[2.3] Milking Molten Strike to the max - Aegis/Mjölner/Taming, Block/Spellblock cap, ~500k+ dps

this guide is a max block/spellblock tanky Aegis/Mjölner Gladiator who uses molten strike, trying to use and abuse every single aspect of the ability, to push the dps on bosses into multiple thousands. Read on if you are interested. The dps calculations are at the bottom, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Actual gameplay footage

No regen Abyss
Vuln Colosseum
Quick Überlab phase3 Izaro kill (could not keep every add alive at phase2 :( )
Doubleboss Shrine

How to do damage?

If you don't know Mjölner, let me summarize it quick for you: we are using (in this case) Molten strike to proc as many Mjölner casts as possibe - we achive that by maximizing as many hits (this mainly means lava balls) as possible. It is fairly similar to how Cast on crit works, except you dont have to link the casted spells to the main gem setup, and you dont have to crit either. It also allows you to use the same spell multiple times (Arc in this case), the downside is that you have to use Mjölner, and Mjölner is a slow and clunky weapon. Still, it has to do.

Pack-clearing specifics

Since Mjölner works similarly to Cast on crit builds, it shares a lot of its aspects - and one of them is that it is amazing on multiple targets. Multiple targets means more hits, and more hits means more casts. We are also using Arc as the proc'd spell (2 times in fact), and Arc is also really good pack-clearer. Where we will need help is single target.

Single target specifics

Here is where the twist comes in. Since both Arc and Mjölner suck on single target, we will use something else - something that is not really meta, becase it only really helps on single target enemies, mostly because of its somewhat slow, ramping up style.
Enter the
. This combo means that assuming we get enough ignite procs, we can get up to 3000% increased damage - we wont reach that number, but we will get close. I will calculate some of the (theoretical) dps later.
These rings are only really necessary versus (high hp) bosses, they are not really needed versus white (or blue) or blue packs, since we proc so many more arcs against multiple targets.

Why molten strike?

We use the shitload of projectiles that molten strike proc's for 4 different things:
-Proc as many Arc's as possible from Mjölner
-Solve the mana-cost issure really cheaply (a few mana gained on hit is enough)
-Get really high sustain with Life gain on hit gem
-Proc as many Ingites as possible for the Taming. Molten strike is fire damage based by default, so no need for conversion/added fire damage anywhere.

There is no other ability in the game (that i know of) that would substitute for molten strike in these aspects. Molten is also decent both for single target and aoe, so you dont need to switch games while playing (I hate doing that).

How to survive?

This build was designed to be damn tanky, building in Aegis. It trivializes a lot of things, really.

HP/ES pool

Getting close to 200% hp, netting us ~5,5k in health. On top of that, we will have 1k+ ES. Not the highest numbers, but a decent base to work with.


Our strongest forte. We have multiple layers of mitigation:
-75% block and spell block - the sole reason why we chose gladiator. 100% block to spell block conversion helps a boatload.
-7 endurance charges. Not much to say, helps against phys damage a lot. We get them with Enduring cry.
-25k armour. We use grace (with Iron reflexes) and determination, and we invest into armour increases from the tree. We will get armour from our chest as well.
(-somewhat luxury: Lightning coil. Makes capping resists hard, but if you can manage, it certainly fits the theme.)


A strong side of ours. Since we use Aegis, every time you block (and you will be blocking 75% of the time), you get back 2% of your armour - 500 ES in my case. This means that small hits cant hurt you.
Another part of our sustain is the Life gain on hit gem - we hit 60+ times a second with the molten strike balls, achieving 3k+ life gained on hit. This also works on non-leech maps.

How to sustain the mana cost?

Fairly simply - just use Mana gain on hit jewels. I have 3 mana gained on hit from my jewels, it's more than enough. With multistrike, you spend ~30 mana on a molten strike, while you (potentially) hit 33 times - thanks to multistrike's mana efficiency, I almost gain a 100 mana from it. Even if you miss some of the balls, it should be enough. Until you have mana gained on hit jewels, you can just use the Revelry node.
Another part of the mana problem is the reservation - since we use 2 50% auras (grace and determination), we will get the - reserve nodes close to the templar. You should have enough mana to use molten strike twice, at least. Later on, when you get a lvl'd up enlighten, you can save some of those points.

Passive skill tree

Our goal here is to reach the block-cap, based on Aegis's 32% block chance. Going gladiator ensures that we get 12% block "for free", and we will also be using tempest shield for an additional 3%. Thus, we only need to get 28% block from the tree, and out of those 28, 5% will be from jewel sockets.

Aside from getting block, we get the efficient HP nodes (there are plenty in the area), and some Energy shield and armour nodes as well, they are usually hybrid nodes, and they work well for the Aegis. We get every Int we can get, and we also get some -aura reserve nodes to run the 2 50% auras.

The tree is mostly defensive, really, we get some decent attackspeed nodes here and there, but the main focus is flashing out the defense part of the build. Dont be afraid to get resist nodes if the need arises, make gearing easier on yourself.

Bandits: Oak - Skill - Oak
My current tree (they are both the same):
On poeplanner:

Ascendency tree

The main reason why we go gladiator is Painforged and Versatile combatant. Getting 100% block to spellblock is amazing, and makes you really tanky. It also saves us multiple item slots (no need for Stone of Lazwar or Rainbowstride, we need those slots for other stuff). It also makes it much easier to reach the 75% block cap by giving 12% block chance.
Everything else is just fluff. Still, Gratious Violence helps on packs with the explosions, and Blood in the eyes is useful for some more additional damage mitigation.

Necessary Unique items

Core uniques:

They are the cores of the offense and the defense parts of the character, respectively. Until you get a mjölner, you can use anything else to get by - I personaly leveled the char with Earthquake, with a Kaom's primacy until I got my mjölner, with some 2h nodes on the tree. You should also invest heavily into intelligence on gears, jewels, passive points - or you can just grab an Astramentis to help with the intelligence needs.
Aegis - you can get by without it for a while, just get a decent shield with good block chance. A good budget option is Lioneye's Remorse.

Somewhat luxury uniques:

You should only use them when you get a 6 link, because they require a "chance to ignite" gem to be useful. They increase your damage by a shitton.

An exellent amulet for this build. We use every single part of it - the less stat requiments means that is easier to use Mjölner, ignite chance / duration is wellcome for stacking damage with the taming/emberwake, and it also gives up to 80 health. It's also cheap, so you can keep vaal'ing them.

Lightning coil is both expansive (since we need a 6-linked one) up front, and it also makes it pretty hard to cap our resists. However, if you can manage, it is an excellent addition.


Main proccing setup:

With this setup, you achieve multiple things - you proc your Mjölner as many times as possible, while applying ignite stacks to ramp up the Tamings damage increase as well. Life gain on hit is amazing with that many hits, makes you damn tanky.


Fairly standard mobility setup. You can (and should) use it point-blank range when tanking difficult bosses, the fortify is essential, but since we cannot use it on our main setup (no links for it), this will have to do.


Arc is a really good all-around spell, no wonder it is used in a lot of Coc/Mjölner builds. Works against tight packs, works against moving enemies, pretty comfortable to use. Only real downside is its single target damage (when there are no other monsters for it to jump back and forth), but we make up for it.
Lightning penetration is the best support gem we can use, its better than a 3rd arc, and its better than every other support gem - it helps the most when it is needed the most, against lightning resistant enemies.


We get most of our armour from this setup. Since we use Iron reflexes, the evasion gets converted to armour, then gets multiplied by determination. Enlighten helps with the reserves.

Vaal skill:

I use vaal lightning trap, it is used only against bosses and really tough rares. The shocking ground makes taking those down easier, and it lasts longer & covers more ground thanks to the support gems. Frankly, you can use other vaal skills as well - the best runner-up is probably vaal haste. Use whatever you feel comfortable with.

Curse/Tempest shield setup:

Our cursing setup. Tempest shield gives 3% block to reach the 75% block cap, and it auto-curses everything that tries to hit us. Enfeeble is a solid defensive curse, smooths out the occasional crits that those nasty bosses do. Temporal chain is also a pretty solid defensive curse, and it also lengthens the duration of your ignites, making you do even more damage.


They are necessary to get endurance / frenzy charges, and you DO want those. Fit them in somewhere.

My currently used gear:

Get int on everything you can. Try to get a helm enchant similar to mine - just buy a helm with the molten enchant, and chaos it until it is sufficient. Helm/Boots/Gloves are the main source of ES, dont skip on those.


Jewels are really important for this build, I have specc'd for them much earlier than on my other chars. We have multiple goals here:
-You want to reach the block cap (75%); therefore every jewel needs to have 1% block on it.
-You want at least 2, but preferably a bit more "mana gain on hit" from the jewels. They are the only things that helps us actually sustain the molten strike mana cost. If you dont have "mana gained on hit" on your jewels yet, just get the Revelry keynode, it helps.
-You want stats, mostly Intelligence. Mjölnir is hungry for Int, and our tree is really poor int-wise. Help your gearing by getting Int from jewels.
-Resists are wellcome, especially if you use lightning coil. Again, dont be afraid to get resists on jewels, capping the resists is more important than any dps stats, or even hp.

And THEN, when you are fine with the int/resist/block/mana gained front, you might want life/attack speed on the jewels, but they are a luxury, really. As a result, my jewels currently look like this:


Nothing fancy. You can use basalt/granite/jade for extra mitigation, you can use Taste of Hate/Vinktar, whatever works for you. My personal flasks:


I peronally level'd on a 2h spec until I had enough money to buy a Mjölner (and int to use it) - just replace the block nodes with 2h physical nodes, you can respec later. I used molten strike -> sunder -> Earthquake. Makes leveling a breeze, and you can get a lot of 2h nodes nearby to speed it up. Just use hatred and herald of ashe 'till later.
Once I got my Mjölner, I respec'd out of the 2h nodes to get more int and jewel sockets (and I used those sockets to get even more int), and I brought a Lioneye's remorse. After this, I got the -aura reserve nodes at the templar, and started using grace and determination. Proceed to cap your block (I use "+1% to block with shields" jewels on every single one of my jewel sockets). Start level'ing alternative arcs in you offset, you want to corrupt them to 21 ASAP. You can figure out the rest.

Map mods

This build can tackle all map mods. There are a few uncomfortable (blood magic makes you lose your auras, therefore your armour; no regen makes you hit a few blanks once in a while, while you get your mana back with the mana gain on hit jewels/Testudo keynode). Ele reflect is probably the scariest - even tho you block 75% of the reflected damage, and you easly sustain through it with the life gain on hit jewels, in rare circumstances (and on "other allies cannot die" rare monsters/totems), you will get heavily chunked. It's doable solo, since mobs have less hp, but try to avoid it/be really careful in parties.

DPS number crunching

My current char hits 5,85 times a second, and since every hit spawns 10 more molten projectiles, it is essentially 64 hits a second.
I use 2 pieces of lvl21 arcs, they do 511 damage on average. They have 30% chance to proc each in the Mjölner, resulting in 2*9811= 19622 damage. This is assuming that every single molten strike projectile hits, and also assume that the target is alone, so Arc doesn't hit multiple times.
Now onto the Taming calculation. We have 76% chance to ignite, that means ~48 ignites applied / second. Since base ignite duration is 4 seconds, and we lengthen it with Rashkaldor's patience, and a 50% effective Temporal chain thanks to our tempest shield setup (base boss curse effectiveness is 40%, and we get 10% from the quality'd curse on hit gem), we lengthen it up to 5,76 seconds. In this time frame, we can apply 5,76 * 48 ignites - around 276. This means 2760% increased damage from the taming.
Frankly, we can ignore every other source of increase, they are within the margin of error.
So all in all, we take 2760 + 100(the base value)% of 19622 "raw" arc damage, and we get around ~570k damage / second, not counting the lightning penetration gem. I probably did multiple mistakes/bad roundings while calculating, feel free to correct me.
Last edited by Febrile on Jul 4, 2016, 4:31:29 AM
Last bumped on Aug 7, 2016, 8:51:44 AM
gameplay video?
Explosive Cleave Gladiator by supreme_pizza
Literally under the very 1st spoiler tag :D
actually just removed the tag for easier visibility, nvm
Last edited by Febrile on Jun 19, 2016, 4:14:16 PM
Made some formatting/linking work, added a few more sections, enjoy!
Some other chest you would recommend?
Any rare chest with decent armor/evasion and hp is fine. At worst case, even a Tabula is doable, you get the biggest chunk of your armour from auras - however, if you can afford a Taming, getting a 6L chest is probably not that big of a deal.
May be, since you have at least 400 str for Mjolner, you can use repentance - global iron will(4-th link to Mjolner) is really good to have. Not-to-bad defences too.

Also Atziri can't be ignited - small but downside.
Last edited by TwiceBorned on Jun 25, 2016, 4:36:47 PM
For chest, would you recommend a tabula or a 5L Lightning Coil without chance to ignite?
@TwiceBorned: Did not try Repentance, but I dont think it is that useful. White and blue mobs (and squishy rares) die instantly, and against tankier yellows and bosses, Taming's increase just makes pretty much every other "increase" irrevelant. Probably really good to use while you dont have the Taming (and 6link).
And yep, you cant ignite Atziri, or Argus for that matter, makes killing them much slower :(

@TourGuide: If you dont have Taming yet, use the Coil. If you do, you can probably get away using a Tabula, but it really isn't that expensive to buy a 6-link nowadays, even a corrupted one is good if it has the right colors, and whatever it gives (be it es, armour, or evasion), it is useful.
Last edited by Febrile on Jun 26, 2016, 11:34:01 AM
Also when 6 link isn't yet available it's good idea IMHO to use mantra of flames jewel - as it give Arc some fire damage - and so chance to ignite. More hits with lower chance can compensate this low chance at least partially(also speed up pack clearing slightly thx to mob igniting from arcs). And thx for the guide - will, probably, use those rings combo on my mjolnyr character for tanky bosses(as a switch).

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