Skyforge Berserker In-Depth Guide
Skyforge Berserker In-Depth Guide by Chaz
The Berserker is one of the unlockable classes in Skyforge that is only available to purple and orange founders or through approximately 4-5 weeks of sparks in the Ascension Atlas. Its a really great class to play for people who want to be a melee bruiser. It has a lot of gap closers, single target CC and damage while maintaining an appreciable amount of tankiness. Berserkers have no inherent shields in their arsenal, but when paired up with tanks and supports that can help them stick to targets berserkers are almost unstoppable.
Great solo class due to hefty amounts of AoE damage to clear trash combined with great single target burst damage allowing you to clear dungeons extremely fast.
Only Slightly behind kinetic as being the top PvE raid DPS based on Russian OBT DPS meter numbers. Still considered to be the only other legit PvE raid DPS though.
Amazing at singling out and taking down isolated targets in PVP with massive burst damage.
Get to spin to win!
Will have hard gear checks for extremely difficult dungeons due to being a melee class and having limited mitigation. If you happen to have a tank class as well, normally it might be easier to swap to that for harder fights if you happen to be in a dungeon that you for some reason HAVE to get through.
Limited utility for helping your teammates.
Can be kited in PVP if enemy team is well coordinated and time their CCs appropriately and your team doesn’t support you.
I. Primary Resource
Berserkers primary resource is called Barbarian rage. Out of combat it will constantly move towards 250/500 at a rate of 2 per second. While in combat you will gain 5 rage/s. Your LMB is your primary rage generating skill in PVE. Learning how to manage your rage will allow you to increase your DPS output tremendously. Learning the skills and their timings listed below will help in this endeavor.
II. Description of Skills and Talents
Scaling: 15, 20, 30 and 105% of base damage
This is your LMB and your main method of generating barbarian rage. You can chain up to 4 attacks of your LMB in a row with each attack doing significantly more damage than the last. The 4 attacks are called – Mighty Strike, Violent Strike, Merciless Strike and Crushing Throw. The 3rd attack in the chain will activate impulse charge. The 4th attack in the chain will also lift small enemies in the air. The amount of rage gained for each strike (as far as I can tell) is 3,4,15 and 17. By itself it really isn’t the best rage generator.
Amulet Bonus – You can obtain bonuses to crushing throw on amulets.
Associated Talents –
Although the damage increase on low damage skills isn’t anything to write home about the fact that you can generate your rage 15% faster is huge in PvE where your damage is gated by how much rage you have. If you can combo this with Battle Fury you will be swimming in rage.
Although this skill affects crushing throw, you’re mainly grabbing it to get the 300% dmg bonus on fracture. This will allow you to COMPLETELY wreck any tank shields. However, depending on your relative prestige and how far developed the tanks are in your bracket it can potentially be overkill. At this moment in the game I already feel like I can shred through most shields so I don’t run this, but as people get more shield talent/symbols and better shields and mitigation from chapels I can see this becoming more useful.
Scaling: 130% base damage
This attack is initiated by using LMB followed immediately with RMB. This attack will be your on demand stun since it’s always available, can be cast really fast and stuns for 4 seconds. It has a 44 second cooldown before it can be used to stun the same target again so make sure that in PVP you don’t try to use it on the same target twice in a row. This is really great to use on “Shield” mobs as they are charging up their CC since you’ll interrupt it and put them back on CD with their ability.
After using fast attack the max HP of the target will be reduced by 10%. After the 15 seconds are up their HP is immediately restored. Unfortunately this does NOT work on bosses so it really has limited use. It has some potential in PvP since it’s like a temporary 10% dmg but if the enemy team has a support class and they see you focus their ally you normally cannot finish in the next 15 seconds anyways so they’ll regain their HP back.
Scaling: 40% of base damage
This attack is initiated by using LMB twice followed immediately with RMB. This attack is very mediocre since even if you hit 3 or more mobs with the attack you generate the same amount of rage as your Merciless strike would have and you break your chain to hit crushing throw or fracture. The only way that it can be useful is if you manage to get the kill to restore the extra 30 rage but because the damage on the skill is quite low I personally feel it’s too risky.
Amulet Bonus – You can obtain bonuses to dissection damage.
Scaling: 263% of base damage
This attack is initiated by using LMB thrice followed immediately with RMB. This is pretty much your main DPS skill in PvE. With the legendary founders weapon bonus this will do more damage than your chainsaw. It costs a ton of rage to use so make sure in PVE that if you pop your Thirst for Battle you have at least 300 rage to dump.
Weapon Bonuses –
Main weapon gives +36% dmg at green, +72% dmg at blue and +110% dmg at purple/orange. This is best in slot for PvE dmg.
Scaling: 40% and 110% of base damage
This is your primary target debuff to maximize your damage. Because its ranged in both PvE and PvP you can attack opponents from a far to throw the debuff that lasts 25 seconds before you jump in and finish them off.
Amulets – Increased damage to destructive wave damage.
Associated Talents –
I haven’t found this ability to be that great in PvP. I can see the damage being okay but most of the time at the start of fights everyone has shields up anyways and Destructive Wave won’t be enough to break through them. Later on when things get more dicy they’ll be below 2/3rds HP and this talent will be useless.
Pretty much a better version of the skill above. Later on I’ll be talking about stacking crit and this skill works perfectly with stacking crit chance and luck. You should have a base crit rate of 35% on your destructive waves and crits will hit like a truck. My non crits hit for around 1k, with my crits hitting for 6k+.
A nice utility tool for berserkers. In PvE this is great to help you kite around groups of mobs on a difficulty where they hit you too hard. I normally don’t recommend grinding on such difficulties though so I personally find its use in PvE a bit limited. In PvP if you have a well rounded group I don’t see it being that useful since you’re normally pure DPS and single target stun; however, if you’re forced to run more utility based for your team comp then this skill will be great for helping control the battlefield.
Scaling: 130% or 450% with firestorm of base damage
This ability is a little bit more complex in how it changes between the basic whirlwind and firestorm abilities. Pretty much every 50 sec your whirlwind ability will change into firestorm and allow you to use that skill. You can see the cooldown for this change on your buff bar. Besides doing damage this ability works as a pull which is great for grouping mobs up. In PvP it can be used to pull fleeing enemies back into melee range. Also it has a base cost of 100 rage.
This is a really nice talent for PvE. With Thirst for Battle up and firestorm ready this will allow you to clear or almost clear groups of 3 elite mobs in a single cast. Useless for PvP since the pull is only in the first second of the build and people can just dash out of your spin.
Weapon Bonuses –
Offhands can give Whirlwind inflicts +114% dmg when used with impulse charge. This is really nice for solo PvE when you’re going to be using whirlwind to kill groups of trash mobs in one cast.
Scaling: 32%/100%/400% dmg depending on how many hit
This ability is a bit odd. In PVE it can provide much more damage but you would have to walk into the group of enemies to start it off properly. The main issue that I have with it is that it costs 200 rage as opposed the 100 of whirlwind and whirlwind does enough to kill mobs already. In PVP it has a bit more utility than whirlwind because of the knockup but it’s a little bit hard to hit. I can see it being much more useful for 10v10s, but in 3v3s I haven’t gotten it to work too well. Since I normally use the spin to pull in opponents I prefer having the lower rage cost of whirlwind.
Since for PvE tornado is already overkill adding more damage doesn’t make much sense for its purpose of clearing trash mobs.
Scaling: 150% of base damage
This is your main gap closing tool. I will discuss this skill in contrast to the other version of it below.
Scaling: 167% of base damage
This functions similarly to above where you leap at the enemy. So in PvE I personally prefer Furious because most of the time my other AoEs do enough that the extra AoE damage from Wild isn’t worth having the cooldown being almost twice as long. In addition it functions as another on demand stun to stop the CC effects of shield mobs. In PvP it becomes a lot more complex. The benefit of running Wild gives you the ability to break CC. When you’re CCed you will be prompted to break the CC with “E” regardless of whether the CD of wild is up or not. You’re going to be choosing between a 1 second stun on your ability vs a CC break and having a longer base CD on your leap. Personally I prefer running wild leap in soloq or if I’m on a team that I know doesn’t have a paladin to shield me from CC. Otherwise if I’m queueing with a paladin with Aegis running Furious for shorter CD and 1 second stun works better for me.
Amulets – You have amulets that increase the damage of both leaps.
Scaling: 385% of base damage
This is your signature move that makes everyone feel like a lowly mortal compared to you. In order to get the full damage you have to channel the entire duration of the skill. If your attack is broken the damage they take will be less and the stun will break.
This is a must have skill. The first part of adding 44% damage alone is good enough to warrant grabbing it, but the second half is really nice too. The way that it works is that as soon as you drop to 45% of your HP you’ll gain an indefinite buff to increase crippling blow damage by 30% the next time you use it. What this means is that in 3v3s you should NOT use your health pot until you’re below 45% to ensure that you trigger the effect. This effect can trigger multiple times with the healing orbs available as well too so long as you’re HP falls within the range to trigger it. For super min-maxers for PvE you would want to fall just below 45% before each crippling blow rotation, grab some health orbs, take dmg to drop below 45% so you can continuously trigger this passive.
On Offhand weapons – After using Carnage your crippling strike damage is increased by 40%. This is a garbage skill since you rarely will be using crippling strike after Carnage which is the name of your execute.
Flash of Rage
Scaling: 600% of Base Damage
This ability has limited use in PvE. Its really nice for getting rid of large groups of strong mobs IF you have the safety to use it. Its on a very long CD and costs a lot of rage so you have to be smart about using it. In group instances it has many more uses since your tank and party CC will allow you to stand in the middle and get this attack off, but solo normally you’ll be taking a ton of damage during the 3-4 second charge and might even die if you don’t have battle frenzy up. PvP this skill is useless as far as I can tell. No way that an enemy is gonna sit there for 3-4 seconds watching you charge your attack and not interrupt you or run away.
Very limited use overall. In group instances I can see this being somewhat useful if you’re really having a lot of trouble managing mobs so you can get a nice CC on them all by casting a whirlwind afterwards. In solo PvE you’re using flash of rage to 1 shot stuff. In PvP if somehow you can get your flash of rage to go off it would be amazing because you could just suck everyone in with a whirlwind and get a 4 second stun on them all… too bad that’ll never happen.
Scaling: 78% of base damage.
Although at first glance this ability seems pretty good for clearing out trash mobs because of the CD reduction passive but it does almost no damage whatsoever and doesn’t pull stuff together like whirlwind does. The range on it is pretty garbage as well. Sadly in PvP both flash of rage and tectonic are a little bit useless in 3v3 so far.
Offhand Weapons – Every third cast of Tectonic Blast is increased by 120%. Its pretty useless considering that you’d want trash mobs to stay alive for 3 refreshes of this skill to do damage.
Amulet – Increased Damage to Tectonic Blast
This is an AMAZING skill. It provides everything that you need as a melee bruiser in PvP and helps you both defensively AND offensively in PvE. The skill works effectively as a 70% damage mitigation skill; however, instead of directly reducing the damage, what happens is you take the full 100% damage, then you regen 70% of the damage back as a heal afterwards. In PvE this is great for casting before you run into a group of mobs for the damage mitigation and for bosses when you’re going to take unavoidable damage. It works offensively due to one of the talents mentioned below. In PvP this skill separates the good berserkers from the bad. Proper use of this will make or break your play. The 30% movement speed and immunity to slowing attacks lets you stick to your targets.
Huge benefit since the base cost of 190 fury is huge. This is a must have.
Has lots of potential, but in practice its VERY difficult to pull off. Without perfect coordination and another berserker running in with you, the 10 yard radius is too small. Normally you want to use battle frenzy after the fight has started not before or else it’ll just get kited.
Another amazing talent. This stacks on top of the fury generation that you get from your LMB attacks. Makes it so you can spam fracture a lot. Even in PVP the extra hits of any skill will help you keep your fury up so you can actually use fracture. Without this skill it becomes very difficult to maintain enough fury to get off more than 1 fracture.
Offhand Weapons- The cooldown of Battle Frenzy is reduced by 3s (green) or 6s (blue). This is a must have for PvP. You’ll have a base CD of 19 seconds. Meaning ~33% uptime of this skill.
In PVP it has some cases where you have tons of protection of your team already that you can swap this battle frenzy so that you can add AoE CC. In PvE its quite useless since Battle Frenzy is just so amazing and lots of other CC exists.
Associated Talents –
Huge benefit since the base cost of 180 fury is huge. This is a must have if you want to use this skill.
Would be very nice in PVP if you decide to go thundering but useless in PvE since you’re a DPS and not taking damage anyways.
Thirst for Battle
Absolutely HUGE ability. The 40% more damage is already very nice, but with the passive talent that you can spec this will almost double your DPS if you are stacking luck. To be able to do the best DPS in PVE you wanna make sure you maximize your damage when this skill is up and just work on building up rage while its down.
Most OP DPS talent ever. If you follow this guide and work to 25% base crit, with this talent you’ll be at the crit chance cap of 50% pretty much 50% of the time (assuming you have the berserker symbol). By stacking as much luck as possible your DPS will be through the roof.
This skill has very limited use. In PvE its outclassed by Thirst for Battle in almost every case. The only time that its useful is when used to reflect damage using the talent.
It has some nice applications for certain bosses to allow you to reflect damage back at them, but that’s pretty much it. Example is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWJC12Er5kA
Will increase damage by 18% after using this ability. Not really too sure how long it lasts but the base ability is not that great to begin with.
Ultimate: Gladiator Form
Scaling: 157% of base damage per hit.
In PvE this ability can be used VERY effectively in the right situation. You want to make sure that you do leaps instead of chains to maximize your damage. Against bosses this does pathetic damage since your other skills will do way more in the same amount of time. But when clearing group of elite mobs you can easily just throw a destructive wave, cast your thirst for battle and chain them all down in a few seconds if your firestorm is on CD. In PVP you’ll probably want to have Battle Frenzy on before you pop this since you can VERY easily be CCed in this form and not be able to break out of it. This will allow you to really stick to opponents trying to flee and will almost always cause you to leap at them.
Has its use in certain situations. When running solo missions I like to use this on maps where the mobs are somewhat close together. This will allow you to just hop from 1 elite to the next and 1-2 shot them. Its really great at clearing stuff and also provides lots of mobility so the extra duration is amazing.
Weapon Bonuses –
Every 3rd attack of in Gladiator stance will make you temporarily unkillable. Pretty much useless since in this form you’re normally on the offensive anyways.
This is your execute ability.
Pretty much only used for speed clearing to help maintain higher rage. In solo PvE this can be very nice if you can stay in combat (since remember outside of combat your rage will drop back down to 250). If you can continuously train through an instance this’ll help you clear stuff faster at the end.
III. Stat Prioritization
1. Stack as much luck as possible
Based on the talent available to Berserkers you can increase crit chance on your destructive wave by 10% and all skills by 25% when using thirst for battle allowing you to hit really high crit % levels.
Using this DPS calculator:
You can enter your stats in to observer changes to your “base” damage before it factors in the skill multipliers I listed in section 2 of this guide. If you were to enter in your crit chance at 50% and used the columns on the right to look at the relative value of stats, every point in Luck VASTLY outperforms strength valor and might in terms of increasing your DPS. The only stat that can compare would be Strength IF your accuracy was able to hit 100%.
Most of the rest of the conclusions about how to maximize DPS can be found from the calculator which I translated from the Russian forums and discussed in this page: http://skyforge.wikia.com/wiki/Talk:Damage
2. Get to the 50% crit cap factoring in your 25% bonus crit
Next you want to make sure to get as much crit chance on your rings as possible. I would advise against getting crit from your chapels unless you absolutely have to since you only need to obtain 10% crit from your rings. As your prestige gets higher hitting the 10% necessary to hit the cap becomes much easier. At my current proficiency of 800ish green rings can give 2.6% crit each.
3. Start working towards Strength if possible
This next one is a little bit more flexible. Although in the long run Strength and Accuracy are going to do better vs Valor and Temper, for starting berzerkers I think a lot of times you’ll be changing rings so often that you might actually get better DPS with a higher prestige valor luck ring than str luck ring assuming the secondary stats are the same rolls, especially if you get a blue valor luck ring that happens to have temper and crit rolled on it. When in doubt, check the difference in the DPS calculator linked above.
4. Get your Crushing Blow Chapels
There should be 2 crushing blow chapels that you can start to work towards for a total of 11.5% each. Until you get a lot of strength, Crushing Blow normally outshines Accuracy by a bit.
5. Get your Accuracy Chapels
In provinces 1, 2 and 5 you can start building your Accuracy Chapels. Although accuracy has a hardcap of 100%, in the calculation formulas it appears as though every point in the Ultimate Strength symbol adds the equivalent of 10% towards that cap meaning we have an accuracy soft cap of 40% before seeing diminishing returns.
6. Get Health % Bonus and other mitigation stats
Health% is a great way of increasing your EHP without increasing your prestige. Upgrading your temples and stopping at a point where they just finished giving you an extra health % is a good way to build it up.
7. Don’t get too caught up about the “wasting” of prestige on Might
In the upcoming patches the Ether Cores in the atlas are getting replaced with a vector system. This will allow you to funnel stats into Luck. From what I’ve read so far in order to unlock the larger bonuses you need to have more specific sparks of insight such as the red ones into might. That being said, I wouldn’t purpose go out of your way to pick up might but if you’ve invested into it I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.
IV. Choosing the right gear
1. Primary Weapon
When it comes to PvE the only choice for you is the +dmg% to Fracture. The founders weapon is easily the best in this regard and will be the best until we can do the first raid and obtain purple weapons. If you don’t have a founders weapon pick up the highest might BLUE weapon that has a +72% bonus to fracture:
For PvP depending on your team and whether you think you can get a fracture off or not it becomes a toss up between the Founder weapon and the +10% dmg on Thirst for Battle bonus. Again make sure you grab a blue for the +10% instead of +5%:
2. Offhand Weapon
For our chains, in PvE it will depend on whether you’re doing an easy solo dungeon or if you’re doing a group/hard instance. For easy solo dungeons +114% damage to whirlwind on impulse charge is great because it’ll help you clear out trash instantly:
For Group PvE and PvP I feel like the -6 seconds on Battle Frenzy will be much more useful. In group PvE most of the time you’ll be having trouble on tough elite pulls. Having battle frenzy makes you tankier AND increases the amount of rage you regen to throw down more fractures. In PvP I think it’s self explanatory why decreasing the CD of one of your most OP PvP skills is BiS:
Like I mentioned above, the #1 thing you want on your rings is luck, the #2 thing is getting enough crit chance on your rings so you can hit 25% unbuffed. At the start, before you get a ton of symbols and accuracy from temples that might mean that a valor/luck ring with crit chance will do more DPS for you than a str/luck ring without crit chance, green rings will normally suffice but if you happen to get a nice blue that rolled the perfect stats go ahead and equip that while thanking RNGesus for your bounty. Ultimately your best bet is to use the DPS calculator to determine whether a new ring is an upgrade over your old ones. The ideal ring though would be something like this:
This is something that’s more so personal preference. None of the amulets really have THAT much of an impact on PvE. Your choices are: Crushing throw, Destructive Wave, Dissection, Both of your Leaps and Tectonic Blast. Of these I would only consider destructive wave and the leaps as viable choices since crushing throw is mainly used to generate rage and dissection and tectonic blast should never really be used.
In terms of upgrading the boosters of your weapons always upgrade your ritual ornament (ring slow) first. If you feel like you want more HP get some bonus on your offhand. The only time you should be upgrading the weapon booster is if you’re short prestige and REALLY want to get a bit of extra prestige before the next reset for some odd reason.
V. Choosing the Right Symbols
Most people have started to find out about the OPness of the Paladin class symbol. You obtain this by unlocking all the central nodes on the Paladin atlas. Pretty much gives you 4 seconds of immunity every 70 seconds.
Reducing the cooldown of Thirst for Battle by 4 seconds means that you’ll go from having your super DPS form up 40% of the time to 48% of the time. Similar to the paladin symbol you get this from unlocking all of the central nodes on the Berserker atlas.
For a crit based DPS class this symbol is a no brainer. This will have the BIGGEST boost to your DPS.
Since you will eventually want to go for Str as your secondary stat this symbol gets more useful in increasing your DPS as you start to stack more of it.
Has a 1:1 scaling with your luck which is a really nice bit of extra damage that you can stack on your enemies.
Another Dmg steroid that will do the equivalent of adding 20/30% extra dmg.
As for the rest, most are going to be utility based which will vary a lot in usefulness based on your opponents in PvP.
VI. Builds for PvE and PvP
Easy Solo Dungeon PvE –
This is for those dungeons when you’re grinding for sparks. I would say that for the average person at a particular prestige easy and normal dungeons would fall under this category.
Harder Solo Dungeon PvE–
This relies a lot more on softening targets up with Destructive waves before engaging and finishing off opponents. If you’re struggling with a dungeon this build is a lot safer but clears slower than the build above. This would be for the times when you’re farming for items on impossible difficulty to try to get blues.
This is a nice mix of utility and dmg in this build.
VII. Advanced Techniques
Before we move into the PvE rotations there are a few advanced techniques that need to be addressed
1. Animation cancelling with Dash
Berserkers have some VERY long animations in their kit. The worst of these is Fracture and Crushing blow which are almost 2 seconds long each. As soon as your animation for these abilities starts you’re able to cancel the rest of the animation with a dash. Even though it looks like your attack ended, you’ll see your damage pop up around 1 second later when the actual damaging animation would occur. In terms of other skills to animation cancel, I feel like Carnage and Destructive Attacks are the only other ones worth cancelling in solo instances. Although you can cancel Battle Frenzy and Thirst for Battle saving your dashes for Fracture and Crushing blow will help you a lot more in the long run.
2. Animation cancelling with Battle Frenzy
Similar to Dash, Battle Frenzy can be used to cancel animations as well. You have to be much more precise about when to use this in your rotation because you need to make sure that you get the full use out of the important cooldown as well.
3. Whirlwind pulling
Occasionally there are times when you need to pull mobs to a certain position. An example of this is when you have to kill mobs in front of cameras or on the last boss of MSM when the adds stand inside the bubble. In these cases you want to use whirlwind to pull the mobs towards you; however, in the latter since you’re doing damage to a single target mob you want to cancel your whirlwind with a dash so that you don’t waste any rage. Whirlwind costs 100 rage ONLY if you channel the full 2 second duration. You can do an instant pull with whirlwind into a dash to waste almost no rage whatsoever.
VIII. PvE Rotations
1. Clearing Trash Mobs in Solo Instances
Thirst for Battle – Destructive Wave – Battle Frenzy (Immediately after to cancel the animation) – Dash (To cancel Battle Frenzy animation and gain a shield if you have the talent) – Whirlwind
2. Clearing Groups of Mobs in Difficult Instances
Thirst for Battle – Destructive Wave spam
This mainly works only if you have the talent that reduces enemy movement speed by 70% and even better if you have the talent to increase crit rate and damage.
3. Clearing Elites in Solo Instances
In instances like Thetin Rift where you have large groups of elite mobs you can try this rotation
Destructive Wave – Thirst for Battle – Battle Frenzy (To cancel Thirst for Battle Animation) – Dash (To cancel Battle Frenzy animation) – Gladiator – Left click for the win.
With the talent to increase gladiator duration by 1.5 sec for each kill normally you can melt these groups of 5-6 elites with your ultimate.
Alternatively if the above is on cooldown you can use:
Destructive Wave – Thirst for Battle – Leap (Ideally you want to use Furious Leap to stun a support mob that can cast shields) – Whirlwind – Battle Frenzy – Flash of Rage
Keep in mind that the above rotation does require you to have 300 rage if you do a full whirlwind channel. Sometimes its better to cancel your whirlwind early with a Battle Frenzy animation cancel to ensure you have enough rage for Flash of Rage
4. Single Target DPS in Solo and Group Instances
Destructive Wave – Thirst for Battle – Crippling Blow – LMBX3 – Fracture – Dash (To cancel the animation) – LMBX3 – Fracture – Battle Frenzy (To cancel the animation) – LMBX3 – Crushing Blow – Dash (To cancel the animation) – LMBX3 – Crushing Blow
Keep in mind to start this rotation you require around 300 rage and at least 2 dashes at the start. With this rotation you can get crippling blow and 2 fractures while your Thirst for Battle buff is up, then regain all the rage needed to initiate the combo when your Thirst for Battle is back up through use of the Battle Fury talent and 2 crushing blows. If you’re facing elite mobs you can throw a Fast Attack to stun. Remember that you can’t stun bosses though.