Holosmith - Explosive Sword

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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 damageMobility.

Designed for:


A Holosmith PvP build with great damage, pulling its weight anywhere from duels to teamfights.

Skill Bar


Slot Changes


  • - another viable option. Could be used for CC, burst and even mobility.

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  • offers more damage at the expense of sustain.
  • is better for burst damage, but not necessarily for sustain as the CC from often ends up cancelling out more damage than what Big Boomer could heal for.


Superior Sigil of Intelligence
Superior Sigil of Intelligence.pngSuperior Sigil of Intelligence
Your next three attacks after swapping to this weapon while in combat has a 100% critical chance. (Cooldown: 9s)
Superior Sigil of Energy
Superior Sigil of Energy.pngSuperior Sigil of Energy
Gain 50% of your endurance when you swap to this weapon while in combat. (Cooldown: 9s)
Superior Rune of Divinity
Superior Rune of Divinity.pngSuperior Rune of Divinity
(1): +8 All Stats (2): +10 All Stats (3): +12 All Stats (4): +14 All Stats (5): +16 All Stats (6): +18 All Stats, +10% Maximum Health
Berserker Amulet
Berserker Amulet.pngBerserker Amulet
+1200 Power +900 Precision +900 Ferocity


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 Overheat Overheating damages you and locks you out of the forge until heat goes back to 0. This build doesn't really have access to proper heat management, which means you'll have to rely on your utility and elite kits to pass the time while the forge is cooling down.
  • 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. Try not to reenter it above ~50-70 heat else 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.
    • If absolutely necessary you can abort Photon Forge by using .

Forge skills

  • Although the auto attack chain got significant nerfs in March 2018, it can still do considerable cleave damage especially with Quickness Quickness.
  • should be used on CD most of the time as this is an incredibly loaded skill with a very short CD. This skill provides mobility/cleansing via , does decent damage, and even functions as a Leap Finisher (although the default build doesn't really have combo fields, variants or your allies may do).
  • 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.
  • can be useful for reaching targets trying to escape, otherwise it should only be used if you can make sure that all of its projectiles are going to land (for example if the target is CC'd).
  • 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 build has rather poor access to condition removal, limited only to a few holo traits. When you're under heavy condition pressure always try to get a in before leaving the forge, increasing the chance of removing damaging conditions with .
    • Against condition burst 's immunity can bail you out.
  • has both defensive and offensive uses. You could either hold on to it to break out of stuns, or burst targets with Quickness Quickness
  • is the go-to panic button in the build, making you immortal for the time being (well, except for fall damage). Beside just avoiding cerain death, this elixir's also useful for stomping enemies or reviving allies without any risk of interrupts.
    • is the only source of Stealth Stealth in the build, and it's AoE. There are plenty of situations where stealth can be a powerful thing to have. These include hiding allies who are being stomped thus saving them, removing pressure from yourself by turning invisible, or concealing your movement before an engagement to catch enemies off-guard.
  • is a bit RNG but both forms are fairly versatile. Whether you need to get away from a fight, have to interrupt something, or want to do some extra damage, you can't go wrong with this skill (although Rampage has far better damage, even after the nerfs):
    • is fairly simple, you want to use skill 5 and skill 4 right away. If all you want to do is a quick interrupt or a decap you may consider exiting the form after just these two skills (even in the middle of Dust Charge in order to stay on the node). You could also just keep going and toss enemies around, taking pressure off of your team. The first 3 skills are used to adapt Tornado to the given situation - you can choose between doing damage, mitigating damage via Blind Blind, and hard-CC.
    • can do some massive damage through the auto chain and . Dash is also great for mobility in general. All the other skills on the set are strong CC effects with next to no damage.
    • is a popular opener in Rampage, allowing you to CC targets from range and then either follow up with for burst damage or to keep the CC chain rolling.


  • The more heat you have, the more damage you do thanks to and .
    • is the best burst skill in the build and should be used while your heat is high. Being a toolbelt skill, this can be used while the forge is active. Using it in melee range is optimal as it reduces counterplay (opponent won't have time to react to the projectiles).
  • After every dodge roll you gain which adds a decent damage proc to your next attack.
  • While the forge is cooling down focus on spamming skills as filler.
  • Right after exiting the forge follow up with and while your heat is still high, preferably in this order (Radiant Arc is a leap which makes it easier to land Refraction Cutter in melee range which increases the chance of landing all projectiles on one target).
  • 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.


  • Keep spamming while moving between capture points, but don't overheat.
  • If you're not going to need your healing skill in the immediate future you could sacrifice it for some Swiftness Swiftness while the forge is cooling down.

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Build rating - 5 stars
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4 Ratings
3 stars
Yolo gave this build 3 stars September 2021

the dmg and sustain just isnt there anymore after the nerfs. with grenade barrage only hitting for 3-4k and shrapnel grenade out dps'ing barrage most of the time , this build is indeed a shell of its former self. power rev outshines it in dmg/sustain/mobility and condi ranger straight up murders this build

5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars August 2021

One of the most popular engi builds at the moment and a very strong damage dealer in general.

5 stars
Majki83 gave this build 5 stars May 2020

Very solid and much fun to play. Not for beginners cuz of holo mechanic (and combo field/finisher too). Curently im testing more tanky version with marauder/demolisher amu and rune of resistance vs condi comp and it still has high dmg. This build is good as teamfighter, duelist and roamer (cuz of perma swiftness, sword 3, and superspeed toolbelt skill). Mortar elite skill will let u control field from distance or even in full contact. Shield skills are perfect to reflect projectiles or blocking (both are instant)... And to push off all foes around.

There is much more mechanics (like blinding) making this build rly strong and effective if u know well how to play holo.

I rly recommand this build rn.

1 More Rating
5 stars
Novuake gave this build 5 stars April 2020

Top notch duallist build with good control.