Some translations may be different then the english client, as it was written based off the RU builder website linked in the first section below. I have put the english translations aside the RU ones where I initially go through each skill and their super armors so its easier to match, but the image.
I am hoping this guide will help both new and learning players as an NA player learning on RU it had a steep learning curve so hopefully this helps you learn faster, as it has some basics on gunslinger but also focuses on things to think about in order to help you use your skills more effectively in team play, and some good times to use certain skills versus specific classes.
I know there are probably a lot of video guides on gunslinger but I find document guides more useful as you can easily reference it later and it’s easier to update and change things as balance patches come and go. I also try to dive into some of the intricacies of specific skills and how to effectively maximize the damage of those skills. I am hoping after this you can understand a bit more about the class to make a build that works for you.
This guide is quite long so feel free to read whichever parts you think you may find useful. I have been working on this for a bit over a month slowly adding things I notice, and will probably keep adding gifs and more info as I learn more. Since this is a large document with a ton of gifs, some of them may load slowly especially on mobile, so it’s recommended to use PC to view this guide. Sorry in advance for the bad grammar.
Section 1 – Skill Usage Basics and Tripods
Have this handy while reading the guide so you can see which tripods are referred to the RU site. This guide will focus on 3v3 since that is the competitive pvp mode in Lost Ark, although some of the gifs in the combo section are from 1v1 so it’s easier to see the combos (but I’m using the 3v3 builds). You have 340 skill points to spend in pvp. I will talk about the Ultimate (1 use per game) abilities later in the Meta Build section 4.
This section will talk about usage of important skills, and what the skill has in terms of CC, mobility, and SA (Super Armor).
CCs for GS: Freeze, Stun (if tripod is selected), Knockdown (some skills will only knock up while others knockback as well), Hard Stagger/Stiffness (stagger through autos), Soft Stagger (does not stagger through autos).
*2-3 means second row 3rd column so for AT02 grenade that would be freezing grenade.
Hard Stagger goes through autos.
Soft Stagger doesn’t.
Engage Skills quick reference:
- Q-Soft Stagger
- W-Hard Stagger
- E-Hard Stagger
- R-Hard Stagger
- S-Soft Stagger
- D-Soft Stagger
- F-Hard Stagger
The ratings are based on post nerf 2 i.e. KR 7/7 patch and RU as of 9/15. The pistol skills for deciding hard vs soft stagger were all tested on an auto attacking player (thanks Woogzie) to see which skills interrupted autos. There are lots of good GS tripods so choosing (aside from the base picks) can be a bit hard, so it’s to play around and bit and try what works for you, but I have some builds at the end of the guide to try as well.
- Normal – Off Meta, probably still viable in certain situations
- Bold – Most Common Choices of Tripod for respective skill (If you have the SPs)
- Purple – Tripod has a large impact in 3v3 (Key Tripod in Most Builds, IF that skill is used)
- Red – Required Tripod for 3v3 (Most Important Tripods)
Additional Note: some gif footage taken before Nerf 2 so damage numbers and quickstep use may not be exactly the same. See Quickstep section below for more info.
This is your main hard CC peels for teammates and a good tool to use on opponents that have their Get Up ready to still do respectable damage against them without juggling, since you can easily go into last request or Catastrophe after the freeze. This grenade is great for peeling blasters from teammates if you predict their stun engage you can instantly freeze them negating their combo potential. I will refer to this skill simply as Freeze in the future.
(Blink, hard stagger, stagger SA, knockdown SA through tripod)
2-3 (2-1 no longer staggers, if NA/EU somehow gets the non-nerfed version then take 2-1, but it’s unlikely)
Generally pre Nerf 2 you will be initiating mainly with quickstep, since it has a very fast hard stagger. Post nerf 2, you can expand options more to other stagger skills or when quickstep is on cd. When not taking the instant tripod, you can change the time of release and direction before staggering the enemy so you can go through them then stagger them from behind.
You can compare the speeds of the nerfed and non nerfed version below. The quickstep SA has a pretty lenient linger time.
Pre nerf – Use instant tripod (Don’t use this anymore)
Post nerf – Use SA tripod (NA Version)
(Crit buff, soft stagger)
Spiral tracker can be used to support teammates’ damage and continue stagger combo, if the opponent is currently CC’d or not using auto attack. This skill is somewhat annoying to use with high ping since on RU server its hard to reliably get it to hit after your stagger initiate sometimes, and since its a soft stagger, you need to land it and it has to have its first stagger tic the target before the last cc ends for it to combo well. If you dont land it fast enough the target can auto/dash out, so make sure you use it after abilities with longer stagger like Quick Step, or while moving towards the target with dexterous shot so you have enough time to cast it (see dexterous shot section below).
(Blink, hard stagger, stagger SA, knockdown SA and cd reduction through tripod, evasion rate through tripod)
Summer Salt Shot:
Great low cd dash skill to reposition. One of the best mobility skills for gunslinger.
(Blink through tripod, soft stagger, stagger SA, knockdown SA through tripod)
Even though this is only a soft stagger it has pretty good aoe radius and is knockdown SA so can be used to trade and engage as well (although the activation and very end of it are vulnerable so take some care in using it and be especially careful to end it before the “perfect hit timing” so you won’t be interrupted during that, unless the enemy team will not interrupt you mid jump).
Example of bad use of the skill as I was interrupted immediately during the jump back effect of the skill by the blade during the end frames, since whirlwind has a delayed knockup effect.
(Blink through tripod, hard stagger)
Kind of a filler ability in my opinion, but it has a small dash so it’s useful to use as an additional dash. Sometimes the hold is useful to catch opponents as they dont expect it often.
(Mobile, hard stagger)
Agile Shooting/Dexterous shot:
Timing is pretty important in using this ability as it can lock teams down well, but also can get you CC’d easily, if going against other Gunslinger or Devil Hunters careful as Devil Hunters may use the faster equilibrium to counter stagger since your vulnerable, or mistimed dexterous shot will lead to you losing half your health, as whichever dexterous shot hits first will stagger (but due to the movement aspect of this ability sometimes it will not be whoever activated the ability first). So if GS A activates dexterous shot and moves towards GS B and is just out of range and GS B immediately counters with dexterous shot GS B will hit first as the first hit of GS A will miss and move them towards GS B but GS B’s first hit will hit GS A. This can lead to some annoyance if you miss time or use it incorrectly. Looking at the image below, If I wanted to use Spiral Tracker after hitting these two targets with stagger, I wouldn’t have time to hit the target on the right since i have moved past him, but should have time to hit the target on the left since I moved towards him since the stagger from dexterous shot is quite short. If i wanted to continue the combo cleaner i could’ve changed direction to the bottom right on the second part of the skill to finish off the target to the right (you can see a few missed shots) and then gone into a quickstep into Spiral Tracker on the opponent on the left.
(Mobile, stagger SA, soft stagger)
Rain of bullet/Bullet Rain:
Although only soft stagger has a decent range and is good for zoning opponents and recovering CDs.
Judgement Time/Hour of Judgement:judgement time
Good filler or if you don’t quite have time for another ability, does respectable damage for no investment and has decent range
(Stagger SA, knockdown SA through tripod, hard stagger)
Extinction Bullet/Dual buckshot:
Nice skill especially if you have SA tripod. If you can predict opponents about to jump on you countering with dual buckshot (if you take the SA knockdown tripod) is quite good to catch them off guard.
(Small blink through tripod, knockdown)
Last Supper/Last request:
Nice damage skill but is easily interrupted in 3s. Good to combo with other skills or use as a mobility and damage skill when dodging another target as seen below.
(Stagger SA, hard stagger)
Good stagger, can catch opponents off guard sometimes, good to combo after dual buckshot or vice versa, Useful with 1-3 after opponent is locked on ground after knock up limit
(Knockdown, stagger SA, knockdown SA through tripod)
This is one of the best damage skills for a gunslinger. With the meta tripods, if you land it exactly on the enemy both the front half and back half of the attack will hit the enemy resulting in double damage. This is very important for maximizing your damage with the class, as this is one of the lower cd Sniper skills and will be used very often along with last request when hitting CC’d targets. This is the main safe follow up damage, since it has knockdown Super Armor, however teammates can still peel you off with a hard cc. You can animation cancel Catastrophe at a close range distance right as the character moves to activate it faster.
Tripod 2-2 which you would usually take has some weird interactions with the way catastrophe hits twice. The first closer hit registers first, so if the target is not knocked down, and both hits land you get the bonus for the second hit, if the target is knocked down but not hard cc (ie able to be knocked up by your catastrophe) you get the bonus dmg from both hits, but if the target is hard CC and knocked down you don’t get the bonus on either hit, since the hard CC overwrites the knockdown effect in terms of this specific tripod. So keep this in mind when min maxing damage, if you need to do the most possible damage to a target and the target’s Get up is currently on cd, you don’t want to freeze them while they are knocked down if you plan to use this skill otherwise you would lose out on 40% damage.
You can see here if you hit in the middle of the target you get a double hit with the second hit always proccing the damage bonus from the tripod unless target is frozen.
(Knockdown-knockback, stagger SA through tripod)
2-2/2-3 (choose one)
Try to use Perfect Shot to get a specific target’s Get up on cd, then pressure that target as a team with another knockdown/knock up chain to get a longer combo and easily kill that target. You can also use it to finish off low hp targets, or targets that are CC’d so u can do extra damage to them, if you end up taking more pts into Perfect Shot then the 2nd tripod or take the extra damage below 50% hp tripod, you will end up using it more as an execution rather then to get the target’s knockdown. This skill is also great for team peels.
It can be a great execute on low hp targets as it has stagger sa in case of an engage as seen below. You can see the extra damage tripod below.
When using perfect shot on targets that aren’t CC’d especially you generally want to try to flick it at the last second so it isn’t easy for the target to see they are being attacked. This isn’t the best example, but you get the idea.
Nice skill damage for a skill that only required 4 pts in tripod. Good for continuation of combo OR for peeling opponents stuck in place for a while if you are safe. A pretty good skill, that is used mainly when others are not available or when you are safe to use it since you are vulnerable during it. If you are sure this hit the opponent you can go right into focus shot afterwards for a short combo.
(Knockdown-knockback, stun through tripod)
There are two main uses for this skill, long range peel or combo continuation. It does significantly more damage to low hp enemies with the tripod, so mainly useful for finishing off opponents or peeling lower Hp opponents. As both this skill and Perfect Shot knock the target back, be careful using these skills with a blaster on your team especially. If you are running the stun tripod you would be mainly using this for counter engaging on the enemy when they hit your teammates.
Post nerf this ability needs to be used carefully to get good effect, however catastrophe is just too good damage wise and helps the team combo well to warrant taking this ability post Nerf1 and pre Nerf 2 instead of it in my opinion unless you are switching out focus shot OR switching out Spiral Flame and removing some of the mobility tripods to get the skill points for this.In Short for damage this ability is quite good, but you are kind of leaving your team alone while using it, as it doesnt CC at all so it has to be used carefully while the opponents are CC’d. Whereas the alternatives in this spot all have a CC, combo continuation so they actually help the team do more damage, not just yourself. Pre-Nerf 1 this ability was a must have as it CC’d and did not show the max hit range for opponents so you could initiate offscreen easily, but this was already nerfed on both KR and RU. I like taking this with a full ranged rifle build. It works well to use after a stagger combo, or when the opponent knocks the enemy back as it is easy to combo with any teammate including strikers and classes that knock back a lot compared to most skills which are harder to land in this case. When you use this ability you are putting a huge target on you and the enemy can see the max range of the skill as well.
(Stagger SA, stagger (probably hard stagger?))
shotgun firing/Shotgun Rapid Fire
Sometimes used instead of hour of judgement or last request if you don’t invest the points into last request. It’s not a bad skill for 4 pts investment into 1-3. It has a pretty long and wide range, so it’s nice filler to continue teammates combos or use as safe damage from mid range.
Sometimes used instead of peacekeeper, if you want to save 4 points in tripods (nice fast stagger skill, but lose out one blink)
Haven’t tested in PvP
Used in PVE Hunting Time Build only as far as I’ve seen (haven’t tested in pvp).
Section 2 – PvP Combos
One important thing to note about gunslinger is you have the option to double press your spacebar (dash) for more mobility and/or to change direction mid skill. You can bait opponents and dodge skills easily that some other classes have more trouble dodging with this.
Translations used for combos will be from the Russian LATree website with the images attached in section 1.
- Get up – Immediately get up from knockdown (spacebar while knocked down (cannot use until you hit the ground, cannot use if you are hard CC’d) ~12sec cd
- Dash – class based dash (spacebar-SA) ~6sec cd
- Peel – Using ability to cc enemies attacking teammates to save them
Generally you will engage in pistol stance then swap depending on the combo. In order to maximize damage you will want to keep track of all enemies Get up cooldowns. It is important to focus targets that are either out of position with hard cc combos or shorter juggle combos (teammates keep juggling knocking up in succession chaining off each other to not allow target to hit the ground) whose Get up is up, or focus targets whose Get up is down with a longer knock up combo. If the target is knocked down, you have a set amount of time to knock them up, if you don’t knock up within that window they will stand up naturally and have some time in which they are immune while getting up. The window is pretty generous allowing some delayed knockups. Some interesting plays can be made with this even if the target does have a Get up, for example some better players will hold their Get up if their team doesn’t currently need peels unless the player ccing them actually follows up with a hit after the knockdown. So you can wait half a second and then follow up with a second knock up, sometimes catching them off guard or at the very least forcing their Get up cooldown or bait them as if you are going to continue to combo them. If you wait a set amount of time too there is a small window where they cant use their Get up just as they start to stand naturally which u can get a free hit off of as well.
Here is a 1v1 example of a two combo win. The first combo my goal is to force him to use his get up and the second I finish him. A super low ping player could get out of this if they react quickly, since I used dexterous shot while going slightly too far away from the target.
- Dexterous Shot>Spiral Tracker>Catastrophe>Focus Shot
I disengage for a few seconds then re-engage, before his Get up is back.
- Quick Step>Spiral Tracker, Last Request>Spiral Flame>Dual Buckshot
The same idea goes into 3v3 but keeping track of everyone’s Get up not just 1 target and also peeling the team.
Your main opener will usually be a stagger until hit confirm then crit buff into a knockdown, as shown in section 1 use the abilities as required taking into account hard vs soft staggers and Super armors. It will likely be quickstep, Deathfire, dexterous shot, or bullet rain (or a combination of them) into a spiral tracker or freeze grenade interrupt on knockdown SA targets depending on opponent positioning and ability use. Freeze grenade timing against gunslinger vs gunslinger is key as well as making sure to land your stagger before you are staggered, it’s better to interrupt them with freeze grenade and get a small combo off then get staggered first and take a lot of damage.
dual buckshot is good if you take the SA tripod, Deathfire is good since both have SA for knockdown. Countering with a well timed freeze grenade is good. Catastrophe if you can predict their positioning well in advance. Focus shot or perfect shot to peel enemy team on allies.
For these combos opener can be any combination of staggers, as long as you don’t stagger the target very long (don’t want to hit stagger cap before spiral tracker). And if you are close to stagger cap you can always try to go right into an animation cancelled catastrophe or last request if you have good ping without the spiral tracker. While comboing be careful during your weapon swap if you have high ping since its server side it can be awkward and you will get interrupted a lot during your weapon swap. If you are trying to counter a gunslinger, trying to knockdown during the end frames on Deathfire is a good idea and also trying to stagger them while they are swapping weapons is a good idea. If you see a gunslinger in Sniper mode try to rush and counter them as they are pretty vulnerable to knockups (if there catastrophe is down) in that weapon mode.
Here are some basic gunslinger combos. If at any time in your combo instead of continuing when you think you are going to be peeled it’s better to finish your combo early and escape, for example if I just landed Catastrophe after Spiral and see an opponent nearby, it’s better to disengage. These are just some of the basic combos, it’s more important to understand where opponents are on the map and keep track of which skills you have available to use and when it’s safe to use them rather than rely on specific combos. You can mix and match a lot of the knockdown and knockback skills depending on when they come off cooldown.
I will use Quickstep below to signify any stagger engage.
Quick Combos to get knockdown:
- Quickstep>Spiral Tracker>Catastrophe (safer)
Quickstep>Catastrophe (full knockdown SA safe if u take quickstep knockdown SA tripod, need to animation cancel catastrophe)
A bit different order on the combo, but this is kind of how it would play in a group setting.
- Quickstep>Spiral Tracker>last request (unsafe)
Quickstep>last request (faster variant without crit buff if you don’t think you will have time to get spiral tracker off before opponent peels or want to use spiral tracker to zone)
See below for an example (dexterous shot instead of quickstep).
1-VeryHigh Damage combo (use if opponent has no Get up):
- Quickstep>Spiral Tracker>last request/ Catastrophe>Whichever Damaging Skills you have up currently (knockups first to keep target CC’d)
2-High Damage combo (only use if opponent has Get up) – ping dependant:
- Quickstep>Spiral Tracker>last request>Freeze>Catastrophe>Focus Shot
Note- catastrophe will do less damage in this combo since it won’t get the knockup bonus from the tripod.
You can see a version of this combo below using dexterous shot as the engage instead of quickstep. I repositioned a bit but still had just enough time to dodge as the holy knight got up.
3-High Damage combo (opponent has no Get up) – somewhat ping dependant, need to be relatively close to enemy, safer to engage then 2:
- Quickstep>Spiral Tracker>Catastrophe>last request
**(No longer works reliably with 750 agility if target has roll up – need to use grenade after cata if u want to continue combo or go for focus shot instead of last request, if opponent has no roll this combo is usable still)
See below for an example.
Note: If you don’t take the points into last request you can no longer combo it after catastrophe if they have their roll (it is not fast enough). Instead, you would use combo 4 more often, or try to get their roll with last request if they are alone and catastrophe is not up after a stagger.
4-Ranged version of #3 (Opponent has Get up)
- Quickstep>Spiral Tracker>Catastrophe>Focus Shot
This combo is useful especially if you are trying to create more space between opponent and you vs number 3 which puts you closer.
After you get these combos down you want to be checking opponents health and finish off cc’d targets with perfect shot or Focus Shot if they are below the Hp threshold (and you take those tripods). I used the instant pre-nerf quickstep here instead of post nerf. If I removed that tripod, I could use only quickstep instead of both the Summersalt and quickstep, since if you don’t take the instant quick step tripod you can change direction.
Continuing opponents combos and comboing/knockup timing with them is important as well.
Try to keep in mind other classes ie, if a striker is hitting the target and knocking them up aim your skill to the direction they are facing since they usually knockback. Catastrophe is great when comboing with other players and probably one of the easier follow ups. With ping its very hard to land freeze grenades as players are knocked up so if you have high ping focus on using those for peels more.
Here are some non standard combos that are a bit easier with high Ping
- High Ping Alternative – Quickstep>Freeze>Spiral Tracker (optional)> Catastrophe
- High Ping Alternative – Quickstep>Freeze>Spiral Tracker (optional)> last request
- High Ping Alternative – (Opponent has no dash below ~70%hp) – Quickstep>Freeze>reposition to hit Catastrophe just as freeze ends>Focus shot
- High Ping Alternative – (Opponent has no dash or Get up~70%hp) – Quickstep>Freeze>reposition to hit Catastrophe just as freeze ends>Spiral Flame>Focus Shot>Dash>last request (order on these can depend on how opponents pressure you just keep using your knockups as you are safe)
You can see the delayed Catastrophe below finishing with a Spiral Flame as my other skills are on CD.
Section 3 – Counterplay / Tactics / Class Matchup Basics
This section will contain tips and tactics in general and vs specific classes, this section is a work in progress and will be longer as I work through my footage.
Capitalize on enemies in a line, originally i was behind and to the left of the lancer, but used double mobility to get a big combo on them after the lancer had a really nice double stun engage, and knocked up the bard with focus shot to interrupt his damage on the lancer.
Try to be aware of surroundings and what the team is doing.
Some examples of comboing with teammates, finishing off teammates is important especially trying to stagger their respawns so they can’t regroup as easily.
The lancer here had a nice catch so I repositioned away from the enemies on the right so they couldn’t peel me then helped continue the combo for a kill.
Bad timing of combo with team (target is knocked from whirlwind so I shouldn’t have used last request since the damage missed).
Punish the warlord when he doesn’t have counter/shields up. CC the warlord if he is out of position then pressure his teammates as his mobility is lower. Don’t hit into counter.
Respect the engage and play reactively against this class. Save your space for his hard CCs. Pressure him if he misses a combo or freeze his animation lock on teammates.
You can pressure Holy knight a lot, be careful of his stagger SA dash though and if you do end up getting caught half your hp will be gone, so play aggressively but carefully against them.
Out trade their 2 stagger SA then punish. Space their ranged stun.
One of our easier matchups, against hawkeye you want to try to get in their face and interrupt them as much as you can while staying safe. The biggest thing you want to interrupt is their ‘red’ Snipe, since this spell hits hard and is vulnerable to hard stagger (Quickstep and dexterous shot being the most reliable for interrupts). You can see them glow red as seen below.
Here I saw the destroyer try to peel so I went for an ulti instead of the normal combo, since he was animation locked and I would get extra damage on the hawkeye as well. Look for a red glowing bomb on you, this will knock you up after a delay so make sure to SA this if its on you.
Timing of freeze grenade and use of stagger SA is key here, the quickstep especially is one of the most important abilities in Gs vs Gs 10 pts in that helps here a lot. Dextrous shot after his or if u notice they cancel their deathfire to counter their deathfire freeze.
You can auto his soft stagger stun engage first 3 hits then space third hit to avoid the stun. Punish once they waste their kick (since they have a knockup sa and we don’t watch out for that). Hard matchup since devil hunter beats gs 1v1.
Same with gunslinger tactics aside from this.
Punish him when he uses his big aoe. Try to out stagger him and space or use mobility from their demon skill which will hard cc you and his triangle. Use stagger super armor to out trade, be careful if they catch you, you will lose a ton of hp.
Try to freeze them mid animation if they don’t have space up, run from them and poke until you can catch safely. Don’t challenge them if they have Cloak up. Quickstep immediately after SA once they run out to stagger.
Stagger their stun or space it (if we get latest patch on kr it was removed stagger sa). Be careful when they have gates they do giga damage, punish them and engage them before they can engage you. Be careful of their freeze at melee.
Pressure the scouter and keep them on screen, punish if they miss a hard cc and space their ccs recognizing when they can use freeze and stun.
Bait out their reverse gravity, wave, and stun, then engage. This class requires careful baiting to beat but you can win against them, quickstep 10 pts helps a lot here. Keep sorc on screen of you and beat their fov.
Try to bait their skills and pressure them but don’t overcommit as they have tons of super armors.
Always be aware of what skills the reaper has up and their animations. This class punishes mistakes well so make sure to play optimally and punish their engages.
One of the hardest matchups, try to stay max range from lancers and combo them when their get up is on cd. This class is probably the hardest class along with Striker/Tornado BM to go against so be careful.
One of our decent/harder matchups, Infighters are vulnerable during ground pound if they don’t have a dash up to cancel, to hard CC. Generally you want to kite this class and find a stagger opening or get them to use ground pound then hard CC and counter. Generally otherwise you want to run from this class if they chase you.
Our hardest matchup has alot of mobility and stagger SA. Very good vs gunslingers, run from them and try to pressure them if they engage on teammates. Quickstep 10 pts helps or shotgun 7 pts for extra SA time, space their jump it will freeze you.
Bait out their SA then punish hard. Gunslinger has a pretty good matchup vs summoner but if they are offscreen and damaging your team its rough especially if the summoner gets good peels.
Try to run from them, avoid them unless they have just used a lot of skills and are vulnerable. Freeze grenade their tornado. Pressure them outside of DR/ skill cds. Their aoe knocks you down at the end it will glow red so dont be melee of them then.
Not too hard of a matchup but very annoying to deal with in 3s, you need to run and play very safe vs this class, as they can peel you very easily. Destroyer is a bit hard to engage on since they have so much SA, but you can usually try to just kite them most of the game and freeze them to peel allies and interrupt since they have long animation locks.
Section 4 – Meta 3v3 Builds
Secondary Stats: 1k Agility (NA: Swiftness) / 249 Subdue (NA: Domination) / 1 Crit for the memes, or 1k Agility/ 250 Subdue, Some Gunslingers go 250 Spec if you don’t take 10 points on last request that’s a viable option too especially if you are hitting your sniper skills on targets that are not CC’d a lot of the time. With Latest KR changes cap on agility is 750.
High noon Ult / Eye of Twilight (1st) is more vulnerable (longer animation) and better St damage but the target must be Knocked down without Get up, or frozen/stun full duration to hit reliably. It will mark the closest target to do extra damage to them (including summoner’s pets so be careful), so the target you want to kill must be the closest to you as well. This ult is good for 1v1 and good for 3v3 post Nerf 2 (on current KR and RU patches) as its damage was buffed, but awkward to use and I prefer the 2nd Ult.
The Rocket Ult / High-Caliber HE Bullet (2nd) is more consistent aoe damage and faster animation, but it’s hitbox in order to explode is very small so it must be aimed precisely (once it explodes it has a decent sized area of effect though). Damage was nerfed in the Nerf 2 patch on 7/7 KR, 9/15 RU, but is still very good. I like this Ult more than the First.
Main Build Changes:
Swap Quickstep 2-1 to 2-3 or use those points elsewhere (from above builds in previous section)
Swap Rocket Ult with High Noon Ult if you desire (use ult 1, due to buff and nerf on ult 2). Both are still good, but high noon buff made it do really great damage, up to 90k crits ST sometimes so it can be well worth taking especially for harder matches where taking out a single target can be very important at the end of the game.
Post Nerf Builds:
Higher Damage (Standard Build, old KR build)
Bullet rain and Spiral are taken as the 7th and 8th pistol skills.
Dual buckshot, sharpshooter, and hour of judgement taken as other shotgun skills.
Some Notable Tripod Swaps:
Preference dexterous shot: attack speed>crit OR agile: attack speed>Spiral tracker: crit
(Crit will give you more rng chance for you and team to do more damage so I usually opt for crit on spiral tracker instead of dexterous shot attack speed tripod, but both are good as attack speed allows you a more reliable dexterous shot engage). I always opt for dexterous shot attack speed. You can swap Summer salt shot first tripod to mana tripod if you find yourself going out of mana too often.
Peels>Damage Focus Shot: extra damage sub50%>Stun, depending on comp/ preference (changes combos a bit)
AT02: Aoe grenade tripod>extra range, depending on comp/ preference
Dmg vs East of Use Perfect Shot Perfect Preperation>Finishing Shot (cant cancel perfect shot but more dmg sub 50, good for damaging or finishing off downed players but not as good in neutral/for kd)
Mobility Quickstep SA tripod>dexterous shot move distance (not really recommended, its better to take pts from last request for dexterous shot move distance imo)
Utility: You can take out pts from Sniper/last supper for 7 pts dextrous shot or 10 pts quickstep for more utility.
Beginner Friendly Build
Sharpshooter, and hour of judgement taken as other shotgun skills (Good starting build to learn)
Dual buckshot SA knockdown tripod helps a lot with engages and you not getting knocked up especially versus devilhunters and blades, but it trades this for less perfect shot damage (~15k hits instead of sub 50% ~30k hits). You could run the sub 50% tripod with perfect shot in this build too, for a little more damage. You could also run peacekeeper knockup but i find it to be super unreliable compared with the devilhunter alternative.
Less dmg-safer+extra knockdown last request: Barrage (3-2)> dual buckshot: Knockdown (3-1)
For a higher level of play 7 pts Agile shooting/dextrous shot is really good.
Take hour of judgement and Dead Zone as other shotgun skills. Can also swap perfect shot (dmg vs cancelable), grenade (range vs aoe), Summer salt shot (mana vs attack speed) tripods depending on preference as you would with the standard build. Could swap last request tripods to another skill if preferred or take Shotgun Barrage instead of hour of judgement (only viable if you put those 4 pts into it).
Note: Usually use the standard build w/ perfect preparation/aim on perfect shot.
Swap throwing range on grenade, perfect preparation on perfect shot, and stun on focus shot per preference. Can swap 10 pts quickstep from perfect shot as well.
Ranged Variant1: (Meme Build)
With hour of judgement as 4th shotgun skill (can swap dual buckshot to
Attack speed tripod &/or Focus shot to stun)
Can swap out bullet rain Tripods, shotgun Rapid Fire, dual buckshot, and Spiral Tracker Tripods for 7 pts into last request (take instead of shotgun Rapid Fire)
Good follow up damage, plays really well with classes that engage easily/good with players that will peel you. My current fav build atm.
Ranged Variant2: (Meme Build)
With bullet rain as the additional pistol skill and shotgun Rapid Fire, hour of judgement, dual buckshot, sharpshooter as the shotgun abilities. (Can swap Spiral Tracker tripod to bullet rain aoe &/or focus shot to damage from stun tripod)
There are tons of other swaps and other builds which are viable as well. I recommend starting with a cookie cutter build like the damage build shown first and then play around, since Gunslinger has quite a lot of good tripods. Hopefully this helped at least in some way of understanding how to counter gunslingers, or play the class better against other classes.