(2.1) Captain Jack Special - Bleed/Poison ST DoT Shadow (HC)

This is the build I came up with to test out the new Poison support gem. I'm currently using it on Hardcore Talisman, level 80.

This build focuses around the unique weapon, Jack, the Axe Vaal Hatchet.

It uses bleed damage and poison damage to clear waves with only a couple of Spectral Throw attacks, allowing you to stay more mobile and safe.

Throw&Go. This is very much a kite build. The bleed is so much more effective on enemies that are moving. The way I play is to simply run through the map and throw one or two STs and just keep moving anytime I see a pack. If I'm in the mood to check for loot I make a quick pass through again and it's rare to find someone still alive. Keep moving and stay on your toes.

Obviously seeing as the item this build centers around isn't available until level 65, you'll need something to get you there. I made it all the way using Searing Bond/Flame Totem with an extra dot from a 3-linked Essence Drain-Void Manipulation-Controlled Destruction. My early tree looked more like this:

You'll see that I focused very heavily on defense. With all of the DoT/elemental buffs, Searing Bond was doing ~4.5k dps when I finally switched, and Essence Drain was draining for ~3k DPS. It was admittedly boring and difficult to live with all the way until 65, and so I'm sure this build would be much more fun in SC where you can focus on attacks much earlier in the game.

That also means however that I had to spend a good number of respec points to get to where I am now. With how many the guests give you that isn't entirely a bad option if you want to level the way I did, but if you don't, you could spec straight into the physical damage nodes and level using EK or the new Bladefall skill.

The build's offense comes from the Physical (not 'attack') and DoT nodes in the Shadow's tree. You'll also want to pick up some attack speed nodes in order to stack your Poison DoT more frequently, and stay on the move. Getting a bit of Mana Leech will help, since I'm personally running both Grace and Discipline leaving me with a small mana pool to work with. Projectile Speed from the two trees is also great for Spectral Throw's range.

This build's defense follows the new focus of the Shadow, which is to be heavy in Evasion and Energy shield, but it certainly doesn't skimp on the life either. Currently I'm at 2300hp and 2k ES (with discipline up). A lot of people have asked me how to handle physical damage mitigation, which I do by wearing Cloak of Flame. For now it's only a stand-in for Lightning Coil, but it's a very good temporary fix, converting 20% of all physical damage into fire damage.

You also might need to pick up some Strength to meet Jack's standards, and some Intelligence to keep up with Discipline and your curses.

Please feel free to help with any optimization, this build was very different in concept and I've used a lot of regret books to get it to where it is, I'm sure I've made some mistakes somewhere

So I put together another concept for those of you ("us" actually) who are still afraid to try evasion with how physical heavy the game is. In reality...I think it's better in almost every regard. I'm probably going to go ahead and try leveling another character now that I've got some good leveling gear to run with and give this new tree a shot, and I'll let you know how it goes!

My current gear:

While the build focuses heavily on Evasion and ES, you'll notice I picked up an Armor/ES shield. What's important to note is that it gives a ton of energy shield, as well as some very nice resistances. With the shield nodes in the Ranger and Shadow trees, you can increase the ES of your shield by 140%, turning 350 into 840, making up for the ES you won't have on your chest due to Lightning Coil.

ST - Phys. Projectile Damage - LMP - Poison
Double Strike - Melee Damage on Full Life - Melee Phys Damage - Poison
Leap Slam - Faster Attacks - Fortify

The AoE is covered by Spectral Throw and LMP (and poison of course), while the single target stacking damage is handled by Double Strike paired with Multistrike. The Vulnerability curse is central to this build, increasing both the physical damage you deal initially (leading to bigger DoTs) as well as the DoT modifier on your enemy. It increases the DPS phenomenally, however you'll notice I also have Enfeeble in there as well. Playing Hardcore it's important to choose your fights, and having a safe option helps in turning some of those burstier enemies into more viable choices.

I haven't set up a CWDT or really much of anything else. There's still a lot of room to play (curse on hit, EC, etc.) and if you guys have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Tier 1 Desert Clear
Sorry for the bad quality. Never done video before, this free thing seems kinda bad since I can't take the audio out of it and had to just add a quiet track.

Currently Double Strike is sitting at 8.5k DPS, but you also have to account for the poison (which is applied 6x) and the bleed that follow. I've run my only two tier-two maps so far without any trouble, which I know isn't saying much, but I'm looking for more to give this build a real test!

Rough numbers with poison and bleed calculated:

16.5k single target DPS if the enemy is standing still
23k single target DPS if the enemy is moving
Last edited by ToBeSomebody on Dec 20, 2015, 5:26:13 PM
Added bandits!
Added tree plan out to level 100!
Added video!
Thanks for the build guide. Would you be able to give us an outline of the order of passives you took?
I'll get to work on that! For now, I've updated with a new level 100 tree (less mana leech after the first node, which so far is more than enough for what I'm doing) as well as some basic early game stuff.
I've replaced Multistrike with Melee Damage on Full Life for Double Strike. I tried running some of the numbers myself and with all of the different variables it becomes a little confusing, however the numbers I came around to were roughly:

26k damage over 2 seconds (13k DPS) with Multistrike, enemy standing still

35k damage over 2 seconds (17.5k DPS) with Multistrke, enemy moving

The multiple poison stacks were obviously good, but the base amount (reduced by Multistrike) had me wondering, so I swapped. The numbers I came up with (wrong as they may be) were:

33k damage over 2 seconds (16.5k DPS) with MDoFL, enemy standing still

46k damage over 2 seconds (23k DPS) with MDoFL, enemy moving

The base modifier affects the bleed so heavily due to the 50% increase in damage if the enemy is moving.

These numbers are pretty tricky to come up with, I'll post something in the description when I'm more certain I've got them down, though if someone already knows how to calculate these things that'd be a big help. The one thing I know for certain is that the longer an enemy is poisoned, the higher the DPS becomes, though that does sort of only make it really good against very tanky enemies.

In playtesting, I don't think the differences are quite that large, but I do feel a very big single-target damage increase. When my energy shield drops it's usually time to move anyway, and so the only other factor is chaos damage, in which case I still have Multistrike on hand and still leveling to swap over to.

I also put Fortify onto Leap Slam since mana is no longer an issue after picking up the mana leech from the tree.
Last edited by ToBeSomebody on Dec 15, 2015, 1:55:12 PM
Couple of small additions. I'm trying to get a video capture/edit program that doesn't look so choppy and can record the game sound (I know that second part is hard with copyrights) so if anyone has any suggestions I'd really appreciate it.
I've added a concept tree that utilizes Iron Reflexes and health as its primary source of defense. In reality, I'm a little upset I didn't realize the potential for it a little sooner. I haven't added all of the numbers of the two trees together, but I'm fairly certain the IR tree is better in nearly every way (unless of course you're a bigger fan of EV/ES). I'm either going to level another character and try it or spend beaucoups on some regrets and some new gear to give it a try. It would let me upgrade my chest without having to save up/wish for a Lightning Coil if nothing else!
So I lied. Most of the numbers on the IR tree come up just a bit short of the original tree, at least in terms of damage/flat EV. The flat HP/Regen on the IR tree is higher, but the combined life/ES from the original build is still higher. The numbers really aren't so different that one heavily outshines the other, so it seems more just a personal choice which to go for. You might also play around with basing the tree out of the duelist, though I'm fairly certain the starting nodes just don't leave you with enough room to play and get the same numbers.

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