A Journey to M7

For long-time players of DH5, mastering your gears (and minions) to their maximum potential is something that everyone strives for. Additionally, with the entry of T7 comes the added possibility of M7 – an extremely hefty endeavor to achieve.

Thus, this short post is meant for late game players who are late-game players who are planning to achieve an M7 weapon for themselves. Specifically, it covers the two fundamental questions:

  • What do you need for M7?
  • Is it worthwhile?

Many thanks to my brothers-in-arms, MyVoid and Corny/Scallop for clarifying some data in this entry which helped plenty for this M7 journey. 

Mastery M7

The post will document the journey of getting M7 of my favourite weapon (thus far) – Pillar of Agony.

In particular, I’ll cover the process taken for the mastering of the gear from M6 to M7. This will also feature a before-and-after comparison to examine how much difference you get in theory and in practice.

Do note that I’ll be more subjective in the latter half since I didn’t have the time to quantify the damage output. Instead, I’ll give a more qualitative take on my experience using a M7 weapon. 🙂


What do you need?

As a refresher, Mastery (of gear) fundamentally requires 3 types of items:

  • Transmutation Shards (same to the tier you are mastering)
  • Mastery Shard (obtainable from Arena)
  • Duplicate gear

Transmutation shards need to be the same tier as the item you are mastery, meaning that T6 shard gives you an M6. Mastery shards are obtainable from Arena ranking and quest (and recently from Master Chests from Legendary Hunt rewards). Duplicate gears require no explanation.

On a larger context, Mastering a gear from M0 to M7 requires the following:

  • 10* x Dalomites (T1)
  • 10* x Rhundite (T2)
  • 10* x Questarite (T3)
  • 10* x Enkenite (T4)
  • 10* x Ydamite (T5)
  • 10* x Galoxite (T6)
  • 10* x Urraxite (T7)
  • 14** x Hexaanium (T3 Arena)
  • 11** x Decanium (T6 Arena)
  • Your gear at T7
  • 7 x Duplicates

* For Mastering Normal gears, you’ll need 8 of the same-tier transmutation shards; Legendary gears require 12 instead.

** I’ve noticed that mastering Journey to the West Legendary gears past M3 might require a bit more Hexaanium and Decanium than the above-stated figures. Unfortunately, I’ll need to collect more data for other gears for this. 

pillar2
This is way more taxing than it looks…

Besides the most arduous (and/or costly) task of getting the 7 duplicates of your gear, T7 transmutation shards are the second challenge you’ll face in striving for M7. These originate from transmuting T7 gears, meaning that you need to burn through your protean cocoons to obtain them.

A consolation for leveling these T7 gears for transmutation would be that you need not have them at maximum level of 150 before they present the highest possible amount of Urraxite. Instead, you can stop at level 125. Moreover, Normal T7 gears present the same number of Urraxite as Epic T7 gears. They give a max. of 5 shards, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice your old Wanted Challenge items to give more shards. 😉

transmute
Old Xinkashi gears give 5 Urraxites each at level 125

In short, mastering an M7 Epic gear requires a total of transmuting 2 x Normal/Epic gears.

Although Urraxites are now made available from a few other sources (as below), these are for the extremely hardworking (Arena) or for the extremely lucky (Master chests). Thus, transmutation of old T7 gears might seem to still be an easier ‘sure-fire‘ option to get these mastery materials.

  • Ranks 1-100 in the revised Arena (first half): 6 to 16 x Urraxite
  • Master Chests (2.5%): 2 x Urraxite
arena.png
The revised Arena ranking now gives 6-16 Urraxite for ranks 1-100

Finally, acquiring Hexaanium and Decanium from the Arena is more of a restriction based on time and consistent work.

Fortunately, it seems that the new Arena provides more Hexaanium with the second half being more generous than its previous edition. Putting this into figures:

Based on the updated rate of procuring 7 x Hexaanium and 2 x Decanium a week (ie. Master league and completing all Arena quests), you’ll require a minimum of 6 weeks (or 1.5months) of faithful Arena play to get enough shards for M7.

TL;DR: You’ll need plenty of mastery shards, gear duplicates and with a minimum of 6 weeks to build an M7 from scratch


Is it worthwhile?

A question that might be on your mind is:

How great is a M7 gear?

To be honest, the final step in your progression does help a lot but it might not be as amazing (or over-powered) as you might expect.


In Theory

Mastering weapons to M7 certainly has much more impact than armors since Strike Chance presents a greater direct contribution to offense than Strike Resist has to defence. This is because Strike Chance has more avenues to function in any scenario, while Strike Resist is currently only limited to Arena (against other players with Strike Chance).

At M7, your mastered weapon has a total of 38.5/42.0/45.5% (normal/epic/leg) strike chance. This means that every hit has an approx 4 out of 10 chance of dealing the 90% add-on damage.

pillar-end
End state of a M7 pillar

For a more universal improvement, mastering gears enables stat growth which applies to both weapons and armors.

In this case, the growth wasn’t as significant as my pillar is a relatively old epic gear. It grew from 9.69k to 10.16k Attack after factoring in the extra +15 SF points (M7 max: 255 SF) – a small increment of ~470 base attack stat. Additionally, Global attack got bumped up to 32k (from 30k using the M6 staff).

For a comparison, new (Journey to the West) legendary gears will achieve the approximately the same numerical stats at M3 (~10k without maxed out SF points). However, procuring that many duplicates in a short amount of time, even when boosted, will undoubtedly expend a lot of financial resources.


In Practice

In all honesty, M6 does not feel very different from M7. But rather, it does ease up the difficulty in combat by a small fraction.

To put into context, wielding the M7 pillarmakes it slightly easier than using its previous M6 version, to clear tougher challenges, eg. strong Seashore setups (>35k/35k) with at least 3 x M7 Kringles. However, there still remains a chance to lose if I’m complacent and get stuck in the deadly freeze-lock or stun-lock scenario. 😐

seashore
Seashores are easier…just by a bit

It is still difficult to take out higher stat Nature trap rooms (>25k/25k) since Nature DOT hurts a ton. Rangers and Assassins are largely advantageous over Dark users, particularly against my less-mastered armor.

For challenges which do not pose much of a difficulty formerly, the M7 pillar simply speeds up the process with the added Strike Chance damage. An example would be Legendary Hunt and Cocoon Chase where it does feel much faster in clearing these dungeons.

guard_fun
Guardhouses are a breeze so long as the Ranger falls first

On the other hand, Arena is where Mastery really shines. This is where a M7 weapon can easily tear through the defences of the opponent (of the weaker element) in seconds, especially against those who lack Dodge and Strike Resist.

However, do remember that you might encounter other players with M7 weapons too, as seen from high power ratings and stats. Combined with stun/fear, these opponents can easily take down your character even if you have elemental advantage.

TL;DR:

In theory, Mastering weapons has a lot more impact than armors due to the versatility of Strike Chance. However, stat growth from M6->7 isn’t very high.

In practice, it feels that M7 only presents a slight improvement over M6. It does speed up the rate of clearing challenges though.


Final Impressions

In conclusion, M7 presents a high progression target to reach to reach your equipment’s maximum potential but it might not be entirely worth its cost.

xinkashi
Fusing was definitely the least fun of the journey

While mastery helps in clearing a lot more challenges that one wouldn’t be able to, I find that M5/6 is a much more achievable investment than an M7 gear. This is because by the time you obtain M5-6 (epic or legendary gears), this would trivalise most difficulties in the game. Adding an additional mastery tier just hastens the process of overcoming these challenges.

Moreover, while getting a decent mastery for weapons does more impact and could be set as a priority over armors.

Alas, I was not fortunate enough to pull as many Tun Daemon Wards (Old Legendary Dark armor) when it was boosted so my armor remains at M2. Nonetheless, this can be overcome with certain skills and properties. When paired with HPH, Dodge and Smoke Veil, this is still very much adequate to enabling survivability in raiding.

shore-blind.png
Casting Mist at the right time helps aplenty with HPH

But more importantly, I find that getting the right combination of Magical Properties/Traits and skills which you are comfortable with is more crucial than boosting your gear to maximum mastery.  This will help you get further in the game than getting mastered gears which might not serve you as well.

Last of all, from the perspective of a semi-free player (spending primarily on Guild War), I feel that Mastery is more like the icing on the cake as duplicates don’t appear so frequently.

Getting to M7 requires quite a bit of patience and rationing of your procured chests and gems. This also includes resisting the temptation to open them if your item-of-choice is not boosted. Even so, you might also face disappointment since you might get what you want all the time.

Putting this into perspective, it has been a year (April 2017) since I’ve started using the Pillar of Agony (as seen in this post). It took me 8 months to collect all of the 7 additional duplicates ever since Mastery was released in June 2017.

… … truly a long journey it has been. 🙂

TL;DR: Getting M5/6 is a faster and more worthwhile investment. Also, prioritise the magical properties and skills which you’re comfortable with. Personally, that will be more important than Mastery.


Hope this post has been useful for those aiming for M7.

Good luck and have fun! 🙂

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