[3.8] Divine Ire Stormfire Crit Perfect Agony Ignite Assassin - Uber Elder viable - 1.5m+ ignite DPS



Patch 3.8 – just like every patch before it – made several changes to various skills and mechanics. What caught my attention, however, were improvements to three aspects:

1) ignite;
2) the Assassin Ascendancy;
3) the Perfect Agony Keystone.

Since each of these was made stronger through the introduction of additional multipliers, defensive layers and damage increases, respectively, why not combine them – I thought – in a single crit ignite build?

Overview

This build is meant as an alternative to standard ignite characters. Instead on relying on “More Elemental Damage” buff granted by Elemental Overload, we boost our offensive capabilities by making use of critical strike multiplier, which we need in copious quantities so as to mitigate the disadvantage of going the Perfect Agony route (30% less damage with hits). For this reason, Divine Ire seemed like a perfect fit since it deals “70% more Damage with Ailments per Stage after the first”. Implementing this idea required, however, a Stormfire ring which is needed for lightning damage to apply ignite at all.

Defensively, I opted for EB/MoM/Acro combo, which makes gearing somewhat difficult, but is really interesting, and makes up for its downsides with outstanding flexibility and sheer power. However, going pure life or CI is also possible, if not better.

If you feel damage is an issue (it has never been for me), you can swap Flesh and Stone for Herald of Thunder/Purity and obtain a corresponding Circle of Regret or Circle of Guilt ring for some crazy ignites.

The end result is this Stormfire Divine Ire Perfect Agony Ignite Assassin.


Pros and cons

Pros:
- Everything viable (Uber Elder, Shaper, Uber Atrizi, etc.)
- Quite tanky (more than 8k effective health with Acro and Phase Acro)
- Lots of damage prevention layers
- Respectable damage
- Quite good clear speed
- Can run almost all maps
- Lots of clicking/very active playstyle

Cons:
- Not really HC viable
- Divine Ire requires you to be stationary for a while
- Susceptible to lots of small hits connecting if you’re not careful
- Elemental Overload characters are easier to manage and build around
- More expensive than other types of ignite builds
- ES-based gearing might be a problem due to Acrobatics
- Lots of clicking/very active playstyle


Disclaimer

Please that this is meant more as a build showcase and a starting point for further improvements (since there are many aspects that could use some tweaks) than a build guide. The character suffers from many drawbacks which prevent him from reaching greatness. These might be a result of the approach I adopted rather than a fault of the build, but should in my opinion be taken into consideration if you plan to take crit ignite for a spin. Here goes:

1) you need to focus on a lot of things – fire damage, lightning damage, physical damage, fire damage over time multiplier, critical strike chance, critical strike multiplier, chance to ignite, cast speed, additional phys as lightning, etc., so it’s quite tricky to build;

2) your tree is all over the place – starting as a Shadow, you need to take Perfect Agony and Elemental Equilibrium, go for a bunch of crit nodes, get Searing Heat, which is quite a long way from other points but is the single most powerful node for the build, etc.;

3) only your critical strikes will deal damage – if you don’t crit, you don’t deal damage, so you want as much critical strike chance as possible, preferably 100%, which can be achieved via the Assassin ascendancy node, Ambush and Assassinate;

4) Divine Ire hits with a very low frequency – which exacerbates the problem with critical strike chance: on the off-chance that you don’t crit, you will spend a considerable amount of time channeling Divine Ire again, which leaves you vulnerable to incoming hits, stuns and DoTs. For this reason, cast speed is very important because it not only allows us to hit hard faster and more often, but also improves your survivability. You should aim for cast rate of at least 8, but the higher the better;

5) Ambush and Assassinate is really unreliable when combined with Divine Ire – when you’re channeling Divine Ire, a circle appears around you, damaging nearby enemies, so when you release the beam, enemies are sometimes no longer at Full Life, so we can’t take advantage of the increased critical strike chance granted by Ambush and Assassinate;

6) you both want and don’t want area of effect – area of effect increases affect both the circle around you (which is bad, and also the reason my Divine Ire has 0% quality) and ignite proliferation radius, which determines how far your ignite can spread (which is good) – ultimately I decided not to invest in area of effect at all since clearing capabilities of the build are satisfactory;

7) critical strike chance is surprisingly hard to come by for spells if you’re aiming for consistent 100% – this is a very severe limitation, and basically forces you to go all out on critical strike chance while foregoing raw damage or survivability, or you may opt for some sort of a middle ground (like a did) and accept that some of your hits will not ignite and thus will deal no damage at all. Sure, this could be mitigated further by having + critical strike chance on shaped body armors (very expensive) or corrupted gloves (same as above) or increased critical strike chance for spells on the shield (virtually impossible to obtain all necessary mods – you want life, spell levels, increased damage and cast speed on your shield) but as I indicated above – this heavily limits your options, and even then it would be impossible to reach consistent 100% critical strike chance.

At this point, I feel Elemental Overload is much easier to build around since you need much less investment to reach comparable damage (for example, you can easily forego critical strike chance and critical strike multiplier). It could also be that the crit ignite approach could be made better by replacing Divine Ire with Fireball, but this remains to be seen. Mind you, the approach I’d decided to take isn’t bad, it’s great actually, the character down Uber Elder with certain ease and mapping with it is a joy; it’s just that there are things holding the build back, and it seems it’s up to you to rectify that. 😊



Skill gems and links

Main skill – Divine Ire

Our main skill. Feels unique to use, especially in the Stormfire setup. 6-link is mandatory, unfortunately, since every support gem brings something new to the table. Critical Strike Chance Support and Critical Strike Damage Support are superfluous, since the Assassin class provides us with a plenty of critical strike chance (currently 100% against enemies on full and low life, and almost 90% against enemies in other circumstances) and multiplier (currently 400% at the minimum).

Divine IreIgnite Proliferation Physical to LightningInfused ChannelingDeadly AilmentsBurning Damage

Utility skill – Storm Brand

Storm Brand fulfills three roles in this build: 1) applies Elemental Overload to enemies that were not hit by Divine Ire itself; 2) applies the Flammability curse; and 3) applies the Combustion debuff. Since there can be (as far as I know) multiple instances of ignite on an enemy (which do not stack, but this does not matter in this case), enemy ignited by Storm Brand will have its Fire Resistance lowered thanks to Combustion. Could easily be swapped for Orb of Storms – Storm Brand is just a personal preference of mine.

Storm BrandFlammabilityCurse on HitCombustion

Curses and auras

Due to being a MoM/EB hybrid, we’re able to run a variety of aura buffs. Malevolence is a no-brainer since it boosts the damage we deal and allows to use a required Watcher’s Eye. Other than that, I’ve been using:
1) Aspect of the Spider for its offensive (more damage taken) and defensive (hinder) capabilities;
2) Discipline to fill in the gaps left by going Acrobatics and to increase our effective health pool;
3) Flesh and Stone in Sand Stance for the blind aura and less damage taken;
4) Precision for some critical strike chance and Watcher’s Eye mod;
5) Clarity only for Watcher’s Eye mod.

Sure, that’s a lot, and can be achieved only at a significant expense (Devouring Diadem with reduced mana reservation enchant as well as Enlighten level 4), but is definitely worth it, and is one of the perks of going EB route.

Flesh and StoneDisciplineMalevolenceEnlighten

Clarity

Precision

Aspect of the Spider

Survivability skill (Steelskin)

We’re not using any Endurance Charges, so the effectiveness of Immortal Call would be minuscule, and having almost no Armor stat made going Molten Shell questionable. This leaves us with only one Guard skill, Steelskin, which is not too bad, since it basically provides us with additional 2k ehp in case of emergency.

Cast when Damage Takes (lvl 20)Steelskin (lvl 20)

Movement skill – Flame Dash

Flame Dash Faster Casting

Do note that in PoB Flame Dash is also supported by Arcane Surge Support, but this is only to simulate the Arcane Surge buff granted by the Command of the Pit gloves.

Others

Summon Lightning Golem

For some critical strike chance. You may also go with the Lightning Golem if you feel you’re lacking Cast Speed.

Vaal Haste



Skill tree (PoB)

You can check out the current state of my build here:
https://pastebin.com/3ZgPWyEU


Pantheon

As far as Major Pantheons are concerned, Soul of Lunaris seems like a perfect match for any avoidance-based build since it increases our chance to evade and dodge, and is a lifesaver in circumstances when we’re most vulnerable: locked in place while channeling Divine Ire (“stationary”).

When it comes to Minor Pantheons, Soul of Tukohama suits the build best for the same reasons as the Lunaris Pantheon as it improves our defenses when stationary.


Bandits

While leveling, I went for Alira to cap my resists and gain some critical strike multiplier. As soon as I managed to obtain appropriate equipment, I respecced for “kill all” option (2 skills points).


Ascendancy


Assassin for obvious reasons. Ascendancy Notables to be taken in the following order:

1) Mistwalker
An awesome node which makes us faster, deadlier and tougher.

2) Unstable Infusion
Power charge generation will fuel our ignite.

3) Deadly Infusion
Another Power charge-related Notable granting us a not too shabby damage boost and much needed reliability.

4) Ambush and Assassinate
Even more damage, especially when fighting bosses, allowing us to easily reach 100% critical strike chance.



Gearing


The Stormfire ring is the only item this build requires to function.



The Devouring Diadem



This build also uses the Devouring Diadem, which can be obtained from the final Syndicate boss. It has three things going for it:

1) Eldritch Battery, which has been combined with Mind over Matter for substantially increased effective health points and versatility;

2) reduced mana reservation, which enables us to overcome one of the weaknesses of MoM – a lower damage ceiling – by running two offensive buffs (Frostbite and Aspect of the Spider);

3) Feast of Flesh which is an automatically cast skill (with a 5 sec. cooldown) consuming corpses around you and granting a not-so-insignificant amount of life, mana and ES for each corpse consumed.



The rest of our gear is quite standard, with the emphasis on:
- good life rolls
- decent ES bases
- damage
- cast speed
- critical strike chance and multiplier

Current gear

This is my current setup:



Jewels



Jewels are quite important here. These can be used as a point of reference since they contain all stats that are useful for the build. Do note, however, that in the case of jewels increases (such as increased burning damage) are more powerful than multipliers (since Perfect Agony already grants us a lot of those) or added damage (since Perfect Agony decreases our hit damage).

Also, my Watcher’s Eye is a bit of an overkill; you only need the “Damaging Ailments you inflict deal Damage x% faster while affected by Malevolence” mod which is not that expensive.


Flasks



Cinderswallow Urn is too good to pass up and is the best flask for the build. Obviously, you can also use Bottled Faith if you’re rich enough. Other than that, flasks are standard.



Defensive layers

The build utilizes the following defensive layers to achieve acceptable survivability (mind though that particularly rippy mods might still kill you):
- relatively high effective life pool (around 8.5k ehp);
- high dodge (Acrobatics + Phase Acrobatics, Mistwalker and Quartz Flask);
- blind aura from Flesh and Stone (swapped for Herald of Thunder);
- Hinder debuff from Aspect of the Spider;
- the Cinderswallow Urn flask (for extra recovery during mapping and minion-phases when bossing);
- Steelskin at level 20 in a CwDT setup for around 2,000 additional health in cases of emergency.


Offensive layers

We’re using, among others:
- Aspect of the Spider (15% more damage);
- Flammability curse (-45% fire res);
- Critical Strike multiplier;
- Combustion on Storm Brand;
- Elemental Equilibrium (-50% fire res);
- Vaal Haste for increased cast speed during bossing;
- Malevolence aura;
- Herald of Thunder (swapped for Flesh and Stone);
- Watcher’s Eye with the “Damaging Ailments you inflict deal Damage x% faster while affected by Malevolence” mod;
- Arcane Surge from Command of the Pit gloves.

This way we get Divine Ire dealing burst damage Shaper DPS:


(neither Full Life nor Low Life ticked)

or, in case of enemies on Low Life,


(plus culling)



Last edited by Trikzter on Nov 1, 2019, 6:05:51 AM
Last bumped on Oct 31, 2019, 8:36:49 AM

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