[3.8] Stormblast Mine | DPS on low to moderate budget | League starter -> easy uber elder kills

The purpose of this guide is to correct the unacceptable lack of a stormblast mine guide on the site, even what will surely be a mediocre one like mine (just kidding...hopefully)!

You should give this skill a chance because it has very solid single target without pyroclast mine's eye cancer (you're still stuck with the mine gameplay carpal tunnel though) and will work with any budget. League starter? Yep. 100 exalts of shaped gear to run with a shroud of eternity? Also yep. And don't forget, since only 1% of sabs are running this skill you can bask in the sweet, sweet superiority of playing a hipster ability.

Uber elder in ~2.5 minutes:

+ Cheap to start, easy to scale
+ No dex/str/resists suffix rubix cube to solve every time you change a piece of gear
+ Pretty much any boss or map mod is fair game
+ A zillion defensive layers thanks to sabo/flasks/acro
+ Carpal tunnel (it's more fun than walking around while your minions kill stuff alright?)

- Carpal tunnel
- Clear speed is just ok, SB mine sometimes leaves stragglers
- Huge number of gem options can be a bit hard to decide what to go with

Path of Building
FYI there is a skitterbot shock fix added to my carcass jack


Now, you might be thinking: "did this clown of a 'guide writer' use the T2 lightning as extra chaos craft on his multimodded wand?" You would be correct - this clown is impatient and lazy (and it's also like 1% dps) so please try not to judge me too harshly.

More seriously, this is just a generic example of something you're going for. It could be a sceptre or even a rune dagger as well. Mods you're looking for in particular:
* The shaped "elemental dmg as extra chaos"
* +1 to all lightning spell skill gems
* flat lightning to spells
* spell crit
* spell damage
* lightning/mine damage

And so on. If you want to go really deep dick, rock 2 of something like this. Personally, I wanted a little more life and the ability to block attacks so I went with a spirit shield in my offhand.

This is a very budget example. If you've got money to burn you're looking for life along with some of the same stuff from your wand - shaped "as extra chaos" damage, spell damage, spell crit, and you can get the +1 to spell/lightning spell gems on a shield as well. More budget, just try to get a lot of life with some damage and crit. Resist don't hurt either as most of the damage affixes you like are prefixes anyway (spell crit being the exception).

I have added fire here for ignites for one of my ascendancy choices, discussed later and cold damage helps chill/freeze stuff that your skitterbots haven't caught up to. You need that fire/cold damage somewhere. Jewelry and abyss jewels are other potential sources.

There are a lot of potential options for your chest piece. Carcass jack is my personal favorite as it's evasion/shield which is ideal and gives a ton of stuff we can use. Life, resists, AOE, and damage. It's also not horribly expensive. Loreweave, shroud of the lightless, eternity shroud, cloak of defiance if you can play MoM without wanting to vomit, rares with shaped mods, various CI chests if you want to try and run a CI version. Again, tons of options - go wild.

Enchantments to shoot for:
* SB mine aura buff
* SB mine throw speed
* Skitterbot mana reservation reduction

* Life and resists
* -% lightning res delve mod (via the classic pristine + elemental fossil combo)
* shaped "lightning to spells" mod
* the trap/mine damage shaped mod works too, but the lightning to spells is better

Personally, I think boots and gloves should be rares. Life, resists, movement speed. Fingerless silk gloves and two-toned boots are nice. Options with more evasion and energy shield are also totally viable. There is also a shaped trap and mine damage affix for gloves.

Another good option that I will probably go for eventually are some nice evasion or evasion/shield gloves with the "~50% increased damage with hits against chilled enemies" incursion mod.

It might be worth trying the new unique Machina Mitts to get leech from your mines. But they'd actually nerf your life recovery rate without spending points on power charges that we really don't need. They also have zero life and zero resists. Yuck, imo. Disclaimer: I have not actually tried them.

For your rings, I really think this is *the* sensible setup. Mark of the Shaper is GREAT for this build. You can buy one with solid rolls for cheap and combo it with a generic elder ring and you're off to the race with a huge damage boost. If you want to be fancy, get an elder ring with life and the elder crit multi mod.

There are other options on your rings for sure, such as assassin's mark or conductivity on hit, and shaped lightning to spells/lightning to shocked enemies. But the Mark of the Shaper setup will be nearly as good in most cases while being easy to purchase. And you have plenty of rares to make up for the fact mark of the shaper has no resists.

For your amulet, you're mainly looking for life and crit multi - preferably over 30%. Spell and lightning damage are also good. Cast speed is not actually good for this build, but I'll be reusing this amulet on my next character as well. Mana regen helps a lot because we're going pretty deep on reservations for more damage.

As for the anoint, you've got a lot of options. The one I have on the amulet showcased here is a great budget option - it only costs 2 of the blue oils. With only a little mana investment this translates into a lot of spell damage. More expensive options can get you more damage still and would probably be best if you've got a level 4 enlighten setup with our buffs to make up for the mana loss. Or just more mana on your gear. You can aim for nodes with large amounts of HP, or some of the largest damage bonuses for us. Which are generally notables with spell crit multi on them. Heart of thunder and arcane potency appear to be the 2 best candidates for DPS in PoB.

For jewels you're looking for life and damage in any way you can get it. But life and crit multi are your primary goals here.

For a watcher's eye the only useful Wrath mods are penetration and generic % lightning damage. Because our mines do damage, not us, the leech mods are not useful. Some of the clarity mods are a nice quality of life bonus, especially with respect to mana. We have a lot of penetration and damage increases on the tree, so when I buy a watcher's eye I think I am more likely going to be chasing some of the clarity stuff if I can afford them.

Diamond flask is the must-have damage flask. With our enormous crit multiplier, it is a huge damage boost.

Jade flask gets your evade chance up to about 30%. And Rumi's get your block chance close to 30% along with a lil' phys damage reduction. Between blinding nearby enemies, evading 30% of attacks, and dodging 30% of attacks (acrobatics) you are extremely likely to avoid, one way or another, any attack damage. Spells are still scary though. But that's why we build 180% life into our tree.

Wise Oak, Atziri's Promise, and Cinderswallow Urn are all nice offensive flask options if you want to drop something. Probably should be the rumi's. Obviously if you're dual wielding don't even consider Rumi's.

I lack the time, at least right now, to do an exhaustive breakdown of the gems here but if people show interest I may get around to it eventually. So for now I'll just make some overarching notes and point you to my PoB - which is very well curated so you should be able to follow exactly what I have in mind for the gems there. Also, please check out the "notes" tab for a little more detail.

Stormblast Mine (6 link):
See my PoB for the 6 linked SB mine setup. I change them based on scenario so checking my character on the site is likely to give you the wrong idea.

However, I will briefly discuss swift assembly support versus minefield support. You don't want to run both. Minefield support is a ~100% more multiplier (5 mines at 40% speed) but you *really* feel the slowness of the throwing when you use it. It also is often hugely overkill for enemy packs, leaving you vulnerable for longer when there is no need to in addition to slowing you down.

If I'm doing the math on swift assembly support correctly, it appears to be something like a 60% more multiplier. But it leaves you with a very fast throw speed and no concerns about vastly overinvesting damage into a given enemy or pack of enemies, unlike minefield support. However, it is technically less dps and it's also quite random. It can throw several mines or, more likely (~2/3 of the time in fact), just 1 mine. This isn't always as bad as it may sound though - often there's no need for it to consistently throw multiple mines.

Based on looking at poe.ninja, miners in general seem to slightly prefer minefield support. Among stormblast miners specifically, it appears to be dead even between the two.

Personally, I feel pulled towards swift assembly especially now that my damage is quite high. I'd recommend trying both periodically until your tree and gear have settled in, as how they feel is subject to change based on you how complete your character is.

CWDT Setup:
Probably a 4 link in your helm. But gloves and boots work too. A 3 link in one of your weapons is also totally possible if you want to change things up. I'm sort of unorthodox and prefer to use the "guard" skills manually, and put stuff that would otherwise have a cast time into my CWDT setups like curses, cold snap, or a golem. You can try what I'm running in my PoB but generally this is totally debatable and up to you.

A 4 link, probably in boots or gloves but helm is fine too.
* Enlighten 3 or 4
* Skitterbots
* Wrath
* Low level clarity

This leaves you pretty low on mana for mines. You can usually throw out about 15-20. This is more than enough for most encounters with a little regen investment. Some fights that are breakneck speed and over quickly, such as minotaur, can be troublesome with mana but in my experience the extra damage are worth it. Wrath is 20% more and so are your skitterbots (at least on bosses with very high health).

An aspect would make a good replacement for one of your damage reservations if you'd prefer not to shave it so close. But I have not looked into doing so in detail.

A 4 link, probably in boots or gloves but helm is fine too.
Be sure to remove this from your bar for reflect maps.
* Orb of storms
* Wave of conviction
* Curse on Hit
* Assassin's Mark/Conductivity

I think assassin's mark is a tad better. It further ensures power charge maintenance (frankly I don't think this is really an issue but the more the merrier) and the mana gain on kill is at least useful. The longer curse time from conductivity is not very impactful. Damage wise they are very similar.

Orb of storms constantly curses enemies. Wave of conviction curses them once but also applies the large "exposure" (-25% resistance) debuff for an even larger debuff.

A 3 link, in one of your weapons or shield.
* Flame dash
* faster casting
* arcane surge (keep it low leveled so a single flame dash triggers it)

The classic arcane surge with flame dash setup. Smoke mine is fun but sadly because it reserves mana rather than spending it, cannot be relied upon to trigger arcane surge. Adding smoke mine into this setup and making it a 4 link where you use smoke mine to cover distance quickly (it gives you a nice speed boost) is a totally legit thing to do. You'll just need one of your 4 links to become a 3, and move over to the weapon.

Defensive cooldowns:
A 3 link, in one of your weapons or shield.
* Immortal call, leveled as much as you can (don't worry about it too much, the level doesn't make *that* much difference)
* Vaal grace (same here)
* Increased duration

Again, I am odd and like to manually IC/Steelskin/molten shell. Maybe I'm a secret genius, years ahead of the meta. Maybe I'm an idiot trying way too hard. You'll never know unless you try it too!

When Vaal Grace and your flasks are up you laugh at attacks. Spells still a bit spooky though.

Pyromaniac, born in the shadows, and bomb specialist are must-haves. Only debate is between demolitions specialist and explosives expert. If you're using skitterbots and make sure to have some fire damage on your mines for ignites the damage is similar. Slight edge to bomb expert there I think. I like the increased AOE / AOE damage reduction better than the hinder, personally.

I honestly don't have a recommendation on what order to grab them in. Doesn't really matter much.

Personally, I'm a big fan of lunaris on any build with decent evasion and/or bad physical damage reduction. Getting the latter just by being near packs of enemies is very valuable. The dodge stuff stacks extremely well on top of the evasion/dodge from your gear/tree. But ideally you should be willing to swap to Solaris or Arakaali as well. I don't think the stun stuff from brine king is very useful here because you're so likely to avoid or block attack damage already. Not sure I've been double stunned a single time.

As far as the minors go, it doesn't matter much. I'd recommend swapping between them as necessary for map mods. Yugul is nice for the uber elder fight (you need to get the buff to it though).

That's all folks. Hope I can make the gems section better eventually. Also, I look forward to feedback. Part of the reason I love this game is how deep it is. If someone can't tell me something I'm clearly doing wrong I will be disappointed.
Last edited by docdocdocdoc on Sep 22, 2019, 8:38:04 PM
Last bumped on Dec 13, 2019, 12:26:25 AM
I love the idea and your writing is great.

The build itself:
Holy shit thanks for the flame dash - arcane surge. I've been struggling with figuring out what fits into my own mine build and what doesn't. Since flame dash doesn't have a good 3rd link, arcane surge is a perfect fit here. I feel like it's obvious but I've been away for too long, I guess.

You overlooked chaining as one of the pros to running Swift Assembly.The throw speed for minefield makes it almost always unacceptable for getting a decently juicy chain. While the math works out to about 60% more damage from Swift Assembly vs 100% more for minefield, in practice--with enough throw speed--you can get another complete 23 mine chain going with a single trigger, which can't be done with minefield. I'm too lazy to try to calculate out the MORE damage from that, but I bet it's a bunch.

I'm running curse on hit-EleWeak-Minion Life-ice golem and CWDT-IC-Phase Run-Temp Chains. For stormblast, I'd probably just slot conductivity instead of eleweak--I'm swapping icicle and pfyro, so eleweak is decent enough.

Arctic Armour is a valid option for folks who feel squish. Run in place of Wrath for lab or tough map mods.

Daggers > Wands if you have the money. They can roll nearly identical mods, but the roll pool is twice as large so a near-perfect roll will be way more expensive...but it means you can run whirling blades.

Unfortunately, stormblast doesn't have the Projectile tag, so you lose a lot of really fun accessory options. Carcass Jack is a super solid fit. Shroud of the Lightless would also be a decent option.

Since you're not overloaded on uniques (like my build admittedly is), you can easily fit Machina Mitts. Life leech from mines is AH-MAY-ZING.

Skill tree
I feel like there's a lot of wasted pathing. I'll take a deeper look at it tonight. Quick recovery is almost too good to pass up, but I think there may be some better options to get more life, more mana, and at least equivalent damage. Maybe I'm wrong; it's just a gut feeling.

Thanks a ton for sharing!
Last edited by MasterWilhelm on Oct 8, 2019, 5:49:29 PM
This is gonna be my league starter so any updates would be appreciated good sir
sasori962009 wrote:
This is gonna be my league starter so any updates would be appreciated good sir
Unfortunately I'm focusing my attention on trying to throw a bleed build together for metamorph so I didn't really read the patch notes with how they'd affect this character in mind. I actually *just* noticed they buffed the damage of the skill...an unnecessary buff in my opinion but hey that makes this build an even better league starter.

I apologize that so much of the following is speculative rather than definitive but I am a serial hedger and I only came here to check the thread because I noticed my build had found its way into a reddit thread compiling starter builds so I'm just kind of shooting at the hip here. If people are interested I will probably come back and do this properly another time.

That being said a few obvious things come to mind:

* with skitterbot shock nerfed to 15% and it being much easier to shock bosses now it may be optimal to not use ele focus for both mapping AND bossing. this depends on your damage though and would require some math to really make a concrete determination. If I were to start this build again I would be leveling gems in my secondary weapons to prepare for both scenarios

* if the previous is in the fact the case, it may also be best to drop skitterbots entirely. without skitterbots, "explosives expert" becomes a dicier ascendancy node choice. However, with the ailment changes yet again you may actually be able to stack enough cold damage on spells to get enough chill effect to get that 10% pen on chilled enemies. So again...the proper way to react requires some thought. were you to drop it, demolitions specialist would be the replacement of course.

* if not running skitterbots, an obvious possible choice is to throw wrath in an essence worm, pick up MoM, and have an insane health pool. The increased rarity of mark of the shaper / elder rings also makes this somewhat more enticing. It may still be fairly easy/not-that-expensive to get that ring setup going though, in which case I would probably still lean towards that because it's SO much damage for this build. Also, I really hate MoM and this build hits a pretty decent life pool without it.

* you could also drop skitterbots and continue to reserve the mana with other things. herald of thunder for better clear/damage, a defensive buff like arctic armor, and so on. Personally, I think an aspect might be the most tempting replacement but they're not necessarily very budget, so maybe mark that as a long term goal. not reserving as much mana as I did in this build originally is also fine as it allows you to have much bigger piles of mines to set off under enemies!

* obviously grab any relevant "awakened" gems

* the nerf to multimodded weapons may make going double wands/daggers/sceptrese more tempting to make up for the damage loss. just keep in mind you lose the ability to block, some health, and rezzes will likely end up more difficult unless your shield wouldn't have had any

* I believe some of "as extra chaos" mods you, previously, would have liked to see are now significantly nerfed and likely outclassed. Use POB to do clear comparisons

* lastly, some of the new special item affixes will certainly be really strong for this build so literally every gear slot analysis in this guide is subject to change based on those. but we don't know what they are yet
Last edited by docdocdocdoc on Dec 13, 2019, 1:06:51 AM

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