[3.17] Vaal Fireball + Black Zenith + Tornado + Chain = Gatling Gun Assassin


PoB here: https://pastebin.com/bx7Zjwx1
Gatling Gun highlight reel: https://streamable.com/kabqt9
Full Shaper fight (lag warning): https://youtu.be/p2CBUyNfjRk


Hey y’all! Vaal skill lover here. Since the Vaal molten shell build, I’ve been experimenting more with Soul Ripper + Traitor keystone. I’ve used Vaal skills with the Triumvirate ring, and came to the conclusion that Vaal skills with long soul gain prevention isn’t that viable for mapping after bloodstained fossils being removed, though I had some success with a Vaal DD Inquisitor delegating much damage potential to Phantasmal Unearth.

But I digress.

The interaction

Vaal Fireball is a pseudo duration spells since you sling the fireballs in sequence. In theory, it’s the perfect (and maybe the only?) match for Black Zenith since both the cooldown and soul gain prevention are 4 seconds, while not suffering from the skill effect duration downside unlike Spark or Worb.

The issue with Vaal Fireball builds has been with single target, since the hitbox for enemies are deceptively small. One janky tech I came up with is to use Tornado as a vector for all the projectiles. With up to 20 projectiles hitting the Tornado and that Chain, we can unleash a huge barrage onto a single enemy. The charged Tornado also helps seek out stragglers during clear.

In practice it’s slightly tricky to pull off. The hitbox for Tornado is OK, but the problem is that it moves constantly, so you have to stutter-step to stay inside the Tornado. Also for some reason Tornado may move in random directions upon collision, which makes casting against walls not as unreliable as it may seem.

A note on Crit: since the whole barrage of Vaal Fireball counts as only 1 cast much like Storm Call, either all of them crit or do not crit, so it is important to cap crit, while having a Tornado that hits often to ramp up power charges.

Offence: 95% Crit; 800k damage per fireball * 36 fireballs volley every 4 seconds for clear; 6.4M “pseudo Ignite” single target DPS

Offensively I’m running the power charge package with Assassin + Void Batteries, going low life for Pain Attunement. In general stack as much crit as possible with Assassin’s Mark, Zealotry and Soul Catcher.
For mapping Vaal Fireball has been smooth screen clear. This is further enhanced by Legacy of Fury explosion with rolling Flames for Scorch. In practice, 4 second CD between casts mean around 1s downtime between the sequential barrages, but it is hardly noticeable as you travel during the downtime.

For single target, Tornado actually deals formidable damage. If we launch all 20 fireballs into the Tornado, it reflects 10% * 20 = 2 fireballs’ worth of damage every 0.25 second, which is theoretically 8 FPS = 6.4M DPS lasting 7 seconds (may be 80% more, or 40% less depending on how damage taken calculations are done on the Tornado, whether it can be crit, it has “full life” properties and whether effects like Scorch double-dip on it and the enemy), which is comparable to most Ignite builds. This combined with the hit barrage gives us up to 60M damage for every Vaal Fireball + Tornado combo.

Defence: 95% evasion; 75% dodge; Dissolution of the Flesh + Petrified Blood; Ailment immune + Lethe Shade

Defensively I’m going for 95/75 evasion/dodge coupled with Dissolution of the Flesh, which basically gives us 40% more life with Petrified Blood, unlimited Life to spend on casting spells with Eternal Youth and no need to invest into recovery. Assassin provides Elusive, while not reliable it is a nice avoidance bonus. As we run Lifetap on everything, mana can be fully reserved. In addition, this mitigates the downside of Soul Catcher of not gaining mana.

Since DoTs are the bane of DotF, I’m running Purity of Elements for ignite immunity, jewel implicits for poison immunity and a flask for bleed/CB immunity. Also, I’m fitting in Lethe Shade now that we are fully ailment immune, providing some buffer time to get out of degen grounds. Arakaali’s pantheon also helps.

To reach 95% evasion, I’m actually not just pushing my evasion rating, but also lowering enemy accuracy. For that I’m using Dread banner and the cheap Forbidden jewels from Saboteur, which gives blind and a massive 15% reduced damage taken. This allows us to cap our evasion despite only having a 27k rating. In addition, the Grace Watcher’s Eye is very important to push the last 8%, which is flat +% instead of having diminishing returns.

Discussion and Feedback

On the topic of flasks, they mostly sustain themselves during mapping with good clear, while Soul Ripper + Traitor provides nice sustain during boss fights with some investments in charges gained. One tricky thing with Soul Ripper is that sometimes it overflows while Vaal Fireball is still on cooldown, but flasks only gain charges every 3 seconds (body armour/flask mastery) or every 5 seconds (traitor), leading to a delay between the end of soul gain prevention and the next tick of flask charges updating the flasks to use themselves. The Hunter belt mod that grants flask charges on crit helps slightly, but does not feel like it is worth the extra cost.

Personal rating on this build:
Creativity: 9/10 (A nice janky combo that’s fun to set up)
Mapping: 7/10 (Maybe more DPS improves it more, now feels bad if one fireball doesn’t kill)
Bossing: 5/10 (Can do most bosses; theoretically high DPS that’s tricky to pull off when dodging mechanics, long setup time; good survivability)
Cost: 8/10 (15ex budget. Slightly expensive jewels, flasks, belt and chest.)

Last edited by ABCkid on Mar 30, 2022, 7:19:08 PM
Last bumped on Mar 30, 2022, 7:18:02 PM

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info