Dexterity Stacking Cinder Strike cast on crit Dragonfire Marksman focused on Elemental/Cold Dmg.
Added Spell Damage from Boots by stacking Dexterity applies at 900% effectivness!
A-Tier Marksman Build. All Endgame Content viable (T4 Bosses & Empowered Corruption Farming). Fast Monolith Pusher. Tanky Marksman Build. Satisfying VFX & Burst DMG.
Build Guide and Gameplay Footage: (Please watch the video first and use the written Build Guide for more detailed information later)
Pros & Cons
High DPS/Burst Dmg early on
Very tanky for a Marksman with close combat playstyle
No Mana issues
SSF friendly (even though Uniques are required, but they are common drops)
Requires no endgame gear to perform well
Very satisfying playstyle and VFX
Close Combat Playstyle because of the small cone from the proc (risky for a Marksman)
Requires Unique Items to work
Requires good positioning for best dmg output
Min-Maxing is time consuming and difficult because of Dex stacking (Cold/Phys Res balancing)
Performance and FPS drops because of the Dragonfire proc
Dragonsong vs. Reign of Winter
The big advantage for Dragonsong is that Dragonfire procs from Crits and not on Bow Hit like with Reign of Winter. Therefore you have way more build freedom and can use a big arsenal of skills from Marksman to proc Dragonfire. The disadvantage is that you have to play close combat for high dmg because of the small cone. Reign of Winter you could play on range which is a saver playstyle, but this Dragonsong Build has way better survivability due to some mechanics with Cinder Strike/Arrowguard/Throne of Ambition we can abuse.
3-4LP Uniques? Do i really need this?
NO! I just added those 4LP Uniques to my endgame gear planner to give you an overview of the best possible mods to craft on.
Can this be done with only fire damage or are the boots the only way to scale it efficiently?
Dragonfire has 180 base fire dmg, which is quite alot. But dont forget that only added spell dmg will get the 900% effectiveness. So you can get up to 17 added spell fire dmg from the bow itself=153 fire dmg+180base fire dmg=333 fire dmg Lets pretend we have 80 dexterity, that means we have 720 added cold dmg, making it 1053 flat dmg. The majority will come from the boots (cold dmg). I have to test endgame without the boots, but i think you would miss alot of potential not playing with mourningfrost. Thats why i really recommend to play with increased elemental dmg for this bow.
Is Kelthan Blasting Agent (Unique) good for this build??
I would rather use a high LP Kelthan for Amarathy’s Decoy Bomber Build, since his build relies more on this item.
My build is more around Cold dmg and doing as many crits as possible. So only the Fire Penetration will do a bit more dmg on my CoC version.
For a Marksman Build, Dragonsong could be S-Tier aswell. I still think that Shadow HoA is more powerful due to the gameplay mechanic. It allows a dodge based class like Marksman to stay at range and not get hit by enemies. Dragonsong allows you to deal dmg quicker and makes Monolith farming way more comfortable. But Shadow HoA is imo the real Marksman playstyle.
How to Survive
Offense is your best defense. Go all in with the playstyle and facetank enemies. You have crazy amounts of attacks/procs per second. Use all the passives/relic for Life on Hit/Crit. Your health bar is always up, we don’t use bow leech or any other leech sources. Together with high dodge from Cinder Strike, additional Armour from Shurikens/Throne of Ambition/Arrowguard and almost 100% Glancing Blow we have a really tanky Marksman Build.
Build Mechanics & Gameplay
Hold left click and Cinder Strike to stutter step. Use Shift and Smoke Bomb to position yourself for additional Shuriken procs. Use Multishot only on high hp enemies/Bosses for huge burst dmg.
The Build focuses around stacking Dexterity and the crazy 900% effectiveness for every point of Flat added Spell Dmg with Mourningfrost Boots. Cinder Strike is there to provide the good amount of Crits and procs. It also provides us with high amounts of increased elemental dmg and dodge. Critical Vulnerability is one of the best stats together with attackspeed. You reach 100% crit chance within a second.
It’s not a very mechanical build. But good positioning is key for higher dmg output. Always try to aim for a group of enemies to make the cone attack more efficient. Do that by using Shift and Smoke Bomb (Backflip). Otherwise you just perma stutterstep while attacking with Cinder Strike to keep your dodge up.
Bow Attack Speed (most important stat for both dmg and survivabilty)
Dexterity (obvious choice to stack Flat Spell Dmg from Mourningfrost)
Critical Vulnerability (the best node on Marksman tree to reach 100% crit on enemies easily)
Cold Dmg (Fire dmg is not our main dmg source even though Cinder Strike only has Phys/Fire dmg, all the dmg comes from Flat Cold Spell from Boots)
Elemental Dmg (to boost your build globally from all dmg sources, probably a better choice than Cold dmg)
Dodge (we get high dodge while attacking with CS)
Endurance (try to cap it at 60%)
Crit Avoidance (100%)
All capped Resistances
You can reach 100% Glancing Blow
Insane amount of Life on Hit/Crit from sources like Sapping Strikes/Draining Arrows/Perfect Aim (Passives) & Ancient Coins (Relic)
Don’t underestimate Stun Chance with this Build. You can almost perma lock enemies with all the procs
No Mana Regeneration needed. Don’t focus on Bow Dmg, focus only on the Dragonsong proc.
Try to get Chill on Bow or Quiver (Legendary) and Frailty on Relic.
Attack Speed is the most important stat!
(I explained the skill & passive leveling progress in the video)
You can start right away leveling this build once you unlock Cinder Strike at level 7. I would recommend to keep the Bow ready at level 36. It will make your leveling progress way faster, Cinder Strike alone will not provide you that much amount of dmg as the bow does.
Passive leveling order:
8/8 Swift Assassin
8/8 Steady Hand
4/4 Sapping Strikes
8/8 Draining Arrows
1/8 Focus Fire
1/5 Assassin’s Quiver
10/10 Wound Maker
8/8 Focus Fire
3/6 Arrow Storm
1/10 Covering Fire
1/5 Barrage of Pain
4/5 Heightened Senses
5/5 Death From Afar
5/5 Perfect Aim
That’s how i recommend you to level up. After spending those points you can choose whatever you need next. More single target dmg, go for +4 multishot arrows, more dodge go with Concentration/Meditation/Reflection, more general dmg go Cloak of Shadows in Bladedancer tree. Its really up to you and you can’t do anything wrong here.
- 0.8.5 Build Guide Release (03/28/2022)
My level 90 setup in the video:
(IMPORTANT NOTE BECAUSE OF SOME CONFUSION):
You don’t need 3-4 LP Uniques!!! I just added those to the endgame build planner to give you an overview of the best mods
This is the recommended Level 100 Planner. Please read through the Gear, Uniques & Legendaries, Idols & Blessings section for further information. The Build Planner is made for casual players to make gearing and resistance issues because of Mourningfrost Boots easier. For the veterans, please check the recommendations and gear alternatives down below.
Burning Dagger & Firebreathing (additional Crits and procs (we sustain the 7 Mana cost with 4 points into Sapping Strikes)
Eagerness (increased attack speed->fast way to apply crit vuln->more procs)
Oil Coating (High increased elemental dmg once converted with Elemental Vulnerability)
Combustible (30% Fire Pen for the proc)
Elusive (High base dodge rating and fire resistance while attacking with CS)
Swift Recovery, Momentum & Shadowslip (Mana, Movement Speed & Invulnerabilty)
Sleight of Hand (to proc Shurikens after using Shift->Armour & more crits for proc)
Elusive (For a good amount of dodge after using Shift)
Breathing Techique & Rebound (for survivability)
Lingering Fumes (full duration)
Moonlight Bomb (abusing 1 Silver Shroud stack, the other one comes from Marksman tree)
Thick Smoke (1 Slow stack)
Rapid Concealment (Dusk Shroud frequency)
Shadow Hunter (only 1 point to perma blind with bow attacks)
Escape Tactics (Backflip - I use it for positioning/another movement skill)
Blade Shield/Floating Blades/Bladed Armor (Armour setup and Shurikes around you)
Ethereal Blades (100% pierce to keep them up)
Jagged Edges (higher base crit for more procs)
Bodkin Points (100% Armour Shred)
Readied Arrows (Autoproc while using CS)
Piercing Shots (pierce, more chances to hit enemies->more procs)
No Easy Way Out/The Maj’elkan Grasp (Slow chance scaling with Dex)
Large Quiver/Giant Slayer (more arrows and the chance to hit an enemy with all of them in close range->Huge dmg boost when all arrows crit and proc)
You don’t need Shurikens on your skillbar since its an autoproc from Shift. Use Decoy as a panic button for a simple taunt on enemies
Alternative Skills for Multishot are Umbral Blades (more hits procced with Shift & Smoke Bomb if used with Shadows), Detonating Arrow (self cast for decent burst dmg, you can also stay at range if you are not tanky enough), Hail of Arrows (for Dusk Shrouds while inside of HoA Area) or Dark Quiver (for Frenzy, Dusk Shrouds & Kill Threshold with CS)
Swift Assassin 8/8 (Bow Attack Speed)
Steady Hand 8/8 (Health & Dex)
Evasion 5/5 (Dodge Rating)
Agility 5/5 (Dmg per Movement Speed/Haste)
Dodge and Parry 5/5 (GB and Dodge)
Sapping Strikes (4/4) (Mana Gain to sustain Cinder Strike & Health Gain)
- Cloak of Shadows 8/8 (GB and Dex)
Draining Arrows 8/8 (Bow Attack Speed & Health Gain)
Focus Fire 8/8 (Dex & Dodge Rating debuff)
Wound Maker 10/10 (Crit Vulnerability)
Heightened Senses 5/5 (Crit Avoidance, we reach 100% CA with Empowered Blessing)
Meditation 6/8 (Dodge Rating)
Reflection 5/5 (Increased Dodge Rating & Movement Speed)
Arrow Storm 6/6 (Bow Attack Speed)
Covering Fire 1/10 (Abusing another Silver Shroud)
Master Archer 2/2 (Additional Arrows to Multishot)
Sharpshooter 4/5 (to unlock Death from Afar)
Death from Afar 5/5 (Armour Shred & Stun)
Barrage of Pain 1/5 (we don’t need more Crit Chance)
Perfect Aim 5/5 (Global Critical Strike Multiplier)
Bow: Dragonsong (required)
Quiver: Arrowguard (recommended) or Light Quiver (Attack Speed)
Helmet: Umbral Visage (Critical Strike Multiplier) (recommended) or Outcast Hat (Increased Bow Attack Speed)
Body Armour: Brigandine Armour (Physical Resistance) (recommended) or Crimson Garb (Increased Dodge Rating)
Belt: Bronze Belt (Armour)
Gloves: Crusader Gauntlets (Void Resistance) (recommended) or Engraved Gauntles (Endurance)
Boots: Mourningfrost (required)
Amulet: Bone Amulet (Resistances) (recommended) or Aurora’s Time Glass
Rings: Gold Ring (Elemental Resistance) (recommended) or Silver Ring (Movement Speed)
Relic: Ancient Coins (Critical Strike Chance & Health Gain on Crit) (recommended) or Jade Dice (Dodge Rating)
Uniques & Legendaries
Try to get high rolls on Chance to Cast Dragon Fire on Crit, Critical Strike Chance with Fire Skills and increased Attack and Cast Speed with Fire Skills.
Stats you want with Legendary Potential:
Bow Attack Speed>Critical Strike Multiplier>Chance to Chill>Chance to Shred Armour
Try to get high rolls on Movement Speed.
Stats you want with Legendary Potential:
Movement Speed>Dexterity>Hybrid Health>Increased Dodge Rating
Try to get the highest Glancing Blow roll.
Stats you want with Legendary Potential:
Bow Attack Speed>Dexterity>Resistances or Chill/Shred Chance
Throne of Ambition (recommended)
You can farm the idol in the Stolen Lance Monolith Timeline. It’s a rare drop, so it might take some runs to get it. Not a mandatory item, but very strong addition to the build. I recommend you to farm it in Normal Monolith.
Aurora’s Time Glass (recommended for Arena)
Try to get high Endurance and Attack Speed rolls
Stats you want with Legendary Potential:
Critical Strike Multiplier>Cold Penetration>Increased Dodge Rating>Health
1x Throne of Ambition (Unique Idol)
4x Large Idols (1x3)
Prefix: Increased Health (3-9%)
Suffix: Elemental Resistance (5-13%)
1x Adorned Majasan Idol (2x2)
Prefix: Increased Bow Attack Speed (7-20%)
Suffix: Dodge Rating if Hit Recently (48-114)
The Black Sun Timeline
- Critical Strike Multiplier (recommended), Dodge or Health
Ending the Storm Timeline
- Lightning Resistance (recommended) or Increased Cold Damage (for DPS)
Reign of Dragons Timeline
- Crit Avoidance (recommended) or All Res
The Age of Winter Timeline
- Physical Resistance (recommended), Cold Resistance or Chance to Shred Cold (for DPS)
Spirits of Fire Timeline
- Endurance (recommended), Dodge Rating or Armour
Please feel free to ask any questions about this build.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the build!
Are you interested in more builds?
Check out my Shadow HoA Marksman Build Guide here.