Psyker is not bad, but his kit is misleading and weird (I was [kinda] wrong)

Ok, so.
Not too long ago I posted about Psyker lvl 30 feeling bad on Heresy and up (Level 30 Psyker feels aweful above Malice threat level).
Since then I’ve been researching the topic and testing quite a bit, and I have to say that I was indeed wrong. Psyker is not bad, quite the contrary. I found myself carrying my team in multiple occasions and even clutching my way to save 3 team mates by dealing with a horde by my lonesome.

So no, Psyker is not bad at all, quite the opposite.
But it still has issues with the design of his kit.

Thing is that the way Psyker is presented by his own design he should rely very heavily on his Brain Burst skill. So much of his kit is built around that. And it works perfectly fine up until Malice. 'Till then I found myself alternating between staff/melee and BB with an almost 50/50 ratio. It was satisfying, it felt strategic and rewarding.
But as soon as I tried Heresy BB became pretty much useless except in very few occasions, most of which would have been better solved by a careful Veteran to be honest. The only occasions when I felt that BB was of some use was to burst the occasional sniper or to stunlock Ogryns for my team mates to finish up.
For the rest I practically built my character so that I don’t have to use my BB anymore.

I’m running a Purgatus/Tank build that is centered around auto-generation of warp-charges thanks to Ascendant Blaze, Psychic Communion and Kinetic Flayer. For tankyness I got Kinetic Shield and power-sword. I stick to the back generally, histerically checking that I’m surrounded by my team wipeing away hordes for them with the staff and with my ult. I use my force sword to tank out of sticky situations and infinitely stun-lock enemies for my team mates to kill them more easily or to give them time to come and help me out.

So far I’ve had a blast playing like this, and though playing with randos means that sometimes you die due to poor cohesion/people rushing, I found myself to be infinitely more durable and capable of completely obliterate hordes.

One problem is that the same build without Kinetic Shield makes this glass-cannon all glass, and Kinetic Shield without the Deflector blessing it’s still quite a gamble (I’ve got a great sword with Deflector recently and it does make all the difference).

Basically the three pillars of this build are: purgatus, Kinetic Shield and Ascendant Blaze. Notice how none of the them is BB? Yeah…
This also makes the psyker role quite a bit harder to define. The way I built it is basically a free flame-thrower you can have following you so you can equip your zealot with something else. I’m literally THE BEST in every team at dealing with CC and hordes and THE WORST at dealing with specialists.

And that I feel is a complete 180 on the role I played at the beginning and which seems to be the role FS wants the Psyker to fulfill.


Thanks for sharing this and especially for sharing that you’re opinion and views have changes. That’s great to be willing to reassess your positions!

I’ve come to a similar conclusion regarding Psyker and I’ve been saying essentially the same thing as you for a while now.

People often have the following initial perception of the psyker as follows:

  • “Psyker = Backline Mage”
  • "Brain Burst = “Main Ability for Sniping”
  • “Warp Charges” = “Must have maxed out at all times!!!”

Everyone of those is false IMHO. The psyker can be very tanky and deals high damage in melee with the right kit (it’s the best armored elite killer with Force Sword). If you’re just sitting in the back endlessly BB’ing and “sniping” you’re not using your kit to its full potential and you’re not really giving all you can to your team.

BB 100% has usefulness at higher Heresy+ difficulties:

  • Can still one-shot many specials. Vets on the team can’t always be everywhere. BB is great support compliment.
  • Can BB Bulwarks as they close in - especially strong when there are multiple ones and your team’s ranged attacks can’t get an angle to shoot around their shields. It does tons of damage and helps burst them down.
  • Killing specials that are running away or go out of sight (dogs, snipers, trappers, bombers, etc.)

Ain’t that true though? Like what staff exactly offers you sniping ability. Left click is pretty abyssmal in terms of damage or aim. Sure you can pick a gun, but one the class is clearly more tailored towards force weapons and two as soon as you take a staff, BB immediately has to fullfill the role of sniping utility.

I agree with you if you’re talking about sniping long range enemies such as the snipers, gunners and reapers. If you’re talking about ranged scabs however, it’s not viable at all, and instead you need a bolt staff or gun to handle the situation. In my experience so far the following goes:

  • BB single target elite/special sniping
  • Surge staff, close-mid range cc
  • Purgatus , close-mid range damage and stagger
  • Voidstrike staff, all-range damage and stagger
  • Trauma, all-range control and stagger
    I have limited experience with the trauma staff, but all staffs fill a niche and has clear draw-backs. For long-range targets, generally it’s either BB for single target or voidstrike for single targets or groups. Either they die or they’re staggered long enough for your team to be able to shift focus to them.

You are on money with pretty much everything.
The one caveat I’d add pertaining to Voidstrike is that its charge up time is pretty long, so you wanna be sure that you don’t miss, which is why he mostly works with groups, as those are the targets, where you actually are likely to hit an enemy and not just the ground around them. The explosion damage from ground attacks is not that great and missing due to slow orb speed also very much so within the realm of possibilities and yeah as I said above, left click is ass.
→ Voidstrike mostly for groups or single target stagger, not so much for single target elimination

I also don’t have much experience with Trauma staff, but from what I remember of its mechanics from the closed beta, it isn’t very suitable for single target elimination either and I do not know how far its range really extends.