Concussed in PvE – a healer point of view
In this post, I will discuss the concussed status effect, its importance for your group and how, as a healer, you should modify your gameplay to keep it up as much as possible. 🙂
Concussed ? how to apply it ?
Concussed is a status effect that has a chance to proc from your lightning damage. A concussed target will have some kind of sparkles around its head. It applies the minor vulnerability debuff to the target, that increases its damage taken by 8% : that’s a huge damage buff for your group ! Finally, it lasts for 4 seconds, and can be refreshed without any cooldown.
It can proc from the following actions :
- Shock enchants 20%.
- Standard shock abilities 10%.
- Area of effect shock abilities 5%.
- Damage over time shock abilities 3%.
- Area of effect damage over time shock abilities 1%.
Note that, in particular, it cannot proc from a shock light or heavy attack. However, the splash damage of a lightning heavy attack (Tri Focus passive from your destruction skill line) can apply it.
As a healer, you have only two solutions to apply concussed : either using a shock enchant, or using blockade of storms (which has a very low probability to apply the status, as you can see from the list above). If you read my healing guide, you saw that I recommend using a shock enchant back bar if you don’t need to use a weakening enchant : indeed, it will apply a lot of concussion :). As you are using your shock enchant on your back bar, you will get +100% chance of applying concussed through the Elemental Force passive. If you are using a charged lightning staff, you will get an additional +220% chance to apply any status effect – this will be additive with the Elemental Force bonus, which means you get in total +320% chance : your shock enchant will have a 84% chance to proc concussed.
NB : I do not recommend using a shock enchantment on your front bar as a healer. First, you lose a weapon damage enchantment that gives a little boost to any of your healing or damaging skills. Second, if you apply the shock enchantment from your front bar, you get half the chance of applying your shock enchantment as if you have it on your back bar – as you don’t get the Elemental Force passive on your restoration staff, so it will be less useful.
Note that blockade of storms will set off-balance any concussed target, so keeping concussed up will also be important for your off-balance uptime !
Elemental Blockade : why it is amazing to keep any enchantment up
Before moving on to the next section, I just want to make a side note on how elemental blockade can help you keeping an enchantment up on a target. Weapon enchantments proc on light and heavy attacks done with your weapon, and also from any ability from the weapon skill line that does damage. That means that no restoration staff ability can proc an enchantment – as none of them do damage. Weapon skill line AoE dots – such as elemental blockade or endless hail – will be able to proc your enchantments, and will do so everytime they tick : elemental blockade will proc your enchantment everytime it is available.
An exception to this will be “self-buffing” enchantments, such as weapon damage enchants or hardening enchants, that proc only on light and heavy attacks (which is why you should sometimes weave front bar on a healer if you are using a weapon damage enchant :)).
An interesting fact about elemental blockade is that it will proc the enchant of the bar you are currently on, not necessarily the enchant from the bar on which you cast blockade. As an example, say you have an infused staff with a weakening enchant on your front bar, and a charged lightning staff with a shock enchant on your back bar, that you use to cast blockade. As long as you are back bar, blockade will proc your shock enchant on cooldown. If you swap front bar, it will proc your infused weakening enchant on cooldown. This is what makes blockade a really amazing tool for healers and tanks to keep their enchantments up !
Sources of concussion in your group
As said above, a healer can provide for some concussion by using a shock enchantment back bar. However, you may also get concussion from other members of your group, in particular, your magicka damage dealers.
As a fire enchantment does more damage than a shock enchant (due to burning), it is very likely than none of the damage dealers will be using a shock enchant :D. However, abilities such as force pulse or liquid lightning will contribute a bit to the concussed uptime, albeit with a lowish probability. The one thing that will make a huge difference to your group will be whether or not some people are using (Perfected) Asylum destruction staves. Indeed, these will be a huge source of concussion (and also burning and chilled), as they transform Force Pulse so that :
Every second cast of Force shock will always apply the Burning, Concussion and Chilled status effects.
In the current Dragon Bones patch, Asylum staves are more likely to be used by magsorcs, magdens and magplars. From my personal experience, it seems that one damage dealer with an Asylum staff doesn’t provide with a high enough uptime, but two should give more than 80% uptime on concussed, which is more than correct !
In the absence of at least two magicka damage dealers using Asylum destro staves, I would use a charged lightning staff with a shock enchant on my healer, to help getting a better uptime.
What about Infallible Aether ?
Finally, it seems this discussion wouldn’t be complete without a word on this set. The Infallible Mage (or Infallible Aether – IA) set provides an interesting 5-items bonus :
(…) Enemies you damage with fully-charged Heavy Attacks are afflicted with Minor Vulnerability for 10 seconds, increasing their damage taken by 8%.
As mentioned in my healing guide, the Minor Vulnerability is actually applied by the first tick of any channeled heavy attack (restoration or lightning heavy attacks). It is worth noting that while the target gets the Minor Vulnerability debuff if you are using this set, it will not be concussed : that means that it will not be set off-balance by a lightning blockade, unless it gets concussed from something else. Using IA doesn’t exempt you from using a charged staff with a shock enchantment :).
So when do you need to use that set ? First of all, some targets – notably the Storm Atronach and the Foundation Stone Atronach in the Aetherian Archive – are immune to concussion. Therefore, they do not get the Minor Vulnerability debuff unless someone (a healer :p) is using IA.
Second, if you have no Asylum staff at all in your group (for example, Hel Ra Citadel left side with a stamina group), you should also use IA as a charged staff with a shock enchant backbar will probably not give you a high enough uptime.
Finally, in fights where there are some mechanics that involve magicka damage dealer not always being able to use force pulse nonstop (veteran Maw of Lorkhaj, Rakkhat, for example) or multiple targets (Asylum Sanctorium, for example), I would also use IA if possible as it will enable you to get a really high Minor Vulnerability uptime on as many targets as possible.
Let’s recap what I recommend to do depending on the situation !
- Boss immune to concussion : use IA, any lightning staff.
- No one using an Asylum destro staff or fight with multiple targets or fight with a lot of mechanics : use IA, charged lightning staff.
- One person using an Asylum destro staff : don’t use IA, charged lightning staff (make sure to keep the shock enchant up as much as possible).
- Two people or more using an Asylum destro staff : don’t use IA, any lightning staff.
I hope you found it both interesting and helpful, make sure to leave a comment if you have questions !