[3.2] Elemental Crit Cyclone Raider - Fast, fun, deadly! - Ready for Bestiary league
Raider is still the best option imo but not by as wide a margin as before. The choice of nodes in the raider tree is also not as cut and dry as it used to be; there are sections on the viability of the onslaught branch in the FAQ section. I've also added new subsections in the first comment of the thread with general outlines for three other Ascendancies. The main contenders are:
Pathfinder Flask sustain buffed. Nature's Boon -> Master Alchemist -> Veteran Bowyer -> Nature's Adrenaline
Champion - Substantial rework and buff, now offers "Hits can't be Evaded" without the need for Lycosidae. Conqueror -> Worthy Foe -> Inspirational -> Unstoppable Hero
Trickster - Substantial rework and buff. Still doesn't have the best synergy with Cyclone but it is worth considering. Most likely Swift Killer, Harness the Void, Weave the Arcane and Ghost Dance.
The new fated upgrade of the Ignomon, The Effigon, introduces a third "Hits can't be evaded" option. Effigon is very cheap compared to Lycosidae but the trade-off is a significant decrease in reliability, because its effect is dependent on the enemy being Blinded.
There are only three options for consistent blinding which would work with this build that I know of:
1. Stibnite Flask. Already a strong utility option, Stibnites have high uptimes and if rolled with the Surgeon's prefix it should be possible to maintain near 100% uptime in single-target encounters.
2. There is an Abyss jewel affix that grants %chance to blind enemies on hit, like the one socketed in this belt has:
The uptime on this blind should be quite high in single target encounters considering the extreme APS you get with cyclone and IAS stacking. Thanks to Deeeds for the tip in the comments!
3. The Blind Support gem. This gem is really bad. It adds a flat 10% chance to blind on hit with supported skills and has no damage modifier. Adding this to the main cyclone links doesn't seem like it would be worth the tradeoff. It doesn't have any mana cost multiplier though, so adding it to Herald of Ice links seems like the best option.
I haven't tested this amulet myself but Effigon could be a nice option for restricted budgets. If you have a properly rolled Stibnite the uptime in single-target encounters should be decent. While the mapping uptime would probably be quite bad most of the time, the single-target uptime should be good enough to justify using the item as an inbetweener until you can get a Lycosidae.
Hello and welcome to my guide for the elemental crit cyclone raider. This was my first homebrew build of Harbinger league and it has worked really nicely.
I like cyclone a lot, but Slayer and Berserker always felt slow while Ngamahu raider just didn't have enough punch for me. I wanted to go crit and use Herald of Ice to explode packs and get those crunchy shatters going while moving super fast and also retaining some boss killing power. The end result feels amazing to play and can do all content, including Shaper, Guardians, Uber Atziri and fast Eternal Labyrinth runs.
I make an effort to answer any and all questions about the build in the thread. I prefer comments over PMs. If you PM me I will just quote your PM in the thread and reply there. It's much easier for me to keep track of my responses if they are all in the thread, so I can just quote myself if a question is repeated. If I'm online I am usually up for answering simple questions in-game.
Showcase video section
Showcase with no instant leech, recorded in 3.1. Includes guardians, shaper and uber atziri. If you want a better look at how it looks in a map you can check out the first of the 3.0 videos below.
Overview and key items
Cyclone is a movement skill with a very fast attack speed and an AoE that becomes larger with increased weapon range. This build scales damage through non-conversion elemental damage, attack speed and crit. It uses thrusting one hand swords (foils), the weapon type with the longest weapon range in the game. Foils also have the highest base attack speed of all weapon types and their implicit grants additional crit multi. For this build, foils are the only viable choice of weapon type.
Since cyclone is a movement skill, having a high movement speed is essential for the build to play smoothly. The obvious choices of ascendancy for this are pathfinder and raider. Raider is faster and ends up with more damage, so that's the ascendancy I chose. Other viable ascendancies include Pathfinder, Champion and Trickster, as discussed in the 3.2 changes section at the start of the guide.
The key items and sources of damage are a rare foil, Lycosidae, Darkray Vectors, a Diamond Flask, Herald of Ice and Ice bite.
Pros and cons
+ It's not a projectile build
+ It's melee
+ Moves and clears fast
+ Crunchy ASMR Herald of Ice shatters
+ Dodge, freeze/chill and Enfeeble make for strong defensive layers
+ Can do endgame bosses reliably with decent gear
+ Best in slot uniques and enchants are mostly cheap
+ Not expensive to get going but scales very well with investment
- It's not a projectile build
- It's melee
- Not the fastest boss killer and cyclone can get you in trouble if you're not careful
- As raider flasks are somewhat unreliable compared to pathfinder
- Relatively low maximum life for a melee build, around 5-6k depending on item choices and gear level
- As raider, damage and movement speed are heavily dependent on frenzy charges. Not a problem in combat but you will feel slow when backtracking with empty flasks and no charges.
One handed thrusting swords (foils) are the only viable choice for this build because of their range, which is the highest in the game. Their crit multi implicit is also nice but the main attraction is weapon range. You should use one of the high APS base types; Jewelled foil, Fancy Foil, Spiraled foil etc. The Rapiers and the Tempered Foil have higher base crit but their APS is much lower.
You don't need an insane foil to make a build like this work. Damage is scaled from multiple sources of flat elemental damage and crit. Having at least one good elemental damage roll is important but not build-enabling. The only must-have stats for your foil are attack speed and local critical strike chance.
Stat priority for my gear, your own might be different depending on your gear but this should generally be true:
Attack speed > Crit chance >> T1 flat lightning > Multi > EDWA > Other flat ele rolls
EDPS on its own doesn't mean anything! Your damage is sourced primarily from gems, gear and auras. The weapon is just a way to output all that damage, so high EDPS means nothing compared to high attack speed and local crit, which are stats that effectively multiply all the flat ele damage you have.
I recommend using Path of Building to test foils before buying them. For advice on this, check out the following section.
How to find a good foil
Install Path of Building if you don’t already have it. Import your character, select cyclone as the main skill. Tick your diamond flask, frenzy charges and power charges. If you don’t have a foil equipped already, craft one in PoB with no mods and equip it. Now install this script for your browser: https://github.com/fikal/PoeTradeItemCopy
Use this poe.trade search link but change the maximum buyout to the maximum price you are willing to pay. Now search and sort by EDPS. Copy each of the foils you are interested in to your PoB and take a look at your damage numbers. Select the foil with the best damage to price ratio or the best one you can afford.
Lycosidae is a no-brainer. This item is stupidly good. It gives you Resolute Technique without the downside and it has +40-60 life. Even if you try inputting jewellery and a rare shield that all have t1 flat accuracy into Path of Building, you will most likely lose DPS compared to Lycosidae. The drop rate of this item was nerfed in 3.1 so it is much more expensive, currently around 4 ex in Abyss softcore league. The build works without it but it is still best in slot.
If you are doing this build without a lycosidae you will need some accuracy on gear. Try to get some on rings, gloves, amulet, and your shield. Aim for 90% chance to hit. 1000 total flat accuracy from gear should be enough. Most of the accuracy nodes on the passive tree are pretty bad so I wouldn't particularly recommend going for any of those.
For rare shields you'll just want life, resists and accuracy. Attack speed is nice as well but not a high priority. Armour/eva shields have a %increased attack damage prefix and armour/es shields have a %increased elemental damage prefix, both of those are also desirable.
This would be a "perfect" rare shield:
Unique shield alternatives
Esh's mirror - Life, int, lightning res and stacking lightning damage per shocked enemy killed in the last 4 seconds. This shield is OP for kinetic blast and VPS, but we can also use it on this build.
Magna Eclipsis - Life and an ele damage buffer but the main attraction is +2 to gems. If you're using Wrath with Empower+Enlighten, the +2 to gems is very strong when you socket them in this item.
Crest of Perandus - life, life regen, some res and block. Good for leveling but easily beaten by rares.
Chernobog's Pillar - Nice life rolls, fire res and flat fire. The enfeeble effect is also useful.
On Dual Wielding
- If you can't afford a Lycosidae, you can look into dual wielding foils until you can acquire it. DW gets 10% more attack speed but you will lose out on the defensive benefits of using a shield as well as shield charge, which is faster than whirling blades for this build. Keep in mind that you can't stat-stick DW with Cyclone; both weapons will contribute to DPS. Use PoB to estimate the DPS increase vs. the utility of a shield. More details in the last section of the guide.
Bronn's Lithe, Queen of the Forest and Belly of the Beast are the go-to choices. I went with Bronn's because Cyclone gets +1 radius at lvl 21 and the damage, attack speed and movement speed are all really nice. The downside is that it has zero defensive power.
QotF is a valid choice if you just want to go as fast as possible. It has decent life and some resists as well, but your DPS will be lower than with Bronn's. I tried using this item when I first made this build but eventually Bronn’s just felt like it cleared faster even though QotF moved a bit faster. You move around with shield charge anyway, so there’s not as much of a difference as you might think. Consider swapping Atziri’s Promise for a Jade flask while mapping if you go with QotF.
Belly is just a decent choice for any build that takes most of its passives on the right side of the tree. Gives you the most life out of any of the choices for body armour but it has no offensive power or speed.
Rare evasion body armours are fine starter pieces. If you're starting a new league I'd recommend getting a corrupted 6-link chest with the right colours before you try for a 6-link unique body armour. Example item is from an ST character i played in Turmoil.
- Flat elemental damage and additional dodge. It's decent but imo Bronn's is better.
- This item is pretty interesting. It has some dodge and life but the main attractions are the endurance charges and onslaught. I never tried it so I can't really speak to its effectiveness but it could definitely work for this build.
- This item just kinda sucks now, to be entirely honest. It used to be quite good before AoE nerfs but now it's just lackluster compared to the other choices. Bronn's has the same AoE radius as long as you don't have a 21/20 cyclone. It also has quite a bit more damage due to the attack speed. Less life and less resists than Belly, slower than Bronn's and QotF. I can't really recommend it.
- Never tried this body armour but again it just seems a bit lackluster compared to the other choices. It's not terrible, but just not as good.
Rat's Nest is the best choice for damage and clearspeed.
Starkonja's Head is a solid choice as well, giving some crit chance and a nice life roll.
Rare eva bases like Lion's Pelt are the best defensive choice, assuming you get a good life roll. You can buy any eva base with the cyclone damage enchant and roll it yourself with alterations, chaos or essence of greed.
One of the new uniques is very useful for this build: Tombfist gloves intimidate on hit with a murderous eye jewel socketed. Intimidate is a 10% more multiplier to all of your damage. Using Tombfist frees up the belt slot from Belt of the Deceiver, letting you use a rare leather belt or Stygian Vise with resists and EDWA. This setup is superior to rare gloves+Deceiver in most cases.
If you're using Belt of the Deceiver, you'll probably need rare gloves to fill resists. Spiked Gloves are the best base but they are quite a bit more expensive than normal bases like Slink Gloves or Dragonscale Gauntlets. Look for minimum 70 life and 60-80 total elemental resistance. Try to get attack speed or open suffix so you can bench craft it. Flat elemental damage is nice if you can get it but attack speed is generally better.
If you have enough resists elsewhere, Maligaro’s Virtuosity is really good.
If you're playing standard, legacy Atziri’s Acuity is best in slot since it basically gives you old VP, plenty of int and instant mana leech.
The new Acuity isn't bad but it's not really that great either. All of its stats are perfect for this build of course and having VP without needing to lose regen is great, but I'm just not really convinced they're worth the price anymore, since you can get such good spiked gloves for the same amount of currency.
Darkray Vectors are best in slot by a wide margin. They give an additional frenzy charge as well as movement speed and dodge based on frenzy charges. Since we have 8 of them with darkray vectors equipped we get 40% movement speed and 16% dodge. The best implicit is +1 to maximum frenzy charges but they are not cheap (5 ex at the time of writing). Even without that corruption they are still the best choice in my opinion. If you have an uncorrupted pair, many of the Uber Lab enchants are quite useful for this build.
Other decent choices:
Rare boots with 30% ms (movement speed is the highest priority stat on boots)
Three-step assault (particularly if you are using QotF)
Windscream (allows dual-curse, needs ele weakness on hit gloves or a blasphemy setup)
A rare leather belt or a Stygian Vise is the best defensive choice. If you get a t1 EDWA roll it's only around 2-5% worse than belt of the deceiver for damage.
Belt of the Deceiver is one of two gear choices to gain Intimidate. Intimidate is a 10% more multiplier to all of your damage. Intimidate can be sourced from Tombfist as well, so choose either Deceiver+any of the gloves mentioned above apart from Tombfist OR Tombfist+Stygian/leather belt. I prefer Tombfist+stygian because it gives you two extra sockets for Abyss jewels and rare belts can roll EDWA but gloves cannot.
I use a Headhunter for mapping because it’s fun to use and gives you more clearspeed than anything else, but I still use Belt of the Deceiver for endgame bosses.
Opal rings are the best base, Diamond Rings are second best. Don’t worry too much about the base if you just need to fill resists. Opal rings with EDWA, resists and life are 5-20 times more expensive than two-stone rings with the same rolls or better.
My stat priority on rings:
Necessary resists > necessary INT and/or STR > EDWA = life > Flat elemental damage > crit multi > crit chance
The Taming is a strong unique alternative to Opals for endgame gear. Downside is mainly no +life and no flat damage. Make sure you have some added fire damage somewhere on your gear so you can ignite enemies and take advantage of all three elements.
For damage and clearspeed, good rare amulets are the best choice. You can use Bisco's for mapping, especially if the rest of your gear is good. I prefer not to use it, but do whatever you prefer.
For a good starter amulet you can use Choir of the Storm. It gives you 75% increased crit chance, 50% increased lightning damage and some int. It’s a really strong choice for an offensive amulet, especially considering the price (30-40c at the time of writing). It’s enough for endgame if you don’t want to bother finding a proper rare, but good rares are much better.
I prioritise offensive stats in the amulet slot so my stat priority reflects that. If you need resists badly don’t hesitate to get some from an amulet.
Stat priority for rare amulet:
Life > necessary INT or STR > Multi > EDWA > flat elemental damage > crit chance > resists
Another viable choice is Daresso's Salute, a classic cyclone amulet that suffers from a lack of crit and life but does have resists, damage and +range to make up for it. If equipping this amulet takes your life total below 5k it's not worth using IMO, but if the rest of your gear is very good it's a nice AoE upgrade.
Diamond Flask is mandatory. You need one “of staunching” flask, I recommend having it on this flask.
Quicksilver flask of Adrenaline is the best flask for clearspeed. I prefer Alchemist’s, but Experimenter’s and Surgeon’s are also good.
Vessel of Vinktar is in a bit of a weird place now with no instant leech. Leech cap means that the 20% of lightning damage leeched as life basically doesn't do anything anymore. The damage boost from the attacks version is still strong but I wouldn't recommend getting the penetration version, Atziri's Promise is better.
Atziri’s Promise is the second highest damage flask after Vinktar but it is more reliable and it gives you chaos res, which you usually won't have any of on gear. Highly recommended.
You need one flask that has the “of warding” suffix. It will make you immune to map curses like temporal chains, vulnerability and elemental weakness for the duration. You can use a different utility or damage flask for non-curse maps and just keep this one in your inventory to swap in when needed. I chose a stibnite flask for three reasons:
With no instant leech you should run a life flask most of the time. If you're breezing through lower-tier maps you might not need one but if you're doing sextanted red maps or endgame bosses you should definitely have one. With VP I liked Panicked Eternals more than instant Divines but with normal leech instant flasks are usually better. Get a seething or bubbling Divine or a Panicked Eternal, choice is up to you.
Silver flasks are very good, especially if you don't have onslaught in your HoI setup.
The Wise Oak was previously not recommended because of vinktar but now that Vinktar is not as good anymore it is definitely worth considering. You should be dealing mostly cold and lightning damage so balancing those two resists should be enough for it to be effective.
A well rolled Dying Sun can aid your clearspeed by increasing AoE. I don't use it myself but if you have one already it's worth trying out.
You should have %increased maximum life on all your rare jewels. Try to get at least one damage stat, but the highest priority for Jewels is filling out resists and stat requirements. Multi is the best damage stat, but attack speed and %damage are good as well.
Warlord's Reach is nice for cyclone since it gives you more range. I don't use it because I need all my jewels to have resists, but if you can fit it into your own build it's worth trying out.
Fertile Mind can help with the somewhat steep int requirements of this build. If you place it in the socket by Profane Chemistry and Studios Combatant you can gain up to 104 int.
For notes on Abyss Jewels, check out the last section of the guide.
Stats to look for
Sibyl's lament can help you take on reflect maps if you want to try it.
Jaws of Agony can be used to generate power charges before engaging endgame bosses.
These four are the core gems that you should always use for cyclone:
Cyclone - Ice Bite - EDWA - Inc AoE (swap for conc effect on endgame bosses)
The last 2 are up to preference. Damage on full life, Added Cold, Hypothermia, Added lightning etc. are all good choices. Damage on full life is questionable now with no instant leech, but for high level characters with decent gear it is relatively reliable while mapping, less so while bossing.
I like using increased critical strikes for mapping, it makes shatters more reliable and just feels good. Inc crit doesn't look good in PoB but in practice it adds clearspeed and safety for mapping compared to gems with higher DPS numbers. I have 44% tooltip crit without it but I still love it for mapping.
I'll list the DPS tiers for the various choices of 5th-6th links for my current gear vs. Shaper/Guardian. Ideally you should use PoB to find out which ones are the best for your own gear setup.
Support gems by DPS increase vs. Shaper/Guardian
1. Damage on full life
2. Elemental Focus
3. Added cold
5. Cold Penetration
6. Added lightning
7. Increased Critical damage
8. Increased Critical Strikes
Keep in mind that Elemental Focus disables chill. This means you can't use it for mapping and it can make some boss fights less safe, particularly Atziri encounters. Elemental focus is incompatible with Hypothermia, you should never use them together.
Sidenote on Hypothermia
One important note here that I'm not entirely sure is correct but I think it is: Hypothermia won't do anything vs. Shaper unless you have some way of Chilling him that doesn't rely on your own damage. I realized this only very recently and haven't had the chance to confirm it. Shaper has 20,190,261 HP, and as far as I understand the new chill mechanics, the minimum damage required to chill an enemy is 0.33% of its total HP. For Shaper, this requires a hit of 66,628. Cyclone deals many small hits rather than few big ones so that number isn't gonna happen unless your gear is insane, meaning you won't be able to chill him. You'd need to use Arctic Armour or some other source of chill for it to work (I think). If someone can confirm or disprove this please comment in the thread or PM me.
If your effective crit chance with diamond flask up is bad you might need to use critical strikes as your 5th link for mapping to feel smooth. You need at least 40% crit chance on tooltip with power charges up, preferably 45%, before you skip increased critical strikes.
Shield Charge/whirling blades - Fortify - Blood magic - Faster attacks (swap for culling strike on endgame bosses)
I prefer shield charge because fortify and cull is more reliable with a skill that has AoE. Also, the speed of shield charge is increased by movement speed, which is not the case for whirling blades, so shield charge is faster than WB for this build. I made a demonstration video comparing the two: in both tests all the gear is the same and the gems are supported by BM, Fortify and Faster Attacks 20/20, the WB is 20%.
You should use whichever skill feels better for you. I highly recommend using blood magic for your movement skill. It will let you use the skill freely in no regen maps and it will also let you leech mana for free in case you run out.
Herald of Ice
Herald of Ice - Curse on Hit - Assassin's Mark - (onslaught)
This is our power charge generator. Assassin's mark also gives you more clearspeed since it increases your effective chance to crit substantially. You can keep HoI in a 3-link if you want, or you can use a 4-link with another support gem. I like to use Onslaught, but Innervate, Ice bite and Culling strike are also valid choices.
The endgame option for power charge generation is The Blue Dream. You can socket it by the Scion resist cluster for power charge generation that you can set and forget. If you do this you can use a blasphemy Enfeeble setup
Wrath (or Anger) - (Empower - Enlighten)
Wrath is the best offensive aura, followed by Anger. Wrath has a relatively high int requirement of 155 at lvl 20, so if you are having a lot of trouble getting enough int you can use Anger instead.
Wrath/Anger is a substantial portion of your damage. It works fine as a standalone lvl 20 or 21 gem not linked to anything, but I like to link it with lvl 3 Empower and Enlighten and socket it in a +1 to gems item to squeeze out some more damage.
With that kind of setup Wrath/Anger will be at lvl 24 with a base level 20 wrath and lvl 3 empower. It can go up to lvl 26 with a base level 21 wrath/anger and lvl 4 empower. I would leave that until your other gear is very good because the dps increase from lvl 24 to 26 is not very cost effective.
You can get Darkray vectors with +1 to gems for cheap, but ideally it should be your shield or gloves since you want the +1 to maximum frenzy charges corruption on boots. Lycosidae with +1 to gems is quite expensive, and you need rare gloves to fill resists so getting a decent pair with +1 to gems might be a challenge.
CWDT - (Immortal Call - Enfeeble - Ice golem)
I like to use Enfeeble and Immortal Call in my CWDT setups for melee characters. Assassin's Mark will give you power charges reliably enough even with a secondary curse that can override it.
I also like to link a lower level golem to CWDT while mapping because I don’t want to stop and resummon it in the middle of a map.
You should use whichever CWDT setup you like best. If you are using endurance charges you might want to skip Immortal Call since it is less consistent than the charges themselves. Usually you will want to keep your CWDT gem at low levels to make it trigger more often. Mine is at lvl 3 but lvl 1, 5 or 7 is also fine.
- This section includes many gems and combinations you can choose from. My own utility setup is Ancestral Protector, Vaal Haste and Portal while mapping. For bosses I will swap in Frost Bomb over portal.
- Some increased damage but most importantly up to 14.8 mana regen per second for 8 seconds. This gem is useful if you're struggling with mana, you just need to get used to casting it every 7-9 seconds or so. Useful both for single target and clearing.
- If you're using VP I wouldn't recommend using Blood Rage, but if you just have Vitality Void there's no reason not to use it just for the attack speed. Furthermore, if you use Blood Rage there is a strong synergistic effect with CWDT-Immortal Call and Soul of Arakaali's first secondary benefit: "50% increased Recovery of Life and Energy Shield if you've stopped taking Damage Over Time Recently". Blood rage's degen is physical, IC makes you immune to physical and triggers the 50% increased recovery, which then applies to leech, making you leech much faster.
- 20% more attack speed is a substantial DPS increase and very useful for endgame bosses.
- Nice for map bosses but pretty unreliable for endgame bosses in most cases. It's also nice for mapping. You can use it whenever it's up or when you hit a breach or encounter a harbinger. I like having it but it's certainly not necessary, especially not for endgame boss encounters.
- Easy DPS increase for bosses. Not much to say about it.
Orb of Storms - Power charge on critical -(Inc crit)
- Power charge generator, useful for endgame bosses. One thing you can easily do is replace assassins mark and curse on hit in your HoI setup with OoS+PCoC just for endgame bosses.
Orb of Storms - Curse on Hit - Elemental Weakness
- DPS increase for endgame bosses. Again, not much to say about this.
Blasphemy-Elemental Weakness/Enfeeble/Assassin's Mark
- I go with Wrath and HoI at all times but it really isn't ideal for bossing. For mapping HoI gives you some clearspeed, which is cool and all, but on bosses it only gives you a bit of flat damage. Replacing it with Ele weakness or Assassin's Mark for bosses will give you more damage, but your mana reserves might be a bit tight. You may need to remove Empower from your Wrath and/or add an enlighten to the blasphemy.
- Blasphemy Enfeeble is an exceptionally strong defensive layer for an evasion/dodge based character. If you want to be more safe I would highly recommend it. For mapping you can use blasphemy+HoI and drop Wrath. Depending on how much unreserved mana you end up with you could add HoT as well.
- Shield Charge can’t pass through empty space or over ledges, but leap slam can. If you have an unused socket in your mapping setup, leap slam is nice to have.
- This skill is fun to use but that's about it. Use it if you like.
- Not needing portal scrolls is just nice quality of life, but it’s entirely non-essential.
My current skill gem setup for extra safe mapping
After farming guardians and shaper for a bit (around 12 shaper kills, farmed all the sets myself), I decided to push high levels with this character since I enjoy playing it so much. My current damage output is overkill for mapping anyway, so I decided to use a more defensive gem setup. This is a quick overview of that setup, if there are links I don't discuss it's because they are unchanged.
Cyclone - Ice Bite - EDWA - Inc AoE - Damage on Full - Added Cold damage
- I replaced ruthless with Added Cold for two reasons. First, ruthless is fantastic for bossing but for a mapping focused setup it is more inconsistent than a flat damage gem like added cold because each pack only needs one or two casts of cyclone to clear. Second, cyclone is a pretty safe skill vs. reflect usually, but when ruthless procs it can be very dangerous.
Cyclone with Atziri's Acuity
Cyclone - Ice Bite - EDWA - Inc AoE - Increased Critical Strikes - Added Cold damage
- Specced out of VP once I got Acuity and replaced damage on full life with Inc crit to up my effective crit chance to around 88%. Damage is still more than good enough for mapping and crits are noticeably more consistent. I'd say this setup is definitely safer than using Damage on Full, even without Acuity. Single target damage is noticeably worse. If you colour your chest to 3G2B1R for these links then I would replace inc crit with elemental focus, added lightning or crit damage for bossing.
Auras and Heralds
HoI - HoT - Enlighten - Onslaught
Blasphemy - Enfeeble - Enlighten
- I replaced Wrath with a blasphemy+enfeeble setup. This brings my evasion up to 67% and makes affected enemies deal 30% less damage. To generate power charges I placed a Blue Dream in the Scion resistance cluster, giving me a permanent 28% chance to gain a power charge on kill.
HoI is more important to me than Wrath for mapping since it boosts clearspeed and is just really satisfying to use. I added HoT since I had some unreserved mana to work with.
CWDT - IC - Ice golem - Tempest Shield
- Replaced Enfeeble with Tempest Shield. Some additional block chance gained with this setup. I would love to fit Blind in somewhere with something like vengeance+blind but I don't really have any space for it and I'm already using a stibnite so not really sure it's worth doing.
2 passive points or Alira.
I took 2 passive points first but later on I needed resists from passives so I changed it to Alira.
Passive tree and Ascendancy points
Suggested lvl 90 passive tree. This is the base tree you should work from. We want life, crit, frenzy charges and elemental damage, while picking up other useful nodes along the way. If you need more resists or int, you can easily get it by giving up some life nodes. There are three jewel sockets within 3 points each if you want more of those.
This suggested tree does not include Vaal Pact. If you feel like you need it, this is the suggested lvl 90 tree including VP. The new placement is somewhat awkward and I haven't found a way to spend fewer than 3 points getting it.
My current passive tree at lvl 97. Took more life nodes, an additional socket and Cloth and Chain because I need the resists.
Way of the Poacher -> Avatar of the Slaughter -> Quartz Infusion -> Avatar of the Veil
Check out the FAQ section if you are interested in trying different Raider Branch combinations.
This lvl 67 passive tree can be used as a base for any raider build that uses attack skills with crit and elemental damage.
You can level with any skill you prefer but skills with innate conversion like frost blades are good for this type of passive tree while leveling. If you go with frost blades you can use a Ewar’s Mirage up- and into maps.
If you want to level with cyclone you could use a 2handed weapon or a fast 1hander.
Fidelitas’ Spike and Chitus’ Needle are good leveling weapons and can be combined with Wake of Destruction and Prismweave for flat elemental damage.
Incomplete list of other good leveling uniques
Suggested tree progression while leveling
Lunaris has strong benefits for mapping.
Solaris is good for single-target encounters.
Arakaali's first secondary effect has strong synergy with Blood rage and CWDT-Immortal Call. "50% increased Recovery of Life and Energy Shield if you've stopped taking Damage Over Time Recently". Blood rage's degen is physical, IC makes you immune to physical and triggers the 50% increased recovery, which then applies to leech, making you leech much faster.
Yugul used to be the default choice but with the reflect rework it's only good if you're actually doing a reflect map.
Ryslatha is fantastic for lab.
Shakari is probably the best "default" choice at the moment, since there's not much chaos res available for this build.
Garukhan is nice for movement speed if you have the secondary effect and the evasion is also good.
My gear in the showcase vids, PoB pastebin and screenshots of effective DPS
This is a DPS calculation with conc effect vs Shaper/Guardian. I tried to make it realistic, so no power charges, no assassin's mark, no frost bomb, no vaal haste. All "buff" factors that are enabled are highlighted in yellow. Without any flasks active the DPS goes down to 579k.
With every single buff and debuff active (theoretical peak DPS) it goes up to 1.488.909.
My current gear at lvl 97
Map mods to avoid
No leech is impossible, elemental reflect is unsafe but can be made less so with Sibyl's Lament + Yugul pantheon. Most other mods are fine. If you have a flask of warding you can run all the curse mods like temp chains and elemental weakness.
In Guardian maps I would be careful about running curse mods or "dodge is unlucky". Since your curse invulnerability is dependent on flask uptime it's not quite reliable in long fights and dodge is an important defensive layer.
Tips and tricks
Last edited by Euploid on Mar 15, 2018, 10:22:14 PM
Last bumped on Jun 9, 2018, 7:19:55 PM
The passive tree is mostly the same but no additional frenzy charges are taken. The extra points go into attack speed, life and sockets.
Nature's Boon -> Master Alchemist -> Veteran Bowyer -> Nature's Adrenaline
If you spec out of frenzy nodes, Darkray vectors are no longer good. Instead you should use any of the alternate choices outlined in the gear section above. I would use rare boots and possibly exchange rare gloves for Maligaro's Virtuosity.
Wise Oak is highly recommended for Pathfinder.
Gem link changes
Remove Ice Bite from your cyclone links and replace it with Added Cold. If you want frenzy charge generation, you have 4 options:
My suggested passive tree is mostly the same, key difference is no extra frenzies and the addition of Phase Acrobatics. You can still play Champion the same as the Raider build, focusing on Frenzies, but you'll have to add some charge generators to your links.
Conqueror -> Worthy Foe -> Inspirational -> Unstoppable Hero
No need for Lycosidae with Champion, so you can use any shield you want. The best ones are usually the rares but Magna Eclipsis and others are also good.
If you spec out of frenzy nodes, Darkray vectors are no longer good. Instead you should use any of the alternate choices outlined in the gear section above. Consider Maligaro's Virtuosity in particular.
Otherwise it should be the same as Raider.
No elemental ailment immunity, you'll need a Freeze-immunity flask.
Gem link changes
If you don't take extra frenzy charges, remove Ice Bite from your cyclone links and replace it with Added Cold. If you want frenzy charge generation, you have 4 options:
My suggested passive tree is very similar to Raider, but includes Phase Acrobatics.
Swift Killer, Harness the Void, Weave the Arcane and Ghost Dance in any order you prefer.
Still need Lycosidae, still want frenzies and Darkray Vectors. Needs an additional source of single-target frenzy charge generation like Frenzy.
No elemental ailment immunity from Ascendancy so you need a Heat flask.
This section contains some of my replies to questions posted in the thread. Sort of like an FAQ section but more just extra information I consider useful.
Why do I not get the ice spikes effect on kill shown in the gif/video?
It's the Gloom Herald MTX effect on Herald of Ice.
League starter viability
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: Raider using any attack skill with crit and flat elemental damage can work as a league starter. 8 Frenzy charges are easy to acquire and you can get rare weapons with high attack speed and crit chance for cheap. Herald of Ice, Ice Bite and Wrath take your damage surprisingly far on their own. Lycosidae will be relatively expensive early on in leagues, but still easily obtainable.
Cyclone in particular is a bit restrictive when it comes to early gearing since you can only use foils or two-handers. ST and blade flurry are more forgiving in that you can use a dagger or claw instead if you happen to find a good one. Ele foils aren't popular at the moment though, so they tend to be cheaper than the more popular Claws.
I played a Spectral Throw raider to lvl 90 using the exact same concepts applied in this cyclone build for Turmoil 10-day. It worked very well once I got the key items but early leveling was not the best. I was surprised by how easy the gearing ended up being, the character had pretty decent items at the end for the most part. Gear can be viewed in the link above or in spoiler below.
Is it viable? For an experienced player, definitely. I wouldn't hesitate to start a league with an ele damage raider again.
Is it noob-friendly? I wouldn't say so. Raider is very good if you know how to take advantage of a fast clearspeed early on but dealing only elemental damage can mean you'll have some trouble killing bosses. If you keep dying you'll level slowly and if you skip bosses you'll progress through the atlas slowly.
Gearing is also not as simple as it is for phys attack builds or basic spell builds since you'll need to juggle multiple different sources of increased damage and survivability. For newer players this build would be better suited as a 2nd or 3rd build of a new league.
Turmoil ST character gear at 90
The foil you have equipped would be decent if you can replace the multi craft with attack speed. You'll need some EDWA rings as well and if possible while keeping resists capped Belt of the Deceiver.
Essence of Zeal is the easiest way to get a good foil, since attack speed is the most important stat and crit chance can be crafted while the flat ele rolls are pretty common prefixes.
Alt-crafting is simple but it can take a lot of alts to get the right rolls.
As a reminder, the stat priority on foils is as follows:
Attack speed > Crit chance >> T1 flat lightning > Multi > EDWA > Other flat ele rolls
You can use the in-game detailed info setting to see affix tiers now, but if you want to see beforehand which affixes can roll and which tiers they have, poeaffix.net is a nice tool to use.
1. Get a Jewelled Foil at item lvl 77 or higher. Preferably exactly 77, this is the minimum ilvl for T1 attack speed. Higher ilvls dilute the pool of possible affixes, but not significantly enough to be a huge issue.
2. Quality to 20%
3. Transmute and alt/augment. What you're looking for is any T1 flat ele roll (lightning is the best but for a 10day any t1 ele roll will suffice) and a good suffix, i.e. attack speed, crit chance or crit multi.
If regal supply is the limiting factor in your crafting you should only regal attack speed or crit chance and not multi. If you hit T1 attack speed you can be more lenient with the flat ele roll; T2 flat lightning and T1 attack speed with mastercrafted crit chance is already decent.
4. Regal once you have an acceptable magic item, hoping for crit chance or attack speed. If you hit a shitty crit chance roll (anything below 20%) or a really bad attack speed roll (anything below 12-15%), you need to scour but there are no other total brick rolls in an alt-regal only crafting scenario. Another flat ele roll, EDWA or multi are all fine and even if you hit a resist or something you can still make an okay foil if your pre-regal suffix was good.
5. If you're still missing either crit chance or attack speed after regaling you mastercraft the one you're missing. If you have both of those, you mastercraft multi in most scenarios but you should plug it into PoB before you do and compare multi with EDWA and another flat ele roll.
6. Including this step for completeness but this is only if you're exalt-crafting. If you have T1 flat lightning and at least t2 attack speed with any other high rolled good affix like multi, flat or whatever, you craft crit chance and exalt. Always block crit chance before exalting if the foil doesn't have it already. If your exalt hits a low tier crit chance roll, the item is basically bricked and you wasted an exalt.
Normally you don't exalt a foil with no natural attack speed roll.
Here are some foils I alt-regal crafted in Harbinger. Never got a good enough regal to be really worth pursuing but they're good examples of decent-ish foils that were relatively cheap to craft. The first one is living testament to why you shouldn't exalt foils with no attack speed roll :)
This build vs. Slayer cyclone
I wouldn't really say it's better so much as it is different.
Fundamentally, the typical slayer cyclone build will use physical damage, two-handed weapons and the Resolute Technique keystone, which disables crit but gives you 100% accuracy. My raider build uses elemental damage, one-handed weapons and crit (but still has 100% accuracy).
Practically, raider is generally faster and can scale its damage higher because of crit while slayer is generally slower but more tanky.
In more detail:
Slayer can use Kaom's Heart with a six-link weapon and get a ton of life that way. I started Harbinger league with a cyclone slayer, with decent gear and Kaom's Heart I had around 7.5k life. Starforge builds can get even more, especially with the Blood Magic keystone. Slayer has reflect protection and constant leech, which are strong defensive layers.
This raider build can't use Kaom's and gets less life from passives so it ends up with 5-6k life, depending on item choices and gear level. Evasion, dodge, enfeeble, freeze/chill and Vaal Pact are very strong defensive layers though - I basically never die in maps unless I get hit by volatile or strongbox ice nova.
My decently geared slayer had around 460k effective Cyclone DPS vs Shaper, 600k including Ancestral Warchief - those DPS numbers are around what you should expect to reach with a standard cyclone slayer phys build without very good gear.
This raider build can relatively easily reach 900k effective shaper DPS only from Cyclone, and the ceiling is higher than it is for non-crit builds. If you want even more damage you can use Blade flurry for endgame bosses to reach 1.2 million (something 2hand builds cannot do).
It's hard to compare clearspeed fairly. In the end though, with enough damage you will oneshot every pack and the defining attribute for clearspeed becomes movement speed, both literal running speed and speed of movement skills. This is where raider clearly beats slayer.
My Slayer character had +152% movement speed fully buffed and could only use Leap Slam as a movement skill, which is in general slower than shield charge (faster for lab though).
Fully buffed (which is all the time in maps) my raider character has +217% movement speed. This is already very high but in practice it is even higher because you will mostly use Shield Charge to move. The speed of shield charge is based on both movement and attack speed, both of which are very high for this build.
High movement speed also makes cyclone feel better to play because it locks your trajectory when you choose a cast point and higher ms makes you finish each attack faster.
I like the playstyle of raider more than slayer mostly because I like to go fast and raider is much faster. For a beginner I would probably recommend a non-crit slayer build over mine because the build and the mechanics are simpler.
PoB for my slayer if anyone wants to have a look, it's a bit of a mess but the settings in the link should be accurate.
On dual wielding
The answer to this question is a bit complicated so bear with me here.
The problem with dual wield cyclone is that cyclone has no weapon restrictions, so you can't use a stat-stick dual wield setup like you can with sunder, blade flurry etc. This means that the one of your weapons that is worse will be dragging your DPS down. You do gain 10% more attack speed, which is significant for a flat ele build like this one.
The passive tree isn't favorable for dual wield with elemental damage either; most of the dual wield nodes increase physical damage and block, which are useless stats for this build. There is one cluster (Twin terrors) that gives a lot of crit chance, though.
Also, if you dual wield you will need to use whirling blades, which is slower than shield charge for this build since it has so much movement speed.
Can dual wield increase DPS compared to lycosidae? Yes, but it requires very heavy investment. If you have two good foils (ideally two copies of the same item, one or both mirrored) and high accuracy rolls on accessories and gloves, it could be a DPS increase to one good foil + lycosidae.
Is dual wield a valid alternative to a rare shield if you can't afford lycosidae just yet? Definitely. The 10% more attack speed is very strong for an ele build like this one. Rare shields offer strong defensive stats but if your damage is lacking DW is worth trying out. You should use Path of Building to test it for your character.
I will admit that I haven't actually explored DW too much for this particular build but I will add it to the list of things I want to test. I hope my reply answered your question.
Notes on Abyss Jewels
Notes on Abyss Jewels
There are four subtypes of abyss jewels, each with their own "class" of affixes:
Unlike regular jewels, Abyss jewels have some tiered affixes. For example, all types can roll flat life, which has the following tiers:
They can also roll many of the same affixes that regular jewels have, like str/int/dex, resists, attack speed, multi etc. These rolls are all generic (there is nothing like %increased attack speed while holding a shield) and have just one tier, which is usually the same tier as can be found on normal jewels.
All of the types should be able to roll only generic mods, in which case they could then be used for any build, but the jewels that are most likely to be useful for this build are Murderous and Searching.
Murderous Eye jewels, the melee-focused type, have the largest pool of prefixes of any of the subtypes, which is a bit unfortunate. You can check out the possible rolls here.
Mods that benefit this build include, but are not limited to:
Why your foil needs to have crit chance
All base types of weapons have a base crit chance, for foils it's 5.5%. Chance to crit on attack is then calculated like this:
where BaseCriticalStrikeChance is the base critical strike chance of the skill or weapon, AdditionalCriticalStrikeChance is the sum of all relevant +#% to Critical Strike Chance and IncreasedCriticalStrikeChance is the sum of all relevant #% increased Critical Strike Chance.
For example, if the player is using a weapon with 5% chance to crit, and has +1% to Critical Strike Chance and 50% increased Critical Strike Chance, he will have a 9% chance to score a critical strike.
The reason why crit chance on your weapon is so important is that %increased critical strike chance on a weapon is a Local modifier, as opposed to the %increased critical strike chance on for example Rat's Nest, which is Global. What this means is that in the above formula, your BaseCriticalStrikeChance is modified by the local modifier before any other calculations are performed, so local crit chance increases your base critical strike chance.
I keep running out of mana, wat do?
This is a recurring issue for people starting the build. I never encountered it myself aside from single-target encounters but I think I've been able to pinpoint why it happens.
It's a matter of damage-to-"cast" speed ratio, that is to say if you've gotten all the frenzy charges and stuff but don't have Bronn's, Opal Rings, high level gems etc, your damage output and thus leech isn't high enough to keep up with how often you're casting cyclone.
Once you upgrade your body armour to Bronn's you should notice it a lot less, possibly not at all. Until then you can try picking up the Spirit Void node or a jewel with mana gain on hit.
Yet another thing to try is just moving your mouse pointer a bit farther away from your character so that each cyclone "cast" is a longer. Cyclone costs mana each time you select a new point to travel to, so if you just increase the distance of each cast you'll be spending the mana less frequently.
Ways to increase the AoE of cyclone beyond 25
I made a spreadsheet comparing AoE, DPS and Crit chance of a few different setups (open image in new tab if it is too small to read):
To me the compromise you came up with looks like the most well-rounded choice, but I might be missing some other good combinations.
I'm using this PoB to generate numbers for comparison, it's the same PoB that I normally use to gearcheck and stuff except I equipped my ~4ex Blood Song rather than the placeholder ~1-2ex foil I usually compare with. I'm guessing a 3W prismatic should cost about 3-4 ex or less in temp leagues (?).
Since PoB doesn't seem to take the white sockets into account on its own and I don't know of a way to edit weapon range manually on the weapon itself, I used this jewel to simulate the added range of 3W prismatic:
Onslaught branch vs Phasing branch
The "Attack damage" modifier applies to any damage delivered with an Attack Skill, as opposed to a Spell Skill. Read below for the comparison between the phasing and onslaught branches.
There is no Dodge chance in the Onslaught branch. There is some increased evasion but no dodge.
The onslaught branch compares to the phasing branch as follows for my PoB:
1. More DPS (around 12%)
2. Slightly more movement speed (4%)
3. 6% less attack dodge and 10% less spell dodge
4. 16% more evasion
5. No elemental ailment immunity.
Either branch is fine really but imo the dodge and ailment immunity outweigh the increased DPS. The increased evasion and ms are completely negligible.
What about taking the onslaught branch instead of the frenzy branch?
Alright, I misunderstood. I just assumed you meant onslaught over phasing since that's what I keep getting asked.
I've never sat down and done this comparison actually, I considered this idea briefly when the changes were announced but I just dismissed it because losing Avatar of the Slaughter means losing frenzy charge generation in single target encounters. Since I don't like just assuming something to be bad without testing it I set up a comparison in PoB with the following parameters:
- Character level 90, Alira bandit, my standard recommended 90 tree.
- Uncorrupted Darkray Vectors, so total 8 frenzy charges
- Standard recommended cyclone links with Ice bite
- Lvl 90, Alira, specced out of frenzy nodes and used the 6 spare points for another socket, some STR and a bit of %life.
- Atziri's Step instead of Darkray Vectors (rare boots might be better but whatever, I just wanted any pair with at least 30% ms)
- Ice bite removed from cyclone links, replaced with Added Lightning
Buffs and enemy setup
- Both have frenzy and power charges enabled
- Slaughter+Veil does not have onslaught enabled
- Boss is Shaper/Guardian, intimidated
So this is what the comparison ends up looking like. Left side is Slaughter+Veil, right is Veil+Chase
- DPS drops considerably from Slaughter+Veil to Chase+Veil but APS is not that much worse
- Life is markedly improved for Veil+Chase since you have more points to spend on %life and you can get +life on boots.
- Movement speed is a bit higher for Chase+veil
- The lack of Darkray Vectors for veil+chase ends up losing 16% attack dodge but since I chose Aziri's Step there is 15% more spell dodge.
So in the end I think Veil+chase is definitely an option. The DPS is the biggest downside but it is somewhat redeemed by the increase in EHP and lower investment threshold for >200% ms. If you want to do endgame bosses I think Slaughter+Veil is still the best choice but if you're just mapping I think Veil+Chase might be a little better.
Last edited by Euploid on Apr 15, 2018, 4:52:16 PM
Nice guide! You really explained everything pretty good and I just love cyclone raider. Atm I am working on my CoC cyclone inquisitor build and I think I got new inspiration to improve my build. When I have some time left this saison i really wanna try out your build.
Would you still take the evasion flask with smoke mine with Queen of the Forest? I guess in this case it would be better to go with one with more effect or not?
[3.2] Bashtart's Spark Inquisitor: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1838569
[3.2] Oni-Goroshi Frost Blades Trickster: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2077486
Last edited by bashtart on Oct 18, 2017, 11:54:23 AM
For mapping with QotF I would probably use quicksilver of adrenaline, jade of reflexes, stibnite of warding, diamond of staunching and for the 5th flask any of Silver, Atziri's or Vinktar. For bossing I would replace the jade with another damage flask.
Curse immune flasks are a must now that they work on map mods and Stibnite flasks are definitely the best flask for it since they are so reliable. I've even done guardian curse maps with my Surgeon's Stibnite of Warding, has basically 100% uptime even during the bossfight with Surgeon's prefix.
That being said of course you could just skip the stibnite, roll your jade flask with "of warding" and it would probably have close to 100% uptime while mapping since you move so fast, especially if you get a good sustain prefix.
Nice build, good job man.
Following along with this build and really enjoying it. At level 92 right now and guardians/shaper are pretty easy. Uber lab can be a little annoying but it is very doable, dropping VP like he said helps a lot. I am hoping to give uber atziri a try in another level or two.
on Oct 23, 2017, 4:50:30 PM
I wanted to update my previous thread about Uber lab being a pain. It turns out I was just approaching it wrong. I was going in trying to navigate traps slowly and stay safe. Today I switched to a setup with 3 hp bleed flasks, a quicksilver flask and my vinktar. I approach traps at max speed and hit bleed flasks as I run through them. Not only is the lab safer this way, I am doing labs in under 6 minutes. Changing this approach took me from trap death in 25% of labs to running 10 in a row deathless and ending up at #9 on the ladder for the day.
on Oct 24, 2017, 1:18:00 PM
#9 is nothing to scoff at, good job! I'll have to try some runs again myself using your strategy to see if I can get on the board.
Last edited by Euploid on Oct 25, 2017, 3:19:50 PM
I’m currently running this build, It’s fast , and the dps is insane. I was running a duelist slayer cyclone to farm , is not as efficient as this ranger cyclone build
Do you mind looking at my profile and see what else I can improve on besides, getting a headhunter belt . .
I'm glad you're having success with the build! I can do a gearcheck for you no problem but it's much easier for me if you link all the gear you use in a comment, including jewels, flasks and any swap gear (like a bossing-specific amulet or something).