[3.11] Melting Nova | 16m DPS, 6k life, acro/phase | Deathless Sirus A8
My current POB link on 3.11: https://pastebin.com/04Tws7SD
PS: I recommend using POB Fork, as it includes everything we need to best simulate our character status!
Guide reworked based on frequently asked questions, feedback from players and testing. Updated most sections with some choices for the build, including new affixes from 3.9 and options for survivability and damage.
Updated for 3.11. Guide review adding and reworking some sections.
Skitterbots shock effect reduced from 20% to 15%. No other changes on items, passives or gems except for the addition of awakened gems. Also there's an option to swap Skitterbots for an aura (Zealotry, Hatred, Anger) once you get a good Watcher's Eye with double Precision+aura effect.
I didn't update it on 3.10 league itself (doing this on 3.11 already) but as far as I can remember the only nerf for the build was a little drop on Mistwalker attack speed bonus, from 20% to 15%. The nerf made it just a little bit harder to get to the APS cap, but build is still perfectly playable.
Cyclone now doesn't make us immune to stun. Moderate nerf for our survivability, but won't be a big difference for the build itself.
IMPORTANT: I'm not the original creator of the build! All credit for build idea and creation goes to SpiritKid. I've contacted him and asked for permission to create a new topic with my changed version. If you liked it, don't forget to check the original topic on the following link: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2555459
The build is based on trigger effects, using three spells triggered on critical strike by two Cospri's Malice and a Cast on Critical Strike setup. With enough cooldown recovery speed and attack speed, we can get up to 30 casts per second! We also convert all damage to fire using Cold to Fire gems and Avatar of Fire.
High mobility with Cyclone
High movement speed
Almost no mana issues, even without Enlighten
Doesn't need to look for much attribute on gear (just needs some dexterity and a little strength - we'll probably get them on Helmet and Jewel, respectively)
100% hit chance, no accuracy needed on gear
Easily gets to 7m+ Shaper DPS with quite good survivability (with Acro/Phase)
Melee build, takes some time to get used to avoid mechanics
Quite expensive (build items' prices raised quite a lot because of COC popularity)
Messy effects, possibly laggy (~22.5 casts per second, ignites and Herald of Ash explosions, Vortex effects)
I'm available to add more videos. Feel free to ask for any map you would like me to put here!
COC, CRS and APS
Cast on critical strike (COC), cooldown recovery speed (CRS) and attacks per second (APS) are the main mechanics we are applying on this build. The original creator of the build made a very clear explanation about these points on the original build topic. I'll try to make it as simple as simple as possible. Still, it's a pretty big explanation, so there's a tl;dr. :)
Short explanation: you must get at least 14% CRS and no more than 15 APS for maximum damage
For both Cast on Critical Strike Support and Cospri, everytime you crit you'll cast a single skill. If you have two Cospri equipped, only the Cospri which attacked will cast the skill. So, if you attack with your mainhand, it'll only cast your mainhand skills, one at a time.
Also, Cast on Critical Strike Support and Cospri don't share cooldown, even for same skills. We could place an Ice Nova on a Cast on Critical Strike Support and another on a Cospri, and both would proc when we crit. That doesn't happen if we have two of the same gem on two Cospri: they'll share cooldown.
Since 3.6, both COC mechanics have 150ms (or 0.15s) cooldown. This is quite misleading due to how the servers process information. In short, server refresh rate is 33ms, and our 150ms cooldown is adjusted to these frames. To fit our 150ms, we need 5 frames, which means our cooldown is not really treated as 150ms, but as 165ms. We lose some cooldown in this.
To fix this loss, our solution is to apply CRS to reduce our cooldown to fit the cooldown in 4 frames. According to tests, the CRS value we should aim for 4 frames is at least 14%. For 3 frames, it would be 52%, an unachievable value.
If we divide 1s by 0.132ms, we now have 7.5757. This shows us that by reducing our cooldown to 4 frames (132ms), we also increase the amount of casts per second to a bit higher than 7.5. With this, we should now aim to attack as fast as we can trigger our COC and Cospris. As we use 2x Cospri, each with up to 7.5 casts per second and each only proccing its own skill, to spend all those casts we should aim for 15 APS, thus getting 7.5 APS for each weapon individually.
IMPORTANT: we should not go over 15 APS, or you'd attack faster than your casts recover, so the casts wouldn't synchronise and the DPS would be reduced by up to 50%. The example below shows how it can be a bad option for us.
Consider you're using only one Cospri, with our build value of 7.5 maximum procs per second (one proc every 132ms) but your APS is 8 (one attack every 125ms), a bit higher than the cap.
0ms: attack, spell proc, enters cooldown
125ms: attack, spell doesn't proc (0.07s cooldown remaining)
250ms: attack, spell procs, enters cooldown
375ms: attack, spell doesn't proc (0.07s cooldown remaining)
500ms: attack, spell procs, enters cooldown
625ms: attack, spell doesn't proc (0.07s cooldown remaining)
That's the case when you're using only one Cospri, but it shows that if your APS goes over your maximum proc rate just by a tiny bit, you can end up losing a LOT of procs. Also note that this doesn't happen when your APS is less than your maximum procs per second, as your procs will recover faster than you attack: the problem happens when you attack faster than your cooldown is recovered!
Don't worry about random buffs that would make you go over 15APS (such as shrine, stolen buffs, ...), they're temporary. Just focus on your buffed APS (consider jewels, equipment, elusive bonuses and frenzy charges) and you're good.
How to check my APS?
I'll put here some steps I take every time I want to test my APS.
First, import your character on POB. Once it's imported, on the left tab go for the Cyclone skill. It doesn't matter if you put max stages - it will only affect range.
[Importing will already include possible enchants on helmet and boots]
Now, click on the "Skills" window and set your 6L Faster Attacks to 20 20%.
[I always do this to see how my character will be on late game with the same equips I'm currently using, to check if I need to change any piece of gear]
After this, on items tab, in the "All items" window, double click on one of your items (I often use Frozen Trail jewel). It'll open the item on the right for edition. Click on the "Edit" button and add "15% increased Attack Speed" as a new affix. Don't forget to press "Save" on the item after editing!
[This step isn't necessary if you're using the POB Community Fork, as it already includes Mistwalker bonus. This is a way to simulate the attack speed increase from Mistwalker, which isn't included in the default POB]
Finally, you're gonna include buffs you currently own. Click on the "Configuration" Below there's a list of some buffs I remembered when making this section. You shall only include each of these buffs if you have a source for it.
- Flask active (everyone should mark this)
- Onslaught (from flask, abyssal gem)
- Frenzy Charges (from Redeemer chest affix, Poacher's Mark ring)
- Tailwind (from boots affix)
There are some other options that influence attack speed. Check your gear for anything that increases attack speed, and be sure to check anything you have!
Around +170% life from tree
High dodge: 40/30 from Acrobatics/Phase, plus 10/10 from Quartz Flask, plus up to 18/18 from Elusive (from Mistwalker)
Fortify (from support gem on Cyclone setup)
Doesn't take extra damage from critical strikes (from Mistwalker)
Good evade value (evasion + blind nearby enemies)
Chill on enemies (Vortex, Skitterbots)
Good life recovery with life leech and ring (if using Poacher's Mark)
A warn about defenses: be careful with physical spells! For attacks, we have dodge and evasion, but for spells we only have dodge. For elemental spells we still have elemental resistances, but we have almost no physical damage reduction, so physical spells can really hurt us.
IMPORTANT: Life leech
Our build doesn't have life regen, thus we'll rely on other sustain sources. The main one is life leech, and there are some options on how to get it:
- amulet or helm corruption
- Glorious Vanity timeless jewel (possible output for notables)
- Doryani's Lesson notable (for large cluster jewel)
- Doryani's Invitation (fire version for this belt)
- Life Leech Support gem (on Ice Nova Cospri - replace Elemental Focus)
- Watcher's Eye affix (for Anger aura)
- Rare amulet affix (if you want to drop Effigon and invest on accuracy)
Cospris are mandatory for the build mechanics. While we have only one of them, we'll place two spells on it, but with two of them we'll place one spell on each.
Leech on Effigon isn't mandatory, but the amulet is mandatory, or at least highly recommended. It grants us an easy way to get 100% hit chance while also having some pretty useful affixes. You could drop it for a rare one, but it would require some heavy investment on accuracy.
Frozen Trail adds two Frostbolt projectiles and increases projectile speed per second. It's pretty good for clearing, but we're using it mainly for the extra projectile and its synergy with Ice Nova. This basically doubles Ice Nova DPS output, as each cast can expand from up to 2 Frostbolts.
Mandatory items. They're not really needed to start running a COC version, but you'll struggle a bit without them (as you'll rely all your damage only on your 6link).
Both Devoto and Starkonja are pretty good unique options. They both gives us many useful status and the dexterity we need to use Cospri, and are relatively easier to find an enchanted or corrupted one with fire leech (I said easier, not cheaper :P). Devoto stands for more speed, while Starkonja has more survivability. I personally prefer Starkonja as build is already fast enough. A rare helm is also an option.
you have shocking conflux for 3 seconds every 8 seconds (hunter)
elemental damage (warlord)
critical strike multiplier (warlord)
regenerate #% of life per second (warlord)
nearby enemies have -#% to fire resistance (delve)
Loreweave and Carcass Jack are some good unique options if you lack currency for a rare chest. Anyways, the best piece is a rare chest (preferably evasion - Assassin's Garb is the best base for more evasion and implicit, but any evasion one will work). In fact, any base will work out fine, just be careful about attribute requirements! :)
resistances (optional - can make the item too expensive, you can get it on other items)
#% increased maximum life (elder/hunter)
attacks have #% to critical strike chance (elder/hunter)
recover #% of life on kill (elder/warlord - optional)
nearby enemies are blinded (redeemer - replaces Flesh and Blood)
#% chance to gain a frenzy charge on hit (redeemer)
An awesome option for our build is Atziri's Acuity. This item gives us some life, crit chance and Vaal Pact. By default, we can leech a maximum of 20% of our maximum life per second. Vaal Pact doubles this value, so we can get up to 40% per second, and it removes our default life regen (which we already don't have). It's an awesome option for sustain, but it can make a little harder for us to fit resistances. As usual, rare gloves are also a good option.
#% increased global critical strike chance (crusader)
adds # to # fire damage if you've dealt a critical strike recently (redeemer)
#% chance to evade attacks (redeemer)
#% chance to unnerve enemies for # seconds on hit (hunter)
#% increased spell damage (warlord)
Rare boots are the best option here. You must get a minimum of 14% CRS on either boots or belt. Maybe Atziri's Step would be a good unique, but it would probably make it harder for you to fit resistances. Tailwind is a highly recommended affix to get to the APS cap, but consider it as a "half luxury item".
movement speed (would recommend at least 30% - maybe 25% is ok)
open prefix (to craft immunity to freeze when you're on endgame gear)
#% increased cooldown recovery speed (shaper/crusader - at least 14% on boots or belt)
#% chance to dodge attack hits (shaper/redeemer)
#% chance to dodge spell hits (elder/redeemer)
Again, rare is the best option here. You must get a minimum of 14% cooldown recovery speed on either boots or belt. If you're getting it on belt, Leather Belt is the best base. If you're getting it on boots, then Stygian Belt is the best base.
#% increased cooldown recovery speed (shaper/crusader - at least 14% on boots or belt)
#% increased spell damage during any flask effect (shaper/crusader)
#% increased maximum life (elder/hunter)
#% increased attack speed during any flask effect (elder/redeemer)
#% increased critical strike chance against shocked enemies (crusader)
#% increased critical strike chance against chilled enemies (redeemer)
#% increased fire damage (warlord/delve)
Mandatory item to run the build. We also benefit from its dexterity, fire resistance, evasion and fire penetration.
Mark of the Shaper + elder ring is a common option. You can pick one with Poacher's Mark as a source for life on hit and frenzy charges. Another possible option is to run a Circle of Anguish instead of Mark of the Shaper. This increases our damage quite a lot, but we'll lose some toughness and it's quite expensive. Still, it's a strong option, and it doesn't require you to use an elder ring.
open prefix (to craft reduced mana cost of channelling skills)
#% increased attack speed
#% increased fire damage
#% increased spell damage (shaper/crusader)
curses enemies with level # assassin's mark on hit (shaper)
adds # to # fire damage to spells and attacks (elder)
#% to global critical strike multiplier (elder/warlord)
curses enemies with level # poacher's mark on hit (elder)
curses enemies with level # warlord's mark on hit (elder)
#% chance to evade attacks (elder/delve)
# life gained for each enemy hit by your spells (crusader)
adds # to # fire damage against ignited enemies (warlord)
curses enemies with level # flammability on hit (warlord)
#% of fire damage leeched as life (delve)
#% increased elemental damage (delve)
Divine Life Flask or Eternal Life Flask (Divine is better IMO)
Prefix: Bubbling/Seething/Panicked (up to your preference)
Suffix: of Staunching
Prefix: Chemist's or Experimenter's
Suffix: of Heat (if you don't have boots craft), of Reflexes (if you do)
Prefix: Experimenter's or Ample (Alchemist's prefix is also good but lasts for almost half the time)
Suffix: of Warding
The Wise Oak
To be sure you're using it right, open your character sheet, go to Defence and check your resistances values between parenthesis - this is your uncapped resistance. To benefit from this flask, you need your highest uncapped resistance to be fire. To have the maximum benefit from it (hard to do), you need all of your uncapped resistances to be equal. In this case, all elements will both be highest and lowest, meaning that you will receive less damage from all of them (and still deal more damage with fire).
This is a very strong option for us when it comes to damage. It also give us Onslaught (adds mobility and helps a lot on getting to APS cap) and has some life sustain for clearing (be sure to look for a 3% life recover roll). For veiled mod, you can look for critical strike chance or chance to avoid being stunned (helpful because of Cyclone change). When going for it, i'd recommend to drop Quartz Flask (if you'd be vulnerable to freeze, put a "of Heat" suffix on your Quicksilver Flask).
Recommended flask setup
Life of Staunching
Quicksilver of Heat (Adrenaline if you have freeze immunity on boots)
The Wise Oak
Diamond of Warding
Eternal Mana Flask (replace Quartz Flask or Cinderswallow for "no mana regen" maps)
Suffix: same as Quartz Flask
Probably the strongest flask in the game. A definite luxury item. This flask increases our damage by a lot and stores 3 uses (a differential for bosses without extra mobs, such as Sirus). I only recommend picking this one after you have immunity to freeze on boots, as you'll replace your Diamond Flask and send the "Warding" flask suffix (immunity to curse) to your Quicksilver Flask, so you won't have slot for freeze immunity.
Recommended flask setup
Life of Staunching
Quicksilver of Warding
The Wise Oak
The only mandatory jewel. Later on the game you can look for one with the "corrupted blood cannot be inflicted on you" implicit (or on another jewel you'll use). It's quite expensive but believe me, as a Cyclone user who attacks 15 times per second, it'll save you a lot against those Nemesis monsters.
Look for the affix "attack speed while affected by precision". It'll make easier for you to get to the 15 APS cap. This is the only really recommended affix. Double precision is quite expensive. The affix "gain a flask charge when you deal a critical strike while affected by precision" is a useful option, but even this one is already a bit expensive. The affix "#% to critical strike multiplier while affected by precision" is the best possible for a double precision jewel, but it's really, really expensive.
You can also look for precision attack speed coupled with another aura's effect (such as Hatred, Anger or Zealotry), but it would require you to place an Enlighten on the aura setup.
I'd recommend to get a single jewel with strength (to help fill strength requirement for gems). If you're trying to fit resistances, specially if you're trying to equal all 3 to fully benefit from Wise Oak, you can look for resists on two or three of them.
For the other affixes, our desired ones are related to damage, area damage, cold skills, fire damage, cold damage, spell damage, critical strike multiplier. Below are the affixes I've been looking for. There may be other useful ones.
- % maximum life
- increased damage
- increased area damage
- increased fire damage
- increased cold damage
- increased spell damage
- increased spell damage while dual wielding
- global critical strike multiplier
- critical strike multiplier for spells
- critical strike multiplier with cold skills
- critical strike multiplier with elemental skills
- critical strike multiplier while dual wielding
Cluster jewels brought us some pretty useful nodes. On 3.10 I've used 4 different cluster jewels. My list of useful cluster jewels and useful cluster notables are based on my experience, there are probably more noteworthy ones.
- fire damage (large)
- critical chance (medium)
- channelling skill damage (medium)
- life (small)
Cremator (large, fire)
No more corpses, no more porcupines explosions, and some extra damage.
Prismatic Heart (large, fire)
One of the elemental builds' favourite notable. Gives some damage and all resistance. Pretty strong node
Doryani's Lesson (large, fire)
One of the few sources for life leech for us. Also gives some damage.
Precise Commander (medium, critical chance)
Bonus critical strike chance and multiplier, stackable for multiple cluster jewels.
Pressure Points (medium, critical chance)
Critical strike chance, and chance to deal double damage.
Enduring Focus (medium, channelling skill damage)
Chance to gain an endurance charge each second while channelling, increasing our toughness.
Precise Focus (medium, channelling skill damage)
Bonus critical strike chance and multiplier while channelling (although POB doesn't apply it to non-channelling spells, believe me, this DO apply to our COC spells).
Hex Breaker (medium, channelling skill damage)
Some attack speed while channelling, helping with APS cap, and removes a curse every 2 seconds. It won't help with map curse affix, but it might help on other situations.
Fettle (small, life)
Probably the best small node for life builds (not for mana and Agnostic ones). Gives us lots of life for our pool.
Feast of Flesh (small, life)
Gives us some life and life on hit. The life leech itself isn't reliable as it's for attacks only (and our main damage is from spells).
Surging Vitality (small, life)
Gives us some life and life regeneration. Useful when we're not attacking/leeching.
Cospri 1 - 3L Frostbolt
Frostbolt + Cold to Fire + Combustion
Frostbolt shall be placed on the mainhand Cospri. Cold to Fire is the best support for us. Combustion reduces enemies fire resistances, benefitting all our damage gems.
Cospri 2 - 3L Ice Nova
Ice Nova + Cold to Fire + Elemental Focus/Concentrated Effect
Ice Nova shall be placed on the offhand Cospri. Concentrated Effect is slightly better than Elemental Focus, but the reduced AOE from it made me keep Elemental Focus (it's probably better for bosses, though).
Chest - 6L COC setup
Cyclone + Faster Attacks + Cast on Critical Strike + Wave of Conviction + Increased Critical Strikes + Fortify
Differently from the original version, in which we had two Ice Nova gems, here we have a third spell on our 6link: Wave of Conviction. As we only deal fire damage, Wave of Conviction will always apply fire exposure, increasing all damage dealt for all skills (as we use Avatar of Fire). You can also remove Fortify from this setup and place it on the mobility setup (commented below), freeing a slot for another spell or support gem you want.
Mobility + Vaal RF
Whirling Blades + Faster Attacks + Leap Slam + Vaal Righteous Fire
I'd say Leap Slam and Faster Attacks are the mandatory ones for mobility, as you often need Leap Slam to jump ledges and stuff. If you're bossing, Whirling Blades is probably better. I like to keep Whirling Blades as a default move skill, and use Leap Slam only for cliffs/edges and so on. This setup varies according to your playstyle, so feel free to set up anything that fits you.
Flesh and Stone + Herald of Ash + Precision 1 + Summon Skitterbots
Unless you got "nearby enemies are blinded" on chest, Flesh and Stone is mandatory to guarantee us 100% hit chance (with Effigon). Herald of Ash is extremely strong, clearing packs with its explosions and giving us a "more spell damage" effect. Precision 1 gives us a nice critical strike chance and some awesome Watcher's Eye mods for a 22 mana reservation cost. Skitterbots will slow and shock nearby enemies, effectively increasing our damage output.
If you have "nearby enemies are blinded" on chest, you can drop Flesh and Blood. This opens some possibilities for its mana reservation. I replaced it for Aspect of the Spider for some slow and damage, but there are some options:
- Aspect of the Spider
- Arctic Armour
- one of the resistance auras, if you're finding it hard to fit resistances
- Blasphemy + curse (flammability, warlord's mark, poacher's mark, assassin's mark - need to drop Precision or Vaal RF, though)
- Dread Banner
Vortex + Arcane Surge 6
Vortex will deal fire damage because of Avatar of Fire, but its AOE will still chill enemies, making it safer for us and increasing our critical strike chance (from Cospri affix). As we'll be casting Vortex a lot without mana problems, Arcane Surge will have a 100% uptime (keep it at level 6 - be sure not to overlevel Arcane Surge, keep it at a level you can guarantee its buff with a single Vortex cast).
Cast When Damage Taken + Steelskin
On the same item we have another link with Cast when Damage Taken 20 - Steelskin 20 (be sure not to link CWDT with Vortex, otherwise CWDT will cast it). That increases our strength requirements, so I've placed a +30 strength node on the build to help on that point (if you get on any item, you can drop that point and reapply it elsewhere). This defensive setup will help a lot against those hard-hitting mobs, giving some desired toughness to our build.
Most of the awakened gems available aren't good for us. Even with all of them, Cold to Fire is the best support overall. There are only two awakened gems worth talking about. I'd recommend anyone reading this not to buy one until you're on endgame gear, as most gear pieces will be more important than any awakened version.
Awakened Elemental Focus is an upgrade to our current Elemental Focus on the Ice Nova link. It isn't a big improvement to our DPS, but it's still better.
For bosses, Awakened Concentrated Effect is another good option. Keep in mind you'll lose some area of effect to gain not much damage. I'd keep with Elemental Focus anyways, as sometimes area can be quite useful even for bosses.
I must also talk about Awakened Cast on Critical Strike. At first glance it seems pretty good to replace our default COC. However, it requires some good investment to make any real difference. The differences between Awakened COC and default COC are:
- more spell damage (20-39% to 40-42%)
- cooldown recovery speed (none to 10-23%)
As we can see, spell damage isn't a big upgrade, but CRS seems to be. Yet, it only applies to supported gems, meaning it'll only apply to Wave of Conviction. Also, this doesn't necessarily mean you'll increase your casts per second just by placing this gem. With 14% CRS we already have one cast every 4 frames, and as we stated earlier, the next breakpoint is 52% (with 52% we get one cast every 3 frames, or 99ms). This means the CRD on the gem alone isn't enough to make any difference on our build: we would need the 23% on gem plus a 29% total on boots and belt to make any real difference for us.
Also, let's suppose we got 29% CDR on boots and belt and a Awakened COC on our chest. This will mess up with our APS, because our weapons proc 7.5 times per second (ideal APS is a multiple of 7.5*2=15) and our chest procs 10 times per second (ideal APS is a multiple of 10). Now, let's check the setups usage for some APS values:
- 10 APS: chest at maximum usage, weapons not at maximum usage
- 15 APS: over chest recommended APS, weapons at maximum usage
- 20 APS: chest at maximum usage, over weapons recommended APS (same casts as 10 APS)
Values over 15 APS are hard to achieve for us, and any of them will mean weapons or chest aren't being used to its fullest (more possible procs than skills available to be procced).
Thus, my recommendation is: don't get crazy on calculations because of it, don't buy one, save some exalteds.
Help Alira. Everything she gives us is useful. Kill all can also be an option if you prefer to.
For leveling, my preferred order for ascendancy notables is Opportunistic > Ambush and Assassinate. After clearing Merciless lab, remove Ambush and Assassinate and pick Unstable Infusion and Deadly Infusion. For Uber lab, pick Mistwalker.
Below, there's an explanation about our choices.
The changes from 3.8 brought us many buffs, including a brand new ascendancy notable: Mistwalker. As we don't lack damage at all, this was an interesting point I've decided to place in the build. Basically it gives us Elusive and some buffs around it. Elusive gives us 20% attack and spell dodge, and 40% movement speed, and Mistwalker increases those values by 25% (making it 25/25/50). These values decay over time, and although it's still good, the best is still to come. Mistwalker gives us a 50% chance on critical to gain Elusive (so basically we have 100% Elusive uptime, as long as we hit something), and while Elusive is active we have 15% increased attack speed, 8% reduced damage taken and we take no extra damage from critical strikes. It's a HUGE buff to our survivability.
I've decided to replace Ambush and Assassinate because the other points were simply too strong compared to him. Deadly Infusion gives us damage and mobility, Unstable Infusion is a prerequisite, and Opportunistic gives us some toughness, damage and mobility. While Ambush and Assassinate is also good, I didn't really like its buffs while on full life (basically applying only to the first hit - the cyclone one, maybe?) nor the combination of Culling Strike and buffs against enemies on low life (the low life lines only apply from 35% to 10%, when it gets killed by Culling Strike). It's good for leveling, though, and even if it received a good buff, getting some "more" instead of "increased" on its description, it's still the only node which doesn't give us toughness or mobility (and we don't really lack damage).
- 15% increased Cyclone attack speed (possibly the best option, makes it even easier to get to 15 APS but it's quite expensive)
- Wave of Conviction's Exposure applies -6% Elemental Resistance (it seems quite rare, but increases your damage for every skill, so it's an option if you're done on APS)
- 40% increased Ice Nova damage (not so cheap but it's an alternative if you're low on currency)
- Damage penetrates 10% resistances if you haven't killed recently (it'll basically only apply to bosses, but the rest will die too quickly, so it's by far the best option)
- Adds 45 to 68 Fire Damage if you've Killed Recently (will basically increase our damage only during clear, but is still a strong option)
Those two are the strongest ones but there are some other options, not too strong but useful. Life regen, spell dodge, attack dodge, attack and cast speed (be careful not to go over APS cap), leech, movement speed. They're all good enchants you can opt to keep while equipping your character.
I recommend "of Reflection" (creates a copy of you) or "of Spite" (nova of projectiles leaving chilled ground) enchantments. They both help your survivability. Still, I'd say this is more personal than the others, so feel free to pick whatever you want.
Brine King is the most recommended on 3.11 now that Cyclone doesn't grant us stun immunity. It'll save us from stun-lock deaths (when we die because we take so many consecutive stuns). Glace is worth capturing for some extra stun recovery speed. Nassar is also worth if you don't have immunity to chill. Shadow of the Vaal isn't necessary, as you must have another source for freeze immunity.
I'm not swapping Brine King for other major choices, but it's worth talking about them.
Lunaris used to be the best option, and is still a good option with its extra avoidance. All of its extra souls are worth capturing.
Solaris is a good option for bosses. Gorgon and Kitava souls are worth capturing for some extra survivability. Eater of Souls isn't necessary as we don't take extra damage from critical strikes (from Mistwalker).
Arakaali might be a good option against Al-Hezmin/Hunter, as it helps a bit against its nasty damage over time. I don't recommend entering citadel with it, as you can have issues with stuns without Brine King, but be sure to pick it if you die to conqueror (or you can spend one portal to swap before facing the boss - not bad at all). For this, Thraxia soul is highly recommended. Other souls aren't worth picking.
Minor pantheon choice depends on what you're facing. I mostly use them to ease doing whatever I'm running. When running maps, I keep the minor pantheon choice until I fully finish the map run, not swapping it for extra stuff (such as going for Abyssal Depths or Vaal areas inside a map). These suggestions are based on my experience.
Abberath when running maps with "burning ground" affix to completely avoid it. Its extra soul is quite helpful and worth capturing.
Ryslatha is a good option for Sirus fight, lab runs and lab trials. We don't have base life regen on tree, so this can help a bit with sustain by giving a little break on some safe spots between Sirus phases or lab traps. Its extra soul isn't necessary but can help a bit, consider capturing it after getting all other good ones.
Shakari is a good option for Al-Hezmin/Hunter fight and for maps with "desecrated ground" affix. If you're going for the conqueror, enter map with it already so you don't waste a portal. Its extra soul is pretty good against poisons, worth capturing.
Garukhan is a good option overall. I often use it when not using any of the above. Its extra soul gives a good speed bonus, worth capturing.
We'll comment DPS anoints based on our Ice Nova average hit damage, which is currently 194k.
- Heart of Flame [Teal+Azure+Golden] (+8.2%)
With the changes to the tree, Heart of Flame became the best node to anoint. It grants us some high damage and a little energy leech.
- Snowforged [Sepia+Azure+Black] (+6.4%)
Used to be the best option, but it's still a good one. With this anoint, drop Snowforged and the two nodes leading to it, and place 3 points on the way to Throatseeker.
- Divine Judgement [Sepia+Teal+Black] (+6.4%)
- Throatseeker [Amber+Violet+Opalescent] (+5.9%)
As our damage is already pretty high, another possible option for anoint is something to increase our survivability. There are some good options here, we'll list some of them.
Heart of the Warrior [Violet + Silver + Golden]: Quite expensive. Gives us lots of health and some strength we need to fit requirements.
Golem's Blood [Teal + Golden + Golden]: Expensive. Gives us 10% life and 1.6% life regen (which we lack).
Constitution [Silver + Golden + Golden]: Second most expensive node in the tree. Gives us lots of health.
Warrior's Blood [Teal + Teal + Black]: Quite cheap. Gives us 1.8% life regen and 20 strength. It's not a high toughness node, but it gives two things we lack (our tree has no life regen and we lack some strength for support gems requirement).
Disciple of the Unyielding [Violet + Crimson + Opalescent]: About okay price. Gives us a source of endurance charges while mapping, while we also have one constant charge (remember that we get 4% physical damage reduction and elemental resistances for each endurance charge). Also gives us some little damage.
Soul of Steel (Golden + Golden + Golden): Can't be more expensive than this. Gives us some toughness. Remember that our armour is reduced by Acrobatics, so the real attractive status here are the maximum elemental resistances and physical damage reduction.
There are only a few mods for us to comment. First, reflect elemental is quite impossible for us. Although we don't take reflect damage on critical, our spells' critical strike chance isn't high enough to guarantee us a safe run. Thus, I always avoid reflect elemental maps. The good news about it is, this is the only mod we can't really do!
The first one I'd warn you to be careful about is no mana regen. I recommend you to always bring an Enduring Eternal Mana Flask on those maps (I replace Quartz Flask because I have immunity to freeze on boots; if you depend on it to avoid freezes, use an Enduring Eternal Mana Flask of Heat). If you have a Poacher's Mark ring, you can possibly do this mod even without a mana flask (be careful on using movement skills). Just be careful not to face a map with both no mana regen and hexproof without a mana flask, or you'll certainly die.
The second one is cannot leech. It can be boring and possibly deadly if your only sustains are leech and your life flask (if you have the "recover life on kill" mod on chest or Cinderswallow Urn, you'll probably be ok).
The last one is less maximum resistance mod. On red maps, it goes up to 12% less maximum resistances. This means that instead of 75% resists, we have 63%. Instead of taking 25% damage, we take 37%. It's almost a 50% increased damage taken. So be careful about elemental damage when running this mod!
The other map mods aren't really any harm for you. Curse mods are avoided by our Diamond Flask of Warding. Monsters with increased critical strike chance/multiplier don't even hurt us because we don't take extra damage from crits. Nemesis/Bloodline can be a problem if you doesn't react fast enough to remove Corrupted Blood (if you have immunity due to jewel corruption, just ignore it). Reflect physical just doesn't happen because we use Avatar of Fire. Elemental Equilibrium reduces our damage by a bit; clear isn't affected at all, just need to be extra careful on bosses. Most of the others don't even deserve to be mentioned here.
I'll make a specific rework on this section. Below there's the old version of this section. It's probably still useful, although it can still be improved by a lot. :)
I've put some leveling trees on POB (link is on top of post) to guide you. Remember that you can always personalize it!
Leveling with this character isn't awesome, but it's quite good. You'll play as a default caster until Merciless lab, when you can easily change to COC. I recommend changing only after Lab, as you'll pick some cool stuff on ascendancy.
Choose between leveling with Freezing Pulse or Frostbolt as your main skill (I prefer Pulse because of projectile speed and crit chance). Also be sure to get Frostbolt, TWO Ice Nova and Wave of Conviction gems (your damage gems) ASAP and keep leveling them to use once you turn to COC.
During your leveling, don't overlook gems, just pick the supports that most increase your main skill tooltip DPS. Use a setup with Frost Bomb - Spell Cascade - Arcane Surge for increased damage and mana regen. Keep Arcane Surge in a level such that a single Frost Bomb cast would already give you the buff. Also be sure to get Level 1 Precision on Act 1 (can run it from the moment you get it), Herald of Ice on Act 2 (link it with Onslaught, maybe Ice Bite, if you want to) and a First Snow/Frozen Trail unique jewel (depending on your skill) on Act 5. If you got the currency, buy a second one for an even easier clear. Other gems choices (such as curses, other auras, ...) are up to you. Just be sure to be comfortable with your mana. One suggestion for your main is Freezing Pulse - Spell Echo - Cold Penetration - Hypothermia - Added Cold Damage - Increased Critical Strikes.
For the first two labs, as stated earlier, get Opportunistic first (will speed up your leveling), then Ambush and Assassinate (Unstable Infusion isn't the best option for Cruel lab).
After Merciless Lab, you can change to COC, so there's a quite big change. Get Unstable Infusion and replace Ambush and Assassinate for Deadly Infusion (if you lack refunds, go back to acts and do the refund quests). Get a COC setup with Cyclone, Cast on Critical Strike, Frostbolt, Ice Nova (add Increase Critical Strikes and Faster Attacks for 6link - Additional Accuracy is also an option in the beginning). Get a Frozen Trail jewel so your Frostbolt has additional projectiles. Also get two weapons with good APS and critical strike chance, such as Widowmaker (pretty cheap) or Brightbeak (still kinda cheap), so you can start spinning around with many casts per second (there might be other good uniques I don't remember right now, and you can also look for one-handed rares). Don't pick Avatar of Fire until you get two Cospris (also don't get fire damage nodes yet).
At this point, you can start mapping, or farm a bit on Blood Aqueduct (which can also you get you a Tabula). The 6link is quite important, even if doesn't have useful affixes (like a Tabula). Get one, then your next focus is to get one Effigon (with Flesh and Stone) so you can forget about accuracy for the rest of the league. Depending on the price and on your clear speed, either buy an Effigon, or buy an Ignomon and a Blind Faith prophecy and upgrade it yourself on a Haunted Mansion map.
Once you get your first Cospri, you'll probably lack dexterity to use it. Aside from dexterity on items, you can respec some nodes to get Alacrity and minor dexterity nodes to the right of the tree (near Acrobatics, on the way to Herbalism) to help you fulfil your requirement. Place your second Ice Nova on it (now you have one on Cospri and one on 6link) and save currency for your second Cospri, where you'll put your Frostbolt (remove it from 6link). Place your Frostbolt Cospri on your mainhand and your Ice Nova Cospri on your offhand. Once you're dual wielding Cospris, you're good to get Avatar of Fire. Once you're dealing fire damage only, be sure to place our final gem setups for Cospris and 6link (check gems section or POB build). Run a Life Leech Support on your Ice Nova Cospri setup until you get another source of leech (fire leech corruption on Effigon or helmet).
Don't forget: for last lab, get Mistwalker!
Cyclone is, in my opinion, one of the best skills in the game. After it was changed, its mobility is too strong, and you should use it. Don't stand still, or you'll become an easy target for direction-based spells (projectile, cone, arc). Keep circling around your targets, and you'll end up evading most part of the harm. :)
When you cast a new Wave of Conviction, the previous one begins to disappear. That means they won't get too far from you (but that's no problem, so won't Ice Nova). Also keep in mind that Wave of Conviction creates an arc, so it doesn't damage everything around you. Try to position so this arc hits most of the enemies.
Remember you have a projectile skill being procced. If enemies are too spread, try to position so that your Frostbolts are projected to other enemies as well. For example, on Atzoatl or Atziri immune phases, when they keeps spawning mobs who moves towards them, I usually position so that my Frostbolts hit least two of the spawns.
Vortex has some good effects for us. It procs Arcane Surge (increases spell damage and mana regen), creates many chilling areas (due to Frostbolts), and it has almost no mana cost. Even if we have low unreserved mana, we still have high mana regen (even without Poacher's Mark ring), so you can recover your spent mana before Vortex gets out of cooldown. You can opt to get Vortex always on cooldown, as it won't mess with your mana, but at least be sure to always keep Arcane Surge buff up!
If you're having problems with high APS and need to reduce your attack speed, you can try to tune your APS on your passive tree. On our current passive build we only have two nodes related to attack speed: Coordination (12%) and Retribution (5%). To tune your APS, remove one (or both) of them and replace them with some other possible attack speed choices (if needed). Below, there are some 1-point dip possibilities:
- Dual Wield and Attack Speed (4% - Gemini cluster)
- Attack and Cast Speed, Accuracy (4% - above Precision)
- Accuracy and Attack Speed (4% - Acuity cluster)
- Attack and Cast Speed (4% - left of Coordination)
- Channeling Attack Damage and Speed (3% - Unpredictably Offensive cluster)
Another useful tip you might like is including Rampage on the build. You don't even need to change your main equipments for that: just place a Sincivta's Mettle as your secondary weapon. Start your map with it, get your first kills (your only damage source will be Wave of Conviction so be careful). You retain your Rampage buff when you switch weapons, so switch back to your Cospris and start your spinning messy destruction.
Last edited by Chesco on Jul 30, 2020, 6:10:59 PM
Last bumped on Jul 23, 2021, 11:21:23 AM
on Nov 11, 2019, 7:34:07 PM
Melting COC huh ? :D
on Nov 11, 2019, 9:18:05 PM
This guide looks great, nice work! Detailed guide, strong build; would recommend 100%.
on Nov 12, 2019, 2:06:40 AM
So I got a question, do both the Cospri's Malice weapons need 14% increased attack speed or can we go lower?
on Nov 14, 2019, 9:44:42 PM
14% is not needed to run the build, it just helps us to get APS cap.
Don't worry about using a low attack speed Cospri until later in the game, it'll work well. You can change it when you're done on other equipments. :)
Last edited by Chesco on Nov 17, 2019, 10:59:32 PM
on Nov 14, 2019, 11:32:26 PM
Last edited by lordofcinder6 on Nov 17, 2019, 6:43:01 AM
on Nov 16, 2019, 11:26:38 AM
i can confirm its a really good build a better version for the coc assassin that actually kill end game bosses with no sweat or alot of evades the damage is really big , killed shaper deathless and soon will do uber elder , thanks for the guide dude
on Nov 17, 2019, 6:38:37 AM
Very Nice Indeed, aps with mistwalker up is around 15.38 without Retrobution yet maybe my amulet is the cause? or is over 15aps ok?
on Nov 17, 2019, 2:20:35 PM
More than 15 APS is a real problem because of lost procs (some crits don't proc skills because the item/COC cooldown hasn't recovered yet).
I've checked your char with POB and for me it shows 15.25 APS, 0.13 lower than the value you said (no problem about the difference, it's just to use later). Amulet corruption might seems to be a problem, but I guess you can solve it easily. Put Retribution back and remove Coordination. You shall get close to 15 APS. With this passive change I get 14.83 APS on POB (14.96 with the 0.13 difference, if it keeps the same). :)
Last edited by Chesco on Nov 17, 2019, 11:00:27 PM
on Nov 17, 2019, 10:27:48 PM
Thanks for the feedback! Nice to hear you liked it.
Also, I've checked your profile and need to warn you about the lack of cooldown reduction. Without it, your APS cap should be 12 APS, and you possibly have much more than that (specially with Close Combat). I didn't check values with POB, can do it later, but i know it doesn't include Close Combat bonus and even without it your APS will probably be higher than the cap.
Still, try to get your hands on a belt with cooldown reduction as your next upgrade. It will make a big difference on your damage! :)
Last edited by Chesco on Nov 17, 2019, 11:37:19 PM
on Nov 17, 2019, 11:06:16 PM