Below details out one of the strongest builds I’ve played to date and was easy to get to level 100. 0.8.3 brought a lot of very powerful buffs (Smite DOT and Lunge DOT/Smite Buffs) to this build such that I think it is a strong S-Tier level build. The build will easily go 200+ waves in Arena or do 200+ corruption monoliths (I don’t enjoy Arena, but I ran a single try and hit Rank #20 on first try hitting wave 203).
This build revolves around many hits (10.4hits/sec) with Devouring Orb, Lunge, and Smite to stack enormous amounts of ignites/electrifies (and some other minor DOTs like Bleed/Poison/Doom) while sporting an enormous health pool with layers of defense and decent life recovery. Due to the auto-attack AOE nature of Devouring Orb/Abyssal Orb it clears monolith maps extremely fast (70% movement) just lunging from pack to pack as everything explodes. AOE damage with lots of little mobs is easily 500K+ per enemy. Single target without other mobs dying is around 135K DPS (110K DOT, 25K Hit) when building tanky with the option to get 200K+ DPS if you want to be more glass cannon focused.
The playstyle is very similar to a Devouring Orb Void Knight. with a million purple explosions from packs exploding making it one of most fun types of builds to play. While it plays similar to a Devouring Orb VK, this build scales damage much differently and is far tankier. It does require multiple skills being used so it is not a one button build.
This build has an extremely high damage cap. It is weaker at low gear levels (but still above average), but scales FAR FAR better than most builds out there. One word of caution is that it is very dependent upon a good crafted weapon. You might want to try crafting a weapon(s) before trying the build. The remaining gear can be easily crafted. See the gear section for more detail.
This is a very long build guide where I tried to detail out everything I could possibly think of. If you’re starting out on it, you don’t need to read everything and can use it to learn as you level. It should help you learn how DOT scaling works in this game pretty well as it works very differently than hit builds.
There are two variants: (1) Ignite based or (2) ~50/50 damage split between Ignites and Electrify. The base guide is setup for ignite based. See Variant section for more detail on the electrify variant and the differences between the two builds.
- Extremely high DPS
- Can be built very tanky
- Extremely good scaling
- One of fastest monoliths clear builds available
- On demand DPS/Survivability buff
- Can facetank all but the highest dmg content
- Nature of devouring orb means you can focus on dodging mechanics without much damage loss
- Huge amount of resists/crit avoidance/endurance from Passive Tree and Holy Aura making gearing much easier
- Benefits a lot from monolith buffs requiring more min maxing. (pro or con depending upon if you want to be “done” sooner)
- If fighting high health/corruption tanky mobs, you either need to wait for DOT ticks to kill them, or move on letting them die 3 seconds later (when you’ve left gold/loot pickup range)
- Requires the use of Numlock Autocast for Devouring Orb
- Has stutterstep when casting Devouring Orb especially if you don’t have +Cast Speed on any gear
- Requires maintaining Sigils of Hope
- Requires good weapon. Preferably before you start the build
- Will feel much weaker at lower levels/gear
- Requires you to be close range to enemies for maximum DPS (but can still fight from range)
- DOT damage ramp meaning you won’t reach full DPS potential for about 4-5 seconds
- Benefits a lot from monolith buffs requiring more min maxing. (pro or con depending upon if you want to be “done” sooner)
My Effective HP (EHP) is around 7788 physical / 6952 elemental: EHP Calculator
- 3951 Raw Health Pool
- 60% Endurance (only when holy aura active, which i activate on big hit - 49% otherwise but can be built for 60% without holy aura)
- 989 Endurance Threshold
- 29% Armor Reduction
- -10% Dmg from Nearby Enemies (and you want to be nearby) (not calculated in EHP)
- Max resists (and fairly easy to get)
- 100% Crit avoidance (and fairly easy to get)
- Blind (Passive tree)
- Frality (Relic or Glove affix)
- Slow (Holy Aura)
- Chilled Enemies (Weapon affix if you have slot)
- 67-70% movement speed from Perma-Haste (Boots), Passive Tree, and Devouring to help dodge mechanics
- 2% dodge
This build utilizes all four primary methods of health recovery. Biggest healing can come from Smite healing but requires you to be close range:
- Healing from Smite (~385health/sec). Requires you to be close range (visual indicator provided by default Devouring Orb Rotation distance). This healing can often allow you to face tanking enemies that aren’t one-shotting you or doing a sustained damage in excess of 1000health damage/sec.
- Regen (~105health/sec). Can be more if you run double coral rings (i’m using one) or if you have Monolith upgrade (i’m using unempowered version right now)
- 5% Leech off of void damage hits (~179 health/sec). Scales off of vitality and a weapon that has more base spell damage). If using Stymied Fate, you will leech off of Doom DOTs (~118 health/sec) as well.
- 25 health for every smite cast from passive tree
Scaling DOT Damage
To Long Didn’t Read: Get % Chance Ignite on Amulet, Weapon, and Monolith Blessing. Use Invoker’s Grasp Ring(s). Get % Elemental DOT on all items you can. Don’t scale off of Attunement. Get “Shred Fire Resistance” Monolith Blessing. At least T1 “Ignite Duration and Effectiveness” on Helmet and Body.
It is important to understand how Damage over Time (DOT) scales. First, most DOTs have a base damage that you must scale off of. For ignite it is 37 total damage spread out over 3 seconds. The game displays DOT damage ticks every 0.5 seconds (so you’ll see 6 damage ticks normally for a single ignite).
For the sake of simplification, i’ll be using “ignite” as the DOT referred to in most of this section. The same concept applies to bleed (it’ll just be physical damage instead of fire damage scaling).
You can increase damage by:
- Applying more hits/sec
- Chance to ignite (or bleed/poison/electrify/etc). % above 100 applies multiple stacks of DOT (e.g. 500% chance to ignite applies 5 ignites).
- % Increases such as: % Fire Damage, % Elemental Damage, % Global Damage, % Damage over Time, % Elemental Damage Over Time, % Fire Damage over Time
- Attribute spell scaling. Smite scales 4% damage off of Attunement. The ignite applied by Smite will scale off of same attribute. Note: Ignites applied by Devouring Orb can’t be scaled through attributes since Vitality now adds pure flat hit damage rather than % increase.
- Fire Penetration
- Reducing enemy fire resists through Shred Fire Resist
- Ignite Duration
- Ignite Effectiveness
- Cooldown reduction prefix on helmet (which will increase number of devouring orbs and lunge cooldown).
- Manually running around enemies in clockwise direction will cause devouring orb to collide more (as it rotates counter-clockwise).
- Using Lunge whenever off cooldown
- Cast speed (very minor increase, only take more for qualify of life)
Chance to ignite/apply DOT is extremely important and there are minimal sources:
- Weapon suffix (Highly recommend T5+)
- Amulet suffix (Highly recommend T5+)
- Monolith blessing from Black Sun (% Ignite Chance)
- Monolith blessing from Reign of Dragons (Poison or Bleed % Chance)
- Relic Implicit
- Set Ring(s) Invoker’s Scorching Grasp (Recommend one good rolled. Might recommend using two when starting out)
- Unique boots Stymied Fate (% Doom Chance. Not required but BIS)
- Skills - Sigils of Hope (120%), Holy Aura (12% if passive or 24% if active). Smite gets extra ignite chance & electrify. Lunge gets extra chance.
- Idols (I’m only using one well rolled Large Idol w/ Chance to Ignite & Fire DOT - I personally prefer life idols and don’t recommend many unless you want to be glass cannon)
- Forge Guardian passive “Smelter’s Might”. I don’t recommend due to how many passives it takes but it’s an option.
Increasing % Damage & Attribute Scaling
IMPORTANT: % Elemental Damage Over Time is MUCH larger than any other prefix (e.g. % fire dmg, DOT, Attunement, etc). You should prioritize this prefix on all items you can. This will be the most significant gear scaling outside of ignite chance/duration.
Fire Penetration and Fire Resist Shred:
- Fire Penetration isn’t super important but comes on Amulet prefix. Overall its not a big deal once you get fire resist shred but it’ll be better early on.
- Fire Penetration comes from Holy Aura (and extra when you activate) and passive tree.
- Fire Resist Shred is a big damage buff. An average empowered monolith roll of 40% shred chance will result in a -80% single target resistance! This will really help on tanky mobs or bosses and should be a priority when you get to empowered monoliths.
- Sentinel has a unique prefix for “ignite duration and fire damage” and should absolutely be used on helmet and body armor. There is a BIG damage bump going from nothing to T1. The increases from T1 to T5 are much less, so prioritize making sure to get at least one tier when crafting.
Note: Duration doesn’t change the single damage ticks, but it causes them to tick for longer. If you have 50% duration that means it is a raw 50% damage assuming fight lasts more than 4.5seconds.
- The only source I know of is “Fiery dragon shoes”. Stymied Fate boots are better for this build, but Fiery dragon shoes are always an option.
- On Electrify variant Smite’s “Charged Hand” node gives both effectiveness and duration
In order of importance:
First take “Dark Moon” to let orbs rotate around you. Then rush “Sightless Star” for Mana Effectiveness and Cast Speed (otherwise you won’t have enough mana). Take enough effectiveness such that you can sustain it casting whenever off cooldown. Then go for Dark Torrent to drastically ramp up how many times the skill will hit (through casting Abyssal Orbs).
Important Note: You should put this on autocast. To do so, bind the skill to a numpad key (e.g. NumPad0). Make sure Numpad is turned on. Push down NumPad0 and while hold the button down, press Numpad. This will trick the game into thinking you are always holding the button down. If you minimize the game you’ll have to do it again.
This skill hits in three ways:
- Abyssal Orb casting (primary)
- Void Rifts whenever a mob dies (AOE pack clearing)
- Devouring Orb colliding with enemy if in range
The last two require you to be near enemy. Ideally you should be at a distance such that the devouring orb is colliding with enemy. If you want to absolutely min-max dmg, you should run around mobs in clockwise rotation (as it will increase how often devouring orb will collide), but the damage increase will be small so its not necessary.
Skilltree for Ignite Version: https://i.imgur.com/3THxGbW.jpg
First take “Holy Fire” (ignite chance) and “Pillars of Light” (for more hits). Then take “Piety” (for Electrify DOT). Remaining points are flexible. I recommend putting one in Immolate (20% should be enough to maintain one stack) and the other points into healing “Grace” for more health sustain.
When using Smite, it is important to understand the AOE heal range. The range (without “Holy Wave”) is approximately the edge of your devouring orb which provides a nice visual indicator. Holy Wave increases that range by 35% which gives you a little extra range.
Smite also provides a mana recovery mechanism due to the passive in the tree. It’s not a lot, but it’ll help you recover to be able to sustain the big mana drains caused by Sigils and Holy Aura.
0.8.3 also brought a gigantic buff to this build by allowing for other skills to interrupt. Before 0.8.3 if you held down the button to cast smite, devouring orb would never cast even if off cooldown/numlock autocast. With 0.8.3, if you hold down the button casting smite and devouring orb or lunge gets pressed you will interrupt the smite casting to cast devouring/lunge. This is a huge quality of life improvement.
First put points in path and “Incursion”. This will give you AOE on hit (applying more ignites to a pack you charge into) and, more importantly, casts three Smites onto pack. It also adds a 10% kill threshold.
Next put points towards “Torchbearer” and max out “Rough Cuts”. This will provide an extra 2 ignites applied every time you charge PAST an enemy. It is important to note that it only SOMETIMES applies when you charge INTO an enemy. The ignite/bleed only applies to an AOE around you while charging (“Bladestream” passive) meaning that if you charge into an enemy sometimes the game will register an overlap and sometimes it won’t. You can test this on the training dummy and see it will register about 50% of the time. Because of this, if you want to min-max damage, you should charge at the rear-most enemy in a pack of enemies to get the biggest burst of damage.
You should use lunge as a gap closer and to cast extra smites. I try to use it every time I run outside of melee range when dodging mechanics) as the % chance to cast is based on charge distance relative to 10m (I have no clue how far that is). However, even if you are roughly a devouring orb distance away, it’ll still often cast smite so don’t hold off on using Lunge necessarily. I generally use it off cooldown.
Sigils of Hope
Rush “Last Wish”. The autocast will drastically improve quality of life given how much mana this skill costs. This will also give you some % damage from the predecessor node “Empowering Sigils”.
Next I’d put some up towards either “Enduring Hope” or “Burning Sign” depending upon if you want Quality of Life (Enduring Hope) or Damage (Burning Sign). After a few points in Burning Sign switch to taking Tetragram for a fourth Sigil. Then fill out remainder of points in Burning Sign and Empowering Sigils.
Note, “Decree of Flames” only adds hit damage. However, since you have so much % fire damage scaling, it’ll still add up quite a bit even though we aren’t a hit based build.
Playstyle-wise make sure to just keep the four Sigils up throughout playing. Usually at the start of a map I cast three in a row (so as to not run out of mana) and then I usually cast a fourth one once I’ve recovered a little mana. If you’re clearing fast enough, Last Wish should sustain all four sigils. If not, then manually cast them every now and then (they last 23 seconds each) to keep them up. Against bosses without adds, you’ll have to manually cast them every now and then. It’s a very large damage boost that you’ll loose a lot of DPS if you don’t keep the stacks up.
You’ll note that this will give you a whopping 40% elemental resists, 20% poison, and 15% endurance. This makes gearing far easier.
Rush “Rahyeh’s Fury” for Fire Penetration first as it will provide a big early damage buff. I would then take “Shelter From the Storm” to help gear as it provides a large amount of resists (15% ontop of the 25% default) and endurance. Next i’d take “Purification” for an on-demand cleanse and some poison resists. Next add two more into “Rahyeh’s Devotion” for a small amount of ignite chance and one into “Demoralizing Aura” for slow.
The remaining points are minor. “Burning Blows” is a pretty small DPS increase. “Swiftness” is also a pretty small dodge chance. I personally prefer the dodge as it’s a 2.2% passive damage reduction if you have no dodge.
Activating “Holy Aura” doubles all bonuses. There are three purposes in activating it:
- Damage buff for more penetration, ignite chance, and damage.
- Defensive buff for more endurance % (I tend to use it for this if I take a big hit) and a small amount of dodge. It’ll also buff your resists (elemental, poison) if you aren’t capped.
- On-demand cleanse. If an enemy stacks a bunch of poison/bleeds, it can help to cleanse them all off.
Passive Tree: https://i.imgur.com/tEC2KAU.jpg
I’d put points in the following order:
- 5 pts in Fearless
- 5 pts in Armorclad
- 5 pts in Valiant Charge
- 5 pts in Time and Faith
(Then put all points in VK)
- 1 pt in Axe thrower only once you’ve leveled up Devouring Orb to 15+. It provides an extra free hit every second but is only good once you are hitting a lot such that it reliably triggers every second.
- 3 more points in Fearless as probably your last three points from levels 98-100 for a small amount of life, regen, and void dmg hit on devouring.
Passive Tree: https://i.imgur.com/6oXpLkq.jpg
Although you will go Paladin, your first 15 points after Sentinel should go into Void Knight in order to unlock Devouring Orbs.
- 10 points in Abyssal Endurance for Void & Physical resists and Life. This will help with gearing a lot.
- 5 points in World Eater. This will provide you with leech on hit for the Devouring Orbs. See “Health Recovery/Sustain” section early in this guide.
You could put points in “Future Strike” if you have a lot of DOT scaling (which will also provide some extra leech). However, I think there are better things to take especially if you instead scale “elemental DOT” like I recommended in the “Scaling DOT Damage” section.
Early on if you don’t have good gear yet, you can also put a bunch of points in “Void Bolts” and run this as a hit build until you get better Elemental DOT scaling and ignite chance. Spec out of them once you feel ready to transition.
Passive Tree: https://i.imgur.com/YpbLvA9.jpg
First, it’s important to mention that there is a lot of flexibility in the Paladin tree. In particular as you change out gear rolls. For example, if you have a crit avoidance base helmet+body armor+a T5 roll, then you’ll probably be well above 100crit avoidance meaning you don’t need many points in “Faith Armor”. Same deal with Ele and Necrotic resists (“Defiance” and “Holy Symbol”)
I’d put points in in this rough order:
- 8 pts in Conviction for dmg
- 1-8 pts in Defiance to fill out elemental resists (if you get some rolls on your gear you can drop some pts here).
- At least 1 pt in Blinding Light for blind (you hit so much, even 1 pt will blind most enemies)
- Until you hit 30 total points in Paladin tree spread points across three passives: “Valor”, “Blinding Light”, “Holy Symbol”. I’d recommend taking “Holy Symbol” first to help necrotic resist gearing (if you get some rolls on your gear you can drop some pts here). “Valor” and “Blinding Light” are fairly balanced and it depends on your life/endurance totals which makes more sense. You do not need to fill all three passives full while leveling, you’ll add more points here later.
- Once you reach “Faith Armor” (30 total points in tree) put points here to get 100% crit avoidance capped (if you get some rolls on your gear you can drop pts here).
- Until you hit 40 total points in Paladin tree spread more points across “Valor”, “Blinding Light”, “Holy Symbol”, and “Faith Armor”.
- 5 pts in Prayer Aegis
- 12 pts in Reverence of Duality (this is probably best node in tree)
- Fill in remainder of points in this tree depending upon what you need. Don’t forget to put one point back in the base Sentinel for the Axe Thrower at this point.
No passive points. You could put points in Battle Hardened for phys resists when you’ve been hit, but you are probably better off spending them elsewhere and just getting some phys resists (along with necrotic) from a Bone Amulet implicit and maybe a few 1x1 idols.
As a variant option with more offensive power (only if using a staff) you can reallocate 25 points from Paladin tree:
- 15 points in tree to unlock “Smelter’s Might”.
- 10 points in “Smelter’s Might” for 140% ignite chance and 140% bleed chance.
This would be a good variant if you want more damage (e.g. for high Corruption when stuff one shots you anyways). It might also be good for leveling if you need more damage.
Build Planner Link
Ignite Version (base guide):
This is by far the most important piece of equipment in the entire build. I wouldn’t recommend starting this build until you have something to use. At a bare minimum you should have:
300% damage increase to fire/DOT/Ele DOT (middle roll of T5 Ele DOT). This includes the implicit for damage over time which can occur on some bases.
80% ignite chance (middle roll of T5 ignite)
“Ele DOT” is the most valuable prefix" as it rolls much higher levels than all the other applicable modifiers.
Mods you are looking for are:
Implicit: Damage over time or high flat adaptive dmg (for more void leech)
For prefixes: Ele DOT, DOT, Fire dmg, Lightning Dmg (Lightning only for electrify variant)
For suffixes: Chance to ignite, Chill, Chance to Poison
If you have been playing for a while you probably have some exalted staffs that work well. Here are three examples of the staffs I have (I use first one. I used second one for leveling. Third one i’m holding off on crafting as I might turn into a poison build but would be a perfect base as well for this if I didn’t have other staffs):
Even if you don’t have an exalted, you can probably do fine with a double T5 Ele DOT/T5 Ignite on a DOT implicit base.
You will lose a lot of void spell leech, but you could use a well rolled “Torch of the Pontifex” Torch Of The Pontifex - Unique Maul - Two-Handed Blunt Weapon - Last Epoch Item Database
Alternatively if you have a good wand/scepter and an offhand sword you could dual wield (just take node on Sentinel passive tree). You’ll take more damage, but if you have some good rolls/implicits I’m sure it could work. Note sword can have poison chance and DOT implicits.
The second most important piece of equipment is the helmet. You are looking for:
- Fire damage and ignite duration (at least Tier 1, further tiers have less impact)
- Cooldown reduction (more Devouring Orbs and Lunges)
- Health or % Health (% Health is better)
- Flexible second suffix
The ideal item base is a Winged Helmet as it will give you some crit avoidance (allowing you to not need as many passive points in tree or rolls on gear).
Calamity unique helmet can also be a good leveling unique. If you go with Calamity make sure to go ignite based (rather than electrify) as Smite needs to be a “fire skill” for it to apply the extra ignite.
The body armor is where you can pickup a ton of life. The rolls are generally higher here, and given you don’t need that many resists/crit avoidance, i’d prioritize getting life. You are looking for:
- Fire damage and ignite duration (at least Tier 1, further tiers have less impact)
- Health %
- Flat Health
Similar to helmet, the ideal base is a Solarum Plate for crit avoidance (allowing you to not need as many passive points in tree or rolls on gear). You could also go % mana recovery base type if you are having mana issues due to something like having a +50% spell mana cost staff implicit for example.
The most important stat is getting at LEAST Tier 1 of fire damage and ignite duration as it offers an enormous DPS boost for getting the first tier.
Highly suggest T5 ignite chance. It’s one of the few pieces of gear you can get ignite chance on outside of weapon. Stats you are looking for:
- Elemental DOT
- Fire Penetration, Cast Speed, Ele Dmg, DOT Dmg, Mana regen, or Fire Dmg
- Ignite Chance
- Life (or Frailty on hit if you don’t have on Relic)
Ideal base is Bone Amulet (Phys Resists + Necrotic Resist) as that should help you cap or come close to cap for those two when combined with passive tree. This means you won’t need to get phys resist or necro resist roll on any gear. I’m slightly short on physical resists and use a small idol to get capped.
There are multiple options here. I highly recommend using “The Invoker’s Scorching Grasp” especially if you have a well rolled one (high ignite chance and maybe high fire dmg): The Invoker's Scorching Grasp - Set Ruby Ring - Ring - Last Epoch Item Database
This set ring is incredibly common, so I expect most players who have played for a while to have one (or fifty). You can wear two of them as an option (I did for leveling until I got a better second one). Note you won’t get the set bonus for wearing two of the same set ring.
As for the second ring it’s very flexible. You are looking for:
- Elemental DOT
- Attunement, Fire Dmg, DOT Dmg, Ele Dmg, Mana regen.
- Flexible second suffix
The ideal base is Coral Ring for the vitality (more leech, health, and regen) and flat regen. You could go with another base though for more resists or fire damage. Dig through your exalted rings and find something :).
Fairly flexible. Stats you are looking for:
- Elemental DOT
- Fire dmg, Ele dmg, DOT, Freezing concoction on potion use
- Health %, Hybrid health, flat health
- Flexible second suffix
Base type ideally has 80+ armor, but it’s not a big deal.
- Elemental DOT
- Cast speed, Fire dmg, ele dmg, DOT, mana regen
- Frailty on hit (even a T1 will suffice given how much you hit)
Cast speed is primarily to reduce “stutterstep” from autocasting devouring orbs when you are running. It’s more quality of life than really necessary.
Several base types work here: Sunrise (ignite chance), Mournful (Flat health), Solar Commandment (Fire dmg and healing), Argent (will cap ele resists if you have a fire res ring like Invoker’s or a Ruby Ring), Tainted (more void leech)
This is only piece that I’d recommend a unique on. I’d highly recommend a Stymied Fate that drops from Shade of Orobyss: Stymied Fate - Unique Arcane Boots - Boots - Last Epoch Item Database
These boots are practically made for this build. Let’s see why:
- Movement speed implicits were buffed in 0.8.3 (where prefixes were nerfed). This results in nothing but a massive movement speed buff now for this unique.
- The haste is very hard to sustain for most builds since its only 1 second. You will ALWAYS have haste as long as an enemy is around because you are always naturally hitting.
- The Doom is a non-negligible DOT that gives you more leech and enemies will always have max stacks.
- % DOT buff gives a big damage increase (and impacts other DOTs besides ignite like electrify/bleed/poison/future strikes/doom)
- Cooldown reduction on lunge is huge for clear speed
If you don’t have the boots, it’s not the end of the world and by no means should stop you from playing this build (you can use this build to farm for it).
You can alternatively use “Fiery Dragon Shoes” to boost ignite effectiveness: Fiery Dragon Shoes - Unique Solarum Greaves - Boots - Last Epoch Item Database
If you don’t have those either you’d be looking for a rare with:
- Movement speed
- Health, Hybrid Health
- Flexible fourth slot
Flexible slot. I’d recommend:
- Cast speed
- Attunement, DOT
- Health, Hybrid Health
- Flexible fourth slot
Cast speed is primarily to reduce “stutterstep” from autocasting devouring orbs when you are running. It’s more quality of life than really necessary. There aren’t great prefixes (no elemental DOT) here so I’d recommend focusing cast speed.
I’d recommend Crusader Gauntlets base as that should void resist cap you with passive tree nodes without needing any suffixes.
I’d recommend stacking +Flat Health and +% Health 1x2 idols. The % damage ones just don’t offer a higher enough damage increase given how much % scaling you will likely already have.
Alternatively you can pick up some ignite or % fire damage idols. The 1x3 idol can roll ignite % and fire dmg which can work well.
1x3 “inspiration on kill with void skill” in a slot to reduce the lunge/orb CD even more. (credit to superkegs)
You can also use small 1x1 idols to fill out some resists (I am short slightly on physical resists and use two 1x1). If you use all 1x2 idols then you’ll have three 1x1 slots.
This build benefits far more from monolith blessings than most builds. First, you don’t need a lot of the defensive bonuses given you can cap resists/crit avoidance much easier than most builds. As such, the bonuses i’d recommend in priority are:
- Shred Fire resistance (Spirits of Fire)
- Chance to Ignite (Black Sun)
- Endurance threshold (Age of winter)
- Flexible. Chance to Bleed OR Chance to Poison OR defensive (resists/crit avoidance) (Reign of Dragons) - if you have more generic DOT increases the DOTs will be more. The resists/crit avoidance will help with gearing
- Health Regen or Shred Lightning Res (Ending the Storm) - Shred lightning is higher priority if you spec into Electrify variant of the build (Lagon + effectiveness/duration for electrify for Smite)
Introduction of Variant
0.8.3. brought a big buff to Smite DOT builds by allowing them to specialize in a new DOT called “Electrify” that deals 42 damage over 3 seconds (higher than ignites base of 37 dmg). There are now nodes on the Smite tree to convert all Smite-applied ignites to Electrify AND give them 75% effectiveness AND 75% duration.
The Electrify Variant will deal about 20-30% more damage than the Ignite variant depending upon gear. The tradeoff is you will lose a significant portion of smite healing, you will become hybrid damage (half lightning and half fire) making gearing harder, and you will need BOTH monolith fire and lightning shred blessings to take full advantage of the damage debuff.
I’d recommend the Electrify Variant for four scenarios:
- Initial leveling (before you have Fire Shred blessing). Switch over to base guide once you get fire shred blessing. (note if using Calamity helmet, it won’t work with electrify)
- End-game min-maxing after you get both fire & lightning shred blessings
- The gear (in particular the weapon) you intend to use has “Lightning damage %” and/or “shock % weapon affix”
Alternatively if you want to just face tank stuff, stay ignite for smite healing.
Damage comparison between Ignite Version and Electrify Variant
Assuming all things equal if you had 0% duration/effectiveness on ignite, there is a 1.751.75(42/37)=3.5 damage multiplier to the DOT damage of Smite.
Assuming all things equal if you had 50% ignite duration before, there is a 1.751.75(42/(37*1.5))=2.3 damage multiplier to the DOT damage of Smite.
Of course Smite isn’t our only source of damage. I did a full excel of every piece of damage for this build. Here are my damage calcs for my setup with or without “Lagon” (note I had to change out ring due to it having +% fire damage). -83% shred (steady state on average from a “40% fire shred” blessing):
Smite Tree for Electrify Variant
New skill tree: https://i.imgur.com/PUHKcV5.jpg
You drop “Immolate” (which has a max of only one stack) and all the healing nodes. Instead you put them into Lagon (convert all ignites to electrify) and Charged Hand (duration/effectiveness). You can rush these nodes if using this for leveling.
Loot Filter v2
This filter is a little on the stricter side if you’re starting out fresh. Feel free to change out base types if you want a specific one (e.g. crit avoidance helmet). The only one I forced was bone amulet, crusader gloves, and coral ring. I have it set to look for total sum of affix tiers (typically 5+), if you want something stricter (or less strict) go modify. Uncheckmark any line items where you don’t need that gear:
(Version 2 fixes the “Recolor Staff with Ignite/Ele Dot”… previously had Ele Dmg selected instead of DOT).
Note, this hides everything that isn’t a unique, set, exalted item, or an item for this build. If you want other things (like things to shatter for other build mods) you need to add yourself.
Edit: Someone reported the pastebin wasn’t working for them. If you are having trouble you can also try: hastebin
I'm trying to decide between two staffs, which is better... % ignite or % increased damage (over time/ele/fire/etc)?
The rough rule of thumb is 25% ignite chance is about equivalent to 100% increased damage.
So if you’re deciding between a staff with 50% ignite chance+500% damage or one with 100% ignite chance+400% damage, go with the second staff. If later you came across a third staff dropped with 50% ignite chance+650% damage, then switch to that.
The more detailed answer is that it depends a lot on your current stats and the current ratio of the (Sum of all % increased damage sources) / (% Chance to Ignite). Most builds will typically be around a ratio of 3-5. which means that 100% increased is about equivalent to 20%-30% ignite chance. Here it is in a table format:
What do I level as?
I think I transitioned to the build around low level 60s.
I’d probably recommend three stages:
- Early leveling (1-40): I’d recommend void warpath especially if you have a Dreamthorn sword. This will smoothly transition into your second recommended stage.
- Mid leveling (40-60): Once you get your ascendancy (Paladin), I’d put points into void knight tree (preferably “Temporal Corruption” and “Void Bolts” for more flat void dmg). You can then just run this as a hit-based void damage build using Devouring Orb/Smite.
- Transition to this build (levels around 50-75): Once you get enough gear to get a reasonable ignite chance and % increased DOT/ele DOT, you can spec out of Temporal Corruption/Void Bolts and go full DOT.
Calamity helmet and Invoker’s scorching grasp ring(s) are really good leveling uniques. Note, if you use calamity then don’t go with Electrify variant.
Stuttersteps annoy me. What can I do to reduce it?
The more cast speed you get, the less of an impact this has. First, make sure you got the 35% in the devouring orb tree as it makes the biggest initial impact to the build.
Next you might want to try for cast speed on both your gloves and relic prefix slots (up to 30%). Alternatively, or in addition to the gear rolls, you can respec your Smite tree slightly for an extra 20% cast speed with a trade off of less damage (20% less electrify) and less Smite healing:
I hate Sigils, do I have to?
You don’t, but you’ll lose a ton of damage (both ignite chance and raw damage %). I personally find that once you get the build zooming through maps, the “Last Wish” auto-cast passive is enough to keep me at four stacks; I cast three of four stacks at start and then forget about it the rest of the map.
As some have suggested, if it really bothers you, you could take Javelin w/ Smite nodes. It’ll be a big damage drop off, but its an option. If you use the Dash passive you could improve your clear speed for lower tier content (alternate between Dash and Lunge). Here is the tree I’d suggest if you do:
Why not Javelin?
It’s hard to justify dropping the other skills. Javelin has a lot of useful stuff in particular for single target. As I mentioned in Sigil annoyance FAQ, you can drop Sigils for Javelin but you’ll lose a lot of damage. You can also drop Holy Aura but you’ll lose a lot of defensive stats. The other three skills are pretty important.
As such, if you want you can drop Sigils or Holy Aura for Javelin. Note that you can use the Dash passive to improve your clear speed for lower tier content (alternate between Dash and Lunge). Here is the tree I’d suggest if you do: