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Skirmishing-Beastmastery Soulbeast, Viable DPS?


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For a long time, Marksmanship has been the preferred specialization over Skirmishing in the suggested setup by [dT] and Snow Crow, and ditto on the wiki site Metabattle. It provides:

  • a flat 5% overall damage increase, permanent, with Farsighted, and,
  • a 15% overall damage increase, if target is movement impaired or disabled, with Predator's Onslaught.

On the other hand, specialization in Skirmishing at its best could provides:

  • a flat ~4.76% critical chance increase, permanent, for 5 allies, with Spotter,
  • a 10% critical chance increase and ~16.66 critical damage increase, permanent, for self, with Vicious Quarry, and,
  • a 10% critical chance increase if flanking, for self, with Hunter's Tactics.
  • Bleeding for 3 sec, 33% chance on critical hit, with Sharpened Edges, which is trivial on a power build.

Say, we have a Soulbeast in full Ascended Berserker gear with S. Rune of Scholar, in Beastmode with Rock Gazelle.

If specialized in Marksmanship, this is what the expected damage would look like:GS Damage = Power [(77.86% 180.33%) + 1] 1.05 1.15 = 290.29%, assuming target is permanently movement-impaired/disabled. (I believe the assumption is practical?)x/Axe Damage = Power [(77.86% 188.40%) + 1] 1.05 1.15 = 297.79%, ditto.(Build refenece: http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vNAQNAR3XnUqAVsgtCCm8Cs8il8A7pOsEyALBgCwpL/9ef7vl49EA-jhRBABmpEkS1fM+iKc1+jyP809AwTKgUARMZD-e)

If specialized in Skirmishing, then:GS Damage = Power [(92.62% 197.00%) +1] = 282.46%; while 297.00% if constantly flanking.x/Axe Damage = Power [(92.62% 205.06%) + 1] = 289.93%, while 305% ditto.
(Build reference: http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vNAQNAR3XnUqAVsgtCCm8Cs8ilCBj5d1uSd5X3vb59pLMDCAl49EA-jhRBABA8kCua/R5nxXUBKV/BPdPmpEkUARMZD-e)

The results seem rather close to me (2.7% ~ 2.8%; 2.3% ~ 2.4%). Bleeding with Sharpened Edges would also contribute, though I believe on a power build it would not suffice. The main factor to consider would be whether the flat ~4.76% critical chance increase with Spotter for your allies would make up for the difference. If it does, then it would not be a bad alternative if your group happens not to have a Druid for Spotter.

Also, for Fractals, there are potions, and for Raids, Banners and other factors must be taken into account, and perhaps one has to recalculate the entire whole thing. Just some preliminary crafting here.

Please do let me know if there is anything I failed to account for!

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I'm a new player so take what with a grain of salt...

I've been flip flopping between a power build based on GS/double axe and the rock gazelle cc abilities and a cond build using sb/dagger+torch.

While doing pof and hot content, when I'm merged and truly solo with no one else around to distract baddies, I can remain flanked/behind at best 70% of the time. Monsters are naturally turning towards me as I move around them. The advantages flank/behind effects are severally diminished.

Similarly, not all CC/knockdown/cripple/etc... effects work equally against every baddie and some are straight up immune.

I felt like against weaker opponents, a build relying on cc just insta-stomps everything. Kill time with the power build was 2x to 3x faster than my cond build. But against stronger opponents, the cond build was better and had more survivability.

That's just my anecdotal, open world, solo experience.

Whenever I've been in groups, regular beasties would drop faster than I could close (even with GS 3). Tougher opponents that required any amount of time for the group rarely seem effected by CC abilities and then group buffs would be more valuable.

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I don't think you are starting with the right builds. When I tried looking into this, I started with these two:MM with force/accuracy and some assassin:http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vNAQNAR8XnE8CtCiVsA2rAs8il8AbJAUAOdP1hlQGI/9Wf7vj4N-jxBBAB5pbIgnAwoqXg1+jyPAuIAnpEsSVUCAcAQ1Xf9AkCIiJbA-eSkrim with force/impact and full zerker:http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vNAQNAR8XnE8CtCiVsA2rAs8ilCBjZC0uSdPdhZQAI/62dLvj4N-jhRBABXt/o8z4LCgZKBpU9HAeCA4pbIAwBAVf91DQKgImsB-e

Both were optimized to reach 100% crit chance in a group and with raid group buffs. I had frost trap in them as I was looking into bursting stuff (vulture stance is better for sustained damage). The MM build was 8% (1% with impractical 100% up time on impact) better than the skrim build. I don't think it's worth the change.

For fotm, sword with impact and frost spirit (not trap) are still the go to burst build. You have fotm potions that give you a lot of crit chance which negates the major benefit of skrim. For raids, dagger/axe with rune of the thief is meta now. Those runes give 300 precision which again, negates the usefulness of skrim. This basically negates the builds I show above which are raid focused with rune of scholar. Skrim is even worst of a pick now for hard core stuff but I use skrim when doing casual solo stuff.

Sharpened edges (even with hidden barbs) is maybe a 150 DPS when you have 25 might. If frost trap was buffed significantly, then skrim might be worth it for trapper's expertise and having sic'em and frost trap's CD line up.

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I have always been using Skirmishing over MM in open world scenarios where you rely only or mostly on yourself. You easily reach ~100 % crit chance with skirmishing in full zerk gear and scholar runes. In organized content there is not much point to it. MM would also become even better if they could finally get around to do a rework of the opening strike mechanic so you're not running around with three dead minor traits for most of the time.

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