[3.12] <Broken Faith> + <The Agnostic> Mana-Tanking Poison-BV Assassin "The Apostate"
Current stats: 3m PoB DPS / 7k combined mana+HP / 56% Attack Dodge / 46% Spell Dodge
I'm a fan of underappreciated gear. I'm also a fan of gimmicky mechanics. Those are the 2 reasons I did this.
The Agnostic keystone passive removes all of our energy shield, allowing the Broken Faith archon kite shield to grant us permanent Unholy Might for extra physical-to-chaos damage conversion. The Gifts from Above diamond ring is our source of Consecrated Ground, which Broken Faith converts into the cooler and edgier Profane Ground for increased critical chance and resistance penetration.
By pairing The Agnostic with Cloak of Defiance, we can augment our HP with large amounts of mana and mana regen. Anointing our amulet with the Crusader notable passive then allows our mana to also augment our damage. We then add Omeyocan carnal boots to turn some of our mana regen into dodge chance and an Onslaught buff.
The phyical-to-chaos lends itself to a poison build but our reliance on mana means that we can't reserve large amounts, so we limit ourselves to Vitality, Clarity and Herald of Agony. Immortal Call paired with Arcane Surge and the Dynamo notable passive dramatically improves survivability.
Path of Building
Pros and Cons
+Good balance between DPS and survivability
+Good travel speed thanks to Onslaught and boots with +30% movement speed
+Good clearing capability thanks to BV and Bino's Kitchen Knife
+Decent single target
+Layered defenses means your tank won't be nullified by a single map mod and poison means you can handle reflect
+The floor is made of blue lava after you pass through
-Stunned easily due to low amounts of life
-I haven't found a way to scale it with extremely expensive endgame stuff to take it to the 10s of millions of DPS the meta builds have
-The EHP isn't high enough that if you get unlucky on dodge with some of the harder hitting bosses you won't still get 2-shot or even 1-shot
-Omeyocan removes a large amount of your mana regen, so you're forced to rely on Arcane Surge, Dynamo and The Watcher Clarity mods to recover your mana faster if you run out
Blade Vortex - Vile Toxins - Deadly Ailments - Unleash - Unbound Ailments - Void Manipulation
If you feel like BV's duration is too short and you have to top up on stacks all the time, replace Void Manipulation with Efficacy. Obviously, when you start getting awakened gems, Awakened Void Manipulation outstrips Efficacy massively in terms of DPS.
Immortal Call 4-link
Immortal Call - Increased Duration - Second Wind - Arcane Surge
With Dynamo, Immortal Call is now your one-stop shop for emergency mana.
Whirling Blades 4-link
Whirling Blades - Hextouch - Despair - Fortify
You should be dashing through your enemies all the time to curse them and fortify yourself.
Herald of Agony - Clarity - Vitality - Enlighten
Enlighten isn't necessary but some more mana buffer is always nice for your tank. I recommend Vaal Clarity so that if you run out of mana completely, you can use it and then immediately Immortal Call to get some mana back.
Cas When Damage Taken - Poacher's Mark - Summon Chaos Golem
I level all of these to 20 since the only time you'll need them is with bosses and other heavy-hitters, and they all do more than enough damage-per-hit to proc a level 20 CWDT. You can use any mark you like, but I like Poacher's Mark's flat added physical damage, which works well with our Unholy Might buff.
Withering Step - Plague Bearer - Flame Dash
Everything else you'll need. I previously had Withering Step with Immortal Call to take advantage of Increased Duration but there's no room there anymore and you probably don't want to go all that long without recasting BV anyways.
This is the entire basis of the build. Its Profane Ground increases damage against enemies that stand on it and its Unholy Might buff increases our poison by turning some of our physical damage into chaos damage.
Gifts from Above
This is our sole source of Profane Ground via Consecrated Ground. Also offers some nice crit chance.
If you don't have this, you're going to get stunlocked and then you're going to die.
Have fun sustaining mana without this. Its attribute-lowering ability also allows us to use a level 20 Immortal Call without a bunch of strength equipment. Overall a very nifty amulet. I have tried an Impresence but not found it to be worth it. Your mileage may vary.
Our fairly high mana regen is nice and all but up to 20% overall dodging is too good to pass up, especially when combined with the Phase Acrobatics line. Dramatically improves survivability.
Cloak of Defiance
Large amounts of mana and mana regen. What's not to love? Unfortunately, no life and the ES is useless to us. The implicit Mind Over Matter saves us a a passive point and the extra 10% damage taken from mana before life allows us to invest even further into mana in place of life. I considered using a Perfect Form but never got around to it. Maybe someone else can try it or maybe I'll get around to it some time.
Bino's Kitchen Knife
Really helps with mob-clearing with its poison proliferation effect. Also obliterates any larger targets standing next to mobs or adds.
Cold Iron Point
Alternative dagger, higher DPS but not as good for clearing mobs.
Circle of Nostalgia
Chaos resistance and both DPS increase and more mana available for tanking. A wonderful ring.
Path of Building says it increases total DPS by nearly 50%. I don't notice such a dramatic increase but it might be because it takes time to ramp up due to increasing poison duration instead of damage. You can use an Atziri's Promise instead if you want, neither of them are expensive.
The Watcher's Eye
Since our only auras are Clarity and Vitality, those are the mods you'll want. My personal favorites are life leech with Vitality to saturate our leech together with Broken Faith and chance to recover 10% of mana when using a skill, since BV casts so quickly. I could see another portion of damage being taken from mana before life being useful as well if you can get enough mana, but jewels with all 3 of those are probably too expensive for me right now.
For free gear slots, your focus should be on balancing resists and getting both more mana and more life. Remember, the more mana you have, the faster your life regenerates, but don't forget mana regeneration for better sustain.
For helmet, if you need more unreserved mana for whatever reason, get a Herald of Agony enchantment. Less mana reserved by Vitality and Clarity
isn't gonna do jack. Personally, I would go with a Blade Vortex radius enchantment for better clearing.
For boots, I'll point out the increased mana regen if you've cast a spell recently enchantment. If you don't want that, then just go for one of the popular ones like movement speed if you haven't been hit. Stun immunity if you've killed recently can be nice but is useless against bosses that don't have adds.
For gloves, get whatever you like.
Tree and Leveling
When you start out, immediately head towards the circle of life next to the Scion starting point and grab any life and mana along the way. You should be fine for damage all the way until maps. If you feel tanky enough, then start grabbing damage nodes. If not, head towards Phase Acrobatics. When developing the build, I found myself in a constant state of flux between "I'm not dying but neither is the enemy" and "The enemy is dying and so am I." If you get Atziri's Foible early, you can avoid having to allocate any +30 attribute nodes.
Don't grab The Agnostic unless you're sure you have enough mana regen and mana buffer with stuff like Shavronne's Revelation and Mindspiral or you'll find that you're always out of mana. Once you're past early game, you'll probably be able to switch out those items.
The stray duration node near the wheel of life is just to make BV easier to use when travelling. It only increases BV duration by half a second and you can put that point into anything else if you want.
Gear and Gems
If you're not using The Agnostic early, you can just play like a normal poison build whether with attacks or spells. I used Cobra Lash. Use weapons like dual Mortem Morsu.
If you are using The Agnostic, you'll also need mana and mana regen equipment. Mindspiral, Atziri's Foible, Immortal Flesh, Shavronne's Revelation in the left ring slot and maybe another ring like Heartbound Loop or Dream Fragments.
The tree grabs both attack and cast speed and global damage along the way, so you'll be able to do any kind of poison you like.
Get the 2 passive points.
Soul of Lunaris - physical damage reduction is always nice. The increased movement speed per enemy is great for when you want to Withering Step your way through large mobs. The first upgrade, which gives you projectile avoidance chance, is also great because BV is practically melee. Also, screw Pillars of Arun.
Soul of the Brine King - nice if you find yourself getting stunned too much. I prefer my Kiara's Determination but if you have all the dodge stuff, you can try your luck without the flask at all and hope you survive the first stun. 2 seconds of stun immunity is not nearly as nice as the 4 seconds of freeze immunity from its 2nd upgrade though.
Soul of Yugul - my preferred. Helps with reflect maps. The upgrade with cold damage reduction is always nice.
All of the other damage reduction choices are valid as well.
Go for Noxious Strike first since it's a lot of DPS. Next, Mistwalker if you want more survivability or Toxic Delivery if you want even more DPS. Get Opportunistic 3rd if you want to not worry about reflect maps.
The obvious way to play this would be to spin up and Whirling Blades into mobs, and that's perfectly fine. You might not want to do that too aggressively on reflect maps though, even with all of the mitigation.
You can Immortal Call before hitting the mobs but that wastes all of the mana recovery from Dynamo and Arcane Surge. I find that Fortify is usually enough and that you can save the call for when your mana takes a bigger hit. The exception is if you're dealing with hard hitting ranged enemies, in which case Immortal Call can protect you until you get into range to survive on leech.
High tier no-regen maps are dicey because you lose dodge if you switch out Omeyocan and if there are a lot of ranged enemies, you might lose all of your mana before closing the distance and suddenly you won't be able to use movement skills since you're not a Trickster. You also have no mana sustain against bosses so you better kill them before your flasks and Vaal Clarity run out. If the mobs are dense enough, you can keep Omeyocan and rely on the 2% of mana per kill you get from passives and take the boots off into inventory when you're not fighting.
For bosses, you'll probably be staying close most of the time to sustain leech. However, if you find their damage to be overwhelming, you can Whirling Blades into them, then out again, casting Immortal Call when you get out to recover some buffer and better survive any stray hits.
When dealing with massive degenerations, you may want to swap out the Omeyocan boots since you can't dodge degens and the boots eat up a ton of mana regen.
If at any point you find yourself unable to move, that's what Kiara's Determination is for. It cured both freeze and stun. I call it my "Life Alert flask" because if you're frozen and can't get up, help is only a button away.
Gr0bbs' Poison BV - I was already not great at building on top of having not played in a while. This build taught me essentially everything about poison BV and was the reason I switched from Trickster to Assassin.
Sveth's The Agnostic Hierophant - my go-to reference for building for The Agnostic.
Vatinas' CI HoP + Spiders Guardian Templar - I used this as a template for build-posting.
Also, all the countless Reddit and forum threads I looked through to try and find ways to improve this build.
11/11/2020 - added disclaimer about no-regen maps to Playstyle section.
- added Cold Iron Point
11/12/2020 - clarified doing no-regen maps in the Playstyle section
Videos will be in the comments below.
Last edited by Scenic_Byway on Nov 12, 2020, 11:24:26 PM
Last bumped on Nov 11, 2020, 2:22:14 PM
on Nov 9, 2020, 9:43:31 PM
A6 Sirus - Please forgive my terrible play and multiple deaths, I still can't keep track of Sirus after he teleports and am working on gitting gud. If I were thinking clearly I would have flasked and Immortal Called to tank the beams better. Oh well, maybe next time. First time I've cleared him though.
Last edited by Scenic_Byway on Nov 11, 2020, 2:06:12 PM
on Nov 9, 2020, 9:44:16 PM