Many users have lamented the death of non-D3-FNC shield builds after Patch 1.8, which saw significant changes to the shield health calculation. While this change has certainly impacted build diversity, the 6-piece Classified Sentry build described below can still be effective in the game’s most challenging content.
When I created this build, I expected it to be primarily a support build, but I was very surprised by the DPS output, as well. The shield provides high survivability, so this is a very well-rounded build that shines in group settings, particularly with coordinated teams that can take advantage of the support features. I used this build in Stolen Signal and the various Legendary missions, and it performed very well.
You can find the full build details here, and I will summarize below: https://division-builds.com/build/690-pve-6pc-sentry-shield-supportdps
- All 6 pieces of gear are Classified Sentry.
- 2 pieces are rolled to Firearms, 2 rolled to Electronics, and 1 piece rolled to Stamina
- Chest: Skill Haste & Health (EAD also good)
- Mask: EAD & DTE
- Kneepads: Health & DTE & whatever else
- Backpack: Health
- Gloves: EAD, Pistol Dmg, Skill Haste (CHC or CHD good, too)
- Holster: Skill Haste
Gear and Performance Mods:
- 5 Firearms DTE mods (Skill Haste good, too)
- 4 Ballistic Shield Damage Resilience Mods
- Sidearm: FW X-45 with Coolheaded and Determined
- Primary: Urban MDR with Destructive, Ferocious, and Distracted
- Secondary: Surplus SVD with Destructive, Ferocious, and Determined
- Ballistic Shield, Reactive Targeting Mod
- Sticky Bomb, Flashbang Mod
- One is None, On the Move, Critical Save, Combat Medic
With 6 Sentry stacks on an NPC, any weapon (even a pistol) will be effective. The FW X-45 allows you to build stacks quickly.
The Urban MDR and Surplus SVD are back-up weapons when the shield is taking too much damage or is destroyed. These weapons allow you to output sustained DPS while in cover to avoid taking additional damage. These are also useful when you only have long-range targets remaining. Hitting a headshot with a pistol at range is not an easy task.
You should have around 400K toughness, which is not too squishy for PvE.
In addition, you will have the tankiest shield possible. The Reactive Targeting Ballistic Shield mod has the highest non-D3-FNC shield toughness (770K) and has 10% damage resilience. The 4 performance mods can bring damage resilience up to 30%. As a result, the effective toughness for the shield is actually 1.1 million before considering other damage resilience buffs your talents (On the Move, Critical Save) or teammates may provide you (Booster Shot, Security Link). The Critical Save and Combat Medic talents also apply to your shield, so that if your shield is receiving significant damage, using a medkit will both heal your shield and give it additional damage resilience.
The shield passes the Stolen Signal test, though. You should have no problem tanking the mini-gun, but you might have to use a medkit.
Your 6 piece Sentry buff applies to all of your teammates. This is extraordinarily powerful.
You will have approximately 150K-160K Skill Power and 25% Skill Haste. Skill Haste can be as high at 40% if you also choose 5 Gear mods with Skill Haste on them (as opposed to the DTE mods I suggested above – I don’t think you can go wrong either way).
As a result, you can throw a Flashbang out every 25-26 seconds, before considering the impact of Coolheaded or Determined.
You will also have a high availability Signature Skill. I really like using the Tactical Link, but you could also use the others if it better suits your team’s composition. The cooldown of 500 seconds (~8 minutes) listed on the character sheet does not include the impact of the Pistol’s talents: Coolheaded (5% cooldown with a headshot, which can be procced every 3 seconds) and Determined (7.5% cooldown with a kill).
- Proccing the On-Kill Talents (On the Move, Determined) can be tough because your teammates will have higher DPS.
- While this shield build is as good as it gets for non-D3-FNC players, it is still not as tanky as pre-Patch 1.8 shields and can be destroyed.
- Changes to coolheaded’s proccing have reduced its effectiveness in comparison to prior patches, but I think it is still very useful.
EDIT: Apparently it’s necessary to say you can also run Sentry with an MDR and annihilate everything with a healer and a pulse. The purpose of this post is to share alternative ideas that someone might enjoy trying