Lich: Why Would A Poisoner Go Reaper Over Decaying Aura?

I’ve never played a Lich, because maintaining Reaper form seems like a giant PITA to me, but I’m giving one a shot now. I was looking at build ideas and saw the below build on LETools.

If you’re focusing on poison, why would you choose Reaper over Aura? Explain it to me like I’m five, please, I know nothing about this sub-class.

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Aura of Decay is actually a very poor skill for poisoning enemies. Its application rate is too slow, and it only gains 1/4th of your global poison chance as poison chance for the skill itself. Furthermore, the self-poison stacks it applies to you use all of your poison damage modifiers, including penetration, meaning the stronger your build, the more the skill hurts you to use. Its best use is as a utility skill. It has nodes that help heal you based on missing health, you can change it to apply Armor Shred instead of poison to enemies and yourself, and it can apply other ailments too. But it’s just not a good damage skill, and in fact will hurt you more than it helps a lot of the time.

Reaper Form gives you a second full health bar on top of your current health as a baseline behavior, and it only gets better from there. On its passive tree you can get Armor scaled off your Intelligence stat, global Poison Duration (a multiplicative stat that is hard to come by elsewhere), global Poison Chance, Mark For Death on hit, and additional global damage. It’s one of the two skills every Lich uses because it has so much power you can’t really afford to skip it, even if you don’t have it specialized. And if you lose all your health while in Reaper Form (or it drops off), your actual health pool is completely healed to full.


Thank you very much. This is exactly what I needed.