[2.6] Rattle Retch - Flicker Slayer *1.6 mil DPS, no Crit, no Double Dips*

StaeFrostae's Rattle Retch - Flicker Slayer

Pffft Exiles, welcome to my build guide. This is yet another Flicker Strike Slayer only this time utilizing a few uniques to get some unethically huge leech, lightning and chaos damage.

English is my first language so feel free to belittle me for any spelling and grammar errors. This build and guide are still a work-in-progress, so also feel free to tell me I'm an idiot or that I can't do math. If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability.

But now onto the juicy bits...

The Concept
My idea with this build is to utilize The Retch Rustic Sash to its greatest potential. I stole a lot of my ideas from The Endless Retch build that came out a while ago. His guide is pretty in depth and is, in general, better than mine. I just run my flicker strike a little different than he does and provide a MUCH cheaper option for gearing.

Basically The Retch gives a ton of chaos damage based on how much life I leech, the Endless Hunger ascendancy lets me leech even when I’m at full life, Vaal Pact makes that life leech instant, Vessel of Vinktar lets me leech a shit ton of life from my lightning damage, and The Brain Rattler ensures that I dish out lightning damage like nobody’s business.

This guy explains how the Retch's damage works better than I can, for those of you looking for proof of concept.

There's also a reddit thread somewhere in the depths of the interwebs where Mark from GGG says this will work but Reddit's search feature needs to be updated more than Allan needs to ad an advertisement.

Pros and Cons
- Decently Cheap (less than 3 ex to get started)
- Amazing Clear Speed
- Stun Immune
- Steals all your party member's EXP
- Pretty Purple Explosions
- Life Based
- Seizure Inducing (Flicker isn't for everyone)
- Iffy Survivability (redundant- I already said life based)
- Frenzy Charges vs Bosses
- Lab... just lab

No Double Dipping
No Skyforth
Yes Vinktars
Yes VP
Yes OP league specific unique

Overall… still really fucking unethical


Explanations and Alternatives
Brain Rattler is the BiS. Lightning Conversion from physical is great because we can scale both physical and elemental damage. It comes with free lightning penetration, decent damage, and a defensive buff added to your shocks. Plus, you can get a 5 link for under 50 chaos, sometimes as low as 20 depending on who's selling at the time. I ended up buying my 6 link for 4 ex. If you decide to link it yourself, please note that on average it takes 1500 fusings and that works out to about 5 ex. It's usually cheaper to just buy one.

It is possible to use other weapons, but they just don’t compare to Brain Rattler. Atziri’s Disfavour comes the closest DPS wise but it still lags behind (mind you I had mace dmg jewels affecting the calculation but still). Technically any big physical weapon can be used in place of Brain Rattler, but in these cases, you’ll want to use the conversion vinktar’s rather than the penetration vinktar’s.

Body Armour
I played around with some different options here before finally accepting that Kaom’s is just BiS. I really wanted to use The Perfect Form because it super charges our armor with Iron Reflexes, it provides 30% spell dodge and does still give some health, but the 1 shot protection that Kaom’s provides is inevitably necessary in higher maps. There are other options like Kintsugi and Daresso’s Defiance if you want to drop Iron Reflexes/unwavering stance but then you’re losing your stun immunity and a ton of armour. Another option might be Lightning Coil, but the rare realty on this build is a bit narrow and covering the -60 to lightning res would be hard to manage.

Obviously, if you're swimming in exalts and somehow own a legacy Kaom's Heart, that's even better, but yeah... I don't have that kind of currency.

This is another slot I really debated over. Kaom’s Roots provide Unwavering Stance which saves me 5 points in my passive tree. Plus it gives me a ton of life, and because the “The Throne” divination card exists, the market is flooded with Kaom’s Roots that have +1 Frenzy charge. In the end Kaom’s roots is just too efficient to pass up.

Other options are Atziri’s Step and The Blood Dance. Atziri’s Step gives movement speed and some spell dodge but provides less than half the life as Kaom’s Roots and doesn’t give unwavering stance. The Blood Dance cuts our DPS slightly but gives us more frenzy charge generation. If you run The Blood Dance you can drop Poacher’s Mark, but I think Poacher’s is actually really good for the build, so I don’t think this is necessarily a good thing. Also, good luck affording a pair of either with +1 frenzy charge on it.

I would love to wear a rare. Devoto’s Devotion was the cheapest (non-hubris circlet) helmet with the flicker enchant when I went to buy one. That said, the movement speed helps to pick up some of Kaom’s Root’s slack, and it does technically increase our dps though not by that much.

I finally got around to getting a talisman with 10% chance to gain an endurance charge on kill. It cost me an ex, but it's definitely not necessary for the build. It does (after I pick up the duelist endurance charge) give me 16 to all res and 16 physical damage reduction, which will be nice. but it's incredibly difficult to find a talisman with a decent life roll, damage and the endurance charges. Honestly, mine probably wasn't worth the ex, but I wanted it so yolo.

Everything Else
Everything else is pretty self-explanatory. Get a T1 life roll and cover your resists with your gloves, rings, and amulet. Grab some strength and accuracy where you can fit it, and get physical or (slightly less preferable) lightning damage to attacks where you can.

For flasks get a lightning pen or lightning damage to attacks vinktars, lion’s roar, and atziri’s promise with a 15% ele as extra chaos. In the last 2 slots I opted for staunching and grounding flasks.

As for jewels, get life if you can, then phys damage and attack speed. Getting crit chance (to make sure EO stays up) or lightning damage is also ok.

Main Attack
Flicker>Phys to Lightning>WED>M Phys>Multistrike>Ele Focus

Weapon Swap (for single target)
Static Strike>WED>M Phys>Multistrike>Ele Focus>Conc Effect

Mana Reservation
Blasphemy>Poacher's Mark
Arctic Armour
Herald of Ash

CwDT>Flame Golem
Blood Rage
Ancestral Warchief

Why Poacher's Mark?
I take Poacher's Mark for a number of reasons. First off, it helps with frenzy charge generation. Without Poacher's mark, your only frenzy charges come from Blood Rage which just doesn't cut it on its own. You could use The Blood Dance or Green Dream/Nightmare but I personally decided to go with Poacher's Mark.

PM also doubles the flask charges you gain from cursed enemies, reduces enemy evasion thus increasing hit chance by 5%, and gives mana on hit which helps to sustain your flicker mana costs if you're ever in a tight spot with Vinktar's down.

Weapon Swap?
I just chucked another 5L brain rattler in my offhand for bosses. I can usually burst down bosses with flicker strike, but you run the risk of running out of frenzy charges. With static strike on the other hand, you can sacrifice clear speed for non-frenzy-reliant dps. I only swap for beefy bosses, but it's nice to have just in case.

Other Questions?
-I run CWDT with my Golem because I'm lazy.
-Blood Rage is necessary for frenzy charge generation and gives good damage. The only downside is you can't use Daresso's Salute because the degen keeps you permanently off of full life.
-Ancestral Warchief is just for the more m phys dmg. Throw this guy in a corner so he doesn't get 1 shot.

Passive Tree
Normal- Help Oak
Cruel- Kill All
Merciless- Help Kraiten

Normal- Impact (so you can drop melee splash)
Cruel- Endless Hunger (So your Retch will start working for you)
Merciless- Bane of Legends
Uber - Headsman

Pay to get carried through Uber if you have to. Headsman is worth every penny. I'd take it sooner but Impact and Endless Hunger are necessary for the build.

Screenshots don't really do flicker strike justice, so instead I'll link my Path of Building for my character as is.

My gear is no where near top end, but I'm working on it. I'm not going to be creating some absurd scenario to flex the numbers. My base dps against 0 resist targets is 1.13 million. Against resist capped enemies it's 615k. This assumes I have max frenzy charges, I have onslaught up, I've killed recently, and the enemy is shocked, all of which are very reasonable considering the build.

When I calculated the added damage from The Retch, I came out with 42% more damage added as chaos, bringing my total to 1.61 million dps.

With ele focus, the damage is pretty absurd. Without ele focus, the dps is just above 1 mil, so it's definitely not necessary. I think fortify is a very viable alternative, but I'm still running ele focus. Do what works for you.


Calculations for those interested
Life leech percentages are as follows:
26.2% of lightning
.2% of fire damage
2.8% of chaos damage

This works out to multipliers of
.524* lightning
.004* Fire
.056* Chaos

average base hit values
110,404 lightning damage
9,747 fire damage
20,256 chaos damage
140,408 total damage

final Retch damage
57,851+39+1,134 = 59,025 added chaos damage on each hit

Percent Added
59,025/140,408*100% = 42%

Cumulative Damage
140,408 (base) + 59,025 (retch) = 199,433 damage

Final DPS
199,433 damage per hit*(92% chance to hit)*8.76 aps = 1.607 mil dps


life- 6118 at level 90
ele resists - capped
chaos res - +9%
Arctic Armour always reducing damage taken while attacking
13 k armour
77% physical damage reduction (26% of which is flat from a basalt flask)
Stun, shock, and bleed immunity

I just bought my talisman, but I intend to grab another endurance charge, which will put me at 4. That's another 16 percent physical damage reduction.

It's obviously not super tanky but so long as I don't get 1 shot, I'll instantly leech everything back. The armour helps a lot with small hits, and unwavering stance from Kaom's Roots prevents me from being stunned.

Ideally, I'll eventually get life on all my jewels. The final 10 passive points (Lesbihonest, I probably won't get them all) are going to life nodes that I'm already linked to, and 2 more jewel sockets.

I don't stream or make youtube videos, so I'm sorry the quality isn't great,

t-15 shaped underground river

Sorry for no double beyond-it makes the recording look even worse. The build can handle it though.

3.0 Updates
So obviously the biggest issue looking forward to 3.0 is going to be the availability of the Retch, which is currently tied to Talisman League. Maybe they'll expand Zana mods so we can get it by chance spamming rustic sashes to get famine and feastbind, but honestly, I'm afraid that Talisman wouldn't get added if only because of the shear volume bases that would have to be maintained.

Aside from that 3.0 is looking hella good for us. Vaal Pact hasn't been removed from the game or anything drastic like that. ES got nerfed to shit and life got buffed, so maybe my 6k health pool might jump to 6.5. That'd be nice. This build doesn't double dip, so DOT changes don't effect us. Pretty much, we're in a good place in 3.0 assuming we're actually able to get the Retch.

Last edited by StaeFrostae on May 27, 2017, 5:28:10 PM
Last bumped on Sep 8, 2017, 1:31:07 AM
Does Rettch damage not capped by yours actual leech rate?
Not with vaal pact. Vaal pact circumvents maximum life leech per second limits by applying all leech instantly, which is why many people consider it broken in its current state.
The modifier #% of Life Leech applies to enemies as Chaos Damage takes 200% of the actual life gained from leech and deals it as Chaos Damage to enemy that was the target of the leeching. Therefore, by default no damage is dealt if the player is at full health while leeching. This damage is not affected by damage modifiers as it is considered as reflected damage.[1]

said wiki.

And the points already raised and discussed in this thread.


Has anything changed since?
Last edited by lazymule on May 16, 2017, 5:11:51 PM
You're totally right in that the retch only does damage while youre actually leeching, but that's why I take the Slayer Ascendancy "Endless Hunger" which allows you to continue leeching, even at full life. This ascendancy allows you to bypass the life limit and is the reason this build only works as a slayer.

I got my information regarding this from the "Endless Retch" build, and I've tested it myself. I know that's sort of a crappy "just take my word for it" argument for now, but hopefully I'll figure out how to get a video up demonstrating the retch damage tonight.
I think basically how it works is that normally the retch applies a DOT effect that damages at the same rate you would leech. This is affected by life leech per second, maximum life leech per second, stopping at max life etc.

With Vaal Pact, the leech is instant so the Retch damage is instant as well. However, without endless hunger, you can only deal twice as much damage as you have health missing.

Then with endless hunger and vaal pact, the damage is applied immediately a 2x the value that would be leeched. Thats how I have my calculations at least. You dont get benefits worded as "while leeching" but you do get benefits pertaining to total life leeched.
Oh man, too bad maintaining Frenzy charges on single target is so awkward that a different single target Setup is needed. I'm a really big fan of the build concept but that fact just kills it for me, even though it might be only on 'big bosses'.
ign: PhrozenFlame
cocomoloco wrote:
Oh man, too bad maintaining Frenzy charges on single target is so awkward that a different single target Setup is needed. I'm a really big fan of the build concept but that fact just kills it for me, even though it might be only on 'big bosses'.

Well I can say that doing labs at lower levels is like pulling teeth with a plastic spoon. UGH.. especially using just Flickerstrike.

But I'm confident that all the pain and agony is worth it at the near end.. :P
cocomoloco wrote:
Oh man, too bad maintaining Frenzy charges on single target is so awkward that a different single target Setup is needed. I'm a really big fan of the build concept but that fact just kills it for me, even though it might be only on 'big bosses'.

Yeah I mean, I kill most bosses before I drop 3 frenzy charges, and that's on red maps rolled rare with boss life etc. It's definitely doable without static strike. The danger is just when you fuck up a lot like me and pop your flasks when you shouldn't (ie to kill one mob because you think there's a pack behind it) and then don't have them up to clear packs and get more frenzy charges. The weapon swap for me is just a back up for when I'm an idiot.

Flicker probably isn't super viable for those endgame farms, like Uber lab, Atziri, and Shaper. Although I bet with good gear you could burst down a well rolled guardian, especially Minotaur. I haven't quite gotten that far yet though.
Pracis wrote:
Well I can say that doing labs at lower levels is like pulling teeth with a plastic spoon. UGH.. especially using just Flickerstrike.

But I'm confident that all the pain and agony is worth it at the near end.. :P

You know, I'm in the minority of people that actually enjoy lab. I had a ton of fun running uber with a frostbolt inquisitor earlier in the league... but lab with this char is absolutely horrendous. I got a carry and never looked back.

This build is amazing for endgame mapping, but traps and fat bosses not so much.

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