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Witch Decay (Stormburst) for 3.16

Regarding 3.16:
Occultist is the way. Lots of free chaos damage over time and the duration nodes. The build is levelling smooth and rolling right over Sirus.
However, I will not recommend playing a channeled skill in this league. The league mechanic forces you into a lot of defenses. Do not focus on damage.
I am enjoying the build enough that it will likely be my only build this league, but you have to be comfortable with moving quickly and channeling very short bursts.


To everyone who offered advice and discussed the build with me: Thank you very much, I could not have pushed it this far alone. Only through your help I managed to further improve this build a LOT.

Overview:

It is very cheap to get this build working and it costs around 2 exalted orbs worth of gear to beat Sirus A4. However, to get it to beat Uber Atziri, Simulacrum (2 places where channeled abilities are not ideal), or Maven A8 consistently, I invested an overall of ~12 ex.
My necromancer currently takes 5-10 seconds per endgame boss phase.
The build can be pushed a lot further, judging from our PoB experiments in this thread, but the league is ending and I will probably start over and try to make ES occultist work.
One word of warning: The build works nicely as a leaguestarter, but not on day 1, because it requires alternate quality gems that are not freely available until some time within the first week. It also requires you to level Enhance, which naturally takes a while.

Content:
1. Introduction
2. Costs
3. Video
4. Explanation how we deal damage
5. Ascendency
6. Defenses
7. Final Words




1. Introduction:

Thid build uses Decay Support as its main source of damage.
It does so by utilizing the "more damage" mechanic of Storm Burst: For every 0.4 seconds duration we get 75% more damage. This can currently go up to 1200% more damage.
(This discovery is old, but a rather recent and well done explanation can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkxpbzelT-M by Neato. His approach with cluster jewels is not functional anymore.)

I will add a PoB link, but it is rather useless since PoB can not calculate the interaction of Decay + Storm Burst correctly without quite some time investment and trickery.
This trickery would make the whole build look fake, so I apologize for not putting it here right away.




2. Costs (in league):

To get to T14 farming and reach level 100: a couple of chaos orbs, 5 link is enough. It really shines at low budget, focus on defenses.

To get to comfortable T16 farming: About 2 exalts for a 6 link with a few useful and underappreciated mods like + quality of socketed gems.

To get comfortable with low level bossing (Atziri, Catharina, Breaches): 4 ex are plenty. You probably want an annointment (Corruption or Hunter's Gambit), a few cheap and easily rolled cluster jewels (misery everlasting!) and you can start looking for a cheap cane of Kulemakk (not included in budget).

To get comfortable with medium level bossing (A4 Sirius): Getting decay to about 6 seconds. This is easiest with Necromancer, but quite doable as Trickster and if you can do it with Occultist you are set.

To get comfortable with high level bossing (Maven): Transcendent mind, Watcher's Eye... plan for ~10 Ex overall.
The build can be taken a lot further, but I am pretty happy with beating all bosses consistently.

I do not advice trying The Feared, but if you manage to hit them all with Decay before you die, then the 1 minute Decay will do quite some damage and 6 portals may be enough.



3. Video:
A quick (4 minutes) T16 run (about 6-8 exalted orbs invested): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1171823860




4. Explanation how we deal damage:

We link Anomalous Decay Support, Increased Duration, Anomalous Efficacy, Void Manipulation, Anomalous Storm Burst and Enhance in a Cane of Kulemak that has at least +3 level of socketed support gems and about +14 quality to socketed support gems.
You can get +quality of socketed gems on armour, but the level of socketed gems is a lot harder.
Cane of Kulemak can also get +chaos damage over time multiplier and +chaos damage and duration. But getting all of that is 20+ Ex, so do not get your hopes up. I certianly don't.

I like going Supreme Ego with Malevolence, but you do not have to.

What damage can you expect? It is hard to say since PoB does not work well with this build, but I'd say it is higher than a Caustic Arrow build at the budget I am playing at (~10 Ex).




5. Ascendency Discussion:

Necromancer (recommended as league starter)
a) Easy general damage scaling through minion damage and spiritual aid.
b) 40% increased skill effect duration
c) Free shock/chill
Trickster
a) 20% increased skill effect duration
b) Generating frenzy charges
c) Harness the Void may become useful in future patches, but for now void manipulation blocks it.
Occultist
a)More damage multipliers than Necromancer, but less duration.
b)Stronger curse
c)Really nice defenses



6. Defenses:
Probably not ideal, but I personally like it a lot: Life and Armour based, Eternal Youth and Brittle Barrier with 0 Energy Shield. This removes the downside of Brittle Barrier and gives Life Recharge after <1 second. You can add Wicked Ward, but I found it mostly unnecessary.
ES based is possible. I would go for a +10 quality of socketed gems chest with ES, because then you can use a shield.
Attack Dodge in Acrobatics is going away, so this option will probably be bad in the future, but I have tried it and it went well, even with ward..

The build is very flexible, but if you really want to go nuts, you can use a string of servitude with increased skill effect duration and elder boots with 15% skill effect duration.


Final Word:
I have spent quite some time into the theory behind this build and it turned out well enough to beat the game.
I believe that there is a lot more potantial in this build, so I would appreciate any feedback and ideas you have for me.

I especially consider combining it with Caustic Arrow or Death's Oath or any DoT skill; or putting more emphasis on the Storm Burst part of the damage, especially with the Shadow starting location. 1200% more damage has quite the shock potential.


Thank you for reading this far. Here is the PoB link of my character:
https://pastebin.com/EXwGM3hA
(I recommend not following in all details, because I am constantly trying new things and only optimizing for Maven and Uber Atziri.)
Last edited by Luveluen on Oct 23, 2021, 9:03:30 PM
Last bumped on May 6, 2022, 11:26:52 AM
I tried theory-crafting (using my DO Occultist build as base) and came up with the following POB:
https://pastebin.com/xkt90Y9r

Assuming POB doesn't factor the 75% skill damage per 0.4 duration, we need to add (ROUNDDOWN(Duration/0.4,0)*0.75) more damage.

In my case that amounts to 975% and brings total sDPS from Decay to 646k (from 137k that POB shows).

Necromancer doesn't seem to improve it much. Duration scaling has it's limitations.


Just wondering whether this is as close to the scaling ceiling as we can get.
And is my estimation even correct... (Although judging from your POB and your kill speed seems pretty accurate)
Caustic Arrow/Death's Oath Occultist - https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2990048
Thank you for your interest.
Your PoB estimation looks quite fitting, but I do not understand your calculation from 137k to 646k by adding a 975% more multiplier.
Judging from my feeling when fighting endgame bosses I would have guessed the Decay dps way over 1 million before Wither, because I don't think I can kill a Maven empowered Uber Atziri with 600k dps.


With your amazing staff I probably would also leave Spiritual Aid, since that staff has enough increased damage.
However, considering that your staff costs twice as much as my whole build, I am not swiching anytime soon.


The next biggest difference would be that you use a lot of Wicked Pall (5% increased skill effect duration and 30% increased chaos damage) cluster jewel notables. I generally prefer Misery Everlasting (10% increased skill effect duration and 25% Despair curse effect), mainly for the duration, but the curse effect is quite good, too. I also self course, because with 30 sec+ duration on the curse I get to enjoy the doom bonus for a long time in boss fights.


Replica Pure Talent is an easy 20% increased skill effect duration and should not be missed.






"
Luveluen wrote:
Thank you for your interest.
Your PoB estimation looks quite fitting, but I do not understand your calculation from 137k to 646k by adding a 975% more multiplier.

Looking at the Decay details in Calcs, you can see that the "Total More" is 162%, and in the breakdown you don't see the multiplier from Storm Burst.
Assuming the 975% is correct, this should be added to the 162% (for total of 1137%) and then you can calculate the Decay DPS (again see breakdown in tooltip for how it's calculated)


"

Judging from my feeling when fighting endgame bosses I would have guessed the Decay dps way over 1 million before Wither, because I don't think I can kill a Maven empowered Uber Atziri with 600k dps.


With your amazing staff I probably would also leave Spiritual Aid, since that staff has enough increased damage.
However, considering that your staff costs twice as much as my whole build, I am not swiching anytime soon.

Funnily enough, the staff cost me 50c + ~400 fusings to link + 2 Divines :)
Not many people look for such staff, so it can be found around 3-5ex 6 linked


"

The next biggest difference would be that you use a lot of Wicked Pall (5% increased skill effect duration and 30% increased chaos damage) cluster jewel notables. I generally prefer Misery Everlasting (10% increased skill effect duration and 25% Despair curse effect), mainly for the duration, but the curse effect is quite good, too. I also self course, because with 30 sec+ duration on the curse I get to enjoy the doom bonus for a long time in boss fights.


Replica Pure Talent is an easy 20% increased skill effect duration and should not be missed.



Yes, Misery Everlasting should definitely be better, especially since they will buff the effect in 3.16 (assuming they don't remove it from large clusters).
Caustic Arrow/Death's Oath Occultist - https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2990048
Last edited by f4ward on Oct 11, 2021, 11:20:36 AM
"
f4ward wrote:
"
Luveluen wrote:
Thank you for your interest.
Your PoB estimation looks quite fitting, but I do not understand your calculation from 137k to 646k by adding a 975% more multiplier.


Looking at the Decay details in Calcs, you can see that the "Total More" is 162%, and in the breakdown you don't see the multiplier from Storm Burst.
Assuming the 975% is correct, this should be added to the 162% (for total of 1137%) and then you can calculate the Decay DPS (again see breakdown in tooltip for how it's calculated)



The breakdown of PoB's total more multiplier 162% is
26 from Efficacy
36 from Void Manipulation
33 from Malevolence
15 from Withering Presence

The calculation to reach this number has to be
1.26 x 1.36 x 1.33 x 1.15 = 2.6209512 (~162% more)

If you add the stormburst multiplier to the multiplier list, the equation will be
1.26 x 1.36 x 1.33 x 1.15 x 10.75 = 28.1752254


So instead of a 1137% total multiplier I think we are looking at 2718% with your build.

(Whereas my build is sitting at 3840% total more multiplier, but instead of your 791% increased damage, I can only muster a mere 284% increased damage)

My very poor "increased damage" score would explain why my build went from "can barely do the conquerors" to "can beat the whole game" when I skilled Spiritual Aid.
In fact, I believe I should try switching to Wicked Pall with my build to increase my still very poor "increased damage" score.

In any case I should look for more increased (chaos) damage. Hidden Potential may be a good idea, but would greatly affect my survivability. Also I should try to go Occultist soon.

So far Maven has been a huge pain, but with these calculations the build may eventually reach a similar damage level as Caustic Arrow...
If I am willing to invest into a better staff, amulet and a Watcher's Eye, that is.
Still doubtful about The Feared, but if everything works out I may try it.
Last edited by Luveluen on Oct 11, 2021, 2:33:49 PM
"
Luveluen wrote:
Spoiler
"
f4ward wrote:
"
Luveluen wrote:
Thank you for your interest.
Your PoB estimation looks quite fitting, but I do not understand your calculation from 137k to 646k by adding a 975% more multiplier.


Looking at the Decay details in Calcs, you can see that the "Total More" is 162%, and in the breakdown you don't see the multiplier from Storm Burst.
Assuming the 975% is correct, this should be added to the 162% (for total of 1137%) and then you can calculate the Decay DPS (again see breakdown in tooltip for how it's calculated)



The breakdown of PoB's total more multiplier 162% is
26 from Efficacy
36 from Void Manipulation
33 from Malevolence
15 from Withering Presence

The calculation to reach this number has to be
1.26 x 1.36 x 1.33 x 1.15 = 2.6209512 (~162% more)

If you add the stormburst multiplier to the multiplier list, the equation will be
1.26 x 1.36 x 1.33 x 1.15 x 10.75 = 28.1752254


So instead of a 1137% total multiplier I think we are looking at 2718% with your build.

(Whereas my build is sitting at 3840% total more multiplier, but instead of your 791% increased damage, I can only muster a mere 284% increased damage)

My very poor "increased damage" score would explain why my build went from "can barely do the conquerors" to "can beat the whole game" when I skilled Spiritual Aid.
In fact, I believe I should try switching to Wicked Pall with my build to increase my still very poor "increased damage" score.

In any case I should look for more increased (chaos) damage. Hidden Potential may be a good idea, but would greatly affect my survivability. Also I should try to go Occultist soon.

So far Maven has been a huge pain, but with these calculations the build may eventually reach a similar damage level as Caustic Arrow...
If I am willing to invest into a better staff, amulet and a Watcher's Eye, that is.
Still doubtful about The Feared, but if everything works out I may try it.


Man, you're right, I forgot it's multiplicative :)

Updated my POB, switched large clusters to Misery Everlasting, added Replica Pure Talent and now I'm at 731% increased and 2913% more, which brings the sDPS to 1.59M. That's respectable...
And still need to review the other gear I have, which will probably add some damage and/or defenses.

https://pastebin.com/ATQTZx6Q

Misery Everlasting is still better on the large jewels, but you also need Wicked Pall on mediums.


Update:


-10 chaos res and additional web brings even more damage

Currently at 1.8M sDPS

Also switched to Corrupted Soul for more eHP
Despair has to be on-hit or self cast, since we can only reserve Malevolence + Aspect of Spider with Supreme Ego

https://pastebin.com/dM6VRNh4
Caustic Arrow/Death's Oath Occultist - https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2990048
Last edited by f4ward on Oct 12, 2021, 1:15:14 PM
Not too keen on the boots, since elder boots can give 15% increased skill effect duration. I am not sure if you can make it to the next 0.4 step, though.

If you use a different chest, I would recommend blight+infused channeling for another 10% more multiplier.

With your current point distribution it may be worth thinking about going ES, or if you want to stay life, maybe Eternal Youth.

The build has very little block and dodge, but I would not worry about it until we get the passive tree for the next patch, because they announced many changes. Perhaps Life+Es will be really great with the new keystone and a little more block.

I don't think I will switch my necromancer to occultist, but I will try to go occultist next league with a very similar build to yours.
Last edited by Luveluen on Oct 12, 2021, 1:56:28 PM
"
Luveluen wrote:
Not too keen on the boots, since elder boots can give 15% increased skill effect duration. I am not sure if you can make it to the next 0.4 step, though.

If you use a different chest, I would recommend blight+infused channeling for another 10% more multiplier.

With your current point distribution it may be worth thinking about going ES, or if you want to stay life, maybe Eternal Youth.

The build has very little block and dodge, but I would not worry about it until we get the passive tree for the next patch, because they announced many changes. Perhaps Life+Es will be really great with the new keystone and a little more block.

I don't think I will switch my necromancer to occultist, but I will try to go occultist next league with a very similar build to yours.


I'm just throwing things around in the build. There are plenty of things that can be optimized, including more ES and block as you suggested.

In my case, elder boots help get to the next breakpoint, but it's a damage loss since an additional spider web is an additional 5% inc damage taken, which comes out better.

There is a limit to how much Skill effect duration can add if you focus only on that. I believe inc. damage taken and negative resists are the best way to improve it further

As for Blight, it doesn't increase any damage as far as I know... But Vaal Blight does add 20% inc damage taken, which is pretty nice.

Can also add Eber's Unification helm for -20% chaos res
Caustic Arrow/Death's Oath Occultist - https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2990048
"
f4ward wrote:


In my case, elder boots help get to the next breakpoint, but it's a damage loss since an additional spider web is an additional 5% inc damage taken, which comes out better.

There is a limit to how much Skill effect duration can add if you focus only on that. I believe inc. damage taken and negative resists are the best way to improve it further

As for Blight, it doesn't increase any damage as far as I know... But Vaal Blight does add 20% inc damage taken, which is pretty nice.

Can also add Eber's Unification helm for -20% chaos res


I am not certain how additional damage taken scales, but I think it is additive with itself and a multiplier for everything else. We should already have a lot of additional damage taken with Wither (5x15=90 or 118 with Corruption), Despair (25%) + curse effect (I would say at least 15% from doom (40% increased curse effect) and passive tree and ascendancy) and its quality (at least 20% with enhance) + in my case The Felbog Fang (25%) and maybe medium cluster jewels (e.g. Dark Discourse) for 5-6% each.
I am absolutely on board with adding Aspect of the Spider, but I am not so sure about the additional 5% being worth that much.

When I was talking about Blight I intended to say Wither via Spreading Rot. However, I also consider Spell Totem, Multiple Totems, Wither and Faster Casting all socketed into elder boots with increased skill effect duration. This should stack Wither very quickly and with a ~6 second duration we could be looking at a very easy 100% uptime of 15 Withered stacks.

Eber's Unification is a helmet I like a lot, but unless we go ES, the helmet is very costly since all other stats are rather useless for a non ES character. For my armor based version I believe a -9% chaos resistance helmet will be the better balance between offence and defence, but I like your Viridi's Veil strategy more and more every time I look at it.

I am trying a lot to perhaps manage to move Decay away from the staff slot, since this is kind of a dead end, because the final upgrade is so expensive.
I am mainly considering Dialla's Malefaction with the right colors and +1 corruption, but that is not a great solution since both, quality and level are suffering.
"
Luveluen wrote:
"
f4ward wrote:


In my case, elder boots help get to the next breakpoint, but it's a damage loss since an additional spider web is an additional 5% inc damage taken, which comes out better.

There is a limit to how much Skill effect duration can add if you focus only on that. I believe inc. damage taken and negative resists are the best way to improve it further

As for Blight, it doesn't increase any damage as far as I know... But Vaal Blight does add 20% inc damage taken, which is pretty nice.

Can also add Eber's Unification helm for -20% chaos res


I am not certain how additional damage taken scales, but I think it is additive with itself and a multiplier for everything else. We should already have a lot of additional damage taken with Wither (5x15=90 or 118 with Corruption), Despair (25%) + curse effect (I would say at least 15% from doom (40% increased curse effect) and passive tree and ascendancy) and its quality (at least 20% with enhance) + in my case The Felbog Fang (25%) and maybe medium cluster jewels (e.g. Dark Discourse) for 5-6% each.
I am absolutely on board with adding Aspect of the Spider, but I am not so sure about the additional 5% being worth that much.

The increase is POB result, not assumption :)

"

When I was talking about Blight I intended to say Wither via Spreading Rot. However, I also consider Spell Totem, Multiple Totems, Wither and Faster Casting all socketed into elder boots with increased skill effect duration. This should stack Wither very quickly and with a ~6 second duration we could be looking at a very easy 100% uptime of 15 Withered stacks.

I use Anomalous Withering step with Enhance for instant 12 stacks + Ascendancy to top it to 15.

"

Eber's Unification is a helmet I like a lot, but unless we go ES, the helmet is very costly since all other stats are rather useless for a non ES character. For my armor based version I believe a -9% chaos resistance helmet will be the better balance between offence and defence, but I like your Viridi's Veil strategy more and more every time I look at it.

Viridi's is a huge defensive bonus, but for pure damage, Eber's is pretty sick - it brings the sDPS to 2m according to my calculations.

"

I am trying a lot to perhaps manage to move Decay away from the staff slot, since this is kind of a dead end, because the final upgrade is so expensive.
I am mainly considering Dialla's Malefaction with the right colors and +1 corruption, but that is not a great solution since both, quality and level are suffering.


The staff is not that expensive. The options have can be had for 3-5ex which pretty cheap for what it gives. If you add DoT multi, it's probably ~20ex, which is a reasonable target for endgame weapon.

And you can definitely start with Cane of Unravelling which is usually dirt cheap
Caustic Arrow/Death's Oath Occultist - https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2990048
Last edited by f4ward on Oct 13, 2021, 1:18:09 AM

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