[3.4] SWOLE Blaze Vortex | RF BV Chieftain | 9K life | 3.5M Shaper DPS | Uber Elder down

1. Introduction

Summary: This build aims to combine the tankiness of Righteous Fire (RF) with the damage output of Blade Vortex (BV) employing the many synergies between these two abilities.

Video's:
Deathless Shaper video
Disclaimer: I recorded this playing on my laptop, quality is suboptimal to say the least :s

Pros:
Decent map clearing speed
Boss melting (over 1M Shaper dps)
Lots of room for investment
Safe for Uber lab
Tanky (over 8K life)
Does not require 6 linked gear (6L)
Easy resistance capping

Cons:
Clears slower than BV Elementalist
Survivability depends largely on Kaom’s Heart

Stats (lvl 92, ~5 exalt investment, no flasks):
8.5K life
85% fire resistance
79% cold resistance
79% lightning resistance
4K armour
3.5M peak Shaper dps (BV + Vaal BV + RF + Vaal RF)

Inspiration:
I’ve been in love with RF since my first RF build back in 3.0. Despite all RF builds having solid damage output, I felt they were not quite the boss melters. I threw this build together about half an hour prior to the Incursion League launch, partly to sate my RF fetish, and partly because I was going to play BV Elementalist, but then I found out Mathil was going to play that as well, and I’m not a pathetic meta slave (no offence <3).

2. Path of Building and passive tree

Copypasta for PoB:
https://pastebin.com/zMMYNj03

Lazy people link:
passive tree

Bandits:
Help Oak, life regeneration sustains RF, global physical damage scales BV, and physical damage reduction is always good to have.

3. Breakdown

Ascendancy:
The starting point for this build was the Chieftain ascendancy, the life regen comes in handy to sustain RF and, and the damage conversion, fire leech, fire penetration, and ash are all great for BV. Later we’ll also see that even the strength will be quite useful for this build.

Body Armour:
Now obviously a Life based RF build would need a Kaom’s Heart.

Shield:
RF would be very difficult to sustain without a maximum resistance shield, however that would leave us without a 6L for our BV setup, or would it?

Helmet:
Enter 6L Elder helmets. Having a helmet with the Elder mods that support socketed gems with Immolate and Concentrated Effect allows us to effectively have a 6L setup in our helmet, or even a 7L if you manage to get yourself a Horror crafted helmet with these mods.

Amulet:
RF builds typically don’t have that much dexterity from their tree, but we need 159 dexterity for a lvl 21 BV. Easy fix: Astramentis.

Gloves:
It would just be silly if we ran an Astramentis just to get the dexterity requirement, so of course we’re running it for more than just that. Astramentis gives us just enough intelligence to run Repentance and enough strength to justify actually running it. This effectively makes our BV setup an 8L.

Weapon:
Of course the best weapon to go with this much SWOLEness would be Doon Cuebiyari.

Boots:
Alberon’s Warpath gives us movement speed and more strength than any other pair of boots. An argument could be made that Kaom’s roots give slightly more life, but they don’t give us movement speed, nor do they increase our damage as significantly.

Belt:
A rare Elder belt with the increased life recovery mod really helps out with the RF sustain.

Rings:
A rare Elder ring with the Warlord’s Mark mod saves us the sockets we would otherwise have to invest to apply Warlord’s Mark. The other ring only needs to fill up the resistances.

Flasks:
These flasks are not strictly necessary for this build, just pick one or two depending on your preference and fill up the rest with a burn flask, a freeze flask, and a bleed flask:
- Soul Catcher / Soul Ripper
- The Wise Oak
- Dying Sun
- Blood of the Karui
Atziri's Promise and Taste of Hate will not be useful for this build due to Avatar of Fire!

4. Skill setups

BV setup (helmet):
Vaal Blade Vortex
Elemental Focus*
Controlled Destruction*
Added Fire Damage* / Fire Penetration*

RF setup (gloves / boots):
Vaal Righteous Fire*
Efficacy* / Concentrated Effect* / Increased Area*
Burning Damage*
Elemental Focus*

Mobility setup (weapon):
Shield Charge / Leap Slam
Faster Attacks*
Fortify*

Orb of Storms setup (gloves / boots):
Orb of Storms
Increased Duration*
Combustion*
Arcane Surge* (lvl 7 / 8 / 9, depends on your Orb of Storms lvl)

Arua setup (shield):
Vitality
Herald of Ash*
Enlighten (lvl 3 / 4)

Purity of Fire (amulet):
Due to the lack of sockets in this build, the optimal setup requires an amulet with the corruption implicit that grants lvl 23 Purity of Fire. Alternatively you can socket Purity of Fire in an Unset Ring, preferably with a +3 level to socketed gems mod. If you can not get your hands on either of these, then socket your aura setup in a 4L in place of the Orb of Storms setup.

*For these gems it is useful, but not necessary, to maximize their quality.

5. Playstyle

For general mapping just turn RF on and Shield Charge into packs while maintaining one or two stacks of BV.

For bosses we charge up BV before the fight, then shield charge in and try to maintain as many BV stacks as possible and occasionally drop an Orb of Storms on the target.

6. Leveling (courtesy by Nosferat)

If you go BV and RF from the start, you are going to have a bad time. Obviously you will not enjoy starting the league that way.

First you go towards pure RF while lvling with something like Sunder,(look at demi's RF chieftain build as a general direction on where to go) then,when you have your resists, your gear, everything sorted out, you respec and go towards BV or something else if you wish.

RF builds, be it chieftain, jugg,templar or others have absolutely no problem clearing pretty much all content just with RF alone.

You need something like scorching ray, or bv or others for the last % of the game, we talking red elder, uber elder, uber atziri,that sort of stuff,otherwise everything melts away fast, even in T15+maps with just RF alone. You will get very far in the delve with first sunder and then switching to RF, only when you reach shaper,uber elder type of depths in the delve, will you need to modify your build. This build is good for that last % of the game,but until you reach that type of steep hill, you do not need to make your life difficult by going RF BV from the start.

For leveling, you use sunder. And you can take that till you reach lvl 60 or 70 even.

- Sunder
- Multistrik Support
- Melee Physical Damage Support
- Chance to Bleed Support
- Concentrated Effect Support
- Added Fire Damage Support

This is what I have, there is no content at lvl 50+that causes any sort of problems, you can also lvl with cast while channeling,scorching ray+firesorm, but I like to be more mobile.

I farmed the currency for the tabula from act 1 to 5. Till then I used basic 2 link,3 link and then 4 links with cleave,and then sunder.

You can use sunder with either a 2h weapon or a 2X 1 handed weapons,the higher the base damage of the weapon, the better your clear with sunder will be.

Lvling with sunder is not only easier, but also less expensive. Also getting yourself a decent unique axe costs 1-2 alch, getting yourself starting gear to lvl with RF at the start of the league will not be easy when you barely have any currency.

https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/comments/8es2p6/basic_quick_guide_for_sunder_leveling_v2

7. Viablity

This is the first build I ever managed to down Shaper and Uber Elder with, making it a great personal milestone. This build can also do Guardians, Uber Izaro, red Elder, and normal Atziri. Uber Atziri has not yet been attempted. I’ve never played hardcore (HC), so I can’t say for certain whether this build is HC viable, but I’d guess it’s about as HC viable as the conventional RF builds, perhaps with some defensive adjustments.

8. My gear





9. Budgeting

If there is anything you can't afford for this build, here are some cheaper alternatives, though they are of course sub-optimal.

Kaom's Heart: any body armour with as much life as possible will do, you could even replace it with a Tabula Rasa if you can't afford a 6-link helmet. You will of course miss out on a ton of survivability by replacing Kaom's Heart.

Helmet: this is the most important part of the build. Having an helmet with even just one of the Elder mods should suffice, as that would practically provide a 5-Link.

Warlord's Mark ring: having Warlord's Mark is quite essential for this build. Without the ring you could replace two gems in the Orb of Storms setup with Warlord's Mark and Curse on Hit. If you don't want to run Orb of Storms, you can also just self cast Warlord's Mark.

Astramentis: alternatives for this amulet would either be much more expensive rares, or require immense passive point investment.

Purity of Fire (lvl 23) corruption implicit: swap your aura setup with one of the 4-link setups in order to include Purity of Fire.

Enlighten (lvl 3/4): drop Herald of Ash or Vitality.

Life recovery belt: any rare belt with life and resistances. You might need to use a Rise of the Phoenix and/or take a couple life regeneration nodes on the tree to compensate for the life regeneration needed for RF.

All the other gear pieces should cost no more than a couple chaos orbs.

10. Min-maxing (WIP)

If you have some currency to spare, then here are a couple of suggestions for investments:

Watcher's Eye: this jewel can have a couple mods that can add some survivability to the build:
- Life gain on hit while affected by Vitality
- Increased life regeneration rate while affected by Vitality
- Life regenerated per second while affected by Vitality
- Life leech while affected by Vitality
- Physical damage taken as fire damage while affected by Purity of Fire

Level 21 Vaal Blade Vortex: compared to a level 20 Blade Vortex, this provides a lot more damage.

Useful Helmet enchantments:
- Increased Blade Vortex damage
- Increased Blade Vortex AoE
- Increased Shield Charge attack speed

Useful Boot enchantments:
- Life and mana regenerated if you've been hit recently
- Added fire damage if you've killed recently

Useful helmet corruptions:
- +2 levels to socketed AoE gems
- +2 levels to socketed duration gems
- Life regenerated per second
- Increased maximum life

Useful body armour enchantments:

11. FAQ’s

Q: How is survivability on this compared to a RF jugg?
A: Compared to RF Jugg, I would say that this build is less resistant to burst damage, Shaper slam is about the biggest hit that we can tank. This is because we get fewer Endurance Charges and we don't get all that ridiculous damage mitigation from our ascendancy. On the other hand, against sustained damage we get the advantage of being able to leech life, something that RF builds typically don't have access to. If you find this specific build to be lacking defensives, I suggest you build your tree more towards the Duelist area rather than the Witch area to pick up nodes like Golem's Blood.



NOTE: This guide is still being written, there is more to come!
Last edited by davydavidsson on Sep 5, 2018, 8:25:30 AM
Last bumped on Dec 9, 2018, 12:12:36 PM
Reserved?
Hmm, interesting attempt, I'm looking at either starting a new one seeing that traps are now the new main thing, or simply revamping my jugg RF to diversify stuff.

On the ring one, you can either put a 20pof in a ring with +3 to socketed gems, or a 21 pof in a +2 level to socketed gems, get your basic resists+life on the ring+ you can have that max fire resist without having to sacrifice your amu or other gear.
Last edited by Nosferat on Jul 7, 2018, 1:06:38 PM
Cool build, how is survivability on this compared to a RJ jugg? Facetanky? How hard was Uber Elder?

Do you have videos?
"
On the ring one, you can either put a 20pof in a ring with +3 to socketed gems, or a 21 pof in a +2 level to socketed gems, get your basic resists+life on the ring+ you can have that max fire resist without having to sacrifice your amu or other gear.


Those are indeed options, though having lvl 23 PoF is not strictly necessary for this build. I just happened upon the Astramentis I have for just 40c, so I just went with it.

"
Cool build, how is survivability on this compared to a RJ jugg? Facetanky? How hard was Uber Elder?

Do you have videos?


Compared to RF Jugg, I would say that this build is less resistant to burst damage, Shaper slam is about the biggest hit that we can tank. This is because we get fewer Endurance Charges and we don't get all that ridiculous damage mitigation from our ascendancy. On the other hand, against sustained damage we get the advantage of being able to leech life, something that RF builds typically don't have access to. If you find this specific build to be lacking defensives, I suggest you build your tree more towards the Duelist area rather than the Witch area to pick up nodes like Golem's Blood.

Uber Elder was quite challenging. I didn't manage to do it deathless, though admittedly I have never gotten beyond Shaper with any build before this one, so it could just be my shitty comprehension of fight mechanics. I did actually want to record it, but unfortunately I'm playing on a pretty old laptop, so my framerate would drop badly while recording. I might manage to record it somewhere in the future, but in the meantime you can just see it for yourself ;)
"
Those are indeed options, though having lvl 23 PoF is not strictly necessary for this build. I just happened upon the Astramentis I have for just 40c, so I just went with it.


It is a nice extra thing in my opinion, and if you can go for it, you should. I don't know, I haven't yet decided to respec my jugg, I shall see in the future. The jugg does need the kaom rings so the ring slots are occupied.

But here, you could go with a socketed ring+ get a marble amu with life regen+resists+life+fire damage. It gives you overall more life and better survivability I think. And the dex you can get from other stuff, craft it on rare gear, or get jewels with some dex on them.


Also I dont't know if those boots are actually worth it, this one does give strenght, and yes kaom can give more life but it makes life hell since maybe beside elder fights, you simply find no use for them. What about a pair of decent rare boots with life+resists+movement speed on them?
Last edited by Nosferat on Jul 11, 2018, 3:57:46 AM
Any videos?? Just wanted to see how this compared to other BV chieftain variation.
Do you cast vitality as well with purity of fire and Ash on? I can't seem to keep up BV stacks with it so I only have Ash and purity of fire or purity of fire and just vitality on without Ash.
"
Any videos?? Just wanted to see how this compared to other BV chieftain variation.


I have just made a video with this build doing a deathless Shaper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOeuGUKYgSk&feature=youtu.be. I actually wanted to record an Uber Elder fight, but the recording program is wrecking my FPS :(

"
Do you cast vitality as well with purity of fire and Ash on? I can't seem to keep up BV stacks with it so I only have Ash and purity of fire or purity of fire and just vitality on without Ash.


Yes, as demonstrated in the video I don't charge up to 10 stacks before the fight, because I can't sustain the mana without the mana leech from Warlord's Mark. For mapping you really don't need 10 BV charges, RF helps out a lot. As for bosses I just get in 3 charges before engaging, and use the mana leech from Warlord's Mark sustain 10 charges. If you don't like this play style, you can pick up these nodes from the passive tree (costing a total of 6 passive points):
- Deep Thoughts
- Righteous Decree
- Dynamo
With these nodes my character is able to sustain 10 BV stacks without mana leech, but it's really up to you wether you think this is worth spending 6 passive points.

"
It is a nice extra thing in my opinion, and if you can go for it, you should. I don't know, I haven't yet decided to respec my jugg, I shall see in the future. The jugg does need the kaom rings so the ring slots are occupied.

But here, you could go with a socketed ring+ get a marble amu with life regen+resists+life+fire damage. It gives you overall more life and better survivability I think. And the dex you can get from other stuff, craft it on rare gear, or get jewels with some dex on them.


Also I dont't know if those boots are actually worth it, this one does give strenght, and yes kaom can give more life but it makes life hell since maybe beside elder fights, you simply find no use for them. What about a pair of decent rare boots with life+resists+movement speed on them?


First of all I'd like to clarify that this is not a build that can be run with any ascendancy other than Chieftain.

As for the boots, yes, if you have the budget for rare boots with T1 life, T1 hybrid, T1 Strength, and movement speed, they would be better than either Kaom's Roots or Alberon's Warpath. The same can be said for every other piece of gear in this build: mirror tier rares are better than uniques, except for the gloves maybe.
How does it feel to have mathil do a chieftain bv after you

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