Kitru's Totally Objective Guide to Rath


(Awesome By Analysis) #1

As much as Rath tries to tell everyone that he is not a vampire, it has been said by developers that he was the first character developed under the idea of having a “space vampire samurai”. They just kind of threw cool concepts into a blender and turned it on. Which is doubly amusing because that’s just what Rath does to hit opponents.

Rath is all about killing stuff. To stay alive, he has to deal damage since he’s squishier than most other melee and relies on his natural life steal to make up for that. Of course, killing stuff also has the somewhat tangential benefit of actually stopping things from attacking him since dead stuff can’t try and kill you (since there are no zombies in BB, sadly).

Rath also has absolutely amazing AoE capabilities. His basic attack is a wide slash finished off by a devastating spin that damages everything near him. His abilities are similarly good at taking out numerous foes. Pretty much everything you do with Rath is going to end up killing stuff other than your actual intended target.

Of course, one of Rath’s main strengths (his life steal) is also his biggest weakness: if he can’t injure his targets, he’s way squishier than he’s supposed to be. Ranged enemies are his bane and, while he’s got decent close-to-mid reach with his skills, his only defense against long range attacks is “close the gap and kill them, preferably via a path with lots of cover”.

An interesting note: if you think you recognize Rath’s voice, it’s probably because you’ve heard it before. Rath’s English voice actor is the same voice actor (pretty much the same voice, even) for the English language dub of Dragonball’s Vegeta. Rath has a lot of Vegeta’s personality and a few of his mannerisms, though there is no mentioned of “over 9000” and, for some reason, Reyna (the leader of the Rogues) has the taunt in which she goes super saiyan rather than Rath.

For his abilities, things people probably don’t realize or should know from the start.

[details=Axiom and Praxis]Rath’s basic attack. Named after the two smaller swords he uses for all but one of his attacks, Rath executes 3 quick, wide slashes to his front (they cover between 90-120* in front of him) followed by a slightly higher damage 360* spin. He’s got a naturally high attack speed that can get significantly better with gear. This is his bread-and-butter.

Rath also has an untitled attack that he uses as his alt-fire: he throws one of his swords a short distance ahead of him, spinning parallel to the ground. The descriptor on his command page is somewhat inaccurate since it doesn’t actually do significantly better AoE damage than his basic attack: it’s the same width has his frontal attacks. What it does do is additional damage against shields, but the base damage is significantly lower than his basic attack so you will only barely be outdamaging his basic attack when taking out shields (~10%) and the distance it covers is only slightly further than melee range. The only reason to use it is if you are fighting heavily shielded enemies in front of you with no enemies to your back or sides, which doesn’t happen often. Even then, the damage advantage is relatively minor. You can easily never use his alt-fire the entire time you’ve played Rath and never miss it (or feel like you’re missing anything, in fact).[/details]

Genetic Syphon

Rath’s passive. Rath naturally has 8% life steal on his non-skill attacks and 10% life steal on his skill attacks. Keep in mind, as with all life steal, only health damage is factored in, so don’t be surprised in the least when you have a tougher time than you’d expect going up against heavily shielded enemies like Thrall Beastmasters and Ronin.

[details=Crossblade]
Skill 1. Rath’s only real ranged attack. He fires a pair of “sword beams” in an X shape directly in front of him. It activates quickly and deals a decent chunk of damage. It’s only mid-range, so don’t expect to snipe your enemies with it, and the projectile speed is relatively slow. Even so, it’s excellent for taking out lined up enemies and for taking out runners.[/details]

[details=Catalytic Smash]
Skill 2. The only time Rath uses Precept (the giant sword on his back). Rath smacks the ground with his giant sword, shorting out a ground based shockwave a short distance in front of him (it’s too long to reall be “close” range but it’s not nearly as long as Crossblade, so I hesitate to call it “mid”) that deals a bit of damage and, more important, sends any opponents hit flying into the air. While Rath can’t really attack any of his enemies while they’re in the air like this, it allows him to close the gap and/or reposition without being attacked. When they land, NPC enemies take a couple seconds to recover themselves and most players will also be slightly confused. Early on, you can take a helix that also allows it to silence enemies, which will really ruin a players’ day.[/details]

[details=Dreadwind]
Ultimate. Not nearly as good as it used to be but still pretty devastating. The wind up isn’t as long as the description suggests (I didn’t even realize there was one until I read it in the description), and the damage is actually extremely good: the damage per hit as listed is only slightly better than the base damage of your basic attack (at level 1, it’s 63/hit compared to 55/hit for your basic) however Dreadwind makes more attacks per second than your basic attack does and every single one of them is in 360*. Don’t forget that you can move at normal speed while Dreadwind is active, too. In PvE, I don’t recommend using it against bosses or the like, since they enjoy using knockback and other huge damage attacks that are liable to waste the duration (and you probably have plenty of gear that augments your basic attack without helping Dreadwind at all), but, in PvP, it’s good for taking out enemy players since it covers such a large area all around him that it’s hard to dodge.[/details]

Helices:

[details=Level 1: Slowing Strike v. Concussive Smash v. Waveform Smash]

Recommendation: (PvP) Slowing Strike or Waveform Smash; (PvE) Waveform Smash

Slowing Strike is better for PvP because it allows you to use your only real ranged attack to slow down opponents: used on a runner or as an opening attack, it allows you to prevent their escape.

Waveform Smash reduces the range of Catalytic smash by 33-50% but triples the width, allowing you to hit more targets in close proximity. In PvP, this makes it better at wave clearing as well as making it harder for players to avoid its nastiness. The loss of range isn’t too bad because Rath is a melee character.

Concussive Smash sounds like an awesome idea except that it is contingent on hitting with both of your skills quickly in succession but in the wrong order. Catalytic Smash knocks enemies up and allows you to reposition so that you can use Crossblade to get as many of them as possible. Concussive Smash wants you to do it the other way around. In PvP, this could be more viable but having a slow on Crossblade or a significantly larger area on Catalytic Smash is way more useful.[/details]

[details=Level 2: Shield Syphon v. Eviscerating Blade v. Anger’s Echo]

Recommendation: Anger’s Echo

Shield Syphon is pretty worthless because it’s contingent upon your opponent having a shield while Rath does not, which tends not to happen. Eviscerating Blade is worthless because it provides shield penetration, which is worthless. Anger’s Echo can be seen as a 50% increase in damage (since a target can get hit by both blades) as well as a second chance to hit a target with Crossblade.[/details]

[details=Level 3: Terror from Above v. Spin to Win]

Recommendation: Spin to Win

TfA’s double jump just doesn’t do that much for a melee character since being out of range of an opponent also means that they’re out of your range. It doesn’t help that TfA is competing with a powerful augment to Rath’s main source of damage: his basic attack. StW adds an additional spin to the end of Rath’s primary attack combo, increasing the time it takes but adding to the damage. The increased damage is proportionately more than the increased time, so it ends up being a ~15% increase to Rath’s basic attack DPS (against a single target; since the additional attack is 360*, just like the normal combo finisher, it’s much more powerful when he’s swarmed).[/details]

[details=Level 4: Crimson Fastness v. Catalytic Flash]

Recommendation: (PvP) Catalytic Flash; (PvE) Any

In PvP, the silence on Catalytic Smash provided by CF is one of the things that makes Rath dangerous: the knock up will interrupt attacks and movement and the silence will turn off or cancel special attacks while also denying many characters the chance to use escape skills.

In PvE, the question really becomes whether you want Rath to start jumping forward before using Catalytic Smash. Silence is effectively useless against NPCs so Catalytic Flash does nothing but, if you don’t want Rath to start leaping forward when you’re trying to set up an attack, CF is better. It comes down to personal preference.[/details]

[details=Level 5: Skillful Syphoning v. Swordsman’s Salve v. Not a Vampire]

Recommendation: Any

First things first, unlike most percentage improvements listed in game, the listed increases to life steal provided by these helices are actually added to the life steal he gets from Genetic Syphon, not multiplied. As such, they are extremely noticeable and very useful. Which one you pick is governed primarily by how you plan on playing him.

Swordsman’s Salve increases the life steal on your melee attacks to a whopping 30% but reduces your life steal from skills to 0%. Crossblade and Catalytic Smash activate quickly so losing out on the life steal from them isn’t a big deal since you’ll be able to resume wailing on your enemies with your basic attack in less than a second (and, with Catalytic Smash, they won’t be attacking you for a bit because they’re flailing around in the air and on the ground). The bigger concern here is Dreadwind: because of the wind up and 3 second duration, you’re basically incapable of self healing for 4 secs, which can be pretty dangerous. If you take this helix, Dreadwind should only be used if you’re not in a dangerous situation.

If you still want to be able to use Dreadwind without worrying about dying, Skillful Syphoning and Not a Vampire are still good options. Skillful Syphoning will basically make it impossible to die when using Dreadwind (and allow you to use your skills as powerful controlled self healing) while Not a Vampire is more about just improving your standard life steal. If you want more constant life steal, take Not a Vampire; if you want more bursty/controllable life steal, go with Skillful Syphoning.[/details]

[details=Level 6: Brutal Blade v. Catastrophic Smash]

Recommendation: Any

More damage on Crossblade or a longer range Catalytic Smash. Simple helices means it’s a pretty simple choice. It’s up to you and your preferred playstyle.[/details]

[details=Level 7: Evasive Maneuvers v. Spin to Slow v. To the Point]

Recommendation: (PvP) Any; (PvE) To the Point

Here the question becomes what you need more of: survivability/mobility, control, or damage. In PvE, damage is king, though keep in mind that TtP only augments his basic attacks (i.e. non-skills) are considered “melee strikes” (the others are classified as “skills”). EM will help you get away when you’re attacked or, if you’re in a fight, it’ll help you stick to an enemy (or close the gap with a ranged attacker). StS will help you keep an enemy from escaping once you’ve engaged, especially since Rath’s attack speed is easily fast enough to do his entire combo in less than a second (meaning you can perma-slow someone).[/details]

[details=Level 8: Energetic Projection v. Quick Cross]

Recommendation: Any

If you find yourself regularly coming up short with Crossblade, EP is obvious; if you find yourself always wanting it a couple seconds earlier, Quick Cross.[/details]

[details=Level 9: Softened Target v. Zealous Smash]

Recommendation: Any

This really comes down to how often you use Dreadwind. If you don’t use Dreadwind often, Zealous Smash is a waste. If you do, it’s amazing. Keep in mind, you have to use Catalytic Smash for killing blows to trigger Zealous Smash, and Catalytic Smash is your lowest damage attack. As such, you need to weaken enemies first and you’re still only liable to get the killing blows on minions.[/details]

[details=Level 10: Dreadheart v. Unstoppable Assault v. Desperate Assault]

Recommendation: Any

Dreadheart will allow you to keep up with enemies trying to escape and move on to additional targets after you kill them (which will happen a lot). If you often find yourself spinning with nothing to win against when you use Dreadwind, Dreadheart is the way to go. If you find yourself dying before Dreadwind resolves, Unstoppable Assault is the way to go: 225 overshield might not seem like much, but it can make the difference. If you just wanna skill stuff better, Desperate Assault is amazing: activate it while your shield is broken and your Dreadwind will be even crazier. Conversely, you can either step into some damage patch or just expect to get hit and your damage will suddently skyrocket. Either way, incredible damage.[/details]

Gear Stats:

Rath is all about killing stuff. Offensive stats make him tougher to kill thanks to his native life steal but life steal doesn’t really do you much good if you die. I’ll go over all stats here, based on how I personally categorize them, and provide a priority list for each category.

[details=Offensive]
(Attack Damage>Attack Speed>Skill Damage>Critical Damage>Cooldown>Shield Pen>Recoil=Reload)

Attack Damage is the most important stat for Rath since a majority of his damage is from his basic attack. If you want to go for a Skill Damage build (e.g. Dreadwind focused) for PvP, you can ignore Attack Damage, but you won’t have particularly impressive damage normally.

Attack Speed is second to Attack Damage only because it has lower values.

Skill Damage is the only way to make Dreadwind stronger, and Dreadwind is powerful.

Critical Damage is low priority because Rath isn’t stellar at scoring crits with his basic attack (he has a wide swing that will often hit the side of a target rather than their actual crit location if you’re too close) and his skills aren’t capable of scoring crits.

Cooldown means more skill uses, but the values are so low (and you tend to hold on to skills rather than using them right when they come back) so it’s not really a huge improvement to your damage.
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 him.[/details]

[details=Defensive]
(Damage Reduction=Max Health>Max Shield>Health Regen=Healing Received>Shield Recharge=Shield Regen<CC Duration)

Rath doesn’t have a lot of hp/shield but he’s got the best life steal in the entire game. While he doesn’t have the raw hp/shield required to make DR outright better than max health, max health is only going to be better over a short exchange. Especially after level 5, when his life steal gets improved, the longer a fight gets, the better DR gets since it means his life steal is acting upon smaller amounts of incoming damage.

Max shield is worse than max health more than it usually is: Rath tends to stay in combat for long periods and, as such, has few opportunities to recharge his shield while he’ll be constantly recharging his hp via life steal.

Health Regen and Healing Received are extremely low value because Rath already has loads of natural health recovery due to his life steal. The only real advantage these stats have compared to what he brings already is that it is out-of-combat recovery.

Shield Recharge and Shield Regen are low value because Rath tends to stay in combat for long periods of time. He’s small enough and deals enough damage to everything near him that he’s liable to avoid taking damage for long enough for his shield to recharge, so it’s not worthless, but it’s definitely not as valuable as everything else (especially since his lifesteal is generally going to be more than what you can get his shield regen up to).

CC duration is functionally worthless. CCs don’t last that long so the minute values of CC duration on gear basically mean nothing.[/details]

[details=Mobility]
(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]

[details=Economy]
(Shards>Buildable)

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), Lenore’s Lament (jennerit)

Pacifier makes it harder to break your shield and makes your life steal more valuable since it’s acting on less incoming damage. Symbiotic Gauntlet syncs well with Rath’s life steal since he’s able to keep himself at max hp pretty easily. 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. VoV is better than SG mainly because your damage won’t drop when you take damage, which is liable to happen.

Lenore’s Lament gets special mention. It’s not really stellar for Rath because, while he does like attack damage and can be built for skill damage, he really doesn’t need the life steal: he brings plenty of it on his own. Furthermore, the life steal on Lenore’s Lament only applies to non-Jennerit and only to health damage dealt so it’s both weak and largely redundant.[/details]

[details=Swords (attack speed)]
Vow of Zealous Fury (heliophage), Stolen Edge of Arcvynorr (sentinel), Culling Spike (jennerit)

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 :heart::heart::heart::heart::heart: 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. Culling Spike is also worth mentioning since it brings attack damage along with the attack speed and augments your Jennerit allies a bit. The total attack speed provided makes it inferior to VoZF imo but it’s a legitimate choice.[/details]

[details=Watches (cooldown)]
Borrowed Timer (upr)

Borrowed Timer can be powerful in PvP if you build for skill damage and lifesteal. Being able to activate Dreadwind as soon as you drop to critical hp levels can be an incredible boon. Of course, the secondary stat is trash and Rath doesn’t have a whole lot of hp so the 10% window is rather small. If you’re going to go with this, it needs to be part of a loadout built around it.

I’ll mention a few others purely to caution people against using them since I can see the gears turning in some minds. Chrono Key was a popular option early on but, post nerf, I would never recommend it. Cooldown is useful, but the secondary stat is useless (heal power doesn’t affect life steal) and the legendary effect requires an obscene amount of damage dealt to see any returns. Even if you’re chewing through enemies, you’re not going to see enough to really make it worthwhile. Firmware Update has similar problems: low value secondary stat and Rath’s abilities have CDs that are too high to really make much use out of the legendary effect (for Firmware Update, you want at least 1 skill with a low CD that you will spam as much as you can). Aria’s Encore is another trap, mainly because it’s only good in ops, where basic attacks are way better, since that’s the only time you’ve got Ops Points to fuel the legendary effect.[/details]

[details=Goggles (critical damage)]
Heliophagic Goggles (heliophage)

If you can manage to get crits reliably as Rath, 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), “Alamo-7” Armor (algorithm)

Blissbeast is one of the best pure survivability tools in the game. It gives a lot of DR and, while health regen isn’t amazing for Rath, it’s not useless. Furthermore, because Rath doesn’t have a lot of hp, the legendary effect of the BSP will be triggered plenty often, without being problematic because you’re recovering from the damage through lifesteal too. Alamo-7 Armor has a worthless secondary stat and, although the cooldown time on the legendary effect is extremely long, it is extremely powerful (2 seconds of total immunity); combine this with the Borrowed Timer for excellent emergency recovery (since you’ll be immune when your skills recharge, for a very safe surprise Dreadwind).[/details]

[details=Injectors (health regen)]
Oath of the Sustained (renegade)

An excellent utility legendary that also helps out your team. You get health regen, increased damage, and a portion of all damage dealt (which should be a lot) is given to your allies as life. Considering Rath’s DPS as well as his existing life steal, this is more about helping your team rather than helping out yourself.[/details]

[details=Armor (max hp)]
Vigilance Link (sentinel), Vampiric Vestment (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. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend VV for PvP, but Rath can be pretty durable and a damned good killer so it can be quite effective. Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter has both of Rath’s best survivability stats and, as a character with extreme damage recovery, he’s liable to ratchet up those additional hp very easily, especially while clearing out minions.[/details]

[details=Batteries (max shield)]
One-4-All Shield Array (experiment), Modernista (saboteur), Voxis Core (jennerit)

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, not that it’s very good. Voxis Core is a requisite for a skill damage build, since the legendary effect is basically a 15% increase in damage if there’s more than 1 enemy nearby. If you dive into a big melee and use Dreadwind with a Voxis Core, you can be use someone will be cursing and screaming about Rath being OP (especially if you get multiple player kills with it).[/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=Capacitor (shield recharge)]
Doomsday Key (heliophage)

The only shield recharge item I’d recommend because of the incredibly powerful legendary effect that’s liable to happen pretty often if you can get your shield to recharge. Skill Damage is somewhat less valuable if you’re building for attack speed (since attack speed is for a basic attack build and skill damage is for a Dreadwind build), but it’s a possibility.[/details]

[details=Pins (skill damage)]
Bola’s Target Finder (experiment), Codex Fragment (archive)

Bola’s Target Finder is awesome, especially since it means enemies take more damage after you toss them in the air with Catalytic Smash. If you’re building for a Dreadwind assassin build, Codex Fragment is liable to be better, however. The hp will keep you alive while Dreadwinding and, unlike most characters, Rath will be fine taking damage to build up the skill damage from Codex Fragment (the stacks fade after 5-6 seconds if you don’t keep taking damage, which Rath can actually manage). It’ll provide more total damage to Dreadwind than Bola’s will, which is why I recommend it for that purpose alone.[/details]

[details=Drinks (sprint speed)]
Improved Genetic Syphon (lore)

In general, these legendaries are gimmicks. The lore leg gives you a useful attack stat and improves life steal, so it is actually quite good.[/details]

Loadouts:

[details=General PvE]
Improved Genetic Syphon, Vow of Vengeance, Vow of Zealous Fury

A crapton of additional damage and beefed up life steal. Perfect for a basic attack driven slaughterfest.[/details]

[details=Pure Damage PvE]
Bola’s Target Finder, Vow of Vengeance, Vow of Zealous Fury

If you don’t feel like beefing up your life steal and just want to crank out the damage even more (which, admittedly, will increase your life steal), this can work wonders: Bola’s provides more attack speed than the lore leg, too, and the extra 5% after hitting with a skill is pretty noticeable, especially with a team.[/details]

[details=Pure Survivability PvE]
Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter, Pacifier, Blissbeast Skull Plate

Pacifier increases damage dealt and gives you shield; the main advantage is the legendary effect which reduces the damage of enemies hit by 10%. Pain-2-Gain gives you a lot of hp and DR, as does Blissbeast Skull Plate. You probably won’t be topping the damage charts for the group, but I’m pretty sure you won’t be dying any time soon (or even requiring outside healing, honestly).[/details]

[details=Basic Attack PvP]
Sketchy “Easy Money” (-heal power) or Erratic Shard Extractor (-reload), Vow of Vengeance, Vow of Zealous Fury

Free shard gen (either of those penalties are good because neither affects him) to allow you to afford the other 2. VoV and VoZF are simply the best damage legendaries you can get. If you have problems keeping people around, Boots of the Brute is the way to go instead of either of those (VoZF is better front end damage; VoV is better back end).[/details]

[details=Skill Damage PvP]
Sketchy “Easy Money” (-heal power) or Erratic Shard Extractor (-reload), Bola’s Target Finder or Codex Fragment, Voxis Core

Free shard gen with a stat that doesn’t affect you, like always. Voxis Core is simply amazing and Bola’s or Codex Fragment, to taste. Bola’s is my preference because it also means that you’re better at setting up kills for your allies, but many Dreadwind assassins tend to prefer to kill on their own.[/details]

[details=Table Turner PvP]
Sketchy “Easy Money” (-heal power) or Erratic Shard Extractor (-reload), Borrowed Timer, “Alamo-7” Armor

Free shard gen allows you to afford the other 2 legendaries, which give you 2 seconds of invulnerability (once every 2 minutes) and instant skill recharge (once every 30 seconds) whenever you’re reduced to less than 10% hp. The point is to open with skills and surprise them with a Dreadwind immediately after you just used it to guarantee the kill (and recover from near death). If you really want to go nuts with it, you might consider replacing the shard gen with a Codex Fragment: the additional hp makes it a bit safer and the additional damage makes it way more dangerous. It’ll be incredibly expensive, however, so you’ll be spending a lot of time hunting down shards. You won’t be contributing much until late game, but your enemies will be raging so hard when you turn the tables.[/details]

[details=Fast Leveling PvP]
Erratic Shard Extractor (-reload), Erratic Tempestian Cred-Stick (-reload), 1 legendary

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. The legendary is there for when you hit level 5 (or 10, whatever your goal level is) and don’t need to build for xp any more. I don’t mention any specific legendaries because there are a crapton that can fit in depending upon what you want and how you want to do it: VoV or VoZF for damage, Boots of the Brute for lockdown, etc.[/details]


Battleplan 34: 1/12/17
Battleplan 34: 1/12/17
(Penguin connoisseur.) #2

Sets up lawnchair and waits for @blainebrossart1 to show up.

Also, i look forward to your Toby guide, @Kitru.


(Jennerit Supremacist) #3

No need to mention me. I have my settings so that I get a notification every time something is posted in the Rath sub-forum. I’ll finish reading through this later, right now I play the game.


(Awesome By Analysis) #4

[quote=“HandsomeCam, post:2, topic:1553068, full:true”]Also, i look forward to your Toby guide, @Kitru.
[/quote]

I already posted it here. You can actually see all of the guides I’ve posted on my Steam community page. I’m just cross-posting them from here (been dealing with family all day, which has been slowing it down).


(PSN: SoloSmile (Lazy faff-about)) #5

You must be quite versatile to have a guide for (seemingly) every character! Thanks for sharing and posting, it was a good read. Though, if I may, I feel there are just a few clarifications to be had.

For starters:

I feel you’re being a bit hard on his alt attack and that may be due to some misinformation. It does actually do more damage than any single hit of his combo (1,2,3, spin) has a quicker start up time to get that AOE (Also of note, it hits farther and wider than is perceived) over completing the combo, and the shield damage is nothing to scoff off. Next time you play him try spamming or mixing in his alt over just his basics when fighting a minion wave with a shepherd, there is a difference.

It also can be mixed into the combo allowing quicker access to aoe and phantom range, great lead in from sprint to hit runners, and is rumored to get an additional spin if taking Spin to Win at 3 (I don’t personally see a difference but I haven’t done any controlled testing)

Also of note, out of all his attacks it’s the most controlled, and including the aoe allows this attack to be the most consistent means to reliably crit from my play testing. (Try using it when you strafe the Thralls in Incursion ups your clear time markedly)

Now onto:

To start off, just adding additional information. As this is a guide, it’s usually preferable to be as all inclusive as you can.

You can prime his Catalytic Smash, by holding the skill prior to releasing. It’s nothing mind blowing, but a few things to note; it opens up your FOV by giving you a 3rd person view, you have full mobility (Including sprint) while it is primed, and lastly you can jump and double jump with it (Try priming it and double jumping up to a Benedict or Caldy before you Slam dunk them to the ground)

Second, and more importantly [quote=“Kitru, post:1, topic:1553068”]
While Rath can’t really attack any of his enemies while they’re in the air like this, it allows him to close the gap and/or reposition without being attacked.
[/quote]

I would dare to say this is outright false. A key ability to mastering Rath is maximizing the air time provided by his Catalytic Smash. Juggling in this game exists, and Rath is one of it’s strongest students. Also to note the disregarded Alt attack is capable of hitting the person in the air at the highest point, which you can then begin to basic combo onto as they fall back down.

You could have also used this time here to provide some clear examples of utilizing the skill creatively. For one, when you knock a character into the air attempt to reposition yourself behind them and quick melee them away from their teammates and towards your own. Or just body block them as they panic for an escape. This is a quick and simple example that can open up higher play for beginner Rath’s to aspire to.

As a guide you should be more open minded to all options and not dump on one so hard (Outside of level 2 lol)

Terror from Above may not be as immediately (seemingly) gratifying as Spin to Win, but it has it’s moments. This option opens the door to the exclusive Aerial Club. That infamous BB like Benedict, Orendi, Melka, Deande etc belong to. Being able to avoid damage, re-position, and get a clearer view on the map is all invaluable.

The true value of the skill is spelled out in the name. Terror from Above allows Rath to juggle himself on top of enemies or just hop right over them. In combat this allows him to dodge a lot of ground based moves, forces the opponent to track him (losing dps) and more importantly opens opportunities to more reliably land crits. With all that in mind it has it’s faults that should be noted. 1, it’s rather janky and the transition from jump to double jump is far from smooth. 2, it flat out stops your momentum if used while running.

Spin to Wins biggest appeal is his increased AOE potential. It really shines in PvE (Though TfA allows you to hop above Brutes Shields!!! Fuck those guys) If testing proves that it adds an additional spin to his alt and can proc Spin to Slow twice. I’d say those would be worthy reasons to consider it over Terror from Above.[quote=“Kitru, post:1, topic:1553068”]
If you find yourself regularly coming up short with Crossblade, EP is obvious; if you find yourself always wanting it a couple seconds earlier, Quick Cross.
[/quote]

Keep in mind if you choose Anger’s Echo at level 2 (Only viable choice sadly) Energetic Projection delays that trigger, making the timing much harder (Could be mitigated by doing angular shots at the ground)[quote=“Kitru, post:1, topic:1553068”]
Gear Stats:

Rath is all about killing stuff. Offensive stats make him tougher to kill thanks to his native life steal but life steal doesn’t really do you much good if you die. I’ll go over all stats here, based on how I personally categorize them, and provide a priority list for each category.
[/quote]

Rath WAS all about killing stuff. As the game has evolved and roles have been cemented and meta’s made and buffs and nerfs applied etc, it’s important to factor in the current game state when broad stroking.

With your generalizing that Rath’s passive is strong enough to sustain him (It’s really not) and his propensity to wreck face (requires work) I fear you’ll be setting up a lot of new Rath’s for disappointment.

In today’s meta with popular and common picks like Ernest, Orendi, Benedict, Alani, etc, trying to go in and get anything done is nigh on suicide. As a guide you should take into account the game state and offer meaningful examples on how to utilize Rath either with friends (preferred) or in Solo queue (the struggle).

I’ll offer my experience and objective opinion on Rath’s role (to note I’m far from the end all be all, I believe @blainebrossart1 has been crowned as such) to help clarify my position.

Rath unlike all the other assassins, needs to be the most opportunistic. As opposed to other assassins like Pendles, or Deande who can mentally mark a target and then see it through.

Rath’s low dps, nerfed burst and fragile frame put him more in a supportive role. Yep, a supportive role.

Don’t let that take away from any macho fantasies you have. Like the Grim Reaper, Rath excels best when guiding already dying souls onward to death (think less support and more Grim Reaper! It’s cooler) Since Rath is so fragile, and his kit rarely capable of 100-0 anyone. (that’s using a full combo where, other assassins can 100-0 with just 1-2 skills)

You’ll find the most success, just existing.

Against coordinated groups the dream of the knock-up, Crossblade, Dreadwind penta will likely result in a turn around so brutal you’ll feel it in the next game.

Providing pressure just outside of the peripheral, utilizing your quick frame to be at one point of contention then another, using your multi-hitting disruptive abilities at key times on key opponents.

Never dying, yet securing death!
In today’s BB landscape this is a reliable way to not die and get flamed.
Don’t be surprised if you’re not leading in kills, just rack up in the assists. You’ll still live the Rath fantasy, just on less of a timer.

As a guide, I appreciate you dumping in all the chase rares and generic load outs, that on paper appear to be the most efficient.

Though on the other hand I feel it also inhibits growth. I myself never settle on a single page and am constantly trying new things to see what works and what doesn’t. Leaving this info more broad, let’s your ideal viewer ( a new player) have the freedom to experiment without feeling competitively nonviable.

Thanks for taking the time and sharing, I look forward to reading your guides on character’s I’m not as infatuated with.


Is Rath's "Crimson Fastness" ever worth it?
(Jennerit Supremacist) #6

So, time for my criticism of this guide.

Rath is not about killing stuff, of all the assassins, he is probably the least about that, his DPS is among the lowest in the game for melee characters. He functions to set up kills with CC and save teammates from chasers. He exploits mistakes and creates openings for his team. If anything he’s a disruptor first and an assassin second.

His alternate attack is amazing and I believe you are underestimating. @ckgz800873 made some good points but it is also amazing for chasing down someone low on health if you don’t have your skills or are holding on to them for some reason. Sprint after them, use your secondary to do around a 100 damage and start sprinting after them again. I’ve gotten so many kills because it’s a nice little burst of damage with great range.

While I do agree that these two are the ideal choices, I do so for different reasons. At least with Waveform Smash.

The benefit of WS isn’t that it makes it easier to land, it’s that it opens the potential for mass disruption of the enemy team. WS makes it so much easier to hit several people and a wave of minions at once. If you go for this then your plan it for that mass disruption and set up kills for your team, not making it easier to land.

Terror from Above is the superior choice for this level. Spin to Win is a DPS increase of about 5% not 15%. It adds the utility of another AoE on your attack but there is so much more utility in having double jump for a melee character. It allows you to get to higher ledges, jump over attacks (you can jump over a Lumberjack Dash for example of what you can avoid) and just in general gives you more control over your mobility. Spin to Win pales in comparison.

Once again, I agree that both are viable but for the wrong reasons. If you go for Waveform Smash at level 1 then you go for Catastrophic Smash at level 6, it let’s you hit nearly everything in line of sight with Catalytic Smash and makes for that mass disruption and team wipes. If you go for the slow at level one then you go for Brutal Blade because it’s an amazing increase to the already high damage of Crossblade.

All three choices are great but you take it based on how you are building you’re gear because of the multiplicative bonuses. If you are stacking damage, you go for to the point. If you are stacking movement, you go for evasive maneuvers. If you are stacking attack speed then you go for spin to slow (do not take Spin to Win if you go for Spin to Slow, it takes longer to activate the slow) but with a primary attack speed gear and two pieces with secondary attack speed his combo is not fast enough for a perma-slow.

Zealous Smash isn’t worth taking at all. Minions are to strong by end game to reliably get kills with it. Plus Soften Target is not worth giving up, it’s just too good. At level ten it makes Crossblade do just over 600 damage.


You bring up more than once that Rath stays in lane for extended periods of time but I find that I only get bursts of damage in, maybe kill/disrupt someone or the wave of minions but I’m never in lane that often. Maybe that’s just my play style but it’s what I find to be true.

If you are staying in lane longer then I would recommend HP regen over max health. Max health is for people building for burst while HP regen is for sustained fighting. And Rath doesn’t have the max health to support DR gear and you can make the argument that his life steal keeps him in lane longer but his life steal is actually among the worst in the game. Because of his low DPS the life steal on melee is kinda meh. Going for life steal on skills gives you burst healing rather than sustained healing so you aren’t getting as reliable self healing from it.

I recommend low cost gear for Rath in general (I never use the shard gen+wrench combo since it hurts you in the end game). He (like most melee characters) truly shines in late game. Having cheep gear makes it so you can get your early levels from buildables but not sacrifice a valuable gear slot. I generally build to a character’s strengths so I like to focus Rath’s mobility rather than his DPS.

In general this is a good guide for someone unfamiliar with Rath but I find that you missed some key points.


(psn: Vegan_Cookies5) #7

So, I have been reading through some of your guides, and I have a couple things to say.

First, these are really good and it shows how much you know the game and the situations to maximize characters.

Since guides are typically used by people in the beginning/middle stages of learning a character, I would recommend putting what level you get what mutation.

On a similar note, for gear maybe describe a loadout like:
“Pure Damage PvE- Skill Damage, Attack Damage, Attack Speed. Ideal BTF, VoV, VoZF.” I mean, I have played for hundreds of hours and I don’t have a BTF, Voxis Core, or a Codex Fragment.


(Jennerit Supremacist) #8

I wouldn’t say I’m the best to give my opinion on him either. That goes to the more competitive Rath mains on PC such as @ZombiePizzaMan, since they started doing the 10 mans and draft much more and long before anyone else.

I’m just the most vocal Rath main on the forums and I have more of a reputation because of it.


(PSN: SoloSmile (Lazy faff-about)) #9

You’re always name dropped, when Rath is whispered by just about anybody, that’s what drew the conclusion. Never heard of Pizzaman, would love to get his take on Rath. Though from the sounds of it, his skill is developed in tandem with coordinated team tactics, something I will never have.

Shame I left for so long after Alani was released and never posted. Coming back to the game now where the community is so small and inclusive, I feel like an outsider looking in. Maybe one day. :slight_smile:


(Jennerit Supremacist) #10

I’ve actually been tempted to get on PC just to see if I can get into some of those competitive games. Then I remember all the hours of grinding I’ve spent trying to get the exact gear I have and I think, let’s not do that again.

Maybe the draft queue will bring out some more competitive games on PS4.


(Magic is everything) #11

There’s some stuff that I really want to say right now, but it’s 2 am in the morning and I’m super tired. I’m just gonna reserve this post as a reminder to get back to it tomorrow.

edit: I’m awake, here we go.

I mostly agree with @blainebrossart1. Rath is a cc support first, and an assassin second. Though I wanna give my piece on a few things.

I was never really a fan of Waveform Smash (at least it’s better than Concussive Smash though). Default CatSmash has enough width to it to be able to hit an entire minion wave as long as they aren’t spread apart by something like a Kelvin right click. Additionally, the utility provided from Slowing Strike is just too good to pass up. It’s also worth mentioning that default CatSmash can outrange Galilea’s Desecrate… I don’t need to explain why this is important.

Ditto on what blain said about TFA. Spin to Win just doesn’t grant enough of a dps increase to justify it over the alternative. Something else worth mentioning, you can actually jump over an Orendi ult. It’s not necessarily the most reliable thing since she could always just look up, but I managed to avoid one yesterday by double jumping and I thought it was worth sharing.

The problem with Catastrophic Smash is that default CatSmash range is good enough that making it any longer is just overkill. This makes it entirely reliant on picking either Waveform or Concussive Smash at level 1. This would be fine, if Slowing Strike wasn’t better in 9/10 situations over the alternatives.

I’m not really fond of Spin to Slow either. I kinda liked it back when slows also lowered attack speed, but ever since they changed that, I haven’t really found it very viable over the other two options. It just kinda seems pointless to grab this helix when you can take a 3 second slow at level 1 and either take the bonus damage to capitalize on this slow better, or take the 30% movement speed which can allow you to stick to people just like with spin to slow in addition to making it easier to escape from a bad situation.

Zealous Smash is bad, and made even worse with the minion buff and the ult nerf. It might work in PvE since there are a bunch of squishy targets like the tiny thralls, but in PvP Softened Target is so much better.

Rath can work very well in a duo lane on meltdown. As long as you use your shepherd , the double jump, and whatever cover you can find to avoid damage, you can lane pretty well. Just make sure you pair up with someone that works well off of Rath’s kit. Characters like Orendi, Alani, Caldarius, Ghalt, Deande(you’d be surprised how well this one works), and Galilea all pair well with Rath in a duo lane (though be careful with Gali because if she desecrates as you knockup it’ll send your victim flying halfway across the map). Right click is fantastic for breaking shepherd overshields and dealing damage to the entire wave while his base dps can melt a shepherd very quickly if you go for crits. He can also stall a minion wave with CatSmash and Crossblade slows if he can’t kill them by himself and needs to wait for backup to arrive. Swordsman’s Salve also makes a single right click able to restore about 20% of his max hp if he hits the entire wave (my numbers might be wrong on this one though since I’ve only just begun to test SS on laning Rath, usually I go with Not a Vampire instead). He does struggle in a 3v3 or more lane though since it’s easy to focus him down and he can’t sustain himself against all of that poke even with the shepherd overshield (this is also why he isn’t as good on Incursion). Rath can still work in a more crowded lane, but it’s gonna be a real test of patience since you can’t really go in unless you’re very confident that you’ll be able to survive. It’s basically gonna consist of just throwing out your CatSmash whenever the enemy steps within range of it to annoy them and buy some time for your team to get a bit of extra damage on the minion wave. Doesn’t really look like you’re doing much at first, but after a few rounds of being nothing more than a nuisance to the enemy team, the effects start to become more noticeable. It’s not exactly the most engaging style of play, and he’s far more effective in a 2v2 lane, but if absolutely necessary, he can still work in a 3v3.


(Awesome By Analysis) #12

[quote=“blainebrossart1, post:6, topic:1553068, full:true”]
So, time for my criticism of this guide.[/quote]

It’s pretty obvious from your criticism that you’re pretty much entirely PvP focused with Rath, which isn’t what this guide is about. It’s a PvP and PvE guide, and I openly admit that I’m primarily a PvE player. I don’t even suggest that I’m a Rath expert of any kind. I wrote the guide because a lot of people were asking for my opinion on how to play him and specifically asking me to write a guide for the character.

Something that seems to go over many peoples’ heads is that calling the guide “Objective” is meant as a joke; it’s patently obvious to me that most of the stuff in this (and any other) guide is explicitly subjective so it can’t be objective, much less “totally objective”.

[quote]
Rath is not about killing stuff, of all the assassins, he is probably the least about that, his DPS is among the lowest in the game for melee characters. He functions to set up kills with CC and save teammates from chasers. He exploits mistakes and creates openings for his team. If anything he’s a disruptor first and an assassin second.[/quote]

“Stuff” != “enemy players”. I say that he’s all about killing stuff mainly because he’s an attack with low baseline survivability and a lot of lifesteal.

I actually do mention the increased range on it. It’s just not that much. Just like with any character, if you’re not using everything in their tool kit, you’re doing yourself a disservice, but you can easily get away without using some of the most hyperspecialized tools (such as Rath’s alt-fire) without seeing any truly noticeable decrease in performance.

Most of this comes from my experience while playing Rath. In general, few groups of players will elect to band together in close proximity unless they have to. Even so, “harder for players to avoid its nastiness” applies just as well to a group of players as it does to a single player.

I actually did testing for this and my results actually showed a 16.5% increase in DPS (damage per combo was something like 20% higher but slightly fewer combos could be managed per minute; I’ll need to dig out the journal that I was recording my data in to give you the actual numbers). I actually lowered the contribution slightly from what my math and testing showed to account for potential inaccuracies.

The value of this is incredibly subjective. I have never felt nor have I experienced much advantage to the double jump on a melee character.

Once again, this isn’t a pure PvP guide. It’s for both PvP and PvE. Neither of the aforementioned helices that you’re dealing with are that complicated so there doesn’t need to be a lot of explanation.

First off, from my testing, each spin combo applied the slow so, if you take Spin to Win, you actually end up with better slow uptime. This is probably how I managed to maintain 100% slow uptime in my testing while you couldn’t.

Once again, it’s not just about PvP. In PvE, you can get the minion kills pretty easily. Also, I’ve spoken to more than a few people that swear by Zealous Smash, even after the minion buffs; you just have to dive in before dumping Catalytic Smash on the group.

As I said, it’s about your playstyle rather than a specific helix choice being better than the other. I just provided the context for the decision.

That’s also an entirely PvP driven way of looking at things, which is not what this guide is about. It’s both PvP and PvE. In PvP, Rath will often have to dive in and out opportunistically (since he’s an assassin), but that’s a static trait for all melee character in PvP. Even then, Rath is still rewarded and designed to stay in combat for extended periods because of his lifesteal.

Regen is only going to be better than max hp if you stay in combat for longer than 20 seconds on a regular basis and aren’t topping yourself off with lifesteal at any point. In my experience, it doesn’t really happen.

“Among the worst in the game” is pure facepalm when you consider that he has it on everything he does. It may not be as big as bursty as other characters’, but it’s on everything and it adds up.

I generally recommend low cost gear for PvP as well, but I spend most of my time playing PvE, which is all about legendary gear. I plan on adding cheaper loadouts at some point in the future when I do a rewrite. I’m always open to suggestions or recommendations, especially for loadouts, from more active PvPers.


(Jennerit Supremacist) #13

The with the spread increase from Waveform and the range from Catastrophic, your enemies don’t need to be close to hit several people at once. Even if they are good players there will be moments when they get closer together for even just a brief moment. When that happens Rath can take advantage of that mistake and disrupt several people at once. Even when I don’t go for those two helixes I still hit two or more enemy battleborn at once with it several times per match. For PvE I always take these two helix choices since enemies spawn so close together.

What method did you use to test this? When I tested it I killed someone with my melee combo (while I was level 10) and had them send me a screen shot of the damage and time it took to kill them. Then I did that again after taking spin to win and the DPS increase was much lower than what you are telling.

Interesting, the helix choice says that it is only applied to the “finishing spin” on his primary melee combo. If what you are saying is true than I apologize. The game mislead me.[quote=“Kitru, post:12, topic:1553068”]
“Among the worst in the game” is pure facepalm when you consider that he has it on everything he does. It may not be as big as bursty as other characters’, but it’s on everything and it adds up.
[/quote]

Saying among the worst was a poor choice of words. I meant among the other characters with reliable life steal like Attikus or Deande. Rath’s life steal is better than those that seem to have it for little to know reason like Caldarius.

It really worse is when you look at the other life steal oriented characters. Attikus can get a 30% life steal on all of his damage for 8 seconds which is the equivalent of having swordsman’s salve and skillful syphoning. Considering his higher overall damage output it is much higher than Rath’s that just means his life steal is just that much better. Deande gets a 25% life steal on her melee from level three and her much higher DPS potential makes it even better. It’s so good that she can actually take down double thralls in Incursion and walk away with more HP than when she came in.

For PvP I mix it up a lot but right now my favorite is blue Jennerit sprint speed, blue Jennerit movement speed and blue LLC max health.

I play a decent amount of PvE as well, roughly 1/4 of my time playing this game is PvE (I think I’m one of the few people that enjoys both aspects of this game) and for PvE my favorite loadout is blue Eldrid HP regen, Improved Genetic Syphon and Lenore’s Lament. The increased life steal helps me stay alive in a fight but if I get too low I can always back up and let the regen top me while I kill some stragglers until I’m at decent enough health to start attacking again.


If I come off as being an ass when I’m discussing this then I’m sorry. I have a tendency to do that by accident when I’m discussing things through text rather than speaking. This is a good guide but I’m just saying how my view point differs from yours.


(Awesome By Analysis) #14

[quote=“blainebrossart1, post:13, topic:1553068, full:true”]
What method did you use to test this? When I tested it I killed someone with my melee combo (while I was level 10) and had them send me a screen shot of the damage and time it took to kill them. Then I did that again after taking spin to win and the DPS increase was much lower than what you are telling.[/quote]

I determined the damage per combo (which is static and predictable) and then counted the number of full combo attacks made in a single minute. TTK timer isn’t particularly good, especially when you’re high level, because hp pools are so low compared to damage dealt (you’re basically just checking to see how long it takes to deal ~2k damage, which isn’t much at all) and the combo doesn’t deal damage at a constant even interval (Rath’s combo is 1-2-3-pause-spin; StW makes it 1-2-3-pause-spin-spin).

The only character that I would say that can have better lifesteal than Rath is Deande and only if she takes both Leechsteel (gives her 25% lifesteal on her fans) and Drain Dash (50% life steal on Burst Dash). Even then, Rath can still have a pretty heavy lifesteal advantage because Drain Dash comes at the cost of Calculated Risk (which is how you deal a boatload of damage with Burst Dash) while Rath is going to be getting a huge amount of lifesteal on everything he does.

Attikus’s lifesteal is excellent but it’s conditional upon using Pounce, which has a relatively lengthy animation and delay as well as a 25 sec CD so, at best, he can manage 30% lifesteal ~30% of the time.

The big advantage of Rath’s lifesteal is that it is constant and universal.

It’s probably important to mentioned, though, that lifesteal only applies to health damage dealt. In PvP, because of Shepherd overshields and the plethora of player shields, it’s not as accessible as it is in PvE.

I’m the same way and I encourage people with disparate views to come in and discuss it (and if I’m straight up wrong, I definitely want to be corrected as quickly as possible so I can remedy my incorrectness).

Like I said before, I don’t claim to be a Rath expert (I only really claim to be an Alani expert; beyond that, I’m just a generalist because I’ll play any character). I just get asked questions by a lot of people, almost all of which find the advice to be extremely useful. One of the main reasons I wrote these guides was because I found it easier to just write it all down once rather than having to write it down again every time I was asked.


(Awesome By Analysis) #15

[quote=“ckgz800873, post:5, topic:1553068, full:true”]
You must be quite versatile to have a guide for (seemingly) every character! Thanks for sharing and posting, it was a good read.[/quote]

At the moment, it’s only 21/29 characters. I plan on finishing the full cast of characters, though.

[quote]
I feel you’re being a bit hard on his alt attack and that may be due to some misinformation. It does actually do more damage than any single hit of his combo (1,2,3, spin) has a quicker start up time to get that AOE (Also of note, it hits farther and wider than is perceived) over completing the combo, and the shield damage is nothing to scoff off. Next time you play him try spamming or mixing in his alt over just his basics when fighting a minion wave with a shepherd, there is a difference.[/quote]

I’ve played around with using his alt (I spent a lot of time messing with it when I was testing out the alt-fire DPS; at one point, it was falsely believed that his alt-fire had better DPS than his main fire, which isn’t true at all) and just haven’t found it to be especially useful.

[quote]
Also of note, out of all his attacks it’s the most controlled, and including the aoe allows this attack to be the most consistent means to reliably crit from my play testing.[/quote]

I think that has less to do with it being "controlled’ than it does with it being longer range. Rath isn’t particularly tall and the crit spots on the big thralls is high up. The additional range allows Rath to attack their crit spot from further away, giving him a better angle in doing so. Personally, I just learned to mulch them with my basic and side step to avoid the nasty attacks.

This is actually really cool and useful to know. Danke.

Maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t seen or experienced much in the way of juggle-Rath beyond the basic stuff. Or maybe it’s because the juggle tactics you provided are just obvious to me. As to the alt-attack, personally, I’d rather waste the first part of his combo setting up the finishing attack for when they land and are on the ground.

I don’t really intend this to be much of a guide to “Advanced Rath-matics”. I don’t go too heavily into the tactics because I want to encourage people to play around with stuff to find what works for them. My primary goal is providing a firm foundation to build upon.

I try to be open minded (I actually have a pretty “standard” build that I use for any character when I’m playing them, but I still admit to the strengths of other helix choices), but I stand by my recommendation for StW over TfA. StW just adds so much to his basic attack damage and I just don’t find the additional mobility to be particularly valuable. At best, I would say that TfA is good for a PvP disruptor or skill damage build, but StW is just absolutely amazing by my measure of it.

[quote]
Rath WAS all about killing stuff.[/quote]

Once again, I’m a PvE player, not really a PvPer so expect there to be some difference of opinion. In PvE, he’s a friggin’ death machine and whenever I use him in PvE, I can still instill fear via the regular application of shrinking green bars. As to his lifesteal, I still say that it’s extremely strong, but PvP melee requires a vastly different mindset than PvE melee (PvP melee is all about avoiding overextending yourself and waiting for an opponent to screw up).

I mention specific legendaries mainly because the non-legendaries are pretty simple. The legendary effects can complicate things and, in some cases, actually get misused inappropriately (VoV on ranged characters because they think that the stacks don’t fade is an excellent example) and need to be warned against.

I actively encourage experimentation, but many people aren’t really looking for something to experiment with. They’re looking for something useful and effective and they stick with it. If you’re experimenting to find what works best for you, you probably aren’t the type that reads guides (except as research); if you’re not the experimenting type, seeing some recommended loadouts to use as a baseline can be helpful.

Btw, for those that don’t want to use legendary-heavy loadouts, that’s what the Gear Stats page is supposed to be for (though I do recognize that, in PvP, cheap loadouts or loadouts with blues and greens will often be best; when I finish all of the guides, I’ll go back over and include cheaper loadouts).


(Ambra's Arbiter) #16

Only typo
Very good guide. Good read


(The Red Bar Observer) #17

From a PVP perspective, I’m with Blaine on both the alt fire and Spin to Win. Rath’s alt melee is fantastic in PVP - the reach is considerable, so it makes a fantastic chaser/finisher. Is it possible you’re underestimating it? I know, playing on red bar, that Rath’s alt melee will hit when pretty much no other melee attack will (save Dragon’s clap.)

As for the other, a double jump is a massive advantage on most of the maps. I don’t actually know how people live without one. As far as STW and damage goes, even if it did show a sizable DPS increase measured on paper over a minute, when we test it on motionless players (test dummies) and measure TTK, it’s always marginal. In PVP, only short-term damage increases are relevant.

Or to borrow a quote to put it most succinctly:

In PVP, ~2k damage is all you need.


(Jennerit Supremacist) #18

Depending on how you got the damage per combo, your numbers could be off. The actual damage dealt is not always the number displayed. @EdenSophia and I tested some things and we learned that if you do 20.1 damage with an attack the game will round up the display to 21. It is possible that you are doing less damage than you think.


(Awesome By Analysis) #19

[quote=“blainebrossart1, post:18, topic:1553068, full:true”]Depending on how you got the damage per combo, your numbers could be off. The actual damage dealt is not always the number displayed. @EdenSophia and I tested some things and we learned that if you do 20.1 damage with an attack the game will round up the display to 21. It is possible that you are doing less damage than you think.
[/quote]

Rounding errors aren’t going to cause that much of a difference, and, keep in mind, we’re talking about a comparison caused by what amounts to a proportionate increase rather than comparing distinctly different sources of damage.

Also, I tested it at multiple levels (3, 5, 8, and 10) to make sure it stayed the same and, while there was some variation (lowest was a ~15% improvement; highest was an ~18% improvement), it was always quite noticeable.


(Jennerit Supremacist) #20

Keep in mind the longer the duration you are testing, the larger the error could become. My DPS tests lasted about 8 seconds. Your’s lasted an entire minute. Something to consider.