Best runes guide – Elemental or Attack? The problem that we have long time now identified with ELE attack is that it is not consistent. It depends on ELE trigger to deal damage, and Skill ELE trigger is fixed for abilities, and the normal attack ELE trigger is also fixed but dependent on level 9 ELE gems, minus the opponent’s MDEF/PDEF level 9 gems. Yes, there are 2 types of ELE triggers, it is almost two occasions of hidden stats that have not been revealed yet.

Every skill has its fixed ELE trigger chance, and those are as follows:
1st skill: 15% to deal ELE damage per instance of the skill
2nd skill: 20%
3rd skill: 25%
4th skill: 30% (ultimate)

You can see an example below of the chance of the third skill (25%):

So, while ATK works endlessly and tirelessly during a duel, because all instances of damage include ATK no matter what, ELE does not always proc and is always dependent on ELE trigger.
A good thing that ELE attacks have, is that the elemental resistances in the game are not offered in bulk, one can raise MDEF/PDEF (which are the ATK reducers) much more than the Resistances (ELE reducers), and this means that an instance of ELE damage has the potential, at the same scale as ATK, to deal more damage than an instance of ATK damage. However, this has also been largely nullified by the fact that ATK has been offered at a much larger scale now after the Ultima Weapon feature, which adds incredible amount of ATK to a character through HP additions and vice versa.

ELE additions still remain stagnant in the game, and ELE trigger has not benefited much from the game. The level 9 ELE gems only increase the normal attack ELE trigger, not the Skill one (this remains fixed). In a duel or cross-server wars as you know, there are not many normal attacks occurring so the benefit of this was already not satisfactory. But even if it was, an opponent can equally have the level 9 MDEF/PDEF gems that he/she needs to negate your normal attack ELE trigger additions through your level 9 Elemental gems.

Regarding the rune setup, it all depends on the discrepancy of your character’s ATK and ELE statistics, combined with the chance of each skill to ELE trigger plus how much extra ELE damage % each skill adds upon proc.
If your character has 1.5m ATK and 1m ELE, the following happens (assuming level 5 runes and ignore Resistances, defenses and any bonuses, simplified):

1st skill with 5x ATK runes:
(1.5m*80%) + (1.5m * 12%)+(1.5m*12%)+(1.5m*12%)+(1.5m*12%) + (1m * 15%)*90%) <— check screenshots below and match the colors:

Now, the result of this equation is: 1920000 ATK damage + 135000 ELE damage (2055000 total) on average per instance of damage of the first skill.

If you were to put 4 ELE runes (level 5) instead, which add 35% ELE damage per rune, the same result would be:
(1.5m*80%) + (((1m*35%) + (1m*35%) + (1m*35%) + (1m*35%) + 1M)*15%)*90%) =
1200000 ATK damage +324000 ELE damage = 1524000 Total damage, 531k damage less than a full ATK rune setup for the first skill.

The damage increase of the ELE instances would be tremendous, if only the Skill ELE trigger (15%) would be much more. Perhaps in later updates, an ELE build could be viable, but for now it is not worth investing much. My opinion on runes is that only the Ultimate ability and the third skill can effectively have ELE runes in them, as their chance to ELE trigger is 30% and 25% respectively. Check the below calculations for the Ultimate and third skills, solved with the same numbers. You can see that the ELE setup will deal more damage on average.

Of course with an ELE setup, there is always the chance that you will be unlucky or lucky with the procs, so take that also into consideration.

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