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Troyusrex

New Guide: Pyropocalypse. A guide to insanely powerful fire/fire/fire blasters.

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Posted (edited)

This character began with a simple exercise, trying to see just how much AoE damage I could squeeze out of a single hero. Unlike most of my experiments, this one was WILDLY successful. It works extremely well on teams and is a real monster when farming. I mostly farm council, since I have a great mission for it, but I’ve farmed many things, including Malta and CoT with similar results.

Like the MF Warshade, this toon isn’t so much about a specific build as about a specific attitude. That attitude is the fearless pursuit of maximizing damage to enemies. To be successful you have to be willing to dive into large hordes with abandon and let loose in pyromantic glory! I remember when I first saw those vast hordes at the end of Market Crash and thought of the carnage I’d wreak (and boy, did I ever!) You should be so aggressive you are getting kicked off timid teams for always diving right into large hordes (where you are slaying enemies left and right, but those who follow you often perish). You are always looking for more and tougher foes to test your might. You never hide behind the tanker (although a good tanker who knows that punchvoke isn’t enough is golden).

The five powers of the pyropocalypse.

Over time, I came to find 5 “powers” that greatly effected my chances of quickly and completely defeating a large group of enemies without dying. These powers, in order of effectiveness are:

  1. Inferno
  2. Pyronic Core Judgement (Incarnate power)
  3. Bonfire (with KB-KD IO)
  4. Inspirations
  5. Barrier Destiny (Incarnate power)

Against +4/8 maps I find that if I enter combat with none of these I have about a 75% chance of beating the enemies without dying. If I use any one of these powers the number increases to 95%. Any two and it is close to 99%. I don’t recall ever losing when using three (except when using them so late the battle is already lost). By making sure you have hasten and as much recharge as you can fit in (although always prioritizing damage) at least two of these five should be available for each new group you approach.

I’ll talk about each and their usage a bit below:

Inferno and Judgement:

In early damage maximizations tests (well before my current veteran level 162), I used Herostats extensively to track damage. While it was obviously buggy, it did make a few things really clear:

  1. ½ of all damage from this hero was caused by Inferno
  2. 2/3rds of all remaining damage done was from my T-4 Pyronic Judgement
  3. Everything else fell into the 1/6th left.

While I suspect those numbers aren’t 100% accurate, I do think the general premise is correct: Inferno and Judgement dwarf everything else. As such, the attack style of this hero is built around them. To be effective you must learn how to jump in the middle of a large group while hitting build up and then letting off Inferno at just the right position to hit the most enemies. AND you have to do that before their alpha takes you down. This takes practice and fearlessness, but it is an essential skill to master. Judgement is easier, as it’s a ranged blast, but does enough less damage that you have to jump in the middle of the group quickly to unleash Fire Sword Circle and Combustion (and always a few fireballs!)

Bonfire

Once the Knock Back is changed to Knock Down this power does a fantastic job of keeping the bad guys flopping around and not shooting at you. Its very slow animation means it’s tough to use after the opening shot (although I certainly do use it sometimes), but it is highly effective. As with almost everything in this play style, placement to hit the most bad guys is critical.

Inspirations

I continue to believe that inspirations are one of the most underrated and underused mechanics in the game.

I usually use my inspirations using the “mash” method. In case you aren’t familiar with this, I’ll explain. Clicking on inspirations to use them is a slow business. Using the function keys, however, you can use them quickly. The first column is used by hitting f1, the second by f2, on to the fifth column which is f5. If you hit any of these keys quickly and repeatedly, it will use every inspiration on that column quickly. If you put your fingers on all of the f1-f5 keys and “mash” them down as fast as you can, you can use a tray of 20 in about 3 seconds. Those 20 usually give you enough extra offense and defense to sally forth and ruin the day of an entire group of +4 bad guys.

A few things to note here, first, any rez inspirations can’t be used while you are alive so having them in the column will not allow anything above them to be used. To prevent this, I asked the P2W vendor to restrict my receiving these inspirations (besides, I have Rise of the Phoenix, which is WAY better).

Second, if you use these before combat, like I usually do, any health or endurance inspirations will not do anything (assuming those are already full). I have key binds on my movement keys to combine any set of three inspirations automatically to +damage, again focusing on maximizing my damage output.

Third, the mash is a bit harder during combat. If powers are activating the mash won’t work until the other powers are activated. I tend to use the mash before combat, except in emergencies.

I tend not to give much regard to what is in my inspirations, I just down them all and jump in! Killing fast means not wasting time on things like adjusting your inspirations!

Barrier

This is from the Destiny pool and gives you solid defense and resistance for a minute or two. I tend not to use it much, but it is highly effective. I’ve considered going ageless for the +recharge instead, but I do find that on occasion Barrier is fantastic.

Honorable Mention powers

While I rarely jump into combat without at least one of the 5 powers of the pyropocalypse at the ready, there are many powers that I find are very helpful and appreciated, but that I don’t wait on before diving in. Listed in the order of how much I value them.

  1. Build up (& Aim)- Extra damage & to-hit! What’s not to love
  2. Hasten – more recharge = more carnage
  3. Rise of the Phoenix – The pyropocalypse is life on the edge, and as you rampage through villains death will eventually catch up with you. But who cares? You bounce right back up and keep fighting!
  4. Assault Hybrid – I notice the difference when it is on. Pity it so often is not. I am currently using Assault Core Embodiment after using Assault Radial Embodiment for a long time. It seems a little more powerful, but tough to tell for sure.
  5. Hot Feet – I used to HATE Hot Feet as it makes the bad guys run and PBAoE works best when they stay close. However, fully slotted with SLOW they still try to get away but are so slow who cares! Better yet, it slows those few who would have run even without Hot Feet! I find I have fewer to chase down now that I have Hot Feet fully slotted with slow.  
  6. Demons Core Superior Ally – They don’t seem to add a ton of damage, but I love when they run down strays. Was using Banished Pantheon for quite a while, but I hated how they got in the way of the camera. Demons don’t do that and are more fitting with the fire theme.
  7. Defense Amplifier (from P2W vendor or super packs) – I do a pretty good job of killing the villains before they can mez me, but the mez protection comes in mighty handy on occasion.
  8. Inner Inspiration (from P2W Vendor) – Free good inspirations! Yay!

Of course, most of the regular attack powers are good too. I use the 3 blasts and the sniper attack all interchangeably, with a slight preference to blaze and the snipe. But, as I said above, these aren’t the bulk of your damage, they are just to finish off stragglers.

Fireball, fully slotted and with knockdown is excellent. Fire sword circle is ok. Good damage, fast animation. Consume is slow animation, but decent damage. Fire breath is solid damage, but hard to get everyone in the cone.

I do have tough, weave and fire shield. Even so, my ranged defense is 24.02% and smashing resistance 35.50%. While I’m sure I could up both of those and thus be far harder to kill, a true warrior of the pyropocalypse uses a more binary calculation of defense and resistance than most heroes do. The calculation is that an enemy with 0% of their hit points left does 0 damage, but one with 1 hit point left does full damage. Thus, every point of extra damage makes it more likely they will be too dead to hit you back.

Personally, I’m not a fan of rain of fire. Slowish animation and it makes bad guys run. I used burn for quite a while, but the small AoE annoyed me and I haven’t missed it.  Not a fan of consume either, as I don’t have end issues and the damage isn’t fantastic (note: if anyone has a different opinion of any of these powers, please share. I am open to trying them again if there’s a winning tactic with them).

Finally

I keep going back to this toon because I love how potent he is. In groups sometimes people get annoyed that I don’t leave much for them. When I’m farming and invite a stranger in they almost always can’t believe how fast they are racking up XP. But, it took a lot of practice to become this good and there are still times when I face plant two, or even three times, in quick succession. This isn’t like a hard capped brute where things are easy and you almost can’t be killed, this is on the edge fighting using all the tricks at hand. You can be two shotted by some +4 bosses, so correct placement to get them all is important (even then, bosses often need a few extra hits to die). Situations with additional bosses, such as if a Kheldan is on your team and quants appear, require even a bit more vigilance, but can be handled.

In short, this character is a monster, a quick farmer and with an outsized impact on any team. Fortune favors the bold, especially when they can just resurrect themselves like a phoenix!

I hope this guide is helpful to people. I've greatly enjoyed playing this character and I hope this inspires others to love it too!

 

Edited by Troyusrex
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I gave a like specifically for this part:

11 hours ago, Troyusrex said:

Inspirations

I continue to believe that inspirations are one of the most underrated and underused mechanics in the game.

I don't think there is a level range in the game where Inspirations don't have a major impact on improving performance. Despite the fact that they are better used than unused, I often find myself 'hording' unused inspirations for an 'emergency'... but unless I am using inspirations to put myself into riskier situations it is rare that 'emergencies' even arise!

 

I think the advice about slotting Hot Feet for Slow is also smart.

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On 5/11/2020 at 7:59 AM, tidge said:

I gave a like specifically for this part:

I don't think there is a level range in the game where Inspirations don't have a major impact on improving performance. Despite the fact that they are better used than unused, I often find myself 'hording' unused inspirations for an 'emergency'... but unless I am using inspirations to put myself into riskier situations it is rare that 'emergencies' even arise!

 

I think the advice about slotting Hot Feet for Slow is also smart.

Hey, there is some unspecified future time just begging for these insps, which I would otherwise squander in the present!  😉

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I was asked to post a build, and I've done so below. This is a very high end build (as a Veteran Level 160+ farmer, I can afford it). But the truth is I change builds more often than most people change underwear. I do this to try out new styles, new powers and to add some more spice to my play. In fact, now that I took the time to enter it, I see some potential changes. For instance, I hadn't realised I have too many +10% recharge sets so I'm not realising as much +recharge as I could. 

That said, I've only found the factors listed in my guide to make a huge difference. Also, this build was very effective well before level 50, let alone getting the Incarnate powers and the accolades. 

 

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Edited by Troyusrex

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hi Troy, i've tried to understand where this guide is leading... as your use of the "dead enemies do no dmg" train of thought made me think the build would be towards multiple procs & very high +Rech, so i was surprised to not find them in the posted build. it seems a bit torn between dmg vs durability, with neither pushed to an extreme. is the balance intended?

also, i hear ya on "trying to see just how much AoE damage I could squeeze out of a single hero", and still can't knock ya for taking the snipe (as it's far too much dmg to leave out, even if it's ST), but... no 22% ToHit to make it hit peak dmg? (which would also help with AoE dmg, via less whiffing)

i'm firmly in the "dead chars do no dmg" camp, but i've also got a Fire/Fire build focused on nothing but dmg (it was a fun exercise), so your title grabbed me.

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1 hour ago, Krazie Ivan said:

hi Troy, i've tried to understand where this guide is leading... as your use of the "dead enemies do no dmg" train of thought made me think the build would be towards multiple procs & very high +Rech, so i was surprised to not find them in the posted build. 

I'm very intrigued by this, While I've explored procs on a bunch of toons trying to create "proc monsters", I've never been overly impressed. However, I'd love to try it out here. Might you have some suggestions on how procs might really improve this character? 

Edited by Troyusrex

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44 minutes ago, Troyusrex said:

Might you have some suggestions on how procs might really improve this character?

i wouldn't suggest "proc-monster" approach on a blaster, as it's only worth it on ATs/sets/powers that lack the base dmg through normal Enh slotting, imo. but we can look at your very 1st power as example; Flares is overly Enh in dmg, going far over ED, and the 6th slot bonus of 5% to Psi is extremely minimal in the over-all picture... you could have a 2nd dmg proc there. worth a mention; due to that particular power not being the best PPM or a power you will use a ton in a build like this, it's not going to be a huge change, but it's better than zero difference (the over-ED dmg being lost). others will gain quite a bit of dps, like Inferno/FSC/Combustion.

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@Krazie IvanThanks! I'm always tinkering and looking for new directions to explore and you've given me a new angle to try! 

 

I've already started respecing one of my toons builds to work on this. It should be an interesting exploration. I will probably start a new series of posts about what I learn from this.

 

Your observations are very appreciated!

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5 hours ago, Krazie Ivan said:

also, i hear ya on "trying to see just how much AoE damage I could squeeze out of a single hero", and still can't knock ya for taking the snipe (as it's far too much dmg to leave out, even if it's ST), but... no 22% ToHit to make it hit peak dmg? (which would also help with AoE dmg, via less whiffing)

@Krazie IvanTell me more about this "22% ToHit". I'm embarrassed to say I don't know of any proc,set bonus or other enhancement that gives that..

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It's been a while since I've played a Fire/Fire blaster, and your build looks fairly good. Just one major comment - when starting out, I recommend taking Fire Blast at level 1, Fire Ball at level 2, and then maybe taking flares at a later level. This way, you do more damage at lower levels. Yours is probably a respec build, not designed for leveling.

 

I'd also recommend dropping Fly and get Super Speed. Slot Celerty: +Stealth into Sprint and Blessing of the Zephyr: Knockback resistance into Super Speed. This way, with Sprint and Super Speed, you get very good +Stealth to run from mission to mission, not to mention the knockback/knockdown protection from your enemies - even when Super Speed is turned off! If you really want Fly, you can get temporary flight from the P2W vendor.

Edited by Mageman
Minor clarification.

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As the one that asked if OP would show some figurative ankle on the build, I'd like to publicly say thanks (and again, thanks very much for the email!).

 

I am planning a new Blaster and I'm curious to see how much of this design/gameplay ethos I can emulate.  I won't lie though, I look at this build and feel like one of those guys who looks at a Formula 1 car and thinks, "That'd be awesome to drive," even though they'd be about 97% certain to die the first time they took a turn.  😁

 

Later on!

Generator

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