VarthDaver's CounterStryklone - 1.3 Max Block FaceTank

VarthDaver's CounterStrikelone
This build uses all three counter attack abilities combined with high defenses to turn Vaal Cyclone into a boss smoothy machine. It backs up amazing defenses with the new skill Static Strike and is able to laugh at even the hardest map mods. It is a primarily solo group, but can keep up in 6p maps. When it hits the fan, its the last one standing.


-This is a work in progress, I will be adding to it as I can in the coming days.I appreciate any feedback!
-I normally only build Softcore builds, but this one is capable of surviving extended desync, and entire maps without attacking or potions.
-For HC, I would spec into more life, and integrate EC / IC with CwDT or manual self cast. I would not use cyclone in large groups in HC due to lag.
-I made this build without searching forums, but now see there are many other builds which integrate most of the parts of it (Assassin2000's is the current top listed)

Skills / Bandits

Starting Tree - Coming soon.

Mid Level Tree - Coming soon.

Current Skill Tree - Current Tree

Bandits - I went with Talent, Talent, Endurance Charge respectively. None of these are mandatory, but the Endurance charge is extremely helpful.

Everything about Gear

Needed Gear - Coming soon.

Alternate Gear - Coming soon.

Leveling Gear - Coming soon.

Current Gear

Gems / Sockets / Links - Coming Soon
Coming soon

Build Stats - Coming Soon
Coming soon

Vaal Cyclone - It is one of those skill that looks amazing in game, seems amazing on paper, but usually ends up with the player just cut to pieces.

This build combines passive and active defenses to transform Vaal Cyclone into a screen clearing death machine. It does this by both tooling you to survive the blows, and ensuring you kill everything caught in your reach.

Passive Defense
High (Max) attack and high spell block
Replenish ES on block with Aegis Aurora
Passive Regen, Elemental Leech, Normal Leech and/or LifeonHit to maintain health.
Tempest Shield - Adds 4% Block, and Damages enemy when you are hit.

Reactive Defense (Offense)
Vengeance (1.2s cool down) - Chance of AOE Counter Attack when you are hit. This is amazing while leveling, with less and less use as you cap block and stack evasion. 20Q adds 10% additional trigger chance moving it from 30% -> 40% Get it.
Reckoning (0.4s cool down) - AOE Counter Attack when you block with shield. Underwhelming initially, but the powerhouse of the build at peak.
Riposte (0.8s cool down) - Single Target Counter Attack when you block with shield. Also grows better as you level. Can Add Melee Splash to make AOE.

How it works - As the mobs are sucked in, they are still attacking you. On a given attack, you either Evade, Take the hit, or most likely Block it.

Evade - No Damage Taken, uses entropy, occurs before block.
Hit - When block fails, the damage is mitigated by ES and Armor. Chance for Vengeance to trigger AOE attack at your location
Block - No Damage Taken, Trigger both Reckoning and Riposte for AOE and directed attack at your location.

Current Counter Attack Damage (@L83)
Vengeance - 2,758 AOE
Reckoning - 2,637 AOE
Riposte - 2,092 Single target
Tempest - 596 Average Single Target

This means you want to get as many mobs as you can in your cyclone to maximize the mobs hit by each counter attack and ensure they occur on cool down.

5 Second Theory Craft Cyclone
Vengeance triggers 4 times, deals 11,032 damage to every mob in range.
Reckoning triggers 12 times, dealing 31,644 damage to every mob in range.
Riposte triggers 6 times, dealing 12,552 damage spread amount 6 targets.
Tempest triggers on every block dealing 596 damage each time, massive output in large packs.

Leveling - Coming soon.
FAQ - Coming soon.

My Other Guides (out of date)
CI 2H Flicker Ash Prolif
2H Flicker Ash Prolif
Disfavour Blood Magic Flicker - 2H Auraless
Low Life RF Blood Magic Incinerate
CI Arctic Queen Kongor Flicker
Witchslap - CI Facebreaker Death's Oath IB
Self-Righteous Fire DPS
Last edited by VarthDaver on Dec 26, 2014, 6:06:26 PM
i like your flicker builds varthdaver but damn looking at your youtube clip.. the clear speed seems so low.

i like the new reactive defense ideea however and the good defenses with all that block but again that attack speed is so slow...

also why melee damage on full life ?
azamantes wrote:
i like your flicker builds varthdaver but damn looking at your youtube clip.. the clear speed seems so low.

i like the new reactive defense ideea however and the good defenses with all that block but again that attack speed is so slow...

also why melee damage on full life ?

Yeah, this build is a big difference from my flicker builds, and its rather slow in comparison. I am quite under leveled for the content (L82 in courtyard over 100%), which also makes it slower. Though in truth I just wanted to make a character that could do every map mod, and this one can. Rolling 3 toons to 85 this temp league, but thought I would document this one.

The reason for on full life is that the vast majority of time this build is running on full life due to regen and life on hit. As long as there are a few mobs around, Aegis will keep my ES preventing HP loss, though on big heavy hitters its a loss. It bring my SS to over 20k dps (not counting explosion).

All and all, I think the toon is a lot of fun to play, but indeed, going back to my flicker is a night and day swap.
nice job very cool build , the clear speed isnt the fastest but u are very very tanky and 99% not going to die so that defiantly makes up for that , the damage is also very good. i like this build a lot and may respec into it :D
Last edited by PathOfSeal on Dec 28, 2014, 8:40:30 PM
Really interested in this build! Looks very cool.
Great guide. My suggestion for you is perhaps to invest points into physical damage as opposed to elemental damage, as you are using catalyse and converting that physical damage to elemental. Unless using physical to lightning support on SS, those elemental nodes are only scaling ~75% of your dmg. You missed out on a lot of physical dmg nodes going for those elemental nodes when you could just invest the points into physical/melee dmg and have more health while having the same/more damage.

Using the same weapon and similar gear (bor aegis strides sol) at lvl 89, I have 5.1k hp, 811 Es, 35k dps with Hatred/HoA using Added Fire or 40k dps using melee on full life (herald of thunder adds ~1.4k dps - taken out in this example to assume using Tempest Shield). Assuming you go for more life from 82 till 89, you'd still fall short on life.

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info