Here’s my take on a hybrid-style Braver, mixing Bullet Bow pew pew with melee presence.
This is the first in a series of posts where I open-source a PSO2 build, the thought process behind it and maybe show some casual gamplay, more blog-style than guide.
I like Bullet Bow. Banish Arrow combos amazing for burst damage against bosses.
Trouble is, Bullet Bow PP management is terrible, it’s susceptible to being surrounded due to area of effect attacks that are either slow, narrow or both, and it has practically no form of defense other than a slowish Step. Problems that melee weapons tend to solve.
The challenge is to find a way to manage both SATK and RATK, as well as Striking and Ranged multipliers, to ensure both sides work well.
On the plus side, Kamikaze Arrow scales with RATK, but is considered a Striking Attack. It also happens to be the Bow attack with the highest raw power notation. That’s a nice plus to have with a Striking-capable build.
Based on that, Braver subclass is a given, and I went with Fighter main.
Before the Lilipa UQ update, Bullet Bow had no main class skills to speak of. That meant Fighter was the obvious choice to get its main class skills. After the update, Bullet Bow Charge Bonus was added, but I honestly haven’t found it more attractive than the Fighter main class skills.
Here is what Fighter main provides:
Critical Strike, Stance Critical Skills
Multiplies damage on crit. Two perks here are first, that it happens to be applied twice on Banish Arrow. Second, taking Critical Strike makes Average Stance Critical and Brave Stance Critical competitive with an ATK Up 2 skill – except unlike an ATK Up 2, it applies to both SATK and RATK-based attacks. That’s very attractive for a hybrid build.
Limit Break itself is a hefty boost to Kamikaze Arrow. On top of that though, it turns on Crazy Heart while active and gives Limit Break PP Charge at the end. Solves a lot of PP issues with Bullet Bow, and is fairly safe to use since Bullet Bow is a ranged weapon.
Another perk of Limit Break is that Limit Break PP Charge restores the PP bar no matter what the character is doing – it could be holding down a charged Photon Art like Penetrating Arrow, or holding down a maintained attack like Million Storm and the PP bar will still be forced back to full. This makes for extremely long Million Storms powered by Tech Arts JA.
Obvious damage booster.
Tech Arts JA
The nice thing about Tech Arts JA is that it keeps the bonus even with normal attacks strung in between. Bullet Bow normal attacks have the unique property of being chargeable, so as long as a normal attack is Just Attacked after a Photon Art, the normal attack can be held forever to hold the Tech Arts JA Bonus.
Another nice perk of Tech Arts JA is that a single JA can fuel the entire length of Million Storm.
Obvious damage booster. Banish Arrow combos are elaborate enough and regular Bow Photon Arts are PP-hungry enough that this should kick in often.
Twin Dagger/Double Saber/Knuckle Gear
It’s a hybrid build. These weapons are free for the taking. Twin Daggers are nice for defending while holding boss aggro, while Double Saber is good for mobs and recovering PP with its normal attacks. Knuckles may see more use with an upcoming buff.
Braver obviously provides the Bullet Bow skills. Not much to say here.
Average Stance or Weak Stance
I have two trees with the same build, except one uses Average Stance, the other uses Weak Stance.
Average Stance tends to work better in maps with lots of mobs, since it opens up the option to bring Fighter weapons in. Million Storm also seems more efficient with Average Stance – it has trouble headshotting for some reason.
Weak Stance on the other hand makes for nice numbers on video, or in Emergency Quests with a single boss.
Personally, the Average Stance build is more practical for general use.
Rapid Shoot Mastery, Rapid Shoot Up 1 and 2
Bullet Bow build, so take these. My personal view is to go all in on one big cooldown and make sure it works as best as it can, before worrying about the other. In this case, I’m going all in on Rapid Shoot. 500 RATK and 15% more damage is huge.
P.S. English Skill Simulator is bugged, Rapid Shoot Up 1 adds 200 RATK, Rapid Shoot Up 2 adds 300 RATK. Check the actual skill ingame.
Attack Advance, Charge Shoot
These are nice to haves but five digit headshots in Average Stance is very nice indeed.
Not necessary, but the character had a Dex Mag for Bouncer main before I started on this build, and this happens to be a hybrid build that can use the skill.
Pairing Fighter main with Braver subclass results in very strong Kamikaze Arrow damage, and a Banish Arrow explosion that double dips into Critical Strike. This build is capable of high burst in relatively cheap gear. That’s the main strength of this build that no other build can replicate.
In addition, because the stances and other damage boosters affect both Striking and Ranged damage, this build is capable of using both Striking weapons and Bullet Bow.
However, an Average Stance Fi/Br is significantly less Striking damage than a Fi/Hu, since Braver has a lack of multiplicative damage skills outside of the Stance and the Bow-only Rapid Shoot.
Similarly, an Average Stance Fi/Br is very significantly less Ranged damage than a Weak Stance Ra/Br. For one, the difference in Braver stances already results in less damage. The loss of big Ranger skills like Weak Hit Advance is significant as well. That said, when hitting non-weakpoints, the Average Stance Fi/Br does much better.
The kick-based Bullet Bow Photon Arts like Kamikaze Arrow and Tritt Shooter are an exception, being RATK-based but considered Striking attacks. Use these to the build’s advantage.
The most important item is a crafted Susano Shinari Bullet Bow, which has Inevitable Strike potential. Both Inevitable Strike and Fighter’s Critical Strike will be applied to Banish Arrow explosions if they critically hit.
On top of that, a good pair of Twin Daggers and a Double Saber to handle mobs or defenses with Twin Dagger Spin.
Unlike most ranged builds, Tian set will not work well since it has no SATK. I use a Burisa set because this is a hybrid character, but a crafted Hiei or a Saiki set works too.
Affixes on the units are: Anga Soul/Vinculum/Shoot III/Stamina or Spirita III, which are relatively cheap to put on. Anga Soul/Modulator/Shoot III/Sonic Fever would be a higher ATK alternative after the upcoming update.
This part is largely still in the air, but so far this seems to work:
Do long-range mobbing in Super Hard areas with a combination of Penetrating Arrow, Sharp Bomber and Million Storm, since mobs are too squishy to run up to just for a few short hits.
In areas with tougher mobs, the Double Saber comes in. Just spam Tornado Dance or Acro Effect into Chaos Riser.
On bosses, pre-cast Chase Arrow if opportunity allows, break something to cause a stagger or just find an opening, then use Banish Arrow and Kamikaze Arrow.