[3.9] Ice Dancing Queen - Icestorm/Cyclone/CI - Viable For Everything
2019-12-12: No major changes in 3.9. New Awakened gems are a big buff. As well as the Catalyst crafting. Exact details TBD.
Turn Wraeclast into a skating rink and pirouette all over the endgame bosses!
Demo video: Ice Skating with Uber Elder
This is a version of my Whispering Ice build for the Cyclone era. The main idea is to be super tanky and faceroll everything in your way without having to dodge almost anything. No boss is too hard, most are too easy. All maps with most any mods are a joke. I've been using this build to do 40/40 challenges on my own merit in many leagues, this is my go-to build to get things done.
Warning: Icestorm requires a decent GPU. Check if your system can handle it before trying this build: buy the cheapest staff, put Cyclone + CwC into 2 linked sockets and spin around. If you experience a massive fps drop - please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to improve the performance of Icestorm.
This build is based on The Whispering Ice unique staff. Icestorm damage scales from Int, therefore Int is the main stat.
The build is immune to stun, shock, ignite, all forms of chaos damage, and partially immune to chill and freeze.
Key mechanics: Chaos Inoculation, Zealot's Oath, ES leech, cold damage, 2 curses, Elemental Overload, Arcane Surge, Flesh and Stone, Arctic Armour, Cyclopean Coil.
Kill them all
Ascendant: Occultist, Inquisitor, Path of the Templar - in that order
Solaris (fully upgraded) provides the best overall defense.
The Brine King (with chill and freeze upgrades) can be used where you can get chilled and frozen too much.
Tukohama (upgraded) is great for tanking heavy hitters.
The build is based on this item.
Keep in mind that rolling 6S manually with jeweller orbs requires ilvl 50 or higher. Crafting bench can force 6 sockets on any staff.
Only one link is required in the staff (Cyclone - CwC). Icestorm automatically uses all support gems in the staff without the need to link them.
Important: Always 20q your staff before attempting to 6S it. Quality improves your roll by a lot. You can do it much cheaper than via the crafting bench with average luck, as long as it's 20q.
Astramentis solves all stat requirement issues and provides a huge amount of damage via its high Intelligence (which is also boosted by the staff and belt). The implicit mod can be easily rolled to 16 with a few Blessed Orbs. A low explicit roll (below 90) can be turned into a high roll (over 90) with a Divine orb or two.
Shaped amulets and Talismans can do better but they can be very expensive and may require Str and Dex from other sources.
Cyclopean Coil provides a lot of Int while making you immune to shock and ignite (your stats will normally end up in this hierarchy: Int > Str > Dex). It also adds 1% Increased damage per 5 of your lowest stat. With Astramentis your lowest stat is usually about 150 Dex, that's 30% Increased damage right there.
Gloves, boots, helmet, chest
Use rares. The most important stat is Int, followed by ES and resists.
Body armor can have a 6% Increased Attributes mod. Shaper ones can have up to 12% Increased Intelligence mod (ilvl 83+). Those are the best ones. With some luck and a bunch of Alterations, you can hit the %Int suffix + a high tier ES prefix and then multi-mod (2 ex cost) the rest.
Helmets can have a fossil-crafted mod "Nearby Enemies have -9% to Cold Resistance" (from Frigid fossil) which is great for this build.
Boots with 30-35% movement speed are highly recommended.
Rare rings with 50+ Int and as much ES and resistance as you can find. Ideally it should be corrupted with %Increased Int (see Corruption).
You will need 3x Brute Force Solution, 2x Fertile Mind, and 2 more of either kind, to convert Str and Dex nodes to Int, with their own Int on top of that. 2 additional Brute Force Solution or Fertile Mind can be added at the high levels.
The same node can be converted by multiple overlapping jewels. In this build, two small Str nodes and two small Dex nodes near the Scion starting area are double-converted for 20 Int each.
Rare jewels with good mods can be used in the other 4 sockets that don't have Str/Dex nodes nearby. Resist/damage jewels can also be used if you are struggling to max the resists.
The following mods are good on rare jewels:
+12-16 to Intelligence
+8-10 to Strength and Intelligence
14-16% Increased Spell damage while wielding a staff
14-16% Increased Cold damage
10-12% Increased Spell damage
10-12% Increased Area damage
Str/Dex balance: You want to keep Str above Dex, so that Cyclopean Coil makes you immune to ignite.
Watcher's Eye has 2-3 random mods that add extra effects to various auras. The mods useful to this build are:
+(20-30) Energy Shield gained for each Enemy Hit while affected by Discipline - a powerful supplement to the capped ES leech, especially for clearing maps with nasty mods. It works wonders against packs of dangerous enemies that could do more damage than 30% of your ES per second (the leech cap).
(20-30)% increased Energy Shield Recovery Rate while affected by Discipline - extra leech (it increases the leech cap!) is very useful against bosses.
Gain (12-18)% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity - a lot of extra ES. Run lv 1 Clarity for 34 mana.
If you can find a jewel with more than one of these mods, it's awesome. However, such a jewel can cost more than the rest of the gear combined, and it's not really necessary for anything.
Note: Watcher's Eye is optional! It's not required for the build to function, but VERY nice to have.
Pure Talent gives you 25 Int for playing a Scion and 5% resist penetration for taking one of the Templar starting nodes (via Path of the Templar).
This build does not need any enchantments, they are all optional. If you get something useful - great, but you'll do just fine without any of this. Boot enchantments are the easiest to get (2% regen, or some added damage), helmet is a big lottery (increased effect of Enfeeble, Frostbite, Arctic Armour, or Flesh and Stone), and none of the glove enchantments matter.
Do not use crappy items with useful enchantments, they are not worth the sacrifice.
Rings, amulets and belts can get %Increased Int (and Str or Dex).
Jewels can get extra damage, reduced mana reservation, or immunity to Maim, Silence, Hinder or Corrupting Blood.
Do not corrupt the staff! 18% block is an excellent defensive mod, and there are no good Vaal mods for staves that would help this build.
Things to get with the oils:
Diamond Skin (Clear, Sepia, Teal): excellent for leveling. +12% all resists and +3% movement speed.
Wisdom of the Glade (Clear, Clear, Amber): once your resists are good, here's a cheap +30 Int.
Mystic Talents (Amber, Opalescent, Silver): next step up, some ES and damage on top of 30 Int.
Tranquility (Azure, Golden, Golden): the ultimate upgrade, a MASSIVE damage buff plus a little more ES. Transfiguration of Soul adds 30% of your total Increased ES modifier as an extra Increased Damage modifier. For example, I currently have 74% Increased ES from the tree and 2371 Int. 10 Int = 2% Increased ES. Therefore, in total I have 74 + (2371 / 10 * 2) = 548% Increased ES modifier, and Tranquility gives me 548 * 0.3 = 164% Increased damage.
Arcane Surge Support lv 1-6 (match the mana cost of Vortex)
Arctic Armour lv 20, ideally lv 21
Ball Lightning lv 4
Bonechill Support lv 20, ideally lv 21
Cast When Damage Taken Support lv 1
Cast When Damage Taken Support lv 20
Cast While Channelling Support 20/20, ideally 21/20
Cold Penetration Support 20/20, ideally 21/20
Concentrated Effect Support 20/20, ideally 21/20
Controlled Destruction Support 20/20, ideally 21/20
Curse on Hit Support 20/20, ideally 20/23
Cyclone any level
Discipline lv 20, ideally lv 21
Elemental Focus Support 20/20, ideally 21/20
Enfeeble 20/20, ideally 21/20
Flame Dash lv 20
Flesh and Stone lv 19
Frost Bomb lv 20
Frostbite 20/20, ideally 21/20
Immortal Call 20/20
Increased Duration Support 20/20, ideally 20/23
Vortex 20/20, ideally 20/23
Spell Cascade Support 20/20, ideally 21/20
Blood Rage any level, ideally lv 20
Frost Wall lv 10
Vaal Righteous Fire lv 20
Purity of Elements lv 19, ideally lv 21
Recommended priority of adding quality:
- primary DPS gems: CwC, Concentrated Effect, Elemental Focus, Controlled Destruction, Cold Penetration
- Curse on Hit
- Inc Duration
Uber Lab farming is a good way to add quality to your gems. You can often find treasure chests filled with random quality gems to vendor for the GCP recipe.
If you are not into Uber Lab farming, then:
- for non-DPS gems, level the gem to 20 or buy an uncorrupted 20/0 gem, vendor the gem + Gemcutter Prism to get a 1/20 gem, and then level that one. You can get them to lv 17-18 in no time, and that is enough for them to be efficient;
- for the DPS gems, level 2 copies at the same time (or buy 20/0) and then vendor one copy with GCP and re-level it in the swap weapon.
(Syndicate) 3-star Tora in Research will add 200M xp to any gem, i.e. instantly turn a lv 19 gem into lv 20.
Sockets and Links
Cyclone - CwC, Concentrated Effect, Elemental Focus, Controlled Destruction (5S), Cold Penetration (6S).
Cyclone must be linked to CwC. You don't need to link anything else. Icestorm automatically uses all support gems in the staff.
For wide open maps you can swap CD for Spell Cascade to cover more area. If your video card is powerful enough.
If you don't like swapping gems, you can carry a second staff with Spell Cascase and switch between them by pressing X.
5L: CWDT (lv 1) - Ball Lightning (lv 4) - Curse of Hit (20/20) - Enfeeble (lv 20) - Frostbite (lv 20)
Important: CWDT needs to be lv 1 and BL must be lv 4 or lower, do not level these gems! CoH can be any level, 20/20 is highly recommended. The curses must be lv 6 or higher, level them up. This setup will not work with low level curse gems or high level CWDT/BL. You want this link to trigger as often as possible, so CWDT must stay at lv 1. BL higher than lv 4 will be too high level for it to trigger. Curses lower than lv 6 will get triggered by CWDT directly instead of getting procced by BL, and will thus only target a small area and lose the increased effect from CoH.
If you don't have a 5L chest yet, drop Frostbite.
If you get a 6L, add Frost Wall lv 10 (to be triggered by CWDT lv 1). It's a good defensive mechanic, and you can Cyclone through your walls.
Gloves, boots, helmet
4L: CWDT - Immortal Call - Frost Bomb - Increased Duration
Use high level gems here.
3L: Vortex - Bonechill - Arcane Surge.
Keep Arcane Surge at low levels to trigger on the mana cost of Vortex. For lv 20 Vortex, AS should be lv 6.
Optionally, add Flame Dash to this link too.
Place in any free sockets: Discipline, Flesh and Stone, Arctic Armour.
Make sure not to link the aura gems to any supports that can increase their mana cost.
A white socket for easy swapping between AA or Purity of XXX can be obtained from Betrayal (put Vorici in Research).
How to off-color sockets?
The easiest way to get 3 or all 4 R/G sockets in Int items is to use Jewellers instead of Chromatics. Using the crafting bench, keep adding a new socket and removing it until you get the color you want. Adding a socket doesn't change the colors of the existing sockets.
2. Flesh and Stone (Sand stance).
3. Depending on what you are doing:
- Arctic Armour for tanking hard hitters
- Purity of Elements for EW maps
- Purity of Fire/Ice/Lightning if there is too much damage of one type
High level option: Aspect of the Spider is a great addition. It can be found on rings or beast-crafted on any item with an open suffix. You will need to take Sovereignty to have enough mana for it.
My favorite setup is: Discipline, Flesh and Stone, Aspect of the Spider, Arctic Armour.
Cyclone through the map and faceroll everything. Use Vortex to trigger Arcane Surge and Bonechill damage bonuses.
Use Quicksilver flask with extra movement speed. Want even more speed? Use Silver flask for Onslaught and/or Blood Rage for frenzy charges (you can easily outregen it). If there are no enemies around, just run and/or Flame Dash.
While tanking bosses and tough rares, Cyclone on top of them and stay in one spot to activate the defensive bonuses of Arctic Armour and Tukohama.
Dealing with map mods
This build can run any maps with almost any possible mod combinations. Most of them can be ignored, except a few that require special attention:
Bring a mana flask that doesn't end on full mana.
If you don't have a Watcher's Eye jewel with +ES gain on hit, then just don't run straight into monster packs, kill them from range. Watcher's Eye trivializes the clearing, then you just need to be careful while tanking endgame bosses.
In read tier maps your resists are lowered by 34%. This is completely mitigated by The Wise Oak flask which is great for this build anyway. Or any Bismuth flask if you can't afford The Wise Oak early in a new league.
-12% to Maximum Resistances
Just be more careful. You'll be taking a little more elemental damage, but very few things hit hard enough to hurt this build.
Wear Sibyl's Lament in the left ring slot. As of 3.9, it reduces reflected elemental damage by 80%. And the Ash, Frost and Storm tree node reduces it by 20%, i.e. you are immune to elemental reflect with this ring.
Detailed leveling guide is in the next post.
Get to lv 38 any way you can (for example: Frost Bomb - Spell Cascade, plus Icicle Mines - Minefield, and Skitterbots). Or just the good old Freezing Pulse.
As soon as you are able to use CwC (lv 38), equip the staff and start cycloning. Keep resists maxed. Switch to CI after taking the ES leech clusters whenever you feel comfortable - around lv 56-58, definitely should be CI by lv 70.
Last edited by Kelvynn on Dec 15, 2019, 11:40:05 PM
Last bumped on Feb 18, 2020, 3:07:56 PM
on Sep 6, 2019, 1:45:58 AM
Leveling with the Whispering Ice is a blast. You can start using it as early as lv 33 with some inconvenience, or at lv 39 where it starts really kicking ass.
However, if you don't have the staff yet and don't think you will get it early enough, then your leveling experiences may vary. This guide is specifically designed for Icestorm.
Remember to complete side quests that give +skill points.
A1: Dweller of the Deep ('the Granddaddy crab')
A1: The Marooned Mariner (Fairgraves)
A1-2: The Way Forward (the seal in Western Forest)
A3: Victario's Secrets (platinum busts)
A4: An Indomitable Spirit (Deshret)
A5: In Service to Science (the Miasmeter)
A5: Kitava's Torments (the Reliquary)
A6: The Cloven One (Aberrath)
A6: The Puppet Mistress (Ryslatha)
A7: Queen of Despair (Gruthkul)
A7: Kishara's Star (the Causeway)
A8: Love is Dead (Tolman)
A8: The Gemling Legion (the Grain Gate)
A8: Reflection of Terror (Yugul)
A9: Queen of the Sands (Shakari)
A9: The Ruler of Highgate (Garukhan)
A10: Vilenta's Vengeance (Vilenta)
You can get to lv 38-39 any way you like. In the Blight league I wanted to try the new mine skills. Here are my notes.
Tree: lv 1-24
Hillock: buy Stormblast Mine from Nessa and play a miner
Medicine Chest: take Spell Cascade
Drain the underwater passage: take Frost Bomb and support it with Spell Cascade, buy Swift Assembly and support Stormblast Mine.
Play style: see the enemy, pop triple Frost Bomb, throw 3-4 mines, then press Detonate and keep throwing mines. They explode in an accelerating sequence, but you can throw more mines before they explode for quite a while, chain nuking a boss/rare.
Prison or Brutus: take Flame Dash and Added Lightning. If you have extra links (Tabula Rasa) add it to the mine link.
Merveil Caves: buy Icicle Mine and replace Stormblast with it.
Fidelitas: take Arctic Armour and start leveling it (but don't use it yet), buy Summon Skitterbots and start using them.
The Weaver: take Conc Effect, buy Elemental Focus and support Icicle Mine with it, buy Controlled Destruction and start leveling it and CE. Whenever you find 4L - add CD to it. If you have 3L for Frost Bomb too - add CD to it.
Tree: lv 38
Crematorium: take Frostbite
Gravicius: take Cyclone
Library: take Cold Penetration
Voll: take Chaos Golem and start using it
Kaom/Daresso, lv 38: buy CwC, equip the staff and start cycloning!
Only need 1 link in the staff for Cyclone - CwC, add the rest of support gems depending on the sockets: CE, EF, CD. If you starting the league and don't have the currency to get the sockets you want (1 green and the rest blue), go with whatever supports that can be of any use: Life Leech (red), Fortify (red if linked to Cyclone), Knockback (red, works hilariously well in those Blight encounters) etc.
You may need to get some Str and Dex from gear to meet the requirements. And just go with Int, resists and life.
My day 1 ghetto outfit at lv 38:
I found exactly 1 chaos, 1 alc, several jewellers and RGB items to vendor for chroms on way to lv 38. Bought CwC from Petarus and Vanya for that 1 alc, bough the staff for 1c with 2 sockets, it rolled 5S (lucky!) but I didn't have enough chroms to make it better than this. The rest of the items were all self-found.
Tree: lv 46
Once you are using Icestorm, do the Normal lab and keep rolling. Upgrade your items as you get more currency. Do Cruel lab when it unlocks too (Act 7).
Auras: Flesh and Stone, Arctic Armour, Skitterbots
Vortex - Bonechill - Arcane Surge
CWDT - Immortal Call - Enfeeble - Frost Bomb
My stuff at lv 46, day 1 of the Blight league:
And then you can just grab the ES nodes and go CI around lv 56-58. DPS should be fine with 4S or better staff. Nothing hits hard enough if you just keep cycloning. In fact, becoming immune to chaos damage before Act 8 is nice.
Tree: lv 58 with CI
My stuff at lv 58 with CI
All those cheap uniques are very nice for CI. Jewelry for max resist with Int if possible.
Then just grab some ES and more damage and steamroll the rest of the campaign. You should arrive at lv 69 just in time for Kitava. Do Merciless lab before Kitava (30% resistance hit). Make sure to have Granite and Basalt flask for Izaro.
Tree: lv 69
Video: Leveling with WI
And if you are still not CI - now it's definitely time to switch and get some ES gear for mapping.
Last edited by Kelvynn on Sep 12, 2019, 1:21:35 PM
on Sep 6, 2019, 1:46:23 AM
on Sep 6, 2019, 1:46:36 AM
welcome back. I am really super happy that you are back in wraeclast.
And you uber elder fight looks really really hillious. I try it now in std with my gear from the last leagues. i never could kill him. Will see if it works with cyclone.
great video and cool musik. I like your ideas to make every league a new picture and guide. I never saw a guide so detailt and easy to start with.
on Sep 6, 2019, 1:55:03 AM
Awesome work look forward to the leveling guide
on Sep 6, 2019, 2:30:35 AM
HURRAY FOR THE CWC CYCLONE BANDWAGON!!!
This variant was a blast to play in 3.7; the mobility of cyclone just makes mapping so smooth.
Also, is occultist mini Ascendancy still best? If you never stop cycloning you will never be stunned as Cyclone comes with stun immunity while channeling it.
Just some food for thought.
Last edited by Gryphenprey on Sep 6, 2019, 2:48:41 AM
on Sep 6, 2019, 2:45:53 AM
Because Kelvynn is back and he has always the greatest ideas when it comes to Whispering Ice build variants i think i will jump also into Cyclone-IceStorm bandwagon for this league and put to rest the previous Winter Orb setup of his build :)
For those interested in numbers(stats) for this build with endgame gear (almost perfect gear i can say) and level 100 character here is the PoB pastebin code of my approach based on my Legion character (Vanilla_IceStorm lv 100)
Bellow is a screenshot from the PoB with the tree and numbers from Path of Building updated 3.8 tree
Last edited by lilianmarius on Sep 6, 2019, 4:15:25 AM
on Sep 6, 2019, 4:13:32 AM
If we could get Whispers of Doom notable enchant on the amulet to get free 2nd course maybe taking Champion mini ascendancy instead of Occultist mini ascendancy would be an option.
But then again there is also Tranquility notable enchant than can be anointed on the Amulet and we don't know yet how OP that enchantment is for our build.
Also the 1.5% ES regen from Occultist mini ascendancy helps a lot when using Blood Rage to bypass the physical degen of it.
Last edited by lilianmarius on Sep 6, 2019, 5:45:12 AM
on Sep 6, 2019, 5:43:54 AM
Maybe use skitterbots over AA to get shock+chill auras? And Golem Commander might be nice for two golems with more effect?
Last edited by foojin on Sep 6, 2019, 7:00:16 AM
on Sep 6, 2019, 6:58:34 AM
We don't have free gem sockets for golems(not even for one but for two). Also skill points spent to get Golem Commander can easily be spent to get more Intelligence always.
Regarding skitterbots, i am not familiar with this new skill how can this one improve this build, can you detail please?
on Sep 6, 2019, 7:39:41 AM