[3.3] The Coward’s Charge | Charged Dash Champion avoidance tank (97% attack, 89% spell)


The original motivation for this build was to try to use The Coward’s Legacy with the Champion Ascendancy node “First to Strike, Last to Fall” to have easy, permanent uptime on the Adrenaline buff. Unfortunately, it does not work. But it was over a week into the league before I found out, and I’d been running yellow maps with one of my 2-point Ascendancy nodes basically doing nothing for me. So the build worked as a league starter even without that interaction, and I figured I'd try to write my first build guide.

Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/NKirSF9C

T11 Waterways

Pros & Cons:
+ Fairly cheap. Coward’s Legacy is the only moderately expensive required item.
+ Very high attack/spell avoidance (fully buffed, avoid 97% of attacks and 89% of spells)
+ High base move speed (72% with no flask)
+ You won’t need to use Life Flasks often, and you’ll (almost) always have instant recovery for when you do.
+ Charged Dash is really fun, and is both faster and more damaging than Cyclone.
+ Low Life melee memes.
- Getting 4 or 5 off-color sockets can get expensive.
- You may get used to not getting hit, get complacent, and then not move out of the way of things like Izaro slams.
- Corrupting Blood can be scarier than you’re used to.
- You might want a different belt for navigating Labyrinth trap gauntlets.
- I haven’t tried fighting Elder with this build, and I’m not sure I’d recommend it.

Even without Adrenaline, Low Life enables several benefits. Dreadbeak gives Onslaught and 100% increased damage, and Daresso’s Courage lets us hit capped spell block even with Acrobatics! Panicked flasks always give instant recovery, and upgraded Soul of Ryslatha and the Herbalism notable give +80% recovery. Note that Adrenaline can be manually triggered with Blood Magic + Blasphemy + [any curse] (see “Ascendancy”, below).

Coward’s Legacy has significant drawbacks that need to be considered (especially if not using a Determination Watcher’s Eye). The increased curse effect is countered by using Thief’s Torment to reduce curse effect back to a normal level. Thief’s Torment also gives large amounts of life and mana on hit, which pairs well with a high attack speed.

Being permanently cursed requires a bit more planning; level 20 Vulnerability gives 39% increased physical damage taken (for comparison, a perfect Abyssus is 40% increased). This build uses a combination of avoidance mechanics (Evasion/Block/Dodge) to ensure that Kintsugi’s less damage taken mod should be active most of the time. Vulnerability also gives a chance to bleed, but so few attacks will actually hit that a single Staunching Flask (I prefer Stibnite) should be sufficient.

Getting stunned while channeling Charged Dash sucks (can be disorienting at the very least), but Unstoppable Hero gives stun immunity (among other things) while you have Fortify. So one way or another, you’ll want to have Fortify up as often as possible. Chance to Fortify on hit is a corruption available on Dreadbeak, and with high attack speed should be sufficient to keep that buff up consistently.

Fully buffed, Path of Building shows 97% attack avoidance, and 89% spell avoidance. In Game:

The recently revamped Charged Dash is our primary dps skill, and happens to take advantage of the high base movement speed (72% unbuffed) of the build; it deals 150% More damage if the projection has stopped moving, so higher movement speed obviously helps reach that point faster.
4-link: Charged Dash - Melee Physical Damage - Physical to Lightning - Elemental Damage with Attacks
5-link: Concentrated Effect if you have the helm enchantment for increased Charged Dash radius, Elemental Focus if not.
6-link: I’m way too poor for a 5 off color Kintsugi, but in theory I’d use Elemental Focus.

Hatred and Herald of Ash both give additional elemental damage scaled from physical, and HoA helps a little with pack clearing.
Cast when Damage Taken (lvl 1) + Tempest Shield (lvl 7) gives a little extra block chance, which is always nice.
Fire/Ice/Lightning Golem - any of these can work, just don’t use a Stone Golem or it will compete with your own efforts to taunt enemies via Worthy Foe. And a Chaos Golem has a higher Intelligence requirement than this build can reasonably reach. I like using Minion Life, Minion Speed, and Blind as golem supports.
Blood Magic + Blasphemy + [any curse] - used to trigger First to Strike, Last to Fall (see “Ascendancy” below)

The core of the build is the interaction between these 3 items.

All attributes is nice to have since the build can struggle to get enough intelligence, and move speed is always nice to have more of.

This shield is pretty cheap, so getting max block and max resists won’t be difficult.

Fortify on hit is an extremely good corruption result, but isn’t required.


Life and Mana on hit are great for sustain, but Lori’s Lantern and Kikazaru may also be worth considering if you’d rather build around mana leech.

Lori's Lantern gives all resist, move speed, a big chunk of chaos resist, and “Enemies are Unlucky when Damaging you”.

Kikazaru gives 40% reduced curse effect, and not a whole lot else.

As mentioned above, the less damage taken mod should be active most of the time, especially against bosses. Unfortunately, getting off-color sockets can be a pain, so using an Armor/Evasion or Evasion/Energy Shield chest with life & resists may be simpler, albeit potentially with a higher risk of getting one-shot.

Other gear:

Incursion gives us the “Matatl's” prefix on boots for 30% movement speed and 10%-12% spell dodge, try to find a pair of these with the usual life & resists. Atziri’s Step is also an option, but will require making up the missing resists elsewhere. There are any number of useful boot enchantments that can give conditional attack/move speed, attack/spell dodge, life/mana leech/regen, etc.

“Charged Dash has +4/6 to Radius of each Wave's last damage Area” is the enchantment to look for, and of course life & resists. As a higher-end option, an Elder/Shaper helmet with Essence of Horror/Insanity can provide a pseudo 6-link, and would be much easier to color than a Kintsugi.

The Gloves & Amulet slots are flexible and should be used to fill in the gaps. Jewels likewise can be flexible, but keep in mind that this build ends up with a lot of increased damage (459% physical, 334% all) so attack speed, life, resists (as needed), and flat physical damage should be preferred over additional increased damage mods.

Panicked Divine Life Flask (instantly heal 3888 life)
Atziri’s Promise (cheap, and should give about 24% more damage)
[dps flask of choice]
Quartz Flask (gotta stack dodge chance!)
Stibnite Flask (Blind makes evasion even more effective, and Stibnite has the highest duration, fewest charges used, and most uses of any utility flask, making it the ideal base for the Staunching suffix)

Charged Dash requires level 28 to start using, and since it plays differently from other skills, you’ll want to start familiarizing yourself with the mechanics right away. Once you have Charged Dash, levelling is just a matter of getting used to it and periodically upgrading your gear until you can equip the required uniques listed above. Since you can’t equip Dreadbeak until level 61, I would hold off on equipping Coward’s Legacy until then.
Prior to 28, I might suggest using Frost Blades for a vague approximation of what the spacing and positioning is like.

The general idea behind the tree is pretty straightforward: from Duelist, path to Ranger and then Shadow, picking up nearly every life and shield node along the way.

Level 90


As with basically all Champions, Conquerer, Worthy Foe, and Unstoppable Hero should be your first 3 choices. The only real question is what to pick from Uber Lab.

First to Strike, Last to Fall - easily the strongest choice if you’re willing to stop periodically to renew the buff. Using Blasphemy + Blood Magic + any Curse to reserve at least 65% of maximum life will activate the Low Life status for real, triggering Adrenaline (only if you don’t already have it). Then immediately toggle the aura off and use a Panicked life flask to instantly heal back to full. Adrenaline gives 100% increased damage, 25% attack/move speed, and 10% physical damage reduction, which is frankly better than both of the other choices combined as long as you’re willing to recast every 20+ seconds.
Inspirational - For more relaxed, consistent, but less powerful mapping, the extra move speed and damage is nice, but hardly game-changing.
Fortitude - If you can’t get a Fortify corrupted Dreadbeak and for whatever reason you hate using Whirling Blades/Shield Charge to proc Fortify, I suppose this could be justified.

Since this build wants lots of attack/move speed and dodge chance, helping Kraityn is the clear choice.

As mentioned before, Soul of Ryslatha with the upgrade from Gorulis, Will-Thief is perfect for ensuring you’ll always have big, instant heals ready.
Soul of Lunaris with the upgrade from Sebbert, Crescent's Point gives additional chance to dodge attacks and spells if you’ve been hit recently. Thraxia also gives 10% attack/spell projectile avoidance, which is a nice little bonus and further compliments the theme.
Last bumped on Aug 27, 2018, 6:15:46 AM
No Headhunter? Trash build.

Just kidding. Nice to see cheap builds that can clear quick.
Charged Dash is one of the most fun, fast clearing abilities these days. This build adds some really interesting interactions with uniques to the mix, and seems (surprisingly with the constant curse) really solid in defense. I won't level enough for it in this flashback, but I want to try it next league for sure!
I like the way you scaled your defenses. Cool concept and nice use of Kintsugi. I might give it a try when Incursion hits standard and I can use the belt I got there.
Chris Wilson took my soul
Hey. I was planning on making this character for the upcoming Delve league, but since incursion isn't going to be added to the core game (at least for now), do you think this build will be viable since it requires Cowards Legacy?

You should still be able to get it from reliquaries and maybe a new div card set, but it will probably take some time till people start finding them. I really want to play charged dash as my starter build and this seems like a fun/interesting build.

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