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Zen_Archer - Heavens Tear
Posts: **17** Arc User

Ok, with all the updates with the skills, the new morai skills, and the changes the game has made to gear I thought it was necessary for a new Sage Vs. Demon Archer culti guide to be written. Before writing it though, I’m going to lay out some ground-rules for myself (and commenters).

**OVERVIEW**

This is a quick overview of the combination of all the skills and what each cultivation gets over the other one. This should not be used as the only thing to determine your culti as many advantages of each cultivation are not represented here. Make sure to read the detailed skill list below.

**SAGE**

Max Crit Rate Bonus: +20% (Quickshot, spammable)

Added Base Damage: +5% (15% weapon damage, 10% fire damage)

Added Accuracy: +0%

Added Evasion: +0%

Added Attack Rate: +0%

Range: 34 meters

Other Benefits: Longer Stun with stunning arrow and aim low, more chi gaining abilities, strong 1-shot ability from stealth with Take Aim, additional magic attack skill.

**DEMON**

Max Crit Rate Bonus: +14% (+2% Bow Mastery, +2% Winged Blessing, +10% Stunning Arrow/Sharptooth Arrow)

Added Base Damage: +0% (+24% for a few seconds after casting blazing arrow)

Added Accuracy: +10% (Winged Blessing)

Added Evasion: +10% (Wings of Protection)

Added Attack Rate: +33% (50% chance with Quickshot, most archers will go from .8 aps to 1.18 aps or .87 aps to 1.25 aps)

Range: 32 meters

Other Benefits: Ability to take chi from enemies, much better Barrage, has a magic attack that never misses

**SKILLS**

Since the only real difference in the cultivations is the skills one gets for sage and demon archers, this is where your decision lies. Below is a list of all skills, their different added bonuses for sage and demon, and which I think is better just for that skill.

**Triple Spark**

Demon – 25% rate increase to fire rate

Sage – 25% reduction in damage taken

Verdict – Demon Wins by a little bit

Both are nice, but demon definitely takes this one, although not by much. A 25% increase to attack speed allows you to eat through enemy HP that much faster. 25% damage reduction is very nice as it will definitely allow you to survive longer allowing you more time to kill but archers are a kill quick class not a tank class. Most people rarely burn 3 sparks for triple spark in PK though.

**Chi Skill**

Demon – Mo Tzu’s Taunt – Take 50 chi from an opponent

Sage – Master Li’s Technique – Gain 50 chi

Verdict – Toss up

Again, both are nice, the ability to gain chi every minute is great but it has twice the cooldown of the demon version. Sage allows you to use it while not in battle to prepare for battle, while the demon skill requires you wait for the enemy to come, and then use the skill instead of attacking. At the same time, being able to steal 50 chi twice as often as sage builds chi is pretty damn nice.

**Blazing Arrow**

Demon – Adds 120% fire damage for 20 seconds

Sage – Adds 60% fire damage permanent

Verdict – Sage Wins but it’s not too big a deal

Sage definitely takes this one because this skill isn’t worth casting constantly for a 20 second boost. A 10% increase in fire damage only equates to a 2% increase in total damage output, so although sage is better it’s not game changing.

**Frost Arrow**

Demon – 20% chance to cast without chi and gain 25 chi

Sage – Turns weapon damage into water damage

Verdict – Sage Wins by a lot

20% chance to get chi is nice but the low chance means it's unlikely. But adding another magic damage skill to the archer’s arsenal is amazing, especially when that magic damage skill also slows the enemy. You’ll be using this on BMs, Barbs, Seekers, and Sins; all classes where slow is EXTREMELY helpful. And for those that are going to say this isn’t worth the chi, you’re obviously not experienced PKers. Not only is slowing a heavy class opponent extremely helpful, chi shouldn’t be a problem with Awaken, Cloud Eruption, Apothecary, and Master Li’s Technique for the sage.

**Sharp Tooth Arrow**

Demon – 10% increase to critical strike for 10 seconds

Sage – Reduces HP by 20%

Verdict – Toss Up

Both of the skills are very nice! 10% increase to crit rate is a very nice addition. At the same time, against tanky toons, especially cata barbs, a permanent loss of an additional 5% of their HP is often the difference between killing them and their charm ticking again. Basically demon helps you kill faster, sage makes you a better supporter of your entire squad.

**Lightning Strike**

Demon – Never misses but increases cooldown 2 seconds

Sage – 25% chance to gain 20 chi

Verdict – Demon wins hands down

Having a magic skill that never misses is amazing and makes demon the obvious choice for this skill. The increase in cooldown sucks, but at least you know you hit the enemy. An additional 20 chi is nice, but with a 25% proc rate it’s really nothing to be happy about.

**Thunder Shock**

Demon – 10% chance to paralyze for 3 seconds

Sage – Increases metal debuff by 10 seconds

Verdict – Sage Wins

The 10% chance to paralyze means it will almost never happen, but increasing the length of the metal debuff means you’ll do more damage longer. The 10 second increase means you can even change targets to debuff 2 catabarbs at the same time and then use your metal AOE on both.

**Thunderous Blast**

Demon – Deals an additional 800 damage

Sage – Reduces channeling by .5 seconds and cooldown by 1 seconds

Verdict – Sage Wins by a lot

This is an amazing AOE, and the ability to cast it 20% faster and 15% more often makes sage not only the definite winner but gives them a huge advantage. An additional 800 damage is pretty much worthless with today’s gear.

**Stormrage Eagleton**

Demon – Slows enemy by 80% instead of 60%

Sage – Reduces magic and physical defense by 50%

Verdict – Sage Wins but has limited uses

Slowing the enemy by a larger amount is helpful, especially in nation wars where this is the only slow that still works even when anti-stun skills/apoth are in effect. But the ability to reduce all an enemy’s defenses by 50% makes your entire team able to kill more effectively. Unfortunately, the high chi cost of this skill means you won’t use it that often except in very specific circumstance (like an anti-stun catabarb or flag carrier).

**Take Aim**

Demon – Reduces charge time to 2.5 seconds from 3 seconds

Sage – Adds 500% weapon damage instead of 400%

Verdict – Sage Wins by a lot

This skill used to have no use in PVP but with the implementation of the archer stealth this skill is now amazing. Since the skill charges and doesn’t channel, you can cast it while in stealth, meaning the charge time is irrelevant; but an additional 100% weapon damage equates to 20% increase in the damage you do. When combined with crit rate increasing skills and attack level increasing genies you have a very real chance of 1-shotting people from stealth.

**Quickshot**

Demon – 50% chance to increase attack rate 30%

Sage – 100% chance to increase crit rate 20% for 10 seconds

Verdict – Toss up although Demon might take it if you have good luck

Quickshot was always the demon archer’s mainstay skill, now it’s the sage archer’s too. Both are very nice skills with demon version doing more damage output and sage version getting an awesome 100% proc rate. Additionally since this skills can be spammed with a cooldown of 3 seconds, sage archers can effectively have 20% permanent increase to crit rate and demon archers get increase attack rate 50% of the time. The nice thing for sage is with this one skill all the demon crit rate advantage has gone out the window.

**Aim Low**

Demon – 25% chance to stun for 3 seconds

Sage – 25% chance to seal for 5 seconds

Verdict – Sage wins by a lot

Both have a 25% chance to stun (seal and freeze equals stun) but the sage one is 2 seconds longer. There is no comparison between a 3 second stun and a 5 second stun.

**Stunning Arrow**

Demon – Increases crit rate by 10% for 10 seconds

Sage – Increases stun from 3.5 seconds to 5 seconds

Verdict – Sage Wins by a lot

You are using stunning arrow to stun your opponent, so having it stun for longer is far more beneficial than a 10 second increase in crit rate. Combine this with Quickshot and you have more crit and a longer stun.

**Deadly Shot**

Demon – Increases damage by 500

Sage – Removes distance penalty

Verdict – Sage wins by a lot but who cares

Having another skill that hits close range at full damage is a great thing but it’s worthless since the 3 second channeling time means you’d do more damage with normal attacks even at half damage. It’s a great skill in concept but ultimately you’d never use it.

**Barrage**

Demon – Hits every 2.5 seconds instead of 3 seconds

Sage – Reduces damage taken 33%

Verdict – Demon Wins by a lot

This is your best AOE by far, and it hitting 17% more often is ridiculously better than the increased survivability you get from 33% damage reduction. Don’t get me wrong, surviving in barrage longer with the 33% damage reduction is great, but it pales in comparison to the better attack.

**Winged Blessing**

Demon – Increases accuracy 10%, increases crit rate 2% when using free wings

Sage – Gives additional 2 meter range

Verdict – Demon wins

This is going to be a hotly debated issue. An additional 2 meters is actually a big deal especially if the demon doesn't use basic wings for the crit increase and only has a small increase in accuracy. There is a lot of stupidity about the 2-meters. First off, it MIGHT allow you to get ONE more shot in on a slowed enemy, but that’s doubtful. The real advantage to this is that you can freeze anyone but another sage archer at 34 meters away meaning they can’t attack back. And those that say you’ll never be at 34 meters away haven’t spent much time in TW or NW. The vast majority of the targets I’m attacking I’m freezing from max range cause they are focused on 20 other people in addition to me. All that being said, since it's looking at the skill by itself, not combined with other skills, Demon has to take this.

**Winged Shell**

Demon – Lasts 10 seconds longs

Sage – Absorbs an additional 250 damage

Verdict – Demon wins by a small margin

This skill definitely goes to demon, since it lasts longer meaning that you can cast it sooner and still have the advantage, which is better compared to absorbing a paltry 250 extra damage. At the same time, it's doubtful that you'll not gain the benefit from the Sage version before it wears off in a mass PVP environment. BTW, this skill is worth casting in game.

**Winged Pledge**

Demon – 25% chance to reduce enemy speed by 50% for 5 seconds

Sage – Reduces cooldown from 2 seconds to 1 second

Verdict – Sage definitely wins

This is your mainstay kill close to you skill when sins and BMs pop up and you can’t kite away. Being able to spam it is a nice advantage with the 1 second cooldown. Compare that to a 25% chance to slow the enemy, which is already standing next to you? Are you serious devs? Why would you slow an enemy that’s already next to you since we’ve already determined you can’t kite to your ranged advantage?

**Wingspan**

Demon – Casts a level 5 wingshell on yourself.

Sage – 20% chance to gain an additional 50 chi

Verdict – Demon wins

With how the game dynamics treat wingshell, a level 5 wingshell means each time you cast this you’ll be avoiding a nice chunk of damage. Unfortunately, you'll often cast this when a sin pops up next to you meaning he'll eat through the defense benefit before you notice it. 50 extra chi usually beats out anything but with a 20% proc rate it’s too unpredictable making it not very helpful.

**Bow Mastery**

Demon – Adds 1% crit rate when using basic wings - 2% if using basic white wings

Sage – Adds an additional 15% weapon damage

Verdict – Sage takes it by a small advantage

Assuming Demons get the 2% to crit rate sage still gets a small advantage. 15% of weapon damage translates to an additional 3% of final damage output, and of course an additional 2% crit rate is equal to 2% increase in final damage output. So sage gets 1% more damage output…which isn’t huge but it is a slight advantage. And please, if you can’t do math, don’t comment on this. 500% weapon damage increases damage output by 100% generally speaking (triple sparking doubles most peoples damage). So 15% weapon damage increase translates to 3% increase in damage output. Since crits double your damage, a 2% increase in crit rate means 2 more out of 100 hits will be double damage, meaning a 2% increase in average damage output.

**Wings of Protection**

Demon – Increases evasion by 10% more and speed by 5% more

Sage – Doubles evasion buff time and speed buff time by 5 minutes

Verdict – Demon wins by a lot

Better evasion from a skill that increases your evasion is so obviously better than not having to cast it as often. And people who think evasion isn't worthwhile aren't watching all the misses melee classes do...that's 100% damage reduction.

**SUMMATION**

Don't take your cultivation based on which one has more skills that beat out the other cultivation. You need to look at the skills as a whole and see how you prefer to play your toon.

I personally think Sage beats Demon cultivation but it isn’t an obvious choice and is largely on my play style. Both cultivations have significant advantages and it does definitely come down to play-style. From a pure damage output perspective, however, Sage cultivation provides a higher crit rate and a higher base damage if you have the mana to keep Quickshot up.

Let the emotional flames begin...

- Not an emotional decision – This guide, unlike most others I’ve read, will not be an emotional rant devoid of logic about how what I chose was best and what you chose is stupid cause I’m so damn smart.
- Territory War/Nation War Oriented – Nothing wrong with PVE, but honestly your culti doesn’t affect PVE success too much, so the guide will be oriented toward the PVP environment. More specifically, toward group PVP environments (TW/NW) and not 1 vs. 1 duels.
- High rate of attack is the primary advantage – Archers deal damage through a high attack rate augmented by crit rate, not through crit rate alone. Anyone who has long experience with real TWs will attest to the fact that the majority of their kills come from quickly eating away at the HP while the charm is in cooldown, not 1 or 2 shotting the enemy.
- A 1% increase in base damage output is equal to 1% increase in crit rate. This is just basic math.
- 10% increase in weapon equals a 2% increase in damage output – For most toons triple sparking doubles their damage output (+500% weapon damage = +100% damage output)
- PVP beneficial Skills/Differences only – Skills such as damage over time and nock-back will be ignored as well as all other differences that are only good in the PVE environment will be ignored.
- Max Benefit for both culties – The guide will assume that both the sage and the demon player will do everything they can to maximize the benefit they get from their skills, e.g. not that one culti will gain all the crit rate advantages they can while the other culti will do absolutely nothing to increase crit rate.

This is a quick overview of the combination of all the skills and what each cultivation gets over the other one. This should not be used as the only thing to determine your culti as many advantages of each cultivation are not represented here. Make sure to read the detailed skill list below.

Max Crit Rate Bonus: +20% (Quickshot, spammable)

Added Base Damage: +5% (15% weapon damage, 10% fire damage)

Added Accuracy: +0%

Added Evasion: +0%

Added Attack Rate: +0%

Range: 34 meters

Other Benefits: Longer Stun with stunning arrow and aim low, more chi gaining abilities, strong 1-shot ability from stealth with Take Aim, additional magic attack skill.

Max Crit Rate Bonus: +14% (+2% Bow Mastery, +2% Winged Blessing, +10% Stunning Arrow/Sharptooth Arrow)

Added Base Damage: +0% (+24% for a few seconds after casting blazing arrow)

Added Accuracy: +10% (Winged Blessing)

Added Evasion: +10% (Wings of Protection)

Added Attack Rate: +33% (50% chance with Quickshot, most archers will go from .8 aps to 1.18 aps or .87 aps to 1.25 aps)

Range: 32 meters

Other Benefits: Ability to take chi from enemies, much better Barrage, has a magic attack that never misses

Since the only real difference in the cultivations is the skills one gets for sage and demon archers, this is where your decision lies. Below is a list of all skills, their different added bonuses for sage and demon, and which I think is better just for that skill.

Demon – 25% rate increase to fire rate

Sage – 25% reduction in damage taken

Verdict – Demon Wins by a little bit

Both are nice, but demon definitely takes this one, although not by much. A 25% increase to attack speed allows you to eat through enemy HP that much faster. 25% damage reduction is very nice as it will definitely allow you to survive longer allowing you more time to kill but archers are a kill quick class not a tank class. Most people rarely burn 3 sparks for triple spark in PK though.

Demon – Mo Tzu’s Taunt – Take 50 chi from an opponent

Sage – Master Li’s Technique – Gain 50 chi

Verdict – Toss up

Again, both are nice, the ability to gain chi every minute is great but it has twice the cooldown of the demon version. Sage allows you to use it while not in battle to prepare for battle, while the demon skill requires you wait for the enemy to come, and then use the skill instead of attacking. At the same time, being able to steal 50 chi twice as often as sage builds chi is pretty damn nice.

Demon – Adds 120% fire damage for 20 seconds

Sage – Adds 60% fire damage permanent

Verdict – Sage Wins but it’s not too big a deal

Sage definitely takes this one because this skill isn’t worth casting constantly for a 20 second boost. A 10% increase in fire damage only equates to a 2% increase in total damage output, so although sage is better it’s not game changing.

Demon – 20% chance to cast without chi and gain 25 chi

Sage – Turns weapon damage into water damage

Verdict – Sage Wins by a lot

20% chance to get chi is nice but the low chance means it's unlikely. But adding another magic damage skill to the archer’s arsenal is amazing, especially when that magic damage skill also slows the enemy. You’ll be using this on BMs, Barbs, Seekers, and Sins; all classes where slow is EXTREMELY helpful. And for those that are going to say this isn’t worth the chi, you’re obviously not experienced PKers. Not only is slowing a heavy class opponent extremely helpful, chi shouldn’t be a problem with Awaken, Cloud Eruption, Apothecary, and Master Li’s Technique for the sage.

Demon – 10% increase to critical strike for 10 seconds

Sage – Reduces HP by 20%

Verdict – Toss Up

Both of the skills are very nice! 10% increase to crit rate is a very nice addition. At the same time, against tanky toons, especially cata barbs, a permanent loss of an additional 5% of their HP is often the difference between killing them and their charm ticking again. Basically demon helps you kill faster, sage makes you a better supporter of your entire squad.

Demon – Never misses but increases cooldown 2 seconds

Sage – 25% chance to gain 20 chi

Verdict – Demon wins hands down

Having a magic skill that never misses is amazing and makes demon the obvious choice for this skill. The increase in cooldown sucks, but at least you know you hit the enemy. An additional 20 chi is nice, but with a 25% proc rate it’s really nothing to be happy about.

Demon – 10% chance to paralyze for 3 seconds

Sage – Increases metal debuff by 10 seconds

Verdict – Sage Wins

The 10% chance to paralyze means it will almost never happen, but increasing the length of the metal debuff means you’ll do more damage longer. The 10 second increase means you can even change targets to debuff 2 catabarbs at the same time and then use your metal AOE on both.

Demon – Deals an additional 800 damage

Sage – Reduces channeling by .5 seconds and cooldown by 1 seconds

Verdict – Sage Wins by a lot

This is an amazing AOE, and the ability to cast it 20% faster and 15% more often makes sage not only the definite winner but gives them a huge advantage. An additional 800 damage is pretty much worthless with today’s gear.

Demon – Slows enemy by 80% instead of 60%

Sage – Reduces magic and physical defense by 50%

Verdict – Sage Wins but has limited uses

Slowing the enemy by a larger amount is helpful, especially in nation wars where this is the only slow that still works even when anti-stun skills/apoth are in effect. But the ability to reduce all an enemy’s defenses by 50% makes your entire team able to kill more effectively. Unfortunately, the high chi cost of this skill means you won’t use it that often except in very specific circumstance (like an anti-stun catabarb or flag carrier).

Demon – Reduces charge time to 2.5 seconds from 3 seconds

Sage – Adds 500% weapon damage instead of 400%

Verdict – Sage Wins by a lot

This skill used to have no use in PVP but with the implementation of the archer stealth this skill is now amazing. Since the skill charges and doesn’t channel, you can cast it while in stealth, meaning the charge time is irrelevant; but an additional 100% weapon damage equates to 20% increase in the damage you do. When combined with crit rate increasing skills and attack level increasing genies you have a very real chance of 1-shotting people from stealth.

Demon – 50% chance to increase attack rate 30%

Sage – 100% chance to increase crit rate 20% for 10 seconds

Verdict – Toss up although Demon might take it if you have good luck

Quickshot was always the demon archer’s mainstay skill, now it’s the sage archer’s too. Both are very nice skills with demon version doing more damage output and sage version getting an awesome 100% proc rate. Additionally since this skills can be spammed with a cooldown of 3 seconds, sage archers can effectively have 20% permanent increase to crit rate and demon archers get increase attack rate 50% of the time. The nice thing for sage is with this one skill all the demon crit rate advantage has gone out the window.

Demon – 25% chance to stun for 3 seconds

Sage – 25% chance to seal for 5 seconds

Verdict – Sage wins by a lot

Both have a 25% chance to stun (seal and freeze equals stun) but the sage one is 2 seconds longer. There is no comparison between a 3 second stun and a 5 second stun.

Demon – Increases crit rate by 10% for 10 seconds

Sage – Increases stun from 3.5 seconds to 5 seconds

Verdict – Sage Wins by a lot

You are using stunning arrow to stun your opponent, so having it stun for longer is far more beneficial than a 10 second increase in crit rate. Combine this with Quickshot and you have more crit and a longer stun.

Demon – Increases damage by 500

Sage – Removes distance penalty

Verdict – Sage wins by a lot but who cares

Having another skill that hits close range at full damage is a great thing but it’s worthless since the 3 second channeling time means you’d do more damage with normal attacks even at half damage. It’s a great skill in concept but ultimately you’d never use it.

Demon – Hits every 2.5 seconds instead of 3 seconds

Sage – Reduces damage taken 33%

Verdict – Demon Wins by a lot

This is your best AOE by far, and it hitting 17% more often is ridiculously better than the increased survivability you get from 33% damage reduction. Don’t get me wrong, surviving in barrage longer with the 33% damage reduction is great, but it pales in comparison to the better attack.

Demon – Increases accuracy 10%, increases crit rate 2% when using free wings

Sage – Gives additional 2 meter range

Verdict – Demon wins

This is going to be a hotly debated issue. An additional 2 meters is actually a big deal especially if the demon doesn't use basic wings for the crit increase and only has a small increase in accuracy. There is a lot of stupidity about the 2-meters. First off, it MIGHT allow you to get ONE more shot in on a slowed enemy, but that’s doubtful. The real advantage to this is that you can freeze anyone but another sage archer at 34 meters away meaning they can’t attack back. And those that say you’ll never be at 34 meters away haven’t spent much time in TW or NW. The vast majority of the targets I’m attacking I’m freezing from max range cause they are focused on 20 other people in addition to me. All that being said, since it's looking at the skill by itself, not combined with other skills, Demon has to take this.

Demon – Lasts 10 seconds longs

Sage – Absorbs an additional 250 damage

Verdict – Demon wins by a small margin

This skill definitely goes to demon, since it lasts longer meaning that you can cast it sooner and still have the advantage, which is better compared to absorbing a paltry 250 extra damage. At the same time, it's doubtful that you'll not gain the benefit from the Sage version before it wears off in a mass PVP environment. BTW, this skill is worth casting in game.

Demon – 25% chance to reduce enemy speed by 50% for 5 seconds

Sage – Reduces cooldown from 2 seconds to 1 second

Verdict – Sage definitely wins

This is your mainstay kill close to you skill when sins and BMs pop up and you can’t kite away. Being able to spam it is a nice advantage with the 1 second cooldown. Compare that to a 25% chance to slow the enemy, which is already standing next to you? Are you serious devs? Why would you slow an enemy that’s already next to you since we’ve already determined you can’t kite to your ranged advantage?

Demon – Casts a level 5 wingshell on yourself.

Sage – 20% chance to gain an additional 50 chi

Verdict – Demon wins

With how the game dynamics treat wingshell, a level 5 wingshell means each time you cast this you’ll be avoiding a nice chunk of damage. Unfortunately, you'll often cast this when a sin pops up next to you meaning he'll eat through the defense benefit before you notice it. 50 extra chi usually beats out anything but with a 20% proc rate it’s too unpredictable making it not very helpful.

Demon – Adds 1% crit rate when using basic wings - 2% if using basic white wings

Sage – Adds an additional 15% weapon damage

Verdict – Sage takes it by a small advantage

Assuming Demons get the 2% to crit rate sage still gets a small advantage. 15% of weapon damage translates to an additional 3% of final damage output, and of course an additional 2% crit rate is equal to 2% increase in final damage output. So sage gets 1% more damage output…which isn’t huge but it is a slight advantage. And please, if you can’t do math, don’t comment on this. 500% weapon damage increases damage output by 100% generally speaking (triple sparking doubles most peoples damage). So 15% weapon damage increase translates to 3% increase in damage output. Since crits double your damage, a 2% increase in crit rate means 2 more out of 100 hits will be double damage, meaning a 2% increase in average damage output.

Demon – Increases evasion by 10% more and speed by 5% more

Sage – Doubles evasion buff time and speed buff time by 5 minutes

Verdict – Demon wins by a lot

Better evasion from a skill that increases your evasion is so obviously better than not having to cast it as often. And people who think evasion isn't worthwhile aren't watching all the misses melee classes do...that's 100% damage reduction.

Don't take your cultivation based on which one has more skills that beat out the other cultivation. You need to look at the skills as a whole and see how you prefer to play your toon.

I personally think Sage beats Demon cultivation but it isn’t an obvious choice and is largely on my play style. Both cultivations have significant advantages and it does definitely come down to play-style. From a pure damage output perspective, however, Sage cultivation provides a higher crit rate and a higher base damage if you have the mana to keep Quickshot up.

Let the emotional flames begin...

Post edited by Zen_Archer - Heavens Tear on

This discussion has been closed.

## Comments

17Arc UserStun > Quickshot > Auto attack Combo.This combo seems to be a mainstay combo for Sage and Demon archers both. Here is a comparison of the damage output for each during the stun period. The comparison assumes the following before sage/demon bonuses are added: a 1k base damage rate, 50% natural crit rate.

Formula is (1k Base damage)(total crit rate)(attack rate)(passive base attack increase)(stun time)

Attack rate for Demon archers is the average between normal attack rate and QS buffed attack rage since it has a 50% proc rate.

.80 Base Attack Rate (Archers with max defensive gear)

SAGE - 7,140 damage (1k*1.7*.8*1.05*5)

DEMON - 5,683 damage (1k*1.64*.99*1*3.5)

.87 Base Attack Rate (Archers with APS gear)

SAGE - 7,7665 damage (1k*1.7*.87*1.05*5)

DEMON - 6,084 damage (1k*1.64*1.06*1*3.5)

As can be seen and is expected, the longer stun is a big advantage while demons advantage is increased when they have a higher base attack rate. Regarding targeting R9r3 mages with the purify proc, the increased attack rate of demon QS would actually cause that to trigger sooner, further reducing stun time. Regarding the idea that people will try and break out of stun with genie skills, this is true, but those people will also run away from an attack rate buffed archer so both culties would lose their opponent in that circumstance.

Thanks go out to the following for useful actual information that was used to update the guide: Asterelle, Elenacostal

As people respond to this I'll take the logical, well-thought out new information and add it into the overall guide. Please do comment, especially if the skill descriptions on ecatomb are not correct when compared to the in-game benefits. I'm about 99% sure that all the sage stuff is correct, no idea on if all the demon stuff is correct.

2,028Arc UserBoA: not enough emphasis on the fact that LOL WHO RUNS WITH OPEN ZHEN IN PVP AND NO IG?!?!

Spark: Demon wins in pve; sage wins in pvp. sparking is asking to get CC'd up the balls. Who cares about the atk spd when you get stunned/sealed/frozen, unless you smart enough to IG, which means that you're sparking for damage like a sin, which means that unless you're pitifully undergeared you're being ****. Sage spark survival is amazing there

Mo zun: the taunt is ****** amazing. You take off chi twice as quickly as a sage builds it. In pve, yes, master li ftw. In pvp, time that with some veno's crush vigor and you eat 200 chi instantly. GG

Stormrage Eagaleon: Why are you wasting money on level 11?

Take Aim: Demon's faster cast can make all the difference in mass pvp. Also, srsly? Take aim was always awesome for jumping people in mass pvp. Surprise ranged earthen rift to the back ftw. Don't need stealth to do that to some unsuspecting nab

QS: when it procs demon qs is godly. Holy **** purge arrows coming 1 a second with the highest phys dph. Add demon passive crits and stun/sta crit and this is pretty awesome. Sage is just as good as demon now. Remember that the crit gap is much smaller than you think and demon is hitting 1.3 times faster, so 1.3 times the crits.

Blessing: 2 meters is covered in under 2/5 second by casters, in nanoseconds if demon veno. 10% accuracy is a lot at 600+ dex

Wingspan: That level 5 shield is good enough to cockblock armageddon, assuming that arma even hits; lolvitbarbs

EDIT: dammit I wanted to upload a guide first! b:angry

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6,118Arc User"subtraction has the butt of an angel" - Paulrogers

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2,532Arc UserJust a quick fyi, Sage's big break during the whole skill revision thing was their QS, but the DPS provided by that is still inferior to that of demon QS, and sages still cannot combine increased attack speed w/ their crit buffs w/out usage of genies, like a demon can.

The best reason to go sage still is inferior to/lesser than the primary reason to go demon.

What you seem to be doing here is laying out the reasons why you chose sage(even if you may have been misinformed) and calling it a guide.

17Arc User_blood_rain I'm going to include your info in the QS response to Walpurga's post. But you are wrong, the Demon quickshot by itself does not do more DPS than the sage version. As for combo skills, I think that was covered in the opening to the skill section where I said I'm only looking at each skill by itself and playstyle must be taken into account. When adding in the combo skills then sage and demon both do the same DPS now, but you've now assumed that the sage archer doesn't do any combos but the demon archer does. Faulty logic. See below for the math on sage vs demon QS. As for it being biased and illogical, show me specifically which parts and if you are correct I'll change it.

6,118Arc UserSpeaking as a cleric, demon qs's APS > sage qs's crit when it comes to what kills me. Purge + aps, I'm pretty much straight up dead unless I get something up fast enough. Sage qs will give me more time to react in the event of a purge. Also, you're forgetting that most demon archers will be using stun or sharptooth prior to qs + add on the crit from their masteries and the difference is really not that much when you take those into account and consider that a r9rr archer especially is already going to have a high crit rate anyway.

The only thing I really like about sage is the stun. 5 second stun is really nice, but the crit on demon is still good. I don't really notice the extra range on sage, tbh, and demon qs and demon Lightning Strike is so much .

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17Arc UserAs for what kills you, that's great, but the math doesn't prove that out. Here is the math for Stun followed by Quickshot for both cultis.

Demon stun at 3.5 seconds

In that 3.5 seconds a Demon archer with Quickshot proc will hit 3.5 times at a 13% increased crit rate due to all passive and stun crit bonuses. So they'll do 3.955x base damage.

Sage stun at 5 seconds

In that 5 seconds a sage archer will hit 4.35 times with an increased crit rate of 20%. So they'll do 5.22x base damage.

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17Arc UserBut according to math, with the stun > QS combo, the Sage archer is going to do a little over 25% more damage than the demon archer during the duration of their stuns.

5,787Arc UserAs for Quickshot, you're assuming a lot here, namely the opponent must be stunned by the archer that casts the Quickshot. If you don't count mass PvP at all, you might as well throw Barrage out the window too.

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2,028Arc UserSaying that one does not run with open zhen un-IG'd does not imply that I say demon barrage is god.

In case you haven't tried, shields are weird, and if they are hit by a hit bigger than max capacity they absorb full damage anyways. Winged shell has been eating oneshots for me for a long time now.

As for take aim, most of the time I instantcast it anyways, but you don't need stealth to full charge it as an opener in mass pvp.

Demon winged blessing is 1 % crit + 1% bonus crit for white wings, making 2% crit add. I'll take that over 2 range anyday considering the fact in the time it takes to channel a stun/aim low someone can walk casually out of range.

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995Arc UserDemon wingspan is better, extra chi is nice but its pretty much 10chi/cast on average = meh. Winged shell has ability in it that I dont think is on skill description. It works like defense charm, reducing incoming damage massively over its absorbing ability. This isnt that great against sins, discounting the full r999 ones as 90% of sins still are aps build and shell is broken in one hit. Then again those full R999 ones tend to be the ones you should worry bout.

Your math is wrong but I cant bother in making base build to correct the math for you. I`ll only explain why its wrong. 20% crit doesnt mean 20% more damage. It means, averaging out, 20% more damage compared to situation with 0 % crit. Easy way to prove this:

Say 30% crit.

0.3x 1 = 0.3x more damage or 30% increase in damage

20% add from sage QS.

0.5x 1 = 0.5x more damage or 50% increase in damage.

Same thing? Actually no.

W/o sage QS we get to average 1.3x damage, with its 1.5x damage

1.5-1.3 / 1.3 * 100% = 15.3% increase in average damage over no QS.

With crit % increasing so does its relative impact on damage lessen.

Also, comparing damage done during stun period and completely discounting dps is just silly. If you ever even watched high tier PK, ppl dont drop on 1st stun/whatever. And while average is nice way to compare stun deadlyness, it really doesnt compare well with reality. Lot of stuns people escape sage archers, same with demons but when demons proc there is no question which path is deadlier. While it procs rarely, it tends to force a CD on target, while sage has harder time doing it. And there is difference between badging out of sage stun and doing same for demon with QS procced.

That being said, my archer is Sage and I do like a lot of the things it has. I only really want demon LS, 100% accuracy is sexy with current endgame evasion <.<. There are strengths and weaknesses to both paths, I personally like sage better.

@Walpurga: Sage BoA is actually pretty close to demon one due crit buff from QS. WoG --> Holypath --> QS --> IG --> BoA. Demon will still deal more dps but difference isnt that massive. And with higher crit rate you crit more, 1shotting/charm jumping lower tier players more likely instead of ticking charms. One key factor though, which demon BoA with this have over sage is using elven alacrity as means to close in and anti-stun for IG to BoA. Sage will have to use genie if they want crit buff for more than first channel. And lets face it, on real TWs, how often you get more than 2-3 BoA channels off? As for demon chi skill? Its more of a 1 vs 1 skill and archers are screwed there anyways.

Edit: Comparing skill by skill, completely ignoring other skills existing is narrow minded at best

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2,028Arc Userhere demon qs's beauty really comes out: you hit so fast that your hits are counted before movement, so a number of your hits actually land despite the fact that the target has moved out of range already. In a more extreme case, the hits are counted before charmtick, which accounts for extra arrow use in pve and charm jumping in pvp. I realize sage qs does that too but it's so much easier with demon.

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17Arc User@Walpurg - You post makes a bit more sense since it was commentary and not stuff you disagree with. I already updated the chi skills verdict based on verifying the fact that demon can be cast twice as often. I still want to see other people's experiences with the shields as I'm worried that it might be personal interpretations of what is happening and not actually game dynamics.

@Hide - If the +20% perma comment was to me I thought I did say it was basically going to be perma. As for the reduction in marginal benefit, that is true, but it affects both cultis the exact same way, so for simplicity sake I just assumed a 0% base crit rate for the math. If the base crit rate is 50%, both cultis will be reduced by the same relative proportion. I also didn't include the base damage increase benefits that sage get in the calculation which would have made sage come out even better.

@Many - I feel like you guys are way over rating the speed increase of QS. You are going from .87 to 1 aps, not from 3 aps to 5 aps. This means over the course of 4 seconds a Sage archer will do 3.48 attacks and a Demon archer will do 4 attacks. half an extra attack in 4 seconds is great but it's not the game changing thing you're all suggesting.

Furthermore, the idea that demon quickshot eats away at HP while the person is trying to react doesn't work with brain science. According to HumanBenchmark.com, the average reaction time for a person to see something and click a computer mouse is in the .2 second range. Even the worst of their persons taking the tests had a reaction time of .5 seconds. That means in the time it takes a human to react to the situation, the demon archer is going to get 0.026 more attacks, or a high of 0.07 more attacks against slow-reacting people. Increase attack rate minus base attack rate times opponent reaction time. (1-.87)*.2

11,177Community ModeratorExcept that Demon can do the same thing since demon winged blessing adds +2m to range so against anything but a sage archer demons will have the exact same performance as a sage... but theirs gets them crit as well (2% with white wings, 1% without).

And that's before considering that anyone in PvP with any experience has a way to either get out of your range (leap back, for example), can get into your range once you've done so (assassin teleports), or have some way of surviving the "lock" long enough for it not to matter (Barbs, clerics that purify it, sins that just stealth forcing you to waste time with a detect pot, etc).

And this is just one of the most obvious of many such flawed things I see.

Oh and on a side note, you do not need stealth to utilize a fully charged take aim in mass PvP unless you have no idea what you're doing. While Sage's is certainly superior (charge time is irrelevant since you're either taking someone by surprise in which case you want full damage OR you're instacasting it in which case you aren't getting the maxed damage regardless of culti) saying the only time you can use it is from stealth simply means you lack experience and/or skill as archers have been taking advantage of fully charged take aims since LONG before we gained stealth.

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7,881Arc UserDemon "Max Crit Rate Bonus" is +14% since winged blessing gives +2%

Demon "Added Attack Rate": Quickshot takes an archer from 0.87 to 1.25 (+44% dps)

Demon Blazing arrow is +120% for 20s and +50% after that

Demon Frost arrow is a chance for +25 chi not just "cast without chi"

Demon Sharptooth is actually 15% hp reduction even though it says 16%

Demon Bow Mastery is 1% crit normally but 2% with white wings

Take Aim

"100% weapon damage equates to 20% increase in the damage you do."

That totally ignores your base damage of typically 500%-600% weapon attack. At endgame +100% weapon damage is like 10% more damage for take aim

Other points of contention:

Stunning arrow

Demon's crit bonus after stun happens 100% of the time (even when they walk out of range or die) while the stun of a stun arrow is often purified / resisted / miss / fail. With purify spell being so rampant the stunning is not very effective.

Quickshot:

Demon takes aps from .87 to 1.25 (+44% dps) and it stacks multiplicatively with the active / passive +14% crit bonuses (~+57% dps at 60% base crit)

Sage quickshot just gives +20% crit bonus... assuming endgame 60% base crit thats +12.5% dps. Somehow you think +12.5% beats +57%... that's cute.

Even factoring in sage mastery / blazing youre still looking at +17.1% vs +57%

During demon quickshot there is also a +44% rate of triggering purge

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17Arc User@OPKossy, I'm surprised as a mod you don't read more carefully. I said at the beginning of the skills section that comparing them one at a time is a poor way to compare overall and the reader shouldn't just count the sage and demon 'wins'; but it's the only possible thing to do since it's an infinite number of possible skill combinations. Regarding Winged Blessing, you are correct, that analysis does not follow the rules I laid out at the beginning for comparing skills and will need to be updated. I'll update when I get back from the 4th. And regarding take aim, in my opinion stealth is the only viable strategy since you do more attack with normal attacks than with full charge in the 3 second time-period; unless you know you're going to 1-shot with a fully charged take aim.

7,881Arc User1/.87aps = 1.15s interval

1.15 (1 - .3) = .805

.805 ~ .8s interval

1/.8 = 1.25 aps

Really I think sage's strength is with the better metal skills / frost but I doubt they are good enough to let you kill a barb.

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1,087Arc User30% attack speed on demon quickshot is still better than 20% crit on quickshot.

The difference in multiplier end game is 1.51 * 1.18 vs 1.71 * 0.8, in which 1.51*1.18=1.78 gives the advantage for demon vs 1.37 for sage. That's a pretty significant difference in DPS.

And that's not considering the fact that demon can still get a 10% crit boost on stunning arrow.

From a tw and mass pvp standpoint, you can pretty much rely only on BOA, Stunning Arrow and Demon Quickshot. If you have a purge bow too, you'd be even better off since you will have a higher chance to purge thanks to demon quickshot. Your main target is arcanes. If you can use Take Aim to 1 shot someone, then you can just kill them equally quick or even quicker by auto attacking. Also, your purge cannot proc on any skills that deals a status effects. So you probably won't be spamming poison arrow and bleed on arcanes. Auto attack gives you far better DPS than skill spamming, and you're not going to charmby pass an arcane by spamming metal debuffs either.

The situation where you'd be using skill spam the most is 1v1 against Heavy Armor, and some Light armor classes. In mass pk, your job isn't to kill heavy armor, or you should reroll wizards.

So it really comes down to - is the magic attacks for 1v1 so game changing that you would go sage over demon? I would just say no just based off that question since archer are far better at mass pk than 1v1. However, we can still analyze it if we want. We have to first determine what is game changing in 1v1. Reduce metal resistance longer on a spammable skill? Not really. More damage is game changing. Higher DPH or higher DPS. However, looking at the skills, sage does not really give more damage. 0.5 second less channeling time is nice for DPS, 800 more damage is mediocre for DPH, but unlike your main DD skill (Stun, Quickshot and BOA), neither are really good enough to convince you to switch to sage for that one skill. Sage gives you an extra attack that does water damage, but its damage is worse than Lightning Strike. You're not going to be killing anyone just because of that one skill. So really its more of a matter of preference. Sage isn't really better than demon.

In conclusion, despite Sage having better skills in some other areas, demon is still better for your main DPS skills. You will mostly be relying on those 3 DPS skill most of time anyway since the other skills in which sage are better at is more situational. Sure, there are many more skills that I did not list for archers, but in reality, what do you use the most in mass pk? I highly doubt you're spamming wingspan and Winged Pledge all the time in tw. Skills like STA and Aim Low still doesn't really make that big of a difference compared to the 30% damage difference on quickshot. The only benefit I see for sage is that Sage stun is more supportive. If you have people assisting you, the extra 1.5 second can make a difference. But your bm should be supporting you, not you supporting your bm. So as a DD, I would say that demon is better suited for an archer.

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2,822Arc UserThe short answer is that Winged Shell reduces the incoming damage by by 80%, regardless of what level you have it. It "pops" after the amount of damage amount in the skill is overcome. From a practical standpoint, in PvP, the shell will always pop after a single hit, but nonetheless that hit will have 80% of the damage reduced.

What this means, in relation to your guide, is that you did not properly compare Demon Wingspan (which puts a level 5 Winged Shell on you) to Sage Wingspan.

1,111Sage archer is only relevant 1v1 against other archers.

74Arc User2,532Arc UserTime to redoooo

Oh also, your situational PvP examples make you look like Fleuri v2.0. I'd fix that as well if I were you

3,502Arc UserI may have smiled at that.

5,787Arc UserHow long have you been an archer? Everyone can read Ecatomb, if you can't put math, experience, and knowledge of the class into use here, your opening post is worthless. No one should have to spend time coaching a lv 102 archer on how skills work. In the end, you can't even read Ecatomb right. Since when was crit buff from Demon STA 10s? Demon Blazing magically disappears after 20s AMIRITE?

What I'm also saying is that you're trying to argue Quickshot DPS with worthless theory-craft. If you want to compare DPS difference between the two, just compare DPS difference. Mixing in **** like how long either cultivation can stun the opponent and how that somehow factors into QS DPS is stupid, because archers don't have to only QS on targets they use Stunning Arrow on. If you only consider mass PvP, then consider that plenty of other classes can stun for much longer periods of times, during which either QS would work its full duration. So to repeat myself, if you have to argue the effectiveness of QS based on how long either cultivation can stun, then you're talking strictly 1v1, and Barrage would be off the table as well.

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1,416Arc UserThe whole skill spamming and whatnot on archer, I don't really see it much useful unless they make a drastic change in either lowering channeling or making skills hit harder for archers for them to be useful. I rarely use most skills mostly because demon QS grants you the highest chance to purge and in return the highest possible damage on target.

Winged Shell, like others stated...the description is out of sink and it does a lot more then it says. The 50 chi cost might not be worth it but using wingspan is quite the lifesaver.

17Arc UserNot bothering to respond to most of the other people as they show a complete lack of intelligent discourse and their obvious emotional bias to their cultivation. It reminds me of when the cultis were updated and all the demon archers were on the forums saying "Sage Quickshot is over powered, now there's no point to being demon."

I especially love the one that said all my posts show I'm biased toward sage when my first post was to change the chi skill verdict based on new information and just a few posts back I thanked Asterelle for the actual information and made corrections to the guide based on that.

Looking forward to more actual helpful posts rather than emotional ones so I can improve the guide further.6,118Arc UserThe mages on your server must be terrible.

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3,502Arc UserSolo killing a fully buffed cattabarb is pretty sicknasty level damage.