(Click image for suggested listening while playing these builds…)
It’s not every day I play Druid. Usually when I do, I play Trozan’s which is pretty “standard” but it gets me my caster fix for a time. But 22.214.171.124 finally saw me step into the realm of Lightning druids for real and I had an absolute blast with both of these builds. One build is incredibly easy to gear, featuring the full Ultos set and six fairly-common Blue items. The other is a little tougher but has some of the most insane screen-clearing ability I’ve ever seen in GD, at times making me feel like I was playing Path of Exile. Because they share masteries, it is fully possible to fully respec one into the other if you so desire, though they are entirely different in playstyle!
Let’s get into it.
Build 1) Untransmuted Primal Strike
Grimtools: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/pZrJDJkZ Note that as of the time of this writing, Grimtools is not updated to 126.96.36.199!
Primal Strike with the Ultos set has long had the ability to perform quite well. With the addition of a multiprojectile proc to the Signet of Astral Ruminations (not shown on Grimtools, picture below), however, I finally felt it was time to try my own spin on the traditional set. Note, also, that these rings traded +2 Smite for +2 Primal Strike, giving us 26/16 PS (not yet shown in Grimtools).
With two of these rings, we have the opportunity to obliterate packs of mobs and bosses alike with one hell of a shotgun, in addition to our massive nuke of Primal Strike which can be used on a 1.7 second cooldown! With Maiven’s, Mirror, Wendigo Totem, and a defensive use of Nullification, this build can stay put wherever it wants against virtually whatever it wants!
The build is spec’d for maximum Cooldown Reduction via Star Pact and three pieces of the Ultos set, as opposed to the Crit Damage offered by Stormcaller’s Pact. This means we can swiftly get our defensive procs rolling (Twin Fangs on Grasping Vines) and maintain consistent usage of Mirror of Ereoctes as needed. Do note that skills granted by items are not affected by CDR.
Savagery is used to provide Physical Resistance and OA/DA during the downtime between Primal Strike casts. In addition to a panic button with Mirror, we also have Rune of Displacement as an emergency panic button during Mirror’s brief downtime.
In the Campaign, cast a fresh Wind Devil or two as you move from mobpack to mobpack; you want to avoid casting Wind Devil’s during combat so as to maximize your dps. In Crucible, cast your Wind Devils between waves, and also refresh the duration of your Wendigo Totem between waves. I ordinarily don’t play a whole lot of Crucible, but this build in particular was an exception. It shot through Gladiator 1-150 in the blink of an eye without buffs or banners, and once buffed it obliterated 150-170 even with my mediocre piloting skills. The only things the build really needs to look out for are
- Skill Disruption
- Crit/OA mutator for enemies
Build 2) Lightning Callidor's Tempest
Grimtools: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/bVALqL62 Note that as of the time of this writing, Grimtools is not updated to 188.8.131.52!
What originally started as me wanting to make a Fire-based CT Mage Hunter turned into me deleting screens with another Lightning Druid. Before we talk about gameplay, though, let’s discuss the thought process in the gear selection.
Mythical Stormseer Sapphire gives Lightning Damage to Callidor’s Tempest and converts the Aether Damage already present on the skill into Lightning. It, Stormheart, and Cindertouch also give us Global Fire -> Lightning Conversion…however, note that the (Mythical) Maw of Despair gives us Fire -> Aether Conversion. Oh no!
That’s fine. It turns out Mythical Maw of Despair turns into a DPS increase due to the addition of Aether Damage to Callidor’s (which is converted to Lightning via Stormseer Sapphire) even when the conversion roll is highest. Optimally, of course, you’d want a lower conversion roll on this headpiece and higher conversion rolls elsewhere. Nevertheless, DPS downgrade or not, the Mythical Maw of Despair also gives Callidor’s some innate ADCTH:
From there, a Sprinkling of +Skills across various gearpieces can give us 26/16 Callidor’s Tempest (not yet shown on Grimtools; -of the Abomination offhand suffix got +3 CT this patch), 26/16 Storm Totem, and 22/12 Raging Tempest. Throw these things together and you have over 100% Lightning RR with a buttload of AoE damage behind it. Oh, and let’s talk healing.
In addition to Wendigo Totem and Twin Fangs, the build has 6% ADCTH innate to CT (Maw of Despair) and 6% Global ADCTH (Bat/Restless Remains). With 50% Weapon Damage on 26/16 CT, that’s a base of 9% ADCTH healing us for every enemy struck by our massive PBAoE. But wait! With an ingame healing increase of 24%, our CT actually has the effectiveness of 1.24 * 9% = 11.2% ADCTH, more than most AA builds have without Ghoul active. That’s a lot of healing.
Oh, and let’s not forget that we have 19/12 Elemental Balance and 20/12 Stormcaller’s Pact for an assload of Crit Damage…
This build is an offensive monster and as long as it doesn’t get immediately oneshot it will obliterate anything you throw at it. Having said that…there is a fair chance it gets immediately oneshot. I wouldn’t advertise this build as being HC viable without piloting skills that are in excess of my own (and I think I’m quite good outside Crucible). Benn’jahr and Morgoneth have both oneshot this build in practice, albeit with somewhat-painful mutators active. This build is untested in Crucible, though I imagine if you can stay alive it should have quite the clearspeed.
Now let’s talk green affixes.
They aren’t super important and there are alternatives. Getting 26/16 CT via the offhand is less important than simply having the CDR and summon limit increase to Storm Totem that the base offhand provides. Also note that this build is fairly low on Casting Speed; if you had a Sky Effigy that provided you with lesser +CT support but more Casting Speed, it’s quite possible that could be competitively viable.
Stonehide -of Reptilian Resilience is a greedy way of getting Acid Res capped, but that can just the same be accomplished with Ugdenleather and Augments. Again, it’s more important that you have the base item for the +Inferno, as Inferno gives flat Lightning Damage to Callidor’s by default.
Because these builds are both Druids, they can more or less be leveled the same way and respec’d into their respective setups at a later time. My primary recommendation would be to level with Primal Strike, focusing on the raw flat damage the skill offers for the first three acts of the game and then prioritizing Electrocute Damage for Act 4 and AoM content (if done immediately). The lowlevel Wildcaller’s set (and its medium level counterpart) is an excellent choice and drops fairly frequently, if one lacks Lokarr’s set.
Leveling with TSS is also an option for players that prefer the raw power Arcanist offers at low levels as well as the ability to hit Loghorrean multiple times with each TSS cast. Shaman would generally be faster for mobbing for Arcanist would be safer and potentially faster for boss killing, and as most quests are locked behind bosses and since quests provide the best XP/Hour, it may well be the case that Arcanist is the “faster” option.
Even more different is the tried-and-true option of leveling with Devouring Swarm, though I find that peters out in effectiveness after Loghorrean, so it’s nonviable if you plan to do AoM content in Normal. If you don’t, you should be able to press into Act 1 and 2 Elite with it before you need to swap to another source of damage.
Whatever your choice, dip into Act 7 (Forgotten Gods) immediately after killing the Warden to pick up a Movement Rune for Acts 2-4/5-6. I wouldn’t recommend doing FG content on Normal. Its quests are long and hard early on and the XP/hour isn’t worth it.
Chains of Brandis can reliably be picked up in Port Valbury starting at level 50, and regardless of its rolls it will help you quite a bit.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Ask away here or on Discord.
Enjoy the builds!