[3.3] Vaal EQ Frostbreath Elementalist - Uber Elder done | Decent League starter
Edit: I somewhat updated the POB for 3.4. Might revise this build in 3.5
I hope you're ready for wild ride, exiles, as you expand your horizon, seeing things you'd never even have dreamt of and ful-
Fluffy, get to the point.
This is a build around the unique 1c weapon Frostbreath and Earthquake, using the Elementalist Ascendancy for Elemental Penetration and guaranteed chill. I made a video about the gameplay. I also killed Uber Elder with it, the video is in the Video Section at the end of the guide.
This sounds dumb, you probably need expensive gear to make this work.
Actually it is very inexpensive as you use 1c weapons and scale your damage through flat damage.
Is this beginner friendly?
The leveling was frankly the worst experience I had so far with a bit of twink gear. If you do level it with something else such as Freezing Pulse and respec into it later, it should be fine tho. Don't make the same mistake as I did. The gear is farily straight forward, with no need to look for accuracy/crit, so all that could trouble a new player is buying the jewels.
Aight bud, what's the Pros/Cons?
+ You play Elementalist Frostbreath EQ
+ It's fun
+ You can just walk through maps with perma Vaal EQ
+ Required gear is very very cheap
+ Herald explosions
+ You play Elementalist Frostbreath EQ
+ Jewels keep getting cheaper
+ You can use the sick new Automaton Herald of Ash
- You have to level this
- Soul Catcher feels a bit clunky compared to Soul Ripper. Feelsbadman.
- You play Elementalist Frostbreath EQ
- For good single target you need the lab enchant
- Herald explosions can kill your FPS
- Can't run any reflect map/no leech. Avoid ailments is spooky, but doable
- Spiky bois>Phoenix>Uber Elder>Shaper
Frostbreath is an insane statstick for flat ele damage as it deals double damage to chilled targets, making is scale much harder than even brightbeak would. It is a ~400dps weapon against chilled enemies, making entry gear even cheaper. Also the slow attack speed lets you hit the magical number of ~0.32 attack time, making every single hit of your Earthquake also trigger the Aftershock with the lab enchantment. Look for a high attack speed roll over everything else.
Why did you choose Earthquake over another skill?
Earthquake is an AOE ability that got a Vaal version with Incursion that basically works like Abberath's Hooves and I used to love that item. RIP AOE.
Also EQ has an insane amount of damage, hitting 293% of the basedamage at lv 20, compared to 271% of Heavy Strike with both Jewel Sockets, which is not only single target, it also has no cool Vaal skill AND is a namelock ability.
Earthquake confuses me, how do I deal damage?
Basically Earthquake has 2 stages.
1: You hit the ground
2: The ground explodes
That's fairly straightfoward, right? But EQ has another property that prevents you from triggering another Aftershock before the first one exploded, so stacking attack speed won't actually increase the DPS by a lot compared to other builds. For EQ you want to keep your Attack Time above the skill duration of EQ. So if my EQ has a duration of .46 seconds(with a 20/20 less duration gem but no reduced duration enchant) I want to keep my attack time at .47 or higher. Anything higher is fine, below that we start missing a lot of damage.
So basically: We want to hit slower than our Aftershock has duration to have the highest single target benefit.
Here's a representation of the EQ DPS based off my 1,44 Attacks/Second weapon, assuming a hit deals exactly 100 damage with a Lv20 EQ gem, the enchant and an Aftershock Duration of exactly .31 seconds.
As you can see, there are drops of the dps at .31 Attack Time,.155 and .10333
Not only that, but also the DPS Graph gets less steep every time he drops. This is due to the Aftershock which basically is a multiplier to our dps. A lv 20 gem has 169% of the damage dealt as Aftershock damage, which means, if every single attack is one with an Aftershock, we can multiply our DPS with 2.69, or 169% more. Once we get past that .31 benchmark, only every second attack triggers an Aftershock, lowering our multiplier to 1.845, or 84.5% More(169/2). Getting past .155 further lowers this to 3 attacks per Aftershock, meaning a multiplier of 1.56333 or 56.333% More(169/3). This continues every time we get an interger if we divide our Aftershock Duration by our Attack Time.
So how does this perma Vaal EQ work?
Vaal EQ works differently than EQ, it does not scale off attack speed, but from your steps(which cap at about ~165% movespeed, if it's the same as Abberath's Fury).
Basically Vaal EQ wants increased duration as you mainly scale the steps for clearspeed. With inc duration it is at ~21 seconds duration with each Aftershock having a ~1.75 seconds duration. The effect ends after 7 Aftershocks, so if you just walk after ~10.5 seconds. The soul gain prevention has a duration of ~11.25 seconds. To circumvent this, we have to use the unique flask Soul Ripper(Or Soul Catcher, but that one is a bit wonky).
I repeat, you do NOT need this. This is just for quality of life. You can also use a Soul Catcher and drop your Vaal EQ uptime to about ~95-90% and just jump into packs to refill the EQ charges.
I chose to not upgrade the quality as I feel like it's better that way for Vaal EQ but a 20% one should work just fine as well.
The Flask is at the time of writing ~7ex, but the investment is very worth it, as it helps with the clearspeed by an insane amount.
It is upgraded from the Soul Catcher(1alch) and a Vial of the Ghost(~5.5ex) at the T3 sacrifice room, if you want to save yourself an ex.
If you can't afford a Soul Ripper, you can actually make it work with a Soul Catcher too, but you need a high lv/quality inc duration gem or a good reduced Soul Gain Prevention Duration roll. You'll also have more troubles in certain areas like Torture Chamber, Villa etc, but once you get the first 2 casts rolling, you shouldn't have a problem to sustain them in decent maps.
Vaal EQ has also a weird property that if you recast it, it kinda still ticks like having 2 ignites, with the oldest one using up the charges. So don't be afraid to recast it during Soul Ripper's duration.
So what gear DO I need to make it work in high tier maps?
Aight, I'll show you guys what ~ I started out on guardian maps with.
Just a Goldrim with a high res roll, I cheaped out of an EQ enchant since at the beginning of the league they were much more expensive.
I farmed myself one at blood aqueducts
A 2 socket tombfist, they used to be 70c, just get one with a red and a linked green/(unlinked)blue socket and socket your Heralds/Leap Slam accordingly
Just get one with high life/res, worry about damage once you get a decent stygian one. I cheaped out and actually only used one with ~60res and ~80life because I dislike buying belts.
Life/resistances are all you have to worry about at the beginning.
Once again, Life/Resistances, I bought far worse for ~1c at the beginning of the league
Please note that this one is with a RESOLUTE TECHNIQUE CORRUPTION. It's important.
I actually got mine for 3c at the beginning of the league. Ever since people realised how good the corruption is the price rose. Recolour the sockets with a mastercraft service from the forum if the price gets over 40c
2 Life flasks, a Quicksilver, a granite flask and a Silver flask, since I was using a weird EQ/Sunder setup at that time. You drop the Sunder for inc/less duration once you get the helmet.
Filling up my jewels sockets with stuff like these.
Here's the poe.trade link
Aight this one is weird. Since I cheaped out of an EQ enchant AND even a Soul Catcher at the beginning of the league, I used the following setup: Sunder+Vaal EQ, Conc Effect, WED, Hypothermia, Ruthless.
Sunder while the Aftershock is on "cd".
Total cost of this section:
1c Helmet, 16c Tabula, 120c Tombfist, 3c Rings, 7c Belt, 5c Amulet, 17c Eclipse, 1c Frostbreath
=170c + ~9 Jewels for 4c = 206. You can just get a 1 socket tombfist for a c, losing about 10% damage, dropping the cost to 83c.
Don't do Phoenix with this. You'd regret it. I also had experience with guardians from previous leagues and mostly just farmed Hydra, as the map used to be cheap and it gave me t16 temples.
You might get instakilled by big guardian attacks tho and you might not have the best DPS, only about ~200-300k and ~5k HP.
Fluffy, I am just starting out, how do I make the 206c you proposed for a Guardian Setup?
I'll tell you how I did it.
I did not start out with this build, as I first wanted to play a Cospri Assassin. Ye, that's a terrible league starter.
Basically I was using a 3l Freezing Pulse to Blood Aqueducts, which I hit at lv 60 day 2. From there I leveled to 65 at which point I was able to afford both a Cospri and a Lyco, which were 130c total back then. At the beginning of the league, C was much more valuable, so fuses had an insane ratio of .25c. I vendored all uniques I've got, didn't sell a single item to another player and my only big currency drop was a 6c divine. While farming my tabula I didn't drop too much C but LOTS of 6socket items, which sell for 7 jews, which are 1.75 fuses. I did not do the C vendor receipt.
Since I didn't use up any currency except for 3linking my wand, I was able to convert all of my chances to scours at the vendor, my jews to fuses and traded them and my alchs for c, which was ~130c total. The next day fuses rose to .5c and I basically wasted 60c.
So basically you pick up every currency, convert chances to scours and jews to fuses. A single 6 socket item is ~1c. You save on the Tabula since you get the divination cards from Blood Aqueducts.
Once you get to Guardian maps, the last ~50 Temples I've ran had an average profit of 110c each. With this you should be able to afford the rest of the gear within a few hours of playing, even including the Soul Ripper.
Please note that a single alched/chiseled hydra map is ~32c. That's more than a 6th of the 206c, so don't be afraid to spend curreny on your upgrades. Switch to a 6l EQ setup once you feel comfortable
Aight, show me your upgraded gear
I bought this one for 4c. Sadly there aren't a lot of %as corruptions, as only no one actually uses this weapon.
This is my current one that my boi clinteastwood5288 traded me for my .1% worse 20% AS Frostbreath.
I bought a 2g one for 1c and 3s 3g'd it. The +1 AoE difference might be small, but it's there.
I bought the bases and just rolled them myself. You want Life and Resistances.
We use Shroud of the Lightless, as it gives us all pen, life and most importantly, you don't need to 6l it, saving us a decent amount of currency.
Tombfist is BIS. If you can't afford 2 abyss jewel ones, just get one with 1 for 1c and upgrade later.
You don't need Kaom's, I just hate Temporal Chains, Freeze and being stunned. You could also just use some boots with Life, Movespeed and Resistances.
You want to cap res, then look for health, and then look for weapon elemental damage/added elemental damage to attacks.
Again, the priority being Life, capping your res and then damage with WED, added damage and the shaper mod, Ele Pen.
Suprise, you want Life and to cap your res and then Damage/Flask utility.
Just some abyss jewels with as much flat elemental damage to attacks as you possibly can. Like this:
Fluffy you forgot the flasks.
Life Flask, the important part is the Bleed Removal.
My second life flask for good measure. You can replace this one with other flasks as well, as said below.
Movespeed for Vaal EQ.
Increased damage as I still don't have a lot of %inc damage on my gear, Curse Removal is important here. You can also replace it with a defensive option. Do not use Silver Flasks, they reduce your single target damage due to the increase in attack speed, lowering the amount of Aftershocks.
For Vaal EQ. If you don't want to buy one, just get Atziri's Promise. You can also replace it with a defensive option.
YOU DO NOT NEED THIS for Vaal EQ. It just makes it feel smoother, if you don't mind only being able to walk around for ~90% of the time, you can also get a Soul Catcher with decent Prevention Reduction for about a C.
What about the gems?
In order of importancy:
Chest:EQ>Elemental Damage with Attacks>Concentrated Effect>Hypothermia>Less Duration/Increased Duration
Get a 20% quality Less Duration, they aren't expensive but very valuable for this build.
Gloves: Leap Slam>Faster Attacks
Helmet: Cast when Damage taken>Immortal Call>Phase Rush(for clearing)/Frostbomb(for bosses)>Curse/Bloodrage
Frostbreath:Herald of Thunder>Herald of Ash
Prismatic Eclipse:Herald of Ice>Artic Armour
Boots: Ancestral Warchief>Concentrated Effect>Elemental Damage with Attacks>Elemental Focus/Culling Strike if you do not use Kaom's Roots.
Show me the DPS
PoB tells me I have 287145.9 DPS without flasks against shaper. If we add the Witch Shock(21.73% more damage, but POB can only do non decimals so 21%), we get to 347160.7. Now we factor in the Aftershock, meaning 170% more --> 937775.7. And now the switching elementalist buff with ~37% increased elemental damage: 1003674.8
With about ~5-6ex investment you get to ~700-900k depending on how well you spend it. Upgrades from that get more expensive as no one actually rolls jewels for the stats that we need.
Switching out our helmet for the 40% inc damage enchant and our less duration support for increased duration we get the following number against guardians: 48501.8, which is already enough to just walk through content, no need to factor in any buffs.
I am a poor boy like you, what should I get first?
Weapons>Tombfist>2 Socket Tombfist>Shroud of the Lightless>Lab Enchant helmets>Opal Rings>Shaper Amulet. Just get your nomal items for a few c and upgrade them once you have the uniques. Don't forget to buy jewels.
What should I prioritize on jewels?
I used poe.affix for this section.
Basically, as I said, get as much flat elemental damage on jewels as possible. Not considering the cold damage nodes from the passive tree(that eventually become worse than a jewel with enough investment) this is the damage of the affixes assuming max rolls:
Mace: T1=39.5 T2=33.5 T3=27.5 T4=23.5 T5=18.5 T6=15
General: T1=37 T2=30.5 T3=24.5 T4=20.5 T5=15.5
Mace: T1=35 T2=30 T3=24.5 T4=21 T5=17 T6=14
General: T1=30.5 T2=26.5 T3=21.5 T4=17.5 T5=14
Mace: T1=31 T2=26.5 T3=22 T4=18.5 T5=15 T6=12.5
General: T1=28 T2=23 T3=19 T4=15 T5=12
But Fluffy there are no AS corrupted Frostbreaths
You can either corrupt them yourself or just use an uncorrupted one. The important part is to NOT get over 0.32 attack time with buffs, so if you use bloodrage, add the frenzy charges to the calculation aswell as bosses spawn adds. So if you do happen to have a better Frostbreath than I do, use a worse bloodrage and spec out of the few as nodes I have on the tree.
I can't afford a Resolute Technique Prismatic Eclipse
Spec into RT and drop it once you have the correct Eclipse. They aren't expensive tho. Colour it with a service to 3g, might be cheaper if they are like 30c+.
Fluffy, I have 200c and even an EQ enchant is too expensive, can I do guardians with this?
Of course, I've added a section above my updated gear section. Check it out.
So how should I level this?
I'd just level it as a spellcaster using Freezing Pulse, Arc or something like that along the lines. Just look up a guide on this forum with "beginner" or "starter" in its name, such as this arc one. Just take a few less spell nodes and path along my skilltree to save respec points, you can respec once you hit lv 53+. Shouldn't be too expensive. Also note that the autor uses different ascendancy nodes, which are 5 respec points per node, so just get Beacon of Ruin first to save them.
Or just level it with Sunder and uniques like Brightbeak and follow my skilltree. I don't recommend this tho.
What Ascendancies should I take?
Beacon of Ruin for the chill and Mastermind of Discord for the increased Herald Effect and the Pen, as we use all elements.
What Pantheon should I use?
Arakaali(mainly for the increased leech) or Solaris for hard hitting bosses and Shakari, but you can also use Brine King if you don't use Kaom's Roots.
PoB? POB? POB?
Note that this PoB doesn't include neither the switching Elementalist buff, nor the 23% more damage from the Elementalist Shock. You can edit them onto a piece of gear with:
21% more damage(actually it's 21.73%, since it stacks linearly with other increased damage taken sources such as intimidate)
37% increased elemental damage
I don't have PoB :(
Here's the skilltree
I have questions, how can I contact you?
You can contact me ingame. IG: Verymemeboi
Or in this thread, I try to check for new replies.
Or on discord, so you don't have to check whether I'm online Fluffy#2381
Why are you acting this whole thread as if you're talking to someone?
I think it's funny.
This isn't funny.
How do I eat chocolate?
You break off the row. Don't just bite it off, that's for uncultured people. Uncultured people play Falcon Dittos. Don't be one of them. Play Ganon Dittos. Break off your chocolate bars.
Added a few things, like the mathematical part of the EQ section, since people have been asking me ingame about it.
Also I've added everything I wanted to add.
Last edited by Commander_Fluffy on Nov 27, 2018, 5:55:29 PM
Last bumped on Nov 29, 2018, 6:30:00 AM
on Jun 12, 2018, 3:51:47 AM
leveling the build it's amazing currently 52 can do perma vaal eq in incrusion but outside i can almost do perma vaal eq but im not using prismatic eclipse yet so good joob will do update when im level 71 when i have shroud of the lightless
on Jun 14, 2018, 10:01:06 AM
so in maps currenly level 71 got the shroud of the lightless done one map with it and i have almost full uptime on vaal eq but like one seccond to 3 downtime depends on packsize on the map but it's going great deal around 16k tooltip with normal eq i dont know damage of vaal eq but tooltip is 3k but its way higer tooltip dont count but ill do a cheak upp with all the better dps when im like 85 and got uberlab
on Jun 15, 2018, 10:57:44 AM
Hey, I wonder if I can just play classic EQ character but as Elementalist with powerful Heralds. Idea is I use EQ -> heralds clear entire screen, I leap slam into next pack and repeat. Would that work too? With some Vaal EQ as just extra spice for single target.
P.S. I love the guide <3 Good job with format and whatnot, Fluffy.
Last edited by SunL4D2 on Jun 23, 2018, 1:00:36 PM
on Jun 23, 2018, 12:59:22 PM
If you use Inpulsa's or Coming Calamity I can see that work, otherwise you won't be able to scale the herald damage enough to clear high tier content. Just keep in mind that you only have a shock chance of 30% and 40% for freeze.
Vaal EQ is actually not that great single target once you get to T15, below that you don't have any problem to just walk bosses to death but the duration isnt high enough to kill them with just VEQ.
on Jun 23, 2018, 2:36:03 PM
With Inpulsa's of course, I would add 3 Grand Spectrums to spice up both Heralds, Explossions and EQ as well :)
on Jun 24, 2018, 4:38:48 AM
Wait, scaling attack speed is counter-productive for EQ, right? :/ But without a lot of attack speed my leap slam gonna be sooooo sloooow... :(
on Jun 24, 2018, 7:00:18 AM
Grand Spectrum would work, but you'll lose some single target damage. It might be a good budget option tho.
Leap Slam is fine tbh. I'm at 165% increased attack speed for it, with the 10% more dual wield bonus and my 20% increased AS weapon, so I'm at ~0.43 attack time. It's definitly not the fastest, but not the worst. You can get as much AS as you want, as long as you don't get below ~.31 attack time on EQ.
on Jun 24, 2018, 7:54:57 AM
Because I want Abyssal jewels with flat ele?
That's good to hear, so I am free to scale attack speed until I attack faster than 0.31 second attack time and start to skip aftershocks?
on Jun 24, 2018, 8:06:32 AM
Yes, if I were to replace my worst jewels with 3 grand spectrums, I'd lose ~5% damage, not factoring in the rotating elementalist buff. Flat elemental damage just scales too well with the weapon.
Yes, the breaking point should be somwhere between ~120-140% increased AS depending on your weapon, which is why we can't use onslaught.
on Jun 24, 2018, 8:13:54 AM