[3.8] Poet's Pen + Volatile Dead, Uber Elder deathless.

For any questions regarding this build, please use this thread. If you see any mistake in the guide, please notify me about it. If the a

Important, before you read the guide.
Spoiler

When i theory crafted this build, i totally forgot about existence of Essence of Insanity. Gloves crafted with it have 16% more attack speed. Placing Frenzy setup in such gloves makes it much easier to get good APS numbers.

This build was made in 3.7 Legion. 3.8 brought major changes. If you would like to play with Poet's Pen, i would recommend to switch to Necromancer. More about it below. Ascendant build profits form Poet's Pen buff also and will perform better, than it did in 3.7, if necromancer is of no interest.


This is my take on Poet's Pen in Legion.
Index

1. Intro
2. Pros/Cons
3. APS, CDR & You
4. Videos
5. Gear + Gems
6. Passives
7. Necromancer
8. Leveling process
9. Other possible variations


1. Intro

Since the nerf Poet's Pen needs investment in attack speed to get to proc cap. Before it needed 0 investment in attack speed, you actually needed to be careful and not to go over proc CD accidentally. Other OP interactions where nerfed and Volatile Dead it self got a slight nerf too in 3.6.

Many people declared Pot's Pen (volatile)dead. I decided to see for myself.

I chose Ascendant because it has the best combination of damage, survivability and utility for my taste. There are many more possible variations with in Ascendant(for example with Might of the Meek and Unnatural Instinct) and with other classes. For example Inquisitor, Trickster, Elementalist, Slayer, Raider, Chieftain. Each has it's own pros and cons. At the end they all should perform fairly similar. One has easier to get attack speed, while the other raw damage. Feel free to adapt. Main purpose was to show, that Poet's Pen is still a good item to use.

Since 3.8 Necromancer is by far the best ascendancy choice for DPS. More about it later int he guide.

2. Pros/Cons

Pros:
- relatively tanky
- mobile
- good dps(single target and clear speed)
- super fun to play
- does not need any stat investment on gear.

Cons:
- heavy flask usage(may strain your fingers)
- needs build enabling items(very cheap in Legion)

3. APS, CDR & You

Poet's Pen has a proc cool down of 150ms. In theory it is possible to proc 6.65 spells per second by default. Because dual wielding 2 wands will alternate attacks and proc slotted spell only when said wand attacked, theoretical max default attacks per second (APS) is 13.3 to achieve 6.65 spells per second. In reality there is latency to server, which reduces that number slightly. Depending on the quality of the connection the number is usually somewhere between 12.9 and 13.1 APS.

Having too much APS is very bad. It will cause some attacks to no proc any spells and significantly lower the DPS.

It is possible to increase the APS cap by using items with cool down reduction (CDR). Currently it is possible to have up to 35% CDR, 20% on belt and 15% on boots. Max CDT would put theoretical APS cap at 18 (real a little bit lower, about 17.7).

The exact formula to calculate APS with CDR is below. It is for theoretical max APS, subtract 0.2-0.4 from it, depending on connection.




4. Videos
Videos

5. Gear + Gems

Must have items:

Wand with unearth goes in main hand and wand with VD goes in offhand. Attacks alternate weapons, so only 1 of the spells is proced per attack. So main hand creates corpses on 1st attack and VD can be created on 2nd attack.

Important items to have(not a must)

Helmet with enchantment(33% more DPS):

Flask(very good sustain for clearing and a DPS boost):

Jewel with leech(sustain):


Great items to have




Main Gems:
Volatile Dead - Concentrated Effect - Elemental Focus
Unearth - GMP - Combustion
Frenzy - Faster Attacks - Curse on Hit - Curse of choice(Flammability, Elemental Weakness(if playing with poeple who use other elements), Enfeeble)
Flame Dash - Arcane Surge (Body Swap can be used here instead)
Anger
Herald of Ash

Support gems(can be easily swapped out and changed):
CwDT - Wave of Conviction - Steelskin - Enfeeble

My Gear(Uber Elder kill)





6. Passives
Passives

PoB - https://pastebin.com/dvxWFyzX

Ascendancy in order of progression
Pathfinder -> Path of the Ranger -> Inquisitor (best DPS and full ailments cleanse on one flask)

Inquisitor can be changed to any other ascendancy.

Bandits: Help Kraityn.

Pantheon:
- Major: Brine King
- Minor: Gruthkul, can be swapped for anything else.

7. Necromancer
Spoiler

In 3.8 Necromancer ascendancy got a revamp, making it the best choice for DPS. And the biggest pro, Necromancer can reach very high APS numbers with barely any attack speed investment with help from Corpse Pact.

Gear remains the same. Insanity gloves are still a must.

Gems

Gems undergo a major change for DPS increase. It is still possible to play with exact same setup, as before.

The following change is to better utilize Corpse Pact. It doubles the amount of corpses consumed and giving a lot of extra attack speed. With spell cascade Volatile Dead balls deal half the damage, but there are also twice as many of them. So the overall damage per attack remains the same. But the DPS is much higher. Or for old schoolers out there, Body Swap.

In the main hand wand the setup changes from Unearth to Desecrate + Spell Cascade . In this wand there is a free gem socket now. It can be utilized by a gem, which can not be proced. For example Anger is a good choice, since it also benefits for +levels in the wand. The extra damage for Unearth and better corpse explosions is neglectable, since the use of it is very low in day to day game play.

Off hand setup changes to Volatile Dead + Spell Cascade + Concentrated Effect. Concentrated Effect can be swapped out for Elemental Focus for clearing maps and only be used for very hard bosses.

Attack setup changes as well to Frenzy + Faster Attacks + Combustion. The 4th gem can be another support for Frenzy to increase the APS and/or give more utility to it. For example quality Culling Strike, quality Greater Multiple Projectiles or Enhance, preferably level 4. Or any other gem, like an Offering.

With Mistress of Sacrifice an Offering can be used. Flesh Offering to boost APS numbers and extra clear speed boost with movement speed increase. Bone Offering to boost survivability. It maybe be paired with Kiloava Lethal Pride Timeless Jewel.

Passives

The gear in PoB is just a placeholder. Real Necro gear needs dex.
Here are 3 possible variants of necro builds:
1. Highest DPS - https://pastebin.com/Ja6aTLJA
tree

2. About 2k life more at a cost of 26% dps - https://pastebin.com/YyFK9ZHq tree
3. Acro and a little bit more life, then #1 at a cost of about 17% dps - https://pastebin.com/Ws7gz0vL tree

Can replace Zealotry with Aspect of the Spider(less dps, more defese) and remove Sovereignty cluster.

Ascendancy in order of progression
Plague Bringer -> Corpse Pact -> Commander of Darkness/Mistress of Sacrifice, which one is 1st to take is personal preference.

Bandits: Help Kraityn.

Pantheon:
- Major: Brine King
- Minor: Gruthkul, can be swapped for anything else.


8. Leveling process
Spoiler

Suggested tree progressing by points - https://pastebin.com/QFjB1v4L

-flat mana cost items are very good for leveling process until mana nodes in ranger area are allocated.

Till lvl 12 anything goes to kill mobs.

At lvl 10
Clarity(if no -mana cost items avalible)
Flame Dash - Arcane Surge

At lvl 12
Poet's Pen
Volatile Dead - Added lighting - Combustion
Unearth - LMP - Combustion
Barrage

At lvl 16
Barrage replaced by Frenzy
Herald of Ash
Desecrate setup can be used for Necromancer. But until Corpse Pact is allocated, i would recommend to stick with Unearth.

At lvl 18
Volatile Dead - Concentrated Effect - Elemental Focus
Frenzy - Faster Attacks

At lvl 24
Anger (may not be possible to use yet, due to mana issues)
Curse

At lvl 38
Frenzy - Faster Attacks - Curse on Hit - Curse
Unearth - GMP - Combustion

Great starter helmet:


9. Other possible variations
Spoiler

Friend's variant
I gave my gear to a friend and he played with it and changed quite a bit to his liking. He said, it felt much better this way for him. Much more life + dodge. A bit less dmg.
Here is PoB of his character for inspiration/copy https://pastebin.com/PsTCa2K1

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bear in mind, this is just theory crafted and not experience optimized.

Might of the meek/Unnatural Instinct Inquisitor + Elementalist
For people, who don't like to spam flasks. Also can run ele reflect maps. Can also use any other ascendancy combo, just have either Inquisitor or Elementalist in it for witch or templar start. For example Inquisitor + Chieftain.
https://pastebin.com/tK63rj9B

Inquisitor + Chieftain/Juggernaut
For people, who care more about surviving(at expense of some dps). Also with Chieftain don't need Xoph's Heart. With Juggernaut switch Brine King for Solaris.
https://pastebin.com/aywzbw52

Inquisitor
For people, who don't like pants.
https://pastebin.com/Q69ewaVZ

Slayer
What, you don't have leech exile?
https://pastebin.com/H6tGGL8B

Raider
Probably the tankiest one due to good life pool and dodge, but requires a lot of passives.
https://pastebin.com/H9EwzrqF
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
Last edited by 1337fun on Oct 27, 2019, 6:36:14 PM
Last bumped on Oct 27, 2019, 6:37:32 PM
Reserved
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
I've wanted to do a poet's pen build again for so long after the indigon nerf and this looks pretty good, how does the map clear compare to where it was previously?
"
Karriane wrote:
I've wanted to do a poet's pen build again for so long after the indigon nerf and this looks pretty good, how does the map clear compare to where it was previously?

I would say, it's the same as before. Easy cleared chayula's domain.
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
Last edited by 1337fun on Jul 10, 2019, 10:50:46 AM
How important to the build would you say Xoph's Blood is or could it be easily changed for a good rare amulet?
"
1337fun wrote:
"
Karriane wrote:
I've wanted to do a poet's pen build again for so long after the indigon nerf and this looks pretty good, how does the map clear compare to where it was previously?

I would say, it's the same as before. Easy cleared chayula's domain.


Is bodyswap integrated into the build somehow for map clear?
"
Fitzpup wrote:
How important to the build would you say Xoph's Blood is or could it be easily changed for a good rare amulet?

It can, but at a significant DPS cost. Amazing shaped amulet with penetration and high spell/fire dmg is about 10-12% less dmg.
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
"
Karriane wrote:
"
1337fun wrote:
"
Karriane wrote:
I've wanted to do a poet's pen build again for so long after the indigon nerf and this looks pretty good, how does the map clear compare to where it was previously?

I would say, it's the same as before. Easy cleared chayula's domain.


Is bodyswap integrated into the build somehow for map clear?

No, 177% movement speed is good enough for me. If you like, you can replace flame dash.
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011
Why scion instead of other ascendancy's?
"
Miochan wrote:
Why scion instead of other ascendancy's?

From all i tried in PoB, ascendant has by far the most DPS.
Ez 99.9% game clear - /2280011

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