The story behind this build is simple: I took the worst possible class, one of the least popular concepts and one of the crappiest weapons in the game. And then I tried to push it to the limit without going green or going Shattered Realm set. This is a gimmick build that was doomed from the start but as far as can tell it cannot be made any better. If anyone is interested in discussing bottom-tier concepts I’d love to hear from them.
The concept of aether Fire Strike defiler was doomed from the start. Combining the two least synergistic and defensively poorest masteries had to result in glass cannon defense that’s lacking in many ways (could be fixed with SR set somewhat). Because the weapon is just horrible and it’s base damage is worse than most 1h pistols (making weapon damage on this build lower than some gun&shield builds), there is no cannon in this glass cannon. So, it is extremely demanding when it comes to skill. To even have a chance at beating Crucible you gotta count seconds on Blast Shield, time your MoT, know when to disengage, who to kill first, etc.
So, in a way, it is fun. Can’t play immortal top-tiers all the time, hey!
I tested Magelord rings to empower procs and free the amulet slot for purple or blue Beronath. Classic binder rings are best and Agrivix ammy is needed for the armor. I theorycrafted with some more Krieg pieces but Fatewiever is needed for the res. Neither demo nor necro have any res in the mastery. And Dawnshard Pauldrons are fucking amazing. Make me wanna use them on every build (actually I did use them on my last 2 top-tier builds: AAR binder and Venomblade derv)
I tested Serenity but aether and chaos res happen to be the (only) two res that weren’t a problem. Ravager helmet and +1 to all anywhere I could get it is needed because there isn’t much aether gear supporting demo (except Agrivix supporting Vindictive Flame).
I tested devo setups with DG completed, with Fiend, without Tower, etc. Imp offers the best boost to damage from all available options, much better than Fiend. Completing Aeon is no good as it doesn’t reset Ghoul and Blast Shield, only MoT. Dying God would be perfect for this build as both crit dmg and speed is low (hell, everything is low…) but would have to drop the Tower or Aeon’s nodes…
I also tried to include a sorcerer version but maybe another time. Aether Fire Strike as a concept is not really encouraging diligent exploration. Sorcerer should be stronger.
Thanks to Mad_Lee for some insight. I didn’t have time to contact other top builders for insight as I was busy lately. But shoutout to them all.