[3.10] Automated Indigon Archmage | High Damage, EHP and Regen | All Content with an Easy Playstyle
This is my first build guide so if you have any questions or criticisms please let me know!
Core Concept Items:
When Archmage was announced people theorized on how to get Indigon to work for it, after all a ton of spell damage and increased mana cost sound amazing for Archmage right? However as those people also realized almost immediately, Indigon will quickly ramp your mana cost beyond what you can cast and you go from dealing all the damage to none of the damage. Most people currently running it are delaying casts and using a very finicky playstyle to carefully manage how many stacks of Indigon's increased mana cost they get. But I'm lazy, I want my builds to wreck everything around me by just holding down a button or two. So I made it work.
Important Note: It is not enough to just copy this build, while not expensive to get off the ground it requires the player to carefully manage their gear and passives. Just taking the passives I took and the gear I wear isn't enough to maximize the potential of the playstyle, understand why it works and make it work for your own available gear.
Instead of being a finicky playstyle it's finicky to build, but once it's together it's an even more brain-dead playstyle than Righteous Fire.
How it works
- Archmage grants 130% of mana cost as lightning damage, my current character has 8,500 mana cost of storm brand, therefore has 11,000 to 11,000 added lightning damage. Equivilent to 47 level 21 added lightning supports.
- Archmage grants no bonus damage if the mana cost of the skill goes above what you could spend. So if I have 8499 mana and the cost is 8500, I get nothing. This is what makes Indigon hard to build around since it will continue to ramp up if not controlled
- This bonus is calculated on hit, not on cast. Therefore the cost of the brand at time of placement does not matter, what matters is what it would cost to place another when the brands already out deal their damage.
- Indigon grants 50-60% increased mana cost of skills per 200 mana spent in the last 4 seconds.
- I currently spend roughly 4400 mana every 4 seconds, therefore I increase Storm Brands mana cost by 1100%, boosting the Archmage buff by 12x
In order to consistently spend the same amount of mana every 4 seconds to prevent overcharging Indigon we employ these things together
Arcane Cloak spends a percentage of your mana every time you cast it, empowering Indigon, and as it is a guard skill it has a cooldown of 4 seconds which does not start counting down until the buff it gives goes away. Therefore we shorten the duration of the buff as much as possible, with Swift Affliction and Less duration the buff will last 1.15 seconds. 20/20 Second Wind and a 12% cooldown recovery speed mod (which is easiest to source on a belt since it's craftable) will reduce the cooldown to 2.84. Together this means you can cast Arcane Cloak every 3.99 seconds, keeping Indigon at a very consistent charged state. Note that using it less frequently than that doesn't break the build but makes it less consistent.
In order to prevent the need to recast our brands, we want Brand Recall to have a cooldown at or below 1.2 seconds as it will add 1.2 seconds of duration to your active brands, keeping them alive near indefinitely. To achieve this a level 7 Recall level 3 Empower and 20/20 Second Wind will bring you to exactly 1.2 with the Hiero brand ascendancy notable and the belt mod.
What makes this difficult to build is that as your mana goes up, so too does Arcane Cloak's mana spent, therefore the more mana you have the more stacks of Indigon mana cost you have. This takes careful balance of passives and skill links to properly manage. In order to break the 7000 mana limit I had to switch from a 120% to 110% mana multiplier support which afforded me the Indigon stacks to reach 8900 mana which I believe to be the functional limit of the build.
It's important to note that low mana levels require higher base mana costs, while higher mana levels require lower base mana costs. The roll of the Indigon you use is important here too, 1% increased mana costs balloons quickly which can be a boon and a curse. While a perfect 50% roll will be necessary to push the limits of the interaction, higher rolls will actually be beneficial at lower mana levels. This unfortunately requires experimentation, adjust in PoB until things seem to look right and keep in mind its better to undershoot than overshoot unless trying to truly push the limits of your mana.
- Extremely easy to play.
- Can be played on a budget.
- 2-3k passive regeneration.
- Can reach 14k+ eHP
- 1M Shaper DPS per brand easily, 5M per at higher investment
- Reasonably fast clear speed.
- IMO gearing challenges are engaging
- Difficult to min-max
- While high damage, LL crit builds can go higher
- Some people don't like the Righteous Fire "walk and everything dies" playstyle
- Can have trouble re-entering Simulacrum since you need a couple seconds to setup
- Not a league starter - Indigon and Militant faith are too expensive early league
Place brands, hold down the button for Arcane Cloak and Brand Recall and go on a relaxing jog. It's that easy to play. Everything dies and Templars thick glutes get thicker.
To save my fingers though I made a very simple AHK script to hold them for me. There are plenty of ways you can accomplish the same thing, and as long as 1 button press = 1 action it's legal under GGG's rules so just make sure to have two keys for the two toggles.
Current Level 97 Path of Building
A Venarius Militant Faith gives The Agnostic keystone which drains 20% of mana per second to regain that much life if not on full life at the cost of energy shield. Effectively this means we can ignore any kind of life sustain and focus everything into mana regen.
Indigon also provides a mod which makes non-instant mana flasks apply to life as well, this means an Enduring Eternal Mana Flask gives a substantial amount of recovery to both life and mana.
High level Arcane Surge can be sustained by linking it to Brand Recall. The passive node Arcane Capacitor gives 60% increased Arcane Surge Effect (based on mana spent recently) and the Cluster notable Arcane Heroism gives another 30%, meaning Surge gives 1.9% base mana regen per second (alongside increasing the damage multiplying parts of the buff) Note that this does mean Brand Recall must spend mana, meaning it must be accounted for when balancing your mana costs per 4 seconds. It does balance properly, but surges between two Indigon tiers. While I think the buff from a full power Arcane Surge is too good to give up, you can drop this to simplify things significantly.
Tons of regen. More importantly though is the Annoint. Mind Drinker gives 2% of mana regained on kill which means as long as things are dying you're near immortal. This can be skipped if you want to run a Cinderswallow Urn instead, but a source of mana% on kill is a huge boon to survivability.
Lastly we reach 60% of damage taken before life with Hierophant's Divine Guidance, Cloak of Defiance and Watcher's Eye. (Damage taken regained as mana is nice to have, but very very expensive) This allows us to get to 5000+ life and 7500+ mana and use all of it as our eHP.
We also have endurance charge generation via Conviction of Power which is valuable phys mitigation.
1: Sign of Purpose - incredibly important, can't really be a brand based Hiero without it.
2: Divine Guidance - 10% MoM, a bunch of mana and spell power based on mana. Mandatory.
3: Sanctuary of Thought - When you get this depends on how much mana you have at the time. This will halve your mana costs which is bad in the context of Archmage, however without it Indigon may make your mana cost more than double what you can spend. It's absolutely needed to reach high levels of mana and not break the interaction but let your current cost decide.
3:Alternative: Illuminated Devotion + Arcane Blessing - If you aren't using Sanctuary of Thought Arcane Blessing provides ailment immunity. Good for if you're at low gear levels and can do with the leeway.
4: Conviction of Power - Provides a source of Power Charges and Endurance Charges alongside some small amount of elemental defense and penetration. Take as the last option
I personally started this character as a wander with no plans and fell into what it is right now, so my leveling trees are just suggestions and won't be too in depth. Sorry! I'll share some of my growing pains and suggest where to prioritize but your tree should basically be nothing but mana and life nodes by the end of it. What balance you use depends on your setup.
Early Levels Option 1. One option is to move into Witch and take the Life and Mana nodes. You're free to take MoM whenever you feel you can sustain it, I'd also grab the occasional damage node since it will take a while to get the build online in a way where Indigon can carry it.
Early Levels Option 2. Especially if leveling with Brands, beeline to Runebinder. Pick up Arcane Capacitor (if using Surge) and more life.
Mid Levels. Pick up cluster jewels if it seems like the time and grab the section of the tree you didn't in the early levels.
Optional. I initially valued that flask mod a lot for mana recovery. I've since dropped that branch to focus on the life wheel but I want to mention that it's something to think about. 10% mana recovery rate is very strong.
More likely progression. Drop straight down and grab the life wheel.
At this point we have the basic tree focused on life. However you'll likely want to pick up as many mana nodes as possible, so balance your life and mana passives based on what you currently need.
From here I'll comment on what mana clusters you should consider. How much mana you take is dependant on several factors so be ready to spec into and out of nodes as needed. Balance it around both your MoM levels, and what Indigon can support.
This is the tree sans everything but the available mana clusters.
Righteous Decree and Dynamo clusters provide a lot of mana however the small nodes unnecessary for travel should only be taken if you need to balance your mana costs lower. Save these for when you want to increase your mana but another node will push your mana cost over the edge.
The Insightfulness cluster is largely useless since it's just flat 8% mana nodes without regen. Only take if you have no other options and feel increasing mana is your best move.
Battle Rouse is extremely good if you've committed to the life cluster. Sources of damage taken regained as mana are few and far between.
Deep Thoughts, Prodigal Perfection, Arcane Will and Arcane Capacitor are all amazing though and should always be taken. The 8% node above Deep Thoughts can be dropped though for the same reason we avoid the Insightfulness cluster.
Finally this is the tree in the endgame. This skips the Purity of Flesh life cluster and instead routes the tree through Tireless. This is point inefficient unless going through Righteous Decree, however you'll likely take that early as it's a strong mana node. Respec into this version if you feel reduced mana cost will help keep the balance in line.
Primary Links: (Awakened gems are not needed) Elemental Focus can be swapped for Controlled Destruction if you want to work in shock, however as this is an Elemental Overload build I don't expect to shock anyways.
The sixth link depends on your mana totals. As you go higher in mana totals, lower the mana multiplier of your sixth link. To break past the 7-8k barrier I had to drop to a 110% multiplier gem. Anyways these are my suggestions:
While I personally like Faster Casting the most of the three for quick Brand Deployment, the hard wall that is Indigon Stacks forced me to take Onslaught, which does give me movespeed as a tradeoff for less cast speed.
As explained in "How It Works" this Arcane Cloak setup allows us to automate Indigon. Brand Recall only needs a level 3 Empower but if you're feeling fancy a level 4 gets you to 1.15 CD so brands last basically indefinitely. Word of warning however, theres some server tick fuckery here and brands unintuitively do not last forever. While they last long enough for pretty much all content, they may drop off after 10+ minutes. Don't get caught unawares.
Other: Doesn't need to be Vaal, but high level Clarity can let you fine tune your mana and net more regen. Sometimes lowering your available mana by 1 is all you need to prevent overcharging. (I have had to bless a Paua Ring down to 29 before)
Standard movement setup. Make sure it's linked to Blood Magic. This prevents it from being a wildcard in your careful balance of Indigon stacks.
Wave of Conviction setup. Again link with blood magic. I recommend to run this in a "Trigger a Socketed Spell when you Use a Skill" weapon though. Skips the mana cost and further automates the build. Curses can also be handled in this way if lacking a curse on hit alternative.
Helmet: Obviously, what else would we use. The key here is what roll you get. To absolutely min-max 50% 25% is needed, however different mana breakpoints will work best with different rolls. What works for you depends on 3 things, unreserved mana, reduced mana costs from passives/gear and mana multipliers from links. If you find you need another stack of increased mana costs because your mana totals are low level up Arcane Cloak to consume more, but level 1 is needed for high costs.
Body: This will give a large amount of mana, mana regen and 40% MoM. Pretty much mandatory for any non-ES mana build. Also it lets you be a dirty old man in a bath robe.
Neck: Mana, Regen, Mana %, what else can you need? Just remember to annoint your Mind Drinker.
Belt: What you're looking for here is however much life and mana you can squeeze out of it while having an open suffix to place cooldown recovery on. Mana Recovery Rate acts as a multiplier to all other sources of mana regen so it's incredibly valuable. Ideally get some resist as well but given how strong the recovery mod is that should be priority.
Rings: Life, mana, res. Your rings are an enormous source of resistances, so try to get as much as you can here. Xopec's flat mana regen also scales pretty heavily with 4-500% increased regen so it's pretty nice to have, while reduced mana cost of skills might let you edge out just a little bit more mana.
Gloves: While I currently use Asenath's, that's just me being frivolous after a bad run in with 4 packs of porcupines in a narrow corridor. Otherwise, get a life mana and res rare. +1 to socketed gems corruption can be a good stopgap if you need to raise the level of brand recall/empower to get your cooldown low.
Boots: Skyforth is pretty obvious for mana builds but it actually isn't that huge IMO. The main things it gives over Kaom's is movespeed and power charge generation. Otherwise Kaom's is actually a great long term choice. It solves many of our flat life issues, and provides stun and freeze immunity. We pass up a lot of mana nodes for life nodes so Kaom's and Skyforth actually balance to similar numbers if the tree is rebalanced. Alternatively run a rare pair with life mana and res, but make sure to run the Brine King pantheon to prevent stunlock since if you're not at 5k+ life stun may be an issue.
Shield: The pattern of Life Mana and Res on rares continues. You can source a lot of flat life on a shield so it's important to get as much as possible. A good plan is to try to get a 4 mod rare that you can craft a desired resistance on and slam the last suffix with a Redeemer orb, there's basically no useless results and you could get +2 minimum frenzies.
Weapon: What you're looking for is mana, cast speed, regen, and lightning as chaos ideally. You can also run a staff instead if you need an easy 6 link, however that will hurt your life total so I don't think that should be your endgame. Getting "Trigger a Socketed Spell when you Use a Skill" crafted here is also a great option to get Wave of Conviction and Curses out. Use this option especially if you can't get curse on hit gloves and if you're lacking sockets because of Kaom's Roots.
Jewels: Mana, life, res if you need it, and most importantly reduced mana cost of skills. While this is not at all necessary for most of character progression, to break past the ~8000 mana barrier you need to negate an entire Indigon stack so every % reduced mana helps.
Venarius Militant Faith is mandatory, but what rolls it has is fluid for most of progression. All res helps immensely with gearing choices, and Reduced Mana Cost will be huge at large mana totals. You can expect 80-100 devotion so thats a very valuable 8-10% reduced mana cost of skills if you're really pushing the limits.
It's important to keep your life/mana balanced around your MoM levels, so getting to 60% with a Watcher's Eye is important since you want to prioritize mana over life. Getting a secondary mod is gravy but not necessary.
Cluster Jewels: Get 2 sockets and 8-9 passives on your large. While I personally think the 30% Arcane Surge Effect from Arcane Heroism is the strongest notable, the other things are basically just tacked on. You can run a lightning damage jewel instead and run things like Scintillating Idea or Storm Drinker if it makes sense for you. Brand Loyalty is easily the strongest Brand notable. Pair it with either Remarkable or Grand Design for some cast speed and +1 total Brands to help with clear. They're both pretty much the same but Remarkable gives slightly more single target.
For smalls you want to decide whether you need life or mana and go in hard. Which boots you use may play a factor in this. Scintillating Idea is the best choice on the mana side for damage, but if you want to push your mana totals up Openness gives the most mana. Liquid Inspiration is also an option since it gives some Mana Recovery Rate which is extremely valuable for regen.
For life smalls Fettle is the best mod, however Holistic Health gives a large amount of mana as well and is a little more common. Decide what you need most here but try to get some valuable flat as well.
Flasks: Enduring Eternals are amazing. 308 passive regen per second that also gets applied to life via Indigon and gets to go through any flask and mana multipliers you may have. The Wise Oak is one of your best options if you're able to balance your resists. Not only is it massive defensively but it also gives a large amount of penetration. Get another defensive non-unique flask for curse/bleed/freeze immunity if you need it. Quartz flasks are my choice because Delirium body blocks you a lot and phasing is nice to avoid that.
Movespeed, the build isn't zoom zoom fast but a flask sure helps. In my case this flask gets me to 123% movespeed which is decent.
This one is up to you but it's my preferred method. Getting your brands out isn't simple when you can only cast 2-3 every 4 seconds. While you can easily remove Archmage from the setup, cast them all cheaply and resocket Archmage, thats still too many steps for my lazy ass. Lavianga's is currently bugged and if cast in tandem with an Enduring flask it will last the duration of the Enduring flask. This way you can setup brands in under 2 seconds at the expensive cost of a flask slot and get to mapping.
As with just about every build in the game this is an easy option.
Penetration Vinktar's is a decent damage option if you feel the need for more.
Let me know if anything was unclear and if you have any questions or concerns.
Last edited by Alestor on Apr 14, 2020, 11:45:59 PM
Last bumped on Apr 14, 2020, 4:23:01 AM