This build is a lot of fun. If your PC can't handle partying with other players then you probably can't play this build, even with dynamic resolution. It's a little wacky to gear since it's mostly uniques but the uniques are inexpensive for the most part plus using 5 links keeps costs low overall.
New Unique Flasks for Vaal skills are a HUGE boost to our VMS usability and damage. Soul Catcher allows us to start gaining souls earlier and up to a 100% increased damage boost to Vaal skills during the effect. Soul Ripper completely removes the soul-gain prevention period and adds up to 35% MORE Vaal skill damage for the duration. Getting one of those flasks will make the build smooth as butter but the upgraded version is about 6ex at the start of Incursion league lol.
Vaal Skill Changes
- Vaal skill gems now also grant the base version of the skill at the same level and quality as the Vaal gem. For example, a Vaal Burning Arrow skill gem now grants both the Vaal Burning Arrow and the Burning Arrow skills.
- Using a Vaal skill now prevents you from gaining souls for all Vaal skills for a short period of time after the skill is used. The duration of this effect varies from skill to skill.
- Whereas previously the cost of Vaal skills would increase in areas after Act 5, and again after Act 10, the cost of all Vaal skills is now consistent throughout the game. This is worth keeping in mind when looking at the following changes, as although many Vaal skill costs have been raised when compared to their base cost previously, they are typically now lower than the cost you would have paid in higher-level areas.
- Damaging rare enemies now generates 1 Vaal soul per 2% life it loses, with a 1-second cooldown.
- Damaging unique enemies now generates 3 Vaal souls per 2% life it loses, with a 1-second cooldown.
Vaal Molten Shell
- Now requires 50 souls per use (up from 48).
- Now prevents you from gaining Vaal souls for 5 seconds after use.
Atziri's Reign: Now has a limit of 2. Existing copies of this jewel will automatically be updated to have this limit.
The chance to Ignite Support/Combustion Support
Has been renamed to Combustion Support.
Now lowers the fire resistance of enemies ignited by supported skills, inflicting -10% fire resistance at gem level 1, down to -19% at gem level 20.
Celestial Judgement's (near the Templar) elemental resistance penetrations are now 5% (up from 2%).
Now has a 35% increased hit rate for each blade (up from 10%).
Now deals 35% more damage with hits and ailments for each blade (up from 30% for hits and 20% for ailments).
Now has a 10% increased critical strike chance for each blade.
Now has a limit of 10 active spinning blades (down from 20).
Now has a 100% increased critical strike chance.
Now has a 20% reduced critical strike chance per volley, as well as 6% less damage per volley. Previously there was no penalty per volley to critical strike chance.
Now deals 2-35 lightning damage at gem level 1 (up from 2-32), up to 22-420 lightning damage at gem level 20 (up from 14-260). Dank.
Now has an added damage effectiveness of 35% (up from 20%).
The projectile's base speed is now 33% faster. The projectile hits 33% more frequently to compensate.
The base radius has increased by 10%.
Discussion: The changes to these skills will actually increase ours ignites per second. Ball Lightning gets an increase to hit rate and the helm enchant is gone which makes our life easier though we still use slower project. Blade-Vortex has fewer blades and a higher hit rate so we'll have max blades more often. Bladefall and Blade Vortex have built-in crit now so ELE Overload will be up constantly. Firestorm changes are minor but we may see a slight increase in its damage.
Pros and Cons:
+ This build is insanely fun. Half the time I'm laughing too hard to control my character and its gotten me killed more than once.
+ Pretty fast map clear. I'm not going to claim its Deadeye fast or even sub-minute fast but for a guy who enjoys wacky builds instead of the speed metal, this one is going pretty fast.
+ Bosses melt as your swirling fireball of doom engulfs them in seconds.
+ Unique items are all fairly easy to acquire, finding a decently rolled items was no problem at all(at the time). Most expensive uniques were Eye, Inspired Learning and Might of the Meek.
+ Surprisingly safe build. Packs and bosses usually die so quickly they don't get to hit you often. Cyclone prevents stuns and is great for dancing around attacks.
+ Staves have the long range so cyclone has some good radius without having to invest in AoE
+ We can turn on RF for bosses for even more damage!
+ This build is WAY BETTER now that 3.3 has landed with the change to how Vaal Skills function vs bosses, the changes to the Combustion gem(formerly Chance to Ignite) and updates to ignite chance and fire damage all over the skill tree. Throw in the New Vaal Blade Vortex skill for mapping(if we want to) plus some interesting corruptions from Incursion temples and it's gonna be a great league.
+ We only need 5 links in our weapon and body Armour so it does keep that end of the costs down.
- Can't do maps like Phys/ELE reflect or No Regen and reduced regen or -max resists can be a pain.
- Expensive to gear because of the high value rares you have to obtain; T1-2 cold/lightning resist to make up for all the uniques are essential. I personally wouldn't do this as a league starter unless you just want to go Chieftain Ancestral Warchief or Sunder to map until you can collect the gear. Still, this character only cost about 5 ex to gear up so it is not too bad.
- The strain on lower-end computers can be immense. My PC is clocked to be able to handle things like this and any lag or choppiness you see in videos is server side and not graphical.
- Party play can also be problematic for these reasons. You thought that time you grouped with Tarke when he was playing Magma Orb was bad for your potato pc lol...
- Despite being pretty safe for softcore, I would also not recommend this build for Hardcore. A server stutter or poor circumstance will not be good for your sanity.
- Staves are great and all but a Razor of the Seventh Sun dual wield/shield would possibly be faster and wouldn't require Movespeed on boots. You could even use Shield Charge to get your aoe hits.
- In 3.2 since you can't gain Vaal Souls from hitting bosses yet, instanced boss rooms and any boss with multiples phases is a huge pain and either requires logging to loop the map a diff direction for more souls OR a swap in gem sockets to a 3rd CWDT set up for things like elder guardians.
Weapon 5 Link: CWDT - Bladefall - Blade Vortex - Firestorm - Combustion
Body Armour 5 Link: CWDT - Ball Lightning - Slower Proj - Culling Strike - Combustion
Gloves 5-6 Link: Cyclone - Combustion - Faster Attacks - Fortify - Accuracy Support - Life Gain on
Helmet 5-6L: Vaal Molten Shell - Increased Duration/Ele Focus - Controlled Destruction - Immolate - Concentrated Effect - (Hypothermia, Combustion or Fire Penetration)
Single Links Spread across gear:
Anger - Adding flat damage to spells and cyclone. Look for a juicy Watcher's Eye with inc fire damage.
Herald of Ash - Extra Phys and more spell damage, some help with clearing but the overkill damage is small.
Flammability/Ele Weakness/RF - RF ideally but a curse for cursing is still helpful.
Leap Slam/Flame Dash - Movement skill for moving across gaps.
Blood Rage - Self-cast at the start of the map for frenzies and attack speed.
Decoy Totem/War Cry - Decoy totem for now because of bugged ascendancy. Rallying cry or Abyssal Cry for mapping. Enduring Cry for charges on longer boss fights.
Gear Breakdown and Discussion:
Martyr of Innocence has a bunch of useful things on it. The added flat fire damage helps cyclone and all your spells ignite no matter what damage type they originally were. You'll block every so often so you get fire penetration and you're always getting hit so you have 100% damage too.
Staves have a longer weapon range so they're actually quite nice for cyclone and since we only use Flame Dash/Leap Slam for spot-movement and not navigating the map, having limited movement skill access is pretty ok still.
Mokou's Embrace is used to allow self-ignites to happen from Eye of Innocence Fire damage hits. Self-igniting gives you a nice chunk of attack speed for the cyclone, cast speed for VMS and Flame Dash and some good fire damage too.
Ngamahu's Sign is a great choice because of the life you gain every time you ignite an enemy. This makes your health bar bounce around like the OLD Vaal Pact days as you are constantly taking small bits of damage and then instantly recovering because of the rapid ignites you're causing.
Eye of Innocence gives us the hit damage we need to take for VMS and CWDT spells. Since we're ignited, we always have 2% fire damage leeched as life and 50-70% increased damage.
The Rat Cage gives us a bit of movement speed, a nice chunk of health to make up for all the other uniques we run and is the linchpin that lets our EoI fire damage proc VMS explosions. Without this chest, the 100 fire damage would never pop VMS. The increased fire damage taken is mostly a non-factor but beware of fire damage over time from Kitava breath and Phoenix.
Gang's Momentum is a great pair of boots to start out with. They easily cap the missing fire resist from Rat Cage and the chance to ignite and extra damage to ignited enemies make them a solid choice for mapping for quite some time.
In the end, I would like to upgrade these to elder boots with Increased Duration explicit and some more resists but that's hard when the league is about to end so next time.
Stygian Belts are perfect for finding that one little thing to help you out via Abyss jewels. I was running % chance to blind with attacks for a while and that proved to be very helpful until my Life was where I wanted it to be. Either way, a good stygian with high life and T1-T2 resists will cost you at least 1ex.
Shaper Gloves allow us to get a 6L with cyclone, giving us access to LGoH for more defense. Accuracy is very important for Cyclone, If our Doedre flask is empty we can't get that first chain start unless we actually hit the enemy. It also helps with our cyclone DPS which is a larger part of our single target damage if VMS is down.
Shaper helmets like this one can be very pricey. I got pretty lucky with mine and if you're looking to spend even more, look for a helm with Conc Effect and Immolate so you can run 4 more links in the helm. Juicy.
Flasks are a huge part of the build and the introduction of Soul Catcher/Soul Ripper let us easily generate souls back while using for the entire duration of VMS, allowing us to drop Increased Duration Gem for Elemental Focus and outclassing the damage that Wise Oak gives us very easily.
Doedre's Elixir can start the chain reaction of CWDT spells for us and the Silver/Quicksilver flasks allow us to keep those nasty curses and shocks off us, while also giving us more clear speed.
The life flask is because 1000 hp instantly from a divine life flask is just not enough to matter when you get that low. Getting around 2000 instantly when your reflexes are good is more reliable and being able to get it rolling and then also do it instantly when you drop to low life is huge. I usually don't put bleed removal on my life flask but we use it so sparingly that I haven't died to bleed because a flask was empty. Not paying enough attention though... yea lol
Atziri's Reign - 10-20% increased Vaal skill duration with no limit to how many you can have. getting 19% versions was easy in Flashback but they'll likely be more expensive in Incursion, although possibly a lot more common due to all the corrupting. There is now a limit of 2 for Atziri's Reign. This is fine, our VMS still lasts for well over 10 seconds.
Sacrificial Harvest - 20-30% chance to gain an extra Vaal soul on the kill. This helps us charge VMS a lot faster but we can only have 1 so make sure its 27% or higher.
Might of the Meek - Since we're so starved for life on gear, we can use this jewel to get more for our money out of the marauder-life section of the tree. Its usually a bit pricey though, especially early league.
Inspired Learning - Using the 4 notable nodes below duelist we can get a headhunter effect off of the tree, stealing mods for 20 seconds when we kill a rare monster. A bit of extra resists and some mana gained from attacks is a nice way to solve a couple issues in the build too.
Rare jewels should be used if you're comfortable with the duration of VMS. Abyss jewels scale extremely well with VMS. Looks for rares with the following properties in order of importance:
- # to # Fire damage to spells
- # to # Fire damage to spell while wielding a staff
- Fire damage
- Spell damage while wielding a staff
Optional stats: Resists as needed to fill gaps, Chance to blind on hit with attacks, Chance to hinder with spells, Damage penetration if you haven't killed recently.
2 Passive points. No Question here as the resists and mana regen are not needed from Alira and the other 2 bandits are still awful.
Normal Lab - Tawhoa: Endurance charge generation and life regen per charge.
Cruel Lab - Ngamahu: Phys->fire conversion and penetration
Merciless Lab - Hinekora: Fire damage leech, Cover enemies in Ash on hit.
Uber Lab - Ramako: Unaffected by ignite, 3% life regen and some physical damage taken as fire
DUE TO BAMAKO BUG I AM INSTEAD CURRENTLY TAKING ARONGHUI: less damage from enemies and more damage taken near totems.
The tree is a constantly evolving thing at this point. I'm very happy with how the gear is playing out but I'm not happy that I can't use Ramako, Sun's Light due to the bug. The resist nodes near the Scion start point and the resists by Witch start point will eventually be phased out for the regen nodes on the opposite side of scion and the scion life wheel when Ramako gets fixed and I can pick up some rare boots that are worth the chaos.
Eagle Eye between the marauder and duelist start is also a great node for helping with accuracy issues. With Might of the meek above it, Eagle Eye notable is not disabled and its 2 small nodes are boosted for a total of 66% increased accuracy 40% increased crit to help with our EO procs. Not bad, but not entirely necessary either
I leveled with Ancestral Call Molten Strike until I could pick up Tectonic Slam and did that for most the rest of the leveling process. Chieftain makes it easy to get and charges and one smack with a Reaper's Pursuit were enough to clear most packs due to all the overkill damage from Herald of Ash.
Leveling was a breeze honestly, Tectonic Slam is very nice(Played a Tec Slam JUGG in bestiary successfully) and even without a fast weapon, it hits hard enough that we don't need to hit enemies very much.
I swapped to the CWDT set up at around 70 once I had acquired all the gear I had and mapping was extremely smooth and easy. Only had a couple points to take out of two-hander nodes and put into more life or to fill out the chance to ignite nodes.
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The Juggernaut class revolves around defenses, giving physical damage reduction by way of armor and endurance charges, life regeneration, and protection against slows and stuns.
The Hierophant offers a mixture of non-conventional sources of damage, defenses, and overall utility aimed towards spell and totem users.