[Editor's Note: This guide was contributed by shadowbred with edits made for readability and clarity.]
Since we have the brand new feature in Mass Effect: Andromeda to use combinations of abilities for big effects, as well as a few "new" abilities at our disposal, I thought I would start a discussion on what sort of combinations people have found that work really well.
My Build: Currently I'm level 19, using a combination of Annihilation, Lance, and Energy Drain (EDIT: Replaced Energy Drain with Charge).
- Premise: Annihilation primes all enemies around me for detonations, and lance allows me to, with the proper evolution, detonate those primers without a cooldown at the cost some shield.
- I took Annihilation 6 evolved for radius and movement speed (you could do damage but the build is close range so the speed is nice), and 30% shield restore on kill. Lance is evolved for AoE and no cooldown/expend shield.
- In Biotics, I'm mainly just taking the active ability skills, and not the passives. I don't have enough points for all the supportive abilities yet. All three passives in Biotics have great things for this build, so as more levels come I'll try to grab them.
- In Tech, I'm using Energy Drain to level 5 evolved for AoE and maximum shield drain, and Team Support to level 5 evolved for power restoration).
- Basically, anything in range of your Annihilation gets automatically primed every time the DoT for Annihilation ticks (always). Lance has no cooldown, so you can throw it as fast as the animation will allow. With shield cost reduction, it costs me ~35% of my shield per lance, and every time I kill something inside my Annihilation aura I get roughly 50% shield refunded.
- Energy Drain is there just as a bonus ability/shield reset for killing hefty enemies that won't die easily. Get into range for Annihilation, Lance -> Lance -> Lance -> Energy Drain -> Lance -> Lance -> Lance (Energy Drain might be providing you shield over time, so just lance until you can't anymore). If that didn't get the job done, then you hide/evade until your shield regenerates or Energy Drain comes back up. Since Energy Drain is also a combo detonator, this means that we can create a total of seven biotic combos detonations in a row.
- Hornet Pistol: I have no idea why they made this gun so good, but it's better than most assault rifles with the weight of a Pistol. As surprising as this might sound, it's the only gun you need. Augmented for combo damage and power damage makes it remarkably effective.
- Black Widow Sniper Rifle: Useful because some bosses can't really be approached to Annihilation's effective range. Augmented with Bio-Organic Link (the ability that makes your gun instantly reload at the cost of 5% of your health). This augment is ridiculously good on this gun since you spend half your time reloading it.
- Ushior Pistol: This weapon is nearly useless for a close range build like this, but has an interesting function within this build. If you have the Shield Oscillator augment, you can get a great secondary effect out of this pistol, at the cost of having a gun that doesn't really fit the build. The shield oscillator causes you to regen 25% of your maximum shields every time you gun runs empty. The Ushior only has a one bullet magazine, effectively making itl the pistol version of a Widow. So every time you fire, you get a shield boost. This isn't quite as OP as you would think, since your Lance animation resets your reload animation, so you have to take the time to let it reload to get the benefit again.
- Armor: Remnant Heritage is what I use right now, mainly for the chest piece, which provides a big reduction in shield recharge delay. This armor is used just in case I run out of ways to regenerate my shield. The other pieces you could mix and match for power damage (N7 armor). I haven't discovered that many different sets of armor yet so I have no idea what other options might be available.
- Profile: You want to take Sentinel because your goal is to stack as much Restoration and Power Shield Cost Reduction as possible. You could take Adept, which would significantly boost the damage of your lance and constant detonations, but you'd spend a lot more time running around with no shields and you wouldn't have tech armor to provide mitigation while your shields are down.
RELATED: A Guide To The Best Skills In Mass Effect: Andromeda
Alternative Options: Rather than using Lance, you could use Charge as your detonator. This has the advantage of giving you insane shield refunds constantly, plus you don't need to find sources of Power Shield Cost Reduction anymore, so you could take the Adept profile. The downside is that Annihilation nerfs your recharge speed, so even with the fast recharge Charge evolution, you'll get way less detonations than using Lance.
You could also replace Energy Drain with Charge. This is a good option because it gives you a gap closer while also functioning as a shield reset. The problem with this, and why I opted out of it, was mainly because of points. I didn't take whatever training lets you level "Team Support", so I have to have points in the Tech tree just to unlock it and the Sentinel profiles. At later levels, or if I start the game over with a new training, I would take Team Support at the beginning and use charge instead, probably.
You could also skip Lance and use Concussive Shot with the "power cell evolution". This means that for general fighting, you still have tons of fast paced detonations, but for long fights you'll either run out of charges or have to restock constantly. I don't really see the advantage here other than it being technically possible.
Squad Mates: I use Jaal for the energy drain (it detonates if I'm near his target, plus it provides allied shield regen occasionally). I also use Cora because her Charge can detonate and her Shield Boost ability is handy sometimes, although her timing can be underwhelming.
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