So I tend to see a fairly big gap in knowledge on partizan combos for Vol Graptor. And really, I don’t see that many people actually using them or talking about them. It sucks, since the greatest joy is seeing huge numbers pop up after a combo.
Jokes aside, I see some people only using only one type of combo with Vol Graptor. Yes, Vol->Zenith Throw is fairly PP efficient, but let’s be real here, this game is about
style and big numbers always improving what you can. Tacking on a little bit of damage for a little bit of extra PP can help. Especially if you consider that it’s fairly hard to dip low into your PP reserves during Limit Breaks when just Vol->Zenith is your combo. 35 PP per use doesn’t lend towards getting into PP Slayer and that’s a fair bit of extra damage. But really, every combo has its use, even simple ones like Vol->Zenith, it just depends on the situation.
So…what kind of situations would you use certain combos? And before that, what kind of combos are there, exactly? We’re gonna start from the more simple combos, and go from there.
*Note: During the recording of the combos, I may or may not land everything perfectly, giving some illusion of how strong/weak that combo is. Crits also factor into the power of the Vol explosion as well. Crit strike as well as the potential on my Partizan that increases crit damage applies onto Vol explosions directly. Consider the example just a general approximation of the power of each combo.
1 PA Combos:
*So, I just want to say that you can do Vol and any PA and have it called a combo. However, I think that these are the only ones that’s even remotely worth considering.
First off, we have the simple Vol->Zenith Throw combo.
This one is just the staple DPS combo that’s simple to pull off and does a reasonable amount of damage. The thing that makes it very good to use is that it’s fairly PP efficient for the damage you’re doing. Vol takes up 20 PP (At max rank) and Zenith is 15, 35 PP to drop a fair amount of damage.
However, know that it’s very difficult to land all the hits of Zenith on a target that moves at even a decent pace. Recommended to just use this when you can stagger a boss and you know you can land the hits on it.
The only other 1 PA combo that I feel is worth it is Vol->Tear Grid.
This is one of the highest damage combos you can do with a single PA, exceeding Zenith by quite a bit. However, there is the annoyances of landing it if you’re not used to it.
The thing about it is that you have to intentionally miss the first few hits of the attack. Most of the power is centered within the final hit of the combo, and since it takes so long to get it out, your Vol will explode before it happens. In the example, I could’ve gotten one or two more hits in, but you should be able to pick up on the gist of the attack.
To sum it up in text form, you need to position yourself so won’t hit the enemy with Tear. Typically, I’d suggest to just stand back a little and turn your body to the side when you’re in the wind down animation of Vol that gives you gear. You’d then use Tear and start turning towards the enemy. This should run through enough of the animation to be fine.
Like Vol->Zenith, it might be best to wait til you can stagger an enemy before using it, but honestly you could use it with things moving. It might be hard for the faster enemies, though. Also note that it’s easier to run through your PP due to Tear requiring 45 PP to use, totaling 65 PP per combo.
2 PA Combos:
*Once you start getting to higher amounts of PAs for a Vol combo, it’s fairly important that you let the animation of Vol wind down for the gear. It’s a simple way of maintaining your gear levels without much repercussion.
First one would be the extension of Vol->Zenith, Vol->Sacred Skewer->Zenith Throw.
Better get used to Sacred, cause you’re going to be using it a ton when you’re doing combos.
Since this is basically an extension of the Zenith combo, the same basic rules apply. Staggering a boss is fairly important to actually landing the entire thing.
But since you have an entirely new component of the PA, I should explain that a bit. Sacred Skewer, when using it during a Vol combo is tacking on another attack to your combo without changing up the procedure very much. The attack has a delay on when it lands, which should be right around when you land your follow up attack. It does add extra PP costs as well as more gear depletion, so just keep that in mind.
One thing you should really know is that I prefer this combo when I’m Limit Breaking due to the increased PP drain from using the entire combo versus the Vol->Zenith, it’s a bit easier to drain down into PP Slayer range. If it eats up too much, you can just switch to Vol->Zenith and continue while being in Slayer range. For reference, you’re using up 65 PP per combo.
Next, Vol->Assault Buster->Speed Rain.
This PA combo is a fair bit different from the ones discussed earlier, mostly due to it being fairly effective against targets that move a bit. This is mostly due to the fast single hit of Assault Buster and the fact that Speed Rain has decent range.
With that in mind, there isn’t anything super special about this. You just need to note that due to both Assault and Speed costing upwards of 30 PP, you’ll drain your PP quite fast during this. You go through 78 PP for this combo.
Third, Vol->Slide End->Speed Rain
This is a bit to the same tune as the Vol->Assault->Speed combo. It’s also fairly decent at moving targets, however, Slide is a tad bit more powerful, while having a little bit longer of an animation. This doesn’t stop it from being a good choice to use in a combo. Between this and the Assault combo, both are fairly equal. Assault has a bit more forward distance to gap close, while Slide has the bit more damage and wider range on the sides. In the end it’s mostly preference of the user, especially since Assault and Slide have the same PP costs, going through the same PP cost as the previous combo, 78.
Fourth, Vol->Sacred Skewer->Sacred Skewer
If you’ve been having problems with tracking a particularly fast monster, like a Banther, this might be your solution. While it has some flaws, it can work. One, you’re not utilizing Tech Arts JA as much as you could, since you’re chaining two of the same PA. Two, you leave a large period of time that can be filled with other PAs. Three, it’s fairly weak, especially for the 80 PP price tag this comes with.
The biggest reason to use this is that once you’ve locked onto a target and used the PA, no matter where the monster runs off to, it should land on it. Provided you get the Vol bullet lodged into it and the two casts of Sacred, there’s no reason that it shouldn’t go off.
3 PA Combos:
*Once you start using combos past 2, you’re going to have to actually swap palettes mid animation of attacks. This ends up with these combos being a little more technical, and a little harder to implement on the field, versus on paper. Also, I do all of the swaps using mouse scroll, which is one of the slowest and typically the most inaccurate way of doing it. It’s easiest to swap weapons via keybinds such as 1~6 on the numpad or whatever you have them bound to, like macro keys on a mouse. Also know that when you switch palettes, you start on the second PA in the palette.
First off, we have the final form of the Zenith combo, Vol->Sacred Skewer->Zenith->Uncharged Assault Buster.
This is basically going a step beyond the normal combo for a little extra damage. This is also the first instance of use of an uncharged PA. As you can tell from the example, you really don’t have any time to add in a charge to the Assault. However, it is an extra PA’s worth of damage, tacking on a little bit more for your Vol to use in its explosion. The cost is an extra 28 PP during use and more of your gear taken. That brings the total cost of the combo to 87 PP, which is a fair bit for anyone.
As per usual with Zenith combos, you’re looking to do this during when a boss is staggered. I’d honestly rather not use this very often, mostly just for competitions for highest damage dealt, really. Mostly due to the fact you’re only going to be getting out one or two combos per. However, if what you’re hitting is weak enough, I suppose one combo should be enough from this. Use at your own volition.
The other combo, Vol->Sacred Skewer->Slide End->Speed Rain
*Note: You can sub out Slide for Assault if you so wish. I personally prefer Slide for this combo, though.
This has the same sort of application as the other combination of PAs with Speed Rain. You can feasibly use this versus things that move a decent amount. However, the added animation and the fact you’re switching palettes can make it difficult to pull it off. I’d rather use it on a staggered target, but one could attempt to use it on moving targets. Know that the PP cost is fairly high for this, due to multiple 28/30 PP PAs being used. The total cost ends up being at 108 PP. It’s fairly hard to get a second combo out in one PP bar without pausing to regen.
Also know that the transition from Slide to Speed needs to be done decently fast, as the JA Circle of Slide appears midway into the animation of Slide’s attack. You’ll essentially have to attack immediately after switching if you want to maintain JAs and have all the attacks of Speed hit. If you wait for the wind down animation of Slide, not all of the hits of Speed will land. I want to note that I did miss a single hit in the example, but smoother transition between Slide and Speed should solve that.
4 PA Combos:
Once you get to this tier of Vol combos, there’s very few combos you can pull off due to the tight timing having so many PAs to use causes. With that in mind, I’m only listing off one combo here.
That would be: Vol->Sacred Skewer->Sacred Skewer->Assault Buster->Uncharged Slide End
For this one, you’re pushing the time you have during Vol before it explodes to the limits. Delaying too much at any point will have the Vol explode before you finish the entire combo. This also means you lack gear to improve Slide’s damage, since you go through a total of 5 bars of gear to do the entire thing. It’s still an addition to the overall damage of the combo and as you’re not charging it, not having gear for it shouldn’t be that big of a problem.
Execution wise, it’s not too horrible to pull off. Sacred has a fairly long period of maintaining the JA Circle, so even if you’re slow, you should be able to pull off the switch easily. Again, don’t delay any of the attacks too long.
The thing about this combo is how PP heavy this ends up being. You’re eating up 136 PP for a use of this. Unless you’re rocking close to 300 PP, by some miracle, you’re NOT getting two uses of this without stopping and regening or having Limit Break Photon Charge top you off.
Another facet that’s important to note about this is that you’re not making full use of Tech Arts since you’re using two Sacreds. It’s understandable, yes, since it’s one of the fastest PAs you can use from Partizan and how you really don’t have much time for anything else. You also have to consider how positioning is when you’re using this. Any time you use Assault, you’re moving and have to compensate for where you take your character during the movement. A charged Assault adds another layer since it does move you a fair distance forward. To some, this might not be a problem, but it can be completely unusable on things like magatsu if you’re not the careful sort.
So, outside of all the combo explanations, I just want to talk about some of the details behind all this stuff.
Honestly, complicated does not equal better. Speaking from personal preference, I’d mostly be using Vol->Sacred->Zenith->Assault as the limit of willingness to combo. Even then, I’d rather just maintain some PP efficiency with Sacred->Zenith.
On the topic of PP efficiency, there’s another reason why using the more complicated combos tends to be…lackluster at times. Yes, you’ll see huge numbers pop up, but when you’re only dropping one combo per PP bar, when you’re fighting something like Magatsu or any other EQ boss, you’re losing out on overall DPS when trying to regen. This is less of a problem with Limit Break active/Limit Break Photon Charge, but you’re still stuck in a pseudo cooldown period. Which, again, brings me back to why I limit myself down to Vol->Sacred->Zenith typically. It’s enough PP drain on me while Limit Breaking to keep me into PP Slayer territory, but not enough to just wipe me out.
But what about smaller bosses, like Dark Ragne or such? Would it be good to use it on them? Sure, it can be. If for some reason the other combos aren’t enough to drop a boss in one stagger period and the more complicated ones are, go for it, use them. If it’s dead, why would one care about PP efficiency, right?
Well, for me, it’s VERY easy to overkill a boss on SH by maybe 250k+ or more. Especially if you happen to be bringing a ranger to WB it. Lot of the time even rare bosses can die before Vol explodes, which can be frustrating. The same applies to when you’re in a MPA environment. The bosses can, and probably will, die before you can get a good combo off if you’re in a good MPA.
But, I think that should about cover stuff about Vol. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask~