[3.12] Splitting Steel/Lancing Steel: "The Grenade Launcher" Champion (2H variant)

This will be my first written build guide, I am open to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism relating to the presentation of information.

For 3.12 Heist I Chose on a whim to try out Splitting Steel as a champion after having enormous success in Harvest with 2 Handed Impale builds.

The "Budget" Versions Peak. AL7/8 all bosses and a very authentic Sirus ass kicking (he kicked my ass, unlucky warps for me). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83Frxj4Lz7Q

I chose the champion for its ability to apply additional impales to enemies thus intrinsically pushing the DPS capabilities of impale substantially higher than other Ascendancies, although a dead eye or potentially an assassin would also be fine options for this build. Being that rage does not effect projectile attacks, I would not recommend trying this with a berserker.

TL:DR Here is a link to the prototype Build Guide and my youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWRDAHqsHd0

So, Lets get into it.

Splitting Steel, is a singular projectile that has a built in natural fork. the initial projectile splits into 4 when empowered and those 4 deal slightly less damage but intelligently target nearby enemies. Once impales have been applied to enemies, the "shards" a resource used to empower the skill can be recalled via "Call of Steel" a sort of built in brand recall for the steel skill family. Call of steel essentially detonates the applied impales for some damage in an area around the impaled enemy. Call of Steel's damage is calculated by considering the reflected damage applied to your enemies (the actual impale value) Multiplied by the number of remaining potential impales that can be applied to the enemy. This mechanic is why the Champion lends itself to the skill so nicely. Assuming 1 impale applied to the enemy the bese multiplier for any other Ascendancy without a Watchers eye is 5... 7 for the Champion.

In my opinion, and in my experience, the skill works best (in most situations) tossing out a single swing and manipulating the secondary projectiles in whatever way will make them hit as many targets as possible. By doing this you can apply individual impales to a very large number of targets, ensuring a high multiplicative for your detonations via "call of steel" but this is a play style choice. I was able to achieve this by linking Splitting steel to Fork which makes those 4 secondary projectiles hit their enemies and then fork off into a total of 8 projectiles (12 hits so far 4 + 8), this factor can be enhanced further via Chain support which will cause the resulting 8 projectiles to then seek out 2 more targets beyond the 8 hit by the fork effect. Numerically this is a 1 into 4 into 8 times 3. in the most optimal of settings, very densely packed areas, we can anticipate something like 30 enemies to be hit with every swing of our weapon.

So, my goal became this. Hit as many targets as possible, as hard as possible... one time. Then detonate the impales for the largest possible effect. In Practice this is working out quite well via Point Blank and a fairly consistent critical strike chance of around 50%. I also have around 12% likelihood of a "Double Damage" trigger... which tends to kill the pack before detonation.

Here is a hypothetical numeric representation of a single swing with my set up. ***This Example will not be edited BUT! Impale naturally only stacks to 5 and as a champion up to 7*** My bad, the explanation is still helpful though.

with 64,000 "tool tip" DPS and 3 attacks per second, an individual swing deals around 21,000 damage (30% less for the secondary projectiles). Without considering "impale effect at all (which will dramatically increase these numbers) we can assume that the "Reflected Damage" stored in our impale is 2000. That 2000 reflected damage is applied to every enemy hit, so lets be optimistic and say that with this 1 hit we impaled 30 enemies. If we now recall the spent steel shard via call of steel we will detonate that 2000 damage and it will be multiplied by our maximum possible impale stacks minus the stacks we have applied (8-1=7). This means that individually, each impale detonates for 14,000 reflected damage in a small area around the impaled enemy (quite a bit like a herald of ice/fire pop). Not only can these overlap for a "shotgun" effect (which absolutely obliterates champions, unique, rare, magic, and bloodline enemies) but reflected damage cannot be mitigated in any way. With 100% impale effect this would be 28,000. Take a moment to consider this scenario on a Beyond map. Assume the first swing kills the pack and subsequently spawns an beyond boss... Haast, Abaxoth, whichever you like the least. Because of the shotgunning nature of these detonations it is not at all unreasonable to expect that a detonation at this moment can one tap that beyond boss. Consider that 14,000 damage per enemy killed, and then assume that 10 corpses overlap Abaxoth's hit box. The detonation at that moment could potentially deal 140,000 completely unmitigated physical damage to them... potentially even more.

Splitting steel is very fun once you start looking to maximize exactly these moments. that being said, the single target damage is actually abysmal which is why we also utilize Lancing Steel.

Lancing Steel also gives access to Call of Steel and it functions in exactly the same way as it does with Splitting steel, but the optimal button press is admittedly less exciting and mostly only serves to replenish your steel shards to be spent on more empowered lancing steel attacks.

With Splitting Steel we are seeking to optimize our Call of steel presses for greatest effect. For lancing steel we are aiming to optimize the maximum DPS output of the active skill itself. In my experience, this is achieved by maximizing the number of projectiles that lancing steel can fire off.

Lancing steel at baseline fires off a pitiful 4 projectiles and when empowered it fires of 50% more projectiles per shard consumed. It can Consume up to 4 steel shards but keep in mind it does not require 4 to be empowered which is good for mapping because we can toss out a few splitting steels to pack clear and still have enough shards to also quickly toss an empowered Lancing Steel into tankier enemies.

When Linked to Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Lancing Steels Base number of projectiles becomes 8 and when fully empowered the 200% more projectiles brings the number of projectiles fired per attack up to 24, Decent! obviously this number can be improved upon in various ways but always at the cost of DPS, I will leave this for someone else to play test.

Lancing Steel is this builds opportunity to very quickly and effectively apply the maximum number of impales stacks. This is the type of game play that we have grown accustomed to for the most part with the impale builds that existed before the rework. with this skill we want to see more of a DPS "Ramping" rather than a big singular explosion. Armed with just a decently rolled Terminus Est I was able to very easily and effectively burst down AL5 Sirus with a Lancing Steel > Maim > Brutality > GMP > Vicious Projectiles > Slower Projectiles. I quite literally burst into laughter at the sight of my final phase DPS, I'll try to attach a clip as soon as I teach myself how to properly link clips and items into posts like this.

I will assume you are capable of clearing the campaign on your own, 4 links are sufficient, projectile manipulation should not happen until mapping ( fork, chain, gmp ). A terminus est is sufficient for all content but there are many other options as well, Atziri's Disfavor comes to mind.

In terms of the passive tree, I did take 2 cluster jewels that I will link below. I value "Overwhelm" greatly. there is enough of it on the tree and in conjunction with an Impale Support gem to completely negate all armor in the entire game (100% overwhelm is easily attainable and profoundly impactful). I will also attempt to link my passive tree and items that I am using.

[Tree Here]

*safeLink open in new tab though*

Do keep in mind this is quite literally my league starter.

I was able to achieve this character with only 3 Exalted orbs in its current state and killed AL5 Sirus on less than 1 Exalt although it does require thoughtful and considerate gameplay... results may vary.

For Itemization, I prioritized Maximum Life, as my tree unfortunately does not reach far enough to get what most players would consider sufficient % increases. Second priority is Flat Physical damage, most easily achieved on rings and amulets and slightly less easily on gloves. Attack speed is nice, but there is enough on the tree to make this build feel fine and therefore it is not entirely needed on gear. The frenzy charges generated by terminus est push us into a very comfortable attacks per second range. The new "Lord of Steel" Jewel is very nice, I personally Value the "Overwhelm" variant over the other 2 but they all are approximately equal in power and merely server as a quality of life item that you should look into and consider for yourself.

Mostly Campaign Gear:

Top End "Budget" Gear:

Be aware that only one of the Lord of Steel Jewels can be active at once.

That's about it.

As a league starter I was able to get to maps with zero deaths in 12 hours (thoughtful and considerate game play btw) I spent a lot of time mindlessly farming T6-7 maps, but eventually killed Sirus at around 45 hours but had I been more focused i could have gotten there before the 30 hour mark. by the time I killed Sirus the character had only died around 30-40 times. The Range... Armor... and various defensive options available make this Character a fairly "safe" choice and at the risk of sounding a bit egotistical I will not withhold the fact that this has proven to be my most successful league starter yet.

Here is the Deathless AL5 Sirus kill I mentioned
Shine Boldly, So That All May Find You When The Night Comes.
Last edited by TheSaltPrincess on Oct 5, 2020, 11:55:07 AM
Last bumped on Oct 7, 2020, 7:04:05 PM
Hello~~~would you please make a pob link ?
Interesting build, willing to try since I'm interested in the new steel skills. Could you add your bandit choice, ascendency order and/or a pob? Thanks.
so out of the 3 new steel skills. which one is the best for mapping and one for single target. it sound like you said lancing steel is the best for bossing.

im leveling with Splitting steel right now. and its way better than shattering steel.
MochaButt wrote:
so out of the 3 new steel skills. which one is the best for mapping and one for single target. it sound like you said lancing steel is the best for bossing.

im leveling with Splitting steel right now. and its way better than shattering steel.

the guide very clearly answers your question already, but TL:DR.
Splitting steel for clear...
Lancing Steel for any single target...

My prefrence is a dual 6 link set up for each skill but running Lancing steel as your 6 link and splitting steel as either a 4 link or a pseudo 5 link in either your gloves or helm would likely yield similar results if opting for a dual wielding set up. Though, If i were dual weilding I Would also shift my tree in the driection of block chance while dual wielding, and would also consider only running Shattering Steel for a much more well rounded experience.

All of these are fine options that should bring you success.

Good Luck!
Shine Boldly, So That All May Find You When The Night Comes.
Thanks for the build.

I specifically like the idea of using the 6 link lancing steel for single target and the 6 link splitting steel for mobs. Kinda best of both worlds.

I'm currently using a 5 link Atziri's disfavour as my weapon for your lancing steel set up. Is there anything better I should be looking to get? or is 6 link Atziri's the gg weapon for this build? Maybe there is a better 2 handed weapon i'm missing.

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