[3.13] Lancing Steel Poison | Budget T16 & Endgame bossing <1EX | Starter viable | No PoB Warrior
Are you looking for a build that's kind of unusual, end-game viable and cheap?! You've come to the right place. You'll be independent of flasks, alternate quality gems, expensive uniques or cluster jewels.
(I'm still in the process of updating and making the guide more pretty, but all the essential information is here. Questions welcome.)
I often get annoyed by guides that feature DPS numbers that require you to have Flasks, multiple Totems, Vaal Skills, and various other kinds of temporary buffs up, because honestly I'm not Mathil and just dodging mechanics often takes enough of my attention without having to keep totems up and activating my buffs just to have the boss go into an invulnerability phase. So the default assumption for DPS on this guide will be that you're not using any of those. You still can, but you won't have to.
So, dear casual gamer like me, I hope you find this build as useful as I did.
EFFECTS OF 3.13
TL/DR: We're fine. A ~20% less damage and a bit slower, but nothing build-breaking.
Damage: With identical gear the nerfs to Noxious Strike and Toxic Delivery we lose about 25% DPS on budget gear and 20% on mid-budget gear. Generally, the better your gear the lower the impact. Damage is still absolutely enough though and we're getting Harvest back, which will make better gear somewhat more affordable.
Defenses: We're losing the 8% reduced damage taken while elusive, which is annoying because it was almost always active. In exchange we get an extra 10% reduced damage taken when facing 2 or more rare/unique enemies, which is less desirable, but will be useful in the new Maven multi-boss encounters. Lastly, we're getting ~5% dodge and spell dodge at peak elusive, which averages out to ~2.5% overall. So in total defenses are roughly the same, but might be buffed somewhat improved through harvest gear.
Movement: The 20% lost movement speed from Opportunistic hurts the most out of all the nerfs, but having said that, we're less affected than BV & BF/BB versions because we have Whirling Blades as an additional movement option so it's not a huge issue.
Call of Steel: Changes to Impaler and the Lord of Steel jewel don't affect us. In fact, the latter will likely just make the jewel even cheaper for us. In addition to that the new notable on the tree that gives +4 max Steel Shards makes for a very nice and cheap QoL annoint.
This build leverages Lancing Steel's ability to fire 20+ projectiles with a single attack to scale poison damage via Assassin's Noxious Strikes and to counter poison build's typical weakness - single target life sustain - with life gain on hit. We use Haemophilia gloves explosions (which can poison) to clean up stragglers as our Call of Steel doesn't do much damage. Overall this build will give you a good allrounder that has fast map clear, high single target, and great sustain and can in theory clear T16s on a 4-Link, although a 5-Link is honestly very strongly recommended and really shouldn't be hard to come by.
PROS AND CONS
- Great for new Maven multi-boss encounter
- Fast mapping (although a bit slower than 3.12)
- Very good single target
- Very cheap to gear
- Great potential for gradual scaling if you want to invest more
- Incredible life sustain
- >180% life on tree
- doesn't get hit a lot due to blind, dodge, and ranged playstyle
- can run all map mods, including no regen, no leech and both types of reflect
- no gem swap required for bossing (though possible) unless you want to do T16 Conquerors on 4-Link
- significant corpse removal through bleedsplosions
- Plague Bearer goes weeeeee
- Prone to one-shots if you do happen to get hit (6K life is achievable, but difficult with 1ex)
- Reliant on Haemophilia unique for really good clear (therefore not recommended for SSF)
- Need to pay attention to steel shards to get full potential
- Because you're a dot build, things don't die immediately and remain dangerous for longer (especially noticeable in deep delving)
- Significant share of dodge chance is dependent on Elusive, which is a fluctuating buff
- Your sustain is (mostly) dependent on you attacking, so stuns, freezes, and slows can be dangerous
- Not a 1-button build
- high %chance to avoid poison map mod is doable, but a bit annoying
POB & PROFILE LINK
You should be able to reach at least ~1M Sirus DPS on a 5-Link with gem-swap or 6-Link mapping setup with the budget gear set shown without flasks, totems, Vaal skills or other shenanigans
Character:ROB_Zarion (currently experimenting with Auras)
If you are here for some huge damage numbers. Here's a version of the build I could never afford that reaches >70M dps at 5.7k life with 100 poisons, flasks, focus, and 15 wither stacks: https://pastebin.com/UjAvYZ9v
- Leveling Trees included
- Level 90 tree (187% life)
- Level 95 tree with and without cluster jewels
- Two item sets: Budget Endgame (<1ex) and Mid-Budget (<=5-6ex) except helmet enchant
- Item list also contains some additional options and possibly interesting uniques
- DPS is showing the 6-Link mapping setup at ~1M by default so only 5 damage links. ~0.7M if you deactivate the 6th link (so only 4 damage links) at a conservative estimate (see configuration explained below)
- Multiple skill options and leveling links included
- 40 applied poisons: This seems like a lot but is a conservative estimate. 1 attack applies 24 poisons and you attack almost twice per second, so you could easily reach 100+, but I'm accounting for moving to dodge attacks and the fact that you need to replenish steel shards with call of steel.
- 10 poisons on enemy: More than 10 doesn't make a difference. This is for the crit chance from Toxic delivery
- Withered stacks 5: This is without totem. You get 20% chance to wither on hit from The Iron Mass, so you'll have 5 stacks after 1 attack. Alternatively the cluster jewel version provides 5 stacks through Eternal Suffering notable
- Crit recently: This actually only ticket to disable my boot enchantment, which would otherwise give +120% crit chance, but you crit all the time
- Are you elusive: We are elusive on crit and crit >50% of the time. This is almost always up (though not always at max effect)
- Unholy Might: This is gained through The Iron Mass. Uncheck it if you switch the weapon unless you have a cluster jewel with Unholy Might on crit (Overwhelming Malice Notable)
- Enemy is bleeding: We get 25% bleed chance from gloves, enemies are always bleeding after the first attack because many hits, remember?
- Enemy is blinded: We get 15% chance to blind on tree, again basically guaranteed to blind with first attack salvo
- 4 Steel shards consumed: Honestly, this is the only debatable one. This will require you to keep an eye on your shards, which might not always be the case. However, I feel this is countered by the fact that we assume only 40 poisons. Calculating with 100 poisons instead would only require 1 shard on average to achieve the same DPS.
WHY LANCING STEEL?
TLDR: Many projectiles make pew pew poison strong
While Lancing Steel is at first glance clearly intended for pure physical impale scaling it also synergizes incredibly well with poison in general and Assassin in particular.
Poison builds typically like to ramp up by hitting the same enemy multiple times as quickly as possible. A great way to do that is to have a projectile skill with many projectiles that are able to all hit the enemy sequentially. For Assassins this is even more important because you get 5% increased poison duration for each poison applied recently. For poison wanders you'd typically use Power Siphon + Barrage support to fire 10 projectiles at the same enemy, but Barrage support has a massive "62% less damage" multiplier and has a tendency to miss the enemy unless you're in close range.
- Lancing Steel natively fires 4 projectiles that can all hit the same target
- With 4 steel shards you fire 200% MORE projectiles bringing you up to 12
- With GMP you can add an additional 4 to the base number giving you 3*(4+4) = 24 projectiles in a single attack, making it a ~100% more multiplier because "26% less projectile damage" does not affect ailments
- Lancing Steel has an in-built less damage multiplier that states "Hits after the first on each Enemy deal 60% less Damage", but since we are dealing ailment damage and not hit damage it does not affect us at all
- The attack speed penalty and and lower damage effectiveness are countered by significant innate flat added physical damage of the skill
- Lastly Lancing Steel has 2 mechanical advantages over Barrage. 1: It has a semi-auto-aim that which means you're much more likely to actually hit with all projectiles. 2: It does not lock you in place while the projectiles continue firing allowing you to dodge while still dealing damage (and gaining life)
Complete Budget Set: (at least 1M DPS on mapping links)
(Chest can be 5-Linked)
Complete Mid-budget Set: (at least 3M DPS on mapping links)
Gearing Options Guide
- Haemophilia - 1-2c (required)
Big PP Budget:
- Asenath's Touch (big dick option) - multiple ex
- If you have explody chest (very big dick option) you can go for corrupted Temp Chains on hit Blasphemer Grasp or Fenumus' Weave
- Thief's Torment (for levelling) - 1-10c depending on state of league
- ilvl75+ Elder/Hunter rings with life gain on hit (in mid maps) - 1c base, craft with pristine fossil
- Circle of Nostalgia with Herald of Agony buff effect and increased chaos damage (expensive and you lose 20 life gained on hit)
In general the build can be played as either 1h + shield or dual wield. I'd suggest starting out as 1h + shield because it will be much easier to cap resistances. Dual wielding itself doesn't bring much advantage other than attack speed, but there are some interesting options. The Saviour in your offhand essentially doubles your DPS because of the mirages. Whereas dual Beltimber Blade grants you another 4 base projectiles giving you 36 total, significantly increasing your # of poisons applied and life gained per attack.
- Any fast 1h sword with phys damage to get you started (craft with Essence of Contempt + Crafting Bench - 1c + 1 alc)
- If you don't feel like crafting you can use Ichimonji or Dreamfeather. Both of which should be cheap even early in the league.
- The Iron Mass 5-25c depending on rolls and league age (this appears to be a bit more expensive in 3.13 because it's a Heist exclusive, but I'm expecting the price to go down quickly because it's a fairly niche item)
- Beltimber Blade - 5-25c usually more expensive early league because it's an Elder guardian drop
- Mid-budget rare: Crafted ilvl83+ Elder sword with flat chaos and 60% chance to deal 100% more damage with poison - Craft with Corroded + Abberant + Metallic
- High budget, offhand only: The Saviour - 1-10ex depending on age of the league because it's a Sirus drop. This will greatly improve your clear if you can afford it
- Mirror tier rare: Fossil Crafted ilvl83+ Elder Jewelled foil with Flaring + Merciless + 60% Poison mod and crit chance, attack speed and dot multi suffix (maybe when Harvest is back lol)
- OMEGALUL currency: Corrupted rare with +1 projectile and double corrupted Saviour with with phys damage/attack speed
- Life + resists + flat phys (until Noxious Strikes)
- Ungil's Harmony - 1-2c (This is basically best in slot except for multiple exalt influenced amulets and even those are just barely better)
- Impresence Chaos version 30-100c (imo not actually better than Ungil's unless you somehow go triple curse)
- Rare Evasion base with life + resists will do
- Kintsugi is a great defensive option that synergizes well with Wind Dancer keystone and can be farmed via Prophecy
- Belly of the Beast if you need more life (colors can be a bit tricky)
- Influenced Attack crit or Frenzy on hit + Explody chest (way out of my budget)
- Rare EV or EV/ES shield with life + resists (ideally on %spell dodge base)
- Mistwall because block is rolled after Evasion & Dodge so you're often at max block
- Replica Mistwall because Spellblock is more important as we can cover attacks well with blind
- Rare EV base with movespeed + life + resists
- Atziri's Step for dodge - 1-5c
- Replica Three-step Assault for zoom - 5-25c (Heist exclusive)
- Heavy belt with life + resists (if you need the strength)
- Stygian vise with life + resists
Nice to have
- Lord of Steel jewel with "increased use speed" - <1c (easy to get with CB immunity)
- Helmet enchant for +1 projectile or %Chance to not consume shards (expensive)
- Boot enchant "% to dodge spell damage if you've been hit by spell damage recently" (farmable)
- The Saviour instead of a shield essentially doubles your DPS and is amazing for clear, but it's not "budget" anymore and not needed
Lancing Steel - GMP - Deadly Ailments - Chain - Vicious Proj/Unbound Ailments - Vile Toxins
Whether you use Vicious Proj or Unbound Ailments is a matter of preference. During mapping you often have hundreds of poisons applied already and don't need extra duration. Additionally, the attack speed penalty from Vicious Proj is not as bad as it seems because it means you don't have to refresh Steel Shards as often. For bosses without adds you can switch Chain for Swift Affliction if you want. On bosses with adds Chain is actually better because you apply 200% more poisons
Plague Bearer - Inc AoE - (Empower)
This is actually responsible for a lot of your clear. Getting additional levels through corruption or Empower is nice, but optional
Herald of Agony
Divergent quality is nice to increase chance to poison of bleedsplosions, but not necessary
Despair - Blasphemy
Wither - Spell Totem - Multiple Totems - Increased Duration
Precision (low lvl) if you need accuracy
Dread Banner (optional) for better Steel Shard sustain
Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify
Dash - Second Wind - Steel Skin (on left click) - Increased Duration
Alternative Aura setups if you don't need accuracy
- Herald of Purity (especially anomalous version)
- Skitterbots (especially if you have access to lvl3+ Enlighten)
- Flesh and Stone / Arctic Armour (for more defense)
- Aspect of the Spider (pairs well with dual-curse Temp Chains on hit setup)
- Malevolence + Curse on Hit Despair Gloves and no Blasphemy
TLDR: Cobra Lash & Viper Strike until ~40 then switch to Lancing Steel - GMP - Deadly Ailments - Chain (or pierce if you don't like clear without Haemophilia)
Don't worry if you don't have enough sockets, links or currency. 2-3 Links instead of 3-4 will mostly do fine and you don't need stuff like guard skills
Required level in ()
Cobra Lash (1) - Volley (4) - Lesser Poison (1)
Viper Strike (1) - Lesser Poison (1) - Chance to Bleed (1)
Cobra Lash (1) - Lesser Multiple Projectiles (8) - Lesser Poison (1) - Unbound Ailments (8)
Viper Strike (1) Lesser Poison (1) - Deadly Ailments (18) - Unbound Ailments (8)
not really needed but pretty OP early on if you have the mana
Herald of Agony (16)
Plague Bearer (24)
Whirling Blades (10) - Faster Attacks (18)
Also pick up a Despair (24) and to level in weapon swap if you have enough intelligence. And pick up a Wither (10) & Precision (12), but put them in your stash and don't level them. You won't need the accuracy early, but maybe later.
You can drop Lesser Poison now due to poison chance from tree and make sure to do Library quest at 31. Get Vicious Projectiles and and Lancing Steel from Library to level in offhand.
Cobra Lash (1) - Lesser Multiple Projectiles (8) - Lesser Poison (1) - Unbound Ailments (8)
Viper Strike (1) - Deadly Ailments (18) - Unbound Ailments (8) - Void Manipulation (8)
Herald of Agony (16)
Dash (4) - Second Wind (31)
Wither(10) - Spell Totem (8, Library only)
Despair (24) - Blasphemy (31)
Only if you're not running Vitality
Whirling Blades (10) - Faster Attacks (18) - Fortify (31)
Drop Viper Strike & Cobra Lash and make the switch to Lancing Steel
Lancing Steel (28) - Greater Multiple Projectiles (38) - Deadly Ailments - Chain (38) // or Pierce (1) if clear feels bad for you without Haemophilia gloves
The rest of the links stay the same and you can start working towards end-game links
Leveling Gear Advice:
- Thief's Torment is best in slot until basically maps
- For gloves try to get Haemophilia asap
- For weapons use the vendor recipe Weapon + Rare Rustic Sash + Whetstone until you have the physical damage bench craft. Then either use Essence of Contempt + bench or Alt+Aug+Regal for flat phys and then bench
- Everything else is just life + resists
- Usual candidates for leveling uniques can be used, e.b. Wanderlust, Goldrim, Karui Ward, etc.
1. Noxious Strikes - this is required for the build to function
The order on the other three doesn't matter much, but I'd recommend
2. Mistwalker - for zoom and defense
3. Toxic Delivery - I used to take this last, but we lost some dmg with 3.13 and it's nice for triggering Elusive
4. Opportunistic - for defense in Maven encounter and Conquerer/Sirus DPS boost
- Kill all suggested
- Help Alira on league start or if you're worried about resist
Last edited by XxNe0xX on Jan 23, 2021, 1:43:44 AM
Last bumped on May 2, 2021, 12:47:30 AM
Poison Lancing Steel ? That's interesting. I won't have time to engage in Flashback but I'll try your build in 3.13.
My builds on the forum : The Nightblade Assassin | The Pestilent Viper Occultist | The Infused Trickster | The White Wind Raider | The Energy Blade "Jedi" Hierophant
This looks nice I'll keep the pob for now but will surely play this in 3.13. Maybe until then the build will be complete.
on Dec 23, 2020, 3:30:52 AM
Was looking for a new starter build for the 3.13, will certainly try your ;)
thx, sound good and fun
on Jan 4, 2021, 9:02:43 AM
Trying this out in Heist and it's been fun so far.
One question. Why do you take Eternal Youth? It seems to be better to unallocate it in POB.
on Jan 8, 2021, 10:01:24 AM
Hey, good question. I haven't really explained it yet. Will add that soon.
The short version is that it's a nice way to get good recovery during times you're not hitting anything (immunity phases, active dodging, lab, etc.).
Eternal Youth applies Energy Shield recharge to your life. Energy Shield recharge rate is 20% by default and it starts after 2 seconds of not taking damage. So with the Keystone we get 20% life recovery per second if we haven't taken damage in the last 2 seconds, which happens pretty frequently considering it's a ranged dodge/evasion build. I don't think PoB currently shows this effect anywhere.
The downsides of lower leech, lower life regen and no actual Energy Shield recharge don't really matter, because the build doesn't get much of any of those. It's completely optional, but I liked it and it's only 1 point.
Could you Update this for 3.13? Id love to try this (even with the Assassin nerfs).
Edit: sorry, didn't see the introduction notes.
Last edited by ManZee on Jan 12, 2021, 9:48:38 PM
Update is coming today, although it might be late in the day European time as I have to work. I haven't done full on calculations yet, but the build should still be fine even if we're losing ~15% dps. The most annoying part will be the lost movement speed, but this build is less affected by that than many other Assassin builds because you can somewhat comfortably use Whirling Blades for movement.
Nothing was changed about the mechanics or items that the build uses and having access to harvest crafting will likely cancel out the damage nerfs.