[3.15] Donkster5' The Bright Knight - VLS Champ. SSF/HC, Leaguestarter. NO HATEFORGE. Buffed by 3.15

Want a tanky fast mapper that works in SSF or leaguestart? Want your first level 90 in SSFHC?

Perfect, this build is for you!

Build Achievements!

Lvl 91 SSFHC on a 5-link
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Maven Down
Uber Elder Down
The Twisted Down Deathless
The Formed Down Deathless
100% Delirious T16 Full Clear Deathless
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VIDEOS:
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3.14 Videos:

Juicy T16 Flask with Flasks https://youtu.be/uumr8B8MIcI
Juicy T16 Flaskless https://youtu.be/Vw9B51o0Pnk
T16 100% Delirious Deathless Highlights https://youtu.be/sFyehfG0ilk
The Formed - Facetank https://youtu.be/52dMJeIpCrQ
The Twisted - Facetank https://youtu.be/fSRseGroWdc

SSFHC T15 with 5-Link https://youtu.be/xHHh0ZUzn-U

======================================================================================My Build/Guide Philosopy:
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1. Honesty, I will tell you what's good/not so good about it

2. Tanky, as I don't like dying/play HC often

3. Not min/maxed, so there is room to make it yours/better

4. Level 95, as that is the max lvl most people/I will take a build

5. Budget friendly, if not, see number 1.

6. I have played it and liked playing it (If new skill, I'll clearly state the theory)
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TWITCH: https://www.twitch.tv/donkster5
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YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuj3BS84vTI7xeNVnlkjAmg
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DISCORD: https://discord.gg/zrBt26EmBe I'm active here! Feel free to ask questions
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My Other Build: The Toxic Tank https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3078246
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V 3.15.02
3.15 Changes:

7/26 - New PoB: https://pastebin.com/2AG2PEdd Defiance Banner now recognized in PoB so replaces the placeholder of War Banner.

Minor leveling update (7/24): The flask charge nerf has made getting the claw mana leech claw node (Soul Raker) early more important. As such, I recommend rushing that before getting the dodge nodes or going for rampart. Rush soul raker and replace Lifetap with Trinity with Anger and Herald of ice on, and It starts to melt stuff pretty good. I’ve updated the PoB with a level 40 tree.

I forgot the most important one from patchnotes: “Lightning Arrow and Lightning Strike have brand new effects.

This is a buff!!!!

So, real talk... we actually got buffed. DPS-wise, it's in the range of 10%. Plus, we got faster and nearly ele ailment immune. Finally, as a result of the LS gem changes, this should be stronger while leveling. So, basically, it's perfect as a league-starter. No, mana is not a concern for this build. Mana cost went from 16 per cast to 20 according to PoB. I tested in game by swapping out Inspiration for something else and even with a mana cost of 30, it wasn't a problem.

Other Changes:
1. Steelskin is my new favorite gaurd skill with CWDT
2. 100% freeze/chill immunity is baked in, and full ele immunity is doable with a little effort.
3. Removed Marked for death in favor of chasing ele immunity.
4. Flask Rework
5. Inspirational in as an ascendancy choice
6. New Gems - Phase Run, Defiance Banner.
7. Late edit 7/23: Slight change to HC Tree for Enduring Cry - new PoB

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What should you expect from this build?

First off, a ton of credit for this build goes to Nugi, Cutedog, and the other creators of Lightning Strike builds during Ultimatum.

Just like my other build, This build is a TANK.

It is fully SSF, HC, and League Start capable. I reached level 91 SSFHC on a single try with a 5-link never having played it before and working out a lot of kinks.

It utilizes the Champion ascendancy to stack permanent Fortify with 35% extra attack speed and stun immunity, intimidate with adrenaline and a free 25% automatic life boost when you hit low-life, the Winddancer passive for a straight 20% damage reduction, Withering Step for elusive, and evasion and dodge to make most things miss. Natural Mana and Life Regen with claws means you can run 5 utility flasks. Add in 50%+ elemental ailment avoidance and self cast enduring cry for extra regen.

With mediocre SSF gear you can farm T16 maps. With great gear you can farm 100% Delirious maps and do bosses (just not UA). With a level 92 Champ, I died once to Shaper and UE due to my own poor mechanics, The Formed and The Twisted were a joke, and Maven went down with a portal left (I haven't done that fight enough to be good at it). There is room to Min/Max it much more if you enjoy the playstyle.
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1) PROS
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+TANKY
+Facetank most things
+SSF viable
+HC viable
+League starter
+Good Mapper
+No uniques required
+No need for life or mana flasks
+Flaskless Mapping (Perhaps Not in HC)


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2) CONS
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-No elemental reflect maps
-No "No Leech" Maps due to Mana
-Self cast enduring cry
-Moderately expensive to Min/Max
-Probably slower than Raider


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3) Keys to the Build
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A. At least +1 to Strike Nearby Enemies (Use Ancestral Call until you get it - Path into/Allocate Tribal Fury or ilvl 80+ Hunter Gloves)

B. At least +1 to Pierce (More pierce makes mapping better but does not help with bosses)

C. Assassin's Mark on Hit (ilvl 80+ Shaper Ring)

D. Stack Defenses including permanent fortify

E. Standing just far enough away from bosses (2X LS dmg)


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4) Skill Tree Progression / Path of Building / Ascendancy / Bandits / Pantheon / Allocation
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Path of building:https://pastebin.com/2AG2PEdd Updated 7/26 - Defiance Banner

Leveling trees are in the POB. I suggest dual wielding until you have at least completed the second lab. There is no natural breakpoint, so just switch whenever.

Grab early melee skill of choice until LS is available around level 12 (just when you enter Merveil's caverns). You can utilize the skill from then on while trying to get a Vaal Lightning Strike. Once you have a Vaal Lightning Strike switch immediately.

Ascendancy: Unstoppable Hero, Fortitude, Inspirational, First to Stike/Last to Fall

Bandits: Kill All or take Alira and respec when ready

Pantheon: Your Choice... I take Solaris or Lunaris for Major and Garukhan (Movement Speed) for Minor

Allocation: Cheap: Elemental Focus / Medium: Panopticon or Sleight of Hand / Endgame: Claws of the Falcon or Tenacity

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5) Early Leveling Gear / Skills
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Lightning Strike 3L: (V) Lightning Strike - Ancestral Call - Lifetap

Lightning Strike 4L: (V) Lightning Strike - Ancestral Call - Fortify - Lifetap then Trinity (Make sure Trinity is building max resonance, but it should be with Anger and Herald of Ice on)

Switch out of Lifetap when you have an enduring mana flask or the mana leech claw node (Soul Raker).
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Any high attack speed melee weapon(s) with elemental dps will do at the beginning. With Lifetap, I recommend at least one high speed life sustaining claw, like an Awl. Switch to all Claws by the time you take claw nodes (~lvl 40)

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6) My Actual Gear / End-Game Skills
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Uber Lab enchant: Lightning Strike deals 40% increased Damage or LS +3 Pierce, Ancestral Protector grants +% Attack Speed

Really Good Gear:
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WEAPON:
Lvl 82 Imperial Claw with T1 Lightning, T1-4 Fire and/or Cold, T1 or T2 Attack Speed, +Crit Chance or open Suffix to craft it. Other nice things are Crit Multi, + Elemental Dmg with Attacks, or crafting on Penetrates Ele Resistance (Prefix). The shown claw is self crafted using about 100 Chaos to Spam it, a YOLO Annul to remove +Mana and Multimodding. In a normal setting it probably costs 5-7 Ex to craft something similar.

SHIELD:
Supreme Spiked Shield for 4% Spell Dodge

CHEST:
Farrul's Fur for charge generation. Replica is fine just requires socketing Power Charge on Crit into Static Strike and forgoing Wave of Conviction

HELMET:
Lvl 80+ Crusader Helmet prioritizes defense by giving added Fortify effect. Blizzard Crown is BIS but likely requires using a Crusader Exalt.

GLOVES:
Lvl 80+ Hunter for Strike Skills target 1 additional enemy. Gripped Gloves are BIS

BOOTS:
Lvl 75+ Hunter Boots for Tailwind. Extra Credit if you Awakener Orb it with Lvl 81+ Shaper Boots to get 31-35% Ele Avoidance as well.

RINGS:
Lvl 80+ Shaper Ring for Assassin's Mark on Hit, Mark of the Elder Steel Ring.

OTHER STUFF:


My SSFHC Gear (Lvl 90)
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WEAPON: Crafted over it, but it was Lvl 82 Imperial Claw with T1 Lightning, T-5 Fire and Cold, T5 Crit Chance, Crafted AS




GEMS
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6L: Vaal Lightning Strike - Trinity - (A) Elemental Damage with Attacks - Nightblade - (A) Added Lightning Damage - Ancestral Call until you've gotten +1 Strike, then Inspiration

4L: Enlighten - Anger - Precision - Herald of Ice

4L: Static Strike - Rage - Cast on Critical Strike - Wave of Conviction If you have a Farrul's. Sub Frenzy - Power Charge on Critical in place of CoCS and WoC until then. Or, choose your favorite form of getting Frenzy and Power Charges.

3L: Ancestral Protector - Blind - Culling Strike

2L: CWDT - Steelskin

Others to Slot where/if you can: Enduring Cry for HC Only, Smoke Mine, Phase Run, Defiance banner

Conductivity until you get a Shaper Ring with Assassin's Mark on Hit (Early on, pair it with OoS, Hextouch, and PCoCS for auto-curse and charge generation with one cast)

If you have a Farrul's and want 100% charge uptime, put Less Duration on item with Aspect of the Cat.

JEWELS
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No Unique Jewels Required! Prioritize Life, Attack Speed, and Crit Chance/Multi.

Get anything with Corrupted Blood for endgame.

Watcher’s Eye: Not mandatory, but focus on Crit Multi if you can. Anger or Precision.

Lethal Pride for Fortify Stacking - Doesn't matter which version. You can Divine them and re-test after each one to see how much Fortify you got.

This one has 30% (40% but I don't path into it) to Fortify and 5% Phys taken as fire dmg.
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No Cluster Jewels needed


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7) Flasks
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This build doesn't have to use a life or Mana flask as you have great regen from the Claws and FtS/LtF for a free panicked flask on low life. Therefore, use up to five Utility Flasks. 3.15 Flask rework is in.

For SSF, I suggest something like this:


For Trade, add this:


If playing HC, feel free to slot in a panicked flask and/or Granite/Other Defense Flask should that be desired.



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8) Hardcore Viable or not?

YES! SSF/HC Viable. Much more of a mapping build in SSF.
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9) You're rich
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Awakened gems
Watcher’s Eye - Anger/Precision Crit Multi!
6-link Farrul's Fur or Replica
Bottled Faith

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FAQ

1. How do you use Static Strike? Why?
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Static Strike is a really great utility skill for melee builds. It synergizes especially well with LS as the damage scales appropriately. Rage grows with any melee hit after the process has started, therefore it grows when LS hits melee. However, rage is not the only thing we're getting with Static Strike. The way Static Strike works is that you just tap it every few seconds. It melee hits and then sends "beams" out for a few seconds afterwards that also hit. In the endgame setup any of those beams or the initial hit can crit, which sends out WoC or gives a powercharge, depending on your gem setup. You could also use it to cast a curse with Hextouch. It is basically the OoS of melee.

2. How do you gain Rage for bosses?
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Slot a super fast attack speed sword in your offhand. Put in Chainhook and Hydrosphere and weapon switch before and during the phases of the boss. Cast Hydrosphere and Chainhook away

3. Why no Enduring Cry for SC?
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I found myself not using it as a selfcast as the build is really tanky without it and you steal endurance charges while mapping quite regularly. It is really only need while bossing, and even then only in specific situations.
~Donkster5
Last edited by Donkster5 on Jul 26, 2021, 9:43:40 AM
Last bumped on Aug 4, 2021, 9:44:54 AM
Nice build dude! Nice to see someone building a Non-Hateforge VLS :)! Cheers!
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tacata69 wrote:
Nice build dude! Nice to see someone building a Non-Hateforge VLS :)! Cheers!


Thanks Tacata69, I like your FB work. I've wondered how much interplay there is between FB and LS. Hydrosphere doesn't really work very well with LS from what I can tell, but that's okay as you can still double dip by standing close enough.
~Donkster5
Looks great, going to league start this for 3.15 as long as no crazy nerfs to lightning strike! Thanks for posting it.
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Looks great, going to league start this for 3.15 as long as no crazy nerfs to lightning strike! Thanks for posting it.


That’s great! I think it’s an extremely good league starter, especially if you don’t like dying. I might leaguestart with it too, depending on the new skills, etc. I might try my hand at creating a build with one of the new skills, but will league start with this if it requires some uniques or investment.

Yeah, we’ll see what the big meta shift is later. The only thing I can foresee happening to this build would be a major champion nerf. VLS is non-meta except for hateforge version.
~Donkster5
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Donkster5 wrote:
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Looks great, going to league start this for 3.15 as long as no crazy nerfs to lightning strike! Thanks for posting it.


That’s great! I think it’s an extremely good league starter, especially if you don’t like dying. I might leaguestart with it too, depending on the new skills, etc. I might try my hand at creating a build with one of the new skills, but will league start with this if it requires some uniques or investment.

Yeah, we’ll see what the big meta shift is later. The only thing I can foresee happening to this build would be a major champion nerf. VLS is non-meta except for hateforge version.


Great work brother !

I love tanks ! I have played jugg and glad

I love this cause of acro+phase acro+ wind dancet+withering step i never thought build tabk like this

Man i would love play this ....

Lets all pray they not nerf fortitude to the ground and i might actually give this a go

Im not woried a bit for VLS im worried for fort stacking

Great work respect from me

George
One Q only

Can you explain how you use static strike?
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eldest-bike4 wrote:
One Q only

Can you explain how you use static strike?


Put it on an action key and hit it once every few seconds. It has an initial hit and then sends out “beams” for a few seconds that also hit. it starts the rage generation process and LS keeps it going. It also procs wave of conviction for -15% lightning resistance in the final setup. It’s pretty much an insta-cast so feels pretty smooth. You can hold it down against less dangerous mobs to generate rage faster. It still kills things, just slower.
~Donkster5
Been looking for an interesting starter this seems a ton of fun to blast through the early atlas honestly. Like you mentioned though I'm worried for a Champ nerf and defensive layers gutting as well lol, hope not though.
Where is the +1 pierce coming from?

Never mind I found it, it is crafted on your helmet!

Looks like a fun build and I was looking for something exactly like this, Thank you!
Last edited by Nizreb915 on Jul 18, 2021, 12:52:00 PM

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