💫 [3.7 ALL Content w/ Reasonable Budget!] Huy’s Crit Shockwave Staff Cyclone Berserker: The Pepega 💫


[3.7] Huy’s Crit Shockwave Staff Cyclone Berserker Guide: The Pepega


Hello, I’m Huy. 👋 I’ve been playing Path of Exile on and off for about 6 years. After numerous requests, I’m finally writing my second guide after 2 years (first guide: Huy SRS)! This build was played for the entirety of Legion League and was able to complete all the services provided here: Service Thread. I started the league with this character and did everything (up to Uber Elder) with a reasonable budget. Since I enjoyed the character so much, I continued to min/max the character for the rest of the league to what you see currently. It starts off solid on a budget and then has the potential to scale into absolute insanity with proper investment. 💥

I get very excited about theory-crafting and both welcome and encourage discussion about this build both in the forums and on my Discord (You're Invited)! Catch me at https://www.twitch.tv/iHuy or in game @iHuy and feel free to ask any questions or make suggestions. Thanks!

What I'm Currently Working On
* Polishing the guide.
* Making a video to accompany the guide (need to learn Adobe Premiere). Help appreciated! 😂



About Shockwave

☝ Extremely Accurate Diagram of Shockwave Support


This new support gem is a core mechanic of the build!
  • It’s a support gem that triggers when you hit a monster every 0.71 seconds (gains cool down reduction with level).
  • Shockwave benefits from the support gems linked to the trigger skill (i.e. Cyclone).
  • Therefore, we maximize the benefit of shockwave by only linking gems that work with both cyclone and shockwave. This means that shockwave benefits off the increased + more aoe from support gems + skill tree.
  • It provides amazing clear by extending the effective aoe of your attacks as well as providing burst damage.
  • It's super satisfying! you can jump into a pack, tap cyclone once, and it EXPLODES!

* Lv21 shockwave gives +1 radius. 😉
* Weapon range doesn’t affect it (only affects cyclone).
* Attack speed doesn’t affect it.
* Only works with staves (and maces).

Pros + Cons
Pros
  • Relatively budget build to start (SSF viable!). Uber Elder is relatively cheap (at the time of writing this guide 😏).
  • Able to scale to crazy levels with proper investment.
  • Super Flexible Build: good clear with solid bossing. Any Content in the Game. Any map mods (as long as both reflects are not together, any mod is doable with proper swaps).
  • Able to 5 Emblem Carry with full 6-man Party (w/ proper pepega gear).
  • Smooth Mapping with satifying boombooms from shockwave and speed from cyclone w/ big boi AOE.
  • Strong Boss Killer: Uber Elder, Uber Atziri, Aul, etc. with vaal double strike + impale.
  • Fast and fun Delving (still testing 500+ depth).
  • Any map (including Hall of Grandmasters).
  • Any map map mod: Physical Reflect - swap in Hrimsorrow/burn + Physical to Lightning Support. Elemental Reflect - swap in Brutality Support. Both Reflect - Cry.
  • Shockwave is super satisfying burst while cyclone provides smooth movement through packs, they work very well together 🙂.
  • Shockwave can bypass proximity shield (since the origin of the shockwave is from the monster).
  • Great sustain with multiple sources: regen, leech, high effectiveness blood of karui (up to 3k/s), warcry with warbringer (25%/1.74s).
  • Layered defenses with atk block, spell block, fortify, 5 endurance charges, armor, evasion, immortal call.
  • 0 mana cost for skills so you can 100% reserve your mana. also don’t have to worry about no regen.

Cons
  • Complex character with a lot of mechanics that work together. not having proper links, mechanics active will be a big hindrance.
  • Need to swap a lot of gear for different types of content (for reflect, etc).
  • The super pepega version can be quite expensive to min max (as it usually is with most builds).
  • Very socket intensive (ideally able to do with 2 unset rings).


Defense
  • 5 Endurance Charges (generated with Enduring Cry, Smashing Strikes - Endurance Charge on Critical Strikes).
  • Regen (out regens Blood Magic).
  • War Bringer: 25% instant Life/Mana recovery every 1.74 seconds (AoE covers multiple screens).
  • Leech: Hits leech cap with enough damage.
  • Cast When Damage Taken + Immortal Call (consumes the maximum 5 endurance charges for high physical damage mitigation).
  • Block: With Judgement Staff = 28% Attack Block, 10% Spell Block. With Glancing Blows (from Lethal Pride w/ Kiloava) = 56% Block, 20% Spell Block. This is the same mitigation, but the damage is spread out more consistently. Power Charge on Block (from Whirling Barrier) and our great sustain shines here.
  • Uses Both Armour + Evasion (~10k each w/ flask up).
  • Blind on Hit (via abyssal or timeless jewel).
  • Berserk (High uptime with double generation via Crave the Slaughter + Rage Support).
  • Cannot be Stunned (above 25 Rage via Rite of Ruin + while Cycloning).
  • >190% life from the tree. Able to reach 6.5k+ life with decent gear.

Offense
  • 3-4 Power Charges, 3 Frenzy Charges.
  • Crit: 100% Crit Chance (w/ Diamond Flask) attainable with Brutal Restraint w/ Nasima (Nullify Blind with “Hit’s Can’t Be Evaded”.
  • Hit: 100% with Hits Can’t Be Evaded Staff.
  • Impale: 92% chance to impale with Vaal Double Strike w/ Impale Support. 52%-92% chance to impale for Cyclone + Shockwave (dependent if Impale Support is used for extra single target, purely optional).
  • AoE Clear: w/ 7L Cyclone + 6L Shockwave.
  • Single Target: 6L Vaal Double Strike + 7L Cyclone + 6L Shockwave = GG.
  • Vaal Double Strike is Pog because the clones do not take damage (thus can take full advantage of Damage on Full Life Support).
  • Vaal Ancestral Warchief is decent for early on but end game dies too easily due to lack of Resist + Life vs the hardest content. Dead = 0 dps.
  • Rage: 3.3 rage/s generation from Crave the Slaughter + 2.5 rage/s = 5.8 rage/s = 8.6 s for max rage, at 50 stacks.
  • Berserk: relatively long up time due to high rage generation.
  • Onslaught on kill (via Abyssal Jewel or Brutal Restraint notable).
  • Unholy Might on kill (via Abyssal Jewel).
  • Maim on crit (from Dismembering). High effective maim froom Flesh and Stone linked to Maim.
  • 5 Auras Setup: Pride, Flesh and Stone, Blood and Sand, Dread/War Banner, Precision.
  • Minimum Shock (via Shock on Focus Ring): 20% even vs Bosses.
  • Assassin's Mark on Hit Ring.

Miscellaneous Quality of Life
  • 0 mana cost for all skills: can reserve 100% of mana, no regen = no problem.
  • BIG Range/AOE: up to ~50 units. Shockwave also extends the AOE from due to how it works mechanically.
  • Extra Flask Usages (Through Arcane Chemistry 15% & 19+% Reduced Flask Charge Used Belt).
  • Can Freeze/Shatter, Shock, Ignite for a phys build (with a Three Hands Talisman).
  • Rampage (from Uniques).
  • Shockwave goes through Proximity Shield!



Trees and PoBs
Bandit: Help Alira (20% Multi, 5 Mana Regen, 15 All Resist).
* 22 Passives From Quests
* 50 Points Leveling Tree: poeurl.com/cxd6
* 100 Points Mapping Tree: poeurl.com/cxd7
* 121 Points Lv100 Tree: poeurl.com/cxd8
* Full Pepega*** Tree: poeurl.com/cxd9
* Detailed PoB: https://pastebin.com/NmwJyuWj
** If stat points are needed (i.e. Intelligence or Dexterity), get them (Expertise, Proficiency, Ancestral Knowledge, Hard Knocks)!
*** Pepega means fully min maxed to be able to do 5 Emblem Carries (Headhunter + 2 Inspired Learnings) and everything else with one skill tree and multiple sets.

Ascendancy

1. Aspect of Carnage
2. Crave the Slaughter
3. Rite of Ruin
4. War Bringer
WHY NO BLITZ?! ISNT THAT THE BEST THING EVAARR?!
Blitz is cool and all but attack speed doesn’t do anything for shockwave (since it’s cooldown based), while aspect of carnage’s 40% more damage does. Besides, we already have decent attack speed and things get a bit buggy when it goes too fast ;P. Also Warbringer is really really good. Big opportunity cost.

Pantheon
Major

  • General Mapping: Soul of Lunaris
  • Maybe Boss: Soul of Solaris

Minor


  • General Mapping: Soul of Ryslatha.
  • Emblems Carries/Max Speed: Soul of Garukhan



Gems
Cyclone/Shockwave (AoE Clear)
Cyclone + Shockwave + Pulverize + *Fortify + Rage + Melee Physical Damage + *Energy Leech/*Increased Area of Effect

  • The cool thing about this setup is that Shockwave is a support gem that grants an active skill that benefits off the proper support gems linked to the main skill (ie cyclone)
  • Fortify: omit if you have fortify staff
  • Energy Leech: a fantastic 6th gem because it functions very well when you have blood rage, which means you will always be leeching and getting the solid damage boost
  • Increased Area of Effect: when you feel like you have enough damage and want more aoe clear, you can swap this in instead of Energy Leech.
  • If you have a white socket (via vorici research), you can try using impale for more single target (ie uber elder + deep delve bossing).
  • WHY NO INFUSED CHANNELING?! Infused channeling is great for pure cyclone but shockwave is not a channeling skill so it doesn’t support it (we want to double dip ;P).

Vaal Double Strike (Single Target)
Vaal Double Strike + Damage on Full Life + Melee Physical Damage + Impale + Ruthless + Increased Critical Damage or Maim (dependent on your colors and crit chance)

  • Vaal Double Strike is a great single target skill because you can still cyclone/shockwave while it is active. Thus, you are hitting the boss/tough monster with a 7L cyclone + 6L shockwave + 6L vds at max girth.
  • WHY NO VAAL ANCESTRAL WARCHIEF?! DOESN’T THAT GIB ME MOAR TOOL TIP DPS?!"] On paper, vaal ancestral warchief looks good. It has solid damage + also gives you more damage while active. However, since we are not a specialized totem build, there’s no investment in totem life nor resistances, which means that they simply die too fast to tough encounters. Dead = 0 DPS. Meanwhile, vaal double strike is super Pog because the minions take all of your stats (+ cosmetics!) and are invincible (that’s why damage on full life is incredible on them). The damage they do is just crazy 😄.


Auras
Blood and Sand, Pride, Flesh and Stone + Maim, Dread Banner, Precision (lv1)

  • I normally keep things on blood stance for more damage.
  • Flesh and Stone + Maim is a very powerful combination (only extra 3% reservation). Really cool mechanic where maim adds on to the effectiveness of Flesh and Stone (blood stance).
  • It’s difficult to get the proper mana # to use precision so don’t worry about it if you can’t fit it in (it’s really only there mostly for my watcher’s eye).
  • To fully use the aura setup, you want to get all your skills to 0 mana if possible. Craft -mana cost on your rings. if you need a crafting service 💯 (https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2575156).

Trigger
Cast When Damage Taken + Immortal Call + *Blood Rage + *Assassin's Mark/Enfeeble (if space + no curse on hit ring) + *Increased Duration (if space)

  • I like to keep CWDT at level 1 so it procs as much as possible.
  • Lv1 CWDT means you can use a Lv3 Immortal Call. Even though it’s low level, it’s still quite effective.
  • Use a lv7 blood rage if you don’t want to manually cast it. Otherwise, a lv20 blood rage will give a bit more attack speed + you have more control.


Movement
Leap Slam + Faster Attacks

  • Leap Slam feels great! With how the build functions, you can leap slam into a pack, tap cyclone once, and if you have enough damage, the pack will explode and you can proceed to the next pack. It's an extremely satisfying playstyle.

Warcry
Enduring Cry or Rallying Cry

With staff’s Smashing Strikes Notable (10% endurance charge on melee crit), we generate sufficient endurance charges to be fully active + immortal call consumption. However, you can still opt to use it for more consistency in single target situation + the great regen.
Rallying Cry is pretty straight forward for just pure damage

Berserk
Berserk

  • There are different schools of thoughts on when to use berserk. Personally, I treat it more as a speed + defensive boost, since once you lose the majority of your rage, you’d actually do less damage. However, for the first few seconds or so, you are a GOD.
  • I tend to use it when it’s at 50 rage stacks. Because we generate lots of rage as a Berserker + utilize the rage gem, it lasts quite long if you are continually hitting stuff. 🙂



Leveling and Early Map Gear
50 Points Leveling Tree: poeurl.com/cxd6
If leveling as Solo Self Found or no budget, progress as normal with any two hander.
Use the whetstone + rustic sash recipe to craft decent % phys weapon on usable bases
  • Generic twink items: tabula rasa, wanderlust, goldrim, praxis (or any elreon jewelry), wyrmsign, belt of the deceiver, sacrificial heart, seven league steps
  • Twink weapons: (almost any usable uniques/high dps weps for their level) ie geofris baptism, stormheart
  • Focus on maxing out your resistances, then getting more life. The build has more than enough damage from the ascendancy + passives so survival is key!
  • Grabbing Resolute Technique early on while leveling helps with accuracy. When you transition to crit though, remember to unspec out of it! If you are having accuracy issues, take Eagle Eye and/or Reflexes on the tree. You can also get accuracy on amulet, helmet, rings, or abyssal jewels as a suffix.

100 Points Mapping Tree: poeurl.com/cxd7
Early Leveling Examples

Early Mapping Examples


End Game Gear Sets
Basic Budget Uber Elder Viable Transition
  • Gloves: Wyrmsign/Shadow & Dust → Null and Void
  • Weapon: Hegemony's Era → Fortify Staff
  • Chest: Tabula Rasa/Any 6L (even vaaled) with proper colors/5L Carcass Jack (basically divine) → 6L Carcass
  • Helm: Starkonja/regular rare helm, can craft +1 range (my personal favorite enchant is Immortal Call duration, though the new Berserk enchant looks really nice)
  • Amulet: Open prefix (to craft +1 Range) + Life + Crit Multi + Stats (3-6c)
  • Rings: (-) mana cost (tier 2 cost 3c for -6 to 7) rings/praxis → (-) mana cost unset ring + Assassin's Mark on hit ring
  • Belt: Belt of the Deceiver → 19+ % reduced flask charges stygian (+ unholy might on kill + onslaught on kill)
  • Boots: Regular (25%+ Movespeed) Rare boots (with resists and Dexterity/Intelligence) → Cannot be Frozen + 30% move speed + life + resists + stats
  • Flasks (super important): Blood of the Karui, Chemist’s Jade of Warding (use the Menagerie), Lion’s Roar/Rumi's Concoction, Chemist’s Diamond Flask of Staunching (of Heat if no anti freeze boots), Alchemist’s Quicksilver of Adrenaline
  • Jewels: Lethal Pride with Kiloava

Budget Uber Elder Example


Normal Mapping (All Tiers Viable) Min/Maxed


Bossing (All Bosses, i.e. Uber Elder etc) Min/Maxed


Emblem God (AKA Full Pepega)

Explanation of Full Pepega Setup
If you've gotten this far in terms of currency investment required to go full Pepega, you are probably an experienced player! The gist of this skill tree is to use 2 Inspired Learnings, but at the same time, still be flexible for other content in the game with gear swaps. The main this about the build is to extend the duration of Headhunter and Inspired buffs with Solstice Vigil and Self Temporal Chains via Shackles. The Helmet Enchant and quality on Curse on Hit is HUGE in doing so. If done properly, this build is strong enough to do full party 5 emblem carries with max (visual) rows, while at the same time still able to other content with proper gear swaps. Congrats! You've made it~🙌


Gear Trade Links
WIP: Eventually pathofexile.com/trade links for items will be here.




About Shockwave (in case you didn't see it above)

☝ Extremely Accurate Diagram of Shockwave Support


This new support gem is a core mechanic of the build!
  • It’s a support gem that triggers when you hit a monster every 0.71 seconds (gains cool down reduction with level).
  • Shockwave benefits from the support gems linked to the trigger skill (i.e. Cyclone).
  • Therefore, we maximize the benefit of shockwave by only linking gems that work with both cyclone and shockwave. This means that shockwave benefits off the increased + more aoe from support gems + skill tree.
  • It provides amazing clear by extending the effective aoe of your attacks as well as providing burst damage.
  • It's super satisfying! you can jump into a pack, tap cyclone once, and it EXPLODES!

* Lv21 shockwave gives an extra +1 radius. 😉
* Weapon range doesn’t affect it (that only affects cyclone).
* Attack speed doesn’t affect it.
* Only works with staves (and maces🤮).

Godly Regeneration from Blood of the Karui
  • Well Rolled Blood of the Karui: 3679 hp over 2.5 s = 1471 hp/s x 1.5 (from Profane Chemistry) = 2207 hp/s
  • If used when on low life (via upgraded Soul of Ryslatha Minor Pantheon): 1471 hp/s x 2.1 = 3090 hp/s


Crafting a Naisu Staff
Use Judgement staff. Base stats is great and it’s the new warstaff, which means it can’t roll caster mods! Also the implicit is amazing, especially when paired with Kiloava for 2x chance to block.
  • Try getting an elder judgment staff. ilv85+ for a chance to get the ultimate staff with +2 weapon range if you annul off the multimod 🙏.
  • Use perfect fossil before crafting to get high quality.
  • Use alterations until you get fortify. Regal/Annul. Just a single fortify mod is enough to multimod with everything else

Craft:

Example:


About Timeless Jewels
There are two timeless jewels that we can benefit from, Lethal Pride and Brutal Restraint.
  • Lethal Pride w/ Kiloava: highly recommended overall. kiloava doubles our atk/spell block while halving the mitigation. this makes damage taken more spread out and consistent, allowing our insane life sustaining mechanics to shine through. There are also many fantastic notables for this jewel: ie melee damage, melee crit, crit multi, intimidate on hit, life, chance to deal double damage, phys damage taken as fire, phys dmg gained as fire, life regen, fire resist
  • Brutal Restraint w/ Nasima: for a more specialized damage setup with a hits can’t be evaded staff. It’s much harder to get a good jewel with brutal restraint because there are less beneficial mods (and more ranger, summoner, random stuffs notables). It is nice to fill out the high dex requirements. Some notable notables 😜 : Onslaught for 8 sec on kill, crit chance, life, flask effectiveness, flask gained, phys dmg gained as cold, blind on hit, cold resist
  • Don’t stress too much on getting the perfect godly jewel. It’s a big hassle. just work with what you have and it will be ok 🙂, as long as you use the right general

How to Do Physical or Elemental Reflect
* For Physical reflect: Swap to Hrimsorrow/burn and Physical to Lightning Support for Full Elemental conversion.

* For Elemental Reflect (only needed if you do a significant amount of elemental damage): Simply Put in Brutality Support.

How to Do Hall of Grandmasters
The Bossing Setup does pretty well with almost all the Grandmasters. The raw damage is enough to one shot most things. For the particular nasty DPS ones (Danzigg and Scorching Ray Boys), pop berserk and Vaal Double Strike. For the full blockers you can't one shot, use Balefire.

How to Turn on All Auras Fast (useful for pepega setup)
Do a wep swap and have the auras you use on different hotkeys. 🤫



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • WHY NO BLITZ?! ISNT THAT THE BEST THING EVAARR?! Blitz is cool and all but attack speed doesn’t do anything for shockwave (since it’s cool down based), while aspect of carnage’s 40% more dmg does. Besides, we already have decent attack speed and things get a bit buggy when it goes too fast 🤪. Also Warbringer is really really good.
  • WHY NO INFUSED CHANNELING?! Infused channeling is great for cyclone but shockwave is not a channeling skill so we don’t use it (since we want to double dip ;P)
  • WHY U TAKING RESOLUTE TECHNIQUE EVEN THOUGH U R CRIT BUILD?! The keystone is modified by a timeless jewel (either Lethal Pride Kiloava or Brutal Restraint Nasima). And probably ;P
  • WHY STAFF?! AREN’T 2H AXE/SWORDS/DUAL WIELD WAAAAAAAY BETTER?! Those weapons are good in their own respective builds but Shockwave only works with staves and maces 😜 (and maces are LUL). Also the staff nodes above RT are amazing (offense + defense + quality of life) for so little investment!
  • WHY NO VAAL ANCESTRAL WARCHIEF?! DOESN’T THAT GIB ME MOAR TOOL TIP DPS?! On paper, vaal ancestral warchief looks good. It has solid damage + also gives you more damage while active. However, since we are not a specialized totem build, there’s no investment in totem life nor resistances, which means that they simply die too fast to tough encounters. Dead = 0 DPS. Meanwhile, vaal double strike is super Pog because the minions take all of your stats (+ cosmetics!) and are invincible (that’s why damage on full life is incredible on them). The damage they do is just crazy 😄
  • WHY CAN’T I USE ALL THESE AURAS?! Keep precision at level 1. If you don’t have sufficient mana due to levels/tree, you can substitute in a enlighten (this is why unset rings are godly). If you are having accuracy issues (before having “Hits Can’t Be Evaded” Staff, take Eagle Eye and/or Reflexes on the tree. You can also get accuracy on amulet, helmet, rings, or abyssal jewels as a suffix.
  • HAVE YOU TRIED REDUCED COOLDOWN MODS?! That's a great idea! I have tried them (and they're solid), but at the moment, my items slots are pretty locked since I went full Pepega. Feel free to fit it in as you see fit if your resistances and stat requirements are met.




Memes and Dreams
By Eisen



Credits
HUGE thanks goes out to Eisen and Melly for the amazing help with forum formatting, images, organization <3 Also a big thanks to my loyal viewers from twitch chat for the inspiration and support! :)

Changelog

Soon(tm)!

Service Thread: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2575156

New Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2617717

Catch me on https://www.twitch.tv/ihuy
Last edited by iHuy on Aug 12, 2019, 8:29:29 PM
Last bumped on Aug 16, 2019, 1:56:07 PM
[Reserved Just In Case]
Service Thread: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2575156

New Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2617717

Catch me on https://www.twitch.tv/ihuy
Last edited by iHuy on Aug 12, 2019, 9:57:48 PM
[Reserved Just In Case]
Service Thread: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2575156

New Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2617717

Catch me on https://www.twitch.tv/ihuy
Last edited by iHuy on Aug 12, 2019, 9:57:30 PM
[Reserved Just In Case]
Service Thread: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2575156

New Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2617717

Catch me on https://www.twitch.tv/ihuy
Last edited by iHuy on Aug 12, 2019, 9:57:39 PM
[Reserved Just In Case]
Service Thread: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2575156

New Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2617717

Catch me on https://www.twitch.tv/ihuy
Last edited by iHuy on Aug 12, 2019, 9:57:54 PM
Back when I started, I played your SRS build. I was super impressed with the quality of your build guides, and this is no exception. It shows that you really care about helping people by explaining the mechanics very clearly and the visuals you add are awesome! I will try this build for sure, keep up the great work Huy!
Great guide with a ton of info, can tell many hours were poured into this guide. 10/10
🔥🔥🔥
IGN: birds
Huy took a tons of time building this guide putting a lot of effort into making it as much detail as possible i as a new play who start playing PoE 2 week ago i find the enjoyment of playing Huy build so much (tbh i was just running glacier over and over again Pepega). i was so confuse with the game so much i wanna quit playing at level 26 cuz but after i found huy stream i learn how to play the game and enjoy it thoroughly not just that huy is the nicest guy ive know by far he always repeat any question that ask even know it was written in the forum for the people who didnt read even know huy put so much time into it PepeHands.

(This is not a sponsored comment :) his stream is very chill and cozy drop by sometimes )
So since Huy put a lot of effort into the guide I will try to put a lot of effort into offering some beginner perspective on the build. The post will be long so bear with me or opt out here ;).
If you are super-advanced the stuff below is not for you probably.

Video of T15 Bog with low gear:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2NHHZw_-Dg&feature=youtu.be

About Me


I began playing POE in the middle of Betrayal, hence I consider myself a slightly advanced noob. I killed Uber Elder solo the first time this league using Mathil's Shock Nova build (I figured if I can kill him with that build I'll be able to kill him with anything). I also did the Wing challenges for the first time this league.

I like trying out different things / builds in POE and strive to get better every league since I find this game to be quite fun. I am in Huy's guild but this post is not sponsored in any way -> this is meant to be an honest "build diary" of sorts for new players trying to decide if this could be something for them.
I also wanted to give Huy some feedback.
Anyhow, I would not gain anything by faking a post like this to begin with :).

At the end of Betrayal I started leveling many builds in SSF to see if the builds had league starter potential (for me). So now, at pretty much the end of Legion I figured I would finally go somewhat Meta and try this out. Next I will try a GC Miner since I really loved my Trapsin back in the day...

I met Huy by getting one of his services and pretty much started following him on stream directly afterwards. He is a very nice guy who is generally very helpful; he helped me a lot this league by answering many of my questions so I figured I could write a little review for him.


Testing the Build / Starting Out

To test the build I used standard leveling gear as mentioned in the guide, to be fair most of this stuff will not be available at the league start (or will be way overpriced). However, Tabula can be easily farmed ( I even switched from a +1 to Gems corrupted Tabula to a normal one for testing purposes), none of the rest is mandatory as it is only quality of life in the first few levels.

I simulated the first few hours of mapping by using only fresh gems, Tabula und a 4-Link Edge of Madness I had. I did use my 7-League Step, but I do not consider this cheating since apart from movement speed they offer nothing that boosts anything. In fact they should be considered a hindrance since they provide no life or resists as normal boots would :D.

Since I did not have a Vaal Double Strike I used Ancestral Protector for leveling.

A10 Kitava went super smooth, I died a few times to random stuff because I suck at the game's mechanics.

Generally I would recommend picking up life and resistance nodes first though since the character can feel squishy at times.


First Notable Changes + Current Gear Status

I started mapping as I would with any character, hitting T1-2 maps.
My first notable drops within 5 hours of gameplay:
- 1 Ex
- 1/20 Dread Banner
- Few Chayula splinters
- 1 The Nurse (my first Doctor-related item ever lol).

Using these drops I simulated some purchases and "sped up" the gearing process. Prices will be more expensive at league start of course or items may not yet be broadly available (21/23 Vaal Double Strike for example). However the Ex / Nurse I am "saving" for a Carcass Jack.

I bought a Hegemony's Era Staff and 5 linked it myself (10C for the staff, + about 90 fusings, only looked for ok-ish phys roll), and decided to pretend that I did not have a 21/23 Vaal Double Strike that I bought for 100C so I kept using Ancestral Protector.

Currently I dropped Blood and Sand since I could not fit it anywhere. While I did find an Unset Ring it had crap stats so I am not using it for now. To be fair the Unset Rings showcased by Huy would be part of the endgame chase.

I am also not running any curse at the moment and none of the required flasks. My chance to hit is like 80ish percent (dropped Resolute Technique for the Timeless jewel), so all in all I am very far from the recommended stuff (remember I am pretending this is league start). My Cyclone is not level 20 either.

My rings are all self-found, I am using the cheap mana enchant, my Stygian cost me 3C for the base + a few fossils for the craft (Jagged spam). My helm is also self-found and has no enchant. My gloves were actually also found while leveling this character, but would cost about 1-3 Chaos currently.

I am not using a Watcher's Eye and my other Jewels were all self-found or crafted.

I purchased 4 Timeless Jewels using my map luck and got one usable one, so I popped that in (some Fortify effect + some crit / crit multiplier).

I did buy a 23 Quality Dread Banner since it was relatively cheap. A normal Dread Banner should suffice in any case.

All in all the fossils / currency needed to reach this point could be easily farmed in low delves / low maps fairly quickly -> if you want to buy the fossils and resonators a few Chaos from low maps should be enough and easily attainable.

There is of course also some crafting rng involved, but basic resistance + life gear is usually easy to come by / cheap to buy if you do not want to craft or run out of currency to craft.

Time may be the only factor here that significantly differs from an actual league start test since you may need more time farming the fossils and jewels etc. However, since no crazy gear is involved or needed to reach + comfortably clear maps I believe this to be fully league start and SSF viable.

You can check my current gear in the Valzerk profile. Hell, I have not even done the merc lab as of the time this was written. Since mapping was so much fun I have been doing that nonstop pretty much.


Result!

Well with my current piece of crap stuff, no merc lab etc...

-> T15 Shaped Bog (comfortably) clear.

So I am basically able to run T15 Maps (granted not very juiced, only alched) with almost no investment whatsoever.

I am fully confident that this build will be able to down Uber Elder with a very low investment (prices will vary each league obviously).
Please remember though that Uber Elder will take some practice in general.


Thoughts and Prayers

I have in the meantime built the recommended staff (got lucky on the rolls) and will buy a Carcass next. For me this could be a definite league starter as well as a character I might try pushing 100 with (without Chayula runs). Will try to kill Uber Elder and Shaper on as little budget as possible and update.

The mapping is incredibly smooth and fun. Highly recommended if you like D2 / D3 Whirlwind playstyle.


Pros and Cons

+ Very smooth and satisfying leveling + farming in maps.
+ You really feel the progression with better items.
+ Pretty much instantly viable for higher tiers, depending only somewhat initial drop luck.
+ With a few Chaos on Day 1 / 1-2 good drops you can easily purchase the necessary items to push into red maps. Most of the stuff is standard so prices should not see too much of a spike (Starkonja for example). Of course new Metas can influence the prices, however, rarity also plays a role.
+ Flexible in regards to leveling skill point progression. I for example will not take Life Flask nodes till much later and instead go for more gem sockets / res / pure life / crit.
+ Vaal Double Strike really is insane, popping Berserk + Vaal Double Strike feels good man (melt bosses).
+ Out-of-the-box damage is quite good, allowing for flexibility in the jewels (do not need crazy triple damage jewels as is the case with Essence Drain for example).
+ Actually not very many buttons in regular mapping scenarios (Enduring Cry + Berserk, Vaal Double Strike for tough mobs / boss only, never place Banner really).

- Without high movement speed Cyclone can feel like poop (use Leap Slam to move between packs).
- Low Gear + High Map Legions can feel unsatisfactory since you will be missing some damage for the big mobs even using Berserk.
- Somewhat squishy while leveling (maybe I am dumb?).
- Gem / Gear swapping can be bothersome if you are lazy like me.


Suggestions for the Guide

1. For full Ham-Mode do a basic crafting guide / insight into the Helmet + other pieces of gear -> What base + why, crafting steps as in the staff section.
2. Make the gem priority a bit clearer in regards to the auras (e.g. I would keep Maim + Flesh and Stone for synergy at the beginning and drop blood and sand). The gem priority is pretty clear for the main links.


General Tips for New Players from a newer Player

I do not take credit for the information below. I am pretty much regurgitating well known streamers / guides / common sense in a summarized form since I thought new players might read this and find it helpful (without having to piece it together from various videos).

- Downing Shaper and Uber Elder / T16 Bosses (especially deathless) will take practice. Do not use Huy / Streamer X as a reference, they have generally been playing for years. It took me 9 Sets to kill Uber Elder not deathless.
- Try not to become a pro at all mechanics in one league, do not be disheartened if you do not make 500 Ex in one week. Set small goals and do what you think is fun.
- On that note, an easy but grindy way to get some starter currency is to run low maps in bulk. Currency drops are not bound to map tiers. In fact many streamers actually run many many low maps (we are talking hundreds) to get their currency going (+ working with their teams but that is a different story :).
- Another easy way to make some currency is to delve. Watch some delve guides and try it out. Pay attention to what the current meta is as this will affect what fossils will be valuable (e.g. Serrated for Maim Chests this league). Read up on where to find them -> Serrated in Frozen Hollows for example.
- You can do plenty of content without needing Mirror-tier items.
- Really really really get resistances maxed out and make sure to have useful crafts on your flasks :).
- Do not think that you suck because you die more often than others or make less currency. We all start somewhere and the learning curve is steep in POE but really rewarding once you see yourself improving.
- Do not min-max from the start. Hit resists, use jewels to your advantage to get missing resists, life, other stats etc. Worry about min-maxing when the time comes.
- VAAL everything you can afford to lose, e.g. low gloves like Hrimsorrow, Sadima's Touch etc. Add 4 sockets, change the colors to something standard / usable for the item (maybe check a guide etc.), use a Whetstone or Armourer's Scrap to get 20% quality and then dump a VAAL Orb on the item. If you get lucky with a nice curse on hit or life on gloves for example (or all white sockets), the value of the item may go up quite a bit.
- Always price check an item based on the rolls you have. A well rolled item may be a few Ex, the same item with bad rolls might only be 1 Chaos.
- Play the game. POE rewards playing it moreso than other games. Plus you will become better at the core mechanics (ULab etc.) which then loops back into more currency etc.
- Check out guides (like this one), follow them (for crafting, bossing, builds etc.). It helps, I learned this first hand. E.g. I used to hate ULab, now I do runs on good days to see if I can hit a good enchant. POE has a lot to offer if you are willing to invest some time :)


Thanks for the excellent guide and all the help Huy, it has been a blast to play so far even though I swore I would never go back to SpinToWin :)

PS.: I suck at this formatting thing.

Last edited by Valencius81 on Aug 13, 2019, 3:49:10 AM

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