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Champions Online – Archery DPS Research Notes

Arrow Archery Direction Icon Symbol

This is a challenge that has eluded me since I first went Gold: How to get top tier single target DPS with Archery.

Unfortunately, Archery is a set filled with low DPS powers. It’s really hard to find something that works. Cue testing with enough explosions to make an FPS Millennium City episode.

So far I’m at 3700 DPS, but here’s some quick notes on what I’ve found so far.

Archery has quite a few control powers, so here’s a look at how they trigger control-related abilities:

Storm of Arrows w. AdvNoYesNoNo
Taser ArrowYesYesYesYes
Gas Arrow w. AdvNoNoNoNo
Sonic ArrowYesNoNoYes

As expected, Gas Arrow is useless, but some possibilities for offensive support characters there. Taser Arrow procs the whole deal, although for a non-Support the potential damage gain is just not going to offset the time spent charging up such a low damage power. Not to mention the exorbitant energy cost on it.

Storm of Arrows on the other hand has potential. Lets see how it does in a build like this. Rotation: charge Straight Shot, tap Storm of Arrows, tap Explosive Arrow while chaining Ego Surge and Imbue.

Couple points to note here. It looks like Where’s the Kaboom? on Explosive Arrow isn’t affected by either Straight Shot‘s debuff or Preemptive Strikes in the Avenger tree.

The rotation is tricky too. Tapped Storm of Arrows takes a full second, so it’s easy to queue Explosive Arrow after, then cancel the queue because the next Straight Shot was pressed before Explosive Arrows fires. One way to get around this is to watch the character – only press the next power, whether an Active Offense or the Straight Shot, after the character pulls out the exploding arrow.

Still, 3700 DPS with a slightly less than airtight rotation – missed a couple Explosive Arrows there, on top of a nice debuff for the party? That’s not bad at all for Archery :O

Another promising option would be Snap Shot. After all, it’s the only Archery power that has decent, though not amazing, DPS on paper. Given it’s a tapped power, it has potential to be used for quick crits to proc Avenger MasteryExplosive Arrow is still going to make its way in there of course, so that would lead to a build like this. Rotation: charge Straight ShotSnap ShotSnap Shot, tap Explosive Arrow while chaining Ego Surge and Imbue.

Also 3700 DPS, and the rotation is just as tricky because it’s one charge followed by three quick taps in a row. Again it’s easy to miss the Explosive Arrow which is so key to Archery DPS. This build doesn’t have the utility of a party debuff, but gets slightly better defense due to Fortified Gear.

Looks like both routes are about the same. Lets see if Int’s Detect Vulnerability can help the Storm of Arrows build, since it works with Molecular Self-Assembly. Here’s how an Int/Dex/Con build with 220 Dex does:

Still 3700! Looks like it would be a gain if it wasn’t for Primary Ego’s synergy with Quarry and Ego Surge.

Conclusion: Archery is just stupidly tough to push past 3800 DPS without a DU core. In comparison Two-Gun Mojo does an easy 4.6k by itself.