[3.8] [BlightHC] Acceleration Corpse Kitava (warning: NOT visually friendly)

The concept is simple: like most corpse necros, makes use of the Necromancer Ascendancy Notable now named Corpse Pact to go to high levels of attack and cast speed without huge investment. Note this build still want's to invest fairly significantly into cast speed though because the acceleration is exponential in theory which means the faster our base the faster we'll grow. (in this case, limited by our trigger mechanism hard cooldown)

The primary skill gem is volatile dead, one of the strongest standalone spells in the game numbers wise. It's weaknesses are a mixture of delayed damage, requiring corpses (require multiple skill for reliability), and hard to control, somewhat inconsistent aoe.

This build largely overcomes the weaknesses at the cost of raw damage, but the skill`s raw damage makes up for it.

There are lots of strong methods such as CoC and other triggering (such as scolds) but since I have played so much of this item, I personally like:

Build Overview: Do you want to play this build?
#1 Probably key selling point is acceleration to really fast without headhunter/soul eater or dumping your entire tree/gear into a 2k life meme. With pretty terrible gear, I have easily reached +650%+ cast speed. See below for screenshot for +721%. And these are values without spell echo.
#2: the novelty of this hat as your primary skill. This build makes it pretty consistent by acceleration to very high speeds without things like headhunter/soul eater but it is ultimately a high variance random hat. It is really satisfying to get multiple triggered in quick succession, as it can be faster than even CoC, and you trigger multiple skills at once so the throughput of triggers can go through the roof.

Aside from the visual problems and lag, this build plays pretty smoothly.
You just pop down an orb of storms* and hold down tempest shield. Since once you've accelerated dodging becomes pretty easy** since your flame dash, shield charge, leap slam whatever you choose becomes pretty instantaneous.

Damage is decent, the character is somewhat squishy in defences, but has an above average raw HP pool. The sustain I would argue is on the weak side.
Orb of storms recommended but optional.
(provided you can see anything on screen X_X)
Some miscellaneous stuff:
You can rightfully claim when playing this build that you are spending like 3k mana per second, and you get to bitch and moan about how your natural 900 mana per second is nowhere near enough :)

Read this if you are new to Kitava's thirst as it contains the general Kitava's Thirst Mechanics and some build design considerations:
Kitava's thirst is a hat that has a 30% chance to trigger socketed skill gems when you spend at least 100 mana to use a skill. Seems simple enough, but here are some more details:
There is no benefit to spending more than 100 mana per skill use. In fact due to the constraints of mana part of designing Kitava builds is to get your mana cost to 100, but not too much over (unlike indigon builds).
Trigger Mechanics:
It triggers ALL socketed skills each time unlike the other common damage dealing trigger mechanisms (CoC, CwC). CoC can only efficiently trigger multiple skills (but they will be sequential on a Cooldown/2 phase difference) if you can cheaply raise your crit rate from about 7-14 hits per second
Kitava's thirst follows usual cooldown rules so multiple copies of 1 skill will result in only 1 trigger since globally, all instances of the skill go on cooldown upon a trigger.

The base cooldown time is 0.1seconds, which means due to server tick rules, it is 0.132 real seconds which means the maximum trigger rate is 1/0.132 = 7.575 triggers per second.
The lowest the cooldown can go is 0.099 seconds with is just over 10.1 triggers per second. This can be achieved with a single piece of cooldown reduction gear (for example, 6% on belt, crafted). No amount of stacking of cooldown reduction gear will allow you to reach the next breakpoint unfortunately, of 0.66 seconds, which requires roughly 51% increased cooldown recovery rate.

Channeled skills:
Channeled skills have pretty fast rate right? why don't we use them?Channeling a skill counts as ONE use of a skill, unlike Scold's Bridle, which only counts mana use and deals damage to you on every mana use. If you can get your channeling to 100+ mana per use, you can also engage in self hatred and start spamming 1 stage spamming your channeled skills for a pretty good kitava proc rate. Technically "1tapping" cyclone repeatedly would probably be the fastest mana rate but its also really painful. You probably also have to use Doedre's Tenure on top of all the jewel sockets' we're going to sacrifice to fevered minds to get enough mana cost.
Instant skills?: If you hate yourself and like carpal tunnel:
Use blood rage, vortex, precision and clarity (unless you need consistent clarity) auras leveled to reserve 100 mana so you can get approximately 4 additional mana expenditures per second regardless of your character's attack/cast speed. Now that we have alternate skill keys it is more feasible. Beware though you will likely need even more fevered minds, and more gem sockets to fit all these skills in and have them cost enough mana.
Tempest Shield?
Tempest shield is one of the fastest skills in the game as a base that isn't channeled (thus easy to use). It has a base use rate of 4.0 uses per second, with a decently scalable mana cost.
In comparison, the fastest weapon is 3.0 attacks per second with a 40% global less damage multiplier (so even if you proc more, your procs are weaker) and the next fastest weapons are about 2.05 attacks per second. The next fastest non-channeling spells are also 2.0 uses per second.
Tempest shield also pairs pretty decently with Orb of Storms which has a decent DPS and/or good utility when paired with Tempest Shield.
Trigger Rate, math, theory:
I'm not great at problem solving with math, But a quick look tells you that having a cooldown combined with a NON 100% PROC RATE like the Kitava's thirst, will mean that overall, you will not have linear scaling.
PROBLEM: Once you exceed the Frequency of the cooldown, with each mana expenditure you start having "wasted" attempts. However since each mana expenditure is not 100% chance to proc, we still increase proc rate by increasing cast speed. But by how much, and when do we hit "dead zones" where increasing cast rate is net negative?
Consider the following: Ideally the proc rate is 30% of our skill use rate. If we use a skill 10 times per second, we will trigger ON AVERAGE 3 times per second, 20 skill uses will trigger ON AVERAGE 6 times per second.
However if we consider that there is a cooldown, lets say is 0.099 seconds. Since we are spending mana to use a skill 20 times per second, we use the skill once every 0.05 seconds. This means there is a chance that the previous time we used a skill, we have triggered Kitava's Thirst and are now on cooldown. This means our effective Proc rate is on average strictly LOWER than the ideal value of 20*30%. For ease of math, lets say there was a 30% chance the previous mana expenditure had caused a proc, thus there is 30% of 30% chance that the mana expenditure. This means our overall proc rate between 10-20 use per second is 0.21% multiplied by 20, which is 4.2. And this non 1:1 scaling continues on for the range of 30-40, 40-50 and so on.

Anyways the takeaway is that the scaling isn't great beyond 10 mana use per second. You can get more consistency with higher use rate, but the damage scaling in general becomes worse.

Sweet spots I would recommend: 10 use per second, 16-20 use per second if you can get that fast. 13-14 is still acceptable: if you use orb of storms you guaranteed damage boost for sure. Try to about 10.5-12 if you can due maximum cooldown coincidence.
Keep in mind with increasing expenditure rate you get increased consistency (less time between triggers typically, you're less likely to see no triggers for a second or two straight).
Spell echo?
Spell echo is a 70% more cast rate multiplier right? However it does not increase the rate at which you spend mana, since repeats are "mana free".
Universally relevant gears:
Doedre's Tenure: adding 50 flat mana cost to every skill is one of the only ways you'll be able to trigger with many skills now such as channeled ones.
Fevered Mind: you'll typically find yourself running 1 - 3 of these for any dedicated kitava build.
Essence of Insanity:
Necklace and gloves. On gloves, they provide 16% more trigger rate basically if you can spare it. Necklace lets you be like a trickster, or if you're already a trickster, makes it even better.
Watcher's Eye: a powerful additional to any build usually, it can roll the Essence of Insanity/Trickster mana recovery affix for clarity, making it a powerful sustain tool.
Kalisa's Grace:
It's not great, since they compete with insanity gloves but since they are cheap you can mass corrupt. and pseudo 5 link to potentially save a on jewel socket, using a 5th link instead of fevered mind. They grant +2% to base critical chance (a Kitava build will easily be spending more than 400 mana per second, which is the average required for 100% uptime of the buff), which is often equivalent of +15-40% more crit chance if you don't when not using Diamond Flask, and if you do, it's still a solid buff.
Pretty much same as Kalisa's Grace. Depending on your build, maybe the %increased critical strike chance is more significant than +2% base critical strike chance. Since they are both pretty mediocre stat gloves but accomplish similar things: save you on jewel sockets and grant crit rate.
Apep's Rage:
Similar to above two. Some damage speed, and helps you spend more mana.
Thief's Torment:
I personally don't like it but LGoH and some Mana Gain on Hit may help you out.
Can grants more action speed if you somehow have skill duration scaling, you can stack up to 3 of these for short periods of time, meaning 30% more attack and cast speed. Unfortunately slipstreams also buff enemies which can get your ass kicked. And slipstreams have the tiniest aoe so it'll rarely be active when you're clearing due to the long cooldown.
Mana leech nerf? Just use Eldritch Battery 4Head
Unfortuantely spending energy shield is not spending mana.
Common Support Gems:
If using spells:
Faster Casting, Arcane Surge
If using attacks (if applicable): Faster Attacks, Life Gain on Hit, Rage, Fortify
In general, direct speed, then more utility oriented supports on your mana expenditure skills.
Enduring Mana Flask:
A pathfinder could probably just use an Enduring Divine or Eternal Mana flask of Quickening or something. With enough flask effect and mana recovery from flasks, you can reach 1k+ mana per second reliably on a pathfinder and not need the other mana investments on tree.
And last but not least, Kitava's thirst is shit. It's a 50 mana hat, 45 es, reduce cast speed, 0 resist, 0 life, all around bad hat. And the proc rate is only 30%.

Character leveling and transition to Kitava's thirst
Early on you will probably just level self casting detonate dead and volatile dead or cremation for extra single target/bosses.

One of the main difficulties with these builds is obviously the mana. We need to spend a shitton of mana. The only real endgame solutions are Clarity Watcher's eye (chance to recovery % of maximum mana on using a skill ie "the trickster affix"), and Insanity necklaces, since as you accelerate, your mana expenditure increases. Only those two will scale your mana recovery with your mana expenditure rate proportionally.

However for now we have other makeshift solutions: Once you get about 2.5k Mana, the Essence Glutton Ascendancy, and a decent mana potion (probably at least an Enduring Sanctified mana flask, and Corpse Pact (basically need Merc Lab Done) I would recommend starting kitava'ing You won't be able to sustain once you get past like 15-20 cast per second typically.

Mana cost:
Most likely, you'll need to link Tempest shield with Faster Casting, Arcane Surge, and Chain, If you use two fevered minds like I do. Tempest shield base mana cost changes notably at level 13, 18, and 21. Until you get it to level 18, you may not be able to get your cost above 100 without a 5 link or a bitterdream or something, or dropping faster casting (which feels terrible). Somehow mine turned out level 21 so I use increased duration instead for whatever benefit that might bring (selling it at 20 quality i guess?)

Note: Divine mana heals faster than eternal but the overall suffix uptime may suffer in prolonged fights since the total mana/flask charge is lower.
POB Link Here: https://pastebin.com/vw0g6NFp
Note I added 20% more damage on my Watcher's Eye to account for the 20% shock effect.
Why Avatar of fire?
I was just lazy and couldn't be bothered to setup a flat fire damage + low level wave of conviction. Didn't want to deal with stuff like EE maps somehow making me give lightning exposure and perpetually being unable to apply fire exposure. Also didn't have source of flat damage for combustion on orb of storms at the time. If you can get enough fire damage scaling penetration, etc, maybe some free fire conversion to always apply fire exposure feel free to drop avatar of fire.

Some Media and sample gameplay:
33.33 Casts per second, +721% increased cast speed

Random videos of gameplay (lag ahead):
Putrid Cloister
Dps Sandbag(this is before I bought a watcher`s eye I think, still using a mana pot)

Why Kitava's thirst?

This item is typically very weak. However this is the one skill that mechanically works better than any other method in game and almost warrants the measly 2-3 link effective damage.

It triggers ALL skills (nearly) simultaneously, meaning it will consume corpses that would be typically deleted by the delay of spell cascade desecrate and does not have to deal with synchronicity and death of things like spell totems.

Which means in short it has advantage over other trigger mechanisms where you will cast volatile dead with spell cascade and only create 6 balls (thus helmet enchant is not as necessary, though still powerful as usual). A cascade volatile dead will more often land all 3 casts rather than hitting nothing with 1/3.

Also the cooldown is 1s*, 0.99s with 1 piece of cooldown gear (any%) which is less than almost every other reliable mechanism in game
In reality this is 0.132s so you really need that piece of cooldown gear

Cost? (It's pretty cheap)
This is a fairly cheap build and was my league starter for Blight HC

Early on if you want to play as a build starter, the most annoying thing will be waiting for Fevered Minds to appear on the market (and not be like 20c for some reason). At least that's how it always is for me.

Gearing it is sort of annoying though, you do need specific cheap 1-5c things and two essences of insanity minimum) and eventually will want a Clarity Watcher's Eye (I bought my first one for 60c just due to necessity, I probably overpayed, then bought 2 more for 30c and 40c later.

The other one I have equipped is a 15% chance one.

You'll also want a Rumi's concoction probably too, which is more expensive this league, not sure why. Probably because block fits decently on necros and guardians a which are popular this league.

Your first hat may be annoying, getting 3 green on Kitava's thirst (str/int base) just costs about 15-25 chrome and/or maybe 40-100 jewellers. This isn't a big deal early, but when you start vaaling for +2 gems, you can choose between spending hundred or two vaal orbs to recolour the one you want, or about 20 chromes and 50 jewellers each, and a final 5 vaal orb to fuse it if it vaals correctly. It should be about 1 in 40 vaals to get the hat you want. I got pretty lucky this time and got my +2 in about 8 hats. If you want a relevant enchant though... good luck friend. Double corrupt also possible, +2 fire gems and +2 aoe.

The midrange pieces you will need are insanity gloves and necklace, which obviously costs the essence every roll. Right now I am sitting on shitty pieces with like 1/2 low tier affixes each so I haven`t spend more than 40c on insanity pieces.

Notable character stats at level 91 with pretty bad gear
From the PoB:
-4.4k Life (167% Increased)
-2.9k Unreserved Mana, 40% MoM (4.5k Max Mana, 254% increased)
-3k ES ((124% increased, and 380 Int about another 76% increased ES for total of 200% increased)
This is a total of 10k raw HP. The ES is on the low side so one may argue its' not that reliable, so the pool is 7k in bad situations.

-60/39 consistent base block
-75/46 with a mediocre Rumi's
-About 900 mana regenerated per second
-fairly weak es sustain, about 500 es per second

-Passive Chill/Freeze immunity Recommended Dream Fragments (hard to have enough utility flask suffixes when using Rumi's) and

-Enemies deal 10% less damage (ascendency)
Almost no other defences.

Rng mechanics + cooldowns -> Hard to calculate damage as usual. Estimation: 500-700k shaper dps

Current gear and gems (pretty trash stuff)
Spell cascade on top of consuming more corpses, is like a 65%-130% more multiplier. With the synchronicity of Kitava's thirst, we do end up soemtimes making 9 balls with 1 trigger unlike regular self casts, the VD spreads itself out too far and only makes 6 balls.

ALRIGHT. The one thing I have never explained: why detonate dead?
It is simple: Its an extra 3 corpses. More corpse is more acceleration. Volatile Dead also is somewhat delayed in damage. Although Orb of Storms does damage upfront, it is almost like a dot. If you prefer pure damage, i would recommend concentrated effect. I think the tighter spread from Conc effect also makes the 9 ball more common too. I havent bothered fixing my tree to drop the AoE nodes yet though.

and two fevered minds.
Holy shit im embarassed to show this stuff tbh. Recap on key components: Insanity gloves and necklace. Watcher's eye with clarity mod (actual one I'm wearing is on POB). Energy shield, mana, life where you can get it. Dream Fragments optional. I personally like reliable ailment immunity and basalt flask uptime isn't that strong. If you can, get surgeons on utility flasks. This is not a crit build, but when you accelerate to 25 cast per second on top of a skill that hits like 6-12 times per trigger, you'll end up landing many crits. Weapon is absolute garbage. Only reason I'm using it is I can't be bothered to find craft services and I haven't unveiled trigger socketed skills yet for the bone offering/exposure.
For a chest I'm using a mediocre lucent Vaal Regalia, which is sort of shit. We can try out crafted mod 'Gain % of maximum life as extra energy shield' but my base life and life scaling isn't great either and I... haven't unveiled it yet. I don't have a source of life leech yet, but I would recommend one. Maybe get lucky with elder amulet or scorch fossil a ring.
If you have the jewel socket somehow, as usual with all tri-pool builds that splits their recovery mechanism, corrupted energy can be fun to use.
I would personally recommend either a miracle Sai with essence of misery, +all spell gem, all fire gem, or a profane wand with +spell gem/fire gem and cast speed, and of course the trigger craft.

Damage and calculation
Alright. Luckily we can get a strong estimate on our damage without strong math compared to other kitava's thirst builds. The method is to look at our cast speed, and insert values of "number of corpses consumed recently" until it matches our average Cast speed (lets say about 25 cast per second). It turns out, this value is about 160 corpses. This means we have consumed 160 corpses in the last 4 seconds, which means we consume 40 corpses per second. Worst case scenario: All of those are volatile dead corpses (detonate dead does more damage per corpse). Our PoB says we do a modest 10k damage per ball, simple math says then VD is contributing 40 balls * 400,000 damage or 400k dps. The reality is that this is just the spell damage, The corpse explosion portion can be an additional 70% more damage. Realistically though, the corpse explosions don't hit unless you are in melee range so let's give a lower bound estimate and ignore the corpse explosion portion for now. We will also ignore any detonate dead damage (which does about 2x the damage of a VD ball for the spell + ce combined).
Secondly: Orb of Storms
This one is more straightforward. It does average 8659 damage per hit. POB says it has a cast rate of ~10 when my tempest shield is at ~25. This means it hits 5 times per second by default. It then hits an additional 25 times per second due to tempest shield. So the damage per second is:
8695damage per hit * (5 + 25)hits/second = 260k DPS.

So a decent estimate for the damage of this build is 400k + 260k = 660k DPS.
There are many factors though, the more we have to more around the less our damage since we may be deceleration when we aren't spamming tempest shield, we could be faster or slower than 25 cast per second, and our VD balls may run off to hit ads or something instead of a boss target.

Passive Tree Consideration: Insightfulness node?
The mana cost variance is not optimal. But 10% increased ES and Mana before +10 int is a pretty strong node. I ended up taking it but maybe you don't like it.

Other Considerations
My CPU and GPU for you to compare to the gameplay and see if you can suffer through the lag:
Intel Core i5-3570K @ 3.40GHz
GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
My stuff is relatively middle/low end so maybe your badass setup can play this build much better than me! (I do legion fights with 5 fps and just pray my rumi's saves me)

Sorry for the formatting, I'll probably review it again and clean it up more. feel free to ask any questions or shit on my build or whatever you like :) My profile is also public and the character name is: lost_butterfly.

I'd be most flattered if others would play or improve on this build.
Last bumped on Oct 27, 2019, 5:07:40 AM

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