3.8 Delve notes for SA Delve Raider by Ontop

Greetings, friends.

Though being late, I've finally found some time to write down some thoughts about Delve in general and Raider in particular. Azurite Mine and Sulphite addiction made me restless since league launch.
In these notes I'll try to cover the most important questions that people often asking on my stream.

Lets begin with the most pressing topic - profit.
Delve Profit
Most people who think about delving are primarily looking for a quick way to farm currency. Delve copes with this task with ease, BUT not everything is as simple as it might seem at first glance.

That mentioned profit starts from depth of approximately 1.5k. At this point chance to meet rare fossil and map nodes increases noticeably, and even at the moment of writing these notes (middle of relatively dead Blight league, with prices and demand for rare fossils being quite bad) it is more than enough to cover Sulphite rotations expenses.

So whats the problem, you may ask? And the problem lies in the fact that to feel comfortable at such depth you need a well-geared character adapted for delving. Which for many players might be a stumbling block.
Most successful delving build in current league in my opinion is SA Raider, one that I was making a guide about at league start. High Dodge and Evasion chance is currently the best defensive mechanic. Permanent Phasing and Frenzy Charges allows to Delve very, very deep.
Link to English version of Mapping SA Raider Forum Guide:
>>> 3.7 - 3.8 Scourge Arrow Raider (All Content) Solo Delve 3.1k+ by Ontop <<<
Mapping and Delving versions of the build are very different, this caused many questions from people who just started to Delve. I'll try to answer all of them in further sections.
Next big topic is different SA setups for different delve depth ranges.

SA - Life Delve
SA - Life Version
So what is the difference between mapping version of build and delving one? Until 1-1.5k depth there is almost none. The only thing I'd like to mention at this point is a weapon selection.
Since monster life starts to grow constantly as you progress deeper into Delve, your miner gonna need some serious damage improvements. Strongest option would be a dex stacking bow and Brutal Restraint Timeless Jewel, these two with minimal investments would be a great and effective source of flat cold damage. After that we just need to multiply this damage correctly.
To do so, we changing SA gem setup.
Gem Changes
Due dex stacking giving us huge flat damage bonuses, we swap Added Cold Damage and Ice Bite to Inspiration and Infused Channeling.
I often receive a question about Infusion buff and why I neglecting it. The answer is simple, this buff grants more damage of skill gem dsmsge type(s) (which are reflected in gem tags), and since SA has only Chaos tag, Infusion would add 10% More Chaos damage which does nothing for us. For that reason you also do not need quality on Infused Channeling, because it only affect channel time to get the buff.

Another change in gem section is added Frost Wall and Vaal Summon Skeletons gems.
Frost Wall is used to avoid a lot of projectiles, we will talk about usage in details later.
Vaal Skeletons play the role of cannon fodder and draw attention of the enemies.
Recommended gem links is Frost Wall + Spell Cascade + Increased Duration + Vaal Summon Skeletons.
Changes aren't restricted by just bow, there is other pieces of gear to replace.

Gear replacement
Rings
Even in the most budget variant I highly recommend to buy a ring with Assassin's Mark on Hit - Power Charges sustain, effective More multiplier for critical strike chance and damage would be very useful.
Cheap and cool option to pair with this ring is Mark of the Elder.
Helmet selection
Before you could afford Fractal Thoughts with SA enchant, use fossil crafted rare helmet (Pristine + Frigid).

Few words about SA enchant and how it work.
First, enchant has full power on Mirage Archer who always trying to channel until max stages.
Secondly it allows you to place an additional Pod on short (1-2 stacks) channel of SA.
Both options are greatly improve your damage output during travelling to the node and in encounters where you can afford to stay in place and channel SA to maximum.
Dex-stacking Bow
In case you missing what I am talking about when mentioning dex-stacking bow, we are looking for Shaper's mod: Adds (2-3) to (4-5) Cold Damage to Attacks with this Weapon per 10 Dexterity. Budget version of such bow is just this mod alone and multicraft with critical chance, attack speed, %cold damage+freeze chance and +2 support gems. More advanced version you can find in other SA setups below this one.
Brutal Restraint
How? Where? And for what price to buy a good Legion jewel for yourself?
Those jewels are super hard to buy/sell, you can easily get scammed if you buying it from random people. You may ask friends / guild members, check for sellers that can provide video with jewel stats, but safest way to get one is to buy divines and roll it yourself. Useful stats to look for, best to worst:
5% Increased Dexterity -> +20 Dexterity -> 20% Projectile Damage / 25% Crit Chance -> 5% Attack Speed -> 20% Cold Res (for Wise Oak)
Flasks
Flask setup is also different.
I prefer to use higher dps setup in Mine, with 3 unique flasks.
Make sure that you have any amount of Fire damage for ignites when using Cinderswallow Urn. For Wise Oak you need Uncapped Cold Resistance to be your highest elemental resistance.
Rest of the gear remains almost unchanged.

Passive Tree & Pantheon
Passives & Pantheon
No much changes in the tree, a bit different top area and now you need Utmost Swiftness for dex stacking.
Best and very cheap amulet annointment for early Delve is King of the Hill - a lot of crit and knockback which will help a lot on Azurite encounters.
Pantheon selection is straight forward:
Major - Lunaris for 10% chance to Avoid Projectiles and movement speed.
Minor - Abberath for Burning Ground immunity.
This setup offers impressive damage, permanent Phasing thanks to Raider ascendancy, high attack/spell Dodge and Evasion which allows to ignore a lot of unwanted damage.
BUT, and this is a huge BUT: please never, NEVER try to facetank. I've heard so many complains about this setup over a month of my streams. Archer is not a class that must tank anything, main mechanic that allowed me to survive in delve is a quick analyze of the battlefield and avoiding potential oneshots manually.
I recommend you to use life version up until ~1k depth.
>>> Life Version PoB <<<

SA - Half Life
SA - Half Life Version
Past 1k mark life pool become useless against heavy hits, part of it can and should be sacrificed for more damage; leave HP at around 3k and keep resistances cap, it still should be enough to save you from occasional small hits.

Gear changes
Quiver & Flasks
Voidfletcher, good and cheap option for delve. To be honest you can make an entire build just based on this quiver. Immense damage output and good aoe, voidshots are exactly covering whole Delve corridors.
In addition to the quiver you need to get Dying Sun flask for 2 additional projectiles.
Bow
After 1.5k depth its highly recommended to replace your bow with lategame version:
(10-12)% increased Attack Speed / 20% chance to deal Double Damage
Adds (2-3) to (4-5) Cold Damage to Attacks with this Weapon per 10 Dexterity

Can have multiple Crafted Modifiers
(73-80)% increased Cold Damage / (21-23)% chance to Freeze
(25-27)% increased Critical Strike Chance
Attacks with this Weapon Penetrate (14-16)% Elemental Resistances
Ring
If you can afford it, would be nice to purchase a Circle of Fear ring with double Herald of Ice mods in order of priority: %increased Cold Damage -> Herald buff effect -> reduced mana reservation (not very useful but better than the rest of the mods). The only alternative to this ring is Precursor's Emblem with very good mods, which would be super hard to obtain.

P.S. Circle could roll an implicit with +1 max frenzy charge and Precursor's can have it as one of mods, but the price of such rings makes them an option for minmaxing your gear when you already have gg gear pieces. Still, if you lucky enough to find one for a reasonable price, grab it :D

Passive Tree
On the passive Tree we remove some Life nodes, spending these points on damage instead. Best annointment Passive in this setup is Command of Elements.
This setup is good to use in range of 1-2k depth, but you could also just switch from Life Version into Full Glass immediately.
>>> Half Life Version PoB <<<

SA - Full Glass
SA - Full Glass Version
This setup can be used right after Life version, jumping over Half Life setup.
Respec into this version assumes that you fully mastered Raider and this build, and also realize that now anything could immediately destroy you. Space for mistakes is gone together with your resists and life pool, which aren't presented in given version of the build.
With Delve progress, you will starve for damage more and More.

Gear replacement
Note that all changes in gear from Half Life version are still applicable in here.
Gloves & Amulet
In this setup I recommend getting Tombfist gloves with Elemental Weakness on Hit corruption. To use additional curse on hit from gloves you'll need Whispers of Doom annointment on your amulet, speaking of which - at this point we using Marylene's Fallacy amulet as single best damage option. Nothing else beats it in term of damage, not even crafted rare dex stacking amulets.

If you plan to go very deep, past 4.5-5k or even deeper you'll need to replace gloves corruption with +1 maximum frenzy charge, ideal option is double corrupt with +frenzy and base crit chance to attacks but its hard to obtain. When you replace gloves corruption with frenzy and/or crit, amulet upgrade would be Heart of Ice annointment and aiming for %dexterity corruption.
Rings

Due getting rid of resistances we now have a free suffix for Aspect of the Cat craft on our rare ring. You gonna need level 4 Enlighten to fit all the auras. Second ring slot is still reserved for either Circle of Fear or Precursor's Emblem, those were already discussed in Half Life gear section.

A few words about Aspect and War Banner. I'm using these two buffs depending on the situation I'm about to face in current encounter.
Banner is helpful in cases where you need to deal a lot of damage quickly against tough target, aka T3 Azurite or Rogue Exiles encounter.
Aspect is good during travel, because it gives us another 15% chance to Avoid any damage and making us invisible for monsters sometimes.
I advice you to learn using second skill panel (introduced in 3.8) for this setup, must be well-known option yet some players are still unaware of it.

Passive Tree changes
Passive Tree
At depth 2k+ monsters damage cannot be survived by almost any build, which is why we getting rid of ALL life nodes and heading towards CI (Chaos Inoculation). This Keystone protecting us from Fungal Caverns biome with Caustic Ground caused by dying zombies and purple flowers. If you using same character for getting Sulphite in maps, do not forget to unallocate CI during maps.
Here is PoB pastebins for all versions of the build:
Depth 0-1k: >>> Life Version <<<
Depth 1-2k: >>> Half Life Version <<<
Depth 1-5k: >>> Full Glass <<<
Depth 5k+: >>> Deep Glass <<<
Depth ranges are approximate,not the strict limitations and are subject to change based on your own experience, you can switch to next setup later or earlier :)

Thats all as for character, next topic I would like to talk about is tactics I'm using on certain encounters in Delve. We have no idea what GGG is about to do with SA during their archers rework in next league, it might be nerfed but this section should remain useful for other skills and setups anyway.

Azurite Nodes:
Azurite Nodes
Starting with most common encounter - Azurite nodes.
I'm taking middle range position from monsters spawn point here. Cover myself in Frost Walls, covering from projectiles, and spawn Vaal Skeletons on cooldown into the middle of the arena. For rare monsters, Azurite golems (balls) and Boss spawns I'm trying to have charged Banner.
You can tell the boss type of T3 Azurite node in advance based on Rare monsters that spawns before first golems. Fat cat monsters stands for Dragon boss, thin cats mean Tiger boss, and if you died from screamers then boss must be a screamer too:)
Crystal Spire - Hollow Fossil source:
Crystal Spire
Try your best to have fully charged War Banner, Skeletons and Vaal Grace. The faster you could kill the spire in the middle, the less chances to fail and die. Pay an extra attention to monsters attacking from invisibility, they are hard but possible to notice when they disappear, and then it shouldn't be too hard to avoid the attack. Also don't get hit by falling rocks that opens a new monster spawns :D
Humid Fissure - Fractured Fossil source:
Humid Fissure
Very easy encounter with enough damage output. Just stand behind the statue you're at when starting the encounter, place Frost Walls on yourself, summon Skeletons to draw attention and burst the statue under the Banner buff as soon as statue become active.
Molten Cavity - Faceted Fossil source:
Molten Cavity
Boss is very unpleasant because of his speed and being unable to channel 5 stacks of SA. Kiting him in circle and paying attention to the ground under your feet, red cracks on the floor are the spots where fire pillars will appear.
Haunted Tomb - Tangled Fossil source:
Haunter Tomb
Easiest fossil encounter. Frost Wall onto the ghost spawn points, kill a few ghosts and pick up your easy-earned fossil.
Stonewood Hollow - Bloodstained Fossil source:
Stonewood Hollow
Very unfun fight, all projectiles here are piercing Frost Wall, so you have to physically avoid them and/or hide behind the actual walls. After 4 monster packs boss will appear in the centre, don't forget to charge your Banner.
Time-Lost Cavern - Glyphic Fossil source:
Time-Lost Cavern
The most random encounter in the entire Delve mine. Sometimes it spawns with completely undoable essences combination. It's hard to tell something specific about this encounter, just try it for awhile if monsters doesn't instantly kill you after you release the essences, otherwise skip it and do not waste your Sulphite.
Some other encounters to mention:
Dusty Grove
Dusty Grove and similar encounters: Frost Wall stops sand tornados, so build the walls while staying in the entrance corridor, kill everything from the distance, place flares when needed.
Restless Rubble
Restless Rubble: the problem here is Golems that shoots some sneaky projectiles passing through the Frost Wall. Position yourself behind a real wall, shoot regular monsters, summon skeletons at the boss spawn and kill them quickly under Banner buff.
Harbinger & Beyond
Harbinger, Pulsating Grotto: go full offscreen here, just staying as far as possible and shoot off the screen until you stop gather flask charges or run out of flares.

Next thing to talk about is area modifiers.
Biome Mods
While playing life version, be careful with areas having few Physical damage as Extra Fire/Cold/Lightning or just few damage mods at once in general, because even at relatively small depth some monsters can simply oneshot you. Later you can ignore everything that adds damage to monsters because you won't have life and resists anyway.

Worst mod for Cold builds is of course Monsters' Action Speed cannot be modified to below base value, we lose our main defence mechanic such as Freeze. Think twice before going into biome with that mod, specially if there is also mods for Attack Speed, Frenzy Charges or Onslaught.

Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments is another bad one, but not as bad as previous, because its only 50% chance. Weta monsters with this mod can sometimes leave Cold DoT ground, if you didn't step on the corpse with Bubonic Trail and destroyed it in time.

Nemesis, adds a lot of random stuff into any, even easiest encounter. Random reflect projectiles, proximity shields, mirage copies and many others. But also may help you if you steal said proximity shield.
Bloodlines, makes travel and clearing area before the encounter way harder, because the amount of monsters and lags from these monsters is just absurd.
Beyond, making nodes with high monster count impossible or very hard to do (e.g. Azurite, falling ursa etc).
Onslaught, attack speed and aoe mods. Not crucial but require you to pay more attention to the mobs and their attacks.

Thats all I wanted to describe in this post.
Thanks for your attention, you may find me everyday on my Twitch channel:
https://www.twitch.tv/maydie13
Good Luck!
Last bumped on Dec 3, 2019, 6:44:04 PM
Thank you very much for all these explanations and congrats for your delving records.

So if I understand well, you don't count on Delve profit until 1.5K depth. Then you do a lot of mapping before going for delve, and count on friends/guild to set you up or you still manage to improve your character with delve only?

I'm really looking to do a cold SA ranger next league (prolly stoping at the full life version because I'm not very good at making currency). But I'm playing alone and wonder if I should build some currency before going for Delve or just Delve as soon as possible.
Thank you for the guide, finally we get a written compilation of various tricks you're using (frost wall, banners, vaal skeletons etc.), I was waiting for some good delve guide and this is it!

Two questions if I may:

- is darkness delving still worth it or just getting as many nodes as possible?

- How does it compare to Juggs with double Nebuloch or Unshattered Will builds that stay around 1,5k-2k level, is it easier to make profit with these because they die less? Or is it still better with Raider because they can reach deeper?
Thanks for this amazing work!!

Definitely going to jump in after finishing some stuff!


Congrats for your stream/records/stuff !
"
Rootsmann wrote:
Thank you very much for all these explanations and congrats for your delving records.

So if I understand well, you don't count on Delve profit until 1.5K depth. Then you do a lot of mapping before going for delve, and count on friends/guild to set you up or you still manage to improve your character with delve only?

I'm really looking to do a cold SA ranger next league (prolly stoping at the full life version because I'm not very good at making currency). But I'm playing alone and wonder if I should build some currency before going for Delve or just Delve as soon as possible.

I got my hh near 700-900 depth by doing walls/cities, all gear and currency from trading fossils/maps. Only one thing i'm getting from my friends, constant sulphite party.
This is was solo push, only fair play from my side.
"
Viktranka wrote:
Thank you for the guide, finally we get a written compilation of various tricks you're using (frost wall, banners, vaal skeletons etc.), I was waiting for some good delve guide and this is it!

Two questions if I may:

- is darkness delving still worth it or just getting as many nodes as possible?

- How does it compare to Juggs with double Nebuloch or Unshattered Will builds that stay around 1,5k-2k level, is it easier to make profit with these because they die less? Or is it still better with Raider because they can reach deeper?

About darkness and other stuff u can read above.
Juggs cant delve after 1.5 without huge investments and paing in the ass ;D
Thanks for the great write up! some awesome tips there for a newbie delver like myself
First of all, thx for a guide!
Second, what pantheons to use between 500-1000k depths because i struggle a lot atm in delve.
"
maydie13 wrote:
"
Rootsmann wrote:
Thank you very much for all these explanations and congrats for your delving records.

So if I understand well, you don't count on Delve profit until 1.5K depth. Then you do a lot of mapping before going for delve, and count on friends/guild to set you up or you still manage to improve your character with delve only?

I'm really looking to do a cold SA ranger next league (prolly stoping at the full life version because I'm not very good at making currency). But I'm playing alone and wonder if I should build some currency before going for Delve or just Delve as soon as possible.

I got my hh near 700-900 depth by doing walls/cities, all gear and currency from trading fossils/maps. Only one thing i'm getting from my friends, constant sulphite party.
This is was solo push, only fair play from my side.


That's really cool to hear that you could manage to gear yourself up only alone in delve. I watched a part of a video where you league started in a group of 3, so I imagined that you continued to use friends support. It's cool that you managed all the rest by yourself (sulphite supply is fair I think), that's an even bigger congrats from me!

When you say you were doing walls, did you do actual darkness farming (exploring a few path without the cart) at 700-900 or just the walls on the path that you explore with your cart? I figure at those depth darkness farming is too hard but I would be happy to be proven wrong.
"
Rootsmann wrote:
"
maydie13 wrote:
"
Rootsmann wrote:
Thank you very much for all these explanations and congrats for your delving records.

So if I understand well, you don't count on Delve profit until 1.5K depth. Then you do a lot of mapping before going for delve, and count on friends/guild to set you up or you still manage to improve your character with delve only?

I'm really looking to do a cold SA ranger next league (prolly stoping at the full life version because I'm not very good at making currency). But I'm playing alone and wonder if I should build some currency before going for Delve or just Delve as soon as possible.

I got my hh near 700-900 depth by doing walls/cities, all gear and currency from trading fossils/maps. Only one thing i'm getting from my friends, constant sulphite party.
This is was solo push, only fair play from my side.


That's really cool to hear that you could manage to gear yourself up only alone in delve. I watched a part of a video where you league started in a group of 3, so I imagined that you continued to use friends support. It's cool that you managed all the rest by yourself (sulphite supply is fair I think), that's an even bigger congrats from me!

When you say you were doing walls, did you do actual darkness farming (exploring a few path without the cart) at 700-900 or just the walls on the path that you explore with your cart? I figure at those depth darkness farming is too hard but I would be happy to be proven wrong.

Only walls.

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