"Stabby McPoison" Melee

JRSVengeance
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First Room: 1:56

Titan Fight: 1:45

Total Time: 4:12

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Melee Interceptor

Meet Stabby McPoison. Stabby hasn’t had the easiest life so far. She was born in Fort Tarsis to a Freelancer mother who died on a mission when she was very young. Stabby’s father was Pirndel Blatch, but he was too busy taking care of the Fort to spend any time with the daughter that came from a one-night stand in which Stabby’s mother seduced him by talking about “cleaning some pipes”. So Stabby grew up with a big of a chip on her shoulder, and that only grew larger as she got older. From a childhood spent picking pockets, she developed quick hands and a deft touch. And from fending off lecherous drunks that would frequently stumble past on the nights she had to sleep on the streets, she learned to fight. Finally, she got a chance to be a freelancer, and she jumped in with both feet. The fearless nature that served her so well growing up manifests itself in how she fights outside the walls as well. No matter how big the enemy, or where they are, Stabby gets right in their face and just attacks.    Because she knows that in a contest of wills, she reigns supreme.

This particular build is focused around maintaining the most melee damage possible while constantly staying on the razor’s edge of dying. This is a build that will show you exactly how soft your javelin can be and still carve through enemies like a hot knife through butter.  Components are mainly selected for their ability to increase melee damage, although there is one component that is purely defensive in nature, because going pure glass cannon on an Interceptor seems like a net DPS loss when you factor in how much time you have to spend avoiding attacks from enemies, which is time that you aren’t doing damage. Guns are focused on increasing melee damage, while also providing a reasonable amount of armor, and one piece of gear is purely offensive, while the other fills a gap in both the offensive and defensive repertoire of this build.

Weapons

Close Encounter
  • Close Encounter is a great weapon for Interceptor. Apart from whatever stats yours happens to roll with that can increase your melee damage, you also have a MW perk that increases your weapon damage (which includes melee) by 125% when you dash. And considering that is the main form of movement for an Interceptor, this buff is almost always up. Other weapons can offer higher buffs, such as Glorious Result or Unending Battle, but they are shorter lived and require you to actually fire the weapon and hit a weak point or from a certain distance. Close Encounter will not interrupt your normal flow. This one has 27% Dmg, 25% Gear Recharge and 10% Weapon Damage.   
Unending Battle
  • Unending Battle gives you the biggest melee bonus of any item in the game, as of patch 1.7. The description for the MW perk is deceiving, because it says it procs on a point blank hit, but if you actually shoot anything point blank, it will not proc. The true range would more accurately be described as close range.  Or possibly “just outside of melee range”. It provides a 135% bonus to both weapon and melee damage, and since melee weapons count as weapons, the proc double dips and you get 270% bonus damage when you get this proc. However, it only lasts for 5 seconds, and with this particular build, I’ve found taking time to shoot a gun to be distracting, which is why it is in the secondary slot. This version has 100% Armor and 18% Physical damage.

Melee Weapon

Deathstalker Blades
  • Deathstalker Blades is the Interceptor priming melee. The damage done is acid, which applies a 25% debuff to all enemies, although it does not do as well against shields. It also has an MW perk that states it “increases damage against an enemy below 50% health”. This does not increase the damage done on each swing. Instead, it increases the speed with which the melee hits come by 100%, which effectively doubles their damage. It also has the advantage of not stealing combos from Rangers and Colossus in your group, which will make them like you more. On this one I have 350% weapon damage.   

Gear

Serpent’s Veil
  • This is a pure stat stick ability. The actual utility as a direct source of damage is minimal, although it is a very effective AoE acid primer.  The major advantage that it has is that it increases acid damage by 200%, which means that if you are using Deathstalker Blades, you get an additional 200% melee damage whenever you apply acid to something. And since Deathstalker Blades apply acid, it’s on pretty much anytime you are attacking anything. If you’re using Deathstalker Blades, it’s basically a must. This one has 30% Gear Recharge and 30% [E] Recharge.
Cariff’s Talon
  • This is one of the ways that you stay alive with this build. Cariff’s Talon is one of the pieces of Interceptor gear that has its damage scale with melee damage, so we are double dipping from our components here. It also gives 50% armor when you kill an enemy with it, and since it does not have a long animation lock, it can be used without interrupting the flow of the melee attacks. Additionally, because it does electric damage, it is great for taking down shields, which is one of the more difficult parts of playing a melee interceptor, since the acid blades do less damage against shields. It has a small AoE and does increased damage if launched from the air, which helps against flying enemies. Mine has 100% charges and 175% gear damage.   

Support Item

Slayer’s Furor
  • This item applies a debuff enemies in a small AoE, and makes them take an additional 33% damage, which is its main utility. It will also hop to other nearby enemies once the initial debuffed enemy is defeated. This one has 200% charges and 23% [E] Recharge.

Components

Way of the Bold
  • The only non-universal component in this build.  Way of the Bold is only useful because it gives you back armor when you kill something with melee. Since we’re going to be killing a lot of things with melee, sacrificing a little damage for a constant source of armor regeneration is going to be a good trade. This component can be swapped for a universal component with melee damage if you’re running with a team, but for solo instances it’s a matter of “better safe than sorry”.
Softened Blows
  • This is without a doubt the best defensive component in the game, thanks to its MW perk. Because the shields on an Interceptor are tissue paper thin, despite the large boost to your shields which this component provides, you will really appreciate the 75% damage reduction that should last until your shields start to regenerate themselves. You can run Interceptor, Storm or Ranger without Softened Blows, but it’s a huge handicap if you do. Additionally, this one has 65% Melee Damage and 13% Jav Damage.   
Symbiotic Surge
  • This is possibly the best offensive component in the game, thanks to its MW perk. It also gives you a large boost to your armor, which comes in handy, given how squishy the Interceptor is. The MW perk that gives you 50% damage increase when you pick up a health pack applies to all damage (including melee damage). For this build, having a big Melee roll is ideal. This one has 80% Melee Damage.
Bloodlust
  • All of these universal components are selected because they increase melee damage, either via inscriptions, MW perks, or both. Because this build is focused on doing maximum melee damage at all times, Bloodlust is a must. The base perk itself gives you an additional 30% melee damage base, plus another 75% melee damage after a melee kill. With how often you are using your melee attack, it should pretty much be active anytime you are not traveling. This one has 75% Ult Damage and 18% Jav Damage.
Giant Slayer
  • I have this here because I have a double melee damage roll on it. Otherwise it is trash that has absolutely no synergy with this build. We are not running any Marksman Rifles, only in part because they are trash, and mainly because they can’t give us a large enough melee damage increase. This one has 65% Melee Damage and 40% Melee Damage.
Emergency Power
  • I have this here for a number of reasons. It being a level 75 component doesn’t affect anything, since melee damage does not scale with gear score. And 955 gives us the same ult damage that 960 does, but in this build it will be so low as to be irrelevant. And same with combo damage - irrelevant because this build has no detonator. It also functions as a last line of defense for anytime that Cariff’s Talon or Way of the Bold can’t give you armor. You can just trigger your ult and you’re back to full health. It doesn’t hurt that it has double melee rolls, either. 80 % Melee Damage and 25% Melee Damage.

Overview

The Perfect Build

This is my favorite way to build a melee Interceptor, but it is certainly not the only way. It’s also, in my opinion, the most basic, easily scalable build for Interceptor. The total melee damage is so high that you will slice through most enemies like they aren’t even there. Target acquisition becomes very important, since you want to be attacking as often as possible to limit the damage that you take. I could probably survive better with a double armor stat stick instead of Unending Battle, but it has the added bonus of giving you a “turbo boost” to your melee damage for those times you have to get through a big enemy.    Also, it really hurts to have to use Giant Slayer. Rejuvenating Ammo with the same rolls would be much better, since it would add a utility to the build outside of inscriptions. I’d even prefer Thermal Cooling.

The Downsides

The toughest part about playing Interceptor in general is that you are squishy as hell. Compared to every other javelin, you’re going to be like a wet paper bag. That means that you have to stay moving constantly in order to not die, even if you have a lot of armor (shield is basically crap). It makes learning how to play Interceptor one of the more challenging javelins. You also don’t have any good burst damage in this build, although the damage does stack up quickly, so you’re going to have to dodge around higher HP enemies as you attack them. And don’t be afraid to use your ult for the period of invulnerability to whittle down enemy’s health, which will make it easier to kill them when you are out of your ult and can do serious damage again. Titan’s, Swarm Tyrant and phase 2 & 3 of the Monitor are extremely difficult in this build.  Basically, use your ult when you can, and hope you have a solid team.

The Upsides and Build Options

But the upside is that you’ll be able to basically kill anything short of a Legendary Enemy before it can kill you. If you don’t have big melee rolls on universal components, you should absolutely be using Vengeance Matrix. JRSVengeance says so, and not just because it’s named after me (which it isn’t, but sometimes we pretend). It will give you a 50% damage increase to your melee, and offers you a period of reduced damage when your armor gets low. Combined with Softened Blows, this will give you a period of immunity to physical damage if the procs happen to stack together. Other very good players actually prefer Vengeance Matrix over Way of the Bold, I just don’t like having to trust the timing. If it proc’d on shield break like Softened Blows, I would definitely run it, since it increases melee damage and Way of the Bold doesn’t. But since I’m a firm believer in Murphy’s Law, I go with Way of the Bold.

Build Variations and Sigils

I typically run this build with an Epic Acid Sigil (because the Deathstalker Blades melee is acid, this sigil increases your melee damage), an Epic Melee Sigil and an Epic Ultimate Sigil. The extra 20% from a Rare Acid or Melee Sigil is not going to make a huge difference when you’re already running over 1000% melee damage. With only acid and Slayer’s Furor debuffs and Symbiotic Surge, this build can close to 100k small hits and almost 200k big hits against armored enemies, which works out to just under 80k/160k on red bars. This means that everything melts. The sigils that increase melee damage are probably not REALLY necessary for this build, but this whole build is centered around having so much melee DPS that you don’t need to worry about anything else. Could probably swap one out for a gear sigil to increase Cariff’s Talon recharge or a Armor sigil to help stay alive, but I found something that works for me, so I don’t mess with it..

JRSVengeance
Master of stats and numbers of Anthem, JRS was a part of the squads that held the #1 leaderboard spot through the majority of the Cataclysms