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Introduction

Most long-term players are probably well aware of (possibly well sick of) the debate over Dread vs. Paris Prime, and now Rakta Cernos. After a paricularly ongoing debate i decided to do a little math on the actual performance of the four top tier bows: Rakta Cernos, Daikyu, Paris Prime and Dread.

TL;DR

Rakta Cernos completely beats all other bows for damage output (including crits, headshots, bodyshots, DpS) and fire rate, plus the viral aoe effect raising damage significantly more. Dread and Paris Prime are near-matched, with Dread being measurably better vs infested or with armor-removal, and Paris winning against ferrite armor only (light grineer and heavy gunners). Daikyu falls far behind for damage, but has a massively higher status chance and long-range accuracy. It can be used effectively against crowds with gas damage, similarly to a status-build Lanka, or an Opticor with punch-through.

The Builds

These are builds that i consider fairly optimal for each weapon, and will be used in the following math. Heavy Caliber will be left at rank 8, due to problems related to actually fitting a rank10 HC on a weapon, and honestly, how many people actually have a max HC (highly ineffective on a lot of weapons, plus expensive)?

Rakta Cernos build

No need for vile acceleration, with the already great charge speed. Heavy Caliber at rank 8 to prevent excessive forma requirements, loss of customization and accuracy loss.

Madurai Pol Madurai Pol Madurai Pol
Forma
Madurai Pol
Forma
225px-SerrationModU145
HeavyCaliberModU145
SplitChamberModU145
VitalSenseModU145
Naramon Pol Naramon Pol
Forma
HellfireModU145
PointStrikeModU145
InfectedClipModU145
StormbringerModU145

Daikyu build

Vile Acceleration for the 180% (doubled on bows) charge speed increase. Status mod for greatly increased AoE damage procs in crowds. Heavy Caliber at rank 8 to prevent excessive forma requirements, loss of customization and accuracy loss.

Madurai Pol Madurai Pol
Forma
Madurai Pol
Forma
Madurai Pol
Forma
225px-SerrationModU145
HeavyCaliberModU145
SplitChamberModU145
VitalSenseModU145
Naramon Pol
Forma
HellfireModU145
VileAcceleration
HighVoltageNew
PointStrikeModU145

Paris Prime and Dread build

The only difference is Paris starts with V/- slots, Dread starts with V/V slots, meaning a different polarity needs to be formaed. Heavy Caliber at rank 8 to prevent excessive forma requirements, loss of customization and accuracy loss.

Madurai Pol Madurai Pol
Forma
Madurai Pol
Forma
Madurai Pol
Forma
225px-SerrationModU145
HeavyCaliberModU145
SplitChamberModU145
VitalSenseModU145
Naramon Pol
Forma
Naramon Pol
HellfireModU145
VileAcceleration
PointStrikeModU145
StormbringerModU145


The Results

I have calculated the resulting statistics for each of these builds in detail, and will give the results here, in three charts. These may not be completely optimal builds for all situations, see the last section for more details on alternatives and usage.


Results: Base statistics

The base stats for each bow (using the mod builds shown above). All have 1.0 punch through, x4.4 critical damage, damaging knockback on kills, and 72 ammo capacity. Daikyu has perfect accuracy and massive status chance, Rakta Cernos has innate Blight, And Dread cuts on kills (beneficial for Desecrate).

Rakta Cernos Daikyu Paris Prime Dread
Charge speed 0.25 0.62 0.36 0.36
Reload 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7
Max shots/Second 1.17 0.81 0.94 0.94
Status chance 26.475% 90.144% 34.4% 34.4%
Uncharged Phys Dmg 500 ---- 370 370
Charged Phys Dmg 1000 1295 740 740
Uncharged Elem Dmg 1350 ---- 666 666
Charged Elem dmg 2700 1942.5 1332 1332

Results: Critical hits

The critical hit stats for each bow (using the mod builds shown above) Using Critical Delay or Hammer Shot is not suggested, as pure elemental mods almost always result in measurably higher damage, even on critical hits.

Rakta Cernos Daikyu Paris Prime Dread
Yellow Crit % 87.5% 37.5% 87.5% 75.0%
Red Crit % ---- ---- 12.5% 25.0%
Crit DpS Increase +297.5% +127.5% +482.5% +525%

Results: Damage output

Finally, the important part. Calculated damage for every kind of hit, overall average damage, and max unbuffed Damage per Second.

Rakta Cernos Daikyu Paris Prime Dread
Avrg. Bodyshot 14707.5 7365.31 12069.4 12950
Avrg. Headshot 55153.12 25414.37 48277.6 51800
Normal Bodyshot 3700 3237.5 2072 2072
Normal Headshot 7400 6475 4144 4144
YellowCrit Bodyshot 16280 14245 9116.8 9116.8
YellowCrit Headshot 65120 56980 36467.2 36467.2
RedCrit Bodyshot ---- ---- 18233.6 18233.6
RedCrit Headshot ---- ---- 72934.4 72934.4
Bodyshot DpS 17207.7 5965.901 11345.2 12173
Headshot DpS 64529.15 20585.63 45380.9 48692

Notes: Rakta Cernos gains a effective large bonus from Blight, Daikyu can deal heavy AoE damage+CC with Gas (AoE 450% of physical damage over 8 seconds)/Electricity (AoE 50% of physical damage) effects, and Dread can deal armor-ignore Slash Damage for 245% of base physical damage over 6 seconds (roughly 12-16% slashstatus chance).


Damage type adjustments

Each bow has a different spread of Impact/Puncture/Slash damage, which gives each various bonuses or penalties against different enemies and situations.

Since elemental damage can be changed for greatest effect, this will only cover the smaller portion of physical damage health and armor modifiers for each bow.

See health formula for details on how to calculate armor reductions. The ratio of each physical type from the base damage is shown in parenthesis ( ), and the ratio of each physical type including elemental damage (this is the important value) is shown in brackets [ ]. The increase or loss (compared to your total damage) vs each health or armor type is shown below, with armor reduction/increase in parenthesis.

Rakta Cernos (27% Physical) Impact (90%)[24.3%] Puncture (5%)[1.35%] Slash (5%)[1.35%] Total
(Cloned)Flesh -6.075% +0.3375% -5.7375%
Fossilized +0.2025% +0.2025%
Infested +0.3375% +0.3375%
Infested Flesh +0.675% +0.675%
Machinery +6.075% +6.075%
Robotic +0.3375% -0.3375% Derp
Shield +12.15% -0.3375% +11.8125%
Proto Shield +6.075% -0.675% +5.4675
Ferrite Armor +0.675% (1.35*1.5 ignores -50% armor) -0.2025% (1.35*0.85 suffers +15% armor) +0.4725%
Alloy Armor +0.2025% (1.35*1.15 ignores -15% armor) -0.675% (1.35*0.5 suffers +50% armor) -0.4725%


Daikyu (29.4% Physical) Impact (20%)[5.88%] Puncture (60%)[17.64%] Slash (20%)[5.88%] Total
(Cloned)Flesh -1.47% +1.47% Derp
Fossilized +0.882% +0.882%
Infested +1.47% +1.47%
Infested Flesh +2.94% +2.94%
Machinery +1.47% +1.47%
Robotic +4.41% -1.47% +2.94%
Shield +2.94% -4.41% -1.47%
Proto Shield +1.47% -8.82% -7.35%
Ferrite Armor +8.82% (17.64*1.5 ignores -50% armor) -0.882% (5.88*0.85 duffers +15% armor) +7.938%
Alloy Armor +2.646% (17.64*1.15 ignores -15% armor) -2.94% (5.88*0.5 suffers +50% armor) -0.294%


Paris Prime (35.7% Physical) Impact (2.5%)[0.8925%] Puncture (80%)[28.56%] Slash (17.5%)[6.24%] Total
(Cloned)Flesh Why +1.56% +1.56%
Fossilized Bother +0.936% +0.936%
Infested To +1.56% 1.56%
Infested Flesh Calculate +3.12% +3.12%
Machinery 0.8925%
Robotic Of +7.14% -1.56% +5.58%
Shield Your -7.14% -7.14%
Proto Shield Base -14.28% -14.28%
Ferrite Armor Damage? +14.28% (28.56*1.5 ignores -50% armor) -0.936% (6.24*0.85 suffers +15% armor) +13.344%
Alloy Armor Really. +4.284% (28.56*1.15 ignores -15% armor) -3.12% (6.24*0.5 suffers +50 armor) +1.164%


Dread (35.7% Physical) Impact (5%)[1.785%] Puncture (5%)[1.785%] Slash (90%)[32.13%] Total
(Cloned)Flesh -0.44625% +8.0325% +7.58625%
Fossilized +4.8195% +4.8195%
Infested +8.0325% +8.0325%
Infested Flesh +16.065% +16.065%
Machinery +0.44625% +0.44625%
Robotic +0.44625% -8.0325% -7.58625%
Shield +0.8925% -0.44625% +0.44625%
Proto Shield +0.44625% -0.8925% -0.44625%
Ferrite Armor +0.8925% -4.8195% -3.927%
Alloy Armor +0.26775% -16.065% -15.79825%

The following table shows how each physical damage type fares against each armor and health type. The bonus or penalty is applied to the amount of armor (example: ferrite is reduced by 50% vs puncture damage) plus the same amount as a bonus/penalty to the final damage.

Surface: Flesh Cloned Fossil Infested I. Flesh Sinew Machine Robotic Object Shield Proto Ferrite Alloy Status
Physical
Damage
Impact b Impact -25% -25% +25% +50% +25% 1)2)Stagger
Puncture b Puncture +25% +25% -25% -50% +50% +15% Weaken
Slash b Slash +25% +25% +15% +25% +50% -25% -15% -50% Bleed

Conclusion

All four bows have advantages and disadvantages in various situations, with Rakta Cernos leading in average and damage and DpS (not counting the very strong Blight effect it also has). Blight will trigger every 1000 exp (earned by the weapon itself, so 50% to 25% of your exp gain), when not on cooldown (10s), and the halved hp is a very strong additional damage source at high levels.

Dread and Paris prime are top-tier weapons for those unable to get Rakta, and more viable for stealth until DE fixes blight alerting enemies.

Daikyu, despite low single-target damage, is very effective against large unarmored crowds, due to the stacking nature of gas/toxin damage and very high innate status chance.

Base damage types are relatively meaningless, as you can see from the charts directly above. most of your damage will be elemental, and will always have optimal armor mitigation and damage bonuses (assuming you use the right elements). The physical damage loss only becomes noticable against heavily armored enemies, at which point 75% armor ignore and bonus damage from elemental will also falter (just start using Corrosive Projection or the like).

Rakta also has the added advantage of looking like a shrub, not a toilet on a stick.

Please try to keep any discussion rational, and back up your views with some form of fact or evidence.

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