[3.23] [Leaguestarter] Exsanguinate Ascendant - a great all-rounder

Still sane, Exiles? I wanted to share with you my Exsanguinate Ascendant, which I’ve league-started with in 3.19 Softcore Trade Kalandra League and managed to complete all 40 challenges. The build was even better in Sanctum thanks to Archnemesis changes.

If you want to cover all of the Wraeclast in blood with ease, this is the one!

The build is capable of reaching up to 10M DPS, really solid survivability and life recovery, decent clear.
In a league-start scenario, with trash gear, you can achieve 2-3M DoT DPS and most of the aforementioned survivability.

It is able to clear most of the content this game has to offer on 15-20div invested (excluding some Uber fights (it is not a great bosser), deep delving and Simulacrum when the mods line up badly).

The video version of the guide is available here. Please be aware, it was a first time I was doing this, it probably is terrible lmao.

3.23 Notes


The guide will be updated to version 3.23. Sadly, because of my work schedule, it will most likely be updated just minutes before the league launch. If the guide isn't updated to 3.23 yet, just use the 3.22 PoB, the changes are minor. Sorry about that.

From a quick analysis of the patch notes, it appears this build is slightly buffed.

Changes to RF and Lifetap Support don't bother us, and we get some spicy Qualities:
Exsanguinate gets +1,5 to base duration, bringing it from 1 to 2,5 seconds (I suspect we will be able to drop some increased Duration on the tree and still have longer debuffs on the enemy.
Reap gets 5% more damage per Blood Charge, but it loses a helm enchant, so it is net neutral/net positive with Vaal Reap. Tough to say if it will still be better on bosses than Exsanguinate.
We can get 40% increased CDR on Enduring Cry now.

In terms of the new Wildwood Ascendancies, I don't see a reason to go for any other than Primalist. The other two don't seem helpful for us (maybe Maji on leaguestart), and since we are using a Warcry, we can even get some extra loot.

The Transfigured Gem fits our playstyle. I'll test it out, but I reckon it can be an upgrade for us.

2. Core ideas behind the build

2.1. Why Ascendant?

We are using an Ascendant for two reasons:
1. There's actually not that much of a choice when you want to scale Spell Physical DoTs (Spells cannot inflict Bleeding). Gladiator has only some good offensive points, you could also go Champion for defences or maybe Juggernaut for tankiness and regen. I've chose Ascendant to combine the damage of Gladiator and damage/cast speed of Hierophant.
2. We have 5 additional Passive Points because we are an Ascendant. We can also start in two places in a tree (even though it's not always used). Starting from the middle lets us take more Jewel Sockets, we have access to Skill Effect Duration, we can split the tree to the Ranger/Shadow area to grab Spell Suppression and Pain Attunement and we can also go to Duelist/Marauder part to grab some of the great Life and Life Regen nodes.

2.2. Why Exsanguinate/Reap?

The build is based on Exsanguinate and Reap skill gems, which have two damage properties - one is physical hit damage, the other is physical DoT damage.
What you may not know, is that the DoT portion of Exsanguinate is stackable up to three times, and its base damage is pretty solid (1121 physical DoT damage on level 20). This means we have the base of 3363 Physical DoT DPS to work with - a decent starting point to be sure.
The Reap's DoT damage is 1463 physical DoT per second, which can be increased by Blood Charges (charges unique to Reap - they grant 15% more damage and 20% more Life Cost, 5 maximum) to 2560 physical Dot per second.

Both skills have a line that states: "Modifiers to Spell Damage also apply to this Skill's Damage over Time effect.". This means, we can use Spell Damage to boots our DoTs. This is similar to Cold DoT spells and sets the scaling apart from Ignite or Poison builds.

On paper Exsanguinate has superior damage. In practice, you have to apply three stacks to enemy to reach full damage. Reap is comfier for boss fights, because the DoT can only be applied once. Also, Reap has its Vaal version, which increases the damage greatly.

The downsides are: Exsanguinate and Reap have a short base duration of 1 second and they costs life. The former forces us to invest in Skill Effect Duration, the latter forces us to incorporate a solid Life recovery.

Exsanguinate has a property to fire several tendrils (up to 9 on level 20) which are not projectiles, but are capable of chaining. This means we can use it as a clear skill thanks to Chain Support. Furthermore, the downside of the Chain Support (less damage from hits) doesn't hurt us, since we are scaling mostly our DoT damage.

These differences between skills make Exsanguinate a superior choice for mapping and Reap a superior choice for bossing.

2.3. Rest of the explaining

This build can benefit from a variety of auras, it is hard to choose just a few of them. I've settled on using Pride (BiS in terms of damage), Malevolence (both damage and skill duration), Determination/Grace (armour/evasion still great), War Banner (excellent in terms of damage for 10% mana), Vitality (life recovery is essential), Herald of Purity.
The combination of increased Skill Effect Duration points on the tree, Efficacy Support and using Malevolence increases the duration to values that make the playstyle similar to typical DoT builds.
It is important to note that Exsanguinate will cost about 200 Life per cast, and Reap with Blood Charges can cost up to 500 Life per cast, so it is mandatory to have at least 500-700 life recovery per second just to sustain the cost, but this build aims to set this number higher.
We are using Vulnerability, this time we are self-casting it. The previous version was linked to Arcanist Brand - this allowed us to automate curse application a bit without sacrificing power. The build got so socket-starved however, that I had to cut it.
It is possible to sustain both life cost of Exsanguinate and Righteous Fire's self-damage with this build. It requires some investment into maximum resistances and life regen, which both help with defensive layers.

3. PoB/Passive trees

Here is a link to my PoB.
It includes leveling trees, several endgame trees, gem and gear options and act I-VI full leveling guide in the "Notes" section.
I know you now have the PoB link, nevertheless I strongly suggest reading this guide, as there is still some explaining to do.

4. Pros and Cons

  • + It has solid base damage - therefore it requires small amount of scaling to reach decent damage early in the league
  • + Exsanguinate proves to be a good clear skill thanks to its ability to chain, and the build is quite fast and durable, making it a decent mapper. On the other hand, Reap qualities make it a good choice for bossing.
  • + Scaling Skill Effect Duration comes with a few side qualities, e.g. Guard buff lasting twice as long
  • + DoT playstyle makes boss fights a bit comfier, you get to dodge more while the damage is still up
  • + The build is very easy to start, requires minimal respecs, has low gear requirements and makes good use of some popular and potent uniques
  • + Exsanguinate/Reap debuff can actually be applied through proximity shields and Temporal Bubble shields, similarly to chaos DoTs.
  • + It is an all-rounder, being therefore a good starter build...
  • - ... which means it will be outperformed by specialized builds - you won't boss as quickly as Trap/Mine/Totem or clear as well as CF Champ or bow builds. It is a balance of both worlds, so it is both an upside and a downside
  • - Exsanguinate/Reap have a really long cast time (0.8 seconds base), and scaling cast speed doesn't scale DPS very well, making cast speed a weird QoL anti-clunky modifier. Casting can feel clunky, especially since you cannot interrupt casting spells yourself (pls change GGG)
  • - Endgame min-maxing options are limited - there is only so much you can squeeze out of non-ailment DoT builds
  • - Because of a few checkboxes that have to be met for this build to feel good (Skill Effect Duration, Life Regen, Reservation Efficiency etc), it is hard to incorporate some QoL features, such as Elemental Ailments immunity or Stun immunity.

5. Gearing

The exampled gear for different pricepoints and for the league-start is in the PoB - check it out as well (point 3, but you have probably found it already).
5.1. League-start scenario

In terms of leaguestart gearing, you cannot ask for much (obviously). There are some principles to go with:

We would want to use a wand/sceptre/rune dagger/shield with "+1 to all physical spell skill gems" modifier. Wands are the best in terms of implicit, but are the hardest to fit in because of the INT requirement. That being said, +1 weapons/shield is not necessary to level. You can easily level with vendor-recipe'd wands with spell damage and crafted modifier as well (all explained in the 'Notes' section in PoB).

Body armour

As always, we want as much links as possible, rendering Tabula Rasa an obvious choice. You can also search for a corrupted 6-link with desired colours (3R1G2B) and any useful mods (life, resists, armour/evasion, life regen rate/life regen; whatever you will find)


As stated above, we need standard modifiers like life, resists, life regen, armour/evasion. Keep in mind that most of our gems are either red or blue, whereas our desired bases are armour/evasion. You may start with armour/ES bases early on and switch to armour/evasion bases whenever you can colour them. Also keep in mind that evasion in these too slots enables Spell Suppression Mastery.


These will fix your remaining resists and attribute issues. If you can find some with cast speed, take them.

5.2. Day3 gearing

Disclaimer: this build profits from many prefixes and suffixes that are available in the standard mod pool. Mods like life, armour/evasion, resists, life regen, life regen rate, spell suppression are all great for us.
Therefore our standard approach is to use eldritch rares instead of influenced ones - we want more modifiers, not replacements for our generic affixes.
By day 3 we want to improve to some solid uniques and improve the quality of our rares:

We are playing with a physical spell and we want to use a pair of Cold Iron Points. Is anybody surprised?
You can also find useful corruption implicits later (check poedb.tw for possible outcomes)

Body armour

There are two options here:
1. We can use something like Skin of the Loyal or Skin of the Lords for a boost to damage and Armour/Evasion (remember to always buy these with desired sockets; in this case, 3R1G2B). These are however really expensive since 3.21 changes to Breach uniques.
2. We can use a rare Armour/Evasion chest (best bases: Triumphant Lamellar, Full Dragonscale, General's Brigandine) with the philosophy mentioned in the disclaimer above.
Essentially, Skin of the Loyal/Lords will grant you more damage and similar amount of defences but you won't get life regen and resists, which puts more pressure on rest of your gear to fit those in, especially if you'd want enough max res and regen to fit Righteous Fire (more on that in the Gems section). The choice is yours.


We'd want Armour/Evasion bases, so Pig-Faced Bascinet or Nightmare Bascinet are our picks here. You can try to find one with a good enchant (Exsang/Reap damage, Exsang duration, +1 Blood Charges, Aura Reservation Efficiency, RF grants Spell damage or something along those lines).
We want the same sort of mods as mentioned in the disclaimer: life, resists, life regen, armour/evasion, spell suppression, eldritch implicits that are useful.
Note that having Helmet, Gloves and Boots with Evasion is essential for Spell Suppression Mastery to be active.


Essentially copy/paste from the Helmet section, minus the enchant part and the names are different (Dragonscale Gauntlets to be exact).


Essentially copy/paste from the Gloves section, plus the enchant part (although there aren't that many boot enchantments that are useful for us), we want Movement Speed and the name is different (Dragonscale Boots or Two-Toned Boots this time).
Base fact: did you know that Two-Toned boots are still better in terms of base Armour/Evasion than Dragonscale Boots, yet people are still using Dragonscale Boots with eldritch implicits? Weird.


There is only one winner here - The Eternal Struggle, an unique Onyx Amulet, which is a drop from Infinite Hunger and Black Star. We want the one that is dominated by Searing Exarch (so that we have 15% culling strike).
Increased Global Defences is great, attributes help a bit to fit, mostly the Intelligence part, and the implicit can be really good. I've bought one with +25% phys DoT Multi and 16% increased Spell Damage for 10 chaos at league-start in 3.19 - it is really hard to beat. As an anoint we'd want to take Sovereignty this time (Silver/Silver/Silver) - it is cheap, helps with damage, life cost and life recovery in maps.


Rings are the typical "let's fix our resistances" gearpiece - and there is no difference here. We want life and resistances - and that's basically it. There are maybe two or three useful prefixes for us.


There are two options here:
1. We can buy (or farm from Atziri) a Doryani's Invitation Heavy Belt, a Physical version of it. It grants us an easy access to Leech, has some damage and solid chunk of resists. This is usually a bit expensive at leaguestart though.
2. We can also use a rare Belt - Stygian Vise is an obvious choice, but it is also worth to check some synthesised belts as well.
As usual, we want life, resists, life regen, maybe armour in the prefix if you can find something like that.


These are the preferred flasks:
1. Life Flask - self-explanatory - we'll want to have bleed and CB immunity and instant recovery.
2. Granite Flask - a lot of extra armour - preferably automated with an enchant "Use when Charges reach Full" - choose mods to your liking, I prefer %inc armour.
3. Jade Flask - a lot of extra evasion - preferably automated with an enchant "Use when Charges reach Full" - choose mods to your liking, I prefer %inc evasion.
4. Quicksilver Flask goes brrrrrrr - preferably automated with an enchant "Use when Charges reach Full" - choose mods to your liking, I prefer either Cast or Movement Speed. Quartz Flask - the switch from Raider to Hierophant meant we lost some of the QoL, including Phasing. Quartz Flask makes up for that while mapping - preferably automated with an enchant "Use when Charges reach Full" - choose mods to your liking, I prefer either Cast or Movement Speed.


We want to get rare Jewels with mods like:
%inc Life, %inc Spell Damage, %inc Global Physical Damage, +#% to DoT Multi, +#% to Physical DoT Multi and so on - basically anything that increases our damage.

We can use Impossible Escape - this jewels can help with reaching some of the great points that are far away on the tree. Examples:
Glancing Blows (usually expensive) - Tireless life wheel
Imbalanced Guard (usually expensive) - Prismatic Skin and Soul of Steel notables.
Avatar of Fire - Vanquisher physical damage wheel and Hearty notable.

The endgame version uses Ancestral Vision - the jewel provides chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments based on half of your Spell Suppression. We can get 50% chance from it when our Spell Suppression is capped. The other 50% can be achieved from boots (a combination of Essence of Loathing suffix and Eater of Worlds implicit).

The endgame version also uses Unnatural instinct in a Jewel Socket near the Shaper notable. It provides a lot of QoL and decent chunk of damage.

We can also use Watcher's Eye Prismatic Jewel - in that case pick whatever mods you'll find useful for Determination/Grace, Pride, Malevolence or Vitality Auras, there's a lot of good stuff there.

5.3. Endgame.

In the endgame gearing the principle is the same - we want items with standard prefixes and suffixes and eldritch implicits. We just aim higher in terms of bases and mod tiers. The gear options are in the PoBs, you can go there and see what to aim for. My gear from 3.21 testing is slightly worse than this.
Here are the gear examples that I've been using:

We are still using Cold Iron Points, we are just upgrading to a (double) corrupted ones with good implicits. We want to get either Spell Damage or Damage over Time.

You can also try to craft better rare Rune Daggers (such as +1 all/+1 phys/DoT Multi/Phys DoT Multi/Cast Speed) or switch to different caster weapon (you can use Wands, Staves, Sceptres) altoghether if you have the currency.


You can go with well-crafted amulet (+1 all/+1 physical/DoT multi), but it will be only slightly better than Eternal Struggle.
You can also use Aul's Uprising to squeeze another 50% Aura for free. I advise this for a more defensive approach, as you can fit both Determination and Grace without sacrificing damage.

Rest of the gear

As mentioned before, we are just upgrading within the same principle.

6. Gems and links

Main 6-link

Our main 6-link is reserved to our main damage skills: Exsanguinate and Reap:

Exsanguinate - Empower Support - Brutality Support - Controlled Destruction Support - Cruelty Support - Chain Support - mapping

(Vaal) Reap - Empower Support - Brutality Support - Controlled Destruction Support - Cruelty Support - Swift Affliction Support - bossing

Auras (Mana Reservation)

These are our Auras in LL version:

Pride - Malevolence - Determination/Grace - Enlighten Support - 4-link

I leave the choice of defensive aura to You. Some prefer to go with armour, some want to have a lot of evasion. Choose based on your preferences.

Vitality - Herald of Purity - Arrogance Support - 3-link

War Banner - Petrified Blood


Here we have our second 4-link:
Flame Dash (lvl 15) - Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks Support - Lifetap

I am an advocate to have two movement skills - one is a cooldown-based Blink (here: Flame Dash), the other is a spammable attack (here: Whirling Blades). As stated, these have to be linked to Lifetap Support to circumvent the potential mana issues.


We have a 4-link to our Utility:
Vulnerability - Steelskin/Molten Shell - Enduring Cry - Lifetap Support

Lastly, (Vaal) Righteous Fire.

7. FAQ and additional data

7.1. Bandits

We kill all the bandits for two Passive Points.

7.2. Pantheon

Major God: Soul of the Brine King - the stun avoidance for 2 seconds on stun is VERY GOOD. You can use Soul of Arakaali, but ONLY if you manage to get stun immunity elsewhere.
Minor God: use whatever one helps you with your content the most. Examples:
Soul of Abberath is great for Searing Exarch altars, because it lets you ignore burning ground.
Soul of Ryslatha is excellent for bosses, as it lets you replenish your Life Flask throughout the fight.
Soul of Ralakesh helps with Corrupted Blood when we don't have immunity yet.

7.3. FAQ

I'll try to include further questions here.
How about an SSF version?

I'd say this build should be fine as an SSF version, just stick to the +1 weapons/shield, there is also a possibility to target farm Broken Truce cards from Jorgin in Betrayal to try to farm CIPs.

How about including cluster jewels?

The current version uses one Large Cluster Jewel for Physical Damage. These are really efficient, but the Tree is really streched to get a few crucial things, so I've managed to fit only one Cluster.

Unleash or not Unleash?

There are two options to approach Exsanguinate DoTs - one includes Unleash Support to store uses and apply three stacks at once; the other uses any viable support gem, in my version it is Efficacy Support of Empower Support. The choice between those is a choice between playstyles. Unleash lets you cast less often, but you sacrifice some damage for it. Efficacy/Empower gives you higher damage ceiling, but it requires more cast speed to compensate the slowness of Exsanguinate if you need to stack more than one DoT on enemy.
Try both and choose the one that fits your mapping playstyle better.

Why Hierophant as a part of the Ascendancy?

Hierophant provides Arcane Surge (which grants 10% increased Cast Speed and 30% Mana Regen Rate) and makes it also grant 10% more Spell Damage. This makes Hierophant a solid damage option while also getting some of the Cast Speed.

Why not Raider? Why the change?

As some of you have pointed out, the "10% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Rare/Unique hit" was not enough to sustain Frenzy Charges during boss fights. The choice of going Raider is a remnant of the original, 3.19 version of the build, before nerfs to curse application. Back then I used Storm Brand with Hextouch Support, which provided enough hits to sustain Frenzy Charges. However, after changes in 3.20 I opted away from this solution, so sustaining Frenzy Charges during boss fights was hard.

Why Gladiator?

Gladiator grants 20% more Physical DoT damage and 10% attack block. It is similar in power level to Champion (with 15% aura effect, Intimidate, Taunt and increased damage taken) or Trickster (2% more damage for every Mastery type, and cap to enemies' action speed. I actually am not sure which one of these is the best, I advise Gladiator because it's the simplest power increase. You can however try to switch things around.

Can you estimate a price of the build?

I usually try not to give a precise pricelist of these items. As you know, prices change quite frequently. I will do that here, but please keep in mind, these things are ever-changing and the list below may not be relevant as of next league.

Campaign budget - in the PoB I literally added only wand with vendor recipe spell damage, lapis amulet and rustic sash. There's no currency there.

Leaguestart budget - the gear in the PoB is your usual Life and Resists, with some life regen her and there. Let's say, 5c a piece.
Corrupted 6link body armour usually costs about 30-35c day2.
Daggers with +1 phys are created with yet another vendor recipe.
In total, let's assume about 80c.

Day3 budget - let's start with uniques:
2x Cold Iron Point - prices of these can vary. In 3.19 I bought these for 50c a piece day 3, in 3.21 I bought these for 4c a piece day 3. It mostly depends on the meta, and if there are any physical spell or physical spell poison builds in the mix.
Eternal Struggle - historically this amulet had a high price variance, people have issues pricing these. The ones with high Physical DoT Multi may cost 10c, may cost 1div.
Watcher's Eye - it's really hard to tell, these have high variance as well. In previous leagues I was able to buy Physical Damage while Pride and a defensive modifier while Determination for 2divs. I deliberately don't include the one with DoT Multi while Malevolence, because these are expensive.
Rest of the jewels - there is a solid list of modifiers that work for us, so with clever trade searching you can find jewels with 4 useful mods for 20-30c
Rest of the gear - better rares, with eldritch implicits when possible. Let's say, 40c a piece.
In total, about 6div, depending on a few prices.

Final Budget - again, let's start with uniques:
2x corrupted Cold Iron Point - these were more consistent in price - I usually bought them for 80-100c a piece day 4-5.
Eternal Struggle - no change.
Ancestral Vision - this one I bought in 3.21 for 2divs day 4.
Unnatural Instinct - based on poe.ninja, this league's prices started at 5divs and slowly decreased to 2,5-3divs. Let's count 5divs.
Watcher's Eye - no change

Rest of the rare gear - I'm assuming that the rest of the gear is crafted from fractured bases with essences, and then with stuff like eldritch currency or prefixes/suffixes cannot be changed + veiled chaos. Let's say, 3divs per.

Also, in the final version we should take gem prices into consideration.

Enlighten lvl4 - historically about 10divs, but you can also use Enlighten lvl3 if you choose to invest a bit more into mana reservation efficiency (mana mastery, helmet craft/implicit, maybe some corrupted jewels).

Empower lvl4 - these prices vary a bit, but we should estimate about 6divs. Again, not necessary, you can be using Empower lvl3 of Efficacy Support.

Awakened Brutality - one of the cheaper Awakened supports at the moment, I bought mine for 100c last league.
Awakened Controlled Destruction - is a bit more expensive, usually about 1div.
Awakened Swift Affliction - always costs a good chunk early, like 2-2,5 divs, because a lot of people are playing DoT builds.
Awakened Chain - expensive, and not necessary, you can stick with regular Chain Support.

21/20 Exsanguinate usually costs about 100c. You can also level these yourself in the offhand and try to corrupt these yourself. You can also settle with 21/0.

Vaal Reap can be more expensive. Ideally we would like 21/20 or 21/0. Both will be expensive, so try to find 21/0, 20/0 or 20/20. The quality is not mandatory.

In total, let's count 20-25divs if one chooses not to buy unnecessary stuff, and closer to 35-40divs with lvl4 enlightens and such.

Hope that explains it.

How about using Reap instead?

As explained above, I believe that Exsanguinate is superior for mapping. I also believe that Reap is comfier for bosses, therefore I advise using both skills based on the content and switching gems.

I am dying too much, can you help me?

1. Don't overlook armour/evasion bases and prefix mods. They really make a difference. The preferred values are 20k armour (so that physical damage on T16s doesn't hurt) and 8k evasion (so that we have about 50% chance to evade) without flasks, if you can choose to go Determination. If you go with Grace, the closer you get to 95% evade chance, the better. Note that you can use Skin of the Loyal/Lords, it should scale armour/evasion even better thanks to 100% increased Global Defences mod - but it creates even more pressure to improve your armour/evasion stats on helmet/boots/gloves (see this helmet as an example:
2. I really like increasing my maximum elemental resistances. It helps a lot. You can get some from Searing Exarch implicits (all resistances on chest, lightning on helmet, cold on gloves, fire on boots).
3. You may want to incorporate some attack/spell block. However, there isn't a lot of sources of it. The one that come to mind are Eater of Worlds implicits on Body Armour and Eternal Struggle. The
4. When you improve your defences, further investment in recovery will only amplify the feel of being tougher. 500-550 life regen/s is a baseline to sustain casting Exsanguinate, 1000 starts feeling comfy, over 1500 you have enough to endure many DoTs.
5. Remember that PoB includes a defensive version. Granted, it has a lot less damage, but it should be much more durable as well.

My cast speed feels pretty low, how can I fix it?

In the past I'd advise taking Precision and Dark Arts notables. However, I changed the Passive Tree a bit, so we don't have access to them anymore.
3. You can get Cast Speed as an Searing Exarch implicit on your helmet:

4. If all of that doesn't feel enough, you can get Action Speed as an Searing Exarch implicit on your boots or Cast Speed suffix on your utility flask. I found those not necessary, but your mileage may vary.

How much regen do I need to sustain Righteous Fire?

The short answer is: you have to have at least 1000-1200 life regen per second.
The long answer is: Righteous Fire deals 90% of your Life as Fire DoT per second. This is reduced by your Fire Resistance. We have 82% Fire Resistance thanks to tree, which makes us take ~17% of our life per second as Fire DoT. Let's assume we have 5k Life. Our RF will deal 850 damage per second to us. You have to have more regen to mitigate it. You also want to have excess regen so you can cast Exsanguinate freely (it is 200 life pre cast, it is substantial) and to have some regen for the actual recovery purposes.

Last edited by pawelos13 on Dec 8, 2023, 1:26:11 PM
Last bumped on Jan 31, 2024, 6:07:27 AM
Would like to try it in an SSF scenario. Is it a good idea?

Planning to build this for 3.20, wondering if u had any cluster jewel plans atm?
Thank you for making this detailed build guide.

What do you mean with "using Storm Brand with Hextouch Support was also a way to proc CF stacks"? If I understand correctly, CF's stacks need costing life to refresh but storm brand does not, right?

edit: I understand the mechanic of CF now.
Last edited by Nullstellensatz on Dec 8, 2022, 6:53:19 PM
Storm Brand applies the CF stacks and using Exsanguinate costs life to keep refreshing CF.

It doesn't matter where the life cost comes from to refresh CF.
RealAmbush wrote:
Would like to try it in an SSF scenario. Is it a good idea?

Can be rough as the build uses 2x Cold Iron Point daggers for damage scaling. Infinite Heist or Logbook farming would be probably your best bet to drop the daggers in SSF.
RealAmbush wrote:
Would like to try it in an SSF scenario. Is it a good idea?

I'd say it is a good idea, because Exsanguinate damage is really solid while leveling. You can try to snipe those +1 phys gear in Act 1 and do something with it later. I believe you should be fine.

That said, I cannot say if the survivability will be good enough, because we are gaining a lot from armour and evasion from our gear, and this puts a lot of pressure on armour bases and prefixes.

I plan to start an SSF version of this character during 3.20 at some point, and I want to try the HC version with Shield. I will include my observations in the guide then.
Last edited by pawelos13 on Dec 9, 2022, 5:38:34 AM
Tobbeavenger wrote:

Planning to build this for 3.20, wondering if u had any cluster jewel plans atm?

Hi there!

I've tried many iterations of Passive Trees whem planning the build, including those with Cluster Jewels. I've noticed it is quite hard to fit them, because you have to allocate three points to the socket and them at least five to notables and medium sockets. I didn't reached better numbers with clusters, not even once. It is because there is a lot of efficient %inc physical damage in the Sciom/Marauder/Templar area. You can try to fit clusters in the DPS version, cutting some of the life/spell suppress/defensive nodes in the process, but I haven't tested it.
XenoPOE wrote:
Storm Brand applies the CF stacks and using Exsanguinate costs life to keep refreshing CF.

It doesn't matter where the life cost comes from to refresh CF.

Thank you for the explanation!

In the Curse topic, I'm thinking about ditching Hextouch Support and selfcasting Curse/triggering it with Arcanist Brand due to 3.20, but this makes the Storm Brand setup a bit underused (it will then proc CF only, Arcane Surge can be moved to the other spell). I'm thinking about the version that doesn't include CF at all, but I have no idea what to include instead. I prefer to stick to the original idea for now (Storm Brand w/ Hextouch Support, crunching the numbers of Hextouch, Vulnerability and removing the bosses Hex penalty says there will be a slight damage increase when we stick to this) but I'll be looking for the proper changes.

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