[0.9.13] Ethereal Knives Crit Witch (CI Cookie Cutter Edition)

Update : Reworked into a CI build after feedback and testing.

Basically my experience was that Voll's and power charges we're not worth going EB for. And without Voll's you can easily sustain three auras and EK without EB if you put some points into mana and mana regeneration.

I might revisit a EB version when I'm rich in release, with a 6-link for EK and lots of good life gear. :D

What is this build about?

The idea was to create a high damage AoE farming build for Open Beta that isn't a Ice Witch.

The build is basically a Ethereal Knives crit spammer, also using a totem with Ethereal Knives. It uses CI to easily survive late game, coupled with critical chance. You can swap out crit chance for crit multiplier if you like using Diamond Flasks.

Do you use any other skills or just rest your head on the keyboard?

Curses : Critical Weakness or Vulnerability. I prefer Vulnerability.
Buffs : Blood Rage. Free frenzy, 15% extra cast speed. Who can say no?
Totems : Spell Totem + Added Fire Damage + Fork + EK for diversions, scouting dangerous rooms and physical reflects. Faster Projectiles could work instead of Fork.
Movement : Phase Run.
Auras : Discipline, Clarity and Hatred.

Will I need some fancy gems or items?

Some things you may have to buy or trade from other players, mainly Added Fire Damage, Faster Projectiles, Hatred and Blood Rage. If you don't mind making two alts, you can get them all, except Blood Rage, from Act 1 Normal with a Ranger and a Marauder.

EK itself will be using Added Fire Damage + Fork/Chain (Chain is drop only, so harder to find) + Faster Projectiles. If you happen to have or get a 5 or 6-link, Increased Critical Multiplier and Faster Casting is what I would add, but it isn't necessary.

What about DPS?

At level 60 in mediocre gear, for reference.

Ethereal Knives + Fork/Added Fire Damage/Hatred - 1885
Ethereal Knives + Chain/Added Fire Damage/Hatred - 1414

Ethereal Knives Totem + Fork/Added Fire Damage - 708
Ethereal Knives Totem + Chain/Added Fire Damage - 531

There are skills and builds with much higher DPS, but given the mechanics of Chain/Fork and 10 projectiles, it is absolutely devastating versus large packs, especially when it crits.

How about survivability?

The new and improved CI Pussy Version (no offense CI users, not really xD) has you more or less completely covered, even with minimal point investment in ES. I like to use a Granite or two to keep myself safe while herding packs.

How does your current gear look?

Pretty crap, lots of improvements can be made, but I had nothing in default when I started again. Some of these I've since upgraded, but not very much so.

Spoiler


How does it look in action?

Not sure how far I'll level this character with a set date for Open Beta now, but I did do a few map runs already. Somehow didn't manage to roll increased pack size though, so it's not very good material. Also managed to run into two Physical Reflect Necros in a row. -.-

Level 60 Dried Lake and Dry Peninsula

Enough already, give me the build!

I find a lot of the time some choices come down to taste. I'll post the skeleton of my build and comment on the options beyond that, or choices you can make to modify it.

Always assuming skill point from Bandits in this build.

Level 65 - Pretty much all done
Level 73 - More mana and crit

After this you are close to additional ES, cast speed, mana as well as crit multiplier and spell damage in the middle. You can also get a large amount of ES on shield and block next to Elemental Equilibrium.

Level 69 - Alternative crit multiplier version

If you prefer Diamond Flask abuse, you can easily switch out some crit chance for multiplier, or all of it, like in the above example build. This is probably a more viable option than crit chance, but I don't like using Diamond Flasks. I might give them a try if there is another passive reset before OB though.

You could have taken X passive node, or you should use Y support gem, or why don't you use Z piece of gear?

I welcome any feedback or suggestions to improve the build. :)
IGN : Jovial
Last edited by yhateful on December 24, 2012 10:36 PM
Needs Updated!
Updated. Weird, stealth website update?
IGN : Jovial
How has this build held up? Still good farming capability?
Still solid, but requires a careful play style depending on the map. It's not a faceroll build.

To summarize some dangers;

*Flicker ghosts and goats, especially extra fast, extra dmg, etc. Get in the habit of using your totems to scout out rooms and draw aggro off screen.

*Always keep your fingers ready on Granite's and instant life flask.

Other than that it's smooth sailing, I'll record some higher level map material before OB, currently slacking at lvl 63 (been playing around with a Leap Slam CI Witch build recently, I'm a hopeless build-a-holic :D). If I had some insane crit daggers, I might consider dropping power charges all together, and Voll's with it. Doing that, I might also consider a CI build for it. While a 5 or 6-link EK could be supported on EB without Voll's, there isn't a whole lot to add past Added Fire Damage, Fork/Chain and Faster Projectiles. Faster Casting could be interesting.

Both EB and CI versions of EK Crit are more or less gear reliant tbh. I think I'll roll this for OB anyway, since I enjoy it. Will update with an alternative CI version (I know, blasphemy for a Friggin' Glass guide) along with some more map material soon.

Edit : Updated original build, forgot to put points in crit on the way to Shadow when I updated. -.-
IGN : Jovial
Last edited by yhateful on December 12, 2012 5:21 PM
Could use of the unique quillrain help with the safety issue? Or is the loss of the crit chance and other mods from daggers too much?

It would probably be weird if a bow could improve the build. But that doubling of projectile speed seems silly good for this.

It would seem that curses would help a lot as well. But then again, that's even more mana use.

So many tradeoffs to think about...
Didn't think to mention curses, thanks for spotting that. :) I do of course use them, I'm going back and forth between Critical Weakness and Vulnerability, can't quite decide which I prefer. Overall I think Critical Weakness will give a better return for a crit build like this, but since crit isn't awfully high for me right now with crap daggers (28.5% without charges, 41% with 5 charges), I do like the guaranteed damage increase from Vulnerability.

I don't think Quillrain would improve this build, but it would be fun to mess around with on a weapon switch. You would indeed lose a load of possible good mods from the daggers though (crit, spell damage, faster casting, etc). I think safety is pretty much covered by Granite's and liberal use of totems.
IGN : Jovial
Reworked and updated into a CI version. I'll get some higher level map videos up as well, once I get my hands on some higher level maps. :D
IGN : Jovial
I'm a bit of a noob and I've been running this build for the past few days, I've made it to level 39 and so far it's smooth sailing, save a few things.

1. I'm having trouble keeping up on mana. I only just got the reduced mana support gem so that might be why I'm having trouble still, but I only have about 140 mana left after reservations to cast from, and every time clarity levels up, I lose 20 more. This is also with two rings that both have considerable bonuses to mana. (I suppose it's only -18 level after level1 reduced mana gem. still though, that's a lot)

2. I'm having some trouble with str and dex requirements of skill gems. Needing gear that boosts those two things is making gear choices harder.

3. I also haven't gotten the added fire damage yet. Does having fire and cold damage prevent chilling and freezing enemies from working correctly? Or will the game literally let an enemy be frozen while burning?

with so many projectiles + chain + fork, would "+life per hit" be a useful gear stat for this build?

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