[3.5] Bella's Dancing Duo Occultist | Delve 700 | Uber Elder | 1M++ DPS |

[3.5] Bella's Dancing Duo Occultist | Delve 700 | Uber Elder | 1M++ DPS


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3.5 initial thoughts:
Seems that the build itself is largely unaffected by the changes, just by the scarcity of CotP because of non Delve focussed league. I wouldn't recommend this as your very first build in Betrayal as a core of the build is health reservation which is impossible without Shavronne's Wrappings and those carry a hefty price at the start of a league. There's a preliminary 3.5 PoB link with Poachers Mark and the Banner of War to make up for the scarcity of CotP

3.5.0c SOFT BUG: The Dancing Dervishes seem to get "stuck" inside fortification doors, haven't had a major problem but could get problematic

Changelog:
Spoiler
10/10/18: Added points to stress that the more expensive parts of this build only adds 20% tops.
12/10/18: Created new category of items, updated notes on Vaaling. Added corrections to Damage on Full Life gem explanation
14/10/18: Updated with Delve 650 video
16/10/18: Uploaded deathless Uber Elder video; added Delve Event at depth 671; added corrupted gem priorities and added new PoB link


Things to add:
Spoiler
- detailed skill node breakdown and justification
- explanation of Spectre mechanics
- explanation of Animate Guardian mechanics
- adding low tier and mid tier budget PoB's.


_________________________________

Hello there Exile!

Welcome to the guide to my Dancing Duo Occultist with which I recently surpassed Delve depth 600 and killed Uber Elder this league. I'll start with a little anecdote to explain how I came to be so fascinated with the Dancing Duo unique and how I developed a build which simply put trivialized nearly all the content in the game. I hope you take the time to read through everything as this is a different playstyle than you'll be used to.

"
Every league I've seen one video of someone doing a really juiced Dancing Duo build... and it looks f*****g amazing

-Tarkecat

Baeclast #29

Delve Rankings and Damage:
Spoiler

Summoner depths as of 1600 CEST 16/10/18 in Delve SC:


Dancing Duo Delve SC rankings @ 00:00 20/10/18



White mob damage (Delving) and Shaper/UElder DPS per Sword. With perfect jewels this build can have up to 1.35M damage per sword.
Spoiler


And just for fun if you are dodge master elite and 5k ES is enough for you
Spoiler


And if Ruthless and Concentrated Effect supported the DD's efficiently:
Spoiler



__________________________________________

Introduction:
Spoiler
So let's start from the beginning, I started playing in Incursion and had a blast with an Ice Shot chain character centred around stacking the AoE cones. Around two weeks in I get my first natural six link drop which was a Reaver Sword. My partner suggested to me that I should chance it and lo and behold after 2 chance orbs it chanced into a Dancing Dervish, it was fate and how I would experience the majority of PoE would be decided.





I started playing a Necromancer/Juggernaut build which while very tanky was sorely lacking in two key areas:

a) Damage, when I did Shaper I had around 115k DPS per sword which was sufficient as the Shaper fight is essentially a dance around his animations. The damage became a real issue against T16 Architects in incursions and in my Uber Elder attempts when decayed ground and volatile bubbles built up too much. With a set of uber 4 mod jewels I might've topped out at 245k DPS per sword but I was certainly not rich enough to afford this. Even that wouldn't have felt like a huge upgrade as it wouldn't be enough damage for a major qol change in Incursions and the Uber Elder fight.

b) Sustain; With flask effectiveness the worm flasks were very good at sutaining life and mana on a Mind over Matter build. However in fights where I would have to use all charges on the flasks to summon the swords, which is the majority of end game bosses and any big hits meant I usually had very few charges with which to recover my health pool. This became a real problem in the Uber Elder fight with degen ground everywhere.


The Concept:
Spoiler
So before Delve League started I started brainstorming and came up with a Low Life Occultist for the following reasons:

a) Chaotic Bloom would provide consistent quick clearing of packs in maps and with the new minion damage nodes essentially providing global damage I would end up with a Chaotic Bloom that dealt 148% of the monsters HP in damage, this would make quick work of even high HP rares (including 5M HP Spiders in deep Delves)

b) The extra curse would provide more extra damage (or even defense) than the generic minion damage nodes that the Necromancer has. Since I ended up with 513% increased minion damage the 125% from Necro doesn't actually provide more damage than a curse. The defensive option helps with flexibility.

c) Being low-life necessitates the Occultist ES nodes, they provide me with 1300ES and the anti Energy Shield recharge interruption is essential.

d) Occultist has the best portrait and the Witch holds two handed swords in the cutest way.


Summary of the build:

This build focuses on playing second fiddle to the swords, effectively functioning as "just" a support featuring 2 damage curse auras (Vulnerability and Despair) and 4 traditional auras (Hatred, Discipline, Haste and Envy) and occasionally buffing the swords with a semi-automated Spirit Offering proccing the increased minion damage if you have used a minion skill recently when needed. Kitava's Herald and Silverback Ape Spectres will be used to have a frontline and generate frenzy charges for the swords. Finally there's also an aurabot Animated Guardian who will augment the swords damage just a little bit more. If you ever wanted to play an aurabot but didn't want to party up then this is the build for you :P

My current build is sitting at 670k unmitigated DPS and 413k Elder/Shaper DPS per Sword which essentially puts a short Doom timer on every boss you fight as the boss races to kill you before it gets shredded. The budget recommendations should allow you to reach 75% of that power pretty easily as the fundamentals of the build is scaling the swords physical and chaos damage with some bonus cold damage. (22 total attacks per second with 5% chance is bound to crit; even though mobs get 2 shot the occasional shatter is nice).

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Core Items:
Spoiler
The Dancing Duo:

When the player is on a rampage (15+ kills) two highly aggressive animated swords are summoned which cyclone through enemies. During this the players weapon slots are disabled but the player gains onslaught. The swords are immune to damage and have a pretty good aggressive AI and they have a long tether range. With some minion speed jewels and possibly a minion speed support gem these swords will clear the screen quickly, leaving you little time to even loot or even keep up to proc chaotic bloom. You'll find yourself playing like an autobomber that can boss very effectively. Plan your routes through maps so you can keep moving from pack to pack and train yourself to absentmindedly keep up the rampage. With some practice and experience you'll just be lazily running through maps

Behavioural oddity:

Against single targets the Dancing Duo's sometimes do a long pathing Cyclone not hitting the target 50% of the time and sometimes they do a Cyclone that's efficient and absolutely shreds the HP of everything. This behaviour is why the concentrated effect support gem is sadly suboptimal. A further note is that the swords take on the properties they would gain when they spawned, any gem slot change on your end would have no impact. (heck you're swapping out gems in a disabled slot)

Corruptions:
The most effective corruption for a Dancing Duo is Resolute Technique as the the damage boost would be 8% more (build sits at 92% DD accuracy) with the option of different gloves like the Prophecy Council gloves; . However this is difficult to obtain let alone on a well rolled Duo due to the investment involved (6 socketing, off-colouring, divining) and the best RT Dancing Duo on the Delve market as of writing this actually has 0.4% less DPS than a near perfect 30% quality Dancing Duo. You can choose what to go for but the RT Dancing Duo is going to require significantly more investment.

Shavronne's Wrappings:

As we'll be reserving life we'll have to wear Shavronne's Wrappings to prevent chaos damage from eating at our 54 effective life pool. It's a solid ES base and I chanced a 30% quality Occultist's Vestment to squeeze a little more ES on to a build that is low on ES gear. You'll be glad to hear that six link is not required, only a 4 link for the Unearth/Desecrate Spirit Offering Cast While Channeling Wither setup.

Command of the Pit:

The +1000 accuracy from socketing a minion jewel in this glove is what replaces the necessary additional accuracy gem in previous Dancing Duo builds. The extra jewel socket will also help in Damage and total ES. Commandment of the Grave is the best possible enchant and apart from a boot enchant of choice the only enchant you'll need.

Rare Stygian Vise with 18+% reduced flask charges used

We'll be saving quite a few points on the tree by getting a belt with this Suffix. Dexterity and/or Strength is also a high priority.

The Writhing Jar

With at least 18% reduced flask charges on the flasks and the belt for a total of 36% you'll be able to use thw first two flasks 3 times and the last one twice (leaving a charge leftover) in order to summon 16 worms to proc rampage and summon the swords.

Ghastly Eye Jewels

What you'll be looking for in your minions jewels in order of priority are:

1. High energy shield, 40+
2. At least two jewels with a minion taunt mod
3. At least one jewel with a minion blind mod
4. Increased damage if you have used a minion skill recently/Minion Physical Damage
5. Minion attack speed
6. % increased Global defenses, rare and expensive delve mod, but can make a jewel that gives you up to 280ES! A more defensive option as it would take the place of the minion physical damage mod prefix.

Animated Guardian Equipment:
Dying Breath
Increases your own curse effectiveness and the guardian auras, Victario's Charity and a Brightbeak can be an alternative to generate frenzy charges.
Leer Cast
Increased damage aura, can be substituted with a rare helmet with an increased phys/chaos damage taken as suggested by Ofnir_; might be a bit pricey though.
Ambu's Charge/Belly of the Beast/Bloodbond
Simply looking for tankyness, %HP is ideal, so is high armour and chaos res.
Victario's Flight
Increased movement speed? Increased movement speed.
Southbound
More health!


Recommended Items:
Spoiler
Elder Bone Helmet, Elder ES Helmet, ES Helmet

The Bone Helmet implicit is self-explanatory and an Elder Bone Helmet can roll some much needed minion support gems for your Spectres and Animated Guardian, a luxury more than a necessity a high ES Elder helmet would be significantly cheaper. Rolling it with a Bound, Abberrant and Hollow fossil can net you a helmet with an abyssal socket, increased chaos damage taken aura and the minion support mods but this is expensive. If you're really tight on budget it's very easy to spec into tri-curse with a Heretic's Veil and reserve two auras with life. A bit more money and simple a high ES helm with a phase run enchant is a great alternative.

Essence of Fear/Bound Fossil Rare Jewellry

What you're looking for is resists and possibly some STR and DEX. Essences of Fear will save you on Divines but Fossil crafting can be targeted better with an elemental fossil of the resist you need. Two or even 3 pieces of jewellry with increased movement speed negates any need for a minion speed support gem. Personally I was fine with a high resist VG and a ring that filled in my cold resists until I was able to craft jewellry with the resists/stats I needed. If you want to go full splurge a ring with an immune to bleed (84) or ignite corruption will be a nice flask QoL improvement.

+1 Spectre ES Boots, ES Boots

With + Spectre these boots are expensive but just some normal ES boots are a great alternative and will do fine, remember we're boosting the swords, not relying on Spectres. What you're looking for is at least 160 ES from the boots. Movement speed is less important because of the movement speed bonus from rampage. If you want to craft these yourself then a Bound and Dense fossil combo should eventually get what you'd like.



Luxury Items:
Spoiler

Aul's Uprising, Envy Edition

The free Envy Aura, % global defenses and stats are perfect for the build, but expensive. 7-10% more damage. A rare amulet will provide you with a lot more flexibility.



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PoB/Skill Tree, Ascendancies:
Spoiler

____________________________

Skill Tree @69
Skill Tree @95

Level 95 PoB (State of the build during the Delve 671 video)

3.5 lvl 95 PoB

3.5 lvl 70 Budget PoB

I would start by reaching out to Retribution, Spiritual Aid (Minion Accuracy node) and Death Attunement via Arcanists Dominion. This leg can be refunded once you reach Arcane Vision via the Scion ES wheel to save a point overall. Make sure you've taken all the major ES nodes by level 68 when you'll equip the Sword and Wrappings and balance the minion damage, curse effectiveness and reduced mana reserved nodes with the jewel sockets. I recommend levelling with a simple SRS setup supported by Zombies and Banner Spectre's until you can actually equip the DD.

The tree is pretty flexible with easy access to another curse and perhaps switching around some curse effectiveness for some minion health nodes.

Ascendancies:
We start off with Profane Bloom to aid us while levelling and then grab Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion to prepare our ES for Malediction and the dual blood magic blasphemy curse once blood magic reaches level 19. If you can't grab Malediction yet you can just spec into the +curse node on the tree.(you should be able to lab yourself at around 75-79)

Bandits:
Eliminate them all as the skill points are the most valuable.

Pantheons:
Soul of Lunaris and Soul of Shakari for the chained projectile avoidance (pretty much required on any minion build, and Tul, screw you and frost blades) and the poison immunity


Gems & Skills:
Spoiler

The Dancing Duo:

Since the Dancing Dervishes are immune to damage and always at full life this gem is core as it's one of the biggest damage boosts around.

EDIT:
Turns out according to GGG Rhys that the swords are just highly resistant to damage. Well we're giving the swords a nice juicy Discipline aura as well as using Spirit Offering so the damage on full life gems' value doesn't change. In fact I'd still recommend it on all Duo builds.


Another 50% more multiplier for damage, absolutely core.

Even though the skill DD uses, Cyclone, can not be supported by multistrike, the minion is still supported by the gem and gains the attack speed. Again absolutely core.

Well it's a melee physical damage sword and and this also a 50% more physical damage gem. Core.

With around 22 attacks per second total these swords will very quickly apply max Wither stacks, the 30% Phys as extra chaos is a nice bonus. Essential.
Here's a video demonstration why

Added Chaos damage synergises very well with the Despair curse aura and Withering touch. Maim is another option but that would increase the dependency on Vulnerability for damage when you might want to swap it out for Enfeeble. A third option is increased Minion Speed if it's taking you a while to craft Minion Speed jewels.


Helmet

I run my Spectre and Animate Guardian setup in the helmet of course; minion resistance/life and fortify are used to increased their survivability as that's the only priority. As you Delve deeper and take on the toughest content in the game you might just want to ditch the AG and slot in blood magic for more reliable frenzy charge uptime.


Boots

I run my Blood Magic-Blasphemy-Vulnerability-Despair aura set-up in my boots. Enfeeble instead of Vulnerability is a nice defensive option. The Blood Magic gem needs to be level 19 before you can equip two auras.

Armour

The 4-link in my armour is the Cast Unearth/Desecrate and Spirit Offering while channeling Wither set-up. You'll use this as a damage boost against bosses as well as to "guide" your Spectres and Swords. The other two slots are filled in by Phase Run and Convocation for the utility. No space to support these gems sorry :/ Convocation doubles as a sort of clearance bomb (it too procs the increased minion damage jewels) and guarantees a Chaotic Bloom proc to clear your immediate vicinity. Desecrate will provide you with a longer duration Spirit Offering whilst Unearth weill provide constant ES replenishment and a shorter buff with no other corpses around.

Important Note:
Leave the wither at level 1. There's nothing to be gained from us levelling it and since the Swords are applying the best Wither this is just a conduit for semi-automating Spirit Offering.


Gloves

The last equipment slot with gem slots will contain the auras. Discipline is required because of our already limited ES pool and Hatred and Vaal Haste give a nice damage boost.

Gem 21/20 DPS priority:

1. Added Chaos Damage
2. Despair
3. Damage on Full Lie
". Minion Damage
5. Multistrike
6. Melee Physical Damage
". Withering Touch
8. Spirit Offering

Notable 21/20s:
Discipline: Slight ES boost.
Blasphemy: Slight Curse Aura AoE increase.




Videos:
(constantly updated)

Notes on potentially problematic content:
Spoiler
The most difficult content is probably Minotaur because of the arena effects, the lightning walls kills the sword attack and movement speed completely but a combination of flame dash and convocation alleviates this. Stay vigilant and pay attention to his dives as he will be doing that frequently, try and get him to stack up his falling rocks in the same area. It is however extremely difficult to recover that particular fight if you die and the Minotaur is far away from the entrance.

Eradicator is just annoying if he does his minion phase during the first phase and you used all your flask charges to summon your swords instead of saving 1 use.

Chimera with monsters can not be taunted should also be avoided because the smoke phase becomes quite dangerous on an ES character (although with phase run and 1000 rampage you should be able to cover all smokes even if he targets you, would not rely on this though)

For Hall of the Grandmasters I would suggest socketing in a Decay gem for those pesky CWDT builds.

Everything else non-delve is trivial including Abaxoth although in all likelihood the monkey and guardian would not survive an Abaxoth encounter.

As for Delves the most problematic Delves is a combination of extra HP, bloodlines and reduced curse effectiveness because the amount of EHP you have to plow through it can get a bit overwhelming. Ghost bears with Bloodlines can get a bit sticky as can Drop Bear + Beyond.

Ahuatotli, Kurgal and Aul are all possible but require paying close attention to the much shorter cues. I'll try and get videos of them when I can.


________________________________

Thanks for taking a look at my build guide! Feel free to make suggestions on how to improve the guide, first plan is to add a more detailed breakdown of the skill tree as well as tips on how to deal with different bosses and Delve events.

GLHF!




Last edited by Bellabong on Dec 14, 2018, 1:05:07 AM
Last bumped on Dec 14, 2018, 3:40:58 PM
Have you considered using a helmet with Nearby Enemies take 9% Physical Damage for your Animated Guardian instead of Leer cast?

You could probably get Nearby Enemies take 9% Physical Damage and Nearby Enemies have -9 Chaos Resistance. That's probably a pain to craft though.
Last edited by Ofnir_ on Oct 9, 2018, 6:31:30 PM
Ah that's actually a pretty good idea while I'm still saving up to craft those mods on my Elder Bone Helm
How would you recommend doing this as a league starter or atleast a budget Non-low-life version?

Ive always wanted to try out dancing duo and have one sitting in my stash but i dont have enough for the rest of the gear.
That would probably involve pathing to CI (and a bit of a tree re-work) and using a Vis Mortis (Unholy Might for swords is a nice damage boost) and Heretic's Veil. At that stage I'd consider a tri-curse set-up. Switching out of low life changes the build fundamentally and it'd end up looking like all the CI builds in the top 10 DD's

They'd probably scale better with a lower budget but if you can nab the uniques in the core section you should be set-up to do a lot of damage already.
I definitely like the idea, but actually putting this together is WAY too expensive for the mediocre result on display.
No fun allowed.™
I hope you don't mind a few questions, seriously considering starting this build myself.


- Do you have any issues with your Guardian dying? I run a build with more minions and he still manages to somehow evaporate to bosses like Phoenix or Shaper (or sometimes for no conceivable reason at all). I went from your setup to stacking expensive defensive gear on him to just not bothering at all.

- How good are the Kitava's Heralds? Do they contribute significantly to your clear/single target, or are they there just to tank hits? I tried playing around with them but it just seems that Solar Guards are flat out better in every aspect.

- Have you considered a Host Chieftain (power charge monkey) as a spectre? If you don't have RT on your sword, the increased crit could be a huge damage boost.

- I have heard some interesting things about Commandment of Reflection glove enchant (summon a minion attacking with a copy of your weapon when you get hit) in combination with Dancing Duo. Have you tried it?

- You are using both Withering Touch support and the actual Wither active skill. I am pretty sure the debuffs don't stack - or do they? Is it just to apply stacks faster? Have you tried Blight instead (with the threshold jewel)?
Forum Tip: if you want a faster response from me, quote my post! Hit the button to the right of the post. This sends me a message so I can notice you sooner!

Guide: League Merges

Definitely not a member of the Immortal Syndicate.
Can you post any leveling guides for this? I'm not really sure how to level with this build
How are you managing to keep rampage up in long boss fights without adds? I can't see any flask charge recovery so you will run out of flasks eventually.
"
Completed 7 ChallengesAbdiel_Kavash wrote:
I hope you don't mind a few questions, seriously considering starting this build myself.


- Do you have any issues with your Guardian dying? I run a build with more minions and he still manages to somehow evaporate to bosses like Phoenix or Shaper (or sometimes for no conceivable reason at all). I went from your setup to stacking expensive defensive gear on him to just not bothering at all.


Chaos damage and crit delves in particular just wrecks him, I'm considering leaving him out entirely in the guide as he can not take on Shaper beam/balls and an overload of unstable weta's. It's probably more efficient to plop in a Vaal Summon Skelly to cheese some boss phases.


"
Completed 7 ChallengesAbdiel_Kavash wrote:

- How good are the Kitava's Heralds? Do they contribute significantly to your clear/single target, or are they there just to tank hits? I tried playing around with them but it just seems that Solar Guards are flat out better in every aspect.


They're actually pretty good, they're no Solar Guards but because I don't invest much into minion survivability Kitava's are the best option for undying minions - I'm using the same Kitava's I summoned from my very first shaper fight. They'll leap slam and chaos projectile the enemies closest to you while the DD's take care of the rest of the screen. If you're looking into Solar guards I'd recommend focusing on them and relegating a DD to a more supportive role.

"
Completed 7 ChallengesAbdiel_Kavash wrote:

- Have you considered a Host Chieftain (power charge monkey) as a spectre? If you don't have RT on your sword, the increased crit could be a huge damage boost.


It's an idea that's floated around in my head and would also be a decent damage boost but I have a personal preference to a 2nd Kitava. The tree has very good accessibility to minion survivability nodes and I'm pretty sure re-allocating some curse effectiveness points into minion survivability and just running power/frenzy charge monkeys is viable strategy.


"
Completed 7 ChallengesAbdiel_Kavash wrote:

- I have heard some interesting things about Commandment of Reflection glove enchant (summon a minion attacking with a copy of your weapon when you get hit) in combination with Dancing Duo. Have you tried it?


Haven't tried it and on a mechanical level it would seem that it would probably just summon a copy of you bare fisted as you officially don't have a weapon and are unarmed while the swords are active. Also requires you to get hit which is something this build is built around avoiding getting hit (minion taunt, body blocking Spectres)


"
Completed 7 ChallengesAbdiel_Kavash wrote:

- You are using both Withering Touch support and the actual Wither active skill. I am pretty sure the debuffs don't stack - or do they? Is it just to apply stacks faster? Have you tried Blight instead (with the threshold jewel)?


While blight is a great alternative suggestion (Just tested, mana costs are fine) and works well on very defensive tri-curse Duo builds its range is going to put you in a dangerous position you don't need to be in.

"
Ren0512 wrote:
Can you post any leveling guides for this? I'm not really sure how to level with this build


Well the swords have a high level requirement so the build is only possible at 68+ which is why I only brushed over the levelling sectio, if there's enough demand for it I'll expand on the "Use a simple SRS set-up with Zombie's and ranged spectres as back-up" line; it's probably the closest playstyle to the final playstyle.

"
Completed 13 ChallengesAmongalen wrote:
How are you managing to keep rampage up in long boss fights without adds? I can't see any flask charge recovery so you will run out of flasks eventually.


Dancing Duo has a 25% chance to grant a rampage kill upon hitting a unique enemy. If you look at the Forge and Pit video's you'll see I only use the flasks to keep up rampage while looting, I'm still on the same initial rampage when I reach the boss room.

The only time in the game when rampage uptime is even close to an issue is if you want to keep the rampage stacks you gained from the shaper mini bosses.
Last edited by Bellabong on Oct 10, 2018, 8:56:11 AM

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