[] [Shieldbreaker] The Lion of Stuttgart

Stats shown are with passives and Inspiration active. Sheet DPS is Vire's Might.


Stats shown above are with passives, Ascension and Inspiration active. Sheet DPS is Vire's Might.



Setup I Use

The Helmet and Legs are crafted for Stun resistance hence why I have 41% instead of 22% on the Grimtools link.

The belt I’m using isn’t impressive but workable. The main thing is that the prefix and suffix give a useful chunk of resistance so it’s not bad.

Affix-less MI version of the above setup

Admittedly, resistance overcaps are tight here. It really helps to pick up extra resistances wherever you can if you don’t want to lose damage as I did on this version by swapping Arcane Heart Powders out for Sylvarria’s Essence.

BiS Affixes version

Drops Flashbang in favour of boosting Judgment and minimising skills used.
Build Concept

  • Stonefather is our set of choice here, something I wanted to try and build around to see how it would fare.
  • Vire’s Might is our main source of Fire/Burn damage. We’re able to convert effectively all of it to Fire/Burn and lower the cooldown to ~1.2 seconds.
  • Judgment is also used here mostly as an engine for passively spreading Fissures around for added AoE and for crowd control.
  • For defense, we have Ascension, Blast Shield, Resilience and Ghoulish Hunger with standard caster-level CDR (around 20-25%).
  • Passive DA is barely breaking acceptable levels but as shown above, Inspiration boosts our DA up to ~2900 and has a downtime of 3.6 seconds before it can proc again. Resilience also provides an impressive boost whenever it procs.
  • Passive OA is also barely breaking acceptable levels but has Judgment (or Flashbang on lower setups) for DA strip, Inspiration and Ascension to keep it high most or all of the time.

Comparison to Vanquisher


I have not played a Vanquisher character so I’m going to be looking at Vanquisher on more of a statistic level with a GT link with some key points rather than comparing how it plays and feels in practice. MysteryMeat’s ATV was picked because it’s the most recent with community feedback I’m aware of.

I’d like to hear from someone who has actually played it weigh in on this section and correct any mistakes or wrong assumptions I make.

Shield damage and ADCtH

Lets start with what I consider the main difference here: we have a Shield. Why is this important? Because Vire’s Might also uses our Shield for damage with the full 300% weapon damage and thanks to our conversion, it’s turned into Fire. Any flat Fire on skills like Flame Touched apply to it as well so it adds up to become a significant amount of damage.

How much you ask?


So our charge hits in comparison are more “meatier” than Vanquisher builds but less frequent and weaker in other areas (though we’ll get to this further below). The other neat bonus to this is that our global ADCtH applies to our Shield as well. So we’re able to life steal off of the damage it deals. This is significant on it’s own but becomes more impressive when you’re able to charge through multiple enemies in a crowd and life steal off of every single one.

Farming Speed and CDR

Vanquisher builds are still faster for farming by a long shot. They’re able to get the cooldown down to approximately half of ours (0.6s vs 1.2s). Templars also have the option of picking up Star Pact for even more CDR than us if they’re not taking Divine Mandate.

Burn and Trail Potential

It should come as no surprise though that we are beaten out in Burn damage. Templars have access to Inferno which is by far one of the single strongest sources of DoT damage in a mastery and is made more potent with the transmuter and the 4-piece set bonuses. Shieldbreakers can take transmuted Blackwater Cocktail which while not as powerful for Burn is still great. Zarthuzellan’s Archive also pushes a significant amount of more Burn damage onto Vire’s Might.

Volcanic Stride is also worth noting here. The amount of base Burn damage between both builds is the same but what isn’t is the Fire damage. The Fire trails made by Volcanic Stride can stack if an enemy is stood ontop of multiple. Thus, Vanquisher by virtue of having a lower cooldown on Vire’s Might is able to put more of these out for more Fire damage per sec.


Vanquishers typically bind Aetherfire to Vire’s Might. This is for a number of reasons:

  • Their gear converts ~50 or 100% of the Aether damage to more Fire.
  • Aetherfire has no cooldown.
  • The proc chance goes up to 51% as it uses Vire’s Might’s cooldown before CDR.
  • The fire trails mean you’re able to put out a huge number of damage ticks to proc Aetherfire several times over.

Everything sums up to make Aetherfire another huge source of Fire damage that is capable of melting enemies at a faster rate. We are stuck instead with Eldritch Fire that is not as impressive for damage.

Putting it Together

Minor note/nitpick but I’ll go over it briefly.

The current build just uses 5 Legendaries, 1 of which is craftable, 1 Infrequent, 6 Epics including a set and a Faction item. The Infrequent is more demanding on affixes for resistances to suitably overcap all of them without losing too much damage.

Vanquisher uses a set that can only be farmed from the original 4 roguelike dungeons - Steps of Torment, Bastion of Chaos, Port Valbury and Ancient Grove, 5-6 minimum Legendaries with 1-2 being craftable. While it does uses Infrequents, the affixes are not important for resistances.


Vire’s Might (Eldritch Fire): As mentioned above, our main damage ability and the core of the build.
Judgment (Fissure): Crowd control and a great devotion proccer.
Summon Guardian of Empyrion (Meteor Shower): Provides resist reduction and a way to proc Meteors consistently for free.
Flashbang (Raise the Dead): Provides DA strip and Fumble/Impaired Aim to increase our defense (though can be dropped with a good enough Belt).
Thermite Mine: Provides resist reduction.
Blazing Fury: Feel free to use any movement ability here. Just personal preference.

Presence of Virtue (Ghoulish Hunger): Provides Offensive Ability and Energy Regen. The flat Trauma when applied by Vire’s Might turns into Burn as well, also nice.
Divine Mandate: Crit damage and Slow resistance are both great to have here.
Resilience: Provides a myriad of defensive bonuses whenever it procs.
Flame Touched: Provides a big boost to our damage, Offensive and Defensive Ability.
Vindictive Flame: 2 points for a bit of Total Speed and extra CC.
Blast Shield: Provides a myriad of defensive bonuses whenever it procs.
Burning Weapons: Provides a big boost to our damage. The additional conversion is also helpful for Meteor Shower.

Resist Reduction

Celestial Presence: Provides -34% Fire resistance as a passive debuff in an area around the Guardians.
Thermite Mine: Provides -44% Elemental resistance as a passive debuff in an area around the Mines.
Eldritch Fire: Provides -23% Fire resistance as a debuff that spreads from one enemy to other nearby enemies.
Raise the Dead: Provides 25 reduced target’s resistance through the Skeleton’s attacks. Continuous attacks are required to keep it active.

In total, this leaves up with -101% Fire resistance and 25 reduced, effectively a reduction of -126%. Not amazing but not bad either.


All points into Physique for much needed DA and health.


  • I’d advise crafting your helmet and leggings for Stun resistance to push the passive 22% from Throne up to something nicer.
  • Look for Fire/Cold/Lightning/Elemental, Acid, Aether, Chaos, Vitality resistances and OA/DA on your Gargoyle belt. There’s a lot to look for but you also want a fair amount from it if you don’t want to sacrifice damage.
  • Trying for high resistance rolls on gear is very much doable and advised here:
    • Your Stonefather Shield, Chest and Medal can all be re-rolled via set transmutation (don’t re-roll your head to keep the crafting bonus).
    • You can session reset for Bysmiel shoulders with above average Pierce/Bleed resists (not that it’s majorly important but you can do).
    • Arcane Harmony Leggings are craftable and are relatively cheap just being 10 Aetherial Missives and a Deathchill relic.
    • Runesinged Handguards and Emberstone Treads are Epics meaning they’re likely to appear more often than Legendaries. You might already have a few for comparing stat rolls, if not, they are common in my experience.


Lay down Thermite Mines, debuff with Flashbang and charge in. In between charges, use Judgment as it comes around to knock weaker enemies into prime positions for charge throughs and to constantly and passively spread Fissures to nearby enemies and keep your debuffs up. For Heroes/Bosses, charge through them multiple times with Vire’s Might to stack fire trails on top of them. Use Ascension as it comes around for a boost to damage and survival.

Keep an eye on cooldowns for Resilience and Blast Shield as they greatly increase survivability and with your CDR can be available again shortly after proccing.



Special thanks to @Snowmanplayer123 and @TomoDaK for a few suggestions while I planning this out months ago.

Special thanks to @romanN1 for suggesting improvements and for recording a Crucible run to showcase it.

Special thanks to @mad_lee for making suggestions that improved all versions of the build.

Final Word

Feels great to finally have this out after putting it on the backburner for weeks just in time for 1.1.6 to release. Probably gonna have to make a bunch of tweaks when that rolls around, I didn’t think this through :sweat_smile:.

In all seriousness though, I’m looking forward to seeing what changes 1.1.6 brings and what new builds we’ll see as well.


Very interesting concept!

VM focused build outside of Vanquisher haven’t been posted before I think. I played myself VM Shieldbreaker and is fun but bit glassy. Interesting idea to use it with a shield. Maybe next patch can support better Skater’s life :slightly_smiling_face:

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Nice skater build. Bookmarked for future reference. I always wanted to do a shield skater build but haven’t had the time to theorycraft an optimized one. I had a VM+Mortar Vanquisher Shieldbreaker before but it was kind of squishy and when I’ve tried Arcanist on it I just couldn’t go back (Maiven’s Sphere, Mirror & Nullification are too good).

I am particularly interested in being able to mix in BWC, Canister, Mortar or especially Aegis as secondary DPS, but I guess doing so would sacrifice something else in the build, especially with gearing.

I currently use a variant of the Aetherfire build you mentioned. Mine has significantly less damage but I’m more comfortable playing it that way since it’s not as squishy as the base build.

Will definitely try your build when I have the time. I’ve always like using shields but just can’t resist the impressive mobility the Vanquisher Templar has. This seems like a really good middleground.

Some comments:

  • Why not at least a point in Crushing Verdict for the DA shred? Doesn’t stack w/ Flashbang’s?
  • Is it not worth at least soft-capping Haven considering this is a shield build?

Yes, some damage on VM would have to give somewhere. Either through skills or through important gear slots. Honestly, if I wanted to make a 2nd skill into more of a damage dealer, it’d be maxing Heart of Wrath here.

As is, the cd on Vire’s Might is low enough that I don’t see the point in picking up a secondary damage skill since you could just be skating every second.

Yep, doesn’t stack with Flashbang.

Can’t spare the points without losing damage somewhere like Safeguard. The Shield isn’t used for defense so I don’t consider improving the block chance/damage important. The increased healing is nice but we already get a fair bit of that.

Thanks for the comments on the build!

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This looks very good and fun too! Good job Baka! Btw, have you considered using justice gloves to convert judgement to fire and further ditch flash bang taking all those points into judgement’s second node so you have DA shred to it? This way you get rid of an extra spell to cast resulting in higher consistency. Only thing you need to do is correct elemental and aether res if you do that.

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Something like this? Could also softcap Heart of Wrath as well by dropping Safeguard down to 12/12 and taking a point out of Clarity of Purpose.

Would require a GG-rolled belt but I can see this being better. Less downtime on VM means more leech coming in. Previous gloves also have super low armour that I’m not fond of.


Yes, this looks very good. Showcase it. Looks pretty fun!

Hey, Evil_Baka, congrats on posting a creative Shieldbreaker.

There is one mistake in your spec that kind of brings your whole build down tho, and I see that a lot of builders do that. You gotta max your -RR% sources. It’s damage boost that doesn’t have diminishing returns, So you gotta overcap Thermite Mines!

EDIT: There is also like less important stuff like getting a Sanctified Bone (because fire builds have really hard times with Grava) and getting a 100% to Fire damage Ulzuin’s Torch nod instead of 18 DA blue crossroad nod.

I intentionally stopped at 10/16 because the scaling per point slows down from 2% per point to 1% at skill ranks afterwards. When we’re so stretched on skill points, maxing Mines is a tough call. Where would you pull points from then to max Mines?

Squeezing in a Sanctifiied Bone without losing important resists/DA/armour absorption is going to be hard. If you want racial Ch’thonic damage, I’d be more inclined to swap one of the Enchanted Flints out for an Imbued Silver.

Blue Primordial node could be swapped out, I was just being iffy on the amount of DA the build has outside of Inspiration or other sources (like Ulzuin’s buff) being so low and scrambling to pick up more, just Campaign stuff.


You are not losing anything except 20 OA/DA. Resilience is not worth investing into unless it’s 5/12 or 8/12. But another -10% RR is huge, as well as 65% more fire damage and racial damage boost.


All in all, i wanna see this spec in action @Evil_Baka. Do some videos with it :D.

Changes seem pretty reasonable, I’ll update the OP and see how they go while playing around with it some more.

Appreciate the enthusiasm but I rarely if ever do videos because I’m a terrible pilot/player :sweat_smile:.

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And how does that even matter? :smiley: