[1.3] The Herald of Chaos - Chaos Damage Crit Caster --- (Now with Atziri Kill Video)

Welcome to my first ever Build Guide!

The Herald of Chaos is a AOE Crit Caster that scales damage with Crit, Aoe and Spelldamage.

I use Apeps Rage, scaling the added Chaos damage and added elemental damage from Herald of Thunder + Herald of Ice. You don´t even need leveld Gems, it works great with low level spells with just the added damage. For better DPS you can level the spell ofcourse as far as your mana regen allows you to do.

I am playing as Shadow but the build can also be done with a Witch.

Heres some Screenshots for you:
Keep in mind that Glacial Cascade will hit most enemys at least twice du to its overlapping AoE circles. (=2-3x Tooltip DPS)


Damage Stats for Glacial Cascade

Defense Stats



Atziri, Queen of the Vaal / Vaal Over Souls / Trio

Atziri is hard, and you can see that i have some BS Death in the Video, not enough practise atm but i think it can be done without deaths with more practise and skill.

Lvl 78 Courtyard - Double Boss + Temporal Chains

Lvl 77 Shrine Piety the Empyrean
With Extra Damage
Double Boss

Lvl 77 Shipyard Warmonger

Lvl 75 Necropolis Merveil, the Reflection


Lvl 77 Shipyard Packsize + Elemental Reflect

Death and Taxes Unique Map

The Gorge Packsize/Cold Res/extra Fire

Strand Map with No Regen (@lvl70)

I cleaned up the Video Part, deleted the lower level Bosskills, you can still find them in my Youtube channel! (Spinner of false Hope, Sallazzang, Vaal Oversoul, etc)


Shadow Tree @ lvl 92

New Witch Tree

Bandits: Oak for HP - Kill All - Alira for PC


-Works well with a variety of different Spells that you can switch at will
(Glacial Cascade, Ice Nova, Lightning Tendrils,Ball Lightning,Firestom,Flameblast and more)
-Reflect Save due to 50%+ Chaos Damage and Arctic Armour+CtF
-Scales Damage in a interesting way
-Good AoE and Single Target Damage
-Does only need 1 Unique to work (there are lots uniques that will help but not 100% required)
-Can Dual Curse
-Can run almost all map mods


-Can only start using the chaos part at level 62, because of Apeps level requirement.
-Can get a little on the expensive side with many BiS uniques, still not very expansive
-Getting enough Mana Regen for the high level AA can be a pain
- Can´t run Curse immune maps


I used Freezing Pulse for leveling, which worked really well.
You will have some Mana Problems, i would get some Elreon Jewlery to solve that Problem.
The Ice Spear Prolif/PCoC setup is very usefeull for leveling to, i´d use that + FP.

I guess you could also use GC, Tendrils or even Flameblast to level up until you can equip Apep.

Its really not that hard, the tree is solid overall with enough life and damage to level up with any spell you like.

Leveling Skilltrees

25 Points

45 Points

65 Points

85 Points

If you are using a Item for Dualcursing you can use that points to go for more Life first.

If you have trouble with Mana while leveling get some Elreon Rings or start cursing Warlords Mark. If you allready have decent Crit Chance you can also try using Surgeons Mana Flasks.


Main Damage Skill

4L:Glacial Cascade - added Chaos Damage - Spell Echo - Concentrated Effect

5L: Glacial Cascade - added Chaos Damage - Spell Echo - Concentrated Effect -Increased Critical Damage/Increased Area of Effect

6L:Glacial Cascade - added Chaos Damage - Spell Echo -Concentrated Effect - Increased Area of Effect/Power Charge on Critical/Life Leech/Cold to Fire/Increased Critical Damage

A 4 Link will lose out on a lot of damage, but 5 Links are not that expansive, buy a cheap one or save up to Link a good one with Vorici.

Keep the Glacial Cascade at lower levels. You can level up as far as you can sustain the Mana but even a level 1 GC will do fine.

As i had some Problems with Reflect i recently switched to Cold to Fire instead of Inc. Critical damage.
Even with 50%+ of our damage beeing Chaos that can´t be reflected, the damage added by Heralds can really hurt you, with high crits you get oneshotted. With Cold to Fire we convert some of the cold Damage that our HoI adds and the natural Cold Damage of GC to Fire, making our Arctic Armour a good defense vs. Reflect.

I can even run Reflect maps without much trouble, just hit Atziris Promise (and Taste of Hate if you have one) before you attack big packs.

Nearly any Spell i tried did work to some degree, overall i like Glacial Cascade best as its good for single targets and still has decent Aoe for mob clearing.

For a Projectile Version i think Ball Lightning works really well, use inc. Critical Strikes and Faster Casting in place of Inc. Aoe and Conc Effect for this Version. It has less Singletarget damage but clears faster. You are also more mobile, as you can cast some Balls, run and the Balls still deal damage.


4L: Ice Spear - LMP - Elemental Proliferation - Power Charge on Critical

Gives you a reliable way to get your charges up when Assassins Mark does not work.
It also freezes the whole screen, making it a lot saver to engage the mobs.
If you really need to freeze something like a boss switch in: Cold Penetration + Increased Critical Damage


4L: Herald of Thunder - Curse on Hit - Assassin´s Mark - Warlords Mark

I am not a HoT-CoH Fanboy but it works really well with this build. We use Ass Mark for Powercharges and more Critical Damage and Warlords Mark provides us with some very nice leeching and imho the best way to leech life from chaos damage.
Warlords Mark is also very important for our Mana, it will allow us to run with a mcuh higher level of Glacial Cascade, the Manaleech is really great.

3L: Lightning Warp - Faster Casting - Reduced Duration

A Classic, really fast movement skill, can also be used to save mana from walking if your regen is not high enough to sustain walking with AA forever. If you want to use it that way, keep it low level to keep the cost low.
Also works as 2L without Faster Casting, can be used if you need a Gemslot for your Arctic Armour.

3+1L: Cast when Damage Taken - Enduring Cry - Immortal Call and Arctic Armor

If you put the AA in a Unset Ring, in your unlinked Chest Slot or the Lightning Warp Link you can add in Increased Duration to the CwdT Setup.

3L Clarity - Herald of Ice - Reduced Mana

Herald of Ice will add lots of Damage to our Spells and the explosions are great AoE damage with all our Aoe Passives/Gear. Often Packs will explode in a chainreaction after you kill the first one.
Clarity is needed to sustain our high manacost and AA.

You can also link a Inc. Aoe to Herald of Ice and put clarity in the Lightning Warp Link instead of Faster Casting. Only do it if you have enough unreserved mana, if you have enough thers no reason to not do it. Inc. AoE on HoI looks really cool and boosts the effective damage output from the explosions by a decent ammount.


First off the Gear i am currently using:

Dual Curse: I write some stuff about Dual Curse Items. I recently switched around my Tree to get Dual Cursing from the tree, freeing up a ring slot for a decent Resist+Life+Mana Reg Ring.
Overall i would say that its up to you to use one of the items and get Mana reg from the Tree or get Dual Curse in the tree and mana reg on your items.

For me it works better with Whispers of Doom, but i leveld to 86 with a Doedres so i´d say thats viable too if you need the skillpoints for damage and life first.


We totaly need Apep´s Rage here.

I think Carcass Jack is BiS for this build, but its not needed. You can use a Rare Chest with high ES or ES/EV Hybrid or a Cloak of Defiance. My advice: Get a 4L Carcass and save up to 5L it or buy a cheap 5L and roll it for high life + ES.
For leveling i used this chest for example:

You want Life, Resitance and Movement Speed.
You can also use this Slot for Dual Curseing by useing Windscreams.
Windscreams are nice in so far as they are AR base, making it easy to roll 3-4 R for your Cwdt Setup.
The downside is that they have no life and only 10% Movement Speed.
If you have a Ring with good life and Resists it will be better to use Windscreams instead of Doedres Damning.

BiS would be the Voidbringers but you can make it work without them.
One option is to use Maligaros for more Crit and Crit Multi or just Rare Gloves with Life+Resist.
Using Rare Gloves will make it easier to cap your resists and get more life.

What we are looking for is:
-Spell Damage
-Spell Crit
-Mana Regen
-+2 Cold Gems

We don´t want Cold/Light damage, spell damage is a lot better because it scales our chaos damage up.
With Apep´s as Wand we don´t have much spelldamage there so we will need our shield to make up for that.
If you don´t plan on using Voidbringers you will need to get your Spellcrit here. The nice part about it is, that a shield can give you 100% and more Spellcrit without a nasty cost muliplier like Voidbringers.
To get enough regen for AA we most likley will need some Regen on our shield.
If you use Windscreams you can get more mana regen on a ring as you don´t need Doedres Damning so you can skip a bit on the shield in that case.

Another very good option is a shield with +2 to Cold gems.
If you get one with Decent spelldamage, some spellcrit and +2 Cold Gems you can put your Herald of ice there greatly increasing its damage.

Some examples:

Get high life and what you need to cap your resists.
100+ total life is good.
ES on the belt can boost your regen a little bit, so its nice to craft it on if a prefix is open.


We could get a +1 Curse corruption here. IF we can get a +1 Curse amulet it will be the best option if it has at least one other half decent stat. (Because Doedres and Windscreams are basicly only good for cursing anyway and a rare in that slots would be a lot better)

Besides that a Amulet can have some amazing DPS Boosting Stats like Crit Chance, Crit Multi, Spelldamage.

If you have Problems getting Mana regen consider using Atziris Foibel. Its cheap and helps alot with mana problems.

Amulets can also roll life and resists but compared to the DPS options in this slot you will be better of to try covering resists in another gearslot.

For leveling as normal crit caster try this new unique:

You can get Doedres Damning for Dual Cursing here.

The other Ring or both Rings if you use a corrupted amulet/Windscreams are best used for Life, Resists and castspeed. You can also aim for diamond rings to get your crit up.
If you have problems with Mana while leveling consider Elreon Rings.


Quality Gems:
Try getting Quality on your Glacial Cascade. Area Damage will boost up all the damage we deal with our spell so the quality on this one is very good for us.

Quality on your curses and curse on hit will also be very usefull.

If you use Windscreams try to get a high quality AA Gem to get your movement speed up a little.

Thats it so far, i will add trees for leveling later.

I hope you liked this guide, i´d like to hear you thoughts on it as it is my first one.

Edit: Updated Pics and added Videos
Edit 2: Updated Tree, 2% more Life,22% more crit multi, 6% more cast speed, 1 Power charge more. Lost 25% Crit Chance for the changes, the Powercharge alone should make up for that...
Added Witch Skilltree by Terrornoid
Edit 3: Added new Tree, new Damage/Defense Screens, addded some stuff about Reflect and Dual Curse, updated the cover pic
Current Builds:
All in one Thread until i make new Guides
Last edited by ZweihundertMorder on May 29, 2015, 7:18:52 AM
Last bumped on Jun 15, 2016, 11:04:07 AM
We don´t want Cold/Light damage, spell damage is a lot better because it scales our chaos damage up.

Eu spell dmg dotn increase chaos dmg :s

You tried dual Apeps Rage ? its can be pretty cool i think
Spell dmg increases all dmg your spells do including added chaos from gem or wand
Psssst! Surround your Passive Tree URL with the URL tags inside of the spoiler tags! Or just use (url=actualurlhere)whatyouwantittoreadhere(/url)!

Interesting Guide.

Why Shadow over say, Witch? I grabbed all desirable clusters as a demonstration; trim down at your own discretion. Has more efficient stat usage and opens up gear as well. The only downside is that you'll need to get some +stats on your gear.

Otherwise, I think you can afford to level your glacial for more damage, unless reflect is really that terrifying for you.

Spell damage does increase the Chaos Damage from Apep's because the added damage is attached to a spell.
Terrornoid wrote:
Psssst! Surround your Passive Tree URL with the URL tags inside of the spoiler tags! Or just use (url=actualurlhere)whatyouwantittoreadhere(/url)!

Done :)

Terrornoid wrote:

Interesting Guide.

Thanks :)

Terrornoid wrote:

Why Shadow over say, Witch? I grabbed all desirable clusters as a demonstration; trim down at your own discretion. Has more efficient stat usage and opens up gear as well. The only downside is that you'll need to get some +stats on your gear.

Honestly i did not really know exactly what i would do with it when i started the build. I only knew that i will use Apep and that i want to crit. So i started as Shadow.
Your Witch tree looks very good, especialy the Dual Curse from the tree, that surly will free up some gear slots to get the stats you need!

Terrornoid wrote:

Otherwise, I think you can afford to level your glacial for more damage, unless reflect is really that terrifying for you.

Yep, started doing that... its lvl 7 now @123 Mana per cast with 3,3 casts per second the cost to sustain it is allready really high (+standing AA Mana on top)

The Mana Leech from Warlords helps to sustain it, but i don´t know how far up i´ll push it.

Terrornoid wrote:

Spell damage does increase the Chaos Damage from Apep's because the added damage is attached to a spell.

Yeah, this is true, spell damage scales all part of the damage a spell is dealing.
Current Builds:
All in one Thread until i make new Guides
Interesting, I am actually working on a very similar build. Some differences though, I started as witch because the spell damage nodes are good in scaling chaos damage. Also, going dual-wield Apep's rage, combined with the Dark Arts cluster is very effective way of improving damage, at the cost of some survivability. Not sure if Voidbringer is BiS though, the mana increase is quite harsh, is it really worth it?
I'm also looking into Low/Life + Pain Attunement, but I don't think I can pull off decent survivability then (with a limited budget). Still just started, also in a new league, so its a major WIP.

A lot of of people seem skeptical about Glacial Cascade, but I find it a interesting skill because of its double hit mechanic. Its effective DPS is often twice the listed DPS. This results in added damage gems working at 160% (0.8 * 2) effective.
Last edited by Baelrog on Jan 3, 2015, 1:32:51 PM
I fear that with Dual Apeps i could not keep up the Mana.

If i had to ditch Voidbringers then AND had no Shield for Spellcrit i would loose 150% Spellcrit for the 2nd Apep so i don´t dare to try this...

As you can see in the new Videos i added even a No Mana Regen map is totaly doable due to Warlords Mark.
The Mana Leech it provides really is that good!
No Curse + No Regen would not be doable and No Curse in general is a very bad Map Mod for this build thoug.

And yeah GC is gret imho... i tried something with Flamesurge first, using a 3 Dragons to ignite with Icespear+Prolif and get the 100% damage effectivness + 50% more modifier. This setup has a lot higher tooltip even without conc effect on the Flamesurge but overall it feels not very good nad powerfull.

I feel like the 2x damage and bigger aoe GC has is doing a lot better then even Flamesurge with with 50% more multi active.

Other AoE Spells are mostly not even worth a try due to the low damage effectiveness.

One could try to scale Projectile damage instead of Aoe and go for all out Ice Spears. I guess i would save a lot on points for spellcrit, as Ice Spear has such a high base that you don´t need much to make it work well for critting.

Does anyone know if Slower Projectiles will make Icespear go to its 2nd form closer up to you? Maybe that could be a option... i maybe i´ll try something like that later in the league... need 3 Chars to 85^^
Current Builds:
All in one Thread until i make new Guides

Does anyone know if Slower Projectiles will make Icespear go to its 2nd form closer up to you?

Ice Spear's second form is relative to distance from origin, not projectile speed. So, no, it won't.
I just tried out various different spells.. it seems like just about anything works at least decent...

Spells i did try:
-Lightning Tendrils
-Fire Storm
-Ice Nova
-Arctic Breath
-Ball Lightning

Tendrils and Balllightning worked suprisingly good, maybe a Projectile version with Ball Lightning would work well... but overall the single target damage feels weaker for all of them, will clearspeed for normal mobs can be higher with a Projectile Spell + GMP.

Firestorm seems like fun, i was suprised how god it killed mobs.

TL:DR - I guess i can add "Works well with a variety of diffrent Spells that you can switch at will"
Current Builds:
All in one Thread until i make new Guides
Great build. Amazing how you steamroll those bosses, especially with that kind of budget gear.

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