After farming Meph for some more essences, I gave this a try. Mostly the same gear except no Ber rune in Stormlash, a 2 Skill/10 FCR/5 LS/5 MS ammy, and a 11 LS/6 MS ring for lots of leech. My 2/20 circlet also had 5 LS, so I had a total of 21% life steal going in. Charms were Vita/Elemental damage. Here's the progression of my testing, if you want to read through the rambling: I did a quick run with my current map, meaning I didn't switch to NM for a Might Merc. Staying with the Defiance Merc might've been a good choice because I took a beating in the Moo Moo Farm. Kick damage is just too low to leech back all the damage taken. Switching to Might merc wouldn't help enough. I tried Dracs but the 5% CTC Life Tap is just too inconsistent. Survival issues aside, when it goes right, Cows drop fast. CTC static on Stormlash with Conviction has the entire group softened down to half health. It's hard to see, but it seems like I only need 2-3 corpses at most before the entire group of Cows fall over in unison. The issue is still getting those first few corpses- DT's lowish integer damage has a harder time finishing off a Cow as CB effectiveness falls off. This is usually where I start getting pummeled into the ground by 10+ Cows. Performing any sort of defensive repositioning behind the Merc is just too inefficient when I know that the Dragon Tail variant can just jump in and wreck without fear. Dragon Tail has knockback with the splash damage, allowing my previous build to stunlock entire groups of Cows. Not the case with Dragon Talon. The damage potential is there, but the survival is lacking... maybe I can revisit Phoenix? Replacing Spirit with Phoenix took me down to the 65 FCR breakpoint, but it was well worth the life recovery. I was able to finish 4 runs at about 3:20 average, so things are looking up. Sometimes Redemption manages to steal away the first corpse, and other times cold damage shatters the corpse. Finding another target in the midst of 20+ cows triggered some NDEs. When things go 'right', DTalon can take down Cows fast, but in tougher situations (massive cow groups from all sides), it's harder to recover. DTail has the splash knockback that can make any situation manageable, but DTalon does not have that luxury. K/T sin is a good cow runner, maybe a 3 minute caliber runner with a better setup and some practice, but she's rather stressful to play. Edit: Adding link to K/T Sin P5 Cow Demo Video.