[2.6] CRIT HoWA BF/ST Raider [13k ES, 60k BF tooltip/200k ST DPS, Stun-immune] [4 sec Chayula kill]

Build Concept
This is a build generated primarily with HC in mind. It stacks INT, makes use of the Hand of Wisdom and Action claws for DPS, uses ES and the ES% bonus from INT as the primary form of Defence and neutralises the traditional weaknesses of CI by taking Unwavering Stance as well as Raider's Avatar of the Veil to be immune to both stun and elemental status ailments. It is slightly different from the other HoWA Raider builds in that it picks up US and also because it is primarily a Crit-based build, as opposed to simply being an Elemental Overload-based build. We do however make use of the Elemental Overload keystone while leveling because it adds free DPS. It is a placeholder keystone, not an end-game keystone.

You generate frenzy charges from Way of the Poacher, and power charges by killing creeps cursed by Blasphemy/HoT + Assassin's Mark or alternatively, via CWDT - BV - PCOC and orb of storms - PCOC

______________________________________________________________________

The KEYstones
Chaos Inoculation - Grants Immunity to Chaos damage, Max life becomes 1
Unwavering Stance - Stun Immunity
Vaal Pact - Life/ES leech is instant
Avatar of the Veil - Elemental status immunity when phasing

FAQs
Spoiler
Why Crit?
Because crit if built right is going to be better than the Elemental Overload keystone. Also, investing in crit isn't actually that expensive considering the pathing of this build, where most if not all the crit nodes are just adjacent to the main tree and really the only crit mods you need on gear is crit multi on amulet/jewels.

For a more detailed explanation
Non-crit raider is easy to build because you have fewer mods on gear to have to worry about, but that also means that you reach your dps output ceiling much earlier.

By going non-crit, you can only stack:
1. INT
2. Attack speed
3. %Damage

All of the above will start providing diminishing returns at some point.

For instance,
1. If you have 500 int, stacking another 100 int is effectively a 20% damage boost. If you already have 1000 int, stacking another 100 int is only a 10% damage boost.

2. Let's assume your average damage is 8000 and your attack speed modifier is 50%. As a dual-wielding HoWA, your APS would be 1.6 * 1.5 * 1.1 (DW) * 1.6 (BF) = 4.224 APS, which would translate to 4.224 * 8000 = 33,792 DPS. Stacking on another 50% attack speed would put your new APS at 5.632 and DPS at 45,056 which is a 33% damage boost. Were you to stack on another 50% attack speed however, your new APS would be at 7.04, DPS at 56,320 which is now only a 25% damage boost from before. Considering most raider builds have no problems stacking at least 150% attack speed modifier from gems/jewels/tree, you can therefore see that just focusing on stacking attack speed alone when your attack speed is already so high is also not going to be as rewarding.

3. Most non-crit builds will be hard-put trying to stack >100% lightning/elemental damage modifiers on the tree as compared to their crit counterparts. The significance of this 100% becomes less when you consider opal rings as well as the abundance of %WED mods on gear.

Also, by going non-crit and grabbing elemental overload, you render an entire set of mods (ie crit chance/crit multiplier) on gear/jewels largely irrelevant to yourself.

Crit builds have the above to stack up on but also have the additional crit chance/multi modifiers to build up once the above-mentioned (%damage, attack speed, INT) start providing non-optimum returns.

40% more modifier on your damage is great, but it actually provides marginally less extra %damage modifier as someone with 35% crit chance and only 220% (baseline is 150%) crit multiplier, which now that I put it this way, doesn't sound all that impressive does it? --> 0.35 * 2.2 + 0.65 = 1.42.

If you're the kind of player who likes investing in his character, I'd still advise you to go crit eventually, because even though its tougher to gear, its not tougher without being rewarding. By going non-crit permanently, you'll find it easier to gear not because its more powerful but because you're forced to ignore alot of other mods and its therefore easier because there're lesser things to consider when gearing your char!

For crit gearing requirements, you essentially only need crit multi on an ammy and on your jewels. Everything else remains the same as non-crit. The tree will of course be different, but because elemental overload is likely not going to be far from your path, you can still pick that during the leveling process and respec from it later on when you've got the right gear + enough crit nodes.

BF or ST?
Both require different playstyles. BF requires you to remain stationary at times while you stack up the BF charges whereas ST's playstyle is a lot more fluid. Here's my attempt at a summary:
-Clear speed
ST > BF in open spaces/outdoor maps because of larger AoE/screen coverage. Not much difference in indoor maps.
-Damage
BF >> ST. BF definitely does alot more damage compared to ST. This is more apparent when fighting high HP unique bosses. However, this also means that reflect can be a bigger problem for BF as compared to ST.
-Leech delay
BF >> ST. BF hits instantaneously. For ST you need to wait till your projectiles hit the enemy before you can leech. Granted, its just a split second difference, but that split second difference can be dangerous when you're down to 20% ES.
-Mana Cost
ST >>> BF. ST's mana cost is hideous. BF's low mana cost makes it much easier to spam especially during the early leveling period.
-Difficulty
BF >> ST. ST just requires spamming. BF requires interval release every time you reach maximum stacks in order to get maximum dps out of it, so it is in a way a tougher ability to use. Check the BF versus ST video in the video section, it might be helpful!

-Overall
It really is up to you. I personally prefer BF because it feels more satisfying and robust. Then again, I do not have the ST microtransaction so that might explain why the skill doesn't appeal to me.

Why Unwavering Stance? Is it really necessary?
In SC? Of course not. Anything goes in SC. That said, having stun immunity improves your gameplay experience tremendously. In addition, it frees up flask slots for more DPS. In HC, take it from a HC CI veteran, it is definitely necessary. True, you can try your luck and be careful to avoid getting stunlocked by ranged mobs. However, HC is all about minimising chance of death. No matter how careful you are, all it takes is that one moment of non-concentration or bad luck and that's you dead because you couldn't whirl away in time due to being stun-locked.

Does more INT = better?
Yes, but only to a certain extent in terms of offensive utiliy. Stacking INT provides diminishing returns as your INT gets higher, especially when you have a limited number of skill points and the presence of %elemental damage nodes. To provide a simplified example: if you have only 100 Int, grabbing another 10 Int will increase your final DPS by 10%. However, if you already have 1000 Int, grabbing another 10 Int will only increase your final DPS by 1%, and will be inferior to a 10% elememtal/lightning damage node for instance as that particular node will increase your total DPS by 10% of your base damage, which will likely ultimately be >1% of your final DPS.
______________________________________________________________________

Elemental Reflect, the Killer
Spoiler
Elemental reflect is a killer, no doubt about it. The higher your DPS, the more trouble it'll give you. It's still manageable in solo play when monsters' HP is low, as you can see from the chimera fight video I provided, but it'll definitely be difficult to deal with in party play when monsters' HP is scaled up. There's no real work-around aside from deliberately gimping your DPS, but its worth it to do so if it means that you don't die an embarrassing death when mapping with your friends.

Elemental reflect maps: Replace WED with life leech and drop wrath for purity of lightning. To be even more safe, replace immortal call (linked with CWDT) with Warlord's Mark instead.
Party Play: drop wrath for purity of lightning
Solo Play: Judge for yourself the balance between your DPS and ES. If your DPS is too high for your ES to handle reflect, consider getting better ES gear or just dropping wrath for purity of lightning until you get upgrades. Also, when you see ele reflect rares, don't build up BF stacks on them. Just attack them with individual isolated stacks of BF so you take less damage from reflect each time and can leech back on your subsequent hits.

Alternatively, if your DPS is high enough (if you have enough INT for example), there isn't even a need to use Wrath. You can just use Herald of Thunder/Arctic Armour and use Purity of Lightning. See the different aura/buff set up section below.

Videos

Stats (2.5) and Discussion
Spoiler
These were the stats for 2.5. The DPS figures will be alot higher now after the crit buffs to the claw nodes.
BLADE FLURRY

Level 95
Stats based on Level 95 and a 6L of:

BF (21/20)
LP (20/20)
Incr. AOE (21/20)
Incr. Crit Strikes (21/20)
EF (21/20)
WED (21/20)


Damage in Hideout
Discipline + Wrath
WlQYVoo
Discipline + HoT + PoL
DMytXpd
Damage with Power + Frenzy Charges
Discipline + Wrath
9LZg17Q
Discipline + HoT + PoL
kOr9q8z

Stats based on a 6L of:

BF (21/20)
LP (20/20)
Conc. Effect (20/20)
Incr. Crit Strikes (21/20)
EF (21/20)
WED (21/20)


Damage in Hideout
Discipline + Wrath
jCW5YDC
Discipline + HoT + PoL
hG9YTz1
Damage with Power + Frenzy Charges
Discipline + Wrath
RBWpnHD
Discipline + HoT + PoL
fFGeW2i
Level 93
Stats based on Level 93 and a 6L of:

BF (21/20)
LP (20/20)
Incr. AOE (21/20)
Incr. Crit Strikes (21/20)
EF (21/20)
WED (21/20)


Damage in Hideout
vRrJriJ
Damage with Power + Frenzy Charges
NIqdTnZ

Stats based on a 6L of:

BF (21/20)
LP (20/20)
Conc. Effect (20/20)
Incr. Crit Strikes (21/20)
EF (21/20)
WED (21/20)


Damage in Hideout
o3Bz3NF
Damage with Power + Frenzy Charges
hBJ13PX

But wait, if you think these DPS figures are good, remember that an inquisitor's tooltip dps will still be better simply because of the extra gem slot (inquisitors won't have to reply on the lightning pen gem). Inquisitors also get to have extra 100% crit chance/45% crit multi which does not reflect on their tooltip DPS.

In summary, in terms of consistent mapping DPS (i.e. taking into account all the detrimental elemental resist/equilibrium/hexproof mods):
Inquisitor Crit BF > Raider Crit BF > Raider Non-Crit BF

HOWEVER, Raider's elemental status immunity is a huge plus. At the end of the day, it depends on which one gives you a higher fun factor, and I suspect that for most players, the answer to that will be raider.

link to my inquisitor version
SPECTRAL THROW

Stats based on Level 95 and a 6L of:

ST (20/20)
LP (20/20)
GMP (20/20)
Incr. Crit Strikes (21/20)
EF (21/20)
WED (21/20)


Note: Gear and jewels are as shown in the gear section and are identical to what I use for BF. Most of my jewels are BF-oriented rather than ST-oriented (melee modifiers on them do not benefit ST), hence the potential DPS can still be higher than that displayed.

Damage in Hideout
9lfL4RF
Damage with Power + Frenzy Charges
fVDgxzS
Damage with Power + Frenzy Charges + Flask Buffs only
9SPRz9M
Take note that Diamond Flask also provides an extra boost of approximately 60k DPS which isn't reflected in the tooltip.

The Three Phases of Growth aka Skill Tree Progression
Spoiler

Bandit Quest Reward Choices
Normal: Kill all the bandits for an extra passive skill point
Cruel: Help Kraityn for +8% attack speed or kill all to get an extra passive skill point. Up to you.
Merciless: Help Kraityn for +1 Frenzy Charge


Ascendancy Order
Way of the Poacher --> Avatar of the Veil --> Avatar of the Slaughter

Unique Jewels
Fertile Mind x 2 --> Placed at the sockets to the right of and above Ranger
Brute Force x 1 --> Placed in the sockets at the left of Marauder


BLADE FLURRY
Growing pains
Spoiler
We will be using elemental overload while leveling as it is simply too huge a damage boost early on in the game. We will respec out of it eventually when we attain enough crit nodes + crit multiplier gear to make crit more worthwhile.

36 Points You'll find Static Electricity > Fertile Mind prior to HoWA.
81 Points
94 Points. Assuming you're not CI yet

The Chaos Immune Phase
Spoiler
103 Points Feel free to spec more %ES nodes than DPS nodes if your base ES is low

End-Game
Spoiler

119 Points - Higher ES, Lower DPS

Once your ES exceeds 10k, you have good rare jewels and wish for more DPS, you may want to aim for one of the options below. If you're in HC, you may wish to stick to the option above.

119 Points - Maximum DPS but less leech

119 Points - Slightly less DPS, more leech

SPECTRAL THROW
Growing pains
Spoiler
We will be using elemental overload while leveling as it is simply too huge a damage boost early on in the game. We will respec out of it eventually when we attain enough crit nodes + crit multiplier gear to make crit more worthwhile.

38 Points You'll find Static Electricity > Fertile Mind prior to HoWA.
75 Points
100 Points. Assuming you're not CI yet

The Chaos Immune Phase
Spoiler
101 Points Feel free to spec more %ES nodes than DPS nodes if your base ES is low

End-Game
Spoiler

119 Points - Higher ES, Lower DPS

Once your ES exceeds 10k, you have good rare jewels and wish for more DPS, you may want to aim for the tree below. If you're in HC, you may wish to stick to the option above.

119 Points - Lower ES, Higher DPS

119 Points - Skyforth Version Use Intuitive Leap at the socket to the right of Shadow

Gear Section
Spoiler

------------- In decreasing priority ------------->

Helm: ES, Int, Resists, Accuracy (provided you can max your res)
Chest: ES, Int, Resists
Gloves: ES, Int, Attack speed, Resists/Accuracy (provided you can max your res)
Boots: ES, Int, Resists
Amulet: Astra is too expensive and lacklustre. Get a rare ammy with WED, crit multi + int/dex
Rings: Weapon Elemental Damage, Resists, Accuracy, Int
Belt: Weapon Elemental Damage, Resists, Int
Jewels: Attack speed and 2 x Crit multi. 4th mod can be w/e. Check my gear for jewel examples

Try to obtain 2 pieces of gear with 250+ accuracy on them. With the bonuses from the tree/dex/golem, that will give you >2.5k accuracy which will be enough to give you at least 88-90% chance to hit vs level 84 monsters.

Example of my gear previously
Spoiler

Example of my gear now
Spoiler






Note: if you are playing ST, do not get jewels with melee critical strike multiplier/melee/area damage. They will not apply to ST as it is not a melee skill. They only apply to BF.

Flasks
Spoiler
1 x Vinktar's (the version that gives lightning resist penetration)
1 x Diamond Flask of Staunching
1 x Silver Flask and 1 x Basalt Flask --> 1 x staunching, 1 x warding.
(because even though we don't have Avatar of the Chase, we want Onslaught!).
1 x Wise Oak Bismuth Flask
Dying Sun is also nice to have if you want faster map clear speed.
Atziri Flask is also another option

The different Aura/Buff Setups
Spoiler
BLADE FLURRY
Maximal DPS Version: Discipline and Wrath

Balanced DPS Version: Discipline, HoT and Purity of Lightning
This version is recommended if you want more protection versus reflect. Your DPS will fall by about 5% but you will then get approx 23% reduced damage from reflect due to the 4% incr. maximum lightning resistance and the loss in your DPS.
- Get a level 20 HoT with 23% quality - way cheaper than a level 21 HoT and provides higher DPS.
- You will need a Level 3 Enlighten to pull this off comfortably.
- You will gain 1-2 suffix slots on gear - you won't need that much lightning res on gear
- You will lose 2 gem sockets due to the need for HoT + Enlighten.

Slightly Tankier Version: Discipline, Arctic Armour and Purity of Lightning
This version is recommended if you are already doing alot of DPS but want more protection against phys damage and reflect. Your DPS will fall by about 12% (compared to the Wrath version) but you will also get >40% reduced damage from reflect (compared to the Wrath version).
SPECTRAL THROW
Discipline and Wrath

Suggested links on Gear:
Spoiler
BLADE FLURRY

Early game: Blade Flurry - WED - Incr AOE - Lightning Pen - Faster Attacks
Late game: Blade Flurry - WED - Incr AOE - Lightning Pen - Incr. Crit Strikes - Elemental Focus/Incr. Crit Dmg (Elemental Focus will give you more effective DPS, but ICD is recommended if you want to inflict those satisfying status ailments on mobs.

Swap out Incr. AOE for Conc. Effect versus major high HP bosses.
SPECTRAL THROW

Early game: ST - WED - GMP - Lightning Pen - Faster Attacks
Late game: ST - WED - GMP - Lightning Pen - Incr. Crit Strikes - Elemental Focus/Incr. Crit Dmg (Elemental Focus will give you more effective DPS, but ICD is recommended if you want to inflict those satisfying status ailments on mobs.

Swap out GMP for Slower Projectiles versus major high HP bosses.

Generic links applicable to both BF and ST
1. CWDT (do not level it) - Blade Vortex (do not level it) - PCoC - Increased Crit Strikes
2. Enlighten - (auras/buffs as per your preferred set up)
3. CWDT - Immortal Call - Ice Golem
4. Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify
5. Elemental Weakness - Flame Dash - Vaal Discipline - Vaal haste

Early Game Gameplay Tips
Spoiler
The difficult part of this build is actually being able to progress through the earlier levels. If you can get through that you'll do fine.

In this section I will attempt to outline the early game gameplay of this build.

Early Game Gear
Focus on gear that gives you +life, namely leather belts with +life and rings/ammys with +life.

At this stage, ES gear is weak, so I would recommend you to stack Evasion, resistances and HP to improve your survivability. Main objective here is to survive till late game where you can equip good ES gear. Weapon-wise, between level 1 - level 22 just use any decent bow and level first with Poison Arrow, then with Lighting Arrow + LMP. Once you get to level 22, you can equip your HoTA Blinders and go ham with BF.

Survivability
Normal-Cruel
Summon Skeletons. Especially useful against flicker mobs and Kraitlyn as it gives them an additional target to flicker to and spares you the agony of being spam flickered to death.

Cruel Onwards
Skelly Brotem (Spell Totem + Summon Skeletons) will be your best friend. This spell summons a totem which will summon skeletons around enemy monsters, thus shifting aggro away from you and working better than Decoy Totem as the Totem itself survives longer due to lack of aggro towards it.

Curses
Temporal Chains/Enfeeble early on in the game if you need survivability.

Playstyle Versus Bosses
This is pretty much the same in most AARPGs. You will be weak early on. Your key to defeating the bosses will be to kite them. Whirling blades through to get the fortify buff, go ham on BF, whirl through them/other mobs again when the boss turns towards you so as to dodge and to refresh the fortify buff. Rinse and Repeat.

Against elemental bosses such as Merv and Vaal, stack resist rings. Versus Merv, get cold resists. Versus Vaal, get Lightning Resists and dodge his slamhammer (very important).

When do I respec to CI?
Spoiler

Only once you have enough decent ES gear and when you feel that chaos damage is starting to become a problem for yourself. You want at least 4.5-5k ES once you have respecced into CI to feel slightly comfortable.

In order to do that, you need to have at least 1.3k base ES from gear + discipline

Things to avoid/pay attention to when CI
Spoiler

Avoid Causic Mana Flasks! They will kill you because you have only 1 Hp

Puncture mobs are your worst enemy! If you're punctured, stop running! (and hope you have staunching flasks)

Build of the Week 14
The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's/Shavronne's HC
Shameless self-proclaimed theory-crafting extraordinaire and forum crusader
Last edited by Invalesco on Mar 25, 2017 7:57:53 PM
Last bumped on Mar 27, 2017 4:25:14 PM
Bd68r6h

update: build is coming along decently. ignore the mana flask. just a placeholder before i get vinktars when they hopefully drop in price a little. no mana issues. not even using astramentis because they are way too inflated at the moment.

screen shot shows the average damage with 4 frenzy charges and 3 power charges up.

haven't done uber lab yet to get the last 2 ascendancy points. still only level 79 so will have plenty more points to spec into DPS.
Build of the Week 14
The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's/Shavronne's HC
Shameless self-proclaimed theory-crafting extraordinaire and forum crusader
Last edited by Invalesco on Dec 18, 2016 11:00:35 AM
Playing a similar version in BHC (can see in profile), but statwise yours seems far superior, although the untaken frenzy charges and 2-point jewels are triggering my OCD. Good thing I'm stocked up on regrets =/
"
Completed 34 ChallengesAcanthus1g wrote:
Playing a similar version in BHC (can see in profile), but statwise yours seems far superior, although the untaken frenzy charges and 2-point jewels are triggering my OCD. Good thing I'm stocked up on regrets =/


haha I may just take some of those frenzy charges after all! still min-maxing my build as we speak.

My projected end tree at this point doesn't reflect any extra frenzy charges because based on my current gem links (shown), %ele dmg will result in a higher average damage than frenzy charges. However, I may be changing the tree slightly as I am going to remove faster attacks from my links to add a different gem, and I'll be needing some extra frenzy charges to maintain my APS while achieving higher avg dmg. Jewels I will only be taking if i can find good enough jewels, then I will alter accordingly. Getting more jewels just to improve INT imo isn't worth it because it provides diminishing returns the higher u go. I think an INT range of 900-1000 is just about optimum for both def and off capabilities. any higher and ur DPS will suffer, any lower and ur ES sufers.

Spoiler


ignore the random gems from other pieces of gear, still trying to get vaal discipline so that i can link it with CWDT, as well as some other gems. for now im just leveling a bunch of gems for future experimentation/optimisation.
Build of the Week 14
The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's/Shavronne's HC
Shameless self-proclaimed theory-crafting extraordinaire and forum crusader
fleshed out the guide. still leveling char, hope to provide more stats soon!
Build of the Week 14
The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's/Shavronne's HC
Shameless self-proclaimed theory-crafting extraordinaire and forum crusader
hey Invalesco!

It's good to see your name back in the forums!

Trying your build right now (still in the early leveling phase) and loving the new guide layout

I will let you know how I progress

Do you mind setting your profile as public to check the evolution of your char without havin to wait for a thread update?

Thank you!

bump for the legend!
have i read right is that invalesco? =O
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Haha yes it's me :p thanks guys!

Oh I didn't realize my character tab was set to private. Coulda sworn I made it public a coupe of years ago. Changed!

Build of the Week 14
The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's/Shavronne's HC
Shameless self-proclaimed theory-crafting extraordinaire and forum crusader
Last edited by N4K3D on Dec 22, 2016 3:31:13 AM
"
Completed 11 ChallengesN4K3D wrote:


1. If you read carefully, you'll realize that the tree I provided is purely a skeleton tree. How you progress from there is up to u, i.e. Whether to grab more frenzy charges or jewel slots is your choice. Extra frenzy charges provide 7% attack speed, 3% attack damage and 4% more damage, but 2 points to grab that isn't necessarily better than 2 points to grab a well modded jewel.

2. As point 1.

3. Elemental overload is overrated. It is easy to grab because it makes building the tree easier, but it isn't more powerful than a crit build that is built well. You don't need gear to go crit-based. Just gems and a good tree. Crit mods on gear are of course a bonus but not necessarily. More importantly, by not going elemental overload, you don't render crit mods on gear useless to yourself.

4. Bro this is blade flurry not spectral throw.

In other news, I'll probably be changing the tree a little. After some calculations I've decided that the pathing inner rather than outer is marginally stronger defensively and offers slightly more versatility.
Build of the Week 14
The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's/Shavronne's HC
Shameless self-proclaimed theory-crafting extraordinaire and forum crusader

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