From the most flexible character in Torchlight II — the Engineer — we switch to the least, the Outlander. The Outlander has a problem in that the requirement for its weapons is dexterity, but damage is based off of strength, and as such there is only one viable core build that works in elite difficulties.
Having said this, Outlander can be an incredible blast to play, so we will throw in a super-serious build for those elite players, as well as a fun build that you can essentially make your own for as long as it continues to work.
Destroyer of Worlds
Destroyer of Worlds (Armory link here) is a damage-dealing monstrosity capable of hitting the highest damages in the game. Outlander is very much a glass-cannon class that relies a little more on manual dexterity than others, however this build works at just about any level to completely lay waste to any enemy in your path. Use with caution.
Stat wise we are going for an all-out focus build, while also hitting the dexterity sweet-spot of 109 for maximum dodge. There will be no strength in this build, which might come as a surprise to some Outlanders, but here’s the thing: since you won’t actually be damaging your enemies using weapon damage, great weapons aren’t as important as status afflictions or bonus crit damage. Focus is important because it gives bonuses to your ‘magic damage’ which a lot of your skills are based upon.
You want two weapon sets for this build. Your main weapons might be a surprise, and that is… dual wands. Wands make use of focus, and also offer fairly attractive bonuses – there are great wands later on which offer a damage boost and two sockets each, allowing those vital +crit damage skulls to work wonders. You also want an offhand weapon (or weapons) capable of using Venemous Hail, an important skill in some late boss fights. You want extra focus in your armor sockets, also.
Glaive Throw is your main damaging attack. Even though this is the case, the skill becomes exponentially more mana intensive the higher its level gets while the damage it gains is only a minor boost. Cursed Daggers provides additional damage here also, increasing your crit chance which in turn lets Glaive Throw hit those all important crit numbers. Keep Glaive Throw at level 5, but push Curse Daggers all the way.
Flaming Glaives and Venomous Hail are your two boss skills. Flaming Glaives is your primary choice, which also makes your attack skills more powerful. Venomous Hail is important however, for boss fights with obstacles that Flaming Glaives has difficulty getting around.
During these times you have no option but to resort to a different attack, and Venomous Hail is it. Max Flaming Glaives as soon as possible, but take Venomous Hail only to Tier 2.
Your escape skills are Bramble Wall and either Burning Leap or Rune Vault. Experiment with either of the jumping skills to decide which works best for you, and then respec to drop the skill you won’t use. Bramble Wall is very important for times where you can’t deal with the massive horde coming your way and want to split it down the middle. It’s also important in obstacle filled boss fights if you want to force the boss to take a specific path. Only sink one point into your two choices here.
For utility, Blade and Stone Pact provide excellent protection from most of the enemies you will face when your dodge fails. Repulsion Hex is a great skill also, providing ample protection against many enemy types who try to attack you in melee. You’re going to want 10 points in Stone Pact, and max the rest.
Finally — your passives. Master of the Elements is vital to this entire build, which focuses on poison damage quite considerably. Dodge Mastery adds incredible survivability, and Share the Wealth can make your charge powers almost doubly potent. None of these can be overlooked. Critical Strikes and Concentration are both powerful dropped skills for this build.
Mad Genius is another Focus build that takes advantage of an interesting bug currently within the Torchlight II client. That bug is that weapon damage skills use the weapon damage of your right hand weapon, while skill requirements are based on your left. This creates an interesting character choice in that you can use a wand in your right for incredible weapon damage, while keeping a basic pistol in your left for skill requirements. This build is an adapted work from Empyrean on the Runic Games forum, who discovered this initial bug.
Stats are distributed almost identically to the first build, going heavy on focus, and then trying to hit that dodge sweetspot, however if you are playing hardcore you can throw some vitality in there. You’re going to want any old pistol and a wand, the wand should ideally be poison damage to gain a significant boost due to your skills. Your socketing choices are pretty much entirely up to you, as the biggest benefit is simply from your weapon damage. You can drop the wand/pistol combination when you reach max level for any other elemental weapon of your choosing.
Chaos Burst is simply an incredible skill with this build, especially with its Tier 3 bonus. That and Glaive Throw will likely be your main skills, although Glaive Throw will not reach the damage heights of your previous build. Keep Glaive Throw at 5 as it does not gain any significant damage increases at higher levels, but instead costs a huge amount more.
The other star ability of this build is Poison Burst, which does a stupidly huge amount of damage to targets, and is perfect for dealing with bosses. You’ll want to max this also. Then it’s simply a matter of personal preference! You’ll want Master of Elements for a straight damage increase, as well as Share the Wealth, but everything else is your choice.
If you want to build Shadowlings at this stage, you can, just be aware that on elite difficulties they currently pretty much die as they spawn. Another word of warning, Shadowshot is simply not as powerful as Chaos Burst, despite its ‘on paper’ damage being higher! Finally, rapid fire doesn’t work with this build at all, so don’t use it unless you intend on switching to a different weapon setup at very high levels.
Make this build your own, and don’t forget to have fun with it.