[3.3] Vaal EQ Frostbreath Elementalist - Shaper done

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.

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. Dont't make the same mistake as I did. The gear is farily straight forward, with no need to look for accuracy/crit.

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
- You have to level this
- Soul Ripper is required if you want to do perma Vaal EQ
- 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

Why Frostbreath?

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.

Show me the DPS


Single target:

With my current gear of ~5ex investment POB tells me I currently have 224107 DPS on my Earthquake on shaper with my CWDT setup and auras(no warchief, no flasks).
If we include the 23% shock it is at 275526. Now if we include the aftershocks, which we get on every single attack due to our low attack speed, multiplying the damage by 2.69 we have 741213. This isnt including the switching buff of Elementalist, but this build is starved for %inc damage so if we include the average ~37% ele damage of the buff, we are at 796741 dps.

Vaal EQ:

Switching out our helmet for the 40% inc damage enchant and our less duration support for increased duration we get the following number: 52910 damage per step including frenzy charges, as we use bloodrage. This is more than enough to just breeze through ele res guardian maps by just walking next to them.

So how does this perma Vaal EQ work?

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.

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.

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.

Aight, show me your gear




I bought this one for 4c. Sadly there aren't a lot of %as corruptions, as only no one actually uses this weapon.

I got this one for I think 2c. The Resolute Technique is important, as it saves us a few skillpoints. You also want 3 green sockets.



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:

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.

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 frenzy charges and bloodrage. 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.
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.

What about the gems?


In order of importancy:

Chest:EQ>Elemental Damage with Attacks>Concentrated Effect>Hypothermia>Less Duration/Increased Duration

Gloves: Leap Slam>Faster Attacks

Helmet: Cast when Damage taken>Immortal Call>Blood Rage>Frostbomb/Curse

Frostbreath:Herald of Thunder>Herald of Ash>Ancestral Warchief

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.

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.

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?

I use Arakaali(mainly for the increased leech) and Shakari, but you can also use Brine King if you don't use Kaom's Roots.



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:
23% more damage
37% increased elemental damage

I don't have PoB :(

Here's the skilltree

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.


I'll be uploading videos to this spoiler, but I have to record/render/upload them so it takes a while.

I have questions, how can I contact you?

You can contact me ingame. IG: Verymemeboi

Why are you acting this whole thread as if you're talking to someone?

I think it's funny.

This isn't funny.

Last edited by Commander_Fluffy on Jun 16, 2018 4:07:59 PM
Last bumped on Jun 15, 2018 10:57:44 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
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

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