Holosmith - Protection Holo
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A tanky sPvP Holosmith build made to win duels and occasionally help out in team fights by bringing both damage and support to the table.
- over - 3 blast finishers, Protection synergy and some CC. You'll have the same amount of stun breakers in the build, but much lower Stability and Quickness uptime which could make it harder to use skills under heavy pressure. Take on Inventions.
- makes it easier to maintain boons (and even obtain ones the build doesn't normally have access to), but the maximum potential damage reduction is going to be lower.
- The first trait depends on who you're facing. If you're expecting to be dueling Power based specs, take .
- is a tanky amulet in general with a 6th bonus that has nice trait synergy.
- offers higher overall boon duration than any other rune on this list plus an instant source of cleansing, but it's less tanky.
- is also decent.
Elite specialization basics
- Holosmith grants access to the Photon Forge (sometimes referred to as holo mode) and introduces a new resource: heat. Heat is generated passively while the forge is active, or by activating forge skills. Higher CD skills generally generate more heat.
- Reaching maximum heat (100) should be avoided as Overheating damages you and locks you out of the forge until heat goes back to 0. The best tool for heat management is dodge rolling, which vents 15 heat per roll via and does some moderate AoE damage.
- is used to activate the forge, after which your weapon skills will be replaced by 5 new ones. You can't exit the forge for at least 6 seconds, so be careful about reentering with high heat levels.
- Both Engage Photon Forge and Disengage Photon Forge count as toolbelt skills and will work with related traits. Both skills can proc weapon swap sigils too.
This is where most of the damage comes from
- Although the autoattack chain got significant nerfs in March 2018, it can still do considerable cleave damage especially with Quickness.
- will be used to maintain permanent Swiftness and Vigor (through ), keep using this skill out of combat as well but don't build too much heat (manage with dodges accordingly). Holo Leap also does considerable damage while in combat. Keep in mind that this is a Leap Finisher, so always try to combo it with either a Light Field for Light Aura or a Water Field for healing.
- will be the primary source of Stability in the build and an important source of Might, granting up to 5 stacks per use. There's a second attack too which goes off after a short delay. This should be the VERY FIRST SKILL you use after entering holo mode.
- Stability won't be applied unless you hit at least one enemy.
- can be useful for reaching targets trying to escape and serves as a nice followup skill to be used after a CC.
- is an excellent AoE CC and also a Blast Finisher. You can also fake cast it by stowing your weapon right after activation in order to bait enemy dodges.
- The Protection boon is the very backbone of this build. Not only does it remove 1 condition per application, but its effectiveness is further enchanced by / (and by extension , if taken). Aim to maintain it as much as possible. Sources of protection include:
- Both shield skills
- 's 6th proc (if taken)
- Converting Vulnerability, in which case a second condition's also going to be converted because of the fresh protection application
- cleanses a total of 4 conditions (2 baseline, 2 extra from Inventions traits) - 5 if you're using Rune of the Herald.
- If you're under heavy condition pressure consider picking up the turret (F by default) instead of detonating it to shave 5 seconds off its CD for more frequent cleansing. Alternatively, detonating the turret in a Light field sacrifices some AoE healing but cleanses one additional condition, bringing the total amount of cleanses to 5 (6 with Herald).
- is one of your strongest defensive tools. Not only does it grant Protection and block attacks, but also stuns anyone who attacks you which can even CC enemies out of evade frames such as . The stun can buy you enough time to pull off a uninterrupted.
- If taken is one of the most versatile skills in the build:
- Right after deployment it does an AoE CC, triggers a Blast finisher, applies Protection, and activates a projectile-reflection bubble.
- is a 2nd Blast finishers. Note: try not to detonate/pick up this turret while the bubble is still up, as a 2nd AoE CC will go off right before the shield drops.
- (toolbelt) is a stun break with Stability and yet another Blast finisher.
- Sword is rather mediocre. The autoattack chain is weaker than Photon Forge's, skill 2 is only ever worth using as a filler above 50% heat + point blank range. is what matters, which is an incredibly loaded skill - gap closer, leap finisher, Quickness uptime (always try to use this skill above 50 heat), and the damage isn't bad either.
- While the build is mainly about sustained damage, there are a couple of burst combos you can do. An example:
- will be your best cleanse and party utility tool, removing up to 12 conditions over its duration whilst also applying its own boons every second. As a Light combo field any Blast finisher executed in it will AoE cleanse 1 condition, while Leap finishers grant Light Aura. Always try to use it above 50 Heat to prolong its duration. This skill is about mitigating moderate-to-high sustained damage over a longer period of time, making sure that - with the combination of other skills when necessary - no damage will overwhelm you.
- is what you use to survive bursts of any kind. Against direct damage this should be used preemtively, whereas vs conditions it's sort of a last resort option under overwhelming pressure which buys you a couple of second until (hopefully) your cleanses come back up or the conditions fall off.
- The toolbelt skill may seem relatively unimportant (and that's not far from the truth), but an instant source of Blind that's usable even while CC'd isn't all that weak when you're being pressured or if you need to blind a downed interrupt whilst stomping someone.
- This one is fairly straightforward. This kit contains 5 long range attacks, 4 of which are combo fields (and of that 4, 3 are defensive by nature). Despite its range most of the time you'll be spamming these directly at your feet for sustain (and some damage as the impact damage does okay damage) whenever you can spare some time for it.
- Since you'll be overlapping a bunch of combo fields, here's what you'll do: pick the field you actually want to utilize, and use that one first. Want Frost Aura? Start with . Raw healing? it is. Pile all the other fields on top of it - in situations like this the oldest field is going to be at the top of the priority list.
- Note: the kit shares a cooldown with Photon Forge!
Understanding combo fields & finishers
- Ice: Endothermic Shell - a field for direct damage mitigation and soft-CC combos
- Leap: Holo Leap,
- Blast: Detonate Healing Turret, Holographic Shockwave, Magnetic Inversion (shield #4 chain skill), and a total of 3 on Thumper Turret (as mentioned above)
- We're not going to list everything, just the few most common ones.
- Leap/Blast + Water field = healing
- Leap/Blast + Ice field =
- This aura provides a direct damage reduction which stacks with other forms of mitigation such as Protection
- Leap + Light field = Light Aura
- Blast + Light field = AoE condition removal