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This guide is here to explain the trends of most commonly used builds in PvE, known as the PvE meta.

What is the Metagame?

The Metagame is the most commonly run build for a given area, usually to accomplish the set task in the most profitable way, which also tends to be the fastest way.

What is the current Metagame?

The current PvE meta is largely based around three professions: Monks, Necros, and Assassins. Other classes can farm very well too, but these tend to be the current staple classes.

  • Monks have an incredible number of Protection and Healing spells which allow them to tank almost any foe. These builds often require incredibly attentive skill-use in conjunction with clever manipulations of game mechanics use in order to stay alive. Monks are also commonly run for Ray of Judgement, which is used to quickly and effectively nuke mobs, but due to its nerf has fallen out of favor for some speed clears.
  • Necromancers' main advantage is Soul Reaping, which allows near infinite energy against foes which die very quickly in PvE. They also possess several high-damage curses and party buffs.
  • Assassins have the ability to do permaform, which grants complete invincibility against all spells, bearing in mind that they are still affected by physical damage, AoE, touch skills, and signets. This invincibility can be slightly inhibiting as well, due to energy requirements and the limited options for damage, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

The elite areas of PvE are currently dominated by Cry of Pain and Manly Spike based builds, as both do massive damage to multiple targets in the area of effect. These builds run some kind of tank (usually a Shadow Form Assassin) who balls the targets, which are then hexed by a caller and spiked by the other casters with various damage skills such as CoP, RoJ or 100Blades Whirlwind Attack combo - effectively killing all balled foes. (It is not uncommon for an Rt/R or R/Rt with SoS and EoE to be brought along to assist the nuking and cleaning up process, sometimes a BiP necro is brought along.)

Current PvE Meta

Farming Meta Builds

Elite Area Meta

General PvE Meta Builds

The majority of the best general PvE builds use heroes for their quick reflexes and other abilities over humans. Such as the ability to maintain Death Nova on multiple minions easily.

Player/Hero-based PvE Meta Builds

  • Sabway - Necro heroes abusing soul reaping and minions for big damage and heals.
  • Discordway - Possibly outdoes Sabway. Heroes spam Discord for high armor-ignoring damage spikes while abusing Soul Reaping.
  • UA/HB Mimicry - A strong backline for most pve teams.

Player-based PvE Meta Builds

  • Spirit Wrangler - Rit-turrets that utilize concentrated firepower.
  • Channeling Hybrid Rit - Many optionals lead to a versitle and strong build.
  • N/Rt SoLS Healer - A hero with big heals.
  • SS Nuker - Necro nuker that can rip apart mobs.
  • MoP Nuker - Abuses Assassin's Promise for quick recharge on otherwise long recharging skills.*
  • Minion Bomber - Deals degeneration through the use of Death Nova on its dying minions
  • SS Support - A build with damage through curses,with additional team support.
  • Imbagon - Big party defense.
  • CritScythe Assassin - Scythe assassin who abuses critical strikes for high damage.
  • Moebius Sin - Spams death blossom and Moebius to deal massive AoE damage.
  • Dagger Spammer - Utilizes 1/2 casting time attacks to both deal quick repeatable damage
  • Earth Shaker Warrior - Keeps mobs grounded.
  • Dragon Slash Warrior - High damage and great party support.
  • Enduring Scythe Warrior - Uses Warrior's Endurance to spam quick activation attacks on a scythe.
  • Searing Flames Ele - Used to nuke foes constantly by spamming Searing Flames
  • Barrage Ranger - Utilizes the effects of Barrage to target groups of enemies

Running PvE Meta Builds

Below are the best options for running on each profession.

How does a Meta change?

Metas are often shifted by skill updates, these updates often nerf skills in the metagame, forcing them out of the meta. On the other hand, skills that were not in the meta get buffed and become a better option over different builds. For example, after the permaform UW Chaos Planes farmer started being overused, there was a significant drop in the price of ectos, which was hurting the in-game economy. Shadow Form was then slightly nerfed and new skills were given to Mindblade Spectres to make the run impossible. Another example of this is the nerf to Ursanway, which allowed any class to tank and deal large amounts of armor-ignoring damage, as well as making Monks, Warriors, and sometimes Paragons the only wanted classes for elite areas.

So why are certain builds "Meta"?

Like explained in much of the above, Meta builds are meta because they simply perform best in the given area. Since monster skills rarely change, the meta usually only changes when there is a large buff or nerf to skills which allow farming.