[2.4] joshrose's Fiery FrostBlades/Lacerate Chieftan

The idea for this build was to find an alternative way to scale frost blades, as I find it to be difficult to scale properly under normal circumstances. Why? Well it has a melee and projectile component, but if you scale either of those, you're gimping either your single target or your clear speed. Part of my goal was to have good clear speed and single target, without gem swapping or running a single target setup. You don't want to scale cold because it's only 40% of your damage, and cold sucks anyways. The best option is to scale phys and crit, but they aren't exactly in abundance on the tree unless you commit to a weapon type. On the right side of the tree, you basically go raider for frenzy charges, onslaught, and evasion and pick claws so you have enough nodes to scale damage.

To me, this feels bad. You can't maintain frenzy charges on single targets, claws are shitty weapons and you have to go evasion... as a melee character. Not good.

I decided to try and play a 100% fire version of frost blades by wielding Oro's Sacrifice.

Why fire?
Frost blades is hard to scale effectively, but if you could make it 100% fire, it would be very easy to scale. There is a ton of fire on the tree, there is an ascendancy dedicated to fire damage, fire damage can be scaled many more ways than cold (aoe, DoT), and fire damage is just much better than cold because freeze sucks and ignites are great.

Why Oro's?
By using Oro's, our frost blades are 100% fire damage, so all we have to do is take fire dmg wherever possible to boost our dps. We do not need to do any damage conversion. No avatar of fire, no pyre ring, no lots gem slots. We just grab oro's, which is a great weapon anyways, and we can easily scale our frost blades via fire dmg.

Why Chieftain?
Chieftain is great for this build. The fire damage and fire penetration areobviously great. We also get free endurance charge generation, massive amounts of HP regen, some mana cost reduction, a big armor boost, and lots of ignite chance and burning damage for single target. It just gives us a bunch of everything we need. It's also positioned very closely to tons of fire damage nodes, so it's easy to scale our damage.

Why Resolute Techniques?
Initially, I was trying to run with Elemental Overload, but I found it very difficult to keep it up all the time, even with an Orb of Storms - Increased Crit Chance setup. Switching to RT increased my clear speed, leech consistency, and let me drop the orb of storms, which is great because this build is starved for gem slots.

Before I even started this build, I knew that you would be able to swap in Lacerate and have a better build. Why? lacerate is just better, and that's the main reason. But the other reason is that Lacerate scales with AoE, as does fire, so any AoE scaling you have on jewels or on the tree will pump up the damage of your lacerate gem, and not your frost blades gem. If you want to play lacerate, the build is almost identical, you just take more AoE nodes on the tree, and you swap our the pierce gem for faster attacks. Add increased AoE if you get a 6 link.

Skill Tree
This is for frost blades, if you go lacerate, grab the AoE clusters.

This guide isn't comprehensive, because I've burnt out on essence league and this was my last character. I only took it to 84, but I did clear a few T15's in that time. There is plenty of room for additional theory crafting and optimization.

Frost Blades - Multistrike - WED - Fire Penetration - Pierce
(Many people will use chain with frost blades, but the damage penalty was not worth it to me. Pierce will help with your aoe, and give you a dmg multiplier, so you don't need to gem swap or use a single target setup. It also means bigger ignites for single targets. Only use chain if you plan to use FB strictly for clearing packs.)

CwDT - Immortal Call - Increased Duration - Flame Golem
(Free endurance charges from our ascendancy makes this setup a must.)

Arctic Armor - Anger - Phase Run - Decoy Totem
(I had no space for Leap Slam - Fortify - Faster Attacks, so I figured an un-supported phase run would be better than an un-supported leap slam. We get frenzy charges so quickly that you will have max frenzy charges after every pack. Phase run then becomes an 8-10 second quicksilver flask that you can use between every pack. It's pretty sick! You can also use it to phase through enemies if you're in trouble.)

(Arctic Armor is actually amazing here. It cancels out the extra phys and fire damage taken from Oro's, if you are standing still, and you usually are. The chill component is what make it great though. At lvl 84 I had around 550-600 HP regen per second. When you get hit by a tough enemy, they get chilled, and you often heal back to full before they can hit you a second time, thanks to the chill. It let's you facetank many enemies. Decoy totem is just there for utility. You could throw in a leap slam for easier traversal if you want, increased duration for your phase run, or enlighten for more mana.)

Lacerate - Curse on Hit - Flammability - Fortify
(This is our setup for cursing bosses or tough rares. We use lacerate because it's AoE, so it's easier to target enemies. Hit tough bosses or packs with one of these to curse them and keep your fortify up.)



I mentioned that you can swap in lacerate, but because Oro's deals pure fire damage, you can actually swap in a ton of gems, and they will work just fine. Spectral throw, Molten Strike, Lightning Strike, etc. Feel free to experiment, or just gem swap to keep things interesting across long mapping sessions. You could play this build like you're playing D3. :P
Last edited by joshrose on Oct 28, 2016, 1:51:37 PM
Last bumped on Oct 28, 2016, 1:02:57 PM

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