Galilea is amazingly fun. Routinely viewed as ridiculously overpowered in both PvP and PvE, she’s an extremely well designed and implemented character that is easy to learn and play effectively but definitely takes some skill to truly master.
Gal is something of a generalist, which makes sense considering that she was an Eldrid spy that infiltrated the Jennerit and is now working for the UPR (she was “rogue” for a while, on Bliss, just killing stuff on a whim, so she there’s also a case for that). Her baseline toolkit (melee attack with shield alt, stun, debuff, and escape tool skills) is already pretty diverse, but it can be expanded even further with her helix options.
Probably the most important determinant is that Galilea is labelled in game as a Defender when she most definitely is not. Galilea is a blender that will turn her enemies into frothy smoothies and is equally adept at chasing down opponents as she is at defending a location. Furthermore, she’s not really very territorial either: she’s got decent mobility, especially once she unlocks her ultimate, and it often behooves you to drop Desecrate on top of an enemy aggressively rather than waiting for a for to run into it. Her passive skill rewards her for staying in combat, in the thick of things, too. Definitely not a “defensive” character. Galilea kills; she doesn’t guard.
This isn’t to say that Galilea is an auto-win character. Since she’s a generalist with a diverse kit, her only major weaknesses are tactical exploits: after using (with helix, missing) with her Shield Throw, she’ll be denied her shield (which is basically required for staying alive, since she’s not really that durable without it), she requires wind up in order to really start blending her foes (Corruption is meh on the surface, but there are some excellent helices for it), and, since everyone always takes the exact same helix at level 3 (it’s just that good), her DPS plummets (and she is no longer capable of attacking at range) when she’s not at max hp. If you can manage to recover your shield quickly and stay at max hp, Galilea will be a wrecking ball, but, if you’re playing against Galilea, deny her those benefits and she’ll be much less dangerous.
For her abilities, things people probably don’t realize or should know from the start.
Galilea’s basic attack. Unlike most basic attacks, Galilea’s combo changes depending upon whether she is moving or standing still. While standing still, Galilea simply alternates between wide slashes from her left and right at a regular tempo; when she begins moving, Galilea will include a spinning slash after every left-right combo that attacks everyone around her (instead of just in front of her) thrice. As such, Galilea’s DPS increases dramatically when she is moving so, even if you are wailing on a target that doesn’t want to move, you should still be moving slightly to the left and right to keep your DPS up.
Furthermore, because Galilea’s attacks are wide slashes, if you want to score crits on targets, you can’t be too close to them. If you are too close, you’re liable to hit a target at the beginning of the slash (to the extreme left or right) rather than in the middle and end up not scoring a crit. To effecively score crits with Galilea (and many melee characters, in fact), you need to get your opponents into the sweet spot where your target is just within range (with the DtGA helix, this becomes even more important).[/details]
Galilea’s alt-attack. One of the more annoying things about fighting Galilea, her alt-fire allows her to produce a shield that will absorb up to 1000 damage from the front (and only from the front). Her speed slows down while it is up, since she is incapable of sprinting, but it allows her to close the distance and begin the blending without suffering a great deal of damage. The shield recharges (back to the full 1000) after a seconds of rest and cannot be used while Galilea does not have her shield in hand. You can see how much more damage your shield can absord by looking at the bar attached to the right side of the hp/shield element in your HUD.
If you do not have your shield, using her alt-attack will place Galilea in a defensive posture which reduces her damage dealt by a significant portion (from the front), so it’s still useful to use without her shield.[/details]
Galilea’s passive. Whenever Galilea uses a skill or hits an enemy, she generates a small amount of corruption, which is tracked by a bar attached to the left side of her skill HUD element (the one in the bottom right of your screen that tells you whether skills are recharged and, if not, how long it will be until they are). Each skill use/hit provides roughly 10% of max Corruption and, while she has Corruption, she will gain an aura that extends just outside of melee range that deals damage to all enemies (and objects) within it (it will shatter shards and open boxes/chests). The amount of damage provided is proportionate to the amount of Corruption she has (50% Corruption deals half as much damage as 100% Corruption) and increases by small amounts as you level. The damage is never truly impressive, but it can add up, especially if you are in a fight for an extended period of time. If you don’t use a skill or damage an enemy for a few seconds, however, you lose all of your Corruption at once. It’s not a crippling loss, but it does force you to start over.[/details]
Skill 1. Galilea hurls her shield and attempts to injure and stun a single target at range. There is some arc to the throw and it’s not really a fast projectile so it takes a good bit of skill to hit targets that are moving quickly and/or at long range. By default, you have to go pick up your shield from the ground (by walking over it) regardless of whether you hit or miss the target, which means that you won’t be able to block incoming damage with your shield until you pick it up or the skill recharges (which gives you back your shield immediately, which is nice in case you can’t find it). This skill gets a lot of really good helices that dramatically improve and expand its utility, making it an absolutely devastating ability, even if the damage is comparatively pathetic.[/details]
Skill 2. Galilea creates a patch of ground at her feet that increases the damage taken by all enemies within it by 15%. It activates quickly and is large enough that you can use this in combat without feeling like you’re hurting yourself. The default area is rather small, but the benefits are incredible, since they apply to damage dealt by your allies/minions as well. Most experienced players will gtfo immediately. Like Shield Throw, there are a number of excellent helices that expand the utility and effectiveness of this skill.[/details]
Ultimate. Considering how awesome everything else about Galilea is, her ultimate is anything but. The damage is anemic, the healing is pitiful, and, unlike her other abilities, the activation time is long enough that, if you use it while you’re low, you’re liable to die as you activate it. The only thing that this is good for is mobility, since Galilea sinks into the ground and can run through/under her opponents, and dodging some major attacks (this only works on non-explosive projectiles/collision, however; she will still be injured by many AoEs and can actually be stunned, knocked back, or knocked into the air). All-in-all, it’s the weakest part of her (admittedly) powerful tool kit. Just remember that, even though it deals damage, it’s not an attack: it’s for avoiding damage by either getting away or not being targetable.[/details]
[details=Level 1: Herald’s Return v. Vortex v. Calamity]
Recommendation: (PvP) Vortex or Calamity; (PvE) Herald’s Return
Vortex can truly ruin an opponent’s day in PvP since you can either yank a reticent foe to you to start the fight or prevent a fleeing foe from getting away (and increased their damage taken to ensure that they don’t survive). The area of the pull is larger than Desecrate and the strength of the pull is impressive such that, if you move quickly after activating it, an enemy can actually be catapulted past you to the other side. Calamity is equally useful in PvP but remember that it only applies to targets at the time of activation and only lasts for 5 seconds, regardless of how long they’re actually in Desecrate (if they immediately flee, they’ll still be wounded). If you have an opposing team with some strong healing (Boldur, Alani, Miko, and/or Ambra), I would go with Calamity; else, go with Vortex.
In PvE, you don’t really need to pull enemies since most are willing to oblige you by closing the gap themselves (and then staying there rather than running away). The wound from Calamity is also basically useless since there aren’t any enemies that heal. As such, Herald’s Return is the way to go, not that it’s a bad helix. It’s quite powerful: the CD reduction happens after cooldown time is factored in so, if you have a lot of CD time reduction (such as through the pick up), it will recharge almost immediately (the skill goes on cooldown when you activate it and the reduction occurs when you hit a target). It also means that you’ll get your shield back almost immediately too (your shield flies back to you as soon as it stops moving). This actually counts as “recovering your shield” for other helix options, even though you didn’t actually pick it up.[/details]
[details=Level 2: Skilled Throw v. Mark of the Feeble]
Recommendation: (PvP) Mark of the Feeble; (PvE) Skilled Throw
As with all things wound, Mark of the Feeble is only useful in PvP because enemies don’t heal in PvE. However, because you’re coupling a wound with a 2 second stun, MotF is a powerhouse combo of “you’re dead”.
Skilled Throw gives you a bit of AoE with Shield Throw, though it’s implemented in a somewhat weird way. Your shield will bounce to nearby targets and, occasionally, will actually hit the original target again, dealing additional damage. The damage decrease is extreme and you’ll rarely hit more than 3 targets (and only if they’re tightly packed), but it’s a DPS increase nonetheless.[/details]
[details=Level 3: Sentinel Stance v. Gashing Bash v. It’s Dangerous to Go Alone]
Recommendation: It’s Dangerous to Go Alone
As awesome as blocking to increase Corruption or a reasonably decent DoT on Galilea’s quick melee (that’s what they mean by “off-hand shield bash”), nothing competes with the obscene power boost provided by DtGA.
While at full hp, DtGA shoots out a small blast at the apex of Galilea’s melee attack (the furthest point); when she does a spin, it fires 3 at once in a tight-ish spread. They move at a reasonably fast pace but are far from instant and there’s a slight drop the further they get out, but it’s not difficult to account for.
Giving a melee character a ranged attack would be awesome enough (especially since hitting targets with the blasts generates/maintains Corruption), but, because the blasts are created at the apex of her slash, if you are at the proper distance (the “sweet spot” mentioned previously), you will hit the target with both the blasts and her sword slash, effectively doubling her damage (the blasts actually benefit from attack damage, just like your basic attack, so it’s a huge DPS increase). It’s when you do this that Galilea will straight up melt her foes. It’s disgustingly powerful.
Keep in mind, you only get access to it while you are at max hp, which is hard when you’re a melee character that has to expose yourself to danger just to deal damage, which is why I heartily recommend focusing heavily on regen mechanisms for Galilea (which she has a number of, in fact).[/details]
[details=Level 4: Chaotic Infusion v. Bleak Quiet v. Forsaken Grounds]
Recommendation: (PvP) Bleak Quiet; (PvE) Forsaken Grounds
While it seems strange to recommend against the first healing tool provided to Galilea immediately after discussing the “must-take” helix that rewards her immensely for being at max hp, Chaotic Infusion is just pathetic. It’s only active while Desecrate is up (and you’re standing in it), and it is a pathetically small amount of healing. Bleak Quiet and Forsaken Grounds turn Desecrate into more of a death path than it already is and, honestly, stopping things from hurting you is better than recovering from the hurt they deal; Bleak Quiet ensures that you’re not going to be on the receiving end of any vicious skills and Forsaken Grounds will kill stuff for you (the damage listed is lower than what you’ll actually see since the damage is augmented by Desecrate’s 15% amplify).[/details]
[details=Level 5: Last Light v. Antihero v. The Pact]
Recommendation: Last Light or Antihero
In general, I opt for Antihero but it has been nerfed and some people might have problems keeping Galilea at max hp while she delivers death to her foes. As with all things Corruption, the healing and attack speed is proportional to the amount of Corruption you currently have, so you’ll only see the full amount in the throes of combat. I would say this is a question between offense and defense, but it really comes down to how good you are at staying at max health: if you need some help, take Last Light; if you don’t, take Antihero.[/details]
[details=Level 6: Dark Age v. Forsaking Others]
Once again, this comes down to whether you can keep yourself at max health with or without help. Increasing Desecrate’s duration is a massive boon (going from 8 to 11 seconds is a 37.5% increase in duration) and makes all of Galilea’s non-level 1 Desecrate helices even more amazingly powerful. Forsaking Others, however, is Galilea’s most powerful healing tool, especially combined with Herald’s Return (which means you don’t have to go grab your shield if you hit and gets it back to you immediately; since it reduces the CD on Shield Throw if you hit, this also means more healing over time). They’re both excellent options and I’ll alternate between which one I take depending upon the situation: if I have a nice, reliable healer around, I’ll go Dark Age; if not, Forsaking Others.[/details]
[details=Level 7: Mirror Knight v. Duelist]
For the first time, we come upon a junk level for Galilea. Mirror Knight would be nice, but it’s only a chance (it can actually activate while she doesn’t have her shield up; if she’s attacking and a shot hits her shield, it will still damage you, but it has a chance to be reflected). Duelist is crippled by the fact that you generally want to recover your shield asap (and it automatically returns to you when it recharges). If you took Herald’s Return, don’t take Duelist since you’ll pretty much never see the boost.[/details]
[details=Level 8: Inescapable Fate v. Blight Town v. The Black Wind Howls]
Recommendation: (PvP) Inescapable Fate or Blight Town; (PvE) Blight Town
TBWH only augments Galilea and only while she’s in a small area that enemies already want to leave so she’s not really going to be getting much of a boost out of this. Inescapable Fate, however, slows down all enemies, making it harder for them to leave an area that they really want to get out of. This isn’t that useful in PvE since enemies don’t try to flee Desecrate like players do, but it’s quite a boon in PvP (especially when paired with Vortex so that they’re pulled then slowed). Blight Town simply makes Desecrate absolutely massive, which is awesome, and more useful than a slow, in PvE, since you include more enemies while decreasing the likelihood of their wanderings taking them out of the patch (since there’s more area).[/details]
[details=Level 9: Defender’s Dare v. Tideturner]
Galilea is a melee character and needs to be in melee to turn her enemies into mulch. Tideturner lets you do this in both PvP and PvE (it’s especially good in PvP since it means you’re spending less time running to beat on that enemy you just stunned). If you aren’t having any issues with movement, Defender’s Dare is a decent choice, but I don’t bother with it since I don’t really use Shield Throw for the damage it deals (it’s not bad damage, but it’s not good enough to bother augmenting heavily, in my mind).[/details]
[details=Level 10: Deeper Than Doubt v. Pitch Black]
Increasing the size of the AoE means that you’ll hit more targets with a Abyssal Form’s abyssal damage while Pitch Black will give you full Corruption. If you’re having problems getting to/keeping at full Corruption, go Pitch Black; if you’re not, Deeper Than Doubt. Neither is going to make a huge difference since they both affect Abyssal Form in ways that aren’t really useful for what Abyssal Form is good at (mobility/avoidance).[/details]
Galilea is a beat-stick melee that needs to stay at max health to keep obliterating her foes. Because of this, she’s got some weird priorities. I’ll go over all of those here, based on how I personally categorize them, and provide a priority list for each category.
(Attack Speed=Attack Damage>Critical Damage>Cooldown>Skill Damage>Shield Pen>Recoil=Reload)
Attack Speed and Attack Damage are both of primal importance because Gal’s damage is, in the vast majority, based off of her basic attack. Attack Speed increases Gal’s corruption generation (since it’s based on hits, not damage dealt) while Attack Damage has slightly higher values, which is why they’re equal.
Critical Damage is good but, as a melee, Galilea isn’t particularly amazing at scoring critical hits.
Cooldown is bad, offensively, though it’s better than Skill Damage largely because Desecrate amplifies your basic attack damage, while Skill Damage just makes your anemic skill damage slightly better.
Shield pen is utterly rubbish. It’s only useful in PvP because most enemies in PvE don’t have shields (and no bosses have them; Rendain’s shield doesn’t care about shield pen). Still, it actually does something unlike recoil and reload. Recoil and reload are only useful as penalties to take on gear since they do absolutely nothing to her.[/details]
[details=Defensive - staying at max hp]
(Max Shield = Health Regen>Cooldown>Damage Reduction=Healing Received<Shield Recharge=Shield Regen)
Max shield means you can take more damage before losing that all important first hp; Health Regen covers you on the other end by ensuring that you can recover from it.
Because Galilea has some pretty potent self-healing mechanisms, Cooldown means that she’ll be able to use them more often.
Damage Reduction means that her shield and her alt-fire shield can soak up more damage before finally breaking. Healing Received is only really useful if you have friends that can heal you (and, in general, if you have friends that can heal you, keeping Gal at max hp is going to be relatively trivial).
The other shield stats aren’t really useful because the values just aren’t that impressive: you can’t stack enough to get her shield recharging in combat at any appreciable level so it’s just not worth it.[/details]
[details=Defensive - staying alive]
(Max Health<Max Shield=Damage Reduction<Healing Received=Health Regen<Shield Recharge=Shield Regen<CC duration)
Max Health reigns over all other stats because it increases TTK by way more than anything else.
Max Shield doesn’t improve TTK as well as Max Health does, but it’s still useful. DR is tied with it largely because of Galilea’s alt-fire shield: that’s an extra 1000 hp that she can throw in front of her opponent’s when necessary, which puts can put her very near (or over, with some gear) the threshold where DR provides more than Max Health. Of course, you can’t be attacking, so it’s not always there (hence it being below Max Health).
Healing Received and Health Regen aren’t going to do a lot to keep you alive in a short fight, but they’ll still do some work, especially over long fights.
The other shield stats aren’t really useful because the values just aren’t that impressive: you can’t stack enough to get her shield recharging in combat at any appreciable level so it’s just not worth it.
CC duration is functionally worthless. CCs don’t last that long so the minute values of CC duration on gear basically mean nothing.[/details]
Gal’s skills provide great control/support to your group and the only way to get more of them is through cooldown gear. It’s not going to do a lot since the values are so small, but they’re the only option you’ve got.[/details]
(Move speed>Sprint speed>CC duration)
Move speed is useful in combat and out of combat and is increased by sprint speed. Sprint speed is only really useful outside of combat. CC duration reduces the duration of slows and stuns but is still absolutely terrible.[/details]
Getting shards helps you buy gear as well as construct buildables. Buildable reduction makes them way cheaper, however. Something to consider is that I only find these stats remotely useful in PvP. PvE gives you shards like candy; unless you’ve got someone who bogarts all of the shards, every mission should provide a surplus of shards even if you have a triple legendary loadout (like I do for pretty much everyone). In PvP, however, these are absolutely amazing and can actually be the foundation of an effective strategy.[/details]
Legendaries of Note:
[details=Gloves (attack damage)]
Pacifier (algorithm), Symbiotic Gauntlet (sentinel), Vow of Vengeance (renegade)
Pacifier makes it harder to break your shield and take you below 100% hp, on multiple fronts in fact because it’s reducing damage dealt and increasing your shield. Symbiotic Gauntlet syncs well with Gal’s desire to remain at max hp and makes her harder to kill. VoV is just pure face melting because it increases attack speed and, as a melee, you’re going to be generating those increased damage stacks like crazy (and Corruption is a good indicator of when they drop off, unless you use skills/DtGA to maintain it).[/details]
[details=Swords (attack speed)]
Vow of Zealous Fury (heliophage), Stolen Edge of Arcvynorr (sentinel)
VoZF is the gold standard of attack speed legendaries: the stacks last an extremely long time and are easy to acquire, and it provides an excellent stat in addition to the attack speed. It’s kind of a to get, though, because Rendain drops it. And Rendain sucks (longest mission in the game and he’s the very last boss). SEoA is much easier to get and is almost as good: the stacks can be stacked faster if you’re in combat and quick about it; move speed is, in my book, worse than crit damage though, but that’s personal preference. It can be worth it, though, if you need some help sticking to your opponents (like in PvP).[/details]
[details=Goggles (critical damage)]
Heliophagic Goggles (heliophage)
If you can manage to get crits Gal’s sword (not DtGA) reliably, this is worth it. You get attack speed to go with the critical damage and the special effect is quite nice. In PvE, a blind is basically a stun and, in PvP, it’s extremely disorienting to players.[/details]
[details=Pauldrons (damage reduction)]
Blissbeast Skull Plate (void’s edge), Burning Sunset (rogue)
Blissbeast Skull Plate provides damage reduction and a nice chunk of regeneration. Gotta love it. Burning Sunset makes it a lot harder to screw with you when you’re on a rampage because it allows you to ignore the damage from one skill every 30 seconds (only useful in PvP; this does nothing in PvE). The CC duration fits with the theme.
Porta-bUnkr Phalanx Rig and “Alamo-7” Armor should probably also be mentioned here because they’re somewhat popular options to consider. I don’t recommend either of these, largely because of their secondary stats. PbPR could be viable in a full UPR group (especially if your group stays in your Desecrate) but that’s not going to happen often; A7A provides a worthless secondary stat and, while 2 seconds of immunity is nice, the only thing it’ll really do is buy you time to use Abyssal Form and get out of there (since it’s on a 2 minute CD).[/details]
[details=Med kits (heal power)]
Solar Sustainer (jennerit), Dr. Fist’s Medic Bag (upr)
Since the only healing Gal can provide comes from a rather bad helix choice, I would normally discourage taking a med kit since it’s kind of a wasted slot. However, both of these med kits come with very useful secondary stats and very useful legendary effects. Since Desecrate is a long duration puddle that heals a little, you can get a lot of mileage out of either of these (especially since you count as an ally if you heal yourself). Dr. Fist’s can be a nice way to cheese your way into a piece of gear with max hp and DR (of which there are only a couple) and Solar Sustainer will just end up buffing you and your friends even more when you use Desecrate.[/details]
[details=Injectors (health regen)]
Shadow Mote Overflow (lore), Oath of the Sustained (renegade)
As Gal’s lore legendary, Shadow Mote Overflow is definitely well designed for her. It provides attack speed (best attack stat), health regen (to keep you at max hp), and a whopping 50% life steal against any stunned target (which she does all the time with her Shield Throw). I keep this in any Galilea loadout that doesn’t have a dedicated healer in party. Oath of the Sustained is a reasonable facsimile to use until you get her lore legendary but, keep in mind, the “life steal” provided by OotS doesn’t apply to Galilea; it only applies to her allies.[/details]
[details=Armor (max hp)]
Vigilance Link (sentinel), Vampiric Vestments (jennerit), Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter (upr)
Vigilance Link gives you 2 excellent survivability stats and makes your team more durable as well. Excellent for team players and more support minded people. Vampiric vestments will give you hp, more hp when you kill things, and more attack damage so that it’s easier to kill things. However, because you lose them when you die, I wouldn’t recommend VV for PvP since dying is relatively common (and melee characters tend to be easy to kill in PvP with Galilea as a very popular target because she’s so despised). Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter is one of the only 2 max hp pieces with DR on it, which will make you an extremely tanky Galilea; it also has the capacity to double the max hp increase, as long as you don’t die.[/details]
[details=Batteries (max shield)]
One-4-All Shield Array (experiment), Modernista (saboteur)
Modernista is a good anti-ranged shield with a decent secondary stat. A good way to discourage snipers in PvP since you can avoid the first crit and hurt them in the process. One-4-All Shield Array gives you more shield, your allies more shield, and can stack up some shield penetration if you want to push a shield pen build (and works very well as an anti-Galilea tool, since you only need to deal 1 damage to hp in order to turn off DtGA).[/details]
[details=Boots (move speed)]
Boots of the Brute (saboteur)
I wouldn’t use them for PvE since you don’t need to slow enemies, but they’re useful in PvP since they let you keep up with enemy players exceptionally well.[/details]
[details=Pins (skill damage)]
Bola’s Target Finder (experiment)
The gold standard of skill damage legendaries. Attack speed (amazing) in addition to skill damage and a bonus effect that makes enemies take more damage after being damaged by your skills. This is the only skill damage item I would dream of using on Galilea since it gives a useful secondary and allows skills to augment her more important attack damage.[/details]
Vow of Zealous Fury, Vow of Vengeance, Shadow Mote Overflow
Shadow Mote Overflow provides you with health regen and lifesteal on crit, coupled with the crapload of attack speed and attack damage the others provide. You’ll mow down your opponents and keep yourself topped off pretty well, as long as you don’t push it too hard.[/details]
[details=Pure Damage PvE]
Vow of Zealous Fury, Vow of Vengeance, Bola’s Target Finder
Also known as the “I have a pocket healer” build, you’re trading off any semblance of self-healing for more damage and attack speed. It’s risky, but the payoff is worth it if you have a reliable healer on your side that can keep you topped off.[/details]
[details=Pure Survivability PvE]
Blissbeast Skull Plate, Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter, Shadow Mote Overflow
Craptons of +hp, +DR, and regen. Probably the tankiest any Galilea is gonna be, though your damage won’t be very impressive.[/details]
Erratic Shard Extractor (-reload), Boots of the Brute, Shadow Mote Overflow
A shard generator ensures that you can afford the other 2 legendaries, BotB makes sure you can stick to your opponents, and Shadow Mote Overflow keeps you topped off and shooting blasts of energy. VoV/VoZF are a viable options instead of the either if you want more damage, but more damage isn’t really going to do much if you can’t keep up with your opponents or stay at max hp.[/details]
[details=Fast Leveling PvP]
Erratic Shard Extractor (-reload), Erratic Tempestian Cred-Stick (-reload), Boots of the Brute
Build as much as possible to get easy xp and level up as quickly as possible. Make sure you stick around the fights as well so that you’re not sacrificing minion xp for build xp. BotB is there for when you hit level 10 and don’t need to build for xp any more. VoV/VoZF are also viable legendaries, but, as previously stated, BotB is almost requisite for PvP. If anything, I’d take SMO instead of BotB, but, if you’re outleveling your opponents, you’ve probably got access to Gal’s self healing tools anyways.[/details]