[3.2] AVP - Abyssal Volatile Poet || Now with MF option

Hellooo Exiles!
This is the second guide I ever did. This one is not an original idea of mine, in fact there are some other good guides/videos out there using similar combination of skills and items (we are talking about volatile dead, body swap, unearth, cremation and the unique wand Poet's Pen), but this is my interpretation.
As always, english is not my native language, so I already apologise for possible errors and/or unclarity.

Patch 3.2

Nothing really changed for this build, it's as good as it was previously.
Inquisitor got slightly buffed in the consacrated ground option, but it was already a very good route.
The main problem is that this league the abyssal uniques and jewels are gonna be more expensive and less common, so it might be a little harder/expensive gearing up the character.


Main updates

- Jan 16, 2018: added new sections (Guardians & Shaper, Similar build), new videos (Guardian runs, Breachlords), new helm (2 sockets)

- Jan 7, 2018: added new section (MF) with videos and screenshots

- Dec 28, 2017: new Pen (culling strike implicit), VD 21/20, new video (guardian and shaper montage), added infos about the attack speed bug

- Mar 30, 2018: updated the guide to 3.2


IMPORTANT: currently there's a bug/problem that prevents correct rotation of spells if you get too close to 4aps, hopefully this should get fixed "soon". In the meantime try to stay below 3.82 attacks per second, play around with passives, items and jewels to achieve it. It seems to be related to your latency too, so it might be slightly different for you.
With my testing, starting from 3.99 to 3.86 the bug always happens (it gets more and more rare the further away from 4aps you are); with precisely 3.82aps everything seems to go as intended.

Table of Contents:

- Why would you play this build?
- Pros & Cons
- Mechanics Breakdown - Detailed chapter
- Poet's Pen setup - Very important
- Bandits
- Passive tree progression
- Ascendency & Pantheon
- Gear
- Gems & Links
- MF (Magic Find)
- Guardians & Shaper
- Screenshots
- Videos
- FAQs
- Similar build


Why would you play this build?

This is one of the most fun and effective builds I ever played. It offers massive clearing ability,
paired with one of the strongest single target skills available at this moment in the game (volatile dead) and a good overall survivability.
Everything is glued together thanks to the new introduced unique wand Poet's Pen, which is reminds me the power of many old Cast on Crit builds.
We also use all the new abyssal uniques and jewels.


Pros & Cons

Pros:
- Fast Clear & amazing Single Target damage
- Good survivability (up to 9k effective HP, without Kaom's)
- Scale very well with investment
- "Infinite" amount of build paths and cutomization
- Can clear every content in the game "easily"
- Crit Inquisitor (you ignore elemental resistences)
- Can use all the new corpse related gems alltogether
- Can use the whole Abyss gear (which looks super cool)
- One-button build (you can make it a bit more complex, but esentially you hold down the right click and clear everything)
- Reliable and automated generation of all charges (endurance charges are reliable only during general clear though)
- Almost all monsters are shattered (no porcupines bullshit) and all corpses on the ground are consistently exploded
- From level 12 you can pretty much use your endegame setup (if you already own two Poet's Pen)

Cons:
- Not super budget (you need at least two Poet's Pen to start with, about 40c in ASC)
- Can get very expensive to min/max
- Cannot run elemental reflect maps, and you have to change helmet for physical reflect ones
- Doing Atziri split phase with volatile dead is a really bad idea
- No fortify option


Mechanics Breakdown - Detailed Chapter

Let's get started talking about the actual build and the mechanics involved.
This build utilizes all the new four corpse related skill gems: Unearth, Volatile Dead, Cremation and Bodyswap. Unearth provides us all the corpses we need, while the second and the third ones provide the damage, the latter is a mobility skill.
What's the best part? Everything is automated thanks to the recently introduced unique wand Poet's Pen and a Cast on Crit setup.
When you attack (we are using Frenzy) all the spells get casted automatically, some of them kill stuff, others move you around, so you can keep clearing the contents and phisically avoid incoming attacks.

Damage:
First of all we need to generate corpses, we achieve this with Unearth, supported by GMP. This skill is automated by the first Poet's Pen.
Our main source of damage is Volatile Dead, which creates three (four with the highly reccomended helm enchant) balls of fire, which chase by themself enemies before exploding, dealing a good amount of fire damage; when they get generated, from corpses consumed by the skill, a smaller esplosion happens, which deal fire damage in an area based on a percentage of the corpse life. These orbs have a duration, so you can cast a bunch of them before getting into the actual fight with a boss. This skill is automated by the second Poet's Pen.
Our second source of damage (not mandatory, but it helps a lot in later stages) is Cremation, which consumes a corpse and deal a small area explosion similarly to Volatile Dead, but after that it creates a lava-shooting Volcano (lasting for 8s). This skill is automated by the Cast on Crit setup. The best part of this skill and the reason it works so well with our setup, is that we are not going to crit with every single attack (mostly due to accuracy problems), but we need to refresh the skill just 3 times every 8 seconds (it can spawn max 3 geyser), which is plenty of time considering we attack 4 times per second.
Our third layer of damage is granted by Bodyswap, which is also our automated mobility skill; esentially it consumes a corpse, like the previous ones, but you get teleported to its place, dealing damage in the starting and ending location. This skill is automated by the second Poet's Pen.

Defense:
This build combines a good life pool (about 5500hp at level 80 and 6000hp at level 90) with a confortable mana pool for Mind over Matter (1500-2000 total mana, depending on jewels and items). You can sustain both with some good leech and with the consacreted ground offered by our ascendency class.
Flasks are a good portion of our defenses though, like in most builds nowadays.
Something too often overlooked is the ability to shatter pretty much every enemy we encounter while clearing maps and to explode/consume almost 100% of the corpses on the ground (to avoid random RIPs from Detonate Dead totems and other annoying stuff).

Utility & stuff:
We generate Frenzy Charges for free, since we attack using Frenzy, 100% uptime even in boss fights.
We generate also Power Charges for free, since we have one/two automated skill linked with Power Charge on Crit, 100% uptime even in boss fights.
We generate Endurance Charges for free, since we curse everything with Warlord's Mark, 100% uptime while clearing but NOT during isolated single target fights.
We have a Flame Dash linked with Arcane Surge to move freely, without relying on our automated Bodyswap, and boost our dps on demand.
We have an Ice Golem to help us (we actually need some accuracy, more than that crit chance), but you can use whatever golem you prefer.
We have room to play with a "25% mana reservation buff", leaving us with something like 1.5k unreserved mana. This is not mandataroy at all, in fact I believe the more free mana is probably better in the end, but I really like too much Herald of Ice to not use it (you can drop it for single target fights, since the damage it adds is negligible). Another good option is Arctic Armour as a defensive tool, which I suppose interacts with Bodyswap the same way it does with Flicker strike, i.e. you are always standing still even while jumping around (do not have any confirmation or test on this point though).

Abyss Gear & Jewels:
Even though it is not mandatory, I believe it's worth investing into the whole Abyss specific gear:
- Bubonic Trail boots; they give you esentially 40% increase generic damage and 30% movement speed, best option with 2 abyssal sockets
- Darkness Enthroned belt; just so good in every single build, you want it with 2 normal abyssal sockets (uncorrupted one)
- Lightpoacher helm; this helm is crazy for clearing maps, it single handedly clears everything while keeping you always full life, best option with 2 sockets
- Tombfist gloves; strong gloves, you should really try to accomplish the Maim requirement (30% slow), while the intimidate is not so strong after the nerf (just 10% more attack damage, which doesn't affect us that much), best option with 2 abyssal sockets
- Shroud of the Lightless body armour; really good body armour, synergises perfectly with the rest of your gear, as a plus it gives you for free a pseudo-Immortal Call lasting 3s (with 45s cooldown though), best option with just 1 abyssal socket
KEEP IN MIND THAT SOME OF THESE ITEMS CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE (some of them are going for 7+exalts at this moment in softcore).
The points of using all these uniques is to make use of their natural synergy and interactions with Abyssal Jewels.
You can and should use those jewels everywhere, in your gear and in your passive tree (you should reach 15 jewels at level 87, but I'm missing one on my helm). They provide you everything you need: in particular life, resists, damage, attack speed and even attributes (if needed).


Poet's Pen setup - Very important

I believe it's worth talking about this stuff in a different paragraph, since it's the core and essential component of the build and you need to understand perfectly how it works. Moreover I've seen and read a lot of wrong informations about it.
When you attack with an attack skill (base attack, Barrage, Frenzy, Kinetic blast or Power Siphon.. you do not have much choice as a wander), doesn't matter where it's located in your gear and with which weapon you are attacking, you cast the first active spell linked into the wand. If you have two wands, like in our case, we cast the first spell located in both our weapons at the same time.
If you have two active spells socketed into the same wand, they get alternated in two consecutive attacks. With 3 spell, 3 attacks.
Moreover, every specific spell has a cooldown of 0.25s (1/4 of a second), which cannot be bypassed (except with specific properties, which I'm not gonna consider and discuss in this guide).
Therefore we would want to achieve precisely 4 attacks per second or a tiny bit less;
there's just a tiny problem: right now if you get too much attack speed (too close to 4aps) the rotation of spell bugs out and you start losing spell casting. This should get fixed "soon", at least we hope so.

Specific Example

In our case we got two wands: A (main hand) and B (offhand).
In the first wand we socket just one active spell: Unearth, linked with GMP for a total of 5 corpses.
In the second wand we socket two different active spells: first Bodyswap and second Volatile dead.
With enough attack speed to achieve 4 attacks per second, that what's going to happen (I assume having the volatile dead helm enchant, which creates an additional ball, consuming a total of 4 corpses per cast):
- 1st attack (t=0s): you cast unearth and Bodyswap at the same time (Bodyswap cannot consume the corpses just generated, since they have yet to "land", so doesn't actually works if you do not have already corpses on the ground), you leave 5 corpses on the ground.
- 2nd attack (t=0.25s): you cast unearth and volatile dead (it consumes the corpses already on the ground), you have 1 corpse left from before plus 5 new ones, for a total of 6 corpses on the ground.
- 3rd attack (t=0.5s): you cast again unearth and Bodyswap (this time it works, consuming one of the already existing corpses), you will have 10 corpses on the ground at the end, which is the cap for unearth
- 4th attack (t=0.75s): you cast again unearth and volatile dead, leaving you again with 10 corpses on the ground.
At this points the cycle goes on and on forever, you will always have enough corpses on the ground to use your skills freely.

When we are fighting hard bosses in a 1v1 scenario, we have the option to not use Bodyswap, adding instead another support gems to boost our volatile dead: this is to achieve the maximum damage output. In this case, the scenario is the following (same assumption as above, just Unearth on the first wand and just volatile dead on the second one):
- 1st attack: you cast Unearth and volatile dead (which doesn't work because you have no corpses on the ground yet), you leave 5 corpses on the ground.
- 2nd attack: you cast again Unearth and volatile dead (this time it consumes 4 of the 5 corpses we had generated previously), we finish with 6 coprses on the ground.
- 3rd attack: you cast again Unearth and volatile dead (this time it consumes 4 of the 6 corpses we had available), we leave 7 corpses on the ground.
And so on, you should be able to understand how the skill works at this point.
You should also notice that everytime we attack we have some unconsumed corpses (at least 1 per attack), this allows us to safely use an independent setup to consume corpses; in this case I use Cremation, linked with Cast on Crit in the main setup of Frenzy. It's worth remembering that CoC has an internal cooldown of 0.5s per spell, so with the perfect attack speed (4 attack per second), we can proc it twice per second.



Bandits

Help Alira, everything she gives you is great for the build.


Passive tree progression & PoB

You do not have to follow this progression precisely, feel free to grab more life or damage when you need it, and jewel sockets when you have something good to use. While levelling use Anger and Herald of Ice to boost your damage and rush the contents, take Mind Over Matter when you feel like you have enough mana and need more survivability.
If you have the two Poet's Pen already available, start using them as soon as possible, they are crazy strong for levelling too. Otherwise just level with a mix of fire trap, flame totem, firestorm, freezing pulse or just selfcast desecrate+volatile dead. I do not want to spend too much time talking about the levelling process, since there are many really good guides out there about that topic.

Passive Tree Progression

You can see that sometimes we take few points that get respecced later (for examble AoE nodes in the witch area, templar starting area). That's intended, since when you reach higher levels you need to focus on the most efficient things.

Here I leave a link for Path of Building, if you wanna play with it (really suggested to find the proper attack speed for your character):
https://pastebin.com/UpNasCWW
Little note about PoB

I really want to highlight that this is a "real" setup, with real items I was using in Abyss League, items that I bought/crafted in the first 2/3 weeks of the league or so, without crazy mirror-worthy stuff, legacy stuff and so on. This is something you can achieve investing some currency, it's not cheap, but achievable for most players.
Sometimes you see guides that boasts crazy amount of damage/survivability, then you check the PoB and you see jewels with four super perfect mods (usually do not even exist in standard, or there are like 2 in the market for some hundreds of exalts, while the build uses 10 of those), opal rings and amulet with T1 life roll, T1 spell damage, T1 crit chance, T1 crit damage and so on. That's honestly just bullshit, you won't have those items and you will never achieve that level of min/maxing.



Ascendency & Pantheon

The ascendency tree is pretty straightforward, you want to ignore elemental resistances and then you want the consacrated ground stuff to better sustain both your mana and your life pool, while also gaining some free damage and attack speed.
In normale lab take Righteous Providence.
In cruel lab take Inevitable Judgment.
In merciless lab take Sanctify.
In endgame lab take Pious Path.

Pantheon is not so important, you should take whatever you find more useful.
Soul of the Brine King is very useful to avoid gettin stunlocked, otherwise Soul of Solaris is good in single target fights.
Minor gods are even more istance-dependent, so chose according to your needs.


Gear

Let's start showcasing my gear, this should give you a good idea about what you should aim for.
I'm gonna make a couple of comments on important stuff you need to consider after each section.
I also suggest you to always use sites like poe.affix, or similar ones, to check all the possible mods, tiers and so on.

Gear:

I already talked about the abyssal jewels and abyss unique, so I'm not gonna repeat myself on how good they are.
I'm gonna talk about the three remaining slots instead, which are the two rings and the amulet.
First of all you want a high life roll if possible (60+ and ring and 70+ on amulet), you do not need resistances on jewelry, since you can cap them with the abyssal jewels. Best option are two diamond ring (or opal rings, but they are waaaaay more rare and expensive with good mods); one of those rings should the have Elder mod which apply Warlord's mark on hit.
The amulet should have the Elder mod which gives you fire damage leech.
The more crit chance, crit multiplier and accuracy you can get, the better. From my jewelry I'm also missing any fire damage or spell damage roll, which would be pretty cool to have.
A good unique option for a ring is Gifts from Above, which sinergises really well with our ascendency choice (special thanks to "xHavoCx" for bringing this up).
A good unique option for the amulet is Ngamahu Tiki, which can roll up to 70% increased fire damage. It's a "cheap" option if you want to increase your damage and do not really care about leech, or you have other ways to get it (special thanks to "ptoop84" for bringing this up).
Honorable mention goes to the Shaper mods that can appear on rings, which give you a lvl22 Herald of Ice (without needing the gem) and the one cursing with Assassin's mark on hit (you can go dual curse if you desire so).

Abyssal jewels (both in the passive tree and in the equip):

I often change my jewels when I find upgrades for reasonable prices. In general you want (in order of priority):
- Flat life (should be present in every single jewel, at least 30)
- Elemental resistances (until you are capped)
- Cold damage to spells and/or cold damage to spells while dual wielding
- Fire damage to spells and/or fire damage to spells while dual wielding
- Flat mana
- Crit chance and/or crit multiplier
- Lightning damage to spells and/or lightning damage to spell while dual wielding
- Attack speed and/or attack speed if you have crit recently (if you need it to reach 4 attacks per second)
- Attributes (you should not need them though) and other stuff
Keep in mind that it doesn not matter which jewel you put where, except for the ones going into your gloves and belt (if you are using the abyss uniques). You also want to have at least one of each specific type, since your boots give you damage depending on that.
You can also use an Intuitive Leap jewel and place it near Shadow's frenzy charge to save few extra travel points.


Flasks:

When you are clearing you should press all 5 flask on cooldown, they give you a lot of damage and survivability. There's not many options in my opinion, but you can play with different utility flask, choosing the combination you prefer.
The three mandatory, in my opinion, are:
- Sulphur Flask with increased duration mod
- Stibnite Flask with curse removal
- Diamond Flask with increased duration mod
You need to have either a Basalt or a Granite (or both), to mitigate physical damage, which is pretty scary in general and even more in abysses. Somewhere you should also have at least one remove bleeding flask. You do not need freeze/ignite/shock removal, since on consacrated ground you are immune to those ailments.
If you do not like using Bodyswap and prefer walking around, grab at least a Quicksilver flask.

The builds works even without those fancy abyss items, and as a starting point you should just aim for rares with life and resists for every piece, until you manage to obtain your setup.
You can also noticed that I have the Volatile Dead Enchant on the helm, that's pretty rare and expensive, but not mandatory; it is a really good damage boost though.
Boots and gloves enchants are not that gamechanging for this build, use whatever you prefer or have available. If you can afford or have some time to farm it in the uber lab, you can use boots with the leech enchant (life and mana leech is killed recently), which is super good for general clearing.


Gems & Links

You can also see the gems in the gear above.

Please, if you want to use the CoC setup and have the helm enchant, do NOT place Bodyswap in the same Pen that holds Unearth. Don't. Never. You won't generate enough corpses to proc all the skills reliably.

- Main hand (3 links): Unearth, GMP, PCoC
- Off hand (3 links): Bodyswap, Volatile Dead, Concentrated Effect (for heavy single target damage, as already discussed, we can swap Elemental Focus for Bodyswap)
- Body armour (5 links, 1 abyssal socket): Frenzy, GMP, CoC, Crit Chance, Cremation
- Helm (links not needed, 2 abyssal sockets): Crit Chance,PCoC (if you have just 1 abyssal sockets, you can add another support gem like added fire, controlled destruction, Physical to Lightning, etc)
- Boots (2 links, 2 abyssal sockets): Flame Dash, Arcane Surge
- Gloves (links not needed, 2 abyssal sockets): Ice Golems, Herald of ice/Arctic Armour (you can drop the mana reserving buff when you want a higher effective life pool, since we use MoM)

By the way, GMP=Greater Multiple Projectiles, PCoC=Power Charge on Crit, CoC=Cast on Crit.


MF (Magic Find)

This is not intended to be for everyone. To run a good MF setup you need to invest a good amount of additional currency (just a Bisco's Collar is worth more than 15ex at this moment) and you need to know what you are doing.
You are going to change up to 7 items (gloves, boots, body armour, belt, rings and amulet), losing between 1.5k and 2k life and a good amount of damage. It is not as bad as it seems, you should still have 4k+ life (and your usual mana pool) and enough damage to clear maps confortably.
This strategy works best for farming high yellow tier and low red tier maps (let's say t12 and below), since those are still pretty easy and you do not need too much life to survive. Works even better in a shaped atlas, with sextants and so on.

This is what you should look for:


These are standard MF items that most builds can use, look for the highest possible rolls of IIQ (Increased Item Quantity), other stats are less relevant.
You can also see the gems that I use in this setup; on boots and gloves you can use pretty much whatever you want, but you have to change the setup on your chest piece, since you are losing the leech in the amulet and the ring with a free Warlord's Mark (you still have Atziri's Promise and consacrated ground for sustain, but I do not want to rely on a flask for the leech).
In the chest you need at least 4 links: Frenzy, GMP, CoH, Warlord's Mark.
In my 6-link setup I use: Frenzy, GMP, CoH, Warlord's Mark, LGoH, PcoC (this way I also drop the PCoC I had in the helmet).
Other good utility options for 5th and 6th links are: Blind, Chain, pierce, another curse if you are dual cursing, CoC+Another Spell (this is not very effective, since you are missing the Crit Chance gem).

Depending on your gear and jewels, you may need to change few jewels to cap your resistances.

I also decided to go with an Inspired Learning jewel, which is really cool when you farm maps (even more when you find abysses, with all those rares). You can position it in the spot near the shadow starting area, between the power charge and frenzy charge, this way you have the 4 notables required.
You can also equip the Bisco's Leash belt at the start of the map, to get the Rampage counter going, you can then swap back to your real belt, if you do not care about the little additional IIQ and the IIR.

PoB link (with MF setup): https://pastebin.com/fujdNyN7


Guardians & Shaper

You can already see in the "Videos" section some video about this topic.
Keep in mind that before starting any big fight, you should precast some balls for at least 3 seconds (they last 4s).
This is not intended to be a full guide describing the fights and eveything, but more like a few tips and things you need to consider while playing this fights with this build. Guardians are gonna be described from the easiest to the toughest for this build (in my opinion, obviously).

- Phoenix: very easy fight and easy to kite, just be careful if there are too many damage mods on the map, because you lose max fire res the more you lower his life, so if you get hit later into the fight you can easily get 100-0. Your build take cares of the little phoenixes he summons during the fight too, just focus on dodging with flame dash his 2 main attacks (the cyclone stuff and the big AOE charging ability).
- Minotaur: same as the Phoenix, you should not get hit by his attacks, he's pretty slow and doesn't even hit too hard (if the map doesn't have crazy map mods). You can tank at least one of his slams without dying and recover your life/mana before the next one. Focus on avoiding the lightning beams and the "burrow attack".
- Hydra: this Guardian is not terrible by itself, the tough part of the fight is avoiding all the balls flying around. You can tank 1-2 balls without dying, but if the Hydra is attacking you at the same time you are very dead. Be careful, focus on avoiding the balls and attack only when you feel safe and have some "free time" from dodging stuff. This is also a more mechanical fight than the previous two.
- Chimera: fuck this guy, I hate him. It's not even a terrible fight, but there are many little things that are very annoying. First of all you cannot burst him down, since he has phases. Talking about add phases, they are ok, but you need to be careful because your VD has a travel time before actually hitting the monsters, so you can get surrounded if you do not kill them fast enough (those monsters hurt a lot). The chimera doesn't deal too much damage, but applies bleeding all the time and it's way harder to kite than the other Guardians. The smoke phase is the biggest problem, you are not very mobile so it can take a lot of time to find the Guardian. That's the only instance in the game in which I use a life flask, otherwise you probably need to portal out if you don't catch him immediatly.

- Shaper is more or less a dps check nowadays, the fight is quite easy once you understand the mechanics. Trigger the vortexes on the edges of the "arena" and attack him only when you are safe, for example when he is using his beam (after moving away from it, obviously). You can tank one of his frostbolt-like projectiles, but usually 2 of them are enough to kill you. Always avoid his teleport-slam, that's 100% one-shot if you get it. Always hide in the Zana bubble during the bullet-hell phase.


Screenshots

Offence (Volatile Dead) in H/O


Offence (Volatile Dead) in H/O flasks up


Defence in H/O


Defence in H/O flasks up




Videos

Carcass map (T15)

Montage of guardians and shaper's last phase
This run could have been more clean, I misplayed quite a lot and was greedy with portals to refresh flask in many cases.
These were also my first attempts with this character, so I was still testing how much damage I was able to do and take.

Maze of the Minotaur full clear
Pit of the Chimera full run
Lair of the Hydra full run
Forge of the Phoenix full run

Hall of Grandmasters run
Breachlords compilation

Shaped Atoll (T11) with MF setup


FAQs

Q: Any Bodyswap replacement? I do not like the jumping action.
A: If you prefer walking around, just leave it out and use another support gem for Volatile Dead (Elemental Focus, Controlled Destruction, Crit chance or Crit damage).

Q: I like Bodyswap, but that's too much jumping.
A: You can use Cremation or another support gem into the Poet's Pen (with Volatile Dead) and move Bodyswap into the Cast on Crit setup; this way you jump only when you actually hit some enemies, allowing a better control of you character.

Q: Are all those abyssal sockets on item mandatory? How about boots/helm/gloves with just 1 socket?
A: They are not mandatory at all, but you should try to get as many abyssal sockets as possible, since they provide you a lot of damage, resistances and life.

Q: I do not have a Warlord's Mark ring, what should I do?
A: The life/mana leech and utility provided by WM are too good to disregard, I would prefer sacrificing some damage to gain that benefit. Without the ring option, I would just drop the CoC setup and link Frenzy with GMP+CoH+WM+whatever last support you like (CoH=Curse on Hit).

Q: How much dps the build offers? How about Path of Building?
A: The AVG damage of the spell portion of Volatile Dead (full buffed and flasked, supported with both Concentrated Effect and Elemental focus) is precisely something like 80k damage. You cast 4 balls each time, 4 times per second: total spell dps is a almost 1.3kk from volatile dead. You should also consider a lot of damage coming from Cremation and all the corpse explosions. You can see a more detailed analisys in the "Similar build" section.
PoB link: https://pastebin.com/igLiNSNt


Q: What differentiate this build from other Poet's Pen builds?
A: This build doesn't just make use of the strenght of Poet's Pen wand, it also creates a very entertaining and effective playstyle combining it with a Cast on Crit setup. This build also focuses around all the new Abyssal uniques and jewels.

Q: Is this build very expensive?
A: I've not extimated precisely how much my gear is worth, mostly 'cause many items fluctuate a lot in price. You can start with a budget option, using only rare gear and two Poet's Pen with probably 1-2ex budget. With something like 10ex budget you probably have a really strong setup, with let's say 30ex you are pretty much done. You can go past that point, when you want to min/max stuff. Keep in mind that I bought/crafted the whole setup you see in the first month of the league, when many items were cheaper.

Q: It's a life based build, why no life flask in your setup?
A: You do not need life flask while clearing, thank's to life/mana regen from the consacrated ground, life/mana leech and the constant proccing of the helm (revoer 5% of life when you consume a spirit charge). You may need 1/2 life flasks while running lab and trials to deal with traps though.

Q: You jump all the time, how about haku missions? Do you have to unsocket Bodyswap?
A: No, luckily (do not know if this is actually intended or it's a bug) you do not drop the big guy on your shoulders while using Bodyswap.

Q: How about Atziri's split phase? My volatiles keep chasing the mirror one.
A: That's a big problem, you really need to unsocket Volatile Dead during the split phase. You can use Cremation (taking it from your CoC setup) or Denotate Dead to deal with it though.

Q: How much attack speed should I get? Where are good ways to find attack speed?
A: You would want precisely 4 attacks per second with every possible buff up (frenzy charges, consacreted ground, crit recently, etc). Right now there's a bug that prevents a correct rotation of spells if you get too close to 4aps, so try to stay below 3.82 aps until the bug is solved. NEVER GO PAST 4aps ANYWAY. Easy way to get attack speed are: lightning golem, quality on Frenzy, quality on GMP, jewels with increased attack speed if you've crit recently (you can place them in the belt for increased effect).

Q: Why Sanctify/Pious Path over Augury of Pentinance/Instruments of Virtue?
A: The other options are really great for pure damage/consistency and probably are better if you focus on just map farming.
The consacrated ground route is amazaing for the utility it provides though, you gain a bit less damage, same attack speed (1% more actually, not a big deal) but you gain ailments immunity and huge life and mana regen. It's also way better against bosses in my opinion, 'cause you want to stay at range most of the times and you gain free sustain that otherwise you would not have.


Q: Why Cremation on the CoC setup? Can I use something else?
A: Well obviously you can use whatever you want on that setup. Cremation has many good reasons to be used there though, first of all it looks cool and fits the build theme. Aside from that, scale very well with everything we are already using (spell damage, elemental damage, area damage, etc), benefits from all the gems already present in that setup (the implicit Elemental Penetration, GMP and Crit Chance). Moreover it synergises very well with our pretty low accuracy rating, since we do not have to proc it all the time, but we just need to refresh it three times every 8s, which is easily achievable.

Q: How much mana should I get to use MoM at its full potential?
A: If you are just using MoM (30% damage redirected) you should try to achieve a life pool about 2.3 (7/3) times greater than your mana pool. Or if you want to see it the other way around, a mana pool which is about 0.43 (3/7) times your life pool. Just to give you a rough example, with 6k life you should try to achieve 2.5k mana. Keep in mind that this is the optimal use of MoM, but you should not sacrifice too much trying to achieve it.

Q: Why emphasize cold dmg on jewels? Why Bodyswap in the same Pen of VD?
A: The reason for the cold damage is to shatter as many monsters as possible. This is correlated to the fact that I use BS as a clearing ability, not just a movement option. Supporting it with Concentrated Effect allows us to jump directly into packs, istantly clear them and shatter them. This is not just a buff to our clearspeed, but also to our survivability.


Similar Build

I'd like to mention the work of "smelcami", which is one of the guides that inspired me in the first place. The base idea is similar, but it doesn't revolve around the Abyssal uniques.
[3.1] The Poet's Pen Volatile Dead/Bodyswap "Shaper Down"[Inquisitor ✌]

Which build is better?

That's a tough question.
I honestly believe mine is better and has more room to grow the more investment you put into it, but it's also more expensive if you want to achieve those big numbers; if you are starting with no gear/gems/jewels at all, on a tight budget, you can probably achieve better results with smelcami version in the short term.
The big pro of smelcami's build (or any other "rare items" based) is the fact that you can achieve more than 4 casts per second, using the new shaper mods on boots and belt.
Keep in mind that obviously I'm a little biased, since I have just played my version and not smelcami's one, but looking at the two builds and PoB setups I can see the following things.

- My build (level 92) with single target setup (Volatile Dead + Conc Effect + Ele Focus):
PoB link: https://pastebin.com/igLiNSNt

VD avg hit: 80'676 against normal monsters
VD effective dps with perfect rotation (4 cast/sec): 1'290'816 against normal monsters

VD avg hit: 75'515 against shaper
VD effective dps with perfect rotation (4 cast/sec): 1'208'240 against shaper

Life: 6'396
Mana: 2'261 (since I use MoM) or 1'695 (if using a 25% mana reservation skill)

- smelcami build (level 91) he always use a "single target" setup on VD, with two support gems
PoB link: https://pastebin.com/gyxWrbBg

VD avg hit: 86'498 against normal monsters
VD effective dps with perfect rotation (4.88 cast/sec): 1'688'441 against normal monsters

VD avg hit: 69'301 against shaper
VD effective dps with perfect rotation (4.88 cast/sec): 1'352'755 against shaper

Life: 6'306
Mana: /// (not relevant, doesn't use MoM)


This doesn't tell everything, since it's just a bunch of numbers and there are many other factors involved in the two builds.
You should keep in mind that he can achieve bigger effective dps with VD since he can cast it more than 4 times per second, but I can also have the damage provided by Cremation, which is pretty good actually (about 23k avg hit, but I can have 3 volcanos down at the same time and that's the damage of a single projectile, while each of them shoots 8 projectiles per second).
I have the added clearspeed coming from Lightpoacher, but he has more freedom with the gem links and jewels, he also doesn't need to have so many jewels in his build (they can get expensive).




I hope you may give a chance to this build, trying it out yourself and enjoy it as much as I did.
I will try to answer any question, so feel free to ask and make objections.
I also wanna thanks all the players that will give their feedback and answers to this thread, helping myself and others to enjoy this build.

I invite you to read the guide, or at least the FAQs, before asking something already discussed.
I prefer if you write your questions here in the forum. If you need suggestions on your character, try to post your gear and/or a PoB link.

If you wanna check the character, it's called CorspeNaeH (i misspelled it by mistake while creating the character and noticed it way too late.. very sad story).

Have a nice day and stay safe, Exiles.
Abyssal Volatile Poet: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2057243
MagicBlaster Deadeye: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2115343
Fortifier Aurabot: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2084465
Last edited by lallalaus on Mar 30, 2018, 6:08:06 AM
Last bumped on Sep 30, 2018, 6:38:12 PM
Is the PoB updated with the Abyss Jewells?

PoB got updated yesterday.

BodySwap replacement?
Last edited by Balantakos on Dec 25, 2017, 4:41:18 AM
Hey sorry for asking the same old question that gets asked every time but have you managed to do endgame content and if yes how's the damage? Also how's the survivability, I usually see other poet pen guides all having people saying they get one shot even with 5k life and so on
Last edited by ArkanePanda on Dec 25, 2017, 9:34:05 AM
The PoB link that I posted was not updated with all the jewels. I will be back home only tomorrow and I'll try to update it. Otherwise you can just import my character directly from PoB.
As a bodyswap replacement what do you mean? When you want max dps you just use Elemental focus instead of Bodyswap.

I have not personally cleared everything yet, running red tiers map and red tier liches without any problem. In the following days I won't be able to play, but as soon as possoble I'm going to test it against shaper.
Atziri is not really doable with just volatile dead, since the balls go wherever they please, hitting the reflect one during the split phase. You can change the setup ysing cremation and/or detonate dead, to have more control during the fight.
I did yellow tiers Elder few times with no effort, after understanding the mechanics going on.
Obviosly you can get 1-shot with 5k life, people get 1-shot from random monsters even with 10k life; sometimes shit happens, but as long ad you know what's going on and avoid big telegraphed hits (atziri flameblasts, shaper slamm, shaper beam and so on) you should not have too many problems.
Abyssal Volatile Poet: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2057243
MagicBlaster Deadeye: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2115343
Fortifier Aurabot: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2084465
"
Completed 14 Challengeslallalaus wrote:
The PoB link that I posted was not updated with all the jewels. I will be back home only tomorrow and I'll try to update it. Otherwise you can just import my character directly from PoB.
As a bodyswap replacement what do you mean? When you want max dps you just use Elemental focus instead of Bodyswap.

I have not personally cleared everything yet, running red tiers map and red tier liches without any problem. In the following days I won't be able to play, but as soon as possoble I'm going to test it against shaper.
Atziri is not really doable with just volatile dead, since the balls go wherever they please, hitting the reflect one during the split phase. You can change the setup ysing cremation and/or detonate dead, to have more control during the fight.
I did yellow tiers Elder few times with no effort, after understanding the mechanics going on.
Obviosly you can get 1-shot with 5k life, people get 1-shot from random monsters even with 10k life; sometimes shit happens, but as long ad you know what's going on and avoid big telegraphed hits (atziri flameblasts, shaper slamm, shaper beam and so on) you should not have too many problems.


Thank You very much =D
prices on two socketed boots are retarded, i guess ill just grab with one ;-;

other then that build looks fun, got everything except boots and WM elder ring. Hope it wont make major difference, thank you for sharing.
"
Completed 11 Challengescode23 wrote:
prices on two socketed boots are retarded, i guess ill just grab with one ;-;

other then that build looks fun, got everything except boots and WM elder ring. Hope it wont make major difference, thank you for sharing.


Two sockets are not mandatory, but the more jewels the better.
If you do not have WM ring, I would probably drop the CoC setup and use curse on hit with WM, linked to Frenzy.
Abyssal Volatile Poet: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2057243
MagicBlaster Deadeye: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2115343
Fortifier Aurabot: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2084465
Welcome, my eyes not like bodyswap "teleport system" any goog opiton for swap this gem?
"
TheGrammaton wrote:
Welcome, my eyes not like bodyswap "teleport system" any goog opiton for swap this gem?


Yeah, you can just not use it. The advantage of having bodyswap is that in high density map you just hold down one key until everything is cleared.
You can just use two support gems on volatile dead setup (concentrated effect is mandatory, the other one can be elemental focus, controlled destruction, crit chance or crit damage); you can also use detonate dead or cremation in place of bodyswap, walking by yourself from pack to pack.
Last option is to move cremation into the poet's pen with volatile dead, while placing bodyswap in the CoC setup. This way the "jumping" is less frequent and only possible if you actially hit something, I personally used a similar setup for many levels.
Abyssal Volatile Poet: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2057243
MagicBlaster Deadeye: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2115343
Fortifier Aurabot: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2084465
Last edited by lallalaus on Dec 26, 2017, 4:51:20 AM
"
TheGrammaton wrote:
Welcome, my eyes not like bodyswap "teleport system" any goog opiton for swap this gem?


Increased critical strike or elemental focus if you want more VD damage. You could also use cremation if you want another spell

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