[3.18] πŸ„ Sporeguard Incinerate Elementalist πŸ”₯ 3-10M Shaper DPS & Tanky πŸ”₯ League Start To Endgame

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE DIRECT ALL RELEVANT INQUIRIES AND FEEDBACK ABOUT THE BUILD TO THIS THREAD. ANY PM/DM OR IN GAME MESSAGE IS BETTER SERVED AS A PUBLIC POST HERE WHERE EVERYONE PLAYING THE BUILD CAN BENEFIT FROM THE QUESTIONS & ANSWERS. MY KNOWLEDGE AND TIME ONLY GOES SO FAR, BUT I WILL BE DILLIGENT ABOUT RESPONDING TO MOST POSTS THE BEST I CAN. I ALSO STREAM FROM TIME TO TIME AND AM MORE OPEN TO ANSWERING PRIVATE QUESTIONS IN THAT FORMAT. THANKS ALOT & STAY SAFE.

MY STREAM: https://www.twitch.tv/war_pyg_poe



πŸ„πŸ”₯ TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Spoiler
01 - UPDATE LOG
02 - INTRODUCTION
03 - VIDEO SHOWCASE
04 - CONTENT CHECKLIST
05 - PROS
06 - CONS
07 - MY ENDGAME SETUP
08 - ASCENDANCY & PANTHEON
09 - ANOINTMENTS
10 - BANDITS
11 - PATH(S) OF BUILDING
12 - INCINERATE DPS ANALYSIS
13 - ENDGAME GEAR ANALYSIS
14 - CHASE ITEMS
15 - GEAR PROGRESSION
16 - GEM LINKS
17 - JEWEL ANALYSIS
18 - LEVELING GUIDE
19 - TIPS & TRICKS
20 - TESTIMONIALS


πŸ„πŸ”₯ UPDATE LOG:

Spoiler
Patch 3.16: Not much has changed w/ the build. The gameplay mechanics remain the same, our defenses are still strong (i.e. reworked regen feels substantial), and our DPS is relatively unchanged because of buffs to awakened gems & ignite (despite the fact Incinerates final wave technically got 'nerfed').

I have updated a # of sections already (including POB's), but I've yet to fully explore/understand the mastery system & all the new modifiers added to the game -- so I will update the guide incrementally as I discover more. With that said, the build is still very viable as a league starter and should transition just fine into the mid and late game if you choose to stick with it. Enjoy the new league!

Patch 3.17: We're getting a straight buff to our damage this league (45% or so according to patch notes), which is long overdue for self-cast on-hit spells generally. The POB(s) from 3.16 should still be mostly valid but I will update them ASAP; and if necessary I will update gear, links, etc. over the coming weeks as I learn more. Feel free to post any questions you might have as you progress. Enjoy the new league!

Patch 3.18: From what I've read of the patch notes there are basically no major skill nerfs this time around, which is a refreshing change. Likewise, this build remains virtually the same. I'm personally looking forward to testing it against the new Uber content and hope you will join me. Enjoy the new league!


πŸ„πŸ”₯ INTRODUCTION:

Spoiler
"I am . . . a mushroom; On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then."

Incinerate Self-Cast Elementalist was the first build I ever played in POE, starting at the tail-end of 3.8 Blight League. Since then I've been keeping the build alive in Standard and incrementally improving it as I've learned more about the game. I have found it fun, rewarding, and spent close to 700 hours playtesting. Most recently I've taken the skill from league start to endgame in 3.15 and 3.17.

This character is premised on Torstein the Fallen's Dragon's Breath Elementalist, which was discontinued as of Patch 3.10. That build was incredibly good for its time (popular as well) and the fundamentals of the skill tree are based on his hard work. I was also inspired by the work of poster Claeysken who has constructed a really elegant Incinerate Inquisitor/Elementalist build premised on max-block + Aegis Aurora. I encourage you to check that build out as well if my personal take on Incinerate doesn't interest you.

The Self-Cast Incinerate build laid out here is a solid off-meta all-rounder. It won't trivialize any of the game's hardest content, but it's easy to break into maps on a budget, remains consistent through its development, and has robust endgame potential at a reasonable cost. You will be able to farm the Atlas up to T16 very cheaply (< 1ex), take down all the Big Bosses with some investment (3-25ex), and tackle aspirational content like 30 Wave Simulacrum and/or The Feared if you're willing to invest a considerable amount of currency (75-100ex). I would advise you to investigate other sections for a more zoomed-in analysis of the build and its capabilities.


πŸ“‹ CONTENT CHECKLIST:

Spoiler
BOSSES:

βœ… Eater of Worlds (Level 85 POB)
βœ… Searing Exarch (Level 85 POB)
βœ… Shaper (Level 85 POB)
βœ… Elder (Level 85 POB)
βœ… Sirus (Level 92 POB)
βœ… Maven (Level 92/97 POB)
βœ… Uber Elder (Level 97 POB)
βœ… Uber Atziri (Level 97 POB)

βœ… Simulacrum 20 Waves (Level 97 POB)
βœ… Simulacrum 25 Waves (Level 97 POB)
βœ… Simulacrum 30 Waves (Level 100-PLUS POB)

βœ… The Feared (Level 100-PLUS POB)

LEAGUE MECHANICS:

8/10 Archnemesis
7/10 Legion
9/10 Expedition
7/10 Metamorph
9/10 Breach
8/10 Blight
9/10 Beyond
7/10 Betrayal
9/10 Bestiary
8/10 Delirium
8/10 Abyss
8/10 Delve
7/10 Labyrinth
7/10 Heist


πŸŽ₯ VIDEO SHOWCASE:

Spoiler
From 3.15:

A9 Maven Deathless (Level 97 POB):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGUAfcA4L1w&t=7s

A9 Sirus Deathless (Level 92 POB Tanks Die Beam @ 8 Minute Mark):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs_fU7N8Sg0

A9 Uber Elder 1-Death (Level 97 POB):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE4pb0tGeXI

A9 Uber Atziri 3-Deaths (Level 97 POB):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Luu1FTVy39Q

A9 Shaper 2-Deaths (Level 85 POB < 1ex Budget):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrhMeXoALIw

A9 Elder 2-Deaths (Level 85 POB < 1ex Budget):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8zCWH4LvX4&t=1s

T16 13-Mod Influenced Peninsula Deathless (Level 97 POB):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J36NVkRwbJs&t=16s

T16 12-Mod Jungle Valley Deathless (Level 97 POB w/ Tailwind Boots):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fob-Mtt7FFU

From 3.17:

Eater of Worlds 2-Deaths (Level 85 POB < 1ex Budget):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kN-5wMSa3A

Searing Exarch 1-Death (Level 85 POB < 1ex Budget):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy44GDOCQzw

T16 10-Mod Underground River 1-Death (Level 92 POB):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSc6qmKE8GE

T16 Strand Delirium Mirror 6-Reward Level Deathless (Level 97 POB):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhOBIQcAGQA

Simulacrum 20-Waves Deathless -- Kosis @ W20 (Level 97 POB):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vG0E7auCWw

Simulacrum 30th Wave 1-Death -- Kosis & Omniphobia (Level 100-PLUS POB):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssevy6lLM1s

The Feared 49% Quantity 4-Deaths (Level 100-PLUS POB):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xME4Dcr3Xc


βœ… PROS (Assuming No Flasks):

Spoiler
+ Solid League Starter & Budget Friendly

+ Simple Mechanics & Good Build Flexibility

+ Viable Endgame Damage Starting @ 3.5 Million Shaper DPS (L92 POB)

+ High Block @ 55-60% Attack Dmg / 55-60% Spell Dmg

+ High Health @ 6k-7.5k Combined Life/ES & 3k Elemental Aegis

+ Decent Physical Reduction @ 8k-20k Base Armor, Endurance Charges, & Molten Shell

+ Dual Life / ES Leech

+ Decent Life / ES Regeneration, Recovery, & Recoup

+ 20% Extra Damage Reduction w/ Sporeguard & Natural Affinity (When Standing Still)

+ Enemy Explosions w/ Sporeguard, Herald of Ash, & Infernal Cry

+ Culling Strike

+ 100% Chance to Ignite (w/ Shaper of Flames Ascendancy)

+ Stun Immune (w/ Brine King Pantheon or Gear/Skills)

+ Movement Ailment Immune (w/ The Stampede)

+ Rewards Active Gameplay (4-8 Buttons)

+ Low Effort Functional (2 Buttons -- Walk >> Incinerate >> Repeat)

+ Can Run Most Map Mods (Including Elemental Reflect w/ Bastion of Elements)

+ Affordable Endgame Setups (3-5ex @ L92 POB & 25-30ex @ L97 POB)


❌ CONS (Assuming No Flasks):

Spoiler
- Lower Endgame DPS Scaling Compared To More Mainstream META Builds (9M - 13M When Optimized)

- Self-Cast Playstyle Is Not For Everyone

- Can't Face-Tank All Big Boss One-Shot Mechanics Without Heavy Investment

- Understanding Endgame Boss Fight Mechanics Is Important

- Capped @ 50% Movement Speed (w/ The Stampede)

- Requires A Balance Of Stand-Still & Hit-and-Run Tactics To Maximize Outcomes

- Some Situational Gem Swapping Is Recommended (Though Not Necessary)

- Not Hardcore (HC) Viable


πŸ₯Ό MY ENDGAME SETUP (Cross Reference w/ Gem Link & POB Sections):

Spoiler
DISCLAIMER: This setup is representative of the final form '100-PLUS' build in the POB section. I advise you do not jump into this version without having proper understanding of the costs involved, the gear/jewel requirements, and appropriate skill point allocation. The Level 85, 92, and 97 POB(s) are much more affordable & will suffice for a majority of people that play this build, so investigate those versions first and foremost.

My Gear @ Level 100 (3.17 Archnemesis League):



My Boot, Jewel, & Flask Swap For T16 Zoom:




πŸ„πŸ”₯ ASCENDANCY & PANTHEON:

Spoiler
ASCENDANCY:

1) Shaper of Storms: ~ 15% More Damage

2) Mastermind of Discord: + Damage vs Exposed Opponents & Mana Regen

3) Heart of Destruction: ~ 30% More Damage vs Unique Monsters & + AOE Clear

4) Bastion of Elements: + Effective Health w/ Elemental Aegis

PANTHEON:

Soul of Brine King is probably the best Major Pantheon choice as we migrate into Maps (and my choice in late game to give more flexibility to our skill tree). If you decide to obtain stun immunity on gear/skills/jewels Lunaris is a great default choice for clearing content. We can also use Arakaali (or Solaris) on the Big Bosses: Shaper, Sirus, Maven, Uber Elder, etc.

Gruthkul and Tukohama are fine generic choices for your Minor Pantheon.


πŸ„πŸ”₯ ANOINTMENTS:

Spoiler
1) Inexorable: Endurance Charge When-Hit + 50% Armor

2) Light Eater (w/ No Clusters): ES Leech + Increased Damage * OR * Soul Thief (w/ Clusters): ES on Kill + Increased ES

3) Optional w/ Sporeguard: Blood Siphon * OR * Whispers of Doom * OR * Vampirism


πŸ„πŸ”₯ BANDITS:

Spoiler
** KILL ALL **


πŸ„πŸ”₯ PATH(S) OF BUILDING:

Spoiler
Download POB :

https://pathofbuilding.community/

Level 30 - Early Acts :

https://pastebin.com/9Bxxw7cY

Level 50 - Later Acts :

https://pastebin.com/TtP5tngD

Level 70 - Early Maps :

https://pastebin.com/9L0RY3cJ

Level 85 - Eater / Exarch / Shaper / Elder Viable w/ No Clusters :

https://pastebin.com/33WKx75K (3M sDPS) (< 1ex)

Level 92 - Sirus / Maven Viable w/ No Clusters :

https://pastebin.com/usBdD4Wu (4.5M sDPS) (3-5ex)

Level 97 - Uber Atziri / Uber Elder Viable w/ Clusters :

https://pastebin.com/VFXmJrbv (10M sDPS) (25-30ex)

Level 97-PLUS - 5% More Damage & 10% More Effective Health :

https://pastebin.com/9zuK6MEL (10.5M sDPS) (40-45ex)

Level 100-PLUS - 30 Wave Simulacrum & The Feared Viable :

https://pastebin.com/Uv7QCUhF (10M sDPS) (75-100ex)


πŸ„πŸ”₯ INCINERATE DPS ANALYSIS:

Spoiler
TORSTEIN'S ANALYSIS:

"Incinerate gains more damage when cast continuously from one spot, up to a maximum of 200% more damage (25% per stage up to 8 stages maximum, or 10 if you use the helmet enchantment). The next stage is reached after every tick (0.2s). At each stage, the flames become visibly larger and will spread out in a huge cone. Since the spell is a channeling spell, if the player is stunned or interrupted in any way while casting incinerate, the spell will come back to stage 1.

At the end of the channeling (Final Wave), Incinerate deals big chunk of extra damage, 500% MORE damage with Hits and 500% MORE damage with Ignite. That’s a lot of extra damage.

To get the maximum dps out of Incinerate you should channel to 8 (10 with enchant) stages and release. Final wave deals massive damage. If you played Blade Flurry, this is the same principle. Monster mobs die fast so maximum channeling is not needed. The area will still be very good.

You will be scaling as much cast speed as you can to channel as fast as possible to 8 stages and bigger area of Incinerate (10 with enchant).
"

ANONYMOUS REDDIT ANALYSIS:

"Something interesting is that because the 500% damage is applied at any point 'pulsing' Incinerate actually does more damage than moderate sized bursts. Releasing it immediately actually does the most damage (not factoring in Ignite) - this is especially true if the final burst multi is not multiplicative with the scaling multi. Kind of weird that it works out that way considering they specifically mentioned avoiding this result for Charged Dash, but it is how it works."

SUMMARY:

Self-cast Incinerate DPS that incorporates ignite can be maximized in two different ways. It works best when you're able to charge to full stacks & then release -- applying a big spell hit + ignite (~ 2-3 second cycles depending on cast speed % mods -- ideally we're @ 14 cast rate in POB). But it also works well being 'pulsed' approximately every .5-1 second (i.e. usually as you are stutter stepping through maps and/or in intense situations that require avoiding damage). When to switch gears between these two styles largely depends on what the situation allows for.


πŸ§₯ ENDGAME GEAR ANALYSIS:

Spoiler
SPOREGUARD: This body armor provides a lot of armor, es, chaos resist, and %life. Beside that we gain 10% damage reduction while standing still, gain extra chaos damage on contaminated ground, gain an extra anointment, and explode contaminated enemies. It's really a cool piece and tailor-made for Incinerate IYAM. Speaking of which we will be socketing our 6-link Incinerate setup in our Sporeguard.

MARTYR OF INNOCENCE: This staff will be utilized largely as a 6-socket utility piece, with the option to 6-link it later on. It provides us huge block %, extra damage-on-block, hefty fire damage bonuses, and the socket utility to run a variety of setups revolving around Armageddon Brand & Flame Dash.

CROWN OF THE INWARD EYE: This helmet offers a ton of armor, es, life, and mana. Transfigurations also provide a nice damage bonus. You can usually get one with '+2 Incinerate Stages' lab enchant for around 1ex in trade league after the early price jumps die down.

THE STAMPEDE: We take these boots over Tailwind Mod Rares for the negation of Natural Affinity's grasping vines punishing movement penalty. Above and beyond that they provide 50% movement speed, which isn't bad (though we can't go higher unfortunately), and getting an extra anointment adds plenty of utility as we aspire to balance our resists and stats to accommodate our endgame setup.

As you progress, if you feel like your DPS is in a good place and can get on without your boot anointment, you can drop Stampede & Natural Affinity for Tailwind Boots w/ 30-35% Movement Speed while mapping. Add a Quicksilver Flask to your setup as well and you'll have significantly more ZOOM when farming T16.

NATURAL AFFINITY: This jewel gives 20% damage + 10% Damage Reduction at maximum grasping vines (gain 2 every second you stand still up to 10 max). Flame Dashing removes the stacks completely, while walking diminishes the vine count gradually. In my experience, I would say a typical Incinerate release has about 4 vines applied to it (2 seconds worth) -- which is 8% damage and 4% damage reduction on average.

Every so often you can achieve max Incinerate stacks + max vine stacks on a boss and the burst + ignite is quite powerful. But usually you don't stand still for more than a couple seconds when you're at risk of one-shot mechanics and need to dodge.

GLORIOUS VANITY: This jewel (when rolled w/ a Sacrificed In The Name Of Doryani affix) transforms a nearby keystone into 'Corrupted Soul' which essentially gives us 15% extra health. The caveat is 50% of damage now bypasses our energy shield, but we have the dual life + es leech to support the mechanic and should be fine as long as our chaos resist isn't too low.

It's a really nice toughness boost, but probably the hardest thing to fit into the final build because it transforms some possibly essential small strength & dexterity nodes around 'Agnostic' and you may be losing some important resists by having to replace a normal cobalt jewel, etc. You can definitely kill A9 Sirus without it, but I'd find a way to incorporate it before tackling Maven (grindy fight & lots of random damage flying at us).


πŸ’° CHASE ITEMS:

Spoiler
The following items are not required to make the build function effectively in the endgame, but they will boost your damage significantly if you choose to invest. I did not include them in the core build because they're either quite expensive (10ex plus) or very rare (i.e. +2 Gems Corrupted 6L Sporeguard). I leave it up to you whether to pursue this min/max gear or not:



Amulet: w/ +1 All Skill Gems and +1 Fire Skill Gems -- Cost: 15-20ex

Watcher's Eye: w/ Double Zealotry Mods (Cast Speed + Increased Damage On Consecrated Ground) -- Cost: 20-30ex

6L Sporeguard: +2 Socketed AOE Gems Corruption or +1 Socketed Gems Corruption -- Cost: 25-50ex

Sulphur Flask: Bottled Faith -- Cost: 10-20ex

Forbidden Flesh & Forbidden Flame: Malediction (My Preference) -- Cost: 40-50ex


πŸ“ˆ GEAR PROGRESSION:

Spoiler
PREFACE: This section lays out a basic chronology for acquiring gear & assumes you are starting the character w/ zero currency. If this is your second or third character & have a bank to work with feel free to go for the higher end stuff sooner.

The build definitely benefits from levels & skill points so don't be shy about investing some currency into experience parties whenever its affordable. When doing so I personally prefer t15 Beachhead & 5-Way Legion (both different price points, both good values). As always consult specific sections for further insight into rationales & related costs:

I) 5 Socket Searing Touch >> 5L Ambu's Charge >> Doryani's Invitation >> Rares w/ Life, Resists, Move Speed >> Jewels w/ Life, Resist, Cast Speed (pick one up with a anti-corrupting blood implicit whenever affordable)

II) L21 Incinerate (L20 if too expensive) >> Martyr of Innocence >> 6L Ambu's Charge >> Rumi's Concoction

III) Helmet w/ +2 Incinerate Stage Enchant >> 15% Cast Speed Watcher's Eye

IV) Rare Jewelry w/ Life, Resists, Cast Speed >> Anointment #1 >> Rare Gloves w/ Exposure-on-Hit & Unnerve-on-Hit (Eldritch Implicits)

V) Glorious Vanity Jewel >> Crown of Inward Eye w/ +2 Stages Enchant >> Stampede >> Anointment #2 >> Level 97

VI) 6-Link Sporeguard >> Cluster Jewel Setup >> Amulet w/ +1 Skills, Life, Resist, Cast Speed >> Anointment #3

VII) Awakened Gems (Fire Penetration & Controlled Destruction) >> Rare Stygian w/ Life, ES, Resists, Anything Else You Need >> Replace Glove Eldritch Implicits w/ Fire Life Leech & Fire Damage >> Abyss Jewel w/ Anything You Need

VIII) Amulet w/ +1 All Skills, +1 Fire Skills, Life, Resists >> Double Mod Watcher's Eye >> Bottled Faith

IX) Forbidden Flame & Forbidden Flesh (w/ Malediction * OR * Shaper of Storms) >> Level 100 >> +2 AoE Gems Corrupted 6L Sporeguard


πŸ’Ž GEM LINKS:

Spoiler
PREFACE: Levels indicated for support gems are guidelines / suggestions. Based on your own attributes & mana pool you may run higher or lower versions of these gems -- it depends on your situation. I also prefer to have CWDT triggering as often as possible, so keeping that at lower levels will also require you to keep linked gems at lower levels. If I haven't indicated a level for a particular gem, assume L20 or L21. All the setups are viable and which you choose depends largely on your budget & how much you want to invest in the character.

STARTER SETUP

Spoiler
6-LINK BODY ARMOR:

Incinerate -- Infused Channeling -- Inspiration -- Fire Penetration -- Faster Casting -- Controlled Destruction

3-LINK HELMET:

CWDT (L1) -- Wave of Conviction (L1) -- Flammability (Bosses) * OR * Enfeeble (L1) (Maps)

1-SOCKET HELMET:

Molten Shell (L15-L20) (Assign To Left Mouse To Cast-On-Walk)

4-LINK GLOVES:

Combustion -- Arcane Surge (L1) -- Armageddon Brand -- Culling Strike (L10)

2-LINK STAFF:

Flame Dash -- Arcane Surge (L1)

2-LINK STAFF:

CWDT (L1) -- Cold Snap (L1) (Maps) * OR * Vaal Righteous Fire -- Increased Duration (Bosses)

2-SOCKET STAFF:

Zealotry -- Herald of Ash

3-LINK BOOTS:

Infernal Cry (L15) -- Second Wind -- Increased AOE

1-SOCKET BOOTS:

Defiance Banner


INTERMEDIATE SETUP (5-Link Martyr, Enlighten L2, Vaal Skills)

Spoiler
6-LINK BODY ARMOR:

Incinerate -- Infused Channeling -- Inspiration -- Fire Penetration -- Faster Casting -- Controlled Destruction

5-LINK STAFF:

Flame Dash -- Arcane Surge (L1) -- Armageddon Brand -- Combustion -- Culling Strike (L10)

1-SOCKET STAFF:

Vaal Grace (L1)

4-LINK BOOTS:

Vaal Righteous Fire -- Increased Duration -- Infernal Cry -- Vaal Molten Shell (L15-L20) (Assign To Left Mouse To Cast-On-Walk)

4-LINK GLOVES:

CWDT (L1) -- Wave of Conviction (L1) -- Flammability (Bosses) * OR * Enfeeble (L1) (Maps) -- Vaal Cold Snap (L1)

4-LINK HELMET:

Enlighten (L2-L3) -- Defiance Banner -- Zealotry -- Herald of Ash


ADVANCED SETUP (6-Link Martyr, Enlighten L3, Awakened Gems)

Spoiler
6-LINK BODY ARMOR:

Incinerate -- Infused Channeling -- Inspiration -- Awakened Fire Penetration -- Faster Casting -- Awakened Controlled Destruction

6-LINK STAFF:

Flame Dash -- Arcane Surge (L1-L6) -- Armageddon Brand -- Combustion -- Culling Strike (L10) -- Onslaught (L15-L19)

4-LINK BOOTS:

Vaal Righteous Fire -- Increased Duration -- Infernal Cry -- Vaal Molten Shell (L15-L20) (Assign To Left Mouse To Cast-On-Walk)

4-LINK GLOVES:

CWDT (L1) -- Wave of Conviction (L1) -- Flammability (Bosses) * OR * Enfeeble (L1) (Maps) -- Vaal Cold Snap (L1)

4-LINK HELMET:

Enlighten (L3) -- Defiance Banner -- Zealotry -- Herald of Ash


✨ JEWEL ANALYSIS:

Spoiler
LARGE CLUSTER (Max 8 Passive Nodes): Essence Rush for ES Leech & Damage -- Conjured Wall for 6% Spell Block -- Burden Projection for Damage & Knockback (But Needed Mostly to Save a Skill Point)

MEDIUM CLUSTER #1 (Max 4-5 Passive Nodes): Master of Fire for Fire Exposure -- Cremator for Corpse Removal

MEDIUM CLUSTER #2 (Max 4-5 Passive Nodes): Enduring Focus to Generate Endurance Charges -- Stoic Focus for 3% Block Chance

SMALL CLUSTER (Max 2 Passive Nodes): Natural Affinity for Damage Reduction + Double Damage


πŸ„πŸ”₯ LEVELING GUIDE:

Spoiler
You acquire Incinerate late in Act I and can compliment it with Flame Wall. I used Fireball prior to getting Incinerate. Freezing Pulse + Frost Bomb is also a good choice early on if you want to delay the switch to Incinerate, and Armageddon Brand is a strong alternative once you've made it to Act III (a lot of our skill tree is generically robust, so really whatever suits your style for Story Mode).

Use any rare items you come across that offer a good foundation of life and resists (ultimately attempting to cap out at 75% for each element by the end of Acts). Look for a rare wand or scepter w/ spell damage, cast speed, etc. I prefer leveling with a shield for the survival boost until maps and suggest you do the same. Even if you're starting this on a budget don't be shy about spending your first few chaos early on for solid leveling uniques such as Goldrim, Lifesprig, Wanderlust, etc.

For some further insight into how to progress the build, here are my current gem links & flasks at level 30 towards the end of Act III:

* Incinerate -- Faster Casting -- Infused Channeling -- Controlled Destruction

* Flame Wall -- Efficacy -- Controlled Destruction -- Arcane Surge

* Zealotry -- Herald of Ash

* Flame Dash -- Faster Casting -- Arcane Surge (L1)

* Steelskin (Assigned to Left Mouse for Auto Cast-on-Walk)

* Life Flask x 2, Mana Flask x 1, Quicksilver Flask x 2

After unlocking Lily the gem merchant (Act VI) you can begin incorporating new skills such as CWDT in an incremental fashion as the sockets/links become available. Once you come across a five-link chest (hopefully sometime around Act VIII -- or you simply purchase one before that) add Inspiration or Fire Penetration to Incinerate. You can contemplate rotating out Flame Wall at this point, but its up to you (think about adding Armageddon Brand in a 2-Link w/ Combustion or Cull to boost our situational single target instead).

As you finish acts and are entering maps, you will want to acquire a Searing Touch as your starter staff. This will give you a very nice damage boost & you'll have picked up a # of staff block nodes on your tree by this point. It won't be easy to get 6 sockets on it early (i.e. for full utility), so aspire to roll 4-5 sockets early on.

You likely won't have a 6-link chest entering maps either, so that is something you want to be working towards. A 6L Ambu's Charge is a nice budget choice before transitioning to the much pricier 6L Sporeguard later on. However, a 5-link Armor/ES chest (or ideally a 5-link Ambu's) will be adequate early on as you explore the early Atlas and accumulate some currency. When you are able, adding Martyr of Innocence to your build is also advised.

Here is my setup @ Level 70. At this point you'll still be sitting on under-leveled gems, so more than anything you'll want to invest in a L20 Incinerate -- it's basically 50-55% more damage for a modest cost over a L15 (a mere 1c near the mid-point of league). Nothing pictured here cost more than a few chaos and will last till ~ T13 Red Maps before you'll require upgrades:



As you're entering your 80's you should aspire to have a setup similar to what's pictured below (less than 1ex cost for everything 1-week into league). Make sure your 4th Lab is done and you should be able to do most T16 Maps -- though some bosses will still prove to be a challenge (Courthouse, Crystal Ore, etc.). We'll have around 2M sDPS (w/ Convergence) which is enough to down Eater, Exarch, Shaper and/or Elder. Consult the Gem Link section for the most up to date skill setup(s):



Obviously we want to be thinking about a 6L Sporeguard at some point (or alternatively a 6L Martyr -- both around a 5-6ex investment), however, don't pass up budget options along the way that'll give you nice power spikes such as L21 Incinerate Gem, Glorious Vanity, a Watcher's Eye w/ 15% extra cast speed w/ Zealotry active, Exposure/Unnerve Eldritch Mods on Gloves, and/or the +2 Stages to Incinerate Lab Helm Enchant.

It is my belief that it's easier (& cheaper) to just run the build with no clusters until your mid 90's, at which point the skill point reallocation won't feel awkward. Ultimately the choice is yours. For further gear & skill point analysis review the POB(s).


πŸ“Š TIPS & TRICKS:

Spoiler
I) If you're having trouble with survivability (and you're sure you are running a CWDT w/ Enfeeble that is going off without incident), go ahead and swap out Zealotry for Determination. Yes we will be losing about 10-15% damage (and some QoL cast speed on Watcher's Eye), but gaining huge armor and effective life when paired w/ Vaal Molten Shell. You should feel much tankier (if you don't already), and be able to stand still more regularly and dish out damage more safely, which is a boost to our actual DPS regardless of what the 'Sheet DPS' tells you. We achieve 3.5M sDPS with very little investment on this build, so losing like 350-500k isn't a big deal (especially in maps -- then consider swapping back to Zealotry for bosses that you're dodging anyhow).

II) Though you don't want to spam Armageddon Brand, do make sure you use it on the regular (especially once you have it on 6L). It is close to 10% more damage on single targets and procs Onslaught for us without needing to dedicate a flask slot for its activation. This is obviously more a consideration on bosses (or super tanky rares), as Incinerate destroys maps by itself, but if you are a damage min/max person, or don't use The Stampede (and therefore benefit from Onslaughts increased move speed), Onslaught may be more appealing for you to use quite regularly during a map.

III) While Incinerate does have an ignite on hit mechanic, and HoA does spread 'overkill burn' damage on kill (not technically an ignite), the overwhelming majority of our damage comes from generating the biggest spell hit possible (aka getting to 10 stages as often as possible). That's a major reason why I emphasize cast speed in the build (i.e. we want to reach 14 casts per second in POB to both maximize damage & not stand still too long in certain dangerous situations). 8 stacks is a guaranteed ignite which does add a small amount of damage, is still useful in proccing our life recovery on ignite mastery mechanic, & adding extra damage via our burning opponents affix (which we don't really need Shaper of Flames to proc in reality -- hence we now favor Shaper of Storms ascendancy).

IV) As you begin to really push Simulacrum (Waves 20-30) get comfortable using the terrain (i.e. narrow corridors) to your advantage. There are places on most maps that you can funnel opponents into your damage, 300-Spartan-Style. You're often asking for trouble if you simply start later waves blindly in the middle of the arena on half flask charges and no cooldowns -- you will usually get stomped. Learn to nibble your way through these levels at first without being greedy about it.

It's also a huge deal to read the modifiers before later waves, and see what extra elemental damage and penetration you'll have to deal with, and flask up accordingly. Have Ruby, Sapphire, Topaz, and Amethyst Flasks on hand to equip as needed. This goes for general Pinnacle Bossing as well (i.e. Sapphire Flask vs. Maven, Elder, Shaper):



V) While the build can run every map mod, it doesn't mean there aren't those you want to avoid, especially if you're trying to grind out levels (though I still think it optimal to die in maps and just buy group rotas for leveling -- but that's another discussion). The most deadly mod for us is '40% Reduced Block/Armor' by far, and though not as deadly per se I greatly dislike running 'Cannot Regenerate Life/Mana'. You may also want to avoid other mods such as 'Cursed w/ Vulnerability' or 'Increased Monster Crit Multiplier'. Also remember if you're running physical reflect Wave of Conviction can hurt us, so you might want to remove that if you choose to run the mod. You will still take some reflected physical from your staff's Battle Mage, but it's pretty negligible compared to WoC.


πŸ„πŸ”₯ TESTIMONIALS:

Spoiler
"
I was playing a failed firementalist build, and wanted to uninstall :D then I miraculously found your build over here, all pretty and well thought of.

I am currently using your lvl 100 build items, with lvl 92 skill tree, and I can tell you, the gameplay feels amazing and powerful! Thanks!


"
Most of the stuff I have is what I had laying around in [standard league] and what I could throw together so clusters and other jewels aren't complete but overall feels solid!


"
Thank you for giving incinerate a go. I'm strongly in love with the skill and I was devastated knowing Torstein will not support it any longer. Currently my gear is far from perfect, but so far the league and the game overall finally became once again playable and even fun to me :)

I hope in future leagues the skill will remain at least decent and you will support it for some time . . . The build is superb even with the gear I have right now ;) I do all the content confidently just need to dance around end game/map bosses a bit to put them down :P


"
Just wanted to pop on and say this is a very well written guide and easy to follow. I love your style of writing and organising.


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I'm so happy I found this! I followed Torstein's many leagues ago also & had a blast with it! I love incinerate.


"
Thanks for all the help, I am quite happy with where the build and how well its performing for the amount of currency I invested. (15-20ex) Out of which approximately (7 + 3.5ex) were for the watchers eye and six linked chest alone).


"
I've found the build a really fun self-caster undertaking in this league and I will definitely try it out again next leagues.


"
New player here. Started this league and tried a few different builds until I came across this one. Had an absolute blast so far, really enjoying it. It's the first character I feel like I can do maps with comfortably.

Thank you for your very detailed step-by-step guides for the various stages of the build--as well as the item by item progression, that turned out to be absolutely fantastic to have as a new player still learning the flow of things. I probably don't understand half the interactions in place but I'm just zooming around setting things on fire and that's good enough for now . . . In short, great build and guide. Thanks!



"
Hey WarPig, first I want to say that this build has been incredibly fun to play.

This is the first time I have made a lot of exalts and I even beat the maven for the first time . . . Thanks for any help, and great job on the guide!




Last edited by WarPig17 on Jun 20, 2022, 6:53:47 PM
Last bumped on Sep 9, 2022, 8:03:29 AM
I am actually giving this a try. Gonna level a witch to try this out. My initial budget is about 6-7 EX + that I have to sell my LL Lightning Trapper gear ( should give me another 7-10 EX).
Mushroomcinerate here we go !
"
JayJayFly wrote:
I am actually giving this a try. Gonna level a witch to try this out. My initial budget is about 6-7 EX + that I have to sell my LL Lightning Trapper gear ( should give me another 7-10 EX).
Mushroomcinerate here we go !


Glad to hear it! That's more than enough to get started. 1ex will make you T16 viable (and Shaper / Elder viable if u know the fights). The guide covers a lot, but I'm happy to answer any questions / observations along your journey. GLHF.
Last edited by WarPig17 on Sep 2, 2021, 7:42:58 PM
Instituted some major/minor changes to the following sections since originally posting:

VIDEO SHOWCASE -- Added A9 Shaper & Elder (w/ Budget Gear), A9 Sirus, A9 U-Elder, A9 Maven, A9 U-Atziri, & A9 T16 13-Mod Influenced Peninsula

PATH(S) OF BUILDING -- Added Level 85 No-Cluster POB (Shaper & Elder Capable)

GEM LINKS -- Added Two Different Setups (Defensive vs. Offensive)

LEVELING GUIDE -- Added Further Gear Advice & Analysis For Levels 70-85

Thanks again for checking out the guide/build.

Last edited by WarPig17 on Sep 4, 2021, 1:55:30 AM
I'm trying to do the non enlighten setup and I'm confused when you say onslaught on culling strike with gloves as I cant find that mod on a pair of gloves anywhere. Is that still viable?
"
Whitecrow94 wrote:
I'm trying to do the non enlighten setup and I'm confused when you say onslaught on culling strike with gloves as I cant find that mod on a pair of gloves anywhere. Is that still viable?


Sorry my wording was a bit awkward. There is no 'Onslaught-on-Cull' modifier.

Culling Strike on gloves is a lone modifier & are not included in the build generally because they're quite expensive when crafted together w/ Unnerve Mod, but you will notice them in my personal Endgame Setup section. It's a min/max thing not really necessary unless you're really taking the build as far as it can go. If you get them, great, but otherwise all you really need is an empty socket to make use of Cull.

The Armageddon Brand links are flexible. I suggest Cull + Combustion support -- but you could also do Cull + Onslaught, Onslaught + Combustion, etc. if your setup is different. I recommend Cull + Combust because you can run a Silver (Onslaught) Flask in most mapping situations, Cull is more reliable on bosses generally, and Combust is an extra way to lower resists on tough enemies.

Hope that makes sense? LMK if I can clarify further. GLHF
Last edited by WarPig17 on Sep 6, 2021, 1:03:50 PM
Instituted some major/minor changes to the following sections:

MY ENDGAME SETUP: Added My Level 100 POB & Updated Some Gear

INCINERATE DPS ANALYSIS: Added More Detail

ENDGAME GEAR ANALYSIS: Added Suggestions For Incorporating Tailwind Boots For Mapping

VIDEO SHOWCASE: Added A9 T16 12-Mod Jungle Valley w/ Tailwind Boots

Thanks again for checking out the build / guide. Stay safe.
Last edited by WarPig17 on Sep 18, 2021, 8:04:09 PM
Instituted some major/minor changes to the following section(s):

CHASE ITEMS: New Section

Stay safe. GLHF.
Instituted some major/minor changes to the following section(s):

UPDATE LOG: New Section

PATH(S) OF BUILDING: Updated for 3.16

Should be a good season. Stay safe. GLHF.
Thanks for updating the Guide. I want to ask though, is Incinerate Elementalist (this build for example) viable in 3.16? I asked about this on Reddit and they told me that Incinerate is dead on the water as GGG removed all Channelling notables from the passive tree.

Reddit's Q&A thread isnt probably the most reliable source, but even still I checked the passive tree and Channelling nodes have definitely been removed, if they ever existed. They also told me on Reddit, that Incinerate would need some kind of expensive defensive setup like focus on ES (high end) to work.

I'm sorry if this seems like questioning your build but Incinerate is the only build I seem to be interested in this League and truly wish it would still be viable.

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