[3.8] Poet's Pen + Volatile Dead in Legion(updated for Blight), Uber Elder deathless.

For any questions regarding this build, please use this thread.

3.8 update
Spoiler

Poet's Pen got a big buff in 3.8. Proc cool down went form 0.25s to 0.15. Bumping the default APS cap to 13.3. For APS calculation with CDR replace 8 with 13.3 and 12.5 with 7.5.

Nothing really changed for this particular build in 3.8 otherwise.

However Necromancer change made it, imo, by far the best ascendancy for Poet's Pen VD builds.
Here are 3 possible variants of necro builds:
1. Highest DPS (up to 3.8 mil for balls only) - https://pastebin.com/Ja6aTLJA
2. About 2k life more at a cost of 1mil dps - https://pastebin.com/YyFK9ZHq
3. Acro and a little bit more life, then #1 at cost of about 650k dps - https://pastebin.com/Ws7gz0vL

Use flesh offering fore more dps or bone offering for tankieness.

Can replace Zealotry with Aspect of the Spider(less dps, more defese) and remove Sovereignty cluster.


Important, before you read the guide.
Spoiler

This is slightly outdated now, since PP got a buff in 3.8.

When i theory crafted this build, i totally forgot about existence of Essence of Insanity. Gloves crafted with it have 16% more attack speed. Placing Frenzy setup in such gloves makes it much easier to get to needed APS of about 7.6-7.8. Also meaning it is possible to get more than 8 APS with my current investment in attack speed, making items with cool down recovery a good gearing option.

I haven't optimized my character around this option. If you would like to do this build. Keep this in mind and maybe adjust the build for it.

I quickly threw a essence on a pair of fingerless gloves and adjusted my build https://pastebin.com/PJB5R50q

An here is with same life, as before, but more dmg https://pastebin.com/HibHJVe1

Also you may want to check friend's variant of the build in the last section of the guide.


This is my take on Poet's Pen in Legion.
Index

1.Intro
2. Pros/Cons
3. APS, CDR & You
4. Videos
5. Gear + Gems
6. Passives
7. Leveling process
8. Other possible variations


1. Intro

Since the nerf Poet's Pen needs investment in attack speed to get to proc cap. Before it needed 0 investment in attack speed, you actually needed to be careful and not to go over proc CD accidentally. Other OP interactions where nerfed and Volatile Dead it self got a slight nerf too in 3.6.

Many people declared Pot's Pen (volatile)dead. I decided to see for myself.

I chose Ascendant because it has the best combination of damage, survivability and utility for my taste. There are many more possible variations with in Ascendant(for example with Might of the Meek and Unnatural Instinct) and with other classes. For example Inquisitor, Trickster, Elementalist, Slayer, Raider, Chieftain. Each has it's own pros and cons. At the end they all should perform fairly similar. One has easier to get attack speed, while the other raw damage. Feel free to adapt. Main purpose was to show, that Poet's Pen is still a good item to use.

2. Pros/Cons

Pros:
- relatively tanky
- mobile
- good dps(single target and clear speed)
- super fun to play
- does not need any stat investment on gear.

Cons:
- heavy flask usage(may strain your fingers)
- needs build enabling items(very cheap in Legion)

3. APS, CDR & You

!WARNING! The text is right, but the numbers are wrong in this section. For correct numbers check 3.8 update above.

Poet's Pen has a proc cool down of 250ms. In theory it is possible to proc 4 spells per second by default. Because dual wielding 2 wands will alternate attacks and proc slotted spell only when said wand attacked, theoretical max default attacks per second (APS) is 8 to achieve 4 spells per second. In reality there is latency to server, which reduces that number slightly. Depending on the quality of the connection the number is usually somewhere between 7.6 and 7.8 APS.

Having too much APS is very bad. It will cause some attacks to no proc any spells and significantly lower the DPS. For example having just slightly over 8 APS will function like having 6.7 APS.

It is possible to increase the APS cap by using items with cool down reduction (CDR). Currently it is possible to have up to 35% CDR, 20% on belt and 15% on boots. Max CDT would put theoretical APS cap at 10.8 (real a little bit lower, about 10.5).

The exact formula to calculate APS with CDR is below. It is for theoretical max APS, subtract 0.2-0.4 from it, depending on connection.




4. Videos
Videos


5. Gear + Gems

Must have items:

Wand with unearth goes in main hand and wand with VD goes in offhand. Attacks alternate weapons, so only 1 of the spells is proced per attack. So main hand creates corpses on 1st attack and VD can be created on 2nd attack.

Important items to have(not a must)

Helmet with enchantment(33% more DPS):

Flask(very good sustain for clearing and a DPS boost):

Jewel with leech(sustain):


Great items to have




Main Gems:
Volatile Dead - Concentrated Effect - Elemental Focus
Unearth - GMP - Combustion
Frenzy - Faster Attacks - Curse on Hit - Curse of choice(Flammability, Elemental Weakness(if playing with poeple who use other elements), Enfeeble)
Flame Dash - Arcane Surge (Body Swap can be used here instead)
Anger
Herald of Ash

Support gems(can be easily swapped out and changed):
CwDT - Wave of Conviction - Steelskin - Enfeeble

My Gear(Uber Elder kill)






6. Passives
Passives

PoB - https://pastebin.com/dvxWFyzX

Ascendancy in order of progression
Pathfinder -> Path of the Ranger -> Inquisitor (best DPS and full ailments cleanse on one flask)

Inquisitor can be changed to any other ascendancy.

Bandits: Help Kraityn.

Pantheon:
- Major: Brine King
- Minor: Gruthku


7. Leveling process
Spoiler

Suggested tree progressing by points - https://pastebin.com/QFjB1v4L

-flat mana cost items are very good for leveling process until mana nodes in ranger area are allocated.

Till lvl 12 anything goes to kill mobs.

At lvl 10
Clarity(if no -mana cost items avalible)
Flame Dash - Arcane Surge

At lvl 12
Poet's Pen
Volatile Dead - Added lighting - Combustion
Unearth - LMP - Combustion
Barrage

At lvl 16
Barrage replaced by Frenzy
Herald of Ash

At lvl 18
Volatile Dead - Concentrated Effect - Elemental Focus
Frenzy - Faster Attacks

At lvl 24
Anger (may not be possible to use yet, due to mana issues)
Curse

At lvl 38
Frenzy - Faster Attacks - Curse on Hit - Curse
Unearth - GMP - Combustion

Great starter helmet:



8. Other possible variations
Spoiler

Friend's variant
I gave my gear to a friend and he played with it and changed quite a bit to his liking. He said, it felt much better this way for him. Much more life + dodge. A bit less dmg.
Here is PoB of his character for inspiration/copy https://pastebin.com/PsTCa2K1

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bear in mind, this is just theory crafted and not experience optimized.

Might of the meek/Unnatural Instinct Inquisitor + Elementalist
For people, who don't like to spam flasks. Also can run ele reflect maps. Can also use any other ascendancy combo, just have either Inquisitor or Elementalist in it for witch or templar start. For example Inquisitor + Chieftain.
https://pastebin.com/tK63rj9B

Inquisitor + Chieftain/Juggernaut
For people, who care more about surviving(at expense of some dps). Also with Chieftain don't need Xoph's Heart. With Juggernaut switch Brine King for Solaris.
https://pastebin.com/aywzbw52

Inquisitor
For people, who don't like pants.
https://pastebin.com/Q69ewaVZ

Slayer
What, you don't have leech exile?
https://pastebin.com/H6tGGL8B

Raider
Probably the tankiest one due to good life pool and dodge, but requires a lot of passives.
https://pastebin.com/H9EwzrqF
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
Last edited by 1337fun on Sep 8, 2019, 10:12:14 AM
Last bumped on Sep 18, 2019, 12:50:36 PM
Reserved
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
I've wanted to do a poet's pen build again for so long after the indigon nerf and this looks pretty good, how does the map clear compare to where it was previously?
"
Karriane wrote:
I've wanted to do a poet's pen build again for so long after the indigon nerf and this looks pretty good, how does the map clear compare to where it was previously?

I would say, it's the same as before. Easy cleared chayula's domain.
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
Last edited by 1337fun on Jul 10, 2019, 10:50:46 AM
How important to the build would you say Xoph's Blood is or could it be easily changed for a good rare amulet?
"
1337fun wrote:
"
Karriane wrote:
I've wanted to do a poet's pen build again for so long after the indigon nerf and this looks pretty good, how does the map clear compare to where it was previously?

I would say, it's the same as before. Easy cleared chayula's domain.


Is bodyswap integrated into the build somehow for map clear?
"
Fitzpup wrote:
How important to the build would you say Xoph's Blood is or could it be easily changed for a good rare amulet?

It can, but at a significant DPS cost. Amazing shaped amulet with penetration and high spell/fire dmg is about 10-12% less dmg.
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
"
Karriane wrote:
"
1337fun wrote:
"
Karriane wrote:
I've wanted to do a poet's pen build again for so long after the indigon nerf and this looks pretty good, how does the map clear compare to where it was previously?

I would say, it's the same as before. Easy cleared chayula's domain.


Is bodyswap integrated into the build somehow for map clear?

No, 177% movement speed is good enough for me. If you like, you can replace flame dash.
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
Why scion instead of other ascendancy's?
"
Miochan wrote:
Why scion instead of other ascendancy's?

From all i tried in PoB, ascendant has by far the most DPS.
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011

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