[3.7] Attack Block + Spell Dodge + Staff + EQ + Slayer = Fun

Motivation
Ḿy first ever character Gagis was an Earthquake slayer in Essence League. I have maintained the character in Standard, updating it with stuff I transfer from leagues. The original version was not very strong, but the introduction of The Perfect Form in Breach made it possible to give a character with Iron Reflexes substantial mitigation against spells via Spell Dodge. This took the character into an all new level of power.

I updated the build further when I spent my extra wealth crafting an obnoxiously strong staff in Syndicate league and brought it over to Standard. Staff gave the build even more damage mitigation and dps trough staff block and critical strikes, which made it good enough that I'd want to write a build guide for it. The buffs coming in 3.7 are likely to make my already interesting build even stronger, so I decided to make a budget version of the build for myself in Legion and write a guide about it for the rest of you.

Viability
The 3.6 version of this build could clear all maps and kill all bosses. The buffs coming in 3.7 will likely make it even smoother. The completed build is extremely hard to kill as such might be viable for Hardcore if you can build up the defenses in a reasonable way while leveling, but is too reliant on gear to be a safe league starter in HC.

Skill tree
PoB setup coming soon
Expensive version in my profile
Budget version in my profile
L93 Skill tree

Notes coming soon.

Gear

Please note that the expensive version of the build uses critical strikes and a rare staff and the budget version uses Disintegrator and no critical strikes, so there are major differences in the gear.

The Perfect Form makes up one major part of our damage mitigation and is used on both versions of the build. Getting access to Phase Acrobatics without having to give up on physical damage mitigation is huge, and the other perks of the item also work for the build.

Atziri's Step fills up some of the extra Spell Dodge we need, and the high Evasion to convert into Armour and decent life do not hurt at all either. My expensive version has built-in Endurance Charge on Melee Stun in the staff I use, so I bought a version with the charge corruption. The corruption is not very important.

Here comes the main difference between the expensive version and the budget version. The staff I crafted in Syndicate is now legacy as you can no longer craft two different mods that both increase item quality on the same item. Wealthy players will still be able to craft some truly amazing staves in Legion as well. For the budget version I plan to use Disintegrator and to not invest in critical strikes. The expensive version has good dps but the budget version will have considerably less damage output.

There is no reason not to use Abyssus when focusing on critical strikes, as the character will accumulate an extremely high amount of physical damage reduction. Starkonja's Head is an alternative. For the budget version I plan to buy a base with the right enchantment and crafting some defenses on it. The Earthquake Duration enchantment is very valuable for both versions and should be given high priority.

Tombfist has been recently nerfed but is still very good if you can afford two gem sockets. Good alternatives include Oskarm, Haemophilia and any good rare item. The alternatives are all valid options on a budget.

My jewelry for the expensive version are absolutely lewd. I do not intend to spend currency on critital strike chance or multiplier for the budget version, so good jewelry should come fairly cheap.

Flasks are for recovery, damage and boosting physical damage mitigation and spell dodge. The choices I made for the expensive version are rather self-explanatory.

The Red Nightmare might end up being the single most expensive item that is also necessary for the budget version of the build, since it boosts our Chance to Block Attack Hits very much in the Marauder sector of the skill tree.

I have a number of Abyss jewels with a chance to blind on hit to add even one more layer of damage mitigation for the character. Those tend to be expensive, so I will probably not bother with that for the budget version.

I happen to have a Watcher's Eye with three relevant defensive mods on the expensive version, which ties it to using Determination and Haste. The budget version will never be able to afford anything like that, so it will have more flexibility with what to reserve mana for.

Skills
Earthquake - Less Duration - Melee Physical - ? - ? - ?
I have always liked Earthquake for how satisfying it feels to use. It was strong when the character was originally made, got nerfed in between and is receiving substantial buffs in 3.7. I am working on updating the support gems to account for new options. The expensive version gets an extra support skill from the staff I use.

Leap Slam - Frenzy - Blood Magic - Fortify - Power Charge on Critical - Faster Attacks
Movement, two different kinds of charge generation and Fortify. I like to take full advantage of a secondary six-link. The budget version can get away with a five-link as it will not need Power Charges.

Enlighten - Haste - Determination - Artic Armour
Arctic Armour is free with The Perfect Form and my Watcher's Eye dictates which Auras I need. The budget version or your own version with a different Eye will be able to use an assortment of different mana reserving skills. I will update this with my final choice once I have played Legion a bit.

CWDT - Increased Duration - Blood Rage - Immortal Call
Immortal Call has been reworked for 3.7 and I am working on adjusting this. Blood Rage is very nice to have and will likely say regardless of what I do with IC.

Riposte - Power Charge on Critical
I had two extra sockets to spare, so might as well. If you end up with four sockets to spare, you could add Vengeance and Increased Critical Strikes to the links. Ancestral Warchief is a good alternative if you can bother with having an extra active skill to deal with.

Bandits and Pantheon
Two extra skill points are almost always better than bandit rewards nowadays, and this applies to this build as well. The Arakaali Pantheon gives extra life recovery rate whenever Blood Rage happens to end, so it is likely to be the best major pantheon. Minor Pantheon is up to personal taste. Immunity to poison for example is convenient.

Simple Leveling Guide
Early on this build levels like any other melee character; by using Frost Blades with the highest DPS weapon you can get your hands on. Just remember to focus on your life early as getting damage mitigation online will take some time and currency.
Last edited by thegagis on Jun 17, 2019, 9:28:01 AM
Last bumped on Jun 12, 2019, 10:18:51 AM
Bro, pls fix tree, if it possible post pob link, imho will be another skill tree
Looking forward to what you do with this, hope it goes well.

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