[3.24] Looping League Starter - Heartbound Autobomber


Introduction
This is my take on a looping autobomber! The build revolves around triggering spells in Kitava's Thirst from a Heartbound Loop.

League Start POB (what's used in league start video and gif): https://pobb.in/WfuLkma3vMyG
Delirious Forge of the Phoenix League Start: https://youtu.be/yvpSGxSvgrY
________________________________________________________________________

Pros & Cons

+ Fast and strong mapper
+ Looping Autobomber!
+ League starter
+ High scaling potential
+ No 6-link required
+ Solid defenses
+ No temporary league power is used in any of the showcases (see tab for league specific suggestions)


- Not SSF viable (requires Kitava's Thirst and 2x Heartbound Loop)
- Not HC viable (can be at higher investment)
- Complicated to put together (need to avoid armour)
- Have to level as something else (guide included)

________________________________________________________________________


Necropolis League Specific
Spoiler
There are some very powerful recoup modifiers on the body armour for both mana and life (the life alone removes the need for all 6 jewels with recoup or lets you easily run Righteous Fire with just few recoup jewels and the mana one frees up the mana mastery and cluster and our amulet and anoint). The crafting also makes it much, much easier to craft rares. Tattoo's are also back and there are some decent defensive modifiers we can use to replace intelligence nodes (reduced effect of curses on you, reduced critical strike damage taken and chance to hinder enemies on hit).

________________________________________________________________________

Build Mechanics

Spoiler
Heartbound Loop
Spoiler
At the core of this build is a loop of spells constructed by Heartbound Loop. Heartbound Loop hits us with physical damage whenever one of our minion dies or expires. We use that self-inflicted physical damage to summon more minions, creating the loop.

The way we trigger minions is by linking them to Cast when Damage Taken, causing them to trigger whenever we've taken enough damage and going on a brief cooldown. To create a loop out of this, we need to make sure the minions summoned die or expire after they come off cooldown, so they can trigger themselves, but not much longer than that, since we want to maximize the frequency of the loop (see Cooldowns and Durations).

Cooldowns and Durations
Spoiler
Cast when Damage Taken has a cooldown of .25 seconds by default and by getting at least 9% cooldown recovery rate we can lower it to .231 seconds (since cooldowns are rounded to the .033 second tick rate). Zombies (from Raise Zombie of Falling) take ~.462 seconds to fall, which means if we get one cast followed immediately by another we can create a loop! Casting a spell in a .033 second window by hand is difficult, but we can use another minion skill triggered at the same time as the zombie which expires expires in any ~.461 second offset of that .033 second window (since the zombie will loop itself on a ~.461 cycle). Summon Raging Spirit is the easiest to use since it has the next shortest duration at 5 seconds, which lets us scale its duration more precisely. There are many offsets we can choose (see Two Broken Loops), but shorter is better since the spirits can fall far enough behind that their deaths no longer affect us. We scale the duration with Swift Affliction and Less Duration, which lets us use quality and gem level to precisely scale the duration. The duration used here is 2 seconds which requires Less Duration to grant 47% less duration (15/0 is probably the easiest level/quality). 1.55 is even slightly better but requires high quality and gem level(20/20), that may not be available on league start.

Two Broken Loops
Spoiler
You may notice that these numbers (see Cooldowns and Durations) have started to get a little strange (e.g. ceil(2/.033) = 61 and 61%14 = 5 instead of 7 like you might expect and the same with 1.55). This circles back to the reason we fully loop two minions, instead of just using one minion to kickstart the other minion's loop. This is because, on their own, neither of these loops can sustain themselves. The zombies die instead of expiring and, as mentioned before, spirits can fall too far behind for their deaths to affect us. Zombies dying when they hit ground instead of expiring means they don't die exactly every .231 second (it probably(?) depends on the relative height of thing they're falling on), which means they can't loop on their own. The spirits occasionally falling too far behind for their deaths to affect us means the spirits can't loop on their own, because we can never replace the spirits that fall behind and that will slow and eventually end the loop. But the broken loops of zombies and spirits can sustain each other, since the spirits keep the zombies looping and the zombies replace the spirits that fall behind.

Starting the Loop
Spoiler
We start the two loops by weapon swapping at the start of each new zone, casting a Summon Raging Spirit socketed in our offhand, weapon swapping back (which makes the spirit expire), pressing our life flask twice (it queues, see Recoup) and making sure Petrified Blood is on. Unlike other loops we only every have to start our loop after loading into a new zone, since having two loops also makes us able to withstand rare monsters with Temporal Bubble (and the flask charge draining one because we don't need to sustain flasks) and walk through doors, things that often force other looping builds to restart their loops. The downside of two loops is that sometimes they won't fully synchronize when started(happens ~20% of the time), which you can tell happened when you don't have two zombie's the majority of the time. Fortunately, we can weapon swap, enable Determination socketed in our off hand, wait for all the Spirits to die and then restart the loop. The loop never desychronizes once it is fully synchronized, so you would only need to do this at the start of 1 in every ~5 zone (less when you get a 20/20 Less Duration). You can also choose to not bother fully sychronizing and keep mapping, since the loop will still sustain itself (just will be missing ~1 cast per second) and will fully synchronize all on its own once you get hit by enemies for at ~500 or more damage.

Triggering Kitava's Thirst
Spoiler
Now that we have our Heartbound Loop going, we need a way to use it and that means Cast when Damage Taken. The Heartbound Loop does relatively little damage to us per hit and enhancing that self-damage with something like Forbidden Rite doesn't give our recoup enough time to ramp up (see Recoup). That limits us to triggering relatively low level spells with a significant damage penalty. Fortunately (for us anyway), low level spells can still cost a lot of mana, especially with Cast when Damage Taken's 250% mana cost multiplier combined with a few other high mana cost multiplier supports. By getting these low level spells to cost 100 mana we can use them to trigger all the spells in Kitava's Thirst without any damage penalty or level limit!

Recoup
Spoiler
The Heartbound Loop deals a large amount self damage (~1200 damage every .231 seconds or ~5000 damage per second), which we need a way of sustaining. Achieving enough flat or % life regeneration to recover 5000 life per second would be difficult, so we use % of damage taken recouped as life instead (note that recoup scales with % increased life recovery rate). By taking all the available recoup nodes on the tree and getting some recoup on jewels, we can get more than 100% of damage taken recouped as life (eventually from eldritch implicits too along). Since we take so much self-damage from the Heartbound Loop, even slightly more than 100% of damage taken recouped as life is a massive amount of net life regeneration and will eventually let us sustain Righteous Fire as well. Life recoup takes a few seconds to ramp up though, so we use Petrified Blood which spreads incoming damage out over a few seconds and lets us safely start the loop. Petrified Blood is also a solid defensive layer combined with the life mastery that lets us count on low life below 55% instead of 50% as well as enabling Pain Attunement for more damage. It also lets our life flasks queue and gives us overleech, which is a nice source of extra recovery during mapping (not necessary for sustaining the loop though).

We spend a lot of mana on all the spells we trigger. Fortunately all the self-damage we take lets us use % of damage taken recouped as mana, which we get from the mana mastery, anointing Battle-Rouse and crafted on our amulet (unveil item level 60+ amulets with the "Veiled" modifier (not "of the Veil") to find the craft).

Finally, at higher investment Nine Lives gives us a massive amount of recoup and is an extremely powerful capstone for this build.

________________________________________________________________________

Starter Gear
Spoiler
Mandatory Items:
Kitava's Thirst
2x Heartbound Loop
5-link body armour
Medium Minion Life Cluster Jewel with Blessed Rebirth (alteration orb re-roll on item level 68+ cluster, takes ~50 on average)
5x jewel with 6% life recouped as life
Amulet anointed with Battle-Rouse (all cheap oils)
Belt with crafted 9%+ cooldown recovery rate (unveil belts with "of the Veil" modifier to get craft)


Recommended Items:
Amulet with 6% of damage recouped as mana (unveil amulets with "Veiled" modifier to get craft)

General Rares: Make sure you are resistance capped. Then look for life, spell suppression, strength, dexterity and chaos resistance in that order.

Flasks: No required flasks, recommend Life Flask with Corrupted Blood/Bleed immunity, Quicksilver Flask, Jade Flask, Quartz Flask and Stibnite Flask

________________________________________________________________________

Skills
Spoiler
Kitava's Thirst
Ice Spear - Creeping Frost - Greater Multiple Projectiles - Increased Critical Damage

Body Armour
Greater Multiple Projectiles (any level) - Returning Projectiles (any level) - Soulrend (level 5) - Eye of Winter (level 5) - Cast When Damage Taken (level 2)

Curses
Cast when Damage Taken (level 20) - Frostbite - Elemental Weakness - Sniper's Mark

Auras
Petrified Blood, Grace

Movement
Flamedash

Zombie Loop
Raise Zombie of Falling (level 1) - Cast when Damage Taken (level 1) - Culling Strike (any level)

Spirit Loop
Summon Raging Spirit (level 1) - Cast when Damage Taken (level 1) - Less Duration (level 15) - Swift Affliction (any level)

________________________________________________________________________

League Start, Leveling and Transition
Spoiler
Leveling as cold DOT, which is always excellent on league start. We use Freezing Pulse into Creeping Frost before we get all the cold DOT gems. Don't forget to buy the gems from the Skills section from Lily in act 5 and leveling them in your off hand (note that most gems don't need/want to be high level)!

Leveling POB: https://pobb.in/QkR1t0pc5Xz3

ShakCentral Cold DOT Leveling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsyl3uclL6A

Transition when you have enough currency to afford the mandatory items (shouldn't be more than ~20c day 1) and have hit at least level 75. Don't worry about swapping immediately on reaching maps, cold DOT is a strong build through early red maps with minimal investment. I swapped in early yellow maps and it felt smooth before and after. Recommended items should generally be your first upgrades.

________________________________________________________________________

Upgrades
Spoiler
Upgrades (loosely ordered)
1. Add Eldritch Implicits (prioritize life recovery rate and life recoup)
2. Quality stuff (gems, flasks, not Heartbound Loop yet)
3. Get jewels with at least one or two other good modifiers besides life recoup
4. Well rolled flasks
5. Get two Void Batteries
6. Upgrade rares to have high tier life and a combination of suppression, resistances, strength and dexterity
7. Drop Practical Application and pick up Steeped in the Profane
8. Swap to a 20/20 Less Duration gem
9. Get a Militant Faith devoted to Dominus for Inner Conviction
10. Get Dying Sun and drop Stibnite Flask
11. Corruption hunt on uniques (eventually double corruption, + power charge on helmet is especially powerful)
12. Craft % physical damage reduction body armour with high life and other high tier modifiers (Resists, Spell Suppression, Additional Curse Delve Modifier) and get high tier eldritch implicits (recoup, life recovery rate)
13. Add Righteous Fire(add as soon as it is comfortable for sustain)
14. Craft 30/35% movement speed boots with other high tier modifiers (Life, Resists, Spell Suppression) and get high tier eldritch implicits (movement speed/action speed and cooldown recovery rate (getting 9% here/from a jewel frees up a belt suffix))
15. Craft Gloves with high tier modifiers (Life, Resists, Spell Suppression) and get high tier eldritch implicits (spell suppression + unnerve) (Kalisa's Grace is a good budget damage option)
16. Craft an Elder Stygian Vise with % increased life recovery rate and 5 other good high tier modifiers (life, resists, strength) and an Abyss jewel (life, phasing/onslaught on kill, strength + dexterity, % of damage taken recouped as mana)
17. Add high tier eldritch implicits on rares (orb of conflict eventually)
18. Get a large cold damage cluster jewel (ideally with Blanketed Snow, Prismatic Heart and Doryani's Lesson)
19. Awakened support gems
20. Get The Adorned with a high roll and craft corrupted rare jewels (look for life recoup, % life and critical strike multiplier
21. Get Nine Lives from Forbidden Flesh and Flame
22. Get Ralakesh's Impatience, Malachai's Loop and Badge of the Brotherhood (operating on the assumption Ralakesh is becoming a tier 0 unique, if not do this earlier)
23. Get a Mageblood

Defensive Upgrades
Spoiler
1. Swap out Elemental Weakness for Enfeeble and/or Temporal Chains (can also look for additional curse on body armour/amulet)
2. Get flat physical damage reduction (endurance charges, pantheon, body armour modifier) and quality (noxious catalysts) Heartbound Loop, making sure that the self-damage is always enough to trigger the level 1 Cast when Damage Taken's (quality them) each time a minion dies.
3. Get more chaos resistance on gear
4. Get curse effect reduction (flask, Steeped in the Profane)
5. Get a Watcher's Eye with one or two good Grace modifiers
6. Get a Progenesis


________________________________________________________________________

Other Autobomber Guides
Last edited by Juminoh on Apr 18, 2024, 11:18:14 PM
Last bumped on Apr 18, 2024, 2:30:40 AM
I wonder if it would be worth to drop the belt mod and 4-link needed to use SRS to get .231 triggers and instead just go with raise zombie of falling loop off of itself. It theoretically halves the amount of casts that can trigger spells in kitava's thirst, but it makes starting the loop significantly simpler and you can compensate for the loss of triggers by adding two spells with a lvl 1 cwdt and archmage in place for the 4-link and probably changing to body armour to use archmage instead as well. Thoughts?
"
Stoyicker wrote:
I wonder if it would be worth to drop the belt mod and 4-link needed to use SRS to get .231 triggers and instead just go with raise zombie of falling loop off of itself. It theoretically halves the amount of casts that can trigger spells in kitava's thirst, but it makes starting the loop significantly simpler and you can compensate for the loss of triggers by adding two spells with a lvl 1 cwdt and archmage in place for the 4-link and probably changing to body armour to use archmage instead as well. Thoughts?


Dropping down to a .462 loop would halve our damage and our mana sustain, something I really wouldn't recommend. Archmage would already require significant modifications to fit into this build and losing the mana sustain would make it extra difficult. Level 1 CWDT also has a massive 65% less damage multiplier that would make it very difficult to scale the damage. I'd also be hesitant to go Archmage without Indigon/Manastorm/some other synergy with mana. It's definitely possible that some form of CWDT loop with Archmage could work, but it would be an entirely different build and likely require significantly more investment.
Last edited by Juminoh on Mar 17, 2024, 7:30:59 PM
How would you manage this with a mageblood and without recovery? I know it won't be relevant next league but I wanna play around with it this league to see if I can fry my computer.
"
Deklnu wrote:
How would you manage this with a mageblood and without recovery? I know it won't be relevant next league but I wanna play around with it this league to see if I can fry my computer.


Mageblood is very easy to fit into this build, it can be directly added at any stage without any changes (recommend it as one of the final upgrades). Not entirely sure what you mean by without recovery, this build relies on recoup but all other forms of recovery are optional (even life flask can be replaced if you take recoup over 3 seconds instead of 4 and slow the loop start with determination for 3 seconds or by just getting enough recoup e.g. Nine Lives). Should still be relevant next league too!
Last edited by Juminoh on Mar 19, 2024, 1:35:12 PM
about how much recoup do you need to run this? seems like a ton but definitely easier than wardloop on league start.
Nice guide. Could you add which quality would benefit the ring in the defense section. Thanks
"
jonke wrote:
about how much recoup do you need to run this? seems like a ton but definitely easier than wardloop on league start.


Need over 100%, 76% is available directly on the tree and the remainder we can easily get on jewels!
"
Kalatos wrote:
Nice guide. Could you add which quality would benefit the ring in the defense section. Thanks


Thanks! Will do (it's the physical/chaos quality from noxious catalysts)!
Its been a while since I've played a loop build, but what would be a good way to estimate dps in POB? I see the recommended upgrade path, but having difficulty understanding how damage is scaled with investment. How far can we push this build with investment? Or is this something one would use to league start and then transition to another build?

Thanks!

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info