3.6 Dark & Light: Uber Elder Killing Staff Inq. Guide: Dark Pact/Purifying Flame/Wave of Conviction

Do you want to play with spells, but in melee? Do you want fat damage, while being tanky enough? Well this is the guide for you. It revolves around specific nodes in the tree that can be taken for any spell. There are two variations offered here, Dark Pact and Purifying Flame.

This build began with my attempt to make a self cast Dark Pact build specifically for bossing. Dark Pact has some glaring flaws, it hurts you a lot, it is essentially melee, and it is a chaos spell that doesn't do damage over time (meaning it loses out on a lot of good modifiers). Through copious path of building time I realized Inquisitor with a staff, given the recent changes, solves these problems. I further realized that the core idea for this build (a tanky yet high damage and moderately mobile caster) could be utilized for other spells, especially ones with short ranges, e.g., Purifying Flame or Wave of Conviction. I have killed Uber Elder on my Dark Pact, Purifying Flame, and Wave of Conviction variants. I am currently updating it with the Wave of Conviction variant, but I've taken a break from the league and I will be updating it slowely (however I will respond to questions as fast as possible).

For those interested, here is why staff Inquisitor is good for these builds:
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While getting the highest damage nodes for spells from the Inquisitor ascendancy, you get a large amount of attack speed. This allows you to use whirling blades or leap slam for constant move speed and fortify without losing damage (since leap slam and whirling blades both move decently fast without specifically attack speed nodes from tree or on gear). A staff with block on it (which I use instead of a crit staff because I am melee and like avoiding autos), plus all the staff nodes, yields 37-39% block and 19% spell block. Furthermore, the staff nodes give damage, cast speed (along side attack speed), crit, and crit multi. So much so that one is able to disregard doom cast, and get health nodes. All this combined makes for a decently tanky character with high damage, since staves are not only good for their nodes, but also for their mods. One could also duel wield daggers for a similar effect, with faster movement but lower damage (according to my path of building).


Defense and Damage Stats For Each Variant
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Purifying Flame Variant:
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The Purify Flame variant with the gear I was wearing had about 6400 life, 39% block, 19% spell block, 14% evade chance, a standard amount of leech, 450 life regen per second, and over 2.8 mil. Shaper dps unbuffed in POB. I have delved around 270 with it, spammed some guardian maps, and killed Uber Elder with it.


Dark Pact Variant:
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The Dark Pact variant with the gear I was wearing had about 6700 life, 39% block, 19% spell block, 22% evade chance, a boat load of leech, 600 life regen per second, and over 2 mil. Shaper dps unbuffed in POB (but with full wither stacks, which isn't to hard to maintain on bosses). I have been delving past 200, spamming guardian maps, killed Shaper, and Uber Elder with it.

The character is a lot less tanky when self casting Dark Pact. However, the self damage is solved completely through gearing, which I will present. And with said gear, one can still get a decent amount of positive life gain. Not to mention I picked up more life from tree with the dark pact variant.


Leveling
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Neither of the two builds I will be place in this guide are league starters. Dark pact self cast as I have made it is certainly not a league starter. The survivability of dark pact self cast without a specific chest piece is lacking considerably, and the damage without a good staff is lacking. As such I would not recommend using it until you are higher level with certain items on hand.

The Purify flame variant may perhaps be usable as a league starter, I will put a suggested leveling path in soon. I also may test Shaper with a low budget variant to test its league starting capabilities with this archetype.


Passive Tree I killed Uber Elder With
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These two variants use different passive trees, but based on the same archetypal tree and idea as mentioned above. This tree involves taking these core notables: Enigmatic Defense, Enigmatic Reach, Whispers of Doom, Serpent Stance, Counterweight, the health square. After this you can take applicable nearby damage nodes, and all life nodes within reason. Below are the trees I used to kill Uber Elder with the two different variants.

Purifying Flame Variant:
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Dark Pact Variant:
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Wave of Conviction Variant:
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Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/bW6uxDVz
Poe Planner: www.poeurl.com/cmmX



Gems
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Purifying Flame Variant:
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Staff: Purifying Flame / Intensify Support / Concentrated Effect Support / Spell Echo Support / Elemental Focus Support / Empower Support (level 3 or 4)

Side note: Empower Support is only really good because of the craft for +2 to support gems. Before you have this, I don't think Empower Support would POB well. It also makes the spell cost a lot of mana, so you need some things to lower your mana costs or increase your mana to offset this. Other lower damage options, but still good especially before you have the craft, are Fire Penetration Support and Added Fire Damage Support. You can also run Increased Area of Effect Support instead of Spell Echo Support for mapping (but I didn't really find this necessary).
Before you have a Warlord's Mark On Hit ring, you will want to use Combustion Support instead of Elemental Focus Support.

Chest: Wave of Conviction / Curse On Hit Support / Flammability / Arcane Surge Support / Increased Duration Support / Vaal Righteous Fire

Helm/Gloves 1: Leap Slam / Faster Attacks Support / Fortify Support / Culling Strike Support

Helm/Gloves 2:
Before you have a Warlord's Mark on Hit ring: Warlord's Mark / Blasphemy Support // Cast When Damage Taken Support / Immortal Call

When you have a Warlord's Mark On Hit ring: Cast When Damage Taken Support / Storm Brand (level 8) / Combustion Support / Immortal Call

Boots: Zealotry / Herald of Ash

Discussion:
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There are many many good gems for Purifying Flame. The ones in the combination I have appear in POB to yield the highest Shaper dps. As I said use Empower if you have the craft, which I highly recommend. You use Combustion Support instead of Elemental Focus Support until you have the Warlord's Mark on hit ring, because then you get Storm Brand CWDT to apply the Combustion Support debuff.

This build needs Warlord's Mark for mana leech, as there are no other sources of spell mana leech and it doesn't build any mana regen (not to mention purifying flame costs a lot of mana). It also gives life leech, which means no need to go buy or craft and expensive piece with fire damage leech and good stats. Before you have a warlord's mark on hit ring, you will want to blasphemy it.

Wave of Conviction is new in 3.6 and a must have for lightning and fire damage builds. Some people use it on traps, totems, or Cast When Damage Taken set ups. Because I do not have Flame Dash in this build, and have better options for my main ability, I have decided to self cast it to get Arcane Surge. With increased duration its debuff and arcane surge last fairly long, and of course you will always have flammability on the boss if you recast this every 7ish seconds.

Leap slam is a primary focus of this build, you get enough attack speed naturally from staff nodes and your ascendancy that it is not to slow, and yields fortify. The culling strike is not necessary, but gives you culling strike and attack speed. If you had Elder gloves with Faster Attacks Support on it, and took off Culling Strike, you could put your Blasphemy on your gloves. But I feel like by that point you will probably have the Warlord's Mark on hit ring.

In my boots I only have two gems, as you will find out its because I use Bubonic Trail. If you weren't using these you could have more options there too.

There is some variability in the build, you could easily play with the skill gems to fit your desires. But these seemed to work the best for me after some testing.


Dark Pact Variant:
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Staff: Dark Pact / Intensify Support / Void Manipulation Support / Concentrated Effect Support / Controlled Destruction Support / Increased Area of Effect Support (for mapping/clear) Arcane Surge Support (for Shaper/Elder, Uber Elder, and maybe guardians).
(Spell Echo Support is also a good consideration, as it does a lot of damage. I just didn't want to be animation locked, and you don't need to double cast for mapping.)

Chest: Cast When Damage Taken Support (level 1) / Immortal Call (level 1-3) / Storm Brand (level 8) / Curse On Hit Support / Despair / Blind Support

Helm/Gloves 1: Leap Slam / Faster Attacks Support / Fortify Support / Culling Strike Support (optional)

Helm/Gloves 2:
Before you have a Warlord's Mark on hit ring: Warlord's Mark / Blasphemy Support //// Wither / Spell totem Support

With a Warlord's Mark on hit ring: Wither / Spell Totem Support / Faster Casting Support / Increased Duration Support

Boots: Zealoty / Vaal Righteous Fire

Discussion:
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There are very few gems that are actually applicable to Dark Pact. Other than the one's here is power charge on critical (which I have on a staff) and added chaos damage (which POB's for less than the gems here). By my calculations these are the best gems for Dark Pact.

Warlord's mark is the only way to get mana leech for spell casters. And this build need's mana leech, as I do not take any mana regen (and it would take a lot regardless). In addition, getting chaos life leech can be expensive and is often on sub par items. So we kill two birds with one stone. You need it up all the time, thus why I use blasphemy until I get an elder ring.

Leap slam is a primary focus of this build, you get enough attack speed naturally from staff nodes and your ascendancy that it is not to slow, and yields fortify. The culling strike is not necessary, but gives you culling strike and attack speed.

Zealotry is a very good dps aura, and gives ranged consecrated ground on bosses. You could use haste if you want for less damage, but another cool down and attack speed. Once you have a Warlord's Mark on hit ring, you can use an enlighten (level 4) and Haste if you want, but its a lot of money and not really necessary.

Wither is a huge dps increase, and a totem is the only real way to deliver it. With faster casting your totem needs to survive for about 2 seconds to get the max debuff, and even if it dies you do not need to recast for about 3.5 seconds with increased duration. (only use it on bosses).

Other than these you can do pretty much what you feel like with the other links (the chest in particular). If I am wielding a two hander I like to have a six link cast when damage taken Storm Brand for debuffs. This allows me to not have to worry about casting it. It will yield almost 100% uptime on bosses if you are melee (which this build is) due to taking auto attacks (even if you dodge all the spells). But this is not at all necessary. But you could easily self cast storm brand for debuffing bosses. Another thing you could do is have a deeper cast when damage taken defensive set up with immortal call, increased duration, and a summon stone golem. The sky's the limit as long you get your damage curse out and have the tankiness you want.

In my boots I only have two gems, as you will find out its because I use Bubonic Trail. If you weren't using these you could have more options there too.



Gear
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Purifying Flame Variant:
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Necessary Item:
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To get a bunch of damage on the cheap (like 9-10 ex (including the 6 link), I mean cheap compared to an omega rolled staff). you should multi mod a staff. Before you do, you can just use a staff with the two mods you want (IMO you want Power Charge on Crit and the double damage/attack speed mods, but you can POB yourself and maybe you will come out with different results), whatever you regal onto it, and a craft. I was able to decently easily do T16s without the multimod and with only a 5 link. The staff should either be a maelstrom staff if you want 20% block, or a lathi as it will make your leap slam faster (I only realized this after I made my staff, or it would have been a lathi). You can use a crit staff if you want, but block helps you not die.


Suggested Items:
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Lorweave got a nerf in 3.6, but it is still high damage and defensive. You could use a rare chest I guess, but this chest is still just so good. If you are on a budget a belly of the beast or corpse jack could also be decent choices.

These boots are tanky and give a lot of damage. They are not necessary, but are certainly a good pick up if you have the money.

Warlord's Mark on hit ring as I stated is real nice. I personally didn't use one until I could multi mod one. Multi modding the ring generally costs less than a Warlord's Mark on hit ring with similarly good stats. However, you may want to just regal craft one really fast, because blasphemy doesn't have as long range as one would like.

Xoph's blood gives a lot of damage, and saves you a passive point on the tree. I suggest it, but a rare can also do decently.

As with most of my builds you probably also want a stygian vice.

Further Discussion: You will need to get a decent amount of dex from items with this build. I chose to get it on gloves and ring. But a rare amulet or boots can also get some.


Gear I killed Uber Elder in:
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Dark Pact Variant:
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Necessary items:
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This chest is damage and life, but most importantly, it gives you enough leech to live through the damage you do to yourself.

To get a bunch of damage on the cheap (like 9-10 ex (including the 6 link), I mean cheap compared to an omega rolled staff). you should multi mod a staff. Before you do, you can just use a staff with the two mods you want (IMO you want Power Charge on Crit and the double damage/attack speed mods, but you can POB yourself and maybe you will come out with different results), whatever you regal onto it, and a craft. I was able to decently easily do T16s without the multimod and with only a 5 link. The staff should either be a maelstrom staff if you want 20% block, or a lathi as it will make your leap slam faster (I only realized this after I made my staff, or it would have been a lathi). You can use a crit staff if you want, but block helps you not die.

Suggested Items:
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Warlord's Mark on hit ring as I stated is real nice. I personally didn't use one until I could multi mod one. Multi modding the ring generally costs less than a Warlord's Mark on hit ring with similarly good stats.

The Bubonic Trail boots give quite a bit of life and damage, especially since you can craft your own abyss jewels pretty easily with fossil crafting. Aberrant fossils can give a fat increase to chaos damage on every jewel (even the minion and attack based ones). This allows you to cheaply get a good set up of damage with good damage boots.

The amulet shown here is the one I used, and defiantly my weakest piece. The important part on it is the increase to leech recovery. The chest is enough to be positive on life gain even while full casting, but this amulet mod will actually make your life gain much better.

As with most builds a Stygian vice is also suggested.

Further Discussion: You will need to get a decent amount of dex from items with this build. I chose to get it on gloves and amulet mainly, but rings can also work. My rings are not loaded up with damage, but if you fully optimize your other gear you could put more damage on them.
I recommend the increased damage while leeching craft on amulet and gloves, as you are always leeching.


Gear I killed Uber Elder In:
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Lab Enchants
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As with all of my builds, even the expensive ones, I do not depend on lab enchants for helmets. it is either a lot of effort, or a lot more currency. I do like the spell dodge on boots for for uber elder though, and it is quite easy to get.

Purifying Flame Variant:
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If you really want one, I suggest the increased damage taken or at least increased damage done ones. But honestly very unnecessary.


Dark Pact Variant:
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If you really want one, you could get reduced mana reservation for an aura so that you can run two without a level 4 enlighten. More damage or aoe on Dark Pact would defiantly be cool, but the lab enchants for it are not even that spectacular.


Flasks
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I ran these flasks for mapping and Uber Elder on each variant. Bottled Faith is by no means necessary if it is out of your price range, I did just fine without it, but it is very very high damage. You can run other damage flasks, or another defensive flask. Another good flask for both is cinderswallow urn, as both have ways of igniting and it gives you a lot of health and mana while mapping. You may notice that even for mapping I do not use a quicksilver flask, that is because it moves a little slower than just leap slamming. Of course if you used phase run with one it would be faster, but phase run doesn't trigger bonus cast speed, nor does phase run give fortify.

Side note: You don't necessarily need the freeze/chill flask as you are immune to elemental ailment while on consecrated ground (which you have while stationary), but I like it so I'm immune to chill while walking.


Jewels
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Purifying Flame Variant:
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Life is the most important. Crit multi, cast speed, fire damage, physical damage, added fire damage, added physical damage, and crit strike are all good stats. Idealy you want to have two damage stats and life on a jewel, but if you are being cheap you only need one. Jewels are also a good place to pick up resists. The watcher's eye here was only 50c at this point in the league, so fairly cheap. Its unnecessary, but good if you can get it. Finally if you really want to be cheap you can pick up crit multi on a non-caster abyssal jewel and still get 10% extra damage from Bubonic Trail. Here are some examples.



Dark Pact Variant:
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Life is the most important. Crit multi, cast speed, minion damage, chaos damage, added chaos damage, and crit strike are all good stats. I crafted most of my jewels on the cheap, with the Bubonic Trail you can easily get decent damage with sub-optimal jewels, but you do not need to do this thing with Bubonic trail if you don't want to. The watcher's eye I used was pretty cheap (50c) at this point in the league, and is pretty darn good (I didn't have it till uber elder). Anyway, I did not put to much work into my jewels, but I will give you some examples.



Pantheon
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For Mapping: Major = Lunaris / Minor = Shakari
For Shaper/Elder/Uber Elder: Major = Lunaris / Minor = Yugul


Discussion on Uber Elder and Mapping
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Purifying Flame Variant:
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For mapping you basically leap slam around and cast Purifying Flame once per pact, twice sometimes if they are spread out or rares. Intensify Support lets you have a nice big aoe, while still have good single target when you need it. I am able to facetank Minotaur with this variant and just machine gun Purifying Flame into him, you likely could not do this with worse gear, but bosses should be fairly easy as this ability is fairly ranged. You will be unable to do elemental reflect maps, but should be able to do all other affixes. That said, hexproof and no leech maps are far more deadly, and will require the use of a mana flask (Lavianges is probably best). I have been able to do hexproof Guardian maps, but they are not easy. No regen maps are annoying, but easily doable. Finally I do notice a decent amount of de-sync with leap slam. I do not know if this is unique to me or this league or what because I have rarely used it before. But be prepared for that if you use it as your primary movement ability.

Now to Uber Elder. I still had not used this ability for more than a day before I fought Uber Elder, but I killed him in one go so that should tell you the power of it. I actually did not utilize fortify that much as the ability is rather ranged (although one more used to the spell probably could), but I feel like it is still useful (especially for mapping). I basically cast wave of conviction and machine gun Purifying Flame. I dodged back and forth walking often for some reason, but it would be faster to leap slam to dodge, so I recommend that. Honestly what can I say other than that Uber Elder on this was far easier than on Dark Pact. I absolutely melted them, and despite my many mistakes still killed it in one go. Do be sure to dodge as much as possible though!


Dark Pact Variant:
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For mapping you basically just leap slam and dark pact. One dark pact is usually enough to kill a whole pack (with increased area of effect). If they are spread out or rare, you may need to cast one more. Intensify Support lets you have a nice big aoe, while still have good single target when you need it. The fire damage I put on my staff was enough to kill me in elemental reflect, but it is the highest damage final option, so you could wait to put it on till uber elder, but there really is no other good final prefix. Other than that you can do all affixes, but hexproof and no leech maps are rather deadly and the bosses are hard. A Guardian on hexproof or no leech is probably out of the question. No regen maps and less recovery rate of life can be rough with a lot of damage mods, but are easily doable. Finally I do notice a decent amount of de-sync with leap slam. I do not know if this is unique to me or this league or what because I have rarely used it before. But be prepared for that if you use it as your primary movement ability.

Now to Uber Elder. Dark pact is a melee ability, that means needing to dodge a lot close up. You are going to want to put your totem near the active boss, but not in line to be hit by projectiles. I am not used to doing this, and was pretty bad at it. But if you do it right, wither is a lot of damage. I was able to keep okay uptime on it, and if you are better than me you should be able to keep near full uptime. If you need to disregard the cast time to dodge, do so. This build has enough damage to kill Uber Elder without wither, its just very nice. I connot recomend purity of ice enough for this boss. Without having to reserve for warlord's mark, and without having a level 4 enlighten for a second aura, I had the mana open to put it in for this fight. It will make you feel a lot tankier for sure.


Kill Videos
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Purifying Flame Variant:
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Uber Elder: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/407224095 (first attempt with the build, yolo'd it pretty hard. It was very easy despite my mistakes).

Mapping on T16: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/407221958

Dark Pact Variant:
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Uber Elder: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/405917335

Shaper: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/405725227 (I actually forgot to put on arcane surge, so it would have been easier. I died once because I'm dumb though.)

Mapping on T16: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/406223226

Wave of Conviction Variant:



Edits
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4/4/2019: A few grammatical and format changes.
4/5/2019: Added a part in gear about wanting to use a lathi.
4/6/2019: Added all sections regarding the Purifying Flame variant and changed some wording accordingly.
4/7/2019: Began putting in the Wave of Conviction Variant.


Final Note
Thank you for reading my guide. It is the third one I have made, and I love the feedback I've gotten with my other ones. If you've read my guides then you know I am still fairly new to POE, but I love it, and I love theory crafting and putting that theory into practice. I want to continue to make new builds, specifically with new or reworked things. Ask me questions, give and give me feedback! Either on here or when I stream, I would be happy to talk about this or any build (https://www.twitch.tv/bigboilegarto). Thanks again!
Last edited by Legarto on Apr 14, 2019, 4:48:37 PM
Last bumped on Apr 14, 2019, 4:40:21 PM
Newer player here. I've only used a melee, summoner, and a trap build so far. So, I dont have a full grasp of a lot of the mechanics just yet. My question is:

Where exactly is the life leech coming from? Just warlords mark and then boosting the amount of life leeched through gear?

Edit: I'm referring to the dark pact version
Thanks!
Last edited by TwinkleDouch3 on Apr 14, 2019, 2:17:36 PM
"
TwinkleDouch3 wrote:
Where exactly is the life leech coming from? Just warlords mark and then boosting the amount of life leeched through gear?

Edit: I'm referring to the dark pact version
Thanks!


Yup it is all from warlords mark! You can get some on rare necklace or rings, but I find this unnecessary, since warlord's mark gives enough leech, and you need it for mana leech primarily.

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