[Guide][HC] Fite's Detonate Dead Build (Scion/Templar/Witch)


I no longer actively play this build and due to substantial changes in the game I can no longer guarantee the integrity of it as it was.
Thank you for your understanding.

Check anyway

If you're looking to get some questions answered, please contact me in-game @TheDetonatingDead or pop into my Twitch Chat - I simply don't have time to keep track of all the replies here and answer them reasonably fast.

You love(d) the classic 'Burning Discharger' Builds?
You want the Clear Speed of a Discharger or Miscreations Summoner, but none of the Risk or Boredom?
You want to 420-Facetank Double Boss Crematorium while watching them burn?
Or maybe you just really love GORE?

I stronly recommend this Build to fairly new Players and on fresh Leagues, maybe not as your first Character ever, but it is very simple, very strong and extremely easy to gear up!

Remember : your Damage is always based on the Zone's Level and Monster's Life, never on how good your gear is and this will generally work for you on higher Levels, but against you on lower Levels!


Video Guide

Video Guide v2 (revised & improved) (coming soon!)

vs. Piety & Dominus

Detonating Dead detonating Dominus (so much D wow)

The Dominus Effect

The Dangers of Reflect (an example of what can still kill you)

vs. 77 Reflect Map

vs. 78 Reflect Map (coming soon!)

vs. Double-Boss Crematorium (76 Map) using only a 3-Link (coming soon!)

Scion, Templar or Witch?

Scion for Style, Templar for Efficiency, Witch if you positively must do it (kind of awkward points-progression)

Scion has golden Master-Race hair, a few re-skins later you will simply look AWESOME!
Templar has an amazingly touchable spiky beard but consider this : the Templar has NO PANTS!
Witch is kind of cool, me personally I'm not a big fan of her voice actress who has an insane overbite.

Templar and Witch get much better Gem Choices from Quests (Templar includes a LOT of Reduced Mana!)
Templars can easily grab the Dual-Totem skill node if you want to lean towards Searing Bond for leveling. Templars can also consider going towards Ancestral Bond and making more use of Snoozing Bond while leveling, it's extremely powerful but lacks the AoE that makes DD so beautiful.
Witch will not have Iron Reflexes for a fairly long time so that could get awkward.

I Don't do Damage, WTF?

Do you have the Ancestral Bond Passive? Welp!

If not, please consider the fact that DD always scales on the corpses' HP.
If you're using a 4-Link your damage will be very poor until level 70+ Maps. Docks & 66 Maps will literally take you longer to clear than 70s - kind of bizarre but that's just how we roll!

The Higher the Zone/Map, the better our Deeps & Clear Speed!


Searing Bond + Increased Burning Damage is broken as fuck and requires no further links - you'd be a fool not to take advantage of this while it lasts.
Even after the 'nerf' it is still broken as hell.

Flameblast + Chance to Ignite (+Elemental Proliferation +Fire Penetration + Faster Casting) also does immense damage and is a very stronk spell for leveling.

Detonate Dead will not do as much damage as either of the above mentioned Spells until Zone Level 60+ or so, the only upside is that it is less boring, more mobile and in the case of Flameblast a lot less dangerous against Reflect.

If possible/available, I recommend using an Aurumvorax all the way to Maps just so you don't need to worry about Resistances all that much.


We help Oak on Normal, kill all on Cruel and kill all again or help Oak on Merciless.
(I recommend kill all)


All the above builds are approximates, not exact builds you should copy 1:1 - I didn't optimize nor calculate exactly how many points you would have at said levels, so use some common sense etc to adapt them yourself a little for your personal needs or feel free to ask if you're unsure at a certain point!

Level 90

Level 100
(would probably not be 100% this exact build if I ever get there)

Level 90 CI Crit (Totem?) Example


In this order of Priority. We do not level Detonate Dead, ever. The only gain is Physical Damage and it's very minimal. Also this way even a 6-Linked DD only costs 30 Mana.
Swap Fire Penetration for Life Leech if you want or need some active Leeching (you shouldn't).

We can use Haste instead of Grace if/when we're tanky enough.

Has to be in this exact link-order to proc the Endurance Charges before Immortal Call!
Prevents all the Physical Damage Arctic Armour does not ; big Bursts of Damage.

Desecrate for blowing stuff up, Lightning Warp for movement.

Arctic Armour shouldn't be supported with +levels until your Mana Regen can take it!
Swap Flammability with Elemental Weakness for Groups or Enfeeble for extremely Hard-Hitters if necessary.

Loving this atm, blows up everything that attacks fast in a matter of frames!

-- Alternatives :

Nice as a sort of better Decoy Totem for some stuff, I ended up ditching it somewhere around 72+ Maps.
Remote Mine is debatable, it's more damage but makes it more awkward to use.

Vaal Spark + GMP + Life Leech or Lightning Penetration
Considering this instead of the Molten Shell link atm, might set it up for killing certain Bosses/Invaders really quick.

Enduring Cry + Vaal Immortal Call + Increased Duration
Really only interesting for extremely hard hitting bosses like Courtyard/Palace and Atziri Stuff.

I find this is too much of an occasion and cool/fun gimmick, it's not really that useful especially because it takes a LONG time to charge up.


Eldritch-Battery : ES = Mana = Mana Regen = Arctic Armour = WIN!

For leveling up we can use pretty much whatever has Life and Resistances.
Once we want to start running Arctic Armour, switch to basic EB Gear. Hybrid Gear is prefered but usually harder to get a hold of.
A mix of pure Armour and/or Evasion and pure Energy Shield Gear can substitute well, just make sure all pieces have Life.
Don't worry about Armour/Evasion too much, supporting higher level of AA beats a couple hundred Armour any day.

To support Level 20+ Arctic Armour as well as Mind over Matter efficiently I recommend a minimum of ~250 Mana per second and a ~500+ Mana pool (unreserved).

As for Gear Progression :
The biggest and first big upgrade you should look to buy is a Tabula Rasa - 6-Link Damage/AoE increase is huge and we should be doing 'okay' in survivability for this not to be a problem.
After that I recommend upgrading to a 5-Linked and eventually 6-Linked Carcass Jack.

Spell Damage doesn't scale the damage of Detonate, only Fire and Elemental Damage does.
"The Dream" Sceptre would be :

20% Elemental Damage or +1 to ALL Gems (Corrupted Mod)
+1 to All Gems
+2 to Cold Gems
+30% Fire Damage
+22% Cast Speed or +30% Chaos Resist
+69% Mana Regeneration
+68 Mana

The Supreme Truth is a very nice option but also fairly rare and expensive.

In the build Video I was wearing a Doon Cuebiyari - this was simply because I had one at hand and I had nothing better at the time as I only played the build for a couple of days then.


Viable, but not fantastic.
It's just not as efficient as other MF-Specific Builds, for example a Summoner of sorts or a bowguy with Windripper. DD can get the job done though if you wanna just MF on the side a little bit.

That being said, Survivability suffers the same with any other MF build.
I would recommend using a Summoner or Totem Build if you want to use it exclusively for MFing.


Not really a problem as long as you use some common sense.
With Arctic Armour, Mind over Matter, Purity of Fire and Rise of the Phoenix we have 89% Passive Fire Resistance (+13% from Ruby = 102% = Fire Immunity!).
Reflect will never be a problem as long as you don't mindlessly blow up high-Life mobs against large groups without your Ruby Flask up.
(up to Level 28 AA is now possible!)[L25 is more realistic though.]

Reflect will not kill you, carelesness will.
Just don't be a doorknob and blow up a Boss or extremely High-Life Mobs.

If you want to be super-duper-ultra-safe you could always swap Concentrated Effect for a Remote Mine on Reflect Maps if the slightly awkward gameplay doesn't bother you.

Vaal Pact

It's god-awful.
This build doesn't have reliable and consistant enough leeching to make Vaal Pact even remotely viable.
Especially after Patch 1.1 - 40% efficiency? no life regen (I have nearly 300/sec)?, I can run up to L28 AA and get up to 100% Fire Resist(Fire Immunity!) with Ruby Flask to deal with Reflect?

Just NO.

Searing Touch


Okay.. yes, you can use it and it'll be glorious damage, but your survivability will obviously suffer so you probably don't want to do that on HC Leagues.

I'd use it as a switch weapon if anything, to attempt 1-Shots on high-HP Bosses with the extra damage. for shits and giggles.

My Gear Setup

Invasion #2 Alive

Invasion #1 REEP


Check out my other Guides!
Claw/Melee Build
Support Builds

Last edited by Fite on Aug 23, 2014 10:03:15 AM
all done, video processing now, enjoy!
Do you get most of the core gems that you need from quests?

I think I'll try it out!

How does it scale with gear?
Last edited by eirstryder on Feb 27, 2014 5:16:56 PM
Completed 9 Challengeseirstryder wrote:
Do you get most of the core gems that you need from quests?

Yes and No. You do not get Detonate Dead from quests as a Scion but since you don't need to level it I would say its very easy to get it by the time you use it (level ~30).
The 'Essential' Gems are easy to find and cheap to buy even if you do not get them

Completed 9 Challengeseirstryder wrote:
How does it scale with gear?

Damage-wise not a lot, the quirky Sceptre you need helps a lot and so does Carcass Jack, everything else just provides a ton of additional Survivability.
Very nice guide, thanks.
Just saw this on reddit and it looks very interesting! I may well try this for the new leagues :)

I tend to play softcore though so I'm thinking I'll grab more fire damage damage nodes (pretty sure they work with detonate dead?) as well as burning damage nodes and cut back on the survivability somewhat.

Also I'd like to throw in a suggestion for the guide - have a second detonate dead gem somewhere that you are leveling up as you play so you have one ready to use the 20% quality recipe on, since the 60% cast speed from quality is no joke.
Thanks for this guide, been looking for a solid DD build for a while now :D
Seems like a good build for fresh league to build wealth... Sad thing there are kind only few things that boost your damage, carass and scepter and ofc amulet with some fire damage but thats it.
Looks like fun... something to try out while I'm bored anyway. I'm going to do a searing touch scrubcore version woooohoooo
IGN: Sin
Really should picked a higher lvl map than a pier if you want to show if the build is reflect proof or not, which I'm pretty sure it's not.

Also in your full build you took elemental dominion in the witch area, that node does not work on detonate dead, you're better of spending them on fire walker instead if you want damage.
CT should be around the art of PKing and not griefing lower levels.

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