“Aether bullets do not hold inside their flesh. They travel outside of this dimension.”
I never take seriously ranged weapons and classes in ARPGs, they’re just not my style. But when that first Vortex of Souls dropped from an ordinary mob in Bastion of Chaos and I saw that line “100% chance to pass through Enemies” It wasn’t hidden back then, yes, my world has changed. I’ve tried to make several builds around this rifle and this one turned out to be the most successful. After 18.104.22.168 came out, The Desolator gained this power aswell, so I’m definetely going to check out @afanasenkov26’s build around this rifle!
Stats with all auras on and without any procs/buffs
First and foremost - you must get used to this type of weapon. It is most efficient when you hit multiple lined up targets, so the doorways, the chokepoints, the bridges etc. - they’re your most welcomed friends.
While this knowledge might be obvious, the one that follows isn’t. Your character always aims at the center of an enemy, but the hitbox is much bigger. Let’s say you’re dealing with some big-ass nemesis like Grava or Kuba, and behind him there’re some little mobs, some heroes, etc. When you’re shooting the nemesis, you’re missing a lot of ponential targets:
But if you start shooting the farthest enemy, you still will be hitting the nemesis, but your shot will be precise enough to get every other monster in the way:
- Weapon is the reason this build exists (craft with stun resist);
- Krieg’s set supports both masteries well, although all the modifiers to Blitz are useless since it can’t be used without a melee weapon. And bonus for 5 set pieces while provides nice chunk of flat aether damage, doesn’t give anything else, because Krieg’s Wrath does less damage than your attacks, you don’t need much aoe with penetrating bullets and RR is kindly provided by Revenant devotion;
- The Magelord rings set is for those magikal worriors of course, but nevertheless it gives good stats, and I really wanted to max out Cadence. Other viable choices would be Mythical Band of the Eternal Haunt for it’s RR proc and Mythical Veilwarden Band for attack speed and generally good stats aswell;
- Amulet is the most arguable item in this build. It provides a nice chunk of flat damage by itself and by converting Cadence’s physical damage to aether, you can easily cover your resistances with it, and don’t forget that sweet +1 to all Skills in Soldier. But Bysmiel Veiled Pendant might easily outperform this Conduit, especially given the ease of obtaining it, while all the Conduits are pain in the ass to craft (I got mine 6th try, consider myself lucky). Definetely go for Pendant until you got your Conduit, and even then it is up to your preference;
- Pants are very good for all aa-builds, and this one lacks aspd, so there’s no question at all;
- Boots provides nice chunk of needed resistances, as well as a damage multiplier and boost to Necro’s RR skill. You might change it back to Krieg if you’d like to.
- Medal and belt are BiS to this build, providing a ton of good stats aswell as skill boosts. And I cannot stress enough how good is the medal proc. Heroes have no resistances to petrifying, and even small amount of bosses doesn’t have it either. Because of this proc you sometimes will notice that you can hold an entire horde of hero monsters away from yourself and kill them before they can charge their 100500%-movespeed asses to you.
- Relic is a generally nice option when you don’t have better options. One might consider Impurity a better choice, but I can’t even count the times when Serenity’s circuit breaker saved my life, so I won’t trade that to a little bit of damage. Also this +1 to all skills is just cute. (craft with stun resist or %DA depending on your other gear choices).
- High armor and very high physical resistance;
- High amounts of OA and DA;
- High stun and slow resist;
- Build has enough ADCtH to survive most encounters face to face with one nemesis or boss. Remember that hitting multiple targets heals you much more, and with that being said, you can tank whole screen of monsters and heroes (even some bosses and nemesises) if you hitting at least 3-6 of them with one shot;
- You’ll never run out of energy;
- 100% WPS;
- You need to be very careful and precise with positioning. I already pointed out the main thing in the beginning, but you need to remember that you have to do this constantly.
- Low attack speed (~150%), and while Hungering Void and Battle Cry helps with this, it’s still not that impressive
- Low crit damage. Partially fixed with Hungering Void, yet again not very impressive.
- Has difficulties with certain enemies, I’ll return to that a bit later;
- Low mobility - only a rune in the medal.
Apart from standard tactics, consider following points aswell:
- Alexander. As soon as he spawns his crystal formations, quickly rush/leap/teleport to be in the line with both of them and target the farthest. Attack speed and any of the 3 hits that proc Cadence will be enough to destroy them before they can meteor you and cut your resistances. Otherwise he’s facetankable if this is even a word…
- Kaisan. Basically the same thing applies but you can’t really do it on higher shards (65+), the damage is too great. But if you wanna destroy his crystals, make sure that the furthest one is far enough not to link with you, otherwise they can burn you even through Mark of Torment.
- Valdaran. His aura that shotguns you on ranged attacks is dangerous, but you’ll have enough time to either throw Mark of Torment on him or just stop attacking and kite a bit. Otherwise he’s a calm boi with nasty position swap
- Mad Queen. She is your mortal enemy. When she raises her… hands or whatever, 3 times and turns on her red aura, do not just stop attacking, run the heck away from her. At any point in nearest future Krieg’s helm can proc 5 projectiles, and she’ll return you them fivefold. If this isn’t enough to burn you down in a millisec, each one of her projectiles can proc your helmets projectiles… and so on until you’re dead. Or you’re just far enough away from her not to take a lot of her shotgun! Believe me, very rarely but a time may come when it’s worth pulling the whole boss room and kite them around, than trying to escape her shotgun in a closed space.
Here’s kinda boring video of SR 76, but at the last part it shows importance of targeting the furthest enemy. Here you might see that I don’t throw Aether Corruption at the enemy at certain times. That’s because of one of two reasons:
- The enemy is out of the range and I don’t want to move closer because that would pull other bosses;
- There’s a buggy points at south edge of the arena where my button pressing wasn’t recoginzed. I think that is because of that small stone tower, it might somehow overlap the cursor, but I’m not sure.
I’ve considered all my builds around Vortex of Souls a kind of meme ones, but when I was stopped at shard 79, I realize that it’s at least half meme build, lol. I hope you’ll have fun with it!