ESO Set Guide: Wild Impulse – Elemental Overtime

ESO Set Guide: Wild Impulse – Elemental Overtime

Welcome to another installment of a segment where we dive into one Elder Scrolls Online’s many Sets, and explore what sort of Builds you can make. Not only will we show you how to get the most from these Sets, but we’ll explain where to get them, what requirements there are to obtain them (if any), and everything else you could possibly want to know about them. In this article we will take a look at Wild Impulse Destruction Staff, an ability altering Weapon Set.

Wild Impulse is a great set for AoE damage

An Introdution To Wild Impulse Set

This Set was added to the game with Update 20 Murkmire, which launched in October/November of 2018. Wild Impulse Staff is random drop from last boss in Blackrose Prison. Normal Wild Impulse is obtained on Normal Difficulty, and Perfected Wild Impulse is obtained on Veteran Difficulty. The difference between the two is that Normal Version is missing the first bonus, which is added Spell Penetration. The style of this weapon is Honor Guard, and though Honor Guard Style is not available yet, it is likely to come in a future update.

Ability altering Weapon drops from Blackrose Prison last boss are random, meaning you can get any weapon. Traits are random while Enchantments depend on the weapon type. Destruction Staff comes with the Absorb Magicka Enchantment, which deals Magic Damage and restores Magicka. Ability altering Weapons modify specific abilities, and the Wild Impulse Staff modifies the Impulse ability from Destruction Staff Skill Line.

Impulse is the ability being upgraded

The Impulse deals instant Magic Damage around caster in its un-morphed form. Morphing Impulse changes how ability behaves. It has 2 morphed versions:

  • Elemental Ring: Ability becomes targeted, meaning you can choose where you want to place it. It is no longer around caster.
  • Pulsar: Applies Minor Mangle, reducing max Health of enemies by 10% for 30 secs.

Wild Impulse modifies it so that the cost is reduced by 10%, and it also places Damage-over-Time effect that lasts for 8 seconds, regardless of which morph is chosen. You can push the tooltip damage of this Set to 5066 with maximum Elemental Expert, Master-at-Arms and Elemental Talent High Elf passive.

Secondary Status Effects

Secondary Status Effects are debuffs that can occur on the enemies (or players) you are attacking as a result of the damage type you are using. Each Secondary Status Effect corresponds directly to a specific damage type and they are as follows (note that Physical Damage and Magic Damage cannot trigger Secondary Status Effects):

  • Burning: Flame damage over time for 4 seconds and ticks every 2 seconds. Chance to proc from any Flame damage.
  • Chilled: Applies Minor Maim, reducing targets damage done by 15%. Also applies a very small Damage over Time Effect.
  • Concussed: Applies Minor Vulnerability, increasing damage taken by 8% for 4 seconds. Chance to proc from any lightning damage. Does not proc off Staff Light and Heavy attacks but it can proc from splash damage of Heavy Staff attack. Also applies a very small Damage over Time Effect.
  • Poisoned: Applies Poison to target, dealing Poison damage to target for 12 secs. Procs from any Poison type damage.
  • Diseased: Applies Diseased status effect, reducing healing received by 15% for 10 secs. Procs from any Diseased type damage.

Every Skill, Set, Weapon Enchantment (and Light or Heavy Attack if using a Destro Staff) can trigger these Secondary Status Effects. However, the likelihood that they will trigger depends on several factors. Below are the base percentages that each Secondary Status Effect can proc when using one of the following:

  • Weapon Enchantments: 20%
  • Standard Ability: 10%
  • Area of Effect Abilities: 5%
  • Damage over Time Abilities: 3%
  • Area of Effect Damage over Time Abilities: 1%

You can see that Weapon Enchantments have the best chance of triggering a Secondary Status Effect, followed by single-target direct damaging Skills, while AoEs and DoTs have a much lower chance. However you can boost these numbers in 3 ways:

  • Elemental Force: This Destruction Staff passive increases the chance to set Burning, Chilled or Concussed by 100% at max rank. This effectively doubles the percentages listed above.
  • Glacial Presence: This Warden only passive increases the chance to set Chilled with Winter’s Embrace abilities by 200%, but this only applies to these Skills.
  • Charged Trait: This Weapon Trait will increase the chance of triggering a Secondary Status Effect by up to 220% at Legendary quality on a two-handed weapon. This is 220% of the percentages listed above.

So how do you then calculate the proc chance of something like using an AoE with a Destruction Staff with a Charged Trait? It’s really pretty simple if you follow this formula:

(5% * Elemental Force bonus) + (5% * Charged Trait bonus) + (5% * Glacial Presence bonus) = total percentage to proc on an AoE per target

To do this you multiply 5% (the percentage for Area of Effect Abilities) by 100% because of the Destruction Staff passive, and this gives you 5%. Then you multiply 5% by 220% because of the Charged Trait and you get 11%. Now you add the base value: 5% + the addition 5% from Destro Staff, with the additional 11% from Charged to get a grand total of 21% chance when using an AoE.

What You Need to Know About Wild Impulse Set

Wild Impulse modifies the Impulse ability from Destruction Staff Skill Line so that it does Damage over Time on top of the initial damage, at 10% reduced Magicka cost to boot. The DoT effect ticks 3 times in 8 seconds with each tick dealing a different type of elemental damage. The first tick does Shock, the second Flame, and the third Frost damage. This means you have a chance to set 3 different Secondary Status Effects on the enemies hit.

The DoT effect is overridden every time you cast Impulse with this Set, so there is no point in using Impulse again before the DoT runs out because the first tick doesn’t happen for a couple of seconds. To maximize effectiveness it is best to do your rotation after using Impulse and then reapplying it when DoT runs out. This way you don’t waste seconds where it was just about to apply before refreshing.

First tick starts couple of seconds after using Impulse

As of the Imperial City Update in July of 2015, the proc chance from an Area of Effect DoT is 1% to apply the above mentioned elemental Status Effects. This gets an additional 100% when using a Destruction Staff, which Wild Impulse is, and that number adds up to 2%. If you use the Charged Trait this will become a 4.2% chance per tick on each target, which is still extremely low, but it does give you the best chance of triggering as many Secondary Status Effects as possible.

These elemental ticks not only proc Secondary Status Effects, but they can also proc set bonuses that have a requirement to damage an enemy though either direct damage or via DoTs. For example, if you are wearing the Ilambris Monster Set there is 10% chance on each Fire and Shock tick tick to set off this set’s bonus which would create further AoE damage in the target area.

Notes for PvE Players

Impulse is a Magicka ability and therefore it is best used for Magicka-based builds, and when used in builds centered around AoE damage it can be extremely powerful. The problem is that you lose out on single-target damage, which is best against bosses. To maximize effectivenes in Trials/Dungeons I would suggest sticking to single-target damage builds, and using Impulse to increase your overall DPS.

Wild Impulse in combination with other AoE abilities can clear large enemy groups fast

Considering there are 3 types of elemental damage it is important to choose the right Destruction Staff. Lightning Staves are widely considered to be the best in general due to its Heavy Attack. It does AoE splash damage and it has a chance of putting the Concussed Status Effect on enemies, applying Minor Vulnerability that increases damage taken by 8%. Note for that splash to occur you need to have Tri Focus passive from Destro Staff Skill Line.

When using this Set it’s a great idea to have this Staff on your back bar so that you can cast it and then swap to your main damaging bar and have another completed Set. This would allow you to use a Monster Helm Set and 2 5 Piece Sets on your front bar, where you will be doing the bulk of your rotation. When playing with this setup, be sure to place other Skills on your back bar that will be less effected by the lack of a missing Set bonus. These might include Skills like Annulment or Channeled Focus.

Two Monster Helm Sets that work amazing for any Magicka DPS, and with Wild Impulse, are Ilambris and Grothdarr. They are both proc sets with high elemental damage, and every tick has a chance of setting the bonus off. They are also both relatively easy to get, and there are always people farming for them, so it’s not hard to get a group.

Notes for PvP Players

Wild Impulse isn’t really designed for PvP, where burst damage is king and you aren’t always hitting large groups of enemies with AoEs. Nonetheless, you can still use it effectively in large battles where there are lots of enemies. If you are using it in PvP then you will most certainly want to use the Elemental Ring morph, so that you can cast it from far away. Not only is this good for guarding entrances, where opponents must bottle up, but it can also be used to attack Keeps where there are usually a lot of NPCs.

Just like with PvE, you will most likely want this Set on your back bar, so that you can still wear two other 5 piece Sets and a Monster Helm Set when using your front bar. Which you wish to use is up to you, but Ilambris is still an excellent Monster Helm Set here, because of the chance to trigger both Meteor Showers (Shock and Fire).

Final Thoughts

Wild Impulse is great addition as as secondary weapon for any Magicka DPS builds. The AoE DoT damage that it does is quite high and it can proc Secondary Status Effects, as well as Set bonuses. It is great in both solo and group play, and should be on everyone’s radar who needs a good back bar Staff.

Wild Impulse’s DoT can be increased with Thaumaturge, Elemental Expert and Master-at-Arms. As strange as it may seem, Master-At-Arms does in fact increase the tick damage of the Set. DoTs can no longer Critically Strike in Elder Scrolls Online (as of the Homestead Update), meaning Wild Impulse’s DoT cannot crit. However, it still puts out substantial damage for what it does.

I mentioned it briefly above, but I will mention it again here, High Elf is the best Race for this Set because it increases the damage of every tick Wild Impulse does. Dark Elf can increase the Fire Damage, but no other Race will increase the damage of this Set. Play as a High Elf to maximize it’s effectiveness!


Stay tuned as I’ll be covering the rest of the Murkmire Sets, and be sure to check out our other ESO Guides!

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Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.

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