188.8.131.52 UPDATE (Nov 19, 2017): It’s equal parts sad and amusing that my own “updated newbie friendly” build is now woefully outdated :rolleyes: I Took a stab at updating some parts of it today and I’ll continue updating it over the next while. The build’s core concept is still fine, but things like the devotion tree and grimcalc links were (obviously) in need of some tweaks. Grimtools link is updated for a guideline at this time!
There’s an alarming lack of 2 types of builds in the Build Compendium, in my highly-biased opinion:
1) Newbie-friendly builds. A lot of what I’ve seen in the Compendium focuses entirely on min/maxing at endgame, offers little in the way of leveling advice, and needs very specific gear to even consider attempting the builds. Let me be perfectly clear that I think this is totally fine and showcases some of the awesome items at our disposal in the world of Cairn. Additionally, endgame is the “true start of the game” for some players and there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting a super-strong farming character! However, this seems to be the direction most build guides take, and personally I feel that our Compendium is lacking in beginner builds.
2) Updated builds. An alarming number of the links are several builds outdated by now; We’re in 184.108.40.206 as of today, and some of these were created more than a year ago at this point. Some of the mechanics and skills that these builds rely on may have changed drastically, and new players run a much greater risk of choosing an outdated build than a more experienced player who can work around any potential shortcomings. It is true that a lot of these “older” builds are still sound in concept and can easily work with a few minor tweaks, but this still seems like a huge potential risk for newer players IMO; if they don’t ask the community for help, they might wind up with a drastically weaker build than they anticipated…
The following build attempts to partially rectify this situation by providing an updated easy-to-play fairly-gear-independent leveling-focused guide for newer players, so that their first character might be less of a trainwreck than my first several toons were :rolleyes:
WHAT THIS BUILD IS
- Fairly gear independent; Most of the few essential items we have can be picked up from Faction vendors.
- Fun (in my highly biased opinion) and easy to play.
- Very forgiving of mistakes.
WHAT THIS BUILD IS NOT
- A HC faceroller that will solo clear Gladiator Crucible with ease and down the Mad Queen in under 10 seconds.
- Meticulously fine-tuned and min/maxed to be absolutely perfect.
- Friendly towards older graphics cards; We have lots of lightning-tastic effects and procs, and this many particle effects might fry older GPUs!
WHY PLAY THIS BUILD
- It’s a very forgiving and beginner-friendly build that has several powerful leveling tools, solid defensive and offensive capabilities, and can clear the AoM Campaign on Ultimate difficulty using all vendor-found gear.
- Can be played as a melee OR as a ranged character. I recommend staying ranged personally
- Easy to play without being mind-numbingly boring.
- Has Zeus-like bolts to throw.
With that out of the way, the base end build (plus devotions) to aim for before +skills taken into account can be found here:
Starter Campaign-Clearing Build (updated March 25 2018). This requires the Ashes of Malmouth expansion for the devotions and faction gear, but does NOT need any components from the expansion to hit the main resistance caps to keep the build more accessible. While this build does use solael leggings, note that they have no affix - you can hit the res cap with any pair of lv72 solael legs which are easily farmed in Elite even for a brand new player. These go a long way to helping our resists and, since they have no specific affix requirements, I consider them “budget” since they shouldn’t take more than a few minutes tops to find!
The “fancy pimped out” version of the build can be found here:
Finalized Endgame Build (updated March 25 2018). This version of the build does make use of various AoM components and mythic legendaries to unlock the true potential of this build. It also uses a couple well-rolled monster infrequents for maximum stat gain. A well-rolled sparkthrower is a definite must-have for endgame content, but one can probably find alternatives for the ring choices.
- Primal Strike with Thunderous Strike will be our primary LMB attack. It is a great skill that handles crowds extremely well and single targets reasonably well. In the past it used to lose potency in the later game, but this has changed with the Ashes Of Malmouth expansion and it will be our primary attack through the game. We put as many point as possible into it since it’s our main source of damage.
- Savagery will be a backing ability for proccing Tenacity Of The Boar once we acquirethe Ultos set. Once upon a time, Savagery beat out Primal Strike at endgame in this build, but this is no longer the case in the expansion. Again, keep Primal Strike as our primary attack!
- Wind Devil is primarily used for Raging Tempest to reduce enemy elemental resistances so our Lightning attacks do more damage. Its AI is slightly dodgy and it has a nasty habit of chasing random lone enemies, so it is not wholly reliable for crowd control, but it still very useful.
- Thermite Mines also reduce enemies’ resistance to Lightning damage. They also can mess up enemy pathing routes so they’re solid CC by themselves. Also quite useful for proccing devotion skills.
- Flashbang is another great crowd control skill that confuses enemies and reduces their DA. Reduced enemy DA means we can crit more easily, taking advantage of the huge crit damage bonuses we’ll be getting. With a point in Searing Light, it will also make enemies fumble attacks which is wonderful since this also applies to bosses and helps our survivability by a huge margin.
- Stormcaller’s Pact is crucial for our build. The conversion from physical -> lightning damage is key for making our build as effective as it is, plus we get an enormous amount of crit damage (which scales extremely well and is highly desirable) to boot. The other bonuses are minor by comparison but still nice to have.
- Mogdrogden’s Pact Line is taken in just about every build using Shaman mastery, and for good reason - the bonus health from Heart Of The Wild is wonderful, plus we get a bit of extra pierce resistance to boot!
- Brute Force adds flat lightning damage to our attacks, which helps Primal Strike hit even harder! Unfortunately, the rest of the skill line (Feral Hunger and Upheaval) don’t apply if we’re not using a “real” LMB replacer - Thunderous Strikes explicitly mentions it doesn’t work with these passive skills. Still, the damage from Brute Force helps and we want this as high as possible to get as much damage as possible since it scales well.
- Flame Touched is another key skill for making our lightning damage more potent, and gives us more OA so we can get even more crits.
- Blast Shield is an automatically-triggered “panic button” that gives us a huge survivability boost when our health drops low. As previously mentioned, we generally like staying alive, so this is good.
- Vindictive Flame gives us total speed, some health regeneration, and a chance at stun retaliation against enemies who get too close. I keep this as a one-point-wonder since we have higher priority skills elsewhere, but there are a few nice bonuses here - especially the total speed - we like to see boosted up via +skills.
- Electrifying Weapons (from the Hell’s Bane Ammo component) is something we’ll also use if you choose to level using ranged weapons. Hell’s Bane Ammo is excellent for this build and should be used all the time if you decide to use rifles/crossbows!
Take devotions in the order presented here:
- Green Crossroads
- Hawk (Bonus OA, bonus crit, helps us equip better ranged weapons, builds towards several key later devotions including Kraken and Ultos)
- Quill (High-tier new constellation; the DA and aether resist alone make this great, plus we get flat elemental damage and a bunch of devotion points to boot!)
- Buyback Green Crossroads
- Blue Crossroads
- Eel (Good defensive bonuses, movespeed, and 5 devotion for only 3 points - arguably the best early Blue constellation)
- Kraken (If you use 2-handed weapons, you take this constellation. End of discussion. Gives several very strong bonuses)
- Purple Crossroads
- Rhowan’s Crown (We primarily get this for the wonderful Elemental Storm proc, but the additional resistances from maxing it are decent as well)
- Widow (The main benefit here is the lightning resistance reduction from the Arcane Bomb proc. We also get some Aether resistance, which is a fairly tough resistance type to find, in addition to lightning damage and more OA which are always nice)
- Chariot of the Dead (Wayward Soul is a great defensive proc. More OA is always nice, and we get vitality resistance to boot. Also gets our last green points needed for Ultos)
- Jackal (Gets us the final red we need for Ultos. The total speed is also nice)
- Ultos, Shepherd of Storms (Allfather Ultos gives us a ton of bonuses: chaos resistance, health, more OA which is always nice, and even more flat lightning damage. The proc is fantastic and will help a lot when clearing crowds)
- Solemn Watcher (Gives us a bunch of useful defensive stats with more DA, physique, and resists. Probably one of my favorite constellations)
- Red crossroads
- 5 points of Revenant, stopping before the Raise The Dead proc (The proc is only of marginal use of this build so we don’t bother with it. The other nodes of revenant - particularly the attack speed and ADCtH are all incredibly useful and go a long way to keeping us alive)
- Your last devo point goes in the first point of Empty Throne (Gives us some much-needed Stun resistance, which is a great pickup for the low price of 1 devo point)
Bind our 5 devotion skills in the following way:
- Wayward Soul (Chariot of the Dead) bound to Mogdrogden’s Pact. A defensive proc that has a chance to heal us when we take damage. Not particularly interesting or flashy, but highly useful.
- Arcane Bomb (Widow) bound to Thermite Mines. Spawns a bomb that deals a bit of AoE damage, which is kind of useful versus trash swarms. What is extremely useful is the fact that the bomb detonation reduces lightning resistance and stacks with the resistance reduction from thermite mines. We want this to proc as often as possible on priority targets, so we put it on the mines since they will spawn a bunch of arcane bombs as we kite things over them.
- Elemental Storm (Rhowan’s Crown) bound to Wind Devils. Like Arcane Bomb, deals a bit of AoE damage and reduces enemy resistances. We put this on Wind Devil so they do an even better job of reducing enemy resistances as they roam around the battlefield.
- Hand of Ultos (Ultos, Shepherd of Storms) bound to Primal Strike. Helps a lot versus crowds and reduces enemy resistances a little on a pretty short cooldown. We want this to proc as often as possible versus crowds, so we put it on our primary attack to maximize the number of procs.
Typically, you want as many points in physique as possible while putting just a few points in cunning/spirit for endgame gear requirements. We pick up a decent amount of Spirit through our devotion path, so we won’t have to invest any points there at all, so we will focus on Physique (for equipment requirements) and Cunning (for equipment requirements)… Also remember that Hawk reduces our cunning requirements for ranged weapons by 10% which further reduces our need for Cunning investment and allows us to support more points invested in Physique while still being able to equip endgame ranged weapons.
Shoot for about 16 points in Cunning by endgame, prioritizing Physique early on and putting everything else there. However, be sure to save 5 stat points for end game, just in case. This will ensure that if you ever stumble onto a piece of gear you can’t quite equip but desperately want, you can easily fix the situation.
Kymon’s Chosen is much better than Death’s Vigil in this build. The Chosen have some crucial pieces of gear that buff lightning damage, including the weapon this build is named for!
Keep the Outcast alive, as her late-game augments are very good.
Duncan or Angrim doesn’t matter too much. Duncan is probably marginally better since we focus on lightning damage which his elemental smithing can buff, but there are much better smiths than either of them later on in the game.
If this is your first playthrough, I suggest allying with Barrowholm so you can access the useful blueprints, recipes, and augments they provide. Scummy as that may feel…
- This build was named after the Chosen Bolter and its Elite counterpart, both of which are great for this build and easily purchased from the Kymon’s Chosen faction vendor.
- However, THE MUST HAVE WEAPON in this build is an Ugdenbog Sparkthrower hands down. Finding a few of varying level requirements with the “of alacrity” suffix will greatly reduce any and all difficulty from leveling…I was using an extremely well-rolled lv55 sparkthrower all the way through the end of Elite where it still was dropping bosses in under 5 seconds! You can farm these in the Ugdenbog or consider checking out the plant vendor in the Tainted Grove to see if he has any for sale.
- Extremely early on in the game, a Hevill’s Greatsword from the Lower Crossing area is a fantastic pickup.
- Other ranged lightning 2-handers (such as Raka’Jax) are honestly mediocre at best when compared to a Sparkthrower. Accept no substitutes and get yourself one ASAP!
- Hell’s Bane Ammo, as mentioned above, is great and should go on all of our ranged weapons.
- Riftstone helps a ton if/when we switch to melee, since it gives us the incredibly useful Chaos Strike skill which lets us teleport straight to enemies for faster killing and better positioning.
- Potent Outcast’s Bastion is highly useful if you need to get more aether and chaos resistance. You probably won’t need the DA but it also helps a little if you’re below the cap.
- Potent Creed’s Cunning is great if you’re already resistance-capped, especially since the added energy regeneration helps the rapid rate at which Thunderous Strikes nuke our energy pool.
- Survivor’s Ingenuity is great in just about any build due to the boosts to damage, OA, and DA all together.
- Sylvarria’s Essence is another augment that’s great in nearly any build thanks to the OA boost (as in Survivor’s Ingenuity) and the huge poison resistance on each one.