|| Discharge Witch Build || 50k+ AOE DPS 0.11.c

On a break from POE, some possbly final notes
Creator here. Guide is a bit out of date because I'm taking a break for a while, but I just played some maps again and it was pretty fun. I'll just say a few things now because I'm not sure I can be bothered to keep updating the guide.

This is my gear

This is my current tree

My resists are overcapped at 75/75/75

Running level 17 discipline and clarity with 400 spare mana which I'm not sure what to do with. 100 mana/sec regen. 1k tooltip DPS for ice spear with no charges, obviously way way higher at range because of all my crit multi. Didn't check discharge DPS but I believe it is somewhere around 70k.

My char is on standard so I don't have access to Voll's Devotion. Atziri's Foible was there until I could get more stats. The requirements are now fulfilled but I just haven't gotten round to getting a new amulet. Now that that is cleared up...

You will kill yourself to reflect if you aren't careful. It can be avoided and doesn't happen to me anymore, but it is a playstyle issue which some people have trouble with. Charging into rooms to discharge without looking will get you killed regardless of whether there is a reflect mob in there or not. This build is designed with a very powerful ice spear to thin packs and hold everything still. Walk up, observe, ice spear/skele totem and then discharge once you think it is safe. Just please, make sure you have capped cold resistance so you can kill the reflect mobs. I've cleared elemental reflect maps with nothing but ice spear in under 15 minutes.

I don't use an Eye of Chayula or Unwavering Stance. Despite what people say, the build is perfectly playable without them. Again, this is a playstyle issue. Use Ice Spear to lockdown a room while your skele totem raises up the distractions. You can kill everything with ice spear almost as quickly if you need to. I tend to use ice spear on high threat mobs, such as anything which uses puncture (I hate puncture with a passion). Discharge is your "oh shit" button if they get too close. I can't remember the last time I died from stunlock.

Finally, just remember this isn't a pure discharge build. You have to show Ice Spear some love, and you have to let the skeletons out to play. Don't rush unless you're sure you won't die and this build can be a lot of fun.

Discharge - the build

Discharge is a strong, 1 time use explosion which releases all of your frenzy, power and endurance charges. This build focuses on quickly collecting lots of charges before nuking everything nearby. Charges regenerate every time you kill something, so often you can chain 3 or 4 powerful ones in a row. Playing in a party will increase the entire teams clear speed substantially as you'll constantly keep everyone at max frenzy/power/endurance charges.

I've got 3 Frenzy, 3 Endurance and 7 Power charges currently, which are more than enough to 1 hit whites and most blues on the screen. At level 70, I'm doing 1500 dps ice spear and 60k discharge damage. Anyway, lets get down to it.

Three Variations

Critical Focused, highest DPS (Best for solo play)
The ideal build if you aren't going to be partying much. So much crit chance you'll be chaining 5-6 explosions in a row. It's basically an overkill of DPS, but even the strongest rares will get destroyed in seconds. Spec out of crit chance a little bit to get more survivability if necessary.

The Passive Tree:
100 Skill Points

Critical Focused, Early Conduit Build (Best for party play)
Damage for this variation is spikey but very high. Lots of crit multiplier and chance will push your discharge damage way up without having to stack so many charges, allowing you to explode more often. At full charges and a few critical passives, the crit chance for discharge will be at almost 50%, allowing you to chain many critical explosions in a row. Can reach conduit by around level 60.

The Passive Tree:
86 Skill Points

Stack Loads of Charges Build (Lower, but more consistent DPS)
Reliable, massive damage. You won't explode as often but know that when you do, everything will die guaranteed. You'll branch out into the Templar, Shadow and central areas on the tree to chase down the extra charges and area of effect. Eonclaire is using 2 Kaom's Sign rings for even more Endurance charges, but those are if you can afford to lose both ring slots. Conduit comes a bit later with this build.

The Passive Tree:
86 Skill Points

Bandit Rewards
Normal - Skill Point
Cruel - Skill Point/Cast speed
Merciless - Power charge

My current gear

I've gotten quite a lot of questions about how you actually level this char. It's important to note that discharge won't really be viable for this build until at least level 40, so if you try and build straight into discharge you're gonna have a bad time. Your character has to be able to survive and progress using just ice spear for offense early on, so focus on getting some ES and crit multiplier first. Get Clarity aura as soon as possible too. Keep in mind that when making the switch to discharge you're gonna lose a ton of mana because of Voll's and odds are you'll lose some ES too, so you'll need to account for all these things first. Chaos innoculation should be grabbed at least before act 3 cruel when chaos damage starts to get dangerous.

So to recap, you need to get these things under control first
Energy Shield - Trust me, more discharge power wont save you if your ES sucks
Mana Regen - You gotta be able to spam ice spear to get charges
Distractions - Ele prolif/skele totem gonna save your life more than once
Stats - This build uses a lot of gems from the dex and str alignment
Crit Multi - Enough so you can ride the ice spear train until you're a high enough level

And after this, you get to spec into whatever you like, such as
Increased AOE
Crit chance/multi
Additional charges

Early level passive trees
30 Skill Points

50 Skill Points
(You can take Chaos Innoc whenever you are ready, chaos damage is pretty low early on so having the extra life is better)


For Discharge to be most effective, there are two supports which are your bread and butter. Concentrated Effect will almost double the damage at high levels, and without it the explosion will be useless. This support greatly reduces the size of your explosion however, so you'll need Increased Area of Effect to cancel it out. As these gems level up, the damage increase gets stronger and the increased area grows. 20% Quality on Discharge and Increased AOE will add 20% and 7% area respectively. That's a huge boost, so strive for it if you can. Other slots can either be filled with crit chance and crit damage, or item rarity and item quantity depending on the situation.

Volls Protector is key. Power charges will be gained by getting critical strikes with Ice Spear which has a base 49% chance to crit at range. With these build, your goal is to get charges as quickly as possible, so support ice spear with LMP. Single bosses are sometimes best dealt with using just Ice Spear so stick Increased Critical Damage on top of it too. You'll need a way to control the hoards of monsters as well. Adding Elemental Proliferation to Ice Spear, combined with your passive skills, will cause mass freezing while you gather up your power charges. Swapping Chain in can potentially increase the freeze duration as the projectile continues to bounce and crit, at expense of some single target damage.

Because you've chosen to use Chaos Innoculation, Blood Rage is your best friend. Every enemy you kill now grants you a frenzy charge, increasing your cast speed by 5% each, maxing at +15% cast speed. Not to mention the big damage boost the charges add to Discharge. You don't want the fun to stop after the first explosion either, which is why you're gonna want a really high quality Enduring Cry. The Quality of mine is not maxed, but still has a 52% chance to give an endurance charge when you kill something.

What does this mean? If you score a crit (about a 60% chance) with the first discharge and kill a big group, you can immediately gain another 12 charges. Now you can either explode again immediately, finishing the survivors, or sprint off to the next big group to demolish them too.

Defense, Distractions and Auras

You'll notice pretty early that spamming Ice Spear chews through your mana quickly, especially with the big hit it takes because of Voll's Protector. Clarity with lots of %mana regeneration on items are going to save your life here. And of course, Summon Skeletons and Totem for ultimate distractions. As soon as you can afford it, bring in Discipline because you are Chaos Inoculation and Energy Shield is all you've got.

End game skill tree:
100 Skill Points

I've chosen to focus more on extra critical chance to push the damage even higher, but really you'll have to decide based off the gear you have. I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't be comfortable with the low ES that I have, but if you play carefully with this build there isn't much that can stop you with the amount of freezing power you have. Elemental Proliferation and Ice Spear are just so good at crowd control.

I remade this build heaps of times during the closed beta, so I'll hopefully be able to answer any questions.
P̯̹̙̥̉̏ͦͯA̠̝̰̣̯͕͚̲̭͈̥̠͑̓̿ͦ̾ͯ̍ͅͅȚ̜̦͕̞̞̠̮͎͔͙͔̺̺͉̟̿̿̏ͬ͛͋̍ͮ̌̚H̹͕͚̟͍̘̤̱̻̬͓̬̮̫̦͖̳̹ͮͨ̒̉ͮ̿̈ͪ̇̿͆ͭ̃ͭ̃ͭ̚ ̲̫̞̤͓̳͑ͬ̾͌ͯ͐͂̿͗ͨ͋͑̍͐͗̾̄O͕̮̻͔̳̠͉͖̳͖͈̻͇͈̣̙̪͈ͨ͐̒̽ͣ̋ͅF̣͎̞̞̯̝ͦ͌̆ͥ̈͐̾ͣ̔ͮ̐̀̏ͪ̚ ̟̩͙̙̩̮̻̼ͬ͑ͥͦ͗̿E̼̭̩̜͕̱̤̭̞͖̳͍̝̤̼͓̗ͩͫ̌ͬ̊̋̄͑͗̽X͕̰̪̱̲̩̙̦͓͓̯̠̤̝̝̯̣̥̀̋̌̍̚Ȉ̖̟͔̩̝̊̿ͪͅL̺͓̻̰̀͋̅ͮͧE͔̼͚͕̮̻̟̩̪̖̫̪̦͙̎̑͆̏ͨͅ
Last edited by lukeiy on Aug 8, 2013, 1:45:28 PM
Why dont you need crit chance?

I dont think that is near enough ES for a CI build, especially when you need to be close range to use Discharge =/.

Also i was thinking of a Templar using Terminus Est + Volls with Static Blows spamming Arc with a high crit chance using Warlord's Mark; Endurance Charges from cry+Curse, Frenzy and Power charges from crits with terminus/volls. Using HP/resists/armour.

Something like this:

Here's my Witch version probably using Arc or Ice Spear or Freezing Pulse spam, it has more ES, crit and crit damage while keeping AoE radius, spell damage. It also gets Inner Force.

Last edited by schisist on Mar 2, 2013, 1:53:48 AM
Because ice spear has a 49% chance to crit at range, points into crit chance are wasted. With all those area passives, quality discharge (1% quality adds 1% area of effect) and increased area of effect the size of the explosion is huge, much further than the range of most archers. Ice spear will freeze enemies long enough for you to run in, discharge, and bail again before they can move. If you try the combo of ice spear and elemental proliferation, you'll find it is really effective at disabling all the enemies nearby especially with the extra area of effect too.

Terminus est + crit chance is a pretty sweet idea, but you're losing out on 100%+ spell damage available from wands and spirit shields. Discharge is best when its able to wipe out most things in 1 hit because lots of time is wasted between explosions. Spell damage is king if you want discharge to be your main method of killing stuff.
P̯̹̙̥̉̏ͦͯA̠̝̰̣̯͕͚̲̭͈̥̠͑̓̿ͦ̾ͯ̍ͅͅȚ̜̦͕̞̞̠̮͎͔͙͔̺̺͉̟̿̿̏ͬ͛͋̍ͮ̌̚H̹͕͚̟͍̘̤̱̻̬͓̬̮̫̦͖̳̹ͮͨ̒̉ͮ̿̈ͪ̇̿͆ͭ̃ͭ̃ͭ̚ ̲̫̞̤͓̳͑ͬ̾͌ͯ͐͂̿͗ͨ͋͑̍͐͗̾̄O͕̮̻͔̳̠͉͖̳͖͈̻͇͈̣̙̪͈ͨ͐̒̽ͣ̋ͅF̣͎̞̞̯̝ͦ͌̆ͥ̈͐̾ͣ̔ͮ̐̀̏ͪ̚ ̟̩͙̙̩̮̻̼ͬ͑ͥͦ͗̿E̼̭̩̜͕̱̤̭̞͖̳͍̝̤̼͓̗ͩͫ̌ͬ̊̋̄͑͗̽X͕̰̪̱̲̩̙̦͓͓̯̠̤̝̝̯̣̥̀̋̌̍̚Ȉ̖̟͔̩̝̊̿ͪͅL̺͓̻̰̀͋̅ͮͧE͔̼͚͕̮̻̟̩̪̖̫̪̦͙̎̑͆̏ͨͅ

Do you know if crits from spell totem spells give you Power Charges from Volls? I just tested this and the answer is no they do not.

If so you could have an Ice Spear Totem or a FP Totem with Faster Casting to back you up. Though you would be giving up Skeleton Totem most of the time i guess.

How do you deal with being CI and having such a low amount of +ES? That seems like you would die very often on Cruel Act 3 and beyond.

What about using LMP Power Siphon with a Wand? Youre already relying on killing enemies to get Frenzy Charges so it wouldnt be much different, youd get 50% more max mana though for no Volls.

Last edited by schisist on Mar 2, 2013, 2:07:51 AM
50% increased mana from not using Voll's*
It's additive so a few points in the passive tree cancel out the negative effects of Volls Protector pretty easily.

As for power siphon, you'll find that you have to spec into a lot more attack speed, wand damage and accuracy to get kills with it. None of these benefit discharge in any way. It's definitely doable but I found the explosion damage was much smaller than when you spec into spells which buff both ice spear and discharge.

Another method which worked very well but is probably a bit closer to what you want is using high attack speed and crit chance with wands, using frenzy and Voll's. I was able to reach 4+ attacks per second with a 35% base chance to crit. No wand damage is required really, so you can still buff your spell damage. It is a bit harder to pull off though, you need lots of accuracy and good gear.
P̯̹̙̥̉̏ͦͯA̠̝̰̣̯͕͚̲̭͈̥̠͑̓̿ͦ̾ͯ̍ͅͅȚ̜̦͕̞̞̠̮͎͔͙͔̺̺͉̟̿̿̏ͬ͛͋̍ͮ̌̚H̹͕͚̟͍̘̤̱̻̬͓̬̮̫̦͖̳̹ͮͨ̒̉ͮ̿̈ͪ̇̿͆ͭ̃ͭ̃ͭ̚ ̲̫̞̤͓̳͑ͬ̾͌ͯ͐͂̿͗ͨ͋͑̍͐͗̾̄O͕̮̻͔̳̠͉͖̳͖͈̻͇͈̣̙̪͈ͨ͐̒̽ͣ̋ͅF̣͎̞̞̯̝ͦ͌̆ͥ̈͐̾ͣ̔ͮ̐̀̏ͪ̚ ̟̩͙̙̩̮̻̼ͬ͑ͥͦ͗̿E̼̭̩̜͕̱̤̭̞͖̳͍̝̤̼͓̗ͩͫ̌ͬ̊̋̄͑͗̽X͕̰̪̱̲̩̙̦͓͓̯̠̤̝̝̯̣̥̀̋̌̍̚Ȉ̖̟͔̩̝̊̿ͪͅL̺͓̻̰̀͋̅ͮͧE͔̼͚͕̮̻̟̩̪̖̫̪̦͙̎̑͆̏ͨͅ
Cool concept, definitely going to give this a go.
Let me know how it goes for you dude
P̯̹̙̥̉̏ͦͯA̠̝̰̣̯͕͚̲̭͈̥̠͑̓̿ͦ̾ͯ̍ͅͅȚ̜̦͕̞̞̠̮͎͔͙͔̺̺͉̟̿̿̏ͬ͛͋̍ͮ̌̚H̹͕͚̟͍̘̤̱̻̬͓̬̮̫̦͖̳̹ͮͨ̒̉ͮ̿̈ͪ̇̿͆ͭ̃ͭ̃ͭ̚ ̲̫̞̤͓̳͑ͬ̾͌ͯ͐͂̿͗ͨ͋͑̍͐͗̾̄O͕̮̻͔̳̠͉͖̳͖͈̻͇͈̣̙̪͈ͨ͐̒̽ͣ̋ͅF̣͎̞̞̯̝ͦ͌̆ͥ̈͐̾ͣ̔ͮ̐̀̏ͪ̚ ̟̩͙̙̩̮̻̼ͬ͑ͥͦ͗̿E̼̭̩̜͕̱̤̭̞͖̳͍̝̤̼͓̗ͩͫ̌ͬ̊̋̄͑͗̽X͕̰̪̱̲̩̙̦͓͓̯̠̤̝̝̯̣̥̀̋̌̍̚Ȉ̖̟͔̩̝̊̿ͪͅL̺͓̻̰̀͋̅ͮͧE͔̼͚͕̮̻̟̩̪̖̫̪̦͙̎̑͆̏ͨͅ
About lvl 32 now, trying to prepare for the switch over to discharge play-style. Picked up 15%+ Enduring Cry and Discharge, so leveling them up as well. Not really sure what path you would recommend as far as leveling structure goes, but decided to work toward strengthening my ES so I can make a safe transition over to CI when appropriate. Got a 5S Voll's, but no luck on a 5L yet.

Would be interested in hearing any more detail you have on the build; what kind of gear you're aiming for, what your eventual links will all be, gameplay video would be cool too if you've got the time. Fairly excited to see how this will turn out.
Spell damage and cast speed are key for wands, +mana will be of great use too. +2 level of fire/ice/cold will make discharge wayyy stronger but you lose the potential for extra supports. I'll be reaching level 55 soon but its taken me a good few months. I made this guide because I don't have the time to rebuild it after OB so I want to see what it can do when taken to a high level.
P̯̹̙̥̉̏ͦͯA̠̝̰̣̯͕͚̲̭͈̥̠͑̓̿ͦ̾ͯ̍ͅͅȚ̜̦͕̞̞̠̮͎͔͙͔̺̺͉̟̿̿̏ͬ͛͋̍ͮ̌̚H̹͕͚̟͍̘̤̱̻̬͓̬̮̫̦͖̳̹ͮͨ̒̉ͮ̿̈ͪ̇̿͆ͭ̃ͭ̃ͭ̚ ̲̫̞̤͓̳͑ͬ̾͌ͯ͐͂̿͗ͨ͋͑̍͐͗̾̄O͕̮̻͔̳̠͉͖̳͖͈̻͇͈̣̙̪͈ͨ͐̒̽ͣ̋ͅF̣͎̞̞̯̝ͦ͌̆ͥ̈͐̾ͣ̔ͮ̐̀̏ͪ̚ ̟̩͙̙̩̮̻̼ͬ͑ͥͦ͗̿E̼̭̩̜͕̱̤̭̞͖̳͍̝̤̼͓̗ͩͫ̌ͬ̊̋̄͑͗̽X͕̰̪̱̲̩̙̦͓͓̯̠̤̝̝̯̣̥̀̋̌̍̚Ȉ̖̟͔̩̝̊̿ͪͅL̺͓̻̰̀͋̅ͮͧE͔̼͚͕̮̻̟̩̪̖̫̪̦͙̎̑͆̏ͨͅ
Last edited by lukeiy on Mar 3, 2013, 1:19:49 AM
How are you finding survivability? I have my doubts that skellies and ice spear lockdown will be enough in merciless. Anyway, making a slow transition into using discharge, gotta level up my gems first I guess.

Randomly found 50% Doedre's Tenure, you think the extra 50% spell damage is worth the loss in 20% casting speed, or does that hurt ice spear too much? Also, at this level having a bit of a mana problem. Will let you know how my progression goes - is a fun build so far anyway.

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