The Tainted Stream - An Ignaffar Vitality Vindicator
Updated 6/28 to reflect helpful input from grey-maybe. Thanks again!
Relatively new to the game. I’ve leveled up a few characters, and am looking forward to participating in the next community season. I was looking up fun build ideas that would work for my first character of the season (strong combos that can be done with mostly MIs and easily farmable stuff), when I came across an interesting video by a youtuber named Arcadelife. He seems to do a lot of GD videos. Anyway, he brought up the Leafmane Trophy, and how it does some neat stuff with inquisitor seal.
The RR and the vitality damage on the trophy is cool, but my favorite thing is how it turns the seal an eerie red. In the video, Arcadelife talks about how it pairs well with totems for a beginner build, so I thought “screw it, let’s try that” and rolled a vindicator.
Of course, vindicator isn’t known for vitality. In fact, I couldn’t really find too much on vitality vindicator anywhere. it’s a fun video but ultimately I wasn’t sure if such a build would work in endgame. This is my best attempt at making it work. As I will say throughout this writeup, I am 100% open to suggestions that don’t alter the core concept of the build (which I’ll get into next).
The Thought Process
So Shaman already has options to turn storm totem into vitality, and wendigo totem already is vitality, so that’s taken care of. Devouring Swarm is also Vitality, so that’s a no brainer. Obviously inquisitor seal sparked this whole thing so that’s a must have too.
So from a build perspective, in my mind there were two question marks: what to do about an aura, and what to use as a spammable attack / filler. For the aura, nothing in the Shaman or the Inquisitor toolkit really screamed “vitality” to me, and I was going to scrap this whole thing but I did some digging into grim tools, and found the Raddagan set. It not only converts Aura of Censure into vitality damage, but it also provides additional vitality RR.
So the spammable was the remaining question. I tried leveling with savagery once I got my trophy in the offhand, but I found the caster weapons I was using to buff my vitality abilities (namely bonespike) did really poor damage with savagery, even with Packla’s Mask doing the 100% vitality conversion. So I went back to Grim Tools again, and found the Decree of Malmouth. +1 to Shaman and Inquisitor was good, but then I noticed it buffed / converted flames of Ignaffar to Vitality. So it seemed to make the most sense to use as my spam. Plus I’ve never done an ignaffar build.
So the core pieces are the Raddagan set, Decree of Malmouth, and the Leafmane Trophy. Gauntlets of Ignaffar give us even more damage to the core skill, as well as reducing cost which is key because ignaffar is very energy hungry. Belt is a tossup between Scales of Beronath and Cord of Deception. I ultimately went with cord for the final iteration because I do enough damage anyway, might as well get tankier.
Seal of Basti is better than cursebearer to push ignaffar even higher, but I wasn’t about to farm for it haha. But if you have it, go for it.
There’s really no great relic for this build so I’m running meditation per recommendation by grey-maybe.
There’s a few other medal options depending on preference, but the bloodbinding makes your swarm hit hard enough to melt trash mobs, even within high SR. You could farm for a double rare like I did with the trophy, but it’s a pain because you have to go into the roguelike C’thonic dungeon.
Skills / Devotions
So for the skills, I’m pretty satisfied with where they are now. I won’t even pretend to be an authority on what you can shift around to where to accomplish what. Devotions are mostly focused on getting as many of the core vitality procs as possible.
Note - if you’re still gearing up / want something a little tankier, you can definitely take turtle since it’s really good now instead of hungering void. Obviously your damage will be a lot lower on average, but I was running it for a while as a test and you become almost unkillable. Plus you can take hawk too to get a little more OA.
Kinda clunky, but also kinda fun at times? Trash goes down pretty quickly to swarm and 22/10 censure, but for tougher mobs you need to drop your seal / totems / start spewing ignaffar on them. Between the buffed seal and all of your innate life steal, it’s very, very difficult to die while you’re in the seal.
I’ve gotten overwhelmed once or twice in SR where I’ve been testing this, but only to trickier groups of elites. Bosses tend to be a breeze, can even facetank Aleksander’s meteor like a champ. Vitality bosses like Cabra take longer, but that’s just a fact of life when you focus on one element like most builds do.
I have now cleared 70 with little issue, no deaths. Have a video or two but haven’t gotten around to uploading them yet. 11 minutes and some change for 65-66, not a bad time but not my best either.
I’ll do deeper SR / attempt the celestials when I have a chance.
This definitely isn’t gonna break any records, but it’s a build I think? I’m pretty satisfied with it, even if it can’t compete with the best builds out there. And if you’ve read this far, thanks! Hope you enjoyed it / will enjoy making one yourself!