[3.5] BUDGET Necro Ice Nova Auto-Blaster 1Mil+ Shaper DPS 9K+ EHP

"The cold grasp of death and long congealed blood reaches up and scratches at life. Form that fury to your desires and the world shall fall beneath your storm." - Calus, Poet of the Void

Do you want to pop corpses and unleash waves of icy death upon your foes, but don't want to break the bank doing it? Do you want to watch your ES bounce around and your cast speed soar to incredible heights? Then look no further than this Ice Nova Auto-Blaster!

"What does it do?"
This build allows you to fire out high powered Ice Nova blasts toward your foes, bursting them down with some nice damage while also able to take a meaty hit without the need of a Six Link or any kind of expensive gear!

How does it do it?
The build utilizes an important piece of gear and some cleverly arranged mods to give you the ability to go crazy on your foes, launching out high speed waves of Ice Novas.

Scold's Bridle is used with a 5L(Or more) Ice Nova, which has a mana cost of at least 132 to automatically trigger skills linked to level 1 Cast When Damage Taken.

This Triggers Frostbolt with the help of Frozen Trail to fire out three bolts that your Ice Nova can trigger onto. The nice thing is that since this cast is instant, your Ice Nova's Automatically trigger from the bolts, rather than from you, meaning you're never locked down by Spell Echo's double cast! But we just took 528+ damage, ouch! How do we fix that?

The first thing we need is lots of corpses! A 5L CWDT setup allows us to create 9 corpses with Unearth.

Then, via Necromancer's Mistress of Sacrifice, we use Spirit Offering to consume the corpses, granting us ES equal to 1% per corpse consumed. That's 9% of our life returned as ES per cast! This also takes ES increased into effect, additive with increased life, giving an effective increased life value of >400%. This allows us to restore well over 528 of the life taken as ES, rendering the damage null, as well as giving some additional restoration. At level 85, I'm seeing around 940 ES returned per cast, a net positive of ~400 ES!

Not only that, but each corpse consumed increases our cast speed by 2%, and since we consume 9 per cast, we gain 18% increased cast speed per cast for 4 seconds! The faster you cast, the more corpses you can consume, resulting in well over 500% increased cast speed!

But how do we pay for all this mana cost? With casts speeds reaching 9 casts per second shouldn't we run out of mana fast? That's over 1K mana per second!

That's where "X% of damage taken gained as mana over 4 seconds when hit" mods come into play. Scold's Bridle deals 4x the mana cost of the skill as damage to the player, by getting at least 25% of mana back, we can effectively pay off the entire cost of the cast, giving us all the mana return we need! So long as we can survive the initial 4 second time the mana needs to return, of course, but that's easily accomplished with...

As well as giving great damage, and a solid Psuedo 6L, the 100% extra mana from Pledge of Hands is more than enough to push our base mana regen into a comfortable spot. Top it off with Clarity, and You'll have more than enough mana to handle the initial dip while casting!

"How's the damage?"
Since it's recent buff, Ice Nova has become a skill that can deliver a devastating series of bursts via Spell Echo and casting on Frostbolt, but the trouble I've always seen is: "How much damage am I losing by taking the time to cast on Frostbolt rather than just spammming Ice Nova?" Casting on Frostbolt is superior of course, effectively netting 4x the initial damage with Spell Echo attached, but the trouble of casting a seperate spell leads to downtime when you're not doing damage, and I've found in some cases it can effectively halve your DPS while also forcing you to switch between two skills. Yikes!

With this build, we automatically cast a Frostbolt which your Ice Nova's will trigger from every time we cast. No need to stop and fire off Frostbolts, it's an all-in-one deal! This results in each cast of Ice Nova dealing 4x the listed POB DPS, with no hidden drawback from Frostbolt Casting! Estimates currently hang around 1.1 Million DPS with Concentrated Effect against Shaper, even with budget gear. It can be pushed higher with more expensive setups (6L/Flasks/Etc)!

As well, we focus on the easier to get minion nodes and grab the Spiritual Aid notable in order to net a good hunk of damage from the tree alone. Along with Scold's, Pledge of Hands, and Carcass Jack, it's quite easy to see where the damage is. To help supplement the damage though, we have the assistance of a spindly-legged friend!

Volkuur's Guidance and Herald of Agony gives us a 40% chance to poison with cold damage, and since you're hitting 4x per cast with ~9+ casts per second at peak, you're looking at near max Virulence at nearly all times. This also enables the use of Vile Toxins as a damage support (though you may want to avoid it due to its lower mana multiplier)! In order to get the Dexterity needed for HoAG, we need to use the Careful Planning Jewel, which will convert some of our copious INT into DEX.

"Can it take a hit?"
I would hope so! With just over 6K life, 1.5K working ES, and 1.5K working mana via MOM, we're looking at a rough total of just under 9K EHP with mediocre gear. It can easily climb into ~10K EHP with a bit more investment.

The major drawback of the build is a lack of armor. We can't have any armor otherwise it increases the initial mana cost we need to spend to trigger the skill. This is a tricky situation, but with a sizeable pool of EHP, a bit of Evasion, and Blind, we can keep most enemies at bay. For Hardcore, I'd suggest grabbing Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics instead of grabbing the jewel sockets.

"What are the Pros and Cons?"
+ Cheap
+ Lots of EHP
+ Great Damage

- No Armor
- 25% MS Boots =(
- Takes a while to get up and running (lvl 70+)
- Targeting isn't 100% reliable (Frostbolt may fire toward lower priority targets)

"Shut up and Show me the PoB!"
lvl 85 with my personal gear at time of posting: https://pastebin.com/x9s1s9nc

"What's your gear/gems look like?"

"Can it handle T14+, Uber Lab/Atziri/Shaper?"
I've only personally done a few T13 maps, regular Atziri, and Uber Lab with it so far, but all were a breeze, and those were done at lvl 75 before I had the Spiritual Aid cluster! I'm still working my way up financially to a Shaper attempt.

"Got any videos?"
Not yet, but soon! I didn't think to record anything while leveling as I didn't feel the build was in a proper showable state until I hit the Spiritual Aid Cluster, which I saved for last and allocated just last night. I've got a busy day ahead of me, but I expect to have some vids available within 24 hours.

"What can't it do?"
Elemental Reflect. That's it. All other mods can be handled with a bit of grace.

"What should I look out for?"
Buffs that give additional armor, either from allies or shrines. That can hamper your casting bigtime, but it won't be dangerous.

Casting too much without leech can get you in trouble. Once you break 4 casts per second, your ES regen is working double duty since CWDT has a 250ms cooldown. When you get above 8/second, it gets a bit sketchy. Life leech is more than enough to counteract it I've found, but keep an eye on your life when spamming.

Having MOM results in some spots where you'll be out of mana due to damage, but fret not, it quickly returns due to the mana gained when hit. If you're taking enough damage to tank your mana, you should start kiting and allow the Agony Crawler to supplement your DPS until you get a moment to recover. Much better than dying, and since it regens based on damage taken, you'll never be without for more than 1-2 seconds tops.

"What about...?" (F.A.Q)

"Victario's Flight? Why??"

It pushes us up to and past 26% mana gained when it, allowing us to ignore most of the mana costs.

"Why Necro? Why not Ascendant?"

Gear is pretty restrictive when it comes to resists, considering we've only really got the belt, amulet, and rings with free reign of resists. Necromancer helps that via Commander of Darkness, and the minion damage in the Ascendancy allows us to snag a big chunk of damage for only 6-7 nodes (depending on configuration).

"You say it's budget, but how much is it really?"

Realistically, these are mid-league prices, so it's probably not budget at the very start of the league, but at most it's around 1EX of gear if you're a few days in. Right now total gear cost is roughly 80c (which is way lower than 1Ex currently).

"Why not curse with Warlord's for Mana and Life leech??"

I would, but unfortunately it gives me Endurance charges, which reduces the damage taken below the threshold to trigger CWDT on each cast. That being said, if you have no armor on gear at all besides Volkuur's, get a Fragility jewel to lower your endurance charges to 2, and use a lvl 21 Ice Nova, you should get just enough damage per cast to trigger the CWDT on each cast. I'm not 100% on that though, have to test it out. In this case, the superior method would be to use Warlord's Mark, as we'd free up a support gem slot, pushing DPS up to about 1.6 Million v Shaper.

"Your flasks suck."

Yup. I keep forgetting to update them.
IGN: Bravo_Thirsty
Last edited by Darkblitz9 on Jan 28, 2019, 5:25:15 PM
Last bumped on Feb 6, 2019, 10:56:23 AM
V1.0 - 1/28/19 - Posted Initial Build
IGN: Bravo_Thirsty
Last edited by Darkblitz9 on Jan 28, 2019, 5:18:37 PM
IGN: Bravo_Thirsty
Sounds interesting :) Please post a vid when you can!
H3avyM3tal wrote:
Sounds interesting :) Please post a vid when you can!

Thanks! I have a video of a painfully slow Uber Lab run (I really suck at dealing with traps). I did melt Izaro though. I'll try to have it up by today. Unfortunately this week gut ridiculously busy and I've only had a about an hour of time to play since I posted the thread x_x
IGN: Bravo_Thirsty
Last edited by Darkblitz9 on Feb 1, 2019, 8:48:23 AM
I really like the idea on this build. Leveling it now to try it out. Have you thought about the Cinderswallow flask with the damage taken leeched as life along with the mana. Help mitigate the Scold's? Also going to try an ES on hit watcher's Eye I have from a different char see if i can drop the life leech support.
Last edited by d_pelton on Feb 3, 2019, 2:25:22 PM
ES on hit is really strong and could easily remove the need for Spirit Offering to restore ES. Only problem is that it's expensive to come by so I kind of ignored it in the build. That being said, if you have it, use it. It'll definitely boost the survivability and ease of use of the build.
IGN: Bravo_Thirsty
Just wondering why you didnt take puppet master over the two minor nodes next to Invoker? The 30% from using a minion skill + the minor node is higher dmg
d_pelton wrote:
Just wondering why you didnt take puppet master over the two minor nodes next to Invoker? The 30% from using a minion skill + the minor node is higher dmg

Sadly, triggered skills don't count as you using the skill. So in this case the buff from Puppet Master doesn't ever become active.
IGN: Bravo_Thirsty

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