[3.3] LilBear's Life-Based HoWA with MotSD | 8k hp, 4.5k hp/sec | All Content | Leveling Guide Added



Summary:
This build is a new take on the classic Energy Shield-based HoWA build, with Molten Strike as the primary skill. It uses the new Incursion helmet Mask of the Stitched Demon (MotSD) to build a massive life pool while stacking intelligence for HoWA damage. By playing life instead of ES, you can benefit from +hp on hit from HoWA and Slayer overleech. As Scion, you make use of the defensive specialties of the Juggernaut and the sustain of the Slayer. Wrapping around the top and sides of the skill tree, you are able to easily achieve mupwards of 8k life, 4.5k life/sec combined regen and leech after Blood Rage, and 1M shaper dps with very little investment in dps. This general purpose build should allow you to complete all content with very few deaths.

Here I attempt to provide a full build guide for players of multiple levels. I've tried to provide TL;DR sections before more lengthy discussions of the choices made in the build so that you may skim or dig deeper.

Hopefully Mask of the Stitched Demon stays in the game beyond Incursion League and this build will not become obsolete. At the least, I hope some players will be able to try it out in the 3.3 Flashback event.


PoB Links (TL;DR for advanced players that want to skip everything else)
Spoiler
If you are a new player and don’t know what this is, you should definitely check out Path of Building (PoB). It allows you to simulate a character to test builds without commiting to leveling a character first.

No Uber Lab Level 84

Basics at Level 90, no Watcher’s Eye

Basics at Level 90, Vitality/Wrath Watcher’s Eye

Level 97, general purpose, top tier gear

Level 97, Uber Elder changes

Level 90, Blade Flurry variant

Personal Testimonial (background & my experience with the build):
Spoiler
Welcome! This is the first build guide I have written, so any polite suggestions about additional information that could be included, formatting that you think could help, or other things that could make the guide more clear are welcome. The thing I enjoy most about Path of Exile is theorycrafting, mostly making dumb meme builds that turn out bad. However, I thought I'd share this one because it has been pretty successful. I played this build as my Incursion starter and kept playing it all the way through. Early on I had other people asking me about it because it sticks out on poe.ninja, but I kinda dragged my feet on making a guide because I kept making changes. Recently, Oriath Academy posted a video about a similar build, though the tree and Ascendancy choices are very different. That build was more exclusively focused on doing Uber Elder, where this build is meant to be a multi-purpose build that happens to be able to do Uber Elder.

I decided I wanted to make a build based on Mask of the Stitched Demon when notes about it were released in advance of the Incursion launch. Pairing it with HoWA is a natural choice because they both scale on int. I used a HoWA Guardian build as a reference and converted it to life, at which point it became a meme build of trying to see how much life and regen I could get. I leveled with Spectral Throw before transitioning to Blade Flurry around Blood Aqueducts, playing to 96 as Blade Flurry Jugg/Elementalist. This was cheaper because it didn’t need Dying Sun to be effective. I didn’t really plan to go for 96 but was gaining experience while doing other things just because I was not dying. At one point I had more than 9.4k life with points on the tree near Jugg start. Eventually I decided that I should trade life for more dps and sustain, switching Blade Flurry for Molten Strike and Elementalist for Slayer for overleech and to reach Point Blank easier.

Overall, I am very happy with the build. I prefer a build that can clear maps at a moderate pace and not question whether it is too risky to try a boss. I get a lot of fps drops because my machine is not great, and this build has proven to be very resilient to lag. I had never beaten Uber Elder before this character and am proud to have done it with my own creation. With that said, the build is not the fastest map clear, though you could be surprised due to the high attack speed that dex stacking gives for Whirling Blades and pulsing Molten Strike quickly. While it can face-tank most bosses with the large hp pool, it is still possible to get one-shot by a handful of skills, such as Phoenix explosion or Core Malachai, because it does not have strong mitigation.

I'd like to thank Oriath Academy for giving some advice on Uber Elder and allowing me to bounce some ideas off.

Pros/Cons:
Spoiler
Pros:
- Very tanky, resilient to one-shots, and bounces back from hits very quickly
- No delay on restart of regen that you experience with ES builds
- Benefits from HoWA +life on hit where ES builds do not
- Cheap to get started, with essential items easy to obtain, and scales well
- Good bosser, able to beat all content
- Good lab farmer
- Ignores nearly all bleeds and DoTs
- Lag resilient: live through lag spikes
- Should be HC viable? (I don't play HC, so I won't say yes for sure but it should work)

Cons:
- Molten Strike not the fastest map clear
- Does not trivialize bosses by instantly melting them
- Reduced/no regen and no leech are difficult, though they can be done with caution
- Can't run reflect elemental maps
- Resists can be difficult to manage
- Rares with all desired stats are difficult to find because build is off-meta
- not SSF viable

Ratings (my new take on performance evaluation):
Spoiler
Build Cost - moderate (6/10) - basic uniques not less than 1c but not more than 1ex except Dying Sun; some end game boss drops will cost more in first days of league

Gameplay Difficulty - easy (8/10) - three skills and facetank

Build Difficulty - difficult (8/10) - resists can be difficult; off color sockets; CwDT setups; specific enchants; mana retention challenges for Uber Elder; skill tree refunds as you progress

Clear Speed - fair (5/10) - better than you’d think

Map Bosses - good (8/10) - not the fastest but easy

Single Target DPS - fair (6/10)

Tankiness - excellent (9/10) - only lacking major mitigation; live through lag

Map Versatility - fair (6/10) - usually reroll no/reduced regen and elemental reflect

Lab Farming - good (7/10) - not the fastest; don’t die to traps unless playing badly; never die to Izaro

Endgame Potential - good (8/10) - doesn’t trivialize endgame content but can do all

Videos (including Shaper and Uber Elder):
Spoiler
Please forgive the quality of the recordings. Sometimes they are choppy at the very beginning, and I have fps drops when playing, even without recording.

Uber Elder - (2018/07/29) I haven’t achieved deathless yet. There are two deaths here to dumb mistakes, but the capabilities of the build are demonstrated well. This was my fourth attempt ever, so I am getting better and will update if I can get deathless. A better player with better hardware should have no problem. If you play the build and record a deathless kill, I will add here and credit you.

Shaper (deathless)

Minotaur (with map clear)

Phoenix (with map clear)

Chimera (boss only)

Hydra (boss only)

How it Works (defense, offense, comparison to ES HoWA, etc):
Spoiler
The items that define this build are Mask of the Stitched Demon (MoTSD) and Hand of Wisdom and Action (HoWA), both scaling off Intelligence.


Defense (life recovery)
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I consider this build to be a “regen tank,” with three layers of life recovery: life regeneration, life leech, and +life gained on hit from HoWA. If you want to check out some of the life recovery numbers, check out this spreadsheet I made with numbers from the Uber Elder PoB. There are very few other layers of defense, such as armour, evasion, dodge, or block, so it plays much like a hard CI build, but with life instead of ES. In order to regen, we must first survive a hit, so a massive life pool is important as well. By scaling max life we gain flat life regen and leech because most forms of regen and leech are recovered as a percent of your maximum life. In short: higher max life means higher life recovery per second!

MotSD grants +1 to Maximum Life per 2 Intelligence, so this build stacks Int to increase the maximum life pool. This comes with the drawback of Strength provides no bonus to Maximum Life, which is normally +1 to Maximum Life per 2 Strength. With my 1250 Int and 419 Str, this means the mask is giving 380 flat max life, after the loss of the Str bonus. This is nearly a Kaom’s Heart in the helm slot with sockets and other benefits.

MotSD also grants +1% Life Regenerated per second per 500 Maximum Energy Shield, with the penalty being that you are permanently stuck at zero energy shield. This gain has hard cutoffs, so you only gain life regen for every 500 ES milestone you pass (1999 ES will only give 3% life regen). We will ignore armor and evasion on gear, going for pure ES gear to benefit from this mod as much as possible. We continue to receive 1% ES per 5 Int, so stacking Int will also bring your max ES up. By going with all ES armour, we should be able to reach at least 2,000 max ES for 4% life regen/sec.

Though HoWA is a weapon, we consider it part of our defense. To begin, it has +% Increased Intelligence as a mod, which is a multiplier on our base Int and increases our life and ES. In addition, it has +46 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks. By playing with Molten Strike, we get a very large number of hits per second, giving instantaneous life recovery while hitting an enemy. By increasing attack speed, we will get more hits/sec, so more attack speed will mean more DPS and survivability. HoWA also grants +1% Increased Attack Speed per 25 Dexterity, meaning that we can gain attack speed by simply stacking Dex. As with the MotSD regen bonus, this has hard cutoffs at every 25 Dex milestone (249 Dex will only give +9% increased attack speed).

For our last layer of defense, life leech, we take the Vitality Void notable near the Slayer start, Blood Rage, and flasks with some leech. We do not take Vaal Pact because it would negate the large regen that we are working towards. This regen is critical for times, such as boss invulnerability phases or dodging, when you cannot be hitting. For an extended case against Vaal Pact taken from a reply I made in this thread, expand the spoiler below.

Spoiler
While you will actually get more recovery with Vaal Pact, it will be short-lived in many cases. I will give some numbers below. These come from a spreadsheet I made from the data in the Uber Elder PoB.

Joint regen and leech without Vaal Pact (all Watcher's Eye and Arakaali active):
- Regen: 2161 life/sec
- Leech with Vitality Void: 3724 life/sec (total 5886 life/sec recovery)
- Leech without Vitality Void: 3238 life/sec (total 5400 life/sec recovery)

Taking Vaal Pact provides the following (Watcher's Eye and Arakaali):
- Leech with Vitality Void: 7448 life/sec
- Leech without Vitality Void: 6477 life/sec

The leech duration is the same whether you take Vaal Pact or not:
- No flasks active: 1.45 sec
- Flasks, Atziri's no Vinktar: 1.98 sec
- Flasks, Atziri's, Vinktar: 18.76 sec

Vinktar is one use until you are able to gain charges. I don't use it in Uber Elder for this reason, though I do for mapping. In Uber Elder, you will get that 18 sec overleech once, if you didn't make a mistake, and then you're down to about a 1.5 sec overleech until the next add phase. Hopefully you will find something to hit in this time, but there are cases where you may not. Generally these are the times are the times when you are struggling, dodging, etc, where you don't want end up in a degen or taking damage without regen. You can make a similar arguement for bleed or other degen while mapping. I never worry about a bleed, even if there are no enemies around.
For an extra life recovery boost, we take the Soul of Arakaali major god pantheon, which gives 50% increased Recovery of Life and Energy Shield if you've stopped taking Damage Over. To proc this we combine a low level Blood Rage with Level 1 Cast When Damage Taken. When CwDT causes Blood Rage to be recast, it essentially stops and restarts the DoT, letting you benefit from Soul of Arakaali. If you’re getting hit often enough, this should result in near 100% uptime because CwDT cooldown is 3 seconds and the “recent” tag on Aarkaali is 4 seconds. The Soul of Tukohama minor god pantheon will also provide +% life regenerated per second while stationary, which is good if you’re face tanking bosses. This minor is not critical, so you could take others as needed.

In endgame versions of the build, you will want to run Vitality with a Watcher’s Eye with +% increased Life Recovery Rate while affected by Vitality, such as the one shown here.
This is a massive recovery boost that applies to both your regen and leech. I don’t think Vitality is worth the reservation without this mod and would take Wrath and Herald of Thunder without it. If you can get this, I would drop Herald of Thunder if you can’t squeeze it in. The effect is not reflected in your tooltip regen, but you can see what it does for you in PoB.

Defense (mitigation)
Spoiler
As stated in the previous section, we are primarily focusing on ES on our gear, ignoring armour and evasion. Though we can take big hits and recovery very quickly, it is still a good idea to reduce incoming damage so that we can take even bigger hits. The Scion Juggernaut specialty is taken primarily for free endurance charges. With four charges, we gain 16% physical damage reduction. By linking Fortify Support to our movement skill, Whirling Blades, we gain 20% damage reduction from all hits, including elemental damage, bringing us to 36% physical mitigation and 20% elemental mitigation.

For endgame versions of the build, you can try to find a % of Physical Damage from Hits taken as [Elemental Type] Damage mod on a shaper body armor, such as this one, or as a mod on a Watcher’s Eye. With this mod, you essentially take about 7.5% reduced physical damage because your resists are applied to it.

Defense (ailments, etc)
Spoiler
We make use of a few extra sockets to provide a bit more defense by including Blind Support linked to a Level 1 Cast when Damage Taken Firestorm. With the multiple hits from firestorm, any enemy in the area should be blinded, giving a bit more evasion chance.

A staple in stat stacking builds is Cyclopian Coil. Our Int will undoubtedly be higher than Dex, so the belt will grant immunity to Shock. It is unlikely that Str will be higher than Dex, so we will not gain Ignite immunity, but this ailment tends to be a non-issue due to our regen.

We are immune to Stun and Chill with the Juggernaut specialty.

Bleed is a non-issue because of our massive regen. Even with a strong stack of 20 Corrupted Blood, you should not be dropping fast enough that you cannot catch it with a healing flask.

Freeze and Curse will be taken care of with magic flasks (see gear section).

Offense:
Spoiler
The main damage scaling will be through stacking Int for +Lightning damage on HoWA. A lot of this is done through passive tree pathing and items discussed later. With 1000 Int, you’re looking at Adds 100 to 1000 Lightning Damage to Attacks. With this much flat damage, it is going to be better to take increased or more modifiers to attack speed, elemental damage, lightning damage, or projectile damage rather than added flat damage. As such, we go with regular jewels over abyssal jewels because we can get %Life multipliers to our already large flat life while picking up some offensive mods if we’re lucky. When given a choice, attack speed is the top priority because it means you are not locked into Multistrike for as long, can Whirling Blades faster, and hit faster for +life gained on hit. Picking up Dex when it is available can be a good option because it means more attack speed on HoWA.

Since we gain DPS as we pick up stats while pathing across the skill tree to pick up life nodes, it is not worth investing a lot in critical strikes. As such, we take Elemental Overload, giving a large damage boost in a single node.

We should reach the maximum chance to hit (95%) or come close through +4 Accuracy Rating per 2 Intelligence with Shaper’s Touch, the basic bonus gained from Dex, and the +1000 accuracy granted by the Juggernaut specialty, so no specific effort will need to be made there.

Though we are mostly taking Slayer for overleech and the proximity of its starting point to Point Blank, it does provide some extra damage while leeching and Culling Strike. The ability to instantly kill a strong boss when it reaches 10% life can be the difference between success or death. It is also useful in making sure stray monsters, which can occur because of lightning damage’s large variability, are killed.

Comparison to ES HoWA:
Spoiler
If you compare the defense to ES HoWA, you see that we save passive tree pathing by not needing to take Zealot’s Oath, Chaos Inoculation, and Vaal Pact, which are all pretty much required and at extremes of the tree. This frees up your skill tree for a lot more options. In addition, we have no delay on restart of regen and can benefit from both +life gain on hit and Slayer overleech, where ES HoWA cannot. Further, we can actually make use of the +1 life per 4 Dexterity mod on Shaper's Touch.

Gear:
Spoiler
I am showing the full set of basic gear below under the “Just Gear” spoiler as the TL;DR, and will explain each choice at length in the full "Gear Discussion" spoiler that follows.

Just the Basic Gear: (TL;DR)
Spoiler
I consider all of the uniques here required. The rares shown are examples of what we should be shooting for, but items with the same exact stats may be difficult to find. You may have to settle for less-good versions of these. I discuss mod priorities and alternatives below.

Uniques:

Rares:

Jewels:

Flasks:

Basic Gear Discussion: (with mod priorities and alternatives)
Spoiler
Helm:

Mask of the Stitched Demon is the basis of the build. As discussed in the "How It Works, Defenses (life recovery)" section, we are trying to make use of both of the unique mods on this item: +max life per Int and +% regen from max ES by stacking as much Int as we can and gearing with ES base armour. The negative mods regarding +max life from Str and +max mana from Int will pale in comparison to the benefits. While it would be nice to benefit from the ES pool that we will build, we will try to forget about it because, to sustain it in persistent damage would require some investment that we do not want to make anyway. The mask has some nice extras as well, in the form of large ES and Int.

Stat priority: Int and enough ES to get you over the next 500 max ES threshold

Enchant priority: anything you can get really because this is too far off meta for lab farmers to bother with. Molten Strike +projectiles is the dream, but more reasonable goals could be any +% Increased Molten Strike Damage or reduced mana retention for any auras.

Weapons:
Hand of Wisdom and Action is the second cornerstone of the build. It synergizes amazingly well with the mask, even giving some life from the +% Int mods. As with MotSD, we will stack Int, giving us +Lightning damage. We will also, somewhat inadvertently, end up stacking Dex to give +% attack speed. Molten strike alternates attacks between both dual wielded weapons, so we are not given the option of using a “stat stick” in the offhand. The best option will simply be a second HoWA in the offhand, acting as its own stat stick with additional +% Int, +%Dex, and +% Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills.

Stat priority: Int > Elemental Damage with Attack Skills > Dex
Get what you can afford to start. Try to get more than +10% to both Int and Dex and +25% Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills if you can. As you upgrade, prioritize +% Int. Where you may think that +1% Dex will put you over the next 25 for +1% attack speed, be careful because it really won't give you that much flat Dex.

Alternatives: You could try to find a rare shield for extra regen via energy shield, but finding anything that gives comparable DPS will be difficult. We are already defense heavy and do not have great DPS.

Amulet:

This is the standard choice for any HoWA build. If it had resists, it would be perfect. There's not much else to say.

Stat priority: Pay attention to both the implicit and explicit when shopping because you may get more total stats with a good implicit and mediocre explicit.

Alternatives: none

Belt:

Another standard choice for HoWA builds. You could try to make something else work, but I wouldn't because the shock immunity alone is going to be massive.

Stat priority: Go for Increased Attributes > +12% and then try to get the highest +max life you can. You don't want +5% to all attributes, but another 1% attributes is not going to do as much for you as some flat life.

Alternatives: You could try to make something else work, but I wouldn't because the shock immunity alone is going to be massive.

Gloves:

Surprise! Yet another HoWA build staple! Nothing about being a life-based build changes the usefulness. In fact, this build benefits from the +1 Life per 4 Dexterity mod that ES wouldn't and gives yet another reason to stack Dex in addition to Int. Every mod on these gloves is good and, again, only resists could make them better.

Alternatives: 2-Socket Tombfist would probably work, but, without correcting with jewels, you’ll lose some accuracy and as much as 2% life per sec regen from ES loss. If you're hurting for resists and think you can get equivalent life and ES from expensive rare gloves, you may not lose that much DPS from accuracy loss. Definitely check in PoB first because you could lose a lot of life and regen. I would stick with Shaper's Touch though because it will be easier to get one or more corruption implicits without having to make a lot of changes to our gear.

Body Armour:

I got this for 20c in the first week or two of incursion and haven't found anything better since. I have no idea how you can get all of these mods in a league, but this is exactly what you want, other than the mana. Ignore the socket colors unless you're prepared to spend a lot of chromes. A budget solution would be to shoot for 3red/3blue, which I discuss in the "Gem Links" section.

Stat priority: We have a lot of uniques with no resists, so they are a must on the rares.
1: Resists
2: Maximum Life
3: +Int or +% Int (you may actually get more off a good flat Int roll)
4: % Physical Damage from Hits taken as [elemental] Damage
5: Energy Shield

Alternatives:

Start with Tabula while you are working on a 5/6L. A well-rolled loreweave could be pretty good with the build (max resists > life > elemental damage > attributes > ES > flat phys dmg > crit > rarity > mana). Death's Oath doesn't have ES, but I would love to see someone make this work because it synergizes really, really well with this build otherwise. I'm open to other alternatives if people have ideas.

Boots:

This is another rare item where it will very difficult to find anything like it in a league. I had to trade a guy some slightly worse boots and currency for these. He didn't have a price on them and said he was saving them in case he wanted to use them.

Stat priority: We have a lot of uniques with no resists, so they are a must on the rares.
1: 30% Movement Speed (personal preference but dealbreaker for me. you may be okay with less or none and Whirling Blades)
2: Resists
3: Maximum Life
4: +Int
5: Energy Shield

Enchant priority: Regenerate 2% Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently, no question.

Alternatives:

Bubonic trail could work (ignore the enchant, get +2% life regen if hit recent) with abyssal eye jewels with life, resists, damage mod, and ES. This will get expensive but may get you some well-rounded stats more easily than with rare boots. You will also likely lose CwDT Blind due to less gem sockets. Let me know if you have other ideas. Trade me a pair of Bubonic Trail temporarily if you want them linked here.

Rings:

Again, this is the type of thing you're shooting for. You are trying to cram the required resists into a very small number of items, including your jewels. If you can get +% to all Elemental Resistances on all of your jewels, you can afford to have less on the rings. If you can't you need to prioritize resists over all else here. I am in a good place and can use the second ring. The third is a swap I need for Uber Elder because I lose resists with Koam's Roots. A high Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills roll will get you more DPS than a good flat +Lightning damage roll because we have so much flat damage already. For lower rolls it can be a toss-up, so check in PoB. Don't bother searching for +% Increased Lightning Damage because it's a suffix and you need those for resists and Int.

It will be tricky to get all of the mods so try searching the official trade site for all mods but one and an open prefix/suffix that you can use to master craft the last mod with: all but life and open prefix, all but damage and an open prefix, all but int and open suffix, all but one resist and open suffix.

Stat priority: We have a lot of uniques with no resists, so they are a must on the rares.
1: Resists
2: Maximum Life
3: +Int
4: Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills/Increased Elemental Damage (opal)
5: Added # to # Lightning Damage to Attacks

Alternatives

A well rolled Le Heup of All could be good (this one isn't). I don't really recommend Perandus Signet, but I thought I'd mention it because ES HoWA builds use it. Another user, Deadseeds, suggested the Shavronne's Revelation. The one here is corrupted, but you get the idea. It makes your resists more challenging but may be worth it. The Taming could be okay but seems like an expensive alternative to the second rare ring listed above but doesn't actually give more dps and has less life.

Jewels:

Wildfire are pretty much required. Put them in the left-most and bottom-most jewel sockets. Use the Intuitive Leap on the rightmost jewel socket to get some free skill points that will let you have another jewel. We take regular jewels over abyssal jewels because we already have a lot of flat hp and damage. We would rather have multipliers to these rather than simply adding to them, which is what would happen if you used abyssal jewels. These are pretty much ideal rare jewels except for the Viridian Jewel on the right.

Stat priority:
1: Resists (all preferred, two if not)
2: +% Maximum Life
3: Damage (+% Lightning Damage, +% Attack Speed [with Claws (best), while Dual Wielding, with One-Handed Melee Weapons])
4: Int or Int/Dex
6: Int/Str

Alternatives

To use Might of the Meek you will have to adjust your skill tree to take the resist nodes directly below the Scion start. If you want to run a second one for more life and resists, drop it in the slot by the life regen nodes upper-left of Scion start, as shown in this image and this PoB. I don't like it because you lose some DPS over other jewels, but it can be a quick fix for bad resists. It's possible to use a third at the upper right of Scion start, but I do not think that one is viable at all.

You should be working to obtain a Watcher's Eye like this. The Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance while affected by Wrath one will probably give more damage. The Vitality mod is more important than the Wrath one, so get an eye with only that if you can't find something like this.

Flasks:

We need one magic flask for Freeze removal. I chose Silver Flask because I do not have another source of Onslaught (tacky after 3.2, I know!). If you take an abyssal jewel or two with Onslaught, you do not need this and can go with Sulphur Flask (below). Dying sun gives an approximate 25% more damage. Atziri's gives damage and leech. Penetration variant of Vessel of Vinktar appears to give more DPS in most cases than the Added # to # Lightning Damage to Attacks variant, and it is cheaper. Compare in PoB if you want to.

Forbidden Taste is better than any magic healing potion with as many hit points as we have. The damage over time does not surpass our regen. Once you reach the endgame version of the build, you will rarely use it because: (1) you recover faster than you can hit it or (2) you got hit so hard that you are dead. However, it is nice to have for the rare case that you have taken damage and are in a degen, such as Uber Elder fight or Guardian of the Phoenix. We do not need a bleed potion because our regen is so good. If you get 20 stacks of a really bad Corrupted Blood, you will degen so slow that you will have a very easy time to catching it with Forbidden Taste and have it expire before you are low again.

Alternatives

I use the Sulphur Flask here over Atziri's if I'm running a curse map. If you really want a bleed potion, you could use the standard Bubbling Divine. If you can't afford a Dying Sun, Wise Oak is a good alternative. I used Wise Oak when I played the build as Blade Flurry. I dropped it when I picked up Dying Sun because +% Fire Resist from Dying Sun interferes at times.

Endgame Gear (my gear):
Spoiler
There aren't a lot of difference in the base items themselves, when compared to the basic gear. Here I've included Watcher's Eye, enchants, and double corruptions. I didn't want to put these powerful items with the basic gear so that reasonable expectations could be set. The full set of gear follows and discussions of the differences from basic gear are discussed further down.

Just Gear






Discussion

I discussed this Watcher's Eye as an alternative above, but this should be the first big purchase you are working towards. My opinion is that the Vitality mod is more important than the Wrath mod. The regen and leech boost it gives is massive. The Wrath mod gives some DPS but nothing that you can't get on a ring. The Wrath penetration mod is probably better. If I could have any third mod I wanted it would be #% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold Damage while affected by Purity of Ice for Uber Elder.


Good lab enchants are hard to come by. I farmed these myself, along with a lot of other junk that no one wants to buy because no one uses the mask. I sold one Kinetic Blast enchant for 12ex, but that's it. The dream is +2 Molten Strike projectiles, but I've pretty much burned out on farming lab and have some pretty good ones already. I use the % Increased Molten Strike Damage for everything but Uber Elder and swap to the % Reduced Wrath Mana Reservation mask for Uber Elder. The Wrath enchant allows you to squeeze Purity of Ice in with Vitality and Wrath without having to take extra points on the skill tree.


I did this corruption myself somehow. Maybe something else would be better, but, considering our resist situation, this is pretty much priceless to me. I never bothered pricing it or corrupting any more belts.


GG double corrupt. Hands down best implicits for HoWA. I think I got it at a steal for 20ex after much failed farming of Quarry trying to get these exact mods.


These are not difficult to come by and help with reservation for trying to squeeze Purity of Ice in for Uber Elder. You could go for other corrupts. "Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you" can be good if your regen is not yet high enough that you can ignore bleeds.

Gem Links:
Spoiler
I have set up the gems to make gameplay as simple as possible, using lots of CwDT links to automate skills so that I am focusing only on attack, movement, and totem as self-cast skills. If you're comfortable self-casting a few things, go for it.

The notation (X/Y) used indicates the max gem level as X and the max quality as Y. If it is not given, take the gem to max (20/20). Some max gem levels are hard caps because you do not want them to level higher than can be triggered by Cast when Damage Taken. Other gems are given as unleveled because the levels do nothing for you. There is no harm in taking quality above what I have given, but doing so will likely give no benefit.

If there are two supports given as A / B, it means that A is your clearing support and B is the gem swap for bossing.

Just Gem Links (TL;DR):
Spoiler
Body Armour:

5-Link:
Molten Strike
Multistrike
Ancestral Call/Elemental Damage with Attacks
Concentrated Effect
Increased Area of Effect/Elemental Focus

6-Link 3red, 3blue (cheaper):
Molten Strike
Multistrike
Ancestral Call/Elemental Damage with Attacks
Concentrated Effect
Lightning Penetration
Increased Area of Effect/Elemental Focus

6-Link 4red, 2blue (slightly more DPS):
Molten Strike
Multistrike
Elemental Damage with Attacks
Ancestral Call/Damage on Full Life
Concentrated Effect
Increased Area of Effect/Elemental Focus


4-Link:

Cast When Damage Taken (20/0)
Immortal Call (20/0)
Increased Duration Support
Summon Lightning Golem


4-Link or Two Unlinked:

Wrath (20/0, unless grouping then 20/20)
Herald of Thunder if no Vitality Watcher's Eye or Enlighten 4
Vitality (20/0, unless grouping then 20/20) with Vitality Watcher's Eye or Enlighten 4
Enlighten (4/0) Optional


3-Links:

Cast When Damage Taken (1/0)
Blood Rage (7/20)
Conductivity (5/20)

Whirling Blades
Faster Attacks
Fortify (1/0)

Cast When Damage Taken (1/0)
Firestorm (8/0)
Blind (9/20)


Unlinked:

Ancestral Protector

Flame Dash (1/20) (weapon swap if no free socket)

Links with Discussion:
Spoiler
Body Armour:

5-Link:
Molten Strike
Multistrike
Ancestral Call/Elemental Damage with Attacks
Concentrated Effect
Increased Area of Effect/Elemental Focus

6-Link 3red, 3blue (cheaper):
Molten Strike
Multistrike
Ancestral Call/Elemental Damage with Attacks
Concentrated Effect
Lightning Penetration
Increased Area of Effect/Elemental Focus

6-Link 4red, 2blue (slightly more DPS):
Molten Strike
Multistrike
Elemental Damage with Attacks
Ancestral Call/Damage on Full Life
Concentrated Effect
Increased Area of Effect/Elemental Focus

Molten Strike will be our only damage skill: mapping and bossing. I leave Ancestral Call in for some bosses but take it out for others. If you're lazy, just leave it in all the time. I don't know what to tell you if you don't want to do the other swap. Maybe go Added Lightning Damage instead or get a 5R/1B link and move Damage on Full Life there.

We can argue about Multistrike if you want to. I played with it on Uber Elder and don't really care what you think about it. Our attack speed is high enough that if you're a decent player you shouldn't have a problem with mobility.

We don't want to run Elemental Focus for clearing because we will lose the opportunity to shock. For bosses this matters less because we aren't going to be able to apply a very big shock anyways, so it's better to take the extra damage. Damage on Full Life should always be giving you extra damage because you are considered full life as long as your leech would take you to maximum before it expires (if your life orb has the red shade, indicating recovery, to the top, you are leeching to full). I don't run it on Uber Elder, but watch my Uber Elder video and tell me when I wouldn't get the benefit and am actually hitting something.


4-Link:

Cast When Damage Taken (20/0)
Immortal Call (20/0)
Increased Duration Support
Summon Lightning Golem

We go for big immortal calls because we have enough endurance charges to benefit from leveling it. Small hits do not matter because of our life recovery. The Level 20 Immortal Call should give us time to recover from most all big hits. Golem is here for convenience.


4-Link or Two Unlinked:

Wrath (20/0, unless grouping then 20/20)
Herald of Thunder if no Vitality Watcher's Eye or Enlighten 4
Vitality (20/0, unless grouping then 20/20) with Vitality Watcher's Eye or Enlighten 4
Enlighten (4/0) Optional

Your mana doesn't matter. You need just enough to get a few attacks off before you are leeching mana from Mind Drinker. Wrath and Herald of Thunder are obvious choices to start. I highly recommend Vitality if you can get a Watcher's Eye with #% Increased Life Recovery Rate while affected by Vitality. Herald of Thunder is fair DPS, but not enough to warrant taking 3-4 points on the skill tree to squeeze back in. To fit all three reservation skills and have enough mana left we need: Level 4 Enlighten or Level 3 in armour with +1 to Level of Socketed Gems, two Wildfire with 1% Reduced Mana Reserved, and two points in the reservation hub at the upper-left extreme of the skill tree.


3-Links:

Cast When Damage Taken (1/0)
Blood Rage (7/20)
Conductivity (5/20)

As discussed in the "How It Works, Defense (life recovery)" section, we can activate the Soul of Arakaali major god pantheon increased life recovery effect by recasting Blood Rage. By using a Level 1 Cast When Damage Taken, the damage threshold for triggering Blood Rage will be low. If we are getting hit enough to need regen, it should be procing. The cooldown on CwDT is 3 seconds and Soul of Arkaali "recently" qualifier means 4 seconds, so we should have nearly 100% uptime on 50% Increased Recovery of Life and Energy Shield if you've stopped taking Damage over Time Recently.

Conductivity is included here because it's a pain to self cast, and we don't have enough unretained mana to run Blasphemy Support. You could go with a defensive curse, but I think we have more than enough defense and need more DPS.

Whirling Blades
Faster Attacks
Fortify (1/0)

This is your basic movement/Fortify setup, giving us some much-needed mitigation. You don't really need to level Whirling Blades, but take it to 20 Quality.

Cast When Damage Taken (1/0)
Firestorm (8/0)
Blind (9/20)

This link is just something useful to do with extra sockets. When you are getting hit, CwDT will trigger Firestorm and blind things that are hitting you. Firestorm is chosen because it hits many times and has a better chance of eventually blinding.


Unlinked:

Without a 4-Link Aura setup, we will have three free sockets. Do whatever you want with them. If we have a 4-Link Aura setup, we will only have one socket left. I choose

Ancestral Protector

for the attack speed. I only use it on larger targets, but it's good to have. Before you get Slayer specialty you can add Culling Strike Support. I also run

Flame Dash (1/20)

in the secondary weapon set and swap to it as needed. You could use Lightning Warp instead if you prefer, but it's good to have a way to get over short walls.

Last edited by L1L_I3E4R_NoScope on Aug 2, 2018, 12:14:42 AM
Last bumped on Aug 1, 2018, 9:24:46 AM
Passive Trees, Ascendancy, Bandits, Pantheon:
Spoiler

Ascendancy: Ascendant Juggernaut and Slayer, with Slayer start option.

Ascendancy Order:
1: Str by Juggernaut and Str/Dex by Slayer
2: Slayer
3: Juggernaut
4: Path of the Duelist

Ascendancy Discussion:
Spoiler
I can't see this build working with anything but Scion. I considered the Juggernaut ascendancy originally, but there are a lot of wasted perks that don't do anything for this build. Inquisitor or Champion ascendancy passives are also okay, but these starting locations mean pathing through too many parts of the skill tree that are not Int stat nodes. When that happens, you end up wasting jewel sockets on Fertile Mind and Brute Force Solution, when you could be getting actual jewels if you're pathing in the top of the tree. Scion gives you the few perks that are useful from from multiple ascendancies, key skill tree pathing starts, and extra useful large stat nodes.

Juggernaut
We are playing with no armor, evasion, block, or dodge, so some sort of mitigation is necessary. Juggernaut gives this in the form of Endurance Charges over time. The +1000 accuracy and stun and chill immunity are nice perks as well. The life noes around the start would be nice to pick up, but we're going for Point Blank near Slayer start instead.

Slayer
This choice is made because it gives good recovery and fair DPS. Taking Path of the Duelist, gated behind it, gets us close to Point Blank, which is crucial for Molten Strike DPS, to save a lot of skill tree pathing. Overleech means we will start recovering from leech immediately after being hit, rather than having to wait a second or more to build up. It also allows you to back off from attacking and continue to recover. Cull means we spend less time fighting deadly bosses, increasing survivability.

Other Options
If you want to make some larger changes to the build, a number of other specialties can work, including Elementalist, Inquisitor, Raider, or Pathfinder. If you do not take Slayer you will probably need to take Raider or Pathfinder to be close enough to Point Blank. I can't really see playing without Endurance Charges, but go ahead if you're comfortable with it. Elementalist is nice for running reflect maps. I played it to start with Blade Flurry, but I hate feeling like I have to run the two golems. Raider offers a lot of extra DPS on bosses, Inquisitor gives more regen from consecrated ground without needing a Sulphur flask, and Pathfinder provides some good DPS and utility.

Bandits: kill all

Pantheon Major God: Soul of Arakaali - gives +50% Life Recovery for 4 sec when we proc CwDT Blood rage

Pantheon Minor God: Soul of Tuhokama is my preference, Soul of Yugul for Uber Elder, but anything you think works really.

Skill Trees:
The web browser trees do not facilitate the Intuitive Leap jewel, so you should put it here and allocate the passives shown.

- Level 84, no Uber Lab (Path of Building) (web browser tree)
- Level 90 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)
- Level 90, Might of the Meek (Path of Building) (web browser tree, Might of Meeks go here)
- Level 97 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)

Skill Tree Discussion
Spoiler
The goal of our skill tree pathing is to pick up as much +% Increased Maximum Life as possible while connecting via Int nodes and being as efficient as possible with DPS nodes, taking jewels sockets when they require three or less points to pick up.


This Sion exit takes us through regen and gives good proximity to the life wheel, continuing up through Int nodes to reach other areas. At level 90, we will not have filled-out the life wheel, but this is okay because this gives us convenient life scaling if we decide to level up further.


This portion of the tree mostly gives life and some defense. It is shown here so that the connection to the previous area can be seen easily, but this area is a low priority. Looping up and then counter-clockwise through the outer ring lets us path through Int nodes. The path through the elemental damage nodes is longer, and I do not believe these are the most efficient DPS nodes. The Int will give life and DPS, so it is preferred. This path also makes expansion into the mana reservation wheel in the upper left easy if you need them later.


This top span passes through lots of basic Int nodes, but also some very large ones. We are not taking crit nodes because it will require too much investment. As such, Elemental Overload provides a massive DPS boost with a single node. There are lots of other DPS nodes here that we ignore because the nodes on the right of the tree (next) are more efficient. Of course we grab more life as we pass through.


This area is where most of our DPS nodes are located. The Arcing Blows hub gives efficient DPS in the form of penetration. There's more life nodes to grab, easily-accessible attack speed, and three +20 Dex/Int nodes. Intuative Leap goes in the rightmost socket, allowing us to skip some minor nodes that are not useful. This is essentially a free skill point because it lets us skip three nodes for the cost of two (later we can get the Frenzy Charge node for cheap DPS, increasing the efficiency of this jewel more).


The Ascendant node Path of the Duelist allows us to connect to the Duelist start. We use this to path to Point Blank, which is a more damage multiplier to our Molten Strike damage. Molten strike projectiles do not travel far enough to suffer a penalty from Point Blank, so it is only a damage boost. While we are in the area, we grab Dex, life, and the Vitality Void leech node. Vitality Void might not appear valuable on the surface, but it greatly helps our overleech duration. Molten Strike hits are small, so no individual leech is very large and will not last long. These nodes make our leech faster, each leech instance larger (in terms of total life per), and each leech instance last longer. We do not take Vaal Pact because the leech gained would only be sightly more than the regen lost, and the regen is valuable for times when you are taking damage but cannot be hitting anything, such as boss invulnerability phases or dodging attacks.

Leveling Guide: (NOW UPDATED!)
Spoiler
There are several options for leveling this build. If you know what you're doing, you probably don't really need this section, so do your thing. I leveled as Spectral Throw, into Blade Flurry, then changed to Molten Strike at Level 96, but the leveling trees given here should work for most attack skills.

A lot of people level melee builds with Sunder, and it should work with the leveling trees here. I will not provide a full guide for Sunder leveling because it has been discussed at length in other places. There is a quick cheat sheet here by SilkySnow_.

Below I will provide a care-free leveling guide that starts and plays all the way through as Molten Strike. Be prepared to spend some passive respec points and regrets because we will have to rework the skill tree at two different stages.

Leveling Trees:
- Level 30 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)
- Level 60 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)
- Level 70 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)
- Level 84, no Uber Lab (Path of Building) (web browser tree)
- Level 90 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)

Leveling Tree Discussion:
Spoiler
Levels 1 to 30 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)


Start out going towards the Shadow start and fill out this area. This will give some attack speed and move speed to help us get through the story faster. This area is well-rounded, with mobility, damage, and life.


If it is not a new league are playing Molten Strike to start, you can drop Wildfire jewels here early on.

Levels 31 to 60 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)


Make your way to Point Blank. If you are not leveling with Molten Strike you may want to take a few of the other damage nodes in the Duelist area instead and refund them later.


Go back and fill in these jewel sockets as you get jewels.

Levels 60 to 70


I usually level in Blood Aqueducts to 70 and then blow through the story after. If this is league start, this is a good time to be farming a Tabula as well. If it is not league start, you will be able to use most uniques after this and transition to Molten Strike if you are not already. As such, we start taking the Int nodes at the top of the tree.

Level 70 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)


This is a good time to clean up the tree, refunding the starter nodes that were just for leveling. First, connect back to the Scion start so that the nodes on the right can be removed.


Next, remove the nodes that you can in red and make the new connections in green. You may not be able to remove some nodes until you have made the new connections. Put an Intuitive Leap jewel in the right socket.


Use the extra points to fill in the top of the tree. You can remove this Str node here for an Int node instead.

Level 70 to 84, pre Uber Lab (Path of Building) (web browser tree)


Grab some life on the left of the tree,

the life wheel,

and at the bottom of the tree.

Post Uber Lab to 90 (Path of Building) (web browser tree)


After you complete Uber Lab, you can take Path of the Duelist to make connections from the Duelist start. Make the connections in green, then remove the connections in red. We will remove some of the life wheel, but get more life in other parts of the tree.


Finish-up the tree by taking Int and life around the outside of the tree.

Skill Gem Progression:
Spoiler
The leveling skill links here are largely based on Engineering Eternity's Molten Struck Scion Build Guide.

Any skills without space between them are a group. If a skill is listed, it means that some change to that group can be made at that level. If it is not listed, keep it with no changes.

Level 1:
Molten Strike
Onslaught


Level 4:
Molten Strike
Onslaught
Ancestral Call

Ancestral Protector


Level 8:
Molten Strike
Onslaught
Ancestral Call
Added Fire Damage


Level 10:
Leap Slam
You can use Whirling Blades if you are using the wrong weapon, but you should probably be leveling using an axe (see the Sunder Cheat Sheet at the beginning of the leveling section).


Level 16:
Herald of Ash

Arctic Armour

Blood Rage (may require hp potions)

buy and start leveling Herald of Thunder


Level 18:
Molten Strike
Ancestral Call
Elemental Damage with Attacks (drop Added Fire Damage if only 4L)
Elemental Focus (drop Onslaught if only 4L)

Leap Slam
Faster Attacks

buy and start leveling Concentrated Effect


Level 24:
Anger (probably need to drop Arctic Armour)

buy and start leveling Wrath


Level 31:
Leap Slam
Faster Attacks
Fortify

buy and start leveling Increased Duration


Level 34:
Summon Lightning Golem


Level 38 and into Endgame:
Spoiler
At this point you can buy most skills and fit them in as you can. Don't bother with Wrath, Herald of Thunder, or Conductivity. Change to Whirling Blades when you start using HoWA.

The notation (X/Y) used indicates the max gem level as X and the max quality as Y. If it is not given, you can take the gem to max (20/20). Some max gem levels are hard caps because you do not want them to level higher than can be triggered by Cast when Damage Taken. Other gems are given as unleveled because the levels do nothing for you. There is no harm in taking quality above what I have given, but doing so will likely give no benefit.

Body Armour:

5-Link:
Molten Strike
Multistrike
Ancestral Call/Elemental Damage with Attacks
Concentrated Effect
Increased Area of Effect/Elemental Focus

6-Link 3red, 3blue (cheaper):
Molten Strike
Multistrike
Ancestral Call/Elemental Damage with Attacks
Concentrated Effect
Lightning Penetration
Increased Area of Effect/Elemental Focus

6-Link 4red, 2blue (slightly more DPS):
Molten Strike
Multistrike
Elemental Damage with Attacks
Ancestral Call/Damage on Full Life
Concentrated Effect
Increased Area of Effect/Elemental Focus


4-Link:

Cast When Damage Taken (20/0)
Immortal Call (20/0)
Increased Duration Support
Summon Lightning Golem


4-Link or Two Unlinked:

Wrath (20/0, unless grouping then 20/20)
Herald of Thunder if no Vitality Watcher's Eye or Enlighten 4
Vitality (20/0, unless grouping then 20/20) with Vitality Watcher's Eye or Enlighten 4
Enlighten (4/0) Optional


3-Links:

Cast When Damage Taken (1/0)
Blood Rage (7/20)
Conductivity (5/20)

Whirling Blades
Faster Attacks
Fortify (1/0)

Cast When Damage Taken (1/0)
Firestorm (8/0)
Blind (9/20)


Unlinked:

Ancestral Protector

Flame Dash (1/20) (weapon swap if no free socket)

Gear Progression:
Spoiler
Several of the key uniques for this build are from endgame bosses and may be difficult to come by in the first few days of the league, so you may have to be patient in transitioning to the final form of the build. I would suggest playing with basic rares until you can afford each item and only working the uniques in as you can afford to keep resists maxed after adding them.


Astramentis is not a cheap, throwaway rare, but will give the stats that the other items multiply or scale off of, so it's probably best to get it first. If you're not playing a league starter and have currency, you can use this before any other unique.


Any good one-handed rare, preferably a claw with high lightning damage, will work until you can afford HoWA. With only Astramentis and points on the tree, it should do some nice damage, so this should be the next priority. You don't need two right away, so a shield can be good in the meantime.


Mask of the Stitched Demon probably isn't better than most other helms until you get some Int from the other items. However, the base Int will be a good boost to damage if you already have HoWA, so you might want to grab it before the others below.


You can get these as it makes sense. Neither are critical and are pretty cheap after the first few days of the league.


Dying Sun really makes Molten Strike Shine, but it is expensive. You don't need it, but you should get it eventually. You can go with The Wise Oak until then and make sure your uncapped lightning resistance is highest.


Don't bother with Forbidden Taste until you have 7k or more life and good regen. You can easily make do with a Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching.


Obviously, this is an endgame item, but it is something for you to work towards.

Leveling gear:
Spoiler
This list of items was taken from Engineering Eternity's Molten Struck Scion Build Guide.

Modifications for Uber Elder:
Spoiler
The build requires some gear and skill gem changes to take on Uber Elder. These are discussed below.

Uber Elder Gear:
Spoiler
This is the set of gear I use for Uber Elder. Most of it is the same as what I provided as "Endgame Gear" in the Gear section, but I will discuss the changes below.





Discussion of Changes:

The rare boots on the left are swapped for Koam's Roots with a +2% to Life and Mana per second if Hit Recently lab enchant. While it is possible to do the fight without Koam's Roots, it is made much easier with them. I found that I was getting killed often after getting frozen by Elder's projectile attacks, not so much the siphon attack slow. It might be possible to work in some other freeze immunity, such as the Dream Fragments ring, but Koam's Roots have some nice life and will provide extra quality of life against the siphoning slow. Using these means we need to make up for lost resistances. We will be taking Purity of Ice, so that means cold resist will be covered.

At the cost of a small DPS loss, we swap the ring on the left for the ring on the right to correct the resists. If you are in a worse resist situation, you might consider some two-socket Tombfist with some good abyssal jewels or placing Might of the Meek in the center of the tree, as discussed in the "Skill Tree" section.

The Shaper's Touch on the left are swapped for the +1 to Level of Socketed Gems Implicit pair on the right. With the new pair, we can bring an Enlighten Support to Level 5 for less mana retention on our auras. This is necessary so that we can replace Herald of Thunder (25% retention) for Purity of Ice (35% retention) without having to drop Vitality or Wrath or take more retention nodes on the skill tree. The Enfeeble on Hit is nice as well, but not really necessary. You could just as well keep Conductivity on CwDT instead of Lightning Golem because the golem won't be alive much, and this would help your dps.


The mask on the left is swapped for the mask on the right. Again, this is so we can fit Purity of Ice without taking more retention points on the tree.


These are not a change but are mentioned again because they help with the retention situation I keep discussing.

We swap the two leftmost flasks for the two on the right. The Silver Flask and Vessel of Vinktar will only get one use before needing to be recharged, so they will have negligible impact on the extended fight. Instead, we take flasks that can provide more survivability. The Sulphur Flask has four uses, provides damage, and 6% life/sec regen from Consecrated Ground. Taste of Hate is purely for defense, providing extra max resists to counter the cold damage that is prevalent in the fight and physical damage taken as cold, most of which will be mitigated by the increased max cold resist provided by the flask and Purity of Ice.

Uber Elder Skill Links:
Spoiler
The biggest changes here are the removal of CwDT Firestorm Blind due to the loss of sockets from Koam's Roots and the swap of Herald of Thunder for Vaal Impurity of Ice.

Body Armour:

Molten Strike
Multistrike
Elemental Damage with Attacks
Ancestral Call
Concentrated Effect
Elemental Focus

Ancestral Call is nice because it will help you clear add phases better and we can mess up on our positioning and maybe still get some hits in. With good positioning we will get extra hits on the bosses. I have not yet attempted without, but I want to try with Damage on Full Life. Though our life will not always be at maximum, as long as our leech would take us to maximum, we are considered at maximum for the purposes of Damage on Full Life. Reviewing recordings, I think this is the case most of the time.

4-Link:

Wrath
Vaal Impurity of Ice
Vitality
Enlighten (4/0)

Here Herald of Thunder has been swapped for Vaal Impurity of Ice. This will bring our max cold resist up, mitigating a large number of damage sources in the fight. If you are good (I'm not), you will pop the Vaal skill for even more defense when needed. This creates a problem for mana reservation because Herald of Thunder is 25% reservation and Purity of Ice is 35%. I discussed some gear changes in the "Uber Elder Gear" section above. You will need, at least, Enlighten 4 placed in a piece of armour with +1 to Level of Socketed Gems. If you cannot get another source of reservation reduction on gear like I have, you can take more points on the tree (image).

3-Links:

Cast When Damage Taken (20/0)
Immortal Call (20/0)
Increased Duration Support

Cast When Damage Taken (1/0)
Blood Rage (7/20)
Summon Lightning Golem

I have Summon Lightning Golem here and Blasphemy on Hit with my gloves. I think Conductivity would probably be better here. I should probably just get a pair with single corruption +1 to Level of Socketed Gems and do that.

Whirling Blades
Faster Attacks
Fortify (1/0)


Unlinked:

Ancestral Protector

Discussion of My Experience with Uber Elder:
Spoiler
For reference, this is the video from the "Video" section above linked again.

At the time of posting I have killed Uber Elder four times with this build. I had never beaten Uber Elder before this. My runs went as follows:
- 2 bricked sets, kill on 6th portal in 3rd set (no Koam's Roots)
- 2 bricked sets, kill on 6th portal in 3rd set (Koam's Roots)
- kill on 6th portal on 1st set (Koam's Roots)
- kill on 3rd portal on 1st set (Koam's Roots)

I'm getting better, and maybe I can get a deathless run soon. My computer is not great and changes in 3.3.1 introduced a lot of new fps drops, so I get a lot of video lag at the start of the fight, often getting killed before I can tell what is going on. I think a better player with better hardware could do it deathless.

This build does not trivialize Uber Elder with DPS. It somewhat trivializes the difficulty of survival with its strong recovery. You can make mistakes and not die if you are not in or had previously taken other damage. If you watch the video, you can see it can tank the Elder "doughnut" explosion, Elder slam, and Shaper slam. It can facetank the Shaper beam and take one or two Shaper projectiles. The degen on the ground doesn't matter unless you've taken some other damage and are not hitting anything. In my first kill, the entire ground was covered in degen and I was sitting at full life while finishing off Elder. With that said, it is still possible to die if you play badly, as evidenced with my deaths.

The main concern in the fight is the Shaper projectiles. If you dodge them all you should be okay unelss you get unlucky. It is not important to focus the "squids" that drop degen very intensely because the degen is not that bad. Spending too much time focusing on the squids is how I end up dead. The best thing to do is keep moving: find your target, pulse an attack, step, pulse, move away to gain map awareness, repeat. I tend to slam DPS potions when I have a good positioning and Shaper is doing the beam, since this is when we can get some safe DPS in.

Overall, I have found the fight very fun. I feel pretty accomplished beating it for the first time with my own build. Hopefully you find this interesting or useful. Thanks for reading.

FAQ:
Spoiler

Why not Ascendant specialty X/Y?
A lot of Ascendant specialties can work with this basic concept. I'm describing one option and explained why I made the choices I have made. If you try something different and would like to share, myself and others would be interested to hear about it.

Why no Vaal Pact?
Spoiler
While you will actually get more recovery with Vaal Pact, it will be short-lived in many cases. I will give some numbers below. These come from a spreadsheet I made from the data in the Uber Elder PoB.

Joint regen and leech without Vaal Pact (all Watcher's Eye and Arakaali active):
- Regen: 2161 life/sec
- Leech with Vitality Void: 3724 life/sec (total 5886 life/sec recovery)
- Leech without Vitality Void: 3238 life/sec (total 5400 life/sec recovery)

Taking Vaal Pact provides the following (Watcher's Eye and Arakaali):
- Leech with Vitality Void: 7448 life/sec
- Leech without Vitality Void: 6477 life/sec

The leech duration is the same whether you take Vaal Pact or not:
- No flasks active: 1.45 sec
- Flasks, Atziri's no Vinktar: 1.98 sec
- Flasks, Atziri's, Vinktar: 18.76 sec

Vinktar is one use until you are able to gain charges. I don't use it in Uber Elder for this reason, though I do for mapping. In Uber Elder, you will get that 18 sec overleech once, if you didn't make a mistake, and then you're down to about a 1.5 sec overleech until the next add phase. Hopefully you will find something to hit in this time, but there are cases where you may not. Generally these are the times are the times when you are struggling, dodging, etc, where you don't want end up in a degen or taking damage without regen. You can make a similar arguement for bleed or other degen while mapping. I never worry about a bleed, even if there are no enemies around.
Last edited by L1L_I3E4R_NoScope on Aug 2, 2018, 4:35:05 PM
I was also working on a similar build. Did you have any thoughts on a left-slotted Shavronne's Revelation? It seems perfect for this build but I don't see others using it. 75 int, >100 ES (option for corruptions such as %dex/%int), 40 mana regen, and downside of no ES recharge/recovery doesn't matter.
"
Completed 12 ChallengesDeadseeds wrote:
I was also working on a similar build. Did you have any thoughts on a left-slotted Shavronne's Revelation? It seems perfect for this build but I don't see others using it. 75 int, >100 ES (option for corruptions such as %dex/%int), 40 mana regen, and downside of no ES recharge/recovery doesn't matter.


I looked at it quickly and decided against it because it doesn't have any resists, but I locked a lot of other gear in before rings and filled the gap there. Resists are the biggest challenge for this build. If you don't consider one or more of the other uniques set, it could be be pretty good. Maybe if you took two-socket Tombfist or rare gloves and could get some resists. Or you could do the Might of the Meek trick in the middle for resists instead. I'll add it as an alternative and credit you.
Last edited by L1L_I3E4R_NoScope on Jul 30, 2018, 8:25:01 PM
No worries about any credit. I ended up taking Pathfinder in addition to Slayer. This allowed the uptime of Wise Oak to fix my resists. I agree they are an issue. The endurance charges are nice though, which I miss out on.
Hey, nice build here ! I did build something similar with slayer/elementalist as i found i would get similar regen with overleech + vaal pact, and i found difficult to stack ES . I'll just post my PoB here if some people are interested.

https://pastebin.com/6YRrC8cE

I'll try your version of the build in Flashback if i get time ! Overall, even if it deals less damage than traditional HoWA, i think that the build is quite potent and tbh, it's always a blast to build around league uniques.

Also the guide is very well written, so props to you !

PS : That Astramentis :3

Edit : I did kill Uber Elder with that version of the build, with Acrobatics, Phase Acro, because i don't care about ES. This is what i came up with https://pastebin.com/Ppd9DtLJ
Last edited by Lapincompris on Aug 13, 2018, 7:30:04 AM
After some more brainstorming I think my ideal setup would be Molten Strike (maybe Wild Strike for map clear) as Jugg + Pathfinder. Thus mainly relying on LGoH and Regen. But leech should still be strong. Here are my reasons:

1. Jugg for the Endurance Charges (I think I considered this before your guide but it was from seeing your character on the poe.ninja builds list) and other benefits
2. Pathfinder because flasks are OP and the uptime on Wise Oak to fix resists
3. Slayer isn't really needed as it is hard to invest in the +max leech rate nodes with everything else. Plus the overleech really shines with Vaal Pact which I don't think is good in this build (cancels out the large regen this build easily grants).
4. I might even try MoM with Shavronne's Revelation and the random free Mana gained on hit we get (and can get extra)
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Completed 15 ChallengesLapincompris wrote:
Hey, nice build here ! I did build something similar with slayer/elementalist as i found i would get similar regen with overleech + vaal pact, and i found difficult to stack ES . I'll just post my PoB here if some people are interested.

https://pastebin.com/6YRrC8cE

I'll try your version of the build in Flashback if i get time ! Overall, even if it deals less damage than traditional HoWA, i think that the build is quite potent and tbh, it's always a blast to build around league uniques.

Also the guide is very well written, so props to you !

PS : That Astramentis :3



First: thank's for the feedback. It's good to see another take on the concept.

While you will actually get more recovery with Vaal Pact, it will be short-lived in many cases. I will give some numbers below. These come from a spreadsheet I made from the data in the Uber Elder PoB.

Joint regen and leech without Vaal Pact (all with Watcher's Eye and Arakaali active):
- Regen: 2161 life/sec
- Leech with Vitality Void: 3724 life/sec (total 5886 life/sec recovery)
- Leech without Vitality Void: 3238 life/sec (total 5400 life/sec recovery)

Taking Vaal Pact provides the following (Watcher's Eye and Arakaali):
- Leech with Vitality Void: 7448 life/sec
- Leech without Vitality Void: 6477 life/sec

The leech duration is the same whether you take Vaal Pact or not:
- No flasks active: 1.45 sec
- Flasks, Atziri's no Vinktar: 1.98 sec
- Flasks, Atziri's, Vinktar: 18.76 sec

Vinktar is one use until you are able to gain charges. I use it for mapping but don't on Uber Elder for this reason (though I might now that I've actually calculated how long it can make a leech last). In Uber Elder, you will get that 18 sec overleech once, if you didn't make a mistake, and then you're down to about a 1.5 sec overleech until the next add phase. Hopefully you will find something to hit in this time, but there are cases where you may not. Generally these are the times are the times when you are struggling, dodging, etc, where you don't want end up in a degen or taking damage without regen. You can make a similar arguement for bleed or other degen while mapping. I never worry about a bleed, even if there are no enemies around.

I don't know what kind of content you're playing or what your playstyle is, and Vaal Pact probably works well for you. I just want to make a case for why regen should not be discounted.

Also, you could get 10 more Intelligence by pathing a different way at the top of the tree.
Last edited by L1L_I3E4R_NoScope on Aug 1, 2018, 3:28:13 AM
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Completed 12 ChallengesDeadseeds wrote:
After some more brainstorming I think my ideal setup would be Molten Strike (maybe Wild Strike for map clear) as Jugg + Pathfinder. Thus mainly relying on LGoH and Regen. But leech should still be strong. Here are my reasons:

1. Jugg for the Endurance Charges (I think I considered this before your guide but it was from seeing your character on the poe.ninja builds list) and other benefits
2. Pathfinder because flasks are OP and the uptime on Wise Oak to fix resists
3. Slayer isn't really needed as it is hard to invest in the +max leech rate nodes with everything else. Plus the overleech really shines with Vaal Pact which I don't think is good in this build (cancels out the large regen this build easily grants).
4. I might even try MoM with Shavronne's Revelation and the random free Mana gained on hit we get (and can get extra)


While I think Pathfinder could be a good alternative, I don't think Slayer should be written off so quickly. Refer to some of the numbers in my reply to another player directly above. With a single volley of Molten Strike of 3x7 projectiles (with Multistrike), you should be at max leech rate if you hit with half of the balls, so, basically, any time you have hit something. If you cannot be hitting something, you are losing more than half of your life recovery either (A) right away if you were full life or (B) in about 1.5-2.0 seconds. Situation A is much more likely because of the magnitude of our recovery, so you're basically losing more than half of the potential life/sec, when not hitting, in not taking Slayer. The Uber Elder fight is only one example of when you may be under fire and not able to hit something. This could extend to bleeds in between packs or bosses with invulnerability phases.

I played with Shavronne's Revalation in PoB after you mentioned it before and couldn't justify it. While the Int is good, it doesn't have the +# to all Attributes that make items like Astramentis really shine.

I'm not sure that MoM will work. You wouldn't be able to run auras/heralds and would lose a lot of hard-to-come-by DPS by dropping them. I'd be interested to see if you do get it to work though.
Last edited by L1L_I3E4R_NoScope on Aug 1, 2018, 11:57:47 AM
Oh, thanks for all the info on leech ! I didn't expected Vinktar to do that well.
With all those numbers, your choice of regen makes a lot of sense. I'll try Uber Elder when i'll get to it, and if i fail i'll respect into % life regen xD
Thanks for the pathing too !

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