Just Some Words to Start
So recently in game there has been a lot of clerics that asked me about how I play inquisitor. After searching and not able to find any good guide I think rather than telling each person one by one I might as well just make a guide that sums everything up. Hopefully this will help the cleric community.
Notice there are aspects of inquisitor’s game play that I will cover with some side notes. However this guide will mainly focus on raid ST DPS as inquisitor.
Current State of Inquisitor
After the recent change made to Massive Blow, shaman is now the go to spec for clerics when it comes to DPS in raid. However prior to shaman changes inquisitor also got some buffs, making it a still very competitive ranged DPS spec and should be picked up by every cleric DPS.
Pros of inquisitor:
High burst DPS (higher than shaman)
Very good on duo targets fight (due to double dot)
Decent target swap
Lots of Utilities (Purge, Confuse, Fear)
You will never run out of mana as inquisitor
Cons of inquisitor:
Sustained DPS is lower than shaman
Relatively poor sustained cleave/AOE DPS on 3+ targets compare to cleave specs
Although can be mobile when needed, inquisitor is a very turret-styled DPS spec
Fights that you should consider playing inquisitor:
Fights that requires you to be ranged (e.g. Threngar, Crucia, Darktide’s range side)
Fights that involves duo targets (e.g. Izinkra, K/P, Vladmal Prime depending on strats, NMR)
Fights that require certain utilities like a purge (e.g. Uruluuk, Sicaron depending on strats, NMR)
Short fights (e.g. NTE bosses, nexus event 20s burn mini in MOM)
Fights that you shouldn’t play inquisitor or should consider other specs:
Melee friendly fights (e.g. the entire ROF, Jinoscoth, Yogurt)
Movement heavy fights (e.g. Finric, Guurloth, Zilas)
Fights that involves cleaves/AOE (e.g. Garau, Anrak, Matron)
Overall, currently clerics should be playing shaman whenever it’s available. However inquisitor will still be a better pick in certain raid encounters.
Also after the nerf on Courage of Panther, shaman’s burst DPS actually got nerfed too. So inquisitor will outperform shaman on short fights that require burst DPS. And on top of that it has a purge making it the go to choice for cleric DPS in NMR.
There is one and only one build for inquisitor from a raid DPS perspective.
There are some other builds you can tweak around.
Stats and Itemization
I won’t go too deep into numbers and stats weight. But the big priority list is:
CP until 2980 (can be slightly lower, but don’t go over)
SP from there
SC will give very little gain to inquisitor due to the spec’s natural high crit chance.
Crystal: Annihilation Crystal
FAQ: Why Annihilation over Eldritch?
A: About 40–45% of Inquisitor’s DPS are made of your bolts. They will be benefited by Annihilation Crystal and will outclass Eldritch Crystal’s crit bonuses.
All 3 of your armors (all will be applied by only applying one)
Blighted Greed (on defiler if you have one, otherwise on a tank)
Macros and Abilities
The only macro I use for inquisitor is this one:
#show sanction heretic
cast sanction heretic
This macro best prevents me from clipping any of my dots when it comes to single target DPS.
You will need the following abilities on your bar:
All 4 of your channels (Soul Stream, Harsh Discipline, Nysyr’s Rebuke, Aggressive Inquisition)
All 3 of your bolts (Bolt of Judgment, Bolt of Retribution, Bolt of Depravity)
Both of your dots (Scourge, Vex)
Your 2 cooldown manipulator (Fanaticism, Radical Coalescences)
There is a set rotation for inquisitor when there’s no cooldowns/channels. It follows the following priority list:
1) Dots (Sanction Heretic/Vex/Scourge)
2) Instant cast Bolt of Depravity
3) Bolt of Retribution (When you have stacks of Echoing Concord)
4) Bolt of Judgment (When you do not have stacks of Echoing Concord)
Quick note: You will often run into a situation where your dots fall off as soon as you get an instant cast Bolt of Depravity. The priority then will be BoD first then re-apply your dots as Sanction Heretic rewards one stack of Life and Death Concord and you don’t want to waste it.
This priority list in the rest of the guide will be referred as the basic rotation.
You have a total number of 4 channels. The functionality and usage of Harsh Discipline will be explained in a later section. The 3 other will be used as your cooldowns.
The best way to utilize your channel is to block them right after a Fanaticism -> Bolt of Depravity, as only crit on the first tick of the channel will consume stacks of Zealotry but the follow up ticks will still inherits the crit bonuses without consuming the stacks.
Thus you have your 2 cooldown blocks:
Major Cooldown Block: Fanaticism -> Bolt of Depravity -> Nysyr’s Rebuke -> Aggressive Inquisition -> Bolt of Depravity
Minor Cooldown Block: Fanaticism -> Bolt of Depravity -> Soul Stream -> Bolt of Retribution -> Bolt of Depravity
They SHOULD be timed with raid cooldowns.
FAQ: Does the order of NR and AI matter?
A: Yes it does.
Usually NR into AI will have a higher DPS because NR has 4 ticks while AI only has 3, so doing NR first allows it inherits a higher crit chance on more ticks.
However AI into NR does more burst DPS because 1) AI takes travel time and by the time it hits your target it will overlap with NR’s damage 2) Symbol of Corruption dot will overlap with NR channel as well.
I do NR -> AI for 80% of the time because it has a smoother but higher raw output.
The following 2 situations are when I do AI -> NR:
1) PVP because I want burst damage rather than smooth output
2) When my primary target is about to die and I need to fire off as much damage as possible (best example: second cooldown block on the 20s burn mini in MOM)
Due to its low base damage, HD needs a special tweak.
A full channel, 3 ticks, and 1 tick HD will all be DPS loss. However clipping HD at 2 ticks will be a DPS gain as it only takes 1 GCD to get 2 ticks off.
It serves 2 purposes:
1) Reduce CDs on your other channels
2) Delay cooldown blocks without letting Mental Resilience buff falls off (reasons for delaying could be raid mechanics/movements, raid cooldowns, etc)
The Filler Method
Often you will run into a situation where you reach an instant proc on your Bolt of Depravity while you have 1–2s left on your Fanaticism CD.
Rather than firing that Bolt of Depravity off, you want to hold onto it and use it later with Fanaticism by performing what I like to call the Filler Method, which is filling those 1–2 GCDs with a filler, or Bolt of Judgment.
In an organized raid group, there are 2 preloads you can perform to increase your initial DPS.
1) Preload Mental Resilience, can be easily done by using Righteous Deliberation (your mana regain)
2) Preload 5 stacks of Zealotry: here is a video demo of how it’s done
There are a total number of 3 openers for inquisitor:
1) Soul Stream Opener: first SS is casted at the very beginning of the pull, a video demo can be found right here
It does more initial DPS. However it’s not recommended to use this opener in raid for 2 reasons:
1) It takes time for Rage Blight to build up stacks and your first SS will not inherit the damage bonuses.
2) It won’t sync your SS with raid cooldowns.
This opener is used by me on short fights like NTE bosses where I don’t need to fire off the second SS.
2) Soft Delayed Opener: first SS is casted right after the first Major Cooldown Block, a video demo can be found right here
This one does the highest burst DPS among all 3. However it will cause Echoing Overload, which is having more than 8 stacks of Echoing Concord. On dummy parse it won’t be a problem as all the stacks will eventually be consumed. But in raid mechanics and movements will cause you not able to fire off enough BoR to consume those stacks, causing reduction on total number of BoR fired.
This opener is never used by me.
3) Delayed SS Opener: first SS is casted after the second Major Cooldown Block (manipulated by Radical Coalescences), a video demo can be found right here
This opener does not do the highest burst DPS. However it does the smoothest output and allows SS to sync up with Fanaticism/raid cooldowns.
This opener is used by me for 90% of the time.
Put It Together
Combine every aspect explained above together, here is a detailed breakdown of how a rotation should be done.
Opener is Delayed SS Opener.
Pre-pull: Preload both Zealotry and Mental Resilience
On a countdown of 3: Hard cast a BoD
1) SH -> Scourge -> BoJ x 3
2) Major Cooldown Block: Fanaticism -> BoD -> NR -> AI -> BoD (Lava Field usually happens here)
3) BoR x 2 -> SH -> Scourge -> BoR -> BoD
4) Major Cooldown Block: Radical Coalescences -> BoD -> NR -> AI -> BoD (Orchestra usually happens here)
5) BoR x 3 -> SH -> Scourge (usually needs a Filler Method here)
6) Minor Cooldown Block: Fanaticism -> BoD -> SS -> BoR -> BoD
7) Basic Rotation until about 5s left on Fanaticism’s CD
8) HD to reduce CDs on other channels and refresh Mental Resilience for potential delay of next cooldown block
9) Major Cooldown Block: Fanaticism -> BoD -> NR -> AI -> BoD (Lava Field usually happens here)
10) Basic Rotation until Fanaticism off CD
11) Minor Cooldown Block: Fanaticism -> BoD -> SS -> BoR -> BoD
12) Basic Rotation until about 5s left on Fanaticism’s CD
13) HD to reduce CDs on other channels and refresh Mental Resilience for potential delay of next cooldown block
14) Major Cooldown Block: Fanaticism -> BoD -> NR -> AI -> BoD (Lava Field usually happens here)
From here Radical Coalescences should be off CD again, so go back to step 3). Everything resets and rinse and repeat.
Here is a 3:30 parse I did to help you guys better visualize last section.
Stats: 21682 SP, 8371 SC, 2978 CP, T3 DPS Trinket, T3 Ranged Weapon, T2 Two Hander
I use two.
This one pops when there’s 5s left on Fanaticism CDs:
This one pops when Mental Resilience is about to fall off:
There are certain aspects of inquisitor’s game play that I didn’t cover in this guide such as how to double dot and how to cleave (yes, although it sucks inquisitor does have a proper way of cleaving). If you have any further question feel free to talk to me, chinapandaman@laethys in game for more help.
Special thanks to koz@laethys, adustum@laethys, sen@typhiria for brainstorming, ideas, and tests.