This is my second article aimed at exploring the capabilities of underused equipment, in which i will be focusing a Viral status build for the Grakata and comparisons to the Soma/Soma Prime, two similar weapons. After several months experimenting with the Grakata in various missions, on paper, and applying forma, i have come to the conclusion that it is significantly better than the greatly overhyped Soma, and on par with Soma Prime, a point most users of these weapons angrily disagree with on the basis of "Soma is best gun".
My goal here is to deliver an argument that this rather fun and underused rifle is worth trying out, and even worth some forma. it is by no means god-tier, but can come quite close, as i will explain below.
A quick overview of Grakata
Possesses the same slashing properties as the Dread, Braton Prime, Galatine and similar weapons, giving it great synergy with Desecrate, for up to 90% bonus drop chances.
Perfect accuracy over long range while firing in small bursts or single shots, similar to soma.
Very high firerate and upwards recoil while firing continuously.
Binding fire to mousewheel or using a macro to slow down fire on an alternate key can greatly improved long-range dps.
Very high status chance for a fully-auto rifle, making status-based builds and bonus damage from procs effective.
Rapid impact procs cause targets to be effectively stunlocked by steady fire, unlike most fast-firing weapons.
A basic pros/cons comparison between Grakata and Soma
Very high status chance of 20% (4 procs/second) vs 7.5% (1.125 procs/second) on Soma and 10% (1.5 procs/second) on Soma prime
With Split Chamber this rises by 20%*0.9 of the difference between base proc rate and 100, the high base rate makes using a dual-stat elemental mod viable.
With One dual-stat mod, Shred and Split Chamber, procs per second per target rises to roughly 15.808pps (same build gives 5.928pps on soma prime, which is sub-optimal due to the much lower status chance) compared to which will instantly strip all armor if using corrosive, or instantly apply viral, in effect doubling all damage dealt, on top of stagger and armor-ignore from slash procs.
Slightly lower base burst damage per second than Soma.
roughly 25% less base burst damage than Soma Prime.
Higher recoil and thus lower accuracy past roughly 30 meters.
Targets become stunlocked by fire, as mentioned above.
No spin-up time, allowing maximum fire rate and damage in rapid bursts, with minimal ammo waste.
First build: 5-Forma [ ] Standard crit-damage rifle build with one status-chance mod
Rank 10 HC would require 6 forma for a small damage gain.
The stats from this build:
125.4 Viral / 83.6 Total Physical
32% base status = 32% + ( (100-32)*.32 = 21.76 )*.9 multishot = 51.584% status per shot (ingame arsenal shows 51.9%)
Total status procs per second using arsenal "total chance for proc per burst" statistic: : 13.4108
Actual total procs per second roughly 16.
14969.50 Burst DpS / 7337.99 Sustained DpS (compare to 20379.25 burst DpS for Soma Prime with a similar build) - more on this later.
26 Fire rate (2.307 Seconds fire time)
The algorithm for picking physical and elemental procs is not well-understood, but will result in greatly increased damage from viral proc lowering hp, and a small increase in damage from slash procs.
Viral proc effective DpS comparison with Soma Prime
Due to the chances of individual procs occurring not being completely understood, exact numbers will not be possible, these will be close guesswork based on proc chance testing.
Bonus effective damage from viral proc halving hp is most effective if the proc happens when the mob is at completely full hp (+100% eDpS) and scales down linearly to +0% eDpS if procced at or below 50% HP.
(Testing will assume Soma is using a standard high-damage build with two 90% elementals instead of one dualstat)
Below i will show the total average chance of at least one viral proc occurring over X shots, and how much effective damage is gained for proccing viral at specific percentages of HP.
We will assume the chance of a viral proc instead of another proc (impact, puncture, slash) is roughly 1/3, As chance of individual procs is influenced by their base damage values.
This is where it gets extremely complicated.
THESE VALUES ARE NOT EXACT TO INGAME MECHANICS, AND ARE MEANT FOR COMPARISON ONLY
For a target with 10,000 Effective HP (HP * armor reduction), the chance of a viral proc happening at or before specific levels of HP loss, and the effective damage gained, are calculated.
These numbers favor Soma against weak enemies with under 3-4,000 eHP, and scale up greatly in favor of grakata, to almost 100% on very strong enemies, and balance out to almost 100% for both by millions of HP (who cares?).
Damage required: Damage/Number of hits required to reach this level of HP on the test target
Viral chance: The chance for at least one viral proc to happen by this level of HP
Av. damage gain: How much bonus damage you get on average assuming a certain proc chance, at this level of HP. Actual damage increase will be based on chances for every shot and all levels of hp, making it almost impossible to calculate perfectly, but will be somewhat higher than these values.
Damage gain with 100% proc: How much bonus damage you would get with a 100% proc happening at this HP level
Av. Damage gain
Damage gain w/ 100%proc
In-Depth math for the chance of at least one proc per X shots can be found on my userpage.
Similar numbers would apply to corrosive procs vs armored enemies, with Soma winning vs light/unarmored mobs, Grakata scaling upwards past Soma in eDpS as enemies reach high levels of armor and medium HP, and level off with Grakata and Soma both roughly equal at very high levels of HP, regardless of armor.
Tips and Tricks
Use viral while running 3/4 corrosive projections or against high-level enemies.
Use corrosive when dealing with high armor levels, as rapid procs strip armor to 0 almost instantly.
Use gas vs lower-level corpus and infested, combined with punch-through, this gives very high aoe splash damage with a small loss in single-target damage.
In config, binding your mouse scrollwheel up or down as a second fire button. this allows you to fire quick bursts of 1-5 shots ithout high recoil or wasting ammo.
A secondary fire macro that can be used to lower your fire rate below 26 is helpful for the same reason.
Use this with the new, popular pilfering swarm hydroid, for unlimited ammo to support spam-fire.
Have you used grakata?
Do you feel Grakata is worth formaing and using in endgame situations?
NEW: What are you interested in seeing in a future article?