[] Aetherstrike - DW Aether 94% WPS Defiler

I’ve been meaning to post my favorite build for mindless playtime during the very few hours I get nowadays. It is my go-to build with it’s simplicity, excellent sustain and the ability to tackle almost everything in the main Campaign. I have not fought the John Bourbon clones or Lokarr, so no idea if this character can handle them.

Using a combination of 3pc Iskandra’s, 2x Mindwarp, and overcapped AS, this build makes for an enjoyable DW melee Aether Defiler with excellent AOE and pretty solid single target damage as well. Defense is good with lots of Health, 25% Physical Resistance, 20% ADCtH and Siphon Souls to leech some more life.

Bonus: This build has only 6 buttons to press!

Grimtools: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/62axxoXN

Screenshot with passive buffs, 2x Mindwarp and Hungering Void active:

Here’s the tooltip breakdown on FS damage with all buffs active:

Alternative builds (including 2 Zero Green options!)

Iskandra 3pc (Zero Greens)

Swap in the Mythical Legplates of Valor and the Mythical Stormtitan Treads and you’re all set. You lose out on the proc from the Wraithborn Legwraps (and a bunch of OA!), but you gain the -10% Damage proc on the Stormtitan Treads.

Clairvoyant 3pc

Using the Robe, Hat and Mantle from the Clairvoyant’s Focus set means you free up a ring slot to get some extra RR with a Mythical Band of Eternal Haunt. Overall, you gain about 10-20% Damage, but the huge loss of the Physical Resistance from Iskandra’s makes playing less smooth and makes the hard hitting bosses more difficult. To compensate for this, swap in a Prismatic Diamond to give you some extra protection. To cover resists, boots need to change to Thunderstruck Stoneplate Greaves of Kings. There is the option as well to change one Mythical Mindwarp to a Mythical Clairvoyant’s Wand to complete the set, but the loss of attack speed is quite noticable. You have more damage, but slower AS means less WPS. A Mythical Wrath of the Ascendant is also possible here and using this weapon provides another -20% Aether RR, but again the AS loss is significant.

Krieg 5pc (Zero Greens)

Using the Krieg’s Armament set is tough on an Aether Defiler despite the relative ease of acquiring the set itself. The problem lies in that the class combination does not give any inherent resistances, so resistances are barely capped and I could not see any way possible to overcap them. Overall, this set is better off in the hands of a Death Knight or a Spellbinder (and maybe even a Battlemage!).

Gearing Breakdown:
2x Mythical Mindwarp – The absolute best weapons for a melee Aether character. Almost guaranteed RR application when using DW coupled with 200% AS and 94% WPS
2x Mythical Albrecht’s Duality – These rings are necessary to convert 100% of Chaos Damage to Aether. Only downside was the addition of the proc that requires a caster off-hand!! This should be removed to allow melee builds to get the proc as there are few builds using this ring.
Mythical Arcane Shard of Agrivix – Absolutely necessary to convert up to 33% of Fire Damage to Aether. Extra Aether Damage and 10% Armor to VF is a great addition to the +1 Demo skills and +2 to HoS.
Iskandra’s Unification (3pc) – Great for this DW melee build as it gives a bunch of +% Aether Damage, -% Cunning for the weapons, massive Health, 16% Physical Resistance, and flat Aether Damage.
Krieg’s Grip – Gloves are excellent for what they provide. Aether Damage, AS, Health + %3 Physical Resistance plus a nice proc.
Mythical Wraithborn Legwraps – Health, huge +% OA, some DA and some good resistances.
Mythical Cord of Violent Decay – The other absolutely necessary item to convert up to 55% Fire Damage to Aether, plus some OA and some resistances.
Stonehide Stoneplate Greaves of Kings – Needed to cover resistances and give some DA and Health.
Mythical Direwolf Crest – Necessary to DW, plus tons of OA, good resistances and a WPS proc.
Korvaak’s Deception – Needed for the skills, +% OA/+% DA and the great free movement skill that is 94% converted to Aether Damage. I’m interested to see what this relic gets with the changes coming in FG.
2x Seal of the Void – Absolutely necessary to give the Defiler some needed WPS skills. The +8% AS is great and the Fire & Chaos Damage (from both component and WPS skill) is when using FS to Aether Damage. This makes the Burning Void skill become 94% Aether Damage and is quite nice for the Defiler to multiply WD using FS and to proc multiple ES at the same time.

WPS Breakdown:
25% Reaping Strike
25% Necrotic Strike
16% Burning Void
16% Burning Void
12% Direwolf Claw
Total = 94% WPS!

Damage Conversion Breakdown:

Physical Damage is converted 66% to Aether using 2x Mindwarp with 20% to Chaos with 2x Seal of the Void and 15% to Vitality with Harbinger of Souls.

Racial Damage Breakdown:

27% against Undead
18% against Beasts
12% against Chthonic

Devotions were chosen to provide some damage procs (Aetherfire, Flame Torrent, Hungering Void), some RR (Arcane Bomb) as well as some needed Defense with Ghoul, Solemn Watcher and Revenant. Raise the Dead provides some distractions, but the skeletons don’t do much damage at all. Pretty handy to have the 2 skeletons spawning at once now! Devotion bindings are optimal for procing purposes and for gameplay smoothness.

Devotion Bindings:
Flame Torrent > Fire Strike
Aetherfire > Siphon Souls
Arcane Bomb > BWC
Hungering Void > Necrotic Edge
Raise the Dead > Blazing Charge (Grimtools now lists this as Blazing Eruption - maybe the new skill for FG?)
Ghoulish Hunger > Flame Touched
Spear of the Heavens > Vindictive Flame

Gameplay is smooth since there are only 6 buttons. Throw a Flashbang, BWC and Blazing Charge into the group, then slash away to lay them low. This build does require some concentration as it relies on 3 soft circuit breakers, but otherwise it’s just hold down left click and smash stuff!

Since everybody loves a video, here’s me fighting Benn’Jahr, Shar’zul (11 secs), MQ (11 secs), a few bosses in Ancient Grove plus facetanking Kubacabra on the way to fight to Gargabol:


I don’t play Crucible except to get the first 10 Devotion points, so I’m not sure how it prevails in there. I would think just fine as Firegunz made a similar build and managed to clear 170 with 4 Buffs + Vanguard Banner HERE. Although the build may need to swap the Leathery Hide for a Prismatic Diamond.

Final Thoughts:
I had fun making and playing this build as the Defiler is not a class most people will play or post on the forums. I was inspired by Firegunz’s build a few months back and wanted to post one with 94% WPS combined with 94% Conversion to Aether Damage!

Hope you enjoyed the build and let me know if there are any questions you have or changes you might suggest.

1 Like

Great build,defilers are hard to make sense most of the time.For Crucible I guess prismatic diamond will be better for helmet,because of Ulo.

One more proof of the power of aether builds. Even with very weak support from the gear build performs good damage and survivability.
Good job!

Nice build! + that you included a legit non-green version too

Idk if I’d call 100% chaos->aether and 80+% fire->aether weak gear support…or Mindwarp’s everything, for that matter.

Thanks for the kind words.

John Smith might be referring to the fact that the equipment does not provide much for +skills or item modifiers on equipment for Defiler skills. Dual Mindwarps are great and the damage conversion to Aether is excellent, but other classes could do more with it such as a CT Spellbinder.

I do believe that the reason this build does alright is that Aether Damage is pretty strong in GD. The relatively easy application of RR helps immensely as well.

Are you sure that you can add the burning void proc % up like that btw?

Why not Krieg’s?

Yes, they are each individual WPS skills. They come in handy if you need the WPS and can convert the damage like with this character or my N&O Pyromancer I posted a while back! :smiley:

I tried for a while with Krieg’s, but the resistances were really hard to cover with using 2x Albrecht’s Duality for the Chaos conversion. If I ignored that conversion, then it could probably work more like veretranga’s Warpblade DW Aether DK. But even then the resists are tough. Hence why I settled with Iskandra’s.

Making a defiler work with iskandra’s … impressive. But I still feel that this build is possible because mindwarp is so strong, defiler is a weak class at best.

I am wondering if a reaper version of this is possible ?

Not really since a Reaper is very different and the itemization is much different as well. Here I am linking 2 Aether Reaper builds that I am aware of.

Superfluff’s [] The Wraith - Aether SS Reaper - Demigod of Crucible

thejabrixone’s [] The Divine Reaper - DW Aether WPS Reaper

Check them out, they both look great to play!

Just made an update to the main post with 2 additional alternative builds:

  1. 3pc Clairvoyant setup that deals more damage, but also is squishier as a result
  2. 5pc Krieg build that only has slightly overcapped resists, but is slightly easier to gear out than the original

mm, 4 items for incomplete conversion. Shard of Agrivix is the only item for defiler.

If you think, that full conversion allows to create strong build you could try to make chaos build with Orb of Ch’ton or fire build with Blazeheat. Just 1 item instead of 4.

You wrote 4pc clairvoyant in the OP

perhaps add those comments in the OP as well