[3.10] Toxic Rain Trickster 30 Mil Shaper DPS (the best one)





This is NOT your Grandma's chaos dot build...

Intro:

Hey everyone. It's been a while since I wrote a guide, but some of you may remember me from my 3.7 Essence Drain or my 3.6 Winter Orb Trickster Guides. Well, I finally found another build worthy enough of a guide. I hope you enjoy.

Toxic Rain has always been a very powerful and underutilized build. As a chaos damage over time build, it often gets lumped in the category of “league starters”, a non-flashy build that can sort of limp its way through all content. And while the Purposeful Harbinger builds have understandably stolen the show in 3.10, Toxic Rain got some insane cluster notables that have completely supercharged the build. This build is now a powerhouse, capable of reaching over 30 million Shaper DPS when fully buffed, deleting Conquerors and Simulacrum bosses in seconds while still maintaining all the benefits it used to have. Like a lot of people, I started 3.10 with Essence Drain, figuring it would be good for the league mechanic. Eventually I hit a wall on the toughest content like Awakener 8 Sirus and Simulacrum level 20 Kosis. They’d die eventually, but it just felt lame to watch the bar tick slowwwwwwwwwwwwly down. I swapped to Toxic Rain and the difference was night and day. This has been the most enjoyable experience I’ve had since that Eternity Shroud Winter Orb Trickster in Synthesis.

I will do my best to explain the mechanics and the reasoning behind all of the decisions made throughout the guide. There is a ton of room for customization. "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life."
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Pros/Cons:
Spoiler

Pros:
- Screenwide AoE clear without even needing to aim.
- Capable of running all map mods.
- Extremely scalable budget. You can get started with literally nothing and see consistent growth as you invest up to your heart’s content.
- Very survivable (70+% evade, 40% hit/spell dodge that caps at 75% with 15 second vaal grace, over 6k ehp, Trickster recovery via Patient Reaper, Ghost Dance, and Escape Artist).
- Chaos explosions from Unspeakable Gifts give you that satisfying Profane Bloom feel.
- Long pod duration means you don’t have to backtrack to kill Delirium mobs that spawn in slowly in phases.
- You can front-load your ramp like a miner before proc’ing bosses like Conquerors.
- Stacking skill effect duration means 10+ second vaal haste, 15+ second vaal grace, and 3+ second Immortal Call.
- Toxic Rain, Aspect of the Spider, Wither, and Touch of Cruelty provide several sources of enemy slow/hinder.
- Versatility. Bossing, mapping, Simulacrum, delving, all content done conveniently without gear/gem swaps.
- The Lotus mtx for Toxic Rain is sweet, if you're into that sort of thing.

Cons:
- Even with the incredible DPS we have, there’s still a delay between firing and killing. You can’t off-screen clear enemies in front of you like an Ice Shot Deadeye for instance.
- Life recovery is limited on long, phased bosses that don’t spawn additional mobs. In the rare event that you get hit multiple times and exhaust all of your life flask charges, it will feel awkward since we don’t leech or regen life that quickly. Pantheon swapping for life flask charge recovery can mitigate this somewhat, but things are just easier when there are lots of mobs around.

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Videos:
Spoiler

All videos done on Awakener 8

Veritania
T16 Malformation - 8 mods, influencer proc.
Simulacrum 15-20 - Includes double boss on level 20.
Red Elder - probably the most boring 2 minutes ever.
Uber Elder
Shaper
Sirus
Drox
T14 juiced Tropical Island

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Toxic Rain Mechanics:
Spoiler

Toxic Rain fires projectiles in the air (5 by default) which land in an area. Once they land, they will sprout a “pod” which deals chaos damage over time in an area around it for a duration (1 second by default) before exploding. We will be scaling the dot damage. Importantly, the pods can stack endlessly with each other. Thus, the way we scale damage include:

- Chaos Damage
- Chaos damage over time multiplier
- Attack speed
- Skill effect duration
- Additional projectiles
- Area of effect
- Projectile damage (this is stated in the gem itself)
- Damage over time
- Gem levels on Toxic Rain
- Area damage

Additional Projectiles and Area of Effect deserve specific explanation. The pods themselves will land at a relatively fixed distance from each other no matter what. When you add additional projectiles, it will actually widen the total area in which the pods can land so as to maintain the pod-to-pod spacing. Increasing the area of effect will increase the size of each individual pod. That means, somewhat counterintuitively, additional projectiles help your clear, but not your single target. Increasing area of effect allows more pods to overlap with each other, helping your clear a bit, but dramatically improving single target.

Ultimately, your DPS is the multiplication of:
- DoT dps listed on the gem
- Number of projectiles
- Percentage of projectiles that actually hit the target
- Attacks per second (include Mirage Archer here)
- Duration of each pod
- All sources of increased damage (additive with each other)
- Chaos damage over time multiplier
- Sources of increased damage taken by enemies (Wither, Aspect of the Spider, Touch of Cruelty additive with each other)
- Enemy chaos resistance

The arrows are capable of “hitting” when they land and the pods can also “hit” when they explode, but the pod’s dot damage can better be thought of as a ground degen for enemies (think Righteous Fire or the Death aura from Death’s Oath). That means we don’t need accuracy at all to do damage, but it’s still possible to make use of various “on hit” mechanics like cursing enemies on hit, life gain on hit, or the Frenzy gem’s gain frenzy charges on hit. This also means that Temporal Chains is NOT a DPS boost for Toxic Rain. While Temporal Chains normally makes debuffs expire slower, benefiting other chaos dot skills, Toxic Rain’s dot comes from the pod. When the pod’s gone, the dot is gone.

There is a ton going on here, and it’s a bit of a mess in PoB as well. Your PoB number will display the DPS of a single pod. You’ll still have to adjust for duration, attacks per second, and number of pods overlapping.

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Increased AoE Breakpoints:
Spoiler

So, massive disclaimer first. I am getting all of my information from this link that some guys put on reddit last year regarding how the pod size and landing area scale. I have not tested this myself, but anecdotally it feels like it matches what I've seen. It also matches the recommendations of most people who play the build.

All I did was reverse engineer the formula to tell you how much increased area of effect you would need depending on the number of projectiles you shoot in order to make the desired number of pods overlap.



As you can see, generally speaking every 30-40% increased AoE will get you another pod to overlap. You can use this to compare gear choices and alternatives. Reminder, this math is not like CoC breakpoints where everything is exact and deterministic. As best I can tell, the pod landing spots are something of a distribution with these being the mean. Therefore, I'd suggest aiming to get yourself a little bit above the breakpoint if possible.

As is visible from the data, the skill is meant to scale so that adding more projectiles alone but keeping AoE constant will keep the number of overlapping pods basically constant as well. More projectiles will not scale single target, but will cause a wider coverage area overall. More AoE will not scale the total coverage area, but will make each pod bigger, causing more overlap.

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Skill Gems:
Spoiler

6-link bow:

Toxic Rain - Awakened Vicious Projectiles - Mirage Archer - Awakened Void Manipulation - Awakened Swift Affliction - Empower

Damage on Full Life can be used before you have an Empower 4. If you have white sockets in your bow, you can experiment replacing Mirage Archer with Damage on Full Life instead. The DPS is determined at the moment you fire the arrow, so Damage on Full Life will be better than Mirage Archer if you have full life about 50% of the time you shoot. It will be a massive boost for front-loading boss damage, since Mirage Archer won’t do anything while you’re ramping up before starting the encounter, and you’ll be on full life obviously.

3-link:

Malevolence - Enlighten - Flesh and Stone

Clarity can be added to make it a 4th link for a little extra mana sustain.

5-link chest:

Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Increased Duration - Vaal Haste - Vaal Grace

We only use the Vaal parts of Grace/Haste, and linked to increased duration is a convenience. The level of your CwDT is personal preference. I don’t keep mine at level 1 since I want to make sure it’s only triggering when I’m taking non-negligible damage. Just make sure your Immortal Call doesn’t surpass it.

4-link:

Spell Totem - Multiple Totems - Wither - Faster Casting

Faster Casting is optional

4-link:

Flame Dash - Second Wind - Despair - Faster Casting

Despair is here to make sure we can always use it on bosses in case we run out of Witchfire Brew charges.

Miscellaneous:

I toss a Portal gem in, and I also have Blood Rage unlinked in my build. I only use Blood Rage in Simulacrum or delirious maps with massive density. With our huge skill effect duration, the buff will last 30 seconds, and that degen will bring you all the way down to 0 if there are no mobs around for you to kill and recover. Lightning Golem can also provide some minor DPS through attack speed, but it’s such a pain I barely bother.

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Skill Tree:
Spoiler

PoE Planner

The tree only has 115% increased life. However, we have 6 open jewel sockets (7 total, but one is Intuitive Leap) which all should have % increased life on them. Additionally, we use Vermillion rings with life catalysts for additional life. At level 98, I have 5500 life and 900 ES for a very respectable eHP.

We use 7+4+4 = 15 skill points for each of the Large+Medium+Medium cluster jewel arrangements, so I only allocated 91/123 points to give a representative level 98 skill tree.

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Ascendancy/Bandits/Pantheon:
Spoiler

Trickster. Patient Reaper -> Ghost Dance -> Escape Artist -> Prolonged Pain.

If you’re playing softcore, you can go Prolonged Pain second for a full DPS leveling experience. It doesn’t really matter.

For bandits, kill all for the 2 points.

Major Pantheon:

- Lunaris is an amazing "set it and forget it" choice here. Physical damage reduction, movement speed, and some extra dodge/avoidance are all spectacular. Avoiding chained projectiles also makes your golem less dangerous to you if you have one.
- Solaris can get special consideration for specific boss fights. Specifically, if the boss you're fighting is solo and doesn't spawn a lot of adds.
- Arakaali is nice for Sirus. The reduced damage over time taken and chaos resistance against damage over time are helpful for storms and ground degens.

Minor Pantheon:

- Yugul for Elder/Shaper. They do a lot of cold damage.
- Garukhan for mapping. More evading and move speed.
- Ryslatha can be useful for Sirus or other long boss fights to get you life flask charges.
- Shakari and Abberath are useful switches for poison/burning ground map mods.

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Gear:
Spoiler

You’ll need to get Aspect of the Spider somewhere. It doesn’t matter where, but just make sure you don’t put it on a piece of gear that you have support gems. The mana multipliers for supports will increase the reserved amount. Enlighten won’t reduce the reserved amount though unfortunately.

Bow:

Base attack speed is important! Choose a bow that is item level 82 and has a base attack time of 1.50. The realistic ideal bow would be:

- +1 to level of Socketed Gems prefix
- t1 increased Attack Speed suffix
- t1 Damage over Time Multiplier suffix
- Can have up to 3 crafted modifiers
- Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier craft
- +2 to level of Socketed Support Gems craft

Note, attack speed is a local modifier. This means that it affects your base bow speed. All other sources of increased attack speed, from the tree/jewels/etc. all scale off of this base bow speed. Thus, your bow attack speed is multiplicative, not additive, with other increased attack speed and quite important. These 2 suffix mods are crazy tough to hit, but you can get a bow with 5 of the 6 mods (just dropping one of the two natural suffixes) for 6-8 ex. If you hit the natural +2 to Socketed Bow Gems prefix, you can craft attack speed instead of the +2 to socketed support gems.

Budget Gear Alternative = buy a 6-link short bow or collect porcupine div cards and trade them in. Hit it with a Shrieking Essence of Dread for +2 to bow skills. Craft chaos dot multi prefix and you're done. This alone will be good enough to get into red maps and costs maybe 30c total. For a mid-tier upgrade, grab a 6-link bow with ilvl 64+ (imperial legacy div cards make this cheap) and hit it with corroded + prismatic + metallic fossil combo. You're aiming for +2 to socketed bow gems, +1 to socketed gems, and an empty third prefix. It shouldn't take many tries, and then you can craft chaos dot multi as the final prefix. This should still cost under 1 ex unless you're very unlucky with the fossils.

Quiver:

Lots of good mods to choose from:
- Damage over time multiplier
- Chaos damage over time multiplier
- Life
- Attack speed
- Movement speed
- Resistances
- Bow attacks fire an additional arrow
- Increased area of effect

I included mods from a variety of influences here, so it’s not possible to get all of these things. Just get what you prefer.

Budget Gear Alternative = just settle for fewer good affixes. You can buy a 20+ chaos dot multi, 80 life, 30 resist quiver for under 20c now that we're this far into the league.

Helmet:

Hunter Influenced i85 Hubris Circlet with Toxic Rain fires 1 additional arrow enchant. We’re aiming for the “nearby enemies have -9% to chaos resistance” mod here with as much energy shield as possible to synergize with our ascendancy. Fossil spamming is your best bet to hit this. Despair curse is the only source of chaos resistance penetration available to us, and bosses have reduced effect of curses. That means bosses like Shaper have 30% base chaos resistance which gets reduced to 21% from a level 20 Despair. Decreasing it from 21% to 12% with this mod is effectively an 11% more damage multiplier for bosses. For a single mod, that’s tough to beat.

Budget Gear Alternative = The Vertex. Tons of ES and EV for good synergy with the Ascendancy. Put your auras here for an extra level on your Enlighten. Costs 5c now.

Amulet:

Lots of good mods here to choose from:
- +1 to level of chaos/dexterity/strength gems
- Chaos damage over time multiplier
- Life
- Attributes (strength if you need it)
- Increased movement speed
- Chance to gain a power/frenzy/endurance charge on kill
- Resistances
- Open prefix for non-channeling skills have -9 to total mana cost craft

You need an open prefix for the mana craft, which is mandatory. Additionally, the gem levels are more important than the chaos damage over time multiplier mod if you have to prioritize them. Try to get a high life roll too, since you’ll be using life and mana catalysts to boost your craft.

Budget Gear Alternative = Settle for fewer affixes. There are some +1 to strength or dex gems, 70 life, 20 res, open prefix amulets listed for under 50c.

Rings:

Vermillion bases. Mods to look for:
- High life roll
- Resistances
- Chaos damage (if using deafening essence of envy)
- Attributes if needed
- Open prefix for non-channeling skills have -9 to total mana cost craft

Again, you’ll be using life and mana catalysts here to boost the vermillion implicit, life roll, and minus mana craft.

Budget Gear Alternative = Settle for lower rolls or go with a different base. There are vermillion rings with 60 life, 60 resistance, and an open prefix listed for under 20c though, so this item is already budget friendly.

Belt:

Stygian Vise is best. Mods to look for:
- High life
- Resistances
- Strength
- Flask stuff (reduced charge use, flask duration, lower priority here)
- Energy shield
- Increased % max life if you’re looking to spend a lot on an influenced stygian base

Budget Gear Alternative = Settle for lower rolls. High life + resistance + strength on a stygian isn't that pricey though. I see 80+ life, 45+ strength, 60+ resistance belts for under 50c.

Chest:

Carcass Jack is best in slot purely for the increased area of effect stat. Prioritize this one in the rolls. The fact that it’s an EV/ES base also synergizes nicely with our build. The math gets a bit strange, and you can check out this link to see more about it, but if we assume:
- You have roughly 40% increased area of effect from the tree plus Dying Sun flask
- You are firing 8 arrows due to having the helmet enchant plus Dying Sun

Then putting on a Carcass Jack with 50% increased AoE will be close to a 40% more damage multiplier due to the improved pod overlap. PoB and the in-game tooltip can’t catch this, but you will instantly feel the difference.

Queen of the Forest is the only other armor I’d ever consider, but it necessitates a lot of flask/aura swapping to make it work. Only consider it if the rest of your gear is so OP that you have enough damage overkill to afford the sacrifice.

Budget Gear Alternative = none. Carcass Jack is mandatory, but they are super cheap as is. Plus, you don't need a 6-link.

Gloves:

Useful mods to look for:
- Attack speed
- Chaos damage over time multiplier
- Life
- Resistances
- Attributes

Budget Gear Alternative = Settle for lower rolls. Attack speed is almost equally valuable compared to chaos dot multi and much cheaper. I can find 70+ life, 14+ attack speed, 60+ resistance gloves for under 40c.

Boots:

Useful mods to look for:
- Movement speed (preferably an incursion mod with additional dodge or move speed if you haven’t been hit)
- Life
- Resistances
- Attributes

Tailwind/Elusive boots are luxury items, but keeping them up is a challenge. The arrows and pods do “hit”, but our base crit chance is likely around 6% and we don’t invest in accuracy, so it will only work in the densest of maps. It would be literally the last thing I invested in once every other piece is done.

Budget Gear Alternative = Atziri Step. You get spell dodge and a high evasion roll at the cost of not having any resistances or attributes.

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Flasks/Enchants:
Spoiler

Flasks:
- Life flask with bleed immunity. I prefer the “Panicked” prefix to the more traditional “Seething”. You’re likely only using flasks when you’re low, and with additional life granted from the tree, it often feels like an instant full heal when I hit the button
- Witchfire Brew
- Quicksilver. Alchemist’s, Chemist’s, and Experimenter’s are all good prefixes. Either curse or chill immunity as the suffix.
- Quartz. Alchemist’s, Chemist’s, and Experimenter’s are all good prefixes. Either curse or chill immunity as the suffix (whichever you didn’t get on Quicksilver).
- Dying Sun. Aim for big AoE roll here.

If you ever run into a map with “players cannot regen mana” you’ll need to swap one of your flasks for a mana flask with “Enduring” prefix.

Enchants:

Helmet = Toxic Rain fires 1 additional arrow
Boots = Attack and cast speed if you’ve killed recently or movement speed if you haven’t been hit recently

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Cluster & Normal Jewels:
Spoiler

Cluster Jewels:

The moment you’ve been waiting for! We use two outer jewel sockets on the tree. Each will have a large cluster jewel with 3 notables and 2 jewel sockets, meaning we use 4 medium cluster jewels each with 2 notables and 1 jewel socket.

For our Large Cluster Jewels we will use 12% chaos damage bases with 8 passive skills and ilvl 75+. This allows for 3 notables and 2 jewel sockets with the minimum number of points. Since the jewel sockets are suffixes, your notables must consist of 2 prefix notables and 1 suffix notable. Useful notables are:

Prefix
- Wicked Pall (get on both)
- Touch of Cruelty (get on one)
- Unwaveringly Evil (get on the other)
Suffix
- Unholy Grace (get on one)
- Unspeakable Gifts (get on the other)

You can mix and match this combo to make it work. The rest of the notables don’t do much for us. Even though we largely have stun immunity due to our Ascendancy, Unwaveringly Evil is nice to have as a backup. Plus, it still provides damage. Stacking 2x Touch of Cruelty isn’t necessary since Aspect of the Spider already hinders everything around us.

The 12% damage over time with bows cluster has two incredible notables, Tempered Arrowheads and Broadside. Unfortunately, they are both prefixes, and the suffix notables left to choose from are horrible. Martial Prowess is the only one that grants a single thing that is not worthless, 6% attack speed. Because of the placement of the bow jewel notables, you'll have to spend 7 points to pick up both notables and both jewel sockets, same as in the chaos ones, but you only get 2 useful notables instead of 3.

Budget Gear Alternative = Just get 2 notables and 2 sockets instead of 3 notables. A full 3 notable + 2 socket large jewel will cost about 4-5 ex to craft. You can probably buy them for 3 if you're diligent with live searches. Another viable option is to just use one cluster setup instead of two to start. Instead of taking the mana outer socket up top, use those 15ish points to path down and pick up Aspect of the Eagle, Heart of Oak, Finesse, and the life + evasion nodes next to the Ranger start. Then you'd just refund those points when you're ready to put the second cluster in.

For our Medium Cluster Jewels we will use +5% to chaos damage over time multiplier bases with either 4 or 5 passives. Here we stack the exact same two notables on every single one:

- Wicked Pall
- Eternal Suffering

Toxic Rain was balanced against other chaos skills with the assumption that each pod would only last 1 second. With considerable investment, you used to be able to bump it up to almost 2 seconds (a duration cluster by the Scion wheel, Prolonged Pain, and Malevolence). Now, we can basically double it to lasting almost 4 seconds by stacking these notables, save all the travel nodes, and pick up TONS of chaos and chaos dot multi at the same time. Absolutely mandatory in my mind.

If you find yourself with more DPS than you know what to do with and want a viable place to trade a bit of damage for quality of life, substitute out Eternal Suffering for Flow of Life on a couple jewels. The extra HP and regen are quite nice. The 24% increased damage is also more valuable than the +5% dot multi in terms of per pod DPS. You'll only end up losing DPS when you get to the top of your ramp.

Budget Gear Alternative = Widen the range of nodes you're willing to accept. There are 17 notables you can roll on these medium cluster jewels, so hitting this exact combo is not cheap. Trying to craft it yourself is probably an ex or two each depending on rng. To make it cheaper, drop Eternal Suffering and go for Wicked Pall plus one of these other notables:
- Circling Oblivion (skill effect duration and dot)
- Flow of Life (dot and life)
- Eldritch Inspiration (dot multi, mana, mana regen)
- Brush With Death (dot multi, more recovery)
- Exposure Therapy (dot multi, chaos dot resistance)

Eldritch Inspiration is useful if you don't have any other mana regen on gear. Our Toxic Rain only costs 7 mana if you craft on all 3 jewelry pieces, but you'll still need some regen in order to spam.

Regular Jewels:

For your belt, an abyss jewel with max life and onslaught on kill is the priority.

For the remaining slots, go for viridian jewels and prioritize roughly this order:
- % increased max life
- Increased attack speed with bows
- Chaos dot multi
- Increased attack speed
- Increased attack and cast speed
- Chaos damage
- Projectile damage
- Damage over time
- Area damage
- Resistances or attributes if needed for gear

If you’ve followed the gear and tree up to this point, you’ll likely find yourself in the neighborhood of 800% total sources of increased damage, 200% total chaos dot multi, and 120% total increased attack speed excluding the bow (gets closer to 200% IAS when buffed with onslaught, frenzy charges, vaal haste). When choosing mods above, it’s important to keep these quantities in mind, and be specific with your gear. Additional sources of each are additive with what you already have, but multiplicative with each other. Therefore, getting more of whichever source you have the least of should be a priority. This makes increased attack speed with bows (which can roll up to 8%) likely much better than chaos dot multi (which can only roll up to 4%) for almost everyone. These jewels are also much cheaper than simple life + chaos multi, so win-win. Since you have so much increased damage at this point, only take the chaos/projectile/damage over time/area damage mods as a last resort if you can’t get any others.

Budget Gear Alternative = Jewels with just life and attack speed with bows are 5c each. Adding attributes or resistances as a third affix here won't raise the price much either, so use these as utility slots to fill in any holes from your gear.

Small Cluster Jewels & Megalomaniac:

I really don't like small cluster jewels generally. If you wanted to build up your HP pool with something like Fettle, you could get it on a 2-point small jewel. Considering you'd have to take out a regular jewel and spend travel points to get there, the tradeoff becomes stats on jewel plus 2 skill points vs. 14% hp and 20 flat life. Assuming the jewel has life on it, you're only net gaining 7% life and you have to give up potentially 3 damage stats from the regular jewel and then find somewhere else on the tree to refund the points. It's just really hard to justify.

As pointed out by Hedrock01 on the other hand, Megalomaniac can be a much better route to fit in some otherwise unattainable nodes, such as No Witnesses. You can customize your search to your own personal preferences as far as which notables you're willing to accept. In the end, Megalomaniac just subs out the jewel socket for a third notable from a normal medium cluster jewel, making the tradeoff much more acceptable.

Watcher’s Eye:

Chaos Dot Multi while affected by Malevolence is the best in slot mod. For other mods:
- Unaffected by bleeding with Malevolence
- Attack speed with Precision (need to wear Precision)
- Minus mana cost with Clarity (need to wear Clarity)

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PoB and Showing My Work:
Spoiler

Updated 5/8 - https://pastebin.com/3NhhHLA3

Unbuffed Shaper DPS:
- No flasks
- No charges
- No vaal skills
- No wither stacks
- No ghost shrouds
- Shaper/Guardian selected
- Only auras, 3 spider stacks, -9% enemy chaos resistance, and Despair enabled

DoT DPS of one pod = 156k.
Attack Rate = 3.33

Using this link I compute that I should expect 73% of my 6 pods to cover a given target, or 4.4 pods per attack. Since there's no such real thing as partial pods, we round down. Mirage Archer attacks with 60% less speed and deals 30% less damage, so in effect it’s a 0.4 * 0.7 = 28% more multiplier. So my unbuffed Shaper DPS would be:

156k * 3.33 APS * 4 Pod/Attack * 3.7s duration per pod * 1.28 mirage archer = 9.8 million

”Kosis” DPS:
- Flasks
- Frenzy Charges
- Vaal Haste & Bloodrage
- Max Wither Stacks
- Ghost Shroud attack speed accounted for
- Onslaught
- Shaper/Guardian selected

Again, using the calculator above, I calculate that 69% of my 8 pods should be overlapping now, or 5.5 pods per attack. Since there's no such real thing as partial pods, we'll round down. So DPS becomes:

304k * 4.9 APS * 5 Pod/Attack * 3.7s duration per pod * 1.28 mirage archer = 35 million

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For the true psychopaths, TRIPLE CLUSTER?!?!:
Spoiler

Since cluster notables carry the build, why not go for another? I'm basically just testing stuff now, so this is not a full endorsement yet. By using a third notable, I can get the pod DPS to stay roughly constant, but now have a full 1.15 extra second duration (3.4 to 4.55) and about 10% more attack speed. I lose the charge generation, some evasion, and a tiny amount of life hp/es though. So basically, instead of trading some damage for survivability, I went the opposite direction. Since even conquerors already die in under 3.4 seconds though, I'm not sure this is actually better in practice. Might end up swapping some of the Wicked Pall/Eternal Suffering medium nodes to the higher dot multi ones like Brush With Death/Exposure Therapy on this third cluster to actually pump the per pod dot or chase some wild megalomaniacs.

https://pastebin.com/uf83gpwa - first attempt.

https://pastebin.com/fSr7YRxd - final version, done with the league.
Last edited by rlauren2 on May 21, 2020, 10:06:31 AM
Last bumped on May 25, 2020, 4:45:17 PM
Change Log
Spoiler

5/1/20 - Added budget gear alternatives.
5/1/20 - Added Simulacrum, Conqueror, T16 map videos.
5/8/20 - Updated PoB with some jewel changes. Added Megalomaniac notes.
5/8/20 - Added AoE breakpoints
5/10/20 - Added triple cluster experimental variation
Last edited by rlauren2 on May 10, 2020, 3:07:07 PM
Interesting. I'm going to try it. What's the average damage, 30 mil seems high unless youve got some really insane gear.
Is this build possible on a 12 ex budget? Cluster jewel seems to be very expensive this league and those are quite build defining.

I am sick of going builds to builds and nothing seems to work. Hope you can help me out.
"
aquasnow93 wrote:
Is this build possible on a 12 ex budget? Cluster jewel seems to be very expensive this league and those are quite build defining.

I am sick of going builds to builds and nothing seems to work. Hope you can help me out.
Tbh "very expensive" is only stuff for herald shenanigans.

Still, the perfect jewel a.k.a. wicked pall + eternal suffering seems to be quite rare and subject to price fixing. There's been quite a few toxic rain / caustic arrow / ed build guides popping up recently (and some bane / soulrend too).

But if you want to go "budget" first you can substitute one of these nodes with weaker, but still useful "Circling Oblivion" and then it's very cheap! People pay a lot for best in slot jewels but the moment it's only tier B and not tier A price drops a lot.

This could change if trait stacking is nerfed but atm people will pay premium for traits they can stack ignoring the ones that are decent but not amazing.

About 12 ex budget... Well the bow alone will cost you at least around 8 ex for "5 good 1 trash affix" bow, you can self craft it for around that much too. Attack speed + dot multi suffix both will cost much more, because it's damn annoying to isolate them.

You also have to check price of empower 4, it's more affordable than early league but still non trivial.

For 12ex you can make probably a functional, but nowhere near min maxed version. For example getting only 1 good mod neck / quiver not all the desirable mods. Might have to skip the -9 res helmet etc. (esp. on hubris base it's any chaos dot trickster's wet dream)
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Viktranka wrote:
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aquasnow93 wrote:
Is this build possible on a 12 ex budget? Cluster jewel seems to be very expensive this league and those are quite build defining.

I am sick of going builds to builds and nothing seems to work. Hope you can help me out.
Tbh "very expensive" is only stuff for herald shenanigans.

Still, the perfect jewel a.k.a. wicked pall + eternal suffering seems to be quite rare and subject to price fixing. There's been quite a few toxic rain / caustic arrow / ed build guides popping up recently (and some bane / soulrend too).

But if you want to go "budget" first you can substitute one of these nodes with weaker, but still useful "Circling Oblivion" and then it's very cheap! People pay a lot for best in slot jewels but the moment it's only tier B and not tier A price drops a lot.

This could change if trait stacking is nerfed but atm people will pay premium for traits they can stack ignoring the ones that are decent but not amazing.

About 12 ex budget... Well the bow alone will cost you at least around 8 ex for "5 good 1 trash affix" bow, you can self craft it for around that much too. Attack speed + dot multi suffix both will cost much more, because it's damn annoying to isolate them.

You also have to check price of empower 4, it's more affordable than early league but still non trivial.

For 12ex you can make probably a functional, but nowhere near min maxed version. For example getting only 1 good mod neck / quiver not all the desirable mods. Might have to skip the -9 res helmet etc. (esp. on hubris base it's any chaos dot trickster's wet dream)


This is all great advice. I added some budget alternatives to the gear and jewel sections. Specifically for a 12 ex budget:

- Bow Search = 6 link with +1 gems, +2 bow gems, open prefix. Some listed for under 1 ex, and there's even one with t1 attack speed for 1.5 ex. Craft chaos dot multi and go.
- Toxic Rain lvl 21 is 5c. 21/23 is available for 70c.
- Empower 4 = 1.2 ex.
- One large cluster jewel setup. This search shows touch of cruelty/unholy grace/wicked pall combo with 2 sockets is available for 1 ex.
- For medium cluster jewels, this search can get you some solid ones for under 20c.
- 50c each for the other 9 pieces of gear following budget gear suggestions I just added = 3 ex.
- Watcher's eye with malevolence dot multi = 4 ex.

If my math is good, that's almost exactly 12 ex. Obviously individual gear choices you make will bring some variance, but should be a good road map. If you get this setup, you will already be strong enough to take on all content, plus give you room to grow and upgrade.
Last edited by rlauren2 on May 1, 2020, 10:33:13 AM
Wow, prices did drop recently, I guess it's because we're in the last month of the league? Might start saving for watcher's eye myself, I kinda decided to skip it because it was 11ex at start and barely dropped to 8 after a month, and now it's 4 you say? :D

Guess we're lucky herald stackers don't play chaos skills...

Empower 4 did drop a lot too, a month ago it was 3,5ex.

Good large chaos clusters started 3ex but dropped to around 1ex in just a few weeks and seems they stayed there.

For anyone making this build now it's much cheaper, but for the next league I imagine the same budget prices won't hold and will go back to higher level.

Still, even if GGG nerfs clusters (like for example make the same notables not stack) but keeps them in the game accessible (I hope so! they're a lot of fun), I think the build will stay pretty good because there's a multitude of different nodes that can be used as replacement if stacking the same one stops working.

P.S. To the author, how do you deal with frenzy charges on bosses? Bloodrage only works on mapping. I'm trying to find the best way of dealing with it that isn't "just get a Maloneys", because I played with it in the past and I feel it's not really that great for my playstyle (toxic rain requires no aiming, but frenzy in maloneys does need to hit the boss with the single projectile, so you have to be facing properly).
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bertmollar wrote:
Interesting. I'm going to try it. What's the average damage, 30 mil seems high unless youve got some really insane gear.

Super tough question to answer. Toxic Rain dps is possibly the most awkward to calculate of any skill in the game. Any estimate I could make would just be subject to endless questioning of the assumptions I made.

Instead, I just uploaded a couple videos of a T16 map, a conqueror fight, and Simulacrum. I think that is probably the best representation I can provide.

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Viktranka wrote:
P.S. To the author, how do you deal with frenzy charges on bosses? Bloodrage only works on mapping. I'm trying to find the best way of dealing with it that isn't "just get a Maloneys", because I played with it in the past and I feel it's not really that great for my playstyle (toxic rain requires no aiming, but frenzy in maloneys does need to hit the boss with the single projectile, so you have to be facing properly).

Honestly, I don't even bother with frenzy charges on bosses. After you wrote this, I added a Veritania video. Damage is just not an issue.

If you find an awesome incursion ring with minus mana cost on it, you can craft minimum frenzy charges. That's the only thing I'd consider doing. It's tough though since minimum frenzy charges is a suffix, and all of our rare gear pieces prioritize dot multi, attributes, resistances, and attack speed, which are also all suffixes. Finding a free suffix is a tight squeeze.

There's nothing wrong with Maloney's, and it's popular for a reason. With the 3.9 introduction of dot multi on quivers though, you give up soooooooooooo much by using Maloney's that I just don't think it's worth it.
Last edited by rlauren2 on May 1, 2020, 1:12:34 PM
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rlauren2 wrote:
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bertmollar wrote:

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Viktranka wrote:
P.S. To the author, how do you deal with frenzy charges on bosses? Bloodrage only works on mapping. I'm trying to find the best way of dealing with it that isn't "just get a Maloneys", because I played with it in the past and I feel it's not really that great for my playstyle (toxic rain requires no aiming, but frenzy in maloneys does need to hit the boss with the single projectile, so you have to be facing properly).

Honestly, I don't even bother with frenzy charges on bosses. After you wrote this, I added a Veritania video. Damage is just not an issue.

If you find an awesome incursion ring with minus mana cost on it, you can craft minimum frenzy charges. That's the only thing I'd consider doing. It's tough though since minimum frenzy charges is a suffix, and all of our rare gear pieces prioritize dot multi, attributes, resistances, and attack speed, which are also all suffixes. Finding a free suffix is a tight squeeze.

There's nothing wrong with Maloney's, and it's popular for a reason. With the 3.9 introduction of dot multi on quivers though, you give up soooooooooooo much by using Maloney's that I just don't think it's worth it.




I still use maloney's. It is such a very useful quiver. You get attack speed, life, frenzy charges and the blind on hit is also nice. And if i go to a dot multi quiver (30%) with my equipment i gain about 10% more damage in PoB. This is about the same as if you have 2-3 frenzy charges. And in addition you get a high lvl despair curse. In my opinion it is very hard to beat.
Last edited by Hedrock01 on May 1, 2020, 4:19:01 PM
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Hedrock01 wrote:
I still use maloney's. It is such a very useful quiver. You get attack speed, life, frenzy charges and the blind on hit is also nice. And if i go to a dot multi quiver (30%) with my equipment i gain about 10% more damage in PoB. This is about the same as if you have 2-3 frenzy charges. And in addition you get a high lvl despair curse. In my opinion it is very hard to beat.
What I dislike about Maloneys is that the usual setup frenzy + coh + despair means you have to be facing the target for the frenzy to hit, while the whole advantage of playing toxic rain or caustic arrow over a typical bow build where you have to stand and barrage the boss for me is the luxury to aim at a rough boss direction and be able to run around without having to deal with precise targeting.

Frenzy will shoot 1 arrow, 3 when you have dying sun up only, and then it also has to not fail the accuracy check to actually give the frenzy charge / apply despair.

It's something I'd rather find another way to deal with, if possible. When I played with Maloneys I ended up linking despair with rain of arrows just to ensure it actually applies the curse to everything I need, but then again... no frenzy.

I don't mind self-casting despair because it's a huge circle, hard to miss with it. I just mind frenzy as an ability and I wish there was a better way to deal with it, but most other ways of obtaining frenzy are "on kill" only (bloodrage, disciple of the slaughter, elder glove mod, poacher's mark, cold snap etc.).

Also I don't think I'll touch Maloneys again if the trend of it costing 10ex+ every league continues, this league a lot of prices plummeted for any item that isn't used by herald stackers meanwhile the prices for stuff they use in their builds got really inflated (bottled faith, a lot of watcher's eye mods like mana as es w/ clarity, unnatural instinct, intuitive leap etc.) but still early league Maloneys was 11ex easily. Same reason why I gave up on the idea of playing poison, for some stupid reason Darkscorn for the last 2 leagues was overpriced as hell early on, so I'm back to playing chaos dots because those are not gated behind overpriced unique... (I like my builds to close in around 30ex budget total.)

I know it's a lot of rambling but TL:DR is Maloneys might be good in general but it's not good for me, so I'm looking for different solutions.

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