[3.3] Tanky Crit BV Slayer+Elementalist - Built for Hardcore/League Starter Friendly

- 6/20/2018 Hit level 94. Finally got enough chaos res on my rares that I can drop Ming's Heart for Mark of the Shaper. Now build is actually done! Only numerical upgrades from here on out.
- 6/17/2018 Hit level 93. Picked up my curse on hit warlord's mark ring, so switched gear and gems accordingly. Build is basically finished! I am slicing through T14 maps incredibly easily (T15-T16 are uncompleted for my shaping setup)
- 6/14/2018 Optimized tree, picked up 6L loreweave and updated gear section accordingly

Haven't seen too many scion BV guides here, and even fewer that look HC viable. This is my league starter: a wholly hardcore oriented build for incursion that sacrifices DPS for defenses and quality of life. However, in 3.3 blade vortex has been buffed greatly, so the loss of DPS compared to a traditional crit build are easily dealt with. Vaal Blade Vortex alone is a 66% MORE DAMAGE buff while it is active. We also get a free 100% MORE CAST SPEED and higher crit compared to old BV.

The main idea is to be able to run as many map mods as possible, and be tanky enough to be lazy while doing it. This build is planned for at least 500k shaper DPS when finished, which is enough to farm T16s and Shaper himself comfortably (though not going to break any speed records obviously).

I am playing fairly casually this league so this build guide will update as I progress. Hopefully I don't die before the guide is done. Writing out this guide partly for my own benefit - I've been developing this build as I go and need a place to lay it all out.

You can switch this into a softcore version pretty easily. I will go over that at the end.

7401 life
450k shaper DPS with flasks up (not including elementalist shock which is at least 10% MORE, or culling strike which is also about 10% MORE)
80% all elemental res and overcapped for elemental weakness
54% chaos res
T14s melt like butter (my atlas is built for shaped maps up to t14)

PoB Screenshot @ Level 94:

- Slayer leech for huge defensive sustain when paired with vaal pact and soul of arakaali. The thing about leech is that normally it takes time to ramp up to max leech rate. Slayer leech maintains that max leech rate. When you get bopped for a few thousand damage, slayer leech will heal a big chunk of that back up before you can even react. Think of it as extra HP buffer against everything except one-shots.
- Phys reflect immune. We will be using atziri gloves and so cannot easily 100% convert to ele. Phys reflect immune lets us run basically all maps, saving a ton of rerolling costs.
- Increased AoE for mapping
- Culling strike for 11% MORE damage.

- Ele reflect immune is the big reason we take elementalist. This combined with slayer lets us run all reflect maps. Too tired and forget to read the reflect mod? No problem!
- Ele pen + minimum 10% shock for pretty big damage boost.
- Increased herald effect turns our herald of ash to be about equal in damage to hatred. Pretty significant boost here as well.

- 7k+ life
- 80% max elemental res (loreweaver)
- Max chaos res (or near max)
- Acro/phase acro
- Slayer leech + vaal pact + soul of arakaali for 3k+ hp leech per second
- Physical and elemental reflect immunity
- Stun lock enemies with warlord's mark curse


- Atziri's Acuity: We do not have enough points to grab Vaal Pact from the tree without making HUGE sacrifices, so these gloves are pretty much mandatory for end game. However, you absolutely do NOT need these gloves for the vast majority of content, including low-mid red maps. Until you get this, use rare gloves with high life.

- Loreweave: Lots of -max res things in the incursion temple makes this the best general chest for 3.3! If you plan on skipping the temple and rerolling -max res maps, then a belly will be better. Personally I like to do new content so this is my choice.

- Curse on hit warlord's mark ring is best in slot. With this you can drop blasphemy/warlord's mark and use hatred instead.
- Ming's Heart: Chaos damage is a big killer in Incursion League. This ring is a huge loss of life but we have enough layers of defenses that avoiding instadeaths to chaos damage is more important. Adds a nice chunk of damage as well. For the end game, once you pick up enough chaos res from rares, this ring can be dropped.
- Mark of the Shaper: Use this if you have your warlord's mark ring (which is elder) and when you drop Ming's Heart. Huge DPS upgrade and nice life.

- Kaom's Roots: No other source of stun immunity for our build, so this is pretty mandatory. Cheap, even if you look for a good corruption. I recommend dodge corruptions or max endurance charge.

- Belt of the Deceiver: Best defensive belt in the game since crits are a huge HC killer, and 3.3 adds some very juicy new corruptions. As shown, if you hit all res, this belt is actually very competitive with rares.

Alternatives include a juicy stygian belt for more life and damage, or bisco's collar if you're doing heavy farming of shaped maps.

Weapon: Shaper stat stick. Nothing else really competes. Dagger or scepter base is best. I'm using a cheap one I crafted early on. Look for at least 60% total physical damage gained. Attack speed is also important, followed by crit multi and resistances.

Off-hand: Very flexible here. Lioneye's Remorse is the highest HP shield you can get for cheap, and it adds a nice chunk of armor and block that's useful even after the acrobatics reduction. Saffel's is also a possibility if you aren't using loreweave.

For certain bosses such as Shaper, I would switch to a second shaper stat stick since the safest way to do those bosses is huge DPS!

Jewels: For hardcore, I 100% recommend a corrupted blood immunity jewel because not paying attention to corrupted blood is one of the easiest ways to die. I also recommend one or two jewels with onslaught on kill - this will MASSIVELY increase your clear speed.

Chaos res!! Get that chaos res if you want to stop using Ming's Heart.


- Main link:

Swap gems:

Replace Phys to Lightning and Conc Effect with Increased AoE and Spell Echo for clearing after you get enough damage. With my current setup, I use spell echo when farming T14s and still instantly blow up packs.

While leveling you will use different links (see leveling section at the bottom). Phys to lightning adds more damage than PoB shows because it lets you shock for 10% on everything thanks to elementalist ascendancy

Movement Link:

(Culling strike is only for the attack speed bonus when quality'd. Standard.)

Utility Links:
Warlords Mark - Blasphemy (Absolutely mandatory until you get warlord's mark on your ring)
CWDT - Immortal Call
Immortal Call - Arcane Surge (For 25 second long arcane surges)
Blood Rage
Herald of Ash
Flame Dash
Stone Golem OR Vaal Grace (after testing both, I prefer Vaal Grace for popping when I enter incursions)



Ascendencies: Pick up slayer, then elementalist, then elementalist start

Bandits: help Alira

Pantheons: Soul of Arakaali/Soul of Tukohama

Modifications: Feel free to drop a life cluster or two for more damage if you want. This build is pretty damn tanky as long as you're dealing damage. I run t14s with two damage mods and never get into any danger.


Level 73 tree (when starting maps): https://pastebin.com/kxeEAqP1

- Start using BV as soon as possible, and your leveling links will be added fire/phys as lightning/onslaught for the early game. If you have a tablua, add increased AoE and arcane surge. You will notice that onslaught and arcane surge are here... they add a TON of movement/attack/cast speed and will help you finish the story much faster.
- Only tabula is really recommended, everything else can be life/resistance pieces. BV is insanely strong for leveling and bosses will melt. If you don't have a tabula, don't worry - bosses melt with a 4 link.
- Buy a vaal BV as soon as you can and use that to level instead. Vaal BV is a huge life changer and helps particularly in incursions.
- Seriously 3.3 BV is nuts, it's basically foolproof for leveling.
- Pick up the two duration clusters on the tree ASAP. Then grab life, spell damage, and AoE.
- Around level 50 start heading over to the shadow area to grab damage and dex.
- Grab crit nodes last, and once you have 3-4 crit clusters then switch into the crit support gems.

Ok so first of all if I was going to play softcore, I would probably just play elementalist inpulsa BV because its clear speed is insane. However, if you want something different and play this build in softcore, I would still drop a bunch of defenses to really boost up DPS by doing the following:
- Drop chaos res gear for damage! Chaos damage is still rare enough that you shouldn't die to it very often with acro/phase acro.
- Drop life nodes in tree down to 5k hp and grab Doom Cast/Force Shaper wheels.
- Drop shied for another shaper stat stick
- Drop kaom's roots for 30%+ movement speed boots (rare or unique, for example atziri's step would still be very defensive but move much faster)

This is a pretty safe and fun build for hardcore, give it a try if you want something other than the inpulsa elementalist build that every racer is running. I'm happy to answer any questions.
Last edited by baronzo on Jun 21, 2018, 5:30:11 PM
Last bumped on Jul 28, 2018, 2:06:10 PM
Hi. I have one question.
In the leveling section how to life leech
Completed 12 ChallengesCriminalDJ wrote:
Hi. I have one question.
In the leveling section how to life leech

Hi, for leveling I would just use 2 life flasks and 1 mana flask, until you can use blasphemy-warlord's mark. When you have the curse up then you only need 1 life flask (and no mana flask).

Life and mana leech? Thief's Torment. 'Nuff said. 😁
Completed 10 Challengesshredder1117 wrote:
Life and mana leech? Thief's Torment. 'Nuff said. 😁

One my favorite uniques, but won't work for BV since BV is a spell.

If you want a leech ring, something like this is ideal:

are there any leveling weapons you would use?
are there any leveling weapons you would use?

Honestly vaal blade vortex does so much damage during leveling (especially since it's easy to overlevel with incursions) that I would just use brightbeak for movement speed. Once you start farming blood aqueduct and low level maps you can use one or two of these:

For really low levels, use low level scepters with the new incursion mods that add flat damage and % increase to elemental damage, like:
Last edited by baronzo on Jun 21, 2018, 1:20:03 AM
the tree says to get the witch nodes but i cant reach the witch asendancy by the time im done with the other nodes (besides shadow), what do i do?
Last edited by SavitarGodSpeed on Jun 21, 2018, 3:28:13 PM
the tree says to get the witch nodes but i cant reach the witch asendancy by the time im done with the other nodes (besides shadow), what do i do?

What level are you? The witch nodes should be grabbed when you finish uber lab and get the "start at witch" ascendancy node, because then you can refund the points that connect the left side of the tree with the top side of the tree.

I added a level 73 leveling tree which should look something like this: https://pastebin.com/kxeEAqP1
Completed 15 Challengesbaronzo wrote:
the tree says to get the witch nodes but i cant reach the witch asendancy by the time im done with the other nodes (besides shadow), what do i do?

What level are you? The witch nodes should be grabbed when you finish uber lab and get the "start at witch" ascendancy node, because then you can refund the points that connect the left side of the tree with the top side of the tree.

I added a level 73 leveling tree which should look something like this: https://pastebin.com/kxeEAqP1

i am level 43 currently

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