Tl;Dr: The issue with phasecast is how easy it can miss, the fact it lacks the utility of other abilities in the game to make up for this, and it must be fixed before you pick this up and I suggest ways to fix it.
So Amara is amazing; one of the best characters in the game for handling mobs of enemies. Each of her skill trees provide a unique and interesting way to approach this. Each skill tree is fun and completely different then the other two. Each one is really powerful and plays into the character which creates a very very different character then the rest of the characters. Each of the skill trees plays into her personality. There is one issue though and that is the issue with the phasecast ability itself.
Don’t get me wrong the mystical assault tree is amazing and it works really well when with the other trees. When paired with the fist of the elements tree you can become an elemental powerhouse. When paired with the brawl tree you gain a huge boost to the damage of your slam and make your guns a lot better giving them a boost to damage and utility. The mystical assault tree by itself has an issue which is the ability itself and it makes your skill tree next to useless by itself.
The biggest issue with phasecast is how easy it can miss. By itself being able to miss isn’t an issue phadeslam can also miss but it also is close range which makes missing that much harder to do expecially since the brawl tree wants you close to an enemy anyways. Not only that but phadeslam also has several frames of invincibility which makes you unable to Be killed while doing it. The augment which let’s you shoot a laser increases the duration of these frames which can be used to dodge strong attacks by a boss of a tough enemy. Phasecast doesn’t have this. Every other ability besides phasecast and phase slam cannot miss or otherwise has built in utility which makes it shine.
Ironbear for example has invincibility frames when entering and exiting as well as the armor bar of itself. Zane’s clones can be used to change position shoot and draw aggro. Zane’s drone can shoot draw aggro and can be focused on a target. Zane’s shield can be picked up and used as a second shield or used to protect the party from harm. Fl4ks fade away skill can turn it invisible removing aggro as well as giving them a means of escape. Their rakk attack ability cannot miss and has tracking built in. Likewise, fl4ks final ability can be used to teleport their pet into or out of combat which can either draw aggro towards of away from their pet and either towards or away from fl4k and it buffs the pet as well. Phasecast by itself unlike these abilities has no such utility built into the base skill.
The phasecast ability variations require you to hit the target which is fairly difficult to do due to the duration of the windup ability associated with phas casting. Additionally unlike phaseslam which hits a group of enemies which are near each other, which happens quite often, phasecast hits enemies in a line, which happens next to never. This by itself wouldn’t be so bad due to what phasecast was designed for.
Phasecast was designed to fill in a gap with Amara’s playstyle. Overall Amara is fantastic at dealing with large groups of enemies but is weak against strong single targets with lots of health , aka, bosses. Phasecast was designed as a means to solve that issue but bosses make up a small portion of the game and through most of the game you will be fighting large groups of enemies which the mystical assault tree does not do well against. You can always respec your skill tree before a boss fight but this doesn’t always work.
Respecing requires you to go to sanctuary or find a changing station to do it. Many boss arenas have these plsced before a boss fight but not all of them do. Several boss fights require a large extensive dungeon just go get to them full of enemies. Phasecast’svabilitu to miss combined with it’s low base damage makes killing large groups of enemies difficult. The mystical assault tree can use these enemies killing them and inflicting status effects on them to build up stacks of rush which can be used to power up phasecast to do massive damage as well as increase things like your fire rate and such. The issue is not all bosses have these dungeons before you face them which creates a unique predicament of the mystical assault tree. The ability the tree focuses on requires you to kill enemies to get it powered up which is the thing it is bad at which Amara:s other skill trees are good at and the thing it is good at which is killing bosses requires you to either stack up status effectsvwhich bosses tend to be resistant to or kill enemies which are not always present before the boss fight. This is a huge glaring issue with the skill tree but it is not without it’s answers.
Here are several ways to improve phasecast and the mystical assault tree: 1. Refund the cool down if the phasecast misses and make it usable instantly again. 2. Increase the width of phasecast. 3. Decrease the cool down of phasecast. 4. Give phasecast some utility such as the ability to ignore enmy shields/damage reduction. 5. Give phasecast a way to track enemies. 6. Give phasecast a way to change direction/jump from enemy to enemy.
If we understand the issues with phasecast and work together to push to fix it together we can make Amara’s phasecast great again.