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DPS Bottomless Clips (Pistol/Shotgun)


Staff member
Coming at ya with another Pistol/Shotgun build! This one is the one I use for most dungeons/raids. If you're looking for a solo questing and survival build, check out my similar P/S thread here: Solo - Where we're going, we don't need no stinkin' cast times. (Pistol Solo)


Much like my solo build, none of the power attacks here have a cast time. Simple point and click (and boom) interface.

The TL;DR here is that through clever use of Shell Salvage and the Salvage Expert passive, you should rarely, if ever, run into a situation where you are out of energy for both weapons, standing there plinking away with your basic attacks. The build also does consistent single-target damage with a healthy DoT component. It is slightly weak in the AoE department, so read below for your options there.


Dual Shot - Pistols
Flourish - Pistols
Shell Salvage - Shotgun
Trick Shot - Pistols
Hair Trigger / Seeking Bullet - Pistols
Raging Shot - Shotgun

Fatal Shot - Pistols
Lethal Aim - Pistols
Salvage Expert - Shotgun
Double Down - Pistols
Heavy Caliber Rounds - Pistols

IDK lol. I use Mistress' Bashosen for the extra AoE and stun. Use what you want.

100% Damage. Drink an anima potion if you feel like you need more health but don't waste any anima points on it. Healing is completely unnecessary.

Not much of a rotation, but there are a certain number of priorities you need to keep in mind to maximize DPS. Part of this build relies on using Shell Salvage to ensure you keep loading the same type of shells (Dragon's Breath) and keep the DoT from it stacked as high as possible. With fairly good timing and a little bit of luck, you should be able to maintain the maximum of 6 stacks pretty much the entire fight.

Here are your main priorities:
  • Never cap on energy. Full energy is lost DPS.
  • Use Trick Shot on cooldown to keep the Exposed debuff up.
  • Use Flourish when off cooldown, unless you're already at or near full Pistol energy.
    • If this happens, squeeze off a Dual Shot, then Flourish and and spam Dual Shot while the 15% damage buff is up. Don't wait for matched chambers.
  • Use Raging Shot to keep the Dragon's Breath DoT up and stacked as high as possible.
  • Spam Dual Shot.
  • Use Hair Trigger or Seeking Bullet if you're out of energy, though this should rarely happen.
    • This build lacks sustained AoE, so Seeking Bullet is a good choice for encounters where there are multiple targets that need to die quickly. (NYR, Lairs, Polaris, Darkness War, etc.)
    • If you're kinda middling on energy (3-6 range) and Flourish is about to come off cooldown, you can try a basic attack or two to see if you get a pair of matched chambers. If you get lucky, use Flourish immediately and go to town.
  • Use Shell Salvage under the following conditions:
    • You're running low on energy for both weapons and have 5 or more shells loaded.
    • You just used Flourish and the damage bonus expired.
    • You're low on Shotgun energy and have 4 or less shells loaded.
    • You accidentally loaded the wrong kind of shells and want to take a chance at getting the right ones back.
    • ALWAYS remember to load Dragon's Breath shells. Just push the Shell Salvage button again to reload them if you had them already.
Shell Salvage is by far the best energy restoration ability in the game. It restores a significant amount of Shotgun energy based on how many shells are loaded at the time you used it (the more you have, the more energy you get back), and with the Salvage Expert passive, it also restores 5 energy to your Pistols. It also always presents you with the option to load the same type of shells you previously had, which for this build, we want to be using Dragon's Breath shells 100% of the time. Always use the Shell Salvage hotkey to reload your Shotgun so you don't accidentally load a different type of shell.

If played correctly and with a tiny bit of luck, you should almost never be in a situation where you are completely out of energy for both weapons.

I am currently using Anima-Touched Pistols of Efficiency. I understand Anima-Touched weapons are very difficult to come by now, so the good news is that really any set of Pistols should work for this build. However, since we are swapping quite a bit between Pistols and Shotgun abilities, I wouldn't recommend anything that's too heavily reliant on matching chamber bonuses as there aren't huge windows of opportunity to spam only Pistol abilities (e.g. Sov-Tech Harmonisers, Anansi Probability Adjusters). I prefer the Efficiency suffix on my Pistols as it lets me use Trick Shot more, which is the hardest-hitting ability in this build.

Morven wrote an exceptional analysis thread on Pistols here: DPS - Preliminary Extraordinary Pistol Analysis

For my Shotgun, I've been running with Double Barrel of Alacrity. This is just an all-around solid choice for a Shotgun secondary. Plus, they're cheap right now. I prefer the Alacrity suffix on most of my secondary weapons. It doesn't add any DPS but it does help you get into the fight and out of the fire more easily. Other good choices are the Ifritian Despoiler and SPES-C221. The Redeemer is kinda fun too, if you want to throw around a little bit of healing as a DPS.

There aren't any, really. None that don't require a Shotgun, anyways. You can certainly swap out the Pistols for a different weapon and set of abilities, as long as you keep in mind the whole build revolves around using Shell Salvage and another energy restoration ability to keep you from running dry on energy. If you've got a similar Shell Salvage build, please do share it!
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Have you tried experimenting on dummies with swapping Trick Shot for Full Salvo (with passive)? You do lose exposed but there are multiple pros. It hits hard, it gives 5 dot stacks in 2.5 seconds, skipping the whole ramping part, and it moves cost from primary to secondary energy which is arguably less valuable.

With that said, I like pistols for easy rotations and aesthetics a lot, but not having a 5e ST spender is kind of a bummer, and having both flourish and salvage with 3e Dual Shot feels like overkill. I'd imagine something strong with 5e spender like hammers or ARs could work well, maybe even chaos.
I have no concrete numbers to post at the moment, I'm currently in the process of leveling AR/shotty and associated signets, but my theoretical napkin math says it maybe could be good. You do need a slot for nades with AR so no lock and load, so maybe a basic attack here and there, but basic shots aren't even that bad damage with a maxed basic signet.
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I have been playing with Shotgun elites a little bit. Been trying both Full Salvo and Bombardment but have not had ample time to fully parse them yet.
Nice guide. I have been just playing and muddling my way through using pistol/shotgun and your build is hitting much hard than what I was doing:


Have to admit I am still trying to figure out what pistols I want to buy, tbh I am willing to spend 20 or 25 on arum to convert to Marks but AH is kinda of dry right now on energy/havoc pistols and I am not sure anima, wreath flame, frost bound etc
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Hey! I'm glad you're enjoying it! Really, it doesn't matter too much as to which extraordinary weapons you go with, or which suffix you choose, until you're doing high level endgame content. I'd go with a regular 3-pip Pistols of Energy or Efficiency over any extraordinary weapon with a less useful suffix. I also have quite a few 2-pip extraordinary pistols sitting in my bank if you want one. :)
what is the difference between energy and efficiency?
Energy has a chance to restore 1 energy for the equipped weapon every time it hits. Efficiency has a chance to reduce the cooldown on your elite ability every time you hit. Both are useful for many builds, though Energy is slightly less effective with this particular build since it has two abilities that restore energy.
I am tempted to get a frost bound efficiency weapon.....

I have been looking up guides and the like for signets, I play with my wife and son and we are lvl 50 and finishing the tokyo storyline and farming those containers using the ABC keys, that said I had only two glyphs signets on my gear which I have started working on.

I am planning on::
~ 1 accuracy glp in the head
~ 2 deva glph for weapons
~ 5 fierce glyph in the rest

For signets I have acquired:
~ quickness for occult
~ time and space for waist
~ cruel delight for luck
~ overwhelming power for wrist
~ outlaw sig for neck
~ gunslinger sig for head
~ sig of gambler for finger

Mostly I got what I could afford off the AH except the wrist one which I got from a solo scenario.

I would be curious to get your feedback/advice on glyphs and sigs with this build!
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Your glyphing is fine and in line with what the common wisdom is for the optimal glyph setup for endgame.

For signets, I have:
Head - Ascendant
Neck - Journeyman
Finger - Neophyte
Wrist - Condensed Anima
Luck - Laceration
Occult - Acrobatics
Waist - Time and Space Alteration

I decided to go with the generic weapon signets, mainly because I don't care about min/maxing for the most difficult content and because they're more flexible when I want to try something different. Especially in the context of this build, which splits a good deal of damage between both weapons, I definitely wouldn't recommend weapon-specific signets.

I find Condensed Anima over Overwhelming Power to be more useful as ultimates already deal a good portion of damage on their own, and in group content it's less useful as the damage component only works once per target.

Cruel Delight is okay for soloing, but Laceration becomes more useful as your crit/crit power goes up.
Heh still working on geting intricate fierce glyphs have 2 but need 3 more they are pretty costly in the AH!

Thanks for the advice.
I have three intricate accurate glyphs, glance reduction out the wazoo! But I have had a hard time getting my hands on some intricate devastating and fierce glyphs.
I have three intricate accurate glyphs, glance reduction out the wazoo! But I have had a hard time getting my hands on some intricate devastating and fierce glyphs.

You should be able to find intricate devastating glyph in the AH for under 10k marks pretty easy. The int. fierce though go for like 40 to 50k marks.

..btw you should be plenty good with one or two accurate glyphs, from what I have read you only need one if you level it up high enough I currently have one that's purple equipped and have a spare in the bank just in case.
..btw you should be plenty good with one or two accurate glyphs, from what I have read you only need one if you level it up high enough I currently have one that's purple equipped and have a spare in the bank just in case.
A fully leveled hit glyph is enough to reach the hit cap, but considering how much XP you have to invest in it, some advise using two epic hit glyphs until you're able to get one to mythic. If you're not doing extremely high-level content that requires such a hit cap, you're totally fine to run with just one.
HAha finally pulled a plasma forged weapon but it's a fist of energy...lolz
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