[3.6] 2H Cyclone Synthesised Herald of Agony Champion (8k life, 6M Shaper DPS)

This build is essentially a life-based version of gjmine's Occultist build.

Being a life-based build gearing is substantially cheaper, and you can make a lot of use from Synthesis mechanics which would otherwise be behind massive piles of currency.

Offensive and defensive elements:
6 million Shaper DPS
13 hits-per-second
Intimidate, Taunt, Maim, Impale, Onslaught
2 curses
Hits can't be evaded
🛡 Fortify
🛡 Stun immune
🛡 142 life per hit (~2,000 life per second per target)
🛡 8,000 life

Pros and cons:
Cyclone gameplay is very satisfying
Near-invulnerability with a handful of targets in range
Almost* no problem with any map mods
2-gem swap needed for optimal boss performance
Melee, with all the downfalls that encompasses
*Hexproof maps are annoying

Videos:
Uber Elder 2:43 (30 fps)

PoB:
Lots more optimisations possible here, this link is my current setup. It's not factored into the PoB numbers, so below is a brief estimate of Dread Banner damage:
Spoiler
HoA has roughly 28% impale chance. When he impales you will proc the 5 stacks almost instantly with cyclone so we can assume all the damage is procced. This means he has a 28% chance to deal +70% pre-mitigation physical damage as extra damage.

Damage is roughly 50/50 physical/cold with my current setup, so the Dread Banner provides roughly 10% DPS on top of the PoB value.

Ascendency:
Champion offers a great deal of utility in an easy-to-build package, but the stun-immunity is largely wasted when using Cyclone, so other options are certainly available. If using a different class, you may well need to craft cannot be evaded on your weapon, or take Resolute Technique.

Conqueror ⇨ Worthy Foe ⇨ Unstoppable Hero ⇨ Inspirational

Pantheon:
No particularly special synergies present here. Gruthkul and Ralakesh are good choices for minor, Lunaris or Solaris for major.

Bandits:
Since we have no reliance on critical strikes, and no need for extra physical mitigation or regeneration, kill all.

Gem-links:
Very little flexibility in gem links:
Spoiler

Weapon: (linked with +1 gem implicit, +1 gem prefix, +2 support gem prefix)
Herald of Agony (priority for 21/20)
Vicious Projectiles
Damage on Full Life
Empower (priority for 4/0)
Vile Toxins (Faster Attacks for mapping)
Minion Damage (Minion Speed for mapping)

Body: (linked with 1/0 Maim Support)
Cyclone
Poison
Curse on Hit
Poacher's Mark
Projectile Weakness
Life Gain on Hit

Other links:
Leap Slam
Fortify
Faster Attacks

Cast When Damage Taken
Immortal Call
Desecrate
Spirit Offering

Generosity
Hatred
Dread Banner
Enlighten

Haste

Gear, Implicits and Enchants:
Since we're running Herald of Agony, the main stats we care about are maximum life and resists with most damage increases coming from specific base choices, and synthesised items detailed below
Spoiler

Weapon:
Life-on-hit can be synthesised very cheaply from 3 life-on-hit bases for a very powerful implicit. +1 socketed gems is a strong implicit that I was able to build for about 1ex. The ideal base would be a fast 2H sword but pickings can be slim on fractured items.

Helm:
Standard HoA enchantment, quite cheap to get on an armour base in an energy-shield meta. Reduced mana reservation is needed to work towards fitting Aspect of the Spider into the build.

Body:
Endurance charge implicit is nice to run a higher level CWDT link. Maim support suffix is a nice DPS increase too.

Gloves:
Massive DPS increase, a good corruption would be a curse or attack speed. I can't see any useful enchantment here.

Boots:
Onslaught implicit is expensive but not on the level of ES-boots. Provides much wanted attack speed for sustain and Virulence. Life/Mana recovered when hit, and attack/cast speed on kill both great enchantments.

Amulet:
Life-gain and maximum life implicits are cheap to get. You need a small amount of fire or lightning damage to proc Elemental Equilibrium - this is where mine is currently, but an abyss jewel or ring would be just as convenient.

Rings:
Intimidate implicit is relatively cheap, the main expense being orbs of annulment to create single-mod rares to synthesise.
New ring with 3.6, total no-brainer for a Herald of Agony build. Good corrupted implicits would be lovely here.

Jewels:
Some combination of these ghastly eyes and jewels work great together.

Other gear:
1. Improving the intimidate ring
2. -15 mana cost chest
3. Aspect of the Spider

Levelling:
Best bet is to stick to your preferred melee skills until level 40 or so where you can make the switch to Cyclone and Herald of Agony. Levelling can be quite tedious if you don't make some investment in DPS nodes early on. Fortunately the Duelist starting position is swimming in damage you can pick up and respec later.

Thanks for checking it out. Will flesh this out if you have any questions.
Last edited by Crêpo on May 15, 2019, 9:31:54 AM
Last bumped on May 17, 2019, 3:07:59 PM
Looks pretty darn sweet, nice to see HoA used without relying on the bow for rapid poison application. Stronk and fresh :D
nice build buddy. im theorycrafting an agony crawler build, too atm (necromancer with ball lightning). refreshing to see something non-meta for agony :)
"
Staggerlock wrote:
Looks pretty darn sweet, nice to see HoA used without relying on the bow for rapid poison application. Stronk and fresh :D
Thanks, that's the objective exactly!

"
nice build buddy. im theorycrafting an agony crawler build, too atm (necromancer with ball lightning). refreshing to see something non-meta for agony :)
Problem with Necromancer is that Occultist is insanely overpowered it's hard not to choose :D I don't hate Necromancer as a choice but there's not many helpful mechanics in that ascendency eg. stun immunity, "more" damage increases.

HoA is so good though, so long as you build something that's fun you'll wreck all content.
Last edited by Crêpo on May 15, 2019, 9:31:36 AM
Thx for that nice 2H Cyclone HOA Build. Looks awesome and you did a great work with the guide and your gear, but...........

seems like this will only be playable in standard in 3 weeks, because there will be no more chance to make all these ridicilous synthesis items. I hope GGG will find a way to a least let the ring in the game, but as it looks now, this build will not rly be playable like it is now comes june and the new season.

Any ideas how "we" could make something like this work without any of your synthesis items ?

Greetings,
Nagash
"
Nágash wrote:
Any ideas how "we" could make something like this work without any of your synthesis items ?
The only really great Synthesised implicit here is the +50 life on hit on the 2H weapon - Everything else is just even more DPS which isn't really needed.

Still, without the extra life on hit from the amulet and weapon, you're down to <100/hit which sucks. This is why these builds usually use block and life-on-hit claws.

Without using a 2H weapon, I don't think you can make a HoA build which is competitive with an Elder bow (7-link HoA with Vicious Projectiles and +2 support gems). Simply having HoA in chest with Maim link is not a bad alternative either.

Perhaps 3.7 will come with a fast-hitting life-on-hit melee skill that works well with HoA.
"
Crêpo wrote:
"
Nágash wrote:
Any ideas how "we" could make something like this work without any of your synthesis items ?
The only really great Synthesised implicit here is the +50 life on hit on the 2H weapon - Everything else is just even more DPS which isn't really needed.

Still, without the extra life on hit from the amulet and weapon, you're down to <100/hit which sucks. This is why these builds usually use block and life-on-hit claws.

Without using a 2H weapon, I don't think you can make a HoA build which is competitive with an Elder bow (7-link HoA with Vicious Projectiles and +2 support gems). Simply having HoA in chest with Maim link is not a bad alternative either.

Perhaps 3.7 will come with a fast-hitting life-on-hit melee skill that works well with HoA.


Thanks for you answer, I didnt realize how important that LOH is, because I never played your build, off course. But I still see another big problem in the mana reservation without your "synthesis" ring. And last but not least, like you said, we dont know exactly whats coming in 3.7 and how the "channeled cyclone" will rec our mana.

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