A Starter Build for The Secret World

A week ago I published a blog featuring what I was using as a leveling build in Transylvania. It was a blades/ assault rifle build with reliable dps and survivability; even more so if you look over some of the suggestions Sylow provided in the comments section. However I didn’t start using that build until Egypt and recently I went back to my starter build and made a few improvements to it, both of which will be shared here.

This build uses hammer/ elementalism and is a lot of fun if you want a visceral, hard hitting build with a focus on critical strikes. The starter version will only require actives and passives from the inner circle making it a great starting point for new players while the version I’m using now will take a little more time to put together. The biggest difference between the two is survivability; with the basic one you will survive by weakening your opponents attacks and by killing them before they can kill you. With the advanced version (not as in more difficult, just requiring more AP) you will have passive healing on your side as well.

One thing that Sylow mentioned in the comments of the last post that I wanted to point out again here is that with any passive healing build you want a couple of pieces of healing talismans to make them really shine.


Active Abilities

Anima Charge- This elementalism ability is a cool down which causes your next elemental consumer to use no resources which means you can activate Thor’s Hammer twice in a row (see below). As this is one of the hardest hitting abilities in the build, especially when it crits or penetrates, I find Anima Charge to be well worth the active slot. This ability will be used in the starter and advanced versions of this build.

Shock- This is a single target elementalism damage dealing ability and resource builder for both of your weapons. It is also used in both versions of the build. You will use this to set the afflicted state (see passives) and as a ranged pull or as a basic attack when you are unable to get into melee range. In fact, I always try to include one melee and one ranged weapon in all my decks for this reason.

Smash- Smash is hammer’s equivalent to shock, it’s a single target ability that adds resources to both your weapons. This will be your main attack as it will keep the target weakened due to one of the passives used which will decrease the amount of damage you take from your target. It is used in both versions of the build.

Hell to Pay/ Molten Steel- These two abilities are your resource consumers for Hammer. Hell to Pay is easy enough to get at the start of the game thus it will be what you use for most of Solomon Isle. It is a blast ability that does damage to up to six targets in a column in front of you. Later on you will want to switch this out to Molten Steel, a single target attack that does 15% more critical damage and has a 30% greater chance to critically hit.

Thor’s Hammer- Do you like hammers? How would you like to add even MORE hammers to your hammer build? Elementalism has you covered with this amazing ability that will completely crush your enemies when it critically hits and/or penetrates. Thor’s Hammer is a single target strike attack that requires all 5 of your elementalism resources to use, however when coupled with Anima Charge it can be used twice in a row for a massive damage spike. This ability is used in both versions of the build.

Electrical Storm- This is an elementalism chain attack that you will use in both builds for fighting multiple targets. One of the weaknesses of this build is that it does a lot of single target damage but is weak against groups of enemies. I tend to focus fire one target at a time so this works for me, but for the weaker clusters of enemies electrical storm will take them out quick, especially when it critically hits. Like almost all of the active abilities, this will be used in both starter and advanced decks.

Shockwave- Shockwave is an elite hammer ability that knocks down and impairs enemies in a column in front of you. You will want to use this as your active elite in both versions of the build as a way to interrupt abilities or to buy yourself time in a close fight. This is used in both builds. In fact, by now it should be apparent that for the actives in this build, the only ability I added from the outer wheel was Molten Steel; everything else is from the inner wheel and I was able to use this build successfully all the way through the end of Transylvania.


Passive Abilities

Volatile Current- This is an elementalism passive that causes shock to set the afflicted state. Of all the passives I currently use, this would likely be the first to go because only Circulation requires the ability to set the afflicted state to work and could easily be replaced with another healing passive. However early on for the starter build this is “free” additional damage.

Bellow the Belt- This hammer passive sets a weakened state called “debilitate” which reduces the targets damage output by 3% and can stack up to 10 times. Before you are able to pick up some of the passive healing of the outer wheel, this passive is what will allow you to survive throughout the first few zones. Your damage output will outstrip your enemy’s ability to retaliate.

Righteous Fury/ Mad Skills- This build from the beginning was based around critical hits and so I looked for anything that would increase my chance to crit. In the beginning I used Righteous Fury which increases the chance for Hell to Pay to crit by 15%. However once I started picking up passives from the outer wheel, I switched to “Mad Skills” because it improves overall crit chance and because eventually I dropped Hell to Pay. What this pistols passive does is increases your critical hit chance every time you crit and stacks up to five times. This will improve your passive healing as well.

Hard Impact/ Circulation- Before I was able to add heal over time elements to my build, I focused on generally increasing damage. Hard Impact will improve the damage of all your hammer skills; given they are the bread and butter of your attacks, this will be useful early on. Later when I switched to healing passives I used Circulation. This is a blood magic passive that gives you a heal over time whenever you set the afflicted state. If you use Shockwave and impair the target followed by Shock setting the afflicted state it will also give you an absorption shield.

High Voltage/ Advantage Me- High Voltage is a passive from the elementalism inner wheel that causes the affected consumer to critically hit, in this case Thor’s Hammer. If you are paying attention to this and Elemental Force (see below) you can use the first Thor’s Hammer as your seventh hit guaranteeing a crit from high voltage followed by a second Thor’s Hammer which will crit due to Elemental Force. Most targets in Solomon Isle will be near death if hit twice by a Thor’s Hammer critical strike so long as they don’t evade or block.

Elemental Force- This ability will be used in both versions of the build and is pivotal to your “rotation.” Elemental force ensures that every eighth hit will be a critical strike so to maximize its use, you want to line it up with Thor’s Hammer every time. This requires “counting” your strikes and delaying Thor’s Hammer when necessary. This passive will probably determine whether or not you enjoy this build, as personally I like micromanaging the timing of abilities to make this work, but I can certainly understand that not everyone finds counting abilities fun.

Cool, Calm, & Collected/ Empowerment- Cool, Calm, and Collected is a Hammer elite passive that will improve your damage reduction every time you block and it will increase your damage output every time you critically hit a target. This works well with the overall theme of the build before you have access to other elites. However once you do and are ready to transition to a passive healing Hammer/ Elementalism build you will want to pick up Empowerment. This is a fist weapon elite passive that will give you a moderate heal every time one of your HoTs critically hits. With the focus on crit for this build, that should be fairly often.


Once you have put all this together, the opening set of abilities will be as follows:

  1. Pull the target using shock which will also set the afflicted state (1).
  2. Once in melee range use Hell to Pay or Molten Steel to use up your hammer resources (2).
  3. Use smash for your next 4 hits and to set the weakened state (3-6).
  4. Use Anima charge followed by Thor’s Hammer for a guaranteed crit when using High Voltage (7).
  5. Use Thor’s Hammer again for a second guaranteed crit because of Elemental Force (8).

For more challenging mobs with larger health pools, especially in later zones, this will not be enough to reduce their health to zero and you will need to continue counting hits and timing Thor’s hammer for the eighth. However for most mobs this will be enough to kill them by the time you reach the second Thor’s Hammer, if not before then.

So whether you are in Kingsmouth working with abilities found in the inner wheel or in Transylvania looking to defeat an army of vampires, the two versions of this build will get you through it all. On Solomon Isle you will be killing enemies much quicker than they are able to defeat you; once you’ve added the healing passives from the outer wheel you will be adding even more survivability to the build making this a great solo deck for the entirety of Solomon Isle, Egypt, and Transylvania.

A Solo Leveling Build for The Secret World

Leveling in The Secret World can be challenging when you are playing the game solo; even more so if you are unsure how to put together a build that will allow for both survivability and damage output. I’m by no means a min/max player and I’m sure there are better builds out there for accomplishing these two goals, but nevertheless I think I’ve managed to put together a pretty solid set up and wanted to share it here. The starting point for this build was a combination of the Modern Samurai build on TSW database and the Wolverine regen build found here. The weapons I use are Blade/Assault Rifle and for stats I focus on Penetration first and then Crit.


Active Abilities

Shot of Anima- This is a single target heal that consumes all of your assault rifle resources. When you’re fighting a group of mobs they will each gain their own stacks, so you can tab through and use the heal repeatedly. There’s a short cooldown so I generally alternate between this heal and my damage finisher.

Anima Burst- This is a burst builder that only adds to your assault rifle resources but it also heals you for a moderate amount plus for a percentage of the damage you deal. This is not my primary builder but if I need a little extra healing power I use this ability.

Blade Torrent- This is my primary builder; it’s an AOE blade attack that does a moderate amount of damage and also builds hate so you don’t want to use it in a group if you’re not the tank. It does decent damage to single targets and is great for groups of mobs. Unlike Anima Burst, Blade Torrent builds resources for both of your weapons.

Clearing the Path- This is an AOE finisher for blades and does a lot of damage. Against afflicted targets it increases your penetration chance which comes in handy for both additional damage and for self-heals (see passives).

Destiny- This is a single target blade finisher that I use when I’m not fighting a group of mobs. I’m actually not sure how good it is and may look for other options but so far it has worked out for me. Against afflicted targets it also adds additional damage over time.

Three Round Burst- This is just your basic, damage dealing assault rifle finisher. When I don’t need to heal myself with Shot of Anima I use this to spend my rifle resources.

Four Seasons- This is an elite ability for blades that deals a lot of damage. It’s on a 45 second cooldown and is a channeled ability but it packs quite a punch and all hits are guaranteed to penetrate. If I need an ability that will impair mobs, I swap this one out for Stunning Swirl.



Passive Abilities

Perfect Storm- This blade passive causes Blade Torrent to set the afflicted state. This is important because several of the other active abilities have additional affects against afflicted targets.

Breakdown- This is a Chaos passive that allows blade attacks to set the weakened state, which in this case is called “Exposed” and increases the damage against your target by 2% per stack. I’ll be honest, until I went to write this I thought all weakened states were the same and the one I had in my hammer build reduced the damage I took which is why I added this passive. It’s still beneficial, adding extra damage and all, it’s just not doing what I thought it was.

Dark Potency- This is a blood magic passive that increases the penetration chance whenever you set the afflicted state.

Iron Maiden- This one is also a blood magic passive that increases your penetration chance every time you hit a target in the afflicted state with a penetrating hit.

Circulation- Another blood magic passive, this one gives you a heal over time whenever you set the afflicted state. If you take Stunning Swirl instead of Four Seasons as your active elite ability, it will also give you an absorption shield whenever you afflict an impaired target.

Immortal Spirit- This is a blade passive that gives you a heal over time affect every time one of your abilities penetrates the target. With this build’s high penetration chance, you will almost always have two HOTs on your character between this passive and Circulation.

Empowerment- This is a fist weapon elite passive but it is well worth the investment if you are going for a passive healing build. Empowerment gives you a moderate heal every time one of your HOTs critically hits (which is another reason why crit is useful in this build beyond the damage it adds).


All together you will be doing solid damage with a lot of passive healing and some active heals with Shot of Anima and Anima Burst. Targets go down pretty quickly— especially if you use Four Seasons—and you won’t lose a lot of health unless you pull too many mobs so your uptime is really strong. There is definitely room to improve on this build—it would probably be better if I focused my synergies a little more— but all in all this is a reliable deck for solo play. It has gotten me through Egypt and almost all of Transylvania (I’m still working through Carpathian Fangs) without any trouble and it’s a lot of fun as well.