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[CLASS] Awakening Berserker Guide - Squall
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edited 11:40PM June 24, 2019 in Player Guides
Mason’s Awakening Berserker Guide - Squall
This is a general Berserker guide post-Awakening patch for anyone who is looking for some guidance. I will not attempt to objectively prove anything I say as “the best”, so interpret it how you want to. Much of the info can be taken and modified to fit your own play-style.
This guide covers the Squall tree. I will not be going over the Skull Splitter tree, but it is still viable.
*In case it is not clear, anything with square brackets around it [like this] will be a link to something.
Table of Contents
- New Skills
- Rank 1 Skill Build
- Awakening Skill Points & Build
- Useful Tips
- Crit Build vs Melee/Boss Build
- Level 60 Legendary Set
- Level 60 Accessories
Infinite Darkness: Passively increases Strength by 40. Increases Dark Aura’s duration to 10 seconds, up from 7 seconds. When consuming 10 stacks of Dark Aura, there is a 20% chance to trigger Surging Darkness, which immediately grants 10 stacks of Dark Aura back.
Squall: This is your main attacking skill. You use it to build Whirlwind when Dark Might is unavailable. Whirlwind can be triggered by acquiring 3 stacks of Gale, which are accumulated while casting Squall if you are standing still.
Rend Wound: This is your biggest passive damage. To inflict a Rend Wound stack on the boss, you must deal two critical hits within a period of 4 seconds. Each consecutive stack built creates a new four-second window. Rend Wound will also passively increase Deep Wounds damage by 76% at Level 1, up to 100% at Level 4.
Raging Soul: This buff increases attack speed, physical attack, dark damage, and prevents death during its duration. Upon casting Raging Soul, the cooldown of Earthquake will be reset. While under the effects of Raging Soul, standing on top of Earthquake will provide Dark Aura stacks, as well as increase movement speed by 100%.
Blood Slash: This is your secondary damage skill. Upon casting, it will restore 6% of your health per hit. Casting this skill consumes 10 Dark Aura stacks, as well as Gouges any target inflicted with Rend Wound stacks. Gouging a target will remove all inflicted Rend Wound stacks while increasing the damage of Blood Slash per stack gouged. When under the effects of Raging Soul, Dark Blood Slash will be activated, which can be held down to complete a stronger attack that does not consume Dark Aura stacks.
Whirlwind: This is a buff that is activated upon acquiring 3 stacks of Gale. It lasts for 5 seconds, but will be immediately dropped if you stop casting Squall. Whirlwind increases Squall’s speed and hit count while decreasing its damage and setting the caster’s movement speed to 30%. Whirlwind will also grant knockback immunity while casting Squall.
Dark Might: This is a Rank 1 skill, however, it is not viable before Awakening. Casting Dark Might will consume 10 Dark Aura stacks. Dark Might will apply the same effects as Whirlwind onto Squall, without reducing the caster’s movement speed. This buff also includes knockback immunity while casting Squall.
Rank 1 Skill Build
You want to prioritize maximizing Dark Might and Warrior’s Instinct. If your piercing is above 30.0%, you may consider taking some points out of Warrior’s Instinct.
You want at least 1 point in Earthquake, as it synergizes with the Raging Soul buff.
Choose last points between Blood Price, Deep Wounds, Earthquake and Greatsword Mastery.
Below is my “general” build that I use at 78 SP, though I may change it from raid to raid. I like to put 5 points into Earthquake for the extra tiles, as the bosses can move around a lot. You can also experiment with max tiles, while taking some points out of Blood Price, or minimum tiles, while prioritizing things like Deep Wounds or Greatsword Mastery.
Awakening Skill Points & Build
For the Squall tree, due to the way our gearing setup works in GMS2, it is harder to use crit rate viably. For this reason, utilizing Blood Slash can be a damage loss, and should not be used in certain scenarios. There are niche cases where it is useful, but for this reason, we prioritize maximizing every other skill first.
Before clearing all 3 of the raids (Bjorn, Lukarax and Pink Bean) you will start with 13 skill points. They should be allocated as such:
As you obtain more skill points from raids, just throw them into Blood Slash.
- When consuming Dark Aura stacks, there is a 20% chance to retain the 10 stacks consumed.
- Putting Squall on a Macro Key can improve the transition after Whirlwind ends, otherwise, you may get locked up and unable to re-cast Squall until you cast another skill or move. [Demonstration GIF]
- If you decide to cast Blood Slash, it can be useful to immediately cast Bloodlust, as its first hit guarantees a critical hit, so that you can start building up Rend Wound stacks again.
On a dummy, the general rotation is as follows:
- Blood Price
- Raging Soul
- Earthquake again
- Use a full Dark Blood Slash while waiting for 10 Dark Aura stacks (make sure you are standing on Earthquake for the stacks!).
- Dark Might
- When Dark Might has less than 1 second left on its duration, cast Blood Slash.
- Go back to spinning, if you are having trouble critting for Rend Wound stacks, utilize the guaranteed crit of Bloodlust.
- Repeat, utilize cooldowns when you deem them worthy.
(Youtube Link) (<- For some reason when I put this in brackets it breaks the embed)
Things to consider:
- You may use Blood Slash more or less often depending on your crit rate and how fast you think you can build back up to 5 Rend Wound stacks. On a fast-moving boss (e.g. Lukarax while it is dashing) it may be harder to quickly build up those stacks, meaning you are losing potential DPS the longer they are down.
- If you get a Surging Darkness proc after casting Blood Slash, you should cast another Blood Slash immediately, as the Dark Aura stacks are not used for anything else until Dark Might’s cooldown is up.
- [Lumarigon’s Pride Red Lapenshard] synergizes extremely well with Raging Soul, so it can be useful to try to time those buffs with each other. Since you cannot die during Raging Soul, the extreme defense reduction of the Lapenshard does not matter.
- Try to use [Pride Bolt Red Lapenshard] whenever you can.
- Do not feel pressured to use your cooldowns whenever they are up. In some cases it is more beneficial to wait for both Dark Might and Raging Soul to be up together, or to wait to use buffs until the boss is stationary, in order to get more use out of them.
Red Lapenshards will be [Lumarigon’s Pride] and [Pride Bolt]
Blue Lapenshards will be [Bjorn’s Artistry] and [Pink Bean’s Prank]
Green Lapenshards will be [Guardian’s Rage] and [Eupheria’s Projection]
- If you cannot acquire Eupheria’s Projection or Guardian's Rage, use the [Haunting Power] Lapenshard from the Awakening questline as a filler until you can.
IMPORTANT: YOU WILL ALSO NEED TO UPGRADE [Sword of Time] AND [Space Rift] LAPENSHARDS TO ACCESS BLACKSHARD NEXUS.
Guardian’s Rage: “Guardian of the Seas” (Level 60 Hard Dungeon)
Pride Bolt: “Madrakan’s Heart” (Level 60 Hard Dungeon)
Lumarigon’s Pride: Normal or Hard “Madrakan Spire” (Level 60 Chaos Raid)
Bjorn’s Artistry: Normal or Hard” Frostpillar Temple” (Level 60 Chaos Raid)
Pink Bean’s Prank: Normal or Hard “Rock ‘n’ Rollin Pink Bean” (Level 60 Chaos Raid)
Eupheria’s Projection: “Emerald Prison” (Level 60 Eye of Lapenta Dungeon)
Sword of Time: “Terminus of Time” (Level 60 Eye of Lapenta Dungeon)
Space Rift: “Azure Flux” (Level 60 Eye of Lapenta Dungeon)
[Lapenshard Cost Upgrade Table]
Hard Dungeons give 30 Lapenshard Fragments per run. One Lapenshard costs 50 fragments to make, meaning you can craft up to 18 Lapenshards per week from Hard Dungeons.
Chaos Raids (both Normal and Hard mode) give one full Lapenshard per run, meaning you can get up to 6 Lapenshards per Chaos Raid per week.
Each Eye of Lapenta raid gives 42 fragments per run, meaning you can get up to 5 Lapenshards per week from clearing, as well as an extra from the merchant in Storm’s Eye.
Crit Build vs. Melee/Boss Build
As a spin Berserker, there are a few different things you want to think about when gearing for raids.
- Rend Wound and Deep Wounds are NOT affected by Melee Damage %.
- Rend Wound and Deep Wounds can NOT crit.
- The three Level 60 Raids have a large amount of non-boss enemies.
- The three Level 60 Raids have Critical Evasions equivalent to Infernog.
- Uptime of Rend Wound is based on your critical rate.
You must think about these things when you decide how you want to gear. Since the raids have a lot of non-boss enemies, it is very useful to stack Melee Damage % on accessories. Even though it does not increase Rend Wound and Deep Wounds, you can make up for the lack of Boss Damage % on your armors.
Due to the way Rend Wound works, some Berserkers are exploring the idea of building Critical Rate and Critical Damage. While this may be beneficial for Hard Dungeons and older content (such as DD), I personally don’t see it being better than Pierce/Damage setups due to the high Critical Evasion on the Level 60 raids for the time being. However, when keeping in mind that we get an additional 40 Strength from our Awakening passive, you may find it beneficial to pull some Attribute Points out of Strength and throw them into Critical Rate without building Critical Damage.
Note: I am not ruling out the possibility of Crit Build being viable, but I will personally not be using it. Please feel free to wait and make your own decisions based off of personal testing or anybody else that decides to make a more detailed proof.
Level 60 Legendary Sets
As for the set from Level 60 Raids, all three set effects are entirely viable, so choosing your main set can be very difficult. In any case, you will have to enchant all three sets to a baseline of +10 or so, in order to be able to enter the Eye of Lapenta 4-mans, also known as RGB.
The weapon set effects are as follows:
Behemoth Weapon: Beastly Rage - 10% chance to increase physical attack by 48 for 12 seconds on hit.
Dark Vanguard Weapon: Power Surge - 10% chance to increase bonus attack by 520 for 12 seconds on hit.
Enigma Weapon: Ravaging Strikes - 10% chance to increase accuracy by 9 and attack speed by 9% for 12 seconds on hit.
The armors give a 2-set effect and a 4-set effect. The 2-set is only defensive stats, which I will not be considering. The 4-set effect for all 3 sets doubles the weapon’s effect (this does not include the duration or proc chance).
Depending on your gearing setup, the Dark Vanguard or the Behemoth set is very likely going to be the best for you.
Some simple math:
- 520 bonus attack, doubled from full set, multiplied by the weapon coefficient equals 5200 bonus Weapon Attack during the proc. Even at a whopping 30,000 weapon attack plus a Level 60 pet, the increase is still insanely high.
- 48 physical attack, doubled from full set equals 96 physical attack which is equivalent to about 4.3 extra Tier 10 Power Gemstones during the proc.
- Attack Speed is not as easily calculated, but just know that it scales very well with Squall, so you may want to test for yourself. There is also extra accuracy given from the proc effect, which is also difficult to calculate.
Keep in mind that the Dark Vanguard set will give greater diminishing returns the higher your weapon attack is. If you are planning on optimizing for the future, the Behemoth set is likely the best option.
When choosing your weapon to enchant, keep in mind that the Level 60 Raids, as well as RGB + Blackshard Nexus, have a physical piercing requirement of 15%.
Tier 10 Gemstones are relatively easy to acquire nowadays as long as you do your dungeons, so you may want to have some spare Offense and Power gemstones laying around in the case that you need to change your composition.
Before acquiring your Level 60 Legendary Weapon from Pink Bean, you will want minimal Offense gemstones, due to Epic-rarity items not benefiting as much from Bonus Attack.
Until you get a legendary weapon, consider building 7/1/1 or 8/0/1 (Power/Offense/Accuracy). You may also want to consider using two Accuracy Gemstones if necessary.
Level 60 Accessories
With the new patch, there are four new accessories that you may want to consider using.
- From Icethorn Ridge and Malevolent Manor: [Blizzard Belt]
- From Madrakan Ramparts and Madrakan's Heart: [Madrakan Monarch Earrings]
- From Frostpillar Temple: [Frost Ring]
- From Madrakan Spire: [Madrakan Shadow Mantle]
If you don't mind the movespeed loss from the Blizzard Belt, it is effectively a 3-line accessory, which automatically makes it better than other belts if you can manage to get good stats on it. It rivals the Old Fairy Belt from getting top 10 in Dark Descent.
If you want some more RNG in your fights, the Madrakan Monarch Set can be terrible or amazing. When equipping both the Madrakan Monarch Earrings and Madrakan Shadow Mantle, you will gain 5 accuracy as well as the Madria's Whim effect, which is a proc-based random buff, with an internal cooldown of roughly five minutes. These can be bad procs such as "Dance for 20 seconds" or amazing procs such as "100% crit rate for 55 seconds", and a whole slew of other effects.
The Frost Ring is a really good ring that gives an extra 2% innate piercing, but reduces your accuracy by 4%. In most cases, that 4% accuracy reduction is actually just going to be a flat 4 accuracy, as it rounds down. Regardless, 4 accuracy can be a lot in this newer content, so I would only recommend running a Frost Ring if you have enough accuracy - if you happen to run the Madrakan set, the accuracy given from that actually negates this loss from the Frost Ring. As Berserkers, this ring is less important for us, as it is not as difficult to get to that 30% piercing cap. Remember, if you go over the 30% piercing cap, you can take some points out of Warrior's Instinct.