Poet's pen assassin Bladefall and Blade vortex. SHAPER DOWN!

Firstly

Why assassin? I tried to think of some other class, but I'm not running conversion, so inquisitor's kind of wasted. I can gain frenzy charges, so raider's not really THAT great anymore. Duelist is attack-based. Marauder might be a decent choice, though I decided against it, as it makes pathing really painful, considering how far you'd have to stretch to reach all the crit nodes. Witch has nothing to offer except more reliable power charge generation, which isn't enough to justify a class choice

Scion was up for debate, but lower flat crit chance, a rather unreliable power charge generation and nothing amazing to offer elsewhere, it became one of the less loved ascendancy choices in the game. With that said, this build could probably be replicated rather similarly by other ascendancy choices with the same or better results. This is simply my take on it, and it's been an amazing build due to its mixture of high damage, decent survivability and great clearspeed(Granted, without a quicksilver flask, it would feel terrible)


A T11 Colonnade with 'Monsters take 38% reduced damage from critical strikes', which is a flat 38% mitigation against any sources of burst(Streamer RNG included)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JN4W3Lgr9Y&feature=youtu.be

I avoid the boss, because there's crit multi on the map, and the molten shell does a lot of damage, a perfect example of 'Play with your brain, not your brawns'

Since I dropped an exalt, I bought a shaper set and killed him again. This was a worse fight than my last one, but every death was my inability to prevent it. This could probably be done a lot smoother, like using a higher crit % chest, or running level 21 BF/BV. This was primarily just a showcase of the damage the build is capable of
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9ULSruIy18&feature=youtu.be
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Pros:
High damage
Decent HP pool for an assassin(5K easily obtainable at 90)
Great clear speed(Bladefall can be aimed on the cursor with attacks)
Don't have to worry about ignoring the small fries sneaking in close
Single-click playstyle
FLasks are whatever you like
Cheaper than a 6L unique, all things included(I spent about 4Ex myself, though that was before Poet's pen got more expensive)
No gem swap

Cons
Slow. Really slow. You can combat this with an adrenaline quicksilver flask, but whenever it's out of charges, you'll feel it. You'll REALLY feel it
Dodging is done primarily through maneuvering and positioning. You have to actively pay attention to where you are and what's happening
Leech is trash. You can't rely on it, even with atziri's promise and warlord's mark. It's an extra layer of defense, but against bosses, your best bet is to avoid getting hit
Jewels are rather limited in their mod pool, making it difficult to find what you want all the time
Flame dash is the worst movement skill in the game by a landslide, and because of limited gem slots, it's the only skill you can actually use to get around

Gear
Spoiler



This is the gear I used to take down shaper in the abyss league

I'll further detail the importance of every piece below


The core of the build. There's no substituting this if you want the playstyle. It casts a linked spell whenever you attack with any attack skill. I personally use frenzy because I like charges, but barrage is a viable option as well




The chest can really be anything you want. Kaom's heart, belly of the beast, carcass jack, etc. I personally wanted crit chance, resistance and life. A carcass jack would add more damage in Path of building, so this is entirely a preference type of thing. If you think one chest is better than another, use it. There's really no limitation here. Kaom's heart is arguable on whether or not you want to use it, since it means you won't be able to get frenzy on a 4L setup, and thus lose either faster attacks or a curse on hit. You could bypass this by getting warlord's mark curse on hit on an elder ring though, but this is an expensive option


Intimidate is a bit of extra damage. Attack speed is useful. % life is a little bonus. If you get two abyssal jewel sockets, it's also 70 HP, which makes them provide a ton of damage as well as more life than most gloves due to the % and # life. Murderous eye jewels are only attack based though, so you want to get a crit multi, life and resistance abyss jewel on it. As for maim, if you can fit it in, do it. However, searching eye jewels are projectile based jewels, and I personally went for a hypnotic eye one instead, as it's spell oriented. A two-socket one cost 50c when I bought it, but a 1 abyssal socket pair, which is honestly plenty to start out with, will only cost you a chaos at most


The only real reason to use these boots, is for the abyssal socket. The death walk isn't anything particularly amazing, and you could always run a pair of darkray vectors for more defense. Abyss jewels simply add a decent chunk to the damage dealt, and as a result, I prioritized it over something else. If you don't think the damage is worth it, or simply don't care about minmaxing, any other pair of boots will do just as well(Or better)


It's a great helmet. The recovery of life whenever you attack is a huge help when you're getting spiked by damage during abysses, as you will often have multiple charges that launch out. They're also great for destroying urns and the likes, which surprisingly often ends up dropping something worth picking up. Outside of that, it's the same as the gloves. Abyssal sockets are more valuable than any other helmets for damage, and a double abyssal socket one, while around 50c when I bought it, will increase your damage by a good chunk. If you go for double abyss on both of these, you need 3R on your boots though, which means that you should use the vorici trick for coloring.


Unlike the other abyss items, this belt is simply BiS. You can get a decent bit of resistance, upwards of nearly 130(Mine has 102) as well as more damage than any other option would give you. And best of all, it's only a few chaos(The jewels is where it might get expensive). Recommended jewel sockets here are life and resistance as a primary target and either #-# physical damage to spells or crit multi, depending on what's cheaper. If budget isn't the maker of the decision, a crit multi, life, resistance AND #-# physical damage to spells is your best bet

Before we continue, I want to mention rather thoroughly that only the belt is a choice you simply cannot ignore. The other abyss items are completely optional, and I chose them for the most damage output. If you choose another option, that's perfectly acceptable


Resistance and life. If you can get an essence crafted ring with crit multi, or a diamond ring base, those might provide more damage, but I went for a cheap option since I didn't have much currency when I started this build, and as I got more, I simply didn't see any real reason to upgrade them, as an upgrade would be really expensive


Life, crit multi and crit chance. If you can additionally get spell damage, that's more damage. I personally wanted a lot of life, and I got it without destroying my wallet

Jewels are rather simple. Physical #-# damage to spells/physical #-# damage while dual wielding, +# to Maximum Life and/or Global critical strike multiplier. Currently, poe.trade doesn't actually support searching for the abyss jewel mods, so you have to use the official path of exile trading site.


Flasks are whatever you want it to be. Diamond flask and life flask are pretty much mandatory as the life flask is pretty detrimental to our survival, and the diamond flask is simply the best option for damage.

These are my flask choices. A taste of hate will do more damage than a sulphur flask, but by very little. As a result, it's a great alternative that costs pretty much nothing versus the 100c+
for about 0.9% increased damage


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Skill gems:
Bladefall - Concentrated effect - Controlled destruction

Blade vortex - Concentrated effect - Controlled destruction

Frenzy - Faster attacks - Curse on hit - Warlord's Mark

Cast when damage taken - Immortal call - Increased duration

Hatred - Herald of ash

Flame Dash - Summon Flame Golem

If you do have sockets to spare somewhere, try fitting in something like orb of storms with arcane surge. It's a little bit of extra damage, though I do not use it because it adds more skills to micro-manage, and the constant need to move/attack makes it feel slightly wasted

Alternatively, you can put in vaal lightning trap, orb of storms and arcane surge instead of a CWDT setup

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For bandit rewards, help Alira. Crit multi is great, % resistance is extremely useful due to the high amount of uniques used and the mana regen will help you sustain frenzy even without leech(Excluding no-regen maps)

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Playstyle as previously mentioned, is highly active. You want to avoid taking damage in general, unless you know you can burst down targets with blade vortex. On shaper, I spent most of the time away from him, purely relying on bladefall to do damage when he wasn't using his beam. You don't really leech, and will use your life potion to replicate what leech might be like on a more leech-heavy character

When you're going up to a boss, have jaws of agony on weapon swap to generate charges. Unstable infusion is terrible at generating charges as it only has a 10% chance to do so on NON-critical strikes


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PoB link - https://pastebin.com/cNsUf2PE
The damage is higher than shown, as PoB doesn't currently calculate damage from abyss jewels socketed in gear, and it calculates cast speed as a source of damage, rather than attack speed. You could also change out some of the damage passives and put them into life nodes, such as the melding wheel or purity of flesh


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Ascendancy is Unstable infusion - Deadly infusion - Ambush - Assassinate
Power charge generation isn't amazing, as it more often than not won't generate at all, due to the non-critical strikes requirement, but it still helps more than nothing

Deadly infusion is a decent damage spike due to the rather large critical strike chance boost

Ambush - Honestly a terrible node. Your frenzy will hit them once and their HP won't feel even a slight tickle. Even if you avoid hitting them with it first, you hit multiple times per second. You don't hit a single hard time.

Assassinate - It's an okay node. Nothing amazing, but the culling strike is a little bit of a feelsgood factor when fighting tankier targets like guardians or shaper

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Leveling is really easy. Once you get the poet's pen, just put in blade vortex and ethereal knives and level until you can get bladefall at level 28. Use frenzy for attacking, since it generates charges, and watch as everything dies

For pathing, make it down to herbalism first, as you will have dexterity issues otherwise, and then start moving over to the left to cover as much ground as possible, before passive points become more scarce. The increased area nodes can be left until pretty late, as the increase on bladefall isn't that amazing, and blade vortex is used for single target and killing things that try to sneak up on you
Last edited by RainbroDasher on Dec 28, 2017, 4:32:14 PM
Last bumped on Jan 5, 2018, 1:58:39 PM
Im only getting up to 15 blade vortex blades with a silver flask am i wanting more attack speed to attack with frenzy faster to generate it faster or do i want cast speed to get it casting faster?
And videos? Shaper down with this setup? I'm just trying to see why I'd roll assassins poets pen vs inquis (since i started shadow; i'm not really interested leveling templar atm)
I sadly don't have any videos to offer. I was only planning on running one shaper(Since an attempt costs 70C, and I have currently thrown all my money into my next build. Shaper dropped a dying sun, so that was pretty much the tipping point on rerolling, since I grow bored with builds rather quickly)

As for why I rolled shadow, it's because I'm not doing any conversion. I'm phys and use hatred and herald of ash for additional damage. I tried volatile dead, and because of their terrible A.I, I abandoned it. It simply didn't feel remotely good. I'll see if I can get a video of some random map up though
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RainbroDasher wrote:
I sadly don't have any videos to offer. I was only planning on running one shaper(Since an attempt costs 70C, and I have currently thrown all my money into my next build. Shaper dropped a dying sun, so that was pretty much the tipping point on rerolling, since I grow bored with builds rather quickly)

As for why I rolled shadow, it's because I'm not doing any conversion. I'm phys and use hatred and herald of ash for additional damage. I tried volatile dead, and because of their terrible A.I, I abandoned it. It simply didn't feel remotely good. I'll see if I can get a video of some random map up though


Yes please; any random vid will do. I might try this; I see a few adjustments I may make in the gems/gear slots but the tree looks solid. I was trying to get to the crit multi nodes above witch and over by avatar of fire but seeems to sacrifice too much =(
I set the tree up to fit my taste of survival, jewel sockets and damage. Changes can be made if you think it suits you better, as this build was originally designed for fun, and I may not have optimized it completely, but it has done shaper, so I don't want to tamper with the tree

A video is on the way, and should be up in about 5-10 minutes in the first post
Mind helping me out; I'm running this https://pastebin.com/tEmxiSdz ... How should I upgrade? those 2 phys stat + life jewels are super expensive right now =(
Jewels are a huge DPS boost. Without them, you'll lose out on a lot of damage. If you're struggling with getting jewels with double damage mods + life, just sacrifice either one damage roll or the life roll. If you cannot get the right jewels, get creative. Also, get Tombfist. The intimidate is a huge help with single target damage. Currently, you're also running GC as well as bladefall and blade vortex. This does hurt your safer source of damage, and you're cycling through two spells on one wand, so you're losing out on additional blades for blade vortex

Outside of that, starkonja's is worse in my opinion, than a lightpoacher, because of how strong abyss jewels are. Darkness enthroned is also BiS if you can fit it in

Past the jewels, diamond rings for crit would help. Running a diamond flask would also definitely help a ton. Crit multi(Either essence crafted or elder/shaper mod) on rings are also really good

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