Gunslingers in 2.4
Let me preface this with the statement that I have been writing PvP articles about Update 2.4…they just aren’t on this site. For my PvP articles, head to Corellian Run Radio to read them. I have one that is a general arena overview, one about meta-strategies in arenas, and one on the focus target system, which is applicable to warzones as well as arenas.
So for PvP, I like to give Corellian Run precedence on those articles, since I write a PvP column. But Gunslingers are mine. So here we go!
First off, there were no changes to the Gunslinger class at all. So the basic tenets I set forth in my Gunslinger Advanced Class Guide and the subsequent articles on the Saboteur, Sharpshooter, and Dirty Fighting trees are all still relevant.
But let’s talk arenas. First off, I will describe my experience in arenas overall.
What I’ve been up to
My favorite tree is Saboteur, so I was running this spec for a while in arenas. This had a lot of the good talents that I like, but it took the armor penetration on Aimed Shot with Sharp Aim, which I found myself not using as much in the fast pace of arenas. A 2.5-second cast time is an eternity in arenas.
I switched things up to this spec, which swapped the armor penetration from Sharp Aim for Trip Shot for more Leg Shots per minute, due to all the melee classes.
I liked this, so I made a further adjustment and dropped one point from Sharpshooter (as 1% Accuracy is not a huge hit) and moved it into Sapping Charge for a full 30% slow on Shock Charge to aggravate the melee even further.
My first run in arenas looked quite good on paper, as I was 8-2 by the time I was given my rating. In reality, I was directly skewing the numbers on the first day by marking targets and using focus target before anyone really started doing that. We won on pure organization. After that, my losses caught up to my wins in a really bad losing streak against a particular set of really good players. I was only leading my losses by 2 with wins, so still doing pretty well, but hovering around the same rating and not feeling like I was progressing. I would win exactly as much as I lost.
This prompted a paradigm switch, as I realized that people were getting better at swapping guard and preventing the first target from dying. So I decided to move to a more burst-y tree, Sharpshooter. My initial spec incorporated Percussive Shot for the knockback on Aimed Shot, which I thought might be useful in 1v1 situations. It also included Independent Anarchy for the extra damage from Sabotage Charge.
I decided later that the speed boost after Hunker Down ended was worth spending points in Heads Up (because of the immunity to movement-impairing effects as well), so I revamped my spec a bit, taking out Independent Anarchy and Percussive Shot, instead including Heads Up and Saboteur’s Utility Belt. The latter was not for the cooldown reduction on Thermal Grenade, but for the cooldown reduction on Flash Grenade, which definitely needs to be as low as possible for arenas.
This last spec seems to be working well for arenas, giving me way more success and increasing my win-loss ratio. I now lead my losses by 10, which hopefully will increase as we go.
I am about half-Obroan now, and I am planning my mods and enhancements post-Obroan gear to min-max. I have this build on AskMrRobot.com that has all my ideal mods and enhancements in. I have yet to calculate how much this is going to cost me, but I imagine it will be good to have something to spend comms on when Oct. 29th rolls around with Update 2.4.2 and the beginning of Ranked season one!
My next question is what the ideal spec will be for 4v4 group ranked play. I am thinking about trying this Dirty Fighting build, which seems a little weird in ranked PvP, but I think an attrition build might be useful in group ranked. It takes almost every defensive ability in the Dirty Fighting tree, as well as Ballistic Dampers from Sharpshooter, which is one of my favorite talents. Plus this takes the three Flash Grenade talents: Saboteur’s Utility Belt (reduced cooldown), Flash Powder (reduces accuracy after it wears off), and Concussion (prevents your DoTs from ticking on a target while they are under the effects of Flash Grenade, one problem with target switching in DoT spec).
We’ll see if that works, and I will report back! Let me know what you are thinking with Gunslingers, and I’ll be interested to hear about it!