[1.1.9.1] The ATV - Aetherfire Templar Vanquisher

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Vroom vroom, motherfucker.

Introduction
1.1.9.0-1.1.9.1 Update

Surprisingly, Vanquisher’s Set got a buff this patch, even though the set was already very strong. The most notable changes are the increased health and the increased damage to Callidor’s Tempest, which translates to more burn damage from Inferno. The 15% Resist Reduction modifier is not very useful since it still gets overwritten by Viper, and the additional Fire damage on Vanquisher’s Helm is nice but not particularly noteworthy.

Aetherfire also had its stack limit reduced from 10 to 8, which theoretically hurts our damage. In practice though, it’s difficult to stack more than 8 instances of Aetherfire on a single target anyways, so the change does not really affect us all that much.

In terms of the build itself, I’ve decided to switch from maxing Inferno to putting more points into the Arcanist mastery for stats. This allows us to spend fewer attribute points on Physique and Cunning, which we can then dump into Spirit for more damage. Overall, we lose 60% of the Burn damage on Callidor’s Tempest but gain about 200 Spirit, which gives us more health and increased damage from all sources, including Volcanic Stride and Aetherfire.


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.

Should I Play This Build?

In my opinion, Vanquisher is one of the most fun and unique builds in the game. You should definitely give this build a try if:

  • You want to play the undisputed fastest build in the game
  • You want to try a different playstyle that’s unlike anything else in the game
  • You want a build that’s easy to start from scratch, but has great endgame potential
  • You want to kill the Celestial superbosses by running circles around them
  • You want a character that can efficiently farm both campaign and SR
  • You have a spare Vanquisher’s Set lying around and you don’t know what to do with it
  • 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 a lazy build - this build is very active and requires a ton of mouse movement
  • You want to facetank everything - a lot of our defense comes from our ability to kite
  • You are prone to motion sickness and/or seizures

Build Explanation

stats
Character sheet with permanent buffs only. Gear was crafted for armor bonuses.

GRIMTOOLS (Templar)
GRIMTOOLS (Shieldbreaker)

This build revolves around getting enough flat CDR from the Vanquisher’s Set, 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 from the Vanquisher’s Set 4 piece bonus (-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 that stacks with itself. With such a low proc chance and mediocre damage however, it is usually ignored by most builds. So why do we use Aetherfire as our primary damage proc then?

In Grim Dawn, binding a proc to certain cooldown skills will increase the proc chance significantly. 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.

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On top of that, Vire’s Might also leaves behind a fire trail thanks to Volcanic Stride. Since this is a modifier to the skill, the flat damage from the fire trail also shares the 51% chance to proc Aetherfire. The damage is also half Fire, 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 damage bonuses 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 every second. 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 over 15k health, 3k armor, 23% damage absorb from Maiven’s Sphere of Protection, and overcapped resistances, we are already tanky enough to survive nearly any hit. 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).

Gear

For crafted pieces, 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).

Mandatory Gear

  • Vanquisher’s Set - This set is the entire reason why the build exists.
  • Zarthuzellan’s Archive - CDR on Vire’s Might. The rolls are not too important, but aim for a prefix with physical resistance (Sandstorm, Destroyer’s, Glacial, Thunderstruck) and a suffix with fire damage (of Scorching, of Wildfire, etc.)

Recommended Gear

  • M. Warpfire - Provides +1 Arcanist skills along with good damage and a RR proc to make up for our single RR mastery. Also has a significant amount of casting speed, which is lacking on many of the other Fire caster weapons.
  • M. Combustion Band - Lots of Fire damage and another RR proc combine to make this ring the best damage for its slot.
  • M. Crimson Lotus (Crafted) - Provides +1 Oathkeeper skills and good damage along with a sizable chunk of OA.
  • M. Volcanum (Crafted) - Mostly used to hardcap Volcanic Stride, but the damage and resists are also welcome.
  • Serenity (Crafted) - A decent all-around relic. Provides +1 all skills along with health, resists, and a circuit breaker for emergencies.

Other Gear

  • M. Menhirian - Primarly used to hardcap Vire’s Might and Tectonic Shift. Can be replaced with any ring with Fire/Burn damage or an Oathkeeper’s prefix with +2 to Vire’s Might.
  • M. Wyrmbone Handguards (Crafted) - Generic Fire damage gloves with lots of flat OA and some health along with a decent damage proc.
  • M. Wyrmscale Footguards - These pair of boots single-handedly fix your stun and petrify resistances, and also come with a bit of damage and OA/DA as well. Can be replaced with a pair of well-rolled Stoneplate Greaves, preferably with stun resistance.
  • Kubacabra’s Chausses - Used to hardcap Tectonic Shift. The affixes on this item can also be used to fix any holes in your build, whether it be damage or resistances. You can replace these with any pants of your choice as long as you can maintain your resistance overcaps.

Alternatives

  • Blazeheart - A generic Fire weapon with +1 Oathkeeper skills and decent damage. The main draw of this item is that it’s obtained from a quest, making it much easier to get than the other options.
  • Hexflame (Crafted) - Another generic Fire weapon with +1 Arcanist skills and casting speed. The recipe is easily obtained from the Coven of Ugdenbog, but the item itself is somewhat expensive to craft.
  • M. Cinderscorn - Adds a sizable amount of Burn damage to Vire’s Might and Judgment, although keep in mind that this extra Burn damage does not stack with itself. The +2 to Vire’s Might also allows us to replace M. Menhirian in our ring slot while maintaining the hardcap. The added Burn damage recently got buffed in 1.1.8.0 as well, making this weapon a very good alternative to M. Warpfire.
  • Cindertouch - Previously these gloves were unusable due to the Fire to Lightning conversion, but they are now a solid choice for the hand slot. They have no health or speed and slightly less armor compared to M. Wyrmbone Handguards, but have a bit more OA to make up for it. The proc is also slightly better since the summons deal continuous damage in an area and follow you as you zip around.
  • M. Grim Fate - The weapon of choice for the Shieldbreaker variant. The +1 to all skills makes up for losing +1 to Oathkeeper skills by using Chains of Ordas, and the bonuses to damage and crit damage make this competitive with M. Warpfire for damage. The Thermite Mines AoE and corpse explosion proc are also very convenient to have. However, this weapon has a habit of getting nerfed repeatedly…
  • Chains of Ordas - The belt of choice for the Shieldbreaker variant. This belt allows you to achieve 100% Aether to Fire conversion for pure Fire damage on Aetherfire. On top of that, this belt also features +1 to Demolitionist skills and has stun resistance to make up for losing Conversion from the Arcanist mastery.
  • Eternity (Crafted) - An alternative to Serenity in the relic slot. While using this relic means losing some resistances and the hardcaps on the Vire’s Might line, we also use Zarthuzellan’s Archive which means that we can benefit from the CDR proc.

Devotions

Unlike most fire builds, we completely skip Ulzuin’s Torch and Magi in favor of Imp. Despite being a T1 constellation proc, Aetherfire is comparable in terms of damage (230 Fire, assuming 55% conversion with average rolls) to an unconverted Meteor Shower projectile (190-232 Fire) and Fissure shard (160-198 Fire). We don’t get as many projectiles or the extra burn damage, but we make up for it by being able to consistently stack several instances of Aetherfire instead. Plus, the excellent affinity returns means that we can pick up constellations that we otherwise would not be able to reach.

While Imp is our primary offensive devotion, we also have Solael’s Witchblade and Viper for additional fire RR on top of that. The %RR from Viper doesn’t stack with the set bonus from the Vanquisher’s Set, but it’s still larger (20% vs 15%) 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.

Light of Empyrion and Obelisk of Menhir round out our build with great defensive bonuses, along with a very hefty damage reduction proc. If you want more damage instead, you can also replace Light of Empyrion with Magi by using Hawk or some other green devotion as a stepping stone. Alladrah’s Phoenix is also another option to consider here, with both Fire/Burn damage and a powerful damage absorb skill.

In terms of binding devotions, Imp on Vire’s Might is a no-brainer. The passive healing devotions (Behemoth and Tree of Life) are bound to Resilience and Arcane Will, respectively. Not only will this greatly increase their proc chance, but it will also ensure that our healing procs only happen when we need them to. Solael’s Witchblade is bound to Judgment for a 75% proc chance which also applies to the Heart of Wrath aura, while Dryad is bound to Callidor’s Tempest for a 100% proc chance, effectively turning it into a low-cooldown, on-demand heal.

The devotion progress should look something like what is listed below. Note that this is the endgame devotion setup used in the final build. For a leveling devotion route, refer to the Gameplay & Leveling section instead.

  • (+) 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 (any permanent aura, I suggest Divine Mandate for the flavor)

Gameplay & Leveling

The general playstyle of this build is very simple. We want to run through enemies as many times as possible using Vire’s Might to stack Volcanic Stride and Aetherfire damage while using Judgment and Callidor’s Tempest to shred the enemy resistance and DA values. For tougher enemies, we also have a couple of situational abilities in Mirror of Ereoctes, Ascension, and Nullification, which can be used to help even the odds.

In terms of defense, our damage reduction (Light of Empyrion) and primary circuit breakers (Arcane Will + Healing Rain and Resilience + Giant’s Blood) will activate automatically whenever we get hit. This makes the build very safe and easy to play, even in the hands of a newer player.

Thanks to our extreme mobility, we can also kite enemies endlessly through Volcanic Stride. This is a lot slower our usual method of stacking damage, but it allows us to kill tougher enemies without ever taking a hit.

Using Force Move

Against enemies with large hitboxes, you may often find yourself running into them instead of through them, which deals significantly less damage as they won’t be hit by the fire trail from Volcanic Stride. In this case, you can hold down the Force Move key while using Vire’s Might to disable direct targeting, which will allow you to control your movement better.

You can also “toggle” Force Move by binding it to a numpad key and turning off Num Lock, or by binding it to Alt and using Alt-Tab on Windows. Note that you won’t be able to interact with doors and chests while in Force Move mode, so you should experiment with the keybindings and find a setup that’s comfortable to play with.


Using Nullification

Nullification is one of the most versatile and powerful skills in the game, but it takes a bit of experience to know when to use it. Nevertheless, its cooldown is relatively low, so you should try to make use of it often. Some of the many use cases include:

  • Removing dangerous enemy auras
    • Reflect damage aura from enemy heroes
    • Ranged retaliation aura from Mad Queen, Valdaran, and Sister Bravna
  • Removing enemy buffs
    • Mirror from Possessed Archmage
    • Damage absorb shield from Darius Cronley
  • Removing debuffs on self
    • High resistance reduction from Anasteria or the Magis
    • High damage reduction from Morgoneth or Crate of Entertainment
    • Entrapment from Benn'Jahr
  • Removing damage over time on self
    • Internal trauma damage from Iron Maiden or Rekt Byprotoss
    • Lingering damage effects from Callagadra's sandstorms
    • Reflected burn damage
  • Reducing elemental damage dealt by enemies
    • Avatar of Mogdrogen, who deals primarily Lightning

Below you will find a series of leveling snapshots which will outline roughly what your build should look like from start to finish. Your actual build will not be exactly the same due to random drops, but any notable items to look out for will be listed under the appropriate sections.

You can also check out this leveling guide by @RektbyProtoss, which covers most of the same information in video form.

General Guidelines

One of the most important things in this game is keeping your resistances as high as possible. In addition to item affixes, you can also use components and augments to help patch up your resistances. Remember that you can have both a component and an augment on a single item at once, so don’t be afraid to use them.

Allocate your attribute points in a 4:1 Physique to Spirit ratio. This will give us plenty of health while still allowing us to equip our items throughout the game.

For a list of devotion shrines, check out the Grimtools Checklist which can help you find and keep track of the devotion shrines that you have already visited, as well as any important quests and one-shot chests that you may have missed.

Once you’ve hit Honored with a faction, make sure to visit their faction vendor and purchase a Writ, which is a consumable (you need to click on it) that will increase all reputation that you gain with that faction by 50%. This will help you hit Revered status much faster, where you will have access to the best gear/augments/blueprints.

Speaking of factions, the following choices are recommended:

  • Order vs. Kymon - Siding with the Order is mandatory in order to get Skybreaker Circlet, which drops from a Kymon’s Chosen boss. Even on later difficulties, it’s important to side with them so that you can obtain a circlet that is close to your level for the armor value.
  • The Outcast - Ally with the Outcast for access to additional faction gear and augments.
  • Barrowholm - Ally with Barrowholm for the same reasons. In particular, the Ravager’s Eye augment is used in the endgame version of the build and can only be purchased if you side with Barrowholm.

Levels 1-5 (Act 1 Normal, Burial Hill)

Level 1-5 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:00:06
Notable Items: Hevill's Greatsword

Starting out from Devil’s Crossing, pick up Hevill’s Greatsword, which will always spawn on this corpse. If you have a weapon component (e.g. Cracked Lodestone), make sure to put it on the Hevill’s Greatsword as well.

When you level up, select Arcanist and put one point into Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange for a bit of damage and energy leech, and the rest into your mastery bar. Starting at level 3, put all of your points into Olexra’s Flash Freeze, which is a powerful AoE ability that can decimate large packs of non-boss enemies.


Levels 5-10 (Act 1 Normal, Devil's Aquifer)

Level 5-10 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:00:20
Notable Items: (None)

Work your way through Devil’s Aquifer and continue to put points into Olexra’s Flash Freeze for larger AoE and more damage. For devotions, start working towards Imp, as it will be a significant source of damage later on.


Levels 10-15 (Act 1 Normal, Burrwitch Village)

Level 10-15 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:00:45
Notable Items: Slith Primal Ring

Continue onwards to Burrwitch Village, making sure to pick up the devotion shrines hidden in caves along the way. You should also try to complete Torven’s quest for a Slith Primal Ring, which is an excellent leveling ring that has enough resistances to last you through all of Normal difficulty.

After maxing out Olexra’s Flash Freeze, put points into the mastery bar until you reach Inferno, then put 1 point into Callidor’s Tempest and Wrath of Agrivix and as many points into Inferno as you can. This will be our primary form of single-target damage until we reach Vire’s Might later on.


Levels 15-20 (Act 1 Normal, Warden Krieg)

Level 15-20 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:01:20
Notable Items: Emblem of the Shadowy Assassin

Max out Inferno, then select Oathkeeper as your second mastery and put points into the Oathkeeper mastery bar until you reach Vire’s Might. At this point, Imp should be complete so we will start working our way towards Rhowan’s Crown using Quill for affinity.

After killing Warden Krieg, talk to The Emissary to start the Forgotten Gods questline and side with Bysmiel. This gives you access to Emblem of the Shadowy Assassin, which will let you travel faster by jumping between enemies.


Levels 20-25 (Act 2 Normal, Twin Falls)

Level 20-25 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:02:10
Notable Items: Bone Talisman, Incendiary Shoulderplates

Return to the main campaign and fight your way through the first part of Act 2. When turning in The Lost Elder quest, make sure to lie in order to receive the Bone Talisman relic. Also make sure to kill any Cronley’s Gang ~ Arsonist that you come across, as they have a chance to drop Incendiary Shoulderplates. These shoulders provide a significant boost to Inferno, and therefore your single-target damage.

For skills, keep Vire’s Might at 1 point and continue to put points into the Oathkeeper mastery bar until you reach Volcanic Stride. This will be our main source of damage, so make sure to max it out as soon as possible.

Once you have completed Quill, put a point into Purple Crossroads and start working towards Rhowan’s Crown. You should also bind Imp to Vire’s Might at this point.


Levels 25-32 (Act 3 Normal, Blood Grove)

Level 25-32 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:03:06
Notable Items: Zarthuzellan's Archive, Skybreaker Circlet, Bolvar's Pendant

There are several important items in this level range that we need for our build. The first, Zarthuzellan’s Archive, drops from Grand Priest Zarthuzellan inside the Steps of Torment. The second, Skybreaker Circlet, drops from Sister Bravna, the Skybreaker in Fort Haron ONLY if you sided with the Order of Death’s Vigil. These items are crucial to our build since they reduce the cooldown on Vire’s Might, so if they did not drop on your first try, reset the game and kill the bosses again until you get them.

The third item, Bolvar’s Pendant, drops from Bolvar, the Bloodbinder in Blood Grove. This amulet gives us +1 to Oathkeeper skills, which boosts our damage considerably, but it is not as mandatory as the other two items.

Once you max out Volcanic Stride, continue to put points into the Oathkeeper mastery bar until you reach Tectonic Shift. Once you are there, talk to a Spirit Guide and respec all 12 points from Olexra’s Flash Freeze into Tectonic Shift for the cooldown reduction to Vire’s Might. At this point, the cooldown on Vire’s Might will be low enough that we can use it as our primary damage skill.

For devotions, you should be able to complete Rhowan’s Crown, which I recommending binding to Callidor’s Tempest for a 100% proc chance.


Levels 32-40 (Act 4 Normal, Loghorrean)

Level 32-40 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:04:38
Notable Items: (None)

Continue putting points into the Oathkeeper mastery bar until it is maxed out. Afterwards, put 1 point into Summon Guardian of Empyrion and the remainder into Celestial Presence for resistance reduction, which will increase our damage signficiantly.

After Rhowan’s Crown, start working on Behemoth. For now, you can bind the Giant’s Blood proc to any permanent buff, such as Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange.


Levels 40-50 (Act 5-6 Normal, Ugdenbog to Malmouth)

Level 40-50 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:06:00
Notable Items: (None)

Max out Celestial Presence, followed by Divine Mandate. Any remaining points can be spent on one-point wonder skills such as Resilience.

Work towards completing Behemoth, followed by Solael’s Witchblade. Once Solael’s Witchblade is complete, you can refund 3 points from Behemoth which should be spent towards Sailor’s Guide.


Levels 50-54 (Act 7 Normal, Korvan Desert)

Level 50-54 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:07:30
Notable Items: Endurance

Put 1 point into our various utility skills like Nullification, Mirror of Ereoctes, and Presence of Virtue. We also want to put 3 points into Maiven’s Sphere of Protection, which provides half the benefit of 10 points for only a fraction of the energy cost.

For devotions, we want to finish Sailor’s Guide and Solemn Watcher, then start working towards Dryad for the physical resistance and on-demand heal proc.

Once you are Respected with any of the three Forgotten Gods factions, talk to their faction vendor and purchase the Endurance blueprint. This relic gives us +1 to Oathkeeper skills and some physical resistance, which is good enough to last us until endgame.


Levels 54-61 (Act 1-2 Elite)

Level 54-61 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:09:11
Notable Items: (None)

Our OA will have fallen slightly behind by Elite difficulty, so putting points into Overload will help mitigate that somewhat. Afterwards, put points into the Arcanist mastery bar until we reach Conversion.

By the end of Act 2 Elite, we should have all of our devotion points available, which will allow us to take Obelisk of Menhir and Tree of Life for their strong defensive bonuses.

In Elite difficulty and onwards, enemies will start to deal significant physical damage so a Scaled Hide or two will help increase the effectiveness of your armor. Also pay attention to the Armor Rating for each of your pieces, and try to replace pieces that are significantly lower than the others.


Levels 61-68 (Act 3-4 Elite)

Level 61-68 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:11:00
Notable Items: (None)

Depending on how your build feels like at this point, you can choose to either max out Maiven’s Sphere of Protection for the extra damage absorption or Presence of Virtue for additional OA. Whichever skill you did not pick should be maxed afterwards.


Levels 68-75 (Act 5-6 Elite)

Level 68-75 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:12:25
Notable Items: (None)

After Maiven’s Sphere of Protection and Presence of Virtue are maxed out, start working on Inner Focus for the extra Spirit and OA. At this point, you no longer need to put any more points into Spirit, as Inner Focus plus the Spirit from previous levels should be enough to cover any attribute requirements.


Levels 75-82 (Act 1-2 Ultimate)

Level 75-82 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:14:10
Notable Items: (None)

Keep Inner Focus at either 12/12 or 14/12, and then start working on Haven for some additional health.

By Ultimate difficulty you should be Revered or getting close to Revered with several factions, so make sure to check the vendors for faction gear and augments. These augments stack with components on the same slot and can help patch up your resistances or boost your OA and DA.


Levels 82-87 (Act 3-4 Ultimate)

Level 82-87 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:16:08
Notable Items: (None)

After soft-capping Haven at 10/10, push Crushing Verdict to 12/12, which effectively acts like additional OA as it reduces the enemy DA values. Another option is to max out Ascension for the additional damage absorb the effect.


Levels 87-94 (Act 5-6 Ultimate)

Level 87-94 Grimtools
Time to Level: 0:18:30
Notable Items: Blazeheart

If you did not max out Ascension before, do so now. You should also try to complete Daila Thornsbury’s questline for Blazeheart, which is a very strong beginner weapon for this build.


Levels 94-100 (Endgame)

Level 100 Grimtools
Notable Items: Shard of the Eternal Flame, Vanquisher's Set

The last few skill points are flexible and can be put wherever you want. By this point, you should be able to comfortably farm totems or skeleton key dungeons for better gear. One item in particular to look out for is Shard of the Eternal Flame, which will further reduce the cooldown of Vire’s Might to the point where you can use it continuously, just like with the Vanquisher’s Set.

Once you have the full Vanquisher’s Set, you can respec to the final build shown in the Build Explanation section. Notable changes include dropping Rhowan’s Crown for Light of Empyrion and maxing out Vire’s Might for additional damage.



 
Superbosses

Before attempting to kill a superboss, make sure that you have enough resistance overcap to deal with any RR that they or their summons might have. See the individual boss sections for more details. As a general rule, you also want to have 3.1k+ DA to avoid being crit, though you can get away with less if you are familiar with the boss fight. Most superbosses also have an enrage at 50% health, so pay close attention to their health and be extra careful when they are low.

Rashalga, the Mad Queen

While not technically a superboss, Rashalga, the Mad Queen poses a unique threat to this build. The main thing to worry about is the big red aura which activates when she screams. While affected by the aura, she will shoot out spikes whenever we damage her with Volcanic Stride or Aetherfire, which needless to say, will be very often. You can either run away and wait out the aura, tank it with Mirror of Ereoctes, or use Nullification to purge the aura off of her. Other than that, the fight is very easy and straightforward.

Lokarr

Lokarr is by far the easiest Celestial superboss to tackle. As long as your Fire and Lightning resistances are overcapped by 70+, you can just skate through him without having to kite. Generally speaking, you should fight with a wall behind you so that his fire spikes don't come back to hit you twice.

Avatar of Mogdrogen

Avatar of Mogdrogen is the first real challenging encounter for this build. His damage is primarily Lightning, so you will want to have at least 80+ Lightning Resistance overcap. You can also use items that provide +% Maximum Lightning Resistance in the medal slot (e.g. Blazeseer Crest, M. Mark of Divinity) for additional protection.

The most challenging part about this encounter is his autoattack, which stuns for 0.5 seconds. Since any amount of stun will disrupt Vire’s Might, it becomes difficult to actually stack fire trails on top of him. On top of that, he also moves around often and his summons can get in the way of your charge. Force Move is recommended for this fight.

Luckily, he is not very fast, so you can always run away to wait out cooldowns or regain health. Keep in mind however that he has a lot of health regeneration, and can heal surprisingly quickly if you don’t constantly damage him.

Ravager

Ravager is actually quite easy for this build. We can "facetank" him by charging through him right as he is trying to hit us. When his attack animation ends, we will be too far away for the attack to connect, effectively dodging the attack. As long as you time your Vire's Might correctly, he should stay mostly in the same place, which allows Aetherfire to stack for tons of damage as well. If you find yourself getting low, you can also run away towards Barrowholm and he will leash back to his spawn location.

All forms of Ravager have 55 RR, but the damage that they deal depends on which version you summoned. Ravager of Flesh deals additional Vitality and Bleeding damage, Ravager of Minds deals additional Elemental damage, and Ravager of Souls deals additional Aether damage.

Callagadra, Scion of the Sands

Only a few hyper-defensive builds can actually facetank Callagadra, and unfortunately this is not one of them. Since we will be kiting most of the time, you will want to bind Solael's Witchblade to Vire's Might for maximum uptime on your RR. You should also have at least 60% Pierce Resistance overcap and a minimum of 25% Physical Resistance, though more is obviously better.

Luckily, the Korvan Sands are large and open, making it very easy to kite her. However, make sure you clear out the entire area first, as some of the mobs can heal her if they get too close.

After she spawns, drag her to a rock formation and kite her around it while Volcanic Stride deals damage. If possible, try to stack the trails on top of each other for more damage and use Judgment and Callidor’s Tempest whenever they are available for the debuffs. Most of the danger in this fight comes from the tornados and sand swirls that she summons, so don’t be afraid of getting close to the boss. However, if you want to play it safe, you can use Mirror of Ereoctes beforehand and Nullification afterwards to remove any lingering damage debuffs.

Even enraged, she can’t ever catch up to you so if you need to wait out some cooldowns just keep kiting until you are ready to re-engage. Keep in mind that she has no leash however, and will follow you to the depths of hell itself, or at least back to the Conclave.

Crate of Entertainment

Crate of Entertainment is by far the hardest superboss for this build, though with practice it is possible to kill him fairly consistently. Due to the unique nature of this fight, we can't kite our way to victory here. Instead, this fight is a pure DPS race.

Example Crate of Entertainment Setup

First, we need to make the following changes to our build:

  • Drop Vire’s Might to 1/16 base points. The damage on the charge is actually deterimental, since it makes it easier to accidentally kill the crate summons. Move these points into other skills that increase your damage or Mirror of Ereoctes to lower its cooldown.
  • Switch M. Menhirian for Solael Stormfire Seal. M. Menhirian is useful for hardcapping Vire’s Might normally, but here we want as few points in it as possible. Solael Stormfire Seal gives us damage and OA, but more importantly, it also provides petrify resistance, which is very useful against his Disengage. As a faction item, it is also easy to shop around for high rolls. Prioritize high petrify resistance and OA over damage rolls. If you are using M. Wyrmscale Footguards for petrify resistance, you can use another ring instead.
  • Use Rune of Displacement on the medal. Normally we wouldn’t bother with a medal augment, as Vire’s Might is more than enough mobility for this build. However, Rune of Displacement is useful here as it allows us to instantly move around without damaging the crate summons.

Devotions remain the same as before, since we need to bind Imp to Vire’s Might for as much damage as possible. This does mean that we will need to get close to use Callidor’s Tempest and Judgment for debuffs, however.

Getting to Crate of Entertainment

For information on the secret quest, refer to this this guide.

This part is fairly straightforward, although you need to remember to turn off your damaging auras before you get near any maggots. To de-summon your Guardians of Empyrion, simply unequip and then re-equip any item that gives skill levels to it (e.g. Vanquisher’s Helm). Also make sure your left click is bound to Move instead of an attack so that you don’t accidentally attack a maggot.


Crate of Entertainment Mechanics

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this fight’s mechanics, I will provide a brief summary below.

Crate of Entertainment - the main boss. He doesn’t hit too hard by himself, though he does have a few nasty abilities to look out for.

  • Apocalypse - Crate summons gigantic, fiery meteors from the sky. While they won’t one shot you, they deal a ton of damage and will also stun you for a very long period of time. When Crate casts this, move away from the area as fast as possible.
  • Disengage - Crate leaps backwards and applies a debuff that petrifies you and reduces your DA significantly. Only used when you get in melee range of him. Not too scary by itself, but can be dangerous without high petrify resistance as it leaves you vulnerable to his crate summons.
  • Lightning Spin - Crate spins around and creates spark projectiles that reduce your resistance by 25. Not too scary, as your resistance overcaps should be very good if you are attempting this fight.
  • Auto Attack - Crate throws a projectile at you. If it hits, your damage is reduced by 70% for 3 seconds, which is a significant DPS loss.

Unassuming Crate - a pet summoned by Crate of Entertainment. It deals a significant amount of elemental damage, similar to the floating rocks leading up to Lokarr. These crates can be killed, but doing so causes two more to spawn in its place.

NAME ME - another pet summoned by Crate of Entertainment. NAME ME crates are larger than Unassuming Crates, and do not follow you or attack you. If you kill one however, it explodes for 75% of your health + 25K damage, which is enough to one shot pretty much all but the tankiest of retaliation Warlords.


The general plan is straightforward. Start the fight by immediately closing the distance and applying Callidor’s Tempest and Judgment for debuffs. Stay close and stack fire trails until he casts Apocalypse, then move away and repeat in the next area until he comes to you. Generally speaking, Crate himself does not deal that much damage, so don’t be afraid to get close and stack trails directly on top of him if he is separated from his crate summons. Be wary of NAME ME crates however, as he spawns them in melee range and they can die very quickly to your stacked fire trails.

While kiting, you want to keep Crate on the edge of your screen to make sure that he follows you through Volcanic Stride. If he is too close, he will use his auto attack and Disengage, and if he is too far, he won’t follow you. Due to the layout of the map, we will have to backtrack our way through the crate summons at least once. When this happens, use Mirror of Ereoctes and make your way through the crates as fast as possible, prioritizing Displacement over Vire’s Might so as to not kill the crates.

The general pattern that you want to use when kiting Crate is shown above. At each site marked with a red dot, you want to try to apply the debuffs from Callidor’s Tempest and Judgment. Start with the green path, and then transition to the purple path back to where you entered the zone from. Take the green path again back to the prison area using Mirror of Ereoctes to make your way past the crates, then follow the white path repeatedly until you feel that there are too many crates to deal with. When that happens, take the purple path back to the beginning of the zone and repeat. You can also use the yellow path as a temporary safe haven, but the area is very small and you will need to bypass the crate summons again very soon.

One last thing to keep in mind is that Crate is found in an area with mutators in it, which can be either beneficial or harmful. If you are having trouble killing him normally, you can try to look for beneficial mutators (e.g. Armored, Marked) which will help improve your damage.

 
Videos

All runs were done deathless and without the use of any consumables other than Tonic of Mending. I’m not the best pilot in the world, but these videos should give you an idea of what to do for each of their respective fights.

SR 90 Full Timer

Avatar of Mogdrogen

Ravager of Flesh

Callagadra, Scion of the Sands

Crate of Entertainment

FAQs
Q: Why Templar? Can I pick another class instead?

A: Many people consider Templar to be a "weak" class due to lack of direct synergy and RR, but for this build Templar is still the best choice. For starters, Templar has the highest OA out of any Oathkeeper mastery in the game thanks to Inner Focus. On top of that, we get lots of free crit damage from Divine Mandate and Elemental Balance as well, which helps make up for the lack of Fire RR in Arcanist.

Arcanist is also surprisingly tanky thanks to Maiven’s Sphere of Protection, and has some of the best utility skills in the game with Nullification and Mirror of Ereoctes. In addition, Inner Focus allows us to get more mileage out of our Spirit, and Callidor’s Tempest becomes a free source of RR thanks to the Vanquisher’s Set.

If you want to play this build as another class however, my recommendation would be Shieldbreaker (see the Build Explanation section for an example). Many of the skills are directly comparable, e.g. a circuit breaker in Blast Shield, extra damage from Flame Touched, and resistance reduction from Thermite Mines and Blackwater Cocktail. The main thing that Shieldbreaker lacks compared to Templar is OA, so you should try to farm for of Attack suffixes on your gear.

Classes other than Templar and Shieldbreaker can work, but it’s not recommended since you would no longer have a free source of “X reduced target’s resistances” in your mastery. You could make up for it by taking Rhowan’s Crown or Revenant on the devotion tree, but doing so will likely cause you to miss some of the T3 devotions which would in turn cause your survivability to drop significantly. Other classes also lack a circuit breaker-type ability like Arcane Will or Blast Shield to bind to Tree of Life, which makes the proc significantly more unreliable.

That being said, Warlord does make for a good physical damage skater, though that build uses very different gear and devotions as well. If you are interested in that sort of playstyle, check out my other build guide here.

To summarize, pick Templar for tankiness and Shieldbreaker for damage. Warlord is also an option if you want to play physical damage, but that’s a different build entirely.

 
Q: Do I really need to hardcap Vire's Might and all of its modifiers?

A: No, but it's highly recommended that you hardcap at least Vire's Might and Volcanic Stride, since that is where most of our damage comes from. Tectonic Shift is less important since it has breakpoints at levels 12/15/18/22. Getting 18 points instead of 22 points means an increase of less than 0.1s cooldown, which is noticeable but not build-breaking. For this reason, Kubacabra's Chausses and M. Menhirian can be replaced (although they provide other good bonuses for their slots as well).

 
Q: How important is attack/casting speed in this build?

A: The short answer is, it's not super important. The long answer is... it's complicated.

Attack speed reduces the animation of the “slam” at the end of Vire’s Might, but there is still the travel time and cooldown to account for, so scaling attack speed doesn’t really make us faster. Attack speed reduction can be noticeable however, so you should have around 115% attack speed to account for enemy slows and mutators.

Casting speed on the other hand reduces the animation of Judgment and Callidor’s Tempest. Since we use these two skills often, having a decent amount of casting speed reduces the amount of time that spent standing still and therefore makes the build feel smoother. Personally I find that having at least 140% casting speed feels comfortable to play.

 
Q: Why not invest into CDR for more uptime on Mirror of Ereoctes/Ascension?

A: In my personal experience, the build is resilient enough that I hardly ever need to use cooldown abilities. If that's not your cup of tea however, you can check out the original build by @x1x1x1x2 which focuses more on cooldown reduction. Although it's very outdated, you can look at some of the choices that he made as a starting point (e.g. using Bloodlord's Vengeance and Eternity). For that sort of build, you would probably also want to fit in Aeon's Hourglass for near permanent uptime on Ascension, as well as push Nullification to 10/10 for maximum usage.

 
Credits & Changelog

Thanks to Crate for making the Vanquisher’s set and this game. Definitely the most fun I’ve had playing an ARPG in a while.

Changelog

  • 01/16/20 - Added guides/video for superbosses, updated build and devotions slightly.
  • 01/27/20 - Rewrote some sections and changed section format to use detail tags.
  • 01/29/20 - Added a brief section for attributes, augments, and faction choices.
  • 02/03/20 - Added a bit of information about Force Move in the Gameplay section.
  • 02/06/20 - Added a section for Rashalga, the Mad Queen under Superbosses.
  • 02/18/20 - Added a Shieldbreaker variant to the Grimtools link and some explanation about the gear choices.
  • 02/27/20 - Updated for 1.1.6.0.
  • 03/14/20 - Updated for 1.1.6.2.
  • 04/08/20 - Added Shieldbreaker tag. Expanded the FAQs a bit regarding other class combinations.
  • 06/05/20 - Updated for 1.1.7.0.
  • 09/26/20 - Updated for 1.1.8.0.
  • 11/18/20 - Updated for 1.1.8.1 and reworked formatting to include color tags and links. Added a section for Crate of Entertainment under Superbosses.
  • 11/21/20 - Reworked Gameplay & Leveling section.
  • 01/27/21 - Updated for 1.1.9.0. Rewrote some parts of the Superbosses section and uploaded new videos for the superboss fights and SR.
  • 04/03/21 - Updated for 1.1.9.1.
36 Likes

Congrats on your first posted build!

It’s always nice to see new builders in this forum! And BTW that’s pretty extensive and thorough guide.

Thanks Nery!

I just submitted it to the build compendium, hope it gets posted soon.

I’ll second what Nery said - that’s one hell of an amazing first post.

Congrats on your first post!

Couple of little pieces of advice if you don’t mind:

  • It doesn’t make sense to take 10th point in Conversion. But it does make sense to take 7th point in Mirror, 5th in Nullification and 5th in Resilience. That’s where breakpoints are after which the diminishing returns kick in.
  • It’s definitely worth it to level Arcanist line till Fabric of Reality to grab that Racial damage bonus. You need it as a fire build with single RR. Skull in chest would also up your damage a lot as long as you can manage armor absorption
  • It also makes a lot of sense to invest into Spirit as an Arcanist. It’s a huge damage gain with almost no costs to survivability as long as you arrange your augments and components correctly. Here is a rough sketch https://www.grimtools.com/calc/JVl16eoZ. You can tweak it according to your green items rolls, but putting Ravager’s Eyes in weapon/off-hand and investing in Spirit is almost always more gains than using any other kind of augments.
2 Likes

Corrected.

I guess I will have to pick up the gauntlet and make a whirlwind barb then. :smirk:

Hey mad_lee, thanks for the advice! I completely forgot that Conversion doesn’t have a breakpoint at its softcap, so I’ll definitely probably be taking a point out for Resilience. I don’t really want to go any lower than that though, since I’m already barely undercapped for freeze/slow resistance.

I’m not entirely sold on Fabric of Reality though. That’s spending 9 skill points for a 4% racial against Aetherials/Chthonics if we were to put 1 point into it. Putting more points into it makes it better for the points that we spend but I’m not sure where I could pull 18 points from in this build.

Also I’ll try to see if I can get some videos of superboss runs sometime soon. No Mog though, since I already killed him. :frowning_face:

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It’s not only small racial damage (which is still very welcome, especially on a singler RR Fire build and against Chtonians) but also more raw stats that synergize well with Spirit investment. Just take a look at the rough sketch I made there.

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Sorry still getting used to using the forum, how do I reply with quotes like you did?

I did take a look at the build sketch that you made, and I think this might just be a difference of opinion between us. The 8 points in Arcanist mastery gives us about 50 spirit which is about ~25% damage. I just don’t think 9 points is worth 50 spirit and a tiny bit of racial damage however, but then again I also tend to build very defensively, maybe excessively so.

Also I’m curious, what do you mean when you say that the build has a single RR? We get RR from lots of difference places, both on gear and on the tree as well.

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Armor and cc resistances are over-invested in at the cost of resistances and damage. By using Ravager’s Eyes, new jewelry augments, Scaled Hide on the pants and resistance augments instead of 4xDreeg’s Omen, you can take Lion and Dryad instead of Crane and 4th and 5th in Menhir (for non-shield builds more than 3 in Menhir is a terrible waste). That way you got more everything including what’s most needed: phys res and heals.

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Welcome to the forums! To quote someone, just select the passage you want and click the little box prompt that pops up right below it.

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Thanks everybody for the feedback! I like the idea of Lion + Dryad, especially since I don’t have anything bound to CT at the moment. I’m testing it out at the moment, and even though it’s low level, it feels pretty good to use due to the 100% proc chance from binding it to CT. Spirit dump felt pretty good when I was testing Cally as well, and I didn’t really feel any squisher than usual.

Also it turns out that I didn’t do Barrowholm on Elite, so I can probably test Ravager and Ravager’s Eye eventually. Just gotta grind out the rep.

Finally a build that gimme motivation to make a new character O.O
Nicely done mate

Thanks Candyyy! I’ve updated the build with a guide and videos for each of the superbosses, excluding Crate. I’m not the best pilot by any means, but hopefully this should give people an idea of what to do for these fights.

EDIT: I also made some adjustments to the build. Notably, I swapped out Runeguard Greaves for Wyrmscale Footguards. No phys resist unfortunately, but we make up for it with Lion + Dryad and the OA/DA + damage are nice. On top of that, the stun resist from Wyrmscale means that we can drop Conversion to 5/10 and still be close to stun capped even without crafting bonuses. After playing around with different skill setups, it turns out that putting points into Arcanist and Fabric of Reality actually is the best thing we can do, so I’ve updated the guide to reflect that.

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Looks much much better now if you have any kind of OA/DA rolls on your greens. Glad my advice worked.

Nice to see another Thraddash build, even if I’ll probably never play any of them.

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Nice build and well explained
gratz!

I had a Templar in the 90s and some of the Vanq set so after seeing this a few days ago I thought I would try it, completed my vanq set, got a kuba’s legs and pulled a zarthuzellan’s from stash. It’s been great 90% of the time so thanks for the great guide to a refreshing playstyle, and it rivals my vit ritualist for off/def balance for the most part, however I am completely stonewalled by Rashalga in SR and noticed you don’t include her in superboss strats (she is generally harder than lokarr and clone imo). I haven’t tried Rash in campaign with the build but whenever she pops up in SR65+ she is a nightmare, she takes minimal damage from fire trails and staying in her line-of-sight more than a few seconds is an OHKO from her spike projectiles. Mirror doesn’t last long enough to build up multiple trails on top of her or get in a judgement/tempest before getting creamed so I save it for times I step into LOS (which happens fairly frequently due to her crazy speed). Do you have issues with her in SR yourself? This build handle’s other notorious Nemeses in SR better than a lot of non-tank builds, but rash’s speed and penchant for changing direction when being kited around terrain make her a real problem for me. She’s not impossible by any means but I feel like a cal/mog length fight with one-shots on a single SR boss before even SR70 should be fixable somehow. Do you have any advice before I start messing with anything major on the build?

I forgot about Rashalga when writing the superboss guide, thanks for the reminder. I’ll add this part to the guide when I’m done.

With Rashalga, it’s mostly about knowing how to fight her. The main thing to worry about is the big red aura which heals her and shoots out spikes like crazy while she’s under a fire trail. It lasts 5s and she will only ever use it while you are in melee range or close to melee range, so you can bait it out. Afterwards, you have a ~7s window where you are free to drop CT/Judgment and lay down some fire trails. I find it helps to keep count in your head so you can know roughly when to engage without having to get close to look at her. EDIT: Also pay attention to the mutators, since some of them might reduce her cooldowns which will make your damage window shorter.

You can also kite her Cally/Rav style and keep your distance, which will take a lot longer but is also much safer. If you plan on doing it that way, you should swap out Aetherfire with Eldritch Fire before the fight for more RR while kiting. She rarely shows up in SR, but you can always hover over the boss icons on the minimap to see if she’s there or not.

You don’t really need to change any gear for this fight, but if you want to play it safe you can always swap out M. Volcanum for M. Mark of Divinity which should prevent you from getting shotgunned by the aura projectiles.