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SamuelAU's Avatar

07.02.2013 , 10:22 PM | #1
Updated for Patch 2.6

36/3/7 Sharpshooter
Last updated 31st May 2014 [2.6.2]

Since the XS Freighter Flyby nerf, it's clear that many players are displeased with the damage output across all gunslinger trees. Dirty Fighting appears to have the highest single-target DPS potential, but Sharpshooter easily comes out on top when a fight requires constant target switching or short burst phases (not to mention its excellent defensive utility).


The reason 1 point must be placed into Cool Under Pressure is for relics. The Focused Retribution and Serendipitous Assault relics can proc separately from damage and healing, and being passively healed in cover allows these relics to double proc, resulting in greatly increased DPS.

Not all relics double proc, and for a gunslinger BiS relics are:
Focused Retribution: Dread Forged (double procs) > Obroan (double procs) > Kell Dragon > Underworld > Arkanian
Serendipitous Assault: Kell Dragon (double procs) > Underworld (double procs) > Dread Forged > Obroan > Arkanian

Some Abbreviations and Sniper Terminologies
  • TS: Trickshot = Followthrough [FT]
  • SS: Speed Shot = Series of Shots [SoS]
  • XS: XS Freighter Flyby = Orbital Strike [OS]
  • CB: Charged Burst = Snipe [SP]
  • AS: Aimed Shot = Ambush [AB]
  • VS: Vital Shot = Corrosive Dart [CD]
  • FS: Flourish Shot = Shatter Shot [SS]
  • QD: Quickdraw = Takedown [TD]
  • BV: Burst Volley = Sniper Volley [SV]
  • SC: Sabotage Charge = Explosive Probe [EP]

Quick Gearing Rundown
  • 100% ranged accuracy and 72% surge (approximately) are ideal BiS. Focus on accuracy before surge.
  • Avoid critical rating, ideally less than 200. Take power everywhere in mods and enhancements.
  • Augment cunning with Advanced Skill Augment 28.

Set Bonus
Since the PvP set bonus change in 2.6, the PvE set bonus is easily the best.
  • PvE (2): Reduces the cooldown of Target Acquired or Illegal Mods by 15 seconds, and activating either ability restores 15 energy.
  • PvP (2):Reduces the energy cost of Takedown or Quickdraw by 7.

The basic rotation for Shrapshooter is very simple, with a cycle that repeats over the whole fight.

CB -> CB -> TS -> AS -> TS -> SS -> TS
SP -> SP -> FT -> AM -> FT -> SoS -> FT

In order for cooldowns to synchronise, there is 1 GCD of filler available for every cycle, which is where you use Vital Shot. Vital Shot has an 18s duration for a rotation which is, at a high APM, ~14 seconds long. If it's difficult to get perfect uptime on Vital Shot it's not that detrimental to clip by 1 or 2 GCDs.

Burst Volley [Sniper Volley] is a key ability and should be used on cooldown after every 3rd Speed Shots [SoS]. It offers you an incredible amount of burst and as such you should always open with back-to-back Speed Shots [SoS]. You can also delay BV [SV] if you know there is a burst phase coming soon. Your ideal opener now looks like:

VS -> SS -> TS (BV) -> SS -> TS -> CB -> CB -> TS -> AS -> TS
CD -> SoS -> FT (SV) -> SoS -> FT -> SP -> SP -> FT -> AM -> FT

Your rotation then continues on as normal. PLEASE NOTE that SS [SoS] is always a higher priority than either AS [AM] or CB [SP]. ALWAYS open with SS [SoS]. If possible, precasting either XS [OS] or AS [AM] will greatly strengthen your opener.

When your target is in the execution phase (<30%), nothing too difficult happens. You just use Quickdraw [Takedown] on cooldown nstead of Trickshot [Followthrough]. This is mainly due to QD [TD] have a higher base damage and a higher crit chance than TS [FT].

Even though XS Freighter Flyby's damage has been greatly reduced, it's still worth using mainly due to it only taking 1 GCD to cast. Its positioning is highly dependent on your APM, with 2 GCDs of filler opening up when your APM is high. Claimed does an excellent job explaining how best to use these filler GCDs, which is dependent on cooldowns and/or energy.
Quote: Originally Posted by Falver View Post
Not using flyby results in your rotation having about 2~3 seconds of downtime before your burst volley is ready. This, however, does assume that your APM is extremely high (41.08 for that parse). Now, given this fact, you're guaranteed to have two GCDs of filler every 45seconds where your options are: flyby, sabotage charge, or flurry of bolts and, when sub-30%, trickshot.

Now, that means that you're free to use 2 GCDs where ever and whenever you please in the rotation because it'll line up later with BV. If your APM is NOT above 40, then you'll get about 1 GCD and if it isn't higher than 38 then your BV will line up without filler.
The highest priority are as follows:
Flyby, (20~21 DPS)
Sabotage charge, (17~18 DPS)
Trickshot (16~17 DPS)
Flurry of bolts (8~9 DPS)
One of these GCDs can be used to refresh Flourish Shot [Shatter Shot] every 45s, but only if there isn't already an armor debuff present.

Pure DPS output aside, the Sharpshooter tree has so many defensive buffs which boost your survivability significantly. In my opinion this is an undervalued but nonetheless important aspect of being a good DPS. This tier of content has so much raid-wide damage that if you can mitigate any of it then it's a bonus.
  • Ballistic Dampers: Incredibly useful ability, mitigating any damage type every time you enter cover.
  • Cover Screen: Only good for certain types of damage, more of a PvP talent.
  • Diversion: Not as good as Pacify, but reducing the accuracy of certain adds is extremely useful and can be utilized to gimp certain mechanics (i.e. Dismantler Knockback can be completely avoided on Draxus).
  • Hunker Down [Entrench] + 'Holed Up' Talent: A 60% AoE damage reduction is incredible, especially considering you can pre-emptively Hunker Down anytime and continue to DPS.

These excellent talents complement the already known usefulness of Defense Screen [Shield Probe], Evasion [Dodge] and Hightail It [Covered Escape].

A Little Bit on Priority and Movement
So few bosses in this game are a straight "tank and spank", so no doubt at some point you're going to have to move. A good example is Brontes from Dread Fortress. There are many different phases with a lot of target switching, so knowing how to maintain DPS uptime changing targets is key to your DPS. Because sharpshooter's buffs are attached to you, if they run out due to DPS downtime you can't pick up where you left off. In situations like these, here's a priority list so you know where you pick up your rotation.

SS > QD > TS (if buff hasn't fallen off) > VS (if it's fallen off) > AS (if buff hasn't fallen off) > CB
SS > TD > FT (if buff hasn't fallen off) > CD (if it's fallen off) > AM (if buff hasn't fallen off) > SP

If you look at a damage distribution pie chart for sharpshooter, TS [FT] easily comes out on top (~25%) followed closely by SS [SoS]. These abilities are so high on the priority list because combined they make up close to 50% of your total damage output, therefore using them every time they're available is beneficial.

Speed Shots [Series of Shots] and Quickdraw [Takedown] are your two highest priority abilities since they have a much higher damage per activation than any other abilities in your rotation, provide much more burst and also proc Trickshot [Followthrough] which allows you to continue on with your rotation.

As well as the reasons above, all 3 of these abilities benefit from crit and surge buffs in the skill tree.
  • SS [SoS]: +19% crit chance, +30% crit multiplier.
  • TS [FT]: +4% crit chance, +30% crit multiplier.
  • QD [TD]: +19% crit chance, +30% crit multipler.
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