[3.7] Caustic Arrow Trickster, All-Purpose Workhorse [Life+QotF][Delve 1000][Full POB]

My Legion gear so far
BOW

QUIVER/ARMOUR

HELMET

GLOVES

BOOTS

BELT

JEWELRY

FLASKS

Tips from league start
LEAGUE START Day 4:
I haven't been able to play as much as I'd like, but I managed to 6L and craft my Elder Bow last night, so with that out of the way, I will be putting some time towards a leveling guide. Again, this is a rough guide: there are so many ways to build this character, and what's obvious to me about things like aura and gear choices may be over your head. Please feel free to ask, I've helped many people in-game/on stream already. Get yourself a 6L Silverbranch for 25-30C, and add +1 gems to it with the 1c prophecy, and you're good to red maps. I have been downright lazy in upgrading my gears/links: I'm running without Immortal Call, QotF, Siphoning Trap, Grace, Jade Flask, and T11-12s were butter with a Silverbough, aside from crazy -res/extra damage/beyond maps, which you should expect to kill you occasionally at this point :P

LEAGUE START + ~6 HOURS: TIPS SO FAR
I'm almost done with the acts, but it's never felt so good. GO GO GO for the cooldown recovery nodes. Get Blink Arrow and Flame Dash with Faster Attacks/Casting. Run a low level Clarity for mana. Malevolance right away, Dread Banner when you can. Get Bane + Despair in a 4L ASAP. You can get a 5L bow for 1-2 chaos if you find some.

I've been BLASTING through the zones. Just proc Mirage Archer and Blink Arrow/Flame Dash infinitely once you have both cooldown nodes. I've put off labs until I'm just at A10 Kitava right now. PM me in game if you are struggling or need help, and I'm sorry I didn't put more on leveling.

Quite a few Caustic Arrow players have asked me for my build so here it is. Credit is due to DankawSL for his original Raider Guide, which was my first real POE character in Delve league. My personal build has come a long way since, and I'm stoked to be able to finally share it. I didn't get as much done before 3.7 starts. I'll definitely be going full ham the first week, and I'm happy to answer immediate questions in-game or on stream!

If you are here for a league start build, it is definitely a beast. I pushed red maps early in Flashback with no Uber Lab, 10 missing passives, a plain 6L and absurdly bad rares. How well you do early, especially if it's your first time on the skill, I cannot say, but most players using the skill I've met were relatively new/poor, and still absolutely loved it. My goal is to spend this league recording video and collecting data so I can present this as a new player walkthrough. In the mean time, it's not too complicated, and I'd rather share what I have than not at all.


POE: whisper @casual_place
https://twitch.tv/casual_place


PROS
-3.6 Trickster with Mirage Archer put my 3.5 Pathfinder at full damage to shame
-Simple playstyle: shoot death, pick loot, flasks + Phase Run for NOS
-Mirage Archer and DOT make looting faster and safer
-Pushes hard on trash gear, get carried by shrines/rampage
-3.7 Passives "complete" at ~93 w/ 2 jewels, up to 6-7 at high level
-6L +1/+2 Bow "unlocks" T16/Shaper-level stuff
-7L Elder Bow "unlocks" that all-content feel
-Hard-tested at 5fps on an APU laptop in 3.5 (depth 750 on Pathfinder)

CONS
-Inexperienced players may struggle with subtle choices while balancing gem links, flasks, passives/jewels, mana reserve, etc. at various stages of gearing
-QotF/The Gull/Rampage are fun and powerful, but not for everyone (functional without)
-SSF meh? +1/+2 6L Bow, and even QotF, seems attainable in time, crafting with Elder bases/fossils/essences sounds like a nightmare
-Crafting the Elder Bow/etc. is at least an intermediate endeavor, but I think possible for a newish player in one league--a +1/+2 6L Bow can still put out close to 1mil DPS

"

06/10/19 - updated tree with more ideal leveling strategy with movement recovery
06/06/19 - ready for 3.7 league start :D

https://pastebin.com/gmycWy87

Since I don't have a full guide, I've elected not to plaster any kind of stats in the title or intro. This contains all the essential information you need about what I've personally verified is possible gear-wise, and there are tons of solid CA builds on poe.ninja for comparison. I would NOT have gotten this far without experimenting in Path of Building. If you are a newer player looking to get serious, I suggest you spend your remaining hours becoming familiar with the program.

To answer simply: yes, it can do all the things, except maybe Delve bosses past 400-500 (unless I just suck). Fair warning though, don't expect to be the free Uber Elder carry guy on your friends' lists without a 7L Elder Bow, at LEAST 6k eHP, and sufficient technical skill. You'll probably sink your entire dismal chaos stack into a quiver with nothing to show. Most of my gear was forged in the raging fires of poe.trade, scouring every time zone for individual fossils and 1/27th of obscure Deafening Essences. But when you hit all them affixes at once...

To answer simply: yes, it's worth it.

POB
The act/level numbers on the leveling trees are VERY rough, and possibly a little bit over sometimes. The goal is to guide you to the right nodes first, so simply select the next one as you complete them.

Download Path of Building from the official GitHub page
If you already have it installed, make sure you UPDATE (bottom left) to the 3.7 tree.

TREE [POB saves jewels here, match the Tree+Item Set to see intended jewels in Items menu]
"Leveling (Act/Level)" - 8 guide trees, L = final zone of previous act
"Basic L83" - established tree, 2 jewels for "Basic Gear"
"Meta L93" - same as basic tree w/ Scion life, 2 jewels for "Meta Gear"
"Chase (Jewels)" - filler tree, 5 jewels for "Chase Mods"
"3.6/FB (Jewels)" - filler tree, 7/5 jewels for "3.6"/"3.6FB" @characters
"[3.6][OLD]" - outdated tree from last league for posterity


ITEMS [full item list is sorted mostly by base-type]
"Leveling Gear" - twink items mostly, can be selected for leveling
"Basic Gear" - basic concept: +1/+2 bow, QotF, decent rares/jewels, correct flasks
"Meta Gear" - end-game: Elder Bow, well-crafted rares/better jewels
"Chase Mods" - fake items: examples of possible affixes for each base
"3.6 Synthesis" - my stat queen which hit ~2.5mil dps and nearly 8k eHP
"3.6 Flashback" - my favorite version, including The Gull/Imprescence/Watcher's Eye


SKILLS [includes correct gem levels + potential extra supports disabled by default]
Caustic Arrow (6L) - Works for everything up to +1/+2 bow gems, Void Manipulation disabled
Caustic Arrow (7L Elder Bow) - Replaces Vicious Proj with Empower, Void Manipulation disabled
Wither Totem (4L) - yup, Increased Duration disabled (item affix/Faster Casting substitute)
Despair + Blasphemy (2-4L) - curse aura setup, Enhance/Inc AOE disabled (Enlighten/Imprescence)
Despair + Frenzy (4-6L) - manual curse setup, Enhance/Culling Strike disabled
Auras (1-4L) - yup, Enlighten/Dread Banner/Vaal Haste disabled (alt/end-game setups)
CWDT + IC (2-3L) - levels here will vary, Increased Duration disabled
Utility (any L) - misc. single gems, Faster Attacks/Projectiles disabled (for any open slots)


CONFIGURATION
Are you always on full life? - Damage on Full Life support gem
Do you always have energy shield? - Trickster ascendancy
Do you use Frenzy charges? - assumes you're manually cursing and/or maintaining charges
Do you have Onslaught? - for "on kill" instead of a Silver Flask
My builds so far
3.6 Synthesis SC @casualplace lv98 // Delve 1060+






3.6 Synthesis Flashback SC @PenisBeardPenisMustache - Delve 960+






3.5 Betrayal SC (Pathfinder) @yozx - Delve 750+

*MISSING!!* will get this back from a Standard friend if he ever signs on :D Basically the same build on a Pathfinder, using Cinderswallow Urn.
3.4 Delve SC (Raider) @syoxis - My original potato





Gear
BOW


QUIVER


BODY ARMOUR


HELMET


GLOVES


BOOTS


BELT


RINGS


AMULET


JEWELS


FLASKS

Gems
Caustic Arrow lvl 21 (0%+ quality) (6L Bow +1 Gems/+2 Bow Gems)
2---Concentrated Effect 20(20)
3---Damage on Full Life 20(20)
4---Vicious Projectiles 20(0)
5---Swift Affliction 20(20)
6---(Void Manipulation) 20(20)
x---(Mirage Archer) 20(20)

Caustic Arrow 21(0+) ("7L" Elder Bow +1 Gems/Vicious Projectiles/+2 Support Gems)
2---Empower 3 or 4
3---Concentrated Effect 20(20)
4---Damage on Full Life 20(20)
5---Swift Affliction 20(20)
6---(Void Manipulation) 20(20)
x---(Mirage Archer) 20(20)
Caustic Arrow
Gem choice comes down to the biggest "More Damage" Multiplier, with Mirage Archer as your 6th link, substituting Void Manipulation whenever appropriate for max damage.

Regardless of the bow, Empower 4 is the best-in-slot DPS boost.

A "7L" Elder Bow with +1 Gems/Vicious Projectiles/+2 Support Gems needs at least Empower 1 to have more DPS than a 6L Bow with +1 Gems/+2 Bow Gems/NA Chaos DOT Multi.

A "7L" Elder Bow with +1 Gems/Vicious Projectiles/N-A Chaos DOT Multiplier needs at least Empower 3.

According to POB, Empower 3 falls somewhere between Void Manipulation's 39% and Swift Affliction's 44%, in any bow with +1 Gems and without +2 Support Gems. If you care enough, you probably know how to POB this yourself, otherwise no worries with Empower until you get an Elder Bow :D

Empower should be ignored completely in any setup without +1 Level of Socketed Gems.


Caustic Arrow 13% more base dmg per lvl after 20 / (+10% increased AOE)
CA gem level will almost always your biggest DPS boost. Quality is fairly trivial, and I recommend corrupting your swap gems at, or trading for a 20/0 ASAP.

Concentrated Effect 57% more dmg / (10% inc dmg)
Conc Effect has the largest more multiplier of any normal support gem. In the end, any downsides to 30% less AoE are outweighed by the damage output.

Damage on Full Life 49% more dmg / (10% inc dmg)
On Raider and Pathfinder, using this was questionable. With Trickster's ES buffer, Patient Reaper life recovery and higher damage avoidance, maintaining full life is seldom an issue, though use with caution before your first Lab.

Vicious Projectiles 49% more dmg / (n/a)
No downsides to this gem, and the best green support. Quality only gives increased physical damage, so you are free to corrupt at 20(0%). You can put the actual gem in your stash once it's integrated into your Elder bow :)

Swift Affliction 44% more dmg / (10% inc dmg)
Applies a trivial 15% reduced duration, which affects CA's pods and Mirage Archer. This is easily mitigated by 20% MORE skill duration from your ascendancy, and/or the CA duration helm enchant (which also increases MA!).

Void Manipulation 39% more dmg / (10% inc dmg)
Lowest more multiplier of any CA support. This is generally the damage gem you interchange with Mirage Archer.

Empower ~42% more dmg @ lv3, ~63% @ lv4
The biggest DPS increase at level 4. Relatively expensive early league. If one drops, quality if possible and start leveling immediately, or buy one to level after you finish your 6L Bow with +1 Gems/+2 Bow Gems in preparation for your Elder Bow.

Mirage Archer MA has 11% less dmg, 60% less atk speed / (n/a)
The #1 bow gem IMO. I have this socketed for most of my character's existance, and usually only go full damage for parties, certain bosses or pushing red maps early league. As far as I know, "increased attack damage" from quality does not affect CA.


Wither >18(20)
2---Spell Totem 20(20)
3---Multiple Totems 20(20)
4---Faster Casting 20(20)
Wither Totem
Wither 6% inc dmg taken * 15 stacks, 36% reduced ms / (20% duration)
Huge damage boost at full stacks, all the while providing a movespeed debuff and some aggro away from you. The damage debuff is unaffected by gem level, so I keep this un-corrupted/under-leveled to avoid 155 INT requirement. Just make sure you flip it to 20% quality at some point for consistent/faster stack uptime.
Spell Totem ? / (20% placement speed)
Turns Wither into a totem that applies it for you. As far as I know, gem level provides higher base life. With no other scaling, the placement speed from quality feels AMAZING!
Multiple Totems +2 additional totems / (20% placement speed)
Makes you cast 2 totems at once, for a total of 3. Makes maintaing stacks and fighting over a large area very easy. Cannot stress how important quality is for both these gems: placing totems stops you dead in your tracks without it.
Faster Casting 39% inc cast speed/ (10% inc)
Gets your stacks up super fast. Honestly unsure if this affects totem placement speed. Early on, you can substitute Increased Duration if you are having troubles with socket colors.

Despair >18(20) (for manual cursing)
2---Curse on Hit 20(20)
3---Frenzy 1(20)
4---Greater Multiple Projectiles 1+(20)
x---Enhance 3 or 4
x---Culling Strike 1+(20)
Despair >18(20) (as an aura)
2---Blasphemy 20(20)
x---Increased Area of Effect 20(0)
x---Enhance 3 or 4
Curse setup


Despair -29% chaos resistance, 25% inc dmg taken / (10% inc dmg taken)
This is your curse. Aside from a fossil-crafted helmet, your only source of enemy resistance reduction. Like Wither, I prefer leaving this under-leveled/uncorrupt to avoid the INT requirement, but does have a small damage sacrifice/
Frenzy 5% Frenzy atk speed per charge / (10% atk spd)
Fairly established choice for manually cursing on this build. Huge upside of generating up to 1 charge per attack for free, and does so quickly. Quality gives a little attack speed QoL. Forever level 1 to keep mana cost down. Mind your crappy accuracy when trying to curse individual mobs. I also keep this socketed when running a Despair aura, just to generate charges.
Greater Multiple Projectiles +4 projectiles / (10% atk spd)
Makes mass cursing possible. Combined with your pierce, you can curse an entire screen in a few shots. Gem level only increases link skill damage, so get the quality and do as you please.
Curse on Hit 12% reduced curse duration / (10% inc curse effect)
Enables Frenzy to apply Despair. Make sure to get that quality for a bit of extra damage :D
Culling Strike n/a / (10% atk spd)
Makes Frenzy more useful by allowing you to immediately kill mobs with <10% HP. Personally only used with Blink Arrow with surprising effect for end-game bosses.
Enhance 18% gem quality @ lv3, 24% @ lv4
Increases the quality of Despair, and thus damage taken by mobs.
Blasphemy 76% inc AOE / (10% curse effect)
Reserves mana in exchange for automatically cursing mobs, which must be in range to be affected, which has its downsides in situations where you have to maintain distance. Like Curse on Hit, make sure to get quality for increased effect.
Increased Area of Effect 20(20)
Does as it says. Nearly full screen coverage with this linked, and really makes the aura shine.

Malevolance 20(0)
Vaal Grace 20(0) -or- Vaal Haste 20(0)
x---Dread Banner >15(20)
x---Enlighten 4
Auras

Malevolance 20% more dmg, 19% inc skill duration (n/a)
3.6 finally brought a DOT aura. Mandatory active unless you are running content way under your DPS
Vaal Grace +2575 evasion // 34%/34% dodge with Vaal
Increases your movement speed with QotF and reduces your chance of being hit my attack hits. Vaal Grace will cap your spell/attack dodge, a great defense option for vulnerable moments
Dread Banner 19% less accuracy / (10% inc aura effect)
Reduces nearby enemy accuracy, resulting in a sizeable effective evasion buff. Unlike other auras, quality actually has an effect here. I keep the gem under-leveled to avoid the STR requirement.
Vaal Haste 9% movespeed, 16% atk/cast speed // 13% ms, 31% atk/cast speed with Vaal
A legitimate choice before you have QotF or your attack speed ascendancy. I've mostly used it while partying, fun to pop the Vaal after picking up a movespeed shrine from The Gull :D If you're unsure where this would be useful, ignore this.

Enlighten 88% mana reserved @ lv4
In conjuction with reduced reserve nodes on the passive tree, "unlocks" some interesting aura combos at lv4. Only truly necessary when maxing the build.

Immortal Call 3-7(0)
2---Cast When Damage Taken 1-5(0)
x---Increased Duration 20(20)
CWDT + IC

Immortal Call .4sec base duration @ lv3 / (n/a**)
Makes you immune to physical damage for a short time. Standard issue on most builds. Incredibly effective with endurance charge generation from Elder boots. Must be no more than 2 levels above CWDT.***
Cast When Damage Taken supports req lvl 38 gems @ lv1
Procs linked spells after taking enough hit damage (no DOTs), in this case: Immortal Call. Higher CWDT level allows support for higher level Immortal Call (and thus immunity duration), but requires you to take more total damage to proc.
Increased Duration 67% inc duration / (10% inc duration)
Combined with 20% MORE duration from your ascendancy, makes IC a serious defensive option. Indispensable once you have endurance charges. Not the end of the world if it won't fit, but I would factor it into your end-game setup.

Phase Run 20(20)
Siphoning Trap 20(20)
Blink Arrow 1(20)
x---Faster Attacks 20(20)
x---Faster Projectiles 20(20)
Utility
Phase Run 39% inc movespeed (10% inc ms)
By far my favorite utility skill. Gives you phasing, 50% reduced visibility to monsters, and doesn't interrupt Mirage Archer. Frenzy charges increase the duration. I use this heavily in Delve to explore side areas, and survive in general.
Siphoning Trap regens 324-648 life per sec / (20% inc chill effect)
Seemingly overlooked in a lot of builds. I throw this out any time I plan on stopping for more than a few seconds and is an important part of my hotkey rotation on bosses. Ascendancy life recovery boost this significantly while killing, and during Delve node encounters, acts much like non-stop life flask.
Blink Arrow n/a / (30% inc arrow speed)
Your movement skill. Slow cooldown, but infinite range. I'm bad, and use it less than I should for defense/speed. Will save your ass many times.
Faster Attacks 44% inc atk spd (10% inc atk spd)
Makes the Blink Arrow feel much better for obvious reason, but not a necessary link. Ideally built-in in as a chase mod on your Elder gloves.
Faster Projectiles 69% inc projectile spd (10% inc atk spd)
Even less necessary, but why not if you have a free socket. Drastically reduces the time between attack and teleport. Also a chase mod for Elder gloves, which provide further global proj speed. Though I haven't done a lot of testing, Faster attacks feels better to me as a 2L choice, but all 3 together is sublime.
Leveling/Passive Tree
This is coming, but for now here's a high-res cheat sheet you can save if you don't want to look at POB:

<<if you had this image, it's now outdated. i've put the new leveling passive tree in the POB.
Ascendancy
Sorry this is so short, but I have to sleep before league start.
1--> Patient Reaper: The hot ticket for me personally, more useful early than Ghost Dance
2--> Ghost Dance: Not terribly useful early, but every bit helps. You can probably put it off.
3--> Escape Artist: Even with the nerf, you really need the stun immunity and attack speed for maps, and you get some decent eHP from any trash evasion armor early on.
4--> Prolonged Pain: I regretted taking this first in Flashback. The lack of defenses in maps shows, and this won't scale as well until you've got a crafted bow.

There's nothing wrong with taking Prolonged Pain 2nd, and Escape Artist last. But damage is a plenty on the new tree, and you will be hungry for some defenses when you wanted to push maps. Nothing fundamentally build-breaking either way.


Okay on a Ranger?
YIKES
I'm hiding this cos I feel bad. This is long, but I think it's worth explaining.

It will work. I personally know someone that was A+ satisfied with theirs in Synthesis. With that in mind, I've tried all 3 ascendancies, a LOT...well actually that's all I've played :D

And at this point in the game, I think Raider is simply not a good match for this skill. It feels like a disservice to players to even say "go ahead if you want." At that, there's really no reason not to go with Pathfinder, as the evasion buff can probably be close to matched with the right flasks. PF is also ele-ailment immune and at least has some relevant damage/AOE built-in, and holy fuck the flasks. I would only play Ranger as a Pathfinder, and in the end would just be waiting for Cinderswallow Urn, which is expensive and unavailable early until people start killing Catarina.

I genuinely did try to go back. I thought I would easily level a Pathfinder to 95 in Flashback with my exact setup. Being able to twink jump into my end-game gear at level 70 was fantastic, and I got to 89 in no time...at which point I promptly de-geared the character and never played it again. Despite the fact that I had finished my damage passives, and could run the same juicy beyond T16 type stuff with crap life no problem, it just felt bad. The damage wasn't quite enough, and despite maxing evasion/dodge to similar levels, I was getting hit WAY more and taking more damage (still decent life), whereas Trickster really does feel like you're a ghost.

However, I AM a stickler for Mirage Archer, and you can definitely achieve legit damage on Ranger with full damage links, especially because Malevolence exists now, AND we got thiccc DOT wheels in 3.7. Trickster even got attack speed/dodge nerfs. However, none of anything I just said matters because Trickster has Cinderswallow's effect built-in AND insane universal life recovery rate while killing, 600-800 extra ES that actually recovers, stun immunity reduced damage taken damage, and a massive more damage/duration multiplier that will scale the shit out your damage/QoL late game.

The point is, if you can immediately buy into meta gear, the differences are probably trivial to a degree, and as I experienced, you may only notice the difference by playing the exact build side-by-side. But that's exactly the point. On Trickster you get all those benefits out as soon as Uber Lab is done, and once you accquire Queen of the Forest and the correct flasks, whatever natural defensive/speed benefits you get on Ranger are trivialized, as your damage will then determine how fast you can push. And there, there, Ranger faces a hard wall: 20% more damage, 10% more eHP, ~9-20% less damage taken, and a damn near full-health instant flask every time you kill a pack.

The only use I can see in Ranger is for pushing MF past 100% on a Pathfinder. The only thing you lose from Raider is the Evasion buff, which is completely outweighed by flask effect and 100% uptime of Cinderswallow Urn if you don't want to use Divination Distillate.
Pantheon/Bandits
KILL ALL BANDITS!

I imagine the Pantheon is severely underused by many players, including myself. I learned several 1 second KO lessons via "monsters poison on hit" in deep Delve, before a friend informed me that I'm an idiot. Pay attention to your map/Delve mods and what's available to you: something here may just save you some EXP. I've also listed the relevant maps to add a Divine Vessel, and their 3.7 tiers (devs said atlas is open to change from Bex's reveal)

Soul of Lunaris Major
up to 8% physical damage reduction
up to 8% increased movement speed

+10% chance to Avoid Projectiles
---(T9 Underground Sea)
+5% chance to Dodge Attack and Spell Hits if You've been Hit Recently
---(T9 Moon Temple)
+Avoid Projectiles that have Chained
---(T12 Colosseum)
My default choice. Everything gels nicely with this build. Most important one to complete.

Soul of Solaris Major
6% additional Physical Damage Reduction while there is only one nearby Enemy20% chance to take 50% less Area Damage from Hits
+8% reduced Elemental Damage taken if you haven't been Hit Recently
---(T1 Sulphur Vents)
+Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes if you have take a Critical Strike Recently
---(T10 Temple)
+50% chance to avoid Ailements from Critical Strikes
---(T15 Caldera)
I've never filled this out, but in making this section, I realize it would be very useful in deeper Delving. Probably worth trying out on maps or Delve with crit/extra damage/% chance to cause ailments.

Soul of Ryslatha Minor
Life Flasks gain 3 Charges every 3 seconds if you haven't used a Life Flask Recently
+60% increased Life Recovery from Flasks used when on Low Life
---(T11 Infested Valley)
My default choice. Life flask charges from nowhere when you thought you were toast on a boss is amazing. Makes me miss Pathfinder. The secondary effect makes your life flask damn near instant on low life.

Soul of Shakari Minor
5% reduced Chaos Damage taken 25% reduced Chaos Damage over Time taken while on Caustic Ground
+Immune to Poison
---(T15 Desert Springs)
Will save you from afformentioned Delve mod. Toxic Sewer :D
Crafting
I'm at max characters already, so please see this post for my Elder Bow crafting guide.

With that base template, I will also have a regular +3 bow guide up pretty quickly. The basic method is the same, except:
-Ignore Step 0-2, buy an already 6-linked, ilvl64+, regular bow base (30-40c)
-Alt/Regal for +2 Bow Gems (instead of Vicious Projectiles)
-Crafting CRAM/+1 gems is the same
-Finish craft with 'NA Chaos DOT Multi' (instead of +2 Support Gems)



For other items, DankawSL's guide mostly covers all the base types, special affixes, and different crafting currency required for my gear.

I WILL have a guide on general crafting for new players, but in all honestly there's really nothing particularly special about making the items I've used on my characters. 'NA Chaos Multi' Elder Gloves were just single Aberrant fossils or chaos spammed. I get Attack Dodge on Elder boots with Deafening Essence of Loathing, but my best version with Endurance/Spell Dodge chaos spamming. Every one of dozens of Shaper Quivers I've crafted were all chaos spammed.

I also don't have any special plan to when or what I craft at any point in the league. I use basic ID'd/traded rares until I've made an Elder Bow. From there, it's pretty much whenever 5k life isn't enough and it's time to re-spec into the Scion life wheel, i.e. when damage loss from speccing out of natural passives demands damage rolls on gear and at least a couple of decent life/damage jewels.

The easiest place to acquire said damage rolls are Elder Gloves, Elder Amulet, and a Stygian Vise. I highly recommend waiting to roll a life/-res helmet until you can afford a high ilvl Hubris Circlet with the CA Duration enchant. Rings are my last priority, as you can only roll damage with Essences, are seldom available on trade, and thus can be blackhole expensive to get T1 life and the resists you need.

And then there's the resists...With basic rares, you probably enjoyed the luxury of crafted resists on much of your gear, allowing you to easily fix your res cap for a few chaos if you happened to change out an item.

This all changes when rolling your own gear. In any given crafting session (e.g. 3ex to blow let's go), how much currency you've sunk into any one slot will weigh heavily on the roll you finally 'settle' on. And, as is evidenced by a lot of my end-game items displayed in the Gear section, you'll be grateful happy the game finally crapped out 2-3 special mods , little/no resists, and an open prefix to craft life.

I'd say most important to my strategy, though, is that I always sell good items that I don't particularly need. This is especially true when crafting Shaper Quivers. In making 1 quiver for myself, I almost always end up buying at LEAST 7-8 more bases because I keep hitting juicy Ele Atk Dmg/Onslaught combos, or even just bad additional arrow rolls that I'd rather pass on, but are still worth 30-40c. Same goes for Stygian Vises if you don't want low tier life/resist rolls. You may very well turn a huge profit from a multiple ex crafting session and net 0 items for yourself, especially when trying to merely make improvements your already good/crafted items.

Sorry for these fleeting/random thoughts, but it's all I've got at the moment after putting most of my free time towards the Elder Bow guide, which I think is the most daunting/confusing aspect of the build and needed the most attention. Getting questions from total noobs trying this build has been a huge help in understanding what I need to focus on, but this more advanced crafting stuff (beyond items you can simply identify/trade for cheap) pulls heavily from general game experience/knowledge.

I can't emphasize enough there is no secret behind what I've detailed thus far and what I plan for the future. The push into the 'all-content' paradigm of your personal Caustic Arrow potato is 10% build potential and 90% wisdom.

Now, if you are lost following the basics of this build, it's 10% lack of wisdom and 90% deficient guide :D More to come, I promise!
My loot filter
This section originally only had my league start filter, but I've added a stricter version at the end.

For the basic one: with the exception of low div cards (hide if you want), anything that pops up has realizable value. This is meant for a dump tab play-style where you are not necessarily concerned with what each individual item it is. You will have an immediate solid estimate on the value of anything that drops, and can easily identify low-value items that you may want to skip in the moment.

-Includes all the low currencies, quality gems/fasks (recipes), vendor recipes with ilvl 60+
-Rares have a black background with colored text for each base type. Belts/Rings/Ammys are all yellow, and larger than the other bases. 1x3 weapons only (1x4 available but hidden). After a while you adapt, and can easily ignore what you don't want to pick up, or de-activate specific bases you don't need in the custom "Show/Hide" section. Max ilvl on Armor is set to 74 so you don't get Regals (worth 1/2 chaos this league).
-**EVERYTHING** besides vendor recipe stuff is color AND sound-coded across every different type of valuable item. Exalt/Divine-tier stuff will POP. Red Maps have unique sounds and different/muted colors to distinguish them.

////WARNING - NO GUARANTEES THAT LEVELING RULES ARE FULLY INTACT. NORMAL RULES FOR HIGH ILVL/T1 RARES OUTSIDE OF THE CUSTOM SHOW/HIDE RULES FOR CHAOS RECIPES ARE DE-ACTIVATED. USE NEVERSINK'S REGULAR FILTER UNTIL YOU HIT ACT 9 BLOOD AQUEDUCTS, AND MODIFY ON YOUR OWN IF YOU WANT SPECIAL RARES TO SHOW DIFFERENTLY.
http://www.filterblade.xyz/#TVFSiM7Sqi4R


Recently I've gotten tired of picking up the the worst currencies/cards/vendor recipes, so I've made a tighter version that is more appropriate for my own progression (06/19). This is pretty close to what my filter ends up like every league.
-No Transmutations/Whetstones/Scraps
-No chaos recipes/regular rare basetypes at any ilvl. 20% quality flasks only (1:1bauble), 8%+ gems only (max 5:1gcp)
-No '1 alch' Divination cards (still adding useless ones that aren't specifically hidden as I find them)
-T15s sound distinct from T11-14, outleveled <T10s hidden
-No magic regular Jewels

////WARNING - This isn't a huge change from the previous filter, but it is more personally tuned, so fair warning to look through every section and make your own decisions. With that in mind, it still probably shows more than a lot of people would like.
http://www.filterblade.xyz/#Xf0cG3iQm4b2
Last edited by glappoid on Jun 20, 2019, 12:48:02 AM
Last bumped on Jun 20, 2019, 12:22:15 AM
Really solid guide! Totally recommend this build. Very easy to level, and has so much potential in the late game. Smokes the wind-ripper builds if you want to convert to MF and can shred bosses if spec for DPS.
"
C0PyCa7 wrote:
Really solid guide! Totally recommend this build. Very easy to level, and has so much potential in the late game. Smokes the wind-ripper builds if you want to convert to MF and can shred bosses if spec for DPS.


Have you tried to make this build MF? If yes, how was it and do you have pob? :)
"
Dant3x wrote:
"
C0PyCa7 wrote:
Really solid guide! Totally recommend this build. Very easy to level, and has so much potential in the late game. Smokes the wind-ripper builds if you want to convert to MF and can shred bosses if spec for DPS.


Have you tried to make this build MF? If yes, how was it and do you have pob? :)


Yes, I have included MF gear in the POB.

In Betrayal league I sold a 50+ ex Watcher's Eye, built a full MF Windripper and hated it. After burning out on the league on Harbor Ridge, I decided to swap the MF gear to my CA build, and sell off my bow/helmet/Rigwald's to craft an Elder Bow. Best decision I ever made. It was also the first time I played CA with anything but Kintsugi, and how I personally discovered just how good QotF is.

I've run sextant/beyond T16s with and went around Delve 400-500 twice wearing the following:

Same Elder Bow/crafted helmet/Shaper Quiver/QotF
10% Sadima's
20% Goldwyrm
5% Bisco's
10% Ventor's
15% Pariah
10% Shaper Ammy or Talisman

That's 70%, potentially, if you have max rolls (I didn't :D). I chose to wear one Ventor's just to make res capping easier. I've never tried Greed's Embrace, but I think this would be the league to use it on this build, as Flame Dash + Blink Arrow combo are a very effective alternative to QotF and can pretty well mitigate the reduced movement speed. I hadn't tried The Gull at that time, but I would probably choose that as my helmet if I MF this league :D And since you can get rampage fairly easily with a weapon swap, a Stygian Vise is a good option to make up on life/damage/resists at the cost of 5% quant, especially if you don't have some decent jewels.

Unfortunately I can't recommend it as a FULL MF build, as Divination Distillate is impossible to use with Patient Reaper: killing 1-2 mobs will immediately fill your mana and de-activate the flask. 60-70% is still good IMO, and honestly I'd probably make a Pathfinder if my intention was to push past 100%, with the understood disadvantages.
Last edited by glappoid on Jun 14, 2019, 1:36:59 PM
Rly good Guide. First Build Guide i tride without probs on my way to the ELder.
Thank u very much for sharing with us :)
Im following this build, having a blast so far (:

how important is the dread banner while leveling ?
I just got to act3 and Im struggling a bit with lack of links in my gear and to fit all the gems for the aura/curses and int requirements xD

also is immortal call good with no endurance charges ? would we be better off with steelskin instead ?

thank you very much for the guide specially the time it must have took to make all those different trees for leveling and items in PoB
I really appreciate it (:
Last edited by Luy on Jun 15, 2019, 8:27:18 AM
"
Luy wrote:
Im following this build, having a blast so far (:

how important is the dread banner while leveling ?
I just got to act3 and Im struggling a bit with lack of links in my gear and to fit all the gems for the aura/curses and int requirements xD

also is immortal call good with no endurance charges ? would we be better off with steelskin instead ?

thank you very much for the guide specially the time it must have took to make all those different trees for leveling and items in PoB
I really appreciate it (:


Glad to hear it's working!

-I think Dread Banner is optional for leveling. I don't think I had it until I was close to maps, as it was hard enough for me to get my other links set up.

-Haven't personally tried Steelskin, but it looks very interesting. I have opened up to Flame Dash as a defensive skill while bossing, and Steelskin may fit in there somewhere. The problem then becomes limited hotkeys.

-Immortal Call is still worthwhile in your end-game links without Endurance Charges. Often 1 second is all you need to escape from a vulernable situation, and it's damage reduction/mitigation that's pretty hard to come by.

In the end, whether it's your evasion/dodge rating, Dread Banner or Immortal Call, each thing is contributing a small part to your overall damage rection/mitigation/avoidance/etc. One way or the other, they help keep your health closer or at full more often.

However, the gem link struggle in mind, it also means you are highly rewarded for your diligence in that respect. For example, by level 30 you can go from a no defense to potato, to running Jade Flask, Dread Banner and Acro/Phase Acro. Any one individually is not an insane boost, but having all 3 at once drastically changes how you are able to play the character. While CA does more than enough damage to keep you safe, at some point past Act 6, you actually have to fight the mobs :D

Unfortunately I haven't had a lot of time to play/experiment in Legion, including writing this guide, but I'm doing my best to keep at the crafting/leveling sections, and I'll put up any small parts up when they're ready.

P.S.: For what it's worth I'm close to doing Uber Elder and I still don't have Immortal Call...I'm also lazy :D That's why I direct players to the guide instead of my current league items.

P.S. 2: I was too potato for UE with 5k hp, lv 20 CA, lv 2 empower, etc. nothing wrong with a 30c boss service if you're not ready for it :P

edit: just getting a link here :D

Last edited by glappoid on Jun 16, 2019, 4:11:00 PM
hi, getting bored of my slayer and have currency to dump into a new build and i kinda want to make a bow character.

i notice in your pastebin you don't path to scion life wheel, but on your actual character you do. i'm not a fan of builds that get 1 shot, as i like to farm red maps/bosses, so i'm wondering how squishy this build is? i'm willing to give up DPS to path over to scion wheel but what nodes would i give up?
"
RyanTheNinja wrote:
hi, getting bored of my slayer and have currency to dump into a new build and i kinda want to make a bow character.

i notice in your pastebin you don't path to scion life wheel, but on your actual character you do. i'm not a fan of builds that get 1 shot, as i like to farm red maps/bosses, so i'm wondering how squishy this build is? i'm willing to give up DPS to path over to scion wheel but what nodes would i give up?


The "L93 Meta" tree shows pathing to the Scion life wheel. You drop everything under Druidic Rite. I just recently switched after crafting some better gear. Level 93 seems to be the sweet spot to complete the wheel without compromising much else on the tree.give up everything that falls under Druidic Rite, including cooldown recovery.

Essentially you replace those damage passives with equivalent affixes on your gear: gloves, belt, rings, amulet, and helmet all have potential for damage boosting affixes. Crafting this stuff invariably eliminates a lot of resistance rolls that were easy to get on basic life/res rares, and thus demands at least a couple expensive resist jewels. To start I'd probably craft for every slot except rings, and just trade for ones with the resists you need and T1 life (+strength/coral base nice too, +$ of course).

Glad to hear people are enjoying the build, and thanks to the people who've brought questions, helps a lot figuring out what I should prioritize in the guide.

further acquiring item links :D




























Last edited by glappoid on Jun 19, 2019, 3:54:53 PM
Well, I'm out of characters in the original post and will likely have to make a new thread with the first few spots reserved. In the meantime, this post will serve for the Elder Bow Guide!

I also added in at least a bit of information on crafting and a stricter version of my loot filter without chaos recipes/super low stuff. And thanks again to everyone that's following the guide and/or popped into stream.

----------------------------------------------



While this looks like a fancy pro item, that's total rubbish and should be your MAIN item acquisition goal for this build overall. With some really good RNG, I likely had one of the first ones linked and crafted (no support gems service available), day 3 of Legion after missing hours 24-48 entirely. It is much easier to make than you think. Once you've acquired the base, you can immediately begin putting your own loot towards completing it.
Costs/Misc. Thoughts, please read
I'm in the middle of putting extra fun currency towards fully crafting a second one so I can have real item links for every stage of crafting. Once that's complete I will integrate links and full descriptions for all the items/currency involved to give a better understanding of crafting in general.

In the meantime, here's a rough breakdown of what's used in order of the guide, and their rough costs about 2 weeks into Legion (06/19). I've given big ranges on crafting Orbs, as there's really know way to know:

ilvl 82+ Elder Bow Base (8-15c)
1~5 Perfect Fossils (1:12-15c)
Rank 3 Veiled 'Stat/15-18% Quality' craft (4c per roll)
100~300 Jeweler's Orbs (6:1c)
200~600 Orbs of Fusing (1.5:1c)
50~500 Orbs of Alteration (6:1c)
20~100 Orbs of Augmentation (21:1c)
1~few Regal Orbs (2:1c)
Plaguemaw V (to obtain 'CRAM') (3c)
'Cannot Roll Attack Mods' craft (1ex)
Farric Wolf Alpha (Bestiary Orb)(25c) (or 1 raw ex if you keep suffixes)
'+2 Support Gems' (2ex + ~20?c service cost)

Sounds like a lot, because it is. That's 3 raw exalts to buy into a complete bow. But if you are playing this as your main build, 50% of these costs could potentially come from your own looted currency, assuming you play a fair amount and actually loot this stuff.

I've laid these instructions out for someone with 0% experience to be able to follow exactly and make the bow. With that in mind, you can actually link the bow at almost any point between Step 0 and 7. Once you're set on a base quality, you simply need to craft the hybrid quality mod immediately before throwing your Jeweler's/Fusings at it.

The idea is that you may make an initial effort with linking that simply didn't work. If you're itchy to progress, have a fat stack of alts ready to go and don't mind losing what you spent on the quality craft, you can get Vicious Projectiles locked in, and even get +1 gems slammed, before re-crafting quality and attempting to link again. Obviously you want to finish using crafted quality BEFORE spending 2ex on the final +2 support gems, and not between Step 5a-b before you've slammed +1 gems.

For the feels tho: I put linking first because it's the biggest hurdle. It just sucks having an item almost completely crafted and ready to rip, but you're desparately returning to your hideout after every map to throw the single Fusings at it.

That's the most I'll list for exceptions. Multi-modding's value for this character is questionable at 6ex for a decent attack speed and a tiny bit of damage. Personally I'd rather blow a ton of currency chasing Additional Arrow :D But, quick and dirty:

-Link and craft the bow to +1 gems and Vicious Projectiles (step 5b)
-Craft 'Prefixes Cannot be Changed' (2ex) to lock those mods
-Use Orb of Scouring to erase trash suffixes
-Craft "Can Have Multiple Crafted Modifiers" (2ex) first, then:
---+2 Support Gems (2ex)
---Rank 3 Attack Speed 11-13% (1ex)
---Rank 2 Inc Chaos Dmg 13-16% (3alch)


Also, have to give a shoutout to 'Farric Lynx Alpha', which 'Adds Suffix, Removes Prefix'. This does the opposite of Wolf, and could potentially save a juicy Augmented suffix, if you unfortunately Regal'd a prefix. You get a 50/50 chance at removing Vicious Projectiles as well, but for 10c it's absolutely worth the attempt. And honestly, if you're having a really bad time just trying to get past the Regaling process in general, spending the equivalent of 60 alts to save even just a lone Vicious Projectiles might feel better than the prospect of hundreds more Alts.


BASE (un-socketed/linked)
Elder Thicket/Grove/Short Bow (1.5 aps)

PREFIX REQUIREMENTS (Bow Affix Table)
ilvl 68: Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 16 Vicious Projectiles
ilvl 75: Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 18 Vicious Projectiles
ilvl 80: Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Vicious Projectiles

SUFFIX REQUIREMENTS (chase/"bonus" affixes)
ilvl 68: Culling Strike
ilvl 68: 8-10% inc Atk Speed / 20% inc Atk Speed if you've Killed Recently
ilvl 75: 10-12% inc Atk Speed / 20% inc Atk Speed if you've Killed Recently
ilvl 82: Bow Attacks fire an additional Arrow

BASE ITEM LEVEL CHOICE
ilvl 80: While you'll probably keep a level 16 or 18, this at least ensures you can hit level 20 Vicious Projectiles. Usually the minimum I would buy to start crafting.
ilvl 82: You may as well choose this if it's reasonable to acquire. Allows a SMALL chance to hit "additional arrow" when alt/regaling, which would definitely make your league if it sticks. Anything higher is fine, but may be more expensive, as well as introducing a few prefixes (if rare) that make it harder to hit Vicious Projectiles in the first place. In the end, it's fairly trivial and not a problem if you can only find 83+.

GENERAL METHOD

*DO THIS FIRST*

Use Perfect Fossils to increase the base quality to at least 25%.
Step 0
*DO THIS FIRST*
This fossil specifically rolls the quality value between 15-30%, and one of two ways we will mitigate linking RNG. This should be the first step in ANY 6L rare craft that starts with a "blank 1 socket white" item, as it also re-roll the affixes and thus any crafting work you've done.

Personally I try to hit 27% or higher, but Perfect Fossils are expensive this league so 25% is okay by me, especially if you're certain you have the 18% craft for Step 2. Unless you have some other use for the fossils, I recommend just buying and rolling one at a time until you're satisfied.

Rank 3 Hillock in Transportation can also add 28% base quality to ANY rarity weapon, leaving affixes untouched...assuming you know how to set that up and are actually willing to run a Transportation safehouse :D
*DO THIS FIRST*


Step (1) Bench craft one of the veiled "+stat/+quality%" suffixes for an additional 14-18% quality
Step 1
*DO NOT USE RANK 3 ATTACK SPEED OR CRIT CHANCE, 1 EXALT CRAFTS!*

Early league, unveiling 15-18% yourself might be difficult, hence why I give rank 2 as an option. But at 1/4 the cost and random value range of Perfect Fossils, this is much easier to control and I can only recommend that you shoot for 18% before linking.


Step (2) With a bare minimum 40-44% quality, spam Jeweler's Orbs until you reach 6 sockets, then Orbs of Fusing until you reach 6 links
Step 2


No advice here really. Once you've reached maximum sockets/links, you'll receive a message saying so, and won't be able to apply any more Jeweler's/Fusings respectively. Once it's done, it's done :D

I'll gladly emphasize, though: every Jeweler's/Fusing spent without some form of enhanced base AND crafted quality is totally on you. With that in mind, I've hit it with 120 fusings at 40%, and 2000 at 48%. More realistic is somewhere between 300-600.

If you've never 6-linked an item before, welcome to the POE show: prepare to be demoralized, overjoyed, or both in rapid succession.


Step (3) Use Orbs of Alteration/Augmentation until you've rolled the prefix
'Socketed Gems are supported by Level (16-20) Vicious Projectiles'. Augment a suffix if one is not present.

Step 3
Thoughts on this part, new crafters please read
This is the most complicated step IMO, and where I've spent the most time helping players with little/no experience in crafting. If this is your first real dive into the world of affixes, it can be very daunting.

Most important is to TAKE IT SLOW. There is zero advantage to doing this quickly, especially if you're unfamiliar. It can take a long time regardless, and it's easy to space out and roll right over "Vicious Projectiles", or worse yet "Additional Arrow", 100% verified possible by me on multiple occasions, usually at 2am. It feels reeeeaaally bad, you'll KNOW it's your fault.

That is why I recommend NOT holding shift to repeatedly spam Alterations here. You're going to use Augments often anyway, which helps to 'break up' the spamming, and it will just increase your chance of accidentally rolling over your mod.

This is the basic thought process after applying any one orb while Alt/Auging, no matter what rolled or you added, whether it takes half a second or half a minute:
(a)read the affix(es): hold the ALT key (enable Advanced Item Descriptions in UI menu)
(b)process the affix(es): identify what is a prefix/suffix
(c)make a decision: augment/alt/keep
(d)apply the next orb

Sorry if this is obvious, and hopefully it jives with how I've broken things down below.

If the bow is still rare from linking or a failed Regal, you will have to use an Orb of Scouring to return it to 'white', then use an Orb of Transmutation to get it magic again.

Once Magic, you'll be looking at one of these possibilities:

[Other Prefix] (and) [Any/No Suffix]
Nothing to see here, use an Alteration to re-roll both slots. No need to augment a suffix if its open.

[No Prefix] (and) [Any Suffix]
Use an Orb of Augmentation for another chance at rolling the prefix slot, regardless if you rolled a good/trash suffix.

While I can't say this is necessary to do every time, Augs are 1/3rd the price of Alts for one effective roll, and as I said before: using them at every opportunity really helps keep your attention.

[Vicious Projectiles] (and) [Any/No Suffix]
Assuming you are satisfied with the gem level, you're almost done with RNG :D If there is an open suffix, ensure you use an Augmentation to add ANY suffix before moving onto the Regal step.


Step (4) Use a Regal Orb to upgrade the item to a rare, (hopefully) adding a SUFFIX. If it added a prefix, Scour the bow and go back to Step 4.
Step 4
Straight up 50/50 chance. We need open prefixes here for our own purposes, so you will simply have to start over if the Regal adds one.

More than likely the result of this process is 2 'trash' suffixes you don't care about. But you may have well hit the big time with one of the chase Elder mods, a natural attack/proj speed, a high resist roll, etc. If you 100% want to keep ANY suffix, pay close attention in Step 5b, as you will want to use a raw exalt to 'slam' instead of beastcrafting (much cheaper, but removes a suffix).


Step (5a) With Vicious Projectiles and TWO open prefixes, craft the suffix 'Cannot Roll Attack Mods' for 1 exalt
Step 5a
The only prefix not considered an attack mod is "+1 Level of Socketed Gems". Crafting this mod 'blocks' all other prefixes, and guarantees this roll when adding a prefix in the next step.


Step (5b) With CRAM crafted, (a) 'ex slam' or (b) 'beast slam' the prefix "+1 Level of Socketed Gems"
*READ CAREFULLY*
Step 5b
If you DO NOT want to keep any suffixes, then:
'Beastslam' with Farric Wolf Alpha
"Adds Prefix, Removes Suffix"

This seems to be one of the most glaringly unknown options for this craft, and will always be considerably cheaper than a raw exalt. Since it adds a prefix first, CRAM applies and +1 gems is guaranteed, even if it is removed in the end. Ideally it will remove one of the natural suffixes you don't care about, leaving you with 2 opportunities to ex slam once the bow is fully crafted and you have some currency to throw around :D

If you DO want to keep ANY suffixes, then:
'Ex slam' with raw Exalted Orb or Rank 3 Leo in Research
"Enchants a rare item with a new random modifier"

The traditional method. This requires 2 natural mods AND CRAM (total 3 suffixes) so that only a prefix can be added. Since the beastcraft has a 1/3rd chance of removing any suffix, this is the only way to 100% guarantee either of the 2 natural suffixes carry over to the final product.

The equivalent Safehouse bench has the exact description of an Exalted Orb. Leo MUST be rank 3 in Research: rank 1/2 apply a Blessed/Divine Orb respectively and won't help you at all. This is already part of your strategy if doing Betrayal properly. Compared to YOLO slamming items you otherwise wouldn't waste precious currency on, this is potentially a 100% raw ex value substitute and worth it if convenient for you.


Step (6) With your 6-links/'+1 Gems'/'Vicious Projectiles' complete, finish the bow by crafting the veiled prefix "+2 Support Gems"
Step 6
Unless you're specifically farming Catarina or buying appropriate unveiled items to unlock this craft, you'll have to find a service for this in the "shop" forum. If you can't afford 2ex right after completing all the other steps, the bow is still perfectly usable as is with 'Non-Ailment Chaos DOT Multiplier" crafted temporarily.

However, if you are upgrading from a regular 6L +3 Bow, an incomplete Elder Bow without the '+2 Support Gems' craft will likely produce less damage without a level 3 or 4 Empower. POB it if you're unsure.
Last edited by glappoid on Jun 20, 2019, 12:45:30 AM

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