[2.1] The Railgun - Point Blank Chin Sol Ice Shot - Insane damage at almost no cost! [NSFHC]
Welcome Wraeclast Wanderers, it's r4wb1rd again...
This is a burn build.
It relies on massive upfront damage but rather than applying it to the weakest target and to proliferate it to the whole screen it actually works by carefully positioning your hit to create a burning cone of death behind the impact zone. Because we have one shot and only one projectile we use burn not as main damage source but as welcome support to our massive upfront damage. The goal is to kill with one hit. If targets survive, they can burn down and we don't have to waste mana on a second shot.
I don't claim ownership of this build, it has been done many times before and the earliest mention of this idea goes back years since I found this thread but I'm sure it was done even earlier. There's also a guide here but it never got any real attention because noone thought this is close to useful. Bigger attention got ADDTasty for Malibu's Infernal Ice Shot which specced into Chin Sol rather late and is to my best knowledge a Blood Magic + Resolute Technique + Avatar of Fire approach and skill tree wise quite different from mine, and also skillwise it's a huge difference since he uses LMP in his spec.
Anyway credits go out to ADDTasty, JuergenPotzkoten and Alloy_Gentleman since they came first :) but yet again I didn't know that since my build evolved from a stupid trapper idea that I had into what you are about to read next. Enjoy...
"Clever use of game mechanics"
In PoE more often then not power comes by combining things that seem weak on it's own.
Ice Shot with Chin Sol (100% more) and Point Blank (50% more) with Pyre (100% conversion of cold to fire) and AoE scaling with Hyrri's Bite and Increased Area of Effect, as well as crit and shocking and pierce gives you a massive cone of fire which deals ~1350% weapon damage to the the whole screen with just one shot fired. Point Blank takes care of reflect since you have up to 100% less damage when hits land offscreen.
The descrption of the gem Ice Shot reads
Fires an arrow that converts some physical damage to cold on its target and converts all physical damage to cold in a cone behind that target. Creates a patch of ground ice under the target.
This means two things: First, the initial target hit and all targets in the cone receive damage separately (which means scaling area damage would not affect the target where the arrow lands) and second: there's no physical damage left in the cone whatsoever.
What it also implies is that the cone damage is purely based off physical damage but that is, luckily, not true! I had to search for quite some time but finally found this post by Mark_GGG, stating that the cone damage is calculated off the total weapon damage, just that 100% of physical damage from your weapon damage is converted to cold.
This means our Added Fire, Hatred, Heralds, added elemental damage on gear, everything will scale our AoE. Pretty cool.
Now if I built an Ice Shot character in Hardcore I would scale phys, cold and freeze for extra crowd control. But for Softcore I want raw damage, which is why I decided to use Pyre to convert all cold damage into fire damage. Pyre has several advantages over The Three Dragons, Avatar of Fire or using Ice Shot with cold damage:
1. Fire damage can ignite, dealing 20% of hit damage over 4 seconds, this means your damage increases from 100% to 180%
2. Pyre gives you up to 35% increased burning damage, raising the total damage to ~200%
3. You can still use lightning damage to shock and don't have to worry about it shattering corpses
4. Fire and Cold are combined into fire damage, making Added Fire, Herald of Ash and Hatred (and potentially Taste of Hate) a really potent fuel for your burn
5. It promotes you to go away from prolif ;) because you won't have corpses around to prolif off of
6. You don't need to path to Avatar of Fire which would take away a lot of damage nodes
Next, the cone of Ice Shot is very large and with items like Hyrri's Bite and a quality Increased Area of Effect support gem, you can hit a large portion of the screen with just one, single arrow. This means we don't have to use Lesser or Greater Multiple Projectiles or Chain to increase our clearspeed. LMP, GMP and or chain are commonly used in projectile based builds and they are great by design but also lower the damage of a single projectile. Not using it means a more potent initial hit and thus a stronger burn. Carcass Jack is another great addition to this build but it became rather costly over the last patches which is why only recommend it if you have the currency to afford one.
The only "multiple projectile" option that's beneficial is pierce, especially since mobs that are standing right behind each other will take insane amounts of damage due to overlapping cones, see this beautiful illustration by reddit user /u/zeratos:
To make things more ridiculous we're going melee and use both the keystone Point Blank and the unique bow Chin Sol which in combination multiplies the damage of our Ice Shot by three if we're hitting a mob in melee range (100% weapon damage * 100% from chin sol * 50% Point blank = 1 * 2 * 1.5 = 3).
We previously said that burning with Pyre has a damage effectiveness of 200% so we can safely assume that if we hit a mob in the face with a huge cone of AoE and trigger an ignite, we will inflict 600% of our weapon damage to basically the whole screen.
You cannot play this build in Hardcore. You will kill yourself to reflect. With Point Blank we're suffering a 50% less damage penalty when the arrow travelled the maximum distance (2 screens). I was still able to kill myself to a sneaky reflect rare that was just right to enter the top of the screen.
Last but one mechanical note to this build is the way we ignite. Since we're starved on links (as you'll see later) we won't use chance to ignite but go crit instead. This is a bit of a struggle actually since Chin Sol has only a 5% base crit chance and even with Assassin's Mark and 4 Power Charges and all the crit chance we can get from the tree we will never ever get over 50% chance to crit.
This is the sacrifice you make when going budget basically. If I could afford it, I would rock a gg four-twenty-no-scope-kappa-keepo 500 DPS Harbinger Bow with 9.4% chance to crit. But unfortunately I don't have the Mirror or the 200 exalted orbs to buy that and rather fall back to Chin Sol which cost me 1 single Chaos Orb to acquire ;)
Just to give you a picture, the Chin Sol I have now deals 85-255 phys and 25-50 fire, if I average that it's a combined average damage of 208, so 415 with the 100% more property. With the 1.43 attacks per second this nets me with 593 DPS with Chin Sol.
If you crit however, we have a 55% increased multiplier from the tree, netting us wit 195% crit multi without any items or Assasin's Mark. So we can again multipy our 600% weapon damage by 2 and end up with 1200% weapon damage on crit.
Finally, since we're also shocking targets, they will receive 50% extra damage. Which brings our total output to crazy 1800% weapon damage (this whole block needs critization by the way - it's very likely I got the calculations wrong, please let me know where I made mistakes in my train of thought and I will correct them, thanks Almornik for the 1st correction).
The passives are that of a standard physical bower I'd say (is bower even a word?).
32 Points (Normal) - Grab the Projectile Damage then take the Evasion & Life route to Finesse and travel through Heart of Oak, Ballistic Mastery and Aspect of the Eagle to Aspect of the Lynx. Then get Thick Skin and move through Herbalism to Acrobatics.
53 Points (Cruel) - Finish up the Duelist tree by getting the leech nodes, Golem's Blood, the jewel socket, Fury Bolts, Art of the Gladiator up to Bravery. Note that we skip the final life nodes in the clusters for now.
68 Points (Merciless) - Go into the Shadow tree through Blood Drinker, Fangs of the Viper, Will of Blades and Coordination into Blood Siphon.
80 Points - Pick up Vaal Pact, Point Blank and start to get crit with King of the Hill, Heartseeker
92 Points - Get more crit with Trickery, Assassination, Coldhearted Calculation, Depth Perception and Acuity
101 Points - Pick up Heavy Draw and Deadly Draw for more raw damage
109 Points - Get the Piercing Shots and more damage with Sniper, then finish up by some more survivability with Nullification.
113 points spent - Phase Acro finishes the build.
Here's a graphical representation of how the leveling process looks like:
Normal: Help Oak for the 40 HP
Cruel: Kill all for the skill point
Merc: Help Alira for one additional Power Charge
Here is where things get tricky. There are too many good gems we can use but we only have four (or if you're rich 5) support slots. Fact is, we're profiting the most off physical damage. Scaling that is our best way. Here are the candidates that I think fit best:
So we actually need an 10-link to get everything we want. Make it a 11-link for Life Leech. Or a 12-link for Faster Attacks for convenience. Well, we won't get it. So we have to cut short.
AOE Main skill progression setup
Preferred link colors: GGGRB(R)
My endgame setup is Ice Shot + Physical Projectile Attack Damage + Weapon Elemental Damage + Slower Projectiles + Increased Area of Effect.
Not only are those colors easy to roll on a Carcass Jack (Dex/Int base), they also offer easy swapping of WED to Life Leech in reflect maps and Inc AoE to Crit Multi for boss fights.
Don't be fooled or tempted to swap in Conc Effect for bosses! You will only increase the damage of the cone and NOT the initial hit. Usually you will hit the boss with your arrow and not with the cone, except the boss is kind enough to spawn a minion right in front of himself (so if you're fighting Na'em it may actually be good).
I also calculated in this spreadsheet that Weapon Elemental Damage is 50% more damage over Added Fire. This means if you have a 6-link you can use Added Fire in your sixth or use Life Leech - up to you.
I have not tested the setup with Hypothermia and I don't know if it would work since the chilled ground is created AFTER the hit so the benefit would only happen on the 2nd shot? I need someone to confirm that ...
For leveling you can use Split Arrow, Lightning Arrow or Tornado Shot. If you want to level with Ice Shot, go like this:
Use Ice Shot and link it with Weapon Elemental Damage or Added Fire or Added Cold as soon as you have 2 mana flasks.
A2N Weaver until 4L
Ice Shot + LMP + Added Fire/Weapon Elemental Damage (depends on your mana sustain)
4L Setup with Death's Harp (Level 32)
Ice Shot + Physical Projectile Attack Damage + Weapon Elemental Damage + Mana Leech
(Yes, Mana Leech, the mana cost is crazy until you can use curse on hit Assassin's Mark)
4L with Curse on Hit+Assassin's Mark running
Ice Shot + Physical Projectile Attack Damage + Weapon Elemental Damage + Slower Projectiles
Single Target setup
In general see "AOE Main skill progression setup" above. The beautiful thing about this build is that we're using one projectile to kill them all. For really, really tough bosses you can hot swap Increaed Area of Effect for Increased Critical Damage.
For reflect however or if we really don't want to get close: GGGG(RG)
Vaal Burning Arrow + Trap + Pierce + Slower Projectiles (+ Weapon Elemental Damage + Physical Projectile Attack Damage)
This is unreflectable death. It can one shot most lower tier map bosses and takes reliably care of reflect packs. Trap is another "more" multiplier, you can imagine how well that scales with Chin Sol's 100% more damage and Point Blank's 50% more damage at close range ... which is usually true for a monster that steps on the trap and gets hit by its arrow.
Auras and Buffs
Preferred link colors: GRGG
That'll be Hatred + Herald of Ash. Blink Arrow. Summon Ice Golem
Hatred and Herald of Ash scale our damage as a percentage of our physical damage and are thus better than anything else.
Since we're not dealing cold damage, Herald of Ice is not recommended. The added damage is nice but we can never shatter a mob and trigger the secondary effect (the explosion).
Another option that I have tested briefly is to use Herald of Thunder for auto-cursing. It increases the clearspeed a little bit since we have to run close to mobs anyway and we wouldn't have to use Lightning Arrow so often but it also means it's harder for us to get that first crit+shock+kill. After playing auto-curse for a bit I went back to Lightning Arrow because LA is also a good alternative attack if you encounter reflect packs and are out of traps.
Preferred link colors: GGBB
Lightning Arrow + Greater Multiple Projectiles + Curse on Hit + Assassin's Mark
I'm using the Lightning Arrow option atm and I feel comfortable with it. I must say it's very convenient and easy to get Power Charges and Crits rolling with LA. The damage is also considerably high and it's a good fallback attack when encountering reflect.
Another option which also frees up a gem slot is using Rain of Arrows for Curse on Hit. It removes the necessity to use GMP but it comes with the drawback of the delay between shoot and hit. More times than not the RoA salvo lands when my Ice Shot has already obliterated the pack. The attack animation for RoA is also slower than LA so it locks me in place more which caused a death or twice.
Cast when damage taken setup
If you selfcast Enduring Cry or are using a Daresso's Defiance then Cast when damage taken + Immortal Call + Increased Duration is a no-brainer. Molten Shell works well, if you want to stay alive, Enfeeble or Temporal Chains are fine as well.
Missing Links (additional gems)
There's actually a lot of room for additional gems when not using a trigger gem setup:
Chest: main attack 5L or 6L
Bow: Vaal Burning Arrow 4L or more
Head: Aura+Buffs 4L
Gloves: Curse on Hit Setup 4L
We need at least 2 empty slots for:
Which leaves room for Vaal Haste + Increased Duration (which can also be linked to Blink Arrow for a longer distraction). The problem with using a second Vaal skill however is that you need to kill more mobs.
If you are starting fresh then you won't have the option to use quality gems. If you have some spare currency or if you find a gemcutters box with quality, here's a list of gems for this build where quality is really good, medium good or not worth it. The order is from most to least important in my opinion:
Curse on Hit
10% increased effect of cureses at q20, this improves additional crit chance, crit multi, life and mana gain as well as power charge chance of Assasin's Mark so this is a pretty huge buff!
Increased Area of Effect
10% inc AoE at q20, that's 43% at 20/20 versus 33% at 20/0 - huge improvement
Physical Projectile Attack Damage
10% increased physical damage at q20, this is on par with a notable
Weapon Elemental Damage
10% increased elemental damage at q20, this is on par with a notable
10% increased chance to get a power charge at q20, that's 39% at 20/20 versus 29% at 20/0 - huge boost!
0.2s increased duration per endurance charge (0.01 per 1% quality) (8q0 = 0.59s - this is 2,9s with 0q opposed to 3,9s with 20q using 3 charges and a lvl20 increased duration) - this is a massive qol improvment and survivability boost
20% increased life leech rate at q20, this boosts survivability substantially since life is back faster and the next leech can apply earlier.
Rain of Arrows
10% increased attack speed at q20, helps with getting the curse down earlier.
10% increased attack speed at q20, same here: helps with getting the curse down earlier.
Usefull but not mindblowing
Herald of Ash
15% increased fire damage at q20, but only of the added fire that comes from Herald of Ash
10% increased projectile damage at q20, this is not really worth it.
15% additional chance of projectiles piercing at q20, this is usefull if we only have a level 6 pierce gem but since we already have 40% chance from the tree and 59% from the gem alone this is hardly necessary.
30% increased arrow speed at q20, this is indeed helpful to get from point A to B quicker so it helps getting out of sketchy situations.
Vaal Burning Arrow
60% increased burn duration at q20, this creates a 6 second burn which is quite potent but in all honesty - in that time we can also fire again and just kill them with a second shot...
10% increased chance to shock at q20, this is helpful but not amazing.
10% increased area radius (0.5 per 1% quality)
10% increased duration (0.5 per 1% quality) (20q0 = 64% - this is 3.9s with 0q opposed to 4.1s with 20q using 3 charges and a lvl8q20 immortal call)
Not usefull at all
Ice Shot (increased chilled ground duration) - not really something we need since we one shot everything
Trap (increased trap laying speed) - we're not relying on the traps so screw it
Hatred - only increases the radius
Cast when damage taken - increases the damage of supported skills, doesn't gain us anything
The build in new leagues
Is this a good build to start it fresh with a new league? Yes. The items are cheap if you don't want to have a Carcass Jack and even it Chin Sol is not available on day one you will get one pretty quick.
coming soon, but Chin Sol, Pyre, Hyrri's Bite are mandatory, the rest can be good, rare stuff with a lot of evasion, life, resists, flat phys and crit chance/multi.
A word on Hyrri's Bite versus Drillneck: We don't have much pierce chance except the 40% from the tree and the 10% implicit on the Drillneck if you don't corrupt it. So unless you're rocking a 6-link and also using the Pierce gem, Drillneck won't be super powerful. Yes, it is a DPS increase (about 1k tooltip) but it's not mandatory. With Drillneck you will average out about 150.000 damage on a crit (the burn included). With Hyrri's Bite it will still be over 100.000 (still have to calculate the exact numbers, I will update this section when I have them) but with the benefit of having a larger Area of Effect. By just running around in mid 70 maps swapping both Quivers for comparison reasons I didn't notice a huge difference!
This is a separate section from gear since flasks are incredibly important and need to have their own spot in this guide. Without the correct flasks this build is only half as good. The passive skill point choices make flasks even more powerfull so make constant use of them.
The flasks I'm using for leveling (meaning until I can equip my endgame flasks) are:
a) any Life Flask of Heat: to dispell freeze
b) any Life Flask of Staunching: to remove bleed
c) any Quicksilver of Warding: to dispell and be immune to curses
d) any Jade of Reflexes: to have evasion rating up as high as possible
e) any Bubbling Life Flask of Grounding: as instant heal and to dispell shocks
In the endgame setup I try to have 20% quality of the following:
a) Surgeons Ruby Flask of Heat: reflect reduction, dispells freeze
b) Surgeons Hallowed Life Flask of Staunching: high, long duration heal, removes bleed
c) Surgeons Quicksilver Flask of Warding: mobility, situational curse removal
d) Atziri's Promise: moar damage :D
e) Bubbling Hallowed Life Flask of Grounding: as instant heal and to dispell shocks
I'm not using Divine or Eternal life flasks in this setup because my HP pool is fairly low (3,3k) and the Hallowed Flasks fill up quick enough to use them constantly.
You die. No matter what.
If you read this far: congratulations! This was a lot of ground to cover. It was certainly as fun to put this guide together as it was playing it. I will continue to work on this guide whenever new patches hit that will affect the build in any way.
If you want to see similar budget builds and PoE content, please check out my youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/r4wb1rdGaming/videos
If you want to see me playing live, head over to http://www.twitch.tv/r4wb1rd and hit the follow button to get notify when I'm going live. I'm a casual player, so don't expect me playing 8h a day, although I wish to do so ;)
Stay safe, exiles!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this build HC viable
No, just no. This is a fun spec and it's not by any means meant to be played in HC. The risk of dying to reflect is simply to great. Having reflect protection would probably require a 6L with quality Life Leech + Vaal Pact + quality Purity of Fire + max fire res from tree + 100% Ruby uptime and it would probably still be too dangerous...
Can you show your gear?
Sure, it's nothing special, some might even say "No t1 rolls, vendor trash" but this gear carried me all the way. I got super, super lucky finding a Drillneck in a Labyrinth map but this build totally works fine with Hyrri's Bite:
### r4wb1rd ###
Babel PoE: https://github.com/rowolff/babel-poe/releases
Last edited by r4wb1rd on Jan 2, 2016, 5:49:29 AM
Last bumped on Oct 11, 2016, 12:48:13 PM
on Jan 2, 2016, 4:52:13 AM
Have you tried going dual curse with Assassins/Poachers Mark?
Having 4 PC and 5 FC isnt better than the bow cluster that increases bow damage?
on Jan 4, 2016, 9:10:36 AM
Pretty cool build. Maybe Ill try it in hardcore with several adjustments!
on Jan 4, 2016, 10:18:24 AM
Hi, I start a new ranged character and Im loving the build.
In jewel socket, what I put?
on Jan 4, 2016, 6:35:22 PM
Anyone who can get their hands on Rigwald's Quills should try it out. Free fork for your Ice Shot
on Jan 4, 2016, 8:03:09 PM
on Jan 5, 2016, 12:49:49 PM
That quiver looks amazing! Probably better for non-PB but still, pretty sweet :D
In the jewel you put in damage :D preferably area damage, projectile damage, physical damage (in that order) and ofc life. The life you get with the tree I'm suggesting is abysmal. Any more life you can get will help.
### r4wb1rd ###
Babel PoE: https://github.com/rowolff/babel-poe/releases
on Jan 5, 2016, 3:51:04 PM
Nice built! My Ranger is only 25 at the moment but it is working pretty good so far!
AFAIK "Bower" isn't a word, "Archer" would be more appropriate :)
on Jan 7, 2016, 3:32:06 AM
Im doing this build with some minor changes in endgame tree to my playstyle. I must say that its a very solid and consistent build. The plan for leveling its perfect. Until now (lvl58) im killing everything pretty fast and in very specific moments its when I die, otherwise its dificult to die with tje huge leech we get from the tree. Got yesterday Rigwalds Quills and Death Rush, and its insane the clearspeed. I advise everyone to buy that quiver! The ring is one of the items that I want to use.
on Jan 7, 2016, 12:20:37 PM
Nice build, my archer is lvl 75 and doin his job perfectly at tier 7-10 maps:D
I think Hyrri's is better as Rigwald Quills especially, "adds an additional arrow" implicit :D
And i use Starkonja's for 100 life, ias and some crit chance :)
And maybe this talisman good for synergy?
Edit: This quiver giff me +1k dmg :O
Last edited by deeplaid on Jan 10, 2016, 1:01:43 AM
on Jan 8, 2016, 5:50:54 PM