Choosing a secondary weapon
There are five decent secondary weapons to choose from for leech healing—blood (best), pistol (good), fist (okayish), shotgun (good), and elementalism (okay).
Blood brings both strong extra healing and strong added DPS, making it one of the better secondary weapons (and my preferred one). All blood consumers can be cast with your own health once every 6 seconds. This means that you can, for example, cast Bloodshot after every 5 x Anima Shot, 1 x Transfuse Anima rotation, with no downtime, to increase sustained DPS.
This tends to be more group DPS than simply carrying around a group buff from pistol or shotgun, because a group buff cannot outdo the ability to reliably use a second consumer (DPS using Pistol Shotgun for two group buffs and refusing to cast their shotgun consumer would really suck, for example - you need the hitting power to exploit buffs).
If doing this, you can also fit a Signet of Aggression to your blood book to give your rifle skills a random damage boost.
Blood also gives offhealing from Exquisite Corpse, The Scarlet Arts, and Cold Blooded.
Exquisite Corpse will stop up to 50% of the total amount an incoming attack, making it great for fending off huge individual hits. Even the raid boss's instant kill attack for ten million can be reduced to five million. This is very useful as a low-resource cost barrier when applied directly after transfuse anima to fend off the next big hit while you build up resources again.
The Scarlet Arts can provide a long-lasting barrier, which is good for situations such as in the raid when the tank is running back from phase 1 with damage stacks still on.
Cold blooded, as mentioned earlier, can serve as an excellent heal for when you are not in range for leech healing. It appears to have a range longer than 20 meters, and ignores line of sight.
The ability to sacrifice health also allows you to chain cast many Blood spells in a row if using ambrosia (which gives 5 blood resources every two minutes). So you can first build 5 blood resources, then cast one Scarlet Arts. Then cast another Scarlet Arts with your health, and drink ambrosia to cast another Scarlet Arts again. In a few seconds you’ll then be able to cast yet another The Scarlet Arts from health. That’s four chained strength 5 heal consumers from just building 5 resources at first.
Alternatively, you can do this during a burn phase. Hit Bloodshot just as someone activates Short Fuse to give you blood offering, then use Ambrosia to give 5 resources. Cast two Bloodshots, then use Cannibalise for another two.
Blood also benefits immensely from the Signet of Thinis from the 1.6 quest chain, and combining this with Cannibalise. When you get one blood resource, use Cannibalise to take it to four, which is two extra Bloodshots or Exquisite Corpses. This large flexibility with resources is blood's main strength.
The only downside to all this is you’ll need to switch back to healing yourself every so often.
Pistol is a good secondary healing weapons due to its Deadly Aim buff, which works well with a lean to crit power. Once you get to 100% crit damage, Deadly Aim makes burst healing a breeze, especially if at least one DPS is bringing one too.
Supported by a crit power kickback to bring even more power, twenty seconds of Deadly Aim at 120% crit damage makes even high sustained heal checks like Ankh 3 into point and shoot somewhere-in-the-general-direction-of-the-fight affairs. However, even at 'only' 80% crit power modifier (laceration signet, brawler, and 400 crit power), this is still highly effective.
Alternatively, you can also support this with a crit stimulant and crit kickback to act as a ghetto Deadly Aim used after the initial two Deadly Aims. This is 40 sustained seconds of more power
(very handy for Ankh 3, for example).
Pistol also brings effective heal buffing skills such as Backup Drone and The Greater Good. These are leech rate multiplies that simply multiply the final leech rate, which makes them very strong. Another benefit to keeping Backup Drone around is it deploys another heal over time to trigger the Coney Island Band.
The third major benefit to pistol is that none of its major skills you’ll use rely on the pistol’s weapon power, so you could feasibly run around with the QL0 pistols from the training dummy area while solo healing the raid, just to be cool like that. Otherwise, it saves bullions if you only have to upgrade one custom weapon.
Marked is also a good source of spot-corrupted stacking for bosses with reflect shields, like Eblis.
And finally, as mentioned earlier, pistol gets two useful elites of Pistol Love and Born Leader.
Pistol’s main weakness is the lack of an out of combat heal other than Born Leader, but that has been somewhat mitigated by the Quantum Brace. Overall, when you take the Quantum, pistol is a strong sidearm.
Shotgun provides the combination of Breaching Shot, Flak Jacket, and Cleanup.
For pure damage and healing per second, pistol is often better due to Deadly Aim building on large amounts of critical power. Once you get up to 80% crit damage, a single one of your crits is better than a crit-pen of someone with no crit power.
Shotgun is very good, however, in Hell Risen. If you just have 2910 health from a health anima, a penetrating macroshock will kill you. However, if you hit Flak Jacket whenever the succubus looks at you, you'll be safe. Plus, there's Cleanup, which is always good to have through the whole dungeon.
Flak Jacket's uniqueness as a damage prevention ability also makes shotgun well worth considering for a number of fights, including all 18s.
Shotgun attack builder combinations like Striker + Defensive Turret are not recommended due to the number of active skill slots this takes up.
Fists bring some of the strongest out of combat healing around, as well as Reckless. Reckless is a fist buff on a 40 second cooldown that will add +20% to both damage and leech rates, for a total of +40% healing, for 10 seconds. Combined with Do or Die which is also for 10 seconds every 40 seconds, this can lead to having a good sustained damage buff for half the total fight time.
Fists also bring the warmth skill, which is any time you use a fist healing skill, your defensive target will receive extra leech healing for the next few seconds. Thus it can be worth using a fist builder a few times to help ‘power up’ a Transfuse Anima if you want to save Transfuse Anima in anticipation of a large hit.
The third benefit to fists is the easy group healing from Shelter. The Quantum does reduce this benefit somewhat, but it’s still there.
Fists also give Pack Leader, which is a glance-reduction group buff. This is useful in Hell Risen if timed with other group buffs, to ensure the group does not miss penetrating and critical hits. In most other situations, however, Pack Leader is not very helpful.
Finally, fists give very decent out of combat healing from Cauterize and Surgical Steel, if needed. Again, the Quantum has reduced the value of this, but in some fights with damage reduction or reflection shields, a few fist heals are very good to have.
Elementalism is an... interesting choice, as it provides almost no massive healing increase alone. Its strength is its manifestations, which can give you the Fury buff (+7% additive damage) if you tab target back to yourself occasionally while they’re up.
As such, Elementalism is perhaps the only secondary weapon that can really benefit from using an attack builder occasionally to power secondary consumers. The main downside to this approach is you use up many spots, even prohibiting the use of Lock and Load, and in a direct departure from many DPS-healers (this is the Reaper thread, dammit) I do question whether it’s even worth it.
Lock and Load will add 50-100 sustained DPS by itself in a Reaper build. You then need to be healing constantly to add the huge 25% crit damage buff from the Coney Island Band, which is even more DPS, so have little time for banging away with attack builders. And if you're not so mega-geared, you will need to be healing constantly to keep the tank alive anyway. It’s very gear dependent of course, but I just can’t get an Elementalism DPS-heal build to give me any real advantages.
The only real benefit I can see from Elementalism is that it has very good purges, and that can be important in Darkness War if you're not fully geared. You could, however, just ask a DPS to purge.
Last edited by Claretta; 03-24-2013 at 07:46 PM.