Fire Mageslayer FoI/OFF Mage Hunter
- Trying to make Olexra’s Flash Freeze work
- Mageslayer set for freeze RR, Eternity + Aeon’s Hourglass for CDR, Spectral Bludgeon for plus duration
- Flames of Ignaffar as a main damage skill because Mageslayer supports it
- Conversion to Fire damage to take advantage of the bonkers fire RR on Flash Freeze
- Enough defenses so the build doesn’t completely fall apart against things it can’t freeze
I’m pleased with how this performs at endgame. Most (but not quite all) SR bosses and Nemesis bosses can be permafrozen, even with an Unstoppable mutator, once you get a double-cast of Flash Freeze. The build’s performance against freeze-immune enemies in SR is tolerable, especially if there are other, freezable enemies nearby (so that Hourglass procs, giving you more Mirror uptime). The damage isn’t great, but it’s fine (~9:00 SR80 runs).
The build “can do Celestials” in the sense that I successfully slogged my way through killing Mogdrogen, but it isn’t pretty. The damage against enemies who are fully freeze-immune is pretty underwhelming.
Hat tip to Duchy, the Duke of Freeze, who has of course played a somewhat similar Mage Hunter variation, adding Rune of Kalastor to the mix, with less emphasis on CDR and fire conversion. edit Also to ya1, with another similar build!
Tooltip DPS is Flames of Ignaffar with Word of Renewal and standing in Inquisitor seal; no procs up
Defenses tab; same buffs
Flames of Ignaffar mouseover; same buffs
- SR80 (unremarkable mutators)
- SR80 (Unstoppable and Swift, which approximately cancel each other out)
- SR80 (Unstoppable, one death to Gargabol as I struggle to get a double-cast of OFF. Finish the shard at exactly 0:00!)
- Mogdrogen (I swapped one armor augment and popped Stormshroud Ointment to overcap lightning by 80+. DPS against fully freeze-immune enemies is so low I literally had to drink a second Stormshroud partway through. Enjoy watching me panic and almost throw the fight a couple times.)
- Korvaak lol ("“Celestial”")
- Ancient Grove (Gargabol at about 6:30)
I recommend roughly the following progression for leveling this build:
- Word of Pain + Olexra’s Flash Freeze throughout Normal difficulty, with either low-investment Flames of Ignaffar or Fireblast/Greater Fireblast to spam against bosses
- Transition into using Flames of Ignaffar as a main skill over the course of Elite
- Play all three skills throughout Ultimate
- Respec into the final endgame build once you hit level 94 (or when you finish Eternity + the Mageslayer set, if you don’t have gear set aside)
Here’s more detail if you want to follow this leveling path:
At the very beginning of the game, I recommend choosing Inquisitor as your first mastery, and putting your first few points into Word of Pain. This skill isn’t used in the final build because its damage falls off badly in the late game, but it is so unbelievably bonkers strong in Normal difficulty that it’d be a shame not to take advantage of it.
After you put a few points in this skill (you won’t even have to max it out), you will notice that you are blowing up everything you hit with it in one or two ticks. At this point, go up to 10 points in the mastery bar, and put one point each in Word of Agony (which increases Word of Pain’s area), Word of Renewal, and Deadly Aim.
By now you’re probably around level 10. Time to select our second mastery! Grab Arcanist, 1 point each in Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange and Inner Focus, then go up to 5 points in the mastery bar and max out Olexra’s Flash Freeze. Once it’s maxed out, it will clear whole rooms in a single cast.
These two skills will carry you through Normal difficulty, but you’ll find that on tanky enemies with high freeze resist (bosses), you’re standing around with nothing to do while you wait for them to tick down to Word of Pain. To solve this, I recommend picking up one of two spammable skills to cast along with your main skills:
- Low-investment Flames of Ignaffar, putting just a single point into each node
- Fireblast from Searing Ember (upgrading into Greater Fireblast from Flintcore Bolts at level 15)
The former is cool because it’s the skill you’re going to use at endgame, which always feels nice, but the latter is honestly probably stronger. The reason we don’t go heavy into Flames of Ignaffar here is that it’s an absolute monster of an energy guzzler, and we won’t be able to sustain putting very many points into its damage just yet.
From here, progress through Inquisitor, picking up 1 point in each passive, utility skill, or relevant upgrade node as they become available. Once you get to 50/50 in Inquisitor, max out Aura of Censure. If you start feeling squishy at any point, put points into Inquisitor Seal; it carries a build’s defenses super hard in the early game.
Starting at level 40, you can grab two Monster Infrequents (MIs) that improve Word of Pain: Bargoll’s Heart and Wendigo Eye, both from Ugdenbog enemies in act 5. Don’t worry too much about affixes at this point; you’re here for the item skill modifiers.
Toward the end of Normal, you should have Word of Pain, Olexra’s Flash Freeze, and Aura of Censure maxed, plus a secondary spammable skill to use while waiting for bosses’ health to tick down, and you should be a screen-clearing beast.
Grimtools link at level 50
The above is an affixless budget gear setup; it’s very likely that you’ll be able to have better gear at that level thanks to random drops and affixes on your MIs, but this setup should provide a baseline minimum that will have no problem clearing Normal and moving into early Elite.
Toward the end of Normal and into the beginning of Elite, you will start to notice that your previous stand-out skills (Word of Pain and Olexra’s Flash Freeze) are starting to fall off in effectiveness. Packs no longer die in a tick or two, making it kind of annoying to backtrack and pick up their loot when they finally do die. Bosses have gone from feeling quick and breeze to feeling like a slog.
This is why the theme of Elite difficulty will be gradually transitioning to using Flames of Ignaffar as our main damage skill.
In order to do this successfully, we need to invest heavily in two things that haven’t been so important up to now:
- Energy sustain: FoI is a monstrously energy-hungry spell, so we need to invest in energy recovery and cost reduction to be able to put lots of points into it without running out of energy all the time.
- Cast speed: FoI, unlike our previous damage skills, scales with cast speed, so it’s an important damage stat now.
These will be balanced against the desire to just put more points into the main FoI skill, which is of course the most straightforward way to increase its damage. Throughout Elite difficulty, ask yourself:
- Am I running out of energy, constantly having to chug energy pots off cooldown and still running dry against bosses? If so, I have too many points in the FoI base skill, and should invest more in energy sustain.
- Is my energy fine, but bosses are taking too long to die? If so, I have too much investment in energy sustain, and should invest more points into the FoI base skill (or its first two upgrade nodes, if the base skill is already maxed).
Here are some things that will help your energy sustain:
- Points in Endless Flame
- Points in Mental Alacrity
- An Incendiary Casque from Cronley’s Gang Arsonists
- Arcane Spark, which is more effective the more points you have in the FoI base skill (because it scales with % weapon damage)
- Other components: Ectoplasm, Mark of Illusions, Focusing Prism, Arcane Lens
- The second star of the Viper constellation (also partially scales with % weapon damage)
- “Caster” type items (chest armor, helms, off-hands); if you don’t meet a Spirit requirement, put more points into Inner Focus, the OA is good anyway
Throughout Elite difficulty, keep an eye out for gear that improves Flames of Ignaffar, potentially replacing your Word of Pain MIs from Normal with things like Ugdenbog Flamestrife and Bloodsworn Sigil. The latter, in particular, makes a big difference to your health sustain.
Grimtools link at level 75
Again, this is an affixless setup, so you should expect to get better stats from random drops and affixes on MIs. Use these extra stats to fill in a few resists (Vitality and Aether are worryingly low in the setup linked above), and you’re ready to get started on Ultimate.
You will also be high enough level to use armor augments at this point, which will solve any resistance problems you might have as long as you can buy them. That will require Revered reputation with one or more factions, which is easily achieved by the end of Elite if you’re using Mandates, but a bit of a grind if this is your first character.
Continue your build from Elite, filling in upgrade nodes, passives, and utility skills:
- Intensify and Infernal Purge will make your FoI do more damage.
- Inner Focus, Overload, Word of Renewal, and Deadly Aim are valuable sources of OA and DA to make sure you keep critting and not being crit.
- Inquisitor Seal and Maiven’s Sphere of Protection are valuable defensively.
- Finish Aeon’s Hourglass and start to enjoy somewhat relevant freeze uptime against some hero enemies.
This time, you’re looking at my actual gear from leveling this character, rather than a mock-up of a hypothetical gear setup. This should give you some idea of the kinds of things you’re looking for in random drops along the way.
You can respec into the main endgame version of the build at level 94 if you have the gear banked. If not, I would respec once you have:
- The full Mageslayer set
- The Eternity relic
The rest is negotiable, but those two are absolutely crucial to the build working as intended.
Thanks for reading!