[3.6] Yet another Poet's Pen Volatile Dead boss tank - 8-10k/s life leech rate - 600K shaper DPS

Video: Uber elder deathless kill in 3.5: https://youtu.be/oqy7RAIsOwk

News
3.6 patch: The build still works well, but due to the Poet's Pen nerf it lost 28% of the DPS it had in 3.5, see details below.

About the build
This build focuses on boss killing, mainly Uber Elder, tanking most of the damage with lots of leech, hp and mitigation while still doing decent damage thanks to Poet's Pen + Volatile Dead combination. The build is a descendant of my old Zerphi Poet VD bosskiller build which is discontinued due to the Zerphi flask nerf.

Build mechanics in short
Mitigate damage taken with flasks specialized for the boss you are running, and heal back by leeching very fast. Scion's slayer nodes makes leech not stop at full life, so leech gives a constant 8000-12000 life recovery per second, and scion pathfinder makes flask charges regenerate, making them nearly permanent even during boss fights.

Pros
  • Easy to play
  • No compicated mechanics
  • Tanky
  • Relatively cheap
  • Good single target damage
  • Safe mapping

Cons
  • Mediocre map clear speed
  • Clunky movement
  • Not a good league starter, unless you know how to make money
  • Can't do reflect or leech immune maps


Cost
The very minimum required items to kill Uber Elder cost around 800-1200 chaos currently in Synthesis league. Dying sun 200c, Kaom's heart 200c, Might of the meek jewels 50c each, 1-mod leech Watcher's Eye jewel 100-200c, the rest of the slots 10-100c each, and assuming you level and flip your gems yourself, but you can get a lot more upgrades, see below.

Gearing in general
Your leech rate is based on a % of your maximum life, so get as much life as possible in every slot, cap your resistances, Max total recovery from leech elder amulet is important, and elder life recovery rate belt is preferable, and if you have affix slots and currency then %spell/fire/elemental/area damage on rings, amulet (fossil crafting), and jewels. Taste of Hate and Wise oak are important for defense, Overflowing Chalice for flask sustain during boss fights, Dying Sun to produce enough corpses, 5th slot can be anything you want, another ToH for reliability, Atziri flask for damage and leech, phys/lightning mitigation flask, life flask with curse/bleed immune for mapping etc. Kaom's roots is best in slot for Uber elder to be stun and slow immune and gain a lot of hp.

My gear (for Uber Elder, no legacy items required):




What you can remove or not from my gear to still be good for Uber: Mana cost crafts or other means of sustaining Frenzy mana cost is required to not lose attack speed due. 21/20 gems are not required, +1 gem level has little benefits on supports, but level a few VD gems in weapon swap and try to vaal them to 21 yourself. You can skip chest and boot corruption but every bit of mitigatin helps. Belt Flask life recovery rate doesn't do anything for the build, it would only work with Life flasks.
I do not use my VD enchanted helmet because the build doesn't produce enough corpses with Unearth when you also use bodyswap. Explanation: You only cast Unearth at every fourth attack, producing 7 corpses at each cast, but you cast VD at every second attack, consuming 3 of those corpses each cast, but casts twice as many as unearth, and bodyswap consumes the last of the 7 corpses.
Gear improvement options for higher budget:
Get: Higher life on rings, amulet, jewels, gloves, helmet. Elder belt with Life recovery rate while also keeping Reduced flask charges used + Flask effect duration (important!). 3 attack speed/damage mod jewels with life. Penetration corruption on Poet's Pens, damage or life corruption on Kaom's Heart. Gain 13% of non-chaos damage as chaos dmg mod on amulet, or just more %damage. If you are on standard get legacy items (Wise oak, ToH). Higher leech mod on amulet (goes up to 25%)

Stats with Uber setup:
lvl95
8749 Life
50% life recovery rate from Arakaali pantheon
5634 (64.4%) Maximum total recovery per second from Life leech (see ingame: Character panel (press C) / Misc tab)
8451 actual life recovered per second (5634 * 1.5) (When I divine my amulet to 25% I'll have around 9000 total)
35% physical damage taken as elemental (ToH with flask effect + Helmet) (+8% with legacy helmet on standard)
38% less cold damage taken (ToH + Wise Oak + Yugul pantheon)
32% Fire penetration, +20% Combustion debuff
28 143 damage per ball fullbuff ingame tooltip
31 505 spell damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
21 701 corpse explosion damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
53 206 total damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
7.63 attacks per second
3 balls consumed at every second attack
608 942 sustained Shaper DPS (7.63 attacks / 2 * 3 balls * 53 206 dmg per ball)

PoB (uber elder): https://pastebin.com/Se5duncB (I edited a few items to avoid confusion about goals, swapped some cold resists on gear to lightning resists so cold is not higher than lightning, which is important for Wise Oak defence, and replaced the legacy crafted mod on helmet with hybrid life mod, 25% leech on amulet)

Tree: http://poeurl.com/ckti

Pantheon: Arakaali with all upgrades, Yugul with upgrade

Bandit: 2 passives.

All changes in 3.6:
The Poet's Pen nerf effectively halved the proc rate of spells while dual wielding, meaning that we need to double the attack speed previously used, needing a total of 7.6 attacks per second without cooldown reduction.
Swapped gloves to Insanity essence crafted ones with 16% more attack speed, at least 20% quality Frenzy, 20/20 Faster attacks support and Blood Rage. Replaced jewels and some passive tree nodes for the most efficient attack speed bonuses.
It is important that now you have to sustain your Frenzy mana cost, if your mana drops to 0 you lose the attack speed from the gems! For this reason I crafted mana cost reductions on my rings.

3.6 also introduced leech mechanic changes, but practically it doesn't affect this build. My numbers only got lower because I lost max life when replacing my jewels, and currently my amulet has a low life leech roll.

GEAR BREAKDOWN
Spoiler
Weapon: On Poet's pens you want highest attack speed. If you are looking to spend more currency on it you can get 8-10% elemental penetration with corruption which is nice damage but also expensive.

Body armour: Kaom's Heart gives the most life thus higher life leech rate, and also some damage. You can use Lightning Coil or similar crafted rare chest against physical bosses or mapping to get more sockets.

Gloves: Get gloves crafted with Essense of Insanity which grants 16% more attack speed to Frenzy gem socketed into it, preferably with high life and resists

Boots: Kaom's roots is the best in slot item for Uber elder fight because it is the only item that can make a Scion immune to Elder's slow attack currently, it gives you stun immunity, and has very high flat life. For other bosses and mapping you can use rare boots with movement speed and cooldown reduction.

Belt: The most important 2 mods are the flask mods Reduced flask charged used and Flask effect duration, always get at least these. Then try to also have as much life as you can get. If you can afford get elder belt with Life recovery rate. If you are rolling it yourself use Scorched+Pristine fossils which can give your %fire damage prefix. On betrayal league you can craft cooldown reduction too. Increased flask charges gained is a weak mod, because you already get a ton of the same stat from Overflowing Chalice. Shaper belt with Chance to not consume charges or Increased effect of flasks can be also nice.

Flasks: For every boss select the flasks that gives the best mitigation against the boss' damage. For Shaper and Uber Elder you need mainly Cold and Physical mitigation, so the most important is Tate of Hate, then Wise oak. Overflowing chalice is also required for sustain on your other flasks. Dying sun is always needed to produce enough corpses. 5th slot can vary, I recommend Basalt to safely tank any slams.

Wise oak: You can only benefit from Wise oak if either all of your resist are equal, or your Fire is the highest, and Cold is the lowest, because you need the penetration for fire, and for Uber elder you need the cold reduction. Because we also use Taste of Hate, it can make the cold resist really high, so pay attention to that (you can overcap your fire and lightning enough so it works, or not cap your cold without the ToH which is risky)

Amulet: The most important mod is Max total recovery from leech on elder base gives around 1500 actualy life recovered per second, other than that you can get Gain 13% of non-chaos damage as chaos dmg mod on amulet, or just more %damage. If you already have a Xoph's Blood it works, but you will get less leech.

Jewels: Might of the meeks give a lot of hp so they are recommended, Conqueror's Potency is a free mitigation boost to flasks, Watcher's Eye is the main source of life leech, for rare jewels you want life+attack speed or damage, and preferably rather Cobalt jewels with %increased damage and %life rather than abyss jewels as for this build those stats are better.

Watcher's eye jewel:
Since it isn't worth to spend the very few sockets the build has on auras, I recommend only getting Anger and for the jewel the mod 1-1.5% of Fire Damage Leeched as Life while affected by Anger
Expensive upgrades:
(20-30)% increased Life Recovery Rate while affected by Vitality but then you have to remove Enfeeble or Combustion gems to make space for it.
Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Fire Resistance while affected by Anger and/or (40-60)% increased Fire Damage while affected by Anger

Helmet: I recommend getting incursion or betrayal crafted mods that convert physical damage taken as elemental with life and resists. Don't use the +1 VD enchant because the build doesn't produce enough corpses during boss fights to take any benefit from it.

Rings: Flat life, resists, and %spell/fire/elemental damage if you can afford. Shaped opal ring is not required, you can get more resist on that ring slot and more damage elsewhere for example. On betrayal league you can craft 20% increased damage. Mana cost crafts or other means of sustaining Frenzy mana cost is required to not lose attack speed due.


GEM BREAKDOWN
Spoiler
Main attack: Frenzy can generate frenzy charges and cap your attack speed the easiest (more dps, so it's preferred). Combustion support on the main attack debuffs the enemy, so VD deals more damage to it.

CWDT+Immortal call combo is necessary in combination with Blood Rage to proc the Arakaali->Queen pantheon (+50% life recovery rate!).

Auras: In the cheap version only use Anger with the matching Watcher's Eye jewel leech mod (required). It is only worth using Vitality if you get an at least 2-mod Watcher's Eye described above with the specific Life Recovery mod described above, which is rare and expensive.

Volatile Dead supports: Concentrated effect is always best for bosses, the less aoe downside doesn't effect bossing speed. For the other support Elemental Focus is the most damage.

Unearth supports: GMP always required to provide enough corpses for VD.

Bodyswap is a good movement skill option that works on the build because it has no movement speed increases at all


Gear progression: Cap your attack speed first, then focus on defences, because VD has a very high baseline DPS with even low investment, and once you have high life gear you can upgrade into more DPS for faster boss kills, stacking penetration, getting triple wise oak resist balance, and good opals. Helmet enchant is very good for both clear speed and single target, so early on get one as soon as you can, even if it's a bad base/unique, and replace it later.

Leveling: I recommend leveling with 2 Poet's pens and any spell that you like (try Arc, Glacial Cascade, Bladefall) in one wand and Unearth + Bodyswap or Lightning Warp in the other wand.

How to play the fight, flask management Just move around in circles and don't die 4Head (aka I need to write this section still)

Questions and answers
Spoiler
Why not using Indigon Hubris Circlet?
It requires a lot of mana investment, it can give a lot of damage, but it makes the build less tanky, so It goes against the goals of this specific build.

Why not using The flow untethered?
It has no life and flask mods, which are the most important, and the attack speed buff it would give is too inconsistent.

How to calculate actual life recovered total?
In game open Character panel (press C) / Misc tab and look for the stat: 5634 (64.4%) Maximum total recovery per second from Life leech
Multiply this with 1.5 (Arakaali pantheon) or 1.7 if you also have a 20% Life reocvery rate elder belt or other mod.

What is an attack speed cap? How to calculate it?
Poet's Pen puts a base 250ms (0.25 seconds) cooldown on the socketed spells, so by default in theory you could activate them 4 times per second.
While dual wielding the attacks alternate between firing the two wands, and only the spells socketed into the wand that actually attack can proc, which means you need nearly 8 attacks per second total.
Altough in practise it works only with attacks that are somewhat slower than the actual cooldown, otherwise it starts skipping casts. Without any cooldown reduction you want around 7.6 attacks per second total.
There is no exact formula for calculation, it can also depend on your internet latency. You should always test your own attack speed and see if it skips casts or not.

Can I do this build with a different class?
The only other viable option is to go Pathfinder and get https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Offering_to_the_Serpent

Why not going crit?
Going crit could only yield more damage than Elemental Overload if you sacrifice survivability, which is not the focus of the build.


"
TehHarness wrote:
Can this facetank like last league or not quite?

It can't face tank as the Zerphi build, but it's probably still the easiest build for a 10-20 ex budget for player who have no experience about the Uber Elder fight so far.


"
senojit wrote:
How do we get the life leech? [...]

No, the main source is the watcher's eye Anger mod 1-1.5% of fire damage leeched as life.


Mapping setup swaps:



Old 3.5 gear and stats

This setup only worked in 3.5





Stats with Uber setup:
lvl95
9171 Life
50% life recovery rate from Arakaali pantheon
101% life per second leech rate (20% + 13.8% base * 2 vaal pact * 1.5 life recovery rate)
9299 life leeched per second (9171 life * 101,4% rate)
26% physical damage taken as cold (ToH with flask effect)
38% less cold damage taken (ToH + Wise Oak + Yugul pantheon)
50% Fire penetration, +20% Combustion debuff
39 125 damage per ball fullbuff ingame tooltip
47 053 spell damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
29 183 corpse explosion damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
76 236 total damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
3.7 attacks per second
3 balls per attack (only 7 unearth projectiles per cast, which is only at every second attack, 1 is consumed by bodyswap)
846 219 sustained Shaper DPS (3.7 attacks * 3 balls * 76 236 dmg per ball)


Watcher's eye jewel + Auras:
You should only use auras that for you have a matching Watcher's Eye jewel.
The most important mod is % of damage leeched as life, Vitality (for all damage) or Anger (only fire damage). If you are on a low budget get a jewel that only has this mod which should be under 100c.
The other mod preferably should be Physical damage taken as Cold with Purity of Ice (you also get max resist from the aura which is good, and watch out because there is this same mod with Purity of Elements too which is not as good)
A third mod could be possibly Vitality life recovery rate which would make the jewel very expensive.
Other useful mods:
Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Fire Resistance while affected by Anger
Any purity mod that gives Physical->Elemental conversion
(40-60)% increased Fire Damage while affected by Anger
Here is a search link for the jewels with the possible mods: http://poe.trade/search/onohihogukinuk


Only the gear swapped:


Full setup for mapping with stats:
8506 Life
39 674 damage per ball fullbuff ingame tooltip
62 746 spell damage per ball PoB fullbuff against normal mobs
39 849 corpse explosion damage per ball PoB fullbuff against normal mobs
102 595 total damage per ball PoB fullbuff against normal mobs
4.77 attacks per second (can go up to 5 safely)
4 balls per attack (assuming you have some extra corpses from map monsters)
1 957 512 sustained single target DPS against normal monsters

https://pastebin.com/0xnqvWjR




IGN: Márkusz
My builds: thread/1600072
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Last edited by Márkusz on Mar 15, 2019, 4:28:44 PM
Last bumped on Mar 15, 2019, 4:32:23 PM
Reserved
IGN: Márkusz
My builds: thread/1600072
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Thanks, you are back.
any chance to have a video soon? i really want to see how this build works.. tnx
Currently grabbing gear and stuff, noticed the Volatile Dead enchant on helmets are actually "fairly" cheap.

Probably the most expensive item on the gear list is the watcher's eye or the shaped opal.
Looking forward to taking this to end game :)


-edit

"
Drunkprince wrote:
any chance to have a video soon? i really want to see how this build works.. tnx


Just a quick Youtube search should give you enough information on how this build works?
Last edited by Itar0 on Jan 7, 2019, 12:34:05 PM
Can this facetank like last league or not quite?
"
Márkusz wrote:

111% life per second leech rate (20% + 13.8% base * 2 vaal pact)
9979 life leeched per second (8947 life * 111,54% rate)


Can you explain these numbers? Base leech rate is 20%, you can get 9% from the tree, so in the worst case (without an amulet) you will get 29*2 from vaal pact, capping you at 5,8k leech at 10k hp. With the amulet and a max roll of 5%, you'd get 68% leech, so 6,8k assuming you get 10k life.

Importing your PoB pastebin confirms my suspicion that the math is off, as it only shows a 6k max leech, which is nowhere near the claimed 10k
"
Hexogenx wrote:
"
Márkusz wrote:

111% life per second leech rate (20% + 13.8% base * 2 vaal pact)
9979 life leeched per second (8947 life * 111,54% rate)


Can you explain these numbers? Base leech rate is 20%, you can get 9% from the tree, so in the worst case (without an amulet) you will get 29*2 from vaal pact, capping you at 5,8k leech at 10k hp. With the amulet and a max roll of 5%, you'd get 68% leech, so 6,8k assuming you get 10k life.

Importing your PoB pastebin confirms my suspicion that the math is off, as it only shows a 6k max leech, which is nowhere near the claimed 10k


Hey, you missed the life recovery rate modifiers, 15% from belt, 50% from pantheon, I modified the guide to clarify, ty
IGN: Márkusz
My builds: thread/1600072
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Hi any uber elder videos?(
del.
Last edited by KirowGod1337 on Jan 8, 2019, 3:42:48 PM

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