[3.24] Detonate Dead Autobomber - A Bow Cast on Critical Strike League Starter

This is my take on an autobomber with lots of explosions! The build uses an initial triggered attack to trigger two Manaforged Arrows setups that use Cast on Critical Strike to trigger Desecrate and Detonate Dead.

League start POB (what's used in video and gif): https://pobb.in/AzF5ER9ESm1l
Delirious Forge of the Phoenix: https://youtu.be/7mBmOThCQQ4

Pros & Cons

+ Extremely fast mapper
+ Autobomber with explosions!
+ Great scaling potential
+ League start viable
+ No mana issues
+ No cooldown/attack speed breakpoints to worry about
+ No temporary league power is used in any of the showcases (see tab for league specific suggestions)

- Not SSF viable (need Replica Maloney's Mechanism at least)
- Not HC viable (at least without adjustments)
- Have to level as something else (guide included)
- Damage is slightly delayed
- Have to hold down another key besides movement


Necropolis League Specific
Allflame Ember of Meatsacks lets us spectre meatsacks again and is the best spectre to add to our corpse pool. Some very strong new haunted modifiers +1 power charge, increased curse effect and maim on attack hit are all great modifiers for the build. Crafting should make better rares more accessible, including the cast on crit bow now that influenced grave crafts are available. Tattoos are also back and there are quite a few solid ones for this build (accuracy, movement speed, projectile speed, evasion, hinder on hit and mark effect).


Build Mechanics

Initial Bow Attack Trigger
The core idea of this build is to trigger bow attacks that in turn triggers Detonate Dead and Desecrate with Cast on Critical Strike as we run through the map. So the first thing we need to do is trigger some bow attacks.

The only way to trigger a bow attack without having already attacked with a bow is Replica Maloney's Mechanism, which triggers a bow attack when you cast a spell with a one second cooldown. If we use an instant spell, we can hold down the key its bound to (many ways to do this, choose whichever is easiest for you) and have it trigger automatically whenever it’s off cooldown. The instant skill we use is Corrupting Fever, since its one second cooldown aligns with Replica Maloney's Mechanism's cooldown. Now we’ve got a way to trigger a bow attack without ever needing to stop moving!

Triggering Manaforged Arrows
Now we’ve got a way to trigger a bow attack while running through the map! But unfortunately it’s only one attack in a 3-link, which won’t be nearly enough to use for Cast on Critical Strike. Fortunately (for us at least), triggered attacks (and spells) cost mana and that lets us use Manaforged Arrows to trigger more attacks. To trigger Manaforged Arrows we need to spend three times the cost of the skill we want to trigger on other bow attacks, which is difficult since our initial triggered bow attack is in a 3-link and can’t be a channeled bow skill. Luckily, if we link Lifetap to our Manaforged Arrows setup we only need to spend 1 mana on other bows skills to trigger the Manaforged Arrows setup! Since we can have as many Manaforged Arrows setups as we have sockets for (just can’t have duplicates of the same skill gem), we can now trigger a bow skill in each of our 6-links!

Triggering Cast on Critical Strike
Unfortunately Manaforged Arrows has a significant less damage penalty and doesn't provide any more damage multiplier since we're linking to Lifetap. But if we use Cast on Critical Strike to trigger a spell, that spell won't have the less damage penalty from Manaforged Arrows, since Manaforged Arrows can only support bow attacks.

We are also unable to scale attack speed and our attack rate is limited by a 1 second cooldown (scaled down substantially by increased cooldown recovery), which isn't bad but not being able to scale attack speed on bow builds is less than ideal. Fortunately, by using Cast on Critical Strike with Rain of Arrows (of Saturation ideally) and Blast Rain, which both hit enemies many times over a duration when fired, we can take relatively few triggered bow attacks and turn them into many, many spell casts.

Sustaining Lifetap Costs
Since we're triggering so many skills with Lifetap, we need a way to recover life. We use Ngamahu's Sign to regenerate life when we ignite an enemy, which is every hit, and instant leech along with Vitality.

Raise Spectre
Since Desecrate has a 15% chance to create a spectre corpse, we use Raise Spectre to raise a high health spectre to maximize the life of the corpses we summon with Desecrate. I recommend raising a Kitava's Herald, which can be found in The Cathedral Rooftop (Act 5/10), The Canals and The Feeding Trough (can check what corpse you're going to raise with a). Once you've raised the spectre you don't need to have the Raise Spectre gem socketed at all and you'll still have a 15% chance to spawn a Kitava's Herald from Desecrate.

This next part is a very large dps boost, but not something I do in any of the showcases since I expect it to be removed sooner or later (still exists as of 3.24). But until it is you should absolutely do it. Explanation source.

The other 85% of corpse spawned Desecrate are based on the corpse pool of the zone. Currently, the corpse pool of the zone includes the corpses of the monsters that naturally spawn in the zone and the corpses of all spectres currently in your Desecrate pool. This incentives maximizing the number of different high life spectres in your Desecrate pool. To to this you'll want to temporarily equip two Midnight Bargains and an amulet anointed with Death Attunement, socket a level 20 Raise Spectre into a Voideye, get a body armour with the Delve modifier for + spectres and get a Wraithlord (skip if too expensive and redo later) that has 4 socketed ghastly eye jewels. If you maximize everything you can have 11 spectres.

Now we need to raise different spectres from the list below until you hit your spectre limit, one per monster type. Hold down your Corpse Targetting hotkey configured in Options > Input to double-check the corpse name before and during casting of Raise Spectre. Only let go of the key after raising the corpse. If you mess up and summon the wrong monster / summon a spectre twice it's easiest to just restart by unsocketing the gem and starting over.

Finally, once you have the maximum number of spectres you can have, first unequip the gem and put it in the stash. Then, unequip and stash/sell all your spectre boosting gear, you are now set up for the rest of the league on that character.Every spectre that has more health than 360% (Kitava's Herald) is downscaled to its life pool as a spectre (corpse). The below list only contains spectres that have the same or more health than a Kitava's Herald.

These 5 spectres are easy to find, just go to the right zone and spam desecrate:

1. Kitava's Herald (A5, Cathedral Rooftop)

2. Sandworn Slaves (A9, Vastiri Desert)

3. Rattling Condemned (A6, The Prison)

4. Cavestalker (Delve, Mine Encampment)

5. Gorgol Alpha (Delve, Mine Encampment)

The following spectres can't be desecrated directly from the zone, you'll have to find and kill them before raising their corpse (don't use Detonate Dead to kill them or you risk detonating its corpse). However they all should be fairly easy to find.

Large statues that attack you when you get close (pay attention to the names, the auric statues look very similar):

6. Auric Champion (A3, Solaris L2) 7. Auric Colossus (A3, Solaris L2) 8. Towering Figment (A4, Grand Arena) 9. Giant Gladiator Statue (A3, Marketplace) 10. Overgrown Colossus (A3, normal lab, first zone)

Delve monsters that can be found in random delves, even those at level ~35:

11. Turong (Delve, any normal encounter) 12. Azurite Widow (Delve, any normal encounter)

I recommend taking the small pantheon that gives reduced effect of shock and the large pantheon that gives freeze immunity and stun/chill mitigation.


Starter Gear
Mandatory Items:
Replica Maloney's Mechanism
Ngamahu's Sign
Gloves with fire damage leeched as life eldritch implicit (or another source of fire/elemental damage leeched as life)

Recommended Items:
Xoph's Heart's Heart
Belt with at least 15% cooldown recovery rate
Boots with 5% increase cooldown recovery rate from implicit

General Rares: Prioritize getting elemental resistance capped and life. Spell suppression and strength once your elemental resistances are capped.
Flasks: Our clear speed is limited by our movement speed, so a quicksilver flask is highly recommended. Diamond helps with damage and Quartz and Jade with defenses.


Detonate Dead (Transfigured Gems recommended but not necessary)
Manaforged Arrows - Lifetap - Increased Critical Strike Chance - Rain of Arrows (of Saturation) - Cast on Critical Strike - Detonate Dead (of Chain Reaction)

Manaforged Arrows - Lifetap - Increased Critical Strike Chance - Blast Rain - Cast on Critical Strike - Desecrate

Replica Maloney's Mechanism
Frenzy - Power Charge on Critical - Culling Strike

Grace, Summon Skitterbots, Vitality, Precision

Mark on Hit - Assassin's Mark, Punishment, Flammability, Elemental Weakness

Other Skills
Flame Dash, Wave of Conviction

Hold Down
Corrupting Fever (level 1)


Leveling and Transition
Leveling as Spellslinger Armageddon Brand Recaller which is excellent on league start and doesn't require any respec points outside what we get from mainline quests. We use Rolling Magma before we get Armageddon Brand.

Jungroan Spellslinger Armageddon Brand Recaller Leveling Video

Leveling POB: https://pobb.in/id4wPKb1nzjX

Transition when you have 100% critical strike chance for your bow attacks and have enough currency to afford Replica Maloney's Mechanism (depends on economy but has never been more than 20c). Spellslinger Armageddon Brand Recaller is a strong build for atlas progression so don't worry about swapping as soon as you get to maps. I swapped in yellow maps and it felt smooth before and after. Recommended items are all pretty common/cheap and generally should be your first upgrades.


Upgrades (loosely ordered)
1. Start to quality stuff (gems, flasks, catalyze)
2. Add eldritch implicits to rares
3. Craft a helmet with trigger socketed spells when you focus and put curses in there
4. Upgrade body armour
5. Add a cluster jewel setup (look for elemental/fire damage leeched as life)
6. Swap gloves to Tanu Ahi or upgrade to better rare gloves (make sure you have another source of fire/elemental leeched as life before doing this)
7. Craft a Shaper bow with Socketed Gems are supported by Level # Cast On Critical Strike with increased critical strike chance (also look for chance to deal double damage, damage penetrates elemental resistances, % of fire damage as extra chaos, global critical strike multiplier and +1 level to socketed gems)
8. Craft Stygian Vise with 20% increased cooldown recovery rate and get an Abyss jewel with increased cooldown recovery rate
9. Craft boots with the Shaper/Crusader modifier 15% increased cooldown recovery rate (elevated double influenced with pierce/elusive ideally)
10. Get a Watcher's Eye with life gain on hit and drop Ngamahu's Sign
11. Swap Xoph's Heart's Heart to Leadership's Price and balance intelligence and dexterity
12. Get enough critical strike chance to drop Increased Critical Strike Chance from both 6-links (add Unearth to Desecrate 6-link)
13. Lower the level of Vitality and drop Precision and add Determination
14. Corruption hunt on uniques
15. Get curse on hit Enfeeble or Temporal Chains
16. Get a better Watcher's Eye
17. Awakened Support Gems, Enlighten, Empower
18. Get Forbidden Flesh/Flame (lots of good options, personal preference)


Other Autobomber Guides
Last edited by Juminoh on Jun 11, 2024, 7:30:39 PM
Last bumped on May 18, 2024, 10:57:03 PM
I've been looking through your build guides after you posted on Reddit and they all look amazing.

Do you think the left click change and the automation support will have a big effect on this build? Maybe too much socket pressure?

What sort of content have you been doing with this?

I'll be watching your content closely!

Edit: it takes 52 points to respec from the arma brand while the story only gives 24. Do you do anything differently?
Last edited by Higglefrizz on Mar 24, 2024, 12:40:58 AM
Higglefrizz wrote:
I've been looking through your build guides after you posted on Reddit and they all look amazing.

Do you think the left click change and the automation support will have a big effect on this build? Maybe too much socket pressure?

What sort of content have you been doing with this?

I'll be watching your content closely!

Edit: it takes 52 points to respec from the arma brand while the story only gives 24. Do you do anything differently?

Thanks! Can't use automation unfortunately, since it doesn't count as you casting it. Just have to hold down an extra key now (many ways of doing this). Adds some socket pressure, but you could try and fit in call to arms and infernal cry to replace xoph's heart though (would probably drop wave of conviction once you get exposure on hit eldritch implicit and precision once you don't need them). Updated the levelling tree to not require any extra respec points!
Last edited by Juminoh on Apr 21, 2024, 7:15:43 PM
could I use a regular cast on crit bow, and then could use another support like inc crit damage?

or does the manaforged arrows have to be linked to the cast on crit through gems?

attack speed wont really matter on the bow, right? we are limited by maloneys and CDR only

do you recommend archmage brand to trigger all 3 curses other than ass mark?

can we upgrade xophs to xoph's heart since we dont need non-fire damage to proc sab's explosive expert?

just wondering what could be some end game items/potential here. i was thinking of using LC to be a bit phys tankier as well
I'm not the build creator but I agree with all your thought. Coc bow will be a huge boost, ideally with hits cannot be evaded.

You should look at ruetoo's coc dd with steel skills. Lots of ideas for more endgame setup.

I think one of the biggest issues with DPS is that the dd is not crit capped in the league start version, adding a brittle implicit to boots would easily help with that.
cant craft hits cant be evaded on bows.

this method of coc just avoids the attack speed check that other coc builds actually want to have. i like the usage of lifetap though to solve mana issues that most coc builds will have

not being able to left click cast CF to auto bomb is a huge bummer though.

i guess best bow would be a shaper harb/death with CoC20, Elepen, +1 gems, crit, chance for double damage
Last edited by haslefthegame on Mar 27, 2024, 11:43:51 AM
Yep, all of those are good upgrades (can see them all in the upgrades tab) and attack speed doesn't matter for us! Can go arcanist brand or trigger on focus helmet to save slots (or also use on socket with automation)! Self-cast is totally fine early though, since the build doesn't have to self cast for damage.
Just wondering is there any specific reason to go blast rain instead of 2 roa?
transitioning into this build soon, can't wait for the 3.24 update!
Hey it seems to me like Replica Maloney's Mechanism only fires a skill gem socketed on the quiver itself.

I put frenzy in the quiver as you state on the POB and it can't be used due to being triggered, then i check in hideout by holding CF with a RoA gem in the maloney's and it will proc RoA every second.

am i missing something???

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