[3.5] Yet another Poet's Pen Volatile Dead boss tank - 10k/s life leech rate - 1M shaper DPS

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 7000-12000 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 1300c total or 8-9 ex currently in Betrayal league. 2 Poet's Pens 200-300c each, Kaom's heart 200c, Might of the meek jewels 130c each, 2-mod Watcher's Eye jewel 100c, the rest of the slots 10-100c each, and assuming you level and flip your gems yourself.

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 leech rate 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, belt (fossil crafting), and jewels. Taste of Hate and Wise oak are important for defense, Overflowing Chalice for flask sustain during boss fights, Dying Sun for dps when you have enchant, 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):




The mana/mana regen on ring doesn't do anything for this build, I just had that ring. 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. Anger fire penetration mod on Watcher's Eye is not required, there are better mods, see in gear breakdown below. If you have a matching jewel you should rather use Purity of Ice and Herald of Ash.
Gear improvement options for higher budget:
Get: Higher life on rings, amulet, belt. Purity of Ice phys taken as cold mod on Watcher's Eye instead of Anger penetration. Belt with Reduced flask charges used + Flask effect duration + T1 Life recovery rate. 3 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).

Stats:
lvl95
8947 Life
65% life recovery rate, 15% from belt, and 50% from Arakaali pantheon
111% life per second leech rate (20% + 13.8% base * 2 vaal pact * 1.65 life recovery rate)
9979 life leeched per second (8947 life * 111,54% rate)
26% physical damage taken as cold (ToH with flask effect)
50% Fire penetration, +20% Combustion debuff
39 125 damage per ball fullbuff ingame tooltip
47 236 spell damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
31 335 corpse explosion damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
78 571 total damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
3.7 attacks per second
3.5 balls per attack (only 7 unearth projectiles per cast, which is only at every second attack)
1 017 494 sustained Shaper DPS (3.7 attacks * 3.5 balls * 78 571 dmg per ball)



PoB (uber elder): https://pastebin.com/Vqku4WYt

Tree: http://poeurl.com/ceRq

Pantheon: Arakaali with all upgrades, Yugul with upgrade

Bandit: 2 passives.

GEAR BREAKDOWN
Spoiler
Weapon: On Poet's pens preferably you want higher attack speed, but it's easy to cap your attack speed to the cooldown, especially without cooldown reduction gear, so it's not important. 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: If you need then get resists here with high life, if not than you can use Command of the Pit with 2 abyss sockets for life+damage.

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: At least get Life recovery rate (elder belt base) plus one flask mod that helps on sustain, flat life, and if you can afford then another flask mod. 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.

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 only needed when you have the VD helmet enchants, because you need to produce 4 corpses per attack, and if you use Bodyswap then Unearth only fires at every second attack, so one Unearth cast should produce 8 corpses. 5th slot can be anything you want, another ToH for reliability, Atziri flask for damage and leech, phys/lightning mitigation flask, life flask/quicksilver with curse/bleed immune for mapping etc.
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 elder mod maximum life leech rate up to 5% means up to 16.5% actual leech rate which is the best option for a defensive amulet, 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+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 + 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

Helmet: The +1 VD enchant boosts your dps by 33%, so it is very good, but also expensive and not mandatory. I recommend getting incursion or betrayal crafted mods that convert physical damage taken as elemental which is also a very preferable mod. You can get -15 mana cost mod with fossils which makes Frenzy free but it is not required, it saves a support gem slot because you can use Blood Magic instead, but uses up a suffix slot on your helmet.

Rings: Warlord's Mark on hit elder mod on one of the 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.


GEM BREAKDOWN
Spoiler
Main attack: Frenzy can generate frenzy charges and cap your attack speed the easiest (more dps, so it's preferred). Power siphon gives culling strike if you don't have already and generates power charges to easier proc elemental overload. Combustion support on the main attack debuffs the enemy, so it VD deals more damage to it.

CWDT+Immortal call combo is only required in combination with Blood Rage to proc the Arakaali->Arachnoxia pantheon (+50% leech rate!), otherwise the phys immunity is not reliable during Uber Elder fight.

Auras: You should only use auras that for you have a matching Watcher's Eye jewel, see useful watcher's eye mods above under gear breakdown!

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 for your cooldown 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 I didn't use it in this build.

Why not using The flow untethered?
Not recommended because the buff the Harbinger gives can ruin your cooldown at optimal attack speed. In my test it started skipping every second cast of the socketed spells while I had the buff effectively halving my DPS, and I had no skipping without the buff, altough few players reported they didn't experience any skipping at all, so you can try it, but carefully test it if you are skipping casts or not. Also it has no life and flask mods, which are more important than life recovery rate and attack speed, so you should always aim for a rare belt once you can afford it.

How to calculate leech rate?
You have a base 20% of maximum life as leech rate. On your tree you get another 9, and on your amulet you can get up to 5%, so a total of 20+9+6 = 34% base. This is doubled by vaal pact = 68%. You have 50% recovery rate from pantheon, and let's say 20% from belt. 68 * 1.7 = 115,6% of maximum life leeched per second. If you have 9000 life it is 9000 * 1.156% = 10404 life leeched per second.

What is an attack speed cap? How to calculate it?
Poet's Pen put's a base 250ms (0.25 seconds) cooldown on the socketed spells, so by default in theory you could activate them 4 times per second. Altough in practise it works only with attacks that are somewhat slower than the actual cooldown, otherwise it starts skipping casts. 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. In my tests without cooldown reduction gear 3.77 attacks per second is the highest that works with the base 250ms cooldown. Read more about it here.

Can I do this build with a different class?
No, both scion pantheon nodes are needed for the build to work.

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.


"
Completed 19 ChallengesTehHarness 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.


"
Completed 15 ChallengesItar0 wrote:
Probably the most expensive item on the gear list is the watcher's eye or the shaped opal.

I'd like to emphasize that shaped opal ring is not required, you can get more resist on that ring slot and more damage elsewhere for example, I just worked with what I had on std.


"
senojit wrote:
How do we get the life leech? Does it only come from the warlord's mark cast on hit mod on the ring ?

No, the main source is the watcher's eye Vitality mod 1.5% of damage leeched as life, warlords mark adds a little only bit for bosses (bosses have less curse effect so it is only 0.4% from warlord), and 0.6% from boots can add a little bit sometimes when you kill adds during the fight, but on it's own it's not reliable.


"
Completed 25 ChallengesBumbae wrote:
Hello. What fossils need to use for craft the helmet?

First of all the mana cost craft is not required, it saves a support gem slot because you can use Blood Magic instead, but uses up a suffix slot on your helmet. I used Serrated+Pristine only for the craft.


Mapping gear: Get belt and boots with cooldown reduction and movement speed. Use flasks with bleed and curse removal, preferably a quicksilver. You can even swap in a Queen of the forest and not use Bodyswap as it is more comfortable to play.

Video I didn't record a video myself yet, but I found a video that uses a build very similar to mine, it is not using bodyswap which can make the dodging easier NOT MINE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfryQp-4Xpc
IGN: Márkusz
My builds: thread/1600072 (Ethical PvP builds, AFK Twinned and Ghosted Uber Elder, Twinned Uber elder kill with Zerphi Poet VD 30k+ heal/s, CI EK/GC mapper, Lowlife Indigon PvP)
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Last edited by Márkusz on Jan 10, 2019, 2:24:19 PM
Last bumped on Jan 19, 2019, 3:43:22 PM
Reserved
IGN: Márkusz
My builds: thread/1600072 (Ethical PvP builds, AFK Twinned and Ghosted Uber Elder, Twinned Uber elder kill with Zerphi Poet VD 30k+ heal/s, CI EK/GC mapper, Lowlife Indigon PvP)
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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

"
Completed 13 ChallengesDrunkprince 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?
"
Completed 15 ChallengesMárkusz 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
"
Completed 26 ChallengesHexogenx wrote:
"
Completed 15 ChallengesMárkusz 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 (Ethical PvP builds, AFK Twinned and Ghosted Uber Elder, Twinned Uber elder kill with Zerphi Poet VD 30k+ heal/s, CI EK/GC mapper, Lowlife Indigon PvP)
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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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