Why's there no ballista build since v0.8.4

I did some research earlier today with Tripwire and the exploding balista’s don’t hit very hard, at least not from regular increased fire damage. I’m not sure what you’d need to make it work. I had fairly high dex and lots of other stats and it just didn’t seem to hit for anything.

either build of ballista requires gear, it’s not overpowered build like necro has etc, which destroys content with little investement

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I beg to differ. Here’s an example of an extremely powerful totem build that does T4 dungeons and 500 corruption easily. And the player told in one of their more recent videos (third one below) that they pushed to almost 1000 corruption with that same setup, which is easily achievable.

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3 of its 5 skills are minion skills and 2 of those are exclusive. There’s also the fact that Forge guard is notably worse than Void Knight and Paladin for any player damage(hit or DoT) based builds. Only real thing Forge guard has going for it is its minion support.

Forged Strike is no pure minion skill, it can be played as a regular hit or ailment based skill.
Also Ring of Shield, while beign a “minioN” skill can be used as a regular defensive/utility skill withotu focusing on the minion aspect.

I also disagree that Forge Guard is notably worse for player damage than the other 2 masteries.

I had very successful Forged Strike and Smelter’s Wraths Builds.

And you can also use Forge Guard for some of the regular Sentinel skills that are avaialble to all classes.

Forge Guard has great passives that grant a lot of %inc dmg or crit for melee skills.

Overall its a more defensive focused mastery and surely Void Knight is better at dealing damage, but that doesn’t make Forge Guard bad.

But were they comparable to VK/Pally builds?

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From my experience I’ve tried to make hit based Forge Strike and Smelter’s Wrath and bleed based Forge Strike work but usually the mana generator(Rive/multistrike/judge) or support skill(Warpath) ends up outdoing these skills and carrying the build. These two skills are mechanically clunky as well as having awful mana costs and even more clunky ways to scale damage(like Javelin and Fresh from the forge or keeping minions alive with Sunforged set).

Void Knight’s Anomaly and Paladin’s Holy Aura cover the crit and both have %inc damage from passives IN ADDITION to the base class bonuses.

Even defensively all Forge guard has going for it is a bit more armor and even that requires you to get hit multiple times which isn’t really reliable.

It’s an odd combination of things that I believe are combining. It is also definitely a BUG.
Multishot is not continuous. It is that Flurry’s attack speed gets so high that it appears that Multishot is being procc’d by the Flurry and Multishot nodes.

Here is a list of attack speed buffs:


  1. Flurry: Fusillade
  2. Flurry: Relentless
  3. Flurry: Alacrity
  4. Flurry: Arrow Storm
  5. Flurry: Adrenaline Rush (Cold Bowmage only)
  6. Multishot: Back To Back
  7. Multipshot: Repeater Bow
  8. Multishot: Readied Arrows


  1. Rogue: Swift Assassin
  2. Marksman: Bow Mastery
  3. Marksman: Draining Arrows


  1. Bow: Hell Reach
  2. Quiver: Sanguine Hoard; Light Quiver; any Swift affixed Quiver
  3. Rings: Quicksilver

Bow Attack Speed with ALL of the above (No Legendaries):
95% Standing Still
140% after building 5 stacks of Bow Mastery and Relentless

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Yeah it never occurred to me to run Shaman to play totem spriggan. Might have to try that out someday.

I personally consider a build that deals considerable damage starting at around 700% increased damage to be genuinely viable. If you’re asking the player to stack any more than that, they’re really pushing the limits of what the equipment / blessings / idols will reasonably allow them to do without giving up other things like defense stats or movement speed. If you really need 1100% fire damage for a build to start to pop off, one has to question why it wouldn’t have started being effective before that point.

But 700-750% is a good rule of thumb, seems like. That’s about what you can expect people to rack up by the time they’re level 70 and are a good ways into Monolith.

Bins put out a new video today on Ballista. Thought I would add it here for the funsies.


Thorn Totem Shaman with 9 totems is unplayable without Spriggan as you cant sustain the Mana cost

Spriggan Rage Totems can give over 100 Rage a second. You might be able to play explode totems using only 3 at once in human form but I doubt it you either need Legacy Quiet Foresst belt/rage totems

You can also viably play Meteor Spriggan and sustain the costs due to the massive sustain

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My biggest problem, and it has been seen in this conversation, is that the only good Shaman build relies very heavily on skills from the other masteries. The class needs to be reworked to be capable of sustaining a build that relies on its own skills.

There are many builds that use skills from other masteries but all the other masteries have builds also that can be sustained on their own skills.

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Yeah I actually tried to make thorn totem spriggan work as druid and the damage was miserable. I’ll have to try that out at some point, sounds fun.

That’s true of several of the spec’s in Primalist. The best cold damage druid build uses Earthquake. I ran that recently and it’s a slog to play because Earthquake actually freezes you in place for too long and there’s no good slots on your gear left over to get cast speed. Having to get 3 or 4 different stats on any character in general just to make it where you don’t stop moving for an eternity and get merc’d by a boss or AOE is extremely annoying, and something that goes back to the “too many stats you need and too few or specific ways to get them” complaint I make over and over again. In general it’s just hard to tune a character to be what it’s supposed to be because the things they need are divided up too much not just between passive trees, but between gear, skills and idols in general, all of which you have to give up huge chunks of to resistances.

Thank you, all, for the input. I found one of Boardman21’s Marksman builds that’s working well. So far it’s not terribly dependent upon fast reactions and uses Shurikens to help me with close range combat when I get in a pickle. I’m still only halfway through leveling, so dungeons and whatnot are above my pay grade, but it’s helpful to get all the feedback.

I copied your build and while it’s really strong, I’m not seeing the stacks you were getting. The most I’ve capped out at is 280, and the Multishot animation isn’t firing like your did. Maybe they fixed it without noting it.

Stacks can go higher with Ballistas down and Acid pools but yes, about 300-350 without the Flurry Bug. Since poison was nerfed, I’m not sure without T7s and High LP Legendaries the build can go much further unless you go more towards a traditional crit build.

The flurry bug takes about 3 hours of the client being open, and that’s hard to get to with the auto AFK server disconnects – I would stay online while working and do an echo here and there for stress relief and by the time I was off work the bug was fully functional. I haven’t been able to test it yet and keep the client open long enough in 0.91