When you think of Flayer stance damage probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Most Flayer builds will understandably be focused on increasing survivability, but here we will be taking a different approach and emphasising offence rather than defence.
Flayer Damage Build
Before we get into corruptions and traits it is important to point out that this build isn’t concerned with producing high spike damage (such as creeps can produce!), but rather persistent damage. The idea is that by using Flayer for some increased survivability you should be able to last long enough to wear an opponent down through moderately good damage. Obviously this build isn’t particularly useful at rapidly burning targets and it shouldn’t be used for such a tactic.
The corruption setup is very deliberately a mixed bag. As with any Flayer build there are defensive corruptions, but we will also be using a number of offensive corruptions as well to ensure that the build has some punch to it. Now for the offensive side of things I have opted for Mastery boost corruptions and it is worth explaining why I choose those over Critical Rating Boost corruptions. As mentioned above this build is not about spike damage, rather it is about producing consistent damage. An increase in base damage fits that mission better than an increase to spike damage, which is by its nature random.
The corruption setup looks like this:
- Critical Protection Boost x3
- Health for Power Rank 1
- Health for Power Rank 2
- Mastery Boost x4
- Physical Mitigation Boost x2
In testing this has proven to be a consistently good setup. The morale boosts get your morale pool up to an acceptable level for fights that might last longer than a few seconds whilst the critical protection boosts help to deal with high freep spike damage and extend your morale pool a little further. Rounding out the defensive corruptions are the physical mitigation boosts. Two might not seem like very much, but in testing they provided a good level of protection when used in conjunction with various armour buffs available to wargs. Of course the two physical mitigation boosts can be swapped for tactical mitigation boosts depending upon which freeps you will primarily be fighting.
Four mastery boost corruptions might seem like an odd number to choose. Why not just three and opt for another physical mitigation boost? Why not six and get the set bonus? In testing four mastery boosts have proven to be quite effective in terms of providing sufficient damage to take down opponents whilst leaving room for some extra defensive corruptions. If you use destiny/store buffs then you could probably reduce the number of mastery boosts to three by using a damage buff. This would free up a slot for another defensive boost e.g. a third mitigation boost.
Racial traits, as ever, are the standard fare.
- Foe of the Light
- Four-Legged Foe
- Pack Alpha
- Racial Skill: Howl of Unnerving
- Racial Skill: Pack Hunters
These are the best of the bunch when it comes to racial traits. However, you could swap either Howl of Unnerving or Pack Hunters for Pack Mentality if you wanted to give yourself another slight defensive boost. The reason I haven’t included Pack Mentality in the list above is because the defensive boosts it offers are so slight that I don’t feel it is worth losing the utility of the other two traits.
Class traits consist of the following:
- Enhanced Skill: Stealth (it might be a Flayer build, but we are still using stealth)
- Armour Boost (extra armour means extra mitigations)
- Enhanced Skill: Disappear (it is always useful to have our escape skills on as short a cooldown as possible, but for a Flayer build it is equally important to have Topple on a short cooldown)
- Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake – (more frequent interrupts and increased dps)
- Enhanced Skill: Flayer (the extra armour and mitigation bonuses are vital for this build)
- Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey (you need to know where your opponent is)
- Enhanced Skill: Sprint (extra survivability when used for escape and of course an effective way of dealing with slows)
Resistance Boost might seem like an obvious choice given that we are looking to increase survivability with this build. However, it’s buff is relatively minor and easily replicated by using a resistance buff pot that can be bartered for with commendations.
The strategy with this build is quite straightforward: keep pummelling away. The extra survivability you will have should allow you to last through the initial blasts from big hitting skills, by which point the freep should hopefully start to panic as they haven’t destroyed you as quickly as expected allowing you to put them on the back foot.
The key is to keep stacking as many bleeds as possible whilst making good use of Scratch and Snip to bolster your direct damage. Given that fights might last longer than you are used to it is important to employ your debuffs where possible i.e. Brutal Fangs, Flea Bitten, Muscle Tear, Snap, etc. It is also important to use the Flayer heal effectively and Sprint can be useful here to allow you to kite your opponent (assuming you aren’t fighting a ranged class) in order to allow Flayer to heal you up a bit.
In using this build I have found that it works quite well in 1vs1 situations and has consistently provided me with good results in group and raid situations too. One Burger commented that he would like to see me using a different build owing to the length of time it takes to burn down my morale when using this build. High praise indeed!