[3.5] BV PeneTRItor Elementalist

Hello fellow exiles. I am Siza and I have been playing this game since September 2012. I mostly followed build guides from these forums but have been experimenting with my own builds recently. This league I went with a Blade Vortex Elementalist, which is somewhat inspired by a build the streamer Nugiyen did a couple of leagues ago. The build stacks elemental penetration.

While inpulsa BV is amazing, it's quite expensive and you lose those amazing explosions by Herald of Ice. Going crit sacrifices a lot of points into these crit nodes - which results in lower life and less overall defenses.
I usually plan my builds to be "done" at around level 90 as that's the point at which leveling takes a long long time for every further level.

Keep in mind that this build was planned to be played on a somewhat small budget in a temporary league. It will get you started and grow with your increasing wealth. I have only gotten up to T13 maps yet, but even with 2 player HP, packs explode and bosses melt.

Normal Atziri

Anyway, let's get into some stats. Currently my build has:

7100 Life
450 Energy Shield
22% Evasion
40% Dodge (up to 55% with flask and Pantheon)
30% Spell Dodge (up to 40% with flask)
18% Physical Mitigation (with a Basalt up)
2 defensive curses
73% penetration for all three elements

While this build has some decent layered defenses, it heavily relies on dodging dangerous spells, attacks or ground effects. You can't facetank whatever the game throws at you in higher level content.

Pros and Cons:
+Fast and safe mapper
+Decent at killing bosses
+Can incorporate MF
+Active gameplay

-Requires staying awake
-Can't facetank

Passive Tree Level 93

Choices explained:
Q: Why penetration?
A: Because I wanted to try something new which seems to work out so far.

Q: Why no Inpulsa?
A: Because it costs too much. Shroud of the Lightless only requires to be 5-linked which makes it so much cheaper.

Q: Why not Elemental Weakness?
A: Because we penetrate any resistance our enemy has anyway, letting us use enfeeble as another layer of defense.

Gearing explained:


For the chest I went with Shroud of the Lightless, because it offers a lot of life and 37% penetration to all three elements which is unique to this item. It also offers physical immunity for a couple of seconds every 45 seconds. While this is nothing to rely on, it can save your ass from time to time.

Gloves are self explanatory. We convert 100% Phys to 50/50 Cold/Lightning, so we need these gloves. Hrimburn probably is only a small DPS gain over Hrimsorrow. You want to look for the "Curse enemies with level # enfeeble on hit"-corruption. Should be pretty cheap.

For boots, I went with Bubonic Trail because we get a ton of life, 30% MS and up to 40% damage from these. Opted for "+2 to level of socketed duration gems"-corruption as we socket two Heralds and Blood Rage into these.


The rest of the items consists of rares. Somewhat important to have is an elder ring with "Curse enemies with level # warlord's mark on hit". Can substitute with Herald of Thunder-Curse on Hit-Warlords Mark or some cwdt-variant while you farm up to a ring like this. All your rare items should have life, elemental resistances and if possible chaos resistance.

For your weapon you want to go for an shaper Sambar Sceptre with at least one "gain # of physical damage as extra XYZ damage", preferably lightning or cold. These should be somewhat cheap, but until you can afford one just go with any weapon that has some spell damage on it.

Jewels are important for this build. You want to make sure you have one of each abyss jewel to ensure 40% damage from bubonic trail. You want to go for life, missing stats/resistances and if you can, #% increased effect of shock. We shock a lot, these jewels are our budget inpulsa.

My gear in 3.5 Betrayal SC

Budget Options

Flasks are another important part of any build. I chose to go with 2 offensive and 2 defensive flasks, while Taste of Hate is both really. ToH is somewhat cheap this league. If you can't afford it, just go with any other flask that fits your preferences.
With the clear speed this build has while mapping, your flasks should always be full before they run out. Go with curse and freeze immunity on your utility flasks, seething of staunching on your life flask. You also want to roll "%reduced charges used" onto your basalt so you can use it twice on bosses!

Blade Vortex
Increased Duration
Physical to Lightning
Controlled Destruction

You can switch out Increased Duration for Added Fire for bossing, though it's not really needed.

Herald of Ice
Ice Bite
Added Cold

You can switch out Innervate for Increased Rarity for regular mapping.

Flame Dash
Faster Casting
Arcane Surge

Make sure to regularly use flame dash to keep up the buff!

Shield Charge
Faster Attacks
Blood Magic

Keeps up fortify all the time and gets us around the map.

Cast when Damage taken
Immortal Call
Increased Duration

Thanks to some inc. duration from the tree and 3 endurance charges, IC will last a while.


I originally levelled this as an Arc-Selfcaster but somewhere around the 30s I decided to go for Bladevortex.
For the tree, I grabbed the life nodes in witch and went towards Shadows for his life nodes. After that I picked up MoM and Acrobatics, both of these are amazing for leveling. I started using Blade Vortex sometime around level 65, but you could obviously do it from whenever you can start using Blade Vortex.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in this thread. I will update this guide as I continue playing in Betrayal.
Last edited by Siza1337 on Jan 1, 2019, 4:46:14 PM
Last bumped on Jan 1, 2019, 4:18:18 PM
Bump. Updated some item explanations and a small levelling section.

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