[3.9 CotA] Double Strike / Flicker Assassin ~ Uber Elder deathless, Uber Atziri deathless!
This is my first time writing a guide in years, as this is the first build that I have finally done it all and settled on a build that is great for all content and is still super fun to play. Slaughter them all like the bloodthirsty killer you are!
Below is my character from last league, at lvl 97, just after killing Uber Elder deathless:
Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/dmkcFLpU
It focuses mainly on Double Strike, which can be used with Splash and Call for clearing, but Flicker Strike on even a 4 link provides great clearing speed, which allows Double Strike to be used for its full single target potential. Double Strike has amazing single target, and it doesn't require any threshold jewels that cost precious % life to do it. Vaal Double Strike also can summon 2 'doubles' that quickly search and destroy and can take down map bosses by themselves, pop that along with Vaal Warchief and nothing will be left. The doubles also work great for taking down threats for you when you need to back out, making it a great defensive ability as well. On Uber Elder, I swap Ruthless for Ancestral Call, as trying to use Flicker Strike would be too nuts while trying to dodge all of shit going on.
Fortify is your 5th link, providing great damage and awesome defense. Ruthless is the 6th link in the single target setup.
Flicker Strike got buffed with 3.7 and can now be used with any weapon due to it's new 20% (with quality) chance to grant a frenzy charge on hit. That is all that's needed to keep your flicker going starting at 60+. If something doesn't die with one Flicker, then you can take it out with Double Strike. If able, get Elder boots with 'Socketed gems are supported by level 20 Fortify' and use Flicker here for an easy 5 link and mad clearing power.
These 3 support gems are necessary to make Flicker Strike work, so at least a 4 link is needed.
My channel with loads of vids:
3.9 New buffed Shaper fight
Uber Elder DEATHLESS (3.8)
Showcasing Farrul's Fur as an optional choice on Lair of the Hydra:
Showcasing Tribal Fury anointment on Pit of the Chimera:
Juiced Elder Grotto Farming
Uber Atziri deathless:
I haven't attempted Uber Atziri since 3.0 and she wrecked me, so I was psyched to finally get the 4 tiddy bitch down.
3.8 Shaper, deathless of course, but don't try to tank the beam
Assassin is still my favorite as of 3.9. I played Berserker in Legion league and while it had crazy high dps, the building of rage was annoying and the degen made me feel squishy. Assassin also has the much bigger hits on full life, which makes clearing with Flicker smooth as butter. The biggest change for assassin was the addition of Mistwalker/Elusive, granting a whopping 25% attack/spell dodge, 8% reduce damage taken and no extra damage taken from crits, making Assassin feel very tanky even if Berserker reaches a bit higher life.
Assassin is especially good as a starter in 3.9 because of the reduced availability of shaper/elder gear. You have decent crit chance without needing the shaper ring right away or the Hatred crit % Watcher's Eye. Berserker however, is anti-synergistic with crit chance, needing even more crit chance because he loses it when he gains Blitz charges, and without high crit chance while those are up, you will lose your Blitz charges again.
Suggested allocation order:
1. Opportunistic ~ Basically 20% more damage all the time, and the extra move speed is great for leveling.
2. Unstable Infusion ~ Adding to your crit chance.
3. Ambush & Assassinate ~ Capitalizing on your crit chance you've built by now.
4. Mistwalker ~ Amazing defense when getting into maps, when suddenly defense really matters. If you just want as much facemelting dps as possible, take Deadly Infusion instead of Mistwalker.
Berserker is my second choice, due to its unparalleled speed and top end dps. Building rage is slower than I'd like, making trips back to my hideout a bit irritating, but it also grants stun immunity once built up, and the nasty speed makes it very fun to play. For Berserker though, for the reasons I stated above, you'll want to find higher crit chance swords than Assassin needs, else you'll see your Blitz charges dropping often.
Suggested allocation order:
1. Flawless Savagery
3. Crave the Slaughter
4. Rite of Ruin ~ All self-explanatory, but the degen is best dealt with at higher level.
Next is Champion, which I played in 3.6, after switching from Frost Blades in search of some higher damage. The Fortify support gem was buffed in 3.7, making it a staple in my 6 link set up, as the defensive benefit is huge, and the damage bonus is enough to make it competitive. This also means that the 'You have Fortify' ascendancy node for the Champion is all but useless, allowing you to take First To Strike, Last To Fall without worry. Champions also needn't worry about accuracy with Worthy Foe, which can save a lot of headache and currency trying to get to 100% hit chance.
Suggested allocation order:
1. Conquerer ~ Defense
2. Worthy Foe ~ Damage and easy hit chance
3. First to Strike, Last to Fall ~ Big damage
4. Unstoppable Hero ~ By this time you should have a 5/6 link using Fortify to utilize this node. Damage, defense, and stun immunity.
These 3 are my faves, but the build can be done on any ascendancy except Templar/Witch, so feel free to experiment.
Below is my 3.9 tree at level 96:
The only difference between Marauder, Duelist or Shadow is the first 5 points. Ranger will spend 2 extra nodes to connect. Regardless of who you start with, getting to the sword wheel on the far right is the first step, then the crit nodes by Shadow, a point in Acrobatics, then the Scion life wheel.
Alira is higher dps and the resists make life much easier. Alira is just about always best for crit builds.
Gem Links and Gear
Quick note on gear, getting 100% chance to hit is doable and very important. You can easily get a moderate amount of accuracy on a couple pieces and achieve 100% hit chance. Being under 100% is a large loss to both dps and survivability. Search for it on rings and gloves.
High physical dps swords with attack speed of at least 1.85. Having multiplier on both is huge for dps, and damage as extra chaos can push that further. Local crit chance does less for this build but is still a great affix, however, multiplier is the biggest and most cost effective stat for weapons. Of course, always try it out in Path of Building before buying. When leveling, rare swords will work well enough, but if able, Lakishu's Blade, The Princess Sabre, and most importantly, when getting into maps, a pair of Ichimonji swords will make your life significantly easier.
Be careful of swords with lots of accuracy, as you should cap your hit chance from other gear. If your accuracy is not 100%, then a sword will seem better than it is.
Belly of the Beast is still the standard pick, unless you can afford a ridiculously nice rare chest. The life on this chest cannot be easily beaten, and the resists are a nice bonus. A rare chest with 100+ life, % life, and + Strength may come close to the same net life though, and if you can get it with 'Attacks have x% increased crit chance', this will be a very large dps increase.
or 'Socketed gems are supported by level 1 Maim'
This was removed from the modpool in 3.9. Press F for to pay respects.
I have also tested Farrul's Fur, which is another very pricey option, but a good choice if you're focused on clearing maps super fast, take the extra frenzy charges on the tree and use Flicker on the 6 link instead of Double Strike. I uploaded a video using it in a Lair of the Hydra map, including the blight encounter, breaches, etc. Here are my thoughts on its performance, copied from the video:
With nothing left to spend my hard earned exalts on besides saving for a Headhunter, I decided to try out Farrul's Fur. It's... okay. The main advantage is keeping up charges during boss fights with little to no adds. You can see during the brief boss fight, my charges go down, and I get frenzy charges again from Farrul. I'd imagine this would come most in handy during Shaper, since you lose charges while he is monologuing, and in Uber Elder. Even Uber Elder has several add phases to keep frenzy charges up, as long as you keep up Blood Rage. Assassin has power charges up all the time regardless, so this chest would be most beneficial for Champ or Berserker, though, I think I'd still rather have the 800 health I lost. If your main focus is clear speed with Flicker and not Uber Elder, this is a great choice.
Starkonja is fantastic, it has attack speed and crit chance and it comes with a chunk of life. You could wear Abyssus as well, but the dps increase of Abyssus just isn't necessary and not worth the increased damage taken.
The enchant here is huge, the 15% double damage can't be beat. This enchant will fluctuate greatly in price, I've gotten it for 50c but I paid 400c for it this league and I got lucky. Get it when you can. The 15% increased attack speed is a close follower and significantly less expensive.
Prioritize life, physical damage to attacks, and crit multiplier. Anything else is a nice bonus. Try to get intelligence here as well, to get to the oh so high requirement of 68 int for this character.
Use your rings to fill resists, with physical damage and accuracy as upgrades for later. One ring should be a Shaper ring with 'Curse enemies with Assassin's Mark on hit' which will be a substantial damage increase. The new Vermillion rings are a great way to increase your health pool.
Shoot for 60+ life with 10+% attack speed. Try to get any amount of accuracy here as well. Physical damage to attacks is next priority, unless your hit chance is already 100%.
New in 3.9 Conquerors of the Atlas
'Strike skills target 1 additional enemy' is a new mod on gloves. This is also pretty pricey though, at least an ex, probably multiple ex for a usable pair. End game best case would be to get a good pair of these gloves and keep Ambidexterity on your amulet, but it's tough to tell what is more cost effective at this point. See the Anointments section.
Getting 90+ life and capping resists is priority, so a rustic sash will do the trick, but eventually you will want to transition to a Stygian Vise to use the juicy abyss jewel slot. Prioritize life/strength/resists. The abyss jewel will be a big increase to your life pool, and also provide bonuses such as increased attack speed on crit, Onslaught on kill, % of physical damage as extra fire damage, chance to blind, etc.
Again, life and resists are first priority, move speed is nice too. Assassin gets move speed on kill so move speed on boots isn't terribly important, and Leap Slam / Whirling Blades make up for it. Getting the 'Socketed gems are supported by Fortify' is essential. This will make your Flicker Strike much more powerful. New in 3.9, Tailwind is a mod for boots as well, which is another substantial bonus.
Your health flask needs Staunching so you don't die to bleeding or Corrupting Blood. Taste of Hate is a great damage bonus as well as defensive option due to the physical damage taken as cold. This may be expensive and may likely be your last flask purchase. Diamond flask is still a big dps bonus and needs Of Heat added on to remove freezes. Atziri's Promise is great damage and a small cost, get this asap at level 68. Lion's Roar is least important of these and provides extra damage on demand, but be ready for the slightly irritating knockback.
Life, speed, and multiplier. When able, find a Watcher's Eye with '+% crit chance while affected by Hatred'. This is a huge damage boost, but will be pricey. If you're insanely rich, getting that along with multiplier while affect by Precision would be amazing, if you have 30 ex or whatever that goes for.
My Anointment of choice to start is Ambidexterity. Unless you need more accuracy, Ambidexterity will be the superior choice for damage and speed. Blademaster and Honed Edge are also great choices, but Ambi provides the biggest dps increase if accuracy isn't an issue.
If you have the currency though, Tribal Fury is definitely the best choice. It grants 12% increased Melee Damage and 'Strike Skills target 1 additional nearby Enemy', allowing you to remove Ancestral Call from your setup entirely. It costs an Opalescent, Silver, and Golden Oil, which is much cheaper now in 3.9.
New in 3.9 Conquerors of the Atlas
'Strike skills target 1 additional enemy' is a new mod on gloves. This is also pretty pricey though, at least an ex, probably multiple ex for a usable pair. End game best case would be to get a good pair of these gloves and keep Ambidexterity on your amulet, but it's tough to tell what is more cost effective at this point.
Hatred is first and most important, this is a large damage increase.
Pride is a physical damage aura that can be used instead of Hatred for Elemental Reflect maps.
Herald of Purity is a big boost to damage, with Flesh and Stone almost as good, but not quite. Flesh and Stone increases the damage enemies take and is almost identical damage Herald of Purity, with level 20 Herald of Purity pulling ahead by a small amount, so HoP is my preferred aura of the two.
War Banner is used to further increase your damage.
Lastly, Precision can be used at level 1 for just a bit more accuracy/crit once your mana sustain can handle it.
Not auras, but be sure to keep up your Ice Golem and Blood Rage on while mapping as well. Bosses too. Get used to checking on your golem any time you have downtime and pop it back up if it's low on health.
I run with Lunaris for major. Lunaris is great for that extra dodge and avoidance once filled out. Tukohama is a good minor when you're spamming damage into a unique mob and hoping not to die, and Ralakesh is good for less Blood Rage damage taken while flicking.
This is all up to preference really, and you might change it depending on the map. Abberath is good for any burning map, for example. Test them out and see what makes your mapping flow better.
For delving, Double Strike works great. Simply switch Splash and Call around with Ruthless and Fortify. Or just Ruthless and Splash if you have Tribal Fury already, put DS on right click and turn on 'Always attack without moving'. Now you have DS as a clear skill that works perfectly for the narrow passages in the mine, whereas flicker will take you to the darkness and likely kill you.
Once you're done delving and are going back to maps, don't forget to switch them back!
Definitely. Depending on who is reading, my gear even now is still pretty low budget. Swords were a few ex each, and a 6 link belly was 4.6 ex. I used Ichimonji into red maps this league, and they go for just a few chaos. Watcher's Eye is pricier this league due to Elder being less accessible.
I don't play hardcore, so I can't say for sure, but I think it could be done. Mistwalker provides huge defense and I'm currently at nearly 7k life. Flicker is always risky, but to a seasoned hardcore player, I think it would be manageable.
This guide is always a work in progress, and I will continue to work on it to make it as comprehensive as possible. If you have any requests or ideas to make it more elaborate and interesting, please comment below. I will strive to keep it as prepared as possible for upcoming content.
And I want to thank every one of you for trying out the build. It's gotten more popular in 3.9, and I greatly enjoy hearing about all your successes. The stories and the kind messages give me renewed excitement and vigor to make this build the best it can be. <3
Last edited by roguemjb on Jan 17, 2020, 10:40:51 PM
Last bumped on Feb 16, 2020, 1:31:07 PM
on Sep 25, 2019, 9:45:57 PM
Nice, next build for sure!
on Sep 26, 2019, 11:54:58 PM
Great! Let me know if you have any questions or any ideas on how to improve the guide. I am going to add some pictures to make it more interesting and maybe add some sections.
on Sep 27, 2019, 1:06:44 AM
Hey there dude, nice guide!
When do you start with flicker, and how did you lvl up? How do you generate the Frenzy charges for it to function right?
Still figuring the best way to lvl as melee, have played mostly caster on the game so far..
on Sep 27, 2019, 1:06:14 PM
I switched to flicker after 60ish, if I remember correctly. Before I had the fortify boots and just a 5 link chest, I was using Flicker for clearing, then I would swap in Double Strike with Splash and Ancestral Call for Blight, because I didn't have the damage yet for blight mobs with Flicker. I'd say once you get a couple Ichimonjis, clearing with Flicker should be easy. And Flicker now has 15% chance to grant you a frenzy charge on hit, or 20% with quality, which is AMAZING. When used with Blood Rage, keeping it going is no issue.
When leveling before that though, you can use whatever, even try a few things. I used Double Strike with Splash and Call mostly of course, but I also used Frost Blades and tried out all the new poison skills too.
on Sep 27, 2019, 7:44:01 PM
For sure my next build :)
Why not 6l Flicker :C ?
Last edited by EasyKun097 on Sep 27, 2019, 8:11:07 PM
on Sep 27, 2019, 8:09:11 PM
You certainly could, especially if your flicker needs it for clearing. Flicker on a 5 link still blasts through trash, and that's all it needs to do. Feel free to switch them and see what feels best!
on Sep 27, 2019, 8:20:19 PM
It would be nice to know which Ascendancies take first and maybe a gem priorization on the DS/Flicker Setup ?
on Sep 27, 2019, 11:47:38 PM
on Sep 28, 2019, 2:31:52 AM
Thank you for the build! I followed previously your leechtank aswell, hope it goes as well.
What do you think about Farruls as chest,I know its expensive but seems to fit this build, right?
Also, alternatives to flicker strike for leveling? Last time I leveled with flicker strike was really awful
Maybe frost blade?
on Oct 1, 2019, 9:47:35 AM