Home > The Secret World > Playing with guns and knives

Playing with guns and knives

February 9, 2013

This is another build post for The Secret World; this was something that was originally intended to be written shortly after my previous build-related post. But I guess better late than never…

In this case it is about some experiences I have had on my Templat alt, Zenara. She was created pretty much at the same as my main character around the game’s Early Access, but did not get much play time at all. Thus she has not progressed as much and is now roaming around in the Blue Mountain area.


Whereas my main character started out with some kind of idea of a tanke/damage dealer hybrid, Zenara started out more as a healer/damage dealer hybrid. Initially she used a mix of Blades and Blood Magic, using Blood shields for healing & protection and the baldes doing the damage. This worked kind of ok through Kingsmouth, but reaching Savage Coast is started to feel a bit cumbersome and slow. It really was not a good combination in terms of flow in the combat, at least not for solo play.

So in Savage Coast the build was revamped a bit; Blood was thrown out and Assault Rifle was picked instead. Since assault rifle has the ability to do both damage and heal at the same time (leeching), this seemed to be something that could work potentially better. And it did – it worked much better. Much of the blades abilities were kept and a bit of Assault Rifle was added and that worked out quite well.

Part of the equation is also the combination of talismans. With a healer/damage dealer hybrid approach, my choice was primarily a mix of damage dealer and healer talismans obviously.  What have worked well for me with the Blade/Assault rifle combination is to have 2-3 (green) healing talismans and the rest (green) damage dealer talismans.  For a single  normal “single dot” enemy, the health bar has barely dropped if only assault rifle was used.

The current build is almost the same as it when it was set up in Savage Coast and it looks like this:


WEAPONS: blade/assault_rifle (122 AP)

  1. Grass Cutter (Blade->Wind through Grass, 9 AP)
  2. Blade Torrent (Blade->Technique, 1 AP)
  3. Balanced Blade (Blade->Method, 1 AP)
  4. Stunning Swirl (Elite, Blade->Method, 7 AP)
  5. Anima Shot (Assault Rifle->Support, 1 AP)
  6. Fire in the Hole (Assault Rifle->Support, 4 AP)
  7. Martial Discipline (Blade->Technique, 2 AP)


  1. Anticoagulant (Assault Rifle->Support Team, 16 AP)
  2. Sharp Blades (Blade->Method, 4 AP)
  3. Immortal Spirit (Blade->Technique, 1 AP)
  4. Perfect Storm (Blade->Technique, 1 AP)
  5. Regeneration (Blade->Technique, 3 AP)
  6. Experience (Elite, Assault Rifle->Support, 7 AP)
  7. Anima Boost (Assault Rifle->Support, 1 AP)

Essentially Grass Cutter and Anticoagulant are the most recent additions here – I believe they replaced Delicate Strike and Delicate Precision. Except for these two, everything else is from the inner circle and is easy to pick up. In this setup, Blade Torrent and Balanced Blade are the main weapons of choice for multiple enemies at the same time, typically the 3-dot enemies. For single enemies Anima Shot and Fire In The Hole  do perhaps most of the work, with a bit of added Grass Cutter and Balanced Blade to speed things up a bit. This costs a bit of health though, as one is not leeching then. The Blade builders will build for both weapons though, so Fire In The Hole can be used soon again also when using blades – and that one can do a decent amount of damage.

Stunning Swirl is primarily for these moments that tend to go a little bit “oh shit” or when there is a major attack from the enemy building up.  For the “oh shit” moments there is also Martial Discipline, which combined with Regeneration passive can help get out of a tricky situation alive – enemies are less likely to hit you properly and you will also gain health. Anima Boost is there to boost both healing and damage from assault rifle and Experience to boost the healing part from it – fewer healing talismans need to keep up the leeching and thus more can go into attack/damage.


The Perfect Storm and Anticoagulant passives are there to put Afflicted state and DoTs on the enemies; this seems like a good combination with the perhaps a bit more drawn out/slower damage dealing though Anima Shot to improve damage there. Immortal Spirit is included to take advantage of penetration effects to boost heals a bit.

In terms of equipment I currently have 2 QL 6 talismans, 4 QL5 talismans and one QL 4 talisman – all green. The weapons are both blue, one QL5 and one QL 6. She is a bit slower than my main character were in defeating enemies in this area, but can deal a bit better with some situations. This is partially due to healing capabilities and partially due to the mixed ranged+melee damage also, rather than pure melee.

Categories: The Secret World
  1. Sylow
    February 12, 2013 at 15:50

    I’d suggest a little refinement on this one:

    – Grass cutter is the only single target ability in the setup, and while it indeed offers a little more punch than Blade Torrent, it fails to deliver the necessary affliction. Thus i personally would replace it by Shot of Anima (the first ability in “Squad Duty”, not to be confused with Anima Shot, which you already have) would give you a rifle healing consumer. It might be a matter of taste, but having it available helped me a lot in the past. (Especially as a rifle healing consumer still allows to use a pure damage builder, which builds ressources for both weapons, and still allows you to heal. )

    – Anticoagulant is redundant. One way to apply affliction is enough, DoTs in the game are rather weak. You might rather want to add Breakdown from Chaos (very first passive in “The value of x”). It applies one stack of exposure whenever you attack with a sword (or hammer of chaos, for completeness sake) ability, up to a maximum of 10 stacks. Thus your targets take 30% more damage quite soon, which much stronger than the small dripple of blood from Anticoagulant.

    – Balanced Blade is good, Clearing the Path (in “Crossing River’s Edge”) is better, due to the guaranteed penetration on afflicted targets. And afflicting is what you do in your setup, so why not exploiting it? 🙂

    – If you have guaranteed penetration here, you might even like to include 12 Gauge (from the “Crackdown” branch of shotgun) instead of one of your weaker passives here. (Immortal spirit, i am looking at you. ) After all, debilitation can stack up to -30% damage output of your enemies, which goes a long way.

    – In group play Blade Torrent will make the tank hate you. You might want to use some other builder, which has no afflction included. Bloodsport from fist can fix that, as it allows any attack to afflict the target.

    More refinement in different directions of course is possible, but what i suggest would already eat up a pile of AP and i hope it helps. (None of my suggestions are a necessity, but it took me a while to learn of some finetuning like i provide here, as there’s just that many abilities to learn and combine, so i hope my comment helps. )

    • February 14, 2013 at 23:18

      Thanks for your comments, I appreciate that! You are right in that multiple applications of affliction is not necessary, although it is for slightly different cases here. Blade Torrent and Perfect Storm would certainly go away in a team setting and it would be a different set-up.

      Right now I am pretty much hoarding a lot of AP and when I get closer to the cap I will make some adjustments and more thorough build updates.

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