[0.10.0] Scrangos' CI DW Dagger Crit Witch Theorycrafted

Disclaimer: I've researched a lot of builds that do endgame but have not done it myself yet. I believe this is the closest thing I've gotten to a build fulfilling the titles criteria. I'll update as I play my character, on hardcore. May as well put my name on it since every else is lol. /noshame

100 point Build:

ER 0%
armor +242% of base evasion with frenzy charges up
plus +40% of armor
ES +170%
res +20%
block 31% total
+16% mana
2% phys>mana

122% Increased physical with daggers and dual wielding
215% Increased critical chance
106% increased critical multiplier
poison on crit for 10% dmg dealth per sec
81% increased attack speed with frenzy charges up
30% more ice damage (translates to about 9% more physical dmg as ice with hatred)

More offensive version:


er 0% : 216 = 126 node 62 dex 28 charge
armor 246% of base evasion
ES 130% = 101 node + 30% int
res 20%
block 31%
2% phys>mana

150% inc phys dag/dw 16 18 14 24 16 34 28
300% crit chance 75 25 15 60 125
106% crit mult
poison on crit for 10% dmg dealth per sec
81% ias 28 35 6 2
30% more ice damage

CI + BRage + Max 7 Frenzy + DualStrike + GR + More Melee damage on full life.

I have not been able to figure out if going for Iron Reflexes is better than the Double Range Avoidance passive alongside a Stoneskin Flask. Main question is how Evasion and Armor interact with each other for mitigation. Armor scales with damage per swing, being less effective per point the bigger the hit. Evasion with accuracy. Without monster values its hard to evaluate. With armor and the extreme attack speed, Blind would work well if things didn't die in a few hits anyway.

The build is meant to use as many auras as you can fit from Hatred, Discipline, Grace and Purity (3 at best). The build is also meant to run Enfeeble without Iron Reflexes (Less accuracy, and smaller hit means less chance of oneshot). Unsure for armor. Works well with critical weakness too.

Main attack skill is Dual Strike. More melee damage at full health will shine here.

AoE has a big gaping hole due to the lack of a dual wield skill that works with daggers. Options are:

Whirling blades - Desynchs too much to be viable.
Lightning Strike - High dagger damage base means good damage. Can easely get 30% more lightning damage.
Ethereal Knives - Gets boosted by hatred, base spell is good with fork. Might work well with blind. Physical should mean 2% phys>mana works with it.
Detonate Corpse - Teleport and snipe down big targets then explode them to kill the little ones, this is probably gonna be terrible. hatred boosts physical part.
Spelltotem + ? / Mine + ? - Grasping at straws here.

Many cases your just better off spamming Dual Strike with the extreme attack speed the build has.

Other Gems of note:
Whirling blades lv1 - Escape
Warlords mark - More leech, Endurance charges for defense and more juice for stoneskin
Temporal Chains - Easier to line up for one at a time DS. Slower swings. Longer Adder's
Vulnerability - More damage taken, easier to stun (DS applies as one big swing).
Stun - Due to DS one big swing application, this could possibly perma-stun.

For CI tips look for Invalesco's Shadow Guides.
Last edited by scrangos on Jan 28, 2013 1:38:09 AM
Well I want to start some discussion on melee witch, and your post seems as good of a place to start. (Not many of us are this insane.) Currently I want to talk about CI. Invalesco has posted a hp based build on his melee shadow, and in general CI seems to be nerfed. Especially since you seem to want to do a true dual wield character, and not use a shield, which Invalesco said was pretty much necessary to achieve decent ES numbers.

Looking at that, would it be better to do some kind of hybrid defense? Ala Eva/HP/ES? (Mostly HP for chaos damage, while ES/Eva are just because of placement.) Or does this spread the points too thin? I don't have much experience with the game at all, but currently CI just seems in a bad spot. Of course by not taking it, it makes Ghost Reaver rather odd, and limits access to Blood Rage.

I know at the end of the day Shadow/Duelist does this better, but I hate playing a guy, and River Tam > Lil Miss Boycut.
Yeah I dont think pure ES would work. Thats why the build I posted takes DW block and evasion (or evasion turned into armor).

The idea is to wear INT/DEX gear with it. Im a little weary of going ER (thats why I turned it into armor with the keystone) since the effective health wont be all that high, one bad hit could oneshot if you rely on evasion alone.

Evasion has the advantage of avoiding crits more often than armor though, since a hit has to roll against evasion again to crit. And the double evasion vs ranged will leave you extremely avoidy against ranged. Spells cant be dodged though, or resisted by armor, and with no health and not having extreme ES numbers thats the real achilles heel I feel.

Ghost reaver works without CI. A third great advantage I noted for CI is the more damage on full life. More mods are multiplicative, so most melee can only get 1 "more" on a skill. Melee CI users can get 2 "more" gems.

One of the devs posted an aoe skill for daggers/claws was on the pipeline as well. So the future is looking bright.

Shadow would get more damage nodes but less mana/ES nodes. Duelist would end up terrible in this CI build would have a hard time getting to ES nodes. Ranger would waste a lot of nodes getting to the good stuff. (I tried em, though I wouldve played a witch anyway)

The stuff I posted has a lot of offense and is touching or 1 node away from a good amount of defensive nodes... Might be worth getting more of it in exchange for offense.
Last edited by scrangos on Jan 30, 2013 12:46:38 AM
So you are still strongly in favor of CI? Just wondering if you've had experience with the build at the CI phase, what with CI being so nerfed currently. And I can totally understand wanting to trade eva for Iron Reflexes, though to my thinking, having evasion would benefit CI more, as a couple dodges let your ES refil, while Iron Reflexes works better if you have HP on top of ES.

Granted for AoE Lightning Strike has served me, and its pretty cool, though more gem options is never a bad thing by far. Give me the damage of Lightning Strike and invincibility of Whirling Blades any day. XD
Oh, CI is mostly being stubborn for the coolness factor. That said a lot of my ES comes from the ER/ES nodes so in reality I cant change the build points that much... and without CI to cover chaos I'd need like 10 life nodes so that's gonna end in like 8 less dps nodes, no on full health gem and no blood frenzy.

But no I don't have experience with it yet =/ Working on getting myself but been busy.

My annoyance with lightning strike is that you could just be using a shield with it. Though the DW dps bonuses are around the highest in the passive tree.
Yeah I totally understand. Its like CI complements the build so well, but its also been nerfed I feel resentful taking it. Granted when it comes to AoE Ethereal Knives could work out, as I hear its sort of the new hotness. I can try and compare it to LS later today. Of course it'd only be at like level 30s, but yeah.
Yeah CI nerf is definitely one of the reasons I don't feel like getting it. But maybe they will buff it or maybe when you have insane ES gear it becomes far more viable.
Goes double resentful when one of the most important parts was Discipline which got nerfed by HALF.

The tree I linked has a possible 42% ES for 6 points, 15 resist for two, and 6 block % for 3. It does have a lot of offense due to simple being able to use two more gems so it might be worth to go for those.
They actually nerfed discipline by half?? Wow...O_o How much did it use to give before?
i am currently leveling a witch using your build, but im only lvl 22 so far. for aoe i am using EK with fork and bonus crit dmg, which absolutely WRECKS any group when it crits, and ofc dual strike for single targets, which also works very well. enfeeble seems moderately useful, but its hard to tell.
my main worry is CI, it is very tempting for the blood rage synergy, but i just dont see ER/ES gear giving even close to enough ES. what is it about pure ES that makes it problematic, the lack of shield? i think if youre gonna do CI with anything other than pure ES, you will need insane gear.

as far as DW/1h+shield goes, i think as long as you got ghost reaver, the attackspeed will even out the ES difference, the problem is youll need a high enough ES to actually get the chance to leech more of it, or youll have a very hard time dancing around mobs.. and of course the risk of getting oneshotted is higher.
i think going armor(ER)/ES is as durable as pure ES in general, but will be more tanky vs very small hits, less tanky vs medium hits, and will just get killed by large hits, you dont get enough armor to mitigate medium hits, and you dont get enough ES to mitigate large hits

CI is viable imo, just not unless you go full ES

for a pure ES/CI build i was thinking something along the lines of this:

ES +183% (13% (+40%, i only see 143% on your build? maybe im missing something)
res +20% (same)
block 32% total (+1%)
+16% mana (same)
2% phys>mana (same)

116% Increased physical with daggers and dual wielding (-6%)
300% Increased critical chance (+85%)
66% increased critical multiplier (-40%)
poison on crit for 10% dmg dealth per sec (same)
81% increased attack speed with frenzy charges up (i didnt count but ought to be the same)
point blank for stronger EK, possibly with concentrated effect

in summation
possibility of going for a low amount of evasion for decent efficency (grace maybe)
point blank for stronger EK (if you choose to roll with it, though your build can easily grab it aswell)
40% more ES
1% more block
85% more crit chance
6% less phys dmg
40% less crit dmg
no ice bite + hatred

so its basically just a switch from armor to ES, only actual practice will tell if it either case is viable or not, concerning damage, i think they are pretty even

i dunno, maybe i just dont have enough experience to tell, but it seems viable to me, we'll see how it goes, lmk what you think :)

discipline used to give more ES at lvl 1 than the reserve cost = free mana with eldritch battery

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