with a scion i been working towards elemental, seeing this really enlightens me a lot. kind of curious, do you think a 2H weapon with some fast attack speed nodes could pull this off? i'm sure that a 1H is optimal, but i already got a dual wield duelist,and never have used any 2H before, mind shining some light here?
I think it can work fine, to an extent. As you said it won't be optimal but it would still work. I found that new 2H fire sword yesterday and put it on real quick just to see the damage difference. I only lost about 1k. I think with a good roll or a really good rare ele sword you could still do the same amount of damage as I do.
The problem however is your playstyle becomes different. You're no where near as fast or fluid anymore in clearing and you lose ALOT of defense from no shield. Your shield gives almost half of your current evasion as well as 30ish block and 80+ life.
This spec with a 2H should still give off comparable damage but I'm not sure you'll be clearing absolutely everything through 78 maps with ease. Your chances of dying will increase quite dramatically.
You could alternatively go for something like Koams chest and then run Grace, or dip your toes into a armor based version with that? I don't know. Going 2H isn't something I've wanted to do.
Also, with blood magic + life leech, does this build benefit from Vaal Pact? It's 10 nodes away...which could be taken from a couple of other places. Also results in an extra endurance charge along the way.
Have you explored this?
I imagine having Vaal pact would solve any current problems you may have with elemental reflect but that's about all it does. I didn't really consider it for this spec because it's a pretty lengthy 10 points away, 10 points that I do not have and I don't have enough troubles with reflect to care for it. Specs that go Vaal pact are hard hitters that risk 1 shotting themselves without it. This is a steady stream of damage and thus your reflect is far more manageable.
That said I've tried Vaal pact as a life based spec before (not this one) and it felt just awful. The reason it works with ES is because you can regen your ES outside of combat where as life based you just run around wounded and it often catches up with you.
Endurance charges are useless for this build as well by the way. Being evasion based you don't get hit reliably enough to really make use of the CODT gem and endurance charges don't increase your survivability very much at all given you start with close to 0% damage reduction and I think (don't quote me on this) endurance charges give you half the benefit to DR because of Acrobatics. At least that's what I think I remember when I tried it.
As for 2h phys vs ele I'm not sure which would have a larger damage output right now. I've tried 2h phys and played with multiple scions of that spec and the results have always been underwhelming. I've historically had way more damage and also provided 5 highly useful auras for the group.
That said I think 2h phys and maybe even 1h/shield phys ST with the new gem could possibly do more damage than my spec but the problem and one of the reasons I shy away from those specs these days is you need a near mirror worthy weapon to pull it off.
Leveling it doesn't much matter which spec you go. I remember doing this spec from level 1 and blasting through with terrible gear as long as I was getting the right stuff (blood magic at 24, wrath/anger, fast wep, etc).
Likewise with 2h phys ST. It's fast and doesn't require too much, just have to update your weapon every now and again.
The thing I hate about 2h phys ST though is grouping with those people, they feel so useless. They attack super slow, their damage is subpar and on top of that they give selfish useless auras. I on the other hand literally doubled the damage of every STer to join with me and cleared much faster due to my attack speed and playstyle of being more defensive at the same time.
Bottom line for me is if you have 100exalts laying around then go nuts with a phys ST spec, it'll be fun. If you don't, I think ele with auras is the way to go.