[1.1.0] Twin Viper Smoke Duelist (Evasion, Dodge, & Block + Viper Strike)


Howdy everyone, this is my first build guide! One of my first characters was a dual wield Duelist and he suffered horribly from my inexperience. After playing for a while in other character classes, I decided to try again.

This build is a decent 2nd or 3rd character and can get you through early maps if you like a different playstyle.

Viper Strike Build

Passive Tree

32/33 Point Base Build [1.1.0]

Passive Skill Tree

Getting Ondar's Guile, Acrobatics, and Phase Acrobatics is pretty much the standard for Evasion based builds. The twist in this build is using the Blocking bonuses provided by Dual Wielding as another layer of defense. You can save a point by not going through the Frenzy Charge nodes.

103 Point Build [1.1.0]

Passive Skill Tree

Bandit Quest Rewards
Normal: Help Oak for +40 Base Hitpoints
Cruel: Help Oak for 18% Increased Physical Damage / Skill Point
Merciless: Help Kraityn for +1 Max Frenzy (or Oak for +1 Max Endurance Charges)

Cast on Crit Build (Theorycraft [1.1.0])

105 Point Passive Tree

Bandit Quest Rewards:
Normal: Help Oak for +40 Base Hitpoints
Cruel: Help Kraityn for +8% Attack Speed or Skill Point
Merciless: Help Alira/Kraityn for +1 Maximum Power Charges/Frenzy Charges

Required Uniques

Ungil's Gauche (x2)

We use this primarily for the 20% Additional Block Chance while Dual Wielding. Using two, you get 55% total block chance (20% + 20% + 15% DW Bonus), and we only need 20% more to be at the maximum effective block chance 75%. The Dervish cluster provides 14% more and the Blade Barrier cluster provides the last 6% we need to maximize our block.

If you don't want to use Viper Strike you will need to invest in more block nodes if you want to keep your chances close to maximum. Ungil's does not provide a high damage output so they are not recommended for use with skills based around weapon damage.

Stone of Lazhwar

Since we are already going through the trouble of building up our Block Chance, we might as well block spells as well. Several uniques can do this, but The Stone of Lazhwar provides the best conversion rate of Block to Spell Block (that can be used in this build).

The Blood Dance

This unique provides a lot of bonuses for those that use Frenzy Charges and is a great addition to the build. Although it is not a requirement to use, the boots are fairly cheap so there isn't much reason against adding it to the build.

Geofri's Crest

As much as I hate to add another unique, this one is a pretty good one for the build. It can give Viperstrike a much needed +1 to level to really boost your damage output (in late game). It also has quad resistances (though the elemental resists cap at 20% which is kind of low). If you sacrifice some block chance you can try for a +2 melee gem dagger.


Optional gems are marked with an asterisk.

Offensive Gems
Viper Strike + Multistrike + Melee Splash + Blind or Empower (Late Game)
Dual Strike + Cast on Melee Kill + Enduring Cry

Defensive Gems
Smoke Mine + Increased Duration + *Increased Area of Effect

Grace + Reduced Mana

*Temporal Chains

Flame Totem + LMP/GMP + Blind + *Faster Casting
Spell Totem + Summon Skeletons + Blind + *Multistrike/Melee Splash

Whirling Blades
Lightning Warp + *Faster Casting + *Reduced Duration


This build lends itself more to a hit and run playstyle. Before facing a large pack of enemies, especially spellcasters, it is good to lay down a smoke mine for a quick get away. You will need to have a direct line of sight to activate the mine, however.

Proceed around the edge (or even in the center) of the pack using Viper Strike to try to get 2 or 3 poison stacks per enemy. With enough Chaos Damage and DOT nodes that is usually sufficent to kill non-resistant enemies. After that point, you can lay down a new smoke mine and "tank" in the center of the group. Keep the smoke mine cloud up and you should be pretty safe to use Dual Strike to finish off any enemies that didn't get enough poison charges.

If you get trapped in a pack of enemies for some reason, you can use Whirling Blades to break out and get to safety.

For dangerous foes make sure to use your totem. Flame Totems are better for spreading Blind while Skeleton Totems are better for distracting enemies. I have tended toward the Skeleton Totem in Merciless but used the Flame Totem during most of my leveling. Try not to level up the Flame Totem or Summon Skeletons gems too much, otherwise their mana costs will be prohibitive.

I only tend to use Grace and my curses during boss battles.

Leveling Guide

Before starting this character I recommend getting Blind x2, Multistrike, and Grace gems. The other required/recommended gems can be obtained fairly easily by the Duelist as you progress through the game. You will also want to have the required uniques before starting since equipping them early on provides a huge boost to your defenses.


32/33 Point Base Build [1.1.0]

Passive Skill Tree

Start by making a beeline for the Acrobatics nodes.

43 Points (End of Normal) [1.1.0]

Passive Skill Tree

At this point I reached the effective cap for block chance (75%) and began working on some more surviveability and mana regeneration. Not much is really specifically targeted toward buffing my Viper Strike skill.

Gear End of Act 3, Normal



Had this laying around in my stash, and it's good for leveling up. I think having a 2% Mana Leech Ring/Amulet will be important later on to maintain mana.

Also just laying around in my stash. Since you don't get hit too often, you get that bonus 150 Dex most of the time. Eventually will need to be replaced with some Dual/Tri Rest, EVA gear. I'll probably aim for a hybrid piece for an easier time coloring my sockets for the Dual Strike + Cast on Melee Kill setup from above.

Again, I had them in my stash, and the cold damage conversion is nice. It's like Hatred's younger brother that doesn't require all your mana. Unfortunately the dex bonus is becoming quickly outdated.

Pretty much the only reason I'm using this is for the item quantity. I think a Life + Dual/Tri Res belt would probably work better. Block recovery does apply to us however.

I guess I haven't found anything better yet. ...Seriously.


Vital for Spell Block.

Item Rarity mostly. Cold Res is nice.

Alternating based on Zone:

Quest Rewards

Important Rewards
Enemy at the Gate: Dual Strike
Breaking Some Eggs: Viper Strike
Intruders in Black: Frenzy / Enduring Cry
Sharp and Cruel: Melee Splash
Sever the Right Hand: LMP
Lost in Love: Smoke Mine

Other Suggested Rewards
A Fixture of Fate: Temporal Chains


-Start by using Cleave and Dual Strike
-Once you get Melee Splash (Act 2) you can begin using Viper Strike as your main AOE attack. Using MS and Multistrike will be much more effective
-Help Oak for +40 Base Life

-At Level 5 you can equip the Stone of Lahzwar
-At Level 20 you can equip Ungil's Gauche
-At Level 24 you can begin using Blind support

-Go straight for the Acrobatics related nodes but grab Ondar's Guile along the way
-After Acrobatics, get the Mana nodes at the Duelist starting area
-Cap your block chance with Blade Barrier
-Then aim for the life nodes at Thick Skin


67 Points (End of Cruel) [1.1.0]

Passive Skill Tree

The 3 points spent in Chaos Damage nodes will dramatically improve your clear speed.

Gear End of Act 3, Cruel

Quest Rewards

Important Rewards
Enemy at the Gate: Flame Totem
Mercy Mission: Endurance Charge on Melee Stun
The Caged Brute: Grace
The Siren's Cadence: Spell Totem
A Fixture of Fate: Cast on Melee Kill


-You can begin using a Flame Totem right away since it is a quest reward
-Later you can get Spell Totem. If you found/buy a Summon Skeletons gem you could begin using it.

-At level 44 you can begin using The Blood Dance
-Pick up the Evasion Per Frenzy Charge node right away if you're using these

-Help Oak for +18% increased Physical Damage, Kraityn for +8% Attack Speed, or take a skill point (I helped Oak)
-Aim for Resistance nodes up near the Scion
-Pick up Chaos Damage cluster as needed to help clear speed
-Pick up Life nodes around Golem's Blood and Thick Skin as needed


86 Points (Defeated Dominus) [1.1.0]

Passive Skill Tree

I managed to defeat Dominus with this build. I ended up dying 8 times (7 First Form, 1 Final Form), but that didn't seem all that bad to me considering I didn't have capped resistances when I went in (cold res was at 62%). It's totally doable if you've got a decent connection. There is still plenty of room for improvement in my Belt, Gloves, and Rings.

Gear End of Act 3, Cruel

Quest Rewards

Suggested Rewards
A Fixture of Fate: Multistrike / GMP / Cast when Damage Taken


-For most of Merciless I tried to balance out getting DOT/Chaos nodes and needed HP/Resists/Mana Nodes
-Before entering Lunaris it is probably worth getting Mind Over Matter. Without it Burned Miscreations will be pretty troublesome when they activate their Unrighteous Fire. (This has been changed in 1.1.0 and I have not yet tested to see how the flat damage scales. We may not need MoM after all.)


Once I get into some better maps I'll try to update this section with more information on upgrades to gear/passives/whatever.

Defensive Core

Below I give an in-depth look at the defensive strategy of the base build as well as some background information on the damage mechanics in POE.

Defensive Synergies

Build Keystones

Ondar's Guile
Acrobatics (& Acrobatics Improvement (x4) )
Phase Acrobatics
*Mind Over Matter

Damage Formula

Evasion > Dodge > Block > Mitigation (Armor/Resistance) > Final Damage (ES > Life)

Evasion (Wiki)

So our first line of defense is our Evasion Rating. When you evade an attack you take no damage. We want this to be as high as possible, so use Evasion based gear whenever possible. For every 5 Dexterity you have you gain 1% on your Evasion Rating. Evasion is capped at 95% when calculating damage. As a rule of thumb, keeping your Evasion Rating around 50% will be sufficient for leveling.

The Ondar's Guile Keystone doubles the chance that we will evade projectile attacks, which generally means that your evasion will be at 95% for projectile attacks. (It doesn't work with projectiles created by spells though.)

Using a level 20 Grace Aura, you can grant yourself and nearby party members up to 2,016 more evasion rating.

Picking up the Evasion Per Frenzy Charge passive also grants 4% increased evasion rating per frenzy charge. This build takes advantage of this bonus to further enhance our evasion rating.

Dodge (Wiki)

Next we have our dodge chance. Like evasion, if you dodge an attack/spell then it does no damage. Dodge is counted separately from evasion and is a random calculation. Dodge can only be obtained from the Passive Tree from Acrobatics and the related nodes behind it. The Darkray Vectors (Wiki) can also be used to provide some bonuses.

After 32/33 skill points, you will have the maximum amount of dodge you can get from the passive tree:
-40% for Attacks (Acrobatics Keystone + 4 Nodes)
-30% for Spells (Phase Acrobatics Keystone)

Note that the Acrobatics Keystone has some drawbacks in that it cuts your Armor and Energy Shield Rating in half!

Block (Wiki)

Next comes block. Again, this prevents all damage. Block can come from either Shields, Staves, or Dual Wielding. In the case of dual wielding, you get a 15% bonus to your chance to block just by having a second weapon equipped.

This number can reach beyond 75%, but the game will only count 75% when dealing with attacks against your character. Normally there would be no reason to surpass this limit, but according to other forum posts, anything above 75% will still be used to calculate your spell block chance, which can only be calculated as a percentage of your maximum block chance with specific items.

With only 19/20 skill points, you can reach the effective cap:
-40% Block from Ungil's Gauche
-20% Block from the Passive Tree (3x Dual Wield Block, Dervish, Blade Barrier)
-15% Block from the Dual Wield Bonus
-38% Spell Block from the Stone of Lazhwar

For the purposes of this build, I suggest waiting until after getting all of the dodge nodes to get the last 6% block from the passive tree (DW Block & Blade Barrier).

Mitigation (Armour/Resistances) (Wiki: Arm, Res)

For every 12 points in armour, you block 1 point of physical damage. Because of the Acrobatics Keystone, our armour rating is cut in half.

Resistances apply to elemental damage (Fire, Cold, Lightning) and Chaos Damage. Each resistance is capped at 75% by default. Difficulty levels have a flat reduction to your resistances, in Merciless you lose 60% in each category.

As far as our build is concerned, you will not be getting much armour but you will attempt to get as many resistances as possible on gear. There are a few spots on the passive tree where we plan to buff our elemental resistances and chaos resistance. Most players use their gear to further enhance these stats.


After this point, the damage is dealt. First to Energy Shield then to Life. Because of Acrobatics, this build has it's energy shield rating cut in half so it will rely primarily on Life to mitigate any damage that sneaks past our defenses.

Using the Blood Dance boots we also gain 1% life regeneration per frenzy charge.

Mind Over Matter

I've gone back and forth over whether to include this in the final build or not. I'm not sure that the Duelist will have enough mana to sustain the cost of taking hits and using our skills. I'll update this section if I ever get around to trying it out.

IGN: KenjiHavardr to talk more about the build in game. (Don't worry, I can stand around and not get hurt while I type).
Unlimited Blade Works - Illya (Animate Weapon Ranger)
Last edited by darkmag07 on Apr 13, 2014, 2:08:29 AM
Updated with information on getting through Act 1 Cruel. Also added a tips section for leveling up with the Viper Strike build.

Edit: I always want to use the wrong difficulty name. I'm in Cruel, not Merciless.
Unlimited Blade Works - Illya (Animate Weapon Ranger)
Last edited by darkmag07 on Jan 18, 2014, 11:42:43 PM
Nice, hope to see some videos of how this build performs in end game maps (lvl70+).
Thanks for your interest joeedomi!

I finished up Act 2 of Cruel and added some more information to the Viper Strike Section above.

The highlights:
-Started using The Blood Dance and now get a bunch of Frenzy Charge bonuses
-Updated the main build to pick up a few more Frenzy Charge related bonuses for 4 more points.
-Still pretty much invincible to attacks
-Pretty much only use the Flame Totem and Grace against bosses and unique/rare enemies
-Mana is somewhat better, but can still be problematic when running Grace.
-Accuracy is somewhat shakier now around, 91% for each of my attacks. Not sure if the 3 planned nodes in the final tree will make much of a difference.

Stats with and without charges

Unlimited Blade Works - Illya (Animate Weapon Ranger)
Last edited by darkmag07 on Jan 18, 2014, 8:59:15 PM
Well, just entered Merciless. The last part of Act 3 Cruel was pretty rough.

For reference purposes, here is my current passive tree.

And Gear

Below is my analysis of what transpired in the end of the act.

The Bad

Death Recap

In total I have now died 13 times. Before Dominus, I only had 7 of those deaths. At the start of Cruel I only died twice so that is a 5 death increase.

I died against Piety once for sure. I went in without max lightning resistance and got caught in the lightning ball attack for a more or less insta-RIP.

Most of the other deaths occurred in the Sceptre of God. Caligula more or less insta-RIPed me as I walked through the door on his floor. I can think of 2 cases specifically where I died because I desynced from fighting within a doorway to the middle of a room in a giant pack of foes. From browsing some other threads, I guess Multistrike has a tendancy to cause more desync?

Gear Problems

Desync aside, there were definitely some gear related problems responsible for a few deaths. For a while I was stuck at around 43% evasion chance due to my gear. At 53, midway through the Sceptre of God, I could equip a new chest armor that gave me about 500 more evasion rating and some welcome resistance boosts. This pushed me back up to 48% chance to evade which is pretty good.

I was running Grace all the time, but that might have been unnecessary after equipping the new armor. Level 12 Grace did bump me up to 62% chance to evade. Unfortunately running Grace all the time made me rely on Mana potions once again.

I imagine it is past due to replace The Peregrine. Looking at the armor available in Merciless shop, I'm at 1/2 of the base evasion rating on pure evasion helmets. (The armor/evasion helmet is actually lower than what I've got by ~10 points.)

Ungil's Gauche is also starting to lose some damage effectiveness. The base daggers at the shop in Merciless have a 10 point higher base and 15 point higher max damage output (ignoring lightning damage).

Dominus, First Form

To be frank, my machine is not very powerful so the Dominus fight always gives me a huge decrease in frame rate.

Starting with the minions, their explosion-based damage is very difficult for this build. (Anything in any act that explodes can kill you if you aren't paying close attention and get swarmed.) I'm not sure it is even possible to avoid their damage. All the enemies that explode are extremely dangerous, especially when you're distracted by Dominus.

As for Dominus himself, his first form has almost all elemental damage and those hits really hurt, even with max resistances. It was basically impossible to mitigate this damage with endurance charges during the fight, since I couldn't stun anything there. Enfeeble was essential here, as my flame totem was almost always vaporized in an instant and I couldn't be stationary long enough to hit him enough times to blind him with Viper Strike.

Dominus, Second Form

This part was pretty laughable. The Tentacle Miscreations can't hit you and Dominus can only rarely hit you, although if he manages to make you bleed you'll die very quickly. I believe I died onece in this manner as I caught it too late to use my potion of Staunching.

Other Act 3 Issues
A lot of enemies in Act 3 have Chaos resistance. This makes killing stuff a much slower process. Although most of them still can't hurt you, I found myself running past things with resistance since they'd just take too long to kill.

Lots of enemies also use more spell based attacks (Scepter of God AOE/Lightning Traps). This means you have be more active about avoiding damage which is a bit more annoying as in Act 2 you can still pretty much facetank. Part of this problem for me however, came in the fact that I wasn't maxing out my resistances until the end of the Act.

Other Notes
On the whole, I think I could have used a few more levels before facing Dominus but I didn't feel like grinding.

Possible Solutions

Gearing Solutions
Pick up a Reduced Mana support gem to help offset the cost of grace. This I have already done and it has been nicer although running Grace full time is still problematic.

Option 1:

Pick up a Wurm's Molt. This belt is pretty cheap (~1 Chaos) and provides health and mana leech. This might be the best option and something I will test.

Option 2:
Once you are Level 53, you can use the Prismatic Eclipse. This item grants bonuses based on the color of its sockets and can provide physical damage, mana leech, and/or attack speed. The detriment is that you'll lose 10% chance to block while dual wielding. I will probably purchase one to test out as well.

All that being said, Dual Strike and Viper Strike don't do a ton of damage on their hit so the leech still doesn't help that much.

Option 3:
Blood Magic + Clarity + Reduced Mana

I still have plenty of link space, but it's not really ideal either.

Leveling Solutions

Passive Tree

Here is a passive tree that I think might help make the act progression smoother, or at least the Dominus fight easier. For six points you get, 8% more life, 2 x 7% increased chaos damage, 18% more fire resistance, 18% increased frenzy charge duration, and +1 Maximum Frenzy Charges.

Aside from the chaos damage nodes, the rest are there to help boost your survivability directly or indirectly through bonuses provided by the Blood Dance.

Going Forward
Well, I'm going to do my best to keep on. We'll see how this experiment ends when I can finally get some damage nodes instead of life/evasion ones. It seems that mana will continue to be a problem until we can do a crazy amount of damage on hit but that is somewhat at odds with Viper Strike being a hit and run type of skill. We'll see if I can reconcile the two or not in the end.

Edit: Did some Piety farming to gain a few levels before moving on. Just one of the 7% Chaos Damage nodes is incredibly helpful for increasing your clear speed. Also got Geofri's Crest to drop in one of the runs and plan on using it for a while once I manage to nail down the links. I've also run around with Wurm's Molt on, but it doesn't help that much at this stage. It does make a difference, but it is pretty negligible.

Unlimited Blade Works - Illya (Animate Weapon Ranger)
Last edited by darkmag07 on Jan 20, 2014, 4:35:37 AM
Conceptually kind of a cool build. I have thought about trying to put something like this together myself.

A few ideas:

Ungil's have no damage on them, so if you use them it might be a good idea to get some damage from spells and other DOTs besides Viper.

Flame Trap to burn stuff while it chases you around for stacking more degen.

Puncture would be nice if your physical damage was better, but I don't think it will work with Ungils. Even Prismatic Eclipse has poor damage for Merciless. Maybe on an off-set for weapon swap?

The Adders Touch node stacks with Viper Strike, and if I'm not mistaken it is also chaos damage. I'd give that a look.

Running Anger and linking a Chance to Ignite could be workable. Maybe 4L Viper, Multistrike, Increased Duration, Chance to Ignite. Daggers can give you a decent crit chance with relative little investment, so even without the support gem you should get some decent burning.

Flammability might also be handy if you explore adding some burning damage by using Anger.

Searing Bond Totem maybe? I've never run totems, but if you can Cast on Crit with Searing Bond and Whirling Blades and Blind it could be interesting.

Firestorm might help increase your AoE damage potential. It would probably have to be linked with a trigger gem, but the principle is similar to Fire Traps. Since you are going to have to be relatively movement intensive making portions of the map dangerous to follow you through should be effective.

If you get a decent level Clarity linked with a decent level Reduced Mana, then it should solve most of your mana issue. Unfortunately with the low phys damage output, leech won't be very effective for you. Even linking a Mana Leech and having a 4% ammy might not be enough since Ungils damage is so low.

If you stack Frenzy chages with Frenzy you might be able to go Blood Magic on your Viperstrike as long as you have The Blood Dance on and high enough life pool. You can get up to about 500 life regen per second (with 5000 base life) through Blood Dance and a little passive investment if my math is correct.

Good luck with this. Please do update if you find a way to make it work.

Oh, and I think this tree might be something to consider. I changed your existing tree relatively little in order to get more mana, more DoT and Adder's Touch.

Last edited by Eumaeos_Romanus on Jan 20, 2014, 8:46:08 PM
Yeah, I think the low weapon damage is actually the underlying factor in a lot of the issues I've been facing. Although mana costs aren't really exorbitant, I have to use skills more often than I'd like to be able to quickly clear an area. If you get a few hits on an enemy then the 3 or 4 stacks of poison will usually finish them off, but most of the time I don't feel like waiting.

Leech only coming from the physical hit really stinks with low damage. I get a lot of hits using Multistrike and Melee Splash so if I could stack some high Mana on Hit on rings that might work, as long as the splash hits count for separate mana boosts. (I think I've got one ring with this mod, but it was like +2 or something low). It might be more viable for large packs, but that doesn't solve the problem against single targets/bosses. I'm skeptical though, since the max amount I saw was +6 browsing rings on poe.xyz.is.

A friend of mine pointed out Adder's Touch and I've been eyeing it. I wanted to be able to test out Prismatic Eclipse first before committing to the dagger nodes though. I haven't invested in a set of Eclipses to test that as of yet. Of course doing anything other than Ungil's really cramps your block chance and requires a lot more passive investment (I think it's ~8 points from my 104 point build in order to get 10% dw block which is then close to the max amount you can get from the tree).

According to the Adder's Touch skill feedback forum, it does stack with Viper Strike, but that information was from before the DOT updates so I think it will be something that needs to be tested to be certain.

I actually have a Flame Trap/Dual Searing Bond character that I was playing before starting this character. Unfortunately Searing Bond doesn't count as a hit so it can't blind. (Sucks, cause even with a bunch of totem life nodes, they melt like chocolate in your pocket on a warm day). Unless you meant Whirling Blades in which case I imagine that could work. Fire traps aren't a great option for spreading blind since only the initial hit can cause the effect, not the burning ground. Without a lot of attack speed the Blind effect won't proc very often (Only 1.2 in 10 hits can blind, with a Level 20 gem).

Doing a Fire Trap + Cast on Crit could be interesting if I can find a spot to put it (maybe on Frenzy since it doesn't currently have any links on it except Mana Leech). This could be especially beneficial if I go Adder's Touch since that provides some crit boosts outside of Ungil's.

I was actually thinking about switching to a Lightning Warp + Spell Totem + Increased AOE + Blind setup. I figured it might shock enemies which would boost my damage, but I don't know if it'd be that effective for blinding enemies. But that Flame Totem is very effective for blinding stuff (and has decent damage output when I do use it). I'm still waiting to build up a pool of Jeweler's/Fusings to test out the cast on melee kill linked version of it.

The Blood Dance regeneration is nice, but I don't think I'm going to get anywhere near 5000 total life in this build. Currently I'm only just over 1k and I've got a few pretty high +Life items. I did plan to get a few more life nodes, but I don't think it boosts HP up to that level. All that being said, it does regenerate pretty quickly when I have 4 Frenzy charges. The final build has 3 more (counting Helping Kraityn) which boosts the HP regen even more. I probably could run Blood Magic, but then I need a 5 link.


At this stage, I think the best way to improve the build is to invest some points in my offense through the Chaos/DOT nodes on the passive tree instead of working on my defenses by picking up Life and Evasion nodes as I had initially planned to. Unfortunately it is hard to estimate how much this helps since the tooltip doesn't reflect these nodes (or at least didn't before the last patch, there was something about degernation tooltips in the patch notes). Other than my experience after picking up the first 7% increased chaos damage node and thinking "Hey, those statues that resisted chaos are dying quite a bit faster!"
Unlimited Blade Works - Illya (Animate Weapon Ranger)
Last edited by darkmag07 on Jan 21, 2014, 6:24:52 AM
For Clearing speed you need better AoE capability. Viper is severely limited in this regard. I think Adder's Touch will work with Melee splash, which would greatly improve your clear speed. I think Clarity really is your best bet to solve mana issues though. After that I think you almost have to go with trying to burn to get more AoE degen capacity. Running Anger as one of your Auras combined with some +# fire damage gear and some +% fire/elemental mods will all give you some means of putting down AoE burns. You give up Grace if you have Clarity and Anger, but your evasion should be so high that you won't need more than a Jade flask if you get into a hairy situation.

As far as your tree is concerned, the DoT nodes are necessary for what you are trying to do. You are so close to the Thick Skin node (huge life boost) that I would say you have to take that as well. Those 2 plus Adder's Touch are what I would consider your best bet on this build. I dunno though. You are the one playing it, I'm just theory crafting. Seems to me that you will really be in a tough spot with this build if you can't get to 5k life though. If you get 200%+ life from the tree, then it should be possible with optimum gear (+life on just about everything).

As far as the blind linked with Whirling Blades is concerned, I haven't tested it myself. I don't know if the Blind roll is like the crit roll or not. If you have a 12/100 chance of blinding everything that you hit with any single cast of Whirling, then it would be awesome. If the blind roll is individually checked, then it is significantly less handy. As you probably know most attacks totally whiff when you are Whirling around because you move so fast they cant finish the animation while you are still in range. If you can get consistent blind out of it, then you would have 4s to pile Viper Charges and other DoTs before you run out packs.

i am lvling a scion with viper strike, i will use ungil gauche as a shield and try buy a high dps sword or knife.

Ign: ThatManWithTheBow
Good luck Torta21! Make sure you grab melee splash and multistrike if you can before you start. Without those skills Viper Strike is pretty ineffective.

Eumaeos_Romanus: I put together a new target passive tree with Adder's Touch that I think I'm going to aim for. It cost me a few more points, but it might be better in the long run. We'll see how it performs anyway.

105 Point Passive Tree

I did some respecing on my current tree and picked up the second +7% Chaos Damage node and Corruption and now my damage feels acceptable again in Act 1 of Merciless. I was doing Piety with only +14% total Chaos boost in Cruel and it didn't feel like I was going too slow. Now that I don't feel the need to spam my skills I also have much less of a mana problem.

If the damage scale is still this good in Act 3, getting only the Chaos or DOT nodes, then Adder's Touch may be unnecessary and I can pick up more life or evasion nodes (or those Life & Evasion ones).

To be honest I don't know why I didn't get Thick Skin, I think it mostly came down to unfamiliarity with this part of the tree. In my original tree I had planned to get Resolute Technique, but later I decided it was too far away to be a good idea since I probably had enough Dex to have decent accuracy and Ungil's gave some really nice Crit Bonus I didn't want to waste. The "Wheel of Life" kind of became a relic of that (and I love those resistance nodes, 28% to all resistances in 4 nodes plus 24% Evasion and Armor!).

As a side note I had my first RIP against Hailrake. He ended up getting 2 lucky hits in a row and killed me. The first hit took about 75% of my life so I quickly popped a life flask and used my Granite + 91% Increased Evasion Flask but he was lucky and broke through for that second shot before my HP was back up.
Unlimited Blade Works - Illya (Animate Weapon Ranger)
Last edited by darkmag07 on Jan 22, 2014, 7:04:25 AM

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