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Solo Where we're going, we don't need no stinkin' cast times. (Pistol Solo)

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Moooooooof
Staff member
Donator
#1
Hello Slayers! A bit of a preface: I'm stubborn. I've always run Pistol/Shotgun in TSW, and have stuck with them since the SWL relaunch. Other weapons may offer better burst or longer sustain. Some are flashier than others or have more interesting weapon gimmicks. Me - I just like slapping hotbar buttons and making big numbers come out of dudes. That's what this build primarily focuses on: quick attacks with no cast times for maximum uptime on numbers popping out of dudes when you put holes in them.

Another caveat: I didn't crunch any numbers as far as the absolute best-in-slot for DPS. That's not the point of this build. I'm sharing it because it's fun and effective for me. I am sure someone much more knowledgeable than me, especially on the subject of Pistols such as @Morven, can chime in with more info.

I use this build every day for soloing. It's also easily adaptable for scenarios and dungeons with a few ability swaps.

ACTIVES:
Dual Shot
Kill Blind
Flourish
Trick Shot
Seeking Bullet
Raging Shot (Shotgun)

PASSIVES:
Double Down
Focused Fire
Beginner's Luck
Fatal Shot
Lethal Aim

With the exception of Seeking Bullet, none of the attacks in this build have a cast time. I especially like this style of play for soloing because mobs tend to die quickly, and anything with a cast time will get interrupted if the target dies before the cast completes. How annoying! This build plays more like a fast-paced action shooter that SWL is trying to be.

BUILD ROTATION
Well, there isn't much of a rotation as there is a priority system.
  • Use Trick Shot every time it's off cooldown. It's an AoE, it hits hard, it has no cast time, it applies both Exposed and Debilitated, and with Bamboozle, it even stuns, roots, and does additional damage!
  • Use Dual Shot on single targets. Dual Shot hits fast and hard. It also chews through energy, so it and its associated passive become more and more effective the higher your critical chance is. If your crit is low and you often find yourself running low on energy, check the Build Alternatives section below for another option.
  • Use Flourish as needed, depending on the situation. You can use it in the following ways:
    • Low on Energy - Dual Shot burns energy quickly. Pop Flourish after you use a Dual Shot or two to put you back to near full energy. The more regularly you use Flourish, the less often you'll run dry on energy.
    • Cleanse - Removes all stacks of one detrimental effect. A few filth mobs exploded on you and you just want to sprint right now? Flourish it off.
    • Damage Boost - With the Lethal Aim passive, Flourish also grants you a 15% damage boost and makes your attacks always connect. Makes Flourish just a great all-around off-cooldown ability.
  • Use Kill Blind every time it's off cooldown. It will extend the duration of a matched set bonus by 1.5 seconds, and with the Focused Fire passive, you'll automatically get a double white set if you don't have any bonus. For situations where interrupting an enemy's ability would be helpful, you can save Kill Blind as a reliable stun.
  • Use Raging Shot to dump Shotgun energy. It hits hard and sounds angry. To maximize DPS output, make sure any debuffs applied by your current shells stay up. For the default Dragon's Breath shells, you can even initiate a fight on a tougher enemy by stacking its DoT a couple times before unloading with your pistols.
  • Use Seeking Bullet on cheap trash mobs or when you're completely dry on energy for both weapons.

BUILD ALTERNATIVES
I need more healing!
Swap Flourish and Lethal Aim with Clean Slate and Rehabilitation. I run with two Anima-Touched weapons and have a good chunk of passive stats unlocked, and thus have some decent damage reduction and pretty constant healing. If your item level is lower and find yourself needing to take a break or run away to recover HP often, you'll want these as a source of healing and a cleanse. Remember that Clean Slate's healing scales off attack power, so there is no need to use a healing talisman.

I'm running out of energy!

Dual Shot chews through energy. Its efficacy scales directly with critical chance, as you gain 1 energy back every time you crit, plus the associated Fatal Shot passive deals additional damage when Dual Shot crits. If you're running out of energy often and don't have or don't want to use an "of Energy" weapon, swap in Unload and replace Fatal Shot with a damage passive such as Beginner's Luck, Jackpot, or Heavy Caliber Rounds. I honestly don't know which one's best here. Maybe an expert on Pistol passives can weigh in.

I don't have a Shotgun!
That's okay! The secondary weapon for this build is entirely flexible. Use whatever heavy-hitting power ability you have for your favorite secondary weapon and throw it on your bar. I only chose Raging Shot because it's an instant, it hits hard, is ranged, and because I have an orange shotgun. An excellent, low-maintenance choice is the Mjolnir Elementalism power ability with the Voltaic Shunt weapon.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Please share!
 
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#3
I am pretty sure Morven stated somewhere that Bamboozled was bugged and not working, so not worth using. Of course it may have been fixed since then.
Or I may have misheard, in which case...sorry Morven, didn't mean to quote you incorrectly.
Other than that...great info! Thanks :)
 

Morven

LoMS Member
#4
Bamboozle works great...for soloing and adds. Unfortunately it does absolutely zip-nada on CC-immune targets (like, say, dungeon bosses).

The winning replacement for Fatal Shot if you're using Unload instead of Dual Shot (it's what I use in my solo build, which I can write up if anybody's in the market for a Pistol/Blade build) is probably Beginner's Luck, since it does good up-front damage on full-health targets.
 

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Moooooooof
Staff member
Donator
#5
Thanks Morven! Yes, Bamboozle is terrific for soloing as it adds a stun to your toolkit. Definitely would not recommend using it in group situations.
 

Morven

LoMS Member
#6
Well, technically Bamboozle gets you a stun/snare/root, depending on which procs :) (Or, as I said, nothing at all - and no extra damage - if the target's CC immune). I generally use Kill Blind + passive for soloing - the damage isn't as good as Trick Shot, but I find the reliable impair starts becoming quite handy in later zones.
 

Morven

LoMS Member
#9
Okay, this started out as "I want a build that uses Pistols to do the heavy lifting (where "heavy lifting" means "killing things in the face with death") with Blade brings a little extra AoE and healing via the Chi Overflow mechanic (no fancy Emma-Touched weapons for me, and I do like to have a little survivability). I've been using one variant or another of this since early Kingsmouth.

Actives:

Seeking Bullet - Yer basic Basic AoE attack. With good pistols and a Gambler signet it's remarkably effective.

Soothing Spring - Early on, I leaned on this a lot for the heal. As my gear got better and I started overleveling mobs (mid-late Solomon Island and through Egypt) I dropped it in favour of Controlled Shooting for MOAR AOEZ, then added it back when I got to Transylvania: The Land Of DoTs And Debuffs for the cleanse (and the odd pinch heal for those "oh crap, I probably shouldn't have pulled everything on the Kaidan Docks at once" moments.) The fact that it applies a cleanse-over-time means you can use it proactively. Quest requires you to stand in a Filth puddle? No problem, apply a little Irish Soothing Spring in advance and watch the DoT vanish as fast as it appears. I just picked up the new passive cleansing gadget from a shipping crate, so I may drop it for an extra Pistol AoE again.

Flourish - What Pistol build is complete without it? Energy, damage boost, and a nice middle-finger salute when vampires pop their Glance buff.

Kill Blind - Exposes, debilitates, does solid damage, and impairs. Depending on the fight I either use it as an opener (if the mob doesn't have anything that needs impaired RIGHT NOW OR I'M GOING TO DIE!!!!1111) or save it for impairing (whatever annoying thing the mob I'm fighting might do to me). One advantage of using an impair as an opener is that paired/grouped mobs don't aggro until the stun on your initial target wears off, which can be handy when fighting pairs of Onryo that like to open with their giant AoE stun. I used Controlled Shooting in this slot for quite a long time - it's great for mowing down packs - but by Carpathian Fangs I found an impair more useful.

Unload - You could use Dual Shot here too, but I'm a fan of having energy. And it works so well with the Harmonizers.

Hurricane - Yer basic spammable PBAoE. Handy when surrounded by pack mobs, since it doesn't need line of sight to hit targets behind you. I used to use this quite a bit to generate Chi Overflow, but I grabbed a Stormbringer (the Future-Tech cache blue blade) and the passive Chi generation from it is more than plenty to keep consistent healing coming in (in short - under 10s - fights, Overflow triggers every second combat if using a Stormbringer.) Sadly does less damage than it used to, but hopefully somebody will actually look at the mechanics and revert the entirely unnecessary nerf to Eye of the Storm from the latest patch. At least it's only 3 energy (the 5 energy Blade AoE spender isn't even worth considering - it's really, really bad), making it easy to spam to generate Chi if you're using a vanilla Blade or one with increased Chi generation on attacks like the Razor's Edge.

Alternate skill (could swap in for either Soothing Spring or Kill Blind, depending on which you need less): Controlled Shooting (why this over Charged Blast? My personal preference is for chains, rather than GTAoEs.) If using the passive (and if you're using it, you should - you can drop the semi-pointless Blade damage passive for it if you're keeping Kill Blind) always target the weakest/most-damaged/lowest-health target to initiate the chain (if you can - it's not always convenient. Or even possible with the "improvements" to targeting) since it picks up damage on every bounce.

Passives:

Beginner's Luck - Extra damage proc, hits hardest when the target's at full health. Burns things faster.

Lethal Aim - Making an already great skill better.

Focused Fire - Big damage increase for Kill Blind. The free white match if not already on matched chambers is handy too, depending on what pistols you're using, but the damage boost moves Kill Blind from "useful utility" to "fairly serious damage-dealer".

Draw Sword, Draw Blood - I'm still trying to find a decent replacement for Eye of the Storm (seriously, did whoever nerfed that actually understand anything about the game's mechanics? Or even read the skill description? I am baffle.) It's not great, but it's a little extra damage when you throw some Hurricane. Still a weak pick, and a prime target for replacement depending on what you find yourself in need of - could drop in an extra self-heal (Immortal Spirit) or utility passive here quite easily.

Clairvoyance - Nice passive survival boost, since it gets you a shield every time you use Soothing Spring or Chi Overflow procs, preventing incoming damage and giving your HoT a chance to top you up.
 

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Moooooooof
Staff member
Donator
#10
I've updated the build with a few tweaks thanks to some suggestions from @Morven.

Charged Blast replaced by Kill Blind.
Bamboozle replaced by Beginner's Luck.
Blast Crater replaced by Focused Fire.
 

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Moooooooof
Staff member
Donator
#13
If you have a Double Barrel Shotgun from the Haunted Cache, try swapping out Beginner's Luck with the Odds and Evens Shotgun passive.

The Double Barrel's unique passive makes it deal more damage when using Power attacks, at the cost of using an extra shell. This is actually to our benefit, as the Odds and Evens passive grants you a 15% bonus to Power attacks when you have an even number of shells loaded. Since Raging Shot is a Power ability and our only Shotgun attack, you will always have an even number of shells loaded. This makes it hit pretty damn hard - it regularly crits for over 10K for me.

An additional benefit of this is being able to reload your Shotgun more often. While the default Dragon's Breath shells are useful, being able to have more opportunities to load Depleted Uranium Shells is never a bad thing (Armor-Piercing not so much, as both Kill Blind and Trick Shot already apply Exposed and can keep it up indefinitely). Plus, you'll look like a badass with all those combat reloads.
 
#14
This looks like a fun one. I'll give it a shot but since I'm an ele user I'll have to be lame and swap out raging shot with Mjolnr or something
 

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Moooooooof
Staff member
Donator
#15
This looks like a fun one. I'll give it a shot but since I'm an ele user I'll have to be lame and swap out raging shot with Mjolnr or something
Mjolnir is an excellent choice, especially if you have a Voltaic Shunt, but any ele focus will do.
 
#16
I just gave it a shot. It's almost overpowered how well the dual shots can dish out damage, and if you've got pistols of energy as well it really increased my overall DPS.

Kind of makes me feel like I'm playing a shooter too, which is a good thing.
 

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Moooooooof
Staff member
Donator
#18
Here's a little variation on the build I've been using for E8/9 scenarios.

ACTIVES:
Dual Shot
Flourish -OR- Clean Slate
Shell Salvage (Shotgun)
Trick Shot
Seeking Bullet
Raging Shot (Shotgun)

PASSIVES:
Double Down
Fatal Shot
Lethal Aim -OR- Rehabilitation
Beginner's Luck
Salvage Expert (Shotgun)

ANIMA ALLOCATION (DPS/TANK/HEAL): 95/5/0 or 90/10/0

What changed: Swapped Kill Blind/Focused Fire with Shell Salvage/Salvage Expert (more on that in a moment), and Flourish/Lethal Aim with Clean Slate/Rehabilitation.

Why Clean Slate? This is optional, depending on how much of a beating you're taking. If your survivability is good, you can stick with Flourish for the damage and energy bonus. If you're running more difficult content and find yourself low on health regularly, swap in Clean Slate and Rehabilitation for a big heal.

Why Shell Salvage? Simply put, it's one of the best special abilities in the game when it comes to energy recovery. Regardless of how many shells you spend, you always recover 5 energy for your other weapon, plus you'll always be able to reload the same type of shells.

What shotgun shells do I use? Dragon's Breath. The DoT stacks 6 times and you should have no problem keeping it there as long as you always use Shell Salvage to load more DB shells. If you accidentally load another type of shell, try to get back to DB as soon as you can. Depleted Uranium shells are okay for shorter fights. Armor Piercing are useless as Trick Shot applies Exposed, and Anima Infused are generally useless.