As promised to a couple of folks on Discord (quite a while back), here is my impression on the legendary fire bracer, Draconid Outburst.
Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have obtained from the Skill chest when it was boosted a month ago. After a while of testing and using it, I hope I can cover as much of Draconid Outburst’s pros and cons in this entry as possible.
The outline of the post will consist of the skill mechanics, strategies as to how and when to use it, and a comparison between DO and the other well sought-after bracers.
Update 23/04/18: Reduced the number of ‘this’ from the entry. Also corrected some minor mistakes in the text.
Draconid Outburst, or DO in short, is the fourth ever legendary skill released in DH5 and first ever legendary bracer in the game.
Activating it deals a total of 8 hits in the form of small meteors that fall from the sky. These land one at a time, one after another, until all 8 have been ‘dropped‘ onto the ground.
Each meteor has a small fixed Area of Effect in dealing damage. These are characterised by Persistent Zones, circular in size, that linger on the ground for a few seconds. Monsters that walk across them get damaged. However, when they leave the zone, they do not take damage (and thus, not to be confused with the skill having active Damage over 3s).
The falling meteors also have a chance to cause knockdown on the enemy. Though that sometimes can be generally caused whenever you deal a critical hit to the opponent.
In terms of damage, the skill inflicts a moderate amount of damage per hit for each meteor. Using a fully maxed out T6 version of the skill, it deals approximately:
- Arena: 800-1,000 against 20k armor Nature opponent
- Trial of Elements (WP73): 500-1,000 per meteor hit
- Stronghold Raid (Nettles): 900-1,000 average minion against M7 Mossback (30k+)
Additionally, the residual impact zones deal about a consistent 200-300 damage per tick when enemies walk over them.
A word of caution is that DO does not provide invulnerability when cast, which is problematic since the casting time roots your character to the ground for a good 1 second. Thus, casting the spell makes you susceptible to enemy damage or being swarmed during that period of time.
The cooldown for the skill is also moderate with an approximate duration of 8 seconds. That’s about twice as fast as HP shield skills but slower than a number of other useful bracers (eg. Flame Eruption – 4 secs, Snowball – 6 secs).
Lastly, an interesting thing to note is that the skill is one of the few that affects the animation of the overall screen. The impact of every meteor landing will cause a shake to your screen which is useful to know if your Arena opponent is sporting DO. While playing on smaller screens is fine, I can imagine that it might be disruptive if you’re playing on bigger screens.
TL;DR: 8 falling meteors from the sky that land one after another, does moderate damage but doesn’t offer invulnerability with 8 secs cooldown.
Casting DO Effectively
DO has a moderate usage difficulty, which I daresay is easier than Immortal Justice but tougher than Rush skills. A small warning is that DO might not be the best of bracers to raid with if you’re just starting out the game.
First, face the direction where you want the spell to be cast. DO will auto-target the enemies in front of you and is able to track them with a mild homing ability. On the other hand, facing a direction where the opponents are too far or without opponents, the meteors will simply land in front of you.
Once DO locks onto a certain target, it is able to follow the target for a relatively good range. It is seen specifically in an Arena 1vs1 scenario: If the opponent gets feared and retreats, the meteors will still follow and track your opponent for up to half of the Arena’s size.
While it bears similarities to the way Immortal Justice is cast, DO does not require the same level of precision in timing due to its multiple meteors. It also has a faster cooldown than IJ, enabling you to activate your next skill a bit quicker.
On the contrary to the way you might use IJ, it’s advisable to stand a distance away from the approaching target since you don’t get any invulnerability status or benefit from a large initial AoE stun. Casting from afar will give you some time before the enemy has the opportunity to close in on you. Such allows you to roll or run away if you’re ranged or if the opponent simply does too much damage/stun/fear for you to handle.
Alternatively, improve your defences by activating smoke veil or any HP shield skills before casting DO. This will prevent any unnecessary damage during the casting.
TL;DR: Face the direction of the target and cast DO, the skill will auto lock-on to the targets in front of you and rain meteors upon them. Does not require high precision and ideally to be done away from your opponent to allow room to run, or with defensive shields on.
DO vs Enemies
Draconid Outburst is generally great against slow targets that don’t move much but with high HP (eg. Warlords, Colossi) since they’ll get hit by the meteors and take damage from the residual AoE burning regions. Nonetheless, it is also excellent in taking out lower HP annoying minions like Rangers or Druids.
However, if the enemy moves around too quickly (ie. teleportation, flying, Dash skills), the meteors will not be able to lock on to the target. Instead, it will cause the meteors to land directly in front of you by default. Or, the meteors might miss the target by a small distance since they take a while to land.
Also problematic is when you’re dealing with minions or Arena opponents with damage mitigation or HP shields (eg. Mossbacks, Easter Gargoyles and Idols, Gelid Vorors, Vapidus) and periodic invulnerability (eg. Monkeys, Wolves, Kringle, Spirius, Acolyte). For the first set, unless you can out-damage their shields, it’s best to wait for the shield to dissipate before casting. The second group requires a bit more understanding of when their invulnerability runs out, and casting DO right before it ends.
Fortunately, DO does not suffer from the same problems as projectile-based skills or ranged weapons. The type of damage dealt is more towards the AoE + Lingering Zone classification, and the spell does not get reflected by the shields of Gelid/Dread/Pyre Vorors.
Its moderate damage also makes it useful in taking down enemies with damage reflection, such as Ogurins and Dominators, since the returned damage isn’t as great as Immortal Justice.
As such, it’s good to pair DO with passive Damage over 3seconds (DOT) since that helps to propagate damage beyond the enemy’s HP shield or invulnerability phase. If the monster gets hit by any of the meteor or crosses the burning impact areas, DOT will kick in to help take out the HP.
Unfortunately, it’s best not to rely on DO too much if you want to regenerate back your HP through HP/Hit. Unless its against a group of slow-moving or stationery monsters, you might find yourself losing more HP in every other scenario since not every meteor hit makes its mark.
Speaking of which, a useful tip is that DO can auto-target and hit anything behind an obstacle, especially if you’re low on HP. Obstacles like the statue(s) in Courtyard, Shore, urns in Ruby, central table in Guardhouse can be used for this strategy.
One such example is the courtyard room, in front of the Naga statue. DO’s range is decently far to auto-target enemies behind it and rain fiery death upon them. As players tend to place their weaker units (ie Druid or Ranger) behind that statue, using DO in this manner helps you to remove them in the first few seconds of a battle. Running up to the front of the statue and casting DO helps eliminate these as a threat if it doesn’t have extremely high Mastery or HP/Def bonuses.
TL;DR: Great against weaker nature minions or those that don’t move around too much. Not so great against faster moving/teleporting/dashing/flying minions or those with periodic invulnerability. Good to use behind obstacles to get cover while damaging the enemy. Pair with DOT for maximum effect.
Special Segment – Taking out a M7 Mossback with DO
As of recent, my good brother-in-arms Wraith/Su has shared an extremely useful strategy to take out highly mastered Mossbacks in raids (ie. those M7 with 30k+ stats). While it can be done with or without Draconid Outburst, I find that having DO helps a bunch since it has good potential for high Critical Damage.
The mossback has an annoying damage mitigation shield (ie. a green bubble), not to be confused with a HP shield, which it brings up whenever it gets hit repeatedly. This gives the Mossback extremely high defence if you keep hitting it, leading to a mere double-digit damage per hit. What’s worse is that the shield also provides mild regenerative capability which recovers the Dragon a percentage of its HP over time – an ability which makes M7 near impossible to hurt.
Thus, the trick is to hit it once, wait for the shield’s animation to disappear (for about a second), then hit it again. Attacking in this style causes the shield to be non-existent since you aren’t doing consistent damage to it. When casting DO, wait for the mossback to land and/or spew its breath. The initial meteor will provide a solid 1k (normal) or up to 4k (critical) per hit. Subsequently, wait for its shield animation to fade before hitting it again.
Interestingly, the 8 seconds cooldown for DO aligns with the Mossback’s flight pattern. Thus, you can wait for the skill to refresh while its in the air, and cast it once you know it won’t fly off.
What’s more, as it is invulnerable while it is taking off, you can attack it quickly to regain HP if you have HP/Hit. Importantly, its regeneration powers won’t trigger so you can recover a significant amount of HP without having to face future problems.
Although the strategy seems to be centered around a single Mossback, the same tactic can be applied for multiple Mossbacks as well. However, you might need to move around more often to avoid the dragons facing each other while spewing its healing vomit.
TL;DR: Cast DO when Mossback(s) lands, wait for shield to disappear for a second and attack again. Repeat until dragon(s) is/are dead.
DO vs Other Bracers
Is it good enough to replace my other non-Leg bracers with DO?
It really depends on the situation.
DO isn’t as universally ‘great‘ as Smoke Veil or Mist of Death, since it takes a while to get used to and cast properly. Additionally, one has to make certain considerations in terms of its passive properties.
Compared to other useful bracers, you might lose either the partial invulnerability/defense or the much-needed active/passive DOT, such as
- Flame Eruption’s fast invulnerability (and passive DOT)*
- Cyclone’s deflect projectiles, Dodge
- MRush’s mobility and added dodge
- Fire Cone’s active DOT, Dodge, Run Speed
- Snowball’s passive DOT
*Certain configurations of Flame Eruption’s magical properties give it Damage over 3secs at T5. However, it loses the passive property at T6.
Do note that the Outburst is also a wholly offensive bracer with it being one of the few skills in the game that bestow the all-useful attack speed (besides burning phantasm). On the flip side, you might lose Dodge and Run Speed, defensive traits which are nonetheless useful as well in helping you stay alive longer for tougher fights.
When comparing against other popular fire bracers (eg. Flame Eruption, Fire Cone), the lack of these properties might need to be compensated by experience. Such could be the difference between surviving and taking down multiple M7 Mossbacks and Assassins in a 35k+ Nature room.
On the other hand, the situation is different in Arena since battles are much faster paced. Attack speed with the critical hit damage helps a lot in finishing off your Nature opponents much quicker. However, do watch for those with Fire Dash or MRush since DO might miss them entirely.
Moreover, I would recommend it in primarily for ToE instead as you’ll be facing off with large swarms of monsters. Coupling DO with passive DOT helps to cover a larger area and thus dish out damage to a larger quantity of monsters at one go. And that makes higher Nature waypoints much easier to clear.
TL;DR: Largely offense-based (attack speed, crit hit damage) but loses out on other useful properties (eg. Dodge, Run speed, DOT) from the other useful bracers. Mostly great for ToE!
DO has good damage output and nice offensive passive properties.
Its auto-targeting and small regions of AoE makes it great for handling larger crowds (eg. Missions, Daily dungeons, ToE) or even a non-dashing opponent in Arena. It also is a good solution against weaker (but pesky) Nature minions in raiding (eg. Ranger, Druid) and can lock-on to them past obstacles.
However, this is not a ‘beginner-level‘ skill as takes more practice and experience of monster/opponent behaviour to use in raiding though not to the same level as IJ. It does not have the same AoE stun that IJ has nor the immensely high damage output, but it does have a higher chance to hit due to its self-targeting multiple meteors and faster cooldown.
Another consideration is it might not be a deal-breaker compared to other more familiar and popular bracers. This might be a trade up Dodge/invulnerability or DOT for attack speed and critical hit damage, which the former properties might be more beneficial in taking out tougher Nature minions or lasting longer against them.
Personally, once you get the hang of it, DO might just be your next go-to bracer against Nature minions/opponents… as it is for my case now. 😉 But if you’re used to your old bracer, its fine to give it a shot once in a while.
+ Moderate damage output + residual AoE persistent zone damage
+ Relatively fast cooldown
+ Good against weaker Nature units
– Not very easy to use, needs some training to get timing right
– No invulnerability during casting
+/- Mostly offensive properties
+/- Auto-tracking opponents
With it being boosted again, hope you’re able to get it and try it out too! 🙂