The build I am going to present today has roots from the past. When I complained about questionable mechanic of Vitality conversion in Frenetic Throw modifier for Phantasmal Blades. That it spoils conversion and makes you lose a big chunk of possible converted Damage. All information I got that day was: no one knows why such conversion was implemented, the game was balanced around this mechanic and not going to change, if I want to play something different from Pierce or Vitality spammable PB - convert what you can and enjoy, the skill itself is pretty strong . Ok then. Let us try some non-standard idea - Fire Phantasmal Blades and see what it is capable of.
First I wanted to make Saboteur, but it was so squishy. And no Exclusive. And points-hungry. And I do not like the class . On the other hand, Dervish has some useful bonuses, as well as RR, %Fire Damage, Ascension, Resilience etc. The choice is obvious.
All right, here is the build.
1. Grimtools link
I have chosen defensive route with Empyrion and Scales to have at least some chances to survive. Magi instead of Torch helps with damage, single and AoE. Because %Fire Damage is quite low, Spirit dump is recommended, Physique only to equip Armor, nothing more.
2. In-game character stats
general stats, only passive buffs and Pneumatic Burst are active
Phantasmal Blades breakdown
3. Gear/Build explanation
The gear I used provides full conversion for Phantasmal Blades, its 24/16 skill level (so that we have 6 blades per throw) and RR.
- Core items.
Set. Ember’s Calling. Provides support for Fire Nightblades, RR, %Fire Damage, and full Cold-to-Fire conversion for Phantasmal Blades.
Weapons. Dual Blazehearts. Provide Vitality and Chaos-to-Fire conversions (with good rolls - full, my current setup has 95% for Vitality, full for Chaos) for Phantasmal Blades and some devotions (Eldritch Fire, Tip the Scales). +2 to Oathkeeper is also nice. No Casting Speed unfortunately .
Amulet. Conduit of Night Whispers. Huge RR to our Veil of Shadow, +1 to Nightblade. Craftable.
Relic. Serenity. We need Skillpoints and circuit-breaker since Ghoul devotion is not available.
- Mandatory items.
Ring 1. Combustion Band. Usual Fire RR ring, nothing more to say, take it.
Pants. Legwraps of the Tranquil Mind. OA, Slow Resistance, Spirit, some points to Veil of Shadow means more DA. Proc is good.
Gloves. Quickdraw Gloves. The only gloves with PB points. Craftable.
Boots. Wyrmscale Footguards. Great Fire boots with OA, DA, Stun Resistance, proc also is useful against Elemental and Bleeding enemies.
- Can be changed.
Ring 2. Signet of the Fallen. Provides points to PB, %Casting Speed, proc just deals some Fire Damage. Not the best ring. Can be changed to any green or yellow ring with “of Butchery” suffix (mandatory) and %Casting Speed (much needed, but not necessary). For example, some ring like “Light Bringer’s … of Butchery”.
Belt. Spellbreaker Waistguard. +1 to Nightblade and +2 to Nether Edge, %OA. Conversion does nothing since we do not have any Acid Damage. As an alternative, any +1 to Nightblade Belt (except for Gargoyle Waistguard, its Vitality-to-Cold conversion is bad) will fit nicely.
Craft items with Reduced Stun Duration (bonus is provided by Malmouth blacksmith in Steelcap District). My conduit has %Slow Resistance and gloves %Reduced Freeze Duration though, so %Reduced Stun Duration could be even bigger and Serenity bonus could be changed (or vice versa). Especially if you take craftable Belt.
About Resistance Reduction. Total amount is ~116% (-37% from modified Veil of Shadow, -28% from Guardians of Empyrion aura, -8% from Combustion Band proc, -23% from Solael’s Witchblade constellation and flat 20 from Scales of Ulcama constellation (when hit)) plus up to 20% RR from Viper Constellation. Ok, but can be better. Fire-resistant enemies can be quite dangerous (like Grava’Thul, Shar’Zul, Gargabol), also Kuba is surprisingly tanky.
Always try to keep enemies under your Veil of Shadow aura. It means middle-range or close combat for full effectiveness. Spam your Fire blades. Uptime Pneumatic Burst and Ring of Steel against melee fighters to fumble their attacks as well as stunning them. Ascension for damage burst/defence. Blade Barrier in some dire circumstances only (invincibility at the cost of movement and attacking). Vire’s Might and Chaos Strike for mobility/critical Damage Reduction. Energy management is not a problem despite not having an Off-Hand thanks to Scales and nice Regen.
Lokarr (try to dodge his Flame Waves).
Morgoneth (killing spawned Mages is highly recommended).
Avatar of Mogdrogen (surprisingly easy fight, even though it is longer. But what do you expect from build with less that 2000% Fire Damage without Spirit? Potions are in the video).
New! Clones of Burbon. The fight and boss are not great, loot is garbage, but music slams .
Shattered Realm 65 full run.
Shattered Realm 75 full run (I feel more comfortable in 65-66 Shards, 75 and higher might be inconsistent).
The conclusion? Build is decent . Much tankier than my ill-fated Chaos PB Witch Hunter and comfortable to play. Performs better than some “intended” builds . Of course, not from top-tier, but does it really matter sometimes?
Hope you like it. Feel free to write your questions/feedback.