[3.4] Poet's Pen VD Zerphi Ultimate Edition

(credits to the genius who came up with that "meme")

Inspired by Márkusz's build (https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2101181). Big thanks to him.
Big thanks to Nistriss as well for helping me improving the passive skill tree.

In order to acquire Uber Elder fight experience, I made a carry service thread in Incursion, and already doing carry services in Delve as well

Why another VD Zerphi guide?
Because I'm probably gonna forget how to properly build a VD Zerphi in few months, so I figured "hey, why not make your own guide with the ideas you came up to improve the build"

Gonna edit and complete this guide as well if you have questions / if something is not properly explained, so thanks in advance for your feedbacks.

1 - Videos

Uber Elder + Vaal Breach: https://youtu.be/nSU4RMVDlco
Uber Elder full facetanking: https://youtu.be/cEULLI3_CzE
Uber Elder guide: https://youtu.be/Ll3uSLXfw9s

2 - Overview
All the build revolves around the Zerphi flask. Let's take a look at the descrpition:
50% increased Charges used
Skills used during Flask effect grant (450-600)% of Mana Cost as Life over 4 Seconds

That means only Life Recovery Rate, +% Flask Effect and the Mana Cost of our skills are affecting how much the Zerphi heals you.
That means as well you have to deplete enough mana constantly to keep the Zerphi working
Let's keep that in mind as we delve deeper into the build mechanics.

2 - Pros & Cons

- Can facetank everything with end game gear. Almost. Chayula & Uber Atziri trio... Not really :D
- Decent real DPS, estimated around 600k min. for UElder encounter
- Good clearspeed if you can handle bodyswap

- Expensive build a* f*, NOT league starter friendly
- No Ele reflect maps
- Just forget HOGM now :3
- Everything messing up with Flasks, Life Recovery Rate, Mana Regen/Gain or Mana Cost, such as instant flask recovery, vaal clarity, warlord's mark on hit and the like etc.: most likely RIP

3 - Skilltree, Ascendancies, Bandits, Pantheons
Passive skill tree, set for level 92:

Since you have everything you need reaching lvl 92, you can pick Alira instead of 2 passive skill points if you wish

Soul of Arakaali for major, this is mandatory since the "+50% recovery rate of life etc." is gonna be granted everytime your Immortal Call is triggered, so permanently more or less

Gruthkul for minor for extra safety

4 - Gear & Skills

Regular Poet's will do, but aiming for elemental penetration is always better. You never have enough penetration.
For a proper use of Combustion, which will give you a huge amount of DPS, you need to ignite, there are several ways to do that: Any flat fire on your gear/jewels, Herald of Ash, Avatar of Fire.

Volatile Dead - Elemental Focus - Concentrated Effect
(You can choose Controlled Destruction instead of one of these if you wish)
Unearth - Greater Multiple Projectiles - Combustion
(You can switch Combustion for Body Swap for better clearspeed, if you can handle it.)

Body Armor
Kaom's Heart can be safely used for anything but Uber Elder or Guardians with hard mods.
Lightning Coil is safer with the physical conversion otherwise.

The best armors you can use being rare Elder armors with 2 physical damages conversion to elemental mods. I didn't manage to craft one of those

The 2 extra slots granted by the Lightning Coil will be used to add on our Cast When Damage Taken usually set in the boots:
Enfeeble - Increased Duration

One of the cornerstone of the build. Having a "7 links" is mandatory for getting the best of the Zerphi (increasing mana cost)
So we're looking for an Elder pair like this one, the "Supported by faster attack" mod would have been better:

Frenzy - Blood Magic - Greater Multiple Projectives - Life Gain on Hit

If Kaom's are mandatory for Uber Elder, a good pair of rares is better for everything else.
Best choice here for endgame is to craft / buy a Shaper's pair for "Incrased cooldown recovery" mod.

Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Vitality - Anger

If you can buy any cheap helmet with VD enchant first, end game, you're gonna look for the bast shaper base with that enchant on it. We're looking for physical damages conversion to elemental like our armor, except, on the helmet, you can get only 1 mod of this type.
I didn't manage to find a suitable Shaper base for that purpose.

Blood Magic - Blood Rage - Increased Duration - Flame Dash

Rings & Amulet
Once you have enough DPS, you should use these for mapping, aiming for uncapped fire resistance to be the highest for optimal use of The Wise Oak

Otherwise you want to be capped for safety purposes:

Xoph's is a QOL item for end game, before acquiring it, you want an amulet with life leech on fire damages, which will greatly improve survivability:

We're looking for a rare Shaper belt with the usual life & res if possible, but first we're looking for "Increased Cooldown Recovery Speed" and "Reduced damages from Critical Strike", as well as "+% increased spell damage during flask effect" if possible.

3 Fevered minds, a Conqueror's Potency to increased mana cost and flask effect
A Watcher's eye with the "Increased life recovery rate while affected by Vitality" which is a cornerstone of this build as well to optimize Zerphi's use.

Here's the setup for Uber Elder, the Overflowing Chalice being used only for this encounter as well as the Granite flask

Our setup for mapping being:

Having a flask with Curse Removal is mandatory for these mods on maps, a Ruby Flask is always welcomed for Atziri as well as Atziri's Promise for Chayula

5 - Leveling, gearing up

There is a before and an after Zerphi. Before the Zerphi:
- You want to level your Blood Magic gems
- You want to keep Frenzy on 4 links
- You don't want to use the Fevered Minds

Same goes for the Watcher's eye, you can use Herald of Ash or Artic Armour before buying it instead of Vitality.

Before acquiring your 2 Poet's, you can play pretty much whatever you want, but for Delve i would advise Caustic Arrow, you can even take the Master Herbalist ascendancy first before respec later.

For Phys reflect mods, before acquiring Xoph's, you can pick "Avatar of Fire" in your tree instead of an empty jewel socket

Whatever the league is, there is a way to farm your own Zerphi: you can loot the divination card "The Mayor" in the map Ivory Temple.
With a set, you can acquire a Perandus Manor map.

Same goes for Xoph's Blood: farming breach mods (sextant or Zana)

6 - APS Breakdown

If you have too much attack speed VD might skip some of the cast, so check for your APS with 3 frenzy charge and set it accordingly to your CoolDown Recovery speed

0%-7%......3.721-3.780 APS
8%-26%.....4.248-4.324 APS
27%-51%....4.948-5.053 APS
52%+.........5.926-6.076 APS

(from: https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/comments/8z83tk/poets_pen_aps_breakpoints/)

My Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/obsolee7
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/ObsoLeet
Last edited by kOkatrix on Sep 23, 2018, 9:02:22 AM
Last bumped on Dec 15, 2018, 9:18:04 PM
> Now we're using Combustion instead of Culling Strike in our Unearth setup. Huge boost of DPS
> We've picked "Avatar of Fire" in the tree before acquiring the Zerphi & Fevered Minds, respec later for 2 points to get an empty jewel socket
> APS Breakdown added
My Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/obsolee7
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/ObsoLeet
Last edited by kOkatrix on Sep 5, 2018, 1:34:46 PM

nice build, my gear can doing uber elder?
Last edited by anhaglx93 on Sep 7, 2018, 7:11:13 AM
Can u show any mapping with bodyswap? Im curious of the dmg, cuz some said that Zerphi its lacking for clearing.
anhaglx93 wrote:

nice build, my gear can doing uber elder?

I wonder how you made that much of currency. Probably can.
farm t16 bro.
Last edited by anhaglx93 on Sep 7, 2018, 5:16:52 PM
your paste-bin skill tree does is incomplete...
Hejti wrote:
Can u show any mapping with bodyswap? Im curious of the dmg, cuz some said that Zerphi its lacking for clearing.

I'm sorry I can't handle mapping with bodyswap, it makes me pukes, litteraly :D

anhaglx93 wrote:
nice build, my gear can doing uber elder?

Absolutely. I already did 4 carry services this league.

Noice_Applez wrote:
your paste-bin skill tree does is incomplete...

It does for lvl92, is there some bug?

With delve scaling once you're past over 300, I'm exploring several possibilities for end game for that build - builds way more tankier than the uber elder gear which is very specific, we don't need kaom's roots for anything else for example

Just reached lvl95 and considering to go 97 / 98 to grab one more empty jewel socket, took phase acrobatics and building an evasion / dodge gear for delving at the moment, with physical damages converted to elemental to try, for example.

If i get stuck at some point I will switch for an armor based build and try again until i find the best compromise.
My Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/obsolee7
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/ObsoLeet
So my pathfinder is 94 now i have about 20-30 ex and waiting for a insane ventor to sell and this will add another 15-20 ex. Right now i play CA and im looking for a build to switch. Is this build laggy and is this currency enough?
I am having trouble killing red Elder and Uber Elder, Shaper was a joke, facetanked literally whole fight.

The thing is that it feels like I lack a lot of damage (even T16 bosses take forever to kill), it takes forever to kill the Uber Elder and since I can't use Kaom's boots yet, because of my resistances, I can't kill it at all, I bricked 4 sets already. My friend can kill it with more or less the same build just easily and a lot faster.

What am I doing wrong? How do I get more damage?

+ Taste of Hate, Granite, Overflowing. I even used a +1 VD helm, I tried Body Swap instead of Combustion to jump around the area to not facetank everything also. But the main problem still stands. Not enough damage.

Jewels are 3x Fevered Mind, 1x Conqueror's, rest is attack speed + life (no idea how to link jewels)

Profile is public, so you can check.

Last edited by WilliamCZE on Sep 22, 2018, 6:35:15 AM

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