[0.10.0] Low-Life/Pain Attunement Caster Shadow

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Banner courtesy of engrace

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Other Guides
CI Crit Dagger Shadow
Eldritch Battery EK Shadow
Spork Battle Mage Shadow
EB/Armour/HP Crit Dagger Shadow
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Changelog
Spoiler

27/1/13 - Complete overhaul. Basically a new build now


Warning: Will be a tough build to follow!


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FAQ
Should I level my gems?
"
Aura gems should always be leveled except for Clarity. In the case of Clarity and Curse gems, keep track of their mana costs and judge for yourself if it's worth the mana reservation/cost for the added benefit.

As a rule, when in doubt, check the wikipedia to make sure your stats can actually support the gems before leveling it up.

Everything else can and should be leveled.
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What is this guide about?
It's a guide that takes advantage of the recent changes to chaos resistance in an attempt to popularize and make low-life/Pain-Attunement builds viable. It relies on building up high ES as its main form of defense against damage. Caster builds such as Cold casters and EK casters that rely on close combat use Ghost Reaver + Life Leech to keep the ES pool constantly high. Caster builds such as Fire casters and Lightning casters that are capable of long range combat use Zealot's Oath instead. Other than ES, a decent life pool + high chaos resistance is also needed in order to buffer against chaos damage which can bypass energy shield completely and into the HP pool.

What are "Low-Life" builds?
Spoiler
These are builds which essentially aim to keep themselves at 35% of maximum HP at all times in order to benefit from the Pain Attunement node and the low-life uniques, notably Redbeak Rusted Sword and Daresso's Courage Shield (for EK builds) for DPS and Wondertrap Boots (for magic finding) just to name a few.

How do I keep myself at 35% of maximum HP?
Spoiler
There are two ways:

Easy way
By using an appropriately leveled Blood Magic support gem with or without an appropriately leveled Reduced Mana support gem linked with a percentage aura gem to achieve a mana reservation of 65%

Difficult way
By calculating 65% of your max HP and from there deriving the flat amount of HP you need to reserve in order to achieve "low-life" status and from there, using the appropriately leveled blood magic support gems + reduced mana support gems with the appropriately leveled Flat Mana Costs Aura gems. This will be more rewarding because you'll probably end up saving more mana due to having to reserve your life pool for >1 aura gem.

What kind of caster build should I go for?
Spoiler
You can go for any form of caster build, be it one of the three elementals (fire/ice/lightning) or physical (Ethereal Knives)

Personally, Ice probably affords the greatest safety because you can chill/freeze your enemies. The build that benefits the most though in terms of DPS is probably Ethereal Knives as the spell's high base damage means that it'll benefit most from Pain Attunement and from Redbeak sword, both of which boost flat damage. There is also another delicious low-life unique called Darresso's Courage Baroque Round Shield which is most suitable for EK builds.

The Key Keystones
Pain Attunement - 30% more spell damage on low life
Ghost Reaver - Life leech applies to ES
Zealot's Oath - Life regen applies to ES

Gameplay Videos
Spoiler
not available yet.
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Bandit Quest Reward Choices
Normal: Help Oak for HP
Cruel: Help Oak for 12% increased physical damage (if going EK), otherwise 4% cast speed
Merciless: Kill all the Bandits for the skill point


Skill Tree Progression

Pros and Cons of this Build
Pros
1. Will be pretty fun
2. DPS should be relatively high
Cons
1. Tough build to achieve due to the need to get as high chaos resistance as possible
2. Gear dependent
3. Quite a complicated build

Usable in
1. Hardcore (not for the inexperienced)
2. Default
3. 1 Week HC Races
4. PvP

Some vital information regarding Ethereal Knives Mechanics
Spoiler
It is a physical spell
What this means is that EK's DPS is affected by:
- %Cast speed nodes as well as %cast speed mods on gear
- %Spell damage nodes as well as %spell damage mods on gear
- %Projectile damage nodes
- %Spell critical chance/multiplier nodes + Global Critical Chance mods on gear
- %Increased Physical damage mods on non-weapon gear
- %Increased elemental damage nodes + %cold damage/%fire damage mods on gear (slightly)

It is NOT affected by:
- %Increased Physical Damage mods on Weapons
- Flat physical damage mods (+1-4, etc) on gear
- %Increased physical damage with one-handed weapons/daggers/etc. nodes
- %Increased melee physical damage
- Facebreaker's %increased unarmed physical damage
- %attack speed nodes/mods on gear
- %increased elemental damage with weapons nodes/mods

Suggested gem-links:
Spoiler

Ethereal Knives
Spoiler
Bear Trap - Added Fire Damage, Culling Strike
Reduced Mana + Appropriately leveled Blood Magic + Vitality
Ethereal Knives - Fork, Life Leech, Added Fire Damage, Mana Leech, Faster Projs
Reduced Mana - Discipline, Hatred, Determination
Frost Wall - Incr. Duration
Spell Totem - Summon Skeletons
Projectile Weakness

Cold Caster
Spoiler

Freezing Pulse + LMP + Faster Projectiles + Life Leech + Added Cold Damage/Cold Pen
Reduced Mana + Appropriately leveled Blood Magic + Purity
Reduced Mana + Discipline + Clarity + Vitaliy
Frost Wall + Incr. Duration
Frostbite
Spell Totem + Ice Spear + LMP + Faster Casting
Rejuvenation Totem

Fire Caster
Spoiler
Fireball + GMP + Chance to Ignite + Elemental Proliferation
Reduced Mana + Appropriately leveled Blood Magic + Purity
Reduced Mana + Discipline + Clarity + Vitality
Frost Wall - Incr. Duration
Flammability
Spell Totem + Fire Storm + Concentrated Effect + Faster Casting
Rejuvenation Totem

Lightning Caster
Spoiler
Spark + Fork + Faster Projectiles + Faster Casting + Lightning Penetration
Reduced Mana + Appropriately leveled Blood Magic + Purity
Reduced Mana + Discipline + Clarity + Vitaliy
Frost Wall - Incr. Duration
Conductivity
Spell Totem + Arc + Faster Casting + Elemental Proliferation
Rejuvenation Totem


Early Gameplay Tips
Spoiler
Early Game Gear
Focus on gear that gives you +life, namely leather belts with +life and rings/ammys with +life.

AOE
Freezing Pulse + LMP is far superior to any other options regardless of what build you're using. Just keep on using Freezing Pulse + LMP until you've taken enough passives or have enough support gems to make the spell native to your build superior to Freezing Pulse.

At this stage, ES gear is weak, so I would recommend you to stack Armour, resistances and HP to improve your survivability. Main objective here is to survive till late game where you can get good Ar/ES or ES gear whichever one your build requires.

Gameplay Style
Spoiler
not sure what to put in for now. might remove it or add in some stuff later when i'm not so tired

End-Game Gear
Spoiler
Ethereal Knives builds
DPS: Redbeak Rusted Sword or a wand that provides higher DPS
Shield: Daresso's Courage
Rest of equipment: High Ar/ES items with high +life and chaos resists
Whatever notable low-life uniques you may want

Other caster builds
DPS: Redbeak Rusted Sword or a wand that provides higher DPS
Rest of equipment: High Ar/ES items with high +life and chaos resists
Whatever notable low-life uniques you may want

Notable Uniques
Spoiler
Low-Life Uniques
Spoiler
Redbeak Rusted Sword
Daresso's Courage Baroque Round Shield
Honourhome Chainmail Coif
Wondertrap Velvet Slippers
Ondars Flight Boots
Araku Tiki Coral Amulet
Springleaf Plank Shield

Non Low-Life but equally useful Uniques
Spoiler
Geofri's Crest Zealot's Chain Coif
Rathpith Globe Titanium Spirit Shield
Ephemeral Edge Dusk Blade
Prism Guardian Archon Kite Shield
Taryn's Shiver Maelstrom Staff
Searing Touch Long Staff
Kaom's Heart

How do I get better gear?
Spoiler
Trading for better pieces of gear will be your main source. However, there will come a point when you realise that you can no longer get better gear through trading, and that is where crafting comes in, as explained in the next section.

How do I go about Crafting? All your answers and more!


Cheers everyone!
[b]Need help with crafting? Try the [url="http://bit.ly/craftpoe"]Crafting Guide[/url][/b]

[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfinva"]The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfpainva"]The first Righteous Fire/Low Life HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/q99dy4m"]PVP Tips and Tricks![/url]
Last edited by Invalesco on March 1, 2013 10:41 PM
Just reached level 48 and breezing through everything at the moment with zombie and skelly tanks while i deliver cold damnation to my victims.

Level 48

Haven't started converting to a hybrid fire caster yet hence the absence of points in the fire damage nodes. also just waiting on finding a suitably linked piece of equipment atm.

updated the guide on the fact that blood rage is a must have. can't believe I didn't realise it! Frenzy charges increase your cast speed as well not just your attack speed.
[b]Need help with crafting? Try the [url="http://bit.ly/craftpoe"]Crafting Guide[/url][/b]

[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfinva"]The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfpainva"]The first Righteous Fire/Low Life HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/q99dy4m"]PVP Tips and Tricks![/url]
Last edited by Invalesco on August 6, 2012 11:31 AM
Studied in detail the mechanics of cold to fire gem and optimised the skill tree to increase overall damage output.

Also included mechanics of how the gem works for those who are interested in reading it and gave more detail in terms of the gameplay of this build.

Both the old skill tree and new skill tree have been included to allow you to see the changes that have been made and why so.
[b]Need help with crafting? Try the [url="http://bit.ly/craftpoe"]Crafting Guide[/url][/b]

[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfinva"]The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfpainva"]The first Righteous Fire/Low Life HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/q99dy4m"]PVP Tips and Tricks![/url]
a video about that would be amazing.
im sayin to myself to create an coldfire shadow, but im too lazy. Maybe a vid should inspire me xD
It seems u love the shadow class, always helping everybody and researching even more the class.
sorry about my english! :P
"
Mid4s wrote:
a video about that would be amazing.
im sayin to myself to create an coldfire shadow, but im too lazy. Maybe a vid should inspire me xD
It seems u love the shadow class, always helping everybody and researching even more the class.
sorry about my english! :P


haha ya i'll make a video on it soon. Level 51 atm, will reach 62 within the next few days then will get the necc equipment and film a short video to help inspire you :p aye I love shadow! i think it's so much fun! plus it's one of the more underplayed and supposedly difficult to play classes in PoE. I'm on a one man mission to get more shadows into the ladders in HC races and such xD
[b]Need help with crafting? Try the [url="http://bit.ly/craftpoe"]Crafting Guide[/url][/b]

[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfinva"]The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfpainva"]The first Righteous Fire/Low Life HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/q99dy4m"]PVP Tips and Tricks![/url]
Great! :D
Do you use skype or something? Would love to discuss builds for the shadow with you! ATM i got 4 shadows on 30 but cant decide, new ideias, new builds come to my head and i keep creating even more! :P
Let me ask u something, about the viper strike...is there anyway to turn it on a AOE? Tryin to make an dagger, shield / CI + Both curse(hex) passives and dot build. But...i think its not possible to do that...we got none AOE dot :t
Dual curse + unique boots that can cast one more curse on enemy (3 total) + dot + safe "scape" (whirwild blades).
Sorry again about my bad english...
"
Mid4s wrote:
Great! :D
Do you use skype or something? Would love to discuss builds for the shadow with you! ATM i got 4 shadows on 30 but cant decide, new ideias, new builds come to my head and i keep creating even more! :P
Let me ask u something, about the viper strike...is there anyway to turn it on a AOE? Tryin to make an dagger, shield / CI + Both curse(hex) passives and dot build. But...i think its not possible to do that...we got none AOE dot :t
Dual curse + unique boots that can cast one more curse on enemy (3 total) + dot + safe "scape" (whirwild blades).
Sorry again about my bad english...


you can just pm me on forums :) i don't use skype much haha. nope, unfortunately not, no way to turn viper strike to aoe. you can however turn elemental hit into an aoe with elemental proliferation theoretically but i haven't tried that yet it can possibly act as an AOE dot in the form of added fire damage igniting enemies and causing them to burn and take damage over time, with subsequent enemies entering the radius getting ignited as well due to elemental proliferation. but the dot probably isn't that significant unless you make an extreme fire damage based build. lol np :p
[b]Need help with crafting? Try the [url="http://bit.ly/craftpoe"]Crafting Guide[/url][/b]

[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfinva"]The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfpainva"]The first Righteous Fire/Low Life HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/q99dy4m"]PVP Tips and Tricks![/url]
That's very interesting, can u help me build that fire/aoe/curses build? xD
gameplay video added
[b]Need help with crafting? Try the [url="http://bit.ly/craftpoe"]Crafting Guide[/url][/b]

[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfinva"]The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfpainva"]The first Righteous Fire/Low Life HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/q99dy4m"]PVP Tips and Tricks![/url]
Hey man I really like this build, and I want to thank you for posting it. Reading about and tinkering with your builds in your sig and this one has helped me a lot in learning how to make my own builds. Before I read your posts I was pretty lost and making bad builds, but you've helped me to get a better understanding of the system. So thanks for that.

Anyways, what I wanted to ask is could this build be utilized with a Templar using Elemental Equillibrium and maybe Poison Arrow to start the effect? I think it could be pretty devastating. Also I've been working with a Crit Shadow build, and I was wondering if you could tell me, does spell % chance to crit/multiplier work for Lightning Arrow, etc, or just blue gem skills?

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