Hammer Chaos Impair
A Nightmare Tanking Build
This is a follow-up build to my standard hammer and chaos nightmare tank build. That build allowed you to bring a single, slow-recycle impair when you are playing impair backup. However, some nightmare fights require multiple, regular impairs and that job often is placed on the tank. This build is for use when you need to regularly bring two impairs to the table. There are two variants to the build, one when you need alpha hate generation and one when you can sustain hate reliably with your standard dps rotation.
- Karma (Call for Eris)
- Razor Shards
- Reality Fracture
- Helter Skelter/Stone Throw
- Fever Pitch
- Forged in Fire
- You’re Next
- Extended Fracture, Inevitability, Immovable Object
This build can not debilitate, making it a major departure from my typical hammer and chaos tank builds. By this point in the game, though, your DPS should be able to regularly provide debilitate. It is very reasonable to expect your DPS to run 12 Gauge, which causes penetrates to debilitate. Besides that, both Improved Blasts (blasts) and Punisher (strikes) are also reliable debilitate passives.
It wouldn’t be an impair build, without impairs and each variant of the build brings two to the table. The default build brings two slow-recycle impairs, Beatdown and Helter Skelter. HS is a bit of a tough one to get used to. It’s a charge ability that impairs when you bypass the target. This works on targets like the Hardwired Fleshtank and Traumadriver, but not on the Primordial Dweller.
In the alternate build, you sacrifice stoicism to pickup Shockwave (or Eruption). Since that takes your active elite slot, you can drop Helter Skelter for Stone Throw. This variant gives you two impairs, including a fast-recycle (30 second) option. However, you lose stoicism, meaning your hate generation and spike damage stopper is gone. DPS have to be more patient if you switch to this.
Of the two, I run the former more than the latter. I find stoicism to be too good to lose and with the right gearing, I can eat an occasional big hit if my two slow recycle impair abilities are down.
Hate generation for the impair build comes from a standard load out of Escalation, Razor Shards, Reality Fracture and Stoicism. You’re Next also passively helps hate generation when you successfully block. All of your abilities receive a hate boost form Agitator.
You don’t have much to actively extend your health bar in this build. Karma and Stoicism are your major helpers. You get a lot of mileage from passives Hardcase, Intensity, and Forged in Fire are your primary defensive passives.
Open with stoicism and razor shards to get a good head of hate started. From there your opening rotation is escalation x5, reality fracture, razor shards.
Your default rotation is escalation x5, razor shards, reality fracture. Use reality fracture on recycle.
I tend to try to use Helter Skelter first on the impair options. Be aware that you really need to be careful with your positioning on HS. A bad charge can (a) put you into a nasty environmental effect and (b) turn the target to face the party (bad for cleaves). It takes some practice to get HS used well and it WILL be frustrating until you get the hang of it. However, hammer/chaos just doesn’t leave you a lot of impair tools, so this is what you have.
I spend a lot of time on this in the standard build. You really need to tailor your glyphs to your opponents in nightmare. For the early nightmare fights, this means get your block to about 500 and then focus on the protection stat that covers the largest patch of damage.
Signet early and often. An empty signet slot is a wasted ability.