[0.10.0] HP/ES Spork Shadow Battle Mage (Twinkle twinkle deadly Sparks!) [Videos included]

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Other Guides
Coldfire Crit Caster Shadow
CI Crit Dagger Shadow
Eldritch Battery EK Shadow
EB/Armour/HP Crit Dagger Shadow
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Changelog
Spoiler
17/11/12 - Birth of a new guide
6/12/12 - Updated guide and skilltrees
24/1/13 - Updated for Open Beta!

What is this build about?
This is a caster shadow build that optimizes Speed-leveling and Safety, making it extremely viable in week-long HC races, be it the standard mode or turbo mode!

It has been verified in Turbo HC by yours truly, managing to kill merciless vaal and entering maps within 22 hours of gameplay, albeit dying at level 64 by a careless careless mistake.

What skills does this build use?
This build is oriented around 2 skill gems: Spark + Fork. Spark is the only spell that can bounce off walls, making it possible to kill bosses in relative safety if you play it right.

Gameplay Videos
Spoiler
Merciless Vaal Run
Merciless Brutus - How to kill brutus without taking damage

Bandit Quest Reward Choices
Normal: Help Oak for HP
Cruel: Help Alira for 4% increased cast speed
Merciless: Kill all the bandits for a skill point


Skill Tree Progression
31 Points
46 Points
60 Points
80 Points
111 Points, Completed build

Pros and Cons of this Build
Pros
1. Very easy build to play
2. Brilliant in indoor maps
Cons
1. Does very poorly against lightning resist mobs
2. Relatively weaker in outdoor areas
3. Might get boring after awhile, will probably not be as fun as a dagger shadow

Usable in
1. Hardcore
2. Default
3. 1 Week HC Races

Gameplay Style
Spoiler
Spork
Best Spark support combinations, depending on the links you have
6L: Spark + Fork + Faster Projectiles + Lightning Penetration + Faster Casting + Pierce
5L: Spark + Fork + Faster Projectiles + Pierce + Faster Casting
4L: Spark + Fork + Faster Projectiles + Pierce
3L: Spark + Fork + Faster Projectiles
2L: Spark + Fork

Best Spark support combinations for your totem
Spell Totem + Arc + Faster Casting + Lightning Penetration
Spell Totem + Spark + Fork + Faster Casting/Lightning Penetration

Note: You can forego the faster projectiles support gem for Increased Critical Damage or LMP if you have a high quality spark and if you have gear that increases projectile speed

LMP is an option, but only recommended for end-game builds and not early on in game for the same reasons: proj penalty and mana cost.

Auras and Active Skills
Discipline, Clarity and Haste.
Discipline for survivability, Clarity for mana regen, Haste for faster running/casting

Curses
Conductivity will complement this build nicely because it lowers the lightning resist of opposing mobs and increases their chance of being shocked, which will amplify the damage they receive further
Enfeeble or Temporal Chains are also useful curses for ensuring safety

Survivability
Raise Zombies/Summon Skeletons linked to Minion Life will provide tank cover for your totem and yourself

Playstyle Versus Bosses
Pretty much just stay as far as possible from hard-hitting bosses and bounce sparks off walls :D

Early Gameplay Tips
Spoiler
This build is on a whole, very easy to play.

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

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 ES gear.

Skill Gems
All you need basically is Spark and Fork to start doing well. Usually I start off by creating a templar/witch for spark, and then using my shadow to get fire trap. After that I tend to get phase run, bear trap, raise zombies and summon skeletons.

The subsequent gems you'll need such as spell totem and faster casting don't come till later.

End-Game Gear
Spoiler

DPS Gear
These can come in the form of Wands/Sceptres/Daggers/Shields.

The mods you want to be looking out for in terms of decreasing order of priority are:
1. %increased projectile speed
2. %increased cast speed
3. %increased critical chance for spells
4. %increased spell damage
5. %increased lightning damage

If an item has the bolded mods (above) on it, that automatically makes it very desirable, such that even if you come across an item which would provide slightly better DPS but without %increased projectile speed, I would still stick to the item with the proj speed mod.

Amulet: Get any ammy with +life, +crit chance and +crit multiplier or spell damage/lightning damage and cast speed

Rings: Resists and +life are a must. The rest are in order of descending priority: %Mana Regen, +Mana, Increased Cast Speed, %Lightning Damage

Belt: +Life, Resists and +ES

For the rest of your defensive gear, just get any hybrid/pure ES equipment with +life and high ES.

If you can get Kaom's Heart as your chestpiece, all the better! If you manage to get Kaom's Heart, get a Quill Rain, 5L it and then link the following support gems on it:
Spark + Fork + Greater Multiple Projectiles + Mana Leech + Lightning Penetration

How do I get better gear?
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!

Hope my guide has been helpful :)
[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 10, 2013 7:08 PM
Videos added, as well as an example on how to stay safe while killing bosses such as brutus. If any of you want to see how spork does against any of the other tougher bosses do feel free to request for it :)

I'll probably be providing a non-GR alternative build as well because GR isn't really all that necessary for this build to excel and I think some of you would rather go for extra DPS. I took GR because being Turbo and all, I needed survivability and that extra nullification cluster which provided an extra 10% ES regen was very much needed and GR en route was too attractive/interesting a node to pass up.

I'll need to figure out if the forked projectiles will contribute to ES leech. If they don't then GR would probably suck. If they do, then GR would be awesome for Spork.
[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]
so this build is good at leveling up and racing? well...


can you do a guide? like a guide on racing? like some sort of general guide that says... run past all the enemies in this zone, farm this zone repeatedly, skip this quest, do this quest asap...


that sort of stuff? just basic zone by zone recommendations to bypass/do-once/do-many times on each difficulty? or maybe skipping normal? or maybe focusing heavily on normal-cruel since the 2hour races are so common?


You're like the only good guide writer on the ENTIRE FORUM! or maybe you're the only GREAT guide writer, who makes all the other "good" ones look merely mediocre.



I've noticed you do lots of early/mid/late recommendations for each build but, could you do a guide that's just entirely that sort of general stuff? and refers to zones? like... I know fellshrine ruins is great for leveling up, which zone is best for doing chest farming? In a recent patch the guaranteed chests were removed/re-arranged... or is fellshrine farming better for even chest type stuff just because of how many kills you get? I used to chest farm in the dread thicket before I faced vaal each time... how dumb/smart is this now?

does every racer always skip fetid pool? what is the first good zone to farm for levels in? is it the ledge? I'm just so clueless about all this! mostly I just do every zone once and fully, playing casually, but since you mention this build is good for racing well... please teach us all how to race!
"
Invalesco wrote:
Videos added, as well as an example on how to stay safe while killing bosses such as brutus. If any of you want to see how spork does against any of the other tougher bosses do feel free to request for it :)

I'll probably be providing a non-GR alternative build as well because GR isn't really all that necessary for this build to excel and I think some of you would rather go for extra DPS. I took GR because being Turbo and all, I needed survivability and that extra nullification cluster which provided an extra 10% ES regen was very much needed and GR en route was too attractive/interesting a node to pass up.

I'll need to figure out if the forked projectiles will contribute to ES leech. If they don't then GR would probably suck. If they do, then GR would be awesome for Spork.




Now if you're not going to take GR, wouldn't a spork user just be better off as a witch? as GR is one of the main reasons to take shadow as the starting point for this build? Or have I misunderstood the situation? I'm a bit of a noob, my two highest level characters are a level 40 shadow and level 33 witch, both of which are quite old and moved to legacy a long while back (haven't played lately) spork is getting me excited to play again though!
Last edited by namad on November 17, 2012 11:58 AM
"
namad wrote:
so this build is good at leveling up and racing? well...


can you do a guide? like a guide on racing? like some sort of general guide that says... run past all the enemies in this zone, farm this zone repeatedly, skip this quest, do this quest asap...


that sort of stuff? just basic zone by zone recommendations to bypass/do-once/do-many times on each difficulty? or maybe skipping normal? or maybe focusing heavily on normal-cruel since the 2hour races are so common?


You're like the only good guide writer on the ENTIRE FORUM! or maybe you're the only GREAT guide writer, who makes all the other "good" ones look merely mediocre.



I've noticed you do lots of early/mid/late recommendations for each build but, could you do a guide that's just entirely that sort of general stuff? and refers to zones? like... I know fellshrine ruins is great for leveling up, which zone is best for doing chest farming? In a recent patch the guaranteed chests were removed/re-arranged... or is fellshrine farming better for even chest type stuff just because of how many kills you get? I used to chest farm in the dread thicket before I faced vaal each time... how dumb/smart is this now?

does every racer always skip fetid pool? what is the first good zone to farm for levels in? is it the ledge? I'm just so clueless about all this! mostly I just do every zone once and fully, playing casually, but since you mention this build is good for racing well... please teach us all how to race!


haha thanks for the compliments :) this build is great for 1 week racing but probably not for 2h-3h races as fork is only a quest reward after brutus and before brutus you'll be rather weak and will lose out.

I would write a speedracing guide if I were any good at it, but unfortunately i'm not the best myself hence I don't think I should be the one doing it. Victo is however one of the best speedracers out there I think so you should probably ask him to do it :p

"
namad wrote:
"
Invalesco wrote:
Videos added, as well as an example on how to stay safe while killing bosses such as brutus. If any of you want to see how spork does against any of the other tougher bosses do feel free to request for it :)

I'll probably be providing a non-GR alternative build as well because GR isn't really all that necessary for this build to excel and I think some of you would rather go for extra DPS. I took GR because being Turbo and all, I needed survivability and that extra nullification cluster which provided an extra 10% ES regen was very much needed and GR en route was too attractive/interesting a node to pass up.

I'll need to figure out if the forked projectiles will contribute to ES leech. If they don't then GR would probably suck. If they do, then GR would be awesome for Spork.


Now if you're not going to take GR, wouldn't a spork user just be better off as a witch? as GR is one of the main reasons to take shadow as the starting point for this build? Or have I misunderstood the situation? I'm a bit of a noob, my two highest level characters are a level 40 shadow and level 33 witch, both of which are quite old and moved to legacy a long while back (haven't played lately) spork is getting me excited to play again though!


Some good points here, and yup it does depend on what you want in your build.

For instance,
1. Witch would be a good starting point if you plan on heading for a double totem build because double totems are closer to the witch area.
2. Shadows have great crit nodes so most witches caster builds which base themselves on crits do branch over to shadow area as well so as to utilize the crit nodes.

My reasons for picking shadow as a starting class for this spork build are because:
1. I love shadows and just can't play any other class atm, so I'm just spending time theorycrafting all possible builds for Shadow. Whether or not I actually build them is another thing!
2. Shadow has nicer looking HP nodes which helps in survivability early on in game
3. I planned this build on Crits so the Shadow class suits it.
4. I needed the Nullification nodes to provide the 2x10% to all resistances as well as ES regen.
5. I wasn't planning on going for double totems so I figured starting as a shadow wouldn't give me that much of a disadvantage.

Hope that helps :)
[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]
I'm a noob so, in my builds, it's basically all a matter of thinking about those juicy juicy keystones, thanks for taking the time to answer me!
You should consider linking lightning penetration to spark. I missed that in the recommendations. It's not only great for lightning res mobs, but any mob actually since res can be negative on monsters.

Did you think about taking the two shock on hit nodes in the witch cluster top left?
Should compliment this build nicely. :)

Very nice guide though!
CliveHowlitzer wrote:

I am now too addicted to that feeling of being kicked in the nuts when you die.
Last edited by Alros on November 17, 2012 1:08 PM
"
namad wrote:
I'm a noob so, in my builds, it's basically all a matter of thinking about those juicy juicy keystones, thanks for taking the time to answer me!


You're welcome! Don't worry, we all start off as noobs :)

"
Alros wrote:
You should consider linking lightning penetration to spark. I missed that in the recommendations. It's not only great for lightning res mobs, but any mob actually since res can be negative on monsters.

Did you think about taking the two shock on hit nodes in the witch cluster top left?
Should compliment this build nicely. :)

Very nice guide though!


good point regarding lightning penetration! totally forgot about that, will add it in :) oh is it the Static Blows cluster? I was actually considering those nodes before I started out on the turbo race. Was contemplating getting those + Hexmaster/Whispers of Doom. I'll come up with a non-GR alternative soon, might consider adding that :)
[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]
Kell, interesting to see you've tried Spark too. I respecced my legacy witch to Spark and found it to be ridiculously strong - the most powerful build I've played. I'll post a bit more about it in this thread shortly when I have a bit more time (including the build I used).

However, one frustrating weakness I had with it was Ele Reflect mobs. Because I had such a high crit chance, and so many sparks (I used LMP to devastating effect), it's hard to contrl which mobs get hit in a room of sparks. So when my handful of sparks crit an ele reflect mob, my ES gets annihilated super fast - even though I have 8k ES.

How have you dealt with this?

P.
"
mrpetrov wrote:
Kell, interesting to see you've tried Spark too. I respecced my legacy witch to Spark and found it to be ridiculously strong - the most powerful build I've played. I'll post a bit more about it in this thread shortly when I have a bit more time (including the build I used).

However, one frustrating weakness I had with it was Ele Reflect mobs. Because I had such a high crit chance, and so many sparks (I used LMP to devastating effect), it's hard to contrl which mobs get hit in a room of sparks. So when my handful of sparks crit an ele reflect mob, my ES gets annihilated super fast - even though I have 8k ES.

How have you dealt with this?

P.


yup that was one of the things I was considering too pet! Hence I went for GR in an attempt to try nullify it. unfortunately i haven't yet managed to get a high enough DPS to test it properly yet
[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]