The 13-Charge Synergizer: On-Demand CODT Procs w/ video, gear, build, tips

Exec summary: The goal of this build is to maintain a total of up to 13 charges for a good mix of offensive and defensive capabilities with high availability, based on skills and gear that complement each other very well.

This so far is letting me play ~70 lvl maps relatively safely and quickly while jumping in the middle of the action rather than tip toeing around mobs. The build is less strong for boss fights in the absence of any surrounding blues and whites. Mobs are really the fuel that keeps the build going.

Charges: 6 frenzy, 4 endurance, 3 power. Note that these are "special" frenzy charges with life regen thrown in at the cost of slightly less DPS. This is achieved through the skill tree, a bandit reward, and gear as explained below. You could choose to have 5 endurance and 5 frenzy charges with a different bandit choice.

Buffs: As a complement to the charges, the build maintains very frequent Molten Shell, Devouring Totems, lengthened Immortal Call, and mobs fighting for you. It requires active flask management for optimal results.

Skill tree at level 85



I'm at 4,000 life / 600 mana (before aura) at level 85. I should have picked 40 life as the 1st bandit reward, but didn't because I'm not too bright. I double dip into dual and 2-hand dps nodes, leaving aside axes which are either too far or less desirable.


Key abilities

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- Main attack: Dual strike in the ubiquitous Bringer of Rain with Multistrike, Melee Splash, Life Leech. With Hatred and all my charges this gives me about 15.5K tooltip DPS (obviously PBAOE thanks to splash). MS can be substituted with Added Fire Damage for about 19-20K single target tooltip DPS. This understates actual DPS since with 6 frenzy charges, I have 36% additional damage against targets below 35% life. Also, I have purely defensive gloves at the moment, there's definitely room for more dps with better gear.

- Distance closer and endurance charge builder: Leap Slam supported by Faster Attacks (essential), Melee Physical Damage and Endurance Charge on Melee Stun. This skill is what lets you dispose of casters such as black mages before they fry you, and also lets you skip quicksilver flasks as we're using our flask slots for other purposes.

- Utility: Conversion Trap with Multitrap, which can convert up to 9 mobs and is a life safer to break down big rooms with nasty casters that are the bane of melee characters. Conversion trap both increases your DPS and decreases your damage taken and makes otherwise very difficult packs manageable. Tip: convert powerful totems such as extra speed / all crit.

- Defense: Cast On Damage Taken lvl 6 + Immortal Call 7 + Molten Shell 10 + Devouring Totem 6 + Increased Duration (can be max level as it's a support gem). This character uses a mix of AR/EV/blind/block/Ondar's Guile for multiple tiers of protection and mitigation.

- Curses: Warlord's Mark for regen (get a quality gem for this one), Temporal Chains for bosses and tough situations,

- Aura: Hatred as the single best melee dps enhancer. I have no room for more gems nor enough mana for anything else anyway.

I run all my skills off mana. You need 2% of physical damage as mana leech somewhere on your gear to make it work, and you need to chug flasks like a bloodlust berserker, which is the whole theme of the build (though I had to drop Blood Rage).



Build-defining Gear

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Unique Flasks are part of the build

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Notes and tips

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- As has been widely discussed in countless threads, BoR comes with significant drawbacks, and I'm still working on reaching resistance caps before endurance charges. People who want to go for this kind of build should plan their gear accordingly before diving in, otherwise you'll have a glass canon that's only good for farming trivial content.

- The Doedre flasks should be acquired with good rolls (30 charges consumed), the boots should have a 29%-30% chance to get a frenzy on kill. 6 frenzy charges give you 6% life regen, which combined with life leech negates reflect and helps with half/no regen mods. The damage of drinking 2 in a row comes nicely just above the trigger point for my CODT 5L. If I'm able to materially increase my total life, then I'll be able to increase my CODT level without proccing it less (since I don't need to wait on external damage sources).

- Tip: use a 6S chest to level gems and have some replacements available for swapping without going back to town. Just equip the chest before your BoR.

- I have +19% flask charges gained on my belt, which accelerates flask regen on top of Warlord's Mark. The Magnate unique belt would be fun to use, but it lacks any defensive stats and is thus incompatible with BoR.


How does it all come together

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1. BoR helmet + Blood Dance boots + Doedre flasks + Warlord's Mark + increased flasks gained on belt + Endurance Charge on Stun all help fast ramp-up and high uptime for endurance and frenzy charges, without using Blood Rage/Frenzy nor Enduring Cry. Power charges are a nice bonus since Dual Strike already comes up with increased crit chance, but I have no room for crit in my build or gear.

2. The unique flasks also have the benefit of helping me trigger my 5L CODT more often, which gives me much more Molten Shell armor uptime and dps procs, Immortal Call duration and uptime, and finally being topped off with Devouring Totem (which also is a decent aggro bait, depending on where it pops). The 10% life cost is regened almost instantly, just don't pop these at a bad time!

I do lose the charges if the next pack is far away or I linger to scan loot, but I get them back quickly anyway. Getting endurance charges back fast, in combination with Increased Duration, improves the chances that Immortal Call will last several seconds. Because of the way the rotation works, I'm under Immortal Call often. Now I need quality gems for it and Increased Duration, which both will add to physical invulnerability duration. Note that the Immortal Call tooltip has been bugged since beta and doesn't properly reflect increased duration with charges.

3. My character has bleeding feet and head while being surrounded by disco balls. What's not to like? Who would not dance and fly drunk from drinking too much entropy elixir under a rain of blood?



Drawbacks

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- As I said, what you save with BoR in not having to 6 link your chest, you have to spend some on rings/amulet/belt/gloves. Frankly I'm still working on that, which is why I'm not pushing beyond 70-71 maps at the moment.

- I play on a 2560x1440 27" monitor (yes, I did the Korean IPS import thing). It would *really* help if GGG made UI elements movable so that I can have a HUD much closer to my character. The reason is that flasks have to be micromanaged to maintain charges, especially as you finish a pack and need to run and find the next.

- No room for MF culling. Maybe I'll loot another WoE for weapon swapping!

- I'd love to duo with a discharger, but Conduit is too far on the tree, and Lochtonial Caress is just too crappy (no defense whatsoever) for this build.



Video preview

Quick video showing how this works complete with sloppy gameplay and a funny Kole encounter.


State of the build, Cost, Your thoughts?


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Your constructive feedback, questions, or suggestions for improvement are all welcome. I play standard league and have no claims about hardcore viability. This character cost me (net) maybe a couple exalts and 150-200 fusings so far.

When I looted Wings of Entropy with my witch, I knew I had to reroll a melee character around it. I wanted to get in the thick of things, rather than fight the edge of my monitor. After a very frustrating period trying to use Cyclone, I gave up on this desync machine (with Multistrike it's just hell) and I now have a character I really like. With the combination of build and gear above, things are starting to gel for fast and fun mid-level mapping (currently focusing on lvl 70 maps to build up my lvl 71-72 stash). I know the ideas and gear I'm discussing here are not necessarily unique (see this list of Duelist builds), but their combination might still be somewhat fresh. In terms of gameplay I am trying to go beyond the "right click here to win" image that melee sometimes has.

I self-found the wings, traded the BoR for a Lyoneye bow I had found and some currency, self-found the boots (but traded to get a better roll), bought the flasks for a few chaos (don't let people try to sell you "perfect" rolls for exalts, 54% charges used is the same as 50%). Overall, I didn't have to spend 10-15 ex, so I think this is a viable entry into low 70 maps (and hopefully more with max res/more life), if you're carefully planning your gear and are willing to trade. This is working for me as a 2nd character bootstrapped to some extent, but without a trust fund.
Last edited by OhteeII on Jan 24, 2014, 12:24:28 PM
Reformatted to avoid wall of text crits. This build's twist vs. other Dual Strike and BoR/WoE builds is in its utility via a high number of fast, easy-to-maintain charges with underlying support from high-uptime Molten Shell and Devouring Totem. It all adds up, if you're willing to micromanage your flasks which become an integral part of your gameplay rather than just an occasional get-out-of-jail-free cards.
Last edited by OhteeII on Jan 21, 2014, 1:21:11 PM
Updated to mention increased flask charges gained, Immortal Call duration considerations, and CODT level vs. proccing it "on demand" with the 2 Doedre flasks.
Last edited by OhteeII on Jan 21, 2014, 4:52:27 PM
Added a video to show charge ramp-up, on-demand CODT, and how to make new friends to kill Kole for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH2Nx7Gen8U
Nicely written!

I never thought of using conversion trap. I definitely will try and figure out how to work it in.
Thanks! Let me know how conversion trap works for you. Since Spectral Throw does crap damage with my build while limited to a 4L, conversions are my main way to break down situations that are too difficult to just jump in the middle of. I still keep ST+LMP in my offhand Brightbreaks that I can swap in for a couple of dangerous bosses.

Now that I have a Q20 Warlord's Mark, I dropped stun generation from my Leap Slam support as I don't feel I need that 3rd source of endurance charges anymore. Doing more significant damage on landing is helpful to kill faraway casters as fast as possible.

I'm in the process of getting all my core gems into Q20 territory as several already had reached L20. Now of course they need to be leveled again, talk about a treadmill. Once I get the couple upgrades I need to cap resistances and gain another level or two, I'll try to push into the more difficult maps. I killed the Jungle Valley boss after a couple deaths, like Villa it's one of those bosses that I'll continue to approach with trepidation as they're not on pure farm mode. And I thought the Blacksmith was just a loot bag by just sticking to him, and had the bad surprise to get an unexpected leap slam/zombie invasion this morning. So I'd definitely like the character to feel more tanky at times.

I tried Piety farming today, with Leap Slam + Faster Attack + Brightbreaks and knowing how to navigate the layout (keep going away from the stairs and up, turn where there's only 1 cart on the final level), it takes me about 5 minutes to kill rares and open chests on the way, find Piety, and kill her. Can't see myself doing that for hours at a time, but it's OK as a change of pace from maps. I park my witch near the staircase so I don't have to worry about having to find the path to level 3 in case I take a break, close a couple trades or whatnot. I can support Dual Strike with Item Quantity but otherwise I have very little IIQ/IIR so it's not been so great loot-wise from what I've seen. There are just too few rare amulets dropping that you can really use the chaos recipe that often.

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