Syp’s No-Nonsense TSW Shotgun/Hammer Build

I’ve been slowly refining my general adventuring build in The Secret World, and since I’m pretty pleased with how it’s set up and works, I wanted to share it with you all. It’s a shotgun/hammer build that seeks to put out a lot of DPS (to both single and multiple targets) while containing a heavy dose of survivability. There’s a lot of ping-ponging synergy here, particularly with the focus of getting hinder on all mobs to trigger other effects.

Let’s start with the passives.


  1. Close Quarters (Elite): Slaps a hinder on any nearby mob I hit. The entire build hinges on this.
  2. Beanbag Rounds: When I apply hinder, I get +15% penetration chance.
  3. Strike Force: +7.5% penetration chance for any strike abilities. Guess what my builder and hammer consumer are?
  4. Closer: +7.5% damage for consumers. A nice DPS bump.
  5. Arterial Pulse: When I penetrate, I do an additional hit to the target AND all targets around it. This is my lazy man’s AOE skill for my single-target strike attacks.
  6. Impact Striker: +25% damage using Striker (my builder) against hindered targets. Since I’m spamming this quite a lot, it’s a no-brainer.
  7. Immortal Spirit: HoT on penetrating enemies. It’s not a ton of healing without healing gear, but I find that it’s almost always running in combat and every bit helps.
  8. Revved Up: More damage from my chainsaw shield.


  1. Striker: Even as a basic builder, this is now doing a lot — hitting hard, slapping hinders on bad guys, and penetrating a lot (doing extra DPS and healing).
  2. Stopping Power: Oh, how I do love this skill. It’s a cone attack consumer that automatically penetrates hindered targets.
  3. Haymaker: Chose this consumer because it has the strike tag and thus does extra DPS.
  4. Kneecapper: Does a nice strong cone attack and slaps hindered on everything it hits for 8 seconds. I’m experimenting with using this as an opener to get an automatic penetration bump.
  5. Turn the Tables: Call me weak, but I love having a meaty heal on demand. This is it. I use it all of the time.
  6. Flak Jacket: The three blue skills I use as often as they’re up to buff me up. This skill reduces damage by 15%.
  7. Breaching Shot: Boosts penetration by 45%. I want to be penetrating as often as possible, not just to get arterial pulse and immortal spirit, but also because such hits do extra damage. Seeing chain penetrates is awesome.
  8. Diamond Grit: I’ve always loved this chainsaw ability for its double duty. It reflects 50% of damage back to the attacker up to a certain number.

This build isn’t set in stone, as I’ve been swapping out a couple skills here and there. For example, I might want an attack that knocks a target down or purges, so Flak Jacket will usually go in that case. But it’s been working great for me and I thought it might help someone else!


5 thoughts on “Syp’s No-Nonsense TSW Shotgun/Hammer Build

  1. Sylow June 17, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    Hmm. I wouldn’t ever run your setup, but i understand the concept. The only thing i absolutely don’t see why to use that is kneecapper. Together with close quarters, i consider it to be of little value and would pick something else.

  2. pkudude99 June 17, 2015 / 12:10 pm

    Sounds like a decent build. Glad you’re enjoying it!

  3. Syp June 17, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Kneecapper’s use — apart from hitting hard in a cone — is that it slaps hinder on everything it hits, not just a single target. If I can get off my shotgun finisher in the following 8 seconds on all of those targets, I’m doing extra damage and proccing all sorts of aoe hits.

  4. seanas June 18, 2015 / 5:52 am

    Perhaps Twist the Knife instead of Strike Force?

    Twist the Knife inceases damage each time you penetrate, and you’ve got an auto-penetrate in your elite skill *and* from every attack due to Beanbag Rounds – so instead of increasing pen chance _even more_, you could use your already high pen rate to boost your damage. 12 Gouge (weaken whenever you penetrate) or Overpenetrate (counter to even bigger pen chance whenever you penetrate) might also be strong choices.

    Otherwise, it looks solid 🙂 I have a person dislike for Turn the Tables, but I’m not sure what other options you have. Doom as a passive heal, but you’d have to give up a useful passive; or Unstoppable Force as an elite active skill; but that would involve losing Kneecapper – so yeah, Turn the Tables is probably your best bet. If you could get some decent signets for minor talismans: Thirst and Equilibrium, for sure; maybe Rejuvenation – then perhaps you wouldn’t need Turn the Tables.

    On the question of signets: I hope you’ve got the best Signet of Breaching equipped that you can afford! Damage boost on further penetrating hits whenever you penetrate… perfect for a penetration-based build!

  5. Syp June 18, 2015 / 9:22 am

    I’ve used Twist the Knife a lot, and it’s a really strong passive!

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