Look, I know PvE isn't competitive. I know you need tight builds for raids or competitive crucible. But you spend a lot of time grinding PvE, so you might as well have fun. You might as well have the MOST fun. And importantly, this build is relatively immune to the meta changing, so you can rely on it for a good while. So here's the build. Ready?
Trinity Ghoul + Catalyst + Getaway Artist. That's the build.
It gives you the following combat loop:
Kill a bunch of enemies easily > everything procs > kill a bunch of enemies easily.
Or, all the lightning, all the time.
(Yeah, there are other speedy chaotic PvE builds, but I haven't seen anything as fast as this for sheer shred.)
What? You want more? Fine, but you're on thin ice already, so behave if you're going to demand I stick around and give you more.
Before I even start talking about Trinity's perks, and why warlock, and other build elements, let's talk about-
Why Trinity is a good core to build a build around:
Let's start with your PvE neutral game – the things you're going to be doing in combat the most. Unless you've got a very specific build created, which may be prone to meta swings, you're going to be shooting with a primary ammo weapon most of the time. Using a primary ammo exotic then makes natural sense.
Similarly, energy weapons generally do that much more damage (since at the very least they have that extra energy component for shields), so a primary ammo energy exotic makes particularly good sense.
Other than nerfs to the archetype or the exotic itself, using a primary ammo exotic isn't really going to be touched by a new meta – not new subclasses, not sunsetting mods, not sunsetting the weapon itself (since it's exotic). So you can be confident that it'll remain viable for a good while.
OK cool, what core does Trinity give us?
It has an amazing perk: Lightning Rod – Precision kills grant the next shot chain-lightning capabilities. Well, it's a bow, so you're going to be getting precision shots.
But its catalyst gives it a crazy good perk that we can really synergise around: Forked Lightning – Lightning Rod now triggers from any Arc damage final blow.
And this chain lightning is the thing that absolutely shreds. Consider this. So long as you've either just killed with precision or any source of arc damage (including chain lightning damage, so this keeps rolling forever), Trinity now gives you:
- A precision ranged weapon
- Which does both single-target and horde damage
- Which can damage targets round corners – because the chain lightning procs off wherever the arrow hits, not just a combatant
- Which, because it fires three arrows loosely if not drawn back, also means you can cover your local area with lightning in a panic, making it a great short-range weapon
- Which you never need to stop to reload, because it's a bow
Fine, but you said this was a build, and right now you're just saying a weapon is good. Give me a build.
I told you to behave, but OK. Here we go:
The only thing we don't really cover with Trinity Ghoul is single target burst damage, so I'd go:
- ENERGY WEAPON (Primary) – Trinity Ghoul
- KINETIC WEAPON (Special) – Any viable shotgun
- HEAVY WEAPON (Power) – Any single target high damage weapon, like a rocket or sword.
But really this one's up to you. You'll be shredding adds faster than your teammates can hit them, leaving them to be your heavy ammo for bosses while you keep them free of any other incoming fire. The other nice thing of leaning into a primary ammo weapon as your main weapon is that if you run out of ammo you've got all your high damage weapons left for that panic when you need to go on an ammo hunt.
Let's talk class. We should be emphasising getting that arc proccing as much as possible, which means arc kills. How're we going to do that? By having our arc buddy up and running the entire time.
- SUBCLASS – Middle tree arc warlock (Attunement of Control Stormcaller). Why? Because it gives us two great perks:
- Ball Lightning – Melee fires an Arc projectile that travels forward and releases a perpendicular bolt of lightning. You're going to be playing at range, so having a very long range arc melee is going to help get your crazy engine up and running again.
- Ionic Trace – Defeating enemies has a chance to create Ionic Traces. Collecting Ionic Traces grants energy to all your abilities. So let's be clear – this depends on defeating as many enemies as possible, to increase the chance of creating traces. Killing adds is exactly what we're about, so this is going to be refilling our abilities all the damn time.
- Also, the super we get with this is Chaos Reach, which is great for single target damage, which is one of the few things we don't have covered by Trinity Ghoul.
- CLASS EXOTIC GEAR: Getaway Artist. This converts your grenade into a (supercharged) arc turret. So now you have yet another source of accurate ranged arc damage, sure to proc your Trinity Ghoul.
- GRENADE – Your choice (we're going to be consuming it most of the time), but for the off chance I end up throwing it, I find a Pulse Grenade is good for controlling a choke if I need to be on the retreat temporarily and needing Lightning rod to spin up again.
- CLASS ABILITY – Empowering Rift – we're going to be relatively stationary while using Trinity so why not have all that damage do even more damage?
It's really your call, but I'd tend to aim to get Discipline up to about 80%. I found that gives me enough grenade recharge (with Ionic Trace) to always have my supercharged arc buddy up.
This is another good bit of metaproofing that you get with this build – that you're not desperate to play around with your perks, so you don't need to worry about rebuilding this every new season when your armour needs to be replaced.
Well, I'd get a bow draw speed mod on there, just for even more lightning arrows all the time.
We can play with Charged with Light relatively easily too.
- Taking Charge lets you become CWL by picking up an orb. Well, Trinity Ghoul with catalyst is masterworked, so drops orbs on kills, and it's ALWAYS KILLING EVERYTHING, so we're dropping a whole load of orbs.
- Shield Break Charge lets you become CWL by breaking an opponent's shield. Well, we shit on arc shields, so I don't see why not to have this. (Though it's the least useful of these four.)
And here's how to spend it:
- (If you have it), Reactive Pulse, which spends CWL when taking damage when surrounded by combatants to emit a burst of damaging Arc energy, for obvious reasons
- (If you don't), Protective Light, for significant damage resistance on shield break (just in case)
- High-Energy Fire, which gives you bonus damage when you are CWL, spending a stack on a kill. NOTE that this gives you the bonus damage UNTIL you kill, so rounds you out against tougher enemies!
That's it, really. It's definitely not great for PvP, but everywhere else, it absolutely shreds. Gambit? You're a mote hoover! (Be nice, let your buddies pick 'em up!) Strikes, patrols, and public events? Yeah, wreck them. Nightfalls? Usually fairly decent so long as your party have champion coverage. And I've even had some success with it in raids, so long as add clear was valuable enough to allow my party to focus on the boss with all that free time.
ALL ARC ALL THE TIME
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