A class guide to a damage-over-time build for Psyker, utilising both Soulblaze, and Bleed.
Disclaimer: Mods / Addons
This build works best with mods. Without mods, it’s almost impossible to know how many Soulblazestacks there are applied to any given target.
You will want:
- Debuff Indicator
Hello, it is me, HOTBIGTIT aka Psyker IGN “Siennot.” I’m an Australian player, so if you’ve been playing Damnation in Oceania lately, you may have seen me. Nice to meet you.
I am a big fan of ‘tide games, and I like to try and find off-meta builds that are still viable in Cataclysm/Damnation/end-game difficulty. This is one of my Psyker builds that I use in Damnation pub games. It’s a lot of fun, so I thought I would share it.
It is fast-paced, and is great for clutching solo. It is weakest against mass Carapace (DoT effects can be slow to ramp up), and supported Bulwarks (can absorb your bleed/flame hits).
The basic premise of this playstyle is, “apply your DoTs, and run like hell!” Stab your enemy to make them Bleed, run back a bit, hit them with some Soulblaze, run back a bit, and repeat. There are a few gameplay basics that I want to mention, in case you’re pretty new to this game.
Lunging with the knife
When sprinting, your Combat Knife makes you ‘lunge’ on heavy attacks. You lunge to an accelerated speed, and if you continue holding down the heavy attack, you will return to approximately normal speed, and then finally complete the attack.
If you complete the heavy attack with another heavy attack before you slow down, while sprinting, you can significantly improve your effective movement speed. This means you can run, unbuffed, faster than most enemies, excluding Mutants, Plague Ogryns, and Chaos Spawn. Buffed for 4 seconds, you can outrun anything.
DoT effects – soft-cap
For best results, use mods to monitor your debuffs. Refer to the Disclaimer section for links.
The game has a soft-cap of 16 stacks of both Soulblaze , and Bleed, on a single target. Through circumstances like nearby elite deaths applying Soulblaze , and having multiple Psykers, I think Soulblaze can technically reach something like 32 stacks but it’s irrelevant. The point is: you, alone, can apply 16 stacks of both Soulblaze , and Bleed, on any single target. When both are applied and at 16 stacks, things will start melting pretty quickly.
You never want to be standing still, unless you’re headpopping from your shield’s cover. The Combat Knife means you can sprint around exploring for resources better than your average gamer can. Run up to some guys, slash twice or three times to apply 16 stacks of Bleed, move onto the next guy, and the first guys should already be falling. Random bosses aren’t too much different, just be wary of their grabs/stuns and try to maintain 16/16 stacks. Beasts of Nurgle should generally be kept at Soulblaze range only if you’re solo-ing, because you will almost certainly get eaten if you get too close.
Clutching/Solo – use the map, and run backwards!
Knowing, and utilizing, the map, is a pretty key component for this build. You will be running around a lot, and taking advantage of the map’s architecture will let you survive a lot longer. Sometimes you can’t avoid being overwhelmed, but you can generally run backwards through the map for a very long time.
The Build: Weapons
Obviously, you will want your base modifiers to be as close to 380 points as possible. The 380 points will be distributed randomly across the modifiers, up to 80% capacity. If a modifier is at 80%, it’s at maximum capacity.
Catachan Mk III Combat Blade
The Combat Knife is the core component of this build. It applies Bleed, has great dodge potential, and lets you run fast. Mobility should be perfect or near-perfect. Finesse is nice to have because we’re fishing for crits to begin with. Damage, Penetration, and First Target modifiers aren’t that important.
- Mobility > Finesse > Damage > First Target > Penetration
Mandatory: +5% Melee Critical Hit Chance
Plus, one of the following:
- +20% Block Efficiency (I use this)
- +25% against Flak Armour
- +25% against Unarmoured
Mandatory: Flesh Tearer – (x) Bleed Stacks on Critical Hits
Plus, one of the following:
- Lacerate – (x) Bleed Stacks on non-Weak Spot Hits (I use this)
- Shred – (x)% Bonus Critical Chance on repeated hit. Stacks 5 times.
- Riposte – (x)% Critical Chance for 6 seconds on successful Dodge
Rifthaven Mk II Purgatus Force Staff
The Purgatus Force Staff is the second core component of this build. It applies Soulblaze , has acceptable crowd control, and is your horde-clear. Burn is the only modifier you should prioritise to reach 80%, but Cloud Radius and Quell Speed are pretty neat too. Damage and Warp Resistance aren’t that important.
I’ll admit, I haven’t experimented extensively with different Blessings on the Purgatus Force Staff. Please discuss this if you’re interested in the build!
- Burn > Cloud Radius == Quell Speed > Warp Resistance > Damage
Nothing mandatory, it’s mostly personal preference. Some recommendations are:
- +10% Ranged Damage (Groaners, Poxwalkers)
- +25% Ranged Damage (Flak Armoured)
- +25% Ranged Damage (Unarmoured)
- +5% Ranged Critical Hit Chance
Mandatory: Terrifying Barrage – Suppress Enemies within (x) Radius on Close range Kill. (x) Suppression on enemies in range. 1.5s cooldown
Warp Nexus – Gain between (x)% and (x)% Critical Chance based on current level of peril.
Terrifying Barrage offers very good localized crowd control, and will probably save your life. Warp Nexus is mandatory because more crit = more toughness and speed, but also because Purgatus Force Staff critical hits will actually deliver two stacks of Soulblaze!
Here are some examples of the weapons I have equipped:
The Build: Talents
I’m sure there are some great arguments for variations of this, and I encourage you to discuss any thoughts you have. For reference’s sake, I’ve split the talents up into 5 tiers. Here’s what I’m using:
- Soulstealer: This will help you stay alive when you’re immobile and using your Purgatus Force Staff.
- Mettle: Toughness on crit, for a crit build, is obviously going to deliver some value. The movement speed is the real reason to use it though, because you gotta go fast (more fast = more fun).
- Perilous Combustion: This is an unreliable way of maintaining Soulblaze , but this is a Soulblaze build.
- BLITZ – Brain Rupture: I think it works best with this talent, as Brain Rupture has infinite range, and otherwise you will struggle at picking off priority targets at range.
- Kinetic Resonance: Combined with Telekine Shield, this helps you skirmish at mid and long ranges much more effectively. Drop your shield, pop more heads, and advance when ready.
- Kinetic Flayer: Pretty much optional, but I think it’s good value for a single point. It is a nice single-target damage boost.
- Wildfire: It’s a Soulblaze build, this is one of the core aspects of Soulblaze . Without this perk, you will spend a lot more time applying Soulblaze when there’s more than a handful of targets. Also seems to have good range.
- Psykinetic’s Aura: It’s nice to have, but it’s mostly just filler to get to the next tier.
- Prescience: More crit = more Bleed, more speed.
- Empathic Evasion: A defensive talent, picked because we’re critting so much anyway.
- Anticipation: Gives you 6 effective dodges with the Combat Knife, and makes dodging even better.
- Telekine Shield: It’s gotta be the most useful talent of the three. It’s a huge boon for your team, and will save your life. Just throw it down and start popping heads!
- Enervating Threshold: Makes Telekine Shield even more useful, it can stop Mutants dead in their tracks (for a second or two).
- Bolstered Shield: Now there’s two of them! Lots of benefit for a single point.
- Warp Rider: More damage based off of Peril. It’s pretty easy to gain Peril with the Purgatus Force Staff, but we don’t have Venting Shriek, so be careful not to overcharge!
- Kinetic Deflection: This will save your life, for sure. Combined with any bonus to block efficiency, you can become much more tanky than you normally would be.
- Empowered Psionics: Now you can pop even more heads, at faster speed, and with higher efficiency, just by planting your shield.
- Psychic Leeching: Totally optional, can just be useful as an “OH NO!” button.
- Bio-Lodestone: More procs!
- Charged Up: More charges!
The Build: Curios
I don’t think these are optimal curios, but here’s some discourse about it anyway.
- 19-21% Health
- 19-21% Health
- +3 Stamina
- 5% Health
- 30% Toughness Regeneration Speed
- 12% Block Efficiency > 12% Sprint Efficiency
Here’s some of my reasoning:
- % Health is more useful than Toughness because Psyker’s base Health pool is greater than their base Toughness pool.
- One Stamina curio is useful because otherwise you have only two Stamina on your Combat Knife… that’s not much.
- Toughness Regeneration Speed is useful because it means you can take another hit sooner without losing any of your valuable Health pool.
- Block Efficiency is lovely to have because it makes your limited Stamina even more effective.
- Sprint Efficiency is less useful than Block Efficiency, but still pretty good because you’re sprinting so much with this build.
Below are the curios I’m running right now. Note they’re not perfectly optimised, but they’re near-enough, and they get the job done.
An Alternative Build and The Future of This Build…
“I have a dream…”
It occurred to me that ‘Soulblaze ‘ and ‘Burning‘ (applied through various mechanics such as Infernus) are actually different debuffs. This means, I’m 90% sure, that they stack, meaning that they can both do damage simultaneously.
You can already achieve this by running a lasgun with Infernus as Psyker. Unfortunately, if you do this, you also lose the most reliable source of Soulblaze that exists in the current patch – the Purgatus Force Staff. You will most likely never get above 4 stacks of Soulblaze if you do this, so you may as well just run Purgatus Force Staff, especially since Infernus caps at like 10 stacks.
You could run an alternative version of this build, Burning/Soulblaze , by dropping the Combat Knife and picking up a Force Sword with Blazing Spirit blessing, as well as the Infernus lasgun. This would also allow you to pick up Deflect, the one that lets you block bullets, which is one that I consider to be a top-tier blessing. Of course, then, you lose your ability to Bleed, so it’s kind of just personal flavour preference. I think Bleed does more damage because of 16 stacks, and might have an inherently higher damage tick, but don’t quote me…
I hope in a future patch we will get another Soulblaze weapon, or a ranged weapon that can apply Bleed. Or maybe a unique Soulblaze Blitz, or even a Bleed Blitz…
Getting all three debuffs on a single character to 10+/16/16 will probably never happen, for balance reasons, but…