[3.3] Wormblaster the 4.5th - Flameblast / Herald of Ash Slayer

As of Patch 3.6.0, this build is no longer viable due to the changes to Leech mechanics.
(from the Patch Notes: Added a cap on the amount of any resource you can leech from any individual instance of leech. By default, that cap is 10% of that resource's maximum. In other words, a character with 4000 life will, by default, be able to leech a maximum of 400 life from a single hit.

Before the introduction of this limit, it was possible to leech well over 100,000 life from a single hit, resulting in several minutes of continuous leech.

Hi everyone, this is a guide to the build I cleared all content with in Bestiary League.
Since Herald of Ash was changed to work with Spells in 3.2, I decided to try building a character that uses the Herald together with The Writhing Jar as a main source of damage.

It turned out to be pretty strong, especially against endgame bosses, so here's the almost finished product.

Feel free to check out the original Wormblasters by eirikeiken too (Update: The true #5 has arrived)!


The Writhing Jar spawns two Writhing Worms with a very low amount of life per use. These can be attacked and killed by players, but not by enemies.


  • Flameblast: This is the main skill used for bosses and to build up the first leech instances. As one of the highest damage per hit skills in the game, it can deal huge overkill damage against Writhing Worms. This triggers both overkill leech from the Slayer Ascendancy and a burn from Herald of Ash against enemies close to the killed worms.
  • Herald of Ash: When killed, enemies will burn other enemies in an area around them based on the overkill damage dealt before.
  • Righteous Fire: This is used for map clearing, but it also gives a damage multiplier to Flameblast / Vaal Flameblast.
  • Orb of Storms: Applies Elemental Equilibrium, two Curses and procs Elemental Overload on crit.
  • Vaal Lightning Trap: Another optional damage boost against bosses.


  • Leech: Based mostly on 20% of overkill damage, it recovers 40% (or more, depending on gear) of maximum life per second and lasts several minutes from a single Flameblast. The maximum leech rate is reached with around 6 to 8 instances.
  • Evasion: Just a personal preference for the base defence, Armour should work too.
  • Fortify: Reduces damage taken from hits.
  • Purity of Fire: Reduces damage taken from Righteous Fire for higher net life recovery.
  • Immortal Call: Protection against quick physical hits.
  • Temporal Chains: Slows down enemies. Less effect against bosses.
  • Chill: Enemies standing in the area of effect of a vortex are chilled, slowing them further. Not used against bosses.
  • Pantheon: Depending on the situation, Brine King (when having trouble with stuns) and Arakaali are both very powerful for the major god power. The minor gods Yugul, Aberrath and Gruthkul can provide useful defensive bonuses too.

Pros / Cons

  • (3.2) Very high damage potential against bosses - while 1-2 million burning DPS is realistically sustainable against Shaper, 8-10 million burning DPS or even more are possible to reach under good circumstances. A burn from Herald of Ash lasts for about 9-10 seconds, so all non-phased bosses can be killed with a single hit. That includes Shaper and the Guardians of the Phoenix, Minotaur and Hydra.
    (3.3) While still dealing a lot of damage, the burning damage will probably not exceed 3 million dps. In most situations, it's reasonable to expect 1-1.5 million dps, which is still enough to oneshot almost all bosses.
  • It's a Wormblaster.
  • This build can clear all of the current (3.2) endgame content.
  • Decent Lab runner, traps aren't very dangerous due to the high life recovery. Only some stronger Buffs on Izaro can get dangerous.
  • It doesn't require a lot of currency to get started (less than 5 ex for yellow - red maps), the late endgame setup can add up to ~25 ex.

  • It can take some time to get used to the playstyle.
  • Cruel Lab completion is required to sustain RF, before that I'd recommend levelling with a different build.
  • Not 100% reliable - the worms are thrown in random directions, which can make targeting bosses difficult. 3 Flask uses for one Flameblast seem to be optimal while not standing near a wall.
  • Long cast time / vulnerability while channeling Flameblast.
  • Not great for party play because other players are able to kill the worms as well.
  • Map clearing can be rather slow / requires weapon swap to be faster.
  • Likely not suitable for HC leagues.


Doryani's Catalyst is a strong choice here, but a Shaper Sceptre with "Gain #% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage" in addition to other good modifiers can give more damage. To improve clearspeed, Obliteration has proven to be very useful.

Body Armour

The Coming Calamity sets the Mana reservation of Herald of Ash to a fixed 45% (95% without it) and adds a small amount of damage too.
Another option is Loreweave, which lets you drop Purity of Fire. It adds some damage, Life, maximum resistances to all elements and critical strike chance for more consistent Elemental Overload.


An Elder Helmet with "Socketed Gems are supported by Level # Concentrated Effect" and Life / Resistances, if possible crafted with an Essence of Horror.

Useful Enchantments include:
  • Herald of Ash Damage
  • Flameblast Damage
  • Righteous Fire Damage
  • Temporal Chains / Flammability Curse Effect


An Elder Belt with "#% reduced Flask Charges used" and "#% increased Life Recovery rate" would be optimal. This should be enough to use each Writhing Jar 3 times and significantly increase the Life Recovery rate.

Gloves, Boots and Shield

Aim for high Life and Resistances + Movement Speed on Boots.


One piece of Elreon jewellery is needed to cover most of the Mana cost for Flameblast. Life, resistances and attributes (if needed) fill the other mods. An Elder amulet with "+#% of maximum Life per second to maximum Life Leech rate" is a great way to further increase the Life Leech rate.


Here's a list of the most useful Jewel mods:
  • #% increased maximum Life
  • #% increased Fire Damage
  • #% increased Spell Damage while holding a Shield
  • #% increased Cast Speed while holding a Shield
  • #% increased Cast Speed with Fire Skills
  • #% increased Attack Speed while holding a Shield

  • #% increased Burning Damage
  • #% increased Damage
  • #% increased Damage over Time
  • #% increased Area Damage
  • #% increased Spell Damage
  • #% increased Cast Speed
  • #% increased Attack and Cast Speed
  • #% increased Attack Speed


A Quicksilver Flask, another Utility Flask with freeze immunity and three Writhing Jars are a good setup here.

Gem Setup

Herald of Ash - Burning Damage - Swift Affliction - Efficacy - Increased Duration - Increased Area of Effect
Body Armour

Flameblast / Vaal Flameblast - Controlled Destruction - Combustion - Faster Casting (or Empower)
Helmet; Faster Casting for higher mobility e.g. against Uber Elder, Empower for more damage

Righteous Fire (Level 15) - Burning Damage - Elemental Focus - Concentrated Effect
Gloves / Boots; for higher clearspeed in Helmet with Efficacy instead of Concentrated Effect
Righteous Fire can kill worms when the Radius gets too large, at level 15 they land just outside of the radius.

Orb of Storms - Curse on Hit - Flammability - Temporal Chains
Gloves / Boots; it doesn't need to be level 1 anymore as any hit would instantly kill the worms.

Shield Charge - Faster Attacks - Fortify
Weapon / Shield; don't use it to proc Elemental Equilibrium, Herald of Ash adds Fire Damage

Cast when Damage Taken - Immortal Call
Weapon / Shield

Decoy Totem
Weapon / Shield

When using Obliteration (dual / with shield) for clearing, two Cast when Damage Taken setups can be used:
Cast when Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Increased Duration
Cast when Damage Taken - Vortex - Increased Area of Effect

Skill Tree


Path of Building

Not updated for 3.3.

3.3 Changes - nerfed, but still alive

Changes in 3.3 Patch Notes:

  • The Writhing Jar: Worms spawned from The Writhing Jar are now destroyed when hit. This overrides effects which would otherwise prevent them from dying, such as the one found on the unique gloves Southbound.

We won't be able to proc EE and Curses on Worms anymore, that is around a 50% damage nerf. Herald of Ash should still work.

  • Dyadus: No longer has the mod "Enemies chilled by you take 100% increased burning damage". Dyadus now has "100% increased Damage with Ignites inflicted on Chilled Enemies".

Animate Guardian with dual Dyadus is now completely useless for this build. Another 66% less damage if AG was used before (though never really needed).

Chance to Ignite Support/Combustion Support
  • Has been renamed to Combustion Support.
  • Now lowers the fire resistance of enemies ignited by supported skills, inflicting -10% fire resistance at gem level 1, down to -19% at gem level 20.

Small buff to the gem when not using Elemental Focus.

  • Now deals 90% more damage with ailments for each stage (up from 50%).
  • Now has +5% chance to ignite for each stage.
  • Now costs 3 mana at gem level 1 (down from 6), up to 6 mana at gem level 20 (down from 9).

This is a Buff. The lower mana cost allows using only one Elreon ring instead of two.
When not using Elemental Focus, Flameblast now has 100% chance to ignite (50% from skill, 14% from curse, 49% from Combustion Support, 40% from tree). Combustion (pre 3.3: Chance to Ignite) will then lower enemy fire resistance by 19% and the ignite adds some damage too.

Vaal Righteous Fire
  • Previously removed all of your energy shield and all but one life, instantaneously dealing fire damage to all nearby enemies based on the amount of life and energy shield lost.
  • Now removes 30% of your life and energy shield and creates a Righteous Fire aura around you which burns enemies within its radius based on the amount of life and energy shield lost for 4 seconds. It also looks pretty neat now.
  • Now deals 161% of life and energy shield lost as burning damage per second at gem level 1, up to 180% at gem level 20.
  • Now also grants 20% more spell damage while active at gem level 1, up to 39% more spell damage at gem level 20. This is multiplicative with Righteous Fire's more spell damage effect.
  • Now gains 1% increased burning damage per 1% gem quality (previously gained 1% increased spell damage per 1% quality).
  • Now requires 40 souls per use (up from 16).
  • Now prevents you from gaining Vaal souls for 10 seconds after use.

Vaal Righteous Fire won't be able to trigger Herald of Ash anymore, making it mostly useless for this build.

Vaal Flameblast
  • Previously created a flameblast which grew without needing to be channelled until it reached 10 stages, then exploded.
  • Now creates a flameblast which shrinks without needing to be channelled, and explodes every 5 stages, until it reaches 15 stages. Each subsequent explosion is stronger than the last.
  • Now deals 90% more damage with ailments for each stage (up from 55%).
  • Now has +5% chance to ignite for each stage.
  • Now requires 30 souls per use (up from 16).
  • Now prevents you from gaining Vaal souls for 6 seconds after use.

Vaal Flameblast is now probably a good way to reach higher damage against bosses, but the targeting might end up being more difficult. The best way to use it is probably waiting for the 3rd explosion to release the worms.

Gem Changes
Instead of Swapping Chance to Ignite (now Combustion) with Faster Casting, it's now better to use both and leave out Elemental Focus.

Vaal Righteous Fire and Animate Guardian are not needed anymore.

Vaal Flameblast can now be used instead of a regular Flameblast gem, as it grants both versions of the skill.

Gear Changes
One Elreon ring is enough to cover the mana cost now, use a rare ring focusing on life, resistances, increased elemental / fire damage.

If you have any suggestions, questions etc. feel free to leave them here or message me ingame @WormblasterTheFifth
Last edited by EpisCube on Jun 2, 2019, 3:23:48 PM
Last bumped on Jan 12, 2019, 7:26:09 AM
Great concept, look forward to trying it
The secret got revealed! 2 of 3 broken builds left in the dark.
No Problem,
For the speedclear, can't you use a swap with obliteration or shaper/elder weapons (i don't remember which one) with "enemies you kill explode dealing 5% of their hp as fire damage" (not sure if it works with RF, i know obliteration does) so you can simply clear with RF, quickly enough?
So if I'm understanding this correctly, we're using HoA to get 20% of our damage dealt to be spread as an ignite, which against worms is almost all of our damage with their low hp, which then of course is also multiplied by the number of worms we killed and thus overkilled. So basically an ignite build based on scaling as much overkill damage on 'enemies (worms)' as possible.

Absolutely genius tbh.
So... will GGG nerf the flask once again? How many times have they done it now? Funny how no matter how many times they nerf Wormblaster, the damn thing keeps coming back!
Last edited by DrCola on Apr 12, 2018, 4:36:01 PM
DrCola wrote:
So... will GGG nerf the flask once again? How many times have they done it now? Funny how no matter how many times they nerf Wormblaster, the damn thing keeps coming back!

Since it's cool and fun, it seems likely.
2.6.0: Removed Fun; Added Despond.
DrCola wrote:
So... will GGG nerf the flask once again? How many times have they done it now? Funny how no matter how many times they nerf Wormblaster, the damn thing keeps coming back!

The flask hadn't been nerfed since its creation.
Keyen wrote:
DrCola wrote:
So... will GGG nerf the flask once again? How many times have they done it now? Funny how no matter how many times they nerf Wormblaster, the damn thing keeps coming back!

The flask hadn't been nerfed since its creation.

Even if you argue semantics (since the mechanics surrounding the jar's use have all been nerfed), that's not true. The flask used to spawn level 100 worms and gave souls for Soul Eater.
2.6.0: Removed Fun; Added Despond.
Last edited by Ashriel on Apr 12, 2018, 6:21:07 PM
Oblitertion works great with RF but those shaper maces/queatzaobrocolli do not trigger of DoT kills or secondary damage kills.

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