TLDR: Plasma Arc is a very cool and useful new ability for melee (since husks clump up to attack you). Its new mechanic adds new ways to play the the game and build damage around the perk.
I had been waiting for a write up by Details-Examples or CatstructorPenny to discussion melee, but both seem to be too busy at the moment. I wanted to share how melee has been changed with the the addition of the SciFi heroes, after a bit of testing.
Of the five new heroes released, three are useful heroes in potential melee builds. ED-EE, Cyberclops, and Ken. The new Rio can be used, but she is too situational to be put in a consistent build (maybe she will be good for a potential future shielding wargame). These builds discussed, will require specific heroes and an energy version of the weapon. Do not try and force yourself to use these builds. The theoretical highest damage build is not most viable (aka Deadly Blade Crash Commander, First Strike Team Perk, Assassin Sarah, Swordmaster Ken, Swashbuckler Keelhaul, Paleo Luna, and Ed-EE with a triple crit damage spectral Blade, having to use a Jack's Pistol to headshot kill a husk for 25 crit rating on swords and proc swash and standing near a boombase or using a legacy 70+ crit chance sword) as they may lack survivability or may not fit your playstyle. Figure out what weapons/skills/perks you like and build around that.
ED-EE's perk "Must Protect" adds:
Critical hits with Melee Weapon Energy Damage adds 32% of current shield to damage.
Commander perk changes the damage from 32% to 96% of current shield.
This perk adds another source of scaling situational melee damage (like saurian claws) but requires a critical hit. The damage is energy based, so it will do 75% damage to elemental and synergises with the new hero Cyberclops.
Cyberclops' perk "Plasma Arc" adds:
Energy Damage has a 20% chance to zap nearby enemies for 58% of damage dealt.
Commander perk changes the damage from 58% to 116% and the T.E.D.D.Y. now does energy damage.
This perk has a 20% chance to proc off anything energy based. Gadgets, energy weapon swings, energy based guns, abilities, and other support perks that are energy based or are procc'ed of an energy based weapon. This means that it can synergise with perks like Corrosive strike or Saurian claws if you are using an energy based weapon to apply the damage. Of the set, this perk is the biggest game changer for melee. It allows for a potential (a 20% chance) to aoe cleave other targets but sacrifices a potential single target damage perk.
Intergalactic Ken's perk "Energy Siphon" adds:
Eliminations with Energy Damage restore 8.5% of missing shields.
Commander perk changes the percent of missing shield restored from 8.5% to 17% and changes throwing stars to energy damage.
This perk sounded the best on paper but in practice is the worse of the three perks. Most people who read it the first time might think the perk sounds amazing; like the Dim Mak team perk if you have three ninja's slotted. That is not the case, the key wording is percent of missing shields and not percent of max shields. So unless you have your shield completely depleted, it will never give you 8.5 percent shielding. The more shield you have the weaker it becomes. It does synergise with "Must Protect" but does not help you keep topped off to get the maximum damage. For example, if you have half your shield and you kill a target, you will go from 50% to 54%. If you are at 75%, you will go from 75% to 77%, or only 2% shield. We only have around 120,000 base shield with five level 50 characters. If you healed from 75% to 77% you are only healing a measly 2400 shield. You can gain a little bit more shield from the siphon, your stats, and your allies stats, but the point still stands. It is good for gaining you some shield but is horrible at topping characters off. This affects viable "Must Protect" builds, as you basically want to pair this perk with non ninja's only, as ninja have Bio Energy Source or Dim Mak to top them off and this perk is not synergistic.
Now that we have talked about what epic has told us about the perk, let's talk more about Cyberclops' perk Plasma Arc. It sounds simple but is the most complex of the three. After extensive test, I have determined that each individual source of damage has an independent chance of procc'ing Plasma Arc. Meaning that if a constructor hits a target once with an energy based weapon; with the saurian claws perk, procc's kinetic overload, crit's and procc's corrosive blade perk, and thus also proc's Must Protect perk. Then, from that single attack, each source will independently have a 20% chance to proc Plasma Arc. Meaning the melee weapons basic attack energy damage can proc Plasma Arc, saurian claws' damage can proc Plasma Arc, kinetic overload can proc Plasma Arc, each tick of corrosive blade can proc Plasma Arc, and must protect can proc Plasma Arc. To add to this, hitting multiple targets with a single swing also has an independent chance to proc on each target for each instance of damage. Meaning that if you group up husks and have multiple on hit effects to potentially proc, you greatly increase the chances of the ability proc'ing on one or more of your on hit affects and cleaving down the targets.
TLDR: Stacking up targets to cleave not only ensures your proc will hit more targets but also exponentially increases the chance an instance of damage will proc and cleave.
To take advantage of this effect, the three highest sources of potential energy melee damage are buffed basic attacks, a saurian claws perk in the commander slot, or a corrosive Blade perk in the commander slot (as each instance of damage has an independent chance to proc Plasma Arc.)
We will discuss new builds with these three sources of damage in mind.
As far as viable high twine builds, I would suggest the following:
Tanky AOE cleave Luna (God tier build just added more aoe):
Paleo Luna was introduced a few patches ago and she has been amazing. /u/Details-Examples did an amazing write up on how this perk interacts with weapons, which you can read here. The TLDR is that:
"This bonus damage is added to whatever your damage your melee attack would have done normally and (appears) to inherit your weapon elemental type (and the corresponding match-up)."Загрузка...
This means that if you use an energy weapon, the Saurian claws perk will deal energy damage. This is how Luna's perk is able to interact with Plasma Arc, as it is taking on the properties of the energy weapon because it states it "adds onto the melee weapon damage." She already does enough damage, you are simply adding Plasma Arc to the build so when she uses basic attacks and overkills smaller husks, she has a chance to proc it on them and kill nearby husk husks/mist monsters too (if you group them together). I would suggest weapons that either grant move speed, or even more armor (as the perk damage cannot crit, lifesteal, or interact with other damage increases). Shadow stance gives 60, Saurian Hide gives 30, and a double perk weapon can give you 80. Meaning you you have over 60% damage reduction and over a million hp, it is very hard to lose your health with this build and is the easiest of the three.
Commander Paleo Luna (no substitute)
Team Perk: Blast from the Past (no substitute, needed for damage and survivability)
support perks: Need two Saurian perks and whatever else you want. I personally use Saurian Energy, Saurian Hide, Survivalist, Going Coconuts, and Plasma Arc.
Weapon: Anything works (as long as it is energy based), Hammers or weapons that give heavy attacks with a large area are preferred. I use a level 30 baron (to save on resources even thought I have it at level 50 you do not need tier five weapons with Luna's Commander perk) with two armor and a durability perk. The heavy attack is very large and will easily cleave clustered husks. Husk Warper also works in bringing them all in to proc the ability but has less defensive options, up to you.
Tricking time bomb Ninjas aka "Your already dead" (single target):
Deadly Blade is already one of the best ninja in the game. If you have a legacy energy sword with over 70% crit chance (not crit rating), then your single target melee crit build now gains a godly aoe functionality. If you only have regular swords, don't try to go over 50% crit chance as crit rating has diminishing returns. This build is relying on a weapon that has high crit damage, is being buffed by sword perks, and relying on the flimsy Dim Mak with only three ninja heroes. Unlike the Paleo build, we will stack multiple sources of potential proc'ing energy damage since this will not overkill husky husks/misties and instead will kill them after the proc ticks. Gameplay consist of hitting a target with a weapon crit, near a bunch of other husks, each tick of Corrosive Blades does 87% (or 37% if support) of the weapons Crit and can Proc each time it ticks. Meaning a husky husk in the middle of other husk can act as a bomb over the duration of the dot and kill smaller husks around it.
Commander: Deadly Blade Crash (or can substitute Assassin/SwordMaster/Fiona depending on playstyle or weapons available)
Team Perk: Dim Mak (or Bio-Energy Source if you put Anti-Cuddle Sarah) to get damage from Must Protect and give you your only surivability. Will need to use the Corrosive strike 30% snare to kite.
Support perks: Need Assassination, Legendary Blade, Must Protect, and Plasma Arc (if you swapped out Deadly Blade, put her in here for the hero in commander slot.) You can put in either Rapid Charge, Easy Sword, Energy Siphon(if you need more shielding but the affliction and Plasma Arc will not count as melee kills) or Anatomy Lesson (unless already around 50% crit.)
Weapons: (Preferred) Legacy Stormblade or Krypton Sword with three 28% crit chance (not crit rating) rolls and two 67.5% crit damage rolls (or three crit damage and two crit rating with anatomy lessons and the occasional Jack's pistol headshot). As they are both energy based (consider it their legacy 6th perk), they would satisfy the requirement of having a 100% crit chance energy weapon to always proc Must Protect and Corrosive Strikes. If you do not have a legacy weapon use a weapon that is energy based, has around 50% crit chance, a fast attack speed, and a large aoe heavy attack (aka a non legacy Krypton sword because the heavy attack is huge.) In the end it is up to your preference. If you decide to go with a hammers, use a ninja as a commander and swap out Legendary Blade/Anatomy Lessons with Hardware Crit Rating/Actuated Attacks/Software. Use the Husk Warper to gather targets and proc them all with the heavy attack.
Multiple Proc rate Constructor (weakest of the three but most versatile):
Ed-EE, Bomb Squad Kyle, Tank Penny, Steel Wool Syd, Privateer Hype, Black Knight Garridan, or Guardian Bull all work depending on what you are trying to proc with the build/your Playstyle. This is the weakest of the three new major builds but can be fun just the same. If you are focused on basic attack proc's then go Penny, Hype, or Bull depending on weapons. If you are going for the kinetic overload proc's go Garridan or Syd. if your main damage will be from your shields then Ed-EE and if you want tankiness then go Kyle. You are trying to proc Kinetic Overload, Must Protect, basic attacks, and Corrosive Blade. This build benefits the most from the new hammer, Husk Warper, as you can easily bring husks in and proc kinetic overload on them. With Kinetic Overdrive it also gives you another chance to proc Plasma Arc if you choose to use the team perk (though base Kinetic Overload is very weak damage, even with Syd commander and overdrive team perk).
Commander: Choose from list above depending on what damage type you want.
Team Perk: Either Preemptive Strike for damage on basic attacks, Bio energy source for shielding (if you are going for Must Protect damage), Hunter's instinct for (lifesteal and damage at night), Kinetic Overdrive (for more Kinetic overload Proc chances), Slow your Roll (if you need more survivability since you have little to no mobility).
Support Perks: Tons of synergy, just need Plasma Arc, Must Protect (if not Commander), and Corrosive Strikes. Can use: Software, Hardware Crit Rating, Bomb Suit, Actuated Attacks, Swab the Deck, Knight's Impact, Maximum Overload, Energy Siphon, Rapid Charge, Fleet, Dragon Daze, Assassination, etc.
Weapons: Depends on build and playstyle. Only requirement is that it is perked to be energy based.
The tradeoff for these builds is that you must sacrifice a good single target damage/survivability perk for the potential aoe damage from Plasma Arc. The range of the arc is only about the size of smoke bomb. You are locked into energy weapons, so you lose the bonus of getting bonus damage from using the counter element or Physical weapon vs physical husks. The damage is not guaranteed but smart players can maximize the effective use and thus kill more husks will less durability loss and time to clear. Its one of the few perks with a tradeoff for use. The perk is fairly balanced and requires extra steps to gain effectiveness. Thank you Epic designers, for putting in these cool perks.
What builds are yall using? I use the Luna build for high level twine and when I go into Canny for alerts I use builds like Syd with Kinetic Overdrive for the memes and confused teammates.
Source: Original link
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