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Dual Pistols / Willpower build critique


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This is my first try at making a sentinel.  I am not sure if I should take Dual Wield and/or Suppressive Fire.  If both, I could get rid of Chain Fences and Strength of Will.  I don't want to get into melee range very often, but if I do, I would like to survive long enough to use Hail of Bullets and get out.  Suggestions are very welcome.  Thank you.


Hero Plan by Mids' Hero Designer 1.962

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Wild West Cowbot: Level 50 Magic Sentinel
Primary Power Set: Dual Pistols
Secondary Power Set: Willpower
Power Pool: Leaping
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Leadership
Ancillary Pool: Electricity Mastery

Hero Profile:
Level 1: Pistols -- Thn-Acc/Dmg(A), Thn-Dmg/EndRdx(3), Thn-Dmg/Rchg(5), Thn-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(17), Thn-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(31), Thn-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(48)
Level 1: High Pain Tolerance -- Ags-ResDam(A), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx(7), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(9), Ags-Psi/Status(40), GldArm-3defTpProc(46), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(48)
Level 2: Empty Clips -- SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg(A), SprFrzBls-Dmg/EndRdx(3), SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(5), SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(15), SprFrzBls-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg(23), SprFrzBls-Rchg/ImmobProc(46)
Level 4: Fast Healing -- NmnCnv-Heal(A), NmnCnv-Heal/EndRdx(7), NmnCnv-Heal/Rchg(9)
Level 6: Combat Jumping -- LucoftheG-Rchg+(A)
Level 8: Swap Ammo 
Level 10: Mind Over Body -- RctArm-ResDam/EndRdx(A), RctArm-ResDam/Rchg(11), RctArm-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(11), RctArm-ResDam(46)
Level 12: Bullet Rain -- PstBls-Acc/Dmg(A), PstBls-Dmg/EndRdx(13), PstBls-Dmg/Rchg(13), PstBls-Dmg/Rng(15), PstBls-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(17)
Level 14: Super Jump -- WntGif-ResSlow(A)
Level 16: Up to the Challenge -- NmnCnv-Heal(A), NmnCnv-Heal/EndRdx(25), NmnCnv-Heal/Rchg(25), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(43)
Level 18: Executioner's Shot -- SprSntWar-Acc/Dmg(A), SprSntWar-Dmg/Rchg(19), SprSntWar-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(19), SprSntWar-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(21), SprSntWar-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(21), SprSntWar-Rchg/+Absorb(43)
Level 20: Indomitable Will -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 22: Quick Recovery -- EndMod-I(A), EndMod-I(23)
Level 24: Boxing -- Empty(A)
Level 26: Piercing Rounds -- SprOppStr-Acc/Dmg(A), SprOppStr-Dmg/Rchg(27), SprOppStr-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(27), SprOppStr-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(34), SprOppStr-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(36), SprOppStr-Rchg/+Opportunity(37)
Level 28: Heightened Senses -- LucoftheG-Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(29), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(29), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(36)
Level 30: Tough -- Ags-ResDam(A), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx(31), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(31)
Level 32: Hail of Bullets -- SprAvl-Acc/Dmg(A), SprAvl-Dmg/EndRdx(33), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(33), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(33), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(34), SprAvl-Rchg/KDProc(34)
Level 35: Chain Fences -- TraoftheH-Acc/Rchg(A), TraoftheH-EndRdx/Immob(36), TraoftheH-Acc/EndRdx(37), TraoftheH-Immob/Acc(37), TraoftheH-Acc/Immob/Rchg(40), TraoftheH-Dam%(40)
Level 38: Weave -- LucoftheG-Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(39), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(39), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(39)
Level 41: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(42), RechRdx-I(42)
Level 44: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(45), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(45), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(45)
Level 47: Tactics -- GssSynFr--ToHit(A), GssSynFr--ToHit/EndRdx(50), GssSynFr--ToHit/Rchg/EndRdx(50), GssSynFr--Build%(50)
Level 49: Strength of Will -- ResDam-I(A)
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Quick -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Rush -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Surge -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Sprint -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run 
Level 2: Swift -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Health -- Mrc-Heal(A), Mrc-Rcvry+(42), RgnTss-Regen+(43)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- EndMod-I(A), EndMod-I(48)
Level 8: Cryo Ammunition 
Level 8: Incendiary Ammunition 
Level 8: Chemical Ammunition 

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3 hours ago, IneptAdept said:

I am not sure if I should take Dual Wield and/or Suppressive Fire.  

Before I make any recommendations about attack chains, what do YOU want as an attack chain?  I ask this because Sentinels have a couple of paths they can take.  Some are better than others at different things (I find there is more to the game than just damage. 😉). 

I do have some specific recommendations about your placement of some sets though.  This is because they do not work as well as they seem on paper.  

Opportunity Strikes has good set bonuses, but that proc kinda blows for Dual Pistols*.  The proc per minute rating on it is almost as low as it can get (Standard is 1 PPM, Superior is 2 PPM).  Since the chance is really low, it favors attacks with long base recharge and ideally a long cast time.  Piercing Rounds checks some boxes on that, but because it has an area factor that lowers the chance to trigger it.  The other single target powers in the set animate and recharge too fast to make the proc worth while.  You might have a 1 in 5 chance of having it go off, and I have had it go off when my bar was already full then never trigger when I needed it.  Of course, YMMV.  Now, I have found in some sets Opportunity Strikes can be slightly more beneficial but that is another post.  That said, I actually dropped the proc from my build and put 5pc of it in Empty Clips purely for the recharge bonus.  

*Catch on this is directly related to attack chain.  

Sentinel's Ward is the opposite of Opportunity Strikes.  It has a very high base PPM rating meaning it is a very functional proc in almost any power you would want.  Even area powers.  In area powers it also has a chance to trigger per target.  

Dual Pistols has a lot of built-in accuracy on its attacks.  You don't need Tactics.  Additionally, that Gaussian's proc will activate once in a blue moon and only if the stars are in proper alignment every 100 years.  I could understand 6 pcs for the defense bonus (which still isn't worth it), but the way it is currently in your build, I'd suggest you pass.  

Dual Pistols cannot shoe horn in Build-Up and make it functional through procs.  It just doesn't work in the world of PPM values.  However, Dual Pistols does have a ton of power set diversity going for it and that means damage procs are where you make up the lacking damage.  Resistance debuff procs like Achilles' Heel are the key to creating a work around for the missing Build-Up.  

Your build includes a lot of the Winter sets.  It makes your defenses highly lopsided to Fire/Cold.  I'd reconsider trying to improve your Smashing/Lethal defense.  I'm not sure the Aegis set is doing you any favors for your build.  I'm fond of Unbreakable Guards for the Melee/Smash/Lethal defense it grants at 4 slots.  It also provides some endurance discount which is nice.   If you want, you can also 4 slot Brawl and/or Boxing for Kinetic Combats to push Smash/Lethal higher.  I like to try to hit around 30% for Smash/Lethal/Energy/Negative/Fire/Cold.  I can make up the rest with inspirations. 

For Stamina and Quick Recovery, I like Performance Shifter here.  At least the End Mod and the Proc.  I often try to get a 3rd there for the bonus hit points which are useful to Willpower. 

The Numina Proc is better in Health than it is in Up to the Challenge.  The Panacea proc doesn't translate it's values in Pine's, but I think it is better than the heal mod from Miracle.  I'm not a big fan of Regenerative Tissue for Sentinels, but that is also personal taste.  

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You have given me fantastic feedback.  I have no idea what I want as an attack chain, just that I don't run out of Endurance and can hopefully take down a single target fairly quickly.   When I am more awake tomorrow I will read over your comments and see what I can modify.  Thank you for a great post.

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You have Quick Recovery and Stamina.  You shouldn't be worrying about losing endurance, except to sappers.


Also, the Performance Shifter +End Proc, if things haven't changed from live, is just slightly more END than an End Mod IO.


While I think having Tactics is handy, I have to agree, if you're not Positional Defense, I'm just not sure it's worth the slot investment of Gaussians.


Suppressive Fire on a Sentinel is to good to pass up.


And...I'd say more, but gotta go to work!

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I took both DW and SF on my DP/WP main. If you slot it up right, you get a decent amount of damage to recharge ratio. Also I use SF as an interrupt to most casts and some long attacks.


Another reason to take the two is without them, you're left with only 6 attacks: 1 fast but weak, 2 AoEs (EC & BR), 2 high damage but also long-ish recharge + high end cost, and a PBAoE with a very long recharge (HoB). I foresee a bit of dead air in your attack chain. Also, those 6 attacks may do all right against mobs, but against a hardy boss, you're going to want single targeted attacks. However, bottom line is it all depends on your game play style. Even if you end up not using DW or SF in your attack chains, you can use them as mules for set rewards and global perks.

Another thing I'd like to point out is that your build has quite a lot of expensive IOs. If you have inf to burn, then it shouldn't be a problem.

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  • 2 weeks later

I am leveling a DP/Regen Sentinel, so I can share some about DP.  You do not want to pass up your DW, SF or ES.  These are your main ST attacks, and served me well doing (+2 mission difficulty) and tackling (+2) Bosses and Elite Bosses.   The AOE attacks have awkward shaped area effects and require good positional placement to optimize the "hit zone" with them.  They do have target caps. 


As for sets, I am running Devastation on my ST attack chains with Opportunity to Hold.  Surprisingly, you will see the set proc it's hold more often than you'd expect since the ST attack chain recharges fast.  My defensive secondary was Regeneration, I focused on mitigating incoming damage by minimizing enemy opportunity to attack.  This allows me to "face tank" situational incidents against minions and lieutenants; but apply the DP ammo benefits also allows my character to handle (+2) Bosses and Elite Bosses without high-threat because Instant Regeneration is awesome!


As for ES, I decided to use this skill, as my go-to defense de-buff attack, so I slotted Analyze Weakness here.  It has a fast animation, and facing (+2 or more) Bosses and Elite Bosses, getting their defenses down helps me significantly land other more damaging attacks.  Still, I have not decided how to slot Piercing Rounds, it's an ST/AOE attack, and it will further boost my effectiveness against (+2 or higher) Bosses, Elite Bosses, and hopefully, AVs.


Edited: Not sure whether ES standard ammo defense de-buff has an error or the Decimation hold proc is overly strong; because, I have successfully landed holds on (+2) Bosses and Elite Bosses after de-buffing them.  Same with DW/EC knockback and SF hold on them.  The set's hold doesn't last long (1-2 seconds) but it interrupts them.


You shouldn't have a problem with endurance because I can consistently cast my ST attack chain, and more, but as others said: you only have to worry about sappers.  I found SO enhancements work better than IO sets in Quick Recovery and Stamina.  The Endurance Modification sets have properties unrelated to those two skills i.e. End reduction or recharge.  I feel that you lose slotting those set on the endurance +recovery rate potential by using SO here.  So far, I have not found the need to munch down End insp. fighting Sappers.  Electrical attacks sap but their manageable and doesn't interfere executing the ST attack chain.


I agree with others that you shouldn't need Tactics.  The DP have a built-in accuracy that scales up with enhancements, so you're actually getting more than normal.  Standard ammo with ES will still give you some defense de-buff on the target, and by association, improving your accuracy.

Edited by Ghost907
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3 hours ago, oldskool said:

Devastation's hold proc lasts 6 seconds.  If you're constantly stacking magnitude it will eventually be high enough to hold a boss. 


Long time Controller/Dominator player.  😉

Thanks for the insight on stacking potency of the holds.

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  • 2 weeks later

A good DP/WP build should practically build itself.  In WP you can skip Resurgence.  You can potentially skip Strength of Will.  In DP you have a lot of options and it really is to big a variable to make a quick response.  Sentinels can potentially skip Piercing Rounds, but again... it's going to be a your mileage may vary thing.  

Have you read the Dual Pistol and Willpower write ups? 


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