[3.2] Ultimate Guide to Claw Raiding | Many skills | Clear everything
Intro (or why I always go Raider)
Raider has been my favorite ascendancy class for quite some time now. Between the speed, damage, and survivabilty of the class it makes a fantastic all-around character to play and is very enjoyable. At heart I'm a melee player who likes attacking fast so it's one of the best choices for my particular playstyle. It's also one of the most versatile attackers in the game, allowing the use of a wide variety of attack skills to suit various playstyles. In this guide I'm going to walk you through the way of the melee/attack Raider, specifically using claws.
+High amounts of life regen from claw instant life
+Great damage on a budget
+Has room to grow with a high budget
+Viable for hardcore and softcore with the right setup
-Low physical mitigation
-Uber Izaro can one-shot you if not careful
-You're going to spam your flasks
The beautiful thing about this build is that it is able to use a nice variety of various attack skills to fit multiple different playstyles. With the addition to the game of Ancestral Call, our options are bigger than ever.
Frost Blades: This is the bread and butter melee ability for a claw raider. Solid damage, easy to convert 100% to elemental, fantastic clearing ability. With the threshold gems for this skill, it is a single target powerhouse while also being a very strong mapping skill.
Recommended Supports: EDWAS, Multistrike, Ice Bite
Additional Supports: Ancestral Call, Ruthless, Melee Phys, Inc Crit Dmg, Ele Focus, Inc Crit Strikes, Dmg on Full Life
Molten Strike: Easily the strongest choice for single target. The ability for our tree to scale projectile nodes as well as attack damage with claws makes the damage of this ability very powerful. On top of the amazing damage, the fact that (with the threshold jewels) this ability hits so many times increases our survivability greatly due to claws with innate +life on hit. With the addition to the game of Ancestral Call, this can also be a very reliable mapping ability (my personal favorite during abyss league). Note that increases to Melee damage do no apply to the projectiles, just the initial hit.
Recommended Supports: EDWAS, Multistrike, Ice Bite
Additional Supports: Ancestral Call (for clearing), Inc Crit Dmg, Ele Focus, Inc Crit Strikes, Dmg on Full Life
Spectral Throw: Similarly to Molten Strike, our ability to scale our passive tree with attack damage and projectile damage means this can hit quite hard. It also gives you the option to go full ranged with your character if that's what you like.
Recommended Supports: EDWAS, Faster Attacks, Ice Bite
Additional Supports: GMP, Slower Projectiles, Inc Crit Dmg, Ele Focus, Inc Crit Strikes, Dmg on Full Life, Phys Proj Dmg, Phys to Lightning (if needed for full conversion)
Wild Strike: Works very similar to Frost Blades except that the initial targeting is less lenient. Single target can suffer a little bit but it's still viable. The biggest plus side is it's probably one of the most satisfying sounding skills in the game.
Recommended Supports: EDWAS, Multistrike, Ice Bite
Additional Supports: Ancestral Call (for clearing), Melee Phys, Inc Crit Dmg, Ele Focus, Inc Crit Strikes, Dmg on Full Life
Blade Flurry: Very strong ability for single target and also can be quite powerful for clearing. It's going to be slower in maps than some of the other abilities but it's still a very viable option.
Recommended Supports: EDWAS, Faster Attacks, Ice Bite
Additional Supports: Inc AoE (for clearing), Conc Effect, Melee Phys, Inc Crit Dmg, Ele Focus, Inc Crit Strikes, Dmg on Full Life, Phys to Lightning (if needed for full conversion)
-Hatred and Herald of Ash/Ice for phys conversion (I like ice because it's pretty. The damage difference is small in favor of Ash)
-Wrath and Herald of Ice for full elemental
-Whirling Blades or Shield Charge linked with Faster Attacks and Fortify (also Blood Magic if you have the life regen)
-Charged Dash for jumping gaps
-Vaal Haste/Vaal Grace/Vaal Lightning Trap linked with Increased Duration (choose one or all, up to you)
-Frost Bomb with Curse on Hit Frostbite for cold focused builds
-Orb of Storms with Curse on Hit Assassin's Mark in the general case (you can also choose enfeeble or temp chains in here for a more defensive option)
As we saw with skills, there are a variety of options available to us for our playstyle. The same can be somewhat true for gear as well. Although my suggestions will mostly focus on physical claw builds, the character is flexible enough to substitute in elemental weapons with a few changes to the passive skill tree as well.
Either of these two weapons is the go-to standard for claw Raider, whether it be dual-wield or sword and board. Based on the calculations I've done on Path of Building, they out damage all but very well rolled rare claws.
Touch of Anguish is very powerful with Frost Blades specifically. Dual wielding them gives you additional chains for really nice clear speed and a solid amount of additional cold damage.
The Wasp Nest, on the other hand, goes well with any other attack skill. Between its good crit chance, good physical damage, great attack speed, and the bonus of adding some flat chaos (even if we don't really scale it), makes it a great all-around weapon.
A pretty obvious choice here for the chest slot. Belly of the Beast offers one of the best health increases you can obtain from an armor piece while also giving a good amount of resistances. On top of that it gives us very easy to obtain colors for our melee abilities. For those of you who want more damage in exchange for a slight loss in tankiness, Shroud of the Lightless is also a great option. If you can't obtain either of these, a well rolled evasion or armor/evasion chest fills this slot quite nicely.
A helm with a nice combination of damage and life. Can easily be replaced with a more defensive helmet if you so choose.
Other Armor and Accessories
From here, you just want to fill in some damage, life, resistances, and stats. Take whatever you can that allows you to have a comfortable amount of defenses for what league you're in (HC/SC) and then fill the rest in with flat damage. If going with a full conversion build, there's not a large difference between physical damage rolls and elemental damage rolls. When in doubt, simulate your damage with PoB. If you're sticking with full physical, the choice is pretty obvious.
The general flasks you're always going to want
Since our claws have a good amount of instantaneous life regeneration on them, I usually only find myself using a life flask in continuous damage situations, which is why I opt not for an instant regen flask. That's a personal choice based on play style and you can choose your own mods. Bleed immunity on life flask is also a personal choice. It's also quite easy to add this to your defensive flask if you so choose to gain perpetual bleed immunity instead of it running out when you reach full life.
Curse immunity on diamond is nice because this removes map curses. You want to have this flask running as consistently as you can.
These are both your solid physical mitigation flasks. Compare them in your hideout to see which gives you more physical damage reduction as it is going to depend somewhat on your gear. In general, basalt is better if only because of the consistency.
Damage, leech, chaos resistance. Overall a fantastic flask that you shouldn't pass up using.
Your choice in other utility flasks depends entirely on how you choose to go about your ascendancy tree. If you choose Avatar of the Veil (my personal favorite, however I haven't played with the revamped Chase just yet) at all, it becomes easiest to choose your flasks as you have immunity to status ailments.
If you don't have Avatar of the Chase, a Silver flask for onslaught really adds a nice amount to the build.
If you're play a non-projectile based skill, this guy packs a huge punch. The knockback can be a little annoying at times but the damage increase as well as the armour really makes this shine.
A great option if you are able to balance your resists around the penetration part of the effect.
Other options that I don't have currently: Taste of Hate, Vessel of Vinktar, Dying Sun
Skill Tree Specifics
With the slightly revamped Raider, we now have a bunch of great options of how we want to do our ascendancy. I'm not going to tell you which one is the best because it is all situational. Instead, I'll give a quick overview of each of the end-tree notables (the Avatars) and some suggestions for combinations based on your character goals.
Avatar of the Slaughter
This is the most damage-focused notable on the tree. With the additional frenzy charge as well as the added bonuses it gives per frenzy charge, it numerically out-damages the rest of the notables given that you have 7+ frenzies (which my general build path does). Take this if you want raw damage.
Avatar of the Veil
This is the most defense-oriented notable on the tree. The dodge chances given is additive with Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics. It also gives you complete immunity to elemental status ailments which means no more freeze, shock, or ignite. This also has the benefit of really freeing up your flask slots for more utility. On top of that, it gives a nice little boost to elemental damage as well as movement speed. Take this if you want more tankiness.
Avatar of the Chase
This has now turned into a sort of hybrid defense and damage node. The increased effect of Onslaught gives a solid boost to attack and movement speed (not as much as Slaughter's for frenzy charges assuming you have other ways of getting onslaught). On top of that it gives an additive evade chance for melee and ranged attacks while you have onslaught. Take this if you want to focus in on either defense or offense in combination with the other Avatars.
Balls-out damage: Slaughter + Chase (Chase first)
Safety in defense: Veil + Chase (Chase first)
All-rounder: Slaughter + Veil (Your choice first)
The Passive Tree
The meat of the build. I'm going to start off by giving a the skeleton of the build that we can work off of depending on what choices you want to make with your character.
From here there are a lot of choices you can make.
If you can obtain a decent amount of life from jewels and your gear, you can theoretically leave your life here. It is quite low at 158% but you can still break 5.5k with proper gearing. This is not generally recommended unless you know what you're doing. When in doubt, get more life.
If you want to go full elemental damage conversion (or just elemental weapons in general), you can work your way to Forces of Nature and Primeval Force. Phys to ele conversion can also get Claws of the Pride, which is one of the strongest damage nodes for this build.
For any skill that gets 60% conversion baseline (Molten Strike and Frost Blades for example), be sure to pick up Winter Spirit. This will give you a total of 100% conversion to elemental.
If focusing on spectral throw or molten strike (both skills that scale with projectile damage), you can swap out the Dervish cluster by Duelist for Fury Bolts instead. On top of that you can go up from Heart of Oak for Ballistic Mastery as well as a few of the projectile nodes near the Ranger start.
If you want to use a single weapon and a shield, you can drop Twin Terrors and put those points elsewhere for damage, drop acrobatics for more block chance, as well as pick up Weapon Artistry near the Ranger start and Command of Steel near the Duelist start.
If more life is needed for you, you can make your way up to the Scion life nodes from Master of the Arena, grabbing the jewel socket along the way.
Here is an example tree for my full elemental conversion Molten Strike Raider
And another example from my full conversion Frost Blades Raider
Leveling this character is quite easy. It can be done as any 1-hander of your choice, either dual wield or sword+shield.
Pick up Frost Blades, Molten Strike, or Spectral Throw a starting skill. Fair warning though, Spectral Throw does take a bit to scale up but if you like the ranged play style then go for it.
Start your leveling tree as so
If you're using Frost Blades or Molten Strike, be sure to grab Winter Spirit along the way.
Next, work your way up to the Shadow portion of the tree
From here, start filling in some crit and damage
By now, you should be able to transition fully into claws, so grab the claw nodes. After the claws, make sure to grab all the frenzy charges along the route and then start filling out the rest of the tree until you get to your choice of final build.
The choice of bandit is extremely close between Alira and the 2 passives. Early on in the leveling experience, Alira is great because you don't have access to a lot of crit multiplier yet and it gives you a bit of resistance and mana regen for gearing convenience. However, by the time you get to the end of the build, the two passive points have the option of being an overall bigger DPS boost depending on how you allocate them.
In short, Alira is the best general choice, but if you know your tree well, 2 passives can give you an edge.
Empty for now. Will update this section when questions are raised!
Path of Building Links
Molten Strike Raider: https://pastebin.com/6RiC2TKi
Frost Blades Raider: https://pastebin.com/DGASbVfv (Abyssus for Shaper farming, mapping helmet included in the build)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this guide. If you have any questions about the build in general, drop a reply and I'll get to you. Just a heads up though, I generally won't be answering specific gearing related questions, as they can be worked out using Path of Building on your own character and take a good amount of time myself.
Last edited by Jaythri on Mar 2, 2018, 2:54:58 PM
Last bumped on Apr 11, 2018, 11:17:36 AM
on Mar 1, 2018, 7:30:40 PM
Could you please post a PoB link? :)
on Mar 1, 2018, 7:42:56 PM
on Mar 1, 2018, 7:47:36 PM
Hello, it's looks very good, but i have only one question. It will works on 3.2?
on Mar 1, 2018, 8:40:34 PM
Can you use the deadeye ascendancy for this build?
EDIT: Saw this somewhere else
Unless you intend to skip bosses i'd probable avoid going deadeye since the initial hit isn't a projectile. Even after the changes to deadeye, raider is still the best choice for frostblades. Mathil's frost blade raider is still a good option for a league starter. But any popular 3.0 or later build will probably be alright.
Last edited by FrostyJesus on Mar 1, 2018, 9:50:12 PM
on Mar 1, 2018, 9:44:03 PM
The build was designed during 3.0 but only changes to the ascendancies have effected the build. Everything you see here will work for 3.2 :)
on Mar 1, 2018, 10:33:03 PM
on Mar 1, 2018, 10:50:27 PM
I want to play this as a starter, but do you have any videos? I played a Frost Blade + Molten Strike build last season, and even with decent gear, I got absolutely annihilated on the vault boss because Molten Strike did very little to no DPS.
on Mar 2, 2018, 12:35:10 AM
If your MS was doing very little to no DPS you had something wrong on your end.. literally any semi-decent build/gear setup melts bosses with ms.
Last edited by toddmc on Mar 2, 2018, 1:56:30 AM
on Mar 2, 2018, 1:56:15 AM
Looking back at the build and what I got for responses, I'm not too sure. It's hard to remember. My damage fell off at t14 maps supposedly, so maybe that's why? Anyways, here was the gear I was using then.
I just want to figure out if it was my build, and not MS itself, because I want to use this as a starter.
Last edited by Takatsukii on Mar 2, 2018, 2:02:18 AM
on Mar 2, 2018, 2:01:41 AM