[3.11] Prim's Arcanist Brand - 4 sec Sirus AL8! Nuke T19 100% + Big Chest Pops + >50m sDPS cap:D

Hey there! I’m Primaeva, and I’ve been making random janky builds / music vids on YouTube (accompanied by Reddit threads) for a while!

Welcome to one of the few viable Arcanist Brand builds in Harvest (3.11)! This build combines the best (and worst) of the Brand playstyle with the Corpse Pact notable to pump out tens of millions of damage on unsuspecting targets!



With some explodey chest shenanigans which the build innately scales you can have a ton of fun trying to outrun your balls as well.



You may want to quickly browse these 2minute, action packed videos WITH EPIC SOUNDTRACKS to judge if the build looks promising at all to you. Footnote to VDSSers - yes, it is more work than VDSS. But yes, you can transition fairly easily if you got bored of the stuttersteppy playstyle but want to retain your skill gems, etc!

Well then, now that that’s done, let’s dig into the build!

Videos hooo!
(Please comment your video requests so you can assess if this is for you! I tend to reply on weekdays.)
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Final Showcase Video vs Conqs/Sirus + Some mapping examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkEf7phLq_M
(^ ~80% of theoretical build power - I’m moving on for now. There are areas you can use to push this to 100m sDPS! No, I would not recommend for deep delving bruh.)

(request) T19 100% Delirium 120+% Quant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7zjmLlWcv4&feature=youtu.be

Day 5 Bossing Videos (medium budget): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qILw4rOoco0
Day 0 Concept Video (Starter Kit): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGi4OVC5kVQ

^ Re: Concept Vid: If you have always dreamed of firing Ice Spears / Arcs at 300% Cast Speed, uh, feel free to make that your 6/7/8L and to just use the Brands as a Cast Speed Engine. :D




No BS Pros & Cons
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+ New skill!!!
+ Fun, engaging, rewarding playstyle
+ Fire-and-forget
+ Decent to stellar clear without/with explodeys
+ High single-target DPS and extremely high min-max cap (> 60m sDPS)
+ Non-overleech version functions well in SSF environment (base mechanics baked in game, not gear)
+ Defenses ideal for Lazies (Max Block w No Flasks, Overleech, Run Around)

- Learning curve for brand upkeep (close to ED-C)
- More buttons to press than Spellslinger
- Delayed Damage build requires awareness. Also VERY bad for HC do NOT do it!!
- Harvest Reliant (Crushclaw may not exist next league)
- High-end DPS gated behind Woke Spell Cascade (expensive)
- Meh in Simulacrum (Wave 20 deathless pretty fast, sure, but Zone Level is 75 so you become a regular VDSSer)



Core Concept + Mechanics, aka why this build clicks
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CHOOSE WISELY.

TL:DR Zoomer I-just-wanna-Smash version

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(You chose… poorly. Jk you do you!)

In this build, an Arcanist Brand with Volatile Dead and another with Desecrate jump on a target, spawning 12 corpses and blowing 9/12 of them up + generating 9/12 balls. The brands have already leapt to a new target and repeat the cycle there - and each cycle takes less and less time to complete.



Corpse Pact supplies up to 200% cast speed to Arcanist Brand, which brings activation rates to around 0.26. Arcanist Brand allows you to goof off and run in circles / towards the end of the map while your millions of DPS blows the head off everything.

In addition, Arcanist Brand casts spells directly at enemies’ feet - literally an ‘autoaim’ in PoE. This means corpse creation + explosions suddenly becomes extremely ‘accurate’ - especially since Arcanist Brand’s less AoE actually FOCUSES the explosions. Thus the explosions become extremely worthwhile to scale for single target - and these babies hit for millions PER HIT through some shenanigans with Harvest Spectres.

The build inherits all the joys and the pains of using Brands - fire and forget, no aiming required, but requires a two more buttons to press than VDSS at early gear levels. Once you crest a certain mark, you’ll be stopping far less frequently than a Spellslinger build because all you have to do is Brand Recall and keep running forward/looting. Bosses - Sirius 8 included, literally die within the duration of a pair of Brands so it isn’t as strenuous as some people make it out to be.

Additionally, since hitting endgame damage does not mandate using a Shavronne’s, the build can wear an explodey chest which the build ALSO naturally scales through base crit, insane global crit mult, and AoE. (Exception: players that mirror that nutty Synth VD wand, whew.). The rest of the stuff like 75/75 block/spell block is there too.


Long-ass boomer version that PoE vets / Newbies wanting to learn will enjoy
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(You chose… wisely. Casual 1700 words inc, but you will gain infinite wisdom.)

Arcanist Brand - A Tragic Tale

In 3.11, Arcanist Brand was introduced. This Brand is officially the first “proxy” support-spell-active hybrid that does it all. It leeches to you, uses your stats, scales 100% with cast speed, and unlike CoC/Spellslinger/CWC does not have an innate cooldown. The potential for insane spell combinations with this Brand was limitless.

However GGG must have been feeling that too. Arcanist Brand launched with a very heavy penalty in terms of damage multipliers and coverage/range gimps, the worst base activation rate of all brands, plus a ridiculously short attachment duration of 3 seconds (50% of most brands’ 6s, 60% of Storm Brand’s 5s), making it feel horrible to play in most situations. In addition Brand Recall got a kick in the gonads, and THEN those gonads were surgically removed. Not a good look.

One month on the ladder reflects the grim reality - there are like 6 people on the ladder using Arcanist Brand offensively, with most tossing it on a debuff/support loop.

To borrow a cliched term that naysayers throw around so often, Arcanist Brand was DOA, just like your love life. (aside from that two weeks of glorious WoC bugging).


Yet one candidate stood out from the rubble. We will return the balls to the gonad-less Arcanist Brand.

Volatile Dead - The Match Made in Heaven
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It’s unfortunate that this happened to be the (rather overhyped) VDSS league, because anything achieved by any other build using VD will be understandably overshadowed. But Volatile Dead, meta or not, is the PERFECT spell to pair with Arcanist Brand. Here are the reasons.

Says ‘Fork you!’ to Arcanist Brand’s range penalties
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40% Less AoE, Chaining Range and Limited Projectile Range have a cry in the corner when meeting chad Volatile Dead. VD Balls are NOT projectiles - so their heat-seeking capabilities are not affected. They don’t chain. Your clear will be hurt a little by less AoE due to reduced splash, but the balls FAR outnumber the enemies, ESPECIALLY with Arcanist Brand which generates balls as you run to the next pack instead of having to stay still to summon 9/12 at a TIME. (We’ll discuss corpse explosions later.)

Corpse Pact - the biggus dickus cast speed steroid

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Any caster will tell you 200% cast speed is a ridiculous bonus amount to have. The BEST nodes on the tree have 8-10% (or 15% conditional). 200% speed is 20 of those nodes, without travel nodes in between them.

BONUS SIDE STORY

You know what? This build was conceived with even greater scenarios in mind. The day Arcanist Brand was announced, a small number of theorycrafters, myself included, were already jacking off with the fantasies of melting the servers with infinitely scaling cast speed. Unfortunately some of these gronks couldn’t keep it in their pants and blabbed to a GGG dev, who subsequently instituted the 200% cap on the Ascendancy. As a result Harvest was one of the smoothest launches ever with no server crashes. Boring!

The con to that is you have to consume 100 corpses before that 200% is fully in effect. Yet that’s just 11 ‘casts’ of VD with Spell Cascade, - and about 8 with Woke Spell Cascade. You won’t need the full power during mapping, and once you reach the boss, the exponential nature of Arcanist Brand powering itself up with more and more cast speed means the max 200% bonus will be hit within 2-3 seconds.

VD is also the natural candidate because unlike DD, it works through 3 corpses at once instead of 1. Were it not for this distinction, DD would be the superior bossing skill since the corpse explosions hit twice as hard, scaling way harder than anything you can do with spell damage (math later).

Necromancer has inbuilt Duration!

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Minor point but 40% increased skill duration takes a LOT of hurt out from the crap AB duration. That additional 1.2s is pretty legendary and this saves a truckload of points not having to path down to skill duration or brand duration. (+5 points to power budget.)


Corpse Explosions - 4 mill per hit?!

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Arcanist Brand has the added advantage of targeting at the feet of the mob it’s attached to. This is no big deal for regular VD users because the balls have homing AI anyway, but it unlocks a new damage category that all but the most-skilled VDSS-ers ‘discard’ - the corpse explosions. That’s understandable: regular Desecrate spreads the corpses over a rather huge area and having to keep your cursor on the boss while moving the cursor to juke mechanics can sometimes be too much work for lazier players.

Arcansit Brand, with an inbuilt 40% less AoE, inadvertently packs the corpses in so tight (and AT THE RIGHT POSITION) that blowing these corpses up can lead to major damage. How major??

(image).

That’s right folks, in our variation, explosions theoretically outpace even all the balls hitting. However there are a few hoops to jump through before securing this damage, and that warrants its own section. Read on.


Please Send Nukes - The Corpse Explosion
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Strangely absent from a ton of VDSS guides is the unsung portion of Corpse Explosion damage.

On the one hand, that’s fair, because VDSSers invest in spell damage and flat damage from the wand, Anger (flat), +1 to relevant skill mods (flat), and spell crit/mult. LL versions also go for Pain Attunement - which only affects spell damage. Herald of Ash - and the accompanying Circles of Anguish, scale spell fire damage only. All of these don’t even add 1 point of damage to the Corpse Explosion, ergo, screw doing that much aiming work for inconsequential DPS gains!

Part 1 - Hidden OP All VDers should Spectre the Harvest OP mob

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On the other hand, Harvest introduced one of the most ridonkulous spectre-able spectres: The Primal Crushclaw (thanks Hakusai), with a whopping 1400% life multiplier. This means a T16 corpse of one of these bad boys has 380k HP. A Volatile Dead blowing this corpse up has a base damage of 3% x 380,000 = 11,400 fire damage. That’s like 10 times more damage than the hardest hitting spells in the game.

Now how the hell do we leap from Spectres to VD damage, you ask? Well, Desecrate creates corpses based on the monsters already in the map - AS WELL AS ANY SPECTRES THAT HAVE EXISTED IN THE INSTANCE. If you bring a Primal Crushclaw as well as a Stoneskin Flayer / Lithomancer as buddies, you add a significant chance for their corpses to appear in your Desecrate.

Now I’d have had to do the research myself, but it’s easier to do a Google Search and stand on the shoulders of giants who’ve done the legwork for you - and voila! An excellent video by ThisIsBadger shows some excellently-derived figures that roughly pin the “amped up” corpse appearance at 1.49 corpses per 10 corpses summoned. Very loosely, imagine if you had a 15% chance to deal ~1100% damage. That is NOT something you pass up, especially when all you have to do is free up 1 skill gem slot.

Plugging these into my DPS spreadsheet at various breakpoints, it’s as much as a 33% DPS boost. That is INSANE. If you go full DPS in the final form of this build, you can put Raise Spectre into a Malachai’s Artifice - since the Crushclaw does only phys/cold damage very often and never goddamn dies - and shred an additional 50% Fire Res on your boss. Remember those showcase vids up there, the 2-3 second boss kills and ~4 sec Sirus AL8? That was WITHOUT Malachai’s Artifice. You get the idea. Pray this mob / Harvest sticks around.


Part 2 - How do we scale explosions then, since it hates spell modifiers?
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Those who are familiar with me / my builds know I sound like a broken record, but here goes. For any (spell) build, there is a 3c unique that adds batshit crazy levels of damage per cost and crit scaling - the Shimmeron.

(link)

Even if you ignore the truckloads of flat lightning to spells (53 to 161 per wand), here’s what two Shimmerons do if you run 6 power charges: 120% global crit multi and 3.6% BASE global crit chance, and a nice 24% spell block. The recent crit mult nerfs makes these relatively even more powerful as those numbers were untouched. Crucially, both crit stats affect corpse explosions as well. Even more nutty for endgame, they add base crit and mult to Explodey Chest pops as well - which previously had a base crit of 0%. This makes multi-screen explosions a reality with very little investment.

Furthermore, the fact that Shimms are 3c per means you can corrupt a buttload and land the Damage Penetrates 8-10% corruption - which again scales all components of your damage rather than just spell, and shines against rares/maps/bosses with very high resists.


Immortal Ambition Overleech - Turning Defense into Offence
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The downside is the mega lightning degen from two Shimmerons, and it’s what keeps most people away from these wands. Most builds will literally kill themselves running Shimms - and that’s why the price is dumpster-tier.

Again, time to recook an old formula of mine: a cookie-cutter defense loop against degen - the Immortal Ambition (Soul Tether/Timeless Jewel) + Atziri’s Acuity combo, which enables overleech, which, in my opinion, is such a massive defensive boost + QoL change for any build that you can’t quite go back to a regular build without missing it. TL:DR Regular leech sucks because it needs to ramp up when you take damage, overleech means your ES/health is always overboiling and is ITCHING for a chance to refill once damage is taken. Coupled with Glacing Blows and Immortal Call, you get periods of near invicibility as a heavy hit is halved in damage, Immortal Call procs and shields you for ~33% damage + additional phys reduction per EC, and your overleech instantly works to top you off.

If you ever doubted the potency of overleech, have a look at this video on my old Trickster where I am not only suffering Shimmeron damage, I am literally burning down from RF AND have corrupted blood on me, but I still overleech to full. Of course, that’s Trickster with an inbuilt 70%life/es recovery modifier, but we don’t run RF on this Necro. You get the idea. (I don’t run an anti-corrupted blood jewel even against Sirus 8 because overleech buys so much time I can flask it off casually.)



Path of Building Links
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As with my builds, I like to release multiple PoBs for different people with multiple pricepoints. I will also release buy links for the cheapest build, as you can heavily manipulate your search to show you items that are a steal - ESPECIALLY with Harvest crafting making it so easy to modify / remove / add mods.

~60 Ex: Endgame version: pastebin.com/b6CV7WQj
~60 Ex: Endgame version (Malachai's Artifice): pastebin.com/qU6RU9JB

~5 Ex: Starter Tier version:


Custom-made DPS Calculator / Estimator
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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L0wdbBJbg8jaqIPlfZUpEpAEbzpp3aqdnXa-AdVGYbk
Hit "Make a copy" so you can plug in your own figures!


Skill Gem Setups
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Main Damage Skill: Arcanist Brand + Volatile Dead
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Early Game / League Start:

Arcanist Brand + Volatile Dead + Power Charge on Critical + Spell Cascade + Essence of Horror (30% Elemental Damage) on Helmet

Late Game:


Arcanist Brand + Volatile Dead + Combustion+ Awakened Spell Cascade + Concentrated Effect on Helmet + Essence of Horror (30% Elemental Damage) on Helmet + Hypothermia on Helmet + (3% spell crit / Inc AoE / +1 to spells).



Why not a 6L Chest?

I’ve always been a huge fan of slotting DPS gems in the helmet. This is because, with a Essence of Horror, you have a guaranteed 5L with a chance of hitting 6/7+L on an Elder helm. The cost of hitting a 5L/6L helm is WAY cheaper than buying any good 6L (or even a 5L) early on in a league.

For example, you could throw out 5-6c on day 1 for an Essence of Horror and be killing red maps really fast with a guaranteed 5L while using a random 2L chest with great stats but no links. (e.g. 0L Carcass Jack, 0L Inpulsa, even a ‘stat stick’ chest with 130+ life / Life gained as ES/ Tri-resists but cheaply priced because it isn’t linked.)

In the context of Harvest, it’s even easier to make ridiculous helms. There is almost no reason to be using a classic 6L when items like this exist!

Drop Power Charge on Critical for Combustion when you craft a Power Charge on Crit chest.

Awakened Spell Cascade - it’s one of the highest damage multipliers you can get, since it not only straight up increases the DPS per ‘cycle’ by 25%, but decreases the rampup time to hit max Corpse Pact stacks. Do note you will need to anoint/spec Undertaker for this to work properly.


Secondary Brand: Arcanist Brand + Desecrate
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This is the corpse generation brand and operates in tandem with the VD Brand to create damages. Nothing too fancy here. Do note you will never need to use Woke Spell Cascade for your Desecrate as Spell Cascade alone makes it spawn the cap of 10/12 corpses. A lot of players make this mistake...

Concentrated Effect on Desecrate is added in the final, ultimate build to pack the corpses even in tighter, but honestly, that’s a bit sweaty. (But you have the slots, so why not?)



Raise Spectre (unlinked)
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I’ve talked about this too much in mechanics - you should know why we run these. This doesn’t need to be linked at all.

Primal Crushclaws (Grove mob), Stoneskin Flayers (Primeval Fortress) and Lithomancers (Primeval Fortress) are so tanky they don’t even need a support to stay alive, ESPECIALLY if you have Commander of Darkness (+30% allres) and Bone Offering up. There were fights where these blighters survived everything but I croaked by being half-asleep. Seriously.

I do highly advise you start a level 28 Scion (PVP-only), path up to Death Attunement (+1 Spectre) with your free points, and use a level 1 Desecrate + Raise Spectre (L28) to keep a ‘copy’ of these rare mobs however. (This method has been popularised and named a Spectre ‘Bank’ apparently). Just log into your hideout on your main, then switch chars and desecrate on the Scion, and raise it. Repeat in reverse for when your main’s spectres somehow croak (you probably walked them through Sirus’s Corr Blood beam without Bone Offering or something you monster).

Do note that like all minions, Spectres pull aggro even if your character is in a grace period, Don’t get clapped and move instantly when zoning into Incursion, etc. In fact, you can kill your specs if you feel this will jeopardise your survival chances. The damage bonus will apply as long as they appeared in the instance. You can desecrate them pretty quick once you reach your hideout again.

Malachai’s Artifice



If you don’t really give a crap about some added survivability and stuff from your ring (300-400EHP), throw your Raise Spectre in a Malachai’s Artifice. Your specs only do physical or cold damage (Crushclaw has 3 attacks and default attack which has cold conversion) and are 100% confirmed to apply Elemental Equilibrium (-50% resists to other elements not present in the applying hit) to bosses.

Do note you must NOT be running Anger or have added fire on a random Abyss Jewel somewhere for this to work. This works out to be around a 30-38% increase at different breakpoints of elemental penetration - the less you have of it, the closer Malachai’s Artifice comes to a straight up 50% more damage increase.


Incinerate "Debuff" loop (does 4m+ DPS by itself)
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Incinerate + Cast While Channelling + Bone Offering + Wave of Conviction + Elemental Weakness (Flammability with AoF) + (Infused Channelling)

This is our 5L/6L ‘debuff’ loop which prioritises Bone Offering for anti-boss defence, then WoC (more effective than Flammability on Guardians+Shaper, then a curse, and finally Infused Channeling for a 10% more damage multiplier.

Why incinerate and not Scorching Ray? Scorching Ray in fact applies Exposure as well. Well, look at the PoB - Incinerate actually deals a respectable 4m+ sDPS and hits very rapidly, making it great for getting leech instances up quick and adding a little oomph to the build.

There are more elegant ways of debuffing/buffing - but that involves crafting a very expensive fire wand with 109% fire damage, 38 crit mult, double cast speed (profane base), You lose a considerable amount of QoL and damage but it’s bridged with up to 40% cast speed, which is insane, Trigger mod and landing a double damage slam or something similar. If someone wants to make this, do comment below and I’ll reproduce the craft here with credit!

You WILL be able to burst bosses down faster if you time your trigger right (instead of the CWC 0.7sec delay in between cycles of debuffs). On the other hand, Shimmeron does a swell job at 3c -1 ex (penetration corrupt) so I’ll just be lazy and let you champs take on this project.





Gear Setups
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Gear used in Day 16 (Latest) Video
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HELM: WEEDCRAFTING INSTRUCTIONS
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1) Either Woke Orb a crap any ilvl Elder Helm onto a Shaped 84 Bone Helmet (cheaper) (Hubris Circlet if you don't intend to go Spiritual Aid). If you don't care about the base, you can buy one here, it could save you some chaos:
https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Harvest/b78zRSL

2) Essence of Horror spam until you get at least L20 Conc Effect - L16 if you can't be bothered, sure. If you get lucky, you hit Increased AoE, but that may cost you close to 10ex in attempts, be warned.

2a) Do note that you can actually sell a lot of the failed helmets for a neat profit if it hits some other nutty combo. The combinations are good for a ton of other spell/attack builds.



3) Use Weedcrafting to clean up any bad affixes (mana, etc). You want an item with 2 spare suffixes (or 1 if one of the suffixes is already a resist).

4) First fill up the prefix pool. Augment Life, for one, then Augment defence if you still need to fill the prefixes. This is so the next steps can only give you our desired outcome.

5) Now craft cold res onto the helm, or change any resist to cold.

6) Augment Cold. This GUARANTEES Hypothermia.

6a) If you want L20 Hypothermia, you will have to change the res to Fire/Lightning, Remove cold, Swap res back to Cold, then Augment Cold again. It's cheaper and safer than Remove Add cold trust me.

7) If you want spell crit, change the Cold resist to Fire/Lightning then remove Fire/Lightning. (We do not Remove Cold because it could hit the Hypothermia.) With the last suffix empty, Aug Caster for guaranteed Spell Crit. Remove Add Caster until you hit 3%.

8) Finally, if you want to go offense, either remove Defence (if you don't have Inc AoE) or Remove Life and craft +1 to AoE gems.

Voila!


CHEST: WEEDCRAFTING INSTRUCTIONS

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You can reliably generate one for ~8ex.

1) Buy a 6W 6L Vaal Regalia, people selling these for 1.4ex, should be even cheaper now.
2) Redeemer Orb slam it (most people start crusader, big, expensive mistake. Redeemer is always cheaper than Crusader now.)
3) Alt spam until only Frenzy Charge on hit is the sole Redeemer Mod. Remove if you have to.
4) Buy a trash 0L any base ilvl 85 + Crusader chest, should be <15c
5) Use a screaming essence of contempt (1c) or better to modify the Crusader chest, saves you one Aug Phys. Or just skip this if you have lots of crafts.
6) Remove Non-phys and Add as Phys 1-3 times, guaranteed explode. Or aug phys x2 (but you may need to remove prefixes this way).
7) If you roll Phys Damage Taken as Lightning, which is likely, now Remove Lightning mod until it's gone. It's a Crusader mod that you dont want.
8) Remove any other Crusader mod that isn't Explode.
9) Awakener Orb the Crusader Chest onto the Frenzy Vaal Regalia.
10) Tada, Frenzy + Explode
11) Block or modify enough stuff to guarantee a free suffix , then Aug Crit (1ex) for guaranteed PCoC.
12) Adjust the rest. Ideally you want a free prefix so your final craft is % Life Gained as Max ES. (Please use a trusted crafter.)

Done, 8ex + your own crafts should nail this pretty quick!






Entry Level Setup (still 10m+ DPS)
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Crap, give me a day. You have to buy stuff to link it here, lol! In the meantime check out the day 0 video for a PoB as well as an idea of how the build performs on an entry level budget.



IMPORTANT: CLUSTER JEWELS!
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The build will function like shit if you do not at least have the medium cluster jewels. If you are low-level and lack the points or budget (85-92) you can drop the Large Cluster jewels for now and at least run 1 of Medium Cluster #1 and #2.

Large

Best-in-slot would be a 8-passive cluster jewel with Sadist / Prismatic Heart (personal pref) / any suffix that fits up top. Doryani’s Lesson is a good node to have available here in case you ever need to drop your amulet leech, but it will also cost you the most. Definitely weedcraft your own if you are on a budget.

Another great node (do not drop Sadist ever though) is Burning Bright - 8% AoE is an okay trade and this node comes REALLY cheap as it's mostly unwanted.

Sadist gives you the full 60% bonus as you will be igniting via VD, and you chill and shock with desecrate (confirmed working as YOU doing the chill/shock).

If you are on a budget, consider buying 9/10-passive jewels instead.

Medium (3 Brand + 1 AoE)

Medium #1: (anything) + Holy Conquest


Holy Conquest gives your Brands much better coverage - instead of snapping back to the origin / Recall point after killing a mob, it is already on the next mob where it will continue doing its work. This reduces downtime and indirectly mitigates the huge nerf they made to the whole ‘Brands drop at slain enemies’ feet’ mechanic.

Brand Loyalty is the best single-target DPS increase, so in general we just pair this with a utility node. Do note it does nothing for clear.

This is a slightly cheaper combo you can use too.

Medium #2: Brand Loyalty + Seeker Runes

Seeker Runes really pops off once you get the hang of using recall correctly. On top of that, it gives the biggest flat damage buff to brand-related damage. Upon testing it doesn’t look like stacking 4 gives it insane range (like it used to) but I use two of these anyway since the 25% increased is so substantial.

Vast Power + Magnifier


Vast Power is there solely for scaling explodey pops to large-chain territory - it gives 18% increased AoE (so 2 nodes worth) and a pretty okay 20% increased damage. You can disregard this if you don’t have an explodey chest yet. Magnifier is another solid DPS notable that pairs perfectly with Vast Power to provide you 28% increased AoE in total.


Small (Fettle)


Nothing to see here. Fettle Jewels make your tree highly efficient. Go for those that help meet Dex/Str requirements - they rarely cost more and save you agonising over jewellery slots and crafts.


Ascendancy + Pantheon + Bandits
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Bandits:
2 Points in Trade league, Alira is an option in SSF. Reason: Necro never has a problem with Resists, and in Harvest / Trade, you get resists so easily.

Pantheon:
Brine King (upgraded) + Ryslatha (lazy option really, you find yourself not really life flasking much compared to other builds because of overleech + insane kill power). DO NOTE THIS BUILD IS ASS AT DOING LABS. COMPLETE ASS. Bring 3 life flasks and Ryslatha to do labs. Unspec Immortal Ambition if you must. You have been warned!

Ascendancy:

Plaguebringer - Overall a very solid node. 30% increased AoE is brilliant for no cost, considering you’re really here for the 10% more multiplier and 10% less damage dealt (multiplicative) to enemies… and you’re also pathing to…

Corpse Pact - The heart and soul of this build. 30% increased damage is nice, 200% cast speed is what makes Arcanist Brand wreck, AND on top of that, 50% max corpse life is 100% utilised by our explosions - it’s effectively a MORE multiplier! (additive with the Undertaker cluster)

Mistress of Sacrifice - this boosts your block/spellblock from 30/48 to 75/75, has some nice Minion damage attached (Spiritual Aid turns this offensive), and adds a free 40% skill effect duration, which makes Arcanist Brands smoother to play. If you’re interested in beating up T16+ content, this is the third node to snag.

Commander of Darkness (preferred) or Essence Glutton (situational) - the only reason to go Essence Glutton - since we don’t have ES regen - is for mana sustain. You can easily get mana sustain from a mana regen ring craft, plus the build isn’t even mana intensive, so Commander is the definite endgame choice here. +30% to all res is massive, consider it 2-3 suffixes worth of power you can now spend on offensive stats instead. 30% damage and 3-6% cast speed is nothing to sniff at, either.


(PS WORK IN PROGRESS - POE FORUM FORMATTING is taking longer than it took to write all this lol). I'm off for Dinner and will brb. Stay tuned :)
Last edited by primaeva on Aug 4, 2020, 4:36:23 AM
Last bumped on Sep 16, 2020, 5:04:05 AM
(Semi-reserved post)

Levelling & Passives
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HARVEST LEAGUE - 3.11 ADVICE:

Right off the bat I’m going to tell you, again, no BS - do NOT level with Arcanist Brand. Not only do you get it super late (Act 4) - the damage penalties are stupidly harsh and you will not have the required skill points to make it pop off. This may changed if they buff it and I will update this section accordingly.

At leaguestart I simply picked up one of the fastest speedlevelling builds - Elementalist OOS + HoI scaling, which took me to red maps within day 1. I transitioned to VD Arcanist Brands only on day 5 or so. I’ve also had multiple people PM me saying they transitioned smoothly from VDSS. There’s no denying that VDSS is the superior leaguestarter and you should follow one of the many guides out there instead of me rehashing it here.

Furthermore, VD Arcanist Brands only really take off when Shimmerons enter the picture, and to enable Shimmerons you want Atziri’s Acuity (I did it without, but it’s not for everyone). So you need about 7 days to let these items enter the market and settle down - watch Shimmerons plummet from 150c to 20c in a DAY. (I usually get 1 Shimmeron by myself but buy the Acuity because of bad Atziri RNG).


FAQ
Spoiler

Why am I dying to Shimmeron Damage?

You need the following parts in place to deal with Shimmerons:

1) A source of LIFE leech - Doryani's Lesson on a Cluster Jewel or ideally a 0.4% of Fire Damage Leeched as Life amulet. Some rings provide this as well.

2) A Soul Tether OR the right Timeless Jewel (put "in the name of Ahuana" in the search filter). This lets you overleech to ES.

3) Atziri's Acuity makes this overleech very reliable.

4) The Hematophagy anoint makes it ramp up WAY faster. However late game, you can drop Hematophagy for Undertaker anoint when you finally manage to buy Awakened Spell Cascade, which is almost 1.8x the bossing previous damage.

1) and 2) will make it viable, but 3) and 4) make it comfortable and actually useful as a defense layer.




Last edited by primaeva on Jul 25, 2020, 5:13:12 PM
how did you craft your helmet?
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MrApell wrote:
how did you craft your helmet?


Ah I was gonna insert this anyway but here you go!

1) Either Woke Orb a crap any ilvl Elder Helm onto a Shaped 84 Bone Helmet (cheaper) (Hubris Circlet if you don't intend to go Spiritual Aid). If you don't care about the base, you can buy one here, it could save you some chaos:
https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Harvest/b78zRSL

2) Essence of Horror spam until you get at least L20 Conc Effect - L16 if you can't be bothered, sure. If you get lucky, you hit Increased AoE, but that may cost you close to 10ex in attempts, be warned.

2a) Do note that you can actually sell a lot of the failed helmets for a neat profit if it hits some other nutty combo. The combinations are good for a ton of other spell/attack builds.



3) Use Weedcrafting to clean up any bad affixes (mana, etc). You want an item with 2 spare suffixes (or 1 if one of the suffixes is already a resist).

4) First fill up the prefix pool. Augment Life, for one, then Augment defence if you still need to fill the prefixes. This is so the next steps can only give you our desired outcome.

5) Now craft cold res onto the helm, or change any resist to cold.

6) Augment Cold. This GUARANTEES Hypothermia.

6a) If you want L20 Hypothermia, you will have to change the res to Fire/Lightning, Remove cold, Swap res back to Cold, then Augment Cold again. It's cheaper and safer than Remove Add cold trust me.

7) If you want spell crit, change the Cold resist to Fire/Lightning then remove Fire/Lightning. (We do not Remove Cold because it could hit the Hypothermia.) With the last suffix empty, Aug Caster for guaranteed Spell Crit. Remove Add Caster until you hit 3%.

8) Finally, if you want to go offense, either remove Defence (if you don't have Inc AoE) or Remove Life and craft +1 to AoE gems.

Voila!
Last edited by primaeva on Jul 23, 2020, 1:47:01 AM
Hi, why Arcanist brand have that low duration? Brand maybe lasts 3 seconds, maybe lower ;/
I'm thinking of Your build and Pr3vie's BAMA (Blink/Mirror arrow). Can You help me choose? I want maybe less "laggy", because I have got 20-30 fps, and one with more mobility. I have got some currency, can you tell me which one have more damage after min-maxing? Please. Thanks for your advice.
Last edited by Arfihk on Jul 23, 2020, 9:43:51 AM
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Arfihk wrote:
I'm thinking of Your build and Pr3vie's BAMA (Blink/Mirror arrow). Can You help me choose? I want maybe less "laggy", because I have got 20-30 fps, and one with more mobility. I have got some currency, can you tell me which one have more damage after min-maxing? Please. Thanks for your advice.


Hi mate, as much as I want to promote my build, VD has historically been horrible for PCs. I'm not sure how much better it is on a BAMA build but VD has been known to melt computers :(

The good news is, I'm actually going to make a "How to Play PoE on a Potato" video soon :) So I'll try to remember to PM you when that's out! (Or you could follow my YT channel and you'll see when I post it). I have a pretty shit computer too but with some tweaks I managed to make it work.
"
Arfihk wrote:
Hi, why Arcanist brand have that low duration? Brand maybe lasts 3 seconds, maybe lower ;/


Yeah man, Arcanist Brand has the worst duration of all the brands.

Wintertide, Penance and Armageddon are at 6.

Storm Brand is at 5.

And Arcanist at 3.

I have some gut feeling that they didn't want to make Arcanist Brand overpowered on release (like Heralds..) so made it very safe. I have text that you can infirm from that the devs felt like it would be too good if not penalised in some ways. Hopefully, the abysmal play rates of Arcanist Brand this league (there are 6 people on the ladder who use it offensively) means this build will get buffs next league :))

(Although as you can see VD/Desecrate really makes it pop off.)
Thanks :D
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Arfihk wrote:
Thanks :D
Anytime mate hope you get a sick PC soon ;D

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