[3.0] Dark Pact Zerker - Farm shaper/guardian deathless (VIDEO) - Great clear speed
18.09.2017 Update - Added a cheap alternatives section and the retch in build variations
if you see any mistakes, please let me know !
i wanted to share with you my take on dark pact. so far it's been amazing, the clear speed is really good, AoE is huge and the DPS is insane. i've been able to clear all guardians deathless and got the shaper on my first try with level 19 gems :
Please take look at the Minotaur run to see what mapping look like, and the new shaper video to see how the build perform with endgame gear.
Shaper (endgame gear - 5.51min deathless run) : https://youtu.be/E4AWBbofjw8
Shaper (decent gear - deathless run) : https://youtu.be/r7VIdLW_zdc
Minotaur (old run): https://youtu.be/vvLsW5Bqgew
Phoenix (old run): https://youtu.be/d4CFLKLyf28
Hydra (old run 25% chaos res) : https://youtu.be/DiOnzonE7dk
Chimera (old run with vulnerability/enfeeble/extra cold/beyond) : https://youtu.be/dQnhbyRaTV0
Original idea :
My plan was to use dark pact as a self cast berserker, using vaal pact/cloaked in savagery to sustain the self-cast life loss. As berserkers don't get that mutch spell damage close to their starting point, the plan is to convert strength into raw damage/spell damage and life.
- Great clear speed (shield charge and huge AoE/damages)
- Very strong single target damage against all endgame. all endgame deathless easily achievable
- Tanky 8500 life with endgame gear (7K+ with mediocre gear)
- Relatively cheap (42c astramentis is the most expensive item of this build, no expensive flasks needed)
- you won't give a shit about map mods as the only one you don't want is can't leech (huge chaos saving build !)
- Self cast mean you have to damage something or you will kill yourself
- Vaal pact berserker are always clunky in labs
- Not a beginner build since you need to respec around 25 points, bad gear and jewels can introduce leech issues against single target. Sacrifice your life to kill mobs can be tricky for a beginner too.
Why choose this build amongst the mutiple others berserker Dark Pact builds out there ?
- This build offer a combination of both great clear speed, good tankyness with over 8.5K life and some of the highest reliable single target damages (faster dark pact berserker shaper kill i've seen on the forum)
- Tanky and fast allowing effective mapping without worrying about 99% of map mods on all map tiers
- Non endgame gear is enought to do all endgame content including guardians and shaper
- No expensive build enabling unique (no kaom's heart, no 6L unique) required.
shield charge, right click, everything is dead in one cast. Bosses : cast golem, cast wither totem, shield charge and lock right click : everything is dead in the next 5sec.
Detailled strategy for endgame bosses :
Locate your enemy, cast your golem to proc arcane surge, cast your wither totem in a safe spot where it will not be killed by the enemy attacks. shield charge into your enemy to proc fortify that grant you extra damage reduction. Now consume your doedre's elixir and slam dark pact button.
You have around 6 sec of very high DPS, after those 6 sec you can either relocate and start the process again, or keep smashing dark pact if your wither totem is still alive (at this point you should have max wither stacks and the enemy life should burn at a very fast pace). shield charge your enemy from time to time to keep your fortify up.
If you totem gets killed before arcane surge ends, relocate and start over with a better totem placement.
a few additional advices for uber atziri : Vaal construct are not dangerous, just stay away from their slam, and don't stay in the ice storm, everything else can be facetanked.
The trio is not too problematic : i would advise to lure reflect guy and spike girl in the bottom left, then don't fuck around and lure bleed guy up right. then come back bottom left, kill spike girl first, then reflect guy then facetank bleed guy (easy). never ever engage them near the entrance, spike girl may cast a dangerous degen area that will kill you every time you'll enter the zone.
Atziri is all about dodge skill, shield charge away at the first sight of her flameblast. when she summon her 4 replica, stay in dodge mode until the flameblast and stormcall end, then go full DPS/vaal lightning trap. be carfull to never shield charge directly into an atziri replica when you try to doge things, you can easily get stuck on the enemy and take a flameblast/stormcall. Again it's all about dodge skill and fight knowledge : stay in the vall construct icestorm and you'll die, take a smash and you'll die, don't split trio and you'll die, don't wait for flameblast/stormcall to end and you'll die
Stats (HO and PoB):
In hideout, with arcane surge bonus, no flask buff
PoB tooltip with my current gear/gems/lvl :
- 1 577 729 DPS with 10 wither stacks (achieved in 1.25sec)
- 2 215 024 DPS with 20 wither stacks (achieved in 2.5sec)
HO stats with endgame gear :
- 147 602,6 DPS
- 183 004,9 DPS with arcane surge bonus
- 94 757,4 DPS
- 117 483,5 DPS with arcane surge bonus
Current life : 8530 life, 340 ES
- Doon get you some good cast speed, 70 strength, and 115% inc damage with my 925 strength
- Alberon's giver you 18% increased strength and decent movement speed (you'll shield charge everytime anyway)
- Repentance give you 185% inc spell damage at 925 strength because it gets you 0.2% inc spell damage for every strength point. Most of the damage in the gear comes from those gloves.
- Astramentis is really helpfull to meet the repentance int. requirement and get you some nice strength numbers. You can get a good rare amulet with a lot of strength/dext/int and get some nice spell damage and life too.
the rest is up to you, aim for high life and strength roll on the rest of the gear, life and spell/AoE/chaos damage on the jewels.
Gems link displayed have been modified since, accurate gem links are visible on endgame gear
and link section
Once you have some solid DPS, you can use Brightbeak instead of Doon for mapping at a even faster pace. Be carefull, the shield charge get so fast it's almost hard to control ! (but it's really fun ;) )
Jewels are very important for your overall DPS/life pool, %life on every single jewel for optimal results.
This gear is more than enought to achieve a deathless shaper kill if you want to go further check following "Endgame gear"
Endgame Gear :
Flask are not important for my build, take a few life one (25% reduced amount/instant recovery on low life), a quicksilver (increased duration/increased movement speed) is great to speed up shield charge, then i recommand a Doedre's elixir that improves clear speed a lot thanks to frenzy charges, immortal calls last longer, cloaked in savagery is always up and life loss is not even noticable (thanks imbafromNorth and Nyretis !)
here are mine :
swapped foragainst hard bosses.
Dark pact - Added chaos - Spell echo - Controled destruction - Void manipulation - Increased area of effect/Concentred effect
Cast when damage taken - Immortal call - Blade fall - Herald of ice
bladefall give you full life leech when cast when damage taken proc, very usefull. Heral of ice is nice to boost clear speed and help killing porcupines and dweller like mobs.
Wither - Spell totem - Faster casting - Increased duration
for endgame bosses, not needed against anything with lower HP. You get 20 wither stacks on the enemy in 2.5 sec and wither stacks have a 3.94sec durations with inc. duration. This is a HUGE DPS buff.
Arcane surge (locked at level 12) - Summon Lightning golem - increased duration - Minion life
inc duration increase arcane surge duration over 7sec and the 140% mana multiplier increase the mana consumtion for a higher level arcane surge use.
Weapon 1 :
Blasphemy - Enfeeble - Arctic armor
decent defensive set-up, arctic armor can be switched for vaal haste if you don't mind an additional micromanagement.
Weapon 2 :
Shield charge - Faster attack - Fortify
Major god : Lunaris for general mapping, Brine king if you like running Beyond map mods/zana and shaped canyon (the chicken stun can be annoying with dirty map mods life twinned boss vulnerability etc...)
Minor god : Ryslatha for the conveniant life flask generation. Mandatory in lab
On PoE Website :
On PoE planner :
Path of building link :
- actual build at lvl 95: https://pastebin.com/SBF7E73n
All precise informations you need about real in game eHP and closest to reality DPS calculation you can get. 8530 HP and 2 215 024 DPS with 20 wither stacks (achieved in 2.5 sec with a 3.94sec stack duration)
I levelled my character using infernal blow (i love that skill) until late 70s lvl, i take the main "skeletton" of the build and use mainly jewels slots for damages. you'll need Resolute technique and Avatar of fire to get stable damages and forget about accuracy. it's good for T1-T8 maps, it's cheap, and it's fast enough to make the currency needed to switch to dark pact. I prefer dual wieldind to boost damages a bit since DPS are not that great, get 2 nice axes or maces if you can. if you have a few chaos to spend, get yourself a Wise Oak and a Lion's Roar flask (10-15 chaos for both flasks). They can be used very early on (require lvl 8 and 28 respectively) They will improve your DPS a lot and smoothen your levelling experience.
links for IB levelling build :
Armor : IB - Melee physical - Elemental damage with attacks - Multistrike - Elemental focus - Melee splash that you swap for Fire penetration for bosses
Helmet : Cast when damage taken - Immortal call - Blade fall - Bloodrage
Boots : leap slam - Faster attack - Fortify - Vaal lightning trap you can replace vaal lightning trap with Endurance charge on melee stun if you prefer or even use onslaught instread, it does not proc very often but it's an interesting clear speed boost.
Gloves : Ancestral protector - Melee physical damage - Faster attack - Fire penetration (for easy swap with melee splash from IB for bosses)
Weapon 1 : Blasphemy - Enfeeble - Arctic armor
Decent defensive set-up, arctic armor can be switched for vaal haste if you don't mind an additional micromanagement or if you face mana issues.
Weapon 2 : Summon lightning golem - Minion life and unlinked Heral of ash
There are numerous option to level, you can also go for Firestorm or Sunder (with obvious tree modifications) if you are used to these skills.
Transition to Dark Pact - IMPORTANT
Since i've had a few feedback of people getting not enought leech on single target when they don't take savage hits, i advise to not switch to dark pact too early : try to be around lvl 75-80 with 6k life. If you face these issues, please read the FAQ section.
Your tree should look like this just after your respec to dark pact at lvl 80 :
I don't leech enought life when i face a single enemy / when i don't take savages hits :
Early after the respec to dark pact, you can face leech issues in single target if you gear is barely ok, your gems are low level and you have not yet taken aspect of carnage acsendency points (i did not faced this issue at all but some have). Bosses that do not deal savages hits can also be a pain in the ass (like T10-15 Port boss). there are multiple solutions to solve this unpleasant situation :
- Don't use a 5L unique armor, go for a 6L rare one (or white that you'll craft), they are cheap, they do the job just fine and are WAY better than a 5L carcass or belly.
- use Doedre's Elixir (recommanded in the build anyway). Doedre's elixir proc 100% damage leeched as life on top of giving you 1 charge of every type.
- use Atziri's promise flask, you'll get 2% additional chaos damage leeched as life.
- warlord mark could replace enfeeble, you'll take more savage hits, and leech 2% additional damages as life
- Put your dark pact link gems on your secondary weapon set as soon as possible while you level with infernal blow/sunder. you'll get lvl 17-18 gem when you transition to DP. don't wait too mutch to try uber lab, it's easy with this skill and izaro savage hits you a lot (it helps you leech your life back.
This issue, if you ever experience it, will totally dispear with better gear / higer level gems.
I don't do enought damage to bosses :
Wither totem placement and golem cast to proc arcane surge makes a HUGE difference in damages dealt to high life bosses. be sure to practice it every time you can early on, it will become a reflex later. If you don't use those two skills, bosses will take mutiple times longer to kill.
Gear can of course be an issue too, be sure to have over 800 strength and 6k life at least (overall life scale dark pact damage too) and everything should be fine. Don't underetimate the power of jewels, we use 8 of them in the build !
I don't leech/regen enough mana and sometimes run out:
If you experience some mana leech/regen issues and find yourself sometimes in bad situations because you ran you of mana, i suggest you respect the sentinel - ligntning resist - cold resist - jewel socket just under the scion starting point into the Shaper passive point on the left of the Scion starting point and the two mana passive leading to the jewel slot, you'll gain a lot of mana regen that way.
If you run into elemental resistance issues after this modification, Elementalist passive (near the templar starting point) is accessible for one passive point only.
My tooltip is lower, why ?
I've had this question asked quite a lot of time. When you compare your tooltip with mine, please keep in mind that i have :
- a lvl 95 character
- a full 21/20 gems set on my main link
- Good gear with high life/strentgh rolls, cast speed on rings
- Good jewels
- Good chestpiece
- Good helmet and boots enchant
All those things added one after another can make quite a huge tooltip difference. Don't be too concerned about it, none of those "little extra" are mandatory to clear all game content.
My doedre's elixir doesn't proc cloaked in savagery, why ?
To proc cloaked in savagery you need to loose at least 15% of your life. To reach that threshold, you must have -37% chaos resist or lower (-38% etc...). Since we get already some chaos resist on the tree, be carfull to not get chaos resist on your gear (except on alberon's warpath of course).
Short on currency ? Look at some cheap alternatives here
- Efficient training (near Quick Recovery passive) and Inertia (near Vaal Pact keystone) jewels can replace good rare jewels if you are short on currency.
- Dark pact helmet enchant can be replaced with 150% increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Lightning Golems. It grants you 13.5% increased cast speed with a lvl 20 lightning golem, 15% with a lvl 21 lightning golem. the enchant is A LOT CHEAPER than dark pact enchants (~20c vs 1ex+) and better damage-wise if you don't take in account golem survivability.
- The cheapest way to get a decent 6-link armor is to buy a 6L armor lvl 73 or higher (you have good life and resists rolls available at lvl 73 and above). Since chest piece AR/ES/EV stats are not important for us, we don't have to be picky and can use every chest piece that can easily roll 5B1G sockets colors (ES bases chests). Then you can either craft it using classic alteration/regal, chaos spam, or use essences of greed (recommanded). you can also gamble Dapper prodigy divination card sets, selling hard to color armor for profit (high level AR or EV bases can be sold at a good price) and keep the one that is easy to color for yourself.
Possible gear variations
- Brightbeak is very good to run maps at a faster pace, you can get a Brightbeak weapon set and swap to Doon for harder content. Be carefull, the shield charge get so fast it's almost hard to control.
- The Retch belt. It state that you get 200% of the missing life leeched applies to ennemies as chaos damage. With dark pact life draining mechanic and high cast speed it could be quite a substantial damage increase, especially against bosses that hit hard and fast like hydra and chimera. we are talking about 10 000 - 15 000 additional chaos damage after taking a good hit, without taking in acount wither stacks. Too bad i'm too tired of the league, if someone can affort one i would love to have some feed-back about it.
- Apep's rage can be used (slightly lower damage with Apep's), but i suspect that mana will be harder to sustain, and you loose 150 life, can be a great combo with Zerphi's Last Breath for a better survivability.
- Belly of the beast is the best possible armor if you manage to get 5 blue and one green . It took me some efforts but it's doable (Took me 3500+ jewellers but i was pretty unlucky : 9 tries to get the last green socket)
- Carcass jack is a very good chest piece for damage/clear speed, but you'll lose some life. interesting when you gear is getting close to perfect, especially with 7% life/16 strength jewels. DON'T USE CARCASS JACK UNLESS YOU HAVE A 6L ONE !!!
- The covenant or Cherubin's maleficence are both good armors and can be used in the build. if you use a Covenant 6L, replace added chaos with faster casting (be carefull with life drain when you hit nothing with sutch high cast speed)
Last edited by Zboublemeteor on Nov 18, 2017, 4:03:09 PM
Last bumped on Mar 25, 2018, 11:52:22 PM
on Aug 14, 2017, 8:45:28 AM
Nice guide. I started a new marauder last night because Dark Pact looks so fun. I've browsed a ton of threads and considered many options, from Apep's, Pledge of Hands, Koams Roots, Carcass Jack, and just all sorts of gearing options. I haven't seen any builds with the Doon 1H and Alberon boots, so it's nice to see a new spin on the build. From what I've seen, it looks like Dark Pact isn't one of those cookie cutter builds where certain things, mainly uniques, are 100% necessary. Dark Pact synergizes with many things, and while some uniques may be more optimal than others, it does leave you with some openness to explore the build and make it yours. I won't be opting for a Pledge of Hands/Kaoms Heart version of the build, because I want to utilize Shield Charge, but I may just give the Repentance gloves and the Doon Cuebiyari a second look over an Apep's and a rare set of gloves/other unique. Anyway, nice guide again! Would love to see what you find out in the course of updating this.
on Aug 14, 2017, 1:25:02 PM
Repentance + Doon strength builds are among my favorites. Nice build TS.
on Aug 14, 2017, 1:26:36 PM
shield charge is really a great movement skill, with my current mana regen it's like there is not mana cost at all and it's really effective to manually dodge attacks against endgame bosses.
pledge of hand is a version with more damage but there is really no need for those extra damage imo, and you'll get to use flame "ho no i used it 3 times" dash or leap "snail pace" slam. my shaper fight was an easy one, guardians were easy too even with more life mods, and you can use any cheap 6 link armor you can find, i paid mine 70c a few days ago.
i'll definitely look more into apep's rage because it looked pretty good on PoB with my setup and i think the combination with Zerphi's Last Breath can be pretty insane. 90 mana cost, 800% of mana cost as life, 7 cast per second for 10sec, that's a huge amount of life regen and that would probably totally negate DP life cost during flask effect. pretty sure i'm mot the only person that figured that out if you look at Zerphi's prices ;) .
it is indeed, i'll probably make other spell build using this kind of setup.
on Aug 14, 2017, 3:22:07 PM
I'm still working with Apep's but let me say that your mana is always at 0 but you're leeching just fast enough to to continue casting. But what it means is you can't run MoM or you're screwed. I'm going to try as soon as I can get the bugger to 6 link a covenant to see if it means you can start running MoM and get a psuedo 7 link in all in one swoop. But after trying crit version I'm not convinced by how crit version going to try repentence out. I will say apep's have the very real problem pledge version has in that you are forced to run flame dash or lightning warp over shield charge.
I'll probably continue to update how apep's does until I get tired of having to walk on foot
on Aug 14, 2017, 5:16:24 PM
I just followed your build using a carcass jack. Dps is shit against Guardians
on Aug 14, 2017, 8:08:03 PM
can you be more specific ? how mutch HP and strength do you have, can i see your gear ? something must be wrong, my guardians run were quite smooth.
Last edited by Zboublemeteor on Aug 14, 2017, 10:13:17 PM
on Aug 14, 2017, 10:11:01 PM
Dark PAct take 6% life per cast how much +% life leech u have do u get life back when u hit 1 mob?
on Aug 15, 2017, 2:09:38 AM
Hi, i really like the build you have made. Could you please maybe give a breakup of the leveling tree at certain points because im very confused as to which order to take it. Also we have to heavily re spec when swapping to dark pact..how much regrets will this use?..sry im new to the game but the leveling breakup would help me a lot..thanks and goodluck.
on Aug 15, 2017, 4:16:06 AM
can someone post videos running this build? I ultimately skipped guides without videos demonstrating it. But i'll give this a chance. :)
on Aug 15, 2017, 5:52:00 AM