Holistic ISIC Guide – Battleborn

Holistic ISIC Guide - Battleborn
Holistic ISIC Guide - Battleborn

Overview

ISIC is the tank that doesn’t. Or rather, he doesn’t tank for other people. He’s a very difficult target to kill but doesn’t really hold truck with standing in front of allies, soaking up attacks for them. ISIC is more like a mobile artillery piece than a meat shield.

Compared to all of the other “tank-y” characters (Attikus, Boldur, Kelvin, Montana, S&A), ISIC’s combined hp + shield is woefully low. His tankiness is derived from his kit: he has a carried shield (just like Boldur and Galilea) as well as a powerful skill 1 that can soak up a lot of damage. As such, unlike other tanks, playstyle is more important than raw stats to ensuring that ISIC can stay alive: constant and active use of his skills as well as knowing when to stop attacking and start hiding behind a shield is important.

The balancing factor to his inferior “tankiness” compared to the other tanks is that ISIC is, by far, the most effective ranged combatant of any of them. He is extremely accurate and is capable of unloading devastating amounts of damage, especially when using his ultimate skill, which is so powerful that many would consider it to be a game breaker, even after the limitation to its duration was added.

ISIC’s other major weakness is that, outside of Plasma Dash and especially while he is attacking or using his ultimate, he is not especially mobile. Of course, Plasma Dash is an extremely powerful escape tool since it gives him excellent vertical and horizontal movement as well as allowing him to move through enemies and terrain without getting hung up on them.

Overall, ISIC could best be described as a “mode” driven character: he can’t really do more than one thing at a time (he can either move, attack, or soak damage). The secret to playing him effectively is learning when to change modes (and learning how long it will be before you can do it again).

Abilities

Charge Cannon:

ISIC’s basic attack.
ISIC fires a constant stream of low damage energy orbs. Each orb fired increases ISIC’s charge (which also increases ISIC’s accuracy) and, after consecutive 5 blasts (you lose all charges as soon as you stop firing), ISIC becomes “Overcharged”, which is a state that ISIC uses in a number of different ways. In general, it powers up his skill (but only if you use them while you are firing since, as soon as you stop firing, you lose your Overcharged status) but it also allows him to fire an “Overcharged Blast” when he releases the fire key (it’s actually fired immediately after you release and consumes the Overcharged status). The baseline blasts are low damage, fast enough to be difficult to dodge but slow enough that you will still have to lead against moving targets, and, after the first couple of blasts, pinpoint accurate; the overcharged blast does ~850% of the damage of the normal blasts and will explode in a small AoE, forcing you to learn to charge up and then release to maximize DPS. In addition to the charge bar on the left side of the skills HUD element, ISIC’s reticle also indicates his charge state (when Overcharged, he gets an additional symbol that spins around his main reticle).

Energy Aegis:

ISIC’s alt-fire.
ISIC brings up a shield that will soak up 1000 damage before breaking. It only soaks up damage from the front, so you’ll still need to mind the other 5 directions, and, begins recharging after not taking damage for a few seconds. While it’s up, ISIC is slowed down, and he can’t attack. Since it prevents ISIC from attacking, its primary use is for covering your escape.

Rotating Wards:

Skill 1.
ISIC summons a set of holographic wards that spin around him. Each ward can soak up a specific amount of damage and is destroyed when it takes too much. The wards don’t overlap, so if one or more are destroyed an intelligent opponent can ignore the remaining wards by simply waiting until the open space spins back around. The default damage absorbed is pretty pathetic so I only recommend using this when ISIC is Overcharged, which brings the values up to signficant and useful levels.
Something important to know when using this, unlike most other skills in BB, the skill doesn’t go on cooldown until the effect (i.e. the wards) are gone. As such, you can’t have them up permanently.

Plasma Dash:

Skill 2.
Effectively a teleport, ISIC will pass through enemies and terrain to get to wherever the target icon indicates. He deals damage passing through enemies, only slightly more when Overcharged, but not enough to rate this as a really viable damage skill. It’s one of the best escape skills in the game, though, and gives ISIC excellent burst mobility.
Because of how it’s implemented, the only way to actually use this skill while Overcharged is to use the “Instant” Skill Activation Style (it’s in Options/Gameplay/Skill Activation Styles). “Standard” and “Quick” both interrupt your attack by having you start aiming the skill and end up taking you out of the Overcharged state; the “Instant” mode allows you to use it while Overcharged because it circumvents the aiming portion completely.

Omega Strike:

Ultimate.
ISIC turns into a turret, completely changing how he plays. The turret state can last for up to 40 seconds and doesn’t go on cooldown until the state ends (since the CD is 50 seconds, at best, you can have ~44% uptime).
While in the turret state, ISIC’s movement slows to a crawl, he can’t use any of his other skills (activating the ultimate again will end the turret state early) or his quick melee, Overcharge meter continually charges, and his main and alt-fire are changed. When he’s Overcharged, his main fire can fire an extremely powerful blast from the cannon on the top of his head, consuming all Overcharge (the Overcharge recharges so fast that, if you keep the main fire button held down, you’ll fire the overhead blast multiple times per second). While in turret mode, ISIC’s alt-fire fires a stream of low damage blasts from both of his arms.
As such, when you want to attack while in turret mode, hold down both main and alt-fire. If you’re not using both, your DPS won’t be particularly impressive. If you do, you’ll melt pretty much anything you can keep in your crosshairs.
The turret mode will be ended by any stun or silence. As such, you’ll want to avoid anything that can do either of those effects. You can still jump, but you can’t move quickly.
While it’s not particularly impressive, activating Omega Strike while Overcharged gives ISIC an overshield. The overshield isn’t too strong, but, since ISIC can’t really dodge anything or use Rotating Wards while in turret mode (you can activate the Wards before you activate Omege Strike and you’ll have them for a short while), the overshield can help offset that and give ISIC some much needed survivability.

Helices

Level 1: Watchful Wards! 🙂 v. Whoops-A-Daisy! 😀 v. Crushin’ Those Shields! 😀

Recommendation: (PvP) Watchful Wards or Whoops-A-Daisy; (PvE) Watchful Wards
CTS is terrible for two reasons: (1) shield pen is not a particularly useful stat because it’s contingent on the target having a shield while having very little hp to be useful and (2) Plasma Dash is not a high damage skill. Plasma Dash is for mobility and escaping (and control, later on), not for trying to kill things.
Because Rotating Wards gives you 5 wards, WW will reduce ISIC’s shield recharge while it’s active, with each active ward reducing your shield recharge delay by .3 seconds (5 wards * .3 secs = up to 1.5 seconds). Since the Rotating Wards will protect you while your shield recharges, this can be very valuable.
WAD allows you to place your wards on the ground. You’re basically sacrificing personal protection for supporting your allies.

Level 2: You Dropped These! 😉 v. This Might Sting! :0

Recommendation: (PvP) Any; (PvE) You Dropped These
TMS only affects melee enemies and makes it useless as a protection tool when Overcharged (which is the only time it’s really useful, honestly, because the non-Overcharge values for the wards are terrible). Only take this in PvP if you’re dealing with almost exclusively melee damage dealers that are really good at stopping you from escaping.
YDT isn’t going to kill many targets since they’ll only reflect attacks that don’t break the wards, but they’ll allow you to continue using Rotating Wards as you have been rather than making it something completely different.

Level 3: Not Dyin’ Today! 🙂 v. Shield Down, Charge Up! 😀 v. Charging on the Go! 😀

Recommendation: NDT or CotG
NDT is the most generically useful since it is a straight numerical buff and increase to ISIC’s TTK. CotG allows ISIC to move faster while attacking (though doesn’t affect his movement speed during the ult). SDCU is only useful if you use ISIC’s alt-fire shield a lot and is the only way to use Plasma Dash without using the Instant Skill Activation Style (since it keeps you Overcharged for 2 seconds), however, the usefulness is largely contingent upon having your skills off cooldown when your alt-fire shield breaks and it’s not as if it’s hard to get Overcharged with ISIC’s normal attack anyways. Personally, I don’t see the use since you’re always 5 attacks away from being Overcharged again (which is barely more than a second).
If you feel the need for more mobility while attacking, CotG is the best choice. If you just want to be harder to kill, NDT.

Level 4: Hold It Right There! }:0 v. Line Up, Fellas! 😀

Recommendation: Hold It Right There
LUF is garbage because Plasma Dash isn’t a high damage attack and it’s contingent upon lining up a large number of enemies and using your Plasma Dash on them all at once. The only reason I’d bother with LUF is if you’re having trouble with the lore challenge for it, though it’s not going to do much because it’s a mere 5% (additive) increase in damage for each target hit after the first. You’ll get more damage out of skill damage gear.
HIRT, on the other hand, is amazing because it’s a stun. 1 second isn’t long but it’s long enough to interrupt player skills in PvP (and Plasma Dash is fast and easy enough to use that you can reliably use it for such) and make your escape *much* easier.
Warning: Some people have taken to interpreting LUF as a buff to all damage dealt after hitting targets with your Plasma Dash. This is not true; I have tested it myself multiple times. It only affects the damage that Plasma Dash deals.

Level 5: I’m Concentrating! 😐 v. Stopping Power! 😉 v. In a Big Rush! O_o

Recommendation: (PvP) Any; (PvE) I’m Concentrating or In a Big Rush
SP allows you to apply the wound (reduced healing) debuff to targets, which is quite powerful and useful, though only in PvP (enemies don’t heal in PvE so reducing healing does nothing). If you’re facing enemy healers, SP is probably best (the wound debuff is only 1.5 seconds, so it’s only useful if you’re continually attacking a target and having problems killing them; keep this in mind).
IC, when combined with WW at level 1 and NDT at level 3 can give you extremely nice survivability by increasing shields, reducing recharge delay, and increasing your regen rate so high that you’ll actually notice it in combat. If you’re not building around shield, it’s not going to help much, but, if you do, it’s very powerful. IaBR, especially when combined with CotG at level 3, will allow ISIC to run around at an almost absurd pace. As such, if you’re in PvE or in a PvP match without significant healing on your opponents’ side, the choice between these two helices is largely conditional on what you chose at level 3.

Level 6: Burlier Wards! 😀 v. Let’s Hug It Out! <3

Recommendation: (PvP) Any; (PvE) Burlier Wards
The choice here is simple: significantly stronger protection via Rotating Wards or more access to rapid mobility (and potentially control) from Plasma Dash. In PvE, it’s rare that you’ll need to use Plasma Dash on CD, so I don’t recommend LHIO much, especially since you’ll often find yourself using Rotating Wards on CD. In PvP, it’s up to your opponents whether you’ll need stronger defenses or better escape capabilities.

Level 7: Bring It On! 🙂 v. I’m Helping O_o v. Quick Charge! 😀

Recommendation: Bring It On or I’m Helping
ISIC already charges insanely fast; Quick Charge simply reduces the number of attacks requires to become Overcharged from 5 to 4, which is negligible when you consider how fast it already happens.
BIO gives you a doubly powerful shield while IH gives you a noticeably stronger basic attack. It’s a pretty obvious choice of playstyle.

Level 8: Hard Workin’ Wards! 🙂 v. Waste Not, Want Not! 🙂

Recommendation: Waste Not, Want Not
While both of these are about increasing the uptime on your Rotating Wards, I recommend against HWW mainly because the CD doesn’t begin until your wards are all destroyed. As such, you’re simply extending the time frame until you can reactivate your wards again, at full strength: the baseline CD is 17 seconds, assuming they last the full duration, you’re going from 32% (8 / (17 + 8)) uptime to 45% uptime ((8 + 6) / (17 + 8 + 6). It doesn’t help that your wards also tend to be too weak to really *need* longer than the default 8 seconds to be destroyed, assuming you activate them in combat rather than outside of it, so you’re not likely to actually see them last the 14 seconds that are possible with this.
WNWN will reduce the CD by 10% for each ward still present and allow you to get new ones faster.
The only reason I’d take HWW is if I had taken WAD at level 1. Since you’re placing your wards to protect a location, HWW means that you can either place them earlier or not have to run there again as soon as you otherwise would have when they fade.

Level 9: Can’t Run from Me! O.O v. Dodge This! O.O

Recommendation: Can’t Run from Me
Dodge This makes it easier to hit targets, potentially more, with Plasma Dash, which is only valuable if you’re trying to kill enemies with it (questionable, since it’s low damage) or stun them (if you took HIRT at level 4). The stun isn’t valuable enough and the dash is already easy enough to aim that I don’t see the point in trying to make it bigger. CRfM makes Plasma Dash a better mobility tool, which is what it’s good at.

Level 10: Shields Up! 😀 v. Slow Down, Fella! 🙂 v. It’s Raining Death! 😀

Recommendation: (PvP) Any; (PvE) Shields Up or It’s Raining Death
I only recommend SDF for PvP because slows just aren’t that useful in PvE, especially with Omega Strike: stuff tends to just die too quickly to make slowing things down worth the bother. In PvP, players are much sturdier than NPCs and have a habit of being hard to hit; SDF will allow you to lock someone down and increase chance of a kill (if they’re far away, you’ll prevent them from closing the gap and, potentially, ending your ult with a silence or stun).
SU and IRD are extremely powerful (SE especially if you took BIO at level 7 to double the strength of your alt-fire shield) and focus on making you either harder to kill or more lethal. If you’re having problems surviving in turret mode, SU is your best bet; if you’re not, IRD can up your lethality factor to a whole new level (the “cannon shot” mentioned is the main fire head cannon that consumes your Overcharge).

Gear Stats

ISIC is a low TTK tank that spends most of his time doing damage with his basic attack (and a little bit extra with skills) but can enter turret mode to do an utterly insane amount of skill damage (all damage in turret mode is skill damage). His primary problems are mobility and reliance upon his skills. I’ll go over all stats here, based on how I personally categorize them, and provide a priority list for each category.

Offensive

(Attack Speed>Skill Damage>Attack Damage>Critical Damage=Cooldown>Shield Penetration=Recoil>Reload):

Attack Speed increases ISIC’s basic attack speed, increasing the speed that he becoming Overcharged and also doing more damage since he’s throwing out more orbs, as well as his attack speed while in turret mode. Since it improves his DPS both in and out of turret mode, it is the best option.
ISIC’s damage in turret mode is obscene while his damage outside of it is rather mediocre. His turret mode is so powerful, in fact, that, even though he barely uses skill damage outside of turret mode, Skill Damage is still one of his best damage stats. If you’re PvPing and having problems getting to level 5 or staying in turret mode, however, this is basically a wasted stat (since you need to be in turret mode for it to be useful).
Attack Damage improves ISIC’s basic attack outside of turret mode so, if you’re running low level this can be good. ISIC’s basic attack and the small alt-fire guns in his turret mode can crit. It’s not *amazing*, but it’s not terrible. Cooldown means more turret mode uptime, which is awesome, but it’s held back by Omega Strike not going on CD until after you come out of it.
Shield Pen gets the standard disclaimer: it’s only useful in PvP because most enemies in PvE don’t have shields (and no bosses have them; Rendain’s shield doesn’t care about shield pen). *Technically* ISIC’s basic attack has a bit of recoil at the beginning, while he’s charging up, and his head cannon in turret mode has a *lot* of recoil (it’s extremely noticeable, in fact) but it’s not going to make him more dangerous to reduce it because the rapid fire shots don’t really suffer for it and he always gets back in place when the next head shot fires.
ISIC’s doesn’t ever reload so it does absolutely nothing for him.

Defensive

(Max Health=Damage Reduction<Max Shield<Health Regen=Cooldown<Healing Received=Shield Recharge=Shield Regen<CC duration):
Depending upon how much you use ISIC’s alt-fire shield, either Max Health or Damage Reduction can be his best survivability stat. If you don’t use his alt-fire shield much, he doesn’t get anywhere near enough hp+shield to make DR worth it (it requires 3333; at level 10, ISIC will have 2525; even with helices, he’ll be a bit short). If you *do* use his alt-fire shield, it will push his effective shield+hp over the top and make it very good.
Max shield is of lower priority because it’s lower value than max health increases.
Health Regen is the only way for ISIC to get some self healing, so it’s got its place. Cooldown means more escaping with Plasma Dash, more wards with Rotating Wards, and, if you take SU at level 10, more time with his alt-fire shield up.
Healing Received is low priority because ISIC isn’t a meat shield tank: he doesn’t have a lot of hp that requires healing in order to come back from the fight.
Shield Recharge and Regen are low priority because the values on gear just aren’t enough to make a dint compared to what he can manage with helices. If you want Shield Recharge and Regen, take the helices, not the gear.
CC duration is functionally worthless. CCs don’t last that long so the minute values of CC duration on gear basically mean nothing. It won’t even help you stay in turret form because, no matter how much CC duration you stack, you can’t become immune to it and it only takes being subjected to the effect to end turret form.

Mobility

(Move speed=Cooldown>Sprint speed>CC duration):
Move speed is useful in combat and out of combat and is increased by sprinting. ISIC’s combat speed is pretty pathetic outside of some specific helic choices and Plasma Dash is incredibly powerful so Cooldown is excellent. Sprint speed is only really useful outside of combat. CC duration reduces the duration of slows and stuns but is still absolutely terrible.

Economy

(Shards>Buildable):
Getting shards helps you buy gear as well as construct buildables. Buildable reduction makes them way cheaper, however. Something to consider is that I only find these stats remotely useful in PvP. PvE gives you shards like candy; unless you’ve got someone who bogarts all of the shards, every mission should provide a surplus of shards even if you have a triple legendary loadout (like I do for pretty much everyone). In PvP, however, these are absolutely amazing and can actually be the foundation of an effective strategy.

Legendaries

Gloves (attack damage):

Pacifier (algorithm)
The only attack damage item I would consider for ISIC because, even though attack damage is meh, max shield can be good, and the proc is excellent for a tank minded ISIC.

Swords (attack speed):

Stolen Edge of Arcvynorr (sentinel), Orbital Tracking Spike (llc)
SEoA is the gold standard of attack speed legendaries: the stacks are permanent and reasonably easy to acquire, and it provides an good stat in addition to the attack speed. It’s also dropped from the Sentinel mission, which has 4 of the best legendaries in the game in its loot table.
Orbital Tracking Spike gets special referencing here because ISIC is not a mobile individual while he is attacking; as such, having to stand still for a doubling of the attack speed bonus isn’t that big of a deal. Also, it gives him a bit of shield to help him survive everything being thrown at him, which can help a bit. To make it even better, the Winter Update changed the legendary effect so that you get more of the attack speed the slower you’re moving so you can move around while overcharged or in turret mode and still get a majority of the benefit.
Vow of Zealous Fury used to be absolutely amazing but it was gutted in the Winter Update. Don’t use it.

Watches (cooldown):

Aria’s Encore (thrall ops), Borrowed Timer (upr)
It’s important to remember that AE is only useful for ops runs and *only* if you are going for a high number of ops points. Without either of those, the legendary effect is basically a waste. However, if you *are* farming ops for commander packs, this can be absolutely devastating because it’s a crapton of skill damage for ISIC’s ult to capitalize on. BT can be extremely powerful, since, if you time your critical hp occasions to guarantee near 100% turret mode uptime, but it is extremely risky. Even if you use your other skills to gtfo as soon as they refresh, you’re putting yourself at a *lot* of risk.
I caution against any of the other legendary cooldown items though. Chrono Key has a useless secondary stat and the legendary effect is of no use to Omega Strike because it doesn’t begin cooling down (and begin to benefit from the legendary effect) until it ends and your damage returns to non-turret levels again; your other skills don’t benefit either because you should be in turret mode long enough to recharge those anyways (and you can’t use them while in turret mode) so it’s a complete waste. Firmware Update has similar problems: low value secondary stat and ISIC’s abilities have CDs that are too high to really make much use out of the legendary effect (for Firmware Update, you want at least 1 skill with a low CD that you will spam as much as you can). Time Killer has a decent secondary stat and, while you should be using Rotating Wards and Omega Strike on CD, Plasma Dash is best reserved for when it will actually be useful (and you don’t really need *more* Shield Recharge on top of the existing options ISIC gets).

Crit Damage (goggles):

Vigilant Power Scouter (sentinel), Poor “M-Pulse” Controller (algorithm)
VPS gives you a lot of hp in addition to that crit damage and gives you a big bonus to your next attack’s damage when you do crit (it won’t benefit turret mode, which is bad). If you chain crits, it’s a truly impressive increase to damage. PMC gives you move speed (nice but not stellar) and turns all kills into explosions, which can be pretty devastating if you kill a bunch of enemies all at once.

Pauldrons (damage reduction):

Blissbeast Skull Plate (void’s edge), Burning Sunset (rogue), “Alamo-7” Armor (algorithm)
Blissbeast Skull Plate provides damage reduction and a nice chunk of regeneration, which is nice. ISIC doesn’t have the truly obscene amount of hp that the tankiest characters get but he’s stil got a good chunk, so he’s not liable to get the legendary effect super often, but it’s still useful. Burning Sunset makes it a lot harder to screw with you when you’re on a rampage because it allows you to ignore the damage from one skill every 30 seconds (only useful in PvP; this does nothing in PvE). The CC duration fits with the theme of ignoring opponents trying to screw with you, though neither element will protect you from losing turret mode to a silence or stun (since the legendary effect only prevents damage). “Alamo-7” Armor should probably also be mentioned here because it’s a reasonable option to consider. A7A provides a low value secondary stat and, while 2 seconds of immunity is nice, all ISIC can really do with those 2 seconds are using Plasma Dash and Rotating Wards to save his butt (unless he can kill his target, which is definitely possible in turret mode).

Amulets (healing received):

Leechsteel Brooch (renegade)
ISIC does a *lot* of skill damage in turret mode. While the healing received is largely worthless, ISIC’s skill damage is high enough that you will *definitely* notice the life steal (especially since the Brooch also brings Skill Damage, which is great).

Injectors (health regen):

Ziggurat Schematic Serum (phoebe ops)
While it’s nice to get some regen on ISIC (since he can’t really heal otherwise), most of the other legendary injectors don’t really work well for ISIC. The ZSS is good but still pretty questionable since the legendary effect triggers off of health damage taken and ISIC is built primarily to *avoid* taking health damage (e.g. carried shield, shield aug helices, Rotating Wards). Of course, you should only use it if you’re running ops, which is pretty obvious.

Armor (max hp):

Vigilance Link (sentinel), Vampiric Vestments (jennerit), Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter (upr), Squad Goals BDU (mike ops)
Vigilance Link gives you your best survivability stat coupled with a marginal one and makes your team more durable as well. Excellent for team players and more support minded people (even better if you have a pocket healer). Vampiric vestments will give you hp, more hp when you kill things, and more attack damage so that it’s easier to kill things (though the attack damage is marginal). However, because you lose them when you die, I wouldn’t recommend VV for PvP since dying is relatively common.
Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter is excellent because ISIC is such a large target that he’s *going* to get hit often and it also comes with his other best defensive stat; of course, ISIC isn’t really built to take hp damage so only go with this if you’ve got a healer and a mind to not use your shield or alt-fire shield until you’ve gained the stacks. If you’re running ops, SG BDU is better (and is actually the single best TTK item you can get) because it provides more hp than P2G with the exact same DR contributions: if you’ve got at least 56 ops points, SG BDU is better than P2G can possibly be.

Max shield (battery):

Modernista (saboteur), Voxis Core (jennerit), Defensive Reasoner (lore), Executive Insurance Policy (llc), SKNK-WRK Decoherence Refractor (montana ops), Co-opetition Inducer (llc)
Modernista is a good anti-ranged shield with a good secondary stat. An excellent way to discourage snipers in PvP since you can avoid the first crit and hurt them in the process; it gets even more punishing with You Dropped These (Rotating Wards reflects). Voxis Core is amazing for dealing skill damage since it effectively makes AoEs deal 15% more damage (which is awesome for ISIC’s head cannon), and skill damage is a secondary stat. I mentioned Defensive Reasoner because it’s ISIC’s lore legendary but I don’t recommend it: the stats are sub-max and the secondary stat is marginalized by helix options that do the job better; the legendary effect is extremely nice for a tank ISIC, though. EIP is only really legit in PvP where you need the extra shards, and, if you build around ISIC recharging his shields (with the helix choices), you can have an overshield extremely often (normally I don’t recommend legendaries with shard generation mechanisms because you’re losing out on a *lot* of shards because of the high cost, but EIP is good enough that the bonus shards are more of a bonus rather than a fundamental aspect).
If you’re doing ops, SKNK is absolutely incredible since it provides the most DR possible on any single item (19.2%) if you’re running for 100 ops points: 19.2% DR is a 23% increase in TTK, which means that it’ll provide more survivability than anything else except for the SG BDU.
Co-opetition Inducer used to be complete junk but was revamped in the Winter Update to be extremely potent. The new legendary effect allows you to get stacks that increase your max hp on any non-LLC enemy that you kill, which includes minions (the minion robots aren’t LLC aligned either). It’s almost trivially easy to cap out the stacks and double the shield contributions from the legendary.

Boots (move speed):

RDC Ground Pounders (upr)
The only boots I would recommend for ISIC: the movement speed will be useful for a high mobility build, the recoil will help with head cannon shots in turret mode, and you get a nice bit of conditional DR if he takes damage from the side (which can happen with players a lot since most people will try to take out the death turret from the side, especially if they’re trying to get around some Rotating Wards or your alt-fire shield).

Stocks (recoil):

Starkweather’s Oscillator (llc)
SO basically gives you 15% lifesteal for your shield. Considering ISIC’s incredible damage potential in turret mode coupled with his inability to use Rotating Wards or escape while in that mode, this can be extremely useful. It doesn’t have particularly good stats on it, so it’s not really a “must use” legendary, but it’s definitely something to consider if you want to be tanky in turret mode.

Shield Capacitors (shield recharge):

Doomsday Key (heliophage)
The only shield recharge item I’d recommend because of the incredibly powerful legendary effect that’s liable to happen pretty often with a shield focused build. Skill Damage plus the huge attack speed increase makes this a devastating option.

Shield Generators (shield regen):

Vacuum Energy Converter (llc)
One of the extremely nice Demon Bear legendaries, it provides you with every single shield stat in useful amounts. If you’ve got one or more allies with an active Demon Bear legendary (which is actually pretty decent advice since the Demon Bear legs are all pretty awesome), you’ll get primary stat value for the max shield as well, which is extremely good. Keep in mind, this works in both PvP and PvE, but you need an ally using a matching piece of gear.

Pins (skill damage):

Bola’s Target Finder (experiment), Codex Fragment (archive), Lorrian Skill Spike (archive), Phlogiston Propulsor (llc)
Bola’s Target Finder is awesome, since it combines an awesome primary stat with an awesome secondary stat and a ridiculously powerful legendary efffect. If you want more survivability, however, Codex Fragment will be superior. The hp will keep you alive while in turret mode and, unlike most characters, ISIC will be fine taking damage (since it simply requires taking damage, not health damage; so damage to your shield counts) to build up the skill damage from Codex Fragment (the stacks fade after 5-6 seconds if you don’t keep taking damage). It’ll provide less damage in turret mode than Bola’s will (since you’re getting 9.1% skill damage instead of 5.04% attack speed and 12.6% increased damage taken) but it will give you a nice chunk of extra hp, which can make a big difference. Lorrian Skill Spike was buffed in the Winter Update to be much more reliable and have a much better average contribution, but it pales in comparison to Bola’s; it’s only a valid choice if you don’t have a Bola’s yet.
If you want to focus more on survivability/control rather than damage (which is a legit idea), Phlogiston Propulsor will provide you with it: the knockback isn’t much, but the amount of skill damage that ISIC’s pumps out while in turret mode means that you’ll have access to it on a regular basis (and it will help when some melee decides to rush you).

Non-Legendary Gear

Since legendaries generally require extensive PvE to acquire (even the loot pack legendaries are easier to get via PvE due to the ease at acquiring commander packs via the ops), most PvP players won’t have ready access to many of them. Of course, because they require so many shards to activate, many PvPers don’t bother using them in the first place (they’d rather activate cheaper gear and use spare shards on buildables). It should also be mentioned than many newbies won’t have ready access to a full spread of gear either so this provides them some stuff to look out for.

Keep in mind that all of these items can be acquired from Core loot packs; each item also has a relevant faction listed; if you’re looking for a specific item, your best bet is to open faction or commander packs of that type so that the loot table is smaller.

This list will not be comprehensive. I’m only mentioning those items that I feel are most relevant/important. I’ll also be labeling them based upon faction, rarity, and if you want the version with a penalty if possible (items with penalties are cheaper to activate; in general, only use gear with a penalty that doesn’t affect your character since it’s basically a free cost reduction).

Gloves (attack damage):

LLC (epic), Eldrid (all), Rogue (rare)
First and foremost, the Eldrid gloves are all awesome because max hp is absolutely amazing and the conditional effect on the rare and uncommon versions are extremely easy to activate. ISIC has and thoroughly enjoys his shield so you don’t want to reduce it with the penalized versions.
The LLC epic glove is good because it provides some more shield. The other gloves aren’t worth it because of bad conditional requirements.
The Rogue rare glove is awesome because ISIC’s high RoF can quickly peel shields and throw out a bunch of attacks on the off chance of one of them scoring a crit.

Swords (attack speed):

LLC (epic), Eldrid (all), Rogue (rare)
The exact same stuff here as with the gloves, with a different primary stat. Same rules apply, but ISIC definitely prefers attack speed to attack damage because it buffs his turret DPS as well as his non-turret DPS.

Wrenches (buildable cost):

Jennerit (common, penalized)
Excellent for PvP building loadouts, this is the only free wrench that doesn’t penalize ISIC at all. The higher rarity wrenches tend to not be worth it because you’re spending shards to save the same amount on later purchases.

Watches (cooldown time):

Jennerit (common, penalized), Rogue (common or rare, penalized)
The penalized common watches are free and can be useful for cheap PvP loadouts for either rapid dominance or building; because ISIC neither heals nor suffers from appreciable recoil, the penalties don’t really penalize him. The primary value in them is when you hit level 5 and want to get Omega Strike back faster. The Rogue rare one is excellent since (1) you’ll often want to use Rotating Wards on CD, (2) if you’re not in turret mode, it’s generally because it’s on CD and you’re waiting for it to come back, and (3) having Plasma Dash on CD isn’t all that bad (especially since it’s liable to come back while you’re in turret mode, meaning it’ll be there for when you drop out of turret mode and want to gtfo).

Goggles (crit damage):

LLC (epic), Eldrid (all), Rogue (rare)
The exact same stuff here as with the gloves, with a different primary stat. Same rules apply, though these tend to be worse because, unless a majority of your attacks are crits (pretty much never happens in PvP), attack damage and attack speed will both provide more damage outright.

Pauldrons (damage reduction):

Rogue (rare)
12.4% DR after activating a skill is extremely good, given how ISIC how tends to use his skills (Rotating Wards on CD, turret mode asap, etc). Don’t go for the penalized version because that’s -hp, which is bad: you end up losing almost as much TTK as you gain.

Injectors (health regen):

Eldrid (rare), LLC (rare)
ISIC has no other way of recovering hp on his own so a regeneration item of some kind is virtually a necessity. The conditional on the Eldrid one is extremely easy to activate (just don’t die) and stays up for as long as you might need after it’s been activated. The LLC variant will give you regen when you’re in combat (when your shield is down), but it won’t really heal you as much outside of combat so which is better depends upon how often you figure you’ll die.

Armor (max hp):

Eldrid (rare), LLC (rare)
The LLC rare is one of the best max hp items in the game for PvP. As soon as your shield breaks, your max hp and current hp both increase by 210. As soon as you have a shield again, your max hp and current hp are both reduced by 210 (though no less than 1). It’s extremely good. The Eldrid variant is basically a bridge gap until you can get the LLC one.

Battery (max shield):

Jennerit (any, penalized)
The Jennerit penalty is reduced reload speed, which doesn’t affect ISIC at all. A penalized common battery then translates into 140 higher max shield for free. The other Jennerit batteries are similarly good: the conditional trigger on the uncommon and rare versions is easy to manage (except in Capture) and the secondary stat on both the uncommon and epic versions is extremely useful. All of these are good options to go with.

Shard Gen (free shards):

Jennerit (common, penalized), Rogue (common, penalized)
Virtually required for most PvP loadouts, these free shard gens don’t penalize ISIC at all. The higher rarity shard gens tend to not be worth it because you’re having to wait to activate it before starting to generate shards, effectively doubling the cost.

Pins (skill damage):

LLC (epic), Eldrid (all), Rogue (rare)
The exact same stuff here as with the gloves, with a different primary stat. Same rules apply, though these tend to be better, assuming you’re planning on hitting level 5 quickly and abusing Omega Strike.

Loadouts

General PvE:

Bola’s Target Finder, Stolen Edge of Arcvynorr, Voxis Core
Crank up your attack speed and skill damage to make turret mode utterly disgusting. This is the most damage focused PvE build too, but it also gets shield from Voxis Core (and ISIC doesn’t really need a lot more survivability anyways). You could also replace the Voxis Core with either Aria’s Encore (if doing ops), a Doomsday Key (Voxis will help more against groups, though DK will be better against bosses), or Leechsteel Brooch (if you’re having problems surviving and want the life steal).

Pure Tank PvE:

Pacifier, Blissbeast Skull Plate, Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter
Pacifier gives you shield and a damage debuff for enemies; Blissbeast gives you regen and DR; P2G gives you a buttload of hp and more damage reduction. Combined with the tanky helix options and active use of his alt-shield, you’ll be extremely hard to kill.

Pure Tank Ops:

SKNK-WRK Decoherence Refractor, Squad Goals BDU, Ziggurat Schematic Serum
This’ll provide you with a crapton of DR, a crapton of HP, a good amount of both health and shield regen, and a reasonably decent overshield on occasion. Another good option instead of the ZSS would be the Oath of the Sustained (from Renegade) if you want to provide a bit of healing to your allies, Pacifier if you’ve got a healer (such that you don’t need any regen), or Blissbeast Skull Plate if you’re willing to make do with lower average regeneration but higher TTK.

Max-Turret Time PvE:

Borrowed Timer, Leechsteel Brooch, Bola’s Target Finder
The point with this loadout is to always be in turret mode. Borrowed Timer allows you to instantly end your cooldowns by dropping below 10% hp, Leechsteel Brooch allows you to heal back up when in turret mode, and Bola’s Target Finder is all about maximizing your damage in turret mode. Vow of Zealous Fury is also a viable option instead of Bola’s.

Mike Ops DPS:

Sketchy “Easy Money” (-heal power), Aria’s Encore, Bola’s Target Finder
The free shard gen is there to allow you to afford the other 2 legs, which will give you the best damage possible while in turret mode.

Mike Ops Tank:

Sketchy “Easy Money” (-heal power), SKNK-WRK Decoherence Refractor, Squad Goals BDU
The free shard gen is there to allow you to afford the other 2 legs, which will make you as tank-y as possible.

PvP Tank:

Sketchy “Easy Money” (-heal power), Pacifier, Blissbeast Skull Plate
ISIC is a ranged tank; as such, Pacifier is extremely good at reducing the damage your enemies deal and Blissbeast is the best option you’ve got (if you expect to take a lot of health damage and heal back from it, go with Pain-2-Gain). The free shard gen is there to allow you to afford the other 2 legs.

PvP Omega Striker:

Sketchy “Easy Money” (-heal power), Bola’s Target Finder, Stolen Edge of Arcvynorr
The free shard gen is there to allow you to afford the other 2 legs. Bola’s and SEoA are the best items to make your ultimate truly devastating.

PvP Perma-turret:

Sketchy “Easy Money” (-heal power), Borrowed Timer, Leechsteel Brooch
The free shard gen is there to allow you to afford the other 2 legs. It’s even riskier in PvP than in PvE, since you’re at the mercy of silences and stuns that can knock you out of your turret mode early, not to mention that 25% hp cutting it pretty close. Thankfully, you probably have a healer that can top you off (or a heal station to camp out at).

Fast Leveling PvP:

Sketchy “Easy Money” (-heal power), Erratic Tempestian Cred Stick (-reload speed), any 1 legendary
Build as much as possible to get easy xp and level up as quickly as possible. Make sure you stick around the fights as well so that you’re not sacrificing minion xp for build xp. The legendary is there for when you hit level 5 (or 10, whatever your goal level is) and no longer need to spend shards on build xp. I don’t mention any specific legendaries because there are a *crapton* that can fit in depending upon what you want and how you want to do it.

Cheap and Effective PvP:

Sportsman’s Haute-Couture Kevlar, Stout Aelfrin Warblade, 1 of (Stout Ekkuni Wristguard, Stout Golemic Sigil, Erratic Internal Capacitor)
Since there aren’t any legendary items, you don’t really need a free shard gen (though you could replace either the glove or the pin if you really wanted; another option to make it even cheaper would be an Erratic Internal Capacitor). Any of the uncommons can be replaced by the epic versions if you’re worried about the conditionals (at the cost of 336 additional shards for each).

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