Holosmith - Sword Holo

The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great

Focused on: Strike damage and Mobility

Designed for: Open World and Open World General

Expansions required: Path of Fire Builds

This build was last updated on April 09, 2023 and is up to date for the February 14, 2023 game patch.


A power Holosmith build for open world. to cauterise enemies with the power of concentrated sun light. This build has great damage both in AoE and single target, decent mobility, and is slightly resilient. Compared to scrapper and mechanist, this build is harder to play but can potentially do higher damage if nearby allies are providing boons. However, it isn't that great for soloing as it doesn't have barriers like scrapper or a very tanky pet like mechanist.

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Skill Bar


Weapon variants

  • You can use rifle if you want or need a ranged option, but it has lower damage. Most of your damage comes from Photon Forge which is melee, so the range of rifle isn't that great either.

Skill Variants


The recommended provides good healing and cleanses 2 conditions. It also creates a water field that can be blasted for more healing (See: Guide:What are Combo Fields). Its toolbet skill also creates a (very short) water field.

  • - requires more skill to use, as it only provides large healing if you were to take lethal damage. And it doesn't provide condition cleanse on demand. However, its toolbelt skill is more useful, as it stuns for 2 seconds.

Utility Skills

has great damage and crowd control. is great for damage. provides great damage through the kit and its toolbelt skill. You can replace Grenade Kit if you don't like it. Laser Disk and Throw Mine should only be replaced if you really need to.

  • - great stun break and damage reduction with a low cooldown, even lower if used at high Heat.
  • - provides a projectile block on demand and a toolbelt skill that deals good damage. Situational since you are already using a shield, and this skill only blocks frontal attacks.
  • - heavy melee range crowd control on a short cooldow, in case you need more crowd control than what Throw Mine provides (though it does almost no damage). Its toolbelt skill does a little ranged crowd control.
  • - provides boons to yourself and nearby allies, and its toolbelt skill pulls nearby enemies, though sadly it has a small range.


Specialization Variants

  • - DPS increase in group events when allies are providing fury.
  • - trades some damage for defense,
  • - more condition cleanse.

Fast Tagging

In events that require fast AoE damage, take and with a for higher tagging potential.

Alchemy Variant

This variant deals much lower DPS but provides much higher durability. This typically should replace Firearms, though to keep the high crit chance you can also replace explosives.


This set uses gear similar to Build:Holosmith_-_Power_Sword_DPS, making it excellent for general PvE


Equipment Variants

  • - defense
  • - defense
  • - when using


  • Any ascended food is superior to any other food you could use. Steak for power, flatbread for conditions. Budget versions of these foods exist and are acceptable.
  • - farming
  • , - DPS
  • - defense
  • (and variants) - farming
  • , - dps


Photon Forge

Most of your damage comes from Photon Forge, the holosmith's profession mechanic. Using skills inside the Forge generates Heat, some Heat is also gained over time. Having high Heat is great, as it increases your damage through and . However, you must exit Photon Forge before you accumulate 150 Heat, or you will Overheat, which does great damage to yourself, prevents you from accessing the Forge until it cools down, and puts your toolbelt skills on cooldown, so a terrible thing to happen.

When you exit Photon Forge, it will begin to cool down after a few seconds, and you will slowly lose Heat and heal yourself a little through . Once the Forge has cooled a bit (but not all the way down), you will enter it again. This way, you will always have some good amount of Heat to benefit from the aforementioned traits.


As mentioned, having high Heat is great, and your Photon Forge skills not only generate Heat but also do great damage. You should open fights with your Photon Forge, use your Forge skills until you're very close to overheating, then exit the forge and fight with your sword and Grenade Kit. Once your Heat cools down to about 80, you should enter the Forge again. Your highest damage skills are:


Against bosses and other durable enemies, try to follow this rotation. If possible, start with high Heat, about 80. You can use to quickly generate a lot of heat. If possible, use Throw Mine before the fight, so you can detonate it later once you have high Heat so it does more damage (the skill beings to cool down when you place the mine).

  1. Photon Forge auto attacks.
  2. +
  3. Sword auto attacks.
  4. Sword auto attacks.
  5. Repeat
  • Use the following skills off cooldown when above 100 Heat instead of auto attacks: , , , .

Notes and tips

  • If you enter Photon Forge at about 80 heat as recommended, your second will be used very close to overheating. But this won't be a problem because you can leave Photon Forge right after the yellow casting bar of Corona Burst disappears. This might cause you to reach 150 Heat outside of Photon Forge as Corona Burst generates its Heat over 1.5 seconds after casting, but you can't overheat outside of the Forge.
  • If possible, precast and before fights.
  • You can enter and leave Engineer Kits without interrupting your current action. So you can press the key for and equip the kit immediately and it won't get interrupted. This is great for when you are only going to use and exit the kit, as you have to wait 1 second before you can exit the kit, this way that one second will pass by as you finish casting Refraction Cutter and cast Shrapnel Grenade, making the rotation much more fluid. Do note that Stow Kit does not interrupt your ongoing action but Weapon Swap Weapon Swap does, so don't use weapon swap.
  • To quickly generate Heat before fights you can use , , and auto attacks. You can also use if you won't be needing the Crowd Control.
  • Remember to try to stay always at high Heat to benefit from and . Even your sword skills are more powerful when used at high Heat.
  • only stuns enemies that attack you while you are in melee range.
  • Photon Forge auto attacks have been bugged since launch and are much slower if you manually press the key. Instead, just rely on auto attack and don't press the key.

Defense and Sustain

  • and provide a little sustain in long fights, but you're vulnerable to burst damage.
  • You can block attacks and reflect projectiles with your shield.
  • With your great burst damage, you will kill trash mobs before they kill you. You can also use your CC to incapacitate them so they can't fight back.
  • In longer fights, if you need more defense, you can consider using the defensive utilities and/or at a dps loss.
  • Remember that cleanses 2 conditions. If you need even more cleansing, use .

Crowd Control

  • (if using )


This build has a rating of 5 stars based on 5 votes.
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4 stars
Onlywrin gave this build 4 stars • June 2021
One of my favorite farming builds. Lots of mobility and high damage.
5 stars
SephirothUSA gave this build 5 stars • April 2021
This build is amazing and dps is insane with great sustain. Im worried whats going to happen to this build after the new patch that will come on May 11th. when they nerfed Laser's Edge from 25% to 15%.
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.


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