[3.3] Sherkhan's Bladebender [Occultist quad-curse Bladefall]

Been rolling this as a witch; defenses are awesome
Merci Izaro at L66


This was previously on the Shadow forums with 100k+ views. The tree stretched from Shadow-Witch, so I kept it on one forum. In 2.2, the builds are mechanically different, and the Witch version is OP in it's own right. Instead of GR+VP, this setup will take advantage of Occultist's unique ES recovery/regen nodes. I'll be maintaining both threads separately.

2.2 Prerelease Notes


The build is still strong. I'll be rolling this in Perandus.

As far as the non-Ascendancy parts of the build go, three things have changed: Bladefall, Poison and Increased Critical Strikes (for the crit version).

The new L20 Bladefall gem should be equivalent to old L17, and the new L20 Poison equivalent to the old L1. I've been testing with both of these on 4L/5L combos, and they're extremely strong (and better than several other L20 spells I tested with). The ICS gem is now a 45% more multiplier for the build, beating out Controlled Destruction for the 3L slot in the gem links for the crit version. For the 6L, CD would replace Empower.


First things first
Latest setup is Ass, Vuln, TC, Enfeeble as curses. Flask nodes at witch. Vinktars, ToH, Rumi's as flasks. 6L playing around between Empower and LL. No vids, but supersafestrong.

Previous setup is 7k ES. 122k tooltip before poison, ass, and vuln (no flasks; 5 PC, 3 FC, 4 EC). Full-on crit. Not all that safe vs reflect. Otherwise fine.
L94. Vinktar powerpoint run.
L94. Atziri run (was too lazy to carry Ruby of Dousing; mini boss kills are amusing)

Previous setup. L93 quad-curse. 10.5k ES. Super-fast twinned kill.
L93 in Twinned T13 Courtyard. Run to bosses.
(I kept the FPS/Latency up throughout so you can see how I play. Videos take some effort on a T410 Intel HD (first gen), wifi, and a trackpoint ("j" for attack, "l" for movement skill, lmb to move).)

Previous setup with aura on BM + trip curse. On a 5L, and running Grace instead of Hatred. Defensive setup, opting for ES over DPS. At 7.9k atm.
L92 in Wasteland.

Slightly older setup. Still not fully geared, and still on a 4L. This was recorded to refute the "you'll be permastunned" argument.
L83 in Plateau.

Here's a semi-geared run, with 4K ES, and about 70% of my current DPS (40% of end-game DPS). It shows clearspeed, dps at boss, and defense/leech mechanics. The attack is just on a 4L.
L79 Canyon run.

In case you're worried about gear expense, here's a video of me proving the concept to guildmates. This is a video of a L59 character running in a L67 zone, wearing mostly white gear.
L59 White, Dried Lake.

Remember to manually set the quality to 720. My computer's really old, so the quality's already pretty choppy. I have more videos in the playlist further down.

Btw, I can do all bosses cept Core Malachai (his attacks freeze my screen; fuck FPS). T15 bosses usually take 3-5 seconds.

If you've been here before
Notes on fun variations:

1/7. Added a non-crit variant - videos in progress. In short - 60k tooltip on a 5L poison, but poison = 100% more DPS, so comparable to 120k tooltip. 9k ES at L93.

1/10. Playing around with quad-curse. I.e. two Doedre Rings and Temp Chains instead of Haste/Grace/Hatred. 9.8k ES with 45k tooltip (+Poison). Dual Kaom (T15) and Dual Vaal (T14) took about 5 seconds each, and I was carrying a L82 guildmate. I think I prefer this to the crit or Hatred/Haste variants. Discipline is the only aura and I can spec more ES on the tree. L94 Tree
L93 in Twinned T13 Courtyard. Run to boss.

1/20. Updated the crit tree. 122k pre-poison DPS on a 6L. And that doesn't account for vuln or assmark. Maths out to 266k effective DPS before poison, and poison adds 180k chaos damage per second for 2.4s.

2/1. Added a video of a Vinktar run with the crit setupL94 Tree

Current gear



Bladebender

This build does extremely high (i.e. nerfworthy) aoe and single target damage, with a set of defenses that would normally be attributed to tanks.

The offense part requires a shadow start to take advantage of spell damage, physical damage and crit nodes. Since that area naturally leans to ES, and mana is hard to sustain, the build is geared towards making ES safe (through multiple mechanics) while being able to maintain a 6L attack on CI/low-life/hybrid. Instead of the typical ES leech through GR+VP, this build depends on a small refractory period between damage and ES regen (base 2s; can be lowered to under 1.5s), and the Wicked Ward mechanic, that allows ES to keep regenerating uninterrupted if ES regen began recently (in the past 4s).

I've laid out the low-life variant. This can also be played as hybrid or CI with exactly the same setup (cept, take CI or some HP nodes), and you can drop Assassin's mark to bring it down to dual curse if self-found is your thing. You could even add a curse to the setup, replacing AA and adding a Doedre's ring. All the versions are pretty cheap to gear.

[Italics indicate optional variants]

Defense comes from (0) ES regen via Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion (1) Enfeeble on Blasphemy, (2) Wicked Ward + Vile Bastion, (3) Arctic Armor/Grace, (4) CWDT IC, (5) CWDT Cold Snap, (6) Lori's Lantern, (7) stacking ES on gear, (8) 20% physical damage reduction from 4 Endurances + Chaos Golem (auto generated through Warlord's), (9) Fortify, (10) Temporal Chains on Blasphemy.

Offense is based on (1) the unique nature of Bladefall volley overlaps, which makes Concentrated Effect doubly effective for single-target and for AOE, (2) scaling physical damage on the tree, (3) scaling crit on gear and tree (4) Vulnerability / Assassin's Mark on Blasphemy, (5) spell/area/crit mods on jewels, (6) Pain Attunement, (7) mana sustain through Warlord's Mark (mana on kill from AssMark is nice, but unnecessary to sustain), (8) Haste, (9) Poison (+100% more dmg when used in conjunction with Vulnerability), (10) Ming's ring, (11) Profound Bloom.

The playstyle is simple: move/whirl to mobs, spam BF on them (or on yourself if you're swarmed), move to the next mob. Pot occasionally to unchill, unburn, or unbleed. Rinse, repeat, win.

Keeping this barebones for now. Hit me up in-game at Sherkhan if you have questions.

Note: My video quality is really shitty because I'm using a 2010 T410 Intel HD (First Gen) with a trackpoint. In case the powerpoint vids don't get the point across - this build clears as fast as CoC Discharge, and has better layered defenses. I downed Vinktar at L80, and have carried people through Atziri, dual T15 Kaom, dual T14 Vaal, and Ambrius.

Leveling

This build is meant to be flexible, viable at league start with no gear, but expands to use end-game 6L Shavs and gg rares.

Start off taking the spell damage nodes and the ES nodes at witch. Start off with Freezing Pulse + Frost Bomb for ultra safe leveling + boss killing. Go left to Templar, grabbing + Curse, ES, and reservation nodes along the way. Switch to Bladefall at L28 before normal Izzaro (where you pick Wicked Ward)

I went CI before cruel Izzaro (in my late 40s, early 50s) to avoid Liana deaths. At Cruel, pick Vile Bastion.

Pick up two Doedre's as early as possible. Have two curses on mana, and two as CoH on OoS. Enfeeble, Vulnerability, Assassin's, Temporal Chains - in that order. Playstyle will be involved during leveling, but all curses will be moved to Heretics (L67) once you grab all the res nodes (at Templar and between Shadow/Ranger), enabling two-click play.

Once you get a 5/6L Shavs, you can add Discipline and Blas + Warmark to your HP, and spec VP + GR (speccing out of Vile Bastion into Malediction; out of Essence Surge as well). If you're doing this in Standard, just start with this setup.


Setup

Tree + Bandits
[L90 Low-Life Tree]
[L90 CI Tree]

For the non-crit version, just take more ES nodes instead of the crit nodes (the major arteries are the same for pathing). Before low-life, don't take Arcane Vision or Pain Attunement. If you're CI, take CI.

Kill (passive) [N], Kill (passive) [C], Alira (PC) [M]

Ascends: Wicked Ward (N), Vile Bastion (C), Profound Bloom (M)

[Swap Vile Bastion for Malediction after going low-life; or just take Profound Bloom in Cruel; Malediction in Merci, and use Ming's/Lori's instead of one of the Doedre rings]

Gems

4/5/6L - Bladefall + Concentrated Effect + Spell Echo + Increased Critical Strikes + Controlled Destruction + Poison

4L (Heretic's Veil): Enfeeble + AssMark + Vuln + Temp Chains

4L: Blood Magic + Blasphemy + WarMark + Discipline (low life)

4L: Trap + Bladefall + Trap Dmg + Conc (for phys ref rares)

3L: Whirling Blades + Faster Attacks + Reduced Mana / Fortify (or Flame Dash + FC + whatever)

3L: CWDT L1 + IC L3 + Vaal Discipline


Gear (end-game in italics)

Chest: Solaris Lorica (budget), Shavronne's Wrappings (end-game), or ES/HP (CI/Hybrid).

Gloves, Boots, Helmet: Heretic's Veil and Shadows and Dust are BiS. Geofri's Crest, Doedre's Scorn (budget), High ES + Res. DEX/STR on boots/gloves as needed.

Weapon: Redbeak , dagger (spell damage, crit multi, spell crit, aps). Divinarius works. Spell dmg / cast speed wand if non-crit. Spell dmg crit wand if you don't mind Flame Dash over Whirling Blades.

Shield: ES (spell damage, res, spell crit).

Belt: Rustic (res, ES), Physical Doryani .

Rings: 2x Doedre's Damning.

Amulet: Frenzy on Kill is ideal; DEX/STR as needed. Any combination of supportive ES%/crit/res works.

Flasks: Stibnites, Mana, and a Sorrow of the Divine.

Jewel: End-game, I'm only using the HP->ES unique Energy from Within jewel in the slot between Scion and Witch/Shadow. This enables me to get a lot more ES from the Melding cluster. Try to get this with a "cannot be silenced mod". If you prefer DPS, prioritize ES, phys dmg, area dmg, crit multi, spell dmg, spell dmg w/ shield.


FAQ

Q. What maps mods should I avoid?

A. None. You just need some gem/aura and playstyle considerations.

For Blood Magic, only run Discpline and Blasphemied Warmark + Enfeeble.

For Curse Immune and no-leech, swap the curse gems for Clarity, Herald of Ash, and Herald of Thunder - make sure you attack from a distance, since you no longer have HP on hit.

For Physical Reflect, swap your weapon for Moonbender, and one of your blue gems for P2L. If you're running 2G, swap poison for ice bite (frenzies).

For dual reflect (if you have a 6L with 2G), swap poison for trap and echo for added chaos. Otherwise, just reroll dual reflet.

Q. Is Shavs necessary?

A. No.

I was clearing T10 extremely quickly on day 4 of a new league using using a 4L. Lorica + an attack 4L elsewhere on gear gets you 4k. Very mappable.

Q. Will a streamer do this?

I'm sure they will. Watch BOTW for this build under someone else's name.

Q. Why are Added Chaos and Poison your 5/6L for a crit damage setup? Why not ICD/ICS?

Bladefall has 120% damage effectiveness and I already path through a lot of chaos % nodes. Since I take crit off the tree and gear, the proportional benefit of ICD/ICS is less than the proportional benefit of the flat damage from ACD.

Q. Why not used Added Fire/Hatred to make it op op like I do?

Physical attacks scale best as physical attacks. Think of it this way - with small hits, a certain % of your physical damage can be mitigated through AR. With larger hits, that % will decline. For elemental attacks, that % remains constant. Pure elemental builds have ele weak and/or pen to deal with this issue (especially on higher maps with 80% res). If you use ADF to "buff" your attack, you're probably only boosting your effective DPS by 10-20%, not the 35-50% advertised.

End-game, I prefer quad curse to adding Hatred/Haste/Grace. Adds more safety/DPS, and allows speccing more ES on the tree (instead of a set of Aura nodes).


Videos
Bladebender: It whips the llama's ass!

Remember to manually set the quality to 720.

Variants

Non-Crit / HC (And the one I prefer for L90+
This variation uses a wand, and uses Flame Dash for short term mobility (and Haste, Quicksilver for running). Poison for damage scaling. Lower top-end damage, but higher ES with this setup. Clears really efficiently upto T15.

End-game I prefer this to the crit variant. Have to write up why soon.

Swap Vuln in for AssMark. Switch up gems to BF+Echo+CD+Conc+Poison (6th Faster Casting, I think).

L93 Tree




CI
Just take CI, don't take pain attunement.




My pet






Changelog

12/31/15. Updated Gem setup. Added Vertex setup. Added Vinktar variation. Added L92 tree
1/7/16. Added non-crit variant
1/11/16. Prefer non-crit variant
Last edited by sherkhan on May 29, 2018, 1:17:56 AM
Last bumped on Jul 29, 2017, 4:14:11 AM
The exilecraft link doesn't load for me.
"
Jeefzors_ wrote:
The exilecraft link doesn't load for me.


Just re-did it with the POE website. Let me know if it works for you.

For the non-crit version, just take more ES nodes instead of the crit nodes (the major arteries are the same for pathing). Before low-life, don't take Arcane Vision or Pain Attunement. If you're CI, take CI ;>

Good luck, exile!
Maybe i overlooked, but i couldn't find any info on what occultist spec you are using (it ain't in the tree either).

The Vinktar part is also outdated as the flask no longer offers instant leech. It now requires a variant tree with vaal pact.
BTW the interaction with the Retch was different before: You only deal the amount you actual leech as additional damage. When on full life that would be zero. That made the use of the Retch far less powerful. Actually the increased flask effect duration is the only useful stat here.
"
Bada_Bing wrote:
Maybe i overlooked, but i couldn't find any info on what occultist spec you are using (it ain't in the tree either).


Probably lost in the notes - had posted this pre-patch. Now it's a viable concept, I completed Merci Izaro at L66 and I think most people wait until they're overleveled. I've been chaining Merci Izaro since then for the helm corrupt. The ascends are Wicked Ward, Vile Bastion, then Profound Bloom - it's in the tree section now. I was planning on adding a video later.

"
The Vinktar part is also outdated as the flask no longer offers instant leech. It now requires a variant tree with vaal pact. BTW the interaction with the Retch was different before: You only deal the amount you actual leech as additional damage. When on full life that would be zero. That made the use of the Retch far less powerful. Actually the increased flask effect duration is the only useful stat here.


Yes, you're right. It's a minor variant that I'd left in from the old build. I had put it in on day three of the league - before "Undying Bladefall" was a thing. Pretty much led the charge on getting confirmation from Mark on the mechanics and the subsequent fix.

I remember some skepticism from you when I put the first iteration of the build in the Shadow forums. Has over 100k views now, and several people have gone on to L90+ on HC using my setup there. I think my build in its current form is much more well articulated and viable than most of the half-assed setups that are already up on the sticky.
How would you level this now (as I assume the instructions were for shadow)? Clear out witch and shadow notables before heading over to templar?
Is there any merit in taking Void Beacon over Vile Bastion?

It seems like the extra chaos resistance modifier and life regen would be useful in every situation whereas Vile Bastion wouldn't particularly assist in boss fights.

Also what's your take on Malediction? Awful because it relies on killing enemies to give any real DPS boost? It would allow the build to take Lori's Lantern in another ring slot which could be good though right?
Last edited by Rayvelion on Mar 10, 2016, 2:38:53 AM
Why do you have temp chains twice?
"
JoeODanger wrote:
How would you level this now (as I assume the instructions were for shadow)? Clear out witch and shadow notables before heading over to templar?


Yeah, I posted this pre-league. Ended up going Templar first (more ES there), then CI, then Shadow / Charisma once I hit 67 and could wear Heretic's Veil.

"
Rayvelion wrote:
Is there any merit in taking Void Beacon over Vile Bastion?

It seems like the extra chaos resistance modifier and life regen would be useful in every situation whereas Vile Bastion wouldn't particularly assist in boss fights.

Also what's your take on Malediction? Awful because it relies on killing enemies to give any real DPS boost? It would allow the build to take Lori's Lantern in another ring slot which could be good though right?


If you're GR + VP, then Void Beacon isn't necessary. Otherwise, Void is OP in crowds (I've gotten upto 20% ES regen in really bad situations). In comparison, Vile Bastion is only useful if you're near mobs and it only give a 20% more mod to poison damage (the regen is meh).

Malediction is just more damage in crowds - which is unnecessary. The three ring options for this build are Doedre's, Lori's, and Ming's. Technically, you could drop Vile Bastion for GR + VP (and either drop a curse or a gem for leech), and add Ming's. However, you're losing a 45% dmg option and three passives in order to do so.

Overall, I think the unique mechanics of Vile Bastion are worth it. Most bosses have minions around them to proc the effect. It's only really needed to counteract degen (burn, poison, bleed), as you'll have ES recovery kicking in in most other situations.

"
joyshin wrote:
Why do you have temp chains twice?


Edited it. Had the setup from the old Shadow leveling. Was planning to update once I've figured out the weaknesses in this build. So far, nothing sticks out.
"
sherkhan wrote:
"
JoeODanger wrote:
How would you level this now (as I assume the instructions were for shadow)? Clear out witch and shadow notables before heading over to templar?


Yeah, I posted this pre-league. Ended up going Templar first (more ES there), then CI, then Shadow / Charisma once I hit 67 and could wear Heretic's Veil


Thanks, good to know. Actually nabbed a veil yesterday, so I'm looking forward to giving this a go this weekend as it looks solid. I played BF trapper last league and I wanted to do self cast at some point, so what better time than now?

Do you still plan on being non-crit late game?
Last edited by JoeODanger on Mar 10, 2016, 10:36:15 PM

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