[3.12] Double Strike / Flicker Assassin ~ League starter and ender! U-Elder and U-Atziri deathless!
This is my first time writing a guide in years, as this is the first build that I have finally done it all and settled on a build that is great for all content and is still super fun to play. Slaughter them all like the bloodthirsty killer you are!
I don't think this will make a huge difference for us, especially compared to last league nutpunch. The ascendancy changes are going to be barely noticeable. What makes me nervous is the changes to Assassin's Mark. No telling yet if the damage will be higher or lower, but crit chance from it will be lower for sure. The real kicker is not being able to have it on more than one target at a time, which might be lousy for map farming, but it's hard to tell. What really worries me is this:
'Items which apply a Curse to an enemy (such as the curse-on-hit Ring modifiers) no longer specify a level, and instead have a set magnitude for their values with a fixed amount of Doom'
That means our Shaper ring with curse on hit might have totally random garbage stats for the curse it actually applies. Also:
'Items which Trigger a Mark on hit now only do so when hitting Rare and Unique enemies.'
This likely is referring to the Shaper curse on hit rings also, which will super blow.
Wtf GGG, just give us a break for a league or two, it sure would be nice to get hyped about some buffs once in awhile :/
PoB using my HSC character:
Here's an incredibly well optimized build from maciek2g, his character from HSC, with a rare chest, rare helm, and other bonkers gear that makes my gear look budget af in comparison. If you're an amazing crafter and efficient in building currency, this is a hell of a goal. The only downside is the lower life of 6315, but even Sirus will barely be able to attack before being phased. He even managed to get a positive 61% chaos res.
It focuses mainly on Double Strike, which can be used with Splash and Call for clearing, but Flicker Strike on even a 4 link provides great clearing speed, which allows Double Strike to be used for its full single target potential. Double Strike has amazing single target, and it doesn't require any threshold jewels that cost precious % life to do it. Vaal Double Strike also can summon 2 'doubles' that quickly search and destroy and can take down map bosses by themselves, pop that along with Vaal Warchief and nothing will be left. The doubles also work great for taking down threats for you when you need to back out, making it a great defensive ability as well. On Uber Elder, I swap Ruthless for Ancestral Call, as trying to use Flicker Strike would be too nuts while trying to dodge all of shit going on.
Fortify is your 5th link, providing great damage and awesome defense. Ruthless is the 6th link in the single target setup.
Flicker Strike got buffed with 3.7 and can now be used with any weapon due to it's new 20% (with quality) chance to grant a frenzy charge on hit. That is all that's needed to keep your flicker going starting at 60+. If something doesn't die with one Flicker, then you can take it out with Double Strike. If able, get Elder boots with 'Socketed gems are supported by level 20 Fortify' and use Flicker here for an easy 5 link and mad clearing power.
These 3 support gems are necessary to make Flicker Strike work, so at least a 4 link is needed. Ancestral Call can be changed to Melee Physical Damage once Tribal Fury is anointed on your amulet or taken on the tree, or if 'Strike skills target 1 additional nearby enemy' is on your gloves.
My channel with loads of vids:
3.10 Hydra A8 testing out The Saviour:
3.10 Sirus A8 (nearly) Deathless:
3.10 Simulacrum waves 16-20, Kosis on last wave:
3.10 Shaper buffed again, Shaper dies again:
3.10 Juiced Sunken City:
3.10 Baran's Citadel with commentary on bosses and flickering delirium:
3.9 New buffed Shaper fight
3.8 Uber Elder DEATHLESS
3.8 Showcasing Farrul's Fur as an optional choice on Lair of the Hydra:
3.8 Showcasing Tribal Fury anointment on Pit of the Chimera:
3.8 Juiced Elder Grotto Farming
3.8 Uber Atziri deathless:
I haven't attempted Uber Atziri since 3.0 and she wrecked me, so I was psyched to finally get the 4 tiddy bitch down.
3.8 Shaper, deathless of course, but don't try to tank the beam
Assassin is still my favorite as of 3.12. I played Berserker in Legion league and while it had crazy high dps, the building of rage was annoying and the degen made me feel squishy. Assassin also has the much bigger hits on full life, which makes clearing with Flicker smooth as butter. The biggest change for assassin was the addition of Mistwalker/Elusive, granting a whopping 18% attack/spell dodge, 8% reduce damage taken and no extra damage taken from crits, making Assassin feel very tanky even if Berserker reaches a bit higher life.
Assassin is especially good as a starter because of the reduced availability of shaper/elder gear. You have decent crit chance without needing the shaper ring right away or the Hatred crit % Watcher's Eye. Berserker however, is anti-synergistic with crit chance, needing even more crit chance because he loses it when he gains Blitz charges, and without high crit chance while those are up, you will lose your Blitz charges again.
Suggested allocation order:
1. Opportunistic ~ Basically 25% more damage all the time, and the extra move speed is great for leveling.
2. Unstable Infusion ~ Adding to your crit chance.
3. Mistwalker ~ Amazing defense once you're at a level when defense really matters. If you just want as much facemelting dps as possible, take Deadly Infusion instead of Mistwalker.
4. Ambush & Assassinate ~ Capitalizing on your crit chance you've built by now, this makes your Flicker Strikes hit hard af, so you shatter packs like glass. The damage on low life and the cull helps you finish off whatever is still standing.
Berserker is my second choice, due to its unparalleled speed and top end dps. Building rage is slower than I'd like, making trips back to my hideout a bit irritating, but it also grants stun immunity once built up, and the nasty speed makes it very fun to play. For Berserker though, for the reasons I stated above, you'll want to find higher crit chance swords than Assassin needs, else you'll see your Blitz charges dropping often.
3.10: The warcry notable Mob Mentality makes a Warbring berserker completely viable. You can keep rage up effortlessly and power up like a super saiyan before every fight. The 25% instant life is like a free panicked flask every 2 sec. Forget Blitz charges. The downside is having to shout constantly, which can get tiresome. I leveled my berserker to 90 and had a blast with it.
Suggested allocation order:
1. Flawless Savagery
2. Crave the Slaughter
3. Blitz - Switch this for Warbringer once you get neato warcry cluster jewels
4. Rite of Ruin ~ All self-explanatory, but the degen is best dealt with at higher level.
Next is Champion, which I played in 3.6, after switching from Frost Blades in search of some higher damage. Champions needn't worry about accuracy with Worthy Foe, which can save a lot of headache and currency trying to get to 100% hit chance. The Impale bonuses is what makes Champion worth playing though, making it a powerhouse of sustained damage.
Suggested allocation order:
1. Conquerer ~ Defense
2. Worthy Foe ~ Damage and easy hit chance
3. First to Strike, Last to Fall ~ Big damage
4. Master of Metal ~ put those impales to work.
These 3 are my faves, but the build can be done on any ascendancy except Templar/Witch, so feel free to experiment.
League Starting and Leveling
This section is needs revamped with 3.11 tree changes, which I will totally do someday. Honest.
Big thanks to Talanthas for putting together this leveling PoB! In here you'll find my decked out 3.9 character with all 9 step by step leveling trees and all the text below in the notes.
This build makes a great league starter, especially with Assassin. The extra damage and defense that Assassin provides helps get you started when your gear is still sub-optimal. Duelist, Marauder, and Ranger are all great choices with their own strengths, but as this is primarily an assassin build guide, Assassin will be the focus for this section.
My goal at league start is primarily to get down to the sword wheel at the bottom right, but before then, use any items you find with links, life, and any added damage. I start with Frost Blades, it's decent single target as well as clear speed. Keep Double Strike somewhere though, just so it gains experience. Equip Whirling Blades and Flicker when able, as well. Stick to one handers, but any bladed weapons will do until you start on sword nodes. If you're starting this character late and/or have the currency, getting 2 Princess Sabres is a huge advantage. You can use these swords until 30+. They're fast and the added cold damage is amazing.
Here's our tree with the first 14 points:
The next goal is to get to a mana leech node asap. While you're finishing Act 1 and getting into Act 2, you'll be able to equip Heralds and Auras to boost your damage. Herald of Purity is a small mana reservation to boost your damage that won't have you spending your mana potions as much. If you can get even one Praxis ring, your mana problems are basically solved for leveling and you can use both Hatred and Herald of Purity.
Here's our tree with 23 points and the mana leech node taken:
Next, let's backfill a few spots before jumping into the sword wheel. We need more life, strength to equip swords (strength also gives us life and damage), and some crit nodes. We grab Blood Siphon, Trickery, and Assassination above Shadow start area and fill into Herbalism. If you can get a Lakishu's Blade, you can equip it at level 28 and link it for a free 4 link, which is also the earliest you can get Multistrike, which you can't use on its own until lvl 38. At this point, you can try out Flicker Strike on a 4 link with Flicker Strike, Splash, and Ancestral Call. I continue to use Frost Blades though, as I prefer to save clearing with Flicker for around lvl 60, once it's really potent.
Let's fill in that sword wheel starting with the top half, then the bottom. Then fill in Heartseeker. Now we've got some real speed and damage. Once you get to Act 3 and can access the Labyrinth, feel free to give it a shot when you're up to it. The normal lab is lvl 33, but unless you've found or bought some decent gear, it may be challenging before 35. I suggest starting with Opportunistic for that easy 20% more damage boost and the move speed is also nice.
44 points? I lost count
Next we're heading into the Duelist area. Grab Thick Skin along the way. We're going to grab that life/mana leech node just under Vaal Pact, then regretting the 2 nodes from the earlier mana leech node, and the dex node leading to it.
Keep slamming through the acts. You're getting close to or have gotten to Act 6 now, and will need to trade for some gear. Get jewelry with life and resists, gloves with attack speed, boots with move speed. If you can find any 5 link chest for cheap, grab it. At level ~50, you can search trade for swords that are over 1.7 speed and cost a couple chaos or less, then search by physical dps. Don't spend a ton here though, the bigger upgrades are at 58 and 60. This is a good time to familiarize yourself with the gear section of the guide. These are not super important yet, but keep any eye out for these stats.
Once you hit 58, you can buy 2 Ichimonji swords, which are fast and extremely good for leveling, because increased effect of buffs and reduced mana reserved. You will likely use these swords into yellow maps at least, fingers crossed you find a good roll for cheap.
At 60, you can use Starkonja's Head, which has a huge chunk of life and great offensive stats. Shoot for a high life roll but don't sweat it too much, you'll be replacing this later on once you can afford one with a Double Strike enchant.
Once you've made some upgrades on gear, this is a good time to get Cruel Lab done. I recommend taking Unstable Infusion next.
Also, Once you have 2 Ichimonjis and Starkonja, and at least a 5 link chest and/or you are lucky enough to find some decent Fortify boots for cheap, now is a great time to start flickering and double striking! Using a 5 link Flicker with Splash and Call, and 4 or 5 link Double Strike for single target, you should be feeling pretty bamfy.
We head to Strong Arm next, giving us some much needed life, damage, speed, and Strength that we've been lacking, and probably had to supplement on gear. Your Strength issues are finally solved. Feel free to stop and do Merciless lab when you're up for it, it's a level 68 area. Many people try to knock this out before killing Kitava and taking the next big hit to resistances, but I prefer to finish the acts and make sure I have all my passive points before jumping into it. Mistwalker is next for me. At this point you should have at least a fair bit of crit chance to benefit from it.
If you weren't feeling bamfy yet, you should be now. Jumping into maps now, you will be leveling fast. Next we head up to the Scion life wheel for Constitution, and the last crit nodes straight down from there. When starting maps it is imperative to cap your resists, get life on all gear, and start shopping for real upgrades. A 5 link Belly of the Beast chest is typically around 50c around now for a good roll. An amulet with high multiplier and physical damage will help a lot, and is also your source of Intelligence to meet the requirement of 68.
We're filling Acrobatics and Phase Acro next. Actually, you could have done that long before now, but I typically put it off until at least 50. It will be extremely beneficial now, and combined with Mistwalker, grants a fantastic amount of defense.
Once you've gotten this far, you're well into maps and probably not even reading the guide anymore. But next we will in some life, get some nice 3 stat jewels for those 3 slots, and grab Path of the Warrior on the Scion life wheel. Whenever you're up for it, get your Uber lab done and finally take Ambush and Assassinate, this is just straight damage that will make your Flicker Strike pop trash packs much more easily, and is a big part of why Assassin is so good for Flicker. No stacking impales, no building rage, just big initial damage that catapults you through maps. The damage on low life mobs (35% or less) and the Culling Strike makes bosses go down smoothly as well.
After this, just fill in the rest until you hit Level 96+, and your tree will look like this.
Seriously though, Aspect of the Panther and Weapon Artistry should be taken LAST, if at all. Don't touch these until 90+, they are inferior to everything else we take. I see too many people grabbing these immediately and leaving important nodes empty. These are also the 4 points we will remove first if there is a new cluster jewel setup to try.
This takes practice, but once you get it down, map bosses, conquerors, metamorphs, etc, should all die within a few seconds. Once you're well geared, conquerors should barely finish their sentences.
Pop your Ancestral Warchief totem first, as the duration is 12 seconds. The Vaal AWC totem is 6 seconds. pop that next. Then, pop Vaal Double Strike, aka the doubles (the boys), also 6 seconds, then your 4 damage pots last, as they are the shortest duration.
Get good at doing all of this as quickly as possible, and timing it correctly, when it comes to conquerors and metas.
2. Vaal Totem
5. Finally start double striking til it's dead (or dodge mechanics if it somehow lives).
Below is the tree at level 96:
The only difference between Marauder, Duelist or Shadow is the first 5 points. Ranger will spend 2 extra nodes to connect. Regardless of who you start with, getting to the sword wheel on the far right is the first step, then to Tribal Fury, unless you manage to find a Golden Oil for your amulet or choose to use Ancestral Call (not suggested), a point in Acrobatics, then the Scion life wheel. Pick up life or damage as needed. While leveling, upgrading your gear will have more of an effect on power than getting to those dps nodes, so be careful not to go too glassy to start. The Path of the Warrior can be used instead of a 5% life node if you choose.
Alira is higher dps and the resists make life much easier. Alira is just about always best for crit builds.
Gem Links and Gear
Quick note on gear, getting 100% chance to hit is doable and very important. You can easily get a moderate amount of accuracy on a couple pieces and achieve 100% hit chance. Being under 100% is a large loss to both dps and survivability. Search for it on rings and gloves.
High physical dps swords with attack speed of at least 1.85. Having multiplier on both is huge for dps, and damage as extra fire or another element can push that further. Damage as extra chaos used to be amazing, but it was nerfed hard in 3.10. The best mod to look for in late game is Damage as extra fire/cold. These are Warlord/Redeemer/Shaper mods that go as high as 20% for foils, but can be very pricey. Local crit chance does less for this build but is still a great affix, however, multiplier is the most cost effective stat for weapons. Of course, always try it out in Path of Building before buying. When leveling, rare swords will work well enough, but if able, The Princess Sabre, Lakishu's Blade, and most importantly, when getting into maps, a pair of Ichimonji swords will make your life significantly easier, starting out. Replace Ichimonjis with fast 300+ pdps foils with multi when able.
Paradoxica is a significantly higher upgrade vs any other sword out there in the <6 ex range. This league (3.11) I was able to get my Para for 1.5 ex IIRC. The impale chance doesn't need any other support, it adds a lot of extra damage on anything we spend more than a second on. The multi when a rare or unique is nearby is a great stat, but of course increased crit chance helps also. If you use a Paradoxica, remember that this sword negates the bonus of the double damage helm enchant, so use the 15% attack speed or 40% increased damage instead.
The Saviour is also extremely cheap currently, largely due to the dual wield nerf and the slight nerf to Saviour itself. I got mine for 90c this league, and it still kicks ass. It's slow, like Paradoxica is, but those reflections do 50% extra damage each, so it roughly doubles your PoB dps. They clear well and boost single target nicely once they're all up. Update in 3.11, the Saviour clones no longer target additional enemies, making them a bit less useful when clearing, BUT melee splash still works, based on my own testing.
Theoretically, Saviour/Foil is the highest dps we can hit. Paradoxica is awesome, but can be beaten by great foils. I don't like to use Saviour and Para at once because they're both slow, so I prefer Para/Foil or Saviour/Foil. Para and Saviour both fluctuate greatly in price, so which is more affordable may vary on the league and the week of the league you're on.
Be careful of swords with lots of accuracy, as you should cap your hit chance from other gear. If your accuracy is not 100%, then a sword will seem better than it is. Except Saviour, the 40% implicit handy to have.
Belly of the Beast is still the standard pick, unless you can afford a ridiculously nice rare chest. The life on this chest cannot be easily beaten, and the resists are a nice bonus. A rare chest with 100+ life, % life, and + Strength may come close to the same net life though, and if you can get it with 'Attacks have x% increased crit chance', this will be a very large dps increase.
or 'Socketed gems are supported by level 1 Maim'
This was removed from the modpool in 3.9. Press F to pay respects.
I have also tested Farrul's Fur, which is another very pricey option, but a good choice if you're focused on clearing maps super fast, take the extra frenzy charges on the tree and use Flicker on the 6 link instead of Double Strike. I uploaded a video using it in a Lair of the Hydra map, including the blight encounter, breaches, etc. Here are my thoughts on its performance, copied from the video:
With nothing left to spend my hard earned exalts on besides saving for a Headhunter, I decided to try out Farrul's Fur. It's... okay. The main advantage is keeping up charges during boss fights with little to no adds. You can see during the brief boss fight, my charges go down, and I get frenzy charges again from Farrul. I'd imagine this would come most in handy during Shaper, since you lose charges while he is monologuing, and in Uber Elder. Even Uber Elder has several add phases to keep frenzy charges up, as long as you keep up Blood Rage. Assassin has power charges up all the time regardless, so this chest would be most beneficial for Champ or Berserker, though, I think I'd still rather have the 800 health I lost. If your main focus is clear speed with Flicker and not Uber Elder, this is a great choice.
Starkonja is fantastic, it has attack speed and crit chance and it comes with a chunk of life. You could wear Abyssus as well, but the dps increase of Abyssus just isn't necessary and not worth the increased damage taken.
The enchant here is huge, the 15% double damage can't be beat. This enchant will fluctuate greatly in price, I've gotten it for 50c but I paid 400c for it this league and I got lucky. Get it when you can. The 15% increased attack speed is a close follower and significantly less expensive.
Your amulet must have 70+ life, physical damage to attacks, and 30%+ crit multiplier. These are essential. Anything else is a nice bonus. Try to get intelligence here as well, to get to the oh so high requirement of 68 int for this character.
Use your rings to fill resists, with physical damage and accuracy as upgrades for later. One ring should be a Shaper ring with 'Curse enemies with Assassin's Mark on hit' which will be a substantial damage increase. The new Vermillion rings are a great way to increase your health pool. Your shaper ring can be basic at first, with 50 life and some kind of resist. Your offhand ring should be packed with damage, accuracy, life, and resists.
Shoot for 60+ life with 10+% attack speed. Try to get any amount of accuracy here as well. Physical damage to attacks is next priority, unless your hit chance is already 100%.
New in 3.9 Conquerors of the Atlas
'Strike skills target 1 additional enemy' is a new mod on gloves. This is also pretty pricey though, at least an ex, probably multiple ex for a usable pair. End game best case would be to get a good pair of these gloves and keep Ambidexterity on your amulet, but it's tough to tell what is more cost effective at this point. See the Anointments section.
Getting 90+ life and capping resists is priority, so a rustic sash will do the trick, but eventually you will want to transition to a Stygian Vise to use the juicy abyss jewel slot. Prioritize life/strength/resists. The abyss jewel will be a big increase to your life pool, and also provide bonuses such as increased attack speed on crit, Onslaught on kill, % of physical damage as extra fire damage, chance to blind, etc.
Again, life and resists are first priority, move speed is nice too. Assassin gets move speed on kill so move speed on boots isn't terribly important, and Leap Slam / Whirling Blades make up for it. Getting the 'Socketed gems are supported by Fortify' is essential. This will make your Flicker Strike much more powerful.
New in 3.9, Tailwind is a mod for boots as well, which is another substantial bonus. There are not a lot of Tailwind/Fortify boots on the market, as nearly no builds use this but ours, so you're better off crafting it yourself. Depending on the price of and awakener orb, they'll cost around 500c to craft. Use high ilvl two-toned boots with Fortify, and any pair of Tailwind boots and hope for the best.
You need Fortify boots, Tailwind boots, and an awakener orb. Make damn sure that the only influence mod on each is Tailwind and Fortify, or else your awakener orb might pick the wrong mod to use in the end result. Look for 'Hunter's' and 'of the Hunt' mods, and 'Elder's and 'of the Elder' respectively. The Fortify boots are the ones you're crafting onto, so those need to be the two-toned boots, preferably ilvl 75, or as high as you can get (86 for top move speed mod). The Tailwind boots don't matter, they could be ES boots ilvl 65, they just need to have the Tailwind mod, again just make sure it's the only influenced mod. Then, right click your orb, left click the Tailwind boots, then left click the Fortify boots. Bam, you have basically just used a chaos orb on the two-toned boots with your two guaranteed influenced mods. Fingers crossed for other decent stats. With the crafting bench and harvest crafts, you can make some really nasty boots relatively cheaply.
For Flicker Strike to clear properly you MUST use Ancestral Call or have Tribal Fury on the tree or anointed. Once you have Tribal Fury allocated or anointed on your amulet (strike skills target 1 additional nearby enemy), THEN you can replace Call with Melee Physical Damage. Flicker just really needs to hit that extra enemy.
Your health flask needs Staunching so you don't die to bleeding or Corrupting Blood. Taste of Hate is a great damage bonus as well as defensive option due to the physical damage taken as cold. This may be expensive and may likely be your last flask purchase. Diamond flask is still a big dps bonus and needs Of Heat added on to remove freezes. Atziri's Promise is great damage and a small cost, get this asap at level 68. Lion's Roar is least important of these and provides extra damage on demand, but be ready for the slightly irritating knockback.
If you have a whole lot of exalts to blow, Bottled Faith is a decent increase in dps over Atziri's Promise or Taste of Hate, while providing some nice life regen. It's dps boost is even better if you replace your diamond flask, but the 'of Heat' mod is too good to give up for regular mapping. However, you could replace the diamond flask during boss fights or anywhere you know you won't be frozen.
Life, speed, and multiplier. When able, find a Watcher's Eye with '+% crit chance while affected by Hatred'. This is a huge damage boost, but will be pricey. If you're insanely rich, getting that along with multiplier while affect by Precision would be amazing, if you have 30 ex or whatever that goes for.
DO NOT use a jewel that doesn't have at least a life % roll AND a crit multi roll. Try not to have accuracy or resists on your jewels either, unless it already has life, speed, and multi already, as accuracy and resists can be covered on gear more efficiently.
My Anointment of choice to start with is Ambidexterity. Ambidexterity will be the superior choice for damage and speed, until Tribal Fury can be anointed. Until Tribal Fury is anointed, or unless you have the additional enemy targeted on gloves, Tribal Fury should be taken on the tree.
Once you have the currency though, Tribal Fury is best anointed rather than taken on the tree. It grants 'Strike Skills target 1 additional nearby Enemy', allowing you to remove Ancestral Call from your setup entirely, of course, move those 5 passive points somewhere else.
New in 3.9 Conquerors of the Atlas
'Strike skills target 1 additional enemy' is a mod on gloves introduced in 3.9. This is also pretty pricey though, probably many many exalts for a usable pair. End game best case would be to get a good pair of these gloves and keep Ambidexterity on your amulet, but an amazing pair of gloves with this mod is crazy hard to roll.
Hatred is first and most important, this is a large damage increase.
Pride is a physical damage aura that can be used instead of Hatred for Elemental Reflect maps.
Herald of Purity is a big boost to damage, with Flesh and Stone almost as good, but not quite. Flesh and Stone increases the damage enemies take and is almost identical damage Herald of Purity, with level 20 Herald of Purity pulling ahead by a small amount, so HoP is my preferred aura of the two.
War Banner is used to further increase your damage.
Lastly, Precision can be used at level 1 for just a bit more accuracy/crit once your mana sustain can handle it.
Not auras, but be sure to keep up your Ice Golem and Blood Rage on while mapping as well. Bosses too. Get used to checking on your golem any time you have downtime and pop it back up if it's low on health.
I run with Lunaris for major. Lunaris is great for that extra dodge and avoidance once filled out. Tukohama is a good minor when you're spamming damage into a unique mob and hoping not to die, and Ralakesh is good for less Blood Rage damage taken while flicking.
This is all up to preference really, and you might change it depending on the map. Abberath is good for any burning map, for example. Test them out and see what makes your mapping flow better.
For delving, Double Strike works great. Simply switch Double Strike and Flicker around, put DS on right click and turn on 'Always attack without moving'. Put move only on left click. Now you have DS as a clear skill that works perfectly for the narrow passages in the mine, whereas Flicker will take you to the darkness and likely kill you.
Once you're done delving and are going back to maps, don't forget to switch them back!
BEHOLD! An F.A.Q. section!
Q. Can I use claws? Daggers? Staves?
A. It works best with swords, the passives are best and foils are most accessible. Claws can be done, but you will need to switch up the tree, and use either Whirling Blades or Dash. Dash can't be spammed like WB can, but Dash can go over ledges, which is the main benefit of Leap Slam. Daggers can also be done but even less efficiently than claws. Someone mentioned running this with staves, which would look entirely different but it certainly sounds interesting. Maybe stacking block instead of dodge?
Q. I zoomed through leveling, but now I'm dying in yellow maps! What gives?
A. You have super low life on gear, and probably haven't upgraded anything since level 60. NEVER use gear with less than 50 life on it. And don't even bother using jewels without both life % and multiplier on them, minimum. Damage comes easy for us, survivability does not, invest in life FIRST. Also, it could be that your tree has all the dps nodes and you skipped life nodes and/or Acrobatics.
Q. What should be my next priority for gear upgrades?
A. A 5 link Belly, Starkonja, and a couple decent rare foils or Ichimonjis will get you started. Next is your Fortify boots with decent life and resists. Then, the assassin's mark on hit ring, with any amount of resist, and 50 life. Then the 6 link Belly. Your offhand ring should be stuffed with resists, physical damage to attacks, and accuracy. Your amulet should have physical damage to attacks, 75+ life, and 30%+ multiplier, anything else is bonus. Once you have a great amulet that you plan to stick with for a very long time, put Tribal Fury on it so that you can ditch Ancestral Call from your Flicker set up and replace it with Melee Physical Damage.
Q. My damage is dropping off in red maps, what gives?
A. Read the gear section again. Upgrade your shit. Learn to use PoB so you can test things out before you buy, lest you spend multi ex on a sword that is actually a downgrade. And you can't mongo your way through juiced t16s with 5k life. Not if you want to keep leveling, anyway.
Q. Can we use The Saviour and/or Paradoxica?
A. Hell yes, many people have been successful with one or both of these swords. The Saviour is great for all content and should be a huge upgrade. Saviour and a super good rare foil is theoretically the best dps you can achieve, since Saviour doubles your damage once both clones are out. Paradoxica is a great choice when other rare foils are too pricey. Double damage is huge, so it will likely be a big upgrade, unless you're already using 420 pdps swords with big multiplier. Keep in mind, this does cut the benefit of any other source of double damage in half, as one sword will always do double damage anyway. With Paradoxica, the 15% attack speed enchant on your Starkonja is a better option rather than the 15% double damage.
Q. Is this build budget friendly?
A. Definitely. Depending on who is reading, my gear even now or even from last league is still pretty low budget. Swords were a few ex each, and a 6 link belly was 6 ex in 3.10. My biggest purchase was a Watcher's Eye at 11 ex, as it is pricier now, due to Elder being less accessible.
Q. Is this hardcore viable?
A. I don't play hardcore, so I can't say for sure, but I think it could be done. Mistwalker provides huge defense and I'm currently at nearly 7k life. Flicker is always risky, but to a seasoned hardcore player, I think it would be manageable.
This guide is always a work in progress, and I will continue to work on it to make it as comprehensive as possible. If you have any requests or ideas to make it more elaborate and interesting, please comment below. I will strive to keep it as prepared as possible for upcoming content.
And I want to thank every one of you for trying out the build. It's gotten more popular since 3.9, and I greatly enjoy hearing about all your successes. The stories and the kind messages give me renewed excitement and vigor to make this build the best it can be. <3
Last edited by roguemjb on Sep 27, 2020, 5:38:34 PM
Last bumped on Mar 30, 2021, 7:16:50 PM
on Sep 25, 2019, 9:45:57 PM
Nice, next build for sure!
on Sep 26, 2019, 11:54:58 PM
Great! Let me know if you have any questions or any ideas on how to improve the guide. I am going to add some pictures to make it more interesting and maybe add some sections.
on Sep 27, 2019, 1:06:44 AM
Hey there dude, nice guide!
When do you start with flicker, and how did you lvl up? How do you generate the Frenzy charges for it to function right?
Still figuring the best way to lvl as melee, have played mostly caster on the game so far..
on Sep 27, 2019, 1:06:14 PM
I switched to flicker after 60ish, if I remember correctly. Before I had the fortify boots and just a 5 link chest, I was using Flicker for clearing, then I would swap in Double Strike with Splash and Ancestral Call for Blight, because I didn't have the damage yet for blight mobs with Flicker. I'd say once you get a couple Ichimonjis, clearing with Flicker should be easy. And Flicker now has 15% chance to grant you a frenzy charge on hit, or 20% with quality, which is AMAZING. When used with Blood Rage, keeping it going is no issue.
When leveling before that though, you can use whatever, even try a few things. I used Double Strike with Splash and Call mostly of course, but I also used Frost Blades and tried out all the new poison skills too.
on Sep 27, 2019, 7:44:01 PM
For sure my next build :)
Why not 6l Flicker :C ?
Last edited by EasyKun097 on Sep 27, 2019, 8:11:07 PM
on Sep 27, 2019, 8:09:11 PM
You certainly could, especially if your flicker needs it for clearing. Flicker on a 5 link still blasts through trash, and that's all it needs to do. Feel free to switch them and see what feels best!
on Sep 27, 2019, 8:20:19 PM
It would be nice to know which Ascendancies take first and maybe a gem priorization on the DS/Flicker Setup ?
on Sep 27, 2019, 11:47:38 PM
on Sep 28, 2019, 2:31:52 AM
Thank you for the build! I followed previously your leechtank aswell, hope it goes as well.
What do you think about Farruls as chest,I know its expensive but seems to fit this build, right?
Also, alternatives to flicker strike for leveling? Last time I leveled with flicker strike was really awful
Maybe frost blade?
on Oct 1, 2019, 9:47:35 AM