[3.6] Soulrend: LowLife+Bow for max damage!

This is my personal take on the not-very-original Soulrend Trickster character. Somehow I haven't seen a detailed guide with the same setup that I am using (low life+bow) so hopefully it will be helpful or give ideas to some people.
To have an idea on the damage you will achieve with this compared to the well known MOM EB character that Tarke Cat first (i think?) developed, I have around TWO TIMES the DoT Dps he had when he demonstrated Uber ELder kill. He had 500k with 2 wands, I have 1.2Mil with my bow. Plus 9k ES and 30k evasion... not too shabby.



Introduction:
Spoiler
As we are past the initial phase of the league I won't go and tell you how good Soulrend is, pros and cons, and why you should play it. Come on, you already know it's good.
Also, the budget of this build ranges from 5ex to 12+ (depending on the weapon mainly, I'll discuss this later on) so be aware of that.


Why LowLife?
Spoiler
Poe Wiki well explains the concept so I won't go into details of what LowLife (or LL) means.
The reason why we use it is simple: 30% MORE spell damage, 1 extra Aura at our disposal. We will be less tanky than a CI build with a big ES chest, but deal much more dmg in return. Easy, right?


Bow as weapon??
Spoiler
Bow for caster is definitely not a new concept, but in 3.6 with Chaos skills, bows really can shine due to the amazing prefixes you can have and how easily you can just craft them:
- +1 to the level of socketed gems
- +36-40% of non-ailment chaos damage (craftable)
- +2 to the level of socketed support gems (craftable)

Given all these bonus to gems level, you will want to use Empower (lv3 corrupted is cheap and absolutely fine).
You could get these mods on a Staff, but you would lose the possibility of using a quiver so... use bows.

In addition to those already good mods, Synthesis league mechanics give you the possibility of having an implicit with +1 to level of socketed gems. That is huge, because it adds not 1, but 2 levels to your Soulrend gem: 1 directly, 1 through Empower. A bow like that (just with the implicit, to be rerolled entirely) is very expensive though: 7ex at this moment.
Is it worth it? How much damage does that give you? I checked with my setup and it's giving me 28.6% MORE damage. Up to you to decide if it's worth it depending on your budget.


A budget crafted bow (as discussed in next section) will grant you more sheer damage than 2x really good wands, and tbh you're so tanky already with evasion and ES recharge that you won't need a shield unless you're playing hardcore.


How to craft your caster bow:
Spoiler

As reference, this is my bow:

Pick your base bow with as low as possible dext requirements, with or without your +1 to gems level implicit.
Scour to normal, then spam alteration orbs until you hit the prefix +1 to gems level PREFERABLY without a suffix. Then regal the bow: if you hit a prefix you will block a slot for one of the mods we want to craft later on, so you will need to scour the bow and start again.
What you want to have is +1 gems as only prefix, and (ideally) only 1 suffix. The suffixes you will be able to craft are not that great, so you can still keep your random suffix (or 2) there. Else, you need to use Orb of Annullement (30c each) to remove them and, if you are unlucky and remove the prefix, start again from the white item.
Once you are at this point, the rest is deterministic as you need to multi mod the bow (2EX) to craft "+2 to support gems" (1EX) and "xx% non-ailment chaos damage multiplier" (8c).

BUDGET 6link!
If you don't care about your +1 gems implicit, you can buy a random 6link bow (non corrupted, not mirrored obviously) for less than 20c and start the crafting process from there for great savings.


Skill Tree:
Spoiler
https://pastebin.com/VnHsiGcR


Secondary skills: Essence Drain? Bane?
Spoiler
Essence Drain is definitely a good way to support your Soulrend damage on bosses. Its duration is around 8seconds so you won't need to cast it often and in my case with a 5link in chest it's doing 1/4 of my soulrend damage (20%ish extra damage when ED and Soulrend are up at the same time). It would get to 1/3 of Soulrend damage with a 6link Emp3 and lv21 gem but the investment just does not seem worth it.

Bane is really not useable with this setup because:
1) Curse on Hit Despair is a much quicker way of applying my curse
2) It's less damage than ED and I would need to cast it 3 times as often.
3) I don't even find the value in 4 skill points to get an additional curse up to use Temp Chains as well. This point may be controversial I admit, just do what you want.


My Gear:
Spoiler


Gems:
Spoiler

6link: Soulrend-Empower-Efficacy-Controlled Destruction-Void Manipulation-Swift Affliction

Replace GMP for Swift Affliction when extra damage is not needed.
However, it's important to note that removing one of the gems for GMP loses you 33% of your damage so I definitely don't like to do this for big bosses. In my case I am using the +1 projectiles enchantment on helmet (not really necessary given its cost) which helps in securing hits, otherwise if you have 1 proj you just try to aim effectively.


Auras:
Spoiler
I am using Malevolence+Discipline on mana, and Grace on life.
I would never remove the first two, but if you're looking to get even more damage you can swap Grace with Zealotry. In that case you should also adjust your skill tree to pick Zealoth's Oath to make use of the Consecrated Ground you create and, since you will be close, also pick the minion dmg nodes.

NOTE: the Zealotry setup, with Bottled Faith flask, and "+xx% enemies damage taken when affected by Zealotry" mod of Watcher's eye will give you the highest possible damage with this build.
I just like my evasion and ES so I chose to stick with Grace (Vaal Grace on bosses is also really sweet).
Last edited by cane_cane on Apr 5, 2019, 3:17:19 PM
Last bumped on Apr 17, 2019, 7:40:50 AM
I am planing to go Soulrend bow but just can't decide should i level another trickster or go the occultist route. Trickster might be a bit faster mapper i think but believe damage and es pool will be a bit higher on occultist.
"
tona91 wrote:
I am planing to go Soulrend bow but just can't decide should i level another trickster or go the occultist route. Trickster might be a bit faster mapper i think but believe damage and es pool will be a bit higher on occultist.


Occultist gives you more ES and ES recharge, which is great. But you lose so much dodge and evasion that I don't think you would be overall tankier. You are also losing 36 cast speed with 3 shrouds... that's just too much utility even if it doesn't turn into higher dps.
And how would you get more damage with occultist?
"
cane_cane wrote:
"
tona91 wrote:
I am planing to go Soulrend bow but just can't decide should i level another trickster or go the occultist route. Trickster might be a bit faster mapper i think but believe damage and es pool will be a bit higher on occultist.


Occultist gives you more ES and ES recharge, which is great. But you lose so much dodge and evasion that I don't think you would be overall tankier. You are also losing 36 cast speed with 3 shrouds... that's just too much utility even if it doesn't turn into higher dps.
And how would you get more damage with occultist?


After doing some more calculations i decided to go level another Trickster. The cast speed was a huge factor for me. Thx for the reply and the guide.
What to pick in Pantheon?
Whats ur damage with GMP?
"
xwojtek9797x wrote:
What to pick in Pantheon?


I like Solaris/Lunaris and Garukhan


"
xNujabi wrote:
Whats ur damage with GMP?


From PoB (Wither stacks up) I have 1.21Mil with Swift Affliction, 811k with GMP.
Without Wither (which stacks up really fast and with good area) you can calculate 45% less than that.
Any videos of uber elder kills ?
"
Amlie91 wrote:
Any videos of uber elder kills ?


I am running on a potato hdd so I haven’t really tried to record anything because of the lag.
I may give it a try in the next days to see if it’s not too terrible.
I'm running into an issue with the LL variant where I run out of mana to cast Soulrend fairly frequently - has anyone else had this issue, or am I simply attempting to squeeze in too many auras? Or, do I need to beef up maximum mana/regen?

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