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.
- Thumper Turret over Elixir U - 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 Experimental Turrets on Inventions.
- Purity of Purpose makes it easier to maintain boons (and even obtain ones the build doesn't have access to normally), 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 Light Density Amplifier.
- is a tanky choice which also adds an instant source of Resistance to the build.
- trades the vitality of Sanctuary for toughness and adds another source of Protection to the build.
- offers higher overall boon duration than any other rune on this list plus an instant source of cleansing, but it's less tanky.
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 Thermal Release Valve and does some moderate AoE damage.
- 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 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.
- Holo Leap will be used to maintain permanent Swiftness and Vigor (through Invigorating Speed), 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.
- Corona Burst 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.
- Photon Blitz can be useful for reaching targets trying to escape and serves as a nice followup skill to be used after a CC.
- Holographic Shockwave 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 Over Shield / 24px Anticorrosion Plating (and by extension Purity of Purpose, if taken). Aim to maintain it as much as possible. Sources of protection include:
- Healing Turret 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).
- Static Shield 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 Dagger Storm. The stun can buy you enough time to pull off a Healing Turret uninterrupted.
- If taken Thumper Turret 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.
- Detonate Thumper Turret 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.
- Rumble (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. 24px Radiant Arc 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:
- Hard Light Arena 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.
- Spectrum Shield 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.
- 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 Endothermic Shell. Raw healing? Elixir Shell 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
- Water: Healing Turret, Regenerating Mist, Elixir Shell - associated with healing
- Light: Hard Light Arena, Flash Shell - primarily anti-condition combos
- Ice: Endothermic Shell - a field for direct damage mitigation and soft-CC combos
- Leap: Holo Leap, 24px Radiant Arc
- 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 = Frost Aura
- 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