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Kardfogu's Guide to Glaivelanders
Another guide from me on one of the common builds, the Glaivelander. Guess what, I didn't invent the wheel, Glaivelanders are common, but I did my best to show you some alternatives, because Glaivelander are really far from being perfect.
What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets. Outlanders are no exception and this gives them the outlaw-hero style that I love in them.
What is a Glaivelander?
Glaivelanders are damage dealing characters. Unlike other outlanders, their crowd control abilities are very limited, almost nonexistent. Still, they are very popular, why? Because they are very easy to play.
Easy to play? Yes! Easy to die with it? Absolutely! Glaivelanders have only one defense, which is a quite fail-safe offense. Well, I won't avoid to write on honest answer, there is hardly anything that is more boring in the game than the base glaivelander. Of course, this doesn't mean you should already forget it! It is possible, that you'll like it, or that you'll find a way to add some action to the otherwise self-playing character.
Should I Play it?
...if you like throwing glaives.
...if you think night elves and glaives are awesome.
...if you don't like lackluster mainstream builds.
...if you like shooting more.
...if you played well-built shotgonne build before.
Glaivelanders are defined by a very low amount of skills, they often have a hard time spending their free skillpoints.
Glaive Throw 5+/15 Glaive Throw is an auto-aiming ricocheting skill with quite good base damage. While it's damage gains only slight upgrades with additional points invested, it gains additional targets with every skill tier. Often it is left at 5 points, because the manacost increases sharply. Geez, other classes spam skills with much higher mana costs. Ungeared, you can't spam maxed Glaive Throw, true, but when you reach around 1000 Focus, you'll have more than 600 max mana, enough to completely forget the manacost of any skill, so it's up to you to decide.
Cursed Daggers 15/15 Cursed Daggers offers everything that Glaive Throw doesn't, like clearing out crowds or decreasing the damage dealt by hard-hitting foes. While Glaive Throw itself is inferior to countless other skills and is easy replacable, Cursed Daggers remains essential.
Glaivelanders are quite, simple. They require less skills, which leaves them with plenty of free skill points to put everywhere.
Master of Elements 15/15 Master of Elements gives 60% bonus to poison damage, which equals to 120 focus when dealing poison element damage, like Glaive Throw or Cursed Daggers. Endgame, this bonus may seem low, but it's very useful, especially in the early levels.
Share the Wealth 15/15 Share the wealth offers additional cast speed, critical hit chance and dodge. All useful for Glaivelanders in general.
Dodge Mastery 1+/15 Dodge Mastery gives additional dodge chance. While dodging is useful, one should keep in mind, that dexterity over ~100 will reduce the required points in dodge mastery, as the character will hit dodge cap earlier. While more dexterity means more critical hits as well, one should concentrate on more focus instead.
Repulsion Hex 5+/15 Repulsion Hex summons a floating avatar, which knocks back and interrupts enemies if they get too close to the outlander.
Stone Pact 1+/15 Stone Pact places a defensive rune that heals allies. Stone Pact gives a bonus to armor as well, but armor doesn't scale well endgame. Stone Pact's healing power is already potent with the first point invested.
Bramble Wall 1+/15 Bramble Wall places a barrier on the floor, which is impassable for both the player and the monsters. Area of effect attacks often hit Brammble wall, while the player's projectile skills go through it.
Blade Pact 15/15 Blade Pact places an offensive rune on the floor that reduces movement speed, attack speed and physical armor.
Shattering Glaive 15/15 Shattering Glaive is a glaive throw with a large area of effect instead of ricocheting, also, you have to aim with it. On the other hand, it does superior damage! Actually, the better glaivelander builds switch to Shattering Glaive after a while, but it is uncommon, because Glaive Throw is easier to use.
Sandstorm 15/15 Sandstorm is also a comptetitor to Glaive Throw. Unlike the heavy-hitting Shattering Glaive, Sandstorm is the skill that you can spam like a paranoid. Sandstorm ricochets on walls and has long range combined with slow movement, which means it's lifespan is very long, easily filling up the whole screen.
Rune Vault 1+/15 Rune Vault is a mobility skill with some very effective crowd control. When the character leaps back, it leaves down a rune which damages and blind enemies caught in the radius. Rune Vault with more point gains the ability to steal health and mana and convey weapon effects.
Burning Leap 1+/15 Burning is a straightforward mobility skill, the charater leaps in the direction of the cursor, dealing fire damage in it's path.
Skills to Avoid
Most of the Glaivelanders must stay away from weapon-dependent passives, weapon DPS based attack skills and minion skills. That's all. On the other hand, while many of the skills are situational, they aren't crappy like Elemental Boon or Sword and Board or Frenzy Mastery of the other classes.
Glaivelanders are half-way being gear-dependent, one can finish the game in awful gear, but lategame you'll need that ~500 extra focus to reach a reliable mana pool and damage. Some useless statistics are ignored, like execute-chance from focus or armor gain from vitality.
Your goal is, not much.
Improves critical damage While critical damage is awesome and outlanders have naturally high critical hit chances, strength still remains untouched in most cases.
Your goal depends on your preferences, you should hit at least 100 from base stats.
Improves critical hit chance It was mentioned before, outlander's have naturally high critical hit chance, but more doesn't hurt at all.
Improves dodge chance With Dodge Mastery, you don't have to think too much about improving your dodge chance by dexterity.
Your goal is as much as possible, preferably ~2000 or more.
Improves magic damage We've got magic damage here, both Glaive Throw and Cursed Daggers deal flat damage. Similarly important, that Focus increases flat physical damage as well, such as Shattering Glaive.
Improves elemental damage Glaive Throw and Cursed Daggers both deal elemental damage and Venomous Hail deals elemental damage as well.
Your goal is enough to hit the 75% block cap. It's most likely between 100 and 399 vitality, you can calculate it after choosing a shield. While Parma's Coal-Burner requires the least vitality, other shields may offer unique bonuses.
Improves block chance Glaivelanders are squishy and they have no much use for offhand weapons, leaving shields as the best choice.
Outlanders are fairly easy to gear, except that enchanting for pure Focus can cost a fortune with all the disenchanting and reenchanting.
Glaivelanders are purely spellcasters, their ideal main hand is the typical stat stick offhand of strength builds. Glaivelanders prefer wands for their elemental damage, but they never use it actually. My personal preference remains a pistol, but the reason behind using a pistol is a later topic.
Netherrealm Pistol It's just a 4 socket pistol with an extremely heavy knockback. Socket it for cast speed with Chaos Embers or for critical damage with Rambren Skulls bonus and you'll be fine.
Netherrealm Axe It's weird to have an axe, but that's the best stat stick with it's 4 sockets and 8% critical hit chance. Similar socketing theme, use cast speed and/or critical damage gems.
Netherrealm Wand In case if you want a wand, this stuff has 4 sockets and deals elemental damage. Actually, the most elemental damage you should expect from a stat stick. Again, the same socketing theme, use cast speed and/or critical damage gems.
Rare Wand You can buy a rare wand with the highest cast speed you get, put two sockets on it and call it good. It's not bad actually.
Glaivelanders often prefer cast speed bonuses over actual blocking chance, which is totally understandable, as cast speed is one of the hardest stats to get. While these shields are low level and often hard to get, they offer both defense and offense. Shields with 15% block require 399 vitality, The Centerwing with it's 21% block requires 299 vitality, while the good old Parma's Coal-Burner requires only 100 vitality. Which means, it's a trade of 199 focus for 15% cast speed.
Crimson Guard While it offers 20% cast speed, the best that shield can offer. It's the lowest level as well, totally leaving out nearly any useful sockets and giving an extremely low enchant potential. It's good, but not that good.
The Centerwing Highest itemlevel and block out of the cast speed shields and it still offers 15% cast speed. If you want cast speed and block, this is your best bet.
Chaos While it's itemlvl is high enough for some useful socketables, it's not as good as The Centerwing.
Netherrealm Shield Highest itemlevel and amount of open sockets, it's practically a stat-plank, but don't forget that this one gives you armor sockets.
Parma's Coal-Burner Maybe I mention this one too much, but this one is awesome! On the other hand, 15% cast speed is a quite good trade for 199 stat and The Centerwing looks better on outlanders...
Dual-wield can increase the DPS output of the character greatly. While it's not needed, one can use an offhand stat stick as well. With dual-wield you'll have 8 sockets, so it's highly advised to hit the critical damage cap and use the remaining sockets to increase critical hit chance or cast speed. Well, I don't have to post the typical offhand stat sticks, because they are the same as the main hand stat sticks used by glaivelanders, See above at Mainhand topic.
Armor again serves no other purpose than offering the most possible offense, while maintaining the critical need for damage reduction.
Damage Reduction up to 75%, so that you'll have a chance to survive hits.
Cast Speed, while Outlander's gain heavy cast speed bonuses, you can never have enough.
Focus, the more the better.
Magic finding luck for loot.
Gold finding luck for farming money faster.
Enchant your gear with attributes by Boris, go for the most possible Focus.
Okay, mentioning any kind of tactics here is nothing but waste of time. This cookie-cutter was born from people being too lazy to use anything more than a single skill that does everything for them, which means not much tactics are involved in the build. Glaivelanders just spam Glaive Throw. If you have Repulsion Hex, keep it on as much as you can. If you have Stone Pact and/or Blade Pact, use them when neccessary.
Not much difference, except, that they use Cursed Daggers every fourth second if they can, otherwise, they spam Glaive Throw. If you have Stone Pact or Blade Pact, don't forget to lay them down. Repulsion Hex is less effective in bossfights, but you should keep it on if adds happen to spawn.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Improving the Build
Originally posted by Chthon:
When we talk about "optimization" or "the best builds" or somesuch in an ARPG like TL2, the ultimate metric we're really talking about is "dead monsters per unit time." That's success in an ARPG.
That's my opening word, a quote from a very wise guy, because half of the Torchlight II community cries about the "mana efficiency" of Glaive Throw! Geez, deal with it! If your skill kills more stuff dead, but costs more mana, than you should get more mana damnit! Emberquake, Ravage and Ice Prison all costs much more, but I never seen any other class crying for manacosts.
The most important part where someone can improve a glaivelander is the skillset. Most glaivelanders ignore the other glaive skills, because they don't really care as long the auto-aim does it's work.
Glaive Throw You have countless options to improve it, such as maxing it or ignore it! Glaive Throw's most important aspect is not efficiency, but it's auto-targeting feature. Well, Glaive Throw is good, and I personally recommend it to anybody, but veterans may easily outdamage it with some other skills.
Cursed Daggers Well, this skill is awesome, not much to say about it, spam it every 4 seconds and you're fine!
Shattering Glaive While Glaive Throw deals good damage on up to 5 targets, Shattering Glaive deals very good damage on a single target and some good damage on everything within 6 meters. It works wonders against bosses and it's fairly large area of effect and range gives Shattering Glaive the edge against crowds as well.
Sandstorm Heavy stun, and long range are the main traits of this skill. It's slow-moving, piercing and ricocheting projectiles can cover the screen easily in seconds. While it does less damage than Glaive Throw, it's a good skill to use against large crowds and it's stun can stop some of the larger monsters, like trolls or other brutes.
Venomous Hail Shatters shields, has a chance to proc weapon effects 12 times per cast and can kill things anywhere on the screen, it's a good utility skill and it's damage is quite good, even with a stat stick in main hand.
Stats doesn't offer much improvement, the Glaive skills have easy mechanics, increase Focus to increase damage, increase critical damage and critical hit chance from socketables to increase critical hit damage.
Strength No strength.
Dexterity Your main interest in dexterity is to reach the most critical hit chance from it, while it's still effective. After stat enchants, 312 dexterity really won't hurt, it gives you 43% critical hit chance, after Share the Wealth and charge bar, you'll be around 64% critical hit chance. This is a sweet point, because with dual-wielded Netherrealm Axes, your crit will be 80% without critical hit gems.
Focus 2000+ Focus, enchant weapons and shields for stats as well for even more.
Vitality If you use a shield, go for 100-255, depending on the choosen shield. If you don't, leave vitality at base.
Well, the normally used items are quite close to optimal, but you have two options, both of those worth considering. One way is to concentrate on cast speed, the other is to concentrate on critical damage and chance.
Mainhand and Offhand are nothing more, than a stat sticks for pure spellcasters. Weapons are already covered above, you can't really improve that anymore, I'll repeat only the more important ones and some actual socketing.
If you want to concentrate on cast speed it's better with a weapon+shield combination, where the weapon should be a Netherrealm Pistol, for the obvious reason of using Venomous Hail, with the the shield being The Centerwing. Netherrealm Axe works too, but losing the ability to use Venomous Hail doesn't worth that 8% critical hit. Socket the pistol for cast speed Chaos Embers to maximize cast speed.
Netherrealm Pistol let's you use Venomous Hail and gives you quite a lot of sockets for costumization. It's a good weapon for both cast speed and critical damage building.
Netherrealm Axe, if you don't use Venomous Hail. Your best bet is this one for critical hit chance and 4 sockets. Socket one with 2 Skull of Whorlbarb, use that as a main hand, the other sockets are up to you. If you use one as an offhand too, that gives you 4 open sockets, I'd fill those with Rambren Skulls.
Another cookie-cutter is covered, actually it gets less and less fun to write these, I want to write something interesting, but I have to finish some Embermage stuff before I can start doing something productive.
Well, I'm sure some outlander gurus are going to rage about "max or ignore" Glaive Throw, but I really don't care about their whining.
Have fun and if you liked this, stay tuned for more!