Simply put, the Interceptor is the javelin that utilizes its speed and mobility to either close distance and deal damage, or to quickly traverse the battlefield and support allies. The Interceptor has the capability to handle both roles, it cannot really do them simultaneously or will suffer from a lack of power as the ideals for each build are different.
As of 1.7.0 The current meta builds for Interceptor as as follows:
This guide serves to give a detailed breakdown of all the gear available to you and how each piece might fit into a play style. For more in depth and complete builds, see our Build Guides section, or find the links at the bottom of this page.
Once you have a handle on the basics and are feeling more comfortable in your Javelin, check out the next step in our Advanced Interceptor Mechanics Guide to take things to the next level.
While addressing individual abilities and their respective Masterworks, it's good to remember that these are my own opinions. It's not a be all, end all detail list. Feel free to try things and see how they fit your style of play. So let's just touch on everything this Javelin has to offer in terms of skills, components and how they all handle and interact.
We'll start with the quickest section, Support Skills. You get Target Beacon and Rally Cry. Both serve a purpose and both can be good, but both just aren't. The masterwork perks do give both their niche, but one is just easier to use in a lot of situations.
Effect: Enemies resistances are reduced by 33% while marked by Target Beacon
Masterwork - Slayer’s Furor: Target Beacon spread to targets near the initially marked target.
Definitely the better of the two options the Interceptor has available. Solid damage boost on a relatively short cooldown that also transfers on death from enemy to enemy. When combined with Interceptor's easy access to Acid effects, it allows for a ton of extra DPS, without much additional assistance from your team.
The masterwork is pretty decent too, allowing you to debuff entire packs instead of single enemies. It makes it that much more effective to use.
Effect: Cleanse Elemental Statuses from yourself or allies in range.
Masterwork - Voice of Courage: Instantly revives downed allies in range to 50% HP.
Is this skill useful? Yes. Are the niche cases where it's use limited? Also yes.
There's a lot of things that could have been done to make this ability more practical and less niche. The only tiny niches it has are based around strategies with coordinated teams, or a minor niche in a shield-oriented build which isn't particularly good.
The Masterwork version is a bit of a saving grace for it, which is what allows it to pull off the niche team strategies. It can be very useful in certain situations, but it only helps if you’re aiming for a support type build. Even then, Target Beacon still offers a better support effect, especially if you aren’t also building to deal damage yourself.
Like all classes, the Interceptor has just two melee weapons.
Damage Type: Kinetic
Combo Type: Detonator
Masterwork - Blades of Warding: Hitting an enemy grants 10% damage resistance. Stacks to 5.
This weapon isn’t the greatest. It’s a reliable detonator but that’s really all the base weapon has going for it. it's a solid weapon in its own right. Despite being Kinetic, Interceptor Melee supposedly ignores enemy resistances. Mean its hits should ignore any damage reducing areas on an enemy, like an Anrisaur's armor plate.
The masterwork version however does allow you to be more durable. That’s a nice plus. The bonus it offers, alongside Vengeance Matrix’s or Softened Blows’ bonuses being active, it's capable of preventing damage for a little bit and can save you quite often. This damage reduction will also stack when you land Tempest Strike (Sudden Death), Detonating Strike (Cariff's Talon) or Spark Dash (Raneri's Charge) as they are considered melee attacks.
Damage Type: Acid
Combo Type: Primer
Masterwork - Deathstalker Blades: Deals additional damage against targets below 50% health.
The base version has a nice damage type to it. While it still suffers against shields, it does more to armor which is a good plus, as armored targets tend to be quite bulky as-is, while shielded targets tend to be valkyries which can be harder to deal with, or weak enemies with a small amount of shields. Being a Primer is a nice bonus as it allows you to use Tempest Strike to detonate and deal some bonus damage on top of applying acid without Venom Bomb.
The Masterwork is amazing for damage. When an enemy drops below half health, the damage increase is quite good, as it doubles the damage of every melee hit (shown as two instances of damage in most cases). It’s very much the star of the Acid Melee build for this reason, along with the synergy with Serpent's Veil and its perk.
Overall this ability slot tends to be utility. Some of it comes with burst potential, some are just disappointing. Your better primers, being Cryo Glaive and Venom Bomb are in this slot. But everything here is pretty solid in general, one skill aside.
Ability: Medium damage, Low AoE proximity mine cluster
Masterwork - Bitter Harvest: Cluster Mine gains an extra charge.
Cataclysm - Tesilar Trap: Deals electric damage and always procs Electric status.
Cluster Mines as an ability are just unimpressive. This is largely due to their long arming time. Otherwise, they can do a fairly good amount of damage. Unfortunately the only use I’ve found for them is to toss them at the various spawns/gates in missions or strongholds, which for Tesilar Trap specifically will prime them, otherwise it's pretty bad.. You can also throw them at the feet of slower enemies, but anything that’s not a slow moving enemy will just move away before they can detonate usually.
Both the Masterwork and Cataclysm variants are just as lackluster. The Masterwork version needs a better passive, I think drastically decreasing the Arm time (or increasing the arming speed, whichever wording makes more sense) would go much farther than a second charge would.
Ability: Low damage freezing Glaives.
Masterwork - Absolute Zero: Hitting an enemy detonates an ice explosion. (~2675 base damage, approx.)
This is both a good ability and great masterwork. The base ability offers solid crowd control and a source for Ice Aura which offers equal crowd control potential.
The masterwork helps the ability deal some damage, though not impressive amounts. The Ice explosion is very helpful, priming several enemies at once however, assuming they’re in the rather small AoE.
While this ability does have the potential to do some damage, the recent changes to proc effects leaves this is a questionable state, being a bit harder to scale compared to before. Since it no longer scales with Gear damage, and only +Elemental Dmg or +Dmg inscriptions, that removed a lot of potential it had for damage.
Ability: High single target Physical damage
Masterwork - Ruthless Stalker: Hitting an enemy increases weapon damage by 110% for 20 seconds.
This is another solid ability and masterwork. It’s supplemental to a gunner playstyle, while itself offering solid burst damage. Can be a nice alternative to Serpent’s Veil (Venom Bomb) if you’d rather have the potential burst damage, or your weapon is seriously lacking damage to not benefit as much from Acid.
Ability: Brief charge, followed by a medium damage electric dash that provides mobility.
Masterwork - Raneri’s Charge: Killing an enemy recharges this ability
This is one of the Interceptor’s better electric abilities. While the slight windup time can often get you injured or killed when used inappropriately, it’s quite the powerful ability in terms of damage and mobility.
The Masterwork allows for it to be a decent opener or finisher, allowing it to recharge instantly regardless of what kills it. This makes it exceptionally versatile, while offering high damage and high mobility.
Ability: Medium Aoe, low damage Acid DoT
Masterwork - Serpent’s Veil: On melee hit, increases acid damage by 200% for 10 seconds.
Overall a good primer ability. Ranged, deploys on impact, fast projectile, applies a very good status. One of my most used abilities in all honesty. Works really well in a melee build, even more so with the masterwork.
The Acid status really makes it shine in terms of damage and team support over the Masterwork version of Searching Glaive. while they serve the same purpose, the acid debuff makes everything hit harder, not just weapons.
The masterwork really only serves to boost Venom Spray and Deathstalker Blades. It’s potent enough for melee, but really needs a ton of gear damage to work for Venom Spray, which isn't prioritized often.
These skills are mostly a collection of high damage, low range abilities. Lots of AoE here as well, but mostly melee focused and melee ranged skills.
Effect: Medium single target/AoE hit, High electric damage AoE explosion
Masterwork - Cariff’s Talon: Instantly restores 50% health after killing an enemy.
This is a really solid ability and masterwork. It’s a really good choice for an elemental melee setup, even more so as a masterwork. It’s considered melee as well, allowing it to get damage from Melee Damage Inscriptions, which can make it quite powerful.
If the attack connects into a group of targets, they all will be primed and marked by the skills, so it can clear packs of enemies very easily with little investment.
Effect: Medium Single target damage aimable projectile.
Masterwork - Sanadeen’s Respite: Hitting a weak point restores 35% Shields.
Plasma Star is quite a solid option for this slot. This ability has reasonable damage potential, especially against armored targets thanks to the Armorbreaker damage type. The fact that it can also crit can definitely contribute to a very high skill cap build around it, with the right rolls. However, there are abilities that are more versatile that overshadow it.
The Masterwork doesn’t help in this regard either. Interceptors rarely build shields, let alone enough to make the 35% restore impactful.
One thing to make note of is that despite having multiple charges, you shouldn't use more than two at a time. Unless you have the recharge speed, recharging can take awhile. which Which creates a lot of down time compared to using a charge or two and letting the recharge happen. This gives it the interesting trait of functioning as both a burst and a dps skill.
Effect: High single target Physical melee strike
Masterwork - Sudden Death: Triggers a fire explosion when hitting an enemy with this skill.
This is a go to skill for a Physical or Elemental-based Melee setup. It’s a very strong skill in general, being very quick while also being able to be used as an AoE via aerial melee. Much like Cariffs Talon, it will also scale with melee damage inscriptions.
The masterwork gives it a more reliable AoE and extra burst to armored targets. Sadly this explosion does not prime, which would help with Inteceptor’s lack of access to fire status. This however would overload the ability in my opinion.
Effect: Ranged projection, multi target attack for medium physical damage, applies Aura effect
Masterwork - Shadow Claw: Creates 2 Projections instead of one.
Cataclysm - Spectre’s Flash: Can Detonate Combos
The Base ability is quite good, between it being a multi target attack, and being able to spread your aura as a status that can be comboed. It’s a very versatile and reliable ability.
The Masterwork essentially doubles the damage output, or has the ability to prime more targets than usual. It’s quite powerful in its own regard, but still outshined by it’s Cataclysm counterpart.
The Cataclysm variant is meta for a lot of builds, because it functions as both a reliable primer (while you have an aura) and a reliable detonator. With multiple charges, this ability alone can keep your aura active almost indefinitely, and quickly generate a lot of ultimate charge.
Effect: Low range cone of high Acid damage.
Masterwork - Viper’s Bite: Each enemy hit with this ability gives 7 Ultimate Charge (~5% charge).
This ability can be quite powerful on its own as a damage tool. While it can prime Acid, it won’t do so all too often. The ability does also appear to have a high base force value, as it does stagger enemies quite often, making it a decent choice for melee play with its shorter range.
The masterwork can be very powerful for an ultimate centric build. With additional charges you can build ultimate quickly, and it also allows you to build ultimate charge on bosses a bit more effectively, compared to combos which anyone can detonate or having to rely on adds.
For the sake of fairness, I'll tackle these in Alphabetical order, by Base Component Name, with one exception.. Lots to talk about here, so I'll try to be brief here.
Effect: +20% Acid Damage and Resistance, +20% Oxygen Capacity.
Masterwork - Way of Integration: On Gear Hit-streak (2), +30% to all damage for 10 seconds.
The base stats offered by the component are kind of lackluster. While Venom Spray does have potential as a damage ability, it’s not always an ability you want to stack with damage, while Venom Bomb never stacks damage for itself because of the low DPS it offers. It does add to Deathstalker Blades, but there are just better and stronger options to do so.
Very few enemies proc Acid, being limited to Mordent Elementals, Scar Destroyers, Skorpion Digesters and Skorpion Workers. Meanwhile Oxygen capacity rarely is useful, due to the capacity already being high enough, and there being very few reasons to swim outside of some mild exploration in Freeplay.
The Masterwork makes this an easy pickup in the early stages of quite a few builds. 30% is a solid damage boost, and is comparable to the current max roll for a Epic-tier +% Jav Damage inscription. So it gives a decent bump to damage regardless of the build, but ends up being quite good in caster type builds, or any build that debuffs with Target Beacon and Venom Bomb in quick succession. It’s also one of the few components that can boost the damage of your Combos and Ultimate.
Effect:+10% base Assault System damage.
Masterwork - Way of the Swift: Using [Q]/[LB]/[L1] ability boosts [E]/[RB]/[R1] ability damage by 60% for 10 seconds.
Effect: +10% base Strike System damage.
Masterwork - Talisman of Power: Using [E]/[RB]/[R1] ability boosts [Q]/[LB]/[L1] ability damage by 60% for 10 seconds.
Grouping these two together, They're similar in every regard. Pretty basic outside of the Masterworks. The buff they provide can be potent during early stages of gearing, but once you get stronger gear, this small amount of bonus damage ends up meaning very little.
I still personally use Way of the Swift more, as the [E]/[RB]/[R1] Ability slot is generally stronger (Cariff's Talon, Sudden Death, Viper's Bite) and usually offers AoE damage as part of their masterworks (Sudden Death) or a secondary effect (Cariff's Talon). Talisman of Power could be useful if you can run a strong Ruthless Stalker or Sanadeen's Respite.
Effect: +25% Base Weapon Damage.
Masterwork - Elusive Talisman: Dashing 3 Times refills Equipped Weapon Magazine.
This is both a solid component and Masterwork. The MW heavily enables a lot of Weapon based builds, due to triple dashing providing free ammo while being a slightly faster reload for a lot of weapons. The innate bonus of the component offers a solid boost to a stat that's very relevant to weapon- based builds.
Effect: +10% Melee Damage.
Masterwork - Way of Resolve: On Dash, +40% Melee Damage for 10 seconds.
Honestly, the Masterwork is the only saving grace for this Component. The base value just isn't enough as a base component. The Masterwork is very good though, encouraging mobility in melee combat. In all situations, Double Edged Component is just better in terms of the output and consistency it can provide.
The base effect and perk of this component are now outmatched by Melee Inscriptions on Universal Components, as well as the melee universal component itself.
Effect: +20% Electric Damage, Electric Resistance and Gear Recharge speed.
Masterwork - Conductive Lattice: On melee hit, detonate an electrical explosion once every 2 seconds
The base stats this component offers are great. Interceptor has two strong Electric abilities, Spark Dash and Detonating Strike. Both which can work together and bring a solid build together. The Gear Recharge Speed is a solid Bonus as well for most builds.
The Masterwork was heavily nerfed in 1.0.4, previously requiring 3 melee hits (A single melee combo, if all attacks connect) to every 2 seconds. This heavily nerfed the DPS of the augment, making it just as worthwhile as the base one.
Would personally love to see this explosion double-dip and scale with melee/elemental modifiers as well as be considered a melee kill for the sake of component synergy. That’s all it needs really to have the Masterwork at least be useful.
Effect: +35% maximum shields, - 35% maximum Armor
Masterwork - Survival Algorithm: Clearing a negative status recharges shields by 40%, can occur once every 10 seconds.
This component has potential, should you be able to stack enough Shield Delay inscriptions. Without doing so, it can be rough to use. Best to stick to Armor based builds until then.
The masterwork effect will proc any time a status ends, naturally or by Rally Cry or any other cleansing effect. It gives it some potential use if you wanted to run a shield based Interceptor over an armor based one, but armor is often more reliable.
Effect: +35% Incoming and outgoing damage
Masterwork - Vengeance Matrix: Base effect altered to +50% Damage dealt, +25% damage taken. At low HP: Damage is reduced by 50% for 10 seconds.
This component is a pretty big powerhouse in early Endgame builds, before you get the inscriptions you need to make certain things work. It comes with a bit of a penalty, but the damage increase is quite substantial. However it is worth noting that this damage increase DOES NOT affect combo or ultimate.
The Masterwork takes this to a higher level by increasing the bonus and reducing the penalty. On top of that, it even offsets the penalty with its effect, reducing the damage you take for a bit when you hit low Armor.
Effect: +30% Magazine size, +50% Ammo Drop Rate
Masterwork - Way of Salvage: on Ammo Pickup, weapon damage is increased by 40% for 10 seconds
On its own, This component isn’t the greatest. While it does have a nice combination of stats, both of these are also common inscriptions seen on most other components and easier to get more of in other ways.
The Masterwork bonus does however make it worth consideration of early Endgame Weapons Builds. It’s a decent bonus, while offering okay buffs to your weapons and ammo economy.
Effect: +40% Aura Pulse Frequency
Masterwork - Way of the Bold: Base effect altered to 40% pulse strength. On Melee Kill: restores 40% armor
With the current state of Auras for Interceptor, the effects of the base and Masterwork variants of this component are a bit lackluster. Having it apply status effects faster can be good, but also very niche. Despite wording, the component does not increase aura damage.
The Masterwork effect can make this a great component for a melee build, offering a good amount of much needed sustain/recovery to what is often a high-risk build.