Torchlight 2 Outlander Shotgun Build Guide by Empyrean
First up, I have a disclaimer: playing a physical Outlander instead of a Focus-based one is the Torchlight 2 equivalent of cutting yourself. Maybe you feel guilty and you need to punish yourself, or maybe the suffering just makes you feel more alive, but whatever it is, you’ve decided to use guns or bows instead of throwing that ridiculous overpowered glaive like everybody else.
The first thing you need to know about shooty Outlanders is that too much Dex is crap, but you need some anyway. It doesn’t boost your damage. Strength does that. I started with a 50/50 split between Strength and Dex until I got to 115 Dex, and then put everything into Strength from that point on. I should have stopped at 110. If you have 109 and max all the appropriate skills, you can hit the dodge cap, but nice round numbers appeal me more than putting one more stat point into something else. Stat-wise, you will use the same attribute allocation regardless of what type of weapon you want to use. Some builds can swap between weapon types easily, while others are more specialized based on skill selection. More on that later. For now, just know that if you keep raising your Dex to equip the best guns before your level allows you to, you will end up with a crap character, and shooty Outlanders don’t have a whole lot of margin for screwing up before they’re utterly worthless. They walk that line closer than most other characters to begin with.
I’ve experimented with various weapon types, and my preferred weapon is the Shotgun, because the two key skills I use (Rapid Fire and Venomous Hail) are based on your weapons’ damage per shot, not damage per second. This makes big slow shotguns awesome for them, and quick little pistols bad. Shotguns benefit from Ranged Weapon Mastery for damage, but not for range; keep that in mind, because you’ll need all the damage you can get. Pistol users should get Akimbo in addition to Long Range Mastery. Bow users don’t have anything specific to them, but if you want to use a bow, get Long Range Mastery. You should be seeing the pattern here: every shooty Outlander should get Long Range Mastery and max it out. It will improve the damage of every attack and every skill in your arsenal.
Shotgun Mastery seems like a no-brainer for shotgun users, but I actually passed on this skill. It increases your knockback to truly ridiculous levels, and I use Rapid Fire. If you get both of these skills at the same time, you’ll blast enemies out of range before you can kill them. This is great for keeping you safe from melee opponents, but it’s extremely annoying. If you’re using Rapid Fire, don’t get Shotgun Mastery. If you use another skill like Chaos Burst or Shadowshot, go ahead and get Shotgun Mastery too. Shotgun Mastery applies its effects to any skill based on weapon damage with the exception of Rune Vault (which requires 10 ranks before it does this, but isn’t worth it) even the ones that don’t use a gun at all. A shotgun master using Glaive Sweep triggers the stun and blind effects easily, and if your weapon has a chance to trigger a spell when it hits, this also applies to Glaive Sweep. This is a decent option for shotgunners who don’t rely on Repulsion Hex to clear enemies away. Once you hit level 40 and get tier 2 Rapid Fire, your range is such that you don’t have to worry about Repulsion Hex pushing enemies out of range. Feel free to pick it up and be nearly impossible to close on in melee.
Your three core offensive skills are Rapid Fire (great for shotguns), Chaos Burst, and Shadowshot. I would suggest just picking one of these, and not selecting Rapid Fire if you are using pistols. Rapid Fire has useful breakpoints at 5 ranks (increases the damage output by 50%) and 10 ranks (increases the range to 12 meters). You can get 5 ranks at level 10, and 10 ranks at level 40. Don’t put more points into the skill until you can get the next breakpoint; it gets more expensive without getting all that much better, and you’ll be perpetually mana-starved as it is. Rank 15 probably isn’t worth it, as it makes an already expensive skill significantly worse, and you’re not going to be able to run it as often as you’d like anyway. As a shotgunner, Rapid Fire gives you a significant increase over your base DPS, and some useful range besides. When you run out of mana, it can be handy to have a bow to plink away at a distance, or even a melee weapon as a backup if you find a particularly good one. You have a lot of Strength so you should be able to use any of them. Faster firing backup weapons with mana steal on them are also good, so something like a single pistol with good mana steal and a shield to go with it can keep you alive a little better while attacking fast to get you back up to speed. If you have two good mana stealing pistols, use them both. You will always run out of mana and need more; fact of life as a shooty Outlander. One way to deal with this is to socket the Rift Ember you get early in Act 2 that gives 10 mana steal on hit. When you find a better socketed weapon, break the old weapon to get the gem out and put it in the new weapon. It’s better than any mana stealing gems you can get for a long, long time.
If you decide to go with Chaos Burst or Shadowshot, it doesn’t matter so much what weapon you use. They are based off of DPS instead of your damage per shot, so whatever you’ve got is fine. Chaos Burst is great for confined spaces where it can bounce off of things and hit multiple times. Shadowshot works better out in the open so the secondary shots don’t just hit a wall before they can find a target. A lot of them will miss anyway even on open terrain. If you go Akimbo pistols, know that the damage for your skills is based on the pistol in your character’s right hand, so make sure the better pistol is in that slot.
There are a couple of utility skills that are quite convenient to have. At least one rank in Rune Vault is mandatory for every Outlander. You’ll keep it at one since you don’t have a ton of extra skill points floating around, but if you want to take it to five and try to use it for mana stealing that’s an option. The cost for rank 1 is 9 mana and the cost for rank 5 is 12 mana, so it’s cheap if you keep it low. It ramps up to 34 at 15 ranks though, so don’t go further than 5. One rank in Tangleshot is cheap and snares one target with perfect reliability, although the guys nearby are a toss-up. It’s handy for stopping enemies that have charge attacks from using them, and it’s dirt cheap at 11 mana. One rank in Bramble Wall and Glaive Sweep lets you fill up your charge bar outside of combat, and they have in-combat uses for crowd control and distraction even with just one point in each. Well worth it. You can also blow up your own brambles to trigger Poison Burst, which is handy if you’re using Venomous Hail. One point into Cursed Daggers isn’t a terrible idea; it cuts enemy damage by 20% for 8 seconds at a cost of 18 mana, and it gives a nice icon over their heads so you can keep track of guys more easily. That one’s pretty take it or leave it.
Stone Pact is worth whatever you want to put into it. One point gives a heal to top you off after a fight. More points makes it useful enough that you can scamper around through it and get some useful regen that stacks with potions when the crap hits the fan. Repulsion Hex is mandatory for non-shotgun builds, and will more or less make you untouchable by small numbers of melee enemies. As you put more points into it, it can hold off more and more enemies. Great skill. Shotguns have some trouble with it, as it can push your targets out of range before your attack completes, which makes you do no damage. Poison Burst gives you some crowd control abilities fairly early on, but it doesn’t trigger very often until you’ve got a few ranks in it.
At level 42, the shotgunner gets the best skill on his list: Venomous Hail. This skill is fantastic. It hits for half of your weapon’s listed damage per shot (not DPS) at rank 1 so shotguns get the most out of it. It hits 8 times to start with, up to 12 times at rank 10, and can trigger on-hit and on-kill weapon effects (but not life/mana steal) like Poison Burst or whatever DoTs you have listed on your weapon. It benefits from both Strength and Focus, which is great, but you should only be getting points in Strength so that’s mostly just an academic point for you. It can hit enemies on different elevations, or behind cover, or in different rooms. The range is gigantic. I use it very frequently. Particularly dangerous enemies get a Tangleshot followed immediately by Venomous Hail, which will usually kill them before the root wears off.
You’ll want to get Share the Wealth to maximize your charge bonuses, and Dodge for Survivability. If you get Poison Burst you might have to hold off on Dodge for a while, or sacrifice points elsewhere. You’ll want Master of Elements if you go for Poison Burst early, and definitely by the time you get Venomous Hail. My level 64 shooty Outlander currently has the following skills:
Rapid Fire – 10
Rune Vault – 1
Venomous Hail – 9
Long Range Master – 12
Tangleshot – 1
Glaive Sweep – 1
Brambles – 1
Poison Burst – 9
Share the Wealth – 12
Repulsion Hex – 10
Stone Pact – 5
Master of the Elements – 12
No points to spare for Dodge yet. My current gear is the final boss quest reward shotgun (Gray Sky Omen), and the final boss quest reward breastplate (Liberation armor), and everything else is the nine pieces of the Sentinel armor set, which gives 33% faster casting (this applies to attack skills as well), +22% damage, and 6% mana steal. The percentage based mana steal means it takes no more than two shots to fill my empty mana gauge completely. It’s a huge improvement over how things used to be. In the long run, it looks something like this: Outlander 54/48/30Other Torchlight 2 Articles
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