[3.3] Ballbath - Volatile Dead Saboteur/Chieftain Ascendant (fun and fast mapper & boss killer)


This build is for you, if you want to:
* Run almost all the content (except Hall of Grandmasters)
* Do almost all the map mods (No regen is very clunky and onlu possible with a mana flask)
* Kill all the bosses (currently tested until Shaper Guardians, but I'm confident it can take on Uber Atziri, Red Elder, all Guardians & Shaper)
* Go zoom zoom if you want to

I made this build as a follow-up to my Detonate Dead Totems Chieftain, mainly because the build was heaps of fun and scaled so well into endgame (since corpse skills use the monster level to deal part of their damage) - but since 3.3 was a major rework for traps, I wanted to go traps over totems this time. It's a great build for solo and group play, and can work solo-selffound. The helmet enchant is nice to have (and helps out for Shaper & Co.) but is by no means required for the build to function. If you rather have video but text, then sneak peak into the following:

* Phoenix Kill
* Full build diary
* Example Character

Build Functions and Interactions


Targeting an area, a single cast of Volatile Dead targets up to 3 corpses to explode them for 3% of the monster's maximum health (scaled to 1 player HP in parties), and will create a volatile ball of fire which will seek out nearby enemies - the orbs have a range of up to 3 screens and will deal fire damage as spell damage in an area. Scaling fire damage, area damage, and spell damage (in that order) will yield the maximum effect. Putting Volatile Dead on traps, modifying it with cluster trap (+3 traps) and using Shaper gloves with the mod "Skills which throw traps will throw up to 1 additional trap" (+1 trap) will net you with 5 traps per throw - which can instantly blow up 15 corpses, which is coincidentally the amount of corpses you can create with a single cast of Desecrate + Spell Cascade. The build goes crit and uses the Combustin support - more often igniting enemies that don't die on the first cast (rares and bosses) which will then be decimated by Flamethrower trap.

The use of traps, paired with the Saboteur and Chieftain Ascendancy combination of the Ascentant, gives us the following benefits:

* Sab gives 1% life regen per trap triggered (this keeps us alive)
* ignore reflect (because traps)
* gain massive area of effect (Sab), and penetration (Sab + Chieftain)
* have massive life pool and regen (Chieftain + Marauder start)
* debuff rares and bosses by covering them in ash which slows them and adds more pen (Chieftain)
* enemies we hit have 20% to get blinded, being another defensive layer

The regen is strong enough to get out of the toughest of fights, as long as traps get triggered. This makes less and no regen maps very unfun to run (I would avoid it) but this is really the only map mod that is meh...

Traps are expensive, which is why we use Clarity on top of Herald of Ash (moar dmg) and Blasphemy + Enfeeble will make sure the already blinded enemies have less chance to hit us, and deal less damage.



Shield charge around (gives us Fortify), when seeing enemies, throw VD traps and cast Desecrate under them. The time it takes for the traps to land and arm is more than sufficient to cast desecrate, which will make sure VD goes off as soon as the traps arm. Once the first enemies die, just keep spamming traps on top of the new corpses to get a chain reaction rolling.

Balls from VD will seek out other mobs as long as you keep moving, as they have a ridiculous range - which means Desecrate only has to be cast occasionally (mostly for rares and new fresh packs).

Tough rares and bosses will be quickly disposed by Flamethrower traps, where Siphoning Trap debuffs bosses and adds even more regen.

Passive Tree


Focus is on Life, Crit, Area, and Trap stuff:
Level 93 Tree

For leveling, play Molten Strike + Ancestral Call into Sunder w/ Hatred/Herald of Ash until you have at least the first two trap clusters in the Shadow area. You rush Shadow first, skipping all crit nodes and getting life as required. Once all trap clusters in the Shadow area are grabbed, move into the Templar area, then get the Scion life wheel. Get jewel sockets as you acquire good jewels. Get your labs grabbing Saboteur first and use the Merc Lab to pick up Chieftain. After Uber Lab grab all the life in the Marauder start, and finally grab the Power and Frenzy charges.

Bandits: Kill All.

Required Uniques and Special Gear


This build works great in SSF to get started, but requires some investment when trying to take it into red maps and boss farming. For the latter, you want at least:

* a 5l Carcass Jack (4l works until yellow maps) ~30c
* a Doryani's Catalyst ~30c (for an average roll) to ~70c (for a well rolled one) - ele dmg and global crit are the rolls you want to look out for
* a helmet with the enchant "40% increased Volatile Dead Damage" ~10-30c depending on what life/resist rolls you go for

So you should save up to ~100c to get the minimum gear to kick this off. I didn't notice that so much as I leveled this guy as a league starter and I bought the items in stages while I was progressing.


Main Skill - GGGB

* Volatile Dead
* Cluster Trap
* Trap and Mine Damage
* Combustion

This sits in your Shaper gloves, which will support Volatile Dead with the Trap support gem, making this an effective 5-link which is more than enough for clearing T16s.

Corpse Generator - GBB

* Desecrate
* Spell Cascade
* Arcane Surge (level 6)

Trappers should use desecrate + multitrap for corpse generators. Problem is: with 3.3 they changed it so that multi-trap will use all 3 Desecrate charges at once. So to be more flexible and sustainable with the charges, I'm selfcasting Desecrate while also leveraging the damage increase from Arcane Surge.

Boss Killer - GGRBBG

* Flamethrower Trap
* Trap and Mine Damage
* Fire Penetration
* Controlled Destruction
* Concentrated Effect
(* Advanced Traps)

Cremation traps were the go to for single target until Flamethrower Trap was introduced. This thing is just insane. I'm using it on a 5l currently and it shreds through boss HP. I'm not sure on the 6th link - I'm thinking of Advanced Traps to have the trap's duration increased and its cooldown reduced. A better damage increase is probably Increased Critical Damage or Elemental Focus - I'll have to experiment with this...

Movement + Herald - RRG+R

* Shield Charge
* Faster Attacks
* Fortify
* Herald of Ash

The classic. Requires you to wear a Scepter or Dagger over a Wand. But to be honest - it's better anyway! Scepters give you up to 40% Elemental Damage, which scales the entirety of Volatile Dead, while wands with %increased Spell Damage only scale the flat fire portion. Daggers give a crit boost.

Herald of Ash grants additional damage for both VD and Flamethrower trap and is a nice damage buff to have...

Utility - RRRB / BBB

If you counted correctly, we have another "hand slot" and another 4l slot left:

* Clarity
* Blasphemy
* Enfeeble

Keeps our mana up and the incoming damage down. A no-brainer...

* Cast when damage taken (level 7)
* Immortal Call (level 9)
* Increased Duration
* Siphoning Trap

Another classic. Saves you against porcupines and other burst damage. Siphoning Trap synergizes well in this slot as it benefits from Increased Duration as well.



Focus on (in that order)
* Life
* Resist
* Dexterity
* Crit Damage
* Crit Chance
* % Increased Fire Damage / Elemental Damage
* Area Damage
* Spell Damage

My current gear

Another word on the weapon: a well rolled Void Sceptre (40% increased ele damage implicit) with % inc spell damage (better: fire damage) and global crit chance/crit multi is the ultimate beast! If you can't get that, invest into a Doryani's Catalyst. Good staple with decent spell crit, also has decent attack speed for shield charge.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why not Fire Trap? Why a clunky corpse skill?

I don't know. Hipster reasons? I like corpse skills... As stated at the beginning, I wanted a successor to my former DD character, VD made sense thematically. Min-Max wise, better look up a Fire Trap build ...

Why aren't you using Desecrate on traps?

With the trap rework in 3.3 the change was that skills that have charges (like desecrate) will use up as many charges as traps are thrown. So if you want to create 15 corpses you can use Desecrate + Trap + Multitrap, but you will use up all 3 charges at once. For some strange reason, Spell Cascade was excluded from that change: Desecrate + Spell Cascade = 15 corpses, but only 1 charge consumed *shrug

Why aren't you going Saboteur? It has more damage and defense!

True, but I wanted to play a Scion as I haven't for a long time - also I wanted to try the synergy with covering bosses in Ash to make a more effective boss killer. For just plain mapping, Sab is probably better. Sab will have less life tho!

Isn't Mind Over Matter better defence than pure life?

Maybe. But as Tarke mentioned many times in his trapper videos, when you split your health into the life and mana pool, but your Saboteur treat of regening life on trap trigger, then you'll only benefitting from that with 70% effectiveness. Also, it's been a while since I played a pure life character, so I wanted to experience how that plays like
### r4wb1rd ###
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Last edited by r4wb1rd on Jun 20, 2018, 1:31:00 PM
Last bumped on Jun 20, 2018, 1:18:31 PM
### r4wb1rd ###
Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/r4wb1rd
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/r4wb1rdGaming/
Babel PoE: https://github.com/rowolff/babel-poe/releases
### r4wb1rd ###
Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/r4wb1rd
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/r4wb1rdGaming/
Babel PoE: https://github.com/rowolff/babel-poe/releases

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