Assault Rifle Decks – Utility


After completing each of the eight dungeons on the Elite difficulty, it came to my attention that there is more to life than just blowing stuff up. Crazy, I know. So in the interest of preparing for Nightmare modes, I thought it would be wise to invest in a few utility builds. While there are barely a handful of situations in the Elites where utility is useful (but not necessarily required), I know from the Looking for Group channel that they are more or less required for safe passage through a Nightmare dungeon.

Utility in The Secret World is much the same as it is in every MMOG: stuns, purges, cleanses, and debuffs. Each of these abilities is usually narrowed into the scope of one or two different weapon choices. This means no single person can be the jack-of-all-trades, making group composition important. By building a few decks each with one or two specific utilities, you can ensure that you will be an asset to any group.

The Utility Belt

First things first, a list of the different utilities and the weapon choices that most closely fit with assault rifles.

This effect reduces the damage output of the affected enemy. Extremely handy against the hard-hitting bosses (such as Prime Maker in Hell Eternal) that give your healer a bad time in keeping the tank up.

Best Choices:
Shotgun - 12 Gauge (passive, penetration); Hammer – Insult to Injury (passive, crit)

This effect stuns the enemy, interrupting its cast. The best example of when to use this is against the final boss in Hell Eternal when it is casting Corruption (the ability that drops a person down to 1 hp).

Best Choices:
Blood – Cardiac Arrest (active, elite)

This effect strips the enemy of a beneficial effect. I didn’t experience any situations in Elite dungeons when this was useful, but Nightmares are a different story.

Best Choices:
Elementalism – Magnetic Wipe (active); Magnetic Variance (passive, crit)

These decks bring specific utility to the fight while trying to keep damage output as high as possible. These examples are all based off of Hip Shooter, but as usual you can substitute Safety Off if you prefer. As you’ll notice, they follow a pattern in simply replacing one or two damage abilities with a utility.

AR Utility Deck – Weak Hip

Changes: Swap Salt in the Wound (passive) for 12 Gauge (Shotgun – Riot Act).

This deck provides you with a passive ability that applies Debilitated when you penetrate. Stacks to 10, for a 30% reduction in enemy damage output. Alternatively, you can use Insult to Injury (Hammers – Brute Force) which applies when you critically hit. Whichever rating is higher, use the appropriate ability.

AR Utility Deck – Hip Breaker

Changes: Swap Red Mist (active) for Cardiac Arrest (Blood – Profane).

This deck provides you with an active interrupt. Cardiac Arrest is an inner ring blood ability that hits for a fair amount of damage and sits on a 30-second cooldown. There are other options for Impair, however, Cardiac Arrest is the cheapest to grab (only 19 AP), an instant cast, and has great range.

Alternative Option:
If your group needs both an interrupt and a softer hitting boss, you can combine Hip Breaker and Weak Hip for a modest loss in damage per second.

AR Utility Deck – Hip Purger

Changes: Swap Red Mist (active) and Salt in the Wound (passive) for Magnetic Wipe and Magnetic Variance, respectively, both from the Elementalism – Resonance tree.

This deck provides you with a directly useable purge (Magnetic Wipe) and a passive purge chance based on critical hits. In most cases, using just Magnetic Wipe will be sufficient. In some cases, using just the passive Magnetic Variance will suffice. Vary this deck on a case-by-case call based on the fight’s requirements.

Future Planning

As I gather more experience in Nightmares and as Funcom releases more dungeons, its likely more utility options will be needed. As this happens, you’ll find more options here. Watch Twitter and Facebook for updates, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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