Following on from our Stalker class guide, here we’ll provide you with all the information you need to load out your Stalker and maximise your DPS. If you read the official forums or the in game chat channels you would be lead to believe that Stalkers are an awful class with no damage potential and yet those that I regularly play alongside are not only dealing enormous damage but are invaluable at holding players and enemies in place. Part of the problem with a Stalker is that it has a very high skill ceiling and I think complaints leveled at the class are made by those who lack proficiency with the class. Although this build will provide you with all that you need to maximise your limited action sets damage potential, you’ll still need lots of practice with the class to reap the rewards.
Shred isn’t mandatory for this build but it’s a spammable skill that requires no suit power. At Tiers 4 and 8 it pierces 60% of an opponent's armor and allows you to generate 2 Suit Power every 1 second (which stacks twice!). It’s a solid bread and butter skill that allows you to be less cautious with your Suit Power.
Impale is a little buggy at times and has weird hit registration (certainly in Arenas) but that when it does work, certainly in most PvE environments, it’s absolutely lethal. If used when stealthed or behind a foe it’s capable of dealing massive damage and because it’s been taken up to Tier 8 it pierces 30% of an opponent's armor, costs less Suit Power by default and refunds 12 points of Suit Power if you kill your opponent while using it. It’s a great skill for finishing off players or enemies that are almost dead.
Ruin is an instant damage skill that also applies a damage over time onto your opponent for 5 seconds. At Tier 4 it generates 2 Suit Power every 1 second (awesome!) and at Tier 8 it disables your foes shield entirely for 6 seconds. When a foe doesn’t have the 50% damage mitigation from their shield, it allows you to unleash some serious damage.
Punish can only be used when you’ve landed a Critical Hit so you won’t be using it constantly. However, with the right gear and AMPs you’ll critically hit often enough to make valuable use of this skill. The best thing about Punish is the fact that it restores 30 Suit Power meaning you can use an extra Impale.
Stagger is incredibly useful because it destroys 1 Interrupt Armor, deals physical damage to 5 foes and stuns them for 2.5 seconds. It’s great at preventing foes from running away or interrupting them so you can continue to hurt them.
I absolutely love Pounce because it’s a nuisance skill that players forget you might have. Not only will you leap towards your foe but you’ll also snare them when you land while gaining a quickness buff in the process.
Tactical Retreat, as you might expect, is your “Oh shit!” button. It allows you to leap backwards out of combat and activate stealth. Sometimes it’s fairly easy to be seen when you’ve activated (despite being stealthed) but if you use Agile Skin at the same time it’s more than easy to escape after using it.
Collapse is an incredibly powerful skill. By default it pulls foes towards you while destroying an Interrupt Armor. It’s incredibly useful from a team perspective as it allows your party to focus their fire where you are to melt enemies down quickly. Although I haven’t taken it to Tier 4 here, it certainly is a variable. The root at Tier 4 is amazing in PvP.
Most of the Tier points in this build are spent in the Assault tree on the two skills you’ll use the most: Shred and Impale. The remaining points are spent in Ruin to ensure you can Overload your opponents shield. As mentioned previously there is the possibility to run this build without Shred which frees up 16 ability points but I’ll cover that below.
Almost all your AMP points will be spent in the Assault and Hybrid A/S trees for this build. Maximising your Assault Power, Strikethrough Chance and Critical Hit Chance are incredibly important for a Stalker. The remaining points spent tends to be on AMPs which provide you with an Empower for a period of time (thus increasing your damage output) or AMPs which boost your Suit Power gain (thus allowing you to attack for longer).
- Critical Hit III - Increases Critical Hit Chance by 6% (total)
- Assault Power III - Increases Assault Power by 7.5% (total)
- Critical Hit Severity II - Increases Critical Hit severity by 8% (total)
- Onslaught - Landing a hit from behind has a 100% chance to grant Empower, increasing Assault Power by 12% of your current maximum
- Brutality Mastery - While above 70% health gain an Empower, increasing Brutality by 30% of your maximum
- Fatal Wounds - Critical Hit deals 2.7% damage every 1 second for 8 seconds. Damage pierces 100% of armor and stacks 3 times.
- Battle Mastery - While below 30% Suit Power gain an Empower, increasing damage by 8%
- Strikethrough III - Increases Strikethrough Chance by 3% (total)
- Unfair Advantage - Attacks that consume Suit Power from stealth cost 8 less.
- Stealth Mastery - Reduces your cooldowns on your stealth in all stances by 3 seconds.
- Enabler - Dropping below 25% Suit Power grants a 100% chance to regenerate 3 Suit Power every 1 second for 3 seconds.
Rotations with a Stalker are relatively simple because it’s all about unloading your skills quickly for maximum damage. Ensure that you’re using your Lethal Skin before you attack any creatures or players.
- Stand behind your target and use Ruin to remove your opponents shield
- Quickly use Impale while you’re still behind them
- Use Stagger to stun
- Move back behind your opponent and use Impale again
- If Punish has triggered, ensure you use it to top up your Suit Power
- Use Shred as often as humanly possible between skill cooldowns
- If your foe is attempting to flee, you can use Leap to snare them and/or use Collapse to pull them back towards you.
- If you’re facing a particularly challenging enemy, you can utilise Tactical Retreat to regain stealth before entering combat again and repeating the rotation from Ruin.
There’s actually a few variables with this build and there’s the option to shift its focus entirely to PvP. The above still works wonderfully well in PvP but with some tweaks it can become a real headache for opposing players.
The primary changes are to remove Shred, Ruin and Collapse and instead replace them with:
- Phlebotomize - reduces opponents healing by 50%)
- Concussive Kicks - At Tier 4 it’s an attack that can be used once every 8 seconds for no Suit Power and no cooldown will be triggered)
- Tether Mine - foes walking into the mine are Tethered).
Other changes include not taking the Battle Mastery or Enabler AMPs which frees up enough points to spend 6 in Utility. Doing this allows you to reach the Assassin AMP that prevents you being knocked out of stealth when you take damage. This AMP, if you’re serious about PvP, is an absolute must.