[3.0] EK Nova Assassin - 3.1 Tree Updated

General Overview: This is an extensive written guide on my version of EK Nova (main skill) through the Shadow character with Assassin ascendancy.
Gameplay and an also similiarly extensive oral review of this guide can be viewed on my YouTube channel:
Youtube video for better detailed explanation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kv4zOpswqg

Any comments and concerns can be posted below and I will take my time to review and answer them.

Pastebin of Shaper DPS while fully buffed AND in ideal circumstances
https://pastebin.com/2VgdbLx5

293k DPS against Shaper fully buffed.
347k DPS against trash mobs fully buffed.
90k unbuffed tooltip DPS.
108k DPS with vaal auras and golems POB DPS

IMPORTANT: You will notice that the "Intimidated" box is checked in the Calculations tab, this is because Vinktar's applies a shock, but it's only a 10% inc. damage shock. POB's shock applies a 50% inc. damage shock. Intimidation is naturally a 10% inc. damage calculation buff so checking that box will substitute in for a more accurate shocked damage applied from Vinktar's.





Gem Link Setup with Explanations
1) Ethereal Knives - Controlled Destruction Support - Pierce Support - Increased Critical Damage Support - Spell Echo Support - Power Charge on Critical Support
a) This setup is pretty standard for critical damage based spells. The reason I run Power Charge on Critical Support is because I needed a way to sustain power charges during single target fights. If you are only interested in trash mob clearing, a Victario's Acuity or any sort of "gain power charge on kill" item will be fine. If clearing bosses is on your agenda, then this gem support is recommended. If you are wealthy enough, purchasing a Skyforth will allow you to replace this gem slot with a "Faster Casting Support" for even more raw unbuffed DPS.

2) CWDT - Molten Shell - Life Leech Support - Vaal Grace
a) Molten shell is there for just damage mitigation and for extra life leech when I whirling blades in to mobs and take a lot of damage. Vaal Grace is linked in to the 4th slot because I had no where else to put it and I wanted the extra dodge chances for boss fights.

3) CWDT - Immortal Call - Increased Duration Support - Vaal Haste
a) Relatively standard across every character 4L setup here. Self explanatory.

4) Summon Lightning Golem - Faster Casting Support- Minion Life Support
a) This is linked with minion life support so it doesn't die as often which in turn allows me to worry less about recasting it.

5) Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks Support - Blood Magic Support
a) Blood magic is to prevent me from wasting meaningless mana just to simply move across the map. VP with leech from warlord's mark will bring us back to full life anyways.

6) Warlord's Mark - Blasphemy Support - Enlighten Support - Hatred
a) Warlord's Mark is an absolute staple since it is our only true way of sustaining life and mana in this build. Hatred naturally scales good with physical damage and enlighten helps to alleviate the burden of reserved mana.


What if I don't want Power Charge on Critical Strike as a support in my main link set up?
Feel free to remove the Molten Shell/Life leech 4L and replace it with an Orb of Storms w/ Power Charge on Critical Strike setup. It may be slightly more inefficient since assassin relies heavily on power charges and it isn't really an optional thing for the build.
For the replacement gem, Faster Casting will work well.


Wait... Only 50% tooltip critical strike chance? What's the big deal?
It's true, our tooltip critical strike chance shows 49.98%. This is because during fights against single targets, when I am fighting them without any charges, I still retain 100% critical strike chance initially and towards the end because of my Assassin ascendancy which gives me 100% more critical strike chance, thus, doubling it to 100%. Of course, fights are not always during those exact moments of low life and full life, so diamond flask and sustained power charges help to maintain a 85% critical strike chance at almost ALL times.


Gear/Equipment


Limitations of Character
DPS is rather on the low side for Shaper/Guardians but definitely possible. This build has no problems up until Tier 16's where guardian fights will be a bit slower and more mechanics are to be involved. I have managed to down 2 of the guardians with this character (Minotaur and Hydra). The other two should be plausible and within character capabilities along with Shaper as well.

If you wish for better single target results, consider swapping EK with Blade Vortex and Pierce Support with Added Cold Damage.


Overall Budget?/Cost of Gear
1) Main Hand Dagger (Behemoth Bite) = 80c
2) Off Hand Dagger (Oblivion Edge) = 50c
3) Helm = 40c
4) Gloves = 1.5ex
5) Boots = 1.5ex
6) Armour = 3ex (Slammed once for EV%), so 4ex
7) Belt = 45c
8) Ring 1 (Gale Whorl) = 60c
9) Ring 2 (Soul Gyre) = 30c
10) Amulet = 2ex


Is the math correct? Is this really your actual DPS during fully buffed and unbuffed stages?
Yes, the math and calcs have all been done to ensure there is no bullshit in my build.


Leveling
1. EK is available to be picked up at lvl 1 after you kill Hillock. It is perfectly fine to level with. If you feel uncomfortable with leveling with EK, you can use Freezing Pulse or Frostbolt until level 38. A good reminder is that if you're late in to the league, buy yourself a Ring of Blades Jewel from the POE market. Threshold jewels are really cheap and can be placed in to your skill tree at any time. Slot in your threshold jewel as early as possible for smooth clearing. Buying a Tabula Rasa will help with leveling tremendously.

2. You can pick up EK with Pierce Support early on because both gems are acquirable at lvl 1.

3. At level 8, link EK with Added Fire Damage Support and/or Added Cold Damage Support and Increased Critical Strikes Support.

4. At level 18, link EK with Controlled Destruction Support and Increased Critical Damage Support.
Drop one of the Added elemental damage supports if you need to. At around this point of the character, you should be getting a free aura in Act 2. Herald of Ice is amazing for freezes since we are a crit build.

5. At level 38, drop the last elemental damage support gem with Spell Echo support. This will be your final link setup as I have shown you. At this point of the character, you should be getting a free golem in Act 5. Pick up your lightning golem for free cast speed.

6. From here on, get new gear whenever you find it is appropriate. Make sure you get lots of resistance gear after Act 5, there will be a huge gap in difficulty from here on.

7. Final reminder and tips: Kitava will drop your elemental resistances by -30% each time you defeat it.
In Act 6, Lilly is a vendor that sells all gems and skills.



UPDATED 3.1 SKILL TREE




Passive tree progression

This is a good starting point for early on: https://poeplanner.com/AAsAAHcACxYBADiw2KLZyBT1b2qMFr8mlWHiVUuMNonTcFIqC13yD6ski8M6m7WExSLqMgGyGc96Yet6Uw5IEZYHHpUu8NVJUY_66_XDCbmT8h1_xqKjD8Q7fLjKkye-iqEvL50W8yY86NYyMhCS2Ya8byM2UxAXsEqLAAAAAAA=

Later on towards mid game: https://poeplanner.com/AAsAAM8ACxYBAGSw2KLZyBT1b2qMFr8mlWHiVUuMNonTcFIqC13yD6ski8M6m7WExSLqMgGyGc96Yet6Uw5IEZYHHpUu8NVJUY_66_XDCbmT8h1_xqKjD8Q7fLjKkye-iqEvL50W8yY86NZsCyL0bRkI9GpDvOosnAVCQZbQ9a6zTLPQH-_rBbWNv9QjMHHdqEt4OkJRR-dUJP3_3jfU7T8wfI19I_ZNkhEtfIPr7prgRZ1TUhzcjxoy0UVHwGYEs6IAMjIQktmGvG8jNlMQF7BKiwAAAAAA

End Game ish: https://poeplanner.com/AAsAAPcACxYBAHiw2KLZyBT1b2qMFr8mlWHiVUuMNonTcFIqC13yD6ski8M6m7WExSLqMgGyGc96Yet6Uw5IEZYHHpUu8NVJUY_66_XDCbmT8h1_xqKjD8Q7fLjKkye-iqEvL50W8yY86NZsCyL0bRkI9GpDvOosnAVCQZbQ9a6zTLPQH-_rBbWNv9QjMHHdqEt4OkJRR-dUJP3_3jfU7T8wfI19I_ZNkhEtfIPr7prgRZ1TUhzcjxoy0UVHwGYEs6IAIG5QMNteBAeD21XGOljjhA3RY0NfsMpKb57xs0tXwOODCbGQLai-gDIyEJLZhrxvIzZTEBewSosAAAAAAA==
Last edited by Masayume2 on Dec 24, 2017, 3:09:39 AM
Last bumped on Jul 4, 2018, 7:33:44 PM
thanks for the guide
bandit / tree ?
"
bandit / tree ?


Alira, tree is in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kv4zOpswqg.

I am not home right now to send you a direct picture link to the tree, so just skim in this video towards the end. Sorry for the inconvenience.
HC viable? :)
This build is viable in 3.1.0 patch?
"
HC viable? :)


Yep, pretty HC viable. Just spec in some more HP if you feel like you want to be tankier.
"
This build is viable in 3.1.0 patch?


I have updated the forum with an updated skill tree for 3.1.0 patch, everything else should remain the same for the most part. You may try out new gear/items that are available in 3.1.0 patch.

Thanks.
Ty update 3.1
I tried to follow your build and so far it doesn't work at all for me. I'm squishy and my DPS sucks.
I had an old shadow with a free reroll (the character was created in 2014, so I gave it a shot).
I have a limited budget (around ~70c) and I would like to get some guidelines. What should I look for in my items? Spell crit? Spell damage?
How much evasion should I try to get?

Anyway this is my tree so far.


And this are my items.
Spoiler

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