Hi, I’m summer (@ensia). I have been playing PDN since the IDN HC era. And recently, I’m a full-time Sniper player. When it comes to Sniper, I’m confident that I can match my performance against any cracked player you can find on PDN. That’s also why I feel qualified to write this guide for you.
I have been holding off on writing a proper Sniper’s guide for a long while because I wanted to hide some of my techniques. But I decided to share what I know with you because I want to leave something behind for this community. I hope this serves you well.
In PDN, Sniper has received a complete rework that makes it super mobile and fun compared to its official version. This class is simple to learn and takes a short to moderate amount of time to be decent. The core gameplay of Sniper is all about building bubbles through 3 main skills and ultimately using Siege Stance, the biggest hit. And learn to familiarize your timing with Sylph’s Aid to maximize dps, this comes with raid experience.
[Piercing shot]: A needed skill as it enhances your [Charged Shot] with [Mastery 3].
[Moon Kick]: I take this skill to drop down faster in case I jump because of something or regret the decision that I jumped.
[Fury of the Owl]: Useful crit and fd buff for your team. Use it like a filler sometimes.
[Charged Shot]: A straightforward skill, it fires an arrow in your camera direction and does damage. It has 2 variants, normal and concentrated. You use the normal version when everything else is on cooldown and you need a filler skill, otherwise use it with [Piercing shot], [Mastery 3].
[Awakened Mortar Strike]: This is my favorite skill. It has 2 variants, sliding forward or staying in place and fires off the arrows. This also lowers Critical Resistance of the enemies.
When you slide forward, you can hold the left click to chain into [Awakened Siege Stance] quickly, which is also my preferred method of casting Siege.
Sometimes you will want to keep your distance, that’s when holding S/backward while casting [Awakened Mortar Strike] to stay in one place is preferable.
[Awakened Siege Stance]: Sniper’s bread and butter. When you have 4 bubbles, you can cast Siege. You fire in total 4 shots, the last one deals the most so don’t miss it!
While in Siege, you can move in any direction W/A/S/D. This is the only way to reposition yourself during Siege. To cancel Siege and dodge danger, [Blink Shot] is the only way to do so.
[Rain of Arrows]: It fires a shot into the air and splits into multiple hits. It has 2 variants, concentrated and normal. You use the normal version as a filler when everything else is on CD, should be the lowest priority. The only way to access the concentrated version is through [Focus Shot].
[Arrow Barrage]: Fires a lot of arrows in the camera direction. Is a filler skill.
This skill fires through everything so if you have a big wave of mobs, it will hit multiple targets as long as they are on the same line, so reposition yourself to maximize it.
[Ankle Shot]: Simple skill, needed for [Mastery 2]. When you hit the target, [Arrow Barrage]’s cooldown gets reduced by 6s. Also, when you use [Ankle Shot], [Arrow Barrage] turns into a charged version and shoots 5 powerful shots instead of 50~53 hits.
When do you use which version of the ultimate is quite hard to determine. The charged version, [Mastery 2], proves to fire off faster, hence you can move back to your rotation quicker. Both versions do around the same damage and have similar range. However, with the normal version you can cancel animation at any time while still getting some dps out. The charged version, you have to cancel it with [Blink Shot]. And if you do cancel it before you can fire it off, obviously you lose everything. So read the situation and adapt.
[Walking Target]: A useful debuff that makes enemies take +20% damage. You can use it like a filler.
[Fake Shot]: A useful repositioning skill, although I don’t find myself using it too often.
[Tumbling Shot]: Your longest iframe! Also good for repositioning.
[Longbow Mastery] vs [Crossbow Mastery]: Whichever you fancy. Plus range and some juicy attack stat.
[Sylph’s Aid]: This, a simple yet difficult skill to use. Use Sylph, gain attack, sniper goes brrrrrr. I believe what sets aside a good and an average sniper is when it comes to the timing of Sylph. Familiarize yourself with the raid and learn when is best to maximize your Sylph or don’t waste it.
[Headshot]: A straightforward 10% damage boost when you crit.
[Awakened Deathbloom]: Fire a quick shot at the enemy. Whenever you use it, does not matter if you hit the target or not, you gain 10% attack thanks to [Mastery 1]. But when you do hit the target, it does damage and applies [Bleed] on top of that, which does decent damage over time.
[Blink Shot]: Your emergency iframe button. You can move in any direction while using it so you can also reposition yourself. Also cancels any animation.
[Focus Shot]: Charge and fire a shot at the target. When the enemy has [Bleed] applied to them, this skill does extra damage. When you cast this skill, you can use both charged versions of [Charged Shot] and [Rain of Arrows].
Since you have a choice here, when to use which I will cover in the next section.
[Awakened Tumble]: Good distance dodge
[Concentration]: Whenever you use the Concentrated version of [Charged Shot] or [Rain of Arrows], you gain 1 bubble.
[Sniper’s Resolve]: [Aerial Chain Shot] turns into [Awakened Mortar Strike]. You gain 1 bubble from casting Mortar Strike.
[Death Bloom] turns into [Awakened Deathbloom] and no longer summons a flower.
- The entire Warden tree: we don’t need any of that
- [Spiritual Focus]: It merges with CM1.
- [Stunning Shot]: No need even as filler.
- [Magic Shot] & [Twin Arrow]: No need even as filler.
- Piercing Shot: damage
- Aerial Chain Shot/Mortar: damage
- Rain of Arrows: damage
- Charged Shot: damage
- Arrow Barrage: damage/cooldown
- Death Bloom: cooldown
- Sylph’s Aid: buff duration
- Skill up: Siege Stance
Okay, Piercing Shot crest slot is kind of flexible. I don’t think many people have this like me, most will likely go for Ankle Shot cooldown as it reduces your ult quicker, simple. But, I often find myself NOT using Ankle Shot off cd and with its fast cd, it doesn’t matter unless you really want to dedicate yourself into getting your ult out asap.
So why Piercing Shot? It’s one of your primary off cd skills, and it does more than Ankle Shot by a lot. So putting in the extra damage will improve your overall dps, by a tiny bit.
Unified skills: FD Boost and HP
Ultimate skill CDR is also a choice if you want to play around Barrage
Sniper’s gameplay may sound simple on paper: you build bubbles, fire siege stance, fillers, repeat. But it definitely has a formula. Let me go through the rotation first before breaking it down.
Starting with full bubble
[Sylph’s Aid] -> [Deathbloom] -> [Mortar Strike] -> [Siege Stance] -> [Class Mastery 3] -> [Focus Shot] -> [Charged Shot] / [Rain of Arrows] -> [Deathbloom] -> [Mortar Strike] -> [Ankle Shot] -> [Arrow Barrage] -> [Class Mastery 3] -> [Deathbloom] -> [Mortar Strike] -> [Siege Stance]
You have to fit 2 Sieges in 1 Sylph Aide buff duration
During Sylph, try to get out as many skills as you can as it’s a huge dps boost
When outside of Sylph, use Concentrated skills to gain bubbles, then fire one Siege and build bubbles again before the next Sylph comes up.
There is no real difference in rotation for when you are in- or outside of Sylph’s. It’s just that when you decide to use Sylph, make sure to push your rotation to its limit during it.
[Class Mastery 3]. Your [Piercing Shot] fires 3 shots if you let it finish its animation. But if you press [Charged Shot] quick enough, it will cancel the last shot. If you are trying to min-maxing your dps, you can try to time the moment after the last shot is fired and immediately use [Charged Shot]. Personally, I don’t ever fire the 3rd shot.
[Deathbloom] & [Mortar Strike] I would recommend you to use these two together, treat them as one combo. Deathbloom goes first. The reason is so that you won’t miss the timing. Mortar is on your top 3 spread anyway and you want Deathbloom to be up always so these two go hand-in-hand off cd.
[Focus Shot], [Rain of Arrows] & [Charged Shot]: Rain of Arrows does more damage than Charged Shot since it requires good positioning and it also depends on the enemy size. You will want to use Focus Shot with Charged Shot if and only if the target is small and mobile. You can still use Focus Shot with Rain if you know the target won’t move. On Dragons or stationary targets, Rain is the go-to option.
[Mortar Strike] & [Siege Stance]: Casting Siege independently or with Mortar Strike? Well, with Mortar you can go to Siege quicker so that is something I prefer. But situations don’t always allow you that or you messed up your rotation or you missed the opportunity. In those cases, you can cast Siege independently.
[Sylph’s Aid]: I have said it above but I will mention it again. Familiarize yourself with the raid, know when you have a large window to fire at will, then use Sylph. Or even if you have a small window but you know there will be a large gap of mechs after that, you can also use Sylph to maximize your dps.
Long distance or melee: This depends on the situation. I like to go as close as possible, even at point-blank range when I know there is little to no danger. On dragons, I like to hug them as Sniper.
[Black Dragon’s Crest]: You can use Heal crest as well if you feel unsafe about your already too safe class lol. I use this crest as a filler when I run out of skills. It does not do too much but it is what it is.
Sniper’s Iframe: [Tumble], [Tumbling Shot] & [Blink Shot]
In the video rotation, you might see that I used CM3 even though the bubble was full. This is because Piercing Shot has low cd and I wanted to maximize the dps so if I use CM3 before Siege, it will come back up shortly after. Gears are +20 and +15 jades no Godly.