Armour Stacking Smite Ascendant [3.19] - All Content Viable

0. This builds future in 3.19
The Balance Manifesto for 3.19 just got released, so I had a look at all the changes. Here is everything that affects this build:
1. Defiance Banner is getting nerfed by about 60%: We lose 25% of our Armour and Damage thanks to these nerfs. They are by far the changes that affect the build the most.
2. Haste got buffed by 50%: This is a massive damage boost to the build that helps a lot against the Defiance Banner changes.
3. Mastery Changes: We lose 5% Aura Effect and 15% Reservation Efficiency. This makes the build a bit more expensive, since good Clusters are more important, but on the high-end it doesn't affect us. We only lose 4.5% Dps because of the Aura Effect.
4. Melding Changes: They don't Matter, we reach 90% max res anyway.

Conclusion: We end up losing 25% Armour, ~10% Damage and the pressure on our gear is a little bit higher. Overall this is a mild nerf but shouldn't really impact the build in a meaningful way. 70mio. DpS is still more then enough to do all the content and our Survivability didn't take a hit at all.

1. Introduction
Hey, this is one of the builds I've played during the 3.18 Sentinel League. I couldn't find any guides on it which made figuring out some stuff a bit annoying, so I thought I should make a guide to make it easier for other players.

Build Idea: This build aims to get as much Armour as possible (1-2mio). You then scale your damage through Replica Dreamfeather and use an Aegis Aurora for maximum survivability. And thanks to your high amount of Armour you can use a Doryani's Prototype without any real drawbacks giving you a lot of extra lightning damage.

Budget: This build is really expensive since you need a Mageblood to start. You can go with a Mageblood and maybe 15-20ex in other gear to make it work but it only really starts to shine once you invest 60-70ex on top of the Mageblood. If you want a similar build without needing to buy a Mageblood you can go for a Champion version which has similar damage on a much lower budget (however, it isn't nearly as tanky).

2. Strengths and Weaknesses?
- 30-100mio DPS with Smite
- over 50k Max damage taken without Molten Shell
- infinite eHP to small hit thanks to Aegis Aurora
- can clear a screen at once due to Multistrike and Ancestral Call

- costs upwards of 200ex
- not very high Movement Speed (you use Leap Slam to be faster)
- dies almost instantly to Lightning DoTs (Shaper Beam, Mana Siphoner)

3. Mechanics Breakdown

This Weapon is responsible for over 80% of our damage. We stack a lot of Armour which grants us over 3000% increased Attack Damage. So how do we achieve so much Armour?
increased vs. more
One thing that is vital to understand, if you want to fully understand this build, is the difference between "#% increased" and "#% more" multipliers. This is simple: "increased" modifiers are additive and "more" multipliers are multiplicative. What this means is that if you have multiple sources of, e.g. increased Armour, they get added together before they apply to your Armour. For Example:
You have 1000 Armour, 50% increased Armour on your tree and 30% increased Armour on your gear. This means that your total Armour is equal to 1000*(1+0.5+0.3) = 1000*1.8 = 1800 Armour because all of the sources of increased Armour got added together.
"More" multipliers aren't added together and apply after all "increases". For Example:
You have 1000 Armour, 50% more Armour on your tree, and 30% more Armour on your gear. Your total Armour is equal to 1000*(1+0.5)*(1+0.3) = 1000*1.5*1.3 = 1500*1.3 = 1950 Armour.
As you can see this is more than we had with only sources of "increased" Armour. This is why "more" (and "less") multipliers are significantly stronger than "increased" (and "decreased") multipliers.

Aura Stacking
To get as much Armour as possible we abuse Aura Stacking since Grace, Defiance Banner, and Determination are incredibly strong. To get as much Aura Effect as possible we are stacking Small Cluster Jewels with the Introspection Notable.

This notable gives you 10% increased Aura Effect which is close to a 10% damage multiplier for this build. You also get increased Mana Reservation Efficiency from these jewels which helps fit all the Auras into the build.
Besides the Small Cluster Jewels, you will want to get as many Passives with increased Reservation Efficiency or increased Aura Effect on your tree. And last but not least, you want to use an Ashes of the Stars because it not only provides you with 20% increased Reservation Efficiency but also with +30% Quality which adds a lot of Armour and damage thanks to your alt-quality Auras.

You will want to use Determination, Grace, and Defiance Banner in this build which are responsible for about 95% of your Armour.

And since you already invested so much in Aura Effect you should also get a bunch of other Auras to benefit you like e.g. Vitality or Discipline (which is why we need to get so much increased Reservation Efficiency).

This heavy investment into Auras is also the reason why we use Smite as our main damage skill. Because Smite gives you an Aura that grants added Lightning Damage whenever you hit an Enemy. All the Aura Effect ofc also applies to this Aura, making it one of our main sources of flat damage.

Another way to boost your Auras is March of the Legion.

They not only power up your Grace by a lot thanks to the +5 to Aura Level, but they also allow you to cast it for free if we get enough cost reduction.

Mana Cost Reduction
To be able to use Grace supported by Divine Blessing for free you need to get 100% Mana Cost Reduction. You can achieve this by getting the stat on a number of items.
1. On a Flask with Mageblood for 48% reduced Mana Cost

2. On your Rings for 10% in total

3. On Divergent Inspiration for 44%

4. On Anomalous Increased Duration for 20%

5. On the passive tree for 10%

It doesn't matter which ones of these sources you get as long as you're able to reach 100% total.

Doryani's Prototype

This item is responsible for a lot of our damage (we lose upwards of 50% if we unequip it). So, the main reason why you want to use it is the line "Nearby Enemies have Lightning Resistance equal to yours". This means that if we have -150% Lightning Resistance all nearby enemies take more than twice as much damage as they normally would. This also applies to bosses which sometimes have 50%+ lightning resistance which can make you deal 5x as much damage as you would without the Prototype. And since we have so much Armour anyway, we still get 90% Lightning Damage reduction with it.

So how do we achieve such low Lightning Resistance? Mainly with our Jewels.

You can also use more Thread of Hopes than I did to reach close to -200% Lightning Res (the hard-cap in the game) but then you'd need to drop other Jewels which I didn't think was worth it. But more on that in the gearing section.

However, there is one small problem with the Prototype that I think I should mention: since Armour only applies to hits taken, Lightning DoTs are 4x as dangerous as they are for a build with 75% Lightning res. Luckily most Lightning DoTs like the Shaper Beam are easily avoidable but since this League, we have to deal with the Archnemesis modifier "Mana Siphoner". This mod creates a "Donut" around an enemy that deals Lightning DoT Damage and it can kill us in under a second. This is extremely dangerous but luckily avoidable if you pay attention and either use Leap Slam to get close to the monster quickly or kill it from far away. It only becomes a real problem in juiced content with Beyond where they can just spawn on top of you and if you don't immediately notice it you're dead. Luckily this seems to be quite rare since I ran a decent number of highly juiced Delirium Mirror maps with Beyond this league and it only happened to me once in every 7 or 8 maps.

Double Dipping Smite
What is important to know, if you want to correctly calculate your DPS, is that you can double dip Smite for close to 80% more damage. This is because Smite has 2 damage components: The strike itself and an AoE effect around it that deals 19% less damage. The AoE effect doesn't actually hit the same target as the strike but we can bypass that using the Ancestral Call support.

With it, we can attack the ground before the enemy so that it gets hit by the AoE portion. And thanks to Ancestral Call it will actually create a copy that strikes the enemy itself so that it then gets hit by both the AoE component of your Smite and the Strike component of the Ancestral Call copy.

4. Gearing
In this section I will go over the gear you want in every equipment slot.
For your weapon Replica Dreamfeather is the obvious choice.

You don't get anything from the Phys Damage on it so you want to prioritize the Attack Speed mod. You should also get another quality from Harvest on it. Attack Speed is the best choice but AoE is also fine if you want a bit better clear. If you can afford it, an Attack Speed corruption would be ideal but the Accuracy Implicit, it normally has, isn't bad.

The best shield for this build is an Aegis Aurora. Since you have so much Armour you will fully restore your Energy Shield whenever you get hit. This makes you basically immortal against smaller hits and is incredibly strong for content like Wave 30 Simulacrum.

The additional cold res is also really strong since you want to hit 90% cold res for your Melding of the Flesh.
Since you will socket your Defiance Banner in your shield you should get a +2/+1 corruption on it. Here are the ones that work:
- +1 to socketed Gems (best one since it also applies to your Enhance)
- +2 to socketed Duration Gems
- +2 to socketed Aura Gems
- +2 to socketed AoE Gems

If you want to get another corruption on it, these are worth looking at:
- Grants Level 23 Determination Skill
- Grants Level 23 Discipline Skill
- +#% Chance to Block
- +#% Chance to Block Spell Damage
- #% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Chaos Damage
- #% increased Maximum Energy Shield

For your Helmet you want a rare one. There are many different mods you might want on it depending on your budget.
You generally want a decent synth base with Aura effect on it. On a higher budget, you might also want the mod "Socketed gems get a 92% Cost & Reservation Multiplier".

On a budget version, you only want 200+ ES and 10% Reservation Efficiency.
If you have a higher budget you can actually socket your stronger Auras in your helmet instead of your gloves. For this, you want either a +2 or a +4 helmet.

The best Enchantment is 40% increased Defiance Banner Effect. 30% increased Smite Aura Effect is a close 2nd.

Budget Helmet
1. Get a decent synth base with Aura Effect
2. Spam Deafening Essence of Loathing until you hit a good ES mod
3. If you don't have an open Prefix and an open Suffix try to annul them. If you fail go back to step 3. If you have an open Prefix and an open Suffix go to the next step.
4. Beastcraft Aspect of the Spider
5. Benchcraft another ES mod to hit 200+ ES

+4 Helmet
1. Get a decent Synth Base with Aura Effect and Reservation Multiplier
2. Hit with Essence of Delirium until you get a decent Suffix and an open Suffix
3. Benchcraft Multimod and Suffixes cannot be changed
4. Use an Orb of Scouring
5. Benchcraft Suffixes cannot be changed
6. Slam a Veiled Chaos Orb
7. If you don't have 2 open Prefixes or a good ES mod go back to step 5
8. Benchcraft +1 to maximum Number of Zombies/Skeletons
9. Unveil. If you don't hit +2 to AoE gems go back to step 5
10. Benchcraft 1 or 2 ES mods to get over 200ES.

+4 RMR Helmet
1. Get a decent Synth base with Aura Effect
2. Spam Deafening Essence of Loathing or Essence of Delirium until you have 1 or 2 open Suffixes
3. If you only have 1 open Suffix try to annul the non-Essence mod. If you fail go back to Step 2
4. Benchcraft a Suffix of your choice
5. Get a random uninfluenced Helmet
6. Spam the other Essence until you have 1 or 2 open Suffixes
7. If you only have 1 open Suffix try to annul the non-Essence mod. If you fail go back to Step 2
8. Block all Prefixes
9. Slam the cheapest Conqueror's Exalt
10. Benchcraft the same Suffix you have on your Synth base
11. Recombinate both helmets. This has a 33% chance of resulting in the Synth base with both +2 and increased Reservation Efficiency.
12. Benchcraft Multimod and Suffixes cannot be changed
13. Use an Orb of Scouring
14. Benchcraft Suffixes cannot be changed
15. Slam a Veiled Chaos Orb
16. If you don't have 2 open Prefixes or a good ES mod go back to step 5
17. Benchcraft +1 to maximum Number of Zombies/Skeletons
18. Unveil. If you don't hit +2 to AoE gems go back to step 5
19. Benchcraft 1 or 2 ES mods to get over 200ES.

Video Guide:

Body Armour
Doryani's Prototype is BiS for this build.

If you have some currency to spend you can also get it with a +2 or a +3/+4 corruption.

Since you have quite a lot of str and dex on this build due to all the travel nodes, Shaper's Touch grants you a lot of Armour and ES. They also help you cap your hit chance and are dirt cheap.

You can easily get them with a +2 Corruption but getting 2 decent mods might be hard. Anyway, here are the mods I would prioritize as a 2nd corruption:
- +# to level of sockted Gems
- Temporal Chains on Hit
- #% increased Attack Speed
- #% increased Maximum Energy Shield

March of the Legions are the perfect boots for this build. They allow you to run another 50% Aura and they give a lot of levels to it which is why we socket our best one (Grace) in them. The rolls are very important and you should only buy them with +5 to Socketed Aura Gems and +12% to all Elemental Resistances (Remember, we want as little Lightning Resistance as possible). I'd only settle for 13% or 14% all res if you can get them with a good corruption.

The best Amulet you can get is an Ashes of the Stars but if you're very limited in budget you could get an Eternal Struggle for Aura Effect.

If you go with an Eternal Struggle you want an Aura Effect implicit. The 2nd implicit isn't that important so just get something good.

You want Rings with as much Cold and Fire Resistance as possible. It's extremely important not to get Lightning Resistance on them. If you have a bit higher budget you can also get one or more of these mods:
- +# to Energy Shield
- #% increased Energy Shield
- #% increased Attack Speed
- Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Attacks
You also need an open Prefix on both Rings to benchcraft 5% reduced Mana Cost so you're able to use Grace without spending mana.

With Recombinators you could also relatively cheaply craft yourself Rings like these:

You need a Mageblood for this slot. Sadly there aren't any comparable options and unequipping it will lose you close to 60% DPS and won't be able to use Grace as easily anymore.

For an Enchantment, you want to get +300 Armour while Fortified.
Trade Links


It doesn't matter on which flask you get which suffix.

5. Jewels
Melding of the Flesh is gonna provide you with +15% Fire Max Res thanks to the +5% Cold Max Res on Aegis and +10% from Purity of Ice. This will make you significantly tankier. And the -80% Lightning Res is going to provide you with 25% more damage if you're running 2 Thread of Hopes. Overall this is the best Jewel in the entire build. You should buy one with -80% to all Elemental Resistances.

You will want to get at least 2 Thread of Hopes for -40% Lightning Resistance. You need 1 Large one to get Glancing Blows and 1 Very Large one to get Elemental Overload. You can also get 2 more Thread of Hopes instead of Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh. This will get you close to -200% Lightning Resistance however, it's harder to gear since you need more Fire Res and your DPS will be 5-10% worse. On the flip side, you're going to have 10% higher max damage taken because you aren't using Berserker anymore. Imo this isn't really worth it tho since we already can easily achieve over 50k Max Damage Taken and the Rage Mechanic will also help you with clear. On a higher budget, you want Corrupted Blood Immunity on one of your Threads even if that means gaining 2-3% Lightning Resistance.

Personally I like reduced Extra Crit Damage Taken on my WE since it helps with survivability a lot. However, you could also go for 2x or 3x Damage mods. Good mods are:
- #% Reduced Extra Damage taken while affected by Determination
- Damage Penetrates #% of Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath
- #% of Physical Damage Converted to Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath
- Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath
- +#% Chance to Block while affected by Determination
- +#% Chance to Block Spell Damage while affected by Discipline
- #% increased Attack Speed while affected by Precision
- Gain #% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity

A set of Berserker Jewels is just 15-20% more DPS depending on how much Rage you can reach. This is worth the 5% hitpool loss imo.

A Jewel like this is useful if you can't afford a corrupted Thread. Once you can, I'd change it for a Brutal Restraint with 8-16% increased Aura Effect.

Cluster Jewels
Since you're stacking Small Cluster Jewels getting some Voices is ideal. I'd get 3 Passive ones but you can also get ones with 1 Passive if you're rich enough (I'm not lol). Ideally, you'll want to use 4 Voices but you can also start out with 3.

Getting 2x Damage Clusters and 1 Block Clusters instead of 3 Voices is fine if you're on a lower budget. You'll be able to use 5 Introspections with 3 normal Clusters, 7 with 3 Voices and 10 with 4 Voices.

These Clusters are your main source of Aura Effect. Get a good mix of 3 and 2 Passive ones so you have enough Reservation Efficiency. You could also get them with 25%/35% increased Effect to free up some Passives but it isn't necessary.

Timeless Jewel
You should get a Brutal Restraint Jewel near Solipsism to get either 8% or 16% increased Aura Effect. For 8% I'd just spam Divines until you hit it. For 16% you can use the Trade Link below.
Trade Links

6. Gems

Aura 4L 1
These go into your Helmet if you have a +4 one and into your Gloves if you don't.

Aura 4L 2
Level Precision as high as you need to get 100% Hit Chance. Swap Clarity for Vaal Haste and put Vaal Molten Shell in your Weapon, if you don't need it.

Grace Setup

Defiance Banner + Ancestral Protector
These go into your Shield.

Utility Gems

8. Media
Video Guide:
Simulacrum Wave 29+30:
Uber Maven:
235% Quantity The Hidden:
Last edited by AdrijanPoE on Aug 28, 2022, 6:20:21 AM
Last bumped on Apr 27, 2024, 10:32:44 AM
This is very good..well done.

look forward to seeing your POB.
Thank you for your kind words.

Just added a PoB for different levels of Investment as well as a Snapshot of my own character.
Saw both this and the video guide and want to say you explained things very clearly and overall is a solid guide. Wanted to recreate this in standard with a moderate budget and it performs very well.
Thank you very much.

Great to hear that the build works well for you.
What are some upgrades that you would suggest going for?

I have a few things in mind:
-try to lower my lightning res some more (eg boots, thread)
-Onslaught on hit ring with some good damage mods for perma onslaught
-+4 helm which none exist as of writing this in standard

With the amount of Attack speed you already have, Onslaught would only be a 5% upgrade in ideal conditions. However, getting your uncorrupted ToH to -20% would only be a 0.5% DPS boost and the corrupted one on -20% would be about 1.5%. Changing your boots looks similar. I've put my helmet into your PoB and it's a 15% upgrade if you swap the socket of your Purity of Ice and Vaal Haste. I don't know how expensive recombinators are in Standard but if you can get them for a reasonable price, crafting a Helmet like that is probably your best possible upgrade. You'll also need a bit more Reservation Efficiency to change the enchant, so just get a 3 passive small cluster with 35% increased Effect.

Another thing that's probably worth getting is a bit more ES. For that, I'd get 2 new Rings. Both of yours have a couple of dead mods. Chaos Res does nothing for CI and you don't actually need the dex so you could get int on both of your rings. Then I'd also get some flat ES on your other Ring and you don't need 2 mana crafts so just get added Lightning Damage on one of them. 2 Rings like that would give you 5% increased DPS (both of them together, not 5% each) and 500ES, putting you above 4k.

Getting a better Brutal Restraint would also be an 8% upgrade, so make that a priority.

Overall, with new Rings, a +4 Helmet and a new Timeless Jewel you should be able to reach above 2 mio. Armour, close to 4.5k ES and ~73mio. DpS under ideal conditions. Only after achieving that I'd look into Onslaught and more -res.

Also, get a Divergent Tempest Shield for a higher block chance.
excellent build. but i ran into a problem in deep delve. I checked and I am killed by exploding corpses from which ice blocks appear. they do a lot of damage. I don't understand how they pierce so much armor
Last edited by Friendlancer on Aug 3, 2022, 5:37:34 PM
I honestly don't know about that. I haven't really delved much this league (only to about 250 depth) and so far I didn't have a problem with it at all.
Hello AdrijanPoE,

Have you played with this build recently? It seems fairly unplayable to me. I've built up my character but it dies in an eyeblink randomly as i'm picking random maps to play with - i'm suspecting it's the lightning DoT damage as my character has ~ 1.2 mil armor, 90 fire & cold resist, ~65 spell and attack block.

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