[2.5] CI/LL Blight CwC Poison Vortex over 2M DPS Trivialize all content [Tri-Curse/HC Viable]
I am an avid lover of Vortex, having played about 5 different iterations the past two leagues. I was looking at ways to use Cast While Channeling, and I also wanted to be a special snowflake and use Blight. Thus came the build. I was already aware of the crazy double dipping potential of Vortex, but I knew Ignite was not going to be optimal with the way CwC works. So, I turned it into a Poison build and hoped it would work in the end game. Turns out, it worked better than I anticipated.
[Patch 2.6] brought a heavy-handed nerf to this build that really hurts the damage and clearspeed of the build. The Pyre nerfs effectively make it impossible to convert 100% of fire damage and require sacrificing either both ring slots (80% conversion, loss of a ring slot) or a gem slot (90% conversion, loss of a double dip gem). The AoE changes also heavily nerf the max AoE you could get from the build since it tried to stack every possible source of AoE as Vortex's base radius is not very large. The damage was already absurd, so the damage loss isn't that bad and hardly noticeable outside of Guardians and Shaper. The AoE nerfs definitely hurt the clearspeed of the build, however. Reports from people playing this in 2.6 say the build still works fine, but it's not as insane as it was before. I'm sure it still works, but it may struggle more with Guardians/Shaper if you are lacking gear.
Why should I play this build?
This build is good for you if you:
- Want to be able to easily do all content with one build
- Don't want to play meta
- Have Black Hole Vortex MTX and want to use it
- Are not mechanically strong and need a forgiving build
- Want a build that hits over 1m dps under a 1ex budget
This build is not good for you if you:
- Want to play a T1 meta build
- Want to map at 300% movespeed extreme speed
- Don't like poison stacking
+ Good clearspeed. Almost everything on screen dies in one cast (~.5 seconds). Speed then becomes a matter of how fast you can WB/run between packs
+ Highly defensive and quite tanky. This is a great HC build utilizing many different defensive mechanics. Blight slow + Vortex chill + Temporal Chains is great CC that pairs wonderfully with Wicked Ward as the slows allow the recharge to kick in before the next attack. The use of Arctic Armour, endurance charges, Fortify and a Basalt Flask make us highly resilient to physical damage. An open flask slot allows an elemental flask to easily swap in when the map calls for it. And then of course the wonderful CI GR VP leech combo.
+ Budget to start, with high upgrade potential. Required uniques will cost ~20c a few days into the league, even for higher rolls. Recommended uniques will cost a little over an ex for it all. You really don't need much more than a 5L to clear red maps/uber lab comfortably. The only real difference between a 6L + money and a 5L is boss speed.
+ Great scaling. Double dipping is amazing to scale. The fact that we can use spell damage to double dip makes it even easier. There are also a number of chase items for those with money that will greatly enhance the build. Can go Low-Life for a 7th link if you have lots of money.
+ Good single target. Poison stacking is one of the best boss killers. This is no exception. I topped out over 3m dps on bosses.
+ 'Alch and Go' build. Can run any map mod. Nothing is hard to run. No combination of mods is hard to run. Easy to adjust for no regen maps due to the low mana cost. Reflect is non-issue.
+ Can clear all content. Easily runs Uber lab. Wicked Ward is great on traps. Can facetank Argus and fully empowered Izaro. Easy Atziri Killer with a Vaal Discipline swap. Can kill Guardians. Easy Shaper killer. All Breachlords completed without hassle.
+ Only uses 2 unique flasks which allows flexibility and potential immunity to every status ailment.
+ Access to Culling Strike which is nice for bosses.
+ Can kill Dyness in Hall of the Grandmasters. I swapped out the Consuming Darks for random white wands and did it.
- Slow to pick up. The damage starts off pretty low if you try to transition to CwC too early. It requires at least a 5L and enough levels to start hitting the Chaos damage wheels before it starts to ramp up the damage.
- Struggles vs poison immunity (Hydra and Chimera). They are still doable, though, just as ignite builds can still do phoenix. It'll just take a bit longer if you don't want to switch up the gear.
- Cannot facetank everything in the game (namely Shaper, Guardians and high damage T14/15 bosses) when the playstyle will make you think you can (because it can facetank everything else).
- Can struggle with lower ES values if gear is not good enough due to no shield, the loss of the amulet and a ring slot, and a unique chest that cannot exceed 600. This build is looking at around 8.5k ES properly geared, with the high potential of ~10k.
- Can cause framerate lag if using the Vortex MTX, as stacking multiple Vortex at a high rate can cause issues combined with other effects from party members/bosses.
Pyre to convert Vortex damage to fire. 2x Consuming Darks to convert fire to chaos. These are the basis of the build. Focus on the highest spell damage roll possible on the Consuming Darks. Int is nice for a bit more ES, but the spell damage is the most important due to double dipping.
Chayula for standard CI stun immunity. You can use any of the other CI stun items instead if you want (Valyrium, Kiara's, enchant + stun avoidance in tree, etc).
Beast Fur Shawl gives everything relevant. Spell damage for double dipping. AoE helps both Blight and Vortex. Recharge works well with Wicked Ward. Pretty solid ES. Regular high ES Vaal Regalia works too if you want more ES.
Alternatively, You can use an Infernal Mantle for another 15% conversion. You will, however, need to drop Arctic Armour and use a high level Enlighten (at least 3, 4 recommended) so that you are not at low mana. You can also pick up the 4% reduced reservation node near the CI keystone.
Amazing damage boosting flasks. Atziri's leech is very good as most of our damage is already chaos. The extra damage ends up being ~30%+ more damage because we are scaling chaos damage. Witchfire for the vulnerability when you pick up the 3rd curse. The flat DoT damage is great too for Blight/poison scaling, and the stibnite base is great for defense.
Hubris with as high of ES possible. This is the main slot to boost your ES since the chestpiece is set unless you choose to use a Vaal Regalia, and boots/gloves/belt are smaller ranges. Vortex damage enchant will be the best due to double dipping, though radius isn't bad.
This will be the easiest slot to get res on, so focus on that. I personally have a mana regen mod on it as well so that I don't have to rely entirely on Rallying Cry for mana regen or Warlord's Mark for mana leech. You don't need it, though it makes life easier for those few times RC isn't up, or for hexproof maps.
High ES, lots of res. You can get some pretty good enchants here if you want. Commandment of the Flames or of Winter are really nice for damage/leech. Otherwise Fingerless for spell damage works. The very best would be a Vaal implicit for temp chains on hit, but good luck getting that on a good rare.
ES and res, if you can. I like flask mods personally, but it's personal preference.
Death's Door works great here. Str solves str requirements, all res is decent, bleed-immune is awesome, end charge is useful. Otherwise, standard ES boots.
No enchants required, though the best ones will be leech, added fire on kill, or added cold when hit.
Your other standard flasks. Freeze-immunity on the QS is great. Bleed immunity on Basalt is good. Curse immunity if you have Death's Door.
Last flask slot can rotate between any of these. Rumi's/Sulphur for general purpose. Rumi's for good defense, Sulphur for some damage and another status immunity. Swap in the elemental flasks when you need to.
Low Life Variant
Going LL is very beneficial, as it provides 30% more double dip damage. On top of that, it allows us to double blasphemy for always on temp chains, frees up 2 gem slots, and a couple of skill points. I would not recommend going LL without Presence of Chayula, however, as your ES will be pretty low without it.
Best damage stats in order:
Spell Damage/Area Damage
Damage over Time
Other useful Stats:
% Energy Shield
Strength (to level Rallying Cry/Immortal Call/Warlord's Mark)
Resistances (can be starved on gear if you are on a budget)
Green Dream (BiS jewel, slotted in the Witch area with Frost Walker)
Red Dream (equal to a 3.5 mod damage jewel, slotted between Witch/Templar with Fire Walker)
Energy From Within (if you take Melding)
I don't recommend using the CwC setup until you have a 5L, as the AoE is very small without it. Use Firestorm or self-cast Vortex on a 4L until then.
Blight - CwC - Vortex - Controlled Destruction - Inc AoE/Conc Effect - Void Manipulation
Blasphemy - Warlord's Mark - Discipline - Arctic Armour (phys/fire facetank)/Herald of Ice (~10% more damage)
CwDT (lv1) - Blade Vortex (lv8) - Curse on Hit - Temporal Chains/Enfeeble
(note that using temp chains is 3 off-colors. it is better overall for damage and defensive utility, but enfeeble is still really good defense and is easier to color)
Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify
Spell Totem - Wither - Faster Casting
Rallying Cry (for mana regen to spam Whirling Blades)
Last 3 slots are up to you. I'd recommend either:
CwDT - IC
Vaal Lightning Trap
Flame Dash for gaps (I have it on swap)
We go Tri-Curse for the Synergy with Malediction giving 4% more damage per curse. It also only requires an investment of 3 points for that third curse, which is more than good value.
Warlord's Mark on Blasphemy. This is for leech so you don't need to rely on Atziri's. Also since we're using VP, there is no leech cap, so more leech is always better. Also provides some nice mana leech.
Vulnerability from Witchfire's Brew. 33% more damage over time is great damage for the poison and DoT stacking.
Temporal Chains is both great hybrid offense and defense. The defense is obvious from the slows allowing easier dodging and Wicked Ward procs. The offense comes from the 40% slower expiration of debuffs. This comes out to ~67% more duration, which is basically 67% more poison damage.
Enfeeble is a good alternative to Temporal Chains that makes coloring easier. It provides more consistent defense over Temporal Chains as it reduces damage straight up, instead of relying on you to dodge. It does not provide any damage, however. May be the better choice in HC as the survivability is more reliable than Temporal Chains.
This is a Softcore leveling tree. I tend to not pick up a lot of life while leveling, but if you don't like being a glass cannon, then pick up the nearby life clusters.
Leveling as Firestorm or self-cast Vortex will be easiest. You can use Blight, but I personally found it really lackluster until a 5L and lots of AoE.
Fill out nearby life nodes before/after from here on until you feel comfortable switching to CI. You'll also finally get Consuming Dark around this time, so taking the chaos wheels will be big damage boosts.
Going Occultist here for the chaos synergy
Profane Bloom -> Malediction -> Wicked Ward (defense) or Void Beacon (offense) -> the other
I recommend Wicked Ward first as it makes Uber lab traps a lot easier to deal with.
Kill -> Kill -> Kill/Frenzy Charge (if using Green Dream)
Why Blight? Why not Wither?
Probably the #1 question I get. Here's my answer:
1) Wither is very awkward to use with Vortex, since Wither has massive range and Vortex is melee. Blight fits the playstyle better. If you want to use Wither, you're better off using Firestorm instead of Vortex.
2) Blight slow is actually pretty nice for general mapping purposes. And while the damage isn't very good because blight just isn't very good, it's still enough to kill white mobs without actually triggering Vortex.
3) It scales with all 3 support gems that we're using to buff Vortex. This is why I prefer it over Scorching Ray.
4) Blight is cool and I wanted to be a special snowflake (even though it's being carried by Vortex).
1) It allows us to use Blight which is only 4 mana per cast. This makes the mana cost extremely low allowing us to reserve 95% mana with minimal investment in mana regen/leech.
2) It bypasses the cast speed of 0.9 seconds and puts it at 0.35 seconds. This is equivalent to 157% cast speed. The only way you're going to get that is to invest in cast speed and use Spell Echo which comes with a 10% less multiplier. Instead, we ignore cast speed and use CwC which comes with a 9% more multiplier.
3) If you aren't familiar with Vortex, then you need to realize that there are not a lot of good support gems for it. The two best are Controlled Destruction and Inc Aoe/Conc Eff. Past that, there aren't many good ones that can take advantage of it's double dipping properties. Elemental Focus kills ignite and doesn't double dip poison. Void Manipulation double dips, but lowers the base damage by a little. Empower doesn't double dip. Hypothermia doesn't double dip as it doesn't affect DoTs. There are really only 3 good support gems to use with Vortex (controlled, aoe/conc, inc crit/ignite for ignite builds | controlled, aoe/conc, void for poison builds). This means that the most effective way to use Vortex is to either use CwC or CoC, or use it in a 4L with the essence helm that gives 30% more elemental damage for ignite builds.
Is Void Manipulation really the best?
I ran some damage calcs through Path of Building on page 6.
I ran damage calcs through PoB using my own char. Here's what I got assuming 5 wither stacks, tri-curse but no Atziri/Witchfire damage buffs since PoB can't calculate them:
Vortex dps including DoT = 98,965.4
Poison dps per stack = 43,394.7 for 3s
Ignite: 31,282.3 for 7s
Total dps with one poison stack = 173,642.4
Total dps with one poison stack no ignite = 142,360.1
Lv20 Void Manipulation:
Vortex dps including DoT = 88,098.7
Poison dps per stack = 63,076 for 3s
Ignite = 22,066.5 for 7s
Total dps with one poison stack = 173,241.2
Total dps with one poison stack no ignite = 151,174.7
Lv20 Elemental Focus:
Vortex dps including DoT = 110,739
Poison dps per stack = 49,340.4 for 3s
Total dps with one poison stack = 160,079.4
You can see that Void Manipulation is actually better than a level 4 Empower at only one poison stack, and it only gets better for each additional stack. Elemental Focus does better at only one stack assuming you don't ignite, but eventually becomes inferior with more poison stacks. So confirmed, Void Manipulation is going to be the best 6th link.
How strong is this build?
See for yourself:
That is ~2.3m dps on bosses with poison stacks alone on a level 20 Vortex, not including Atziri's or the inc DoT damage from Witchfire.
How should I level?
Like any other spellcaster build. Use Firestorm, Vortex, Blade Vortex or whatever you like. This build picks up generic spell damage and area damage, so any AoE spell will work.
Last edited by dragonsroc on Mar 22, 2017, 11:59:28 AM
Last bumped on Apr 2, 2018, 8:55:56 PM
on Dec 20, 2016, 6:59:36 PM
could you record an atziri run? good base line fight to gage. im currently playing a cwc poison firestorm, but your build seems like it may clear faster and synergize more the double dipping spell damage plus blight.
on Dec 21, 2016, 2:13:47 AM
I'm running a cwc-firestorm CD build, but I hate the fire/icestorm mechanics that the damage is dependent on random hit in the area and you have a delay between the cast and actual hit.
But I wonder if vortexes area damage overlap? If i spam vortex in one area, do the mobs get damage from one or all the vortexes? If it overlaps, I immediately dump firestorm
on Dec 21, 2016, 5:57:00 AM
I am running a cwc firestorm build as well, but have been switching it out with vortex for awhile since it does clear faster during mapping. Ive been using wither though instead of blight. Will need to test some more to see which feels better.
on Dec 21, 2016, 8:47:37 AM
Yeah, i'm wither cwc too, this is a "ranged" version, combined with firestorm.
Vortex on the other hand is a "melee" version with vortex being around caster, so blight is an option too.
on Dec 21, 2016, 9:13:39 AM
on Dec 21, 2016, 1:04:19 PM
Sure I can. She's probably even easier than Xoph so I didn't bother with a regular Atziri, and I don't have the frags for Uber and have never run it before.
As for the Vortex overlapping, I've never done any testing so I have no idea. My gut says no, but I really have no idea. The point of spamming Vortex is for poison stacking, though the cold DoT does a pretty large amount of damage as well.
on Dec 21, 2016, 3:05:56 PM
cool. ive move some points around to gather more aoe and spell damage already.
can already tell this is for sure faster clear speed than cwc+firestorm. slighty slower on bosses but also
better at sustainability with life leech due to getting vortexes out faster. a pretty damn good trade off.
on Dec 21, 2016, 3:23:36 PM
It is likely that void manipulation is a bad pick. Because you are reducing your base elemental damage with it before you are converting to chaos, the double dipping more chaos damage modifier is nearly negated.
Here is some math for a general case, assuming you have 100 base elemental damage from your initial hit with vortex and that you have atziri's promise active.
[100*.75*0.4+100*(.75)*(1+x)*.75*1.38*(1+.16*1.38*(1+z)*(1+y))]/[100*0.4+100*(.75)*(1+x)*(1+.16*(1+z)*(1+y))]=effective more multiplier from void manipulation if poison runs its full duration
x=total spell,area,chaos,elemental dmg
y=total poison,DOT,area,chaos dmg
z=total modifier to skill effect duration
so for a base case with no increased damage and skill effect duration, you are actually getting a more modifier of 0.982.
For a case with .45 increased SED and 300 increased damage, its 1.2x.
Hypothermia would probably be the best choice if you don't want to reduce your AOE; concentrated effect will certainly increase DPS the most. However Hypothermia wouldn't effect Blight of course.
Of course this doesn't take into account the effect of blight's DoT being buffed.
I'd suggest you prioritize getting Potency of Will into your tree for extra boss DPS; it is an effective more multiplier for your poison damage. Skittering Runes is nearby and would be a good choice given you are running tri-curse.
I'm running wither cwc bladefall with 2x ming's heart, https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1798824.
Last edited by SasquatchBrah on Dec 21, 2016, 3:50:09 PM
on Dec 21, 2016, 3:39:26 PM
It is reduced elemental damage, not less. Unless it works uniquely, that reduced should be additive with all the increased elemental/spell/area/etc damage. Also, it is the only other double dipping more multiplier support. Hypothermia cannot double dip, Added Chaos/Empower do not double dip, and Rapid Decay is only the DoT. Someone else ran my numbers through Path of Building, comparing Void Manip, Ele Focus and Empower. They were all about the same damage increase on the initial hit, but Void double dips so it will be better.
edit: nvm you did account for it. It's possible it's not the best I didn't really test very much. I'd also love to take more skill duration, but I'm tight on points as is. As for curse effect, it's really not that useful even though I'm tri-curse. You can't increase Vulnerability since it's from the flask, so curse effect only helps WM and Temp Chains. Neither will really benefit that much in getting more curse effect.
Last edited by dragonsroc on Dec 21, 2016, 4:13:46 PM
on Dec 21, 2016, 4:09:25 PM