical rotation of CoE comes up. Goal: Your thorns is now snapshot with the highest value possible and you've synchronized the Bombardment so its damage takes full advantage of CoE.
- Jump on your pony and run tight circles at the spot until Oculus field shows up. Goal: Activate Norvald's 2pc in time before impact without drawing the targets out of the impact locations.
- If an Oculus field appears while there are still barrels falling, quickly run into it so they gain its bonus.
- If enemies survive and you want to throw another rotation at them, quickly dismount and go back to 1, otherwise ride off and look for the next pack.
To be clear, I am not advising for or against including any or all of these effects in your build, I'm not trying to judge here. I just included any effect anyone may want to bring (I could think of off the top of my head) to show where it would go. Making your choices which skills and items to bring and which to drop is all the fun.
Hope you find this helpful, let me know if there's something to add.
Source: Original link
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