[3.11] CoC Ball Lightning Assassin - 20M+ Shaper DPS/10k ES/fortify - League Starter Guide Included

Patch 3.13:
I believe Sion is better than Assassin for this build. Therefore, I won't update this guide anymore. For the guide of the Scion version, visit: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2986151

Alt quality gems I'm interested in are the following:
1) Cyclone: 20% chance to avoid being stunned.
2) Ball lightning: Projectiles have 10% chance to be supercharged (about 7-8% more damage). Remember that a normal 21/20 gem is better than a 20/20 of the alt version.
3) Wrath: 5% increased effect/2% reduced mana reservation.
4) Zealotry: 5% crit multi.
5) Inspiration: 20% crit chance.
6) Dicipline: 10% increased damage while on full ES.

- Crit nerf
- Stun immunity gone
- slower projectiles nerf

Overall, the build is a little weaker than 3.10, but it should be fine. Stun will be a big problem. Ideally, you want to have 100% chance to avoid being stunned. Sources of this stats are the following:
1) [20%] Arcane Swiftness (notable in the passive tree)
2) [80%] boot enchant (if you have killed recently)
3) [50%] crafted mod on a flask (katarina's mod)
4) [40%] Lucidity (notable in the passive tree)
5) cluster jewels

Early in the league, combination of 1) and 2) would be the easiest solution, although 2) is useless during boss fights. If you don't have 100% chance avoidance, consider using [Soul of the Brine King] pantheon.

For amulet anointment, Adjacent Animosity is cheaper than Tranquility and probably offers more damage.[/spoiler]

This is my new build guide for a CoC ball lightning build. Previously, I used Mjolner as a weapon, but this time I use a rare sceptre.
The build has very high DPS but is not a glass cannon at all. This build can face tank most endgame content while dealing 20M+ Shaper DPS.

-Very high single target damage (20M+ Shaper DPS)
-Good clear speed
-Very tanky
-Can do all content in the game, including A8 Sirus, Simulacrum, T19 100% Delirium maps, and deep delving (1000+ depth)
-HC viable

-Melee, which means this build is not good at some contents, like Legion and blighted maps
-Some items are hard to find on the market
-Can be expensive to min-max


How This Build Works

Offensively, We trigger ball lightning by using cyclone and cast on critical strike support. Ball lightning has a very high base damage, so it is the best spell to use in this build.

These unique gloves allow you to deal 30-35% more damage to enemies in chilling areas. We use vortex to create them. Vortex is an instant skill, which means that you can cast it while channelling cyclone. Thus, although we use 2 active skills, the gameplay is very smooth.

The most important defensive layer in this build is Watcher's eye with the "ES on hit" mod. Because ball lightning has a very high hit frequency (150 ms/hit), we can gain an insane amount of ES from this unique jewel alone. Let's say, our ball lightning hits 13 times per cast and we cast 7 ball lightnings per second. This corresponds to 105 hits per second (cyclone hits 7 times/s), hence 3000 ES recovery/s. On top of that, we use energy shield leech and ES regeneration from consecrated ground. With all of these combined, we achieve 5000+ES recovery/s against a single target, and the recovery becomes even more if multiple enemies are around you.

Important Notes (Make sure to read this!)

Cast on critical strike (CoC) has a cooldown of 150 ms, and you don't want to attack faster than this. You might think the best attack rate is 1/0.15 = 6.66 per second, but this is incorrect. This is because every action in this game happens at a constant interval of 33 ms (1 server tick). As a result, the cooldown of CoC behaves as if it is 165 (33*5) ms. With increased cooldown recovery speed (CDR) stats, you can reduce this cooldown. The summary is given below:
With 0-13% CDR, your optimal attack rate is 6.06 aps.
With 14-51% CDR, your optimal attack rate is 7.56.
WIth 52%+ CDR, your optimal attack rate is 10.1.

Note that there is no difference between, for example, 14% CDR and 20% CDR.

If you have a limited budget, you'll have no CDR and should look for 6.06 aps or slightly lower than this.
If you have 30+ ex, you can get 14-20% CDR, so look for 7.56 aps. 14-20% CDR can be obtained from your belt. Remember that the T2 CDR mod (11-15%) works as well as T1 CDR mod (16-20%). Just use some divine orbs to make it 14-15%.
If you are super rich and have no idea how to spend your money, look for 10.1 aps and 52% CDR. CDR can be obtained from belt (up to 20%), boots (up to 15%), and awakened CoC support (up to 22%).

I recommend the following article for the basics of CoC.

If you are not familiar with how ball lightning works, please take a look at the following picture. I hope it is easy to understand for everyone.

1) Slower projectiles support and increased AOE nodes in the passive tree are important to increase your DPS. Also keep in mind that increased area damage does not affect ball lightning damage.
2) You want to keep the maximum distance from bosses to maximize your DPS.


Budget option is described at the bottom of this section
Current gear

Optimal gem setup in helm depends on your budget. Go to the skill gem section for details.

Minimum Requirement:
Sceptre: Hits can't be evaded. High crit chance is highly prefered. The attack speed roll does't have to be good. If you are looking for 6.0 aps, a sceptre with 1.4 aps is good. If you are looking for 7.56 aps, a sceptre with around 1.74 aps is good. If you are looking for 10.1 aps (which is very expensive), use a sceptre with highest possible aps. Keep in mind that you don't have to follow these numbers exactly, as you can change your attack speed by, for example, dropping silver flask.

You can use a dagger if you don't need fortify.

If you are unsure how good your sceptre is, please read the following (Big thank you to kentishtown!)

Using Noesy's PoB in his original post, here's the relative impact of Sceptre mods.

This assumes this base and constant mods:
- Karui Base
- T1 Crit Chance
- Attack Speed (anything really, but for this exercise set at 13% increased)
- Hits can't be Evaded (crafted)

Here's the list of incremental mods and their DPS impact, from best to worst. Taking the top value of the specified tier for the calculation.

Obviously these compound if you have more than one of these.

[T1, Prefix] (+100-109%) Spell Damage = +14.2% DPS
[T1, Prefix] (+90-99%) Lightning Damage = +12.9% DPS
[Crafted, Prefix](+55-66%) Spell Damage = +8.6% DPS
[T1, Prefix] +1 to Level of all Spell Skill Gems = +7.4% DPS
[T1, Suffix] (+35-38%) Critical Strike Multiplier = +7.0% DPS
[T1, Prefix] Adds Lightning Damage To Spells (3-10 to 126-133) +6.7% DPS
[T1, Prefix] +1 to Level of all Lightning Spell Skill Gems = +6.4% DPS
[T1, Prefix] Gain (11–13)% of Lightning Damage as Extra Chaos Damage = +6.3% DPS
[T1, Suffix] (+27-30%) Lightning Damage = +3.9% DPS
[T1, Suffix] (+100-109%) Critical Strike Chance for Spells = +1.9% DPS

And Influenced Mods:

[T1, Suffix, Crusader] (+8-10%) increased Damage per Power Charge = +9.1% DPS
[T1, Prefix, Crusader] Adds (2-6) to (73-77) Lightning Damage to Spells / Damage Penetrates 4% Lightning Res = +7.5%
[T1, Prefix, Crusader] Damage Penetrates 8% Lightning Res = +7.0% DPS
[T1, Suffix, Crusader] Wrath has (+34-40%) increased Aura Effect = +7.0% DPS
[T1, Suffix, Crusader] Zealotry has (+34-40%) increased Aura Effect = +6.2% DPS

Thus an example of the GG non-influenced Sceptre (~+25.0% DPS):

- [Prefix] T1 Spell Damage
- [Prefix] +1 to Level of all Spell Skill Gems
- [Prefix] Hits can't be Evaded
- [Suffix] T1 Crit Chance
- [Suffix] T1 Crit Multiplier
- [Suffix] Attack Speed

In reality, this build does so much damage you won't notice the difference between one of these mods vs. another. But if you are min/maxing, this might help.

The three additional takeaways here are:
- Crit Chance For Spells is a pretty weak mod given the higher crit chance this build already runs with. Plus with flasks down, this mod won't help you with critting on cyclone (attacks vs. spells) more.
- With 3 open mods, multi-mod crafting Hits can't be Evaded and Spell Damage is your safest bet.
- Otherwise, slam a Crusader orb if you have an open mod (but make sure you leave room to craft Hits can't be Evaded). You have a 52% chance to hit a good prefix and 57% chance to hit a good suffix. Much better than your odds slamming a normal exalt.

[Note from Noesy]
- xx% increased attack speed mod on sceptre is equivalent to +xx% DPS, so it is a very good mod. However, make sure your aps does not exceed the breakpoint.
- A sceptre with T1 crit chance and +10% DPS mods is good enough to craft "Hits can't be evaded".

rare ring: Elder influense.
ring, amulet & belt strength and dex. You need 114 dex to use level 21 slower projectiles support, which means you need 81 dex from your gear. The strength requirement depends on which sceptre you use.

Jewels: Watcher's eye with the ES on hit mod. Immunity to corrupted blood. Militant faith with the "Dominus" mod to convert pain attunement to inner conviction (3% more spell damage per power charge). The all res mod on Militant faith is recommended. The other mods doesn't matter, there are no good ones.
What is Militant Faith?

Militant Faith is a timeless jewel that modify nearby passive skills.

There are 4 variable mods in this jewel. The red ones can be rerolled by divine orbs, while the yellow ones cannot. Thus, when you buy a Militant Faith, make sure that you buy the one with desired yellow mods.
The 4-digit number (seed number) determines how the nearby notable passive skills are modified by the jewel, while the "Dominus" (and other 2 variants) determines how nearby keystones are modified. We want to convert Pain Attunement to Inner Conviction, so we need the "Dominus" mod here.
The seed number does not matter in most cases for this build. However, if you are unlucky, the jewel converts the Melding notable to another. In this case, you have to use divine orbs to reroll the seed number.
Passive skills near Militant Faith give you Devotion. If you follow the guide, you'll have 95 devotion. Thus, the 2% to all elemental resistances per 10 devotion" mod gives you 18% to all elemental resistances.

Flasks:Freeze & curse immunity suffixes are essential. diamond flask is a must. Bottled faith is very nice and enables you to replace increased crit chance support with inspiration, which is a huge damage boost.

1) Amulet with flat ES, %ES, crit multi and some attributes (dex or all attributes) are good enough for endgame contents. +1 to lightning is not necessary at all. Do not prioritize the +1 to lightning mod. Crusader prefix mods are very good in general, so try slamming crusader's orb whenever possible.
2) Minimum frenzy charges are a good way to increase your attack speed. This mod is available on rings, amulet and shields.

3) Helm enchant: 15% reduced mana reservation of wrath or zealotry. You can also use 40% increased ball lightning damage. In that case take 8% reduced mana reservation nodes in the sovereignty cluster. +1 ball lightning projectiles enchant does not increase your dps (because ball lightning doesn't shotgun), so it's not a good enchant.
If you are looking for 52% CDR, 15% increased attack speed of cyclone is a good enchant, too.

4) Gloves with the +1 level to soketed gem levels implicit to make enlighten support level 5 are very nice. You can also use elemental weakness on hit implicit with level 5 awakened curse on hit. If you use this implicit, take 8% reduced mana reservation nodes near the sovereignty notable to use all the auras (the reduced mana reservation helm enchant is required).

5) Tranquility is the best anointment because it gives a huge dps boost. I highly recommend to use this anointment asap.

6) Megalomaniac with the overlord notable (gain fortify on melee hit) is very strong but is not necessary at start. There are only limited amount of good jewels on the market, so don't be disappointed if you can't find a good one.
Here is my searching result: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Delirium/Yy2Y0eguY
Weighed sum of 12 means all 3 mods are useful (very rare) and 11 means 2 of the 3 are useful.

You can instead use a rare cluster jewel with the overlord notable.

If you skip the suffix notable (heavy hitter), you spend 5 points to take 2 notables and 2 jewel sockets, which is decent. You can replace fuel the fury with weight advantage if you don't need attack speed.

Use of cluster jewels
After level 96, you can use more cluster jewels. The use of cluster jewels increases your DPS by 10% without losing your ES pool.

Large cluster jewel
15% increased Elemental Damage if you've Chilled an Enemy Recently
25% increased Elemental Damage if you've Shocked an Enemy Recently
20% increased Elemental Damage if you've Ignited an Enemy Recently

You need added fire damage to fully use this. I'm using an abyss jewel with added fire damage. Overshock is a good choice as well.

Storm Drinker
Damage Penetrates 8% Lightning Resistance
0.5% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Energy Shield

I skipped the suffix notable because there are no good ones in the pool.

Medium cluster jewel
Precise Focus
50% increased Critical Strike Chance while Channelling
+30% to Critical Strike Multiplier if you've been Channelling for at least 1 second

Hex Breaker
Immune to Curses while Channelling
8% increased Attack and Cast Speed while Channelling

Make sure that you don't exceed the aps breakpoint.

small cluster jewel
Energy from Naught
+100 to maximum energy shield

If you are level 96, use a small cluster jewel with 2 added passive skills to save 1 point.
For the passive tree, see the following PoB (level 97): https://pastebin.com/rd1D1zu2


Here is my current gear after totally unnecessary min-maxing. Total cost is around 200 ex.

Note: I'm not using aspect of the spider.
I could use +2 to minimum frenzy charges on the shield, T1 intelligence on the ring, and T3 crafted int/quality on the body chest (for some reason the recipe is not unlocked yet lol), etc. But I think I'm pretty much done at this point.
My Shaper DPS is the following:
1) No conditional boost: 31.3M
2) With CWDT trigger (wave of conviction and blade blast): 41.9M
3) With CWDT trigger, single unique enemy, and boots enchant: 56.1M

PoB: https://pastebin.com/pbpTJi2Z

This is the strongest character I have played.

In case someone is interested, I'll explain how I crafted some of the items.
I bought a sceptre with a crafted prefix, T1 AS, T1 crit chance and an unnecessary suffix. I removed the crafted prefix and annuled to remove the unnecessary suffix (I was lucky here). Then, I crafted "cannot roll attack modifiers" and used an exalted orb. If I got an undesired mod, I crafted "suffixes cannot be changed" and used an orb of scouring to rinse the prefix. This process was repeated until I hit the +1 lightning mod. The total cost was 50-60 ex.

Rare ring
I combined an elder moonstone ring (ilvl 82) and a crusader ring by an awakener's orb. Then I spammed dense fossils to get 3 good prefixes. I was looking for %ES, flat ES and a damage mod. During this process, when I got good flat ES and %ES mods but the last prefix was a trash, I tried to annul it and use "add a prefix, remove a suffix" beastcraft. After around 600 dense fossils, I finally got this prefix. Then, I crafted +accuracy rating to block this mod, used 20 attribute catalysts (because I wanted T1 int), and used exalted orbs. When I got undesired suffixes, I crafted "prefixes cannot be changed" and used an orb of scouring. This process was repeated until I got good suffixes. Total cost was around 20 ex.

I bought the base without the minimum frenzy mod. Then I used Redeemer's exalted orb to hit the frenzy charge mod. I tried this crafting 8 times and this is the only one that hit the desired mod. I managed to sell most of the failed shields. Total cost is 5.2 ex.

Budget option

PoB at level 87: https://pastebin.com/Uis7Utnz
If you are not rich, you don't have to use the Watcher's eye or a sceptre with hits can't be evaded.

Use these boots to gain ES on hit. The boots requires aspect of the spider, so you replace wrath with aspect of the spider. Aspect of the spider reserves only 25% of your mana (vs 50% for wrath), so you don't need helm enchant or level 4 enlighten (still need level 3 enlighten, but it is much cheaper than level 4).

The hits can't be evaded craft costs 3 ex and not recommended for players with low budget. Use a unique shield lycosidae instead to gain 100% hit chance.
This means that you'll use 2 additional uniques in the budged build, so capping resists is more difficult. Use rare jewels to cap your elemental resistances.

You want to use a weapon (can be sceptre, claw or dagger) with aps of 1.67 or lower, otherwise your aps of cyclone becomes too high (assuming you have no increased cooldown recovery speed). Make sure your aps of cyclone is less than 6.06.

The budget build deals 3.9M Shaper DPS without vaal RF.
The estimated cost of this budget build is 5ex + 6-linked body armour. 6-linked body armours with 600+ES are sold for 2 ex at the time of writing.

Crafting guide

1) Sceptre. There are honestly no good way to craft a good sceptre. Probably you want to use Deafening Essence of Loathing (T1 crit chance) on a good sceptre base and then craft the "hits can't be evaded). Alternatively you can annul some unnecessary mods and multimod.
There are 3 good sceptre bases.
Karui sceptre has a 1.5 base aps and 26% elemental damage implicit.
Grinning Fetish has the same 1.5 aps but the implicit has only 18% increased elemental damage. However, it has less strength requirement, so you don't have to spend your resources to strength.
Driftwood Sceptre has the highest base aps of 1.55, so it might be the best sceptre if you are looking for 10.1 aps. The implicit has only 10% lightning damage, but the 3.3% more base aps is worth it. Remember that this sceptre is the lowest tier base and that it rarely drops in high-tier maps. If you want to use it, highlight this weapon in your loot filter.

There are very few good sceptres for this build on the market, because no one cares these sceptre bases. We should pick up these sceptres and identify, so that you and other players can enjoy this build. Thus, highlight rare Karui sceptres and Grinning Fetishes in your lootfilter and ID them. Good ones sell very well! If you don't know how to edit your lootfilter, just copy the following lines and paste them in the first line of your lootfilter.

BaseType "Karui Sceptre" "Grinning Fetish"
ItemLevel >= 80
Rarity = Rare
SetFontSize 42
SetTextColor 0 0 0
SetBackgroundColor 0 255 0
SetBorderColor 170 158 130
PlayEffect Brown Temp
PlayAlertSound 9 225
MinimapIcon 1 Red Star

Helmet: Buy a helmet (ideally level 85 hubris circlet) with the desired enchant. Then spam dense fossils until you hit good ES/elemental resists roll. You can try crusader slam or redeemer slam to get -9 lightning res or +1 to max power charges, but they are very rare mods. So don't expect to get these mods.

Shield: I never tried crafting shields myself. Buying a shield with spell/lightning damage and T1 flat ES/T1 %ES is the cheapest way.

Body armour: Buy a 30% quality, 6-linked vaal regalia with ilvl 100 and three white sockets (it costs 2.5 ex now). Then spam dense fossils until you hit a good ES roll. The white sockets are useful because sometimes you want to replace inspiration (red) with increased crit chance (blue).

belt: Buy a cystal belt with ilvl 85 and use a crusader's exalted orb on it. Scour it and use 4 defense catalysts. Use alt/aug until you hit the T1 %ES mod (belt A).
Buy a shaper influenced belt with the T1 cooldown recovery speed mod (16-20%, belt B). You can use a belt with T2 cooldown recovery speed if you know that you are not aiming at 52% cooldown recovery speed in the future. Make sure that belts A and B have only one influence-specific mod. Then use an awakener's orb on B followed by A to combine them.

rare ring: Just buy one on the market.
amulet: Just buy one on the market. You don't need +1 lightning gems.

Skill Gems

6-link setup
cyclone-cast on critical strike-ball lightning-Inspiration-slower projectile-(awakened) added lightning damage
If you don't have Bottled Faith or are running a reflect map, use increased crit strikes support instead of inspiration.
3-link setups
phase run-vaal RF-flame dash
This setup is up to your personal preference, use anything you prefer. Frost blink is very nice during mapping, because you can use it while spinning. However, it sucks very hard against Sirus.
Don't level up phase run too much, as you won't have enough dex.

cast when damage taken (level 1)-immortal call (level 3)-summon chaos goldem(level 3)
You can use level 1-2 immortal call if you don't have enough strength.
4-link setup
cast when damage taken (level 1)-tempect shield-wave of conviction (level 7)-blade blast
Wrath-zealotry-discipline-enlighten (level 4)
If you cannot run all the auras, drop Wrath. Zealotry is much better than wrath because it creates consecrated ground, which in turn increases our critical strike chance.

vortex-arcane surge-curse on hit-conductivity
The idea here is to use an instant cast spell to proc arcane surge. This is important because you can cast an instant spell like vortex while cycloning. This makes our game play much smoother. We also link curse on hit-conductivity to reduce lightning resistance of tough enemies. Keep in mind that only the initial hit of vortex can inflict a curse. If you have level 5 awakened curse on hit, you can use elemental weakness instead of arcane surge. If you this, drop chaos golem and link arcane surge support to flame dash. You might want to lower the gem level of flame dash to lower the mana cost.

Additionally, vortex creates a chilling area and allows you to deal 35% more damage against enemies inside.

Passive Tree

Ascendancy Points

I recommend you start this build at level 68, when you can equip vaal regalia.
PoB: https://pastebin.com/ZwUgsuSx
This PoB includes passive trees at level 68, 84 and 95. You can choose the tree at the bottom left of your PoB. Use this PoB if you are new to this build.

LL version with triple purity: https://pastebin.com/vKQTQY9R
Use this PoB if you want to get stun immunity from Presence of Chayula.

The passive tree of the cluster jewel version (for 3.10) is the following: https://pastebin.com/rd1D1zu2
Use this PoB if you are rich and want to use more cluster jewels. The details are given in the gear section.

Bandits & Pantheon
Bandits: Help Alira.
Pantheon: Lunaris & Gruthkul, this is up to your preference.

Leveling Guide (league start)

Because of the high gear requirement, this build cannot be played as a league starter. In this section, I will explain how to smoothly transition to this build. There are a lot of ways to level a character and farm currency at league start. The advantage of following this particular leveling guide is that you'll need fewer respec points (orbs of regret), as the passive tree of the leveling build is similar to that of the final one. That said, you'll need considerable amount of respec points anyway because you cannot level a character as a CI build.

The leveling guide consists of two parts, the spellslinger build and the life-based CoC build. The spellslinger build is the starter build and can be used until you reach red maps. The life-based CoC build can clear T16 maps, so you can basically earn as much currency as you want using the CoC build. When you switch from the spellslinger build to CoC is up to you. You can start CoC after you finish the first lab, but I'd recommend you switch to CoC after completing the storyline and the 3rd lab. Cyclone has a big movement speed penalty, so the gameplay is clunky without the movement speed buff from the ascendancy. The spellslinger build is pretty damn strong and good at speed farming, so I find no reason to switch to CoC during the storyline.

Although the final build (CI CoC ball lightning) relies solely on ES for defense, these two leveling builds use life as the primary defense. This is because you need good gear for ES build to work, and you don't have good gear at the start of the league. Thus, you have to respec life nodes when you switch to the final build.

The spellslinger build

Important Notes

Spellslinger has a cooldown of 500 ms, similar to CoC (150 ms cooldown). Thus, your attack rare must be optimized based on this cooldown. I don't want to discuss on this topic in detail, as it takes a lot of time. Instead, my advice is to follow the passive tree suggested by the guide precisely and to avoid using items with the attack speed mod. If you do this, you'll never mess up your attack rate/CDR.


passive tree: https://pastebin.com/mB94PSth

level 2
freezing pulse

llevel 8
freezing pulse - added cold damage - added lightning damage

level 12
arc - added cold damage - added lightning damage,
orb of storm - (added cold damge) - (added lightning damage)

level 24
spellslinger - arc - controlled destruction
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning

level 28
spellslinger - ball lightning - elemental focus
spellslinger - arc - controlled destruction
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning

level 32
spellslinger - ball lightning - slower projectiles - elemental focus
spellslinger - arc - controlled destruction - innervate
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning

level 38
spellslinger - ball lightning - slower projectiles - elemental focus
spellslinger - arc - controlled destruction - innervate
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning
frenzy - curse on hit - conductivity

Gear and Skill Gems

General advice for beginners
1. While leveling, a good weapon has the following mods:
- adds xx lightning damage to spells
- xx% increased lightning damage
- xx% increased spell damage
- +1 to level of all lightning spell gems
- xx% increased critical strike chance for spells
- xx% to global critial strike multiplier
- adds xx lightning damage (only if you are using spellslinger)

2. While leveling, a good non-weapon item has the following mods:
- +xx to maximum life
- +xx% fire resistance
- +xx% cold resistance
- +xx% lightning resistance
- +xx to dexterity
- +xx to strength
- +xx to all attributes
- (boots) xx% increased movement speed

As a rule of thumb, your priority is the following:
1. If you are in act 4 or later, cap elemental resistances (75% fire, cold, andlightning resistances)
2. Get a bit of dexterity so that you can use slower projectiles support. The dex requirement of the gem increases as the gem levels up, so you'll need more and more dex as you level up.
3. Get as much life as possible.

Modifiers which are not listed above are irrelevant and should be ignored while leveling.

Act 1

Use two wands as weapons.
level 2
freezing pulse
level 4
Use frost blink and frost bomb in addition to freezing pulse.
level 8
Support freezing pulse with added cold damage and added lightning damage.
If you have an orb of alteration, you can use the following vendor recipe to create a good wand: a magic wand + a normal topaz ring + an orb of alteration (sell them to an NPC).

This wand may look weak, but it is actually very good and probably better than most rare wands you find on the way.
A topaz ring can be created by using the following vendor recipe: an iron ring + a green skill gem.

level 10
Replace frost blink with flame dash. Use clarity.

level 12
Replace freezing pulse and frost bomb with arc and orb of storms. Your main skill setup is arc - added cold damage - added lightning damage. If you have enough gem sockets, you can link orb of storms with added cold/lightning damage.
level 13
You are facing the Act 1 boss. If you are not confident with this fight, get as much cold resistance as possible, and upgrade your life and mana flasks.

Act 2

level 14
Use the following vendor recipe to make two wands:
a magic wand + a magic topaz ring + an orb of alteration.
You can skip this recipe if you've found better ones already.

level 16
Take herald of thunder and use it. Also, buy a frenzy gem while it's level 1. Don't level it up because you don't want to increase the dex requirement. You'll use it after level 24.

Bandit: Help Alira.

level 20
Use the following recipe to make two wands:
a magic wand + a rare topaz ring + an orb of alteration.
At least one of the magic wands should be Carved Wand, as the base attack speed of this wand is important later on. You can use this wand until the end of act 5.

level 23
You are facing the Act 2 boss. Get as much lightning resistance as possible. You can use crafting bench in your hideout to put lightning resistance on your gear.

Act 3

level 24
You start using spellslinger. From now, your weapon setup is a wand and a shield. Use a Carved Wand (1.50 aps) created by the vendor recipe in Act 2.
The gem setup is the following:

spellslinger - arc - controlled destruction
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning
frenzy (level 1)

You can use herald of thunder on top of that. Drop clarity, you don't need mana regen anymore.
You attack with frenzy to proc arc and wave of conviction.

level 28
Take ball lightning. Drop herald of thunder and use the following setup in addition to the arc and wave of conviction setup.
spellslinger - ball lightning - elemental focus

level 31
Complete the quest "A Fixture of Fate" in the Library and buy slower projectiles and innervate gems. Your gem setup is the following:
spellslinger - ball lightning - slower projectiles - elemental focus
spellslinger - arc - controlled destruction - innervate
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning

level 33
You are facing the act 3 boss. I'd recommend a life flask with the bleed immunity suffix. You can use beastcrafting to easily craft this kind of flask.

Acts 4-5

level 38
Add curse on hit and conductivity to the frenzy gem.

Act 6-10

When you enter act 6, You want to craft a new wand. Use some essences on an Engraved Wand. This base is important because it has 1.5 aps. Engraved Wands can be bought in act 6. If the wand rolls the attack speed mod, unfortunately you cannot use it, as your attack rate becomes too high for spellslinger.
This is the wand I used at the end of act 10 in my test run:

Nothing crazy, but this wand is more than enough to faceroll everything in the storyline.

Upgrade your non-weapon items whenever possible. By upgrade, I mean you should look for more life, elemental resistances, and some dex to use slower projectiles.
My gear at the end of act 10 in a test run:

In act 7, if you don't have a diamond flask yet, complete the The Silver Locket quest to get one.

After Act 10
If you get a 5-link or 6-link chest, the gem setup will be the following:
frenzy - inspiration - curse on hit - conductivity
spellslinger - ball lightning - slower projectiles - inspiration - elemental focus - lightning penetration
spellslinger - arc - inspiration - innervate

Wave of conviction will be used in a CWDT setup, or you can use "trigger a socketed spells when you use a skill" on your wand and socket it there.

Passive tree and PoB

larger image
[3.11] The Crackling Speed cluster (16) got nerfed to the ground. Do not take this, and take the Divine Judgement instead (4 points).
You can respec Lightning Walker (2 points) once you enter maps and don't need lightning res from it anymore. Damage-wise, this notable is not efficient.

Ascendancy points:
1) Unstable Infusion
2) Opportunistic
3) Deadly Infusion
4) Mistwalker

If you decide to transition to CoC before you complete the 3rd lab, take deadly infusion instead of opportunistic as the 2nd lab reward.

PoB: https://pastebin.com/mB94PSth
This PoB contains the passive tree at level 68 and 90.

The life-based CoC build

This build is the life version of the final build. In my test run, I confirmed that this build is capable of doing Maze of the Minotaur map (T16), although the boss kill was not that clean (I had to portal out to fill the flasks). Because I played this build in a HC private league (which is almost HC SSF), you'll be able to build a stronger character easily in a trade league.


Since this leveling build is very similar to the final build (CI CoC ball lightnining), most things explained for the final build also applies to this leveling build. Thus, please read the whole guide before you play this build.

Attack speed
A bit of annoyance of this leveling build is the aps breakpoint. As you are leveling with this build, you'll upgrade your gear fairly often. Every time you upgrade your weapon, you have to make sure that you have an appropriate aps. Sometimes, you might want to modify the passive tree a bit to adjust your aps. Feel free to take or remove some passive nodes that give attack speed. Note that your final ascendancy node (Mistwalker) gives you 15% attack speed.

The aps breakpoints are the following:
With 0-13% CDR, your optimal attack rate is 6.06 aps.
With 14-51% CDR, your optimal attack rate is 7.56.
WIth 52%+ CDR, your optimal attack rate is 10.1.

Note that 1-13% CDR is completely useless, while 15-51% CDR is exactly the same as 14% CDR.

Since you won't be able to afford "hits can't be evaded" at league start, you have to deal with this problem. There are two solutions. The easiest solution is to use Lycosidae. This is simple, and you can forget about accuracy.
The other solution is to use the precision aura and gear with accuracy. This approach was OK in 3.10, but not good in 3.11 because of the huge nerf to the spiritual aid notable. Thus, the use of Lycosidae is highly recommended.

Passive tree
This PoB contains the passive tree at levels 69 and 90.
It is extremely important for you to customize the passive tree so that your attack rate is close to but does not exceed the aps breakpoint.

Gear and skill gems

Here are my gear in my test run:

For skill gems, check out the gems socketed in these items.

As a starting weapon, Mortem Morsu (a unique claw) is pretty good, as it has good attack speed and crit chance.

A diamond flask is a must. Make sure you have one before switching to this build.

An amulet with the incursion mod "0.4% of lightning damage leeched as life" would help you get good sustain early in the league. "Life gained on hit" ring would be a good addition to your survivability. You can use pristine fossils to craft this ring rather easily.

There are good unique items, such as Mark of the Shaper, but they are explained in the gear section of the final build. Thus, I won't repeat that here.

Obviously, a belt with 14% CDR would be a huge upgrade from here.

Gameplay Tips

-Against stationary enemies, try to hit them at the edge of your cyclone. This way you can maximize the number of hits per cast of ball lightning.
-If you want to run ele reflect maps, replace Inspiration support with increased critical strikes support. Also make sure that you always pop up your diamond flask to increase crit chance.
-If you want to run "no regen" maps, drop wrath or aspect of the spider and bring a mana flask.

DPS Calculation

Ball lightning hits a maximum 13 times per cast if you have 40% increased AoE from the passive tree. Thus,

DPS = (AverageDamage(ball lightning)) * EffectiveCritChance(cyclone) * AttackRate(cyclone) * 13

If you don't have 40% increased AoE, use 11 (0% AoE) or 12 (20% AoE) instead of 13.

Note that for the first 2 seconds your actual DPS is lower than the calculated DPS, because during this period the number of ball lightings is not enough. Unfortunately, almost all enemies die in 2 seconds, so you rarely see your real DPS.

Comment from a HC Player

Hey guys - I wanted to come and chime in as a HC player. I've lost 2 97 and 96 CoC Ice Nova chars - did the Kami guide but tweaked it with defenses and even though I really enjoyed it, I like this build a lot more. The scaling is way better and the damage output is significantly higher over the CoC Ice Nova. The way Kami has it setup also does massive damage but I had to drop a lot of stuff in order to gain defenses where on this build I can incorporate it while still being efficient.

I have pasted my pastebin below and please feel free to ping me directly or ask Noesy for anything. He is an amazing guy and thank him for taking the time to put this together. He did a phenomenal job and he is someone i've had on my friends list for a very long time.

I wanted to wait to post until I did a lot of the end-game content. The only thing missing for me is Aul and I am looking for him now - nothing so far up to depth 250 but managing just fine in Delve. I do sub-2 min UE, Cortex, Elder, Shaper, Simulacrum without taking any damage (PLEASE be careful if you play HC the only thing that can kill you and that killed my 97 was Impale and -Phys reduction in one wave - insta kill for us).

If you take a look at my POB it is VERY tailored to the min/max aspect. I have 96 strenght (perf str for scepter), 113 dex (needed for 21 Slower Proj when i get it), 100 % ailment immunity so don't need freeze, burning, sap, etc.. removal flasks, perm fort, 3 endurance charges via medium channeling cluster, and ES on block from shield and with Rumi's I am at 75/75 block. If you want 75% spell block you either have to get 10% spell block on shield or do what I did and got lucky, 5 % on ammy and craft the other 5 % on the shield.

Things I still want to do to improve:

1. Rare Ring - I did double influence and got two solid stats that I wanted which was crit multi (elder influenced) and ES % (crusader influenced) but I could surely use other better stats like flat ES and spell damage. My ultimate ring would be something like ES%/Flat ES/Spell Damage/Crit Multi/Dexterity, and All Res/Light Damage (if i can find res somewhere else.

2. Shield - I would like to squeeze out another 100+ ES on shield as my prefixes blow but I don't see a huge need right now because the build is doing fine. This would be absolutely min/max eventually.

3. Ammy - I would ideally have loved to get Power Charges/+Light Gems/+% damage based on intelligence instead of ele damage with attacks but the rest of the amulet is godly.

4. Gems - Need to get some gems to 21/20 and need to get my Awak Light gem to 5 soon.

5. ULTIMATE DREAM - Boots - This will likely never happened to any of us let alone me but my dream boots would be Tailwind, Cooldown, and Ailment Immunity but to land all 3 stats is statistically impossible. If someone was to ever land these stats you could drop The 30% ailment cluster I have next to Unnatural Calm and go with From Naught or even a rare jewel with corrupted blood immunity.

A SIDE NOTE for people playing this - drop chaos golem as its useless and does nothing but put in Precision as it gives a little extra crit chance for us.

I am sorry for the lengthy post but I owed this to Noesy as he has been an online buddy for a while and I wanted to give my take on this build from an HC standpoint.

POB - https://pastebin.com/zY4YHBbi


How can I improve my damage?
1) Buy a 21/0 ball lightning gem. They are not that expensive and increase your damage a lot.
2) Anoint Tranquility. Make sure that your amulet has flat ES, %ES, global crit multi and some attributes, as this anointment is expensive. +1 to level of lightning spell gems is not necessary on your amulet at all. Forget about this mod until you become very rich.

How can I improve my clear speed?
While I'm happy with the clear speed of this build, you can improve it by:
1) using HH.
2) replacing slower projectiles support with GMP. Note that you'll lose a lot of DPS by doing this, so this is recommended only for easy content.

Awakened lightning pen vs inspiration
For me inspiration gives slightly more shaper DPS, but it is possible that lightning pen is better for some players. There are other factors that favors inspiration over woke lightning pen: 1) mana cost of cyclone, 2) higher crit chance when you are run out of flask charges. You can use woke lightning pen if these factors are not a problem for you.

Why is my crit chance low? I miss ball lightning procs too often.
Make sure your weapon has "hits can't be evaded". Otherwise you miss your attacks a lot. You can use Lycosidae if this crafted mod is too expensive for you.

I run out of mana.
If you want more mana regen, try the following modification to the passive tree.
Respec Utmost Intellect cluster (3 points) and one +10 int node next to it.
Take Arcane will, 1 small node (%mana and mana regen) next to it, and two 6% ES nodes. You'll gain a lot of mana regen at the cost of a small amount of ES.

Arc is fine but not my taste (less ES on hit). Use whatever skill you like.

This build doesn't scale well with HH, the only benefit being extra movement speed. If that's exactly what you want, use it.

+1 projectile enchant? Dying Sun?
Additional projectiles suck because they don't shotgun. For the same reason, dying sun is not recommended. However, I found additional projectiles useful in Legion encounter, so if you are focusing on it you might want to use these.

Before you ask questions

1. Please read the Q&A first.
2. If you are looking for advise on your build, please give me your PoB. Linking items on the forum is not ideal because I miss a lot of important information. Please do not link your items ingame. it's really hard to give you good advise if you do that.

Last edited by N0esy on Jan 14, 2021, 7:53:26 PM
Last bumped on Sep 3, 2021, 6:59:04 PM
Nice! Mjolnir Coc BL back to its glories!
Hey man!
This build looks sick as hell! Yesterday I leveled up a Shadow to level 93 using my mains gear. I have been looking for a "pure" boss killing build. I think I spent around 2 hours reseaching if I wanted to go miner or CoC build like "Cospri's Malice"

I have around 230ex to toss into a sick boss killer build, and I was wondering if you could elaborate on how you would do if you ONLY went for defence/attack. What I mean is if stuff like clearspeed didn't exsist, what would you do differently with your build?

Much appreciated if you decide to take the time to look into it <3
Done writing. If you have any questions/comments, feel free to post them here!
Thank you so much for getting this together! Been following your posts on the older mjolner build.

I killed my first Awakener last night and he dropped Awakened Spell Echo... Bout pooped myself when I saw what they were worth. Going to transition to this build tonight!
Slaxx1995 wrote:
Hey man!
This build looks sick as hell! Yesterday I leveled up a Shadow to level 93 using my mains gear. I have been looking for a "pure" boss killing build. I think I spent around 2 hours reseaching if I wanted to go miner or CoC build like "Cospri's Malice"

I have around 230ex to toss into a sick boss killer build, and I was wondering if you could elaborate on how you would do if you ONLY went for defence/attack. What I mean is if stuff like clearspeed didn't exsist, what would you do differently with your build?

Much appreciated if you decide to take the time to look into it <3

I'm not sure if I can change something because we already use slower projectiles support to gain single target DPS at the cost of clear speed. This build has almost no investment in clear speed in its original state. With 230ex you can get 52% CDR, so you'll have more DPS than me. I have 24M now, so you'll have like 30M.
Vanguard28 wrote:
Thank you so much for getting this together! Been following your posts on the older mjolner build.

I killed my first Awakener last night and he dropped Awakened Spell Echo... Bout pooped myself when I saw what they were worth. Going to transition to this build tonight!

Thanks for the comment, enjoy the sceptre version as well!
I ask previous theme, but w/o pob. So
Sup guys. Have some questions.
I still have not enought currency but want to know the way.
At first i have only 6.5k ES and have no idea where i can take 3k es more.
Second issue that my dps is not okay against guards and quest mobs like reinars beasts or syndicate guys especially they comming together as 3 or 4.
And 3 question about cdr %. Is this 14% must have for us?
I think about change amu for same with more es and put tranquill on it. In this case i Will lose +1gems.
If cdr musthave i Will change belt, for same shapers crystal belt.
Also i think my weapon is not bad.
And unfortunatelly i cant change shield because of much Res on it for shield with +gems. So im in trouble xd, help pls.
Stay home be healthy
My pob: https://pastebin.com/PGetSgqY
Karregog wrote:
I ask previous theme, but w/o pob. So
Sup guys. Have some questions.
I still have not enought currency but want to know the way.
At first i have only 6.5k ES and have no idea where i can take 3k es more.
Second issue that my dps is not okay against guards and quest mobs like reinars beasts or syndicate guys especially they comming together as 3 or 4.
And 3 question about cdr %. Is this 14% must have for us?
I think about change amu for same with more es and put tranquill on it. In this case i Will lose +1gems.
If cdr musthave i Will change belt, for same shapers crystal belt.
Also i think my weapon is not bad.
And unfortunatelly i cant change shield because of much Res on it for shield with +gems. So im in trouble xd, help pls.
Stay home be healthy
My pob: https://pastebin.com/PGetSgqY

1. The priority of mods on your amulet is, 1) flat ES 2) dex 3) global crit multi. And you craft 20% ES on it. +1 to lightning is the last mod you look for. Then you can respec 3 passive points you spent for dex.
2. Yes you need 14% CDR. You are missing too many procs because of the lack of CDR.
3. Level up conductivity.
4. The most important mod in your rare jewels is increased ES, followed by AS or crit multi.
5. To gain more ES you need upgrade on all pieces of you gear, especially amulet (flat & %ES) and body armour(700+ES). Also, take as much int as possible from your gear.

How do you get to 10k ES? This is my current build and I'm only at 7.7k ES.

Also, I'm running aspect of the spider. How do you have enough reduced mana to activate this? Even with level 4 enlighten, I'm sitting at 27% for discipline, 40% for zealotry, 23% for aspect of the spider, 40% for wrath. So I'm unsure how to even put wrath on even if I take out aspect of the spider.


Any idea what I should upgrade next? I've around 9 ex left. I'm unsure how I can get more attack speed..

Also, how important is the Militant Faith? I noticed yours have 9840 new faithful, what's that number?
Last edited by Wobbly on Apr 5, 2020, 7:10:34 PM

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