[3.7] The Hitman, Elemental Hit Slayer (League Starter to Endgame / All content viable)

Hello and welcome to "The Hitman" an Elemental Hit slayer build focused on being both a cheap league starter well suited for Legion mechanics. While also having the ability to scale into a high damage endgame boss killer.

So far Slayer and Elemental Hit has felt smooth as butter bosses melt in mere seconds and packs make satisfying pops as they explode. The defenses feel solid and reliable and the build itself is versatile.

Struggling?
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Before you ask for help with your characters, please consult the Starter, and Endgame PoBs for the guide. So far most of the characters I've seen from people needing help are not following my suggested tree closely enough and dropping too much defenses or life for more damage. Your damage will be excellent, focus on getting tanky so you don't die.


0.1.0 Table of Contents
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0.1.0 Table of Contents
0.2.0 Pros and Cons
0.3.0 Path of Building
0.3.1 Ascendancy Choices
0.3.2 Budget Info
0.4.0 Bandits and Pantheon
0.5.0 Leveling/Tree
0.5.1 Early levels
0.5.2 Mid levels
0.5.3 Early endgame/Mapping
0.6.0 Mechanical Explanations
0.7.0 Gems and Links
0.8.0 In-Depth Gearing
0.8.1 Weapon
0.8.2 Quiver
0.8.3 Helmet
0.8.4 Gloves
0.8.5 Boots
0.8.6 Belt
0.8.7 Ring
0.8.8 Amulet
0.8.9 Body Armor
0.8.10 Flasks
0.8.11 Jewels
0.9.0 Boss Kills
0.10.0 FAQ


0.2.0 Pros and Cons
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Pros:
- Very high damage for very low investment.
- Strong clear with good movement speed.
- Scales to over 4 million single target DPS.
- Easy to play.

Cons:
- No Ele reflect immunity.
- Doesn't use too many new shiny toys.
- Damage ultimately caps out based on gem levels.
- Requires manual dodging.



0.3.0 Path of Building
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My current setup/gear https://pastebin.com/httaQhCn

My current tree is a heavily min-maxed character. The reason I am putting this above the endgame tree is because I believe it has a lot of expensive gear that isn't "necessary" to do endgame. But I greatly enjoy min-maxing builds and wanted to share what it looks like. The character is heavily focused towards delving hence the Vaal Pact/Overleech, and additional defensive layers beyond what one might need for mapping.

NOTE: Lethal Pride / Lioneye's Fall interaction no longer works, so I dropped that setup, and now run one in the duelist area.

Typical endgame setup: https://pastebin.com/kvXq7mvB

Then second I have the endgame tree, this is what I would suggest in terms of levels/gearing for doing things such as Delving, Uber Elder and the Domain of Timeless Conflict, you can get away with less depending on your own skill/experience. I'm using a +gems bow setup here, you can use either a single one with Frostferno, gem swap out your GMP for single target, or use two bows. There's a lot more min maxing that can be done via adding corruptions to gear, and digging into fossil crafting.

Starting Setup https://pastebin.com/W6CDmW6k

Finally I have the starting setup which is the sort of tree you would use for leveling, or during early mapping/playing on a budget. Frostferno, and Chin Sol are both great options and extremely inexpensive and this build should feel smooth and effective straight from the get go.


0.3.1 Ascendancy Choices
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Core Ascendancy Points:
Overwhelm and Headsman are both mandatory for this setup, they give a huge amount of damage and reliable critical strike protection. For your 3rd and 4th points there's a bit of a toss up my personal preference is Bane of Legends / Endless Hunger for mapping or Endless Hunger / Brutal Fervor for Delving.

For going fast:
Bane of Legends gives you 20% Cull which is amazing for dealing damage to bosses especially in the 5-way Timeless battles. While mapping it essentially gives you 20% attack and move speed, which stacks with onslaught. This is extremely potent and makes your map clear feel almost Deadeye levels of fast.

For going deep:
If you do take Brutal Fervor causes your leech to not expire at full life, it will still expire after a short amount of time as of 3.6. Brutal Fervor is a bit less damage / clear speed than Bane of Legends but is excellent for times when you take consistent damage out of combat such as when Delving. You can optionally invest in Vitality Void and Gladiator's perseverance and take Vaal Pact, but if you are please check the below for my thoughts:

If you're a veteran:
I am still feeling Vaal Pact is overall not a good idea. Its main weakness is that it leaves you extremely vulnerable / low on recovery when doing phases bosses such as Crystal King or Catarina where your leech will fall off while the boss is invulnerable, as a result this makes Vaal Pact feel like a bit of a death trap unless you are comfortable with the game's damage patterns. It works really well...until it doesn't and so you rely on it, and then it gets you killed.

If you are an experienced player and know what you're getting into go for it, but if you're newer I'd suggest using a mix of leech and life regeneration.

So why are we a Slayer?
To be blunt, because Overwhelm, Headsman. 8% base crit on a Thicket bow and an additional suffix craft, 10-100% crit multi, 20% more damage against uniques and a 20% cull or the ability to run off into the darkness while delving is formidable to say the least. Is it the most defensive option?

No, you'll get more raw defenses from Scion Jugg, or just Jugg. But with Acro/Phase Acro/Vaal Grace, 7k life and decent recovery the build should feel smooth to play and kill things quickly and with a bit more investment you can still have solid mitigation/hp beyond that.


0.3.2 Budget Options
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Use Belly of the Beast, or a rare chest with 140+ maximum life / 10% increased maximum life in place of the Kaom's heart.

Keep Avatar of Fire and use Yoke of Suffering to shock enemies to make up for the damage loss from not having Xoph's.
WARNING: PoB incorrectly calculates shock, it will not always be a 50% increased damage taken modifier I would instead treat it like covered in ash and estimate 20%.

More budget options coming soon.


0.4.0 Bandits and Pantheon
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For Bandits we take Alira, if you wish to take "Kill All" for the +2 skill points you are welcome to. However the mana regen and allres from Alira is excellent, and 2 skill points are only worthwhile if they allow you to reach another notable so mileage will vary based on level.

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For Pantheons the standard suggestion would be to take Lunaris for your major, alternatively taking Brine King for stun mitigation only if you do not have Endless Hunger.

Avoid Arakaali with the changes to Immortal Call there is no longer a reliable way to proc this.

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For your minor Yugul, and Gruthkul are both great options depending on if you are more concerned about physical or elemental damage. If you are delving you might also want to consider upgraded Shakari for poison immunity / reduced chaos damage over time taken.


0.5.0 Leveling/Tree

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PoB for reference:
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https://pastebin.com/W6CDmW6k


0.5.1 Early levels
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I think there are 3 ways you can level this build, all three are approximately equal in terms of speed/difficulty. Picking up Dash early is very helpful.

1) You can choose to level as Ele Hit, do not get Avatar of Fire until you have Pyre and your two Combat Focus jewels. Once you have this rush avatar and watch your damage soar. Prioritize getting a 4-link with Green-Green-Green-Red to run Ele Hit / Mirage Archer / LMP or Volley / Elemental Damage with Attack Skills.

2) Level as melee, pick a skill stick with it and respec once you hit maps. I suggest using any sort of skill that can be used with swords and has flat added damage as the gem levels.

3) Level as Toxic Rain, prioritize generic damage / attack speed ---> health, once you get to maps you can respec to Ele Hit.



0.5.2 Mid levels
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Prioritize keeping your resists capped after Kitava and picking up more health, if you are leveling as Ele hit and have obtained "Combat Focus" this is where you will want to start pathing over towards Avatar of Fire. Keep in mind you do not want to path towards Avatar of Fire without the jewels because it's quite out of your way and a bit inefficient.

I cannot stress this enough but as you enter act 6, check your resists! you should end up with more than enough damage to clear the story, so focus on capping resists after Kitava and wearing gear with life on it.


0.5.3 Early endgame/Mapping
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Finally as you start moving towards maps, again check for resist caps round out utility links such as CWDTs, auras, etc and try to get your accuracy to 95%+ using Precision or accuracy on gear. Assuming you have Avatar of Fire and Pyre / +2 Bow or Frostferno you should be good to go.

Again, I cannot stress this enough: Check your resistances, cap them! aside of that again get health, and everything else should be smooth sailing.


0.6.0 Mechanical Explanations
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0.6.1 Chin Sol and Point Blank
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Point Blank is a support gem, and also a Keystone passive. The functionality causes you to deal 50% more damage with bow attacks at close range (10 units or less). The unique bow Chin Sol also gives 50% more damage this stacks multiplicatively with your Point Blank meaning you deal 100% * 1.5 * 1.5 or 225% of base damage, as a result this means you want to stand closer to dangerous enemies playing similarly to a melee char. This also makes Chin Sol an excellent starter weapon.


0.6.2 Conversion mechanics, Pyre / Xoph's / Frostferno
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With
elemental Hit will add 50% of the base Cold/Lightning and 100% of the base fire damage to ALL of your attacks.



Frostferno and Call of the Brotherhood when combined with Avatar of Fire converts 90% of your Lightning and 100% of your Cold damage to fire. This means that you are essentially dealing 195% of base damage which each attack. This is a lot of what makes Elemental Hit so powerful. I don't believe Frostferno is the be all end all for Ele hit, you lose a lot of life using it and a +3 bow with Empower can outscale it. But as a starter option this combo is cheap and strong.

If you have a higher budget and want to min-max the Frostferno setup (not advised if delving) you can choose to use "The Taming" in place of Call of the Brotherhood. Taming will give you more overall damage but runs a few exalts. To continue upgrading damage down this path treat your bow as a stat stick and try to fossil craft shaper bows to get Elemental Damage / Penetration / Double Damage. I do not suggest using a setup like this on-league unless you have multiple mirrors worth of currency to invest.

If you are not using Frostferno, and have more currency to buy gear I suggest:


Pyre will convert 40% of cold to fire, this is on top of the 50% converted by Avatar of Fire. Xoph's Blood allows you to drop the travel points required to reach Avatar of Fire and lets you inflict Ash causing enemies to take 20% increased fire damage when they hit you.

With a Pyre and Avatar of Fire you deal 100% of base fire, 25% of base lightning, and 45% of base cold for a total of 170% of base damage. This is very close to the previous setup but allows the use of a rare helmet and bow.


0.6.3 Lioneye's Fall
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Lioneye's Fall can be placed below "Soul Raker" and "Claws of the Hawk" or in a couple other places on the tree to convert all "Melee" tagged modifiers over to "Bow" this allows for some interesting utilization of the passive tree.

WARNING: If a Timeless Jewel overlaps the Lioneye's Fall you will NOT convert the passives to bow damage as of 3.7.2 :(.



0.6.4 Timeless Jewels
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I am currently getting my intimidate on hit via this jewel, it essentially gives Fury Bolts a chance to inflict Intimidate on hit. There are many other powerful effects, in short:

Karui and Maraketh are additive, they add lines of text to existing nodes.
Vaal totally (randomly) replaces all nodes in radius.
Timeless wipes out small nodes, and replaces Notables.
Templar transforms small nodes, turning travel points into "devotion" and allows some notables to give new bonuses with 150 devotion allocated.

I suggest finding a good Karui jewel personally, but all of them have potential if you get the right one.


0.7.0 Gems and Links
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For Elemental hit itself:
Elemental Hit - Mirage Archer - Elemental Damage With Attack Skills - Combustion Support

This is the core setup, and the 4-link I'd use if you're running a Frostferno for single target.

Beyond that there are several options to pick from:
If you are clearing with Elemental Hit use Greater Multiple Projectiles to fire 5 arrows instead of just 1.

On clear your 6th link should be Empower if you have a +2 to level of Socketed Supports bow, Damage on Full Life if you're using Brutal Fervor Pierce Support or Chain Support to add coverage. Play around with things and pick your favorite. Keep in mind a projectile will not chain until it has fully pierced.

For single target I suggest using Empower or Damage on Full Life as your 5th link. You may also opt to use both of these with a 6-link. Alternatively you can consider Slower Projectiles if you need a green gem to swap with a gem from your clearing setup, Increased Critical Strikes if you need a blue or Fire Penetration if you need a red.

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Movement Skills:
Dash, great as-is.
Frostblink, also good as-is.
You can also use Blink Arrow, I suggest 20% quality and linking it to either Faster Attacks or Faster Projectiles. This is a good "gap closer" for longer distances.

Portal Gem.
Saves portal scrolls

Auras:
Precision, an amazing new aura which will accuracy cap you almost by itself and add a lot of crit.
Arctic Armor, provides much needed physical damage mitigation as we do not stack armor.
Aspect of the Spider, not necessarily a jewel but this 25% reservation aura causes enemies to take 15% increased damage and be hindered slowing attack and movement speed.
War Banner, passively provides accuracy, and on use gives Adrenaline, a powerful damage steroid.
Vaal Grace, an on-use defensive Vaal aura which caps dodge and spell dodge for its duration.
You can also use Anger or Hatred if you care about damage and have a corresponding Watcher's Eye.

Utility and additional skills:
Cast When Damage Taken - Wave of Conviction - Cold Snap

This allows you to apply Exposure reducing enemy fire resistance by 25%, and chill enemies. Elemental Hit causes you to deal 10% more damage per ailment on an enemy. You can additionally add the following skills to your Cast When Damage Taken.
Blood Rage (High level CWDT or Self-cast) adds Attack Speed and Frenzy Charges while clearing.
Immortal Call (CWDT or Self-cast)
Steelskin (High level CWDT or Self-cast), 1.7-2.1k effective added HP.

Alternatively:
you can use Storm Brand / Orb of Storms - Power Charge on Critical Strike - Onslaught This will give reliable, power charges, and single target Onslaught.

or Curse on Hit - Assassin's Mark / Flammibility / Projectile Weakness.


0.8.0 In-Depth Gearing
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0.8.1 Weapon
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Your first strong weapon should look something like:


This can be created using "The Porcupine" divination card set and rolled with a Shrieking Essence of Rage. You don't need to be too picky early on, but later you will want to reroll a few times to get something such as +2 with attack speed or crit multi, and an open prefix and an open suffix.

If you want something better than just a starter, more like the above weapon you would roll essences / use annulment orbs until you hit the +2 bow or +2 fire as your ONLY prefix, with 1 open suffix. Craft "Cannot Roll Attack Mods" and then slam it with an exalt/beastcraft +Prefix -Suffix. Then craft "Prefixes Cannot be Changed" and scour, and multimod from there.



If you want something more powerful you can try rolling Socketed Attacks deal 20% More damage with Serrated Fossils, or 20% Chance for Attacks to deal Double Damage on a shaper bow. There are several nice options you can get such as 120% increased elemental damage, or 20% elemental or fire pen as fossil prefixes, or Power Charge on Crit / Crit Multi as a suffix, shop around a bit or try your hand at crafting.

Keep in mind it is often difficult and expensive to slam +1 to level of socketed gems on a shaper base as you can also hit Supported by Cast on Critical Strike, chance to gain Frenzy Charge on kill or % of Physical damage as Extra Cold damage.


0.8.2 Quiver
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if a great starting quiver and will work for quite a long time.



If you're looking at rares look for Elemental Damage with Attack Skills, Attack Speed, Life, and Critical Strike Multiplier, ideally with an open suffix to craft Critical strike Chance / Chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Critical Strike.


0.8.3 Helmet
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Try to get 15% Increased Elemental Hit Attack Speed or Blood Rage Grants 12% Increased Attack Speed for your lab enchant.



I rolled this helmet with Pristine + Scorched Fossils for the Nearby Enemies have 9% Reduced Fire Resistance. I also plan to recraft it later with either 10% of Physical Damage is Taken as fire, as that provides an effective 8% physical damage mitigation or +1 Pierce and possibly drop Piercing Shots.

If you're buying a rare look for Maximum life / Resistances, and consider an open Prefix for Physical Damage taken as fire, +1 Pierce, Dodge Attack Hits while Focussed or Physical Damage Reduction while Focussed.


0.8.4 Gloves
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I am currently using Elemental Weakness on hit corrupted gloves, with Maximum life / resist and the temple modifier adding fire damage against burning enemies. If you are using a rare I suggest prioritizing life and any resists you need, and then picking up a temple mod, or attack speed.

You can add +1 Pierce, Physical Damage reduction while Focussed, Increased Damage while Leeching (Brutal Fervor), as prefixes, or Global Critical Strike Chance / Elemental Damage if you've dealt a crit recently, Attack/Cast speed when you focus.



If you do not have another means to inflict Intimidate I suggest 2-socket Tombfist. You will want to socket one Murderous Eye Jewel such as:



Look for Life / Crit Multi / Crit Chance / Attack Speed / Attack Speed if you've Crit recently / Resistances or stats you need. The other Jewel should have similar stats but can be any jewel type.


0.8.5 Boots
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Prioritze Maximum life, and find a "Matatl's" prefix with 11-12% chance to dodge spell hits. After that get resists, and use crafted mods if you have room. Picking up some Chaos res here and on your ring or belt is nice.


0.8.6 Belt
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If you're using a Stygian I suggest rolling it yourself with Pristine fossils, you can use Prismatic to increase the odds of elemental damage / resist modifiers or scorched fossils for fire resist / increased fire damage.



Alternatively, you can use an Elder belt with increased life recovery crafted the same way.



If you plan to do a lot of 5-way fights, grab yourself a Headhunter combined with Bane of Legends it adds a ton of value due to the densely packed rares.


0.8.7 Ring
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If you are using Frostferno use this for one ring slot.

If you have Xoph's Blood instead use:


This is to handle your conversion and increase the base damage of Elemental Hit.



You can alternatively use Mark of the Elder so long as your rare ring is Shaper touched.



For a rare ring, I use this slot as my "catch all" to fill in things that I'm missing, life, resists, stats you name it. If you can fit it in adding "shock nearby enemies when you focus" is an excellent rare craft.

If you've got spare prefixes or suffixes or aren't needing to be picky about the base an Opal ring, or Diamond ring is nice and you should get Elemental Damage with Attack Skills or Increased Fire Damage.


0.8.8 Amulet
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Xoph's Blood gives Avatar of fire, and its importance was covered under the Mechanical Explanations. Because this is a rare item with a divination card that can be turned in for a corrupted item, I suggest getting a useful corruption such as All Elemental Resistance, or Max res, or +1 curse.


0.8.9 Body Armor
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It gives 500 max life and 25-40% fire damage which adds defensive and offensive bonuses to Elemental Hit. Try to get either a defensive corruption or 40-50% increased damage.


0.8.10 Flasks
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This is simply a stronger life flask as it full-heals you upon reaching the end of its duration.



Wise Oak adds a surprising amount of damage via elemental penetration and also strong defensive bonuses if you are able to balance all of your resistances.



Diamond Flask is one of the strongest damage flasks in the game for crit builds.



Quicksilver for zoom zoom speed.



Jade gives Phasing and 10% dodge, it's not the strongest flask overall, you could replace it with Granite, Dying Sun, Stibnite, or Cinderswallow but I find the phasing to be valuable when Delving.


0.8.11 Jewels
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These were already covered under mechanical explanations.



Use a watcher's eye / aura combo that matches, the Precision eye is extremely powerful because it gives crit multi (Anger can do the same) and reliable flask charge restoration, Anger fire damage or Pen. Hatred for base crit, or Precision for Attack Speed or Attack Damage.

If you're using a Stygian or Tombfist, picking up jewels with Life / Crit Multi or Attack Speed if you've dealt a Critical Strike recently are great, you can further add Blind or Onslaught to your jewels, Attack Speed, Crit Chance, or Fire Damage (but flat damage is not ideal for Ele Hit as it has so much base damage anyway).



0.9.0 Boss Kills
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Assassination Contract.: Shaper
https://youtu.be/oN9kmZS8xvk

Assassination Contract: Uber Elder
https://youtu.be/y7B5bb1ykOU

Assassination Contract: Aul, The Crystal King
https://youtu.be/5ZARiXNINds

Assassination Contract: Kurgal, The Blackblooded
https://youtu.be/AJt_6g8Fm7o


0.10.0 FAQ
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My mana seems to be a struggle, I have mana leech nodes but it's not enough, what do I do?

-- Take one mana cluster and this should solve it, alternatively trade some attack speed for damage for example by using an Imperial bow instead of a Thicket.

My survivability seems low what can I do?

-- So far most commonly what I've seen is people dropping defensive/life nodes for damage when it comes to survivability issues, take the defensive nodes as advised in my PoB.
Last edited by Tenkiei on Jun 25, 2019, 3:17:17 AM
Last bumped on Jun 24, 2019, 10:03:18 PM
Reserved for future use.
Looks good, I may roll with this tomorrow.
I cleaned up some of the sections. Added some rough item suggestions among the in-depth gearing.

After leveling I'll flesh out the leveling section. All PoBs should be up now... hopefully with no errors.

For most of the rest I'll flesh it out as I go.
Hi!

What makes Slayer better than Deadeye for Fire Ele Hit?
Won't we lose clearspeed, due to loss of Deadeye's speed?

Thanks
zzz
Slayer gives us 20% movement and Attack speed this buff stacks with onslaught.

If your goal is Magic Finding then yes Deadeye might go a little bit faster with max Tailwind, but the difference will be minimal at best. If your goal is to clear more challenging content quickly you'll find it much smoother on a Slayer due to the vastly higher damage and better defenses.

I should also note, this build isn't really set up purely for clearspeed it's an all-round character capable of killing endgame bosses such as Uber Elder, clearing maps, or delving.

Personally, I never found the Deadeye variant to be worth playing over Scion (Pathfinder / Slayer or Slayer / Jugg) due to how overpowered Scion overleech was previously, and I always prefer to have a solid layered defense to moving or clearing a little bit faster.
Last edited by Tenkiei on Jun 7, 2019, 12:48:47 PM
Thank you, that cleared things up for me!

I hope you keep updating this build, as I will be following it :)

I probably won't have enough time this league to farm for a Xoph's Blood, so I'm gonna have to stick with Avatar of Fire :S

One more thing: Which one should I use, Pyre or Call of Brotherhood, and why not both? I remember playing a build like this 2 leagues ago, and I used both those rings...

Thanks again! :D

edit: Why not take VAAL PACT?
zzz
Last edited by lazycalm2 on Jun 7, 2019, 2:13:08 PM
If you're using Cold to Fire via Frostferno use Call of the Brotherhood.
If you're using no Cold to Fire use Pyre.

You could use both but I don't think it's worth giving up both ring slots personally. You should have enough damage with just 1 ring and I'm a bit greedy when it comes to resists. Don't worry I will be updating and clarifying stuff as I play the build, level, etc.

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I think it should function as crit even without Xoph's but the point-tax is a little rough.

Edit: I just noticed your edit now. Vaal Pact is a death trap you gain too little for giving up the ability to recover your life via regeneration while out of combat. Especially as the crit version does not take overleech.

Keep in mind overleech now lasts 5 seconds,
many bosses have immunity phases lasting 10-12 seconds, so for half that time you will be ticking down from Blood Rage / any damage with no recovery outside of your life flask.
Last edited by Tenkiei on Jun 7, 2019, 2:49:46 PM
Guide updated a bit, added some more detail to the gearing section and posted revised skill trees.
Nice guide! I'm making a character pretty much alongside it.
Intelligence seems to be very painful to get enough of, any suggestions on that?
IGN: somewittynamehere

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