Holosmith - Power Tools Holo

Part of the current metagame

Our curator decided this build is in the current metagame regardless of rating. The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great

Focused on: Strike damageMobility and Control

Designed for: PvP Conquest

Expansions required: Path of Fire BuildsSecrets of the Obscure builds

Difficulty:
Hard
This build was last updated on March 23, 2024 and is up to date for the March 19, 2024 patch.

Overview

A Holosmith PvP build focusing on burst damage with very little downtime but equally little sustain.


Skill Bar

Shortbow
Utility


Skill Variants

Utility

Viable choices for the optional slot (or even over Slick Shoes):

  • Rifle Turret - it's mostly for the toolbelt skill, Surprise Shot is an instant trigger for Static Discharge and improves your burst damage. Has great synergy with the Tools spec in general because of its low CD. Currently the most popular pick, but also the least defensive one.
  • Tool Kit - CC, block, and some decent damage on Pry Bar.
  • Spectrum Shield - defensive skill that also breaks stuns and its CD could be reduced when used at high heat levels.

Weapons

  • Sword/Shield - well-rounded set with 2 quick burst damage skills and 2 defensives, not to mention plenty of combo potential.
  • Hammer - this is an equally viable alternative to Sword/Shield for people who own both Heart of Thorns and the Secrets of the Obscure expansions. The two sets offer very similar things - block, projectile-reflect, CC, leap finishers. Hammer is a slower weapon but has more damage.

Heal

  • Med Kit - worse cleansing but higher healing thanks to the toolbelt skill Bandage Self and the water field the kit offers. Goes up in value compared to Coolant Blast when NOT playing with Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit.
  • Elixir H - slightly higher healing, worse cleansing, but better uptime on some defensive boons including Vigor Vigor.

Elite

  • Prime Light Beam - unblockable ranged CC on low CD.
  • Supply Crate - a different kind of AoE CC, and the combo field could even be used for Stealth Stealth stacking.


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Specializations

Variants

  • Take Blast Shield when you're playing with either Sword/Shield or Hammer!
  • Big Boomer is better for burst damage but not necessarily for survivability, as the CC/blind from Flashbang often ends up cancelling out more damage than what Big Boomer could heal for.

Variants

  • Power Wrench trades burst damage for more frequent elite skill access. Note: this trait is useless with Elite Mortar Kit as the kit has no CD, but could be quite good when playing with other elites. Works best with Adrenal Implant.
  • Take Adrenal Implant if you want more sustain.

Variants

  • Solar Focusing Lens could increase your damage in games where Tools Tools is enough to deal with conditions.
  • A combination of Thermal Release Valve and Adrenal Implant on Tools also works. This version offers better sustain, more frequent access to the Photon Forge (you'll be able to manage heat levels with dodging which allows you to reenter PF at higher heat levels without overheating), more Explosive Entrance synergy, but lowers your burst damage and some of your Holo skills become a bit weaker.


Equipment

Shortbow
Sigil
Sigil
Rune
Amulet
Relic


Relics

  • Relic of Antitoxin - better condition cleansing.
  • Relic of Isgarren - higher burst potential but less consistency.


Sigils

  • Sigil of Intelligence over Sigil of Cleansing - better damage, worse defense against conditions.


Usage

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 and also by activating forge skills. Higher CD skills generate more heat.
  • Reaching maximum heat (150) should be avoided as Overheating damages you and locks you out of the forge until heat goes back to 0.
  • Engage Photon Forge 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 think twice before reentering with high heat levels. Be careful when entering it above ~70 heat as you may risk overheating.
  • 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.


Forge skills

  • The autoattack chain can do considerable cleave damage especially with Quickness Quickness.
  • Holo Leap should be used on CD most of the time as this is an incredibly loaded skill on a very short CD. This skill provides mobility/cleansing via Crystal Configuration: Zephyr, does decent damage, and even functions as a Leap Finisher.
  • Corona Burst tends to be the first skill Holosmiths use in combat right after entering holo mode. This is a two-parter that also stacks Might Might. The second strike goes off after a delay, making it ideal to combo with other skills for burst damage. Try to squeeze in 2 Corona Bursts before exiting the form.
  • Photon Blitz offers some ranged pressure on an otherwise melee-focused set. You could combo this with the toolbelt skills Particle Accelerator and Surprise Shot for ranged burst damage if going into melee is too risky, but it's worth using for the damage regardless of range.
  • Holographic Shockwave is an excellent AoE CC and also a Blast Finisher. You may also fake cast it by stowing your weapon right after activation in order to bait dodges from enemies.


General

  • Be mindful of your defensive CDs before entering Holo mode! Activating Photon Forge replaces your weapon skills and locks you out of swapping back for a few seconds. Many of your defensives are located on your equipped weapon (be it Hammer or Sword/Shield), making you an easy target especially when your toolbelt and utility skills are on CD.
  • Coolant Blast and Photon Wall are best used above 50 heat for maximum effectiveness. For Sword skills you should be aiming for 100+ heat.
  • Superspeed on toolbelt is the only stun break in the build by default, but at least it recharges quickly. Slick Shoes could be used while stunned in hopes of CCing enemies.
  • Elite Mortar Kit is a versatile kit useful in just about any situation and has a lot of combo potential. It has a Poison Poison field for healing reduction (that could also make it harder for enemies to rez their downed allies), Blind Blind and Chill Chill to avoid damage or kite enemies, and a Water field to combo extra healing. Most skills also do solid damage and could be used to pressure targets both in melee and range, further reducing your downtime between burst combos.


Damage

  • The more heat you have, the more damage you do thanks to Laser's Edge and Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit.
  • After every dodge roll you gain Explosive Entrance which adds a decent damage proc to your next attack.
  • When playing with Sword/Shield follow up with Radiant Arc and Refraction Cutter right after exiting the forge (while your heat is still high), preferably in this order - Radiant Arc leaps to your target which makes it easier to land Refraction Cutter in melee range, increasing the chance of landing all projectiles on one target.
  • Particle Accelerator and Surprise Shot are the best skills for proccing Static Discharge. These provide frequently available instant burst damage and should be used as often as possible.
  • Photon Wall is primarily a defensive skill, but its chain skill lets you shoot it at nearby enemies for extra damage. Using this skill only for the damage is hardly ever worth it (as it's one of your few defensive CDs and doesn't hit that hard), but you should consider using Launch Wall when Photon Wall is about to expire.
  • If taken Prime Light Beam is a powerful unblockable ranged AoE CC on low CD and works great for setting up bursts. The skill is very telegraphed and somewhat easy to avoid if you don't have Quickness Quickness, but you could even pull some mind-games with it. PLB roots you in place and makes you face towards your target - with skill retargeting enabled under Combat/Movement Options you're able to cast it on target A, bait out a dodge and then switch to target B in the last moment, hitting them with the beam.
    • If target A dodges and there is no target B simply stow your weapon to cancel it and try again a few seconds later, don't waste your elite.
  • Once your heat is back at a reasonably low level enter holo mode and spam those skills, that's really all there is to it.


Sustain

  • Every Hammer skill except the autoattack could be used defensively.
  • Electro-whirl does great damage in melee while reflecting projectiles, Rocket Charge has a lengthy evade frame on top of being a double combo finisher and having high damage, Thunderclap stuns enemies while leaving behind a pulsing damage field.
  • Shock Shield is the most defensive thing on Hammer, being a block skill with barrier. While the damage is mediocre it's still worth using it in melee as you gain barrier whenever the skill strikes an enemy, but even if you don't do that the block is still very useful.
  • Slick Shoes is great at turning things around. The instant unblockable AoE CC could stop most burst attempts made by enemies without Stability Stability while also creating the perfect opening for counterpressuring targets. Really good at immediately punishing teleport skills like Phase Traversal or Steal too.
  • Toolbelt skills remove conditions. Since you're going to be spamming Surprise Shot and Particle Accelerator quite a lot you should be able to keep them at bay just by playing offensively. When conditions start to overwhelm you use Cauterize (preferably at high heat).
  • The only stunbreak in the build is found on toolbelt skill Superspeed (not to be confused with the effect of the same name).
  • Photon Wall is an extremely valuable blocking skill that allows you to keep pressuring targets without having to worry in most cases.
  • Standing inside any of the AoE fields created by Elite Mortar Kit is already going to make you a less attractive target, but Flash Shell and Endothermic Shell are especially useful when used defensively. Elixir Shell isn't scary but being a water field you could use your many leap/blast finishers like Detonate Rifle Turret or Rocket Charge to get even more healing out of it.


Mobility

  • Stack Swiftness Swiftness for your team using Thunderclap Holographic Shockwave Detonate Rifle Turret.
  • Keep spamming Holo Leap while moving between capture points if you don't have Swiftness, but don't overheat.


Top Streamers


Ratings

This build has a rating of 5 stars based on 4 votes.
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5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars • January 2024
Very solid damage with little to no downtime between bursts, excellent mobility with lots of superspeed. Condition management is slightly above what holos are used to. Sustain's overall a bit low even with the extra block from Toolkit, no stealth or elixir S can really be felt. Definitely a high skillcap build and it has everything needed to carry in ranked, but it can crumble fast when caught offguard. High risk, high reward. It's been on the edge of becoming meta for months, but it's not an easy build to pull off.
5 stars
DeDoctor gave this build 5 stars • July 2023
I've played this build for years and it's always been really good to me, the recent buffs have made even better. It has quite a learning curve though, but it is very fun when you get the hang of it! My main build for PvP (though, I play a variant, but plays the same basically). Lot's of big damage on low cooldowns with lots of mobility.
4 stars
Ethan gave this build 4 stars • May 2023
This build is alot of fun, super speed access, blocks, high damage, cc, sustain is a little iffy so I like taking elixer C for a mass cleanse. Only thing is that currently, scrapper does all of this and more, with higher stealth, higher superspeed access, higher burst, and potential for combos in a water field for more heals. The only thing I find holo does better is it's ability to cleanse conditions without sacrificing damage. But yeah, if you like engi but don't want cheesey one shots with the scrapper build, or if you don’t like grenades, I would suggest this one.
4 stars
Vex gave this build 4 stars • May 2023
Crazy burst and high skillcap but scrapper's better rn. maybe once that one gets nerfed people will swap to this, but if nades get nerfed and not scrapper then this will be dead too. Few builds have better bursts than this without being complete memes. A good holo is still terrifying to face.

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