The heavy Flamer has been a classic, solid leveling weapon for the Crusader, and now with this last update that has tweaked the mechanics of the flamer, it’s even more powerful in my opinion. The knock-back and knockdown effect has been moved from phosphorous splash to scorched earth, and now phosphorous splash has a secondary bouncing explosion that also leaves a flaming DoT effect on the ground. Flame cone and Disengaging stream have gone unchanged, they are still perfect for mindlessly holding the button down through the entire mission.
This build guide is a little different from what I’ve done before, this is a starter build guide where I’ve challenged myself to only use normal relics, and no red-tier psalm codes, just like a new player would have to do when they first start the game. This build should be perfect for farming the gear needed to transition into an endgame version, which I’ll be working on later. With this set-up, I’m able to do missions 5 levels above me without much of a sweat, it get’s a little tough beyond that, but I’ve been able to do all of the first four tiers of seasonal challenges with this extremely cheap gear.
My main weapon is a heavy flamer with the relic enchantment “Every 10th enemy killed will explode on death”. This lets you blow up entire rooms of enemies, which feels great, and gets you through missions much faster. In the sockets I have the simple 4-piece doctrine “125% increased heat damage”, and two of the new judgement shards to give a chance to apply general vulnerabilities on hit. A vulnerability debuff causes the enemy to take 10% increased damage, up to 10 stacks. We apply maximum heat vulnerabilities through other items, so general vulnerabilities would be the next step to scaling damage, these new archeotech shards are the easiest way to apply them.
The secondary weapon is a Multi-Melta, mostly for it’s armor-piercing capability that the heavy flamer lacks. This weapon also got a slight change, you can now charge up the ‘Overcharged Shot’ while moving, and ‘Rad Charge’ is now an instant cast. Overcharged shot is armor piercing, and it deals a ton of damage, so you can use this to take down big heavy armor elites, usually in one shot. The sockets here are another ‘125% heat damage” doctrine, and two Cognis shards that give 25% single-target damage each.
I have an Assault Armor with the jump skill, and the relic enchant “Focus gain on enemy kill based on type.”. The jump costs a decent amount of focus, without the sustain, I can’t do as much jumping. Now as long as I’m killing enemies, especially champions, I can jump through the whole mission, which leads to faster XP and loot. In the sockets, I have another simple ‘125% heat damage’ doctrine, and two resistor shards for damage reduction.
The Neural implant has the enchant “+1 Enrage token on critical hit”, which is probably my most important damage scaling factor. Each enrage token gives you 8% damage, stacks up to 20 times for a total 160% bonus. Normally, you lose an enrage token every time you attack, but our two main skills are channeling, so as long as you don’t let go the button, it doesn’t count as a new attack. The other two skills aren’t channeled, but they have a DoT ground effect that can critically strike to generate more enrage tokens that you spent.
The main implant gives up to another 6% damage bonus per enrage token, a total extra 120% damage when fully stacked. For sockets in here, I have one uncreator psalm because scaling vulnerabilities is really strong, a Resistor shard to cap resists, and a cybersmith shard for more AoE damage.
My first signum gives a further 9% increase to damage per token, but makes attacks use two tokens each. This isn’t a big deal, because we mostly use channeled skills, but you should still be careful to not let go of that button or to not use the 1 and 2 skills when you don’t need to, if you want to stay at 20 tokens.
The other signum gives a damage bonus against burning enemies, and all of our skills apply burning.
The Purity Seal gives a bunch of suppression gain on critical hit. We are trying to crit a lot with this build, since that’s how we generate enrage tokens, and keeping suppression up is really important to not get crowd controlled and killed.
The belt item is a digital weapons, with the enchant ‘Add a heat vulnerability on causing a burn effect.”. All of our skills apply burn, and burn stacks up to 5 times, sofd this is pretty much a free way to instantly apply 5 vulnerabilities. The digital weapons themselves will give a free 30% crit chance when used, which is amazing for generating tokens, dealing damage, and even sustaining health and suppression. In the sockets, I just have an uncreator psalm paired with a cybersmith, for extra damage.
The eye implant gives 25% increased effect to heat vulnerabilities, because once again, scaling vulnerabilities is one of the best ways to scale damage.
Finally, the inoculator has the enchant ‘HP regeneration for every vulnerability stack inflicted”. This is great for sustain because of how many vulnerabilties this build can quickly apply. Just one single enemy with 10 heat stacks will get me over 50 health regen per second, and that’s not even counting the general stacks I’m also applying from the new judgement shards. For the inoculator modules, I have two murderlust for a bunch of crit chance and crit damage, and two coagulant for a total 40% health regeneration a second for 5 seconds. In the sockets, I have another uncreator psalm, another cybersmith shard, and another resistor shard.
The perks for this build are pretty simple, they take advantage of the fact that every enemy I fight with be constantly debuffed by burns and vulnerablities.
Cull the weak gives a 50% damage bonus against debuffed enemies.
Stagger exploitment gives crit chance and damage against debuffed enemies.
And lastly, Persistent Attritions will inflict the blind debuff every time you apply a DoT. According to the wiki, blinded enemies have an 80% chance to miss their attacks, so this is great for survivability, but remember that the enemy needs to be in yellow suppression for this to work.
With attributes, I maxed out warfare to get a bunch of damage, and that final 50% damage bonus against Elites and bosses. Then I put the rest of my points into toughness. I haven’t unlocked all the points from heroic deeds, but I’d definitely put those all into toughness for more defense.
The first passive tree I try to max with a heavy flamer build is always going to be Area Effects. Most of the points here give solid damage and radius increases, but the main thing is the middle “Eradicative Protocols”, that gives -2% from remaining cooldown on hit, or -4% on kill from area effect skills, which lets us use the 1 and 2 much more often, each tick of their ground DoT will get this -2% cooldown reduction.
Then I go for the Heat Attacks Tree, up to ‘Superheated Discharge’, so my critical strikes will apply a heat vulnerability. I don’t max the tree out, the final point is absolutely useless since all my skills already burn, and I don’t really care about overheat enough to spend 2 points on coolant fluids.
Next is the Critical Hits tree. I don’t have this maxed, but I would definitely spent my final 15 levels on the rest of this tree. For now, all you really want is ‘Revenge’ that gives you an extra 1% crit chance whenever you don’t crit, stacking until you do, which guarantee’s a lot more crits than before. I also got two points up top for ‘Killing Shot’, an easy 2% extra crit chance. Right now at level 85 I’m working on the bottom-right, to get to ‘Berserker Rage’, to heal for 1% of my max HP whenever I crit.
After spending a few points there, I’d want to move onto more defensive trees, so I nearly maxed out the Defense tree for a bunch of resists, and that final point ‘Reanimator Glands’ that can save me from being one-shot every so often.
Then I went to health, nearly maxing it out. I like to be tanky and defensive, if you prefer more damage, then you can change this up, but I highly reccomend keeping ‘Pain Suppression’, to gain some suppression every time you gain HP, this point will go a long way for sustaining your suppression and not getting crowd controlled.
Last but not least was the Debuffs tree. Not many of the basic points here do much for the build, other than ‘Demoralize’ making enemies deal less damage for each unique vulnerability. The big reason why I wanted the debuff tree was for ‘Dirty Fighting’ in the middle, giving 5% damage bonus for each debuff on the target. Damage over time effects like burns used to not count as debuffs, but now they do in this last update, so this is like a free 25% damage bonus, not including the vulnerabilities and blind that I also apply.