[Nerfed] The VMS Rocket | 4M Shaper DPS | +150% Movespeed | Kill by Walking | Featured in BoTW!

Warning: I am no longer maintaining this guide to the same standards as in 3.3. I don't play the character anymore and I'm not running it again in 3.4.

If you do want to play it in 3.4, be aware that increased duration nodes now increase the duration of your soul gain prevention. Temporal chains however does NOT increase soul gain prevention. This means the build can still work, but you may want to invest in more curse effect for a stronger temp chains rather than increased duration.

Here is a rough(it's level 95) pob for 3.4: https://pastebin.com/aLQMMqyn

Have you ever wanted to make a build that runs through the map leaving a fiery inferno in its wake that annihilates every mob it touches? Well read on, this is the build for you!

Build Features
+ Fantastic DPS via Vaal Molten Shell. No Bullshit Shaper DPS of 4-5 million after a few seconds of channeling(shaper and guardians stay still a lot, you will get there).
+ Buffed movement speed of 150-160% resulting in very high clear speed.
+ 5k+ life.
+ Fully automatic Immortal Call with continuous uptime in combat. You can facetank shaper slams.
+ Near permanent Phase Run. Mobs don’t see you until it’s too late. Not that they’d do any damage if they did see you.
+ Permanent Vaal Molten Shell on decent map layouts.
+ Everything but the boss and incursion rares will die when you run past it.
+ Very high life sustain in combat, each ignite heals you for about 100 life and you can get over 100 ignites a second when you count in molten shell procs.
+ Respectable DPS (200k-300k) during VMS downtimes.
+ Will legitimately beat the phoenix in fewer than 9 tries.


Build of the Week Feature
Atziri Run
Lair Run
Core Run
Red Tier Elder
Hydra Kill
Phoenix Kill
Ghosted Minotaur Kill
Chimera Kill
Shaper Kill
Elder UGS + Lich
Breach in Elder UGS Boss Room

The phoenix kill is not at my current gear level. It would much be faster now.

More will be added as I reach higher levels of content.

Skill Tree, Bandits, Pantheon, and Path of Building

I recommend the Coward's Legacy version if you can afford the gear and aren't farming uber lab. The damage is higher and the durations are higher. Just watch out for the curse immune mod in tough maps as it prevents your self curse temp chains.

Rough 3.4 PoB: https://pastebin.com/aLQMMqyn

Bandits: Kill All or Help Alira if you need the res

A note for the coward's legacy version: you have to overcap your resists up to 107 to be ok in elemental weakness maps because they have increased effect on you. I earned this the hard way wondering why I was so squishy on a forge of the phoenix.

Pantheon: Doesn't matter much. Crab is worthless. Arakaali has some value. Be careful with Lunaris as she might make you run too fast(don't exceed 160% move speed or your abberath's fury doesn't proc every step). I currently use Solaris for the AoE damage reduction and Shakari for the chaos reduction and poison immunity. Ryslatha could also be a good pick for minor god if you find yourself draining your flasks in boss fights because you got spoiled by pathfinder on your previous char or some other oddly specific reason.

Endgame Capabilities and Strategies

- Atziri is easy. Just be sure to target opposite her mirror in the split phase.
- Uber lab is trivial. Just make sure he doesn't one shot you before IC procs.
- Red tier elder guardians are easy. Only the eradicator is slightly dangerous.
- Red Tier Elder is easy. Use your firestorms to defend shaper and body block the incoming projectiles. You can also use VMS to nuke the portals but this will cause shaper to take some damage.
- Minotaur is trivial. Just activate VMS and tank him.
- Phoenix is easy. Just activate VMS and tank everything except his big explosion(get out the way if he charges it).
- Hydra is doable but slowish. The add phases prevent VMS from working well.
- Chimera is doable but slowish. The add phases prevent VMS from working well. You need to save VMS for his add minibosses because they do heavy non-physical damage and you have to kill them fast. Chimera himself you just tank.
- Shaper is doable and pretty easy once you get the hang of it. You can have VMS available going into the fight but don't use it right away. Wait for the bullet hell phase and pop it afterwards as that's usually an extended period of combat. You can still hit him while he's doing his teleport slam so you won't lose IC and you can just tank that move if he does it in combat. You can also flask through the beam. Always fight him point blank, he does heavy cold damage at range.
- Uber Elder is VERY difficult. You don't get any opportunity to build up your DPS or your defenses, I do not recommend attempting it unless you're extremely good at dodging. I have not been able to beat him.
- Uber Atziri is TBD. Expected to be doable but hard.
- Vaal Temple is doable. Watch out for the double striker's fire thorns spell. It is the perfect counter and will kill you before you can react. Kill order should be double striker -> chaos lady -> cycloner.
- Chayula is doable. The timer is no issue. The only threat is the heavy chaos damage. The build does not out-sustain the chaos cyclone with my current level of resistances so you either need higher chaos res or just get out of the way during that move.
- Hall of the Grandmasters is not possible with this build. I tried it, the grandmasters give too few vaal souls and are spaced too far apart to sustain VMS.

Gameplay Loop

1. Build up souls with incinerate/firestorm.
2. Activate Soul Catcher
3. Activate Vaal Molten Shell
4. Activate Phase Run
5. Activate Quicksilver flask.
6. Run through mobs and watch them explode.
7. Repeat steps 2-6 as needed. If you run out of souls, repeat steps 1-6.
8. When touch enemies are encountered, activate VMS and use incinerate/firestorm to get many hits and nuke it down.

Just how much DPS am I doing?

It depends on your situation. In general, your VMS DPS is going to be it’s damage per hit multiplied by your ignites per second.

In my maxed out PoB(maxed out gems + 6 link and achievable buffs only), my VMS will hit shaper for 60k each explosion. Incinerate will get about 7 ignites per second. So will blade vortex at 10 stacks. GC will get about 4 ignites per second if it hits every cooldown. Firestorm will ignite about 2.5 times a second and between cwdt and cwc it casts about 6-7 times a second. Each storm lasts 3.8 seconds so with everything maxed out you get about 24 firestorms per second which is about ~60 ignites. Add in the incinerate, glacial cascade and blade vortex ignites and you’re looking at close to 80 ignites per second after 4 seconds of channeling. At this point you’re doing 80*60k=4.8 million dps with just the VMS explosions.

Now what about trash mobs? VMS will be doing a lot more vs them due to lack of resists and frenzy charges. You generally will get up to 3 or 4 procs as you run past a trash mob. That’s easily going to be a quarter of a million damage. He’s dead Jim.

But what if VMS falls off during a Boss Fight?

Activate tank mode! Oh wait it's already on.

This build features permanent immortal call so physical damage doesn't matter. Every ignite heals you for 1% of your life - 24 damage. at 5k life that's about 100 life healed per ignite and it procs a ton. With a mokou's embrace, you are on fire and get full leech off of incinerate cwc firestorm so that's another 20% you're regening per second. You have a lot of recovery and just need to worry about big elemental hits like the omnitect's blue wave move with a T3 corruption chamber(still hurts).

As for damage, you're still dishing out respectable amounts. My PoB for incinerate can have 140k max stages shaper dps with a pseudo 6 link helmet. The firestorms will be doing 7k per hit which is going to be another 100k or with reasonably sustained casting. You can still kill things, you'll just be doing so as a tanky inferno instead of a raging inferno. If you can't get the pseudo 6 link with a temp chains enchant and instead use the temp chains enchant(like I do), it does cut your non-VMS dps in about half but you get longer VMS durations.

Build Mechanics

- Eye of Innocence deals 100 fire damage every time you ignite an enemy.
- The Rat Cage converts 10% of that to physical damage. Therefore every time you ignite an enemy, you are hit with physical damage.
- Vaal Molten Shell with increased duration modifiers and a soul catcher lasts long enough to recharge it before the next use.
- Abberath’s Hooves gets you ignites when you run past enemies.
- Razor of the Seventh Sun heals you every time you ignite.
- Mokou’s embrace sets you on fire too to buff your incinerate dps and take advantage of the eye of innocence “while ignited” buffs.
- A Xopec Ring is used to minimize casting costs to counteract the soul catcher’s “cannot gain mana” mod.
- Juggernaut’s endurance charge gain on hit has you instantly at maximum endurance charges in combat.
- Juggernaut’s Unstoppable node prevents you from getting slowed.
- Cast when damage taken immortal call triggers in response to your ignites.
- Shackles of the Wretched is used with a CwDT curse on hit set up to self curse with high level temporal chains, stretching the duration of immortal call and molten shell even further. The extra time on immortal call makes it sustainable without an increased duration link and the extra time on your other skills and flasks improves clearspeed.
- Cast when damage taken blood rage keeps your frenzy charges coming without effort.
- Cast when damage taken blade vortex and firestorm gets you more ignites to fuel your molten shell explosions.
- Incinerate cwdt firestorm in an elder helmet with conc effect and immolate gives you respectable dps when VMS is down(300k-400k with a sustained firestorm, about half of that is from incinerate which hits its peak after a second of channeling).
- (Optional) Coward's Legacy dramatically increases the effect of self curse temporal chains and also gives you access to pain attunement for higher damage at the cost of life and DoT vulnerability.

Gems and Links

This is for my current set up. You may have to tweak it if you’re missing the bonus uniques.

Helmet: Incinerate - Cast While Channeling - Firestorm - Combustion. This is to give you decent single target during VMS downtime and also to proc VMS exposions against single targets.

Body: Vaal Molten Shell - Concentrated Effect - Efficacy - Fire Penetration - Immolate - Controlled Destruction. This is your VMS. It does lots of damage. If you get a red for your fifth socket just use fire pen instead of controlled destruction or immolate rather than spending extra jeweller's.

Gloves: CwDT (Level 1) - Glacial Cascade (Max Supportable) - Curse on Hit - Temporal Chains. This is to self curse with high level temp chains to get extra duration. It also causes some extra ignites to proc VMS.

Boots: CwDT (Level 1) - Blade Vortex (Max Supportable) - Firestorm (Max Supportable) - Combustion. Note that abberath's fury is also supported by combustion. These links give you lots of extra ignites to proc VMS.

Off-Hand: CwDT (Level 1) - Immortal Call (Max Supportable) - Blood Rage. This is for phys immunity and frenzy charge generation.

Weapon: Phase Run - Anger - Herald of Ash. This is to buff your damage and give you access to phase run, which increases movement speed, grants phasing, and makes you harder to see.

Coward's Legacy Gems and Links

Same as theregular setup except:

Off-HJand: CwDT (Level 1) - Immortal Call (Max Supportable) - Phawse Run (Max Supportable). This is for phys immunity and frenzy charge generation.

This change is because coward's legacy makes bllood rage dangerous in phased boss fights like shaper. Additionally with all the increased duration from temp chains it has 100% uptime if you don't interrupt it.

I still keep a phase run in my weapon in case I want to trigger it manually, but if you're having mana issues or running a nice clarity watcher's eye the socket could go to clarity.

Required Uniques

These uniques are strictly required for the build to function:
The Razor of the Seventh Sun is how you survive all the damage you inflict on yourself. Without it, you're dead.

The Rat Cage makes Eye of Innocence hit you with some physical damage. This is required to make your ignites proc VMS.

The Eye of Innocence hits you with fire damage every time you ignite. This is required to make your ignites proc VMS.

Abberath's Hooves cause explosions(which will have 100% ignite with combustion) for every step. This significantly boosts your clearing damage and speed over just blade vortex and the build will feel bad without it.

Bonus Uniques

These are extra, they make the build better and I use them but aren’t required for minimum functionality:

I've been playing around with this one but it requires updates to the passive tree, sacrifices life, and is even harder to gear. On the plus side, you get 20s+ durations on VMS and higher damage through pain attunement. You can see the PoB and tree in the skill tree section:

Rare priorities

Your biggest priorities on rares are life, resists, and dexterity.

I recommend getting a fire damage shield like this one:

If you can get +2 to fire gems on your shield, that's also very valuable as it will make anger stronger.

Alternatively, a Hysteria sceptre(credit to Vallagrim and Astroblack for suggesting it) will clear trash for you during VMS downtimes and if you get it on a shaper sceptre there are some serious damage mods it can come with. Example:

I use a xopec's ring(same as elreon ring mod) to help with mana costs on incinerate but you could just as easily go with a mana flask or swap a cwdt skill for clarity in the boots.

For the helmet you ideally want elder mods adding immolate and conc effect to the supports for a pseudo six link on incinerate/firestorm:

However, you also ideally want the temp chains curse effect enchant. If you can't get both and you're using coward's legacy, the enchant is probably better than the pseudo six link because it dramatically increases VMS durations.

Getting enough resists, dexterity, and mana sustain

It can be hard to get enough resists, dex, and mana sustain on this build.

You should be getting resists and maybe also dex on jewels. Don't worry too much about overcapping as endurance charges can be relied on for resists in curse maps.

An all res string of servitude can help a lot too but ideally you want a belt with some life on it. If you can't make your gear work without the string, just use it as it will only cost you a few hundred life compared to a good rare:

If you're still having trouble, use a normal pair of gloves instead of shackles and link a quality increased duration to immortal call. You should still be able to sustain permanent IC this way, your other effects just won't last as long.

For mana sustain, you can either use flasks, fit in clarity(maybe replacing blade vortex or firestorm in the boots), or use an elreon ring, xopec's ring, or a clarity watchers eye that reduces mana costs. With the watcher's eye, you should switch to an unset ring so you can fit clarity. Another way to fit in clarity is to use a low level phase run next to immortal call in that cwdt set up as this will remove the need for blood rage.

Another option is to sacrifice either some life nodes or damage nodes on the tree and take resist nodes. There are three decent nodes in the scion start area that you path next to and diamond skin only costs two skill points. You may also consider using Alira instead of kill all. That will net you 15% all res and some extra mana regen, which might help you with balancing out your mana consumption.

This and coloring/linking your rat cage are the two key gear challenges for this build. Know that you'll need to be good about balancing power across your gear to keep the cost down. I have very little resists on my life/mana cost/dex ring for instance and get them elsewhere. Gear gets exponentially more expensive as you search for more and more good mods on it so it's important to make these tradeoffs effectively.

Why aren't you wearing a six link?

I hit all my goals for the league and decided to Vaal it:

Oh well...

Coloring your gear + Alternate support setups for VMS

You need specific colors on all your gear. Chromes are rarely the most efficient way to get these colors. Instead use the vorici jeweller coloring method. This works by chroming the first 2-3 sockets and then forcing the item up and down in socket count at the vorici bench to get the right color on each additional socket. This is how I got a 4B2R rat cage.

Note that for rat cage this can still be quite expensive. Make sure you get 1R3B in your first four links and if you can't afford to go past a four link, drop either efficacy, controlled destruction, or immolate depending on whether you can sustain VMS without efficacy. For the fifth link either 2R3B or 1R3B is fine but you'll get slightly higher damage on the latter. The six link should be 4B2R.

If you get 5B1R and want to stop there for your sixth link, your two gem options are elemental focus or combustion. Elemental focus will give you a lot more damage but decrease your healing from the razor. Combustion will give you a good chunk of damage and increase your healing from the razor.

If you get 4B1R1G and just casn't stand the thought of spending more on it, use hypothermia in your last link and cold snap or vortex in your CoH setup. You'll get hyothermia's more bonus from the vortex/cold snap chills. Credit to Vallagrim for the suggestion.

6 links are generally a luxury on any build but it's especially true on this build because if you're unlucky it could take thousands of jeweller's to get your 6th socket colored correctly. Don't make it your highest priority and don't worry if you can't afford it. You can still hit 4M shaper dps even on a five link and 2-3M shaper dps on just a four link.

Uber lab is completely trivial and pretty quick with this build. However, you're generally going to be better off with strong corruptions on your boots, helm, and gloves than any lab enchant. So my advice is skip the lab snoozefest and corrupt your gear if you can afford to risk it.

For the Coward’s Legacy version, a temporal chains curse effect enchant is crazy good.

Use incinerate/firestorm for single target while leveling. Your group clear comes from the abberath's hooves.

For the Abberath's hooves, I recommend socketing elemental proliferation while leveling. It helps with clear spreed. Later on you should have immolate with either ignite or elemental prolif. This will help keep its clear speed up because the first step ignites all mobs and then you get lots of extra damage from immolate.

Ascendancy picks:
Normal Lab: Unstoppable
Cruel Lab: Unflinching
Merciless Lab: Unyielding
Endgame Lab: Choice of Unrelenting.

Leveling trees:
Level 20
Level 40
Level 60

I prioritized fire damage during leveling because typically in SC, more damage = faster leveling speed.


You'll notice this build is pretty heavy on the uniques. That makes it not well suited to being a league starter. They are however, at least at the moment, fairly inexpensive uniques so you can get this up and running as a mid league character quite easily.

Map Mods

The only total no-go map mod is elemental reflect.

Elemental ailment avoidance/immunity will severely limit the effectiveness of the build and you should reroll if it's not corrupted, but you can still clear them if you need to get a red map completion bonus.


- You aren't immune to big elemental and chaos damage hits so watch out for those.
- 90% of boss DPS comes from VMS so if it goes down in the boss fight things will get a lot slower.
- Bosses with long invulnerability phases can run out VMS so you have to be strategic about when you activate it.
- Your damage has a ramp up time, it starts out closer to 500k and builds up over 3.8 seconds to the full 4 million. You can see this in my shaper gif up top.
- Charging the initial VMS on low density maps is a pain.
- You don't have any real mitigation besides resists and immortal call so opening strongboxes when your buffs are down is surprisingly dangerous.
- Heavy unique reliance makes gearing tricky.
- Not enough defense for hardcore endgame.
- Requires a good computer.

To see my current character for this build. Check out the character "Vesuvius" on my profile in incursion league.
Last edited by Vesuvius079 on Sep 4, 2018, 3:33:40 PM
Last bumped on Jan 11, 2019, 3:46:01 AM
Hi, it's possible to start w/o rat cage 5 link? Just 4 link or Tabula?
I have currency for items, but only rat cage will be a problematic becouse i need to swap ascendancy :P. BV it's not for me.
Rat cage is strictly required. Without rat cage your ignites will not trigger VMS. However, a 4-link is ok to start with if you can’t get a five link. VMS does so much damage I doubt you’ll feel too much loss from the extra link. Just make sure you chrome it using the vorici jeweller’s method or it’s gonna be real frustrating to color.
Completed 13 ChallengesVesuvius079 wrote:
Rat cage is strictly required. Without rat cage your ignites will not trigger VMS. However, a 4-link is ok to start with if you can’t get a five link. VMS does so much damage I doubt you’ll feel too much loss from the extra link. Just make sure you chrome it using the vorici jeweller’s method or it’s gonna be real frustrating to color.

Okey thanks for tip, i try to start something but poe trade don't like me atm....
Tomorrow I will write more impressions
So.. It's amazing and funny :D

I do small mistake becosue i haven't capped fire resistance and .... i die from my ignite.
At least need to drop shackles gloves becouse haven't chance to make fire resistance.
Need to learn mechanic, first potion next VMS.... i always do vice versa. It's funny and i love to play such troll-shaped builds

Oh and i don't use immortal call, haven't vorici 7 :(
Last edited by Polopiryn on Jun 15, 2018, 7:18:26 AM
Yeah shackles is definitely the right thing to drop if you can't cap your resists.

What you want to do in that case is get a more normal pair of gloves with good res rolls and use the extra socket freed up by not using CoH to put increased duration on your cwdt immortal call link(it will also give you permanent uptime).

You shouldn't need vorici 7 for your immortal call setup though.
Last edited by Vesuvius079 on Jun 15, 2018, 9:22:08 AM
How about end game content?
any reason this build wouldn't work as a chieftain?
Chieftain would be easier to gear due to the 100% fire res and deal significantly more damage, but it will be much squishier in boss fights because you cannot sustain the endurance charges required for permanent immortal call. Chieftain will also clear slower due to less movement speed and you can't self curse with temporal chains to increase durations.

As far as endgame content goes, I'm doing T15 maps now and I cleared out a T15 temple. I'm not at shaper/guardians yet but I will be soon. I don't anticipate any major problems with the guardians as I can get pretty heavy DPS. Hydra will probably be the most annoying since he jumps off screen so much. The shaper himself I expect will be easy because he's slow, likes to engage in melee, talks before he starts fighting, and has plenty of opportunity to charge VMS before each phase. I've never done uber elder so I'm not sure what to expect with that fight but I'm guessing there's no way to charge VMS so that may cause the build to come up short.
would this be viable on hardcore on lets say a 4 link ?
i do have 300c to spare but i dont have vorici yet

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