[3.8] Yet another Poet's Pen Volatile Dead boss tank - 8-10k/s life leech rate - 1M+ shaper DPS
Video: Uber elder deathless kill in 3.5: https://youtu.be/oqy7RAIsOwk
3.8 patch (Blight): Quick update done, still testing new stuff, all changes listed below.
3.7 patch (Legion): Frenzy buffed, recovery pantheon nerfed
3.6 patch (Synthesis): The build still works well, but due to the Poet's Pen nerf it lost 28% of the DPS it had in 3.5, see details below.
About the build
This build focuses on boss killing, mainly Uber Elder, tanking most of the damage with lots of leech, hp and mitigation while still doing decent damage thanks to Poet's Pen + Volatile Dead combination. The build is a descendant of my old Zerphi Poet VD bosskiller build which is discontinued due to the Zerphi flask nerf.
Build mechanics in short
Mitigate damage taken with flasks specialized for the boss you are running, and heal back by leeching very fast. Scion's slayer nodes makes leech not stop at full life, so leech gives a constant 8000-12000 life recovery per second, and scion pathfinder makes flask charges regenerate, making them nearly permanent even during boss fights.
The very minimum required items to kill Uber Elder usually cost around 500-1500 chaos in new league, but you can get a lot more expensive upgrades, see below.
Gearing in general
Your leech rate is based on a % of your maximum life, so get as much life as possible in every slot, cap your resistances, Max total recovery from leech elder amulet is important, and elder life recovery rate belt is preferable, and if you have affix slots and currency then %spell/fire/elemental/area damage on rings, amulet (fossil crafting), and jewels. Taste of Hate and Wise oak are important for defense, Overflowing Chalice for flask sustain during boss fights, Atziri's Promise for leech and damage, 5th slot can be anything you want, another ToH for reliability, phys/lightning mitigation flask, life flask with curse/bleed immune for mapping etc. Kaom's roots is best in slot for Uber elder to be stun and slow immune and gain a lot of hp.
My gear (for Uber Elder, no legacy items required):
Mapping setup swaps:
What you can remove or not from my gear to still be good for Uber: Mana cost crafts or other means of sustaining Frenzy mana cost is required to not lose attack speed. 21/20 gems are not required, +1 gem level has little benefits on supports, but level a few VD gems in weapon swap and try to vaal them to 21 yourself. For Watcher's Eye mod, life recovery rate is the primary, Anger pen or increased fire damage is optional. You can skip chest and boot corruption but every bit of mitigatin helps. VD enchant is 33% more damage. Helmet mana cost is not useful.
Gear improvement options for higher budget:
Multimod ring: roll fire leech (fossil) + craft life, increased damage, increased fire damage, attack speed or resist you need
Multimod amulet: roll fire leech and total leech mod + craft life, damage while leeching, fire damage or resist
Higher life on rings, amulet. 3 attack speed/damage mod jewels with life. Penetration corruption on Poet's Pens, damage or life corruption on Kaom's Heart. If you are on standard get legacy items (Wise oak, ToH). Attack speed cap is around 13.
Stats with Uber setup:
46% life recovery rate from Watcher's Eye and Elder belt (+50% when Arakaali pantheon procs)
5785 (66%) Maximum total recovery per second from Life leech (see ingame: Character panel (press C) / Misc tab)
8446 actual life recovered per second (5785 * 1.46) ( * 1.96 = 11338 if Arakaali pantheon procs)
24% physical damage taken as elemental (ToH with flask effect)
45% less cold damage taken (ToH + Wise Oak + Yugul pantheon)
44% Fire penetration, +20% Combustion debuff
29 351 damage per ball fullbuff ingame tooltip
34 239 spell damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
24 331 corpse explosion damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
58 570 total damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
10.23 attacks per second (cap is 13)
4 balls consumed at every second attack
1 222 730 sustained Shaper DPS (10.23 attacks / 2 * 4 balls * 59 762 dmg per ball)
PoB (uber elder): https://pastebin.com/5gZG47LV
Pantheon: Arakaali with all upgrades, Yugul with upgrade
Bandit: 2 passives.
All changes in 3.8:
Tree flask effect nodes moved, Poet's Pen cooldown buffed, new attack speed cap is 13 instead of 7.6, Frenzy gem was buffed in 3.7 for more attack speed.
New Bodyswap not only targets corpses, so in my test it was targeting the boss too often, couldn't move away from it, so I removed the whole gem, thus Dying sun is no longer equired to spawn enough corpses.
In my gear I replaced leech watchers eye with pen+recovery rate, and put leech on amulet and ring, and also Atziri flask, bought new recovery rate belt. Overall I got much more DPS, overall it's a buff, I could balance towards more life like in the old version.
All changes in 3.6:
The Poet's Pen nerf effectively halved the proc rate of spells while dual wielding, meaning that we need to double the attack speed previously used, needing a total of 7.6 attacks per second without cooldown reduction.
Swapped gloves to Insanity essence crafted ones with 16% more attack speed, at least 20% quality Frenzy, 20/20 Faster attacks support and Blood Rage. Replaced jewels and some passive tree nodes for the most efficient attack speed bonuses.
It is important that now you have to sustain your Frenzy mana cost, if your mana drops to 0 you lose the attack speed from the gems! For this reason I crafted mana cost reductions on my rings.
3.6 also introduced leech mechanic changes, but practically it doesn't affect this build. My numbers only got lower because I lost max life when replacing my jewels, and currently my amulet has a low life leech roll.
Weapon: On Poet's pens you want highest attack speed. If you are looking to spend more currency on it you can get 8-10% elemental penetration with corruption which is nice damage but also expensive.
Body armour: Kaom's Heart gives the most life thus higher life leech rate, and also some damage. You can use Lightning Coil or similar crafted rare chest against physical bosses or mapping to get more sockets.
Gloves: Get gloves crafted with Essense of Insanity which grants 16% more attack speed to Frenzy gem socketed into it, preferably with high life and resists, attack speed
Boots: Kaom's roots is the best in slot item for Uber elder fight because it is the only item that can make a Scion immune to Elder's slow attack currently, it gives you stun immunity, and has very high flat life. For other bosses and mapping you can use rare boots with movement speed and cooldown reduction.
Belt: The most important mod is the Reduced flask charged used mod. Then try to also have as much life as you can get, and life recovery rate. If you can afford also get flask effect duration. If you are rolling it yourself use Scorched+Pristine fossils which can give your %fire damage prefix. Increased flask charges gained is a weak mod, because you already get a ton of the same stat from Overflowing Chalice. Bench craft Chance to not consume charges or Increased effect of flasks if you can.
Flasks: For every boss select the flasks that gives the best mitigation against the boss' damage. For Shaper and Uber Elder you need mainly Cold and Physical mitigation, so the most important is Tate of Hate, then Wise oak. Overflowing chalice is also required for sustain on your other flasks. Atziri's Promise gives decent life and leech, 5th slot can vary, I recommend Basalt to safely tank any slams.
Wise oak: You can only benefit from Wise oak if either all of your resist are equal, or your Fire is the highest, and Cold is the lowest, because you need the penetration for fire, and for Uber elder you need the cold reduction. Because we also use Taste of Hate, it can make the cold resist really high, so pay attention to that (you can overcap your fire and lightning enough so it works, or not cap your cold without the ToH which is risky)
Amulet: The most important mod is fire leech as the main source of your life leech, other than that you need Max total recovery from leech on elder base gives around 1500 actual life recovered per second. Multimod amulet option: roll fire leech and total leech mod + craft life, fire damage or resist
Jewels: Might of the meek gives a lot of hp so they are recommended, Conqueror's Potency is a free mitigation boost to flasks, Watcher's Eye is a good leech buff, for rare jewels you want life+attack speed or damage, and preferably rather Cobalt jewels with %increased damage and %life rather than abyss jewels as for this build those stats are better.
Watcher's eye jewel:
Primarily try to get (20-30)% increased Life Recovery Rate while affected by Vitality, and optionally if you can afford Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Fire Resistance while affected by Anger or (40-60)% increased Fire Damage while affected by Anger
Helmet: Besides generic life/resist the helmet enchant gives 33% more damage, and you can get incursion or betrayal crafted mods that convert physical damage taken as elemental.
Rings: Flat life, resists, and %spell/fire/elemental damage if you can afford. Shaped opal ring is not required, you can get more resist on that ring slot and more damage elsewhere for example. On betrayal league you can craft 20% increased damage. Mana cost crafts or other means of sustaining Frenzy mana cost is required to not lose attack speed.
Main attack: Frenzy can generate frenzy charges and gives you the highest attack speed
Volatile Dead supports: Concentrated effect is always best for bosses, the less aoe downside doesn't effect bossing speed. For the other support Elemental Focus is the most damage.
Corpse skill: I chose Unearth instead of Desecrate because it can hit, so I can use Combustion support on it, and with GMP it creates enough corpses.
In my test new Bodyswap not only targets corpses, so it was targeting the boss too often, couldn't move away from it, so I removed it.
If you use any other skill gem next to Unearth you will create half as many corpses, so in that case rather use Desecrate + Spell cascade.
Auras: Only get the auras you have matching Watcher's Eye mod for, see above
CWDT+Enfeeble call combo is a free minor damage mitigation.
Bodyswap is a good movement skill option that works on the build because it has no movement speed increases at all
Gear progression: Cap your attack speed first, then focus on defences, because VD has a very high baseline DPS with even low investment, and once you have high life gear you can upgrade into more DPS for faster boss kills, stacking penetration, getting triple wise oak resist balance, and good opals. Helmet enchant is very good for both clear speed and single target, so early on get one as soon as you can, even if it's a bad base/unique, and replace it later.
Leveling: I recommend leveling with 2 Poet's pens and any spell that you like (try Arc, Glacial Cascade, Bladefall) in one wand and Unearth + Bodyswap or Lightning Warp in the other wand.
How to play the fight, flask management Just move around in circles and don't die 4Head (aka I need to write this section still)
Questions and answers
Why not using Indigon Hubris Circlet?
It requires a lot of mana investment, it can give a lot of damage, but it makes the build less tanky, so It goes against the goals of this specific build.
Why not using The flow untethered?
It has no life and flask mods, which are the most important.
How to calculate actual life recovered total?
In game open Character panel (press C) / Misc tab and look for the stat: 5634 (64.4%) Maximum total recovery per second from Life leech
Multiply this with life recovery rate modifiers (for example 20% = 1.2 multiplier)
What is an attack speed cap? How to calculate it?
In short, don't get higher than 13 attacks per second.
Poet's Pen puts a base 150ms (0.15 seconds) cooldown on the socketed spells, so by default in theory you could activate them 6.66 times per second.
While dual wielding the attacks alternate between firing the two wands, and only the spells socketed into the wand that actually attack can proc, which means you need nearly 13.33 attacks per second total.
Altough in practise it works only with attacks that are somewhat slower than the actual cooldown, otherwise it starts skipping casts. Without any cooldown reduction you want around 13 attacks per second total.
There is no exact formula for calculation, it can also depend on your internet latency. You should always test your own attack speed and see if it skips casts or not.
Can I do this build with a different class?
The only other viable option is to go Pathfinder and get https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Offering_to_the_Serpent, but then you can't use Insanity crafted gloves, which is a big loss.
Why not going crit?
Going crit could only yield more damage than Elemental Overload if you sacrifice survivability, which is not the focus of the build.
It can't face tank as the Zerphi build, but it's probably still the easiest build for a 10-20 ex budget for player who have no experience about the Uber Elder fight so far.
Old 3.6 gear and stats
This setup only worked in 3.6 and 3.7
50% life recovery rate from Arakaali pantheon
5634 (64.4%) Maximum total recovery per second from Life leech (see ingame: Character panel (press C) / Misc tab)
8451 actual life recovered per second (5634 * 1.5) (When I divine my amulet to 25% I'll have around 9000 total)
35% physical damage taken as elemental (ToH with flask effect + Helmet) (+8% with legacy helmet on standard)
38% less cold damage taken (ToH + Wise Oak + Yugul pantheon)
32% Fire penetration, +20% Combustion debuff
28 143 damage per ball fullbuff ingame tooltip
31 505 spell damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
21 701 corpse explosion damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
53 206 total damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
7.63 attacks per second
3 balls consumed at every second attack
608 942 sustained Shaper DPS (7.63 attacks / 2 * 3 balls * 53 206 dmg per ball)
Old 3.5 gear and stats
This setup only worked in 3.5
Stats with Uber setup:
50% life recovery rate from Arakaali pantheon
101% life per second leech rate (20% + 13.8% base * 2 vaal pact * 1.5 life recovery rate)
9299 life leeched per second (9171 life * 101,4% rate)
26% physical damage taken as cold (ToH with flask effect)
38% less cold damage taken (ToH + Wise Oak + Yugul pantheon)
50% Fire penetration, +20% Combustion debuff
39 125 damage per ball fullbuff ingame tooltip
47 053 spell damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
29 183 corpse explosion damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
76 236 total damage per ball PoB fullbuff against Shaper
3.7 attacks per second
3 balls per attack (only 7 unearth projectiles per cast, which is only at every second attack, 1 is consumed by bodyswap)
846 219 sustained Shaper DPS (3.7 attacks * 3 balls * 76 236 dmg per ball)
Watcher's eye jewel + Auras:
You should only use auras that for you have a matching Watcher's Eye jewel.
The most important mod is % of damage leeched as life, Vitality (for all damage) or Anger (only fire damage). If you are on a low budget get a jewel that only has this mod which should be under 100c.
The other mod preferably should be Physical damage taken as Cold with Purity of Ice (you also get max resist from the aura which is good, and watch out because there is this same mod with Purity of Elements too which is not as good)
A third mod could be possibly Vitality life recovery rate which would make the jewel very expensive.
Other useful mods:
Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Fire Resistance while affected by Anger
Any purity mod that gives Physical->Elemental conversion
(40-60)% increased Fire Damage while affected by Anger
Here is a search link for the jewels with the possible mods: http://poe.trade/search/onohihogukinuk
Only the gear swapped:
Full setup for mapping with stats:
39 674 damage per ball fullbuff ingame tooltip
62 746 spell damage per ball PoB fullbuff against normal mobs
39 849 corpse explosion damage per ball PoB fullbuff against normal mobs
102 595 total damage per ball PoB fullbuff against normal mobs
4.77 attacks per second (can go up to 5 safely)
4 balls per attack (assuming you have some extra corpses from map monsters)
1 957 512 sustained single target DPS against normal monsters
My builds: thread/1600072
Last edited by Márkusz on Sep 12, 2019, 3:58:00 PM
Last bumped on Jan 30, 2020, 11:11:39 AM
on Jan 5, 2019, 1:36:31 PM
My builds: thread/1600072
on Jan 5, 2019, 1:40:44 PM
Thanks, you are back.
Contact me at steam if i take POE break
on Jan 6, 2019, 4:09:19 AM
any chance to have a video soon? i really want to see how this build works.. tnx
on Jan 7, 2019, 7:13:17 AM
Currently grabbing gear and stuff, noticed the Volatile Dead enchant on helmets are actually "fairly" cheap.
Probably the most expensive item on the gear list is the watcher's eye or the shaped opal.
Looking forward to taking this to end game :)
Just a quick Youtube search should give you enough information on how this build works?
Last edited by Itar0 on Jan 7, 2019, 12:34:05 PM
on Jan 7, 2019, 12:33:05 PM
Can this facetank like last league or not quite?
on Jan 7, 2019, 10:09:07 PM
Can you explain these numbers? Base leech rate is 20%, you can get 9% from the tree, so in the worst case (without an amulet) you will get 29*2 from vaal pact, capping you at 5,8k leech at 10k hp. With the amulet and a max roll of 5%, you'd get 68% leech, so 6,8k assuming you get 10k life.
Importing your PoB pastebin confirms my suspicion that the math is off, as it only shows a 6k max leech, which is nowhere near the claimed 10k
on Jan 8, 2019, 3:24:23 AM
Hey, you missed the life recovery rate modifiers, 15% from belt, 50% from pantheon, I modified the guide to clarify, ty
My builds: thread/1600072
on Jan 8, 2019, 12:36:31 PM
Hi any uber elder videos?(
on Jan 8, 2019, 3:10:44 PM
Last edited by KirowGod1337 on Jan 8, 2019, 3:42:48 PM
on Jan 8, 2019, 3:10:46 PM