Written by: overlordlegacy
Hi all. I’ve been playing AK for about 2 years now, and I mained the Holy Sword class for most of this time. I've seen a lot of people posting questions on the holy sword forums asking for builds and guides so I decided to make a one. Some of the advice I give in this guide may be different then what other players might tell you, but I assure you that I have carefully tested and calculated all of the build choices I recommend here and I will share with you my reasoning so you can be convinced too. As a first example, take a look at these videos I made testing the use of holy verse lightning element:
My build suggestions mostly focus on optimizing damage to bosses and not to mobs/elites because my motto is “if you cannot defeat the boss then you cannot clear the dungeon” and a number of bosses have traps, healing, debuffs, etc. that make it difficult to win without burst damage. So if you are already a fully geared player looking for an optimized build that will allow you to perform the fastest dungeon clear then this guide may not be for you. But if you are a casual player looking to improve your damage within a budget so that you can win more dungeons then you will likely find the suggestions herein helpful.
NOTE: For those who prefer a quick read I have highlighted important points in Red. If you follow the bold red text you should be able to get a quick idea as to what to build.
Let’s start with selecting a sub class since it will affect many other aspects of your holy sword build. I think the best subclasses for supporting holy sword in dealing maximum damage are ranger, bard, and shinobi. In terms of damage output I would rank them shinobi > ranger > bard. Feel free to use other subclasses but I will only be covering these three herein.
II.1 Ranger vs Bard
Ranger is slightly stronger than bard for boss fights mainly because it allows for a better envoy path, has superior burst via zeal buff, and a stronger defense shred skill. Bard is able to stack its buffs/debuffs upfront but doesn’t demonstrate any significant benefits from doing so. The zeal buff does have a long cooldown but ranger’s fully stacked defense shred can still match bard without it. Bard does offer more health and healing, and its buffs are better for mob clearing. Check out this video I made comparing them.
II.2 Ranger vs Shinobi
Shinobi is stronger than ranger mainly because a better advanced skill mastery along with the superstar skill razor wind that deals insane damage. However, this damage benefit is only achieved with a fortified sub weapon. Without this extra damage ranger will outpace shuriken just as it does bard as shown in my video. Shinobi also offers useful combo skills. Check out this video I made comparing them.
I will show you a few good envoy paths for lv 75+, explain the critical nodes you should always take, and discuss when and where you might change them slightly.
III.1 Envoy Important Nodes
I circled all the nodes you should always try to get in red. They are all important sources of damage. The frosty edge node extends your CRIT DMG cap to 315% in combat (but it doesn't actually give you any CRIT DMG) and deals bonus damage for every skill used on a target affected by ice splitter or ice boundary (the charged ice splitter attack). The nodes I circled in blue are also very useful but can be situational. You may find yourself skipping them depending on your build but definitely take as many of them as you can. If you are focusing a lightning build you can skip the 15% smiting edge cooldown node but for a holy build you must take it. The rest of the nodes are mostly there just to fill space between the important nodes. Feel free to take other routes.
III.2 Envoy for Lacking Crit DMG & Bard Sub
This is the best envoy path to take when you need more Crit DMG. It's possible to cap CRIT DMG on bard without this envoy path but it is much more difficult.
Lightning Build Envoy
This envoy path focuses on making up for the 25% Boss CRIT DMG not provided by the crafted sub weapon while pumping up the DMG/CRIT for your strongest skill thunderstrike. I suggest taking the smiting edge nodes because the skill damage increase is useful for both clearing mobs and boss fights. The damage increase to your rotation by taking dragon slayer is about the same and it adds some range that lets the skill hit and shred the defense of nearby enemies but I fail to see the benefit of killing mobs around the boss faster since you will likely want to bounce thunderstrike off them. You can swap around the CRIT and CRIT DMG nodes I indicate with red arrows.
Holy Build Envoy
This envoy path focuses on making up for the 25% Boss CRIT DMG not provided by the crafted sub weapon while pumping up the DMG/CRIT for your strongest skill smiting edge. I suggest skipping the thunderstrike nodes in this case because I calculated it to be slightly more damage efficient to take all the DMG % and dragon slayer nodes instead. You can swap around the CRIT, DMG, and CRIT DMG nodes as indicated by the red arrows if needed.
III.3 Envoy for Ranger Sub
These are the best envoy path to use to maximize your damage and your skill damage.
Lightning Build Envoy
This envoy path focuses on pumping up the DMG/CRIT for your strongest skill thunderstrike. I suggest taking the smiting edge nodes because the skill damage increase is useful for both clearing mobs and boss fights. The damage increase to your rotation by taking dragon slayer is about the same and it adds some range that lets the skill hit and shred the defense of nearby enemies but I fail to see the benefit of killing mobs around the boss faster since you will likely want to bounce thunderstrike off them. You can swap the CRIT nodes that I indicate with the red arrow.
Holy Build Envoy
This envoy path focuses on pumping up the DMG/CRIT for your strongest skill smiting edge. I suggest skipping the thunderstrike nodes in this case because I calculated it to be slightly more damage efficient to take all the DMG % and dragon slayer nodes instead. You can swap around the CRIT nodes as I indicate using red arrows. Note that the holy sword training CRIT nodes only give extra CRIT to your holy sword skills, but when using a subclass like ranger for mostly support skills then the CRIT rate of your sub weapon attacks don't matter much.
III.4 Envoy for Shuriken Sub
Lightning Build Envoy
The focus of this envoy path is to grab two combo skills while pumping up your DMG/CRIT for your two strongest skills thunderstrike and razor wind.
Holy Build Envoy
The focus of this envoy path is to grab two combo skills while pumping up your DMG/CRIT for your two strongest skills smiting edge and razor wind.
IV.1 Ranger Sub Masteries
This is the main setup of masteries I recommend for ranger sub and in general. I find that the Execution dragon slayer mastery is better than holy ground slasher because the 9% DMG buff it provides is mostly canceled out by using a weak skill to activate it. It’s also a good idea to make a holy build with ranger sub since you will be taking the evil smiting edge repent mastery.
IV.2 Bard Sub Masteries
If you are using bard sub you should use the Song of the full moon mastery for the defense shred and either the sad love song mastery with a lightning build or both the sad love song and evil smiting edge repent masteries with a holy build. You can swap between them when you need more burst or damage for longer duels. You may also want to get the execution dragon slayer mastery to use for those few bosses whose defense is too high to shred with storm song.
IV.3 Shuriken Sub Masteries
If you are using shuriken sub you should use the shadow wind mastery with a lightning or holy build. It is also useful to have the crippling wind mastery for those few bosses whose defense is too high to shred. Sunfire toss is about as weak as ground slasher but it also shreds defense and has a chance to summon your shadow warrior which makes it a little more equal to dragon slayer.
IV.4 Situational Masteries
When you don’t need the extra defense use deep blue to deal more damage. When a boss has defense that cannot be shredded use organized sabotage to reduce their damage. When a boss uses a DoT skill that you cannot handle use Unyieldingness to extend your survivability.
V. WEAPON SPECIALIZATON
This is pretty much what I recommend everyone doing with their weapon specialization. You can switch the CRIT, SPD, and CRIT DMG points around from what I show here. DEF points can be quite useful in helping you to cap your defense if it is low. Make sure to spend the time to level both paths/sides to lv. 50 so you can get all 100 points, but definitely use the left side after that if you want a huge boost to your damage.
Here are a variety of different eidolons I suggest you consider using to assist you in dungeons and in dealing more damage. Of course feel free to choose one that you like instead.
VI.1 Best Free Eidolons
You definitely want an eidolon with 25% ATK SPD to deal maximum damage. If you are on a budget, consider using Eligos for his defense shred skill or Cleopawtra for the DoT, SPD, and Move SPD buff.
VI.2 Best Pricey Eidolons
Yumikaze is the best natural eidolon to boost your DPS and Tsubaki has a very helpful nocturnal boost skill to keep you and your party alive in dungeons. Both eidolons have a lv. 60 gold accessory that shreds 8% defense, but you will need to roll Tsubaki’s star buffs to 25% ATK SPD and either one of 45% DMG to holy skills or 45% DMG to lightning skills which makes her an expensive choice. Muse has a stun skill, nocturnal boost skill, and strong ultimate attack; making her the best choice to use for bursting bosses with a holy build. But you will need to reroll her starbuffs to 25% ATK SPD and 45% DMG to holy skills.
VI.3 Best Eidolons for 45% Elemental Skill Buff
If you do want to reroll your eidolon buffs to 45% DMG to holy or lightning skills, then it is worth considering other eidolons which have a holy or lightning element ultimate attack because it will also receive the elemental damage boost and deal huge damage. You can choose between an eidolon with useful skills/accessories or an eidolon with a stronger ultimate attack for extra burst damage. Some holy and lightning eidolons with strong ultimate attacks include: Gigas, Bel-Chandra, and Astrea. Some holy and lightning eidolons with weaker ultimates but useful skills/accessories include Alice, Kusagani, Kotonoha(for nocturnal), Quelkulan, and Abraxas.
VI.4 Best Team of Eidolons for Maximum Damage
By using 6 eidolons with 25% ATK SPD and the 6 different 45% DMG to elemental targets buff, you can increase your damage output further. Use a 25% ATK SPD and 45% DMG to elemental skills eidolon against non-element (violent) bosses. Good choices for eidolons include those with a defense shred, DoT, or holy/lightning ultimate that can help you to deal extra damage over other eidolons.
VII.1.1 Holy Swords
lv. 85 Glacier Twister (Holy or Lightning Element)
It can be good but is situational. You are trading the lv. 80 crafted weapon’s +1 weapon skill level, 10% boss dmg, -5% boss dmg taken, and a core (destroyer), for 8% weapon damage, 5% HP, a mostly useless duration on Dragon Slayer, about 40k extra flat DMG (assuming 130% and 140% ATK bonus), and a small amount of extra flat CRIT, HP, and DEF. I included a sample calculation (assuming 40%/50% def shred) to demonstrate that the lv. 85 weapon appears to deal more damage but because of the destroyer core the lv. 80 weapon will do more. But the lv. 85 weapon will still be better against bosses whose defense you cannot shred and in party play as long as someone else can make up for the lack of defense shred. Definitely don't use it if you cannot find one with either a lightning or holy element. This weapon can be obtained from bosses in Sarpa’s Forbidden Laboratory and Tomb of the Ancients.
lv. 80 crafted Ghodroon's Devastation Blade (Holy or Lightning Element)
As I showed, this will often deal more damage than lv. 85 glacial twister because of the destroyer core which makes this a good option. The recipe can be bought from the blacksmith and the ore materials you will need to make the weapon and core can all be found in the dungeon Avarice Abyss.
VII.1.1.1 Holy Sword Weapon Element – Holy vs Lightning
The choice between holy and lightning elements is a close call and I have done extensive testing and calculations to determine which is superior. For the sake of avoiding a pointless debate here, I will reference you to the extensive list of evidence I've gathered that has caused me to shift my prior belief that lightning was far superior and arrive at the conclusion that smiting edge is slightly stronger because of the secret stone and 6 tick holy flames DoT which can each trigger zeals. That is why my recommendation is that you use a holy element, at least when using the Fatal Toxin accessory set, the smiting edge mastery, or a holy element eidolon with a stun skill for setting up a backstriked 900% ultimate attack and only consider using the lightning element when not using any of these.
(See second post in the thread)
VII.1.2 Sub Weapons
lv. 80 crafted Ghodroon’s Dragonwing Bow (Dark Element)
lv. 80 crafted Ghodroon’s Phantom Divine Harp (Storm Element)
lv. 80 crafted Ghodroon’s Shaiya (Storm Element)
Your choice here is limited to only the lv. 80 crafted sub weapons as no other weapon can provide both 10% PEN and a nocturnal effect. The recipe can be bought from the blacksmith and the ore materials you will need to make the weapon and core can be found in the dungeon Avarice Abyss.
VII.1.3 Weapon Cores
VII.1.3.1 Holy Sword Core
On your crafted holy sword, there are mainly 2 cores I recommend that you use. If you find yourself soloing/carrying dungeons a lot then a destroyer core is a must as it shreds an extra 10% of a boss’s defense to do greater damage. If you only run dungeons with a full party in which you or team mates are often dying then a protector core is worth considering as it reduces 15% of the damage dealt by enemies. You can cap CRIT DMG without deadly core and other cores provide little effect.
VII.1.3.2 Sub Weapon Core
As I mentioned already you will want a nocturnal core for your sub weapon and there is really no exception unless you want to use nocturnal on your main weapon instead.
VII.1.4 Weapon Crafting
When crafting your weapon you should acquire your desired weapon core and a green weapon with a 120% ATK bonus and the element I indicated above each weapon image. This will guarantee you at least a 110% ATK bonus on the resulting craft with you chosen core. Craft only one and use a lv. 85 orange restructuring solution on it if you are unsatisfied with the result. Note that you can slightly increase your chances of crafting a high % if you can craft trash weapons first to level up your crafting rank to D or C.
lv. 70 crafted Guizigla’s Bloodied Tooth
This is a great all around trophy that provides an 11% detail DMG boost against bosses and a 5% detail DMG boost against mobs. That is why you should usually keep it in your second trophy so that you never swap it out. The green trophy and recipe you will need to craft this trophy are both dropped in Frozenlea Plains and the ore materials can be found in most lv.66-70 dungeon.
lv. 80 crafted Theory Time Travel Code
This is a useful trophy for extended fights as it has 7% detail DMG boost against bosses and a set bonus effect that boosts all your stats by 3% 3 times, however, is not as good as Guizigla’s Bloodied Tooth before the set bonus is fully stacked so you should keep it in your first trophy slot as you may want to swap it out for other trophies on occasion. If you need this trophy to cap your SPD stat to 50%, however, then keep it in your second trophy slot instead. The recipe, green trophy, and ore materials needed to make this trophy are all found within Sealed History Book lucky pack bought from the Chronicle Store in Navea.
lv. 40 crafted Noripan’s Emerald Leaf
This trophy gives you a total of 8% movespd (10% when fortified to +18.) provided that you craft it using an imperial core. You can only obtain the recipe from the Gydaie Glenn dungeon, but the green trophy and ore materials can be bought with dragon points and from the guild hall materials merchant.
lv. 65 Elemental Trophies
This lv.65 golden trophy set, each having 20% elemental DMG and 10% DMG to elemental skills, is better than the Theory Time Travel Code against elemental bosses. Only at a fortification of +20 does Theory Time Travel Code mostly break even in DMG with these trophies at a fortification of +0. At this point in time you can stop swapping them and not worry about losing too much damage. Pick up a set of these trophies if you don’t mind swapping them during dungeons. They drop from all fish kings or can be purchased with 30 angler doubloons and 20,500 dragon points
VII.2.1 Trophy Cores and Crafting
Your best option is either an imperial or bestial core. I suggest you pick whichever core you feel you need more as they are both useful. A spiky core would be the third best choice if you are on a budget. For the leaf trophy always use an imperial core. Also note that crafted trophies normally only have bonus stats of up to 120%, however, using an orange restructuring solution can results in bonus stats up to 130%.
VII.3 Accessory Sets
lv. 75 Fatal Toxin Accessory Set
Upfront, let me point out that it is difficult to cap CRIT when using this set without having a source of about 3k+ bonus CRIT such as eidolon’s wish and in which case you should select another accessory that provides more CRIT. This set gives you a zeal buff that deals 70% of the damage dealt by your next attack. I estimate that this +20 accessory set, with average luck, deals up to 6.1%/7.1% more damage to bosses than a +20 bestial/imperial paragon of war accessory set (if your CRIT in combat is capped at 80%-90%). Note that I calculate an average luck zeal by assuming that the damage dealt by every attack is increased by 18%*70%=12.6%. A lucky zeal proc on a charge attack will significant increase damage and multi-hit skills such as shinobi’s razor wind and the smiting edge DoT can trigger multiple zeal procs increasing damage further. Use an extra hat with elite DMG +20% to make up for the loss of damage to elites. This set can be obtained from the adventure encyclopedia for 50,000 dragon points each, or as a loot drop in Otherworld Cadilla Felwood.
lv. 80 crafted Paragon of War Accessory Set
I estimate that this set gives you about 13k/18k more flat DMG with imperial/bestial core, about 13.5% more CRIT, and about 10% less SPD (2%-5% zeal chance for overcapped SPD) than the Fatal Toxin Set. Note that a 18k damage increase to a prior DMG stat of say 450k is only 18k/450k=4.5%; much less compared to the 12.6% increase of the average zeal by the Fatal Toxin Set. Also note that the CRIT cap for holy sword is around 80%-90% and extra CRIT is only useful for a handful of bosses and dungeons with CRIT reducing effects, but extra SPD is always useful via the zeal buff for overcapped SPD stat in addition to an equal handful of bosses and dungeons with SPD reducing effects. It does also provide 20% elite DMG which is very helpful for clearing elite mobs. You can get all the recipes, green accessories, and crafting materials as a loot drop from Otherworld Emerald Marsh.
lv. 80 crafted Arcane Frost Set
I estimate that this set gives you about 9k/14k more flat DMG with imperial/bestial cores, about 14.5% more CRIT, and about equal SPD than the Fatal Toxin Set. I also estimate that it deals practically equal damage to Paragon of War set when assuming an average luck on the additional zeal chance due to the overcapped SPD. As with the paragon of war accessory set, you should beware of overcapped CRIT. It also provides 30% elite CRIT DMG which is helpful for capping your CRIT DMG to elites but the 20% elite DMG from paragon of war set will deal the greater damage to elites. Just use an extra hat with elite DMG +20% to make up for the difference.
lv. 85 Elemental Accessory Sets
I estimate these accessory sets at +0 provide about a 5-7% increase in damage to bosses (and elites if using Fatal Toxin Set) over the other +20 accessory sets noted above, however, they can leave your other stats including CRIT, SPD, and HP significantly lower. But if you are looking for an extra boost in damage to win a dungeon and don’t mind swapping accessories then give them a try.
lv. ?? Party Buff Accessory Set
This set consists of blue or white accessories that each provide +3 skill lv. to your party buff skill. By using these accessories your party buff will provide greater bonus stats when you use it. You only need to briefly wear them while you activate your party buff and then you can swap them off again. You can obtain these from any mobs that drop a lucky chest both in and out of dungeons. You can also obtain them as a random stat on an accessory bought at any accessories merchant.
VII.3.1 Accessory Cores and Crafting
Your best option is either imperial or bestial core. Just pick the one you feel that you need more. Also note that although accessories do not display a stat bonus % that the stats have a random bonus of up to 120%; so if you don’t like the stats on your accessories you can try using a gold or orange restructuring solution on them. I have rerolled the stats on my accessories but none of them are over 120% so I cannot confirm if it is possible to get stats higher than 120% on your accessories.
VII.4 Armor Sets
VII.4.1 Top Set Armor
lv. 70 crafted Vengeful Sniper Set
This top set is the best top set you can currently acquire for “free”. I estimate an entire lordswrath set will only give you about an extra 12-13k flat damage over sniper. The lordswrath top set also offers an extra 2% DMG. In other words, this set is 95% as good as lordswrath. Both recipes can be bought from the adventure encyclopedia with 30,000 dragon points each and the green armors and crafting materials for this set can be obtained from most dungeons lv. 66-70.
lv. 80 crafted Scourge Set
This top set is the best top set in the game, but is only slightly stronger than sniper. You can get both recipes, green armors, and crafting materials as loot drops in Otherworld Titan’s Root, Otherworld Cadilla Felwood, Twilight Forest, Sarpa’s Forbidden Laboratory, and Tomb of the Ancients.
lv. 85 Gluttonwolf Set
This top set is a somewhat under rated top set. It is basically a sniper top set with higher flat stats and a stackable DoT instead of 30% boss CRIT DMG. If you can make up for the loss of 30% CRIT DMG, then this is a useful upgrade alternative which I estimate deals roughly equal damage to bestial sniper before consideration of the DoT. It also gives more HP and DEF than sniper, allowing you to cap DEF. This set is a very rare drop from one boss in Sky Realm and from the end chests in Otherworld Cadilla Felwood and Otherworld Titan’s Root.
VII.4.2 Bottom Set Armor
lv. 70 crafted Ruthless Sniper Set
This bottom set is the best bottom set you can currently acquire for “free”. Like the top set, it is 95% as good as Lordswrath at 95% of the price. The recipes can be bought from the adventure encyclopedia with 30,000 dragon points each and the green armors and crafting materials for this set can be obtained from most dungeons lv. 66-70.
lv. 80 crafted Judgement Day Set
This bottom set is the best bottom set in the game, but only slightly stronger than sniper. You can get the recipes, green armors, and crafting materials as loot drops in Otherworld Titan’s Root, Otherworld Cadilla Felwood, Twilight Forest, Sarpa’s Forbidden Laboratory, and Tomb of the Ancients.
VII.4.3 Armor Cores and Crafting
As usual, the best option is either imperial or bestial core. When crafting your armor you should acquire your desired armor core and a green armor with a 120% DEF bonus. This will guarantee you at least a 110% DEF bonus on the resulting craft with you chosen core. Craft only one and use an orange restructuring solution on it if you are unsatisfied with the result. Note that crafting can only result in stats, other than DEF, with up to a 120% bonus but a restructuring solution can result in all stats up to a 130% bonus. Also note that you can slightly increase your chances of crafting a high % if you can craft trash armors first to level up your crafting rank to D or C.
VII.5 GAIA EMBLEM
A gaia emblem with 2 perfect stats is very expensive and rare so you probably want to select one bonus stat you want and accept anything for the other. Additionally, it can be useful to own and swap multiple gaia emblems for a variety of useful effects. Here are the ones I suggest:
Ideal Gaia Emblems
For maximum damage use: 6x 10% DMG / 18% to element targets && 10% DMG / 15% to element skills
For no swapping needed use: 10% DMG / 15% Move SPD 10% DMG / 15% to element skills
Cheap Gaia Emblems
For damage use: 6x 18% to element targets / any stat && 10% DMG / any stat
For no swapping needed use: 10% DMG / any stat 15% Move SPD / any stat
*Note that 10% DMG actually gives 8% DMG and 18% to elemental targets actually gives 15%.
VII.6 ENCHANTMENT CARDS
Enchantment cards are a very significant source of damage. Here are the cards I recommend you using on your gears.
VII.6.1 Weapon Enchantment Cards
You want a weapon enchantment card with the dual drive effect for both of your weapons. Each card gives you an average of 4%/6.4% increase in your damage output depending on whether you have a 5%/8% chance to trigger. Buy blue basic weapon enchantment boxes for 8000 dragon points to quickly get your first two 5% cards. After this, you can buy orange advanced weapon enchantment boxes for 40,000 golden dragon points and green intermediate weapon enchantment boxes for 24,000 dragon points to try for an 8% card. A few good stats to choose from include Move SPD, HP, CRIT DMG, SPD, and CRIT. Note that the CRIT card only gives about 1%-1.5% CRIT and the SPD card only gives about 1.5%-2% SPD. I use HP cards because I acquire enough of the all the other stats in other ways. Also note that all of the orange advanced weapon enchantments which give 1% DMG or 1% HP, except for Move SPD, are better than the yellow premium ones which do not. In order for dual drive cards to stack they must have different SPD stats. The orange advanced weapon enchantment box drops in Avarice Abyss.
VII.6.2 Accessory Enchantment Cards
You want any advanced or premium card with DMG+/DMG+3%. To start off you might take ANY+/DMG+3%. You can buy orange advanced accessory boxes from the adventure encyclopedia for 20,000 golden dragon points. They also drop in Darkthunder Temple of the Underworld Baroness and Frozen Ruins of Zahr-Kaazal.
VII.6.3 Armor Enchantment Cards
You want any advanced or premium card with DMG+/DMG+3%. You can buy advanced armor boxes from the adventure encyclopedia for 20,000 golden dragon points. Start off with ANY+/DMG+3%. The orange advanced armor boxes drop in Otherworld Titan’s Root, Otherworld Cadilla Felwood, Twilight Forest, Sarpa’s Forbidden Laboratory, and Tomb of the Ancients.
VII.7 SECRET STONES
Good secret stones are a very important for dealing good damage. This is probably one of the first things you should get after crafting and fortifying your gears..
VII.7.1 Armor Secret Stones
On all your armor secret stones get CRIT DMG+6%/DMG+2%. A set of damage to element targets 7%/DMG 2% is good if you can make up for the loss of 30% CRIT DMG and don't mind switching secret stones between every dungeon. And until you can acquire these use secret stones with ANY+/DMG+2%. Note that there is no benefit to upgrade secret stones with skills you don’t use but it will increase your gear score.
VII.7.1.1 Head Secret Stone
Get the one adding range to divine sunderance.
VII.7.1.2 Body Secret Stone
Get the one adding duration to dragon slayer.
VII.7.1.3 Waist Secret Stone
Get the one adding range to ice splitter.
VII.7.1.4 Glove Secret Stone
Get anything really. If your sub is ranger then get the one for dimensional shot with +4% CRIT rate.
VII.7.1.5 Feet Secret Stone
Get the one with +13 DMG to smiting edge or +11 DMG and 4% CRIT rate. CRIT rate is not really needed.
VII.7.2 Weapon Secret Stones
Get one lava secret stone for holy sword and a second lava secret stone that corresponds to your subclass. You should accept ANY+/DMG+2% on both your weapon stones and buy a second stone for each that you can use randomizers on until you get CRIT DMG+6%/DMG+2%.
Costumes are both sources of damage and great way to customize your look. As with gaia emblems, it can be useful to own and swap multiple costumes with a variety of useful effects. Here are the ones I suggest:
VIII.1 Costume Hat(s)
Enchant your costume hat(s) with either the yellow premium (+3%) headgear HP enchantment and one or more of the blue cards listed below which you can purchase for 3000 dragon points.
Blue Cards for Hat:
For no swapping needed use: 10% Boss DMG
For minimal swapping also use: 20% Elite DMG.
For maximum damage also use: 6x 18% DMG to element targets plus both of the above.
For ranger subclass also use: +5 skill lv. to Burst of Speed (party buff) w/ orange enchant.
VIII.2 Costume Facemask
Enchant your costume facemask with the yellow premium (3%) facemask DMG enchantment and the blue card which gives +5 skill lv. to evil smiting edge that you can purchase for 3000 dragon points. This increases skill damage by about 6,000 and also slightly increase the CRIT rate.
Enchant your costume with the yellow premium (3%) costume DMG enchantment and one or more of the following blue cards listed below which you can purchase for 3000 dragon points.
Blue Cards for Costume:
If you have less than 300% Primary Weapon CRIT DMG + boss CRIT DMG get: 25% CRIT DMG to bosses.
If you have 300% or more Primary Weapon CRIT DMG + boss CRIT DMG get: 50% CRIT DMG to elites.
For holy sword also use: +5 skill lv. to Sword Glare (party buff) w/ orange enchant.
For shinobi subclass also use: +5 skill lv. to Elemental Ascension (party buff) w/ orange enchant.
VIII.4 Costume Ornament
Enchant your costume ornament with the yellow premium (3%) accessory DMG enchantment and the blue card extreme speed mastery which gives 5% Move SPD that you can purchase for 3000 dragon points.
VIII.5 Costume Weapon
Enchant your costume weapon with the yellow premium (3%) weapon DMG enchantment and one of the following blue cards which you can purchase for 3000 dragon points.
Blue Cards for Weapon:
For ranger subclass use: anything or Gaia Revival +35% HP.
For bard subclass use: +5 skill lv. to Storm Song. It will slightly improve the DMG and CRIT rate.
For shinobi subclass use: +5 skill lv. to Shuriken Toss. It will slightly improve the DMG, CRIT rate, and flat shred amount.
IX. FISHING GEAR
Get the newest fishing set; lv. 80 Astral Rod and lv. 80 Astral Set because it gives the most flat damage. This set is obtained from the fish king in Tanglevines Cascade which spawns on Thursday. Good luck and have fun fishing.
X. HOLY CHEST
The 3 main benefits of the holy chest are bonus flat stats, bonus damage to fire & ice elements, and bonus dragon points earned. Here are the ones I suggest you use.
For no swapping needed use: Any 3 lv. 75/lv. 85 tachi or gunslinger weapon at +15 fortification for bonus flat DMG and bonus dragon points.
For maximum damage also use: Any 3 Zaahir weapons and any 3 Nazrudin weapons at +15 fortification for bonus damage against fire and ice targets.
Food and drink with the triple strike effect will allow you to deal the most DMG possible. Triple strike is a 10% chance to deal 90% bonus damage, just like the orange version of the zeal mastery, and it does a ton of damage. The best foods with the triple strike effect are:
lv. 80 Starlight Platter
This is the most point-efficient triple strike food and is useful if you have not already capped CRIT. It is useful even if you have already capped SPD because it gives you about 1%-4% extra zeal chance and helps with those bosses and dungeons which reduce your CRIT and SPD stat.
lv. 75 Gourmet Seafood Chowder
This is the second most point-efficient food and is useful if your CRIT is low. The extra DMG also provides a small but consistent boost to your damage, however, the zeal chance from overcapped SPD that starlight platter provides has the potential to deal more damage on average than this food. After all, you are using a food that gambles with a zeal effect so why not consider pumping up your SPD to do the same.
lv. 75 Gourmet Crème Brulee
This food has the triple strike and the largest amount of DMG. It’s only better to use this food over the other two if your CRIT/SPD is already capped. This food is also the most consistent but, as with gourmet seafood chowder, starlight platter has the potential to do more damage on average than this food via the additional zeal chance from overcapped SPD.
lv. 40 Royal Jelly Tea
This is one of the only drinks with the triple strike effect. The only reason not to use this drink is if your defense stats are really low and you need more to stay alive in dungeons. In that case use a drink that gives DEF and HP until you can get your defensive stats up a bit higher.
XII. TARGET STATS
*I won't be answering anymore questions about my CRIT stat. Here is the breakdown. Your choice if you don't want to believe it.
An important part of dealing damage is having the right stats so I will briefly review the stats that matter and target value you want to hit.
DMG – as high as possible.
CRIT – 80%-90% in combat. You gain bonus CRIT from level difference, smiting edge blue costume card, thunderstrike envoy, and 10% from dry bones as well
SPD – At least 50% (14000 pts) but more is good too because of the zeal chance from overcapped SPD.
HP – as much as possible.
DEF – At least 75% (21000 pts) and ideally 80% (26000 pts). More sometimes because of DEF shreds.
CRIT DMG – CRIT DMG + BOSS CRIT DMG = 315% (you must have frosty edge envoy node to use the 15% over 300%).
Move SPD – Divine sunderance is your Move SPD. You NEED some minimum amount of Move SPD to dodge boss attacks and keep up in party dungeons. I find that 160% Move SPD is the minimum amount I NEED. After this point stacking more Move SPD is a luxury for running through solo dungeons and around maps a little faster or you can focus on boosting other stats you lack instead.
Primary Weapon Damage Bonus – 12%
DMG bonus against Bosses – At least 90% or as high as possible.
DMG bonus against Elites – Ideally 90% or as high as possible.
DMG bonus to elemental targets – As much as possible after reaching 90% DMG bonus to bosses.
Penetration against reinforce enemies – 20%.
*I got asked a lot of questions about why I think I think lots of Move SPD is not always useful so I created 2 videos to explain some reasons why.
I can solo every dungeon in the game with this gear. Here is a video of me soloing gaia trial, which I would consider to be the hardest one:
XIII. SKILLS & ROTATIONS
Holy Sword requires very specific rotation planning so that your skills are not on cooldown when it comes time to use the divine energy charge. Your rotation will also vary depending on subclass. So I will share one example and briefly discuss some rules to help you craft your own.
XIII.1 Luring and AoE Clearing of Dungeon Mobs
In general, you should jump between mobs using divine sunderance. Target the elite mobs, when possible, and use your defense shreds and strongest skills that are not on cooldown to deal as much burst damage to them as you can. Once you reach a boss, AoE clear the group of mobs by using either charged smiting edge or charged thunderstrike while kiting them in a circle and using AoE skills like ice splitter and divine sunderance to heal up from the nocturnal effect until the charge bar is refilled.
XIII.2 Boss Rotation
The boss rotations for holy sword vary only slightly between subclasses and a lightning or holy build. You won’t always follow a perfect rotation because things happen that will throw you off, but try to follow one when you are able. Here is an example of my rotation using ranger subclass after I have fully stacked the defense shred skill:
Boss fight gameplay demonstration:
*Note that if you take the frosty edge envoy node you should try to start off your rotation about 5 seconds before the boss spawns (when possible) by using charged ice splitter. This gives you an ice boundary aura for 10 seconds that deals damage and applies a 3 second Move SPD debuff to surrounding enemies. When the boss spawns you should proceed with your normal boss rotation. Each skill or auto attack you use during the remaining 5-8 sec duration of ice boundary will deal a very large amount of bonus damage. You can and should do this even if you don't take the frosty edge node but the additional DMG dealt without it is much less significant.
XIII.3 Crafting Your Own Rotation
Coming up with your own rotation is not that difficult. Here are the important criteria to consider when crafting your own rotation:
I. Start with your subclass defense shred skill and refresh it at the end of its duration.
II. Use smiting edge (charged or uncharged) once every 6 seconds or close to it.
III. Use charged dry bones once every 12 skills.
IV. Use charge smiting edge or thunderstrike every 12 skills (depending on your element).
V. Use thunderstrike (charged or uncharged) every 4 skills.
VI. Use dry bones every 8 seconds (for the dragon slayer mastery).
VII. Fill in the gaps with any important status effect skills first (like ballad for bard).
VIII. Fill in the gaps using divine sunderance second.
IX. Fill in the gaps using dry bones third.
X. Fill in the gaps using demon slayer last.
XIII.4 Situational Skills
When a boss fight doesn’t go the way you expected it is helpful to have a set of skills you can use as a plan B.
I. Use charged divine sermon when you need the extra healing to stay alive.
II. Use ice splitter to deal damage when you are forced to remain at distance from the boss.
III. Use combo skills or eidolon ultimate to iframe an attack or heal when you are low on health.
IV. Use charged divine sunderance when you need a stun (if your subclass doesn’t have one).
XIV. CLOSING THOUGHTS
If you wish for more information/evidence concerning any suggestions I make in this guide please leave a comment to let me know as I have saved all my calculations and can potentially make that information available. And if you disagree with my suggestions and gears feel free to fund me or create your own Holy Sword guide. Thanks.