(3.16) NERFED DO NOT PLAY THIS Raider Archmage BF/BB [CHEAP, Tanky, HCSSF viable, (100m+ dps)


If you are struggling with the build. Join the discord, there are significantly more resources there including step-by-step gearing from leveling, to endgame gear with over 1,200,000 damage per blade. four configurations are available with comparisons to fit your playstyle as well.

Link : https://discord.gg/dn3GqqsE92

Thank you for all the support, I plan on keeping this guide updated as well as creating future guides featuring builds of similar or greater strength. The discord is less than a month old and we've gained 3,015 Members in that time.


Cestarix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh-JRLmp7Vw (UHC) A9 Sirus

Cestarix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybZ0O79ZkLg (UHC) Maven

Cestarix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJtKRaxHOy4 (Gauntlet) Maven

Cestarix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foqRiP2bA64 (Gauntlet) A8 Sirus

Kim Bobby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgKXdr4yREU (t16 Map)

im aika: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgVc91YPxEk (Maven)


Updates *All times in PST time zone

-Added New PoB's for staring gear, early gear, and mid game gear 04/28/2021

-Added four variants of end game PoB's with detailed explanations for each. 04/28/2021


I will continue to make updates to this guide, the majority of the information is contained within the discord which I heavily recommend you join. I will be updating the forum guide over the course of the next couple days

Path of Building

Leveling Tree and Respec https://pastebin.com/e0wKHhxe

Starter Gear (Day 1, League Start) : https://pastebin.com/Hzr1MnDH

Early Gear (75ish-90): https://pastebin.com/HgTcUqjQ

Mid Game Gear (Ready for all endgame content): https://pastebin.com/idGJ1Ydh



Wrath setup, no clusters: https://pastebin.com/PQEkJ5RR


More focus on damage, not difficult to manage mana but harder than the clarity setup (easier to manage than what most of you are playing atm) this version uses an Essence Worm, Supreme Ego, paired with a Wrath Watcher's Eye and a few other items the clarity version does not use. Keep in mind this version will be more expensive to min max than the clarity version.

Net Mana Regen -629
Phys EHP/Max Hit 891,251 / 109,008
Elemental EHP/Max Hit 1,261,771 / 155,114
Average Hit 891,893
DPS at 10 blades 53,692,008

Wrath setup, With Clusters: https://pastebin.com/B6jyhEWk


Go this version if you want to sink in a lot of currency and do A LOT of damage, you still remain quite tanky but do some absurd damage that can only be found in this version of the build. Your mana regen gets slightly better, you lose a bit of tankiness but you get over 210k damage per blade by doing this.

* Net mana Regen -544
* Phys EHP/Max Hit 817,578 / 100,651
* Elemental EHP/Max Hit 1,226,367 / 151,364
* Average Hit 1,139,188
* DPS at 10 blades 66,300,778

Clarity setup, no clusters: https://pastebin.com/N0cKipjS


The lowest damage option but the easiest to manage mana with, while sustaining Righteous Fire and Blood Rage we still manage to regenerate 1,410 mana per second. This is with Agnostic ticking every second, with this setup your mana will never be an issue again. Keep in mind while being the lowest damage option it still puts out an absurd 561,000 average hit per blade.

Net Mana Regen 1,410
Phys EHP/Max Hit 1,123,929 / 126,809
Elemental EHP/Max Hit 1,593,056 / 179,012
Average Hit 561,164
DPS at 10 blades 32,547,530

Clarity setup, with clusters: https://pastebin.com/eTwiqqyh


We drop just a bit of tankiness and net mana regen to pick up more damage here, keep in mind items stay the same between the clusters and non cluster versions, the difference comes from the clusters and some tree re-pathing.

Net Mana Regen 1,341
Phys EHP/Max Hit 1,123,929 / 126,422
Elemental EHP/Max Hit 1,582,670 / 178,416
Average Hit 725,574
DPS at 10 blades 40,632,159


Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction
*1.1 Why is this build good?
*1.2 Why this over other iterations of BFBB?
*1.3 Explanation of Defensive Layers
*1.4 Pros and Cons
*1.5 Day 1 expectations

2.0 Leveling
*2.1 Leveling Trees
*2.2 Bandits
*2.3 Ascendancy Order
*2.4 Custom Filter for League Start
*2.5 Tips and Tricks

3.0 Gems and links
*3.1 Gem links and Priority Breakdown
*3.1 Flask Breakdown
*3.1 Gearing and uniques

1.0 Introduction

(1.1) Why is this build good?

This build utilizes multiple layers of defense and offense that work together synergistically, one of the main interactions is Archmage + Mind over Matter which allows us to stack mana which directly bolsters are defenses AND offense.

(1.2)Why this over other iterations of BF/BB?

For one we have ABSURDLY high cast speed compared to all other forms of bfbb, allowing blade blast to feel a lot less clunky and making clear incredibly smooth. Here are some comparisons to the other popular iterations.

Poison Assassin Bf/BB (worst)

Poison BFBB is great in the sense where you can throw obliterations on it and go but it's damage ceiling does fall off compared to Raider Archmage BFBB. The damage is weaker but more importantly the defenses aren't even comparable, if you take a mid game assassin poison bfbb and compare it to our mid game point we offer over 20x more in Effective Hit pool and nearly 8x more in max hit taken. Poison is calculated based on hit which scales off of chaos damage and physical damage, with the nerfs to the physical damage on blade blast the poison variant got hit much harder to where it's really not even a question as to which of these two are better anymore. With Ziz's video I imagine that people will think this is better than it is, he said in the video that the nerfs DID not affect it, this is not the case. The physical damage from the gem affects the initial hit that then applies the poison.

Inquisitor Bf/BB (Okay in the right scenario)

We both share ailment immunity but we have way more layered defense, the inquisitor when pushed for damage is absurdly squsihy, even more so than the assassin in terms of EHP and unfortunately it's max hit taken isn't much better either. It does do some pretty crazy damage due to built in crit and the volcanus interaction but raider archmage can be taken to this point with some more investment. Actually getting a Volcanus will be pricey in trade and very unreliable in SSF, when you swap to Waggle's defensive iteration of inquis we do more damage while still offering WAY better defenses.

Chieftan Bf/BB (Second Worst)

Chieftain can get very high physical mitigation, but can struggle at acquiring a decent elemental EHP. Defensively we are better balanced and offer better boss sustain than Chieftain especially with the immortal ambition nerfs. Chieftain also deals significantly less damage compared to us, our day 1 tabula setup can out damage a chieftain in near GG endgame gear. I would really never pick this build for any reason over raider archmage bf/bb.


(1.3) Explanation of Defensive Layers

1.) Wind Dancer- You'll be sitting at a pretty high evasion rating, this adds an additional 20% reduction to damage taken if you haven't been hit recently (great for bosses) and 20% increased evasion rating if you have (great for shotguns/maps)

2.) MoM/Agnostic- Primal Spirit, Druidic right, and Arcane Chemistry give you some insanely strong mana flask buffs as well as regen. Paired with MoM and Agnostic this build get's some absurd regen while being able to sustain it's mana quite well

3.) Evasion/Dodge- Great tools that synergize with the build while offering more EHP and safer mapping

4.) Fortify/Enduring Cry/charges- Fortify is incredibly strong and when added to the build does a great job at working with wind dancer and your 11k+ HP/MoM pool to prevent deadly one shots

5.) Avatar of the Chase- an absurdly strong ascendancy passive that gives us 35% chance more to evade attacks/projectiles during onslaught, which we have permanently and at 100% increased effect

6.) Avatar of the Veil- Ailment immunity (massive), also debuffing nearby enemies with 20% less accuracy while phasing. Raider also get's perma phasing with Quartz infusion.

7.) Replica Mistwall- This is a gg item that turns this build from insanely tanky to nearly immortal. This shield gives us everything we could possibly need, solid evasion, 12% chance to avoid physical hits while phasing (which is up 100% of the time),
10% move speed and the biggest one we are spell blocked CAPPED if we have not blocked recently, which allows us to block dangerous spells quite reliably.

8.) Speed, it's Hiero counterpart struggles with cast speed and move speed, this build solves those with 100% inc onslaught and massive move speed in general.

9.) Arcane Cloak- With mana stacking AM you get a HUGE Arcane Cloak offering 4-5k in guard

Not only does raider have very strong defensive layers, they work very synergistically offensively. Most notably the MoM + Agnostic + Archmage combo w/ Mana scaling makes mana a very valuable offensive and defensive stat. One of my favorite
things about this build is that it ZOOMS with an easily obtainable 190-210% movement speed modifier.


(1.4) Pros and Cons

-Can do all endgame content on a budget
-Fast clear, with incredibly high movement speed
-Evasion build without the risk of being one shot
-Infinite scaling opportunities for those that play trade
-Phys reflect is doable if you're careful due to all our damage being lightning
-Very strong boss sustain
-Ailment immune baseline
-Perma phasing and onslaught with increased effects

-Cannot do ele reflect
-Two button damage (BF/BB), piano build
-Arcane Cloak is a form of active mitigation that you have to use smartly

(1.5) Day 1 Expectations

You will feel a bit weak on day 1 of the build, before you get a decent mana pool you won't have agnostic and your damage may feel lacking until you get a sceptre with over 100 mana. Once this build goes online end of day 1/ early day 2 you will crush content with ease, this point is typically when you're at around 5k to 6k mana.

It is also VERY important that you don't over-spam your blade fall on bosses and that you're letting your detonations go off with blade blast, as it can net in damage loss. As gear progresses this becomes irrelevant because you do crazy damage either way.

If you're playing this in HC like any build, be cautious while leveling. Your defenses won't be properly setup until you make the swap to AM. Be patient on day 1, play smartly and this build will carry you incredibly far.

2.0 Leveling and Gem Links

(2.1) Gems and Links


2L or 3L Caustic Arrow + Pierce + Added Cold [GGG]

1L Puncture (for single target, this shreds)

1L Dash [G]


3L Lightning Trap + ((Multiple Traps (Swift Assembly for Single Target)) + Trap and Mine Damage (Added Cold till you kill weaver A2) [BGG]

Bear Trap [G]

Smoke Mine [G]

Conductivity [B]

Skitterbots [B]

Frostblink or Dash [B] or [G]

((28-70ish (up until AM Respec))

4L Lightning Trap + ((Multiple Traps (Swift Assembly for Single Target)) + Controlled Destruction + Ele Focus (OR Trap and Mine Damage) [BBBG] or [BBGG] *Need Library for Controlled Destruction and Ele Focus*

3L Flame Dash + Arcane Surge + Onslaught [BBG]

Bear Trap [G]

Smoke Mine [G]

Conductivity [B]

Skitterbots [B]

Flesh and Stone [R] *NERFED but still usable*

Vitality [R] *NERFED but still usable*


2.2 Leveling Passive Trees (coming soon, already in PoB)

(2.3) Bandits

Kill All, even on league start.


(2.4) Ascendancy Order

Rapid Assault> Quartz Infusion> Avatar of the Veil> Avatar of the Chase


(2.5) Customer Filterblade

This is mainly for early leveling. it highlights early 3L's and 4L's for you up to 65



2.6 Tips and Tricks (Coming Soon)

3.0 End Game Gem Links, Gear and Flasks

(3.1) Gem Links and Priority Breakdown

Below you will see some of our utility setups, they are tiered in a priority list. The higher up the list they are, the less you should mess with them.

Blade Fall and Blade Blast

Bladeblast- Archmage, Lightning Penetration, Intensify, Elemental Focus, Controlled Destruction

Bladefall- Spell Cascade, Unleash, Faster Casting (Concentrated Effect once you get fast casting gloves)

Priority #1 Arcane Cloak Setup- 4L

This is arguably your most important utility setup, it literally doubles your physical damage mitigation. Keep in mind this is an active guard skill, using this properly means life or death. If you do get hit outside of it
You're most likely safe, with it up you can tank things like shaper slam, uber atziri spear, etc. This doesn't belong on left click, don't treat it like steelskin*

Level 20 Arcane Cloak (WORTH CORRUPTING TO 21/23)

Level 20 Arcane Surge ((WORTH CORRUPTING TO 21/23)

Level 20 Increased Duration

Level 20 Second Wind


Priority #2 Fortify Setup- 3L

Second most important and needs to be kept up at all times, you can gain this through general's cry/vigilant strike/desecrate or Vigilant Strike/Ancestral Call/Faster Attacks either works. I find the general's cry route safer
but more clunky*

Level 8-20 General's Cry (Level 8 is the highest it can go before strength requirement begins to go up, this will make the warcry slower thus adding more clunk. I would suggest just getting the 155 strength)

Level 20 Vigilant Strike (WORTH CORRUPTING TO 21/23 AS OF 3.14)

Level 20 Desecrate


Priority #3 Sigil of Power/ Flame dash- 4L

Adds about 600k DPS at 10 blades to this heavily undergeared raider which is a 14% increase.

Level 20 Flame dash

Level 20 Second Wind

Level 20 Sigil of Power (WORTH CORRUPTING TO 21/23)

Level 20 Increased effect of AoE


Priority #4 Wrath (Supreme Ego & Essence Wurm)- 1L

Around an 8-11% Damage Increase. It needs to be placed into an essense wurm, once you get it allocate SUPREME EGO on your passive tree.

This is one of your most important early chase items. Eventually it can be dropped for a GG cerulean/vermillion ring with a clarity watcher's eye for more mana regen and tankiness


Priority #5 Conductivity + Other Utility- 3L (Pick 3 Gems)

Level 20 Conductivity (WORTH CORRUPTING TO 21/23) This can letter be dropped after obtaining a conductivity on hit ring

Now Here, you have some options.

Level 20 Vaal Righteous Fire [Was nerfed, still decent for burst damage]

Level 20 Enduring Cry with or without Second Wind [Great before you have minimum endurance charge crafts, adds 12% additional physical damage reduction]

Level 20 Tempest Shield [Decent option to get some more block, work's well with Rumi's]

Level 20 Vaal Grace [Huge defensive boost being that we aren't dodge capped naturally]

Level 20 Smoke Mine
Last edited by ChemistHCSSF on Nov 19, 2021, 10:01:11 PM
Last bumped on Oct 20, 2021, 9:39:30 AM
3.2 Gearing (Coming soon, TLDR at beginning on what you want to prioritize)

(3.3) Flasks Breakdown

Early Game Setup (We are ailment immune with Avatar of the Veil, remember this)

* Enduring Mana Flask of X (I prefer Warding)
* Seething Divine Flask of Staunching
* Chemist's Basalt Flask of X
* Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
* Quartz Flask of X (I like Alchemists)

Mid Game Setup (NEED lots of mana regen to support agnostic as your only form of life regen)

* Enduring Mana Flask of X
* Chemists Basalt Flask of Staunching
* Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
* Quartz Flask of X
* Jade Flask of X (ideally reflexes or staunching)

End Game (My preferred)

* Enduring Mana Flask of X
* Rumi's Concoction
* Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
* Quartz Flask of X
* Taste of hate

Unique Flasks Explained (Pick two in order of favorite to least favorite)

Rumi's Concoction- great for getting some block, paired with our dodge this skyrockets our EHP and is great for ultimatums. Keep in mind, dropping a Basalt for this can lead to a lower capable "max hit taken"

Taste of Hate- Purely used for it's defensive capibility, phys is enemy number 1 for this build and Taste of Hate does an amazing job at mitigating this by converting some of the phys taken into cold

Wise Oak- You need to balance your resists, very solid offensive and defensive option for the build

Kiara's Determination- Underated anti curse/stun flask, very good in ultimatums as you essentially become stun immune.

Atziri's Promise- Decent damage boost, you won't take advantage of the leech often sadly due to agnostic. Not a bad item super early though before you spec agnostic or it really gets rolling



Where do we put fortify?

Look at the end game tree, you'll see it in the 8% mana nodes near scion

When do we go Agnostic?

After you anoint mind drinker and have 4k+ mana, ideally have some regen on gear and a 20% qual enduring mana flask.

Why do we have negative mana regen in the PoB?

Agnostic is active, it's only ticking when you take damage.

Why Lightning Trap?

We essentially would have two alternatives, Toxic Rain Mines and Toxic Rain Self Cast. Mixed with the nerfs to toxic rain, and the fact that lightning trap scales more naturally with our tree I found Lightning Trap to be the best. My fastest a10 run with lighting trap was 4:26:11 and I had no issues killing act bosses.

What about going crit eventually?

In a softcore setting I could see the desire to go crit, in all honesty the build has more than enough damage without needing to go crit but I do plan on making a crit version soon, I would not recommend the crit version over this iteration as a LEAGUE STARTER though.

Why no clusters?

For mana builds it's typically more efficient to pick up easily accessible mana nodes rather than investing the travel points for clusters. You can certainly use them, just keep in mind they're unneeded. In the GG setup I'm working on we do use scintillating mind clusters.

Do we still run Wave of Conviction?

No, Avatar of the veil gives us -20% exposure so using Wave of Conviction provides no benefit. This also allows us to drop arcanist brand and run vaal grace/righteous fire

Petrified Blood

Don't try to throw it on this build, it won't work.

I keep dying

You have to play safely until your defensives start rolling, to achieve this

1. SETUP your Arcane Cloak and Arcane surge 4L IMMEDIATELY upon respecing to archmage

2. Make sure Mind Drinker is annointed, you can craft a very good mana amulet by slamming a blue pearl or paula with an essence of misery. This should be done well before t5 maps. The anoint is cheap, 1 verdant and 2 teals

3. Make sure your mana is at 4k+ and allocate agnostic the second you get mind drinker/have okay mana regen

4. Run enduring cry or craft +1 minimum endurance charges on ammy and both rings

5. Setup Sigil of Power, when inside at max stages it grants you 17% damage reduction which is huge

6. Have fortify setup via ancestral call + faster attacks + Vigilant Strike or general's cry + desecrate + vigilant Strike (note you need vigil for the general's cry setup and it's a big QoL to have for the ancestral call setup as well)

7. Run a shield with spell block, on a evasion/energy shield base. Stat prio for early shield should be spell block> spell damage> mana or life> cast speed

8.) Quality all of your flasks, read the flasks section above for more details on what to run. It's very important you have a "Chemist's Basalt Flask" because it allows you to use the flask twice rather than once.

9.) Make sure you have mana rolls on your weapons

I do no damage

The build can be zdps in the early stages, make sure you're leveling archmage, controlled destruction and intensify well before you swap to the the AM build. Archmage>Ele Focus>Controlled Destruction>Intensify>Blade Blast is gem quality order. Make sure you have mana on your gear especially weapons or weapon/shield as well as some spell damage. For bosses make sure you're using sigil and cursing with conductivity.

Last edited by ChemistHCSSF on Apr 19, 2021, 7:02:41 PM
Final Form of Raider BFBB PoB

Endgame PoB: https://pastebin.com/guJyA2kA

This is the true GG version of Raider Archmage BFBB, this isn't cheap but if you want to seriously scale the build to the point of insanity this is how you do it.

What did we change?

1.) Jewels, Clusters and a Wrath Watcher's Eye

1A.) Jewels

By adding a clear mind, healthy mind (up near cruel preparation) and a thread of hope we open up frenzy charges through picking up overcharged with thread of hope, more mana and more mana regen through healthy/clear mind to smooth out the build with the added benefit of spell damage. These jewels aren't too expensive and if you can get one with a lightning pen corruption that's ideal.

1B.) Clusters

We pick up a scintillating idea large cluster with storm drinker for lightning pen (pen is a reoccurring theme for scaling) as well as Doryani's Lesson for some leech and added ele damage.

For our Medium cluster we actually grab a curse cluster with evil eye as the #1 priority followed by tempt the storm for cast speed and conductivity inc effect.

For our Small Clusters we run 2 scintillating ideas to stack mana as high as possible.

1C.) Watcher's Eye

A wrath watcher's eye can push this build VERY hard, this would be my first choice at an upgrade on trade. 60% increased lightning damage while effected by wrath> Damage Penetrates 15% lightning resistance> and 1.5% lightning damage leeched as mana. You can actually swap from a mind drinker annoint to arcane capacitor because of how absurdly strong the leech effect is with the wrath watcher's eye. Keep in mind you don't need a tri-wrath roll just one or two will certainly do.

2.) Items

2A.) Scepters

This hasn't changed much, pick up a massive spell damage and mana roll. For the wealthy getting one with a lightning damage suffix and some cast speed is very strong. I like to solve strength needs on my scepters as well if possible.

2B.) Helmet

Crown of the inward Eye with a Blade Blast inc AoE effect, shouldn't be too expensive as this build isn't currently meta but it is picking up in popularity so get it ASAP.

2C.) Body

Cloak of Defiance quickly becomes BiS the higher your mana goes, we use this once we have our clusters setup. For a corruption the uber rich want to pursue look for flat increased damage.

2D.) Gloves

Shaper faster casting gloves open up the use of conc effect on bladefall and is one of my favorite items to get early, ideally you get solid life and mana rolls on them and some resists. For those looking to min max pick up flat cast speed on them as well.

2E.) Boots

Incursion boots with % maximum mana and flat mana roll are BiS. Mod priority is as follows: Incursion % mana mod (comes with flat) > Movement Speed > Life > Resists > +1 intelligence gems for arcane cloak/surge (VERY EXPENSIVE)

2F.) Amulet

Big priority here, a blue pearl (ideally but not needed) Crusader Amulet with a priority of Damage Penetrates 10% Lightning Resistance > Mana > Life > Mana Regen > Chance to block spell damage

2G.) Rings

Essence Wurm with wrath aura effect corruption gives a solid boost but is not needed, very nice to have though so if you can pick one up for cheap do it

Crusader Ring on a Cerulean base with conductivity on hit is what is important here, after that prioritize a mana/life roll and for the very wealthy lightning damage> spell damage> cast speed

2H.) Belt (Hunter Stygian with Abyss)

A hunter stygian vise is very good for boosting our life, get the life % with flat life> mana> Resists> elemental damage and for the very wealthy cast speed on flask use.

For the Jewel a simple flat mana/life roll is nice, it's important you get corrupting blood immune somewhere and this is probably the best spot to do so. I'll go into detail why the corrupted blood immunity is so important.

2I.) Flasks

A wise Oak - with balanced resistances is a very nice boost to damage and survivability

Rumi's Concoction - acts as a great defense layer pushing our preventative even further

Taste of hate - is more so for the defensive aspect as it gives us phys to cold damage taken which can save you in dangerous shotgun situations or boss slams

Enduring Eternal Mana Flask - You can get rid of this, it's with you until the end. Staunching effect or warding is recommended

Atziri's Promise - I like a defensive option here but one cannot deny the damage this flask brings on a budget

For other flasks options read above, this is for optimal damage without gutting your tankiness too badly.

A quick note on corrupted blood, the jewel is very important because if a tanky rare mob is inflicting it on you you'll find yourself in a very precarious position of being unable to kill him due to being out of mana and VERY susceptible to getting one shot especially against a sirus mob due to not having mana. If you do not have a corrupting blood jewel an easy band-aid is rolling your enduring eternal mana flask to staunching and having warding elsewhere until you get a corrupting blood jewel.

Last edited by ChemistHCSSF on Apr 24, 2021, 2:22:51 AM
Just a heads up, the Youtube link is broken. Looking to play this in Ultimatum, been interested since Cestarix's run in Gauntlet.
Kaysick wrote:
Just a heads up, the Youtube link is broken. Looking to play this in Ultimatum, been interested since Cestarix's run in Gauntlet.

Thanks for the heads up, fixed the link!

Also yeah it's a lot of fun, didn't play it during gauntlet sadly but messed around with it limit testing in ssf and hcssf, build is really good.
What is the best way to level this before getting BF?
2160p wrote:
What is the best way to level this before getting BF?

Thats already in the PoB, Lightning Trap. Trees and all.
Thanks for writing a guide for this, I guess a lot of us watched Cestarix's videos from the gauntlet and wanted to play this.

How clunky is Lightning Trap for leveling through acts? (I haven't played traps since 3.3)
Wouldn't it be better and faster to stay with CA (and/or TR) until you can respec to Archmage?

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