[3.6] Pure Incinerate Trickster - 25M Shaper DPS - Videos Up - Uber Elder Down (Deathless)
3.6 Recap & State of the Build Going Forward
While Synthesis personally left a lot to be desired, creating this Incinerate build and subsequently a build guide by popular demand was certainly the highlight of the league for me. It's an area of PoE that I had yet to explore, and I've learned a lot about pushing a character beyond initial expectations as well as how to reliably and effectively communicate those discoveries to a curious audience.
The build itself accomplished everything I wanted it to and more. We completed a Deathless Uber Elder run on the first try, we instakilled damn near every boss the game could throw at us, we completed 36/40 challenges this league and have the Synthesis Wings to show for it. We even completed an Uber Atziri run that this build really has no business attempting. In all facets of measurement, this is one of the best builds I've ever played.
The build guide was more popular than I expected it to be as well. Many curious players found their way into the thread, perhaps wowed by that initial sticker DPS, only to find that what they were reading was real, and it was certifiably achievable. Many experienced players also found their way into the thread, offering advice to other players as well as suggestions to the original guide itself. Many of these suggestions stuck and changed the build for the better.
I want to thank each and every one of you who who posted a comment, a question, a suggestion, sent me a private message here on the website, or whispered me in-game. It really made the league for me.
As far as what to expect for this build guide in 3.7 and beyond, I must solemnly say that it will likely not receive significant updates with each patch and/or league. Instead it will remain mostly as is, serving as sort of a guideline for those in the future who happen to stumble upon it in some form or another. While I may comment from time to time, I think that my work here has been seen through to the end, and I am truly satisfied. It's been fun guys. 'Til next time.
Yes, you read that correctly. This build is the highest DPS I've ever been able to produce, and although the PoB has a little bit of "DPS warrior" going on, there's nothing configured that we don't realistically have (Shock isn't ticked, for example.) Every once-in-a-while it's fun to see just how high you can push the number.
We achieve such ludicrous amounts of DPS by using all the best sources of damage scaling, including a multi-modded Shaper staff, focus mods, crit multi, strong gearing choices, and of course, overpowered flasks.
The PoB for those who don't need a written guide: https://pastebin.com/bnxnKLG0
Incinerate builds up stages as you channel it, dealing more damage per cast based on the stage you're on. Once the channel is released, Incinerate sends out one final wave in the direction of your cursor dealing massive damage.
With this information in mind, cast speed tends to be the most useful stat in this sort of build, where the quicker we can ramp up, the faster we can reach our maximum DPS. As far as quality of life is concerned, cast speed also makes the skill feel far less clunky to play.
+ Absolutely massive DPS
+ Easy charge generation
+ Satisfying clear
+ No mana sustain to worry about
+ Both budget and tankier versions are easy to transition into
+ Flexible gearing
- Channeling skills are an acquired taste, not all will enjoy the playstyle
- Can feel squishy against certain map mods
- Relatively expensive to gear if you want the same DPS as me
- Can feel sluggish without investment into cast speed
Life vs ES vs Hybrid
The new Ghost Dance and Escape Artist ascendancy nodes make it easier to justify going hybrid this time around, specifically hybrid with Eldritch Battery and Mind Over Matter. With ES spell leech readily available in the tree, we can comfortably sustain ourselves with a combination of life leech, es leech, and life/es on kill thanks to Patient Reaper.
Pure life and pure ES versions of the build either lack enough effective HP to feel good, or are too difficult to gear. Quality of life issues like mana sustain are also a factor as to why we choose hybrid above all else.
PoePlanner link for those who don't have access to Path of Building. I strongly recommend you find a way to get it on your device though.
We stay entirely on the top half of the tree, pathing as efficiently as possible to all the juiciest damage nodes while maintaining a comfortable amount of life. There are potentially a few variations, but this is what I've landed on to be the best version.
Scion Life Wheel - Would be nice, as always, but ultimately I think it's a tad too far to justify.
Melding - Usually a no brainer in a hybrid build, but you have to consider that we're required to travel to Eldritch Battery no matter what, so it just makes more sense to me to use that top line of pathing instead.
Lucidity/Nimbleness/Blast Radius/Amplify/Any other damage cluster - Can't take them all, unfortunately. We have to be sort of picky when it comes to which damage clusters we take, so if something is a point or 2 more efficient than something else, that's probably the reason it was or wasn't selected for the final version.
I'm currently level 94. At this point I would consider the tree finished, but in the event that you surpass this level, I'd recommend picking up any remaining life nodes you may have missed.
1: Swift Killer - Power and Frenzy Charge generation, lots of damage. Great for leveling early on.
2: Ghost Dance - Nothing too exciting, but all the stats are good for us.
3: Escape Artist - Let's us be hybrid. Also gives soft stun immunity. The cast speed per Ghost Shroud is also very good.
4: *Patient Reaper - Not really needed until we get to maps where the sustain on kill is more noticeable.
*If you have a Cinderswallow flask you could skip Patient Reaper and take Harness the Void instead for even more DPS, but the on-kill sustain and the increased recovery rate of life and es is extremely noticeable. When you're at ~25 million DPS, does a few more million really matter?
The most important piece of the build. For this particular staff I annuled down to just the Power Charge on Crit mod and multi-modded to finish. The only way this staff gets better is if you can hit both the PCOC affix along with the Aetheric prefix "Socketed Spells deal 20% More Damage," which would replace the Fire As Extra Chaos craft we have on the current staff. Unnecessary but if you have the patience to spam fossils then I'd say go for it. Also grab a Vorici Research bench and try to throw a white socket onto it. I'll explain why in a later section.
Bought the base with the helm enchant for dirt cheap and threw a single Scorched fossil into it - this was the result. Nothing crazy, it's not even that good of a helmet, but you're looking for the - fire res and some life. Anything else like resistances is a bonus, and certainly does help filling out your other pieces of gear. You could use Scorched + Pristine if you want to invest a bit more into each craft, but don't break the bank trying to craft something insane. This is all you really need.
We go with Carcass Jack because we want maximum quality of life with the big increase in AoE it gives. The base also synergizes quite well with Escape Artist, giving us additional ES based on the evasion of the body armor. This slot is pretty flexible though, so you can use really anything you'd like. Belly of the Beast, Restless Ward, a rare chest with a ton of life and ES and evasion, etc.
We have a pretty basic pair of gloves here. All you need is a good amount of life, some cast speed, and an open suffix so you can craft the "Attack and Cast Speed while Focused" mod. Note that what I have is not the highest tier of this affix, so it will need to be replaced at some point once I unveil it.
I've gone with some Temple dodge boots. Good amount of resistances, decent life. I haven't enchanted them yet, but the best ones to look for would be the Attack and Cast Speed if killed recently, or the Penetration if you haven't killed recently. Whatever you can get is fine.
The amulet is how we get our life leech. Look for any decent amulet with crit multi and the "% of Fire Damage Leeched as Life" affix. Resistances are a bonus, and as you can see, turning it into a Talisman has the potential to very, very good. The crit multi implicit, even though a low roll, adds roughly 900k to our endgame DPS. Crazy.
We use Mark of the Shaper in the build because it offers so much damage and a good amount of life. To compliment it and unlock the spell damage, we use a basic Elder ring that serves primarily to patch up the rest of our missing resistances. Try to get some dex here as well - we need a little less than 100 total to be able to equip our Carcass Jack.
Finally, a well rolled stygian vise with high life, good resistances, and a bit of damage is what you're looking for in the belt slot. An abyssal jewel with the appropriate mods will be better than any normal belt implicit as well.
I'm not sure how to link jewels in the forum without taking them out of my passive tree and clicking on them while they're in my inventory, but none-the-less, we have 5 jewel sockets in the build. These should have a mix of crit multi, cast speed, spell damage, and life. These can also be used to fine-tune your resistances, and you may also need a bit of dex on at least one jewel if you didn't grab enough elsewhere on your gear. Please reference the Path of Building link to see exactly what jewels I have and try to emulate those to the best of your ability.
*Extremely Important* If you are not running Anger as one of your reservations, you must get at least one roll of flat fire damage to spells on one of your abyss jewels. This allows Storm Brand to ignite when it crits, thus enabling Combustion, which is a huge damage boost for us.
Also take special note of the Watcher's Eye I have selected for the build. It can be pricey, but look for one that gives us the ability to gain Arcane Surge while affected by Zealotry. Arcane Surge is a big DPS boost for us, but we cannot generate it without this jewel because we're Eldritch Battery.
Flasks are very flexible for us, it all really depends on how hard you want to flex your DPS. Wise Oak is a good DPS boost as long as your fire resistance is higher than the other 2. Atziri's Promise is mostly just damage, but the Chaos Resistance is very noticeable. Bottled Faith is a massive damage buff, not to mention it's an on demand Arcane Surge because of our Watcher's Eye. Consecrated Ground cominbed with our recovery rate boost is also great sustain. A diamond flask is a big damage increase and allows us to get freeze/chill immunity. You're also going to need bleed and curse immunity on 2 other flasks, preferably a life flask and a quicksilver. Cinderswallow can be swapped out for the quicksilver, and the life flask can be swapped out for a Bottled Faith if you can afford it and want the most DPS possible. Mashing all these flasks at once give us about half our damage total, which is just insane.
Balance out the immunities you need with what you can realistically afford, and go from there. Tailor the affixes to what activity you're doing as well. You don't need curse immunity during the Uber Elder fight, for example.
Gems & Auras
The only 6 link you need is the staff.
Incinerate - Empower - Infused Channeling - Controlled Destruction - Elemental Focus - Concentrated Effect
Storm Brand - Combustion - Curse on Hit - Flammability
Vaal RF - Increased Duration - Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call
Lightning Warp - Faster Casting - Less Duration - Swift Affliction (For mapping.)
Flame Dash - Faster Casting (For bossing.)
*Anger/Herald of Ash
*Something I've failed to consider is if Anger is worth running or not in our current setup. After a bit of testing, I've come to the conclusion that, with a level 26 Incinerate like we have, Herald of Ash is actually more damage than Anger. With 25% of our mana now open, we could run an Aspect of the Spider for even more damage. A bit more expensive, but more efficient nonetheless.
This does not hold true if you're only working with a level 20 Incinerate. Anger is more damage than Herald of Ash comparatively, but if you combine Herald of Ash and Aspect of the Spider, even with a level 20 Incinerate you're looking at more damage. If you're on a budget then this information doesn't pertain to you - I would recommend to continue using Zealotry and Anger.
These are the recommended gem setups. This leaves you with quite a few open sockets - feel free to experiment with additional gem setups that you think might benefit you, or use them to level excess gems.
Mapping with CWC/VD
I just recently started testing a different mapping setup to make it more enjoyable, and I've discovered Cast While Channeling - Volatile Dead. Now, normally our staff would need 5b/1r socket, so this is where the Vorici Bench comes into play. If you can grab at least 1 white socket on your staff, you'll be able to swap in Volatile Dead for mapping. The mapping setup looks something like this:
Incinerate - Empower - Cast While Channeling - Controlled Destruction - Increased Area of Effect - Volatile Dead
Volatile Dead goes into the white socket of course.
With this adaptation you can expect your clear speed to double. Volatile Dead helps immensely by finishing off stragglers that you would otherwise miss. It also gets rid of corpses, and helps you have better screen wide clear without having to walk up to each individual pack and clear it all one at a time.
I absolutely cannot recommend this mapping setup enough. It's a game changer.
For strict bossing I would stick to the pure Incinerate setup. Unearth totems can be used to help generate corpses during boss fights if you would like to keep using the Cast While Channeling playstyle, but it's annoying keeping the totems alive for the most part.
Building on a Budget
I've gotten a few questions asking how people can more comfortably start with less gear and work their way towards what I have, so I've created a separate Path of Building link to show just how little investment it takes to get great damage with this skill.
Here's a link to that: https://pastebin.com/9WYdFq23
As you can see, there's virtually zero damage on any of our gear except an extremely basic wand that you could find for less than a chaos. The most expensive piece would probably be the Tabula, which at this point in the league should be affordable for most players. The skill and the passive tree really carry us in terms of damage in these early stages. As an overview, look for basic rares that give you life and fill out your resistances until you're capped at 75% across the board.
Going to try my best to address a brief list of frequently asked questions.
What map mods should I be worried about with this build?
Bad mods you can easily run:
+ No Regen
+ No Leech
Bad mods you can run but want to be careful with:
- Dodge chance is unlucky/monsters have improved accuracy
- Increased monster attack/cast/movement speed (getting hit more often depletes our ghost shrouds more quickly, and thus removes our stun immunity.)
Bad mods you absolutely cannot run:
- Elemental reflect
What pantheons should I be using?
Soul of the Brine King for the fallback stun immunity. There are moments in which we get hit many times by smaller hits in rapid succession and all of our ghost shrouds fall off. Brine King gives us another layer of security. Minor pantheons are completely interchangeable, and should be swapped to match your needs in any given situation.
Can I use X instead of Y?
The short answer is yes, the build is very flexible in that regard. If you don't want to use staves, use wands or sceptres instead. Use my gearing choices and skill tree as more of a template. Copying my items 1 for 1 is never a good idea, but they should give you a rough estimate of what to look for.
How come I do less damage than you?
I've invested a lot of time and currency into this character. If you don't have similar gear then I wouldn't expect to do similar damage. To your benefit, however, even if you invest quite a bit less, or are on a more strict budget, even if you're doing HALF the damage in the advertised PoB, you're still doing millions more damage than most other builds, and can still easily complete all content in the game.
Which bandits do I kill?
Kill all. I value the 2 skill points slightly higher than Alira in this case because we don't make use of the mana regen at all.
Thanks for reading through everything. I'm really proud of how this build turned out.
If you have any suggestions in reference to the build or the build guide itself, feel free to comment. If you have any questions regarding anything you've read here today, I'll be answering everything in the comments below. Try to be specific with what you're asking, it really helps when formulating an answer.
Last edited by xRustySpoon on May 30, 2019, 9:28:56 AM
Last bumped on Jun 6, 2019, 7:11:30 PM
on Mar 21, 2019, 3:20:00 PM
on Mar 21, 2019, 3:20:10 PM
Does anyone actually look at builds that dont have videos?
on Mar 21, 2019, 7:39:54 PM
Thanks for posting this guide. I wasn't really feeling my league starter and wanted to do some sort of non-divine ire trickster with the new channeling stuff.
I'll keep you posted with how it goes!
on Mar 21, 2019, 9:55:31 PM
Good to hear. Let me know what your experience is like.
on Mar 21, 2019, 10:54:48 PM
Just like to say whoa...
That staff, really does make the damage go throw the roof. I tried to make a build like this but I'm casual and well first time ever playing a caster.. Always been armor/life/melee, I can make mean cyclone lol.
Chance I will ask for some advice soon on my build, and for the whole no video I don't think it really matters, there are other builds with same defence and there doing fine so one would think your build would be in the same boat, just your build wrecks in damage.
on Mar 21, 2019, 11:06:26 PM
I'll try to get some videos out as soon as I can get footage of higher tier stuff. Everything I have access to now dies instantly, but I've been lazy when it comes to buying the red maps I'm missing on my atlas. Unfortunately my internet is extremely bad so uploading even a short video would take a bit of time. Nonetheless I'll be working on it.
on Mar 21, 2019, 11:32:13 PM
Got a video coming soon, uploading as we speak.
on Mar 22, 2019, 2:43:57 PM
First video up, check out the Phoenix deletion.
Guide updated with a video section. More videos on the way.
Last edited by xRustySpoon on Mar 22, 2019, 3:40:55 PM
on Mar 22, 2019, 3:40:39 PM
Here's a quick Shaper video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO058oxiHe8
Will have a Hydra video up in about half an hour. Spoiler, it looks a lot like the Phoenix vid.
on Mar 23, 2019, 6:45:37 AM