Holosmith - Protection Sword/Shield

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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: Direct damageSingle targetMelee damageDpsSurvivalSolo playRoaming.

Designed for:


Expansions required:

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A Holosmith build for open world. This build comes with the strong baseline AoE damage and crowd control Holosmith is known for, while also providing the ability to sustain through heavy damage with Protection Protection and .
  • Extremely tanky even in DPS gear
  • Relatively easy to play
  • Very high burst
  • Easy access to most boons you'd want
  • Lots of buttons
  • Heat management can be annoying at times
  • Gear is not very flexible

Skill Bar


Skill Variants

Utility Skills
  • - provides a block on demand and a toolbelt skill that deals good damage.
  • - versatile utility kit with condition cleanse, AoE damage, and a stun break.
  • - provides a reflective shield and higher protection uptime if running Inventions, see below.
  • - heavy crowd control on a short cooldown.
  • - for running away from things.
  • - for tagging mobs in group events with .
Elite Skills
  • - more raw damage if you don't need the utility of .
  • - if you need more stability or heavy crowd control.


Build Code


  • - if you're getting stunned a lot.
  • - more condition cleanse.
  • - turns your auto-attack into a 600-range projectile while in forge, also makes it an explosion
    • This gives you extreme synergy with the Explosives traitline.
  • - can be combined with a in zergs or chain-farming situations for nearly permanent forge.

Explosives Variant

It is possible to replace Alchemy with Explosives for a very large DPS increase, though you lose

  • - run this if you aren't using any explosives
  • - can be combined with for extreme might generation, provided you are using explosives.
  • This trait line assumes that you are using a or to proc the related traits; this doesn't mean you have to camp those kits, just utilize them to generate might, fury, etc.


Standard Equipment

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Superior Rune of Durability
  • Berserker stat icon.png Berserker's , Assassin stat icon.png Assassin's - slightly higher DPS, much lower survivability
  • Knight stat icon.png Knight's - lower dps, higher defense
  • - higher dps, lower defense
  • , - higher burst than but lower DPS
  • - easy alternative to
  • - combines with for permanent holo forge if you are killing mobs often


  • Any ascended food is superior to any other food you could use. Steak for power, flatbread for conditions.
  • - Use for general farming.
  • - Use for when you need to max out magic find.
  • - more sustain (requires crit chance)
  • Anything - Any food is better than none, but you should prioritize the food above before using any other food.
  • , , - general farming
  • - good damage option with +karma


This food assists with more difficult content, such as bosses or bounties.
  • , , - Defense/Damage
  • , - Damage
  • - Damage



  • Try to stay between 50% and 150% heat at all times.
  • Your highest damage skills are Photon Blitz Photon Blitz, Corona Burst Corona Burst, and your Photon Forge autoattack chain; use them whenever available.
  • While not in Photon Forge, just use your sword skills off cooldown.
  • Never interrupt your autoattack chain as most of the damage is in the 3rd hit. This applies both inside and outside Photon Forge.
  • provides Quickness Quickness for a large damage increase.
  • Use to pull mobs together.
  • If you can't get close to your target, you have a decent ranged autoattack in . If you plan to stay ranged for the whole fight consider slotting and .


  • is an incredibly powerful AoE crowd control skill. Use it to keep enemies knocked down while you unload your damage. is another useful skill for interrupting enemies and pulling them into your zone of control.
  • provides a zone of heavy damage reduction and healing over time.
    • If running you can place it for even more pulsing protection.
  • can be used to block attacks.
  • is a versatile defensive skill. You can use it to mitigate incoming damage or save it to use as a stun break.
  • Use to counter projectiles.
  • (from ) can be used to blind enemies.
  • Remember to always dodge and sidestep attacks if possible. Don't get hit by anything you can move out of.


  • The healing from , , and can sustain you through minor damage.
  • You can pick up for a cooldown reduction, or detonate it to blast the water field for more healing. and Holographic Shockwave Holographic Shockwave are more blast finishers you can use.
    • If running it provides another 3 blast finishers from the initial placement, the tool belt skill , and .
    • Never leave your Healing Turret out: the healing you get from the passive regeneration is worse than if you pick it up and put it down again.
  • cleanses conditions. If you're having trouble with conditions, you can trait .
    • You can also slot . cleanses a condition and provides a light field, which you can blast for more condition cleanses.

Crowd Control

Build rating - 5 stars
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3 Ratings
5 stars
MasterZi gave this build 5 stars September 2020

A very powerful build in both group content and solo playing. With full Berserker gear and strength runes, you can hit around 15k DPS consistently in group content. The sustained healing the build provides helps keep you healthy allowing you to reserve your healing/defensive skills for tight spots. The build also provides a large amount of CC for breakbars. My personal favourite aspect of the build is the large amount of AOE damage that your single-target rotation provides, so you can eliminate adds while still focusing on the boss. While the build says that one of the cons is "lots of buttons", your normal DPS rotation is actually fairly simple relative to the high damage it provides. Overall, I highly rate this build because of how much damage potential it has while not lacking in sustain and utility.

5 stars
Pleasebean gave this build 5 stars December 2018

This build is outright strong as hell, It gives the feeling of the true sword and shield warrior that i've been wanting for so long. Lots of sustain, regen, boons, CC, decent damages, perfect for any open world contents. I'm using marauder variant with 23k HP it is so tanky and so reliable under any circumstances although dps is lower than others but that's what to expect about sword/shield theme. This build deserved 5 stars rating without a question.

5 stars
Chinkeeyong gave this build 5 stars November 2018

A defensive variant of Holosmith which maintains the same great AoE damage while adding tons of bulk. This makes it a safe choice for soloing champions where you might otherwise get one-shot.