Complete MapleStory 2 Soul Binder Build and Play Guide
Soul Binder is a magic ranged class in MapleStory 2 who uses orbs and energy to fight. Like my Runeblade guide, I have played Soul Binder since it officially released and tested out different builds. This class is a little harder to determine the optimal build for because it is in dire need of skill points. Most of the skills in Soul Binder's tree are great, but you can't get them all.
I'll be going over the play style/tips and suggested skill builds. This will be from a purely damage standpoint and I won't be going over any support builds. From my experience, you are better off picking Priest if you want a full support role. Soul Binder will help the group out more by either picking strictly damage or a damage/debuff hybrid.
Table of Contents
Soul Binder Basics
The most important thing to know about Soul Binders is their Mantra Array skill. Soul Binders can use this skill to create up to 4 orbs that surround them and empower some of their other skills. Each one also restores 12 spirit, so this is also how you will recover spirit.
Soul Binders are ranged magic damage dealers, and have skills that can debuff the enemy. This means they can lower certain stats on the enemy to make them easier to fight.
Most of their important abilities will use their Mantra cores and will generally want to use all 4. This means that you will be using the Mantra Array ability often, usually in between each skill. This can be tedious and requires setup, but gets easier over time and with higher attack speed.
The main stat for Soul Binder is Intelligence. Crit isn't terrible, but it is distinctly worse than Intelligence, so all your points should be put in Int.
This section will go over the important attack skills and which ones are affected by your Mantra cores.
This is the first attack you get and one you won't use later on. As you level, it will be useful and it doesn't use up spirit, but it also does not recover spirit so it's hard to fit into an effective rotation.
It shoots orbs at a 7.5 m range that hit up to 5 enemies in a 3-hit combo. Once you unlock Radiant Salvo at level 6, you won't be using Soaring Orb.
This is a rapid-fire attack that shoots orbs up to 7.5 m away and hits 4 times. Consumes 3 energy.
They will also ricochet to other enemies 4 times for the same amount of damage, but it can't hit the same target again.
Even though this ability consumes energy, it is so small that you won't run out. This is especially true because you will be using Mantra Array a lot, which will return much more spirit mid-combat.
As you level and unlock more skills, this will be more of a filler spell and not used as much.
I'm going to list the damage for this and the following abilities. All values listed will be those for when the skill has the maximum amount of points.
This is the first ability that gets empowered by your Mantra cores.
By default, this skill shoots an orb that travels 7.5 m and hits up to 8 enemies in its path for 1,021% damage.
It also shocks the enemies it hits for an additional 20% electric damage every second over 3 seconds. Consumes 4 spirit and has an 8 second cooldown.
Basically looks like a spirit bomb at max cores.
- Mantra Effect: Each core increases the damage of the blast.
- 3-4 Mantra Cores: In addition to the damage increase, it explodes at the end to deal almost the same amount of damage as the initial hit.
- Max damage: 1,281%+1,184% + 60% after 3 seconds = 2,525% damage.
You always want to shoot for using 4 cores. If for some reason you can't, you want to use at least 3 since that will give you the extra attack.
This kamehameha-esque ability shoots a beam of light at the enemy. It does damage up to 8 enemies withing 10.5 m in front of you. It also pushes you back 1.5 m. Consumes 6 spirit and has a 15 second cooldown.
This ability does not get empowered by Mantra, but it is still a strong ability. It can also be used at any time since you don't need Mantra cores for it.
This ability shoots 3 orbs up to 8 m in front you that hits up to 5 enemies within a 2.25 m radius. Consumes 4 spirit and has an 8 second cooldown.
- Mantra Effect: Each Mantra core adds an additional attack. The damage is not increased but each orb does the same amount of damage.
This means that with max cores, you will shoot 7 orbs out instead of 3. That is a huge damage increase, so you'll want to use this at max cores.
This ability sends a blast of energy along the ground up to 8 m in front of you towards the nearest enemy. It hits up to 8 enemies and stuns them for a very short time. Consumes 5 spirit and has a 16 second cooldown.
- Mantra Effect: Each Mantra core adds an additional attack. The damage is not increased, but each additional attack does the same amount of damage.
Just like Shooting Star, this will be a huge damage increase at max cores. It changes from 1 hit to 5 hits.
This is a two-part attack if you hold the skill down that launches an orb to the nearest enemy within 7.5 m in front of you. It deals 275% damage to 5 enemies within a 2.25 m radius.
It has no cooldown or spirit cost. It is not affected by mantra.
There are 2 passive abilities, 1 buff, and 2 debuffs.
This is the standard passive skill every class has and increases weapon attack for each point you put into it.
It starts at 1% and increases by 0.6% each level of the skill up to a max of 6.4%.
This is a passive that improves certain abilities when you use them with max Mantra cores.
Increases the damage of Expansion Blast, Shooting Star, and Energy Surge by 3% at base level and the recovery of Healing Bond by 3%. It goes up by 1% each level of the skill to a max of 12%.
This is a psuedo-buff. It doesn't actually increase any stats or damage directly, but it still results in a damage increase if used correctly.
This skill gives you 1 Mantra core automatically every 4 seconds over 20 seconds and has a 60 second cooldown.
At base level, this skill isn't worth it, but at level 8, it gives 1 core every 0.5 seconds. You will want to get it to 8 and stop. Level 9 and 10 only increase the duration by an extra second each level.
Since you don't have enough skill points to increase all your damage increasing skills, the extra 2 seconds are not worth the 2 points.
This is an attack that deals low damage, but decreases the target's accuracy and evasion. You need at least level 6 to unlock the other debuff, which is where you should keep it. In general, this debuff isn't worth using and is only there to unlock the other.
This is an attack that deals low damage and also decreases the target's defense and movement speed by 1% at base level. Consumes 15 spirit, lasts for 10 seconds and has a 10 second cooldown.
It decreases their defense and movement speed by an additional 1% each skill level, up to a max of 10%.
- Mantra Effect - Increases the duration and cooldown for each core, to a max of 30 seconds.
This debuff is a great damage increase for the whole party, though it is a personal damage loss.
The mantra effect is just so you don't have to refresh it as often, so it depends on what other abilities are available at the time as to whether or not to spend cores on it.
In general, you will want to max this skill out when doing hard content, such as chaos raids. The increase it gives to the party's overall damage will be better than your personal damage.
Skill Build and Playstyle
There are 2 builds that I set up. The first is the max damage build that I use for dungeons, and the other is a debuff build that I would use in chaos raids.
Each build uses 67 points, I didn't get the last skill point yet. I'll mention where you should put the last point in each build, but it won't affect the overall effectiveness too much.
Max Damage Build
There are 4 points in Soaring Orb because it is required to get Raging Tempest, which is required to get Energy Surge.
Only 6 points in Radiant Salvo because that is what's required to eventually unlock Shooting Star. This is a good skill, but there aren't enough points to increase it further.
Max points in Expansion Blast, Energy Surge, and Shooting Star because these are your strongest abilities and also get increased by the Animus Focus Passive.
Only 6 points in Orb Mastery since it is required to unlock Animus Focus. Also, 8 points in Narubashan Unleashed because that gets you the maximum benefit.
I ended up putting 7 points in Flash Strike and 5 in Animus Focus because that was the combination I found did the most damage on the training dummy. I've also tested each build in dungeons and this usually still did the most.
If you ever miss any of the empowered abilities or don't use them on cooldown, then you will get more damage by taking 3 points out of Animus Focus and maxing out Flash Strike instead.
The last point can be put in Animus Focus.
As for using it, you want to always start with 4 Mantra cores ready before combat. Start with Shooting Star or Expansion Blast, depending on your positioning, then use Narubashan Unleashed.
After that, use Flash Strike on cooldown, Energy Surge, Expansion Blast, and Shooting Star on cooldown and with 4 cores active. Radiant Salvo is used in between these abilities if everything is on cooldown.
This is similar to the max damage build, except you max out the Static Flash debuff.
I took points from Flash Strike and Energy Surge because they deal less damage than Shooting Star and Expansion Blast. There are 6 points in Raging Tempest because you need that to unlock Static Flash. Only 1 point in Animus Focus just to get the initial 3% damage bonus.
For the last point, I would put it in Energy Surge.
I won't say too much here, but it is important to know that Attack Speed is very good for Soul Binders. In terms of weapon, I would still use MSL for the biggest increase, but Ancient Rune is not a bad choice since it gives attack speed.
This means that Varrekant's Wings and Kandura's Pendant are absolutely best in slot because they each give attack speed in addition to their other bonuses.
You will want to aim for having at least 110% attack speed. This will make your Mantra charging less clunky, laggy, and give you an overall smoother game play experience.
Positioning and Movement
As a ranged class, positioning is important, but even more important for Soul Binder.
You will need to test out Expansion Blast yourself to find the optimal range, but make sure you are far enough away so that that you are able to get both hits with it.
Of course, this is not always possible on bosses that move a lot, so just getting the first hit in is good enough if needed.
Shooting Star's animation can be cancelled with a dash after the initial star goes out. This will cause the rest of the stars to continuing hitting the enemy, but now you are free to use other skills and move.
This is useful because it allows you to do more damage since you don't have to wait. It also allows you to get full damage in if you have to suddenly move.
Soul Binder is a good burst damage class that can output high numbers when played correctly. It definitely suffers from not having enough skill points, but a skilled Soul Binder can still do more than enough damage to clear any content currently in the game.
That's it for my MapleStory 2 Soul Binder guide. I hope I helped you understand the intricacies of this class and how you can improve your damage with them.
It takes some getting used to, but I find it to be a very fun class to play when you get the hang of it. Let me know if you have any questions or found other builds that work well for you!