Reverberation. I know you're curious too

This stands out to me as b0re-esque, and I am more than excited to break something with it – so how quickly does it grow? For some visualizations, check out and paste
into a function slot (on the left column). This represents total damage dealt vs. enemies hit, as a percentage of the damage dealt to the first enemy (so you can multiply any of these values by a calculation of action skill damage buffed/nerfed by Amara’s augments and skills to get an in-game value). For the damage dealt to each individual enemy in a line, use
in it’s own line.

Once you’ve hit the 10th enemy/distinct hurtbox, Reverberation has dealt 113.33 times its original value in damage. At 6, the total damage is a bit more meager, at only 20x. The damage that would be dealt to the 6th enemy alone is a whopping 11.39x the base damage all by itself!

So what kind of base damage numbers can we expect? Going off of for point values, and building up a spreadsheet of buffs at different stack counts of Rush, and including Awakening at different values, I found the following:

(Base Damage) * (1 + 0.006 * (Rush) * (Do Harm) * (1 + 0.1 * Awakening) )

0 Rush, regardless of Do Harm and Awakening: 116 = 1x base
5 Rush, 5/5 Do Harm: 133.40 = 1.15x base
10 Rush, 5/5 Do Harm: 150.8 = 1.30x base
5 Rush, 5/5 Do Harm, 2/3 Awakening: 136.88 = 1.18x base
10 Rush, 5/5 Do Harm, 2/3 Awakening: 157.76 = 1.36x base
10 Rush, 5/5 Do Harm, 3/3 Awakening: 161.24 = 1.39x base
20 Rush (Avatar), 5/5 Do Harm, 3/3 Awakening: 206.48 = 1.78x base

All numbers rounded to 2 decimal places… because the third really doesn’t matter.

If you are really curious, I can post the spreadsheet, but I think it is rather reproducible as it stands. I will be doing similar things for Phasecast and Tandava perhaps as soon as tonight. I will not be analyzing Deliverance because I do not know the damage values for Elemental Projectiles, or if they regularly hit things (Wanderlust, anybody?). The culmination will probably be in terms of DPS, per enemies hit in a sort of table format. One thing’s for certain, though… Reverberation will *eventually* win. It’s just a question of whether we can slap enough tinks with it on the way to the badass.


And, I’m back. Armed with a spreadsheet, I have done MATHS! And the results? Actually, a bit surprising. I expected Tandava’s large base damage to carry it ahead of Reverberation for much longer, in a one-to-one “enemies hit” comparison. Well, enough teasing. Here are the charts!

Comparing First Hit With Different Buffs

Straight-up Damage

Varying Flavors of Total DPS (as opposed to next enemy hit),

All Damage Buffs

Damage Buffs and Cooldown Buff

Damage Buffs and Splash Damage Buff

Damage Buffs, Splash Damage Buff and Cooldown Buff

The cooldown buff boosted the DPS of each skill by 1.25x.

I assumed that Arms Deal – the splash damage buff I picked for Tandava specifically – was a multiplicative damage buff. Turns out, it really doesn’t matter. Reverberation runs away with the total DPS at the third hit anyway.

First, Awakening (as I calculated it) seems to have only a marginal effect. It certainly pales in comparison to Avatar. Perhaps tacking 5 extra Rush stacks to a COM that also buffs this skill or giving those same 5 stacks for putting one point into this skill will change my mind… but as it stands, those points are probably better spent ensuring that you get all 20 stacks once you have Avatar, and on Remnant. Wrath, From Rest, Violent Tapestry, and Alacrity come to mind if you don’t want Remnant. But more on Remnant later.
Tandava is quite lackluster with only these straight damage buffs. So lackluster, in fact, that I would probably only choose it at this point if it reduced weaker mobs to giblets. Of course, its splash damage radius could be so massive that it hits 2-3 more baddies than either Phasecast or Reverberation when used after chucking a singularity grenade… but if Reverberation hits 4 things in a row, it is unbeatable in pure DPS.

And here is where I caveat this whole post with a reminder that the game is crazily complicated – and we don’t even know everything about it. My three hours in the evening ain’t gonna compare to the balance team that’s been working for Lord knows how long. Here are some reasons I would still spec into Tandava over Remnant just off the top of my head.

  • If it is really hard to get those cheeky bastards to line up!
  • If its damage scales to consistently kill lightly weakened enemies, thereby proccing Remnant 3-5x per cast!
  • If its explosion is so large it hits more than 4 enemies where Reverberation could only hit 3.
  • If speccing into Revelation or Allure allows for more than simply double-dipping what you hit the first time. Bonus points if these ultimately proc Remnant extra!
  • If survival becomes a big deal, and Soul Sap doesn’t heal with Reverberation’s overkill damage.

I’m sure there are more reasons to take one over the other, but I think the biggest thing from this post is that unless I am sorely misunderstanding how Awakening will work, it is not worth building into without a serious rework before release.

A quick note about Remnant, and why I think it would be a reason to spec into Tandava over Reverberation. In short, it is the relatively high 99 base damage it sports. If Tandava can cheersplode 4 mobs, proccing Remnant, that is nearly 400 damage for free, plus the (probably marginal) overkill. To get that kind of overkill with Reverberation, it would have to hit 6 mobs and overkill 3, or 7+ and overkill 2.

Finally, some speculation into other trees.
If you spend the points to get down into Remnant and/or Avatar, you’re probably going for high-damage action skills. That means Downfall, from Brawl, or Ties That Bind from Fist of the Elements. If you’re aiming for control with Fist of the Elements, I wouldn’t recommend speccing Do Harm at all; its damage buffs are really quite weak alone. Just pick up enough skills to get down to Ascendant, perhaps the reload buff from Alacrity and certainly cooldown from Restless, and go get some survival from Brawl.

Thanks for reading! I’m sure I missed, mistyped, overstated, or understated something in this post. Feel free to point it out, I’ll try to fix my errors as best I can. New builds based on this speculation always welcome, and I eagerly await theorycrafting of your own!


I’m not planning on going through the Mystical Assault tree with my first build for Amara, but I too have a keen eye on Reverberation and how that would combine with Remnant. But in addition to what you’ve already hypothesised, three questions spring to my mind.

  1. Would it be worth augmenting Reverberation with Revelation (plus Ascendant) for that extra damage or would the 15% penalty to action skill damage prove too detrimental?

Without doing the maths and just taking a random stab in the dark, my guess is that with just a couple of enemies the novas might do enough to negate the damage penalty. But 3 or more and you might lose out overall, which would conscript anyone running Reverberation into using nothing else but Soul Sap, if the intention is to maximise action skill damage above all else.

  1. Could Tempest be a key DPS skill when it comes to potential Reverberation damage?

The skill description states that you deal increased elemental damage, implying everything including weapons, melee, action skills, etc. And as we all know, elemental damage is multiplicative damage. We still don’t know specific numbers yet for elemental multipliers, but targeting a shielded enemy first would create a strong start for Reverberation with the bonus shock damage from Tempest.

  1. In some cases, again for the sake of maximising action skill damage for Reverberation, would it not be arguably better to spec into Jab Cross than go the full distance down the Mystical Assault tree?

I don’t think this question can be fully answered until we know how class mods will be designed for BL3. We’re just assuming that they’ll follow the same formula as BL2, but it’s a very clouded matter for discussion when there is so much room for speculation and so many possibilities. They’ve toned down bonuses to damage and other stats in the skill trees compared to BL2, so they might also tone down class mods.

3-point skills seem to be a thing now in BL3 and some of them look so strong on paper that if any class mods were to buff them, they would either be flat-out broken or just not function as intended. Could you imagine a class mod that yielded +6 points for Remnant, Personal Space or Indiscriminate, or for Moze with skills such as Thin Red Line, Desperate Measures, Deadlines or Pull the Holy Pin? I don’t personally expect to see that come true, but who knows what’s in store.

But I think most 5-point skills will have class mods that buff them reasonably and if Jab Cross is one of them, then it’s worth investing in as it’s considerably easier to land a single melee hit and reap the benefits of a flat and consistent damage increase for 20 seconds, than it is to accumulate up to 20 Rush stacks with varying degrees of damage based on your choice of progression through the Mystical Assault skill tree.

Avatar would be better overall if Do Harm gets buffed by a class mod generously and Jab Cross got nothing. But without class mods being a factor, Jab Cross would do more action skill damage than the bonus 10 Rush stacks from Avatar (and also increased stack effectiveness from Awakening) boosting Do Harm. You can get a level 50 build where as long as you’re fine with not taking the Blitz capstone, you can get max points in Jab Cross and Remnant both.

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Thanks for the post! You’ve got some fascinating questions, and I’m pretty sure I can address your first and third. I’m leery of estimating elemental damage without testing, but I’ll take a stab at Tempest anyway. :smile:

Although this depends in part whether the -15% is additive or multiplicative (additive being preferred in this instance, but my math assumed multiplicative), I can say with confidence that if you want nothing more than maximum damage per single cast of your action skill, for fewer than 4 hits with Reverberation, Revelation is a net damage increase.
At 3 enemies, Revelation & Reverberation have dealt 987.413 damage in total (again, assuming the only enemy hit with the nova is the one it spawns on), while Reverberation alone has dealt 980.78 damage in total. At 4 enemies, the difference is still small enough that hitting two enemies with one nova, once, will bring both damage numbers back in line.
Numbers run @ 20 stacks of Rush, with 5/5 in Do Harm, 1/1 in Ascendant and 3/3 in Awakening, assuming 1 enemy hit with the nova.
There is a chance that the nova will not harm the enemy it procs on, in which case… your only choice for pure damage is to run Soul Sap, or bank on gimmicks with the double-cast of Avatar.

Ironically, Anima could be a bigger deal. If I had to pick one, and do an entire playthrough with either Anima or Tempest, but not both, I would go for Anima for the elemental effect duration increase and the flat 30% action skill elemental damage increase, under the assumption that enemies will not often die in one hit. Shock is a great elemental damage type in BL2, but if it’s nerfed in BL3 and switching to corrosive or fire for the action skill element becomes necessary, it’s as simple as “30% is bigger than 20%”. Either way, those numbers are hard to pass up, especially given their low placement in the tree.

This really depends on how you want to kill the baddies. Technically, Avatar is a “double-DPS-and-then-some” skill because of its dual-cast effect, even if the damage per cast from extra Rush is less than if you specced into Jab Cross. Additionally, it has potential for really powerful synergy with Allure by increasing the number of enemies hit on the second pass. However, if you want as much damage in a single pass as you can possibly deal, Jab Cross is your skill. I’m not going to discuss the potential for 10/5 Do Harm from a COM, because… I don’t want my dreams crushed too badly.

I think this particular comparison is tricky, because Avatar is not primarily “extra Rush” to me – it’s “extra cast”. Jab Cross could certainly buff your skill by 110% at 10/5, but Avatar is a 30% buff times two casts… netting 160%. Although these numbers are more ■■■■■■■■ than in-game effect right now, I can’t see myself passing up Avatar in a casting-centric build. (This being under the assumption that Tandava cannot one-hit an average enemy even when under the maximum buffs possible from the skill tree. Everything changes depending on where that one-hit threshold lands.)

Jab cross leaves me a little pained as a skill because it buffs everything I think it shouldn’t for a melee skill. Perhaps the idea is to Blitz into combat before popping Downfall on the first enemy that doesn’t die in one hit… and the gun damage is to hold you over until Blitz resets? I would prefer a stacking melee buff, though. Especially because Find Your Center procs range after action skill, but Jab Cross should be procced before an action skill.

Quickly on Downfall: I do expect it to be able to kill your average enemy, perhaps even 2 or 3 per cast, and do big damage to minibosses by focusing them down with the beam, but I envision it fitting into a different playstyle than one built around proccing Remnant. I’m also half-expecting its slam damage to be reduced, or have slow beam tracking, or some other unknown detriment to balance it against Fracture.

Sorry this is a little bit off-topic but based on Reverberation’s icon I always wondered if it acts like bore or rather adds a ricochet effect to Phasecast?

Do we have any video of someone using Reverberation?

Not off topic at all! This is all about what we thing using Reverberation/its effects will be like. I’ve been assuming it acts like B0re, but a guided ricochet that boosts damage per hit would be freakin’ awesome!

No videos that I know of… :sob:

I would love if it would ricochet but I also think it acts like bore.

The reason why I think it could ricochet is(aside from the icon) that some descriptions are a little bit misleading. Downfall for instance. You wonder why it shoots a laser before being just Phaseslam instead of just increasing Phaselam’s damage but if you watch MentalMars LV. 26 Amara gameplay you see that you shoot the laser below you while still being able to move. This renders cover quite useless and opens a whole new way to engage enemies!

Can you find a link?! I definitely want to watch that!


First few minutes. It also shows things like Do Unto Others, Guardian Angel and Find Your Center.

Thanks. Looks like the beam lasts for ~2 seconds, but is extremely limited in what it can hit. The extra mobility for Amara is awesome, though!

That would put total damage for Downfall to about 183, the highest of all her skills. Funny glitch when it happened indoors!

Amazing work on the formula and the possibilities of Reverberation. I myself have this skill in mind as a “main skill”, but its practicality completely depends on 2 factors: Does it “B0re” and does it ricochet? If it goes through enemies like B0re, which IS to be expected from the design of the skill, good. But its real potential will come from the fact of hitting multiple targets. If it does not change it’s course, which I assumed, then the player needs to set up a line of fire to hit as many targets as possible.

Tandava on the other hand depends on its blast radius. The explosion should just hit enemies in a certain radius and if that radius proves more practical to usual combat situations, then it will be superior for most builds.

But even if Reverberation is just that simple line of damage I fear it might be, it will have it’s uses nonetheless. I can see it being really strong against bosses that have many mobs besides them. Throw a singularity grenade in there to line them up, give them a moment to spread out to a line if needed and boom, a massive “beam” of death that mildly damages the first target hit, but after just a short line of targets B0re’s the boss in one shot or at least does massive damage.

On the topic of B0re: B0re and similar skills were only that devastating because of overlapping hitboxes and the projectiles ping-ponging between them. This has been confirmed to be no longer possible as the hitboxes of BL3 seem to work differently and don’t overlap anymore (or rather, don’t multi-register anymore).


I am truly interested to see whether hitting those adds with Reverberation to chunk the boss’s health or Tandava to proc a bunch of Remnant to then chunk the boss’s health will be more effective. Or even Deliverance, because we don’t know how much damage the side projectiles will do.

I’m glad that the overlapping hitboxes issue was fixed. My first playthough was Zero, and Bunker died soooo quickly to my Slagga (lucky world drop). Wouldn’t want the same thing to happen until my 2nd or 3rd time trying it this time!

Deliverance will probably be a mobbing skill for the most part, but an awesome one as the projectiles themselfes seemingly don’t do damage on their own, they “just” trigger the elemental effect according to your action skill element (which can mean a lot of damage over time, especially with Anima). The way Deliverance sounds it should be one of the best skills for mobbing as a single hit with it could theoretically kill 4 enemies or at least weaken all of them. The floor of the skill is very high, power-wise, where Reverberation is kind of the opposite; quite weak at face value, but it has probably the highest ceiling of all of Amaras skills.

Fascinating. This implies that throwing out Deliverance twice with Avatar won’t be nearly as useful as Reverberation, Tandava, or Downfall. Or any of the Phasegrasp moves. I wonder if those small projectiles proc Revelation/Glamour/Stillness of Mind?

Thinking about it, though, Stillness of Mind doesn’t seem so useful if it breaks under applied elemental effect damage…

Deliverance’s usefulness depends on the way Avatar works. If the cooldown starts once you threw out the first Action Skill, then you can, without penalty, space out the activations of Deliverance to hit different targets with each use. Or just try to hit different ends of a room to get the projectiles to hit other targets.

If you need to shoot out both Action Skill Activations first, yeah, then Deliverance will be the weakest of the bunch, almost for sure. I mean, you might be able change your Action Skill Element between uses, but that would be cumbersome and not even possible in coop.

I can just imagine the cheese for solo speedkill bosses if we can change more than just the action skill element between uses… use Tandava or regular Phasecast augmented with Allure to group enemies, then switch to Reverberation, the proper element, and Revelation or Soul Sap for pure damage…

I’m pretty sure that Avatar will start the action skill cooldown after your first use, while allowing a second use for that duration.

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What I find quite interesting is the synergy with Avatar + Helping Hand(s) because you can kinda get in a loop here which grants you 20% damage reduction almost all the time. You use your action skill once than wait that Helping Hand(s) is over and than use your free activation to immediately gain it back! Once it‘s run out a second time your action skill is almost up again and you can begin the loop anew.

If Zane’s got his kill skills, Amara’s got her action-skill-activated skills!

Ties That Bind with a cooldown reduction should be just about perfect to keep Helping Hand(s) up all the time, while being good CC!

@ewhall18 Do you mean without Avatar? Because Ties That Bind is already only 17s so that would leave you with only 1s without damage reduction.

I was including Avatar. You’d only need a few points in Restless to keep damage reduction always up – no downtime whatsoever. Or a relic/COM that reduces cooldown. As we discover those, we’ll know exactly which action skills will let us have constant damage reduction, if we time everything well.