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Lotus, forgive me: Inaros Elemental Sandstorm Build Deep Dive


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Original post on reddit: https://redd.it/k7cw3c

Disclaimer: you are entering meme build territory, no comparisons to meta are allowed! (but I can't stop you, right? :3 )

1. Introduction

2. Sandstorm overview

3. Builds
 3.1. Inaros

 3.2. Melee

 3.3. Utility

 3.4. Helminth  

  3.4.1. Soul Destroyer

  3.4.2. Master of Carousel

  3.4.3. Adept of Darude

  3.4.4. The Dog Days Referee

  3.4.5. Away From sarKophagus

  3.4.6. Honourable Mentions 

4. Conclusion

5. Links


 1. -------- Introduction ---------

 Sup, Tennos. I was leveling Inaros P for MR and remembered old good low MR days when I was kinda newbie and was relying on his beefiness to do sorties and Kuva Floods; so I've decided to give him some love (weird love, actually) and make something fun and unusual from his kit, hope, you'll enjoy the result as much as I was confused during this research.

 Also I want to mention that all research results were done without video recording, some numbers can be rounded, if you have enough sanity for testing it by yourself - please, share ;3

 2. ---- Sandstorm overview ----

 What do we need to know about Sandstorm before building it? 

 Low initial DPS (Slash 500/s, 100% str, unknown status chance), pathetic range (7,5 m/ 100% range), consumes energy per cast + channeling (75 + 10/s, 100% dur and eff), cannot restore energy during ability, cast time ~1 sec + cancelling cast time ~1,5 sec (affected by cast speed mods), has 0.5 walking speed (unaffected by sprint speed mods), gets 50% damage reduction during Sandstorm, cannot recieve status negative status (+staggers) procs during spin (but activation doesn't remove already recieved ones), height of its hitbox is ~1,5-2 height of Inaros, bottom of hitbox is somewhere in middle of Inaros body, ragdolls enemies if they can be ragdolled, counterclockwise spin, for first ~2 sec heavily lifts enemies up + spin, than have 4 moments of force application on enemy per ~3 sec with little lift up, have tendency to throw targets away from sandstorm on open areas, has synergy with Devour: heal + create sand clone on enemy death.

One strange gimmick: you can notice that Inaros when uses Sandstorm looks like an invisible but with a little sand on him. I have a guess that you becomes invisible but enemies detection parameter won't react on such form invisibility on you. BUT! your companions recieve true invisibility and no their actions can break it! So their survivability is increased by a lot! But sadly sometimes their AI refuses to do anything.

Visual bug: after Commander's teleportation instead of spinning Inaros will be walking during Sandstorm. Also you can trigger this effect by yourself: activate Sandstorm while holding his 4 skill - vuala !

 What about Elemental Sandstorm Augment? 

 Things become harder. For simplification almost all examples will be provided with 200% str build.

 So, with 200% str we have 100% chance to inflict status effects based on initial damage types and mods from our equipped melee weapon (Sandstorm still does Slash Damage, modded elements only apply statuses, which can do damage!) In other words our melee becomes a stat stick which damage types distribution will influence status procs form Sandstorm. Important notice: there are literally no ways to influence damage/duration of procs using melee mods, specific or set mods due to my tests don't work either, melee gives us ONLY status proc distribution for SKILL, so the only discovered way to increase damage using basic Inaros kit is to increase power str (btw power str double dip the damage: doubling str for example from 100% to 200% doubles status chance AND damage from procs, so we get x2x2=x4 more dps)  Example: weapon with 100 Impact, 100 Puncture, 100 Slash, 100 Viral, 100 Heat = 500 total damage, so we have 100/500= 20% chance to proc I/P/S/V/H per tick. 

 But how many tics do we have per second? What is their damage? How do they apply?

 I've grabbed Silva and Aegis with pure heat and counted the amount per skill duration, the result was ~4 procs per second. Then I've raped my eyes in an attempt to catch numbers of different procs dmg (on neutral to exact dmg type enemies ofc) and discovered that in the majority of cases results fit standart wiki formulas for status proc dmg. Modded damage for formula is 1/4 * 500 (Ability dmg) * Strength.  Example: 100% Slash weapon, 200% Str, Modded dmg = 1/4 * 500 * 2.00 = 250, Slash proc dmg = 0.35 * 250 * 1 (faction) = 87,5.

 How do these procs apply during the skill?

 Oh, boi, this is the most unstable part of this research. In two words: hidden algorithm! Lemme explain a bit. 

 Firstly: you'll get the exact amount of procs per second by this formula: procs per sec * status chance of Ele. Sandstorm, for 100% str = 4 * 50% = 2 procs per sec. Procs Are GUARANTEED!: there is no situation when you can get 0-1 proc during the first second/period, and 3-4 during the next one. Status chance is not a probability, it's a straight multiplicator of how many procs you'll get! 

 Secondly: the order of damage types on your melee determines the order of their status procs per period, in other words - you'll get Exact amount of Exact procs in Exact order per period! (Example: 200% str, melee - 100% Slash, 200% Viral, 100% Heat, procs per period (sec) = 1 slash, 2 viral, 1 heat)

 Thirdly: You could notice that for some examples I've used "period" measure instead of "seconds", here is the reason - due to melee damage types weights on your melee (and other unknown reasons?) some algorithm decides how the rotation will be distributed in time. During my tests I've found that period length is somewhere between 1,5-2 seconds, maybe it's constant, maybe not. For example with 200% str, ~75% Slash, ~25% Viral I've got a rotation of 2 ~1,5sec Slash periods with 6+7 procs and 1 ~1,5sec Viral period with 4 procs, ~4 proc per sec overall. But for "rainbow" melee with 5 or 6 elements with near to equal weights there was 1 ~2sec period with all element procs in it.

 Why does everything above even matter after all?...

 Short answer: cause why not? :3  

 Reasonable answer: if we've decided to play via Sandstorm with its Augment we probably want to rely on status proc damage (or utility). But every status proc has its own duration, so according to the status proc distribution pattern, periods lengths and amounts we can tune our strategy in increasing dps or/and make it more consistent. Simple example: 10+ Viral procs is a Dps loss in every situation; if we have a period with 6 viral per 1,5 sec and 2 other periods for 3 seconds total, the next Viral period will apply 12 Viral procs for~1,5 sec = Dps loss. Complicated example: 200 str%, 4 procs per sec, 24 procs per 6 sec. How to distribute Slash and Viral weights on melee to maximize Slash procs dps? 75%S, 25% test for period pattern - 2 1,5 sec S period and 1 1,5 sec V period. 
 Slash = x, Viral = y: {x*(1+0,25(y+3))=Dps➡️max, x+y=24, x,y are Natural numbers. After finding the solution there is some work about periods lengths and their estimate overlapping. Have fun :D

 3. ----------- Builds ------------

 Fuf, the previous part was a little bit tiring, but finally we can talk about building this ability

 3.1. ---- Inaros ----

  Cheap build requires 1 forma to do extra Naramon/Madurai (or Umbra) polarity in addition to initial 1 Naramon and 2 Vazarin of Inaros Prime, 2-4 formas to complete the build.

 Tbh there is no simple all-round build for this setup because its gameplay depends heavily on your preferences and feeling the flow. But here is the core idea: Range priority, suitable Strength, Duration+Efficiency+Energy balance, Survivability and Utility.

 For example:

 Any aura (Growing power is wise choice, but requires forma) , Cunning drift, Elemental Sandstorm, Overextended, (Umbral) Intensify, Transient Fortitude, Primed Continuity, Primed Flow, Adaptation, Nature talent, Arcanes: Energize and Guardian (Grace, maybe even Eruption) = 205% Range, 139%(+25%) Strength, 128% Duration, 100% Efficiency and 531 Energy. There are lots of tuning possibilities: any aura and exilus can work, Rage or/and Hunter adrenalin can balance energy drain if you want more strength with Blind Rage or want to spin Forever, you can drop Nature talent for Vitality or get rid of Adaptation for pure stats like even more Range - you're welcome to share your experience! 

 Some more about energy: A.Energize when activated restores 150 energy + 25/50 from orb, has 15 sec cooldown. Because during Sandstorm Inaros cannot pick up orbs but they'll be attracted to him we can count on them as a ~200 mana restore after leaving Sandstorm. So it's wise to pick up no e.orbs during a.energize cooldown or in other words to spend ~200 mana per 15 sec spinning period to refill it with e.orb + A.Energize proc and repeat, Zenurik is a backup plan. With 100% Eff. and 128% Dur., 15 seconds spin = 75 + 7,8*15 = 192 energy.

 3.2. ---- Melee ----

 The most important part - dmg types weights on you melee for Sandstorm procs. Good all around melee+build for casual situations: 80%+ initial Slash damage melee, 1-3 Slash mods, 2 mods for viral (probably, unranked), that's all. But if we need to go deeper...

 Slash is king against armored units, but this build can have possibilities to kill unarmored ones faster with Electricity, Gas or Toxin (Heat). So good combos (weights priority in descending order) will be: Corpus - Toxin+Viral, Gas+Viral+Magnet, Infested - Gas, Toxin, (Electro, Heat) + Viral. At first, these combinations seemed to be unreachable but here is the trick: weapons with initial Viral exists!: Infested Zaws, Pathocyst and Pupacyst. Pupacyst attracts my attention because with 10p cost -impact Riven I've got pure Viral melee. Btw -IPS rivens can help you to balance dmg distributions even further on other weapons too. 

 Good weapons which come to mind: Galatine P, Atterax, Nikana P., P Dual Cleavers, Reaper P, Hate, etc. 

 Honorable mention: Glaive Prime - after rework it's insanely good and fits this build nearly perfectly! (but can be tricky to balance stat weights) A little more about it bellow:

 Bonus part: If you want to make your melee even better there is one wise decision - because we don't rely on combo counter we can fill ~4 mods for Heavy attack build parody- Sacrificial Steel, Amalgam Organ Shutter, Primed Pressure Point/Corrupt Charge and ... *drum roll* ... Dispatch Overdrive! Its 15 sec bonus (synergies well with A. Energize cooldown) affects walking speed even during Sandstorm! Also you can choose melee which heavy attack has slash proc + some useful zaw arcanes exists. Glaive Prime also becomes Ranged Dispatch Overdrive activator!

 3.3. ---- Utility ----

 Do you take Smeeta on every mission with you? Bad news for you (and for me ofc). This build shines with Panzer Vulpaphyla! It''s undying afk viral nukor which heals you like a beast (literally) with Hunter Recovery, don't forget about +Dmg, +CC/CD mods for good results. Hunter set increases damage -> recieved healing from pet damage. 

 Some Doggos/Helminth Charger can also work especially with Mech set, but I have no will to test it, heh.

 Ferrox - its altfire pulls enemies together, does damage, inflicts statuses. Godsend for this build! 

 Proboscis Cernos - same as Ferrox, less afk-like, more damage, approved.

 Secondary: Anything you like, it should be your backup plan for strong damage, I like stylish Euphona P. I guess there are some sweet synergies which was veiled from me. it's not a Nukor + Melee build, but if you have a strong habit - np. 

 Some afk weapons like Azima, Ogris, Sobec can also work. Miter is always a variant against bubbles.

 Specters usage and teammates can help you too (Rhino, Wisp, Nidus, Volt, Octavia, Voban)

  3.4. ---- Helminth ----

 The most interesting part, finally! I’ve decided to not concentrate on improving ability damage but on useful utility synergies. What’s better: 200dmg with 25% uptime or 100dmg with 90%? For clickbait videos and simulacrum - first, for general usage and my preferences - second.

  Spoiler: Because our melee tends to be stat stick with sometimes not useful build and personal hate to play via finishers in "caster" build for all scenarios I've replaced first skill with the Helminth one, in "o sh!" situations healing via 2+3 or 4 skills. Or spoiler mode with arcane.

 Also I won't add links to Helminth builds, too much work. Use the core build + recommendations in the end of each Helminth paragraph.

    3.4.1. -- Soul Destroyer --

  MemeMeter: 😂😂😂😂😂

  This post exists only because I've got an idea about adding Thermal Sunder (TS) for SandStorm(SS) purposes. The biggest downside of SS for dps: its hitbox and ragdoll, so future synergy was looked like: double Cold TS for immobilize enemies and stacking SS status damage during freeze time Or Fire TS, Cold TS for pulling enemies towards me (what kinda helps to improve effective range), Cold TS fo Freeze and spin. But don't you have a question why I've decided to name this build "Soul Destroyer"? Because of a bug I've found.

  If you are making Fire, Cold, Cold TS fast enough you'll freeze all targets during ragdoll TS pull state. Before the freeze expires SS throw away actual hitbox models (which are invisible, undetectable and have literally no weight = souls!) of enemies away from their laying frozen bodies! You can not damage a physical frozen model before "soul" returns after the freeze ends! But you can damage souls if you can find them of course. Meme potential of this build goes further with more duration and range - duration is important for freezing time, range for range, also nature talent helps a lot for fast cast spam.

  Outside the meme - works ok, I was a lil bit frustrated that sometimes spamming TS is more effective than doing this combo nonsense.

  Important notice: on paper TS pull should work for grouping up enemies towards your Sandstorm but here is the trick: Sandstorm range is 7,5m, TS - 12m. So the more range you have the more range difference between TS and SS range will be. ~200% range is enough for me.

  Special thanks: Ferrox, without you I've never found this bug, your thunders opened my eyes 💖

    3.4.2. -- Master of Carousel --

  MemeMeter: 😂😂😂😂

  This one is also hilarious. I continued my tests to find some skill to immobilize my targets. I'm MR 26, btw. And so, I've finally completed a boring quest, completed a boring farm and fed with no regrets the Infested One, Nidus. 

  Oh, the result was immeasurably fun: if you feel the timing you can begin your spin before enemies are finally grouped up making them flying with Larva's tentacles “*strong circus vibes*”. Proboscis Cernos - MOAR TENTACLES! Also: subsumed Larva range is 8m, so even if you cast it on your feet you'll get good result; tentacles don't allow enemies to leave SS area, so this build is working fine; Larva augment exists

  Recommendations: tune acceptable duration for Larva - more duration means more consistent dps, but if you miss you tentacle - more downtime, ~130% duration is a good starting point.

    3.4.3. —— Adept of Darude ——

  MemeMeter: 😂😂😂

  Finally I've decided to make Inaros more active and dynamic for spreading Darude's spin fast af! Because during SS Inaros walks we have 2 possibilities to improve his speed: 

  Soft one - Nezha's Firewalker. x1.25 movement speed, long base duration - 30 sec!, fire trail of extra damage and status cleansing, fast cast time, low mana cost - 25, (augment exist), need no tuning to help you walk a little faster

  Hard one - Saryn's Molt. Huge amount of x1.5x(1+str) movement speed!, but low duration of 5 sec :c , status cleansing on cast, tanking utility + minor toxin damage, no cast time, medium mana cost - 50, (augment exist), need huge both duration and strength but the result is awesome! Even ~140% Str and ~130% Duration build let feel the difference.

  Chose wisely :3

    3.4.4. ---- The Dog Days Referee ----

  MemeMeter: 😂😂

  Sand+Water Brawl build - have some fun with Grineer! Radiation+Viral(+Heat) on melee - damage isn't in a priority, subsumed Tempest Barrage from Hydroid with an augment - any room becomes an arena! Hypothetically on Rad Sortie 2 Inaroses can spread Rad proc infinitely by reactivating SS by turns. To intensify the battle you can drop aesthetic water variant for Equinox's Rage or Nyx's Mind Control. Or anything you like tbh - this build is Nyx parody, but can be fun in some random missions. Example core build is fine for this, but you can add more range.

    3.4.5. ---- Away From sarKophagus ----

  MemeMeter: 😐

  I don't know any real usage of this build except for slacking on some survival mission or showing your immortality in simulacrum but this build are the nearest to common ones. Also it pales with Nullifiers and Ancients so Grineer missions are the only suitable. But its quite a good option for "toilet brakes", lol. Health + Armor + Adaptation + Rage + P. Flow + A.Grace + A.Guardian, medium to small range (cause with big range there are little chances to recieve damage to maintain the spin), any acceptable Strength, Duration and Efficiency, SS augment not needed, no cool Helminth Synergy for SS founded (Molt/Decoy to place agro near you and hoping to catch some bullets? Vauban balls? Energy gaining abilities?) - pick up any. Nova's Null Star could be good but its range is bigger than SS so no true afk usage.

    3.4.6. -- Honourable mentions --

 Damage: Of course, Roar works. And, of course, it's the most boring decision. Wisp is somewhere near Rhino. Volt's and Oberon's probably work and ruin your dmg distribution. Haven't tested Xaku, but I see no point in void proc for this build. Voban balls with augment should be inconsistent but can be an option.

 Armor: Pillage. No, ty :3  Ember's Fireblast pushes enemies back, but exists; Haven't tested Hydroid's Barrage with an augment, possibility of lulz is high.

 Immobilize: Harrow's condemn works, but its most useful gimmick is lost (no shields - no fun); Atlas's Petrify works too, you can even farm resources and mods with an augment on Inaros! (lol, please don't)

 Grouping: Zephir, Khora, Mag, Gara - niche choices

 Other: Protea - more mana, wow. Garuda - more health, wow. Ivara - invisibility, wow. Limbo - WOW! Octavia - yes, Revenant - haven't tested, but guess - no.

  4. --------- Conclusion ----------

 Thank you for your time reading this!

 Oh, this post was a real challenge for me: so many aspects to describe, so much work for almost unusable for the first look skill - no regrets, it was exciting and even fun! I'm not native English speaker so my ideas can be unclear in some places - feel free to ask (preferably on reddit)

 Inaros by itself is a carrier of awesome style, design and lore behind him but on other hand is just a beefy meme frame with no gameplay. I've done my best to fix it. 

 If your party isn't filled with only Mesas, Saryns and Melee Gods you can even enjoy this setup and furthermore - impress someone!
And: Yes, I've tested this build on Steel Path, mobile defences are even kinda efficient with it. And don't forget about radiation sorties :3

 In near future I'll make small post for DE to point on SS downsides with huge hope they'll notice it, link will be below - WIP

 Btw if you are a YouTuber feel free to use this build for your videos with mention of this post. And share you result.

  5. ------------ Links --------------

Post to DE about SS: WIP

Inaros Elemental SS Core Build: https://overframe.gg/build/103047/

Ferrox: https://overframe.gg/build/111539/

Proboscis Cernos: https://overframe.gg/build/111537/

Panzer Vulpaphyla: https://overframe.gg/build/111536/

Melee example (Glaive Prime): https://overframe.gg/build/111538/

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