Skyforge Understanding Your Lightbinder Guide
Skyforge Understanding Your Lightbinder Guide by The Golden God
This guide is for those people looking to understand how the Lightbinder supports the team, without having to dive into the class themselves, so that they can function better as a party, as well as avoid throwing blame at the Lightbinder for something they can’t even do for you in the first place.
You could say that this is a specialized guide, based on my own experiences with the Lightbinder in a support role. Rather than give tips for each individual adventure/group mission, this guide aims to present the Lightbinder’s capabilities so that any party can take advantage of their Lightbinder’s potential in any mission. I have completed the Lightbinder’s class atlas, and clocked a great many hours in PvE as the Lightbinder. While I would like to throw advice around for group PvP, I simply haven’t done enough of it to give you any advice in confidence. That being said, if you know what a Lightbinder does for a PvE group, you can be better prepared for group PvP as well.
This is a guide to playing with the Lightbinder in your party, not a guide to picking stats for your Lightbinder. There are other guides in the Player Guides section that can help aspiring Lightbinders get their bearings on the class and how best to focus on equipment. This guide is focused on the abilities/talents that are best suited to group play, as well as helping people that have never played as a Lightbinder understand how their abilities work, beyond tooltip descriptions. A new Lightbinder could learn plenty from this guide, certainly. Just not “what rings to take”.
2. Lightbinder Abilities/Talents
At first glance, the Lightbinder has a large number of options in their arsenal. Most of their actual support skills are very dependent on the position of the Lightbinder in relation to the rest of the party. This is compensated by the fact that nearly all Lightbinder abilities have no movement lock (that is, the Lightbinder can cast while moving without penalty). Let’s briefly cover each hotkey slot, along with talents that make certain abilities shine. After all, if you don’t know what your Lightbinder’s doing, it just looks like they’re setting up a rave party. After that, I’ll list a short summary of tips that should help parties become more cohesive, even through blind matchmaking and a lack of verbal communication.
- Left Mouse Button: Pulsating Flare (a.k.a. The Tennis Racket)
This is the bread-and-butter attack for Lightbinders that are either waiting for cooldowns to end, or have cast everything that needs to be cast, and just need to throw some extra damage at the enemy. It doesn’t restrict your movement, so get used to moving around the court while working on your backswing. It’s important to keep yourself close to your party members, while also avoiding any hazards specific to the fight at hand.
By targeting an ally with this attack, you can cast a stackable, temporary buff that increases the damage of the ally’s next attack by a certain %, at which point the buff is consumed. I find this buff to be lackluster, barring certain instances where a consistent 1-stack on a single person over multiple hits is more useful than swinging at the enemy directly, or when the Lightbinder is coordinating with a burst-DPS to gain the maximum out of each damage spike. Since every third attack can be enhanced to deal static bonus damage through Amulets, and the very nice Talent: Bright Flares will help reset Impulse Charges ahead of schedule.
At lower Prestige, Lightbinders will be playing more defensively regardless, ensuring that your team can survive the fight in the first place, and there is a better option for giving your party a damage spike in the form of Blessing of the Sun (but more on that below.)
Charged Variations: Burning Stream (a.k.a. Shoop da Woop) or Flood of Light (a.k.a. Golden God)
Both charge attacks will lock the Lightbinder’s movement, and they both drain the meager Light Energy pool rather quickly, so use with caution. Burning Stream has the benefit of putting out some consistent DPS that the Lightbinder otherwise lacks, allowing them to contribute better during damage spikes, and can be boosted further through the Talent: Deflection, as well as Amulet effects. It will also deal double damage if used after the Execution move, Merciful Blow.
Flood of Light has no talent enhancements, and no Amulet effects (that I’ve found, but who can say for sure), but can bring a lot of potency to a coordinated DPS in your team that relies on the base stats you’re wearing, as it passes on 20% of your Lightbinder’s Might, Strength, Luck, Valor, and Spirit to your target with each stack. It’s important to note that it stacks up to 5 times, once per second, but casts 6 times total. The sixth cast is pointless. Release the charge after the fifth stack appears, or you’re just wasting precious Light Energy.The duration starts at 8 seconds, when the first stack is applied, but does not refresh as more stacks are added, meaning your buffed ally should save their strongest hits for those final 3 seconds.
For best effect, cast Flood of Light on an ally that uses Spirit (or whatever stats you’ve focused your Lightbinder on, if not Spirit), and coordinate to ensure they have an Impulse Charge ready to go if you do, or else it’s just a waste of your time. Since most of a fight will have the Lightbinder casting other high-cost buffs, both Burning Stream and Flood of Light fall to low priority, so use with discretion.
- Right Mouse Button: Particle of Light (a.k.a. Hole in One)
Any Lightbinder who’s ever played alone will recognize the potential of this golf swing for wiping out pack enemies with ease, especially as it uses Impulse Charge, and with Talent: Summit, the cost is cut by a solid 33%. Unfortunately, Particle of Light’s damage falls off hard in group play. Not to say that it’s a bad skill in the least; it’s just not going to kill pack enemies in one shot. It has the added benefit of being usable even while locked on to a friendly target, allowing the Lightbinder to apply some basic AoE Impulse damage centered on the Tank during those fights where bosses spawn additional pack enemies. Use this sparingly in group play, though; even with Talent: Summit, it will still eat through your Light Energy if you let it, and you don’t want to be running on empty when your team needs you most.
If you use Particle of Light after using the Execution move, Merciful Blow, it will deal double damage.
Charged Variation: Golden Sphere (a.k.a. The Quad Laser)
This is easily the biggest dud in the Lightbinder’s arsenal. If you’re a Lightbinder, you only need to use it to realize how substandard it is. If you ever see a Lightbinder using Golden Sphere, you should tell them not to. Even with the Talent: Focused Light, this ability eats more than half of your Light Energy to accomplish…absolutely nothing.Do NOT use Golden Sphere.
- 1 Key: Sparks of Anger (a.k.a. Spin to Win)
This is the Lightbinder’s single-target nuke, and the only noteworthy damage-dealing ability in the arsenal. With no cooldown, a fairly low Light Energy cost, Amulet effects for more damage, a primary weapon effect that scales up Impulse Damage by 33% per rarity, and the Talent: Sparks Power to double it’s base damage against enemies below 50% health, this is the one to use when you’ve got a second to throw some attacks at an enemy between buffs and your Impulse Charge is ready. Combined with the Talent: Bright Flares mentioned above, and the Lightbinder can actively participate in damage spikes with the rest of the team. There’s not much else to say here: it’s a great ability, and basically the defining reason that Lightbinders aim for Spirit. Just remember to keep your Light Energy in check; Lightbinders have to support first and deal damage second, so be ready to switch to an ally on the fly.
If you use Sparks of Anger after using the Execution move, Merciful Blow, it will deal double damage.
- 2 Key: Unstable Shield (a.k.a. Super Hexagons)
One of the most important, if not THE most important ability that a Lightbinder has, Unstable Shield creates a temporary shield on an allied target for a % of the Lightbinder’s maximum health. Once the shield either runs out on its own, or breaks from damage, it explodes for a small bit of extra AoE damage, scaling down as more enemies are affected. While Tanks have their own bag of tricks to stay alive, Unstable Shield is a great supplement. Unless you’re entering a damage phase, where the Tank is not in any danger of taking a hit, you should have this active at all times.
This is made possible through Talent: Rain of Fire, which replaces the lengthy cooldown with a charge system, letting the Lightbinder cast the shield up to 2 times without cooldowns. The charges replenish at a rate of one every 12 seconds, but compared to the default cooldown of 20 seconds, this is an easy choice. Talent: Distorting Field helps deal with hard crowd control and movement slowing effects, while the less-useful Talent: Shining Fragments doubles the damage dealt from the shield breaking.
It’s important to note that if the Lightbinder casts this with an enemy targeted, they’ll cast Unstable Shield on themselves, for only half the effective shield as if they had cast it on an ally. This ability has a long cast range, but does require line of sight, so if you’re expecting to get an Unstable Shield from your Lightbinder, make sure you’re not actively running away from them. Any hard terrain can break line of sight, even if you can actually see over the terrain in question (such as the first couple fights in Daren’s Facility, for example), so it’s important for the Lightbinder to keep line of sight in mind, and for everyone else to not run away from the Lightbinder.
- 3 Key: Blessing of the Sun (a.k.a. Sunny D)
Blessing of the Sun is amazing, but not everyone knows quite how it works. It’s a short buff (7 seconds by default, but boosted by weapon effects) with a medium cooldown that raises the damage of the Lightbinder, and anyone within a 20 meter radius of the Lightbinder, by a stone cold 50%. Because of it’s cooldown, and the fact that many bosses have damage mitigation abilities, it’s important to use this at the right time, so that all that extra damage actually goes through.
Here’s the rub: the Tank will almost always be right in the face of whatever you’re fighting, and because of the range of the Lightbinder’s defensive buffs, they’ll want to be at least somewhere nearby. Ranged DPS players have a bad habit of spreading out, fighting the enemy from their maximum range, or just not being anywhere near the Tank, and by extension, not always near you. So when it comes time to blast the boss with everything you’ve got, not everyone is within range of Blessing of the Sun, which leads to lower damage for everyone.
It’s not a problem that’s hard to fix, though: all your DPS needs to do is stay near the Lightbinder. When your Tank is doing the job right, being right next to/in front of the Lightbinder is the best place to be.
Variation: Starstorm (a.k.a. Meteor Drop)
While it might seem like the free damage with a chance to reset the cooldown on casting Pulsating Flare might be worth bringing this skill along, it pales in comparison to Blessing of the Sun. Assuming average luck, you can expect 3-5 Starstorms in the same duration as 2 casts of Blessing of the Sun. Since 14+ seconds of 1.50x damage for your entire party will easily outperform a few damage strikes (even if you do use Impulse Charges), you’re going to get more out of Blessing of the Sun — provided your team is in range when you use it. Talent: Deflection’s 30% increase in Starstorm damage isn’t enough on its own to outweigh Blessing of the Sun, either.
- 4 Key: Halo (a.k.a. Combat Evolved)
Halo is a short cooldown buff with a 20 meter radius, just like Blessing of the Sun, and reduces damage taken by 50% for the Lightbinder and everyone else affected for 6 seconds. Perfect for those times where multiple people on the team are taking hits, or when you’re waiting on an Unstable Shield to cast. The damage reduction can be increased further through a weapon effect, if you so choose, though 50% should be enough to get your team through rough patches.
Just like Blessing of the Sun, it all comes down to whether or not the people who need to be affected are within range of the Lightbinder, so the same advice applies.
- Z Key: Radiance (a.k.a. Hit Hard 2: Hit Harder)
Radiance has a radius different from Blessing of the Sun and Halo. It uses a “half sphere radius” of 20 meters, which means it only affects allies in the semi-circle standing in front of the Lightbinder. For the most part, Radiance’s armor penetration buff is more useful in PvP than anywhere else. What makes it worth taking is the Talent: Piety, which adds on a movement speed buff for the Lightbinder, turning it into a pseudo-escape skill when you’ve exhausted dodge charges.
Variation: Wanderer’s Relic (a.k.a. Easy Way Out)
This is the other escape skill, which place the Relic in question via ground targetting. Allies that activate the Relic will teleport to the Lightbinder, and if the Talent: Guiding Star is being used, can allow for Wanderer’s Relic to be used more often and give the allies that use it a movement speed buff afterwards. If the Lightbinder presses Z after placing the Relic, they’ll teleport to the Relic, instead.
There are certain fights where obstacles are difficult to avoid (Lanber Catacombs, when trying to activate the buff shrine before the boss, for example), but can by bypassed entirely with careful placement of Wanderer’s Relic. Whether you use Wanderer’s Relic or Radiance is up to you and your party’s needs and preference.
- X Key: Blessing of Tenacity (a.k.a. Halo 2)
Just like Blessing of the Sun and Halo, this is a 20 meter radius buff that removes negative effects and prevents new ones from being applied for 4 seconds. If using the Talent: Strength of Spirit, the cost and cooldown is reduced significantly, and combined with Talent: Captivating Light, Blessing of Tenacity gains a damage reduction effect similar to Halo, that starts at 70% reduction and gradually falls off to 25% reduction.
Variations: Starfury (a.k.a. Those Three Fireballs) or Rise and Shine (a.k.a. Comfort Eagle)
Starfury is a good ability if you don’t fear crowd control effects, and would rather have your Tank soak up even more damage on their own. The Lightbinder’s target gets some fireballs over their head that will retaliate against enemy attacks (sometimes, it’s a bit finicky) and stun the attacking enemy, if possible. The buff lasts a while, but expires when all three fireballs are used up. The real highlights are Talent: Starpower, which makes the stun last longer, lowers the cooldown, and lets everyone in your party take advantage of the stun by having the enemy take 20% more damage while it lasts, and Talent: Serenity, which gives the allied target an additional shield for 15% of the Lightbinder’s maximum health. It’s important to note that this shield only lasts for 4 seconds, however, but it’s still a nice bonus.
Rise and Shine is one of those abilities that seems like it could save a party from a wipe, but I feel it’s a bit deceptive (at least at lower prestiges, when most Lightbinders will unlock it and instantly slot it). It’s an ability that lets the Lightbinder revive an ally from death in the middle of a fight, but the cost is really high. It’s got a long cooldown, takes a good chunk of time and Light Energy to cast, during which you won’t be supporting your team at all, and even when you finish casting it, your ally won’t have all their health. On top of this, the Lightbinder gets a debuff that lasts 2 minutes, which cuts their Light Energy regeneration by 60%! The Lightbinder’s resource is already a careful juggling of costs and regeneration, so this can kill you (and your team). The Talent: Mystery of Rebirth makes Rise and Shine significantly better, cutting the casting time and Lightbinder debuff in half, and giving your ally more health when they get back up. I’m of the opinion that it’s better to keep your team alive in the first place than to have to stop mid-combat and get them up again, while also crippling yourself in the process, so if you do want your party’s Lightbinder to bring this ability in, make sure you know about the downsides after it’s been used.
- C Key: Sacred Barrier (a.k.a. Maximum Hexagon)
Like Radiance, this is the other 20 meter “half sphere radius” buff in the Lightbinder’s arsenal, but it’s also one of the most important. It purges negative effects on activation, and prevents ALL damage for 4 seconds (as noted by the affected allies’ health bars turning gold). Seeing as the Lightbinder should be saving this for when things are getting hairy for the Tank, any DPS looking to catch some free damage immunity should be working around the Lightbinder’s position when possible. Sacred Barrier has a long cooldown, but the Talent: Guardian’s Gift cuts the cooldown significantly, and increases the buff duration by 2 seconds. This can be increased further through weapon effects. Try to save Sacred Barrier for when it really, really counts. This can be the skill that makes or breaks a boss fight.
Variation: Wrath of the Sun (a.k.a. Tang!)
Wrath of the Sun has certain applications, but it’s generally not needed, or desired. Your Tank should be keeping enemies focused on themselves, while your DPS typically have the crowd control that this ability tries to provide. The Talent: Power of the Sun removes the Light Energy cost and increases the knockback distance further, but it’s ultimately fruitless. If your Lightbinder is surrounded by enemies, then something is already going horribly wrong, and Wrath of the Sun isn’t likely going to fix that.
- V Key: Quasar, Pulsar, and Supernova (a.k.a. Huey, Dewey and Louie)
These three skills are basically interchangeable, as each have their benefits, and neither provide much more than the others in the long run. Keep in mind that these three are ground-target abilities, meaning you don’t need to be locked on to an enemy (or anything) to use them.
Quasar will wait until an enemy is in range (or a second or so after, if you cast it right on top of an enemy) and then detonate, pulling anything it can towards its center and providing a short stun. The damage isn’t terribly noticeable, but the cost and cooldown isn’t too bad for what it provides: an okay initiation that the Tank can follow up with. Most days, the Tank will do the initiation for you, though, in which case, you can use this to keep enemies centered on the Tank, and increase the effectiveness of any AoE effects your party is using.
Pulsar is Quasar’s bigger, better version. Instead of detonating when an enemy is close, it goes active as soon as it hits the ground, reducing the movement speed of any enemies nearby to a pitiful crawl (bosses not included, usually), and once it runs out, detonates for a good bit of damage and a significant stun. The downside is it’s cost and cooldown are basically double Quasar’s, so you get to use it less often.
Supernova is the fun one. It triggers like Quasar, when an enemy gets close, and deals a good chunk of damage. The highlight is the damage-over-time effect it applies to the enemies it hits, bosses included. The damage isn’t terribly high, considering you’re not a DPS, but it’s handy for dealing some extra sustained damage to bosses without sacrificing cast time or resources. Supernova’s cooldown and cost are low, low, low, so if your team just needs you to deal more damage instead of provide the crowd control that Quasar and Pulsar provide, this one’s the way to go.
Talent: Quasar Stabilization will affect all three of these abilities, reducing their Light Energy costs and cooldowns further.
- R Key: Incarnation of Light (a.k.a. Free Shield)
As far as Ultimate abilities go, Incarnation of Light is not particularly special. Your left-click attack is a low-damage, single target laser blast, and your right-click is a version of Particle of Light that casts on yourself. The real highlight is their lone 1 Key ability, which lets your Lightbinder explode in a flash of light, ending the Ultimate mode early and giving everyone in range a significant health shield. The range of this effect is very large, so it’s not too hard to catch the shield; just look for the big glowing orb in the sky, and get close.
It is worth mentioning that if an ally dies while near the Lightbinder while Incarnation of Light is active, the Ultimate will resurrect them, at the cost of ending the Ultimate automatically, so it can be used as an emergency, preemptive revive as well. The downside to this Ultimate is it’s huge cooldown; a whopping 8 minutes.
The Talent: Spirit of Light gives the Lightbinder an extra transformation into the Incarnation of Light when they would otherwise be killed, restoring some health in the process. While the Talent description suggests the Lightbinder needs to stay in this form for a set duration to be properly revived, it’s functionally identical to Incarnation of Light as far as I’ve been able to tell, which means you can end it immediately with the 1 Key shield. Just like Incarnation of Light, Spirit of Light has an 8 minute cooldown, and unfortunately, it will activate whenever it can, meaning you’ll be wasting it if your team has to wipe in the middle of a botched fight.
3. Tips for Tanks
- As the team’s Tank, you’ll likely be depending on a Lightbinder (or any support) to keep you alive during your own rotations. Stay near enough to them that they can support you properly (less running, more stunning), but far enough away that they don’t catch a stray hit.
- So long as you’re not actively evading your Lightbinder, you can count on your Lightbinder to move with you, and not have to worry about being out of position for their buffs.
- Line of sight violations are the big exception, so if you’re fighting in a map with hard corners, keep them in mind before you commit to a fight. Barring enemies that move around, you should be pinning enemies to a single point that everyone on your team can safely kill, without worrying about more showing up unnecessarily.
- Never count on constant shielding from the Lightbinder alone. Even with the right Talents, there will be gaps in longer fights where you won’t have the shields you might desperately need. Always keep something handy, in case the Lightbinder’s cooldowns/Light Energy costs catch up with them, or they get sidetracked with casting another ability, thinking you’ll protect yourself for the few seconds they need to do something else.
4. Tips for DPS
- Dealing damage is important, there’s no denying that. Remember that the Lightbinder doesn’t just mitigate damage, but increases your damage as well.
- There’s no real benefit to spreading out against bosses, evading hazards aside. Try and stay together with the Lightbinder, so you actually benefit from the buffs that matter.
- Focus targets! If you’re not sure which enemies should be focused first, discuss it with your team beforehand. Something as simple as “illuminati then dagger then shields from the left” will help your team clear packs of enemies much faster.
- If a boss spawns additional enemies during a fight, odds are they’re around to make killing the boss a lot harder, so focus them down quickly.
- Try and coordinate with your Lightbinder to see if you, or any other DPS in your team, is a good benefactor for Flood of Light’s buffs. Typically, if your DPS build relies on Impulse Charges and Spirit, then it’s only going to help you if you synchronize your burst potential.
- Keep an eye open for Blessing of the Sun’s buff, which is a fuzzy, white ball that flies out from the Lightbinder to any allies in range. This is your chance to deal massive damage! If you know your Lightbinder’s packing it, you might consider saving any abilities with cooldowns at 50+ seconds to be used in sync with Blessing of the Sun; by the time you can use it again, the Lightbinder’s buff won’t be far behind.
5. Tips for Lightbinders
- Don’t forget that you’re the Support. Not the Tank, and certainly not the DPS. While you can Tank a few hits with your damage mitigation, and you can deal a bit of damage with some Impulse Charges timed properly, you exist in a party to make the rest of the party better.
- The Tank’s life is superior to anyone else’s, even your own. Consider that if anyone dies in a fight, the chances of winning that fight drop significantly. But, if the fight is far enough along, and the Lightbinder dies, the rest of the team can potentially win the fight on the Tank’s own damage mitigation and the DPS’s hard damage. If any of the DPS dies in a fight, there are other DPS still fighting, so the fight will go slower, but it can still be won. If the Tank dies, the enemy will swarm the next highest threat, which is likely a DPS that you can’t protect with shields alone. Eventually you will all crumple, because only the Tank can actually Tank. There can be exceptions to the rule, but stray at your own peril!
- Be ready to adapt. If a DPS suddenly pulls aggro off the Tank, due to something like Deadly Magnetism or some such effect, be ready to throw some defensive buffs on that DPS until the Tank can recover threat, or the enemy can be killed. While saving the Tank is critical, there’s no sense in giving the Tank a shield if they’re not taking hits at the time.
- Save your Blessing of the Sun for gaps in the enemy’s offense/defense, where they won’t be mitigating or avoiding any damage from your DPS. For normal packs of enemies, the best opportunity is usually at the start of the fight, right after the Tank has the enemy pinned in one place. Against bosses, you’ll have to keep an eye open for openings. There’s no sense in using Blessing of the Sun after the final boss of Thais’ Temple summons minions, as he gains a shield that reduces damage significantly, for example. Save it for after the shields are down and he’s preparing to summon again. Find their weaknesses, and buff your team to exploit them thoroughly!
- Don’t let anyone put you down for winning a hard battle at the cost of letting someone die, or wiping entirely. If mistakes were made on your end, accept any criticism that comes your way, and try to improve. It’s pretty easy for a DPS or a Tank to criticize a Support, as their roles tend to be simpler; DPS deals damage, and the Tank must tank. Supporting as a Lightbinder isn’t just a matter of targeting an ally, as most buffs require them to be within range to make the most of them, so make sure they know that you can’t just snap your fingers to keep them alive!
6. Final Thoughts
I sincerely hope that this little analysis of the Lightbinder’s abilities and talents will help sort out some of the miscommunication in tactics between this class and others in group play. Please, feel free to contribute your own thoughts about the Lightbinder and their group tactics (especially if you’ve got some good PvP experience)! There’s no reason a guide like this needs to stay static, so let me know if you prefer one ability or talent over another, or if there’s a point you just didn’t agree with.
Thanks for reading!