[3.10] Ewpewww's 'budget' CoC Arc Herald Stacker - >10 mil shaper DPS for as cheap as ~15ex

If you have 15-20ex, and are looking to start a herald stacker that fits your budget, look no further! Welcome to another of Ewpewww's build guides!!! :)



Introduction
Hi all! I am a casual POE player, and have been playing for 4-5 years now. Amidst the COVID crisis and with a new rig, I've decided to try out creating content and streaming for POE. If it works, I will do this more often.

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I have seen so many questions on Reddit or on my stream asking about Herald Stacking so I've decided to write a guide about it, while giving myself the challenge of doing this under 20ex - I ended up spending ~15ex in total - no watcher's eye, only 1 medium cluster jewel >1ex.

The aim of this guide is not to provide a definitive herald build that you should follow blindly BUT to provide a template for:
(1) You to understand the mechanics of herald stacking (where the power comes from? how to fit in all the auras?)
(2) You to continue to min-max / tweak

Warning: This guide has a ton of text because herald stacking is inherently complicated. (If response is good, I will consider posting a video guide)

Disclaimers
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Some disclaimers before we go into the guide proper:
- This is a 'budget' version of the build so don't expect any crazy shenanigans like tanking Sirus storms or one-shotting bosses
- I did not start my character afresh. I re-used my old Guardian character
- Prices in the budget section mainly an estimation based on prices of items on trade at point of writing this guide (9 May). It is subjected to changes (which I will not update for) based on market fluctuations.
- This is a Cast on Crit version of the build: (1) You can choose to play with other skills / styles (unleash, spell echo), I just really enjoy CoC (and have always wanted to play it). (2) I have not yet optimized for CoC breakpoints (which will give the build more damage but I'm lazy to do so at this point)
- When it comes to fitting in the auras that you want, suggest you play around with POB instead of sticking to this build to a T.. reduced mana reservation can come in so many sources so you have to experiment on your own



Showcase videos
T16 Minotaur Speed Clear
Wave 19 & 20 Simulacrum Clear
More to be added

I am still updating this guide.. please forgive me if I miss anything out. If you have any burning questions, feel free come ask me on stream! (link above)

More videos


Pros and cons
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Pros
- Allows for herald stacking on a "budget" of roughly 15 ex
- Endless upgrade options for people who would love to min-max (LIKE ME!) - I will include section in later part of the guide about different options for upgrade and what to priortize
- When min-maxed, can easily tank all content in-game incl. Sirus storms
- Pretty high survivability due to 90% max elemental resistance
- CoC allows for a lazy playstyle - SPIN TO WIN

Cons
- 15 ex budget is not for most people - I've tested this and I think you need at least 15 ex to play this build comfortably
- There are a lot of required uniques, which you have to acquire from trade. This build might not be for SSF or those who hate trading
- Budget version can still die to some content, given lack of chaos resistance
- Clear speed is decent but not insane like herald sparkers or EK


Build theory (summarised, detailed version below)
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This is my interpretation of the ever popular herald stacking build. As all other herald stacking builds, it takes advantage of the OP notable that is Purposeful Harbinger ('PH'). Basic idea:
- You get as many PHs as possible - which gives you 10% increased effect on you for each Herald affecting you
- You stack as many auras as possible through reduced mana reserved from many sources - Wrath, Hatred, Zealotry for damage; Haste for QOL; Purity of Ice, Purity of Fire, Purity of Lightning, Discipline, Vitality for surviability
- Profit!!!

Contrary to other herald stacking builds I've seen, I think priority for the build is to stack as many PHs as possible (up to 9). This means we will need 3 Voices (unique cluster jewel) for the build as opposed to 2 socket large clusters that others are recommending for budget build. (I have seen a fair share of people coming to my stream telling me that is not working.) The marginal benefit of PH is just so high that we shouldn't pass it off. Anyway, at time of writing, 7 passive voices are going for ~1ex (which is rather affordable).

We overcome low cast speed of Guardian builds by using Cast on Critical Strike Support. For those not familiar with CoC builds, we can cast linked spell (arc) every time we deal a critical strike. We use cyclone as the skill to trigger CoC because it has a very high base attack speed.

Key aspects of the build in numbers
Defensive numbers
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- 5K ES (which is rather low but can easily be scaled with more investment)
- 90% max elemental resistance
- 90% physical damage reduction (endurance charges up from Guardian ascendancy)
- >1k ES regen per second

Offensive numbers
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- ~10 mil shaper DPS assuming 7 cast per second from CoC, and 1.5m average arc damage per cast. This excludes cyclone damage, which adds considerable damage (~1m DPS)
- Respectable clear with arc (one shots most non-boss content)

Required Keystones
Pain attunement, Zealot's Oath


POB Link for the experienced players
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https://pastebin.com/A9VMA14q


Full explanation of build (For those not familiar with Herald stacking)
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Why stack heralds?
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We want to abuse notable on cluster jewels: Purposeful Harbinger, which gives 10% increased effect of auras for each herald affecting you. This is how we do it:
- 9 Purposeful Harbingers in skill tree: 9*10 = 90% increased effect of aura for each herald
- 5 Heralds (Ice, Thunder, Ash, Purity, Agony): 5*90% = 450% increased effect of aura
- This does not include increased aura effect we can get from skill tree and other cluster passives :)

This means the following for our auras (at level 20):
- Hatred gives 18% * (100% + 450%) = ~93% MORE cold damage
-
Wrath gives 21% * (100% + 450%) = ~115% MORE spell lightning damage
- Vitality gives 1.65% (100 + 450%) = ~9% life regeneration per second (which we convert to ES regen with Zealot's Oath)
- ... you can do the math for the rest of the auras we are using


Ok.. so how do we get 9 Purposeful Harbingers?
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- We make use of 3 Voices jewel
- And try to get Purposeful Harbingers from 9 medium cluster jewels. There are 3 versions that offer this:
(1) Minions deal increased damage while you are affected by a herald
(2) 10% increased damage while you are affected by a Herald
(3) 6% increased effect of Non-curse auras from your skills


Sounds good.. so what auras do we need?
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Heralds (of course):
- Herald of Ice
- Herald of Thunder
- Herald of Ash
- Herald of Purity
- Herald of Agony

Offensive auras:
- Zealotry: More spell damage - We use arc
- Wrath: More lightning spell damage
- Hatred: More cold damage - We have 96% lightning damage converted to cold
- Smite: This is a melee skill that grants an aura when you hit an enemy with it. That aura grants additional lightning damage (which is hugeeee for the build)

Defensive auras:
- Discipline: Free ES - We need it because we can't get much ES on gear with budget build
- Purity of Fire, Purity of Lightning, Purity of Ice: For 90% max elemental resistance
- Vitality: For life regen, which we convert to ES regen with Zealot's Oath

Quality of life aura:
- Haste: So that we can run faster but the increased attack speed also puts us above the required attack speed for our CoC breakpoint. But I really prefer to run faster haha and the build has sufficient damage


Right.. but I don't have enough mana reservation..
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We stack reduced mana reserves from various sources:
- Skill tree: Notables like Charisma, Sovereignty
- Jewels: 1% reduced mana reserved implicits
- Small cluster jewels: Pure Guile, Pure Might, Pure Aptitude
- Equipment: Alpha's Howl, Shaper amulets
- Medium cluster jewels: Heraldry (not recommended because it is expensive to get with PH)

Note: You should play around with POB to get to the right amount of mana reservation to fit in all your auras. There is no definitive way to do this.

This is how I did it for my character:
- Skill tree: 34% reduced mana reserved ('RMR') combined (check out Skill Tree section)
- Cluster jewels: 1 x Purity of Ice has 30% RMR from Pure Guile, 1 x Heraldry has 10% RMR for heralds
- Normal jewels: 4 x 1% RMR from corrupted implicits
- Unique jewels: 1 x 2% RMR from Conquerer's Efficiency
- Anointment: 4% RMR from Champion of the Cause
- Equipment:
(1) Alpha's Howl for 8% RMR
(2) Shaper amulet (with 20% quality from Fertile Catalysts) for 6% RMR
(3) Prism Guardian for Socketed Gems have 25% RMR


Ok.. but I heard these cluster jewels are really expensive.. Is it really a budget build?
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I've managed to squeeze out a functioning build with ~15ex. More details in later section



Skill tree
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Link to skill tree (without cluster jewels)
Not shown on passive tree:
- In the three large jewel sockets, you put 3 Voices, and 9 medium cluster jewels with Purposeful Harbinger.
- You take Charisma and the pass for 'Reduced Mana Reserved' next to it using an Intuitive Leap jewel.


Ascendancy choice
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There is a lot of debate over Scion vs. Guardian. My view is the following:
- Benefits of going Scion are as such:
(1) Allows you to take advantage of Necromancer sub-ascendancy for higher attack speed and cast speed. However, this is not required for this build given we can reach attack speed cap easily, even with maximum cooldown recovery.
(2) It provides more passive skills points, which makes a substantial difference if you can fit in another Voices for 12 Purposeful Harbingers. That requires insane amounts of budget which defeats purpose of this build

That said, I am not against going Scion - in fact I have a level 100 Scion herald stacker :D

My opinion is that Guardian is the cheaper alternative to the build because you can still be fairly tanky without those insanely costly Purposeful Harbinger + Replenishing Presence jewels.

Ascendancy order as such:
(1) Radiant Faith: Gives you ES + Armour
(2) Unwavering Faith: Gives you Phys damage reduction + Life regen (both are key to defensive mechanics of this build)
(3) Radiant Crusade: For 10% more damage and Onslaught (sometimes)
(4A) Harmony of Purpose: For free charge generation
(4B) (Alternative) Bastion of Hope: For block (if you intend to employ block as another layer of defence)


Keeping it budget
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Good job if you've already made it this far! :D
Now.. to the most exciting reveal of the build. How do we keep it budget?

This is how much in total I've spent for the build (not incl. miscellaneous stuff like skill gems, and other items worth <10c)
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This build costs a little bit more than 15ex but prices are based on conservative estimates (I often took higher range as average). You will need to account for other items (e.g. skill gems).
This is based on prices in the market as of 5 May 2020.
I've also been quite conservative with estimates of some jewel prices.


First, we have to understand that the most expensive parts of most herald stacking builds are:
(1) PH cluster jewels
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The trick here is that we don't need them to be 4-5 passives, and we do not need another notable for this build to be functional. Simply, any non-megalomaniac cluster jewel with Purposeful Harbinger and a passive jewel socket would work!

As of time of writing, you can easily get such jewels for 20-30c each:



What we want to do, to save skills points, is to path always across PH to jewel sockets like this:

We lose out on the other notable but it is honestly ok. Core of the build comes from Purposeful Harbingers

You can even find 5 passive skill ones for similar price (to save skill points):


If you managed to get a 5 passive one with additional notable, you will be able to save 1 skill point!


(2) Reduced mana reserved base / abyss jewels
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Again, trick here is that we just need 1% reduced mana reserved in jewel implicits. We don't really need any other stats from it to be honest. If you managed to get useful explicit mods on the jewels, then it is a plus!

As of time of writing, you can easily get such jewels for 20-30c each:




(3) Reduced mana reserved + Vitality Amulet (which requires awakener craft)
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We work around that by simply using an amulet with reduced mana reserved. For vitality, we can fit in as a skill gem in our helmet, which makes it level 22 (with +2 to socketed aura gems). This is worse off than a level 26 you can get from amulet but honestly, not that much worse.



Gear
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Almost all of these are required uniques for this build to be this cost efficient (except belt and boots):

Weapon
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Nebulis is BiS (by far). Ideal to have increased critical strike chance as implicit because it increased weapon critical strike chance, which is huge for CoC builds.


Shield
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Since we are going low-life with Shav's, we can use Prism Guardian for 25% reduced mana reserved to socketed gems AND blood magic. I got mine with % chance to block spell damage reduction for slightly more survivability but it is not required.


Helmet
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We go with Alpha's Howl for 8% reduced mana reserved, cannot be frozen, and +2 to socketed aura gems. You do not need the enchant for dash but it offers nice QOL improvement.


Body armour
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Shavronne's wrappings so that we can prevent chaos damage from bypassing energy shield, allowing us to reserve most of our life. Getting 4 off colors might take a bit of chromatic orbs - this is not factored into build cost (simply hard to do so).


Gloves
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Maligaro's Virtuosity allows us to save from investing in critical strike multiplier (which is hard to come by given we are skill point starved). This adds a lot of damage to our build because we crit a lot


Boots
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You can use any pair of rare boots with high ES and movement speed. I choose Sin Trek because it has both of those and is extremely cheap


Amulet
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You want amulet that has 5% reduced mana reserved. You get to 6% using fertile catalysts for 20% quality on mana modifiers. And you want to anoint this with Champion of the Cause for more reduced mana reserved.


Belt
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Rare belt with >15% cooldown recovery speed to get to next CoC breakpoint (more on this later). I also went for one with strength in order to meet attribute requirements for the build.


Rings
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20% quality on elemental damage modifier[/u]s. Corrupted ones are cheaper, and they are the ones I would go for if low on budget. Combined, they convert 96% of our lightning damage to cold, and this allows us to benefit from BOTH Wrath and Hatred aura. Also, cold damage with cold freezes enemies, which makes mapping a lot safer.


Flasks
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You have many different choices here. The ones that I think are critical:
- Diamond flask: For lucky critical strike chance since we don't have 100% chance to crit. Ideal to have curse immunity on this as well.
- Atziri's Promise: To gain elemental damage as chaos damage, which double dips given we convert lightning to cold damage
- Quiksilver flask: To not move like a snail..

For the rest:
- Wise Oak: I intentionally make cold resistance my highest so this gives me additional elemental penetration
- Silver flask: To move even faster!


Jewels:
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As mentioned in earlier section, you want the following:
- 3 x Voices (7 passives will do)
- 8 x Purposeful Harbinger clusters with 1 jewel socket
- 1 x Purposeful Harbinger + Heraldry cluster with 1 jewel socket
- 4 x base jewels with 1% reduced mana reserved
- 1 x Conquerer's Efficiency
- 3 x Grand Spectrum (crit version) for huge increase in critical strike chance, which we want as much as possible as a CoC build
- 1 x small cluster jewel with Pure Guile / Pure Might / Pure Aptitude: I went for Pure Might because I want cold resistance as my highest for Wise Oak

On top of that, to meet strength requirements for the build:
- 1 x Split personality with strength in jewel socket furthest away from Templar start (this would be one of the jewel sockets on your medium cluster jewel in Voices near Ranger start)




Skill gems (and where to place them)
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Main skill (in order of priority):
- Cyclone
- Cast on Critical Strike
- Arc
- Inspiration (important for mana reduction.. if not you will run out of mana)
- Cold Penetration
- Energy leech

Shield:
You want your costliest auras here to take advantage of reduced mana reserved from Prism Guardian:
- Wrath
- Hatred
- Zealotry

Helmet:
I want to take advantage of +2 to socketed aura gems in Alpha howl for more defenses and higher crit chance:
- Discipline
- Vitality
- Precision
- Blood Magic

Other auras:
Where you place them doesn't really matter so just optimize for wherever you can get the right socket colors:
- Herald of Ice
- Herald of Thunder
- Herald of Ash
- Herald of Purity
- Herald of Agony
- Purity of Ice
- Purity of Fire
- Purity of Lightning
- Haste

Other skills:
- Smite (I put in weapon since my weapon has +1 to socketed melee gems)
- Dash (for movement speed)


Pantheons, bandits, enchantment
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Bandits: Kill all, we want all the passive points we can get.
Pantheons: Soul of Brine King to deal with stuns. Soul of Shakari for poison immunity (which we need given low chaos resist)
Enchantments: None required.. Ideal would be elemental penetration if you haven't killed. But, there are many other things to upgrade before this


Upgrade options and priority (i.e. how should i min-max)
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Please see first comment of the thread below - there is a dedicated section on this.


Dealing with different map mods
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There are a few map mods that make things tricky for this build:
- Elemental reflect: I run them with sextants or simply roll over them
- No regeneration of life, mana or energy shield: This makes the map rippy because we cannot regen energy shield. Also, makes it really annoying because you can't regen mana. If you want to run it, suggest you swap out cold penetration gem with mana leech, and minimze use of movement skill (dash in my case)
- Less recovery rate of life and energy shield: This makes the map rippy as well but usually still doable - just be more careful.


Levelling
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I strongly advise against levelling as a herald build.. Purposeful Harbingers only come online when you have a critical number (7-9 of them).

Since the skill tree for this build is going to be significantly different from most builds, you will eventually have to respec anyway (prepare lots of regrets). This means that you can almost level as Templar builds:

- Totems: Freezing pulse, arc
- Brands
- RF


Cast on Critical Strike breakpoints
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The way cast on critical strike works for this build is as such: Everytime you hit a critical strike with cyclone, you cast a linked spell. However, there is an internal cool down in the CoC support gem. Basically, without any cooldown recovery, you can cast a arc a maximum of ~6 times. Therefore, going above 6 attack per second ('aps') is not going to add significantly more damage for the build, except damage that you get for cyclone (which i think is negligible).

With cooldown recovery, though, we can increase the cast per second of CoC but it operates in a rather strange way of 'breakpoints'. My interpretation of it is as such:
- Casts per second does not scale linearly with cooldown recovery speed
- Casts per second only increase when you hit certain levels of cooldown recovery speed. Based on my understanding, 15% and 52%. These are known as breakpoints.

To get to the following cooldown recovery speed:
(1) 15% to get up to 7.5 casts per second, you want <7.5 aps - use either cooldown recovery on belt or boots
(2) 52% to get up to 10 casts per second, you want <10 aps - use awakened CoC gem (at least level 4 for 19%), and cooldown recovery speed from boots (up to 15%) and belt (up to 20%)

What does this mean for the build?
- Ideally, you want to maintain an aps that corresponds to the cooldown recovery that you can get
- The POB/my character posted is certainly not a good example of that - it definitely can be optimized to do more damage but I got lazy :P
- In terms of what you can tweak to get to the right level of attack speed:
(1) Haste gem level
(2) Removing increased attack speed from your jewels that give you reduced mana reserved
- You should test out your max aps when mapping - remember that it needs to take into account onslaught, frenzy charges

For those who are interested, here is a CoC breakpoint calculator: link



FAQs
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What skill gems should I change if I want to run non-CoC version of the build?
Replace cyclone, CoC, Inspiration with controlled destruction, arcane surge, and Unleash / spell echo. However, you might run into mana issues, in that case you might want to consider running clarity (in place of precision / RF if you are running that)

Are there gem swaps we can do for bossing?
To get even more damage from the build, you can swap arc for wave of conviction, and energy shield leech for phys to lightning. Explanation for gem swap as follows:
- Wave of conviction: This is a physical spell it benefits from the gain x% of physical damage as cold damage mod on hatred (which arc doesn't). It also automatically applies reduced elemental resistance through exposure, which adds even more damage.
- Phys to lightning: To bring phys to lightning of conversion of the skill to 75% so that the lightning damage benefits from Wrath's more lightning spell damage, before most of it is converted to cold damage, which benefits from more cold damage from Hatred


Feedback
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This is my second build guide so please feel free to post any feedback as comments. Thank you!


Credits
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For helping to experiment with the build!
- MrA7x, Vanqwaffen, chriscknuker, Jayusmaximus, Shahmat2015

Last edited by Ewpew on May 19, 2020, 10:22:00 AM
Last bumped on May 25, 2020, 2:08:10 AM
Upgrade options
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One of the best things about Herald Stacking builds (at least in my opinion) is that the upgrade options are limitless. As a result, this can also be confusing for newer players / people not familiar with Herald Stacking build. As such, I would like to share my two cents on the different upgrade options available and how cost-efficient they are. I also welcome your thoughts on them to help improve this guide.

Disclaimers
- Upgrade options are based on this version of herald stacker - the concepts discussed here might or might not be applicable on your character, depending on your choice of main skill / class
- Assessment of cost efficiency will be based on prices at the time of writing. Also, some of it will be based on my intuitive judgement. Highly recommend you play around with POB with regards to these upgrade to see which ones you are most comfortable with.

For simplicity, upgrades will be bucketed into two categories:
(1) Damage
(2) Survivability

I WANT TO DO MORE DAMAGE!!!
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(1) Replacing medium cluster jewels
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One of the easiest ways we can scale damage progressively is to upgrade our cluster jewels.

What our build uses: 6 passive, Purposeful Harbinger, 1 Jewel socket
What we can upgrade to: 4-5 passives, Purposeful Harbinger, Endbringer, 1 Jewel socket (corrupted is fine since marginal benefit you will get from crafting it is negligible)

There are two types of bases this can be found on:
(A) Minions deal x% increased damage.. - ~1ex
(B) 10% increased damage.. - ~2ex

If you prefer to upgrade your character progressively, this is not a bad option since it requires just 1-2ex of investment for 125% increased damage


(2) Fitting in Vaal Righteous Fire
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The other way you can easily get more damage is to try and fit in Vaal Righteous Fire ('VRF') in your build, which you should be able to sustain with the regeneration that you have. If you can't sustain VRF, check out the other section on improving survivability.

Ideally, you want a level 21 VRF for max damage increase. These are going for ~20c atm.

Given that this build is socket starved, here are the cheaper ways you can fit in VRF:

(A) Remove dash / movement skill: This is the cheapest way as it comes at no additional cost but I personally would not do it because movement skills are a huge QOL for this build

(B) Getting vitality on amulet: This requires you to get an amulet with 5% reduced mana reserved and grants level X vitality skill on your amulet. You can either buy it from the market (3-4ex) or craft it using shaper amulet / shaper-redeemer amulet (through awakener orb)

This is another cost efficient damage upgrade for the build, given RF itself gives 40% more damage, and you get additional boost from triggering Vaal RF. I would highlight that this is at the cost of survivability, given it reduces net regen. Ultimately, you should weigh the costs and benefits of doing this


(3)Upgrading your flasks
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The flasks we are using are very basic, there are different options we can consider to improve our DPS:

(A) Cinderswallow Flask (with % increased critical strike chance during flask effect) - For 3ex, this makes our enemy take 10% increased damage when ignited, which they will be since we do fire damage through Herald of Ash. The great thing about this flask is that it gives mana and energy shield recovery on kill, which is a big boost to survivability on mapping!

(B) Bottled Faith - This one costs a lot more (>20ex) but does amazing stuff for the build - makes enemies take 10% increased damage and adds up to 2.0 flat crit chance! Not to mention 40% increased damage

In terms of flasks, I would go for Cinderswallow first, then Bottled Faith just because its more cost efficient, and adds additional layer of survivability.


(4)Getting a Watcher's Eye
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As with any build, Watcher's Eyes with the right mods are definitely an upgrade. Since this build is going CoC, the mod that I would prioritize is:
- Increased critical strike chance while affected by Hatred

For the second mod, the you can run many different things. Sharing a trade link that has some of these mods.

For the really rich, you would want the following as a second / third mod:
- Cold penetration (Hatred)
- Elemental Penetration (Zealotry)
- Cold damage (Hatred)
- Lightning damage (Wrath)
- Critical strike chance (Wrath)
- Cast speed (Zealotry)
- Energy shield on hit (Discipline)

Watcher's eye prices highly depend on second mod you go for but entry level one with the hatred modifier for critical strike chance is ~6ex right now


(5) More damage for bossing at no additional cost
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To get even more damage from the build without additional investment, you can swap arc for wave of conviction, and energy shield leech for phys to lightning. Explanation for gem swap as follows:
- Wave of conviction: This is a physical spell it benefits from the gain x% of physical damage as cold damage mod on hatred (which arc doesn't). It also automatically applies reduced elemental resistance through exposure, which adds even more damage.
- Phys to lightning: To bring phys to lightning of conversion of the skill to 75% so that the lightning damage benefits from Wrath's more lightning spell damage, before most of it is converted to cold damage, which benefits from more cold damage from Hatred


(6) Get to the next CoC breakpoint
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To get to the following cooldown recovery speed breakpoints:
(1) 15% to get up to 7.5 casts per second, you want <7.5 aps - use either cooldown recovery on belt or boots
(2) 52% to get up to 10 casts per second, you want <10 aps - use awakened CoC gem (at least level 4 for 19%), and cooldown recovery speed from boots (up to 15%) and belt (up to 20%)

For more information on CoC breakpoint, please refer to section above!

For (1), it should be fairly straightforward and cheap to get, recommend you getting cooldown recovery speed on belt, which is already part of the basic build.

For (2), awakened CoC gem is the expensive item here. At time of writing, it is going for about ~7ex. I think it is actually a worthy upgrade because you are essentially casting 2.5 times more per second (assuming 100% crit chance). This is equivalent to 33% more damage. But, take note that the awakened gem needs to be level 4 and above!





I WANT TO TANK MORE DAMAGE!!!
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(1) Getting chaos resistance
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You can get chaos resistance through the following methods:

(1) Getting Chaos resistance on belt, boots, jewel, cluster jewels (even getting small cluster jewel with chaos resistance as implicit and explicit).

Price of this really depends on the upgrade option so I will not provide estimates

(2) Going Chaos Innoculation by making the following tweaks to your build:
- Changing Shavronne's Wrappings for Saqawal's Nest (6-8ex)
- Changing Prism Guardian for a rare shaper / hunter shield with 'socketed gems have 15% reduced mana reservation' (prices for this can vary depending on how much ES you want on this but entry level version can be as cheap as 5 chaos)
- Taking Chaos Innoculation Keystone instead of Spell Attunement
- Adding more reduced mana reserved jewel, heraldry on medium clusters, pure guile/aptitude/might in order to fit in auras (not always required, depends on how many auras you have)



This is my recommended option to get chaos resistance because it gives us immunity to chaos damage. We also gain an extra gem socket because we no longer need to run blood magic. However, we would lose quite a bit of damage so it is not for those who want to just do a ton of DPS. We lose damage because:
- We will not be able to use Spell Attunement Keystone
- We will also not be able to run RF (if we were previously running any)




(2) Getting some ES on your gear
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(1) A simple and cheap way to get a little bit more surivability is to get more ES on your boots, belt, jewels, skill tree.
- For boots: You can try to go for Tailwind boots for faster mapping but you should pay attention to your attack speed cap.
- For belts: One idea is to go for Crusader-influenced Stygian Vise so you can roll % increased maximum energy shield, as well as use a % reduced mana reserved jewel

(2) If you have the budget, you can aim to replace Alpha's Howl with a Redeemer-influenced Hubris Circlet like this:

The mods that you want are +2 to socketed aura gems, 5% reduced mana reserved and nearby enemies have reduced cold resistance. Note the following:
- You will need to find additional mana reserved somewhere else in your build to make up for the 3% loss in reduced mana reserve from switching out of Alpha's Howl
- You will also need to find Freeze Immunity for your build

Since this heavily depends on what option you go with, I will not provide an estimate for the price.


(3) Replacing medium cluster jewels
Spoiler

One of the easiest ways we can scale survivability progressively is to upgrade our cluster jewels:

What our build uses: 6 passive, Purposeful Harbinger, 1 Jewel socket
What we can upgrade to: 4-5 passives, Purposeful Harbinger, Replenishing Presence, 1 Jewel socket (corrupted is fine since marginal benefit you will get from crafting it is negligible)

Replenishing Presence grants a ton of ES regeneration for the build, which is one of our core defensive mechanics. At point of writing, each cluster jewel like this is ~3ex.



I WANT TO USE A DIFFERENT SPELL!!!
Spoiler


Firstly, you might run into mana issues if you are not running CoC version of the build because cyclone mana cost is low, and Inspiration gem link is helpful in reducing mana cost further. If you do run into mana cost issues, you have the following options:
- Use more % reduced mana reserved jewels, heraldry, pure might/guile/aptitude (either on medium or small clusters)
- Run clarity as an aura

Also, my opinion is that it is generally better to go with Ascendant on self-cast builds because of the insane increased cast speed you get from Necromancer sub-ascendancy. That said, it is definitely still possible to go self-cast on Guardians.

(1) I want to self-cast Arc!!
Spoiler

Replace cyclone, CoC, Inspiration with controlled destruction, arcane surge, and Unleash / spell echo.


(2) I want to use Ethereal Knives!!
Spoiler

Use the following support:
- Spell echo
- Controlled destruction
- Phys to lightning
- Cold penetration
- Pierce / Faster projectiles

You will want to run one Ring of Blades jewel.. would position that near Charisma notable for the 40 dex but you will have to spend more skill points to get to Charisma.



(3) I want to use Spark!!
Spoiler

Use the following support:
- Spell echo
- Cold penetration
- Controlled destruction
- Inspiration
- Faster projectiles / pierce / fork (depending on whether you can get pierce on your boots and personal preference)

You will want to run at least one Hazardous Research jewels (preferably with reduced mana reservation). You will also need enough reduced mana reservation to fit in Malevolence, which gives you increased skill effect duration, and that increases the duration for your sparks!




Example gear at different budget levels + explanation (WIP)
Spoiler

15 ex budget (entry level)
Spoiler

https://pastebin.com/TE3jtBep




25 ex budget (yay slightly richer!)
Spoiler

This is what I would spend on if I could put 10 more ex into the build:

(1) Hatred Watcher's eye (6ex)
- Having increased base critical strike chance while affected by Hatred is huge for this build because it increases both the number of times arc will be triggered, as well as critical strike chance of arc itself
- The other mod doesn't really matter but you should look for something that also benefits the build: In this case, I went for spell block chance while affected by Discipline


(2) Amulet with 5% reduced mana reserved + Vitality (2ex)
- You can find a similar amulet for 3ex in the build, I sold my existing amulet for 1 ex
- This allows you to take off Vitality skill gem, and I swapped that with Vaal Righteous Fire (cause I want to do more damage :D)


(3) Medium cluster jewel with Heraldry on top of PH (1.5ex)
- Just to get more mana reservation on my heralds, in preparation for the next step


I know this build is really needing some chaos resistance but I think the best way to deal with chaos damage for this build would be going CI, which is what I'm intending to do for the next 10ex of investment. If you are interested in how to do this, please refer to section above :)



35 ex budget (even richer!)
Spoiler
TBD


50 ex budget (what is budget?)
Spoiler
TBD


Last edited by Ewpew on May 22, 2020, 12:38:28 AM
Feedback from community about this build:













Last edited by Ewpew on May 15, 2020, 9:21:19 AM
Reserved
Quick question, I'm doing a Scion version and only thing I'm struggling with is Phys damage reduction.
What's best way to get this up to 80-90%?
Does double Watchers Eye X% damage reduction taken as cold/light damage stack?

TIA.
"
Trulls_Rohk wrote:
Quick question, I'm doing a Scion version and only thing I'm struggling with is Phys damage reduction.
What's best way to get this up to 80-90%?
Does double Watchers Eye X% damage reduction taken as cold/light damage stack?

TIA.


Hey there, thanks for checking out the guide!

I don't have visibility on your build but will take a crack at answering your question. There are a few ways to increase phys damage reduction, depending on when you want to have it and what you are willing to give up.

Personally, I wouldn't go for Watcher's eye for that purpose. Some ideas:

- Basalt flask, which is probably the cheapest option. And gives you Phys damage reduction WHEN you want it
- Endurance charge generation, which is easy for Guardian but if you are a Scion then you might have to go for charge generation nodes near Melding & Overcharge, either using skill points or Unnatural Instinct. But these will not be there for mapping
- Stacking more auras to take advantage of Guardian sub-ascendancy (e.g. Clarity)

Hope this is helpful. Cheers!
Last edited by Ewpew on May 10, 2020, 9:48:22 AM
awesome guide, good for the not so rich ones like me xD
Been playing a similar build like this for awhile, although at this point its not budget. It's nice for players to have access to more budget versions.

Il check out your stream when I can. Goodluck.
"
MrAvenged wrote:
awesome guide, good for the not so rich ones like me xD


Thanks a lot for checking out the guide man! :)
"
Been playing a similar build like this for awhile, although at this point its not budget. It's nice for players to have access to more budget versions.

Il check out your stream when I can. Goodluck.


Yes, that's the point of it :) Thanks a lot dude!

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