[3.4] Say_Ten's Double Strike/Spectral Throw Melee Scion - Cheap and Easy to Play

Standard IGN: Grundle_Police

Double Strike DPS is 145k and rising...self-buffed with Hatred, HoA and Flame Golem

Essence Crit Staff build DPS is up to 290k and rising with Hatred, HoA, Ice Golem and Ancestral Warchief

Not too much noteworthy specific to this build going from 3.3 to 3.4.

Sample High-Level Tree

Quick and dirty look at some gamepley

You can read below for theory on why I made the choices I made. You can also read recent posts where I answered some folks about how to react to the new changes in the latest patch(es). I try be as active as possible on here for you all. I have also added an FAQ section.


You're going to use spectral throw and double strike as your main attacks throughout the entire game. The synergy of these skills is excellent since you can hit enemies at range (kite them) or even hit a single target at range and then bash its face in at melee range WHILE THE SPECTRAL WEAPONS ARE COMING BACK. Since spectral throw can hit enemies multiple times and the weapons always come back to you (except through a wall or something impossible), you can throw, leap really far away and/or run in circles and the spectral weapons will hit a lot of stuff on the way back.

Your survivability will depend largely on how smart you play, but having high elemental resistances and doing a lot of damage are good mitigation strategies for taking the ultimate timeout. Later in the game, you will need to be mitigating damage via regen, leech, fortify, and having a lot of life. The huge physical damage reduction in this build is also a strong point.


To focus on the resistances, try to find items that help this category significantly. For instance, I used Goldrim on my Domination Scion until I was probably Level 82. Hard to beat those resistances.

Eventually, you will want to find most armor pieces with + maximum life and at least two good resist mods. I also look for + physical damage and/or attack speed on gloves and + movement speed on boots.

I have been using Daresso's Defiance as armor since they nerfed Endurinng Cry so that I can still have endurance charges.

So I am not a slave to DEX or INT on this build, I will usually look for certain pieces of gear that fit all the criteria and have one of those stats on them. The helm is usually a decent place if you are using a rare one.

You can also utilize jewelry (or even gloves for that matter) with leech on them, especially if mana is a problem. I prefer to look for flat physical damage and life on jewelery as a rule of thumb.

For flasks, I generally pick up life flasks that add armor or evasion. I'll run two of those. Then I will run 1 Jade Flask and 2 Granite Flasks. The reasoning behind flask choice is that the Life Flasks only help so much. ~700 life is nothing on top of 4000, especially when you are being hit for 2000-3000 (net) or more. Jade and Granite flasks are multiplicative with this build. The physical damage reduction from using both at the same time can be insane.

To focus on DPS, you will find the highest physical dps 2H weapon possible and just use that. The high damage per hit and/or per second weapons work well on this build due to multiple factors:

1) spectral throw hits multiple times, and even if the first throw is slow, you can litter the field with spectral throws quickly

2) slower attack speed wastes less mana per second

3) eventually you will have enough attack speed that #1 and #2 won't matter

Once you have your defense set up in the passive tree, you will slowly start to spec into 2H Swords. I prefer swords over axes and anything else for their accuracy rating and also because the scion has access to a lot of sword nodes with this build.

NOTE: My general rule of thumb is to not upgrade equipment with currency, whether you are buying it or crafting it, unless you feel you are stuck in some way. "You will always find something better in 15 minutes" is my exaggerated statement.

Current gear on my 92:


Other, perhaps more expensive options

You could use a Taste of Hate flask due to the physical damage scaling. Some people have run Starforge with this build. Some people have run Kaom's Heart and gone fully spectral throw. Again, these are good options if you find them or really want to pay for them, thereby making the build a step above the "cheap" level.


These skills and support gems are listed from left to right in order of importance/use. Sometimes you might have one before the other and sometimes you might prefer a defensive gem over an offensive one so the ultimate combination can be your choice. Should you happen to find two 6L items, you can also choose if you want to have a better defense (CoDT setup) or offense:

Double Strike - Melee Physical Damage - Multistrike - Ruthless - Maim - Blood Magic/Melee Splash/Faster Attacks

Your main attack for single targets or very small packs. Serious DPS.

Spectral Throw - Lesser Multiple Projectiles - Faster Attacks - Vicious Projectiles - Maim - Blood Magic

Your Area of Effect attack. Also very good DPS and kiting ability for single targets...and your speed-clear skill.

Cast on Damage Taken (level 1) - Immortal Call - Enfeeble - Blood Rage (max) - (Whatever else you want...I used to use Molten Shell. You can use increased duration or a spell. You can even swap out IC for Enduring Cry if you want to keep endurance charges up all the time. I would not recommend EC if you are running Daresso's Defiance.)

The backbone of your survivability.

Hatred and Herald of Purity - Enlighten - [Grace (ok if you run blood magic gems on skills)]

Your aura(s). Excellent DPS increase from hatred, excellent physical damage reduction from grace. I generally only ran Hatred and HoA and will sometimes switch/add Grace for tougher bosses with high physical damage.

Leap Slam - Faster Attacks - Culling Strike - Fortify (Or Increased Item Rarity if you are culling bosses)

Your mobility skill which will eventually turn into a culling strike for bosses/rare monsters and fortify you or increase rarity of things that drop from their pants.

Other Options

I have also been using Summon Flame Golem for awhile now since it is giving me a bump in damage and can take the heat off me (no pun intended) at times. It also has a large amount of life so its survivability, even with no buffs, is good.

Decoy Totem is an old standby and you can use that by itself to aggro crowds. I also use this regularly until my gear is a little more set in stone.

Vaal Haste will make you shred so use one of those if you have an extra green socket. Vaal Double Strike is some good extra DPS, especially if you end up using it with support gems. Vaal Grace is also solid defense.

If you are short on sockets for any gems, consider getting an unset ring to assist with something you really don't need to link to anything else (such as Blood Rage or Vaal Haste).

Bandit Rewards

Help Oak


Go Slayer, then Raider, then take 40 INT so you're not a slave to that trash

Leveling/Passive Tree

Essentially you are going to start out grabbing reistances and DPS (attack speed, physical damage). See my current skill tree...you will notice I took all nodes for 2h weapon damage that I could. I also took some life nodes and some other utility nodes.

...then try to take iron reflexes and unwavering stance at pretty much the same time

You will want to change things around a little bit (take more damage or more life or more armor, etc) based on your equipment and preference. If you you are running a Hardcore character, you might want to focus a bit more on Spectral Throw (projectile damage vs. melee damage) to kite monsters and grabbing even more life nodes.

I found that there weren't really too many map mods that were bad for this build. No regen is annoying but as long as you can hit things, you're fine. Physical/elemental reflect was never a large issue since this isn't a huge crit build...just watch for multiplicative mods like Elemental Weakness or Vulnerability with Reflect because of you Spectral Throw into a crowd it can get dangerous.

Most of all, use this guide as just that...a guide...to help understand some game mechanics and get to a higher level and plan your next build.

If I think of more, I will update this post. Feel free to ask questions.

Leveling Tree Examples:

~20 points:

~40 points:

~65 points:

~80 points:

~100 points:

...and so on


How do you sustain mana?


This is probably the question I get asked most often. Here is an in-depth response!

There are multiple basic ways to get mana:

- Mana Flask
- Leech
- Mana Gain on Hit
- Mana on Kill
- Mana Regen

...these can be on gear or from passives.

There are multiple basic ways to spend or reserve mana:

- Using Active Skills (IE: Double Strike and Spectral Throw)
- Using Auras (IE: Hatred)
- Using Heralds (IE: Herald of Ash)

Auras and Heralds reserve mana and reduce the mana pool you may draw from to use skills. Active skills spend the mana and their expenditure of mana is based on a base rate which is modified based on the support gems you have attached to it.

When you first start out playing, you will need to use mana flasks unless you are wearing Elreon's "-X mana cost" rings. I prefer mana flasks that deliver their effect over longer periods of time. The Grand flasks have a 10-second delivery time, which is good, because this build usually doesn't have hundreds of mana that need to be replenished instantly. The slow and steady replenishment means that you have to use flasks less often.

As you begin to level your character, you may notice that this mana shit is really getting annoying. See the above list for possible ways to rectify the solution. My personal favorite way to deal with the mana issue is get some mana leech, and then maybe even some mana regen if possible.

Wurm's Molt is a unique belt that is cheap and end-game viable for this build. See below:

If you happen to find or buy this belt, it will solve your mana problems for a long time with a couple caveats:

1) Your physical damage (not damage per second or even physical damage per second) has to be high enough to create good leeching mechanics.

2) Your attack speed can't be so insane that you are spending mana faster than you can leech based on #1.

I frequently suggest that, for quite some number of levels, "big and slow" weapons are perfect.

Also keep in mind that if you are hitting multiple enemies at the same time (such as with Spectral Throw) your leech efficiency will be higher. So you may notice it is easier to sustain mana with ST but when it comes to single targets with DS, you are running out. Without getting into the mechanics of leech here, you can take my word for it.

Another player choice while leveling comes in the form of use of Auras and Heralds. With most of your maximum mana reserved, you will generally run out of mana faster. You can simply elect to turn off one of these mana-reserving situations if it is really annoying for you until you figure out a better way to address the situation. Ask yourself: "Self, if it means I have to use mana potions, would I like a lot more DPS? Should I use Hatred? ...or should I just leave it off for now until I find some better items?"

Should you be out of options on the mana forefront, you can always spec into some mana-based nodes on the passive tree, such as Mana Flows underneath the Duelist starting point. Then you can eventually refund those points and put them to use elsewhere.

Lastly, I would like to add that I usually do try to keep some form of mana leech and mana regen on my character on jewelry or gloves. This means that I can ditch Wurm's Molt for a good rustic sash to increase my damage, get more life and better resists. It also means that I don't have to waste points on the skill tree to spec into mana leech.

How do I get my DPS up?


This build's damage is based on physical damage. That means that any increase in physical damage not only helps, but scales greatly based on the passive tree and the skill/support gems we use. The main contributors to non-physical damage that I suggest you study on are Hatred, Herald of Ash and Added Fire Damage. These gems take your physical damage and add a percentage of that as extra elemental damage. This makes us stronger and more well-rounded as far as damage output and dealing with reflect.

This is not a crit-based build. Though having some crit chance/multiplier is nice, it should not be a major concern for you. Crit-based gear is also expensive.

Thie is not an elemental-based build. Though having elemental damage (on weapons, say) is nice, it doesn't help nearly as much as having more physical damage.

Assuming you read the above 3 paragraphs, then you just need to make sure that you are using the right gear and gems. If you are going for straight offense, a 5L or 6L will buy you a lot over a 4L or 5L respectively.

Just remember:

- Get a high PDPS (physical damage per second) two-handed weapon
- Stack flat physical damage on gear
- Stack attack speed on gear
- Murder everything

What if I want to go crit anyway?


You can, technically, though the tree becomes a bit different. See my current (as of 10/22/2016) tree on my lvl82 Essence Scion:


DPS can be high!


The downsides of going crit are as follows:

- more expensive
- potential use of multiple uniques, reducing maximum potential life pool
- DPS is highly augmented by power charges, which are hard to keep up without the Power Charge on Critical gem, Assassin's Mark curse, or something else
- If using PCoC gem, your Spectral Throw will have either one less damage-boosting support gem or it won't have Blood Magic...both CAN sometimes suck, whether it is for DPS or mana reasons.

Why LMP vs. GMP?


LMP costs less mana and does more damage. LMP, even with only 3 spectral weapons, has very good area of effect (AOE). Personally, I don't think GMP buys us anything.

What Level Cast When Damage Taken?


I have been keeping it at Level 1 for a long time. I like the ability to have it cast Immortal Call often. It also helps keep Blood Rage up if you aren't killing things 24/7 (which is unacceptable, so go kill things). You could experiment with a higher level CWDT (maybe level 10 or so) but you would have to make your own call on whether or not it's better.

Can you help me?


I sure can. Make sure you go into your account options on the forum and uncheck the box that says "hide all characters". This will let me see your passive tree and gear. A quick post or direct message once you have done this is fine. I will get back to you as soon as I can.


Dual Claw Shadow - Up to Level 95


Link to build guide:

Passive Tree:

I will keep this brief since grindst0ne already has a post showing the basics of this build. We have slight differences in play style and tree choices so I may eventually write up something more substantial.

The basics are that you use a Bringer of Rain and dual wield claws, stacking physical damage, life leech and life on hit. The build also has a little bit of crit. In the Bringer of Rain, put Dual Strike, Multistrike, Added Fire Damage and Melee Splash. This works best 95% of the time. For tougher single targets, swap splash for Melee Damage on Full Life. Since this is a leeching build, chance are that your health is full a lot of the time and you will benefit from that gem and the damage bonus is insane.

I also use:

Lightning Strike - Multistrike - Curse on Hit - Assassin's Mark

This actually does excellent damage and the AOE/Range from LS is pretty insane. Doubly effective since you curse enemies, kill them and get power charges.

Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Blood Rage - Enfeeble

Using CWDT Level 1 but you could definitely level it higher. Also on vulnerability/degen maps you can ditch Blood Rage.

Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify

Whirl-fortify into packs, also leave your friends in the dust

Hatred - Herald of Ash - Summon Flame Golem

Watch shit explode



Video of me facetanking the Jungle Valley boss:


Voltaxic Ranger - Up to level 95

Last edited by Say_Ten on Sep 7, 2018, 7:36:56 AM
Last bumped on Dec 20, 2018, 8:55:54 AM
Skill tree needs re-work , there are some point un-efficent nodes there.
Squirrel is love, Squirrel is life.
Skill tree needs re-work , there are some point un-efficent nodes there.

can you be more specific?

i am now almost level 79 and things are getting even better. aside from some chaos damage mobs, i felt like i was doing more damage and tanking better than most of a party of 6 i was with last night.

not sure if my pc has the capability to do some twitch videos but it would be cool if i could share those as well.
also, here is my tree at level 78 currently:


i will eventually make my way to the Destroyer node towards the left of my build and then probably Razor's Edge towards the bottom...even Brutal Blade towards the right

there is also a ton of nodes to spec into for defense (armor, evasion, life and combinations of all that) depending on how far i go

i am wondering if the "inefficiency" you are talking about is just the nodes I have taken to set myself up for other adjacent ones
Last edited by Say_Ten on Mar 25, 2014, 8:00:55 AM
What's your DPS with both ST and DS atm?
SolaMira wrote:
What's your DPS with both ST and DS atm?

currently about 18k with DS and 3500/hit with ST, but can confirm later.

awhile ago i was spec'd into an extra endurance charge and life leech all the way on the left of my build but gave that up and have still been fine. i may go back there later on if i feel like i need it, but i don't. honestly my gear is really just holding me back more than anything. i will link it below:

Currently trying this build.

Like stated by Say_Ten, with a couple of uniques I reached level 31 in like half a day.

Soloed Fairgraves, Brutus, Merveil, Vaal, General Gravicius. Also killed a few exiles before even realising they were exiles :D

I'll try to keep this a self-found build to see how much damage I can achieve (and save money for a flicker shadow :D).

So far so good, but end-game performance is what matters in a build, IMO.

EDIT: One thing is bugging me > why not use Lesser Multiple Projectiles with ST? It should increase big mobs clearing speed, or am I mistaken?
Last edited by dangb on Apr 29, 2014, 10:28:20 AM
Found this build and decided to give it a whirl, and right now I'm currently loving it.

Though instead of using ST I decided to go with :

Currently Lv. 58 and I've been mowing down mobs and clearing through acts. Though I'm currently in the process of finding 5-6l gear to further tweak/expand on this build more.

It's been a total blast regardless.

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