Hi! My name is Twix, or in some cases Mythic and like a lot of people, I’ve been playing the BL series since the start. Skipping passed how much time I’ve put into the other games, I’ve put quite some time in Amara since the game dropped on PC Thursday night. I had thought of this build for a couple of days but only just got around testing it tonight and wanted to share it! Let’s get right into it.
Unlike most Amara builds, this IS NOT A MELEE build. Moving on from there, I think it’s in fact stronger than all of the melee builds I’ve seen.
This guide is a tad long. If you just want the build, here’s the same link to the mobbing skill tree and Phasezerker mod that’s also found below. Here is also a quick gif to see what it does. Note- Only one point in Alacrity is needed, you can put the other two points anywhere you please. You also don’t need more than 1 point in wildfire if you wish to put those points elsewhere. Only put 1 point in Remnant. I know I have 3 in the skill tree but I havent figured out where else to put them yet.
Lastly, if you don’t need healing from Soul Sap, take Stillness of Mind instead. It’s pretty good.
The basic mechanics
First, I need to explain Rush stacks and the Do Harm Skill. Do harm is a skill in the Mystical Assault tree that increases your action skill damage per stack of Rush, while consuming those stacks on ability use. You accumulate stacks of rush by killing enemies or afflicting enemies with elemental effects if you aslo have the Violent Tapestry skill, which we will. So with this in mind, the more stacks you have, the more damage your abilities do when you use them. Simple enough. Max rush stacks are 10 until you reach your capstone in Mystical Assault, Avatar. Avatar lets you use your ability twice over the span of a single cooldown, but that’s not even what we care about. Avatar also gives you +10 max stacks of rush, giving us 20 total max stacks.
Now that we have 20 stacks, we’re going to look at the Phasezerker mod. This class mod gives you max stacks of rush after using an ability, and also a +5 to max stacks, giving you 25 stacks of rush total with each ability use. This is our damage powerhouse. Not to mention it gives you an increase in gun damage and ability cooldown per stack!
With phasegrasp, you can use your ability and the game refunds the cooldown if you don’t hit anything. The class mod however, still gives you the 25 rush stacks even when your ability doesn’t connect. Which means you can sit and charge your Do Harm stacks to a max of 99, consuming 25 Rush stacks with each phasegrasp attempt. However, you don’t need to charge to 99. If you charge yourself to 75 stacks, and then use your ability on an enemy, this will already put you at 99. Also if you do use all 5 points in DH, you can stack to 25 or 50 most of the time on easier content such as story mobs and do plenty of damage. Also take the Mayhem modifiers in consideration.
Lastly, we take the Ties That Bind ability, which connects up to four enemies to your phasegrasped target. All enemies linked together take shared damage. The link damage is set to a base of 35% damage. With Do Harm, that number seems to escalate. Combine that with Lay Bare and you’ve got a serious combination of damage modifiers.
Here is the mobbing skill tree. Something you should know that there are 5 or so points that you can do whatever you want with to fit your personal preference and it won’t really make a difference. Since we don’t take Restless, you get 2 points that you can put wherever (mine are in Alacrity), and you can also move points from Wildfire to either Steady Hand(s) or Catharsis. You might notice there’s no points in Restless. But Twix, isn’t that 25% cdr? Wtf is wrong with you? Well , my friend, there is an explanation further down in the skill breakdown below. Important note - After some further testing, the Remnant skill seems to bug occasionally and the orbs either don’t spawn at all which must be fixed by quitting to the main menu, and they sometimes completely miss. Feel free to put these points wherever else if you really don’t want to deal with that.
The Action Skill you’ll take is Ties That Bind.
For augments, I prefer the Soul Sap augment for increases sustain for you and your teammates, especially in TVHM M3.
Action skill element is preferential and also can depend on Mayhem mode affixes. In most cases, I think using the shock mod with a fire weapon is best, or corrosive weapon in some siutations. More about this later. But you can switch around your elements as needed, and definitely keep an eye on the Mayhem mods.
Ties That Bind Explanation
Here I’ll talk about how Ties That Bind works. Ties That Bind does shared damage between all enemies that are linked. The base damage shared is 35%, but our Do Harm stacks amplify that quite a bit. Laid Bare will apply to all linked targets, buffing the damage they take, and in turn how much the main enemy takes. The linked damage is going to be dealt via the element that your action skill will deal. I keep it shock most of the time to get through what is normally the first enemy defense, a shield. When you’re shooting your main target, you’ll want to use whatever element they are weakest to at the moment. This will multiply your damage further.
While speccing myself for single target damage, I was thinking to myself “Hey, why do we go down the FoTE tree anyways? It makes us take a bunch of garbage. And I said to myself, ‘Wow, that’s a good point. Thanks, me.’” So I went down the Brawl tree a bit with thistankier skill tree. You take Phasecast and you go down the blue tree, then you go to the green tree, ultimately making yourself pretty tanky while also giving yourself an extra life. You lose some elemental damage in the process, but it’s probably not the biggest deal. I imagine this build is good for soloing tougher bosses in higher difficulty.
This is the less tanky but more elemental damage skill tree I think the link name there speaks for itself. I don’t know which is better overall, but when it doubt, the tanky one will do you plenty of favors. The difference in time it takes to kill a tough boss between these builds is probably negligible. If you’re farming easy bosses, take the more damage tree.
I’m likely not going to talk about every skill, but I will talk about why I take some and not others.
First, Do Harm. Does it need 5 points, or can you get away with less?
I absolutely think you can get away with less. Perhaps 1-3 depending on your difficulty and if you’re solo. However, on Mayhem 3, I think 5 is pretty justifiable - especially in group play.
Violent Tapestry - Take one point in this. Some people have argued to take 2 points, but I find it unnecessary.
Restless - Oh man I thought this skill was good. But it’s been brought to my attention that it does almost nothing when paired with our Phasezerker mod and Avatar. These 5 skill points combined give us pretty negligible cdr. If you’re skipping Avatar though, it’s worth taking.
Transcend- Increased crit damage comes in handy.
Wrath Vs. From Rest - These are pretty close in damage, but the increased gun damage does give some kind of diminishing returns. If you don’t have any gun damage buffs, Wrath isn’t a bad take. If you do have other gun damage buffs or are using a Maliwan, you might benefit more from From Rest. Ultimately, I would probably just take From Rest
Remnant - Does some solid damage when it works properly. Which isn’t incredibly often. Don’t max it, as we only need 1 point in it anyways for our overkill damage increase. But also don’t max it because it’s not programmed correctly. 1 point is enough.
Awakening- This ability says it buffs the affectiveness of rush stacks. It is currently being tested exactly what that means.
Avatar- I need to explain this for a second. The reason we take Avatar is primarily for the extra max 10 stacks of Rush. When you are charging your Do Harm stacks by spamming Phasegrasp, you need to be careful if you want your second Phasegrasp. You’ll notice while charing that when you use the ability and it misses, it goes on cooldown for a second before fully coming back up and turning yellow. If you use to before it goes back to the ready indicator, you’ll accidentally trigger your second use.
So let’s say Avatar gives you 2 charges, which it sort of does in a way but not quite, but we’ll say so for clarity sake. If you use the first charge to hit an enemy and kill it, you get your second charge that you can use as intended any time during the cooldown of the first charge. Using it a second time though does seem to make the cooldown longer - which is especially noticable when youre 2 or 3 seconds from the first cooldown coming back up and you use the second one, and the game makes you wait a whole cooldown before getting both back. The best way to use the second charge would then be to only use it immediately after the first charge is over.
But wait, there’s more! If you use your first charge and kill an enemy, and then miss your second charge, then your action skill just comes back showing as up, and you’re stuck in your second charge completely no matter how long you wait. After using it, you have to wait a full cooldown to use the first charge, and get the second charge back.
So in my opinion, I think it’s best to just spam charge as fast as you can and forgo your second use. The cooldown is still only going to be something around 10 seconds, especially with our class mod and 25 stacks of rush still.
Infusion- This might be a sin but I don’t like this skill. This skill takes damage from your current gun and CONVERTS it to the element you are attuned to, which in our case is going to be shock or fire. This means if you are using a shock gun on an enemy with a shield, you will do less damage to his shield because now part of your gun is doing fire damage. Same if you are using a fire weapon and part of your damage is converted to shock on an enemy with no shield but a lot of health. Even worse is when there’s a big bad armored enemy and you’re doing less damage with your corrosive weapon because part of it has been converted to one of the other elements. Don’t even get me started about how much less damage you’ll do if the Mayhem mods aren’t in your favor. It’s just a big no from me. However, if you want to take it early game because you can’t find a decent elemental weapon, be my guest.
Steady Hands Vs. Wildfire- If you want this skill, take the points from Wildfire. Wildfire isn’t the best, but I think it’ll do you more good than Steady Hands. Wildfire bouncing to enemies will provide you with a bit more healing from the Sustainment skill
First and foremost, you need the Phasezerker class mod mentioned earlier. It does not matter a whole lot which skills it has, which seem to generally be some mix of Anima, Conflux, and Clarity. However, I do think a mod with higher Anima and Clarity are going to do you better than a mod with more points in conflux. I don’t like conflux for the same reason I don’t like infusion. Enemies tend to only be weak to one damage type at a time and I don’t care about mixing my damage.
For guns, I don’t think it really matters a whole lot, though I will say I have found the Crossfire to be my favorite with this build. It shoots 5 round burst and 4 rounds per shot, so 20 shots per trigger pull which can really bounce around with the Indiscriminate skill. I personally like to roll with three of these bad boys.
For grenades, I really like Hex Mirv (Shock is probably best) grenades, or Quasars.
As far as shields, I’ve tried a few that I really like:
Gives you 100% shock resistance, which dare I say is pretty awesome. This means that you’re even tankier beyond your shield amount becasue it’s going to have it’s own damage reduction against the other elements. On top of that, any shock damage you take will instead recharge your shield. If you want to get really fancy, you can heal yourself with shock grenades.
Instantly begins recharging your shield when broken. I used this for a while, it wasn’t too bad really. In my experience, it didn’t just start recharging my shield, it just set my shield back to full.
This shield will give you plenty of time to get out of any bad situation that you’ve found yourself in. It’s a great defensive option.
There are plenty of other good shields out there that you can take, these just happen to be the ones that I have used the most while forgoing other shields.
Really anything that will buff you after action skill end.
I think some people don’t quite understand how it works, myself included. I thought you didnt have to have a gun currently out to get its buffs, but apparently that may be wrong. Further testing incoming.
Now how do you play the build?
Well, it’s rather easy!
- You keep enemies out of your reticle and spam your action skill, intentionally missing.
- You get yourself to 50 -75 or higher Do Harm stacks depending on the gameplay difficulty. Even just 25 in some instances.
- Look for a group of enemies, as this build will do more damage based on the number of enemies that are tied together.
- From here, you have a quick choice to make. Either grasp a priority target, or the one that will connect to the most enemies. Hopefully you can get both of these things in one.
- Shoot the Grasp target
- Continue making mayhem
That’s all I have for now! Thanks for checking out my guide and let me know if there’s any questions you have!
12/4/19 - By now, there’s plenty of variations and information stemming from this original build. I haven’t played the game really much since September, shortly after release. It’s likely I won’t be updating this guide any further unless I get the itch to play again, or until the steam release in April. Thanks for reading!
9/17: Added more accurate skill breakdown and explanation, as well as bossing skill tree.
9/18: Added more in depth explanation of Avatar and why it’s mediocre but necessary.
Added Section about how Ties That Bind works.
Added TLDR at the top.
Did some more boss testing, added more info about action skills for bosses.
Added shield preferences.
Changed points out of Restlessness and into Trancend/Alacrity.
Added new boss builds.
9/19:More info about skills and where you can put extra points.
9/20: Mentioned Remnant should only get 1 point. Skill tree update coming whenever it’s decided where the best place for those 2 points are.
12/4: Added end blurb