PSO2 – Is a Dex Mag worth raising?

Dex Mags are very misunderstood in PSO2. Common myths include:

  • Dex Mags are not worth using
  • Dex Mags are only good with some eclectic combination of Bouncer and Braver
  • A bit of Dex on a Mag is good

SadMag
“Nobody understands me!”

There’s some thread of truth in them, but they don’t tell the whole story, so this post is going to do exactly that. Starting with when not to use a Dex Mag.

Don’t use a Dex Mag with uncrafted rares

Uncrafted weapons with a rarity of 7★ and higher gain no benefit from Dex. They have a minimum damage of 90% of a weapon’s base ATK. Incidentally, 90% is the highest that minimum damage can go, so Dex effectively has no effect.

The exception is Red and Blue weapons, which are completely subject to variance. However, Red and Blue weapons may have been good for their time, but are very outdated today, so for all practical purposes, Dex is useless with uncrafted rare weapons.

Don’t use a Dex Mag as Fighter main

Fighter main? Dex becomes less attractive because of the Critical Strike skill. Critical Hits in PSO2 automatically maximize damage, so that’s a free ticket out of variance, on top of the 15% damage gain on crit. If using crafted weapons with Critical Strike, forget about Dex and stack as many Critical chance bonuses as possible from the skill tree.

When to use a Dex Mag

Those are the two main reasons not to use Dex. Turning them around, these are the reasons to consider a Dex Mag:

  • When using crafted weapons extensively AND
  • Without Fighter as a main class

When the above two conditions are met, a Dex Mag becomes something to consider to mitigate variance by raising minimum damage. The effect of Dex on minimum ATK is as follows:

Minimum ATK* = (Your Dex + Silva Craft Bonus – Enemy Dex) x 2
*Capped at 90% of weapon’s base ATK

So 1 Dex = 2 minimum ATK. Sounds awesome, but there’s a couple caveats.

First, minimum ATK still needs to be averaged out with maximum ATK. That’s basic math:

Average ATK = (Minimum ATK + Maximum ATK) / 2

So 2 minimum ATK is divided by 2 to become 1 average ATK. However, there’s also the base 5% chance to crit and automatically take the maximum ATK. Which means in practice, on a non-crit build using crafted weapons.

190 Dex x 0.95 = 180.5 Average ATK

Mitigating variance is only a means to an end. The end goal is maximizing performance, and as far as Mags go, that implies maximizing damage. So here’s the competition to look at: a pure ATK Mag.

The ATK on a Mag can be increased further with buffs. A reasonable amount of buffs to expect would be a Shifta 17 for 19.7%, and a Shifta Drink for 20%, to get a total of 39.7%. An ATK Mag with buffs would therefore have:

190 ATK x 139.7% = 265.43 ATK

That means Dex Mag by itself has no hope of matching an ATK Mag, since it can’t be buffed. However, it has a saving grace: Mag skills like Bouncer and Braver Mag. Taking one of these skills, we have half of an ATK Mag, on top of the Dex Mag’s Average ATK to get this:

180.5 + (265.43 / 2) = 313.215 ATK

With a single Mag skill, a Dex Mag can theoretically pull ahead of an ATK Mag when using crafted weapons! Only theoretically though – that assumes most of the 190 points in Dex are being put to work rather than limited by the 90% cap.

Conclusion

Since a Mag skill is required to make a Dex Mag better than a pure ATK Mag, the final criteria for builds that can use a Dex Mag would be:

  • Any build with Bouncer or Braver Mag
  • When using crafted weapons extensively
  • Without Fighter as a main class
  • While Dex is low enough to not be capped

Builds using high ATK Bouncer and Braver weapons like Dual Blades and Bullet Bow would work best with one, due to having higher Dex caps, but it still depends on enemy Dex and existing gear.

That’s where the “whole story” part comes in. Since the cap and enemy Dex are highly variable, depending on weapon, player class and enemy type, here’s a spreadsheet to help calculate whether a Dex Mag is a good idea, along with listing the Dex required to negate variance among other things:

Click here to go to Mag Comparison spreadsheet

Instructions as follows:

  1. Change everything under “Options” as needed; a 190 Dex or 190 ATK Mag is assumed.
  2. Refer to the Enemy Dex Reference table for Enemy Dex.
  3. Comparison Weapon and Weapon Rarity are self-explanatory. Just use the drop down lists.
  4. ATK Buffs include Shifta, Shifta Drink, Team Tree etc which can all vary. Some players don’t drinks, others use Shiftaride instead of Shifta, or use the tree for Rare Drop Boost instead of ATK and so on. Check Cirnopedia’s Fire Tech section for Shifta scaling (Shiftaride is Level 1); Medical Drink section for drink scaling and SWiki’s Team section (or your own Team Room) for Team tree effect.
  5. Dex Conversion is the amount of Dex converted to ATK using the Bouncer or Braver Mag skills.
  6. Dex without Mag is self-explanatory – open the Character Info sheet and put that number in, subtracting or unequipping Mag as needed.
  7. Bonus Crit Chance w/ ATK Mag and ATK Ups w/ Dex Mag are meant for comparison between ATK Mag with Crit stacking vs Dex Mag with ATK Up stacking; Leave both at 0 for a direct comparison without additional skills. Otherwise, add the Crit Chance from Stance Critical Skills and the difference in ATK Ups to compare.

This spreadsheet is meant to be a quick reference for comparing Mags and finding the required Dex amount to negate variance without Crit. For a thorough comparison between different weapons, use el-ci’s PSO2 Damage Calculator.