Vroom vroom, motherfucker.
Hello guys! Long time lurker, first time poster here. Ever since FG came out and brought us the Vanquisher’s set, I’ve been playing around looking for ways to make a fast, but also tanky and viable endgame skater. So without further ado, I present to you the ATV - Aetherfire Templar Vanquisher.
Credits to x1x1x1x2 for his original skater build guide, found here.
Should I Play This Build?
In my opinion, Vanquisher Templar is one of the most fun and unique builds in the game. You should definitely give this build a try if:
- You want to zip around and pretend you’re playing PoE while everybody else is stuck walking
- You want to try a completely new playstyle that’s unlike anything else in the game
- You want your end-game set to be target farmable, rather than having to rely on RNG
- You want to be super tanky while also dishing out tons of damage
- You want to kill the Celestial superbosses by running circles around them
- You want to quickly farm the campaign and dungeons
- You want to cosplay as Indiana Jones (remember to pick up Skinner’s Torch)
On the other hand, this build might not be for you if:
- You want to break Crucible speed records
- You want to delve super deep into SR, like 90+ (I’ll talk more about this later)
- You want a lazy build. This build is very active and requires a ton of mouse movement.
- You are brand new and just starting out with a fresh character. While the Vanquisher’s set does have a fixed drop location, you will need a strong character to be able to farm it first.
Character sheet with permanent buffs (no Ascension)
This build revolves around getting enought flat CDR from Vanquisher’s, Zarthuzellan’s Archive, and Tectonic Shift to maintain a 100% uptime on Vire’s Might. This lets us stack multiple Volcanic Stride and Aetherfire instances for massive fire/burn damage at little cost, which allows us to focus primarily on defenses instead.
How it Works:
Vire’s Might usually has a 3.6s cooldown. However, we get flat CDR to Vire’s Might from the Vanquisher’s Set (-0.7s), Vanquisher’s Helm (-0.2s), Zarthuzellan’s Archive (-0.5s), and Tectonic Shift (-1.5s), bringing the base cooldown to 0.7s. On top of that, Zarthuzellan’s Archive rolls 12-18% CDR, which brings the actual cooldown to approximately 0.6s or so. Factoring in travel time and casting animation, and this means that Vire’s Might essentially has no cooldown.
Aetherfire (Imp) is a T1 constellation, notable for being the only devotion proc without a cooldown. With a low proc chance and mediocre damage however, it is usually ignored by most builds. So why do we pick Aetherfire as our primary damage proc then?
In Grim Dawn, binding a proc to a cooldown skill will increase the proc chance based on the cooldown of that skill. So whereas Aetherfire usually only has a measly 15% proc chance, when bound to Vire’s Might it has a very respectable 51% proc chance instead. Note that this is based off of the base cooldown (3.6s) rather than the actual cooldown, so our CDR doesn’t reduce this proc chance either.
On top of that, Vire’s Might also leaves behind a fire trail thanks to Volcanic Stride. Since this is a modifier to Vire’s Might and not a skill in itself, this trail also shares the 51% chance to proc Aetherfire. Note that this only applies to the fire damage that ticks every second, and not the burn DoT. Aetherfire is also half fire damage, and we convert a good portion of the aether half into fire as well thanks to the Vanquisher set. This means that we scale Aetherfire way harder than most builds do, thanks to all of the fire/burn damage from our gear.
So what does this all mean? With no cooldown and a 4s duration on Volcanic Stride we can stack lots of fire trails on top of each other, each of which has a separate chance to proc Aetherfire with every tick. This damage adds up extremely fast, and allows us to melt pretty much anything in the game, especially stationary targets.
We also have excellent survivability thanks to our multiple defense layers. With nearly 15k health, 3k armor, 23% damage absorb from Maiven’s, and overcapped resistances, we are already significantly tankier than the average 10k health crucible build. Not only that, but we also have flat damage absorb from Ascension, reduced target’s damage from Light of Empyrion, and three different circuit breakers (Arcane Will + Healing Rain, Resilience + Giant’s Blood, Serenity). Plus there’s always Mirror and Nullification for those particularly nasty bosses.
I built this character with a focus on survivability and being able to consistently run a solo deathless SR 75. For other purposes (such as farming dungeons), you can choose to focus more on damage instead.
For crafted gear, try to get stun resistance (Kaylon in Steelcap District) if you are not capped already. Otherwise, craft for armor/pierce resistance instead (Angrim in Devil’s Crossing).
- Vanquisher’s Set - the entire reason why this build exists
- Zarthuzellan’s Archive - the rolls are not too important. If possible, try to get a prefix with physical resistance (Sandstorm, Destroyer’s, Glacial, Thunderstruck) and a suffix with fire damage (of Scorching, of Wildfire, etc.)
- M. Warpfire - +1 Arcanist skills, good fire/burn damage, and an RR proc to boot
- M. Combustion Band - fire/burn damage and another RR proc
- M. Crimson Lotus (Crafted) - +1 Oathkeeper skills, fire/burn damage, and a nice chunk of OA
- M. Volcanum (Crafted) - good fire/burn damage and resistances, but more importantly allows us to hardcap Volcanic Stride
- Serenity (Crafted) - +1 all skills, decent health/resists, and an amazing circuit breaker for emergencies
- M. Menhirian - hardcaps Vire’s Might and Tectonic Shift and provides a nice %armor bonus. Can be replaced if you find an Oathkeeper’s Zarthuzellan’s Archive with +2 to Vire’s Might (the hardcap to Tectonic Shift is not as important)
- M. Wyrmbone Handguards (Crafted) - fire/burn damage, health, and a large amount of flat OA. It’s also heavy armor, and comes with a free damage proc. Can be replaced with a pair of Emberguard Gauntlets, although crafting one with as much OA and damage as this will be difficult
- M. Wyrmscale Footguards - OA/DA along with some damage and CC resistance. The absorb proc is nice but nothing special, and these can be replaced with a pair of well-rolled Stoneplate Greaves, preferably with stun resist (e.g. Thunderstruck)
- Kubacabra Chausses - hardcaps Tectonic Shift, is heavy armor, and has pierce resistance, which we are sorely lacking. Rolls are not too important, although the Stonehide prefix is amazing if you can get it. Can be replaced with any pants of your choice as long as you can fix your resistances
- Blazeheart - +1 Oathkeeper skills and nice fire/burn damage. Obtained from a quest, so it’s much easier to get than the other alternatives
- M. Cinderscorn - adds burn damage to Vire’s Might and Judgment, and also gives +2 to Vire’s Might allowing us to replace M. Menhirian in our ring slot
- M. Exterminus - similar to M. Warpfire, gives us some fire/burn damage and a RR proc. However, as a gun it requires a lot more Cunning to use (which is mostly wasted on this build)
While Imp is our primary offensive devotion, we also have Solael’s Witchblade and Viper for additional fire RR on top of that. Viper’s %RR doesn’t stack with the %RR from Vire’s Might, but it’s still larger (20% vs 12%) and provides decent bonuses while filling out our devotions.
Defensively, we have the usual suite of blue defensive constellations in Sailor’s Guide, Eel, and Solemn Watcher. We also have an active heal in Dryad and two healing procs in Behemoth and Tree of Life, which should be bound to Resilience and Arcane Will, respectively. Not only will this dramatically increase their proc chance, but it will also ensure that our healing procs only happen when we need them to. Light of Empyrion and Obelisk of Menhir provide great defensives bonuses, and the damage reduction proc is just a cherry on top.
Unlike most fire builds, we completely skip Ulzuin’s Torch, Magi, and Ghoul. While Torch is an amazing constellation, we simply can’t fit it into our devotion route without sacrificing too much. Magi or Ghoul can be taken in place of Light of Empyrion, if desired, although the damage reduction on Light of Empyrion is massive and helps a lot with your survivability.
Our devotion progress should look something like what is listed below. The skills listed are what you want to bind when the build is finished. While leveling, you can bind devotions to whatever you have available.
- (+) Blue Crossroads
- (+) Imp (Vire’s Might)
- (+) Red Crossroads
- (+) Viper
- (+) Green Crossroads
- (+) Behemoth (Resilience)
- (+) Solael’s Witchblade (Judgment)
- (-) Green Crossroads
- (-) Red Crossroads
- (+) Sailor’s Guide
- (+) Eel
- (+) Solemn Watcher
- (+) Lion
- (+) Dryad (Callidor’s Tempest)
- (+) Tree of Life (4 pts) (Arcane Will)
- (+) Obelisk of Menhir (3 pts)
- (+) Light of Empyrion (Presence of Virtue)
Gameplay & Leveling
The playstyle of this build is very simple. You want to zip through enemies as many times as possible using Vire’s Might to stack Volcanic Stride and Aetherfire damage. Since Vire’s Might has a travel time, the smaller the zip, the better, so long as you manage to get the fire trail underneath them.
As a movement skill, Vire’s Might is pretty great as it’s ground targeted and uses pathing if the distance is short enough, although you may still find yourself getting stuck on corners or walls at times. One caveat however is that if you are hovering over an enemy, you will charge into them instead of through them. This will apply damage from Vire’s Might, but it won’t create a fire trail underneath them which is where most of our damage comes from. For this reason, I recommend binding a key to “Force Move” and holding it down so that you can consistently zip through enemies rather than into them (Crate pls gib “Toggle Force Move” option).
Use Judgment and Callidor’s Tempest to apply RR and DA shred at the beginning of the fight and periodically as they come off of cooldown. For difficult bosses, Ascension and Nullification can help even the odds, while Mirror can give you a few seconds to facetank or wait out your health pot cooldown.
In a pinch, you can also kite difficult enemies using Vire’s Might until they die from running through your fire trails. This is a lot slower than stacking fire trails, but it ensures that you rarely get hit, even from highly mobile enemies like Kuba.
For leveling, I highly recommend starting with Arcanist instead of Oathkeeper. Early on, take Callidor’s Tempest and max Inferno. When combined with Wrath of Agrivix, Inferno will deal crazy amounts of burn damage, enough to one shot most enemies and kill bosses in a couple of hits. Make sure to use a weapon + caster offhand so that you can use Enchanted Flint + Flintcore Bolts (craftable at any blacksmith). This will give you a nice boost to your damage from the Burning Weapons aura while also giving you something to do while you wait out your Callidor’s Tempest cooldown.
Later on, once you have Vire’s Might and points into Volcanic Stride and Tectonic Shift, you can level by simply running through enemies and watching them die as they try to chase you through your fire trails. At this point Vire’s Might will still have a bit of a cooldown, but it should be low enough to spam fairly often. Make sure to run Steps of Torment until you get a Zarthuzellan’s Archive that is appropriate to your level.
After that, it’s simply a matter of keeping your resists up and progressing through the story. Below I’ve provided a rough outline of how to distribute your skill points as you level up. The actual level at which you get these skills may vary due to quests that you did/didn’t do up to that point.
- 1-10 - Max out Callidor’s Tempest. Put one point into Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange, Overload, and Inner Focus.
- 10-35 - Respec all but one point in Callidor’s Tempest, using those points to get Wrath of Agrivix and max Inferno. Pick Oathkeeper as your secondary spec, get Vire’s Might, and max Volcanic Stride followed by Tectonic Shift. Put one point into Presence of Virtue, Haven, Resilience, and Arcane Will, and three points into Maiven’s Sphere of Protection.
- 35-50 - Put one point into Summon Guardian of Empyrion and max Celestial Presence, then max Vire’s Might. Put one point into Ascension and Clarity of Purpose.
- 50-70 - Max Inner Focus, Overload, Presence of Virtue, and Maiven’s Sphere of Protection.
- 70-80 - Softcap Conversion at 5/10. Put one point into Elemental Balance, Mirror of Ereoctes, Nullification, Mental Alacrity, and Fabric of Reality.
- 80-90 - Put one point into Judgment and Heart of Wrath and softcap Crushing Verdict.
- 90-100 - Softcap Elemental Balance and distribute any extra points as you prefer. Make sure that the your softcaps are still correct after putting on gear. Conversion should be 5/10, Crushing Verdict 12/12, and Inner Focus should be capped at an even level (odd levels past 12 don’t grant additional %OA).
As for factions, Kymon’s Chosen has some decent leveling items and fire/burn augments, so from a gameplay perspective their gear will likely help you out more. That being said, we likely won’t be using their augments lategame, and they’re also a group of self-righteous Korvaak-worshippers whereas the Order of Death’s Vigil is pretty chill.
There’s really not much reason to kill Anasteria unless you need her helmet. Her augments are decent if you haven’t gotten far with the AoM and FG factions yet, and she gives you some hand in quests for free exp while leveling. If you do all of her quests, she also shows up in AoM where you get to find out about a little secret from her (no spoilers).
For Barrowholm, it’s best to help them so that we can get the Ravager’s Eye augment. This also lets us fight Ravager once we’ve completed their questline.
This build can kill every Nemesis and superboss in the game, with the exception of Crate of Entertainment since we can’t stop ourselves from killing the crates. As a general rule, you want 3k+ DA to avoid being crit and enough resistance overcap to deal with their RR. Also keep in mind that most superbosses have an enrage at 50% health, so pay close attention to their health and be extra careful when they are low.
LokarrLokarr is barely even a superboss, and closer to Nemesis level if you ask me. As long as you have 70+ overcap in your Fire and Lightning resistances, you can just zip through him without having to kite. No other build changes are necessary to fight him. While not as applicable for us, in general you want to fight Lokarr with a wall behind you so that his fire spikes don't come back to hit you twice.
Avatar of MogdrogenMogdrogen is similar to Lokarr in that the fight is super easy as long as we have the resistances. In this case, you want at least 80+ overcap in Lightning and capped stun resistance. With 34 million health though, he takes a lot longer to kill. His pets don't do anything except die to your fire trails, and he isn't super fast so you can always zip out if you need to. No other build changes are necessary to fight him.
RavagerRavager runs like a jackrabbit and hits like an 18-wheeler. This is a fight where we will be kiting most of the time, so make sure to bind Solael's Witchblade to Vire's Might. Although you might be able to go toe-to-toe with him for the first 50% of his health, once he is enraged you don't want to be taking hits from him anymore. Switching out gear for physical resistance will also help a lot in this fight, as will overcapping your resistances. Refer to Grimtools to see what damage types your version of Ravager deals.
For this fight, we will be taking advantage of the terrain. Pull Ravager towards the tree indicated in the figure below with red arrows, and kite him around it. Make sure to move in the opposite direction that he is moving so that he is always running in your fire trails. Since he is super fast, we won't have time to stack more than one at a time. As long as you keep him away from you and running around the tree however, he should go down pretty quick. If you need to heal or wait out some cooldowns, use the green arrows to run away and he will leash back to the ritual site.
Callagadra, Scion of the SandsCallagadra is similar to Ravager, in that she's big, mean, and hits like a truck. And just like Ravager, we will be using the terrain to our advantage in this fight. Bind Solael's Witchblade to Vire's Might and make sure that your Pierce and Bleeding Resistances are overcapped by at least 60%. Physical resistance is also very useful in this fight.
The Korvan Sands are large and open, making it easy to kite her. You want to drag her to one of these three rock formations and zip around it while your fire trail does its thing. She’s not as fast as Ravager and often stops to cast her tornadoes, so there will be lots of times in this fight where you can stack up a part of the path with two or three fire trails to burn her down faster. If there are too many tornadoes near the rock that you are circling around, move to a different rock formation.
Even enraged, she can’t ever catch up to us so if you need a breather just run away until you are ready to re-engage. Unlike Ravager however, she has no leash and will follow you to depths of hell itself, or at least back to the Conclave.
Despite making this build, I’m a pretty terrible pilot to be honest. The fact that I’m able to to do these runs regardless is more of a testament to the build’s strength than anything else.
SR 80 #2
Ravager of Minds (Elite)
Callagadra, Scion of the Sands
I don’t own the Crucible DLC. If someone wants to share a video of this build running Crucible, I’ll be happy to put it up here.
Q: Can I pick another class instead of Templar?
A: Yes, as long as it has Oathkeeper for Vire’s Might. I prefer Templar because CC resist is very important for this build, but a Shieldbreaker with Blast Shield, Flame Touched, and -RR from Thermite Mines would also work and probably do more damage at the cost of defense. You could even make a Warlord or Sentinel version work if you really wanted to.
Q: Why not Star Pact/Path of the Three? This is a cooldown-based build after all.
A: Primarily because we would give up too much for it. Star Pact requires an extra 18 mastery points and Path of the Three actually lowers our damage with its conversion. Not to mention we would be giving up the massive fire/burn damage and crit damage bonuses from Divine Mandate.
Q: You said that hardcapping Tectonic Shift was not as important. Why is that?
A: We primarily care about the flat CDR from Tectonic Shift, which has breakpoints at levels 12/15/18/22. Choosing not to hardcap Tectonic Shift means an increase of less than 0.1s in cooldown, which is almost unnoticeable. M. Menhirian and Kuba leggings were chosen for this build because they served other purposes as well, like filling out our resists/OA/DA/armor.
Q: In the beginning you said you would talk about why this build can’t handle SR 90+. Well it’s the end of the guide now, so what’s the reason?
A: It’s not that this build can’t handle SR 90+. It’s moreso that this build is not ideal for running SR from a mechanics perspective. Most SR builds can facetank the bosses with a combination of high defense, high damage + lifesteal, or both. This build has to move around to do damage however, which makes things tricky.
For example, Moose and Benny are probably two of the easiest bosses for most builds. They don’t hit hard and can be easily facetanked. For this build however, the ice crystals and exploding chaos crystals make it a living hell to zip around, not to mention Benny throwing you in jail every few seconds. Likewise, Valdaran is a pushoever for most builds, but since we run around a lot he uses his teleport to throw us off course, sometimes into the middle of a bunch of other nemesis mobs.
Ironically, it’s enemies like Grava and Aleks that are easy, since they always follow us through the fire trail and we never get hit by their big anti-facetank attacks. However, as a whole I would say the SR bosses are harder to deal with for this build than for most, and a bad combination of bosses is way more likely.
On a related note, this build will pretty much never fail an SR run outright due to the ridiculous amount of time we accumulate during the first three shards. If you watch the first SR80 video above, you can see that I start the boss fight with over 15 minutes on the timer. Thanks to our mobility, we can tag nearly every mob on the map with the fire trail from Volcanic Stride without getting hit too often. We skip all bosses and healer packs and kill trash until the bar is full, at which point every mob that we tagged with Volcanic Stride gets added to our kill streak. It’s pretty common to see kill streaks of 100+ every shard when using this method.
Once again thanks to x1x1x1x2 for making the original build guide, and thanks to Crate for making the Vanquisher set and this game. Definitely the most fun I’ve had playing an ARPG in a while.