[2.3 Occ] KuteKitteh's CI EA Regen Tank - Durable w/10k ES, instant clear, EZ-Atziri, affordable!

"Hit me baby one more time" - KuteKitteh the Derpkat

"Wow, I can't believe it's not spellcasting!" - Imaginary person's testimonial


Users Testimonials
Spoiler
"
Excellency wrote:
For anyone who is considering this build in hopes of clearing high-end content ... just do it. Before this build I had never even stepped foot into The Apex of Sacrifice, I go in for the first time-- whole map, deathless, and fast too! Poorjoy's Asylum, what a joke. My gear isn't even that great either, aside from the 5-link Quill Rain I'd say my total investment is around 45C.
"
mesred wrote:
Hey Kiteh,

I just came by to say thanks for this build. Your tanky incenerator from way back was the first build that got me into poe endgame content. I kept my witch from back then despite the incinerate nerf for "sentimental" reasons. Now, that I saw your new build I respecced her and decided to try CI EA and I'm amazed! You've outdone yourself once again! I was able to clear a 6 mod plateau map with a level 13 EA on a 5 link with the new build. In most circumstances I feel I could grab fresh coffee while face tanking, while not really lacking in damage either.
"
Completed 8 ChallengesPhaesrole wrote:
As of 3/29/16 this is an awesome build! I sat down and made this tonight. I have not been this satisfied in a long time.

Excellent build 10/10 would recommend to a friend. Thanks again!
"
Another great build from you :)
"
Completed 1 ChallengeSeufari wrote:
Thanks for the fun fast paced build.
"
blueghost wrote:
I've been running this build and finding it fantastic fun.
"
Completed 10 Challengesoraclea wrote:
It's really amazing build. Just keep drinking mana flasks, I can even faceroll against the most of the boss.
As it is my third character, I can assure that this build is one of the strongest one.
Thanks for the guide.
I played more game, and I can feel that It's really crazy build!
I can just run lab straight forward no matter where traps are, clearing lab in 7min.
T13 Excavation twinned mod, T14 Palace twinned mod are also possible!
I even doesn't have any 6 link item! It's amazing!
"
Completed 29 ChallengesSatrew wrote:
this build is amazing! :)
"
Castellani wrote:
Hi KuteKitteh, thanks for this awesome build; I am at level 82 now and running T10 maps it has been a blast so far, best build I have done to date.


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Gameplay Videos
Spoiler
Ez Atziri
A couple notes:
-This was my first Atziri attempt with this build at level 80, done with no special modifications to the mainstream gear/build.
-This was my first Atziri run in many months. I don't even remember the last time I ran Atziri, so I was not "rehearsed" in any way. The build's durability stood out due to my lack of practice, especially at the Atziri split phase where I get hit multiple times and land a few arrows on the reflect clone.
-I didn't use my Atziri flask kit, but I was nevertheless unsurprised by the successful run despite my lack of effective topaz/ruby/granite utilization.

Level 80 Wasteland Map
Recorded at level 81.

Level 79 Arsenal Map
Recorded at level 81.

Torture Chamberception, three Shock and Horrors
I recorded a bit of gameplay during my leveling process to demonstrate the clear speed.


Defensive Stats @Level 81
Spoiler
OG2djKS

"Kitteh, why are you showing me stats and gameplay of your character at only level 81?"
The point is to demonstrate its incredible efficacy at lower levels. It's not because the build is hard to level at all - I was simply too bogged down with work to actually play much PoE. My point is that if I can achieve what was shown in the videos at level 81, you can do so much more with a few extra levels.

=======================================================

Intro

Choosing between damage and defense? Why not have both?

What's up guys, it's been over half a year. I had about a week of free time in the middle of my insanely hectic semester, so I decided to check out Ascendancy and squeeze in one OP build before hightailing it out. Surprise: A build without Incinerate, MoM, or Lightning Coil. It's even better.

The concept is simple: Have extremely high recharge rate and lower the time to start the recharge, and let Wicked Ward do the rest. In theory? Sounds like 4 seconds of regen tanking.

2hpOxlO

In practice? Fluid gameplay and virtual immortality with 4k ES recharge per second, plus any additional life regen from Vile Bastion. With a spectacularly low recharge start time of .75 seconds, Wicked Ward is almost always active. Using Discipline, Wicked Ward's +100 ES, and the ES from Soul Strike along with your standard CI gear, 10k ES is a very reasonable goal to achieve even for a "bow" build. This gives much-needed one-shot resistance. With the insanely fast clear speeds and reliance on mana pots, it becomes a surprisingly menial task to sustain any sort of flask effect, whether it's bleed immunity or freeze immunity. Defensive solution? Check.

Then the obvious question becomes: What bow skill could a CI witch use? I weighed all the bow skills and decided to go with the one that most closely resembles a spell.



Explosive Arrow's damage scales just like a spell. Best of all, it is one of the skills that can shotgun via overlapping AOEs. While this sounds pretty nice in theory, it leads to one of the fastest clear speeds I've experienced in practice. Two volleys (.35 seconds) can wipe out an entire pack of mobs. Skilled use of Frost Wall with Explosive Arrow rewards you with incredibly fast boss kills.

Is it as affordable as any other KuteKitteh build? It's very cost effective: all you need is a 5L Quill Rain, a few cheap uniques, and your standard CI gear.

Nota bene: There is no one way of doing this build right. That doesn't mean there aren't wrong ways to do the build, it just means you can have multiple variations of the build that all work. I will list as many viable variations and alternatives as I can.

=======================================================

Passive Tree



Ascendancy points
jXmWrSP


Bandits
Normal: Passive or Alira
Cruel: Krait
Merc: Passive

Jewels
Both sockets should be taken up with Energy From Within. This will give a huge boost to your ES.

Why EE?
Theory: Using a ring with flat cold/lightning damage will cause your arrow hits to lower their fire resistance. When the arrow explodes, the lowered fire resistance will cause the explosion to inflict higher damage.

Practice: In this build, EE actually lowers clear speeds in favor of single-target DPS. Although the first explosion will have -50% fire resistance factored into it, the AOE shotgun means that all other explosions will have +25% fire resistance factored into it.
-In packs where all five arrows hit and detonate, the overall damage dealt can easily be lower.
-When one arrow hits the wall or hits a mob and isn't stacked again, it will detonate before the other arrows, preemptively boosting the fire resistance of all the other mobs before the stacked charges can take effect.
-When using Frost Wall or hitting a mob next to a wall, the overall single-target DPS is actually lower due to the constantly boosted fire resistance.
Let's face it: We have enough AOE damage and not enough single-target DPS. As shown in the Atziri video, we need all the single-target DPS we can get. This is especially important for a situation like the Atziri Trio or this double Colonnade boss situation where placing frost walls to shotgun is nearly impossible.

Verdict: Use EE. It trades your AOE clear for single-target DPS in situations where you need it the most.

Optional Defensive/Utility Nodes

Unnatural Calm - For two extra points, you can take the complete circle rather than just three of the points. This will give you 10 fewer int (-5 mana, -2% ES) but +18% ES, resulting in a net gain of 8% ES per point.

Ghost Reaver - If you use a Doryani's Invitation, you have the option to use life leech via Ghost Reaver. Is it necessary? Not really. It's a huge bonus to survivability against large numbers, but fails to provide substantial utility when you need it the most, which is during boss fights.

Alchemist - Alchemist is a powerful option for those who rely on flasks for survivability and utility. Honestly, I could run most maps with one staunching mana flask, so it's a "nice-but-not-essential" option for me. Personal preference, really.

Written in Blood - If you get Ghost Reaver, by all means, get this one too!

Shaper - Shaper is a strong option, but I personally don't find it worthwhile because the mana drain of EA is nearly impossible to offset anyways.

Optional Damage Nodes

Breath of Flames - If you are gearing your build for some free damage by having quality on your Explosive Arrow gem or Chance to Ignite equipped, you can go for even more ignite chance via Breath of Flames. Do not underestimate the additional damage that ignite causes!

Shadow Elemental Nodes - These nodes are highly recommended if you can complete all 5 points for 56% elemental damage and 14 base ES.

Snowforged - for 4 points, you can get 43% fire damage, 2% ES, and 30% crit chance to improve the uptime of Elemental Overload.

=======================================================

Gear

Spoiler


The Quill Rain and the Soul Strike are core items to the build. The Eye of Chayula is optional but highly recommended.

For the chest, helmet, gloves, and boots, you want high ES and resists. A 30% movement speed roll on boots is crucial to survivability.

For the belt, you want strength, ES, and resists.

For the rings, you want accuracy (this is crucial - a single T1 accuracy roll can massively boost your single-target DPS), mana or mana regeneration, and resists. You also want flat cold or lightning damage somewhere, and no fire damage.

Dream Fragments is completely optional and completely unnecessary if you use anti-freeze flasks like I do. I swapped mine out in favor of a ring with resists, accuracy, and mana regen.

=======================================================

Gems

Explosive Arrow
2. GMP
3. Less Duration
4. Fire Penetration

The fifth and sixth link can be any of the following:
Green:
-Faster Attacks
-Slower Projectiles
-Culling Strike
-Mana Leech
Blue:
-Concentrated Effect
-Increased AOE
-Chance to Ignite
-Elemental Focus
Red:
-Empower
-Reduced Mana

The best options for 5th link are Faster Attacks, Slower Projectiles, Empower, and Chance to Ignite. If you get your hands on a 6th link, I recommend using a low mana cost gem, like Chance to Ignite or Culling Strike. I personally use Faster Attacks because of the feel, but slower projectiles will be the better option for most users.

Auras BBB
1. Clarity
2. Discipline
3. Enlighten (optional)

Lightning Warp RBB
2. Less Duration
3. Faster Casting

Alternatively, you can take Flame Dash. All preference.

Frost Wall BB
2. Faster Casting
This is in those situations where you want to shotgun a stationary target.

CWDT R?
2. Any golem of your choice
This is if you're a total bum like me who's too lazy to self-cast meatshields all the time. Flame golem is the best choice here, but you might consider lightning golem if you aren't using Faster Attacks.

CWDT RRRR/RRRB
2. Immortal Call
3. Increased Duration
4. Molten Shell or Flammability/Enfeeble
Molten Shell has a very high str requirement, so this is only recommended if you have all that str from gear.

Curse on Hit GGBB
1. Ice Shot or Shrapnel Shot
2. GMP
3. CoH
4. Flammability
5. Enfeeble
This setup is if you choose to utilize Profane Bloom. Shrapnel Shot is more certain to cover the screen with its pierce, but Ice Shot gives great utility with its slow. I personally recommend Ice Shot.


=======================================================
[2.2] KuteKitteh's CI EA Regen Tank - Durable w/10k ES, instant clear, EZ-Atziri, affordable!: /1625757
Last edited by KuteKitteh on Jun 17, 2016 3:41:37 PM
Last bumped on Nov 15, 2016 12:05:31 AM
Leveling, Mechanics, Maps, and more

=======================================================

Leveling Guide

Leveling Gear
Use your standard life-based dual wand caster/trapper leveling gear.

This is what you should strive for when leveling as life-based. Using a Lifesprig in one hand and a Reverb in the other will give you decent clear speed for the meanwhile. You can use any spell you like, although using a fire and/or AOE spell will be slightly more effective. I leveled with Glacial Cascade and ice nova multi-traps just because I like their mechanics.

Transitioning from Spellcaster to EA

When you transition from spellcaster to EA, your tree should not undergo any substantial changes. Thus, you can make the transition any level between 38 and 64. However, be prepared to start mana flasking constantly. Getting Fire Walker, Explosive Impact, or Heart of Flame to boost your damage is recommended. The later you hold off on the transition, the better. (I transitioned before 38 - horrible decision in hindsight since LMP EA is very weak!)

Before you jump the gap, grab Precision - the accuracy nodes by Templar - and make sure you're completely stocked up on those dex nodes.

You can use Tabula's 6L with EA - Less Duration - Fire Penetration - GMP - Faster Attacks - Reduced Mana. This will effectively give you a 4-link's cost, which is much easier to sustain via flasking in mid-game. You should try to wean yourself off of that Reduced Mana handicap, utilize your 5L on the Quill Rain, and switch to an ES body armor around level 62-68, when higher-tier ES chests become available.

Remember - if your transition did not go well, you can always fall back to spellcasting and wait a little longer! Or you could be patient like me and play through it.

Transitioning from Life to CI

Early and mid game, you will be strictly life-based. Even as your build slowly transitions into a hybrid, do not neglect life gear - the Weaver in A2M can be a dangerous foe for those who are still in the hybrid phase by then.

Tip: Stone Golem is your friend! He will make leveling much easier, and grabbing Zealot's Oath early will be a viable option thanks to him.

At level 64, Soul Strike becomes available (and you should have Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion by now). This should let you transition into life-ES hybrid if you already haven't done so. By level 68, any relevant high-tier ES chests will be available, allowing you to complete the transition into a life-hybrid build.

You can transition any time you want into CI - this is usually most effective after you obtain your ES chest. Just respec out of your life nodes and take Chaos Innoculation.
This is the core tree (plus any damage/utility nodes you may want) for the transition into CI. Those jewel sockets are essential, since you can slot them with Energy from Within for a huge ES boost.

Once you finish the transition into CI, immediately focus on building up your damage and ES pool before going for any utility. Essence Surge is not necessary - I personally held it off until high 70s - but it is a huge boon for higher level maps.

=======================================================

Flasking

This build is extremely reliant on mana flasking.



I recommend a catalyzed eternal mana flask of staunching to give you permanent bleed immunity. Constantly draining this flask will give you a hefty 143 mana per second at only 8 charges per use.

In addition, a warding, dousing, and anti-freeze flask are also recommended. Burn damage will upset your shield recharge, so a dousing flask may save your life. Warding is to keep away Temp Chains or Vulnerability in the unlikely case that those ever happen, but they should not be for Elemental Weakness or Flam/Frost/Cond since your resistances should be overcapped to accommodate for those!

Shock immunity is completely optional, and I find that with 10k ES and 4k ES per second, shock is hardly a concern.

To counter damage, you can either opt for a granite or jade flask. As stated above, with such high defenses, I have yet to use the lonely granite flask that I have equipped. I would personally recommend a jade flask, since evasion will give you much higher eHP in higher tier maps, and you have the ES pool to withstand hard hits.

Elemental resistance flasks are completely optional, and with the recent nerf, I don't find them worthwhile. I use one dousing ruby flask in my kit.

For additional damage, you can use either the damage flask or an Atziri's Promise.

=======================================================

Mechanics

Explosive Arrow

There are several things to note about EA. One of the more important things to keep in mind is that it is only effective up to 5 charges. After you stack 5 charges on a mob, let it explode! Use that time to kite. Here is an example of effectively stacking charges and kiting. If you don't use Faster Attacks, your max-stack explosion will do more damage, but it will take longer to get there.

The stack limitation is a huge defensive boon, since you are forced to move during the delay. Use the kiting time to your advantage, whether it's lightning warping away or maneuvering around a dense pack.

EA with Frost Wall

Frost Wall's segments independently behave like mobs, rather than a terrain obstacle. Thus, it is possible to stack charges on the segments, and it is possible for arrows to pass through the a segment that is already hit with an arrow. Thus, it is most effective to stack 5 charges at a medium distance on the wall. Here is an example of effective charge-stacking on a Frost Wall to maximize damage.

Unfortunately, Frost Wall segments may not 'render' properly as mobs, allowing arrows to pass through. As mentioned above, it is also possible for arrows to pass through if the segment already has an arrow. To minimize the risk of EA passing through Frost Wall, try using Spell Echo with Frost Wall and firing into it from a distance at a slight angle. If the middle of the wall is "missing" and your explosive arrows won't stick, cast it again and try again. It is currently slightly buggy so it may be that you won't be able to spawn a proper wall, in which case there's nothing left to do.

Exploiting Recharge

Since you know that taking damage and waiting .75 seconds will grant you 4k ES per second for 4 seconds, you can use this to your advantage by preemptively taking damage. An example is stepping momentarily into the lava traps in the Labyrinth and waiting .75 seconds, then walking through the lava when the recharge kicks in. Another situation where you can use this is in the last Izaro stage with the trap room: moments before Izaro starts the fight, you can poke a trap to trigger the recharge.

Another variation of recharge exploit - this is purely theoretical - is using a Doedre's Elixir. This will chop off 20% of your ES and force the recharge, which may be handy when there are no other sources of damage and you're doing something potentially dangerous, e.g. opening a strongbox or engaging a boss. I don't "endorse" this because I haven't used it in practice, but it is still completely valid.

=======================================================

Mapping & Mods

Curse Immunity - This mod just means slightly lower damage, especially for Profane Bloom users.

Elemental Reflect - It is possible with gem tweaks (I've done it just to be sure) but not recommended. Unless you have great ES and a lot of technical skill, I recommend you avoid these as much as possible.

Chance to avoid elemental status - Slightly slower clear if you built around ignite. If you did a GGRRB setup with Chance to Ignite, you can swap the ignite gem for something like Elemental Focus.

Blood Magic - Generally impossible for a CI build to run.

Less Life/Mana/ES recovery - Generally slightly slower to clear because of the mana issue. Take your time with these.

No life/mana regen - If you're up for a challenge, equip a lot of mana flasks and use a mana leech gem. Only recommended if your damage output is high and you know how to flask well.
[2.2] KuteKitteh's CI EA Regen Tank - Durable w/10k ES, instant clear, EZ-Atziri, affordable!: /1625757
Last edited by KuteKitteh on Mar 25, 2016 12:30:16 AM
Post reserve
[2.2] KuteKitteh's CI EA Regen Tank - Durable w/10k ES, instant clear, EZ-Atziri, affordable!: /1625757
welcome back!

I look forward to trying this out.
Hit level 80, uploaded my first quick Atziri run without preparing flasks (lol what's a topaz flask). Verified ez-Atziri build.
[2.2] KuteKitteh's CI EA Regen Tank - Durable w/10k ES, instant clear, EZ-Atziri, affordable!: /1625757
Alright, you got me this time. I get interested in one of your builds every league ... never quite end up choosing it though, for reasons not understood, but this is too hipster-cool-cat to ignore. A witch whose build defining unique is quiver that manages to be super tanky while maintaining competitive clear speed into truly end-game content, cmon.

I've got one question, when is it smartest to transition to the build, and what would you recommend using while leveling up to that point. I can afford to purchase a few cheap leveling uniques.
"
Excellency wrote:
Alright, you got me this time. I get interested in one of your builds every league ... never quite end up choosing it though, for reasons not understood, but this is too hipster-cool-cat to ignore. A witch whose build defining unique is quiver that manages to be super tanky while maintaining competitive clear speed into truly end-game content, cmon.

I've got one question, when is it smartest to transition to the build, and what would you recommend using while leveling up to that point. I can afford to purchase a few cheap leveling uniques.
Welcome aboard the Kitteh Klub.

Right, I totally forgot a leveling guide. I put one in the second post.
[2.2] KuteKitteh's CI EA Regen Tank - Durable w/10k ES, instant clear, EZ-Atziri, affordable!: /1625757
Last edited by KuteKitteh on Mar 20, 2016 11:38:28 PM
Woah, that was fast, I really appreciate the effort. There was even an interim post before the real post, it's like I was waiting in line to order ice cream and got a free sample to tide me over, now that's customer service!
Hiya,

Very cool build! I just started a character and have some general questions for you.

I hadn't seen your leveling build initially, so I went to the shadow side first and grabbed cold-hearted and nullification. I was initially concerned that my damage was pretty bad so i figured that would be a good place to go.

But now, dear god I'm squishy and my damage is pretty bad. I think I have to circle back and get as many life nodes as possible. I think my first priority will be heart & soul, then melding, then cruel preparations. If I survive that long!

But still concerned with my damage output.

Any recommendations on uniques that maybe I could pick up to help me out? I got a lifesprig and that has been working pretty great. I imagine I'll pick up a reverb at 24 too.

Have you thought about tossing in an infernal mantle? And thoughts on the templar burning nodes?
Also, when do you start your first ascendancy? Level wise.


Thanks!
"
Hiya,

Very cool build! I just started a character and have some general questions for you.

I hadn't seen your leveling build initially, so I went to the shadow side first and grabbed cold-hearted and nullification. I was initially concerned that my damage was pretty bad so i figured that would be a good place to go.

But now, dear god I'm squishy and my damage is pretty bad. I think I have to circle back and get as many life nodes as possible. I think my first priority will be heart & soul, then melding, then cruel preparations. If I survive that long!

But still concerned with my damage output.

Any recommendations on uniques that maybe I could pick up to help me out? I got a lifesprig and that has been working pretty great. I imagine I'll pick up a reverb at 24 too.

Have you thought about tossing in an infernal mantle? And thoughts on the templar burning nodes?
Also, when do you start your first ascendancy? Level wise.


Thanks!
Early-game clear depends on what you're using to level. I recommend something like Glacial Cascade, Bladefall, Flameblast, Firestorm w/conc, or some other AOE spell that has innate damage multipliers. Using them on the Lifesprig, then the Reverb (paired with Elemental Focus and Faster Casting or Controlled Destruction) will keep your DPS up for a long time. It also helps to be 2-4 levels above each zone if DPS is a concern. Without knowing what spell you're using, I can't really help you out.

Infernal Mantle is not optimal for the build since you're almost always at "low mana," and the chest is lacking in ES and resists compared to any half-decent ES chest. I can imagine that it'll boost the damage a little, but my main concern is survivability :L My chest is only 657 ES, but I'd still choose that over IM. I can only imagine that the gap is much bigger for those who have 750+ ES chests.

I don't recommend pathing to the templar burn nodes. It's more efficient to stock up on fire or elemental damage nodes to increase both on-hit damage and ignite damage, which effectively "double-dips."

I went for my first ascend after reaching cruel. I would recommend ascending the first time around level 45, and the second time around level 60+ just to be safe. This obviously depends on your gear; if you know you have suboptimal gear, it never hurts to wait just a little longer since Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion are rather arbitrary during the leveling phase. I left off the last ascend until mid 70s just because the last two points are really not "build-defining."
[2.2] KuteKitteh's CI EA Regen Tank - Durable w/10k ES, instant clear, EZ-Atziri, affordable!: /1625757

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