Here we go with our third in-depth post for Season of the Warp Surge. This time our Systems Designer Trebron55 put some Psyker kits and builds under the lens, which are now pretty viable, thanks to the changes of the new patch.
The Season of the Warp Surge patch brings a ton of balance changes, some of which will require players to adapt their builds to stay effective. In particular, the Psyker received a number of changes to their psychic skills and masteries. For instance, changes to Blessings means that hoarding many at once is more dangerous, as they reserve a set amount of Warp heat from your pool now, pushing you ever closer to the Unhinged state.
With all the new tweaks, I thought I'd take the chance to sketch out a couple of kits that I've been playing with in hopes of giving Psyker players some inspiration for new directions to take their inquisitors. These are not intended to be the optimal endgame builds, but fun to play and thematic. Most of them need moderate playtime to reach and can be used as guides for setting short term goals in your character’s development or as a basis for further customization and itemization.
None of these sets require a certain subclass when starting a new character, and none of their names represent anything specific in the Warhammer 40k lore.
There are two skill-sets for a Warp-caster build we found to be fun and effective. These two can be played as separate builds for characters or you can squeeze them into a single character’s two weapon-sets with some modifications, to be able to play different playstyles as required by the circumstances.
This set is like the classic sorcerer build: long range, high AOE damage and lots of teleporting.
The Wyrdwane Staff now stacks up vulnerability and reduces Warp heat very effectively, softing up tougher enemies for your powers. It even has decent suppression damage. Use it frequently in combination with your other skills.
Precognition gives you a good amount of energy shield instead of damage reduction now. You won’t be invulnerable, but the skill can be fit into a larger energy-shield scheme with energy shield effectiveness, extra energy shield psalms codes, and energy shield enchants on your items. You’re going to need large amounts of it when playing on +10 or higher missions, but it can serve a purpose in late-game builds, too.
Crush has been improved greatly in visuals and application, too. It has an AOE effect at the point of impact now, and can be used to knock back and knock down groups of enemies to keep them away from you. It also has a great variety of applicable masteries, so you can apply almost any kind of debuff with it in an area, on top of its decent damage.
Constrict is your finisher move, and the ultimate tool to get rid of trap-turrets. The power itself did not receive any major changes in the last patch.
The Personal Teleporter’s animation speed has been increased in the last patch, now it benefits greatly from the new belt recharge system. It is my main way of getting out of trouble and escaping from harmful anomalies.
Empyrean Hail is the new psychic power introduced in this patch and my new favorite. It has great range and can be used as a preliminary attack---just target the area between you and incoming melee enemies to apply all sorts of crowd control and a nice amount of damage.
Another playstyle, or the secondary set of your character can be a kit which mainly focuses on durability and the psychic power Shockwave.
Warp Rod’s Warp blast. I use warp blast for it’s fast casting time and long range, but you can fit any type of rod here. For example, Telekinetic Rod’s blast can work just as fine.
Telekinetic Dome does not reserve warp heat and can increase your damage reduction by 36% if you use the 'effectiveness' mastery with it. Fits right in.
Aether Blade’s Aether Strike is one of the best movement skills in the game. With it, you can get near any group of enemies in a blink of an eye. Can be used together with a Personal teleporter to ensure you can’t be surrounded or blocked in any situation.
Shockwave received a major rework in this patch. It has a faster animation and cast rate, can be cast on the move, and has an extremely low cooldown. I use the masteries Phase Through, Temporal Stasis, and Dismantle with this one, creating a power that can be used against any type of enemy, and stunlocks almost anything that comes near you.
Attributes and Perks:
Using this second kit requires decent warp heat management, so you either need to prioritize the Psy Focus attribute (this also received an update, now gives you warp heat regeneration with every point) and/or equip perks for this purpose, depending on your build.
Warp Heat Conversion is one of the best choices if you focus on the Psy Focus attribute, as the perk gives you damage calculated from your maximum warp heat value.
The Art of Crippling is a popular choice among players and fits in both of these kits too, though it doesn’t help you with your heat or damage. Artificial Organs is one of the best perks for managing warp heat, and you can even combine it with Self-Flagellation to be able to ignore high warp heat altogether.
This build is made possible by the changes on Kinetic Staff and the Haemorrhage power in this patch. It reaches its full potential when you have access to certain Psalm doctrines, but can be used on lower levels too.
Force bolt is the main pillar of this kit. In the latest patch, this skill became piercing which means you can deal multi-target damage with it. It's also armour breaking, so you won’t necessarily need any further anti-armor tools. It’s the only psyker weapon-skill which can be modified with the “triple projectile” Psalm Doctrine, and that’s the key for unleashing its power. (Ordinatus Psalm + Neuralis Psalm + Terminus Psalm + Galvanic Psalm + Terminus Psalm + Icarus Psalm) = (For each projectile with Physical Damage, two additional projectiles are created in a 10° cone but skill damage is halved)
Warp Speed is good with any psyker weapon. It greatly increases our damage output with this build.
Haemorrhage has been changed to deal physical damage in this patch, so it fits nicely in this kit now. You can stack up Bleed damage bonuses on your items to greatly increase its damage. If you prefer fewer casting and more raw weapon damage, you can use Foreboding instead.
Enfeeble remains unchanged in this patch. It’s the second skill I always keep when trying out variations of this kit. With the Enhanced effect mastery it stuns enemies even in yellow suppression state, so it’s able to stop any charging Plagueridden or other champion enemies heading your way in an instant. It’s fun to use and an effective defensive crowd control ability.
You can tinker with the kit's last two skill slots if you wish. I find that Personal Teleporter fits my playstyle with almost any build, and the updated Precognition is still a good option if you want to get a layer of extra survivability.
Attributes and Perks:
Warp heat is usually not that big of an issue with this build, so I would suggest a balanced distribution of points between attributes.
For perks, I use Force Weapon Mastery and Artificial Organs II for a combination of survivability and weapon damage. After getting the triple-projectile psalm doctrine Close Quarters Gunnery becomes an ultimate pick, but it’s useful in early game too.
How to burn
There are two weapons I found fitting for a flame-psyker kit. It’s not too hard to guess that those are the Force Rod and the Pyrokinetic Staff, but we'll have a look at the buffs these two have received.
Force Rod's Fire Bolt has an extremely high fire-rate now and applies a stack of burn with its every hit. Using two of them grants you the Witchfire skill, which is still a great way to control groups of enemies, even though it has received a moderate nerf in its size of effect and Warp Heat reduction value.
Pyrokinetic Staffs Pyro Blast has a powerful new tag now: it deals Heat Vulnerability to every enemy in its area of effect, so it can be used to prepare enemies with your initial attacks so your other skills can deal the most damage possible. If you reach the point where you can use the “Each vulnerability stack has a 300% increased effect on DoT effects” psalm-doctrine (Technomartyr Psalm + Haemo-drain Psalm + Icarus Psalm + Static-burst Psalm + Uncreator Psalm) to your armor, the combo starts to get devastating.
Fiery Form is an obvious choice if you’re looking for a blessing for a heat-build. It grants bonus Heat damage and helps you to deal with close-range engagements.
Spontaneous Combustion got buffed with a twist. While it does less damage now, it receives a 1000% Damage bonus against burning targets, so it’s a great finisher skill, fitting right in to a burn-build.
Firestorm did not receive base changes this patch, but it can be equipped with reworked masteries. Health Stimulus gives you HP equal to 10% of the damage dealt, and Warp Energy Redirection fills up your energy shield quite fast. Combining these two provides you with an extra layer of durability during combat, as does equipping Precognition as your last skill in the kit.
Using a Pyrokinetic Staff provides an extra skill slot, in which I use Inferno with Vulnerability mastery added.
Attributes and Perks:
Like some of the other builds, warp heat can cause problems with this kit, so I would recommend spending at least 15 attribute points on Psy Focus.
For perks, I use Enhanced Attrition if I want my DoTs to really hurt, Warp Heat Conversion for its solid bonus damage value, and Artificial Organs for class resource regen.