Humor Strategy Theorycrafting 3

Building Taka for v1.3.0

Tick Tock-a

Since the release of 1.2.0 a month ago, I’ve had a lot people asking me how they should be building Taka differently. In particular, Shatterglass is more powerful now and the revised Broken Myth isn’t really effective with the hit-and-run tactics of an assassin. Also, with the advent of tanky Koshka builds, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Super Evil Megacorp has lived up to its name by trying to convince us that assassins should be played by building damage.

If you’re not already familiar, Taka’s Kaiten and X-Retsu have some of the best base damages in the game. Not including shield defenses, a quick combo does around 1400 raw crystal damage without any additional offensive items. However, because Taka’s heroic perk gives him 125% cooldown acceleration and his abilities are already on short cooldowns many people suppose that building more damage is the way to go.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and play testing (and math!) and I’m very excited to reveal the latest and best way to build Taka.

Tick Tock-a

First, let’s introduce you to the Tick Tock-a build, then I’ll provide the reasoning and analysis behind it.

  • Clockwork
  • Clockwork
  • Clockwork
  • Clockwork
  • Clockwork
  • … and Clockwork (surprise!)

One of the biggest problems a lot of Taka players face is that they hit their enemies with X-Retsu and Kaiten and then have to wait upwards of 9 seconds before they can strike with another combo. Because Taka is so squishy, what else is a player to do except hit Kaku, hide inside a box, and abandon his teammates until his abilities come off cooldown again. To resolve this issue, massive amounts of cooldown acceleration is required.

With 6 Clockworks being used in conjunction with Taka’s heroic perk, this will give him a total of 425% cooldown acceleration. Here’s the end result:

  • Kaiten Cooldown = 15 seconds / (1 + 4.25) = 2.8 seconds
  • Kaku Cooldown (rank 4) = 22 seconds / (1 + 4.25) = 4.2 seconds
  • X-Retsu Cooldown = 20 seconds / (1 + 4.25) = 3.8 seconds


Key strategies and observations

A frequently underutilized feature of Taka’s Kaiten is the 0.5 second invulnerability when he’s flipping through the air. With Tick Tock-a you’re able to do this every 2.8 seconds, meaning he’s completely invulnerable 17% of the time. If you time your Kaiten to be used during enemy attacks and abilities, Tick Tock-a doesn’t need defensive items – he just avoids the damage.

Another frequently underutilized feature is the 50% health regeneration debuff on Taka’s X-Retsu. This is particularly effective against many common heroes and builds that use health regeneration to sustain them during fights, such as: Eve of Harvest Skaarf and Celeste, Krul, Ardan, Adagio, Serpent Mask SAW, weapon Glaive, weapon Taka. Since X-Retsu’s debuff lasts for 4 seconds, the 3.8 second cooldown of Tick Tock-a allows you to constantly keep this debuff on your opponent, making him a hard counter to the aforementioned heroes and builds.

Since rank 4 Kaku lasts 4.25 seconds and Tick Tock-a has a 4.2 second cooldown on Kaku, it opens up many doorways for a Taka player:

  • The speed boost on Kaku enables you to consistently be the fastest hero in the game. If Koshka has max stacks on her passive, she’s faster; but it only lasts for 5 seconds and she can’t maintain those stacks forever.
  • You can stealth up to 7 times in 30 seconds. Flares have a 30 second cooldown. <grin>
  • You can use your Kaku to perpetually maintain the stacks on your heroic perk, allowing you to always critical strike with basic attacks and always have that bonus 125% cooldown acceleration.
  • You can stay constantly invisible if you so desire. Your ganks could begin from across the map! This also allows you to be the supreme jungle invader, stealing jungle camps right from under your opponents’ noses and then disappearing again.
  • I’ve even considered taking a 5th rank in Kaku so that I could constantly be regenerating 1% of my health.



Unlike the burst build  I evangelized for so long – Tension Bow, Aftershock, Broken Myth – you can’t measure this build on maximum burst potential. Instead, because we’re heavily leveraging cooldown acceleration, this build needs to be measured by damage per second (DPS).

Here’s what the DPS looks like for Tick Tock-a:

Taka with 6 clockworks

Now let’s take the money we would’ve spent on Clockworks and spent them on raw damage instead – i.e. 4 Shatterglasses.

Taka with 4 shatterglass

Amazing, eh? While the burst damage of the Shatterglasses is superior, Clockworks outperform Shatterglass when it comes to damage output over a period of time. Now, keep in mind that with the Shatterglasses you will not see any of the “soft benefits” that were mentioned in the key strategies and observations section (above).


As I’ve been slowly introducing this build to others and evangelizing it, here are some of the popular objections and questions I receive.

Q: “Wut? No boots?”

No need for boots. Between the constant speed boost of Kaku and the periodic speed boots from the heroic perk, you will be flying around the map with no issue.

Q: “What’s the build progression?”

Initially focus on building Chronographs. When you see yourself burning through energy too quickly, supplement your build with Energy Batteries and Void Batteries. When you run out of item slots, upgrade a Void Battery and a Chronograph into a Clockwork.

Q: “Don’t you think if this build was viable someone else would’ve discovered it by now?”

Probably not. If you attempted to make this build prior to v1.2.0, Clockwork did not have enough energy regeneration to sustain the rapid usage of Taka’s energy-hungry abilities. As of v1.2.0, Clockwork was revised to provide a significant boost to energy and energy regeneration, thus making this build possible.

Q: “How am I supposed to save up 12000 gold for 6 Clockworks as Taka?!?!”

Details… details… you’re thinking too hard.

Q: “Is this an April Fools joke?”

Yes… with one big exception: all the math and logic that I shared is 100% correct and true – which is pretty scary and fun.


  • Reply
    Apr 04, 2015 2:45 pm

    There is one issue with this build (other than the fact that it is an April fools joke), and that is that even though Kaku at level 4 has a 4.5 second duration, and the cool down with six clockworks is 4.2 seconds, Kaku doesn’t go on cooldown until after the 4.5 second duration, even if you exit the ability by being attacked or attacking an enemy. So that means that you can’t always be invisible or regenerating health, and you don’t get that infinite speed boost. However, the cool down is still quite low, so you would be able to take advantage of the jungle invade potential. All in all though, this is a great guide, and th build is actually surprisingly viable. Keep up the good work!

    • Reply
      Apr 05, 2015 10:16 am

      Good catch! If this were really the case, it could be kind of scary.

  • Reply
    Apr 01, 2015 9:46 am

    Yeah, don’t worry about the 12,000 gold price tag on the finished build. Every finished build takes a ton of money. Relatively speaking, I feel like Clockwork is actually a rather affordable item. Have you ever tried Sorrowblade and 5 Tyrant’s Monocles on Ringo? It’s not an easy feat! It’s also lame when you die before getting the second auto attack off because you don’t have any defensive stats!

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