[3.18] Elementalist Crit Lightning Tendrils (cheap, SSF friendly)

It has been a while since i played this skill (3.1), yet i quite enjoyed it back then, and i'll happily go back to it. I thought i'd share this there again for anyone interested in the skill, but unsure in which direction to go.


Sum-up of the build: Mostly in melee range, you'll zap entire packs one by one, shield charging in-between. Posing an Hydrosphere here and there. As an elementalist, with no restriction on the weapon type other than 1h to make use of a shield. We'll make use of several defensive layers, including Determination w/ Defiance Banner, Block and ideally stacking Spell suppression.
Playable as a leaguestarter, and also in SSF as no mandatory unique is required.

Version history (3.17-3.18):
3.18 Note: Literally no change.

Path of Building link: https://pastebin.com/u3RdGqPk (if you're new, here's the PoB download link, a PoE theorycrafting open-source software)
Passive skill tree (lvl 97):

Notes: PoB has a lot of buffs (Flasks, Sigil of Power, Frost Shield, Wrath (w/ Divine Blessing), Convergence, real shock multiplier) which are not checked among other stuff. I like to see the minimum values rather than hypothetic optimal ones to estimate a build. It easily reach 1M dps even with some cheap gear. Which is what's needed as a minimum for endgame bosses i'd say.
Ascendancy priorities: Shaper of Storms, Mastermind of Discord, Heart of Destruction, and Bastion of Elements as the last one.
Bandits: Kill all for versatility, otherwise Alira is a fine choice too.
Pantheon: I generally go for Soul of Lunaris (major) and Soul of Tukohama (minor). Soul of Ryslatha as minor power is nice too, especially for bossing if you're more comfortable that way.
Atlas skill tree: Just take what you love the most! Here's mine. Focussed mainly on Rogue Exiles, Strongboxes, Essences, Harbinger and Delve.

Gems:
Str. required : 155 (144 from tree, 11 req.), dex. required : 111 (44 from tree, 67 req.).
  • Main skill (6l, BBBBBB): (Phantasmal) Lightning Tendrils + Lightning Penetration + Infused Channeling + Added Lightning Damage + Increased Critical Strikes + Increased Critical Damage. Concentrated Effect isn't included to avoid lowering our AoE. Inc. Crit Dmg being close enough DPS-wise.
  • Buffer (4l, BBBG): Hydrosphere + Arcane Surge (lvl 7) + Power Charge on Critical + Onslaught. Ideally casted at least once every 4s to refresh Arcane Surge.
  • Auras (4s, BBRR): Tempest Shield, Vaal Clarity (lvl 14+), Determination, Defiance Banner. You want your Vaal Clarity level at the highest possible while being able to cast all you need in the meantime (aka 70 Unreserved mana required for Frost Shield and Sigil of Power).
  • Travel skill (2l, RG): Shield Charge + Faster Attacks
  • Utility / Buffs:
    • Wrath Blessing (2l, BR): Wrath + Divine Blessing. Enabled under the usage of Vaal Clarity, or a focus effect similar to Vaal Clarity to have no cost on activation (nerfed). It gives us Wrath on (map) bosses for "free". In case it gets also nerfed with Vaal Clarity, we'd switch it for Vaal Righteous Fire in the setup below with SoP, FS and Inc. Duration. And we could add Summon Lightning Golem. As an alternative, as we've already enough temporary boosts, you could instead use a CwDT (Cast when Damage Taken) setup with our guard skill and the mark for instance.
    • Def/Dmg Boost (3l BBR or 3s BBB): Sigil of Power + Frost Shield + Increased Duration OR Summon Lightning Golem. Mainly for bosses, allow you to get a potentially huge damage boost in the case of the Sigil, while Frost Shield is a nice additional defensive layer (+ small damage boost). Note the build-up on the Sigil is long, with ~3s of channeling required to get 1 stage, that's ~12s total for the maximum boost. Any stage is already good to take, but that explains why i wanted Inc. Duration here. Be careful with +X level(s) to (lightning) spells, you may want your SoP gem at a lower level than 20.
    • Mark (B): Assassin's Mark. They're now permanent since 3.17, great damage boost for bosses.
    • Guard skill (R): (Vaal) Molten Shell. Initially planned in a CwDT setup, with WoC (Wave of Conviction) and such, but sockets were missing so we'll just use it at the place of our move only button on LMB. That's also why Orb of Storms isn't there, Hydrosphere replaced it along replacing WoC.
    • Secondary travel skill (B): Flame Dash. QoL, allowing us to teleport. Often needed while mapping in place of Shield Charge.


My skill bar would +/- look like this:
In parenthesis are my binds, M4 and M5 being the 2 mouse buttons i've on the side of it.
  • Molten Shell (LMB) - Assassin's Mark (5) - Lightning Tendrils (RMB)
  • Shield Charge (Space) - Hydrosphere (M4) - Sigil of Power (3) - Frost Shield (4) - Vaal Molten Shell (M5)
  • Ctrl: Flame Dash - Wrath Blessing - Auras * 2 (switch needed on death) - Vaal Clarity (to cast the blessing)

Non colored version:
Spoiler
Str. required : 155 (144 from tree, 11 req.), dex. required : 111 (44 from tree, 67 req.).
  • Main skill (6l, BBBBBB): (Phantasmal) Lightning Tendrils + Lightning Penetration + Infused Channeling + Added Lightning Damage + Increased Critical Strikes + Increased Critical Damage. Concentrated Effect isn't included to avoid lowering our AoE. Inc. Crit Dmg being close enough DPS-wise.
  • Buffer (4l, BBBG): Hydrosphere + Arcane Surge (lvl 7) + Power Charge on Critical + Onslaught. Ideally casted at least once every 4s to refresh Arcane Surge.
  • Auras (4s, BBRR): Tempest Shield, Vaal Clarity (lvl 14+), Determination, Defiance Banner. You want your Vaal Clarity level at the highest possible while being able to cast all you need in the meantime (aka 70 Unreserved mana required for Frost Shield and Sigil of Power).
  • Travel skill (2l, RG): Shield Charge + Faster Attacks
  • Utility / Buffs:
    • Wrath Blessing (2l, BR): Wrath + Divine Blessing. Enabled under the usage of Vaal Clarity, or a focus effect similar to Vaal Clarity to have no cost on activation (nerfed). It gives us Wrath on (map) bosses for "free". In case it gets also nerfed with Vaal Clarity, we'd switch it for Vaal Righteous Fire in the setup below with SoP, FS and Inc. Duration. And we could add Summon Lightning Golem.
    • Def/Dmg Boost (3l BBR or 3s BBB): Sigil of Power + Frost Shield + Increased Duration OR Summon Lightning Golem. Mainly for bosses, allow you to get a potentially huge damage boost in the case of the Sigil, while Frost Shield is a nice additional defensive layer (+ small damage boost). Note the build-up on the Sigil is long, with ~3s of channeling required to get 1 stage, that's 12s total for the maximum boost. Any stage is already good to take, but that explains why i wanted Inc. Duration here.
    • Mark (B): Assassin's Mark. They're now permanent since 3.17, great damage boost for bosses.
    • Guard skill (R): (Vaal) Molten Shell. Initially planned in a CwDT (Cast when Damage Taken) setup, with WoC (Wave of Conviction) and such, but sockets were missing so we'll just use it at the place of our move only button on LMB. That's also why Orb of Storms isn't there, Hydrosphere replaced it along replacing WoC.
    • Secondary travel skill (B): Flame Dash. QoL, allowing us to teleport. Often needed while mapping in place of Shield Charge.


My skill bar would +/- look like this:
In parenthesis are my binds, M4 and M5 being the 2 mouse buttons i've on the side of it.
  • Molten Shell (LMB) - Assassin's Mark (5) - Lightning Tendrils (RMB)
  • Shield Charge (Space) - Hydrosphere (M4) - Sigil of Power (3) - Frost Shield (4) - Vaal Molten Shell (M5)
  • Ctrl: Flame Dash - Wrath Blessing - Auras * 2 (switch needed on death) - Vaal Clarity (to cast the blessing)


Gear:
I'll just put what i always say on my builds:
As always, priority is to get some life and resistances, and 25/30% movement speed on the boots. Try to get spell suppression wherever you can (need Evasion based armor, hybrid works), that's a nice defensive addition. Else you can also stack Armour (w/ hybrid as you'll need blue sockets). When you'll start mapping 135% all elem resists is mandatory and i'd recommend to have 169% asap so you'll be capped even with an Elemental Weakness curse on you from a map mod or else. In your hideout since the -60% are taken into account now you want 109% (75% + the 34% Elemental Weakness removes in high tier maps).

For this build, there's nothing mandatory. We're using 1h + shield. And you'll need a fair bit of dexterity (67) on your gear. In the meantime, you can still get some stats nodes which are on the way to help you get the required amount for the gems.

For the flasks, as usual, i can't see me playing without a Quicksilver (with charge recovery and cast speed for instance), even after the latest nerfs (F, "of Adrenaline"). Diamond Flask is still decent, Stibnite, Granite... And a Panicked Divine Flask of Quenching (ignite immunity), but any immunity is nice here. While it's more of a personal choice, if you're unsure, what i plan cf. the PoB link is to have as prefixes one or two chance to gain charges on crit, else an increased duration to counter the less duration suffixeds the Freeze and Bleeding immunities give. One will have reduced effect of curses as suffix.

You can see my 3.17 character over there, HaresTendrils.

If you're unsure what to seek as items or stats for each slot (outside of what i mentioned above regarding life and resists), here's some advice:
  • Weapon: Singularity is a cheap unique sceptre to start with, until you get a good rare weapon like one included in the PoB weapons list. Wanted stats: +1 to all ... spells (generic and lightning), flat added lightning damage to spells, crit chance for spells, crit multi, cast speed, spell damage.
  • Shield: +1 to all lightning spells, crit chance for spells, cast speed, spell damage, block chance, spell block chance.
  • Helmet: Crown of the Inward Eye (cheap unique) gives a substantial DPS increase.
  • Body armour: Inpulsa's Broken Heart is probably our BiS, mainly for clearing. Otherwise some base crit chance (shaper influenced).
  • Gloves: Storm's Gift could be interesting.
  • Amulet: Choir of the Storm (unique, might be expensive). Else a Citrine Amulet. Could be our life leech source on a shaper or crusader influenced one (0.4% of our lightning damages). +1 to all ... spells, especially since 3.17 ("easier" to roll), crit multi, crit chance.
  • Rings: Opal Rings. Valako's Sign (cheap unique) can be very useful as our life leech source. Cast speed might be good since 3.17.
  • Belt: Doryani's Invitation, lightning version (cheap unique), another potential source for our life leech.

If you're a new player, you may not know Tabula Rasa is great to get your first 6l, and it's easily achievable through a bit of farming in the Blood Aqueduct (Act 9) to get a full set of the "Humility" divination card. Or you could just buy it by trading ~10c (chaos orbs) for it once you've these 10c.

That's pretty much it. The PoB link includes a few trees for the leveling if you're really lost. I never did this in my previous builds but it doesn't cost much so i did so to give a general direction. It's very situational though. Maybe you're uncomfortable with your current amount of life so you'll take more of these nodes, maybe you just want to take all the damages nodes on the way, etc.
Lightning Tendrils is a level 1 gem, so you can do all your leveling with it.

Feel free to ask any question.

I'd like to thank ThaiiThaiiYoYo for his help regarding defenses. I'm often missing good survivability in every non melee build i do. I think we've a good synergy here.

Useful links:


Changelog:
Spoiler
If i edit this thread without putting something in the changelog, i just fixed some typos.
  • 2022-05-05 22h54 GMT: Added version history, no change in 3.18.
  • 2022-02-07 19h12 GMT: Added some notes on Sigil of Power, and a CwDT setup as an alternative of the Wrath Blessing. Trading damages for comfort.
  • 2022-02-07 16h50 GMT: Updated the build with the removal of Glancing Blows. Never worth it without expensive stuff (w/ on block effect(s)).
  • 2022-02-05 22h57 GMT: Gif updated. Also added my 3.17 character link.
  • 2022-02-05 13h57 GMT: Updated links to 3.17 (PoB, trees).
  • 2022-02-03 15h38 GMT: Colors.
  • 2022-02-03 03h08 GMT: Updated Wrath Blessing details as a nerf happened w/ focus mod activation.
  • 2022-02-02 16h33 GMT: Added my atlas skill tree, and 2 optional masteries worth acknowledging.
  • 2022-02-02 2h37 GMT: Added Choir of the Storm amulet option.
  • 2022-02-01 23h33 GMT: Added 2 cheap uniques which might be useful.
  • 2022-01-31 14h07 GMT: Added a special thanks, and a potential alternative to a soon to be nerfed before release combo (Wrath + Divine Blessing).
  • 2022-01-31 04h07 GMT: Added PoB link as plain text too for the skimmers out there.
  • 2022-01-31 04h07 GMT: Added a note following a question i got about leaguestarting with the build. Edited title too.
  • 2022-01-31 01h27 GMT: Thread completed.
  • 2022-01-30 22h40 GMT: Updated PoB w/ leveling trees and alternate dmg+ life- one.
  • 2022-01-30 18h58 GMT: Adding useful links + changelog section.
  • 2022-01-30 18h50 GMT: Thread created.

Removed text:
Spoiler


Last edited by Harest on May 5, 2022, 6:55:19 PM
Last bumped on Feb 7, 2022, 12:18:55 PM
The worst part is hydrosphere is almost dead :(
"
Horracynko wrote:
... [see above]
Care to explain why? For our usage as far as i'm aware the nerf doesn't concern us (we're not chaining here), but i never make use of it until now.
In our build it's just here to get us power charges, onslaught, and to apply exposure. What Orb of Storms and Wave of Conviction were initially doing before i do some updates on the build as i needed free sockets.
I plan to go occultist but I'll use this as a template for league start
Thanks for the guide
IGN: HarroGatesofHell
"
Catharsis wrote:
... [see above]
Np, hope it's going well.

I updated the build slightly, removing Glancing Blows as i didn't properly consider it when putting it in the build. After i did the maths, it's clearly not worth it until you've an expensive shield with like "recover 5% life on block".

Otherwise, I'm starting to make the switch to crit slowly but surely. Still missing it on the 1h and shield :x. The damages are great, it's almost as if the Hydrosphere was doing the job solo sometimes. And the different buffs we've for single target obliterate everything so far. But i'm not yet in high tier maps, we'll see how it goes. I'm confident.
Might sacrifice the Wrath Blessing though, as it feels unnecessary and we've already a lot of available damage boosts. I'd rather have Molten Shell triggered when i'm taking damages instead of automatically on LMB for instance. Especially with some Archnemesis being quite tough, though. And something else for the last socket like the Lightning Golem or else.
Last edited by Harest on Feb 7, 2022, 12:22:48 PM

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