This is the last piece of puzzle to complete Shadow Destroyer skill set. Execute is known for its high damage number and probably one of the coolest animation among Destroyer unimpressive skill visual effect. However, its practicality is often questionable. Its uneven damage distribution, long casting animation and random skill interruption are among the reasons which discourage its widespread usage among destroyers. I will delve into each of these issues, one at a time.
Execute has a very different skill calculation and mechanics as compared to other skills. It can be cast up to 4 times, depending on your available Focus. Each cast consume 50 Focus.
The total damage and hits for each case are listed below:
50 Focus – 4 hits: 150% * 3 + 800% = 1250%
100 Focus – 6 hits: 150% *2 + 200% *3 + 1300% = 2000%
150 Focus – 8 hits: 150% *2 + 200% *2 + 250% *3 + 2000% = 3450%
200 Focus – 10 hits: 150% *2 + 200% *2 + 250% *2 + 300% * 3 + 2900% = 5000%
4 cast would cost a total of 200 MP (which is easily achieved with Willpower buff). The last hit will refund 50% of the total Focus consumed back to you, provided that it lands.
From the damage distribution, you will realize that the bulk of the damage is carried by the last hit; all previous hits are much weaker than Eradicate/Repulse/Galeforce. The stakes are high.
The last hit:
– delivers most of the damage
– refresh Willpower
– refund total Focus consumption
If you miss the last hit, you will lose everything. It is a high risk skill. Even if the last hit lands, you will be left with < 100 Focus, which might affect your Eradicate/Repulse spam. Therefore, i don’t recommend casting it 4 times. Further justification below.
It takes ~4 sec to cast Execute 4 times and deals its full damage. Is it worth it? Should i use it during Fury?
The answer depends on your gearing. If you have a weapon which boost Eradicate (S2.7, S2.8 & above), it is almost certain that you will do more damage during 4 sec with just Eradicate-Galeforce spam instead. In 4 sec, you can do 8 x Eradicate/Repulse + 1 Galeforce, which totals 5600% damage.
Careful reader would realize that this is an over-simplication of the calculation, because the damage bonus from other gears are not included. Since i do not have Extreme Furnace Bopae (i am using the normal version of it) which boost the damage of Execute, the outcome is pretty clear. Do calculate yourself based on your own gear to see if it is worthwhile to cast Execute during Fury.
In my opinion, casting 4 x Execute is too risky although it has the potential to be a powerful burst skill, especially when you have the legendary bopae which nearly doubles the damage of Execute.
A lot of bosses will not stand still for 4~5 sec for you to hit without retaliating. Although you are resistant to Knockback during Execute, the boss can still Stun, Knockdown, Daze and Float you. If you are using it with Fury, be prepare to take in high damage (unless you use Emberstomp Stage 2 beforehand).
Well, other players might argue that they can move while casting Execute, to avoid boss skill. That is correct but this also adds a new risk to it: skill interruption (see below).
There are players who suggest using Persistence Stage 3 (E) instead of Fury to cast execute. Yes, you solve 1 problem: you can resist 5 x status/damage in 5 sec. However, you create another problem: Persistence does not guarantee 100% crit rate and potentially diminish the damage from the last hit.
Execute is a channeling skill, which can be cancelled by pressing another skill. There are 2 ways to cast the skills up to 4 times: tapping X continuously or holding X. While both methods work perfectly fine when you are STATIONARY, tapping X might cancel the skill if you try to move.
When i say cancel, I mean the last hit is NOT triggered; meaning you lost all the 3 important aspects of the skill : damage, Willpower refresh and Focus refund all in 1 go.
Initially, i was thinking that maybe the skill is canceled when i do not have enough Focus to continue casting. Upon recording and replaying the video, i realize that Execute will NEVER be interrupted due to insufficient Focus. Even if you have only 50 Focus, it will still cast once and the last hit will be performed, when you keep holding X. Skill interruption is caused by accidentally pressing another skill (RB, TAB especially) or movement (sometimes).
Therefore, the 2 best ways to cast Execute is
a) tap X once, if you are aiming for the Willpower refresh effect only
b) hold X, do not release (even if your Focus is depleted) until the last hit is performed
In both cases, you are allowed move around with arrow keys but do not press other skills, until the last hit lands.
I strongly recommend just tap X once to refresh Willpower with a mere 25 Focus (consume 50, refund 25) when the buff timer is < 5 sec.
The Shadow elemental Wrath is triggered under different conditions as compared to earth one. Aside from Fury, you can cast Shadow Wrath for 3 sec when the Willpower buff is applied (after Typhoon) OR refreshed (after Execute).
Wrath (Shadow) damage: 550%
Wrath (Earth) damage: 480%
You might think that 550% is almost the same as the average damage of Eradicate-Repulse (562.5%). Actually Eradicate-Repulse deals MUCH more damage than that due to the additional boost from Furnace legendary bopae (>20%) and S2.8 weapon (additional elemental damage > 125%).
Shadow Wrath can be powerful if you have one of the following equipment (if not all):
a) Legendary Mystic Badge (yet to be released in BnS CN)
b) Brahma bracelet (see Gear Selection section).
c) Time-Space (S2.7) Axe
d) Extreme Turtle Bopae (weaker overall stats vs Furnace though)
The remaining skills are quite standard and will not be elaborated.
Awakened Wrath (LB)
After the boost of Awakened skill, i believe it is worth to be discussed here.
Awakened Wrath (Shadow): Deal 720% damage. Reduce the CD of Galeforce by 2 sec on hit. Able to cast Galeforce on hit.
The Galeforce related effect was added in Aug 2016. The damage is actually comparable to Eradicate-Repulse and most importantly, it allows you to cast Galeforce on hit. Typically, i would cast this instead of Eradicate because this does not consume Focus at all (instead you will gain 15 Focus per hit).
Awakened Wrath (Earth): Deals 600% damage. Since you are are Shadow Destroyer, you will never use this; I am just listing it here for comparison.
The damage is not important at all. Just use it when you Focus = 0 to restart Eradicate spam.
Depending on situation, you might or might not want to ‘lock’ Knee skill by going into Stage 2/3 to avoid key conflict with Galeforce.