[3.10 Anti-meta] CTF Shield Charge - SSF Ready Delve and Map Clear
This is some information about a build that I played for several hundred hours in 3.7 Legion league:
Cold to Fire Shield Charge Scion
I ended up Top 5 in the terribly competitive SSF Legion Scion delve depth ladder (327 at time of writing). I expect half the readers of the forum could probably eclipse me in 24 hours if there were that much time left in the league. She was pretty good in delve though, and any content that wants to travel in a straight line.
----- Updated for 3.10 -----
This just in from the 3.10 patch notes:
The clear speed of this build is going to be pretty bonkers. The biggest concern will remain the ability to take on bosses. In addition to the double radius, there are several new nodes available from Cluster Jewels that are very good for shield users. I will try and post more about that when I have time later in the league.
----- End Update -----
1. Very Good move speed on a budget (Raider + Path of the Ranger)
2. Fast Lab and Delve
3. Pretty good defense with Molten Shell
4. In-n-Out playstyle is defensively oriented, face tanking outside of Vaal Molten Shell is greedy.
5. Big damage-per-hit (great for Herald of Ash)
1. Targetting is difficult and will take some practice
2. Sometimes you get stuck on things. Nothing like pre-3.7 though.
3. Tilesets with a lot of terrain (Vaal Temple, Geode) can be a pain
4. Do bosses at your own risk! With SSF gear bosses are slow and deadly.
5. You pretty much have to use Leap Slam in addition to Shield Charge for traversing terrain. Gross.
6. The damage ceiling for this build is probably not that high if you have unlimited resources. I only play SSF, so I would love for somebody to actually maximize the gear on this build and report back.
Remember: You do double damage from maximum charge distance. This is +100% MORE damage scaling down to 0 from point blank. This means that sometimes you will absolutely hit the crap out of normal monsters and Herald of Ash will do dirty amounts of damage.
I wanted to try a linked Herald of Ash, but it's really overkill. Clear is not the problem, but rather single target damage.
Sometimes you get stuck on things. Like Alva:
Not bad for SSF T16 Legion
The back and forth playstyle:
Bosses if you really want to...
1. Cold to Fire
2. Elemental Damage With Attacks
4. Melee Physical Damage
I tried with and without Pulverise and it's really not even close. The new frontal cone is hard enough to aim as it is. If you were going to replace Pulverise, my next choice would probably be Elemental Focus. It does cover over some of the shortcomings in single-target damage, but AoE is too important to sacrifice in my opinion.
Cast When Damage Taken (Level 1)
1. Tempest Shield
If you don't go Avatar of Fire, consider leveling it, but otherwise you only really want the extra block chance.
2. Wave of Conviction - Strictly for the Fire Exposure. Scorching Ray + Spell Totem could serve the same purpose.
Cast When Damage Taken (Level 20/21)
1. Golem 1 (I choose Chaos)
2. Golem 2 (I'm using Ice. Lightning and Fire both have appeal as well)
3. Culling Strike - 10% less time spent pounding on bosses
1. Herald of Ash
2. Blood Rage
Herald of Ash gets global fire damage with quality. Blood rage gets more attack speed. These are good things.
1. Molten Shell (Vaal Molten Shell)
2. Increased Duration
Choose your own guard skill, but these are so good and I like to use them actively as needed.
Vaal Molten Shell in particular is pretty much invincibility for 10 seconds, and that can be really nice.
Auras and Curses
1. Precision (Low Level, depending on how much mana you want available)
4. Flammability - link this with Blasphemy if you choose to wear [Impresense]
Other Stuff You Might Want
1. Leap Slam - you probably want some way of traversing terrain
2. Maim if you can get it as a 7th Link on Chest would be great!
This is a rough outline. There are probably a lot of ways that you could execute this build across many classes and ascendencies.
I chose Path of the Ranger for the excellent Shield Defense nodes and some easy access to more Life. Originally I chose to go up towards shadow, but found that I needed the Leech nodes from Slayer to survive Less Recovery maps.
1. Raider - This gives us reliable Onslaught, a little avoidance and move speed. We're not stacking dodge, but if we were it would be even better. Shield Charge goes faster with move speed and attack speed, so getting both here is great. Plus I like Path of the Ranger, and this is definitely the best Ranger Node for our purposes. If you can get another source of Onslaught you could consider pathing towards Ranger from Duelist instead and picking something else.
2. Elementalist - The main reason I choose elementalist is the Reflect Immunity. 10% Elemental Pen is good, and the Herald and Golems are OK, but not really important. If not for reflect, I would almost certainly choose one of the honorable mentions.
1. Chieftan - The fire damage and Covered In Ash essentially make up for losing 10% Penetration from the Elementalist. Reflect kills you though.
2. Berserker - More Damage! Good Life and Mana Leech, but Shield Charge is not exactly a Rage Battery. Plus take more damage. No thanks.
3. Inquisitor - Like Chieftan, comparable damage to Elementalist, but you still die to reflect.
Tree on this site:
1. I chose to connect to Marauder and Templar for Pure Talent bonuses. I'm not sure if this is optimal, but it's not bad!
2. Physical to Cold to Fire via Avatar of Fire is the best way I came up with. I experimented with Lightning as well, but there are some very specific items that you probably need to make that happen.
3. I chose Elemental Overload instead of Crit. You probably can't maximize shield damage while having base crit higher than 5. Maybe you could do it with extreme amounts of crit chance on gear, but probably not in SSF.
1. Most of your defense comes from your shield. I recommend Armor. I was running around with about 12K armor, most of it from my shield, and my shield had less than 2500 armor! This also means the rest of your gear can be very flexible. TODO: try a build without Blood Rage, but with all ES/Life gear except the shield. Probably with Cerberus Limb.
2. The best way to get damage is Physical Damage added as Cold or Fire Cold is your top choice because you get 30% more from CTF. Remember, no Chaos Damage because of Avatar of Fire!
3. Priority for other sources of damage are:
1. Flat physical: Every point of physical damage gets you more cold and fire.
2. More anything
3. Fire Damage, All damage - since everything gets converted to fire, this increases everything
4. Area Damage, Elemental Damage - same as fire damage, but usually available in smaller numbers
5. Cold damage - only applies to about half of your total.
As usual you want to maximize your life total. This build has pretty high % Maximum Life, so go nuts!
Here is my gear from legion league (apparently standard migration happened while I wrote this):
I chose to go for pretty high stats which gave me about 50% increased damage from Cyclopean Coil along with Cannot Be Frozen and Cannot Be Ignited. You could probably take stat stacking to an extreme with some minor modifications.
Also, these took me well into T16:
[TODO The Princess]
I got enough Princesses and luck to get the Increased AoE corrupt, but I don't think it's important. Only Pulverise made any noticeable difference to AoE. Just maximize the added cold damage.
You can definitely level with this build. Just go for the Templar/Marauder side first. You will definitely want some supplemental damage for bosses. Explosive Trap, Lightning Spire Trap, Storm Brand, the usual suspects. Lioneye's Remorse, Vix Lunaris, and Magna Eclipsis are all fine through Yellow Maps.
Crafting Your Shield
One of the reasons I chose to do this build was I thought that crafting a good shield would be easier than crafting a good weapon. I think I was wrong. T1 Flat Armor seems more common than Flaring, but while you can craft good % damage on a weapon for 1 Exalt, there is no such option for Armor on shields. It's really OK though. Shield Charge does respectable damage with a mediocre shield. The shield I used in 3.7 (linked above) was only 2487 armor. Over 3K is achievable, even after the Dense fossil nerf. Here are a few approaches to getting an acceptable shield:
1. Deafening Essence - This will your highest possible base armor, which is what matters, but you will need some luck if you want to Meta Craft on it.
2. Alt, Regal, Multimod. T1 Armor is easy to get, hit a good regal or Anul, Multimod for a mediocre shield.
3. Dense fossil spam. This is probably the best way to go.
Use Hillock or Perfect Fossils to get 28-30% on a base of your choice.
In general, the best shield has all 3 prefixes increasing defenses, and quality crafted as a suffix. Block chance is a really nice bonus.
The highest damage shield bases are:
1. Colossal Tower Shield (Armor)
2. Cardinal Round Shield (Armor/Evasion)
3. Lacquered Buckler (Evasion) Default Neversink Filter Hides this on semi-strict! Customize if you think you might want one!
There are breakpoints in ilvl for Increased Defenses:
1. T1 requires ilvl 86
2. T2 requires Ilvl 84
It was late league before I finally got an ilvl 86 Colossal Tower Shield, and I never got it to good quality. Doesn't matter - my shield had T4 increased defenses...
Last edited by nice_guy_threeve on Mar 11, 2020, 9:17:16 AM
Last bumped on Sep 2, 2019, 7:16:43 PM
on Sep 2, 2019, 7:16:43 PM