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Sharper Images: minimum crit threshold?

traits dueling crit sharper images stats gear

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#1 Jairyn


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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:51 PM

TL;DR: the above question

I just can't stop fiddling with my character in gw2skills.net, at the moment I feel a little torn between 0/20/30/0/20 and 20/0/30/0/20, as well as whether to stat Carrion (power/MALICE/vitality) or Rampager's (power/malice/PRECISION/vitality).

Domination feels like a waste to me because, while 20% condition duration is nice, its minors feel like wasted points, whereas I like Dueling throughout. As a staff//scepter/torch fan, atm, I'm something of a condition build, which Sharper Images seems very sexy for. I just can't reconcile myself to a stat balance, and it seems like precision is eating most of the points.

So what's the minimum amount of crit I should stat to in order to make Sharper Images "worth it?" I know it's something of a more is always better scenario, but how close can I skirt the edge? Is 32% too low?

Edited by Jairyn, 13 September 2012 - 12:54 PM.

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#2 Hydro


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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:57 PM

Domination adds power. I wouldn't drop that for normal PvE.
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#3 Aryc


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Posted 13 September 2012 - 05:41 PM

I dislike domination for similar reasons although I really tried to like it to make GSW fun/viable for me.

You can get power on gear. the condition duration doesn't apply to the clone conditions. the minor traits are often wasted unless you're very good /w interrupts or take a lot of interrupt skills and even then, you can pick up other skills that get you the same conditions for less investment.

My personal opinion is that you need a minimum of 33% crit for sharper images to be worth it. If at worst you have three clones up, that's on average of 1 bleed/attack cycle. If you play exclusively with phantasms, you 'could' go lower and rely on Phantasmal Fury to keep their crit up, but attack rate, even on multiple hit phantasms, is rather abysmal so you may want to balance it around each phantasm only getting a single volley off b/f you need to summon another. With the weapons you selected, none of the phantasms have multiple attacks so you need/want a higher crit rate to get consistent bleed application. If you went pistol, berserker, or warden, the multiple attacks/aoe's can generally offset the lower crit rate.

That being said, even with no additional condition damage, the bleeds are still extra damage. The question would be whether the 15 points into dueling could be spent on traits that would net you better utility/damage traits based on your preferences/playstyle and if you want the bleeds to be a semi-primary source of damage.

Sharper Images is the only way active clones aside from staff clones can deal damage directly w/o shatter or on death traits so there's no great comparison unless you completely avoid clones and just use phantasms. Since phantasms have more traits to directly increase their damage, there are more options/tradeoffs to consider.

One thing I don't know is if +15% illusion damage affects the bleeds from sharper images.
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#4 SuburbanLion


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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:12 PM

I haven't updated my spreadsheet since Beta, but you might want to have a look at my previous post on this topic here:

I found that Rampager's was the best option for my situation, but this is going to depend on a large number of factors including your weapon choices, rune/sigil choices, trait choices, how much armor/condition removal your opponent has, and how many of your allies are bleed stacking.

If you want the condition duration increase without investing in domination, you might also look at some of the runes like Lyssa or Nightmare. Increasing condition duration by 20% (or 40%) can give you a nice DPS increase when soloing, but the pay-offs for condition damage are better if you're in a group situation where the mob is easily bleed capped.
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#5 Andy88


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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:51 AM

Since power and condition duration does nothing for bleed illusions, the main stat is how often u can crit to apply a bleeding and the second stat is condition damage, since this transfers to the illusions. From my math/testing crit chance "often" tops any other stat u can possibly use for a condition bleed build. Thats simply because of the attack frequency of clones/illusions to use for bleeds and the earth sigil u use on your weapon, without a cooldown. In PvE if u can stay near the target and u use staff clones instead of GS clones, u always have a 100% fury boon for + 20% crit. So i guess if u can hit 60% + 20% boon = 80% this is a good number. I personally would still continue stacking precision until i hit 80% crit, so that with fury i perma crit.
Also keep in mind your staff clones and yourself can apply 2 stacks at once correctly, one from sigil + winds of chaos, so can your clones. This means with near 90-100% crit u can apply 4-8 stacks of bleeding per second.

The only notable reason to replace crit % with power/condition damage, is if u notice u hit the 25 stack cap often and fast, than replace crit % for cond damage.

PS: Some of the above links numbers are outdated, this means the "buggy" iWarden is by far the highest DPS we can deal atm, using a power build + addition bleed trait. The main problem is, that u have to find creative ways to keep/bring the target to the iWarden and make sure he don't die too soon. Currently the buggy warden deals like 2-3 times more DPS than the iSwordsmen/iDuelist, but i guess they will fix this soon.

Edited by Andy88, 14 September 2012 - 09:55 AM.

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