[3.3] Ascendant Slayer/Raider Starforge Cyclone (ISC UberElder Downed)
First of all, i'm not native English speaker, so pardon my bad grammar/spelling :)
Also I play in Taiwan Garena server. You can view my Garena account here(https://web.poe.garena.tw/account/view-profile/necrophagism) if you can read Chinese. But I will include accurate POB info in this guide to serve as reference for you (We weren't able to output character info into POB, so most of the POB are self-crafted to match the stat on my real character).
This build was originally just a spin-off from my old Slayer phys-cyclone guide (https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2022153).
Ascendant get heavily buffed in 3.2 and I decided to test it for phys-cyclone, which turn out to be very good and flexible.
The main focus for this guide will be the RT version(Slayer/Raider), since it's more accessible for most people and is still strong enough to do all content, but I will include a section for crit version of the build later.
Patch 3.3 changes
Nothing really change. Beside we lose Aspect of Spider as endgame aura option with Bestiary gone.
3.3 also revamp the Vaal skills, but Vaal Cyclone is still meme tier, and feel very awkward to use with cyclone, going for Lv21 cyclone is just better for the +1 additional range.
Vaal Double Strike on the other hand can be easily included since cyclone proc. bleed very reliably, which provide a strong burst against map bosses.
My first Shaper run this league with budget gear setup
Kondo's Pride as weapon, using 5Links only. Jewels are also very cheap because none of them have Life% (each of them cost less than 10 chaos).
Also not using Might of the Meek, because they cost ~1.5EX on our server for unknown reason (but they cost only about 15 chaos on GGG server).
My first UberElder run this league
(RT Ascendant Slayer/Raider, with Starforge)
First run this league and it was successful. Got one death from being combo by Shaper ball and Elder Ice spike.
I use 5L totem setup instead of Totem/VDS for UberElder because I'm not sure how many usage of VDS I can get it off for this fight, will test VDS later once I get my Starforge 6 linked.
UberElder deathless run
Similar setup as my first run, but got my Starforge 6 linked. Testing VDS with Totem together as 5L setup, and VDS actually perform quite nice since it recharge during each door phases. Also other Vaal skill will compete with VDS on recharging souls, so should definitely not using Vaal Haste(and Vaal Cyclone) in next run.
Early league Shaper run with modest gear (RT Slayer/Raider, no Starfroge, just Kondo):
RT version doing UberElder (Slayer/Raider, with Starforge)
Crit version doing UberElder (Slayer/Jugg)
Comparison to Slayer version
Scion feels weaker at low/medium gear levels, mostly because of no EndlessHunger, which make your leech duration rather short compared to Slayer during mapping (Leech duration= Hit damage * Leech% *50/ max life). And for lab running, Slayer is also stronger/safer because of leech duration.
Ascendant(Slayer/Raider) have higher movement speed (10% innate, 20% perma Onslaught and additional 17% from tree if you have Might of the Meek), allowing you to ditch Devoto and used other helm to boost life/resist and have easier gearing (Devoto is basicaly mandatory for Slayer cyclone), or just go full speed with Devoto.
For mapping damage, Ascendant(Slayer/Raider) is weaker, because both version can sustain perma frenzy during mapping and Slayer also get Headsman buff (20% more dmg).
However for bossing, especially against bosses that have no adds during main phase (EX: Shaper), Ascendant is better due to full frenzy charges sustain and perma Onslaught, and is easier to dodge boss mechanics as Ascendant move much faster.
Ascendant also have better affinity for Crit scaling (though it's still expensive) than Slayer, providing higher endgame potential.
Passive & Pantheon
Kill all bandits
RT Slayer/Raider template (LV90, no Might of the Meek)
RT Slayer/Raider template (Lv92, 2 Might of the Meek)
(Place Might of the Meek at the west and south jewel slot from Scion starting point:https://imgur.com/a/Xb46nnd )
"Tireless" is a very big QOL if you find that you're constantly out of mana during cycloning as 6L.
"Crimson Dance" and bleeding chance in Sword cluster give some dmg boost against single-target (6~10 % more DPS at 8 stacks), the reliable bleeding proc from cyclone also allow the usage of BloodLust to boost your totem dmg against single target, but you shouldn't invest any other passives on bleed scaling, especially after cyclone lost the Ruthless support in 3.1.
For pantheon, use Arakaali as major god after you capture the "Arachnoxia" upgrade in Sewer Map. Combined with Bloodrage and CwDt-IC, this upgrade boost your life recovery rate by 50% for 4sec whenever CwDt- IC proc, which affect your leech recovery (Credit to Reddit thread posted by SummeR for the discovery in 3.0- https://redd.it/6wgjoj). You can see the leech demonstration in my 3.0 video: https://youtu.be/8pun1HbLIWE
Minor god is flexible, I use Gruthkul/Shakari(with upgrade) in general, and Yugul(with upgrade) for UberElder.
Skill links and Explanation
We use Cyclone as main skill, and supplemented with Ancestral Warchief for single target.
Cyclone: Brutality-MeleePhys-Maim-Dmg on Full Life-Conc/AOE
Switching between Conc and AOE for bossing/mapping.
Dmg on Full Life still function if your life-regen (including Slayer leech) out-weight the DOT effect on your character, so running blood rage won't stop its effect if you have >4% normal regen or leeching.
Ancestral Warchief: Brutality-MeleePhys-Bloodlust-Ruthless-(Maim/Damage on full life)
or Ancestral Warchief-Vaal Double Strike-Brutality-MeleePhys-Bloodlust-Ruthless
Totem play an important role for your single target DPS. We proc. bleed very reliably through cyclone, and thus Bloodlust on totem is consistently active.
Smart placement of Totem make it output damage for longer time and allow you to spend more time cycloning instead of recasting totem. This is the reason why I don't like to use Conc.Effect on Totem because it also reduce its engaging range.
Ancestral Warchief also provide much higher DPH (Damage per Hit) than cyclone, especially with Ruthless support. Which would make you score higher shock effect on boss if you're using Starforge and and have some shock chance.
You can also include Vaal Double Strike in this Totem setup (Totem-VDS-Brutality-MeleePhys-Bloodlust-Ruthless) after 3.3. This would reduce the totem dmg by a link, but provide a much stronger burst against map bosses.
VDS is very strong for bursting if the target is bleeding, which you proc. through Cyclone.
The "Fire-and-forget" nature of VDS make it an easy inclusion without disrupting your normal Cyclone gameplay style.
Aura: Blasphemy-Vulnerability and Grace/Haste/Purity of Ice
In 3.2 I use Enlighten 3 to support Vulnerability, Purity of Ice and also use Aspect of Spider as well. However Aspect aura are removed along with all the good stuff in Bestiary, so just use Blasphemy-Vulnerability and Grace/Haste/Purity of Ice depending on situation.
Haste for general fast mapping, Grace for dangerous mod on attack based bosses and POI is the best aura for Shaper/UberElder.
Blood Rage and CwDt-Immortal Cry
Blood rage give you additional life leech%, which is good for extending leech duration, you should almost always have Blood Rage up (unless in lab or trial) as the Slayer leech mitigate the degen.
CwDt-IC proc. will temporally "stop" the degen damage from Blood Rage and thus activate the Arakaali pantheon to boost your leech rate and max leech rate by 50%.
Many people like to support Blood Rage with CwDt as well, but I personally like manually cast BR myself, as there are some rare situations would turn BR to block your Arakaali pantheon (EX: Degen heavy environments, since activation of Arakaali require you to stop "all" degen damage on your character).
For CwDt threshold, I usually use around 1/4 of maximum life as proc threshold. Reason for this is that IC have internal cool-down of 3 secs, so reducing threshold won't make it proc. more frequent, and sometime would make it proc. "too early", and waste the 0.4 sec IC effect on preventing the actual heavy damage. (EX: When you cyclone into a pack of Spiky birds, you want the IC proc. after you receive the first few spike hits and prevent the rest damage, if your IC is on cooldown due to too low CwDt threshold, you can easily die in this situation.)
You can customize additional gem like Lightning Golem or Increase duration to CwDt-IC setup as you see fit.
Our movement skill, even as cyclone build, I still leapslam around a lot as it's still faster compared to walking. You will always want to set Leapslam as "Attack in Place" skill in 3.3 once the technology is here, which will actually make it very comparable to other moveskill like Shield charge.
BloodMagic support is important, it make your movement skill not compete with cyclone on mana usage, thus reduce cyclone OOM problem a lot.
Gear Choice and Explanation
Weapon: Kondo's Pride -> Starforge
Kondo is very cheap and easily obtainable even at early league. The damage roll on Kondo is rather stable, there is not much difference between a middle roll and a top roll one, unlike Doomsower.
Kondo also give a little amount of leech, and the dmg bonus against bleeding target is actually significant, make a 460dps Kondo comparable to 2H sword with ~490pdps in damage calculation.
Ignore other effect of this sword since you don't use this sword for crit.
Kondo can easily be used until endgame, and I always use it to farm the Starforge myself.
But if the price of Starforge drop cheap enough, you should just buy it, as it will significantly boost your damage, as well as provide good survival (100HP).
As Ascendant(Slayer/Raider), your helmet slot won't be locked into Devoto's like Slayer cyclone. I use rare helmet with high life and resist, which make other slot easier to gear.
This also have the advantage for acquiring lab enchant, since our desired enchantments on a white base helmet is usually cheaper.
For helm enchantment: Blood rage additional atk speed% > Cyclone speed% > Cyclone damage% = Vulnerability effectiveness
You can still use Devoto as Ascendant if you want more speed for clearing.
Armor: 6-Link rare Astral Plate from "The Celestial Justicar" or belly -> Elder/Shaper base
"The Celestial Justicar" provide the a budget and attainable endgame viable chest for melee build.
6 Link Belly is almost 4 times the price at any stage of the league. Although Belly would yield higher life, a rare Astral can have much higher resistance because it provide 12 all resist as base. Don't be afraid to roll chaos on it, for my experience, ever since the addition of hybrid life mods, it's actually very easy to chaos a chest with >100 life and 2 resist mods(1 from master mod), which will greatly reduce the cost of your other gear slot furthermore.
If you really want to min-max further, Shaper base armor with T1 phys damage taken as cold and high life mod is probably best for RT version of the build (coupled with purity of Ice), and you can get this mod on itlv 83 based Armor, which is significantly cheaper than itlv 84+ (since everyone want the T1 crit mod).
Another unorthodox choice for Chest slot is Bronn's Lithe, which probably provide the highest damage potential for cyclone. Bronn's Lithe is one of the few ways to get Lv21 Vaal cyclone setup so you also benefit from the +1 weapon range. The downside of Bronn is obvious: no life, no resist and a bitch to get 6L cyclone color, would not recommend until you are very rich and want to fully min-max the build.
Glove and Belt: "Rare glove + Deceiver belt" -> "Tombfist + Rare Stygian Vise" -> Tombfist + Elder belt"
We want a reliable Intimidate effect from these slots to boost our dmg, which can either from Deceiver belt or Tombfist socketed with a Murderous Eye.
The Deceiver setup is cheaper and easier to gear-up since you don't lose sockets, and you don't need abyssal jewels.
The Tombfist version should give more life and utility and have higher upgrading potential in endgame, since you can get up-to 50 added life from abyssal jewels and other useful mods.
For the abyssal jewels, always get high life mod first, then target for utility mods or % increase.
"%Chance to blind when hit" is very strong for us, since cyclone hit very frequently and can perma blind bosses. With starforge, you can also get shock effectiveness% from abyss jewels, which work great if you can reliably proc shock (with crit or boots enchantment).
Since Stygian Vise belt can no longer get Shaper/elder mods. For high budget endgame glove/belt setup I would recommend 2 socket Tombfist and Leather belt (or Rustic Sash) with the Elder mod: increase life recovery rate 16-20% .
"Increase life recovery rate" work on your leech, and it pseudo-boost both your "leech rate" and "Max leech rate", this mod alone would function like almost 10% life regen for you during combat, which is insane.
Another unique glove slot worth mentioning is the "Haemophilia".
If you just want to clear map faster, this glove is insane. With Vulnerability now giving bleed chance% as well, this glove make every mobs you kill explode upon death, although we have little ways to scale the explosions (scale with physical% and also the Vulnerability), the coverage provided by explosions will leave no straggler behind, the denser the map the better.
Also it reduce the risk of corpse explosion and spike bird since you would leave no corpse behind during mapping.
I usually switch between Tombfist and Haemophilia for bossing and mapping.
Amulet: Carnage Heart
One major disadvantage of Ascendant compared to Slayer is shorter leech duration, which determine how long your leech instances can last on your character after you stop hitting things. If your leech duration is too short, you would start loosing your "Slayer regen" when you're busying dodging boss mechanic. However, leech duration more than 10 seconds is highly unnecessary, unless you have the habit to go AFK during combat.
Leech duration is calculated as : (Hit damage) * (Leech%) *50 / Max life
Carnage Heart provide up to 2% physical-leech, which greatly boost our leech duration since we do pure physical damage, combine with leech cluster on trees and Bloodrage, you should reach 10 sec leech duration with no problem as Ascendant. The other properties of Carnage Heart are also desirable for our build.
But once you get Starforge and better damage thus naturally extending your leech duration, you can also use other amulet to replace Carnage Heart, as long as you feel you have enough leech duration to feel comfortable. Daresso's salute or just a good rare amulet with high life/Add-flat phys/Int are good choices.
Rings: Rare -> "Mark of the elder" + Shaper ring
Get Life/Resistance/Intelligence, if you get enough resistance from your chest/helmet, you can focus on offensive suffix on the rings, like Strength and Attack Speed.
I usually don't use Steel Rings since they cost too much and Add physical-dmg is not as effective to scale 2-handed weapon build. Coral based is much budget friendly and better for your survival.
Since 3.2, we also get "Mark of the elder" as a good choice for endgame ring setup. "Mark of the elder" is bad for most one-handed physical build, since a rare steel ring with T1 add-phys dmg prefix easily beat this ring for those builds. However, 2H physical weapon with high base dmg scale poorly from add-phys damage, thus the high dmg% (up to 80%) from "Mark of the elder" become appealing to us. Just remember that to activate this ring, you need a Shaper ring on the other side, just roll a random resist or coral shaper ring with some life, resistance or even roll AS% with Essence crafting (no special shaper affixs is required for this ring) and these two rings combined can give you more dmg than most other ring combination (two GG rare ring can potentially beats this, but that cost much more, since the "Mark" is very cheap at later stage of the league).
High MS%, high life mod (check for hybrid life mod, many boots can still be have another master life mod) and resistance (you can also get Int from boots if you have enough resist).
If you have Starforge, then "10% chance to proc. elemental status" enchant is very strong for clearing and can even shock high Tier bosses through Ruthless blow of your Totem, just beware that boot enchantment will replace the innate resist mod on Two-tone based boots.
Might of the Meek
"Might of the Meek" unique jewel is very strong for Scion. Two Might of the Meek (one at south and one at west) have the best value because the bonus effect would be round-down otherwise (EX: With just one Meek coverage, you only get 7% for each life node in range, because 5*1.5=7.5 is round-down to 7. But two Meek will prevent this loss because it would always give Integer bonus.) At this two jewel slot, Might of the meek have the highest value, rivaling even good 4 stat rare jewel for RT cyclone, and is even stronger if you're going crit.
For the RT tree, two Meek would yield you 23% max life, 13 atk speed%, 34 melee dmg%, 36 resist (cold/fire), 16% mana and 6% movement speed. And if you're going crit, it also give 37% bonus Crit multi.
Example: https://imgur.com/a/Xb46nnd (Meeks are marked by red circle)
Prioritize offensive stats for normal jewels. And for abyssal jewel, you should focus on utility and survival perks first.
T1: Sword atk speed%, Life%(would greatly increase the cost of jewel)
T2: 2H atk speed%, Global physical dmg%, Mana leech(Viridian jewel only, and only worth it if you don't have any mana leech from other source)
T3: Sword dmg%
T1: Atk speed%(5%)
T2: Area dmg%, Melee dmg%, Chance to shock% (Starforge only)
T3: All resistance%
T1: Flat life (not flat life = not worth using this abyssal jewel)
T2: Sword flat physical
T1: Chance to Blind% (very strong defensively)
T2: Atk speed%, Shock effectiveness%(Starforge only), Chance for Onslaught on Kill(for mapping)
T3: Increas dmg% after killed, Resistance%, Flat phys
My usual Flask set-up for mapping
1 Life flask (Bubbling/of Staunching)
1 Lion's Roar
1 Defensive (Chemist's/of Warding): Usually Stibnite, can use Basalt/Jade if you have good blinding chance on your character (Usually through Abyssal jewel mod)
1 QuickSilver (Chemist's/of Adrenaline)
1 Sulphur (Chemist's/of Heat)
Why so much love for Chemist's mod?
For most flask, chemist mod allow one additional usage of the flask during boss fight, and also make it recharge faster, since each usage cost less flask charge.
Furthermore, if you have "Reduce flask charge" mod on belt (with good value), combine with "Chemist" mod on flask, it would allow another additional usage for most flask.(EX: A total of 40% charge reduction, would reduce the charge usage on QuickSilver to 12, which allow you use it 4 times in boss fight, making flask management very easy.
Early Character progression
This only describe how I plan my cyclone Ascendant leveling in 3.2, you should modify it if you see fit. I also test this leveling strategy in flashback SSF, and it works well there as well.
~ first lab
Example Tree: www.poeurl.com/bVLf
Skill use cleave or molten strike/forst blade --> Sunder
Get first 2 ascendancy point into ranger.
~ Second lab
Example Tree: www.poeurl.com/bVMw
After first lab, switch to two-hand weapons as you start to get 2H specific nodes, respec "Duality" cluster and change "Strong arm" into "Butchery".
Continue using Sunder or try Earthquake/Laceration, since these two skills should feel much better in 3.3.
Get Desroyer-> Golem's Blood-> Wrecking Ball, then travel north to Templar starting area to get more life and some Int, also get Constitution since it's just nearby.
At second Lab, get the Raider subascendancy and put 1 point into Duelist.
~ Third lab
Example Tree: www.poeurl.com/bVNe
I start cyclone after getting the Raider sub-ascendancy since it give a lot of movement speed bonus. Start using Bloodrage to keep up frenzy and get the Onslaught bonus.
Get the 1 point jewel slot from Scion starting region and slot in "Warlord's Reach" jewel from the quest reward to get +1 bonus weapon range for early QoL.
For aura, use Blasphemy-Warlord's Mark at first for leech. But after getting Hematophagy and the mana/life leech node from Vitality Void cluster, you can switch to Blasphemy-Vulnerability for more damage instead.
Travel from south to link a path to Resolute Technique, and respec excessive passive points. If you get the Kondo's Pride early or have already been using a 2H sword, you can start filling the Sword cluster passive (get Razor's Edge for +1 weapon range first).
You should be able to do third lab with ~3.5K HP and 9K cyclone tooltip dps (4L Cyclone: Brutality-meleephys-Maim). Get Slayer sub-ascendancy from third lab.
You may find it hard to cap resist right after killing Kitava, if so, use Purity of Element as temporal solution until you have better gears.
If you have only crappy rare weapon and slow atk speed, you might also need to fill up remaining life leech nodes in Hematophagy cluster to have more leech duration/leech rate to feel comfortable in boss fight, you can respec out those later after you get a Kondo or Doomsower.
Try to get 5L Strength based armor as soon as possible, and add Damage on full life to cyclone link.
Capture the "Arachnoxia" in T5 Sewer Map to upgrade Arakaali pantheon.
Uber Elder Fight tips(ver 3.3)
I will just talk about this fight from the perspective of Slayer-leech based Cyclone build. Our Slayer-leech combined with Vaal Pact/Arrakalli allow us to basically ignore the DoT ground effects in Uber Elder Fight as long as our leech duration is still up, which make the fight rather easy compare to most other ascendancy (Try to avoid the DoT nonetheless, since it partially offset your Slayer leech effect).
My Aura setup
Vulnerability + Purity of Ice
My pantheon setup
Major: Arrakalli (The only major god for all slayer leech build, other choices are heretics)
Minor: Yugul(Get the upgrade for reduced cold damage taken, this include the DOT ground)
My flask setup
Writhing Jar (Bubbling Life flask of Heat for Ascendant)
Chemist's Sulphur Flask of Heat (or Stibnite/Sapphire)
Chemist's Sapphire Flask of Heat
Chemist's Quick Silver Flask of Heat (or of Adrenaline)
Don't press your flask mindlessly, try to always have freeze/chill immunity up by timing your flask, and Jar/Roar for Heal/burst, Quicksilver for the Slow phase or emergency dodge.
This fight is separated into 4 phases:
A: Shaper phase (Elder is invulnerable)
B: Elder phase (Shaper is invulnerable)
C: Door phase (Either Shaper or Elder door, and both boss are invulnerable)
D: Final phase (Both are not invulnerable, but only Shaper can be culled)
The sequence go like this: A->B->C(elder door)->A->B->C(shaper door)->A->B->C(elder)->D
Each phase is passed after the Shaper/Elder lose 25% of their total life, or after a fixed timer(Door phase).
Phase A is rather easy for us, since the yellow balls from shaper can't hit you at close melee range (they require a minimum traveling distance to be "armed"), you can just cycloning around Shaper without any fear. Elder will shoot you with ice spikes, but at this stage you should tank those spikes easily with Slayer leech (Also since Spikes don't have cold penetration, Purity of Ice and Sapphire is very effective).
The major risk is that the shaper will constantly teleport around the arena, and during the searching for shaper you can be stunned by the Elder ice spikes and then killed by shaper balls (The Slayer nerfed in losing stun immunity is actually big here). But as long as you can engage Shaper quickly and start spinning, this phase is easy.
Phase B is the most difficult one. Elder is mostly immobile, but Shaper will constantly cover the elder with Balls and Laser. The big trick here is try to lure the aiming of Shaper into other direction, since the Shaper will only target your last location. Shaper usually fire 3~4 rounds of balls then followed by 1 laser. In best situation, you want to lure the all the balls and laser away from Elder and deal damage to elder before the Shaper start aiming again, but in practice, the firing of shaper balls is very rapid, so you should try focus on luring the Laser away as your first goal, since the Laser last few seconds, allowing you have big time window to burst the Elder (Save your DPS flasks for this opportunity!). Another thing you have to pay attention here is that the shaper would still teleport around the arena, so the direction of balls and laser will also change. Also don't be too distracted/restricted by the expanding Elder Ring, it take quite some time to expand and explode, keep on moving and lure the Shaper beam/balls out of the center ring so you are safe to deal dmg to Elder.
In short: Always put most of your attention on the Shaper, even if he is invulnerable, since he is the real boss here.
Phase C is just spawning trash for you to fill your flask, just always pay attention on the location of Shaper, and keep moving (even better if your movement is vertical to the direction of shaper balls/laser). You don't have to kill the elder door, just clear the spawn and the door will disappear after fixed time. For Slayer, you can try to kill one Door to get the 20 sec Onslaught from Bane of Legends, since the Door is an unique monster, and Slayer can even intentionally leave some small squids behind (just no big squids, they can spawn DOT ground), so you can use them to proc Headsman (20% more damage) later in phase A or B (small squid deal almost 0 damage if only few of them left).
After the first round of A->B->C, the Elder start to dish out some new trick in later rounds (mostly during phase B).
The first trick (and the most deadly one) is the Slow phase. This can't be avoid (even if you manage to dodge the initial animation or leave the siphoning cone) and can't be dispelled by any flask, it always slow you down for quite few seconds. The slow by itself is still manageable if you pop a quick silver, but this slow is absolutely deadly if you are also chilled (it's impossible to dodge anything with slow and chill, and the stun duration get almost doubled in this status). Always keep one usage of chill removing flask for this situation, and always short spin your cyclone so you can stop spinning as soon as you saw the elder diving animation (Getting slowed and stuck in cyclone animation is very deadly). Koam's Root and Jugg ascendancy trivialize this mechanics, but you can't possibly sacrifice 30~35% movement speed as cyclone build to wear Koam's Root just for this situation.
The second trick from elder is the tentacle, they deal quick some damage (2~3K per hit) and will stun-lock you if you get caught, but is very easy to dodge (just normal moving is enough).
The final trick is the elder shower, this seem do deal no damage if you are directly under him, and even if you get hit by the shower, it's only just about 1~2K damage, nothing big. Just remember that elder will do a "delayed" slam aiming at your last location after the shower, dodge that and you're fine.
If you manage into phase D as Slayer, you are basically passed, since phase D start with both Elder and Shaper at 25% health, you should instantly cull the shaper at 20%. And without Shaper, the Elder alone is just a joke.
In 3.3, you can abuse the bursting power of Vaal Double Strike in this fight(VDS-Brutality-Bloodlust-MeleePhys-Ruthless). VDS can be recharged to full usage after each Door phase by killing spawns, cast all VDS at once can quickly phase the Elder/Shaper once they become vulnerable, just be sure to proc. bleed with Cyclone on them first. Example Clip: https://youtu.be/bD4eKF071fQ
It's possible to make crit Starforge work, and perform better than RT variant. However without good investment, RT variant will perform better due to its damage consistency. So don't transition to crit carelessly without preparations. (I personally would only do the transition after getting a decent Crit Elder Armor)
For consistency of crit, in general you want to aim for ~40% Effective Crit Chance (without buff).
[Effective Crit Chance] = [Base crit] X [1 + (Total Inc.% of Crit Chance)] X [Chance to Hit]
The major problem with Starforge is that it has only 5% base crit, making the required amount of Inc.% Crit Chance% very hard to achieve efficiently.
However, you can modified the [Base crit] through multiple ways:
1. Increased Critical Strikes Support: The easiest and most cheap way is just replacing one support gem with "Increased Critical Strikes", which give you +1.9% base crit and +115 Inc.% of Crit chance, can allow you to easily scale crit with any weapons. The downside of this is that the Damage multiplier provide by this support gem is generally lower than most other alternatives, so you are trading some damage potential for crit consistency and scaling easiness.
2. Elder Body Armor suffix: The body armor drop as Elder base in Elder affected region can roll a suffix: "Attacks have +% to Critical Strike Chance", which is a direct modifier on your base crit with all attack skills. You can get up to +1.5% on base crit through this single suffix mod, which is almost half the power of "Increased Critical Strikes Support", making this a very powerful and efficient way to scale crit with Starforge. The downside of this is that you need a itlv84 Elder armor to get the highest tier of this mod, which is generally scarce on the market. And not all the people like crafting things by them-self.
3. Corruption mods on Gloves: In 3.3, you can get "Attacks have +(0.5–0.8)% to Critical Strike Chance" on Gloves after corruption. One Socket Tombfist is very suitable for corruption. The downside of this is the pure RNG involved in corruption, which can brick the item, and the market availability of correct corruption on correct gloves is not stable.
After extensive testing last league, I personally favor Slayer/Jugg for crit Starforge. Jugg provide great defensive value, the Stun/Chill immune is very helpful for UberElder fight, and the perma endurance charge sustain make you resistant to physical damage inside (phys degen ground, elder shower and tentacles). Jugg also provide 1000 accuracy, which is very helpful on gearing and provide great crit consistency against high level bosses.
Mapping wise Jugg is slower than the other two (Raider and Assassin) but it's also much safer due to high Immortal Call duration with perma End. charges.
There are 2 versions of crit variant, the differences of these two are whether you have Crit Elder Armor or not.
These templates are based on my real character from 3.2 Bestiary league, and modified for 3.3 (since we no longer have Farrel's Bite and Aspect of Cat).
Without Crit Elder Armor (use Loreweave): https://pastebin.com/eGTfvU8d
With Crit Elder Armor: https://pastebin.com/HXCszQqK
Helm: Rat's Nest
Provide good crit chance and valuable movement speed% for cyclone, you will lose life/resist on this slot if you transition from RT (if you use rare helmet). But you can get some life back on amulet slot.
Because critical hit have very high DPH, you should never have problems on leech duration as crit slayer leech build. Thus you no longer need Carnage Heart.
For amulet mods, always looking for High Life and High Crit multiplier first, then get as much as Intelligence. Crit chance/Add flat phys is less of priority but it never hurt to get more. And you don't need much accuracy with Jugg ascendancy.
Ring: Shaper ring + Mark of the Elder
Similar setup as RT version, but it's best if you can get a Diamond based Shaper ring.
Also Shaper ring can get "Curse Enemies with Assassin's Mark on Hit" which is extremely useful for you because it allow you to ditch Blasphemy aura and use other things like Purity Aura and free-up resistance pressure or do some combo combination with Purity Watcher's eye.
Body Armor: Elder Armor with attack crit mods
You can still go crit without it, but you will have to use "Inc.Crit Strike" as support gem on Cyclone to reach acceptable crit chance, and thus your damage will not be as high. Additionally, the attack crit mods is global effect, so it also make your totem crit more reliable without sacrificing DPH (shock effectiveness).
A high-rolled Loreweave is also a choice, but Loreweave only give Inc.% Crit chance and not the Base crit, so you still have to use "Inc.Crit Strike" without losing too much crit consistency.
You need itlv84+ Elder Armor base to roll the T1 attack crit suffix.
One socket is Ok, since you want to include Ice golem for crit build. Additionally, corrupted 1 socket Tombfist is more available on market, which you can get "Attacks have +(0.5–0.8)% to Critical Strike" as BiS corruption mod.
Belt: Stygian Vise or Elder Belt with Life recovery rate
Similar to RT version.
But the "reduce %flask charge used" mod on belts is very valuable for crit builds, since this mods combined with Chemist's mod on Diamond flask would allow you to have 1 more usage of Diamond flask.
2 Might of the Meek
Place them at west and south socket from Scion starting point. These two jewel would net you 23% max life, 13 atk speed%, 34 melee dmg%, 36 resist (cold/fire), 16% mana, 6% movement speed and 37% bonus Crit multi. No other jewels (not even mirror tier jewel if they exist) can compete with Meeks for crit Scion build at these two position.
T1: 2H Crit Multi,, Life%(would greatly increase the cost of jewel)
T2: Sword atk speed%, Mana leech(Viridian jewel only, you need at least 1 mana leech mod from jewel for crit tree unless you have it on rings)
T3: 2H atk speed%, Global physical dmg%,
T1: Melee Crit Multi
T2: Global Crit Multi, Attack speed%
T3: Area dmg, Melee dmg
T1: Flat Life
T2: Sword flat physical
T1: Chance to Blind% (very strong defensively), Crit Multi, Atk speed after crit
T2: Shock effectiveness%, Flat Accuracy
T3: Atk speed%, Resistance%, Flat phys
Cyclone: Brutality-MeleePhys-Maim-Inc.Crit Strike/Damage on Full Life -AOE/Conc.effect
If playing without Crit Elder armor, you have to use "Increased Critical Strikes" instead of Damage on Full Life support gem to get consistent crit. However if you have Crit Elder armor already, you can safely use Damage on Full Life and still have good crit consistency.
With Crit Elder armor you will have ~25% more damage on Cyclone.
Warchief Totem: Brutality-MeleePhys-Bloodlust-Ruthless-Damage on Full Life/Con.Effect
For totem setup, you want to get the highest DPH to score high shock effectiveness on bosses. Ruthless is important, because DPH of Ruthless blow is more than double than usual.
Aura: Blasphemy-Assassin's Mark + Grace/Haste/Purity of Ice
Vulnerability provide higher up-front damage, but Assassin's Mark allow you to get power charges during map clearing or killing adds in boss fight. Even with only 1 power charges gain will make Assassin's Mark stronger than Vulnerability against bosses.
Bloodrage and CwDt-Immortal Call-Ice Golem
As Jugg, you want to max the level of CwDt and Immortal call to get good IC duration. Ice Golem provide better damage than Lightning Golem for Crit version.
Last edited by Drosophila on Jul 14, 2018, 1:17:19 AM
Last bumped on Oct 6, 2018, 1:02:10 PM
on May 31, 2018, 4:09:41 PM
This guide owns if you like cyclone, Im blasting tier 15 vaal and all mods (minus no leech) farming Shaper / Red Elder mostly face tanking and blasting away no F given. Only issue I have with this build is it's very hard to transition into Crit without all of the pieces, so you're not a real bosser like the current meta til you go crit, not to say you can't boss. Other than that build and guide is solid AF, tho in hindsight! If I wanted to just map and not care much for bossing, I would of shot for Atziri disfavor then went sword after the crit transition.
Last edited by Azrilkai on Jun 10, 2018, 4:18:13 AM
on Jun 10, 2018, 4:17:05 AM
also @op doing some POB on ur (crit setup) gear vs uber elder, I would say in this league a loreweave might be better? having the 80 max res all the time is great. On a bossing scenario this means you drop the purity of ice on uber elder, you gain the lightning resistance to some of the fight as well. This would open up using something like haste or grace, even better would be a corrupted implicit for 1 additional curse so could throw in Vulnerability even. It's a bit less crit but more multi, so you could shift some crit chance from jewels / items to get around 28-35 and have easily 400% crit multi.
It would be nice if you could throw out some tips / guide on transitioning to crit without struggling to do so :D tho I might just start practicing / killing uber elder when I ding. If I did him b4 I probabl
Last edited by Azrilkai on Jun 10, 2018, 4:28:05 AM
on Jun 10, 2018, 4:25:58 AM
I've had similar thoughts about Lorweave. I've been playing the build successfully as well and the only major issue I've been having is Uber Elder.
I've attempted it as Slayer/Raider and Slayer/Jugg and neither one seemed to do particularly well. Might just be a gear issue - it's only 10 - 11 days into the league.
on Jun 12, 2018, 1:21:43 AM
Sorry, been busy lately in real life, will add a section for crit transition once I get more free time.
For crit build, in general you want to approach ~50% effective crit chance without Diamond flask to get the most balance between Damage and Consistency.
To better scale Starforge as crit, added base crit chance is very important since Starforge have only 5% by itself. The +1.5% base attack crit from Elder armor is a "30% more crit" on Starforge, and it can potentially give you much higher Life. But of course you can also use "Inc. Crit Chance" support gem to boost base crit, which might make Loreweave catch-up the damage of Elder Crit armor, but "Inc. Crit Chance" as a support gem also give less damage than Damage on Full Life (If consistency is not an issue for you). Loreweave also lock your max resist, so you don't benefit from Sapphire flask during UberElder fight.
Here is the POB that I plan on the basis of your current character for crit version:
I try my best on lowering the requirement of crafted gears so they only have the mods that I deem important for the build.
Using Slayer/Jugg since it have the strongest performance for UberElder, and does not lose much tackiness compare to the RT version.
The Elder armor inside have only 3 mods: Life, T1 attack crit and a master resist, which you should be able to craft through Alteration/Augment spam and Regal (Life is prefix and crit is suffix).
A more problematic gear choice is the corrupted Tombfist with added attack base crit chance(+0.5~0.8%, because last league we have Farrul's Bite to get easy +1% base crit). I use only 1 socket Tombfist because 2 socket corruption would be too rare and expensive. There are already few of these on market that cost 35c~1ex.
You can play around this POB and adjust it as you like. A side note for this is that using Slayer/Assassin might make gearing easier since you don't need as much as items with Add attack base Crit (Assassin get +1% inherently), but you would need a lot of accuracy roll on abyssal jewels and amulet/rings to feel consistent (92%+ is recommended for UberElder).
Last edited by Drosophila on Jun 12, 2018, 1:53:46 AM
on Jun 12, 2018, 1:50:05 AM
I have just check your profile, and the problem I saw is that you're basically playing Crit passive tree but with RT gear setup (you have only like 16% effective crit chance).
From my point of view, your current gear will feel much stronger as RT version.
But it seems that you have already dedicated yourself into this, so I would give you few suggestion to make it work better at your current level of gears.
1. Replace Damage on full Life with Inc. Crit Strike. It would reduce your tooltip but give you so much more damage consistency, especially without any gears that scale base crit. You would only use Damage on full Life if you have enough base crit scaling already.
2. Diamond Flask is the most important flask for any crit build, it boost your damage more than Lion's Roar and enhance your damage consistency as well, replace Sulphur with it.
3. Replace Carnage Heart with Rare amulet with good Life and Crit multi. Carnage Heart is for RT Ascendant cyclone to boost leech duration. Crit version have so much higher DPH (if you crit), that you should never have problem on leech duration. I would even remove Vitality void leech clusters to get more passives for jewel sockets to scale Crit multi, and just get a bit of mana leech on jewel as well.
4. Recommend using Rat's nest on helm for crit version.
5. And replace lightning golem with Ice one.
Here is the modified POB for your current character, adjust it if you see fit.
Last edited by Drosophila on Jun 12, 2018, 2:51:20 AM
on Jun 12, 2018, 2:49:53 AM
Thank you so much for the post! Sorry to hear that RL has you so busy, hope things ease up for you.
I'll definitely go through with your advice the next time I hop into the game.
on Jun 12, 2018, 7:10:40 AM
Just wana add that with your advice I managed to take down Uber Elder. Thanks again!
Very fun fight.
on Jun 16, 2018, 5:18:53 AM
That fight is the most challenging and enjoyable experience in POE for me.
on Jun 17, 2018, 10:59:54 AM
I enjoy your build really well.
so detail information and guide was really good
However, I am wondering why my build and yours has so much dps difference.
I only change the armour chest into Kaom to get more life (mine and your build as well)
but it sill show 200k or 300k dps gap.
And also, i am so confused which start node is better between raider, slayer, jugg..
this is my first time to try out scion build.
and need your advice. Thx
my pob: https://pastebin.com/37iN8U5U (shock checked) (if use dmg full life, 120m dps)
your raider pob with kaom chest : https://pastebin.com/UQNjkHRE
on Jun 20, 2018, 9:08:00 PM