[3.7] (WIP)Barrage/Viper strike Berserker Arty's Bad Builds Volume 1. Updating as I go.

Hello and welcome to the first installment of Arty's bad builds, I'm your host, Arthotus! Today we're going to be taking a look at Viper Strike the most legendary starting skill there is.

(This is a theoretical build for now, I'll be running it and adding more information as I attempt it)

Theory and Essential Mechanics Explanation

Viper Strike is bad. There's no sugar coating it. It has not great scaling and is single target. It's OK at single target if you try, but most of PoE doesn't let you just stand in melee and poke one person. Legion Patch brings a Buff in the form of added flat chaos damage and up to 50% physical damage converted to chaos. It's still bad, but let's try and make it work!

Growing Agony is a Threshold jewels for Viper Strike that gives = Viper Strike deals +2% damage with hits and poisons for each poison on the target with no limit. That means the more we hit someone, the more damage we do, simple, but can it be scaled well?

Enter Barrage with Quill Rain Barrage is probably the highest single target hit rate in the game, so let's try using that with the fastest weapon in the game, a Quill Rain. A five linked QR is easy to get, and if we'll link Barrage to Greater Multiple projectiles, Chain, and poison support. Then we should have a pretty good tool for ramping up poison stacks on a target.(I'll talk about the fifth link later)

But wait, there's more! Barrage will be on our bow, but what about our chest? Let's add another five link, this time with Barrage-Ranged Attack Totem-Multiple Totems-Poison-Chain. Each Totem attacks slower and does less damage than we do, but if we don't really care about damage, we just want stacks because all instances of poison contribute to Growing Agony, not just our personal stacks. With three to four totems going almost as hard as us, that's a lot of poison stacks!

So back to Viper Strike. So obviously we have a melee weapon on our weapon swap, meaning the play style will be to stack poisons and then run in and stab the guy with our now mega empowered VP. But how do we scale both Barrage and Viper Strike damage? We don't! While generic Damage or Generic Physical Damage would scale both, we don't really need to care about scaling damage values, only attack speed and flat added damage. Growing Agony should be the majority of our damage scaling. There's plenty of generic attack speed nodes around the duelist, so let's pick those up and stack stack stack that poison!

Berserker though? Rage. Berserker Rage gain applies to all attacks, including Barrage, so that's more attack speed! More importantly, we cannot be stunned at 25+ stacks of rage! This is very important for staying alive, as I will explain next.

Staying Alive
We need to be able to stand and deliver those poison stacks, so let's take advantage of our ludicris hit rate and use Life on Hit as the fifth link, as well as Thief's Torment. Our tree should focus on getting life, because with that much life on hit, as long as we have something to shoot, we'll be getting back multiple thousands of life per second. Add in a relatively cheap watcher's eye with HP gain on hit with vitality aura and that's officially too much regen for anything in the game to kill you without taking you from full to zero in a single hit. As a bonus, our totems will also be near immortal, thanks to thief's torment.

Finally...Go in for the kill! So the ultimate scenario is that we've put 400+ arrows into our target in 3 seconds with the help of our trusty totems, all of which had 100% poison chance thanks to Herald of Agony and some easy node pickups in the tree. That's 800% increased damage with Viper Strike! Swap weapons and stab that bad guy with your big ass two-hander and watch him melt.

But what about trash? Agony Crawler from Herald of Agony is fully stacked 100% of the time. He'll clear the way for you to smite the big bads, and chain ensures everyone in your general line of sight is being blistered under your machine gun barrages. I'll be clear, even in concept, this build isn't the fastest clear, nor is it very good for legions, but I never claimed this was going to be any good, I just wanted Viper Strike to achieve something. I think it'll be a good boss killer, but we'll see as I go through the game and maps. Killing Elder-Shaper is the real goal, right? Stay posted!

Leveling Experience

Story (Acts 1-10: Levels 1-67)
Overall, not the worst. Most of the essential gear for the build can be equipped early-very early, so you can start machine gunning things right away. Act two felt a little tough, as Quill Rain already starts to fall off, and mana is a problem until you get Thief's Torment on at level 30. It's saved by Herald of Agony though. Herald of Agony will carry you through 95% of this game with Quill Rain-Barrage. Thief's Torment keeps you alive, and once you slap on an anti freeze flask and finish hard lab to get your stun immunity @>25 rage, moving through the story becomes as simple as holding down the attack button. Only for some bosses will you have to side step the occasional super blast and only if you're too lazy to keep your resistances up, like me. It's not fast but with agony crawler its not terribly slow either. Even bosses go down in a reasonable amount of time, considering you can just stand and deliver. I didn't end up using Viper Strike pretty much ever during the story because I was leveling with a pair of random 1-handers in my weapon swap so that I could carry all the skill gems, so it wouldn't have been effective anyway. I would call this leveling experience, slow and steady. It's not going to get you through the story in two hours, but you also won't hit any walls, as you still level pretty efficiently.

(Hard Numbers Break Down, Passive Tree, and Full Itemization Coming Soon)

Misc Notes
I'll work to answer any questions here, and possibly make some videos later, but I'm not a streamer, so don't hold your breath, sorry.
I do not claim ownership of this idea, I'm just trying it out, and trying to record my findings.
Last edited by Arthotus on Jul 26, 2019, 4:20:59 PM
Last bumped on Jul 24, 2019, 1:07:39 PM

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