Machinist Guide

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In-depth guide to Machinist
– Lynn Nuvestrahl (Odin)
Table of Contents

Machinist is a fast-paced ranged DPS that specializes in abusing raid buffs with flexible burst timings and maintaining uninterrupted DPS through most mechanics thanks to their mobility.


6th GCD Wildfire (General Purpose)

Prepull: Reassemble + Tincture

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This is the default opener that offers the best gains from raid buffs.

4th GCD Wildfire

Prepull: Reassemble + Tincture

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This is a slightly faster Wildfire that still catches a fair amount of buffs and allows for some Wildfire drifting without delaying Drills and Air Anchors.

3rd GCD Wildfire

Prepull: Reassemble + Tincture

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Very fast Wildfire for squeezing extra Wildfire GCDs into tight uptime windows. Misses most raid buffs.

2nd GCD Wildfire

Prepull: Reassemble + Tincture

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Even faster Wildfire. Rarely more useful than other setups.

Visual Opener Overview
by Sune

Single Target Rotation


Full 120s rotation (each row is an 8-GCD segment)

The structure of the single target rotation is built from the following static elements that should be used as close to cooldown as possible:

  • Drill 20s cooldown
  • Air Anchor 40s cooldown
  • Reassemble (REA) 60s cooldown
  • Barrel Stabilizer (BS) 120s cooldown
  • Wildfire (WF) 120s cooldown

Additionally, the following flexible elements should be used in a way that avoids wasting resources and gains the most from raid buffs that go out every 60s, 90s, 120s or 180s:

  • Hypercharge (HC) (Heat gauge)
  • Gauss Round (GR) and Ricochet (Rico) (Charges)
  • Automaton Queen (AQ) (Battery gauge)

Drill and Air Anchor

Drill and Anchor should always have 0-2 GCDs between them either in the front or tail end to allow comfortable Hypercharge and combo refresh timings. We’ll use 0 GCDs for the examples below but other acceptable alignments are noted in grey.

Drill and Anchor alignments

Drill’s 20s cooldown means that it should be used every 8 GCDs and Anchor similarly every 16 GCDs with 40s. This divides the GCD rotation neatly into 8 GCD segments.

If we stack six of these 8 GCD segments on top of each other, we get the full 120s rotation. When the empty cells are filled with the combo sequence, we can see how the rotation loops around.

Full 120s GCD rotation loop


Reassemble (REA) should be paired with Drill every 60 seconds. This means that it’s not used on the 55s cooldown. The odd cooldown is purely for making it easier to pair Reassemble with Drill when its cooldown is scaled by skill speed.

Due to not gaining anything from Critical and Direct Hit raid buffs, it’s usually best used outside of raid buff windows with an early prepull cast.

Barrel Stabilizer

Barrel Stabilizer (BS) generates 50 heat and allows us to quickly use Hypercharge with Wildfire in our opener as well as get extra Hypercharges later in the rotation. Apart from the opener it should generally be used after Wildfires to avoid any excessive heat losses from overcapping.


To get the most out of Wildfire (WF), it needs to be paired with Hypercharge and fit 6 total GCDs. Wildfire registers GCDs only when the damage is resolved on the target, so Drill and Air Anchor should be avoided as the last GCD in the sequence because their damage registers slower than other GCDs. However, buffs and debuffs are snapshot on application, not on explosion.

There are three possible setups to achieve the 6 GCDs:

  1. Wildfire + Hypercharge → 5 Heat Blast → 1 GCD
  2. Wildfire → 1 GCD → Hypercharge → 5 Heat Blast
  3. Hypercharge → 1 Heat BlastWildfire → 4 Heat Blast → 2 GCD

The first option is the most lenient timing wise (~0.25s longer error margin). The second option allows an earlier Wildfire in opener and certain Barrel Stabilizer setups. The third option allows the best raid buff multiplier snapshot in the opener. However, Wildfire cannot Critical or Direct Hit and gains nothing from raid buffs boosting those chances so it’s best to target multipliers such as Trick Attack or Embolden.

As pointed out in the opener section, the position of Wildfire in the rotation can be modified to fit the encounter and party composition:

Different Wildfire alignments


Hypercharge (HC) should always be followed by 5 Heat Blasts that replace a segment of 3 combo GCDs. It should not be used when Drill or Air Anchor cooldown is lower than 8 seconds to avoid delaying them.

Each cast costs 50 heat to use and 15 heat to execute because of the replaced Heated Shots for a total cost of 65 heat. Without any Hypercharges added, the 120s rotation would generate 195 heat from the Heated Shots with an additional 50 heat from Barrel Stabilizer for a total heat budget of 245 heat.

Unfortunately the heat count doesn’t divide evenly with Hypercharge costs and results in some awkward alignments. The heat allows 3-4 Hypercharge casts each loop but occasionally the 4th Hypercharge has to be skipped and heat saved for the upcoming Wildfire.

Generating 50 heat takes 10 heated shots and along with two Drills and one Anchor cast it takes a total of ~32.5s to accomplish. This means that unless we have at least 65 heat saved when Wildfire’s cooldown hits ~33s, the 4th Hypercharge must be skipped and heat saved for Wildfire to use it on cooldown. If we’re anywhere between 65 and 100 heat at that point, we must Hypercharge to avoid overcapping.

General Hypercharge timings

*replace with combo to save heat for Wildfire when needed
Using Hypercharge 3-4 GCDs after Reassembled Drill will make it align with the 60s, 120s and 180s raid buff windows but the timings can be adjusted as heat or other circumstances call for it. If we’re unable to Hypercharge during a buff window, we can usually still save Gauss Round and Ricochet charges for it.

Skill Speed Adjustment

The rotation aligns perfectly at base skill speed with 2.50 GCD. For every 0.06s reduction in GCD speed one filler GCD must be added to the rotation to delay Drill and Air Anchor to preserve the Wildfire alignment between them. If fillers aren’t used, Wildfire will eventually drift to overlap them. This can be delayed by using Wildfire early in the opener but it’s inevitable within ~6 minutes of uptime.

The timing of the filler GCDs doesn’t matter all that much but for simplicity’s sake we can add the necessary filler GCDs before starting each Wildfire sequence by delaying Reassembled Drill and the following Anchor on purpose.

Delaying the start of Wildfire segment by X GCDs

Gauss Round and Ricochet

These oGCDs are part of our flexible damage kit. Some charges can be saved for raid buffs but generally they should be used as quickly as possible and their charges kept low to avoid overcapping.

As a general rule, we should never have more than 1 of each before entering Hypercharge and at least one of each should be weaved during Hypercharge to avoid overcapping. But don’t try to weave more than one oGCD between each Heat Blast, the 1.5s recast doesn’t allow it.

Automaton Queen

BatteryPunchesDurationPile BunkerTotalPot / Battery
Queen potency at different battery levels

Automaton Queen (AQ) is another flexible burst ability. The damage scales linearly with the battery gauge so it should be used to target favorable raid buff windows since Queen mirrors any buffs we are affected by, except Dragon Sight.

The 120s rotation generates 150-160 battery depending on if we’re using 3 or 4 Hypercharges within that loop. This means Queen needs to be summoned at least twice to avoid overcapping.

Since most raid buffs have either 120s or 180s cooldown, the easiest way to target both and avoid overcapping is to pair Queen with Reassemble every 60s. The summoning timing needs to be adjusted slightly based on battery because Queen’s uptime varies with battery gauge:

  • 50-60 battery → Summon 1 GCDs after Reassembled Drill.
  • 70-80 battery → Summon after Reassembled Drill.
  • 90-100 battery → Summon before Reassembled Drill.

If the party does not have 60s or 180s buff windows to take advantage of, the first summon in the loop can be done at 50-70 battery in order to save 90-100 battery for a bigger burst at the next 120s window. Example battery plans below:

Time(s)Buffs60s plan90s plan120s+180s plan
0-2060s, 90s, 120s, 180s(70)(100)(100)
40-60  5050
100-12090s 90 
120-14060s, 120s70-8050100
180-20060s, 90s, 180s805080
240-26060s, 120s707070
280-30090s 5050
Loop back to start
Example battery plans

Rook Autoturret

Only relevant for level 70 content.

*It’s possible to get an extra shot depending on ping and timing but it can be extremely inconsistent.

BatteryShots*DurationOverdriveTotalPot / Battery
502 (3)7.5200360 (440)7,20 (8.80)
703 (4)10.5280520 (600)7,43 (8.57)
904 (5)13.5360680 (760)7,56 (8.44)
Rook potency at different battery levels

Multiple Target Rotation

The general structure of the rotation stays the same as in the single target rotation but single target skills are replaced with their AoE variants.


Replaces Drill against 2 targets or more.

Auto Crossbow

Replaces Heat Blast against 3 targets or more.


Ticks once per second for a total of 11 ticks over 11 seconds which makes it stronger than Spread Shot. It should be used against 3 targets or more. Technically it’s a marginal gain already at 2 targets but the misalignment from the GCD rotation and the movement restrictions are rarely worth it.

Spread Shot

Replaces Heated Shots against 3 targets or more.


Use with Drill or Air Anchor against 1-3 targets. Against 4 or more targets it should be paired with Spread Shot or Auto Crossbow.

Do not use Reassemble with Bioblaster because it only affects the initial hit and not the Damage-over-Time!

Ping Adjustments

Ping problems with machinist are related to weaving oGCDs between Heat Blasts. The obvious solution is to minimize weaving during Hypercharge by spending all Gauss Round and Ricochet charges before starting it and by using Wildfire + Hypercharge double weave to give Wildfire as much error margin as possible.

Prepull: Tincture

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Virtual-Private-Networks and tunneling services can help stabilize connection and lower ping by improving network routing to the game server. It’s important to note that regular privacy focused VPNs can actually make the connection much slower. It’s better to use a VPN focused strictly for gaming:

Gear sets

General Stat Priority

Optimizing gear sets comes down to finding the most efficient stat tiers to hit the highest damage multiplier available. This can mean deviating from the general priority due to the stats available on gear and some pieces being more efficient than others. Skill speed can also greatly alter the priority depending on how efficient it is to hit a good rotational GCD tier.

Item Level 530
  • 2.50 GCD Raid Body: Etro
  • 2.50 GCD Tome Body: Etro
Item Level 500
Item Level 475 (TEA)
Item Level 375 (UWU)
  • Synced gear above i470
  • BiS Options: Ariyala
Item Level 345 (UCOB)
  • Synced gear above i418
  • BiS Options: Ariyala

Optimization Tricks

Flamethrower Fishing

Flamethrower can be used during downtime to fish for a tick before re-engaging. However, the first GCD shouldn’t be delayed just for the sake of getting the extra 100 potency.

Drifting Wildfire, Early Barrel Stabilizer

By drifting Wildfire casts on purpose and changing the Wildfire setup depending on heat, it’s possible to get a faster Hypercharge without saving heat for the next Wildfire at specific kill times around 6:20-8:20. However, it requires a 3rd or 4th GCD Wildfire in the opener to allow for the drifting without delaying Drills and Air Anchors and will miss out on some raid buff gains, so if no extra Hypercharge is gained it can turn out to be a loss.

Wildfire and Barrel Stabilizer setups with 3rd GCD Wildfire go as follows (2.50 GCD):

  1. Opener: Wildfire + Hypercharge
  2. 2m: Wildfire + Hypercharge → GCD → Barrel Stabilizer
  3. 4m: Wildfire → GCD → Barrel Stabilizer + Hypercharge
  4. 6m: Wildfire → GCD → Barrel Stabilizer + Hypercharge
  5. 8m: Wildfire → GCD → Barrel Stabilizer + Hypercharge
  6. 10m: delay into Wildfire + Hypercharge → GCD → Barrel Stabilizer
  7. 12m: Wildfire + Hypercharge → GCD → Barrel Stabilizer
  8. 14m: Wildfire → GCD → Barrel Stabilizer + Hypercharge
  9. 16m: Wildfire → GCD → Barrel Stabilizer + Hypercharge
  10. 18m: delay into Hypercharge → GCD → Wildfire

Actual encounters with downtime will see these setups change due to changing heat counts but the above can be used as a proof of concept and works for 100% uptime at 2.50 GCD speed.


Document written by Lynn Nuvestrahl (Odin). Feedback, suggestions and questions are welcome at The Balance discord Machinist channels or at Lynn#8794.

Special thanks

Anonymous mch
0rp (Irina Sykes, Odin)
Shuni (Shunittseru Tohka, Cerberus)
Sune (Sune Dakwhil, Twintania)
Contra (Contra Banned, Gilgamesh)
Allagan Studies (The Theoryjerks)
And everyone in The Balance Machinist community!


  • 1-Jun-2019
    • Primer created.
  •  28-Jun-2019
    • Primer updated to official launch values.
  •  29-Jun-2019
    • Updated Queen usage.
  • 1-Jul-2019
    • Updates to Flamethrower math.
  • 4-Jul-2019
    • Added notes on Queen usage, tentative opener, more notes on the rotation and skill speed.
  • 15-Jul-2019
    • All sections expanded towards guide status. Added Gearing section.
  • 18-Jul-2019
    • Added notes on Rook behavior. Primer updated to Guide status.
  • 19-Jul-2019
    • Added skill icons and fixed some typos.
  • 25-Jul-2019
    • Small change to Late Wildfire opener, now starts with Gauss Round + Ricochet after 1st GCD, also broke up the Reassemble + Barrel Stabilizer double weave so that the rotation scales better with skill speed. Slight update to Fast Wildfire opener as well to open with Gauss Round + Ricochet as there’s no downside to delaying Barrel Stabilizer.
  • 26-Jul-2019
    • Updated Fast Wildfire opener to reflect new findings on Drill and Air Anchor delays. Added a note of the delay to Drill and Air Anchor sections.
  • 31-Jul-2019
    • Updated for patch 5.05. Updated Reassemble info and rewrote the skill speed section due to new available GCD tiers as the cooldown on Reassemble is no longer a limiting factor. Added Best-in-slot section.
  • 9-Aug-2019
    • Added Optimization section. Changed general purpose opener.
  • 11-Aug-2019
    • Fixed Chain Stratagem timing, updated General Purpose Opener and both cdh and multiplier openers using early Anchors by moving Anchor to 4th GCD to make use of the Chain. Added a section on how to deal with ping issues along with modified opener.
  • 20-Aug-2019
    • Added sections on Gauss Round / Ricochet, Hypercharge and Queen optimization.
  • 21-Aug-2019
    • Updated BiS sets. 2.48 GCD gear set switched one Det meld into DH. Added another equally strong gear set for 2.44 GCD, the faster GCD can be good at squeezing extra Drills / Anchors with fast instances.
  • 1-Sep-2019
    • Reworded Notes on Rook Autoturret and updated the Rook Summary based on new testing.
  • 11-Sep-2019
    • Big update on Barrel Stabilizer usage added to Optimization, updated related references on Hypercharge to reflect it. Additional battery plan added for 120s/180s only timings.
  • 28-Oct-2019
    • Updated potencies based on patch 5.1 preliminary notes.
  • 28-Nov-2019
    • Added 2.38 GCD BiS set.
  • 2-Mar-2020
    • Added i500 set for patch 5.2.
  • 20-Mar-2020
    • Overhauled the Rotation section with longer explanation and better overview of alignments. Edited various sections for better clarity and wording.
  • 12-Apr-2020
    • Added a small section about opener modifications to the Rotation segment.
  • 16-Jun-2020
    • Complete rewrite of the guide to condense information.
  • 20-Aug-2020
    • Updated gear sets.
  • 22-Aug-2020
    • Updated gear sets.
  • 12-Oct-2020
    • Updated rotation tables to better represent Hypercharge. Moved Skill Speed Adjustment section to where it makes more sense.

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