Dark Pact

Using this skill with skeletons, taking advantage of the new +3 to minion gems helmets and the buff minion life support got.

I inicially started as a necromancer which I thought made sense but later came to understand how conter intuitive the build actually is when you want to optimize it.

Basicly necromancer has no support to this skill. I went for the notables apart from fresh binder and soul weaver in the ascendancy but the end result was.
* Minimal added chaos damage (20% inc from beacon of corruption+ clouds)
* Minimal added dmg (spirit eater/offerings), high maintenance and low impact, very unfun.
* decent defensive bonus (20 allres 15chaos res, acess to bone offering cwdt)

I inicially expected this ascendancy to be optimal but the result was underwhelming when I realised occultist's void beacon by itself is x3 stronger than the entire necromancy tree combined, I was also very disapointed there was only minion life on the fleshbinder route :(

I ended up going occultis with forbidden power/void beacon/malediction but if I could star over I'd just go scion occ/ass and get better acess to crit and aoe nodes as well as better ascendancy.

What I ater theoricrafted was that the skeleton % bonus to the spell was increadibly undewhelming, despite the support to summon skeletons effectivelly making this skill a 8-9 link the point where minion hp%>spell% was only reachable after already having 120%+ spell dmg due to them being multiplicative with each other.

I would love to see the spell have higher skeleton hp% scalling and lower flat chaos dmg (increased self cast more% to not affect it) to see it effectivelly turn into a minion scalling skill rather than just a regular chaos spell% being optimal for it. I also worry how good it would be without the abyssal jewel triple whammy supporting it (minion hp%, life + cast speed on minion death).

Minion instability was horrible due to fire scalling instead of chaos, build felt a lot better when I stopped using it. Skeleton AI is atrocious but I didnt wanna waste a socket on minion speed since there where better options (skelly-minion hp-empower-vall skelly or faster casting for bossing).

Weapon wise I don't understand why void battery is so superior to all other options, apep rage are ok but never as good and the new chaos damage stuff is just unusable. I was forced to go crit batteries to reach decent damage in the late game.

Overall the skill is very fun visually but wish the aoe was slightly larger, even with witch/templar aoe and 23quality it still feels to small to map effectivelly with since you need to summon the skeletons every time you need to get a mob further away and the skeleton refute to take more than a single step after spawning.

Unique wise I used the new Gloomfang since it's effectivelly 33% more dmg due to the added chain althought the negative life on hit was a real kick in the nutts and nearly killed me several times due to boss transitions on immortality shrines/rares. I was then forced to go watchers eye vitality on hit hp with an essence worm (since I'm using MOM as well).(later found out you can get life on spell hit rings but it doesn't beat the survivability watchers eye option gives)

Apart from the generic abyss good uniques (using bubonic trail stygean vice), this playstyle has no support from uniques, I guess this makes it pretty decent for ssf, although a from dust jewel/lab enchant is pretty mandatory to save you from extra casts. I would love to see that jewel added to that quest in act 5? which gives you a lot of other threashold jewel to pick from then I'd be pretty gucci in ssf.

Boss wise the built is really good at, I've done multiple red elders wiht minimal deaths (although for bossing the best way to live is to kill faster...) and it feels pretty safe having your skeletons meatshield for you. It doesn't end up as regular summoner build where you just watch while your stuff does the work for you it actually takes action on your part to get things done.

Nowadays I only use to build for bossing since there are N better options for mapping which have better MF support but I relly on it for boss killing.

To sum up:
* Would love to see more uniques support this build (especially if abyss jewel are gone the build is pretty rip)
* From dust added to quest rewards for ssf support
* No decent ascension support, all options are pretty meh appart for scion occ/ass with crit build
* No weapon support. Void battery too good, everything else too bad. Crit or go home
* small AoE+ bad AI makes it pretty bad for mapping
* Great boss killer.
* Great dmg (currently 1M shaper dps diam flask 7 power charges lvl 91 wither, despair, assassins mark) can theoricraft above 2M with better gear (missing 2 empower lvls, 21 skell, flat crit on chest 6th link for conc effect)

Level 86 Occultist

Chaos Inoculation, Ghost Reaver, Chaos/Spell damage/ES passives, From Dust Cobalt Jewel

5 linked in a Cane of Unravelling w/ Void Manipulation, Added Chaos Damage, Spell Echo, and Life Leech supports.

I find it to be a very fun skill. Still works with CI for some reason. I understand how it does, but not why it's allowed to with essentially no penalty. I mostly use it on skeletons, but it would be cool to sacrifice ES since why not.. Damage would be pretty broken with high ES, but perhaps the bonus from using life simply won't apply to ES? Especially using it with CI, it seems like a fair tradeoff since you want to have at least 9k ES to use CI. And of course using it on skeletons would still be a viable alternative when your ES gets low for the leech. The more I think about it though, the more broken the damage seems and I get a little scared they'd want to nerf something again.
When first introduced Dark Pact was my favorit gem. Unfortunately it went on and became flavor of the month and got nerfed afterwards. But it got nerfed way to much and didnt get any love along the way, while so many other gems got looked at, leaving it way behind the majority of gems. The problem was never the damage. The problem was the instant leech from Vaal Pact and the Berserker ascendancy, totally removing the downside of the gem when self-casting. Which got fixed with the change to Vaal Pact and changes to the Berserker ascendancy.

At this point, it does lower damage than the majority of other gems and it still has the downside of removing health when self-casting. It has less area/reach than most gems to.

I like the idea of sacrificing life for damage and scaling it with health, so let's keep that part. But the rest needs to reward you more for sacrificing life.

I just don't get it. The majority of other gems scale better, through elemental damage, ignite, shock, shatter ect. Yet has absolutely no downside.

- Maybe let it scale better/more with health.

- Give it a threshold jewel (strength), lowering the health sacrificed per jewel and increasing damage/area.

- And to not ruin the whole totem/skeleton balance. Maybe let every form of usage sacrifice your health. Not only self-cast.

I actually though it would get looked at in 3.3, but sadly not. As things stand. I really do think Dark Pact, is probably the worst gem in the game, when self-casting it.
About time for Dark Pact and Abyssal Cry to get some love?
Last edited by Zicon on Jun 20, 2018, 8:25:18 AM
It's the time I try again to build around (the already nerfed) Dark Pact with a similar Scion totem approach. What's worse, after the area-of-effect double-nerf(consider the nerfed DP doesn't offer extra radius again), I find myself desperately seeking every chance to raise my aoe radius. Now that I have 60% from tree and gear it still hardly covers a whole pack when I luckily placed the totem in its middle, wondering may need Carcass Jack and/or Increased Area of Effect to reach its unsupported pre-nerfed aoe. The damage part is not worrying as such, however, from the death-rate of rares and bosses I figure out it has been lowered by ~20%. The totem range problem(DP totem will "see" enemies at about 2x its range and cast it meaninglessly) remains still and thanks to the nerf it doesn't affect performance that much than before... yet still annoying if you see totems waste themselves while a remaining skeleton roams on their edges.

A problem not encountered(or noticed) previously is that, a placed totem has ~1s delay before it actually works. It is best observed in incursions while you have ~1s to kill a pack to generate ~3s more time.

After all I don't suggest anyone to use this build. Maybe Hierophant is a better choice for his more totem numbers to compensate for the weak aoe ability after the DP nerf. Finally, the totem placing range issue combined with aforementioned shortage means you would be actually playing a melee-range build.
Two-handed - Mop
Dual Wield - Slippers
One-handed & Shield (close combat) - Brush & Basin
One-handed & Shield (ranged) - Hair Dryer & Mirror
Main-hand & Off-hand (evil witch) - Sponge & Soap
Oh look, a melee range tiny AoE spell that has mana cost and yet sacrifices your life in order to give you 180% damage effectiveness, wonder why isn't it popular.
a_z0_9 wrote:
Oh look, a melee range tiny AoE spell that has mana cost and yet sacrifices your life in order to give you 180% damage effectiveness, wonder why isn't it popular.

On top of that it looks like the self cast bonus damage is gone?

They don't read these posts anyway haha.

Dark Pact DESPERATELY needs effect culling. Its performance is god-awful; almost as bad as pre-fix VD.
Path of Casino - because literally everything is gambling/RNG.
Level 95 Necro Dark Pact, casting on skeletons. Dark Pact is not consistent with other chaos spell abilities regarding proximity shields.

Essence Drain penetrates proximity shields both when directly cast or when propagated by contagion. Likewise, Soulrend also penetrates proximity shields. Dark pact stands alone in that it does not.

Further confusing is when cast on skeletons already within the proximity shield, the skill still results in zero damage. To beat proximity shield, both player AND skeleton need to be present within when the skill is cast.

This is a pure chaos spell, it should act like one and penetrate proximity shields. If not universally, at least when the skeleton on which the spell is cast is within the shield (as that is where the nova is generated).

There is absolutely no reason - either thematically or logically - a chaos ability cast on a skeleton within a proximity shield should do no damage. Please fix!

Agent_PoE wrote:
Essence Drain penetrates proximity shields both when directly cast
No, it does not. The hit damage is prevented.

Agent_PoE wrote:
or when propagated by contagion.
Essence Drain does not hit enemies in this case.

Agent_PoE wrote:
Likewise, Soulrend also penetrates proximity shields.
No, it does not. The hit damage is prevented.

Your point of confuision is that Proximity Shields fundamentally only prevent damage from hits. Applying a damage over time effect to an enemy means that debuff is the source of that damage-over-time, which is inherently within the shield.

If you cast Dark Pact, you are directly dealing damage, by hitting enemies. This is prevented by proximity shields if you are outside them, in exactly the same way as any other hit damage you deal. You (not the skeleton) need to be inside the shield for the hit to deal damage.
Last edited by Mark_GGG on Feb 17, 2021, 10:19:30 PM

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