[2.0] Terror's "Shatter Chuck Lite" Variant •• Barrage CoC •• 280k+ DPS •• Atziri w/ 5-Link

So, the Ascendancy has arrived and with it have come a ton of different possibilities for Cast on Crit. It's going to take me quite some type to type up all the information, much less acquire and test at least a baseline in-game. In short, the tree hasn't really changed. I will also be updating the guide to be a general Wand CoC guide.

Here is the tree for a physical spell based Scion Ascendant (Berserker/Assassin).

I am testing dropping Perma-Righteous Fire and Purity of Fire, using only Arctic Armor, Herald of Ice, and Hatred. Chest is Barrage, CoC, Bladefall, Ethereal Knives, Glacial Cascade, and Cold Snap/Flame Surge (as soon as I get my colors.) I am also adding Taste of Hate and Atziri's Promise. I am messing with Saffel's Frame vs. Rise of the Phoenix (to keep Righteous Fire) vs. Rare.

I'm sure this is enough for you guys to run with. You can still use the true "Shatter Chuck Lite" too and still be super effective. Nothing has changed about that. I'm just working on pushing the build to it's limits.

Welcome to my guide for patch 2.0 "Shatter Chuck Lite"!

Preview .gif from above! (Mobile Users Beware!)

"Shatter Chuck Lite", initially re-envisioned by Killmour, is a health based version of "Shatter Chuck", a build designed by Tom94. It uses Barrage (and sometimes Kinetic Blast) to trigger Arctic Breath, Fireball, or other spells via Cast on Critical Strike.

This build is everything you could want:
  • Cheap: Starting cost is a few Chaos to ~5 ex depending on the league you make it in and when you make it (more expensive towards beginning of league). When I originally made this build back in Rampage, I was completely self found except for the unique items. At higher maps, I steadily upgraded rares using only the Chaos Recipe to generate currency to trade (and Chaos weren't worth anything that league). As of 2.0: You can now run Cast on Critical Strike earlier.
  • Strong: Can clear high level maps quickly including Atziri. As of 2.0: Atziri is still easy, but not brainless; Uber Atziri might be clearable, but other builds may be better suited for the task when considering the gear level required.
  • Easy Leveling: Starts off as self cast and transitions well into CoC. Is strong both ways, and you can move at your gearing pace.
  • Tiered Progression: Functions on a 4l, better on a 5l, and best on a 6l. Able to do Atziri on a 5l.
  • Fun: GPU FRYING, SCREEN SPAMMING, ELESPLOSIONS!!!!! As of 2.0: Slightly less GPU frying due to optimizing by GGG.

Well, that last bit is the worst part of the build. It's a bit intense visually; it'll cook a potato. You'll need a decent PC to comfortably run this.

So What Changed with 2.0?
Cast on Crit survives another patch and is, in my opinion, in a better place than it's ever been. The bad news is we lost damage, but honestly, we had it coming with the absurd levels of destruction we were wreaking on Wraeclast (#Wreckedclast). Even so, the most noticeable change is that some Rares and Map Bosses can actually look our direction for more than an instant, however, packs still die all the same. One of my favorite results of the patch is that you can run many different, effective combinations of spells and attacks now. We don't live under the looming shadow of Greater Multiple Projectiles anymore (though, it's still really good). Our defenses have improved significantly. I went from around 4.2k HP to 5k with mostly the same life gear. We also have Arctic Armor and maintain 3 Endurance Charges against trash mobs (which has been made more difficult by the Enduring Cry change). My gear is far from "godly" so these are results you can achieve as well. Cast on Crit is still an entertaining powerhouse of a gem that will grant you as satisfying a play experience as the best of anything else out there.

A Note About Desynch:
Note from Terror: I don't know if this is still an issue with the Improved Predictive and Lockstep in 2.0, but I'm leaving it here just in case.
For whatever reason, Barrage at lower attack speeds messes up the timing between the server and client. If you are having desynch trouble, you need to increase your attack speed. It will disappear like Templar pants.

Gameplay Videos

The guide separates Items and Gems into separate sections because there are so many different options; they aren't really hooked together.


Rare or Rat's Nest

Rat's Nest is fine if you want to take an offensive approach. I currently like the increased defense, Health, Resists and Accuracy and rare can provide. We can make up for Crit Chance on Jewels eventually (its a tad difficult to roll.) Also, my favorite version of the build uses Unwavering Stance, so the Evasion is lost to me on Rat's Nest, leaving only 2-3 mods really worth anything.

Rare Item Mods:
Base type is best as Armor if Unwavering or Armor/ES if Unwavering/Kinetic Blast. Evasion and Evasion Hybrid is okay if you forgo Unwavering, though, the game really favors Armor at the moment. It is important to know that your Health will burn faster from Righteous Fire the more Energy Shield you have. I will remind about this in each section. Sorry if you are a thorough reader!
  • Life +#
  • Evasion/ES/Armor +%
  • Evasion/ES/Armor +% / Stun Recovery +%
  • Mana +#

  • Accuracy +#
  • Resists +%
  • Chaos Resist +%
  • Stun Recovery +%
  • Attributes +#


Voll's Protector ◄ Mandatory ► (or Tabula Rasa in place of 5L Voll's)

Our bread and butter, Voll's Protector, allows us to completely ignore the Power Charge on Critical gem. In fact, it's actually better; you gain a power charge for any enemy you crit, meaning you can get multiple charges per use of a skill. As an example, if you crit with all 4 Barrage Projectiles (assuming they hit), you will gain 4 power charges compared to PCoC's one.

It is worth mentioning that a Tabula Rasa can be used to replace a 5L Volls as long as you use Power Charge on Critical as the 6th Link. It will not replace a 6L Volls. Tabula is just nice because it is often cheaper. Just remember that if you are using Discharge in any way, your Power Charge generation is going to suffer.

When rolling colors (GGGRBB), I'm often asked if its better to chrome yourself or use Vorici. According to this Chromatic Calculator, using 1G Vorici barely pulls ahead of doing it yourself. I personally used the 3G Vorici, since I wanted to guarantee the colors with the little amount of chromes I had. If you can't get those colors specifically, don't worry about it. There are a ton of combos in the Links section and it's really easy to put together something that works for just about any color set (as long as your attack colors are taken care of.)



We use a wand to be able to use the Barrage and/or Kinetic Blast skill. A rare is by far the best choice (even compared to the ever-suggested Void Battery.) Rares gives us Attack Speed, Accuracy, higher Base Crit, comparable Spell Damage and are much, much easier to come by. It's important to maintain a low currency barrier of entry, and Void Battery undermines that. I'd like to give an honorable mention to Piscator's Vigil, which can be used in a pinch, but isn't ideal due to lack of Spell Damage.

On the wand, we prioritize (Base) Critical Chance, Spell Damage, and Attack Speed, in that order.
Aim for:
  • Critical Chance: 10.5+
  • Spell Damage: 55%+ (total)
  • Attack Speed: Variable (see below)

Anything else is icing on the cake, especially Accuracy.

As of 1.3, Cast on Crit has a .05 second internal cooldown timer, up from .01. Basically, we now have an absolute max of 20 procs per second where we used to have 100. This has bumped Barrage from the territory of non-concern into a position where we need to factor in the timing of our projectiles/hits.

There is something you need to know about Barrage; it's attack speed split is 40% wind up with some % of listed attack speed taken per projectile fired (confirmed by GGG) WITHOUT Greater Multiple Projectiles. With Greater Multiple Projectiles the spread is undetermined since we don't know what that % per projectile is and consequently can't math out how long between hits we are taking. We can run some tests to approximate though!

I've done testing, and in short, the best character attack speeds are:
For Barrage alone:
  • <1.5 APS
  • <3 APS
  • <4.5 APS
  • etc.
◄ Please note these are LESS THAN. Reaching the specific numbers listed above is going to put you on the absolute bottom of the next tier of speed, actually making you worse! ►
Math Stuffs and Logic/Reason
The Barrage formula is easy; using the 40/60 rule confirmed by GGG, it's some pretty easy math:

Let's use the second tier from above, 3 APS:
  • 3 APS: (1/3)*0.6/4 = .05 Between Hits
  • 2.99 APS: (1/2.99)*0.6/4 = .0501 Between Hits

This seems like an insignificant difference, but this is a rare situation where the slower attack speed is actually better. With the .05 time between procs, the 3 APS, which had .05 time between hits, will actually need to wait until the next projectile since its hit falls on the very last moment of downtime. With the 2.99 APS, which had .0501 time between hits, we will be striking the target just after Cast on Crit comes off cooldown.

For BarrageGreater Multiple Projectiles:
  • ≤2.2 APS
  • ≤4.4 APS
  • etc.
◄ Take note, these are LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO. ►
Math Stuffs and Logic/Reason
The BarrageGreater Multiple Projectiles breakpoints were found with a bunch of testing since GGG is holding out on me for the specific numbers. *raised fist shake* The breakpoint is somewhere between 2.2 and 2.3 APS. From there, we just run it by whole number integers to get to the next breakpoint.

So, what does this mean for all of us? Just follow the breakpoints for whatever setup you are using. I run at around 2.7 or 3.2 (Depending on Blood Rage and Frenzy Charges) for both Barrage and BarrageGreater Multiple Projectiles. It's a comfortable number that was easy to achieve. Now, you might've realized that I went OVER the BarrageGreater Multiple Projectiles breakpoint [of 2.2]. Why? Well, I found that 2.2 APS was just too slow. I could be procing more per attack, but I'd be sacrificing mobility. I chose slightly less damage (which is still a ton of damage) in favor of being more mobile. I'm also running just under the "best" speed because the calculations are against targets that are standing still. If they are moving towards you, the procs will be closer together; if your target is fast enough, it could mess up your timing (though, not likely, so don't worry too much. Like I said, 2.7 is just a comfortable number I was able to get to anyways.)

Rare Item Mods
There is no best base, since it really just depends on what Attack Speed breakpoint, listed above, you are aiming for. Imbued Wand is typically used the most.
  • Spell Damage +%
  • Spell Damage +% / Mana +#
  • Physical Damage +% + Accuracy +#

  • Crit Chance +%
  • Accuracy +#
  • Attack Speed +%
  • Crit Mult +%
  • Spell Crit Chance +%
  • Ele Damage +%
  • Mana Regen +%
  • Chaos Res +%


Saffell's Frame or Rare or Rise of the Phoenix

There are three great choices here. Saffel's is my favorite, being one of only a few ways to reduce elemental damage through Max Resists. It loses some usefulness since "group" reflect has been removed, but is still worth a number 1 choice in my book. Rise of the Phoenix is up there because sometimes I get lazy with my Righteous Fire when mapping and it's nice to not burn. A Rare shield is a great choice in situations where you wouldn't want to run Righteous Fire.

Rare Item Mods
Base type is best as Armor if Unwavering is spec'd, Armor/Es if Unwavering/Kinetic, or player's preference otherwise. Remember that Righteous Fire burns more Health if you have more Energy Shield.
  • Life +#
  • Evasion/ES/Armor +%
  • Evasion/ES/Armor +% / Stun Recovery +%
  • Spell Damage +%

  • Ele Res +%
  • All Res +%
  • Chaos Res +%
  • Attribute +#
  • Stun Recovery +%


Maligaro's Virtuosity

Maligaro's Virtuosity is an obvious choice. It gives us important Crit Chance, Crit Mult, Attack Speed, and Dexterity. These mods are too good to pass up, so they are preferred over a rare.



Rare boots are used because they can provide us with much needed health and resists in quantities greater than uniques can provide. They also have the bonus of having higher possible move speed, which helps with clear speed and survivability in general.

Rare Item Mods
Base type is the same as all other rares: Armor is Unwavering, Armor/ES if Unwavering KB, or anything if anything else. Remember that Righteous Fire deals more damage the more ES you have.
  • Life +#
  • Movement Speed +%
  • Evasion/ES/Armor +% / Stun Recovery +%
  • Evasion/ES/Armor

  • Resists +%
  • Chaos Resist +%
  • Stun Recovery +%
  • Attributes +#


Rare or Doryani's Invitation

Our belt is here for three things: Strength, Life, and Resists. Rare belts meet all three of those criteria, esp. since they are one of only a few slots that can have Chaos Resist. Doryani's Invitation is alright in the meantime. Use the version that fits your spells the best.

Rare Item Mods
Base type is Leather since we need the health. Strength can be useful occasionally as well.
  • Life +#
  • Armor +#

  • Strength +#
  • Resists +%
  • Chaos Resist +%
  • Stun Recovery +%
  • Flask Duration +%


Rare or Voll's Devotion

Our amulet slot is Rare if we are using anything other than Discharge, otherwise we want Voll's Devotion for massively increased damage.

Rare Item Mods
Base type is a great opportunity to fill in needed Str/Dex/Int. The only better mod is +1 Curses, and that's a long shot.
  • Life +#
  • Spell Damage +%
  • Armor +%

  • Critical Chance +%
  • Critical Mult +%
  • Resists +%
  • Accuracy +#
  • Chaos Resist +%
  • Attribute +#



For rings, the endgame of this build is using Rares. There are a few unique rings that can work as a substitute in the mean time: Berek's Grip, The Taming, and Le Heup of All.

Rare Item Mods
Base type should be Diamond. This is a great place to get Fire Damage for your attacks if you are using Flame Surge. You only need it on one ring, as all unmodified burns are the same duration regardless of damage.
  • Life +#
  • Rarity +%
  • Fire Damage Added to Attacks +#

  • Accuracy +#
  • Resists +%
  • Chaos Resist +%
  • Attribute +#
  • Attack Speed +%
  • Ele Dmg +%

  • Critical Chance +%
  • Health +#


Do NOT underestimate the importance of Flasks in this build. Nicely rolled Flasks are some of the strongest (and only) defenses this build has. If you are dying, this is probably the reason (and you probably aren't using a Granite)!

This is my standard set of Flasks.
Slot 1:
The Seething of Dousing is for emergencies and turns off Righteous Fire. If I need to hit it, that means I don't need RF damaging me and contributing to my death. Since it is used so rarely, it also means that I always have charges to turn it off to sort a giant lootsplosion or for when monsters refuse to be within 500 miles of each other.

Slot 2:
The Surgeon's of Staunching is for spammy heals! Who doesn't like infinite regeneration? First off, it means I can constantly attack Corrupting Blood without worrying about not having a flask to remove Bleed. It also means I always have charges to stall Righteous Fire and/or Blood Rage degeneration (usually in combo with the Ruby Flask.) It's good for being topped off between groups in case of spikey damage from gap-closing monsters. Finally, it's your healing if you are not running Life Leech.

Slot 3:
The Surgeon's Granite of Iron Skin is a staple survivability flask. If you are dying, you probably don't have this exact flask rolled. This is activated at every enemy group; make sure to activate it before any enemy "charge" animations or, due to coding, it won't work. I guess you could sub a Taste of Hate here if you are running EK or Glacial since it still performs the same roll while giving damage (I haven't tested this though.)

Slot 4:
The Surgeon's Quicksilver of Adrenaline is for speeeeeeeed! Clearspeed is what we do well, so it makes sense to use a flask like this. Gotta go fast. You can swap this for an elemental flask of Adrenaline if you feel you need the defense vs. a certain map boss.

Slot 5:
The Surgeon's Ruby Flask of Warding is our Righteous Fire guard and our Curse Immunity since it's uptime is almost 100%. You'll burn a fiery death or explode into hexy giblets without it. If you are not using RF, then an alternative would be to use Atziri's Promise, Taste of Hate, or any other flask of choice and move the "of Warding" to your Quicksilver.

I have never felt the need to run any status immunity flasks. I never get frozen and if I do, it's for a negligible amount of time from a really powerful enemy. Shock really never happens and the ground can be avoided/mitigated with smart play. Burning is joke for obvious reasons.

Just so I can say I mentioned it, run a Jade instead of a Granite with Acrobatics if that's your thing. The node kills Armor too much to spend a flask on it.

The Best Mods:
  • Surgeon's ► Recharge On Crit
  • Seething ► Instant Heal at 33% Efficiency

  • of Iron Skin ► Armor +60-100% While Active
  • of Reflexes ► Evasion +60-100% While Active
  • of Adrenaline ► Movement Speed +20-30% While Active
  • of Steadiness ► Stun Recovery +40-60% While Active
  • of Warding ► Curse Immunity While Active
  • of Staunching ► Remove Bleeding On Use

  • Seething Life Flask of Dousing
  • Surgeon's Life Flask of Staunching
  • Surgeon's Granite of Iron Skin
  • Surgeon's Quicksilver/Resist of Adrenaline
  • Surgeon's Ruby of Warding, Atziri's Promise, Taste of Hate

Surgeon's Regenerative Flask highly recommended if you only have a 5L. Never take off your Granite and get Iron Skin on it.

My Gear

Hardly mirror-tier and still missing some optimization, my gear is achievable for most players and is a realistic assessment of the strength of this build. You can achieve this level of strength and clear most of the highest content in the game.

Gem Summary

Two of my favorite plus's from the 2.0 changes are that there are a lot more balanced options available for gem selection and Auras don't require Reduced Mana slotted next to them. As a result, gem position and socket coloring are less rigid. Because its possible we'll all be working with different color needs, I'm just going to list the good gems to have, but not where they go.

◄ It is up to you to use the Vorici Chromatic Calculator to decide where it is easiest for you to put the gems that you choose to use. ►

Basically, don't plan to slot multiple blue gems into a Strength/Armor based helmet. Play smarter or pay out the butt. You can always look at my gear to see how I generally slotted everything.

My Links

Head: Armor
  • Cast When Damage Taken(20)Increased Duration(20)Immortal Call(20)Chaos Golem(20)

Chest: Armor/ES (Voll's)
  • Barrage(5-)Cast on CritGMPArctic BreathFireballLife Leech

Weapon: (Imbued Wand)
  • Herald of ThunderBlood RageElemental Weakness

Shield: Armor/ES (Saffel's)
  • Herald of IceCurse on HitWarlord's Mark

Gloves: Evasion (Mali's) (Difficult Colors!)
  • Cast When Damage Taken(20)Enfeeble(20)Cold Snap(20)Molten Shell(20)

Boots: Armor/ES (Ideally, Armor alone)
  • Purity of FireArctic ArmorFlame DashRighteous Fire

Let's start with everyone's favorite comparison:

Barrage vs Kinetic Blast

  • Best all-around, "balanced" performance
  • Better and faster unconditional* single target damage
  • Much cheaper Mana cost
  • Less Righteous Fire burn from less Energy Shield needed to sustain attacks
  • Fewer links required to operate effectively

  • More precise aiming required
  • More "desynchy" in 1.3 (Can't confirm for 2.0, but haven't had problems personally.)
  • Longer attack animation leaving player vulnerable
  • Attack speed breakpoints are an important consideration

Kinetic Blast
  • Better group clearing
  • Better conditional* single target damage
  • Aiming is more forgiving
  • Sheer enjoyment of blanketing the screen in spells

  • Can really be penalized against stragglers and wall-less levels
  • High mana cost
  • More Righteous Fire burn from higher Energy Shield
  • Requires more links to even function

*: Conditional/Unconditional: I am referring to the ability for Kinetic Blast to "Shotgun" when used against a target that is against a wall. This will generate MANY Cast on Crit procs but requires some setup time to position.

The comparison really comes down to reliability. Barrage is more consistent and dependable, where Kinetic Blast has potentially better results, but potentially much worse as well. KB also has a higher link requirement and mana cost attached to it as well.
As a result, Barrage takes the cake for me. I prefer the consistent performance to carry me through tough situations. I do occasionally enjoy throwing a KB setup into my chest for cruise controlling lower tier maps (it uses the same socket colors.)
I cannot tell you what you will enjoy any more than this. You must test both and decide!

There's no simple answer for this any more. There's a lot of good stuff now, so I'll list combo's I've found effective. But first...
To Life Leech, or not to Life Leech?
"Group" Reflect has been mostly eliminated from the game. However, there are a few reasons we still need leech in our 6-Link:
  • Maps can still have ele reflect.
  • Can't run Righteous Fire or Blood Rage without it.
  • Still a really fast way to heal. Makes our character sturdier.

And on the other side?:
  • It's fun as hell to run another spell.

And there ya have it. Life Leech should be in your 6-Link, but that doesn't mean MAXIMUM SPELLS can't be a guilty pleasure in easier maps...

And now, some combos:
  • Barrage(5-)Cast on CritGMPArctic BreathFireballLife Leech
    My bread and butter. Best all-around performance in my opinion. Subbing in Freezing Pulse or Ice Spear works too.
  • Barrage(5-)Cast on CritGMPArcFreezing PulseLife Leech
  • Barrage(5-)Cast on CritEthereal KnivesGlacial CascadeArcLife Leech
    Better single target than the above two, but slightly slower group clearing.
  • Barrage(5-)Cast on CritEthereal KnivesFlame SurgeGlacial CascadeLife Leech
    Hands down best boss killer. Atziri is slain with this.
  • Barrage(5-)Cast on CritEthereal KnivesDischargeIce NovaLife Leech
    Solid all around. Increased AoE can be used instead of a nova for larger group clearing.
  • Barrage(5-)Cast on CritGMPFireballArctic BreathArc
    Stuff MEGA dies. So you do if you aren't careful!
  • Kinetic Blast(8-)Cast on CritGMPCold SnapArcLife Leech
    Murders groups. DECIMATES GROUPS. Single target is slower.
  • Kinetic Blast(8-)Cast on CritGMPChainCold SnapLife Leech
    Armies fall before you. A single man standing in a field will wreck you.
  • Kinetic Blast(8-)Cast on CritGMPEthereal KnivesGlacial CascadeLife Leech
    You would think this is worse because of the GMP+EK anti-synergy, but its actually quite strong at clearing since most of the damage is physical and hard to mitigate.
  • Kinetic Blast(8-)Cast on CritGMPFirestormFlame SurgeLife Leech
    Pretty well balanced KB setup. One of my favorites for that attack.
  • Kinetic Blast(8-)Cast on CritGMPChainFire StormDischarge
    You will literally delete your video card, but not before your computer, and subsequently house, bursts into flames. You were warned.

Honestly, experiment. There's so many fun combo's I can't even list them all with the character space I have left in this post.

A 5-Link setup is any of the links above, you'll just lose either a spell or Life Leech. There is another set of links you can use to mitigate the latter: Cast When Damage Taken(1)Warlord's Mark(5) (Warlord's has 2% Life Leech regardless of level, so we can run a low level CWDT). This allows you to essentially move the link onto your enemies instead of wearing it in your armor.
This comes with a few disadvantages; you lose the ability to use Enfeeble/Temporal Chains and/or Assassin's Mark/Elemental Weakness trigger links, and Warlord's Mark doesn't work against Curse Immune targets or maps.
A Tabula Rasa can substitute for a 5-Link Voll's Protector as long as you use Power Charge on Critical as your 6th link.
Finally, I'd like to mention that you cannot easily or safely run Righteous Fire without a 6-Link, or more specifically, without a Life Leech gem. (Yes, there were people that tried. RIP.)

  • Barrage(5-)Cast on CritGMPProjectile Spell
  • Barrage(5-)Cast on CritEthereal KnivesArc

These are your best bets for a 4-Link setup. We don't really use Kinetic Blast because it's link intensive and much less effective vs. single targets without them. Once again, you can use a Cast When Damage Taken(1)Warlord's Mark(5) setup to provide a faux Life Leech gem. Just for clarity...
Projectile Spells:
  • Arctic Breath
  • Freezing Pulse
  • Fireball
  • Ice Spear

  • Purity of Fire
    Only necessary if you are running Righteous Fire. Otherwise, consider subbing it and a Herald in favor of Anger or Wrath if you prefer offense, or Determination for a more defensive approach.
  • Arctic Armor
    Great gem for mitigating the intense physical damage in 2.0. The trail of ice is nice too!
  • Herald of Ice & Herald of Thunder
    These two will only be supported by Curse on Hit depending on your 6-Link spell choices. They no longer do enough added damage to freeze or shock worthwhile targets alone, so to get them to proc reliably, you will need to run a spell of the same element. Thunder is generally slotted with an offensive curse since it actively strikes targets you are attacking. Ice pairs best with charge generating curses since it will activate on groups of mobs when they die. If you are running both a cold and lightning spell, both can be used at the same time since they provide the curses during different phases of the attack (one to deal damage, and one when things die.)

  • Blood Rage
    A nice source of Attack Speed and "More" Damage. I run this with Righteous Fire on safe maps and in place of RF on dangerous maps (where I only turn RF on in short bursts.) The degen is countered by our perma-regen flask and Life Leech in our 6-Link.
  • Ele Weakness & Assassin's Mark
    Two ways of dealing a lot more damage to stubborn badguys. Self-casting the skill is great if you cannot reliably proc Herald of Thunder. Don't cast it on every group; just save it for rare monsters, bosses, or otherwise meaty targets.
  • Righteous Fire
    Who doesn't like going Super Saiyan? This skill gives us around 60% "More" Damage as well as a bit of mostly unimportant burn damage (the exception being Flame Surge) in your 6-Link.) Use with Purity of Fire. The degen is countered by Saffel's Frame/Rise of the Phoenix, Ruby Flask, perma-regen flask, and Life Leech from our 6-Link.

  • Cast When Damage Taken (20)Increased Duration(20)Immortal Call(20)Summon Chaos Golem
    The resident anti-burst links. These synergize with Herald of Ice if you are able to use Curse on Hit and Warlord's Mark with it to grant a long duration physical immunity. Instead of trying to keep our golems alive, we automatically replace them throughout the course of a map instead. Golem choice is subjective, however, despite being a crit build, Flame Golem will almost always give more DPS than Ice Golem.
  • Flame Dash
    Movement skill. May be linked with Faster Casting if so desired (I don't.) Lightning Warp allows you to open strongboxes more safely, but the movement is slower without more links.
  • Cast When Damage Taken(20)Molten Shell(20)Enfeeble(20)Cold Snap(20)
    Entirely optional links. Our offensive is covered, so why not more defense? Levels on these are player's preference. Mine are at 20 because I only need it in real emergencies; I don't want Enfeeble constantly overriding my other curses. Temporal Chains is another good option for a defensive curse. I ran a single target Barrage setup here when I had Kinetic Blast as my 6-Link. Experiment with these links and have fun.

V V V Continued Below! V V V
Last edited by Terrornoid on Mar 27, 2016, 2:52:41 PM
Last bumped on Sep 15, 2016, 1:06:30 AM
Passive Tree / Jewels / Bandits

  • Normal: Oak or Kill
  • Cruel: Kill
  • Merc: Alira

Unwavering Stance:

Scion is kind-of the best for this build now. By a lot. I just want to reiterate; A LOT. Witch is okay, but Scion is noticeably better. Shadow may as well be a Witch, except Witch is better with EK and Glacial where Shadow gets all "core" nodes 3 points sooner. Play a Scion and turn voices off. It's that worth it.
Yes, it's basically the same tree as 1.3; that's because Stun Immunity is really freakin' good. You can drop the whole leg and go for Phase Acro or something over in Templar if you really want to. I'm clearing high level maps with this, so you can always come back home baby birdies.

Jewels are easy:
  • Step 1: Cobalt (Exclusively has Spell mods. Can be other types if a "defensive" jewel.)
  • Step 2: Get "+3 ES On Hit" on one or two (Cobalt Only)
  • Step 3: Get 7% Life on as many as possible (Can be any type.)
  • Step 4: Get Resists, Spell Damage, Crit Chance, and/or Crit Mult on as many as possible (Cobalt exclusively has our damage mods. Resists can be found on any.)

That is your order of priority: ES on Hit (1-2 max) > Life/Resists > Damage.

A perfect [Cobalt] Jewel would be:
  • Pre: Spell Damage While Holding a Shield
  • Pre: Life
  • Suf (x2): Spell Damage / Crit Strike Multiplier for Spells / ES on Hit (max 2) / Resists

That's ideal. The closest I've gotten, on one jewel, with all my crafting is ES on Hit/Life/Crit Mult. Just get as close as you can; if you can pull off 2x ES on Hit suffixes as well as maxed out Life prefixes, you're already golden. It's just up from there.

My Jewels:

I crafted all of these from scratch:

Leveling (some info outdated)

Leveling with this build is incredibly easy as long as you take a cold damage spell. Crits will provide plenty of damage as well as your defense through the Freeze mechanic.

The best spells are (in no particular order):
  • Freezing PulseLMP/GMP
  • Ice SpearLMP
  • Glacial Cascade

I used Glacial Cascade on a 3-Link +1 Cold Gems until I switched to Barrage. It worked well, but I should've switched it over to a 4-Link at some point during the leveling process to make it go faster. Remember, you can pretty easily craft a +1 Cold Gems wand to use.

You'll want to combine your primary spell with these gems where possible (also in no particular order):
  • Added Cold Damage
  • Cold Penetration
  • Added Lightning Damage
  • Power Charge on Critical
  • Increased Area of Effect
  • Faster Casting
  • Echo

When leveling, I found its better to use increased damage gems over Faster Casting/Echo. You'll avoid mana problems and most packs will die in 1 to 2 casts.

As for the tree, simply follow it around grabbing damage nodes. Pick up health as you find it necessary. The hardest stretch is between the Shadow's Crit and the Scion/Mara/Duelist health wheel. If you die, it'll be there (it's the reason Hardcore is risky.)
If one was REALLY determined, you could skip the shadow section while leveling by taking the path between Witch and Shadow leading down to the Scion/Shadow/Ranger evasion wheel. Follow it over, grab all the health. Leveling will be slower but I suppose it will give better survivability. I haven't personally tested this, so you are welcome to pioneer it.

When I was leveling, I used dual wands for the increased damage. It wasn't until late merciless when I actually switched to a shield (mostly for resistances.)

Atziri (Soon™)

Frequently Asked Questions (some info outdated)

Q: Is this build hardcore viable?
A: Well, not without extreme patience and dedication. Even if you did get to a higher level, I don't think you'd enjoy the build as much since you can't really just go crazy. You could probably run the build pretty safely with a few tweaks. You'd lose DPS, but isn't that always the case when comparing HC and Standard builds?

Q: When do you switch to Barrage/CoC?
A: At ~80% Critical Chance with Barrage. Don't forget accuracy! Honestly, you could probably switch earlier, just run a faster wand. I'd also only switch after you gain access to a 5L. A 4L works if you really want, but whatever you leveled with is probably stronger.

Q: What's the Trio order for Atziri?
A: Dual Striker ► Tentacle Miscreation ► Bleed Guy

Q: Which gems are quality important for?
Tier 1: Most Important
  • Cast on Crit / GMP / Immortal Call / Increased Duration / Righteous Fire

Tier 2: Nice to Have
  • Enduring Cry / Lightning Warp / Reduced Duration / Curse on Hit / Herald of Thunder / CwDT (Dis,LL,MS)

Tier 3: Absolutely Not
  • Barrage / CwDT (EC,ID,IC) / Reduced Mana

If it's not listed, then it gives some boost, but is typically not applicable to you or is redundant (Purities, Assassin's Mark, etc.)

Q: How do you survive reflect?
A: High max resists from Saffels, the Purities, and Resist Flasks (with the Witch Flask nodes) in conjunction with the combo: Vaal Pact + Life Leech in our 6L or CwDTWarlord's Mark somewhere else. We also get about 20% Spell Block from Saffels, which does work to block the reflect damage.

Q: I'm having mana problems. What's the problem?/What can I do?
A: Buncha options here. The "Deep Thoughts" cluster near the Witch is 2 very effective points to help counter Voll's Protector. Alternatively, you can grab Soul Siphon near the Shadow start to [usually fully] replenish your Mana after every pack. The first Regen/ES node at the Witch start is also okay (even if it's a shade of it's former glory.) Mana Regen on even one ring makes a huge difference, as does Energy Shield/Mana where you can get it. Use those master mods! Finally, you can run a Surgeon's Hybrid Flask if you really need to. I'd also like to mention that I cannot fire indefinitely. It takes my character a good 5 seconds of constant firing to drain me. Even stepping to dodge once almost replenishes me fully. It's a balance you need to find, don't waste points making it so you can fire forever.

I'm going to reiterate, if you aren't running ES or ES Hybrid Rares, you are probably having mana problems. Don't forget quality! Max Mana and ES is also good where you can.

Q: Have you tried Cyclone/Kinetic Blast/Spectral Throw?
A: Yes. Barrage beats them all for the simple fact that is has consistent performance across the board. Kinetic Blast and Spectral Throw are better vs groups but are abysmal vs. single targets. Cyclone is good against both, but is mana hungry and puts the player in danger. Barrage is cheap, effective against groups and single targets equally, more versatile for spell choice, and safer. I have run all those options as built characters and can safely say Barrage wins for its all-around performance. Hilariously enough, you can run all of those with this build anyways. Knock yourself out, but Barrage is home.

Q: Have you tried X aura?
A: Yes. There is no room. The limited space on gear leaves us with no choice but to run Purities, which is fine, because the Max Res is really helpful. No, Haste is not worth it. No, Grace isn't either (tried 'em!) You are welcome to try what you please, but I'm confident to say that our current selection is already ideal.

Have a question? You think should be here? Let me know!
Last edited by Terrornoid on Sep 3, 2015, 12:22:56 AM
wow, waiting for uptade
BigJobless wrote:
wow, waiting for uptade

Waiting for 1.3!
How do you handle your mana? I find I am constantly auto attacking even with decent regen. :(
Mana Regen on one ring. You can also pick up Deep Thoughts near the upper left health cluster at Witch to counter some of the Voll's Protector -mana. ES on your rings helps as does mana.
I use the same build as you and very similar gear. It was simply an issue with using arctic armor with cwdt and it was wrecking my mana... My bad.
Thanks for very nice guide. Have you considered taking acrobatics, phase and ondar's, so that we can ditch the shield? (the tree must be changed a bit too, taking some life nodes and crit nodes nearby) Will survivability be increased with such setup?

I also want to hear your opinion on the new celestial ele nodes, which may considerably boost the dmg of our spells. Of course the passive tree will be spread out a bit, but we can take some life nodes on templar side to compensate somehow.
No need to ditch the shield. We gain almost nothing. Spell shields are great to run here and we would also lose access to Saffel's Frame for Atziri. It's also a large investment in passive points, which we are already spread thinly enough with.

You lose too much crit when traveling to the templar side. I do have a similar build planned that does, but I don't think it's going to have a high enough proc rate. Also, we really don't need damage. I was pushing 500k before the nerf to CoC. We're still able to break at least 300k, which remains overkill.
Thanks! It's incredibly helpful, now I only need a decent Voll in new league...

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