Why play sage?
Since we will be sticking purely to PvE content in this guide, its safe to say that Sage is in a pretty good spot right now on both specs.
Sage has accuracy passives and BIG damage on both sides to make it a decent choice for any spot. But that's general stuff which can be fixed by getting more gear on any class. Lets look at what sage brings to the table that other classes don't:
Reset: Yes, it is called reset and just as the name suggests, it resets the cooldown of your skills, this includes your class buff (E buff) and anyother long cd skill that you used and is on cool down. Even thought it has a long cool down of 10 mins it still means that you can get click your E buff 6 more times than any other class can in 1 hour. More buff = More damage = More $$$.
Ator's Eye: This skill allows you to enter "Ancient Regions" i.e Sycraia Abyss, Hystria, Aakman, Kragtuga without the need for the general material that is required. You still need to do the initial quest chain for Aakman and Hystria (Quest chain for Aakman : https://bddatabase.net/us/quest/5719/1/ Quest chain to Hystria : https://bddatabase.net/us/quest/5720/1/ ) You can just walk up to the doors in Underwater and Kragtuga, press R and go in. No Key required. Similarly you can just talk to the NPC on the Aakman node to enter Hystria and Aakman without needing to give up a Black Spirit Claw. This is your answer to not having friends to TP you into UW.
Rift Chain: Rift chain is Succession Sages main movement ability, and the main source if protection by being a long iFrame, but the reason I am bringing this skill up in a PvE guide is because sometimes it's your get out of jail free card. Since it is a long iframe (around 2 secs ish~) you can use this to either get out of sticky situations while grinding or while doing boss blits to dodge big AoE one shot skills the bosses do more reliably.
This skills also allows you to "pocket" other skills i.e you can pre-cast certain skills, use rift chain and complete the casting after coming out of rift chain. This is mostly used by succession sage as it saves you time and can help you rotate protections better, but you can do this on awaken sage too with pre-awaken skills.
All the above mentioned skills are common to both awakening and succession sage, so why go for awakening sage?
Firstly, the skills animations and affects are wayyyyy more cooler to look at.
Secondly, as mentioned earlier the main gimmick of succession sage is to pocket skills which is boring nerd stuff, the only thing you need to pocket on awaken sage while grinding is the fat stacks of silver you will be making.
Jokes aside, the gameplay while grinding varies a lot between awakening and succession sage. Awakening sage has faster gameplay and overall more mobilty but you press more buttons. Succession sage on the other hand is a bit more relaxed grind and is less buttons to be pressed overall.
Comparing both, it's safe to say that awakening does better than succession in most spots(thought succession sage is not a bad spec and does better than many classes). Awakening has very good "pack to pack" moblity and does best in spots where the pack of mobs are not too far apart. Also has a good pull ability on Chain Lightning allowing you to group up spread apart mobs together before bursting them down.
Since this wall of text is getting too long I will keep this short and go straight into some basic combos for grinding.
Firstly lets start with getting to and pulling mobs, this can be done by using Chain lightning, then you can use spear bolt to position yourself behind the mobs and use the rest of your kit to kill the pack, this can be repeated on short cool downs.
Here what a combo would look like:
Chain Lightning -> Shock relay -> Radiant Annihilation -> Spear Bolt -> Lightning Surge -> Upsurge -> Flow Interrogate
S+RMB > RMB > F> RMB> W+F> Space > RMB> Shift+RMB> F
Shock Relay(RMB) is used to cancel most skill animations plus it gives a cool +30% Crit Rate buff for 5secs when used off Cooldown(Every 3 secs)
Also a good idea to use (Shift+F) off cooldown, ideally after Spear Bolt as it is our Tier 3 Add on skill.
For Tougher Mobs your combo would look more like this:
S+RMB> RMB> F> RMB> W+F> RMB> Shit+F> RMB> S+LMB> S+F> RMB> W+F> Shift+RMB> F> Shift+ LMB
The idea here is to use W+F mid combo to get behind mobs so you can keep backattacking them, you can use space after W+F to get right on top of something incase you overshoot.
Basic Add Ons:
This is a very basic set of add-ons, you can mix and match a few addons like adding down atk damage if needed or adjusting the required addons incase you use different Combos.
Where to grind?
Since the answer entirely depends on what gear you have, here are some spots where awakening sage actually excels over most other classes assuming you have the required gear:
Orc Camp - Best place for awaken sage to grind as you have pack to pack mobility and had dacent aoe on your skills, infact with average gear you will be overclearing the marni realm spot quite easily on awaken sage. This applies to all serendia elvia spots but orcs is the best.
Gyfin Underground - Being able to go behind mobs easily makes this spot much easier and efficient to grind on sage, since you will be behind mobs most of the time you should not be getting hit much by anything here.
Sycraia Abyss: Free Key to get in, decent pack to pack mobilty, and burst damage on short cool downs makes this a good spot for awk sage.
Kragtuga: Same as the above, and the spot is underrated, go try it.
Hexe Elvia: Elvia hexe mobs hurt quite a bit but you should be able to pull and kite mobs easily with awaken sage and if done right you can grind here without taking many hits.
Aakman/ Hystria: Free entry + decent mobily, just go grind that compass :)
Ash Forest : If you have the gear to grind here and are looking for Debos sage is not a bad choice, though Dekhia Ash remains quite a challenge.
Dekhia Thornwood: If you have the gear to grind here you should, it is currently the best spot in the game money wise and as long as you are on your toes you can grind here on sage.
Thats all for now, might write a more indepth guide on sage later for PvP, or maybe some other class.
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