[3.18] Ignite Discharge, but make it tanky

Last season, I followed a discharge guide that promised over 10 million DPS. I far surpassed that number, but kept dying. So, this league, I decided to take make tankier choices. I reasoned that my insane DPS didn't matter if I was dying.

But this league, I found that discharge just wasn't that popular. The guides out there are out of date, so I decided to try to make a write up. This is my first time doing a write up, so I am open to constructive criticism.


This build has not been very popular this league. There appears to be no apparent nerf, so I am not entirely sure why. I will update for 3.19.

POB - Blackflame GGG Gear


POB - Mid-range Gear


POB - Budget


Budget and Leveling guide in the notes

Out of date info

Other guides (such as Odelo's) are great to follow, but have some outdated information. Primarily, Elemental Overload does not proc from other spells, so you can't use, say, storm brand to boost your discharge damage. If you aren't getting the Elemental Overload procs (has a frame around the spell), you aren't getting the benefit.


I recommend leveling Vaal Fireball. You can league start with Fireball. Additionally, many (if not most) of the leveling choices you make will work with discharge. Make all the same choices, except do not go for charges. You can switch to discharge once you can afford a Farrul's Fur (see leveling guide in the budget POB.)



-High DPS (3 mil with budget, 10-20 mil with midrange gear, and 50-60+ million for high end gear).
-Easy to play, can focus on staying alive
-Most gear is unique. Rare gear can be crafted.


-Can be expensive if you don't craft your gear
-Not a league starter
-Most gear is unique and requires careful re-calibration
-Hits hard, but infrequent


Ignite discharge with proliferation can clear enemies a screen away. DPS is not a problem with this build. As such, when faced with a gearing decision, I recommend going for the tankier option. When using POB, keep an eye on damage per ignite as well as DPS.


You want to make sure that you have enough mana to do what you need to do when your charges are up. So long as you have enough mana to enduring cry, discharge, and flame dash every few seconds, you are good. On higher end builds, you may consider putting enduring cry and flame dash on life tap, and running another aura.

Your mana reservation needs will be high. You can potentially swap out your helm enchant for one that gives you mana reservation for either Malevolence, Skitterbots, Determination, or Purity of Elements. It's my experience, that calibrating your mana will take as much consideration as your resistances. Addressing this may take some creativity. Depending on my gear, I have run mana flasks, hybrid flasks, clarity or VAAL clarity, etc. You can also place an intuitive leap next to "Instability" and pick up Mystic Bulwark and Enigmatic Defense.


Your discharge damage multiplies with the amount of charges you have to discharge. We will automatically generate charges with Farrul's Fur, Aspect of the Cat (on either your helm, gloves, or ring), and Voll's Devotion. I discuss a method of generating charges without Farrul's Fur (and Aspect of the Cat) in my leveling POB. However, I personally stayed Fireball until I acquired all three elements.

When a group of enemies approaches, Enduring Cry to give you defense and charges. Then Discharge. These actions will queue. If you support Enduring Cry with Second Wind Support, you can use it as a heal should the need arise.

If you are in the habit of enduring crying before discharging, you can replace Voll's Devotion. This goes against my philosophy of defensive choices over DPS, as having a constant source of endurance charges significantly improves my survivability. Personal choice.

I use Molten Shell as my defense spell (Immortal Call uses up endurance charges). I use Molten Shell on my left mouse button (move) and Vaal Molten shell as needed. Don't put Molten Shell on a cast on damage taken link as Molten Shell scales significantly with levels.

I use Vaal Clarity essentially as a mana flask and don't reserve it. If you choose to reserve clarity, keep it on a low level and find a sweet spot that works for you.


Your gear priorities should be

Endurance Charges
Frenzy Charges
Power Charges
to Damage Over Time Multiplier
Ailments (Ignite) deals damage faster
Burning Damage
Increased Damage

Spell power, attack power, and crit do nothing for ignites.
Crit will help boost the proc rate of Elemental Overload, but other than that, it does nothing for yhou

You will use a lot of Unique Gear

If you choose to go Chaos, you will don Blackflame. There are other benefits to this, and one major drawback. Wearing Blackflame makes it so wither stacks do not drop, which is HUGE for bossing. You also do not need to worry about exposure with Blackflame, which brings us to the drawback: Mastermind of Discord is now useless. In many cases the benefits of Blackflame outweigh this drawback, but not in all cases. While leveling, I used the Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh that enabled Heart of Destruction and specced into Elemancer. Running 3 Golems helped my survivability (Stone, Chaos, and Flame). When I no longer worried about dying, I sold my Heart of Destruction flame and flesh and picked up Malediction (this actually made me money, but that may have changed).

I find that Immortal Flesh is wonderfully synergistic with Purity of Elements. Purity of Elements mitigates the costs with Immortal Flesh and lets you enjoy the benefits with are armor, life and mana regen.

Purity of Elements also mitigates the costs of Death's Door, which gives you the benefit of being immune to bleeding and gives elemental resists (further helping to offset the cost with Immortal Flesh). Otherwise you can use Darkray Vectors.

If you use Temporal Chains, a huge defensive bonus, you can also derive DPS with Emberwake.

In most cases, Searing Heat is the highest DPS amulet annointing you can choose. However, there are other defensive choices you can make. When leveling 90 - 100, I used Unnatural Calm to help with lightening totems. Charisma is also a great option.

This doesn't leave much room for rare gear.

Crafting a good staff is not that difficult. I was able to craft one worth about 20 ex for about 5 ex. You want to start with a staff with the implicit "+1 to Maximum Power Charges and Maximum Endurance Charges". This staff is only available in Heists, but can be purchased for less than 10 chaos. When crafting your staff, keep in mind that the best mod is "+2 to socketed support gems", which is an enchant. This enchant CANNOT be used if you have +1-2 to any elemental, chaos, or physical skill gem. This means you want to look for a staff with only +1 to socketed gems. If you end up with a good staff, but want to get rid of + to gems, freeze suffixes and use harvest crafts.

The Blizzard Crown is BIS as the cold resist doesn't affect us, but the additional cold damage increases our DPS. A power charge is good, but don't pass up other survivability mods just for charges. For example, a helm that gives you mana reservation might be a better option than a helm with a power charge. Nearby enemies with negative resist is a HUGE dps increase.

You need to put Aspect of the Cat SOMEWHERE. You can put it on a ring. I would recommend an unset ring, so you can put Less Duration Support in it. Or you can put it on your helm or gloves. Make sure you socket both Less Duration Support and Swift Affliction support to give you charges more often.

Don't worry so much about the enchants on your helm, boots, gloves, or belt when looking for gear. You can pay someone to get the enchants you need for a few ex.

+5 to Discharge radius is a great defensive boost as you can discharge further away. This is much better than an increase to area of effect. Area of effect increases the area of the circle, not the radius, which would be divided by pi, then square rooted to find the equivalent radius effect. But, depending on your situation, reservation efficiencies for Malevolence, Skitter-bots, or Determination might be better.

If Elemental Overlord isn't proccing "120% increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven’t Crit Recently" on your boots is a great way to make sure that happens. If you are not running Blackflame, "Damage Penetrates 10% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven’t Killed Recently" is great. I use 10% movement speed if you haven't been hit recently as I consider movement speed to be one of the best stats in the game.

For your belt, enemies withered by you have -6% to all resists is huge (if you are using Wither which you would only do if using Blackflame). If not, pick the belt enchant that has the most defensive capabilities for you.

Difficult Content

If you want to do a map with no mana regen, swap cruelty with lifetap. Even then, you need to carefully use your life flask.

Every once in a while, you will come across monsters that are either immune or resistant to chaos or status elements. I deal with this by dropping my scorching ray totems. Scorching ray doesn't inflict ignite, so it doesn't get the effect of Blackflame. This also means that it is buffed by Mastermind of Discord. Having 2 rays target the baddies means you get exposure faster. This tears apart monsters that are unbothered by your discharge. Also, you don't have to aim.


You will spec into Shaper of Flames first, Bastion of Elements second, and then Heart of Destruction third. Remember, Heart of Destruction is incredible, but Mastermind of Discord is useless if you use Blackflame. Creative use of Forbidden Flame and Flesh can help synergize your choices.


You will use your staff as your discharge link set up. You need to either use ignite proliferation, or find another way to proliferate ignite (you can use Fan the Flames, or use the Searing Exarch glove enchant "Ignites you inflict spread to other Enemies within a radius of #"). You can also use Bereck's Respite or Abberath's Hooves, but I wouldn't recommend those as ring and boot items are better used by other pieces.

You will support discharge with either cruelty or inspiration (depending on your mana situation), swift affliction, deadly ailments, burning damage, and empower (you can use both cruelty and inspiration until you can afford empower). When you can afford it, use awakened versions.

Depending on mana situation, you want to run Purity of Elements (you will have a hard time getting resist capped without it), Malevolence, Skitterbots, Determination, and/or Clarity. Use Enlighten to further reduce the mana reservation cost of your auras.

Link Enduring Cry with Second Wind support to have the ability to use it twice in tight situations.

I use Flame Dash as my movement skill as it works well with Second Wind to make sure I have the ability to dash whenever I need it.

I use totems to apply wither. Linking Scorching Ray gives me the ability to deal with monsters that are immune or resistant to my discharge.

You want to place Less Duration Support and Swift Affliction (if you can) in whatever equipment has Aspect of the Cat.

Cluster Jewels

When searching for Cluster Jewels, keep in mind your stat priorities when choosing cluster notables.

You want at least one, but don't need more than one:

Cremator, Disorienting Display, Fan the Flames, Misery Everlasting, Enduring Composure, and Mortifying Aspect.

Your highest DPS notable is Wasting Affliction. Doriyani's Lesson is a fantastic offensive and defensive notable.

For Large Cluster Jewels, do not choose more than 9 passives and choose 12% increased Fire Damage.

For Medium Cluster Jewels, do not choose more than 5 passives and choose 12% increased Burning Damage.

Small Cluster Jewels will most likely be defensive.

Other Jewels

Your Jewel choices can give you 3 million DPS or more. Make sure you choose carefully, keeping in mind your stat priority. Jewels are an excellent way to get life, dexterity, strength, and elemental resists as well.

If you are having issues getting the attributes and resists you need, Darkness Enthroned is a affordable tool to fill in the gaps. Abyss Jewels can be HUGE offensive and defensive mechanisms, especially with a 1.75 multiplier.

I do recommend Intuitive Leap next to Instability. The more Notable Passives you have, the better Bastian of Elements is for you, so each notable is a defensive choice. Mystic Bulwark works very well with staff builds (even if our implicit is what it is). Skittering Runes is a good DPS choice and Enigmatic Defense is synergistic with Mystic Bulwark.

You will have issues with Dexterity. You can address these issues with Timeless Jewels if needs be.


You can pick up the ability to apply another curse with either Malediction (Forbidden Flame & Flesh), anointing Whispers of Doom, or wearing Windshreik (get an corrupted Endurance charge if you go this route).

If you are using Blackflame, your curses should be Despair > Temporal Chains

If you are not using Blackflame, your curses should be Flammability > Elemental Weakness

You can apply curses with either your gloves, rings, or you can use Hextouch support in your 6 link chest. You can use Witchfire Brew to apply despair. Or you can just cast it, but I would not recommend that.

Last edited by Linthiel on Jun 25, 2022, 1:28:35 PM
Last bumped on Jun 24, 2022, 9:01:40 PM

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