[3.5] Zzat's Vulconus ReaveFlurry Champion // All content // 6K+ HP // 4M+ DPS // Melt everything!






MAIN GEMS: Vaal Reave, Blade Flurry, Melee Physical, Multistrike, WED, Combustion, INC AOE, Conc Effect, Increased Critical Damage


Congratulations, you can delete all content in the game!

NOTE: Path of Building does not include the damage from focus mods or fossil helmet. With focus mods active, you can reach over 6M DPS during Avatar of Fire!
Level 100 tree with all focus buffs and Adrenaline active during Avatar of Fire against a bleeding & ignited enemy:


At time of writing, Vulconus is a 2 alchemy unique on Softcore Betrayal league. One of the most underrated items in the game.

Single-target vs Minotaur
First phase of Red Elder
Vaal City boss at depth 289
T16 Chimera Map
Uber Elder (2nd time with the build, 1 death)

For an in-depth explanation of the build and its mechanics, read on. Here's what it covers:
  • Backstory
  • Introduction
  • Scope of the build
  • Mechanics
  • Ascendancy Class
  • Passive Tree
  • Items
  • Gem Setup
  • Adrenaline
  • The Pantheon
  • Maps
  • Bossing
  • Closing Words


Welcome to my first guide! I've been playing since Harbinger, seriously since Abyss League and SSF SC since Delve. With the removal of stat sticks, I was bummed out about the state of melee in 3.5. Browsing weapons that might help me make a Cast on Crit build, I stumbled upon the updated Vulconus daggers. Plugging these into a Blade Flurry CoC build, I noticed Blade Flurry pushing over 1M DPS in the Cast on Crit setup without any specific investment. Why not check out what these can do in a pure Blade Flurry build? Vulconus Reave-Flurry was born.


Vulconus is a dagger obtained from The Enslaver that was written off due to its slow attack speed and inconsistent alternation between physical damage and pure fire conversion with Avatar of Fire. It was given significant changes in 3.5, but as of this writing is a largely forgotten item. Blade Flurry has traditionally been used with claws/swords and a shaper stat stick, and is known as one of the very best bossing skills in the game. This build harnesses the new Focus mods and caters a fairly generic Blade Flurry tree towards the use of daggers to achieve staggering DPS values with the new Vulconus.


Scope of the build: what it does, advantages and disadvantages
It achieves melee single-target boss damage previously possible only possible with shaper stat sticks or weapons/gear worth many, many exalts. For map clear, it uses Reave, which traditionally goes hand in hand in builds using Blade Flurry. It's able to clear all content in the game, and has a respectable life pool and defenses. Vulconus has a 1.2 base attack speed and no local attack speed modifier. To shore up this large flaw, the build invests into as much attack speed as it can, and uses insanity gloves for map clear. Reave only begins to feel good with a lot of attack speed, and it's still not quite there compared to builds with faster weapons. As with any Reave/Blade Flurry build, it requires swapping several gems for bossing, which can be annoying. The build has trouble with Chaos damage due to being unable to use Atziri's Promise.


Vulconus alternates between physical damage and pure fire conversion every 4 seconds. During the physical phase it conveys a 50% chance to bleed. During the Avatar of Fire phase it grants an additional 160-200% increased global critical strike chance, essentially guaranteeing an ignite. Since we do both physical and fire damage outside of Avatar of Fire, we are able to inflict both required ailments reliably without needing the Avatar of Fire phase to ignite. After four seconds attacking a single target, we will have a bleed and an ignite on the enemy, allowing us to benefit from the dagger's 70-100% increased physical damage against bleeding enemies, and 70-100% increased fire damage against ignited enemies. Dual wielding these daggers, we will have up to 400% increased critical strike chance and 400% increased damage during the Avatar of Fire phase against a bleeding and ignited enemy. During the physical phase we do significantly less damage but gain an additional 4000 armour, a significant boost in defenses.


Ascendancy Class
Champion is chosen for its ability to ignore accuracy by always hitting taunted enemies. It boasts the highest damage potential for physical/conversion based builds along with decent defenses and Adrenaline. These are the four notables we want to allocate:

  • Normal Lab: Conqueror
  • This node allows us to taunt enemies, and conveys good defensive bonuses after having done so. More importantly, it leads to...

  • Cruel Lab: Worthy Foe
  • The big one. Enemies taunted by you take 20% increased damage, effectively a 20% more damage multiplier in addition to "taunted enemies cannot evade attacks", guaranteeing 100% hit chance against taunted targets, allowing us to scale critical strike chance and multiplier to lofty heights.

  • Merciless Lab: Unstoppable Hero
  • An important defensive bonus with "cannot be stunned while you have Fortify", along with a good damage increase. Stun immunity is a very important benefit for defense against big hits. Make sure to keep fortify up as often as possible, especially against endgame bosses and Syndicate members.

  • Eternal Lab: First to strike, last to fall
  • The capstone to our damage. 10% more damage thanks to intimidate as well as access to Adrenaline, which we will use with a quick weapon swap against bosses and tough Syndicate encounters. More on Adrenaline later.


Passive Tree
Help Alira. You can view my character's passive tree in real time here. It's a fairly standard melee damage tree, catered towards the use of daggers. If you have any questions about it, don't hesitate to ask in a reply to this thread or chat with me on twitch.



Since I play SSF, these are the only ones I can work with so far. Look for high rolls on flat physical damage and increased damage against ignited/bleeding enemies. The flat fire damage and increased critical strike chance during Avatar of Fire rolls are less important, since we are scaling physical damage on the tree and have more than enough crit to work with.

If I were on trade league, I'd immediately buy up 20 of these and corrupt them, looking for multi or attack speed corruptions, as both of these convey a substantial damage increase over the regular dagger implicit. Power charge on critical is another nice result to look out for.

Loreweave is best in slot for its offensive and defensive bonuses. Make sure to get one with 80% max resistances to take full advantage of the elemental damage mitigation. Shroud is a cheap alternative to a 6 link and grants an additional abyss jewel slot. Belly is another cheap starter armour. A rare Elder chest is a viable alternative to Loreweave. Look for high flat and %life, along with "Socketed attacks are supported by level 1 maim". Bonus base crit to attacks is nice too, but less important.

For mapping, we shore up the low attack speed of Vulconus with Insanity gloves. It's a night and day difference for Whirling Blades, and I highly recommend you invest in a pair. Life, resist, and ideally an open suffix for the focus mod. For bossing, we go ham with a multimodded pair of Spiked Gloves granting very strong damage bonuses thanks to the new crafting bench added in 3.5.

A fossilcrafted helmet with life, "nearby enemies have -9% to fire resistance" and an open affix for crafting is best in slot for the build. Use Pristine and Scorched fossils to craft one of your own if desired. The best crafting mods are "25% chance to dodge attack hits while focussed" or "% physical damage taken as Fire Damage" depending on whether you have an open prefix or suffix. Starkonja's is a cheap starter that'll hold you over until you can obtain the crafted helm. A multimodded fossilcrafted helm would be even better, if you can annul or bestiary-split one down to the life and fire damage mod.

Any enchant benefitting Reave, Blade Flurry, Anger or Herald mana reservation is good. The Blood Rage attack speed enchant or increased Melee Damage with Ancestral Warchief provide significant boosts as well.

A fossilcrafted Stygian Vise with life, resists, fire damage and/or elemental damage is the only choice here. Fossils allow belts to impart absurd damage bonuses, and are relatively easy to craft. I managed to make this one in four attempts. Make sure to craft on an ilvl 86 base for the chance to roll the prestigious tier 1 elemental damage with attacks mod. Look for a high chaos resist here if possible.

We shore up our resists in the boot slot. A pair of two-toned boots with life, resists and movement speed will round out the defenses of the build. This is another slot with the potential for a high chaos resist mod. If your resistances can be capped without the two-toned base, opt for a pair of Titan Greaves or similar armour base with a lab enchant. Penetration, attack speed if you've killed recently and flat damage are all good.

An Elder amulet with Physical as Extra Fire damage and Life is the go-to option, though any rare amulet with life, flat physical damage to attacks, and crit multi is good too. Open suffix for "You have Vaal pact while focussed" is a bonus. This is one of the best focus mods and I can't recommend it enough for bossing and tough encounters. You can shore up some resists in this slot too. Xoph's blood is arguably best in slot if you can afford one and fit it into the build. It gives permanent Avatar of Fire, enjoying full fire conversion at the cost of up to 200% increased damage since we can no longer inflict bleed. The consistency is worth it and feels great overall, even though our theoretical maximum DPS is lower.

For rings, we use the Mark of the Elder and Shaped ring combo. Look for a high life roll and high attack damage bonus on the Mark. The shaped ring can be anything, so long as you have an open suffix for "Shock Nearby enemies when you Focus", which imparts a 20% more multiplier on demand. Life, resists, flat physical, and elemental damage with attacks are the other mods to look out for here.

I chose an Anger Watcher's Eye that I was fortunate enough to find, one of the best I've found across all leagues so far. One Anger mod is enough, though Anger itself isn't even necessary in the build, so you can skip this entirely if desired (more on that later). Physical as Extra Fire, Penetration, and Crit Multi are the best mods to look out for. Phys convert fire is good too, though significantly lower in priority since it imparts no benefit during Avatar of Fire.

We look for life, attack speed and crit multi in our rare jewels. You can fine-tune your jewels for an extra bit of intelligence or resistance if needed. Abyss jewels with Blind on Hit and/or Onslaught on kill are recommended, though I haven't managed to roll suitable ones yet.

Flasks are self-explanatory. For a well-rounded flask setup, the only flexible one is the Silver flask, which you can swap for a Wise Oak for bossing, or for permanent use if you've obtained an Abyss jewel granting Onslaught on kill. Make sure your uncapped fire resistance is your highest resistance to benefit from the damage penetration. I highly recommend the Silver flask for general use, as it shores up our low attack speed. Note: DO NOT use Atziri's Promise, as it imparts no benefit during Avatar of Fire.


Gem Setups

This build has a lot of buttons to press. With Reave comes Vaal Reave, add to that Focus, our Vaal Warchief totem, and Blood Rage. A Vaal Double Strike setup would fit into the gem slots, but there just aren't enough keybinds for it, not to mention missing a free button for Portal.

[6L] Vaal Reave - Multistrike - Elemental Damge with Attacks - Increased Area of Effect - Increased Critical Damage - Combustion
Our mapping setup. In a 5L, do not use Combustion. If your armour has white sockets, swap Combustion for Melee Physical Damage. You may swap Inc Aoe for Concentrated Effect against map bosses. You may use Faster attacks as the 6th link to make clearing feel better at a damage deficit.

Blade Flurry
[6L] Blade Flurry - Melee Physical Damage - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Concentrated Effect - Elemental Focus - Combustion
Our bossing setup. Note: Increased Critical Damage or Fire Penetration may surpass Combustion depending on your specific character. In a 5 link, do not use Combustion.

Warchief Totem
[4L] Vaal Ancestral Warchief - Increased Critical Strikes - Concentrated Effect - Maim
Our totem exists for both utility and damage. Since we cannot ignite while bossing with Elemental Focus, we rely on our totem for ignite, hence the Increased Critical Strikes support given top priority. Bosses should be ignited within 1-2 attacks. Maim gives our Blade Flurry a damage bonus outside of Avatar of Fire.

Whirling Blades
[4L] Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify - Blood Magic
Blood Magic may not be necessary depending on your mana reservation. Make sure this is socketed in your gloves to impart the benefit of the Insanity Essence's 16% more attack speed.

[4L] Anger - Herald of Ash - Herald of Purity - Enlighten
How you reserve your mana is the most flexible part of the build's gem setup, depending on your helmet enchant and whether you're using an Anger Watcher's Eye. I recommend skipping Anger without one, and going for Aspect of the Spider instead. This leaves room for War Banner or Dread Banner, which provide great utility, though adds a button press to your already strained keybinds. There's room for experimentation here, though if you go the Aspect of the Spider route, make sure you craft it on your jewellery, as it risks inheriting a mana multiplier if crafted elsewhere.

CWDT Setup
[3L] Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Flammability
Enfeeble, Warlord's Mark, Blood Rage, a Golem, or Increased Duration are all suitable here. I chose an offensive setup.

Blood Rage
[2L] Blood Rage - Enhance
Enhance adds quality to Blood Rage, which in turn increases its attack speed bonus. There's an unused gem slot here. You can use a golem, Portal, Vaal Grace, or any other gem that you can think of here. Level an additional gem here if you wish.


Champion's Adrenaline buff is a cornerstone of the build. Learning to use it on demand is a key factor in achieving the build's full damage potential. Adrenaline automatically triggers when you enter Low Life, 35% (or less) of your maximum life. We trigger this on demand with a quick weapon swap combined with one additional button press. You must have the following 3L setup in one of your offhand weapons:

Blasphemy - Any curse - Blood Magic

To activate Adrenaline, simply press your weapon swap Keybind, activate the Curse aura, press weapon swap again, and tap your health potion for safety. If executed correctly, you'll have 100% increased damage, 25% increased attack, cast and movement speed, and 10% physical damage reduction for 20 seconds - more than enough time to deal with any unphased boss or Syndicate encounters. Learn to use this along with your Focus button at key moments to deliver staggering burst damage.


The Pantheon
We get enough advantages from the pantheon that it deserves its own section.

Major God: Soul of Arakaali

Capture Queen of the Great Tangle to unlock the conditional increased recovery rate. We use Blood Rage in combination with Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call, which momentarily halts our degen damage from Blood Rage. This counts as having stopped taking damage over time recently, granting us the increased life recovery, which affects both our leech and our life regeneration. Blood Rage does not have to be linked.

Minor God: Soul of Shakari

Capture Terror of the Infinite Drifts for poison immunity. Shakari helps shore up our weakness to Chaos damage against the deadly Syndicate encounters. Soul of Yugul is recommended against Uber Elder and Soul of Ryslatha is recommended for lab and other phased boss fights. Experiment with others minor gods if you wish.



Reave can be a tough skill to get used to due to its stacking mechanic and the addition of Vaal Reave. When used correctly, it's arguably the fastest-clearing melee skill in the game, though our clear speed suffers from a lack of attack speed, unfortunately. Start a map by building up souls for Vaal Reave and pop it when you enter a dense area. After four seconds without hitting anything the stacks reset to zero, so try to keep moving. Regular Reave is fine in most indoor areas. Vaal Reave shines outdoors and in breaches.

Use Focus on demand. If you've crafted the recommended focus mods onto your items, it can grant you as much as ~30% more damage as well as great survivability bonuses. My favorite uses for Focus are Syndicate encounters, Incursions, bosses, and simply as an increase to attack speed to help traverse large areas.

Depending on the map tier, feel free to swap to Conc Effect for bosses.

The build cannot run reflect or cannot leech maps. Be wary of "monsters cannot be Taunted", as it will severely cut your damage.



For all content prior to Shaper Guardians, Elder/Shaper and Uber Elder, Reave is sufficient. Once you've fully built out your character, you could even attempt the mentioned bosses with Reave, as you'll still be doing between 1-3 million DPS with Conc Effect in.

Generally, though, we switch to Blade Flurry to tackle the highest tier content. Keep the required gems in your inventory for easy swapping. For Shaper and Uber Elder, bring multimodded Spiked Gloves if you've acquired a pair.

Bossing requires careful planning depending on the encounter. Generally, take the following steps:

  • Activate Adrenaline
  • Approach the boss
  • Bait out relevant one-shot mechanics, putting them on cooldown
  • Activate Blood Rage
  • Deploy Warchief and Vaal Warchief
  • Activate flasks
  • Whirling Blades through the boss to activate Fortify
  • Activate Focus
  • Hope you're in the Avatar of Fire phase
  • Channel Blade Flurry to 6 stages, release and repeat

If you've done this in the right order, congratulations! The boss will have melted. The alternating mechanic of Vulconus can be annoying, as your damage can vary depending on which phase Vulconus was in when you began. The best result would be starting the fight at the very end of the physical phase in order to get your bleed running, then entering Avatar of Fire and releasing your damage.


Closing Words

Thanks for reading. I discovered Vulconus by mistake, but am happy to have shared its potential with you. If you have any further questions about the build, please post a reply or come chat with me on twitch. Good luck!

Note: The outline for this guide is borrowed from b0moodc, whose Autobomber Guide is the best-written and formatted build guide that I've read.
Last edited by zzat1 on Jan 13, 2019, 8:30:37 AM
Last bumped on Mar 26, 2019, 11:35:08 AM
Wow looks pretty cool, would appreciate some highlights of bossing and mapping to round out the guide.
Very interesting build! I'd also love to see a mapping video. A leveling guide would also be helpful.
The low speed is a bit annoying.

I was thinking about a molten strike variant. Maybe it would work with champ but my thought was ascendant.

Anyone tried ms with these daggers?
Hjalm wrote:
The low speed is a bit annoying.

I was thinking about a molten strike variant. Maybe it would work with champ but my thought was ascendant.

Anyone tried ms with these daggers?

They would be amazing with molten strike. I decided to go with Blade Flurry because I haven't hit the molten strike enchant in SSF yet. Should get similar if not higher DPS! The attack speed is a problem for sure, gotta stack as much attack speed as possible to make up for it, but it's not too bad with insanity gloves.

Added some more videos
Last edited by zzat1 on Jan 11, 2019, 11:02:03 AM
hello, doin ur build!
seems good but the life leech is missing, idk...
cleared pretty easy with reave a t16 map but had trouble with the boss using bf, maybe its just practice cause i'm used to facetank everything hehe

another thing is the hit chance, with daggers its 77%, its f%$@ing low right? i know i have alot to improve (gloves/helm/jewels/enchant) so i'm not giving up yet :)

tyvm sir!
any advice, check me DreamReaperAF
matheus18 wrote:
hello, doin ur build!
seems good but the life leech is missing, idk...
cleared pretty easy with reave a t16 map but had trouble with the boss using bf, maybe its just practice cause i'm used to facetank everything hehe

another thing is the hit chance, with daggers its 77%, its f%$@ing low right? i know i have alot to improve (gloves/helm/jewels/enchant) so i'm not giving up yet :)

tyvm sir!
any advice, check me DreamReaperAF

Are you using Soul of Arakaali with Queen of the great Tangle captured? This increases our leech by 50%. You can try Vitality Void (3 points away in the tree) for a slightly better leech as well.

I noticed you're not using any of the focus mods that I've recommended in the build. The "Shock nearby enemies when you focus" grants you free 20% MORE damage. "25% chance to dodge attacks while focussed" on helmet and boots and "chance to blind" abyss jewel or Stibnite flask, enables much more reliable attack avoidance and thus facetanking.

At the end of the day this is a Champion. While having the most damage for a melee/conversion character, is not as defensive/facetanky as a JUGG or Ascendant/Slayer. Champion really shines when you identify key moments to deliver your damage.

As for the Hit chance, it doesn't matter because we are Taunting our targets, after which point they cannot evade our attacks no matter what-- except if you run the map mod "Monsters cannot be Taunted" which I recommend rerolling in high tier maps.
Last edited by zzat1 on Jan 12, 2019, 8:09:29 AM
Hello, thx for the info!
i got the pantheon right and i will look the focus thing and try to improve it!

You're welcome, gl!

Uploaded more videos including the second uber elder kill of the build (two for two now), with one death due to derping!
Wouldn't Xoph's Blood (amber amulet) be a good choice of amulet? Perma Avatar of fire? (not to mention the 10% life and fire penetration...)

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