Hey everyone, Dukaness here with the third part of the Gunslinger viability analysis. Part 1 and Part 2 covered Grenades and Throwing Knives. This article focuses on the all of the modifiers in the Gunslinger Skill Tree.
Some people swear by Keyhole, which effectively lets you get collateral kills with your Golden Gun if your targets are lined up. Although it has the potential to get some flashy multi kills, enemies in the Crucible don’t line up and funnel through frequently enough to warrant its use. This modifier is better used for cleaning up groups of ads in PvE.
Another option is Gunslinger’s Trance. This stacks stability improvements for each precision kill up to three times, for 14 seconds. Most players would agree they don’t consistently land 2 headshots in 14 seconds, unless they’re sniping, but in that scenario a stability buff is not all that important. So generally speaking, most guardians will only utilize one stack the majority of the time. I went ahead and tested the effects of one stack.
The video above shows footage of The Last Word being fired with and without the buff. First, the weapon was fired freely, then an effort was made to control the recoil. Free firing, the difference is obviously noticeable as the bullets aggressively climbed the wall without the perk active. When attempting to control the recoil, the difference between using and not using Gunslinger’s Trance is nominal. Certainly not enough to warrant the use of a whole perk. Conducting the same test with other weapons resulted in the same conclusion.
Scavenger reduces the cooldown of your grenade and Throwing Knives when you pick up ammo. This was buffed by 33% in the June update. In the Crucible, when a guardian uses their Throwing Knife and grenade, it obviously resets the cooldown. Picking up only Special Ammo from a green crate will charge a player’s abilities by about 25%. That’s if the player was already full on Primary Ammo. Green crates actually drop both Primary and Special Ammo.
By firing one bullet from a Primary Weapon, the game recognizes the weapon to be under full Primary capacity. It will then register the character picking up Primary Ammo and offer another 25% reduction. Opponents can also drop Primary Ammo when they die. Picking those ammo boxes up also charges the abilities by 25%.
In the scenario in the video, I double dip into the Special Ammo by picking up both a green and white box. I then fire a shot from my Primary and pick up a white box dropped by an opponent. That’s 75% (3 boxes at 25% each), plus the cool down just from time passing, and the abilities are charged in 5 seconds. Intellect, Discipline, and Strength do not impact the cooldown reduction provided by Scavenger.
This perk can be optimized by making a few gameplay adjustments. Even if only 1 Primary bullet is picked up, the perk activates. So it’s recommended that when a player is full on Primary and lands a Special weapon kill, they should fire a random shot from their Primary. Follow this up by walking over the enemy’s corpse and the perk will trigger if they dropped ammo. Since the modifier works this way, my recommendation is to make sure you are always short at least one bullet of Primary Ammo. That way, when walking over ammo without noticing, your abilities will charge. By making a conscious effort to keep wasting Primary Ammo for a couple of games, you will not only start doing it by habit, but you’ll also notice your abilities charging significantly faster. In addition to forcing your Primary reserve below maximum capacity, keep an eye out for the little white boxes in combat. Also, make sure you get Special Ammo boxes as frequently as possible.
Chain of Woe
The results of Chain of Woe testing were similar to that of Gunslinger’s Trance. Most guardians simply won’t activate the full potential of the perk enough to warrant its use in Crucible. For Chain of Woe to activate passed the first stack, a player must land 2 headshots in 9 seconds. Even if 2 or 3 stacks were activated consistently, that player has now killed 2 or 3 players so they probably have time for a full reload, which nullifies the perk’s purpose.
Many players land single headshots multiple times each game, so it made sense to test the effects of one stack. By conducting a side by side comparison of reloads with and without Chain of Woe active, it was determined that the effects were virtually unnoticeable. Interestingly enough, the decrease in reload speed provided by the first stack is almost identical to the reduction when wearing a pair gauntlets that reduces the reload speed of a specific weapon (Hand Cannon Reloader for example). Chain of Woe could be combined with one of those pairs of gauntlets to obtain even more reload speed.
Over the Horizon
Over the Horizon increases the range and accuracy of the Golden Gun. Testing this proved to be more difficult than the other modifiers because the range and accuracy bonus are not easily quantified. It’s more a qualitative “feel” that makes this modifier useful. General consensus among Gunslinger’s is that they have a much easier time landing shots with their Golden Gun with this modifier active. In other words, it’s more forgiving to a less skilled thumb or a slightly inaccurate shot. Whether or not this is the modifier for you depends on your accuracy with your super. If you have an easy time hitting targets and rarely miss, you’re better off with another modifier.
If you agree that Chain of Woe is rather lacklustre and you also don’t have trouble hitting your Golden Gun shots, you’re stuck with Gambler’s Dagger. Again, this is not a bad thing. Having an extra Throwing Knife always has the potential to come in handy, and you can spam them when combined with Scavenger. To further increase your viability, combining these with Circle of Life (precision kills with the Throwing Knife decrease your super cooldown by 10%) will drastically drop your super’s cooldown. This can be a lethal trifecta of perks and is the build that I personally run.
Chain of Woe and Gunslinger’s Trance are a super fun combo in PvE. Both of them get extended for every precision kill, so although it only stacks 3 times, they can be extended for an infinite duration if the player continues to land precision kills. Since significantly more enemies appear in PvE, this is a much more viable option as you can spend minutes at a time with lightning fast reload and crispy stability (Vault of Glass confluxes checkpoint anyone?).
As was mentioned before, it’s not a good PvP combination because the benefits of one stack aren’t significant, and you likely won’t activate more than one stack very often. The same applies to Keyhole. It is a great perk for groups of ads, but less useful in the Crucible where enemies aren’t as likely to line up. Over the Horizon is absolutely a viable option in the Crucible. Gunslingers get a significant portion of their kills from their super, so reducing the chances of wasting shots from a Golden Gun is certainly a good choice.
I maintain that Scavenger and Gambler’s Dagger are the best options for a Gunslinger in PvP. They are great individual perks, but also work phenomenally well in tandem. This is because a player can burn two Throwing Knives and have both recharge at a very fast rate if Scavenger is leveraged well enough. Remember that Circle of Life is deadly when combined with this combo.