[3.11] Blade Vortex Fire Convert - DECIMATE the Atlas | Speed/AoE | 20mil+ Shaper DPS | All Content
This is a build I tried for the first time this league that has instantly become one of my favorite builds I've ever done. That being said it can be quite expensive and relies on crafting some somewhat specific gear for a couple slots (unless you just want to try to scan the market for it) so it is not the most beginner friendly nor league start friendly. But it is incredibly powerful and I wanted to share it. I have listed some budget alternatives and have two separate PoB links and some details below. So feel free to start with the budget version and transition into endgame stuff when you can.
Note: A lot of the crafting tips rely on Harvest crafting. If Harvest doesn't go core, some stuff will need to change.
The core of this build lies in grabbing the Avatar of Fire keystone for 50% physical to fire conversion, and creating gloves that get us the last 50% of conversion. Then we amplify our focus on fire even more by using Calamitous Visions cluster jewel as well as two Circle of Anguish rings with Herald of Ash. The assassin ascendancy lets us stack up on power charges which we further capitalize on by using two Void Battery wands, and eventually the Badge of the Brotherhood amulet. Finally we spec into lots of AoE, including AoE per power charge, to give us full screen clear.
-Incredible amounts of pack clear (incredible Legion Monolith popper!)
-Great single target damage
-Same spell being used for clear and single target, no gem swaps necessary
-Lots of options to craft your own gear
-Can do almost every map mod (can't do ele reflect tho)
-Lots of chaos res
-Can’t facetank bosses, we are tanky (4.5k life, 2.5k ES) but don’t have many layers of defense beyond some dodge, arctic armor, and endurance charges. You need to have some knowledge of harder fights.
-Not great for deep delving due to the previously mentioned squishiness
-Price tag $$
How It Plays
For mapping, I usually just hit Blade Vortex once or twice and sprint around spamming flasks.. as soon as you make contact with a pack you'll basically make a chain reaction where it just explodes. You don't really need to make contact with each mob at all. If you get low or get to the map boss, you can use Enduring Cry to beef up a bit but also use it sorta like a life flask as it provides a great amount of quick regen.
Wave of conviction is used to apply a curse (or 2, if you're rich) but is only really worthwhile to use on bosses. Everything else dies too quickly.
Bosses are the only place I'll pop my Vaal Righteous Fire and Vaal Blade Vortex as it melts them pretty quick. So outside of bosses, this is mostly a two skill build for mapping. Blade Vortex and Dash. Refresh Blade Vortex every 4-5 seconds or so and just run through mobs.
Endgame Gear Overview
Obviously this is all end game gear and cheaper alternatives will be listed throughout the gear breakdown section below.
Our best in slot weapon is going to be dual wielding Void Battery wands. These aren't dirt cheap, but usually aren't that crazy expensive either and should be made a priority to grab when starting this build. They each give us 1 power charge and let our spell damage scale off of our power charges. When your gear is close to being finished, you'll have 10 power charges total, which means the last mod on these wands will result in 250% increased spell damage overall.
Mod rolls aren't super important, focus on crit, then cast speed, and lastly mana.
The harvest enchant of "Quality does not increase Physical Damage, grants 1% increased AoE" is helpful for us as we don't care about the phys damage on the wand, nor any of the other enchants really. Getting this + Hillock quality is a good little boost to our AoE
Our helmet is a rare that you'll look for a variety of things on. I will list them in order of importance in the crafting section of this item.
Ideally you'd want this on a hubris circlet or some sort of ES base, but getting that with the enchant was too expensive for me at the time. Any Blade Vortex enchant is honestly fine, but I prefer the duration as it just improves the quality of life of the spell but quite a bit and we don't really have any damage problems. Outside of the enchantment, we look to get another +1 max power charge here, house our Aspect of the Spider, get +1 max seals for our blade vortex, and reduce fire res of nearby enemies. As a result of all these things, there will only be room for life + 1 resistance. I did chaos resistance but if you find you're struggling with capping resistances you could do any ele res here. This is a pretty specific piece of gear but it is craftable with the funds following below steps.
That being said if you DONT want to craft this and instead just want to buy it, these things are the order of importance in my opinion. Base w/ Helm Enchant -> Open Suffix for Aspect of the Spider -> +1 Max Seals -> +1 Max Power Charges -> -9% fire res. Of course all these things are great but if you're just looking to buy then these are what I'd recommend seeking first for a budget version.
This is our 2nd most difficult thing to craft, but Harvest makes it a whole lot nicer.
If you've decided to craft, first and foremost you'll want a base. Like mentioned above I recommend a Hubris Circlet with the enchant already on it, but if those are too pricey you can get any helm really. Make sure the iLvl can hit all of the mods we need.
From here you'll want to slam it with a Redeemer's Exalted Orb (if it's not already Redeemer influenced) and alteration spam until you get "Skills supported by unleash have +1 max seals" mod with NO other redeemer specific mod.
Once you have that, grab a separate Warlord's influenced helmet with the "Nearby Enemies have -9% to fire res" mod and NO other warlord specific mods.
Depending on your budget here, you could create an imprint of your Redeemer's helmet. I'd recommend it.
Now use an Awakener's orb first on the Warlord helmet, and then the Redeemer helmet. if you did the above steps correctly you should now have a helmet with both the fire res and unleash mods on them along with a variety of other mods.
If you're lucky, the mods you got will have tags (viewed in something like poedb.tw or craft of exile) that can be target removed with harvest. We will look to isolate this helmet down to basically Life + 1 resistance + Unleash + Nearby Fire Res which will leave us with one prefix and one suffix. If a mod can't be target removed with harvest, you can use your imprint here to go back to square one or make do with what you have. But our goal after this step will be to have 2 prefixes and 2 suffixes most likely.
Once you get the helmet to this state, you can craft aspect of the spider on it through beastiary for pretty cheap. This will leave us with one open prefix where we will get our +1 power charge. To do this we just use the "Augment with new crit mod" harvest option which will hopefully give us +1 max power charges. If you instaed get Chance to Gain Power Charge on Kill, simply use the harvest craft "remove crit mod, add crit mod" to reroll until you get power charge.
Finally, finish up the helmet with whatever "Remove/Add" harvest crafts you need to upgrade your life or res to T1-T2 mods. If you chose fire res as the res on your helmet, be careful when altering it as it could remove the "nearby enemies have -9 fire res" which would be pretty devastating.
Our body armor is kind of a stereotypical multi influence body armor at this point. Look to use a Vaal Regalia for the base because of our stat restrictions and the Es it provides.
The most important things here are Frenzy Charges on Hit and the corpse explode. This will be a somewhat expensive craft or purchase either way but is very important to our build. For a budget version, you could just use the frenzy on hit mod with good life and res but the corpse exploding is very huge for our mapping speed. The life as extra ES is a very large amount of ES and probably the best mod we can get as our third prefix, but % life, max/percentage es, or dodge are all also workable.
Relatively simple craft. Get a 6 linked vaal regalia either with crusader influence either through buying it straight up or assembling it yourself. Look to do whatever is cheaper of course.
From here alteration spam for the corpse explode mod. This will, on average, take you a lonnnnng time so don't get discouraged while trying to roll it. Just go slow so you don't skip over it and stop when you finally get it.
I would HIGHLY recommend creating an imprint of the item at this point as that alteration roll alone can cost as much as 3-4 imprints.
Now look for any redeemer body armor with the frenzy on hit mod and NO other redeemer mod and awakener orb the redeemer armor onto your crusader one. You will now have a combination of the two mods and hopefully some workable stuff in the other slots. Again, similar to other gear, go through harvest and fine tune the armor to have some life and resistances however you can. If you got a lot of dead mods that can't be removed and have money, consider resorting to the imprint. Otherwise use what you got.
For our rings we'll be using double Circle of Anguish rings. Focus on getting just the buff effect mod if they're too expensive, but ideally end game you'll want the buff effect and increased fire damage. The implicit mods aren't usually super important but maybe look to get some extra resistances here.
I'm not sure about many budget alternatives. You could just use rare rings with fire/phys damage to spells, life, and a bit of resistance but don't use too much resistance here as when you swap out the rings you don't want to be hurting in the other slots. Regardless these rings shouldn't be toooo expensive with just one of the mods.
Use Turbulent Catalysts to boost the fire damage mods on the rings.
Our best in slot amulet, and the reason we focus on gathering Frenzy Charges on our body armor, is Badge of the Brotherhood. This thing is DUMMY expensive currently but is well worth it. This raises our max frenzy charges from 3 to 10 assuming the rest of your gear is complete which results in 28% more damage and 28% increased cast speed that our spells appreciate. Additionally it buffs our Elusive by double and makes our movement spell have much quicker recovery time. It's a pretty crazy amulet but is pricey.
For budget, you could use a Xoph's Blood (might struggle to get dex if you do this, just spec into the +30 dex parts of the tree in meantime or use the anoint I have). Could also use a rare with dex and life if things are really tight (maybe frenzy on kill too if u dont have the chest yet). +1 to phys gems is a good mod too but maybe pricier.
Use Intrinsic Catalysts to squeeze out an extra 4 dexterity which actually comes quite in handy for this build.
Anointment wise, I think Constitution is the best one available. It gives us a large amount of life and seems pretty unmatchable to me. Alternatively for a cheaper option you could go with Divine Judgement, Annihilation, or Discipline and Training.
Our gloves are an incredibly important part of the build as they give us the rest of our Physical to Fire conversion, but also are probably the hardest thing for us the craft. You could try purchasing these rather than crafting them by just looking for gloves with over 40% physical to fire conversion. If the number is at like 46% rather than 50% don't worry about it. If you're min-maxing you'll want that last 4% but the build is entirely playable without it.
For a budget version just use gloves with the temple mod of 25% conversion OR use gloves with the craft Phys to fire conversion. You will be losing a lot of damage but these are much more easily acquired. If you're using the budget version of this build with Anger, use a watcher's eye with phys to fire conversion while affected by anger rather than focusing on the glove conversion.
To craft these you're going to want to start by looking for a pair of gloves (ilvl 71 at least) with the incursion mod of "25% of Physical Damage Converted to Fire Damage". Make sure it is the incursion mod and NOT the crusader mod. Prefer an ES base or Fingerless Silk Gloves if you can get them, otherwise any base can work.
You'll want a pair of these gloves that are RARE but have tags on all the mods (through poedb or craft of exile) so that you can target remove them if necessary. At this point I'd recommend trying to fill up prefixes (with crafting a mod or augmenting something that'll for sure hit prefix. You don't need the prefixes to be all good, we'll be target removing one later) so you only have suffixes open. At this point slam the gloves with a Crusader's Exalted Orb. Either of the possible options we get in the suffix can be removed with targeted harvest crafts so that's why we do this. Most of the prefixes can be targeted removed EXCEPT one so it can be a little risky to slam a prefix on.
Now you'll need to remove the mod the Crusader slam added. Look at the tags and choose the appropriate target remove through Harvest. After removing it, block fire resistance suffix one way or another (either by crafting it on, already having it, or harvest crafting one of your other resistances into fire temporarily through the "swap resist" craft). Open up a prefix slot with either a targeted remove, or removing your crafted prefix if you did that in the step above.
Once you have fire resistance crafted or blocked AND an open prefix, you can simply "Augment with Fire Mod" to guarantee that you hit Phys to Fire conversion. The temple mod blocks the base fire to attacks so you don't have to worry about it. There are two tiers of phys to fire conversion it could hit, but either one is decent enough. You can remove phys add phys to get the higher roll assuming nothing else is phys on the gloves. Once that's there, you can continue to augment and replace through Harvest to finish the craft.
Headhunter is obviously great.. But it's kind of a cheat code for any build so it feels dumb to recommend it. BUT we do need dexterity and strength from somewhere so there is some value here outside of the typical novelty.
For REALISTIC options, any Stygian/Leather/Heavy belt with enough strength and dexterity is fine. Look for life and res as usual, nothing special. If you do plan on switching to headhunter don't rely on this slot for resistances too much. Life recovery rate is nice but can be a little pricey. If you do decide to use a stygian, just use a jewel with life, phys or fire to spells, and potentially crit multi if you've killed recently.
In any video I link to this build where I'm doing maps, I'll be using this absolute unit of a belt to fill in the void of my missing attributes just so you know I'm playing fair..
Of course this thing is pretty bad but hopefully the descriptions above could help you find a good rare belt to use for the build
If you get a belt enchant, look for "15% increased Area of Effect while you have Arcane Surge" as likely our best belt enchant. "20% chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments while you have Elusive" is usable too but not as good.
Our boots are another kind of generic piece of this build. I use them to get the last of the resistances I need, life, move speed, and Tailwind. Tailwind isn't very crucial for this build but is just kind of a luxury mod. Don't worry too much about it until later. I would focus more on getting "Cannot be Frozen" as it helps free up a flask slot and is just provides great utility.
Don't focus too much on getting your best in slot boots though, this should be one of your last priorities.
Going to be brief here as I think these are straight forward to craft. But simply get some high iLvl two toned boots (or any base if you don't want to splurge) and alt spam until you hit two T1-T2 of any life, res, or move speed. Pray you hit a good regal orb and if you do then just continue crafting with Harvest.
Augment crit to attempt to get Tailwind, if you don't simply remove crit/add crit until you do.
Finally if you want to torture yourself, you can try to get the damage pen lab enchant but dodge and leech are also pretty nice enchants.
I think once you open my skill tree in PoB, all the jewels I use will be self explanatory but there are a few notes to make.
We use a glourious vanity with Doryani name on it to turn Pain Attunement into Corrupted Soul. This gives us a large amount of extra enery shield for little point investment.
Calamitous Visions is super important for further buffing our fire damage and should be a priority.
For our normal run of the mill jewels, look for Life + crit multi (potentially two mods) + area damage.
Once you get closer to completion with this build, try to get a Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you jewel to clear up another flask slot.
Cluster jewels I'll expand more upon later.. but use mine as a rough guidance on how to start. Important to get Large clusters with only 8 nodes, mediums with only 4 nodes so that we can path as much as possible.
I squeeze out extra chaos res and attributes on small passives on these too but that's not super important.
Bottled Faith is a god tier flask but should be the last of these you acquire. Just have some other flask here with either bleed removal or freeze removal (if you dont have it on the boots yet). Wise Oak is pretty cheap just keep in mind that you need your fire resistance to be your highest res for it to provide you value. I use an enduring mana flask rather than investing into mana leech and also get warding on it to remove curses. For quicksilver you could have bleed remove or freeze remove. If you don't need either of them just get extra move speed for more luxury. Finally a cinderswallow with crit chance gives us great sustain in maps and is overall just one of my favorite flasks.
Gem Link Overview
6 Link (body armor): Vaal Blade Vortex - Fire Penetration Support (Awakened if possible) - Power Charge on Crit - Unleash Support (Awakened if possible) - Controlled Destruction Support (Awakened if possible) - Combustion Support
A level 21 blade vortex is a huge upgrade but also expensive to get with quality. Awakened gems are a nice bump but nothing super huge in our 6 link.
4 Link (helmet):
No Calamitous Visions
Herald of Ash - Anger - Enlighten
For your fourth link, use either Arctic Armor or Enhance (if you have Aspect of the Spider on the helmet and want to run that as your third aura). Alternatively if you want more damage but don't have Aspect of the Spider, you could do Herald of Purity.
Herald of Ash - Enhance (at least lvl 3) - Arctic Armor - Enlighten
Put these in our helmet where Aspect of the Spider is since we don't have a mana multiplier in any of these gems. Enlighten isn't required but is little bit of nice quality of life. The setup is different if you don't have Calamitous Visions, check out the budget version section to see more there.
4 link (boots or gloves):
Wave of Conviction - Flammability - Curse on Hit - Faster Casting Support
Wave of Conviction - Flammability - Ele Weakness - Awakened Curse on Hit
This lets us apply two curses for an extra 7% damage increase roughly, but is not hugely important as it mostly just applies to bosses. This should be one of your last upgrades
4 link (boots or gloves): Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 1) - Immortal call (lvl 3) - Increased Duration Support (lvl20) - Vaal Righteous Fire (lvl 20)
3 link: Dash - Second Wind Support - Arcane Surge (lvl 6)
3 link: Enduring Cry - Second Wind Support - Portal
If you really want to try to play this build at league start or with low budget I would recommend just playing a different budget assassin that doesn't require much investment at first.. Craft gear in your free time and nab bigger items like the amulet, wands, and calamitous visions early to save some money. Switch over once you have at least 25% conversion gloves, herald rings (1 mod at least), calamitous visions, wands, and frenzy chest. I played build without the helmet, boots, or cluster jewels for a while and it felt fine. Obviously it makes it much better but at the very least it's doable.
PoB: https://pastebin.com/CaRk1vRC (you may have to open this link in your browser and copy the code rather than the link into PoB)
Budget version of build. T16 Underground River - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzqCZYwX8bY
This is a cheaper alternative to using all of the end game gear. While still expensive it should be much more easily acquirable.
Two of the most expensive pieces of this build are the Calamitous Visions jewel that gives us Lone Messenger, and the Badge of the Brotherhood amulet. These things do have replacements we can do to get similar damage. Check out the video section for the budget version of this build (which was also not really at full power because I didn't want to respect or recolor things) to get an idea.
For a budget version we do a few things. First we can use Anger now because we don't have Lone Messenger. Together with Herald of Ash and Enlighten, you will have enough mana for one other spell. This can be Aspect of the Spider or Arctic Armor most likely. If you don't have Aspect of the Spider yet but also want more damage instead of Arctic Armor, Herald of Purity is another option but won't give you as much damage as the Aspect of the Spider.
Secondly, for the amulet we can instead use a Xoph's Blood amulet (and respec out of Avatar of Fire on our tree temporarily) to get a boost in damage for a much cheaper cost. I need to get dex out of this amulet so I have a cheap anoint to do it, but you could get any decent anointment on this thing for even more life.
Rather than focusing on getting conversion gloves, just take Avatar of Fire and buy a Anger phys to fire conversion Watcher's Eye. If it's well rolled, this will get you to 90% conversion which is more than good enough.
Focus on crafting the chest for frenzy charge generation and body explosion, it's a core part of our build and enables a lot of it.
All things considered, you'll be doing about 20% less damage with these two changes but cut down on the price of the build by maybe half. Then just work towards getting either the amulet or calamitous visions from there.
Also you can cut the Bottled Faith out of the build for a budget version by just using a diamond flask with whatever crafted mods on it you want. This is another big drop in damage of course but will save you around 8-10ex. All things considered here you should save around 65-75 exalts and have a fully playable build with things to work towards.
Bandit and Ascendancy
Help Alira for additional resistances and damage.
If you level an assassin just to play this build, i'd recommend socketing in Power Charge on Crit and going for ascendancies in this order
Opportunistic->Mistwalker->Unstable Infusion->Deadly Infusion
I would recommend Arakaali for major (good synergy with immortal call, more chaos defense) and Shakari for minor (again, more chaos defense).
https://pastebin.com/aEcGwJrT (you may have to open this link in your browser and copy the code rather than the link into PoB)
Use PoB community fork to import.. Exported with version 184.108.40.206
Note that my timeless jewel has "Additional curse" stuff.. this is because Awakened Curse On Hit Support doesn't seem to work in damage calculation. Further more i have a timeless jewel that gives me double damage and increased phys damage with one node investment.. you won't likely have that unless you get the same seed as me so don't worry about that part of the timeless jewel either
https://pastebin.com/CaRk1vRC (you may have to open this link in your browser and copy the code rather than the link into PoB)
No Calamitous Visions, no Badge of the Brotherhood, and using Anger instead of just herald. Use a phys to fire conversion watcher eye instead of the fire conversion gloves
July 18, 2020
-Updated PoB with more different jewels and slight node change (17.6M dps -> 21.4M dps) (Got rid of unnatural instinct)
-Updated some gems to be lvl 21/23 qual
July 10, 2020
-Updated PoB to include new cluster jewels and slight node changes (15.8M dps -> 17.6M dps)
-Added notes about phys to fire conversion watcher's eye for the budget version
-Changed out gloves for new pair I crafted
-Added a bit of info about belt enchants
Leave any questions here, I'll look to expand on this post later got a bit tired writing it. Can add an FAQ section if it helps.
Last edited by LilUglyPolo on Jul 24, 2020, 7:59:00 PM
Last bumped on Feb 26, 2021, 4:17:07 AM
on Jul 5, 2020, 11:07:26 PM
on Jul 5, 2020, 11:07:33 PM
This build looks great, thanks for the write-up. Most of the items look reasonably attainable too, until I saw badge of the brotherhood which costs 43ex. maybe next league...calamoitous visions costs a cool 15ex too. It might be worthwhile including an approximate cost of the build (minus luxuries like unnatural instinct), because the core rare items seem simple enough to craft, but you need to have an additional 60ex around just for those 2 items.
Last edited by BrettLee on Jul 6, 2020, 12:13:03 AM
on Jul 6, 2020, 12:09:55 AM
looks like a really fun build, sucks that badge is so expensive but cool guide bro
on Jul 6, 2020, 12:29:28 AM
Damn looks like a cool build was looking for my next build this league. Might have to try this.
on Jul 6, 2020, 12:50:09 AM
Build looks cool but way too expensive for my taste. One badge is worth an entire build lol.
on Jul 6, 2020, 2:12:09 AM
Amulet definitely expensive.. will look to give some numbers on using cheaper unique (100c) and maybe upload a video trying it out just to show that it's possible without the Badge of the Brotherhood. It's obviously going to be worse but the core of the build should still work. We'll probably lose about 15% damage and lots of movement speed overall though.
Calamitous visions is in a similar place but slightly more severe. Getting rid of it we'd lose about 20% of our damage. We could use Anger however without Arctic Armor or Aspect of the Spider to jump us back up a bit (10% dmg increase if replace arctic armor but lose some defense).
So overall yes.. expensive to reach end point but some alternatives exist. I'll look to add a budget section to this build tonight with these two things in mind showing how it can be played without those two big pieces. I got them earlier in the league when they were cheaper but things have changed for sure!
on Jul 6, 2020, 1:04:53 PM
Will be updating tonight with an alternative budget version that's about ~60ex cheaper at the cost of maybe 20-25% of our damage. Keep an eye out!
Last edited by LilUglyPolo on Jul 6, 2020, 1:12:14 PM
on Jul 6, 2020, 1:08:43 PM
Updated guide with a budget version I tested in a few maps and it still feels really good! I added a whole section with more information as well as a video and new PoB link. Altogether with the changes i mention you'll be losing maybe 30% damage but saving upwards of 70ex. Let me know if any part needs more info
on Jul 6, 2020, 4:50:03 PM
Amazing guide, i will start it today!
Since it's a very expensive guide would be cool if you make a upgrade path to follow after budget version is done.
Also, a basic leveling guide is always welcome.
ty mate :)
on Jul 7, 2020, 10:10:22 AM