Often used solely for it’s first line effect (+30% Team Cooldown Reduction), which allows for the shortest possible Phasewalk cooldown, the Catalyst com buffs a rather unusual blend of action skill and on-kill effects, which leads to some interesting builds.
This guide contains two builds, the first is meant to use your guns, and phasewalks mainly for mobility and the damage reduction from Silent Resolve. The second is more phasewalk focused and is intended for you to remain in phasewalk for the full duration. Part of the reason for this dichotomy is that while the com allows for the shortest possible Phasewalk cooldown, two of the skills it buffs, Girl Power and Phoenix, have no effect while you are in Phasewalk. Furthermore, the Team Cooldown Reduction effect works even while an action skill is in use, meaning that you and your allies are now reducing your cooldown time (by 30% of normal rate) while using your action skill in addition to having a 130% cooldown rate otherwise (this situation may be modified further by character skills like Roland’s Deploy). In essence, it’s impossible to make completely optimal use of all buffs provided by the Catalyst com at the same time, so the question then becomes, which effects do we sacrifice more often?
The first build: Gunplay:
This build mixes most of Lilith’s gun-related buffs in with choice phasewalk buffs to allow for a hybrid playstyle.
-Team friendly: 1st and 5th line effects apply to your allies as well as you.
-Versatile: This build has no particular preference for gear other than Spark being specific to elemental weapons and High Velocity and (typically) Slayer being useless to Rocket firing weapons (Carnage Shotguns and Rocket Launchers).
-Less DPS than a fully gun focused setup
-No effects other than Inner Glow that scale with how long you stay in Phasewalk=little reason to take advantage of the duration and it’s interaction with 1st line effect.
Controller Tree: 23 points
-Diva: This skill gives +6% shield capacity per point (despite the tooltip claim of 5%/pt.), since We’re running Girl Power, that skill is further buffed by the com, AND the shield regeneration that skill provides scales with your maximum shield capacity; Anything that increases our Shield capacity is MOST welcome.
-Inner Glow: We need more points to get to Girl Power, and this is a far better option than Striking and imo is preferable to Dramatic Entrance (although w/ frequent Phasewalking this build can do, I can see Dramatic Entrance as an alternative choice). The health regen in Phasewalk is something we often won’t need, but when we do, it’s nice to have, and it gives us a least a little reason to stay in Phasewalk for the full duration sometimes.
-Hard To Get: Shortening the cooldown time of Phasewalk is a major selling point of any Catalyst build, so this is a must. It also synergizes nicely with Blackout.
-Girl Power: One of the most powerful skills in the entire game, and it’s buffed by the com. This is already pretty much a must have for any Lilith build, even more so for a Catalyst since it’s on the com. Furthermore, the mat2 effect for the Catalyst com increase Shield Regeneration which as far as I can tell includes Girl Power’s effect (and, since it’s a team effect, allied Brick’s Unbreakable and allied Roland’s Quick Charge).
-Mind Games (3/5): This is a great skill to put those last 3 points in. Lilith often uses weapons with a high volume of fire, which means it doesn’t take a very high probability (15% w/ 3/5) to end up getting the Daze effect pretty quickly.
Elemental Tree: 20 points
-Quicksilver: Despite the tooltip claim of 5%/pt. it’s actually 7%/pt. so this is giving us a total of +35% weapon fire rate. A very solid offensive buff that affects all our guns, even the Rocket firing ones.
-Spark: This skill also has a somewhat misleading tooltip, the actual effects are, at 5/5, 10% increased Tech Pool, and 27.5% increased Tech Pool Regeneration rate. Very nice for our elemental weapons, and we also needed to points to get to Intuition anyways.
-Intuition: It’s buffed by the com and gives significant Movement speed and some additional team experience for 7 seconds after you get a kill. Might as well invest fully in it, especially since we need the points to get to Phoenix.
-Phoenix: Also buffed by the com, this skill does a lot: It causes fire damage to all enemies around you and stacks Fire DoT quite easily (seen this skill burn Drifters from full to dead by itself), it also gives a chance to save ammo, which effectively increases your magazine size, and thus your DPS. Because it’s a 5% chance to save ammo per point, points put into this skill give a greater effect the more points you already have there, at 5/5 you can, on average, get 33% more shots from the same magazine before reloading (assuming Phoenix is active the whole time), at 9/5, thus 45% chance to save, you can, on average, get 82% more shots from the same magazine under the same assumption. The only downside is that sometimes it your gun won’t automatically reload when it’s empty because Phoenix is going to save ammo on the next shot, but because the gun is already empty, it won’t fire. This annoying glitch hasn’t been fixed (and probably never will), so it’s something to be aware of and get used to dealing with. The ammo saving effect reduced the shot cost by 1, so ‘double’ weapons and certain other that use more than one ammo per shot will still consume some ammo, and the above math about ‘effective’ mag size changes too, such weapons benefit less from Phoenix’s ammo saving, but they still benefit.
Assassin Tree: 25 points
-Slayer: Increases the player critical hit bonus by 12.5% (of non-crit damage) per point, the baseline player critical hit bonus varies considerably from enemy to enemy (it’s set by the values for the relevant zone on the enemy, a typical bandit has a value of 150%, so he takes 150% extra damage, or 250% in total). In short, a nice buff to our critical hit damage with our guns.
-Silent Resolve: This skill gives +50% damage reduction per point for 7 seconds after exiting Phasewalk, the way this works out, at 5/5 is that you can take an extra 250% damage before taking a knee, this is the strongest damage reduction effect in the game, and with the frequent Phasewalking this build does, is something we can have frequently.
-High Velocity: Increases Bullet Velocity and Damage, a nice buff for our guns.
-Blackout: This skill synergizes fantastically with both Hard To Get and the 1st line effect of our com, and facilitates our frequent use of Phasewalk. 3 kills is enough to guarantee Phasewalk is back, and often 2 is enough.
-Phase Strike: With all this frequent use of Phasewalk, we might as well get a bunch of extra damage out of it, right? That’s what this is here for. Be sure to aim for crit spots w/ your melee attack to exit Phasewalk.
This build is pretty flexible about what guns you aught use, to get the most out of the gun related buffs, you ideally should be using elemental bullet firing weapons (a pretty broad category).
This build has some of the strongest shield regeneration effects in the game, but they ultimately scale with maximum shield capacity, so you have a strong preference for getting the highest capacity possible, this means Impenetrable shields are preferred, in particular, Pangolin varieties. The ideal shield for most purposes would be a perfect level 68 Pangolin Ironclad which has 3547 capacity before Diva kicks in.
User preference, keep in mind that Transfusion wisps from Transfusion Grenades can’t heal you while you’re in Phasewalk (iirc anyways). You can also toss a grenade or two at your feet, then enter phasewalk to avoid the blast, an excellent tactic when you’re surrounded by enemies, Bouncing Betties and MIRVs are especially good for this. Grenades can be very useful to set up a kill w/ Phase Strike to get your on-kills, that are also buffed by the com, going.
Mat2 or Mat3?:
The mat2 variety has a +33% Team Shield Regeneration effect, which not only affects shield recharge rates, but as far as I can tell, ALSO affects other shield regenerating effects. In particular, it affects Girl Power, which is already being buffed by the com. The mat3 variety has +2 Team Find Rare Items, this effect has been extensively tested, and the general conclusion has been that it has very little if any effect on loot drops, hence in most cases, you’re probably better off running the mat2 version.
Alternate build: Full Phasewalk
-Dramatic Entrance is here in addition to Inner Glow, reason being that phaseblast dazing is a very nice effect to have with the phasewalk spam of a Catalyst build, and since we aren’t taking as much of her gun buffing skills, we have the points for it.
-Radiance has been added to further benefit us staying in Phasewalk for the full duration, Spark is gone, but I still have Quicksilver only because I needed to invest 5 points to get to Radiance.
-Hit & Run has been added, since it increases Phasewalk duration, which is very useful to this version of the build, High Velocity and Slayer are gone (5 of those points into Hit & Run, other 5 into Dramatic Entrance).
Gear situation is essentially unchanged.
In general, both of these builds require you to make choices about when to exit Phasewalk to get the most out of them, reasons to stay in phasewalk are for the health regen from Inner Glow, cooldown reduction from com’s 1st line, and, in the alternate build, Radiance damage. Reasons to exit phasewalk sooner are begin normal cooldown (so 100% Cooldown rate from action skill not being ready/in use), got a kill (and thus Phoenix and Girl Power are now active), cooldown was already refreshed by Blackout (rare, but happens sometimes). Apart from this, it’s pretty much standard Lilith gameplay adjusting as needed to weapon selection and what enemies you’re fighting.