[3.15]Archmage Ball Lightning Hierophant, will it work in Expedition?

The Great Nerf in 3.15
"Archmage has had its damage based on the mana cost of the supported skill lowered (60% of mana cost from 108% at level 20)."
Yeah, currently even LVL 1 archmage has 70% mana as extra damage. 40% less damage.

"It now also sets your spell's mana cost to be 5% of your maximum unreserved mana, instead of 6%, as support gem mana multipliers were generally increased across the board."
Actually, this does not affect so much. With the new cost multipliers, the final mana cost is similar.

"Arcane Surge:
These buff changes affect all sources of the Arcane Surge buff, such as the one applied by Harbinger of the Arcane.
Arcane Surge buff no longer grants 10-19% increased Cast Speed.
Arcane Surge buff now grants 30-58% increased Mana Regeneration Rate (previously 0.5-1% of Mana Regenerated per second).
Can now support triggered spells."

So we lost 2.3% base mana regen, 43% cast speed.

"Controlled Destruction:
Now has a 150% Cost and Reservation Multiplier (previously 130%).
Now causes Supported Skills to deal 25% more Spell Damage at gem level 1 (unchanged) and 39% more Spell Damage at gem level 20 (previously 44%).
Now causes Supported Skills to have 80% less Critical Strike Chance (previously 100% reduced).
Quality on the Anomalous Controlled Destruction Support no longer grants “Supported Skills have 0-60% reduced Critical Strike Chance”. It now grants “Supported Skills have 0-20% less Critical Strike Chance”."

So controlled destruction is for non-crit version only now. Also, 4.5% less damage.

"Elemental Focus:
Now has a 140% Cost and Reservation Multiplier (previously 130%).
Supported Skills now deal 20-34% more Elemental Damage (previously 30-49%)."

10% less damage.

"Greater Spell Echo:
Granted by the Pledge of Hands Unique.
Now has a 160% Cost and Reservation Multiplier (previously 150%).
Now has 30% more Spell Damage per Repeat (previously 35%)."

5% less damage.

"Lightning Penetration:
Supported Skills now Penetrate 20-34% Lightning Resistance (previously 18-37%)."

This is not so bad, but still some less damage.

"Slower Projectiles:
Now has a 130% Cost and Reservation Multiplier (previously 140%).
Supported Skills now deal 10-19% more Projectile Damage (previously 20-29%)."

8% less single target damage.

"Spell Echo:
Now has a 160% Cost and Reservation Multiplier (previously 140%).
Supported Skills now have 40-54% more Cast Speed (previously 51-70%)."

9.5% less cast speed. Very annoying.



"Hierophant
Illuminated Devotion: No longer has Immunity to Elemental Ailments while you have Arcane Surge. Now has 50% reduced Effect of non-Damaging Ailments on You while you have Arcane Surge."

With some investment on the passive tree, there is still hope...

Overall, I did some simulation on PoB and a non-crit version can do barely over 10M sDPS with kind of endgame gears, while the same setup can do over 40M in the current patch. How about the crit version? I have no idea...


League Start in 3.14
From the patch note, this build is almost untouched. (Yes Vaal RF nerfed, but does anyone really remember to keep it up?)
Levelling
Spoiler

Start with storm brand and arc, then switch arc to ball lightning. Once you get archmage, the levelling should be very easy.

Levelling tree: https://pastebin.com/zC8dxG7Z
Get elemental overlord ASAP, then grab life, mana, and some AoE nodes.
Some leveling tips from the community:
"
dsBraver wrote:


I'm still short a few fuses to link my staff, but in the meantime, I wanted to pass on some budget tips to people just starting out:

- I've comfortably levelled from 36 and cleared high yellow maps on just an amplification rod for a weapon and 3-link BL. If you're broke, try this 1c option (reverb rod + prophecy) that also gets you a fated item upgrade for your challenge.

- If you don't have clarity watchers, and they're expensive, don't run clarity. Run Clear Mind instead. It's a cheap jewel with mana regen and a ton of spell damage. While levelling, Survival Secrets is handy with its 3 base mana regen and ele damage.

- Anoint Mind Drinker. It's very cheap and provides great mana/mana regen on a budget while mapping.

- Remember your support skills give a ton of mana regen. Having sustain issues? Watch your uptime on arcane surge (Dynamo is really important here), make sure you're hitting cursed enemies (Cursed Concoction cluster), etc.





League start gearing path
1. 3L BL in Amplification Rod
2. Atziri's Foible
3. 6L BL in random body armour + Agnerod North
4. 5L PoH + Cloak of Defiance
5. 6L PoH

I will take a break from this build after 4 leagues though. I will try either low life bleed Bladestorm or fire conversion Reap Chieftain this time.

Edit log
Spoiler

4/14/2021
Update for 3.14 league start.
6/27
Updated ball lightning mechanism.
6/26
Updated leveling section for 3.11
6/12
Added 3.11 changes.
4/29
Added trading links to help people unfamiliar with the trade website.
4/28

Jeez, I am lucky today! I just made more currency than my previous 3000 hours XD. However, I died 3 times in a row due to "deal 20% physical damage as extra chaos damage" mod in the simulacrum. I decided to investigate some chaos res.
4/24
Updated cluster jewels section
4/22
Added budget version.
Added Uber Elder fight.
Guys, I fall into the dark side of the force... I switched to crit! Check my character page for details.
4/21
Updated two new PoBs: crit-based with/without cluster jewels.
4/20
Updated Lvl 98 PoB.
Updated Ball Lightning explanation.
4/17
Got a new watcher's eye.
4/16
Updated PoB. Now I use 3 fevered mind jewels, and I am planning to use awakened ele focus rather than lightning pen. Should have 40+M shaper DPS now.
Added awakened gems priority.
4/12
Added Glorious Vanity in Mechanism Explanation.
4/5
Added deathless Sirus play.
Updated PoB.
Added luxury gear setup.
Updated unique jewel selection.
4/3
The new patch is a huge QoL improvement! Bind brand recall to left-click and u can keep recalling during moving!
4/1
Added A8 Sirus play.
Added leveling PoB
3/31
Added T16 100% delirium gameplay.
Updated current gear.
Updated gem setup.
Updated cluster jewel selection.
3/30
Added videos.
Updated the current PoB.


Videos
Spoiler

3.13
Video showcase from LordMagix. Thx for recording mate!
"
LordMagix wrote:

Here's a boss kill compilation (conquerors/feared/formed/hidden/sirus/maven): https://youtu.be/mo5I1nCJgpE
And mapping in t16 Dunes with legions: https://youtu.be/n35JNZr74fM


3.11
A8 Sirus in 1:40: https://youtu.be/sUA8MqZw-xQ
3.10
A8 Sirus in 2 min: https://youtu.be/c9J717u7lsQ
A8 Sirus last phase with crit version: https://youtu.be/lkO7XLIHy70
Uber Elder https://youtu.be/lM7T2MmOzmQ
Ultimate Simulacrum Machine, wave 16 to 20: https://youtu.be/xUk0bN40qco
Full Simulacrum Run with Headhunter: https://youtu.be/vqWeUxlP01c


Pros and Cons
Pros:
-Amazing clear speed. One cast and the whole screen is clean.
-Awsome single DPS.
-High survivability. 3.6k life with 50% MOM plus arcane cloak absorption. Also, it has plenty of block chance.
-No worry about elemental alignments!
-High sustainability with 2000+ life regeneration per second.
-League start friendly. Very smooth to gear up and not so expensive to reach a very strong level. Although the final min-max would be $$$.
-Be able to use any spell you want!
-Elemental reflect maps? Not a problem! Switch Essence Worm to Sibyl's Lament and you are good to go.
-Not being a meta slave.


Cons:
-Long lockdown time due to great spell echo and spell echo. Need to invest some cast speed
-No stun-immunity until you got Skyforth.
-Use many unique gears, so resistance becomes an issue.
-No regen maps are very painful. Less life recovery rate mod is dangerous.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



PoB Archive
Spoiler

3.13
Spoiler

https://pastebin.com/cMmtKy92
LVL 96 non-crit version, around 45M SDPS.

https://pastebin.com/PgCJMifJ
A crit version based on my current gear, around 100M SDPS


3.11
Spoiler

https://pastebin.com/yCvsEdzP
Lv97 Inquistor, 130M sDPS
A8 Sirus in 1.90 second

3.10
Spoiler

LVL 100 https://pastebin.com/Hw9BwezY
90M Shaper DPS. Total budget: >200 Ex.

Variants
Crit version
https://pastebin.com/veivjQrV
65M Shaper DPS with bottled faith. No other GG level gears or gems. Total budget ~ 80 Ex.

https://pastebin.com/n7wYdw9y
39+M Shaper DPS with an even lower budget. No bottled faith, awakened curse on hit, or awakened controlled destruction with one mod watcher's eye. Total budget ~ 30 Ex.

Non-Crit version
https://pastebin.com/R91kvLry
Lower DPS but with higher eHP.

Crit without cluster jewels
https://pastebin.com/SpsWSZwP
For guys in standard or refusing to use clusters. Still 45M Sirus DPS, but lose ES leech and even more utilities(blind nearby enemies, culling strike, cursed enemies unnerved, flask duration, etc.)

Budget Version
https://pastebin.com/7g4bjSbJ
lvl93, 6L pledge of hands, 5L cloak of defiance, all 20/20 gem, no cluster jewels, still have 12k eHP and around 13M shaper DPS.

Ultimate Simulacrum Machine
https://pastebin.com/zhh6tb4j, 2 million damage PER ball.
Volatile Dead--Archmage--Spell Echo--Controlled Destruction--Spell Cascade--Lightning Penetration/Concentrated Effect
Best curse combo would be Assassin's Mark + Elemental Weakness + Conductivity
Use Desecrate to initiate the chain reaction.
This setup is for Simulacrum only!


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mechanism Explanation

Ball Lightning
Spoiler

The damage of ball lightning depends on two factors: the hit damage of the spell and the number of hits when the ball flyby the enemies. The hit damage can be scaled by spell damage, projectile damage, and lightning damage. The number of hits is mainly determined by the area of effect and projectile speed. A target cannot be hit more than once within 150 ms, so it cannot be used to "shotgun" the target by hitting them with multiple projectiles at once. Besides, it seems like the lightning ball can only hit targets in the first 2 seconds in its flying, so the maximum hits one ball can make are 13.
For balls with normal projectile speed (48 unites/s):
AoE Radius (low limit) Max Hits
18(skill default) 5
22 6
26 7
29 8
33 9
36 10
40 11
44 12
When using Lvl 20 Slower Projectile, projectile speed becomes 33.6 units/s.
AoE Radius (low limit) Max Hits
18(skill default) 7
21 8
23 9
26 10
28 11
31 12
33 13

Real DPS = tooltip * hits
In a word, Hierophant and Pledge of Hands match Ball Lighting very well as they both provide huge AoE bonus, which greatly increases the max dps of ball lightning.

Tips:
When mapping: keep your pointer closer to you to spray out balls, as balls from the same cast do not hit the same target.

When bossing: do not stand too close to the target. The best distance would be the radius of your BL AoE. For Uber Elder fight, do not use slower projectile as shper and elder keep teleporting.





---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gears
Spoiler


Mana, spell damage and great spell echo, bis for bosses.


Bis for clearing.


Mana, mana regen and better MOM, bis in most cases unless you want to go deep min-maxing.


Tons of mana, mana regen, and no worry of attributes, bis.
Mind Drinker would be best for early-game sustain. When mana regen is not an issue, you can switch to Whisper of Doom or other damage nodes.


Free wrath, why not?


This mana regen implicit is actually stonk. Sometimes I can really chain cast a lot.


Curse on hit ring



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gems
Spoiler

PoH
Ball lightning--Archmage--Slower projectile--Spell echo--Lightning penetration--Controlled destruction.

Sire of Shards
Ball lightning--Archmage--Pinpoint--Spell echo--Lightning penetration--Controlled destruction.

Utilities
Arcane Cloak--Anomalous Arcane Surge--Second Wind--Increased Duration

Arcanist Brand--Wave of Conviction--Blade Blast--Sniper's Mark

Flame Dash--Second Wind

Empower--Vaal Righteous Fire--Sigil of Power

These are just my personal taste. Feel free to use any other combinations.




Ascendancy
Spoiler

1.Divine Guidance
2.Illuminated Devotion
3.Arcane Blessing
4.Conviction of Power


Bandits
Spoiler
Kill all.


Pantheon
Spoiler
Major: Brine King for stun unless you have Skyforth.
Minor: depending on your taste.




Last edited by Aniki_Leads_people on Jul 21, 2021, 10:57:00 AM
Last bumped on Jul 24, 2021, 3:15:30 AM
How it performs in delirium / bosses ?
Thanks for the build! Gonna try it out. Can you do t16 max delirium map and sirus AL 8 kill videos? Thanks
Any chance you could make leveling trees?
He did make, just post the pastebin link into path of building
Hey bro,

i have a question about your CURRENT Profile and the POB you put in. The Gems in the Helmet are different than the ones in the POB. Which Gem Choice is the better one?

Same for the Boot Gems - in your current Profile you have different ones than in the POB.

I hope you can clarify that.

EDIT: Even your Body Armour is different. If i look in the Gear Section you have a 6 Link in there, but in your Current Gear Setup you have a 5 Link and a extra Socket.
Last edited by RaneEU on Apr 3, 2020, 6:31:52 PM
"
RaneEU wrote:
Hey bro,

i have a question about your CURRENT Profile and the POB you put in. The Gems in the Helmet are different than the ones in the POB. Which Gem Choice is the better one?

Same for the Boot Gems - in your current Profile you have different ones than in the POB.

I hope you can clarify that.

EDIT: Even your Body Armour is different. If i look in the Gear Section you have a 6 Link in there, but in your Current Gear Setup you have a 5 Link and a extra Socket.


Sorry for the misinformation. In past days I was keeping optimizing this build.

For CWDT setup I swap in Vaal cold snap for frenzy charge generation. For gems in boots, it's mainly QoL and personal preference. Actually Vaal RF is not that useful.....
About my body armour, it is just because I bricked my 6-link when double corrupting it. Now I switch to a +4 curse cloak of defiance XD.

Anyway, I will keep updating this post.
"


Sorry for the misinformation. In past days I was keeping optimizing this build.

For CWDT setup I swap in Vaal cold snap for frenzy charge generation. For gems in boots, it's mainly QoL and personal preference. Actually Vaal RF is not that useful.....
About my body armour, it is just because I bricked my 6-link when double corrupting it. Now I switch to a +4 curse cloak of defiance XD.

Anyway, I will keep updating this post.



Thanks for the Update man!

I love your Build soooo much! I even sold all my Gear from my first Charakter to make this Build stronger. I cant stop play!

I did my first T16 100% Delirium today and i dont even have Skyforth and Awakened Gems LOL.

Soo, how mandatory is Skyforth? Im at 12 EX right now and i dont know if i should get the Awakened Gems or the Boots...

What would you prefer?

EDIT: The only thing i dont really use is Vaal Cold Snap, i never need it haha - but i guess the normal Cold Snap gets triggered by the CWDT.
Last edited by RaneEU on Apr 5, 2020, 6:58:32 PM
"
RaneEU wrote:
"


Sorry for the misinformation. In past days I was keeping optimizing this build.

For CWDT setup I swap in Vaal cold snap for frenzy charge generation. For gems in boots, it's mainly QoL and personal preference. Actually Vaal RF is not that useful.....
About my body armour, it is just because I bricked my 6-link when double corrupting it. Now I switch to a +4 curse cloak of defiance XD.

Anyway, I will keep updating this post.



Thanks for the Update man!

I love your Build soooo much! I even sold all my Gear from my first Charakter to make this Build stronger. I cant stop play!

I did my first T16 100% Delirium today and i dont even have Skyforth and Awakened Gems LOL.

Soo, how mandatory is Skyforth? Im at 12 EX right now and i dont know if i should get the Awakened Gems or the Boots...

What would you prefer?

EDIT: The only thing i dont really use is Vaal Cold Snap, i never need it haha - but i guess the normal Cold Snap gets triggered by the CWDT.


Skyforth is not so essential if you use brine king + avoid stun Cinderswallow Urn + avoid stun boot enchant. I would say go with awakened gems (or +1 curse Atziri's foible)first.
hw to get so much energy shield? i only have 1.5 k energy shield and i use same armour as showed expect boots

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