[3.18] Disco Inferno: A Stormbind Thought Experiment

To keep this brief, I re-examined Stormbind while thinking of how to start the upcoming Sentinel League, and felt the need to post my observations after a little play testing, due to a lack related content.

Please bear in mind that this is NOT a comprehensive build guide, or optimized in any way - merely an interesting note for those interested in something a little different.

For those of you who just want the breakdown:
A modest ~1.4million Ignite DPS on Sirus with NO ITEMS at 106/123 points.
- Note: This is paper dps, and is allowing for needed gem slots, 30% Shock,
Elemental Overload, Max Rune Improvement and Convergence.

PoB: https://pastebin.com/0p9WQb4Y

Pros:
* Surprisingly excellent clear.
* Superb single target dps to investment ratio.
* 50% Hinderance
Cons:
* Technical Play

Mechanics
Spoiler

This is where things get interesting, and how Stormbind stands out as a skill in comparison to other, similar channeling skills.

First of all, I would not recommend Stormbind as a hit-based damage skill. The long channel times, and lack of intermittent damage between bursts makes it vastly inferior to most other skills in the game in this regard. In my opinion, it this inherent clunkiness that is responsible for its abhorrent reputation.

But what if the problem wasn't the skill, but how we played it?

With that in mind, let us examine some of the key mechanics of Stormbind.

1) Rune Placement/Duration/Detonation
Unlike other channeled skills, Stormbind has the unique property of leaving behind artifacts - Runes - which linger for a Base Duration of 12.00s.
Additionally, these Runes propagate off one another when the main skill is channeled to form a grid like pattern.

In other words, the effective range of the skill is based on the duration of the runes and effective render distance of the game itself.

This allow us to drastically change the way we play in comparison to normal channeling skills and provides us with excellent clear by stutter stepping to layout a grid of Runes across a wide span of the map area.

Coupled with the 50% Hinderance afflicted on enemies standing on what I affectionately call, 'the dance floor,' this allows us to gather large swaths of enemies and kill them all simultaneously.

Furthermore, when any Rune is detonated all Runes are detonated, allowing us to briskly traverse maps without necessitating we link all Runes placed. This is important, because even with Stormbind's absurd cast speed (which can let us practically draw lines with a flick of the mouse) we can still leave behind uncovered patches of ground in our grid.

This large AoE, and unique detonation behavior allows us to not run Ignite Prolif while still reliably clearing.

Notably, we typically DO NOT improve runes when clearing in this manner.

2) Rune Improvement
Rune Blast can be used to improve Runes laid down as explained above. However, the rate at which Runes improve is a function of: Cast Speed, Mana Cost of Rune Blast, and Number of Adjacent Runes. Verily, targeting a cluster of interconnected Runes with Rune Blast will improve the targeted Rune by one stage, and then improve all adjacent Runes by one stage before improving the targeted Rune again.

In short, the most important thing to consider here is that the improvement rate for a single Rune is substantially quicker than improving a single Rune connect to other Runes.

This behavior is why we do not typically improve runes while clear large mobs, as the time cost to do so is extremely prohibitive, and ultimately very dangerous. It is better to first wipe the board clean - killing trash in the process - and then focus on empowered enemies.

Unfortunately, due to its very high cast speed, it can at times be difficult to place a single Rune.



Basic Damage Sources
Spoiler

Basic Links:
Stormbind + Inspiration + Deadly Ailments + Added Lightning Damage + Burning Damage + Swift Affliction

* Shaper of Flame Ascendency
Obviously, this is an ignite build. Thus, Elementalist is a MUST. We utilize Stormbind's decently high base damage, coupled with it's 100% More Damage with Hits and Ailments per stage to create spicy, lightning damage ignites. Consequently, added Lightning Damage is a significant contributor to Ignite DPS when gearing.

* Improved Runes
Stormbind is broken in to separate abilities, the second of which is called Rune Blast. Rune Blast can be used to improve runes up to 3 times, ultimately resulting in a x4 damage multiplier on our single target ignites

* Curses
Flammability & Elemental Weakness hooked up to Bane for ease of use.

* Wave of Conviction
WoC + Added Fire Damage** for Fire Exposure, which is further buffed by the Mastermind of Discord ascendancy.
** The Added Fire Damage gem may be necessary to guarantee Fire Exposure as you accrue sources of added Lightning Damage.


* Elemental Overload
A little crit chance goes a long way to help keep this consistent, given our infrequent hit rate - hence Inspiration and a crit notable on the passive tree.


Hopefully this has piqued some interest in an otherwise underutilized skill. With only 106 points spent on the tree - and some rather frivolously - there's definitely plenty of room to play around with Clusters, and allocating defenses on the passive tree. Generally, I'd recommend an Armour/ES split, possibly making use of Recoup to make up for a general lack of regen, but I think that's previously tread ground, which I'm not looking to cover here. This is just a proof of concept.

TL;DR: Stormbind = Big Ignites on a budget, with a surprisingly smooth playstyle. Lots of room for optimization.

Personally, I don't really have any plans of playing this in the League, but that's cause Scion is bae. <3
Last bumped on May 11, 2022, 6:19:06 PM
Seems quite interesting, would you happen to have a video of this way of playing and how it works in map, I have a hard time imagining it.
It would have to compete with DD ignite which would likely be quite difficult in both dps and clunkiness as you just waste all shotgunning part from multiple runes aoe overlapping on same enemy when exploding - for ignite variant it's just totally wasted, so you will arrive at comparatively mediocre base damage of single rune improved 3 times at most as ignite base, compared to huge corpse explosion base dmgs even after nerfs.

Btw as hit variant it seemed ok from videos when totems cast runes for you only leaving charge/detonate part. It's usually hiero / indigon for hit variant regardless of totems or not, to be able to spend a lot of mana faster for rune improving from indigon stacks, base improve speed is extremely slow.
"
WrongBlight wrote:
It would have to compete with DD ignite which would likely be quite difficult in both dps and clunkiness as you just waste all shotgunning part from multiple runes aoe overlapping on same enemy when exploding - for ignite variant it's just totally wasted, so you will arrive at comparatively mediocre base damage of single rune improved 3 times at most as ignite base, compared to huge corpse explosion base dmgs even after nerfs.

Btw as hit variant it seemed ok from videos when totems cast runes for you only leaving charge/detonate part. It's usually hiero / indigon for hit variant regardless of totems or not, to be able to spend a lot of mana faster for rune improving from indigon stacks, base improve speed is extremely slow.


Kind of a weird take honestly, it doesn't have to compete with anything. Some builds are made so that like minded people can enjoy a weird niche skill - not to be the next meta with 15% of characters using it.

Being mediocre is fine if Stormbind is a skill that has interested you since its release - trust me its the best anyone has managed with it so far.
"
Kind of a weird take honestly, it doesn't have to compete with anything. Some builds are made so that like minded people can enjoy a weird niche skill - not to be the next meta with 15% of characters using it.

Being mediocre is fine if Stormbind is a skill that has interested you since its release - trust me its the best anyone has managed with it so far.


So, there's a bit to unpack in WrongBlight's comment.

First of all, they're absolutely correct in that this build wouldn't benefit from shotgunning. Stormbind is capable of overlapping AOE to achieve larger hits. This is where its damage as a hit skill ultimately comes from.

Additionally, the number of connected runes improved is dependent on the total mana cost of Rune Blast - up to a maximum of 9 adjacent runes per cast. However, a rune can still only be improved one stage per cast. Obviously, mana stacking allows you to 'fluidly' improve an entire field of runes.

In this way, you can achieve a palatable mapping style, similar to what I described in my original post. Additionally, multiple copies of the Stormbind gem can be used to support Rune Blast and Stormbind with different gems to achieve high Rune Blast mana costs, and faster cast speeds.

So, if you want to play Stormbind as a hit skill, that's definitely a way to go.

However, I disagree with their comment about Stormbind being a wasted on ignites. While this is definitely not going to be meta for a number of reasons, that was never my intent. This is merely a post offering a different paradigm to the norm that was more palatable to me. TL;DR: Screw the meta, that's not what I'm here for. But to each their own.

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