[ –] Build Overview - Spam Stun Jacks/CD Callidor's Tempest Harra Sorceress (SR75-80+)


(this section will repeat between my build overviews; you can skip to Build Concept if you’ve read one of my overviews before and are familiar with my rating system and test criteria)

Patch 9.8 brought, among other things, major changes to the Shattered Realm. Given that SR is where I do my endgame build testing, with the release of the patch I decided to redo all the testing for all my builds. And since I’d be putting in the time and noting down all my results anyway, I thought I might as well post the builds and their scores publicly for others. Who knows, maybe you’ve been thinking of trying something similar and are curious if it even works. Or maybe you’re just morbidly curious and like that tickly feeling in your brainhole when you see someone play something utterly stupid.

Now, what exactly does this testing entail? Each character has to do 10 SR75-80 runs (I used to do 5 runs but I’m expanding it to 10 for this second wave). Every run completed within timer counts as a success. It takes 6 successes (over 50 % success rate) for me to consider a build complete. If a build keeps failing to meet that quota, I keep improving it till it works. Ergo, no build I post here will have a lower score than 6/10, because if it doesn’t have over 50 % success rate, I’m not done improving it and it doesn’t get posted.

Three rules were followed to make the results more representative:

  1. no consumables other than healing and energy elixirs can be used;
  2. no shrines can be taken; if a build has bad resists, it’ll have to make do with bad resists, Rattosh isn’t gonna be saving its ass;
  3. no mutator hunting; if I get shitty mutators, I’ll have to succeed with shitty mutators.

Other than that, it doesn’t matter in what manner the runs are completed. If a build takes twice as long to finish a run than others do, that’s perfectly fine as long as it successfully finishes. Doesn’t matter whether the build has to dodge Nemeses in shards like the plague or whether it hunts them for sport, doesn’t matter if it has to kite like crazy or stands its ground with ease, doesn’t matter if it completes the runs deathless or not. Only thing that affects the score is completion within timer. Generally, a weaker build that is slow, fragile, hard to play etc. will end up with a lower score regardless because its shortcomings will affect its reliability across the 10 runs.

Now, two final things before we get to the build itself:

  1. As mentioned in the title, this is a build overview, not a build guide. What’s the difference? Well, a build guide says “this is the way you should build this type of character”. What I’m saying is rather “this is what I did, here’s why I did it this way, here’s how it turned out”. It’s more of a documentary, a post-mortem, rather than an example to be followed. “Wait, that’s just a fancy way of saying you make shit builds,” you might say. No, not exactly. I try to make a strong character without deviating from the concept of the build. But the concept of the build might not necessarily be something one should even be doing in the first place :smiley: While my build concept and the in-game support will often align to create a reasonably predictable, almost cookie cutter build, just as often I’ll just be doing something abundantly demented for my own reasons. I’ll always endeavour to explain in the Build Concept section why I chose to do a thing a certain way, but I don’t want you to get the impression that what I’m presenting is a thing you should necessarily be doing.

  2. I’m also by no means hyperfocused on optimising the crap out of a build once it’s in a workable state. There will almost always be things to optimise on my characters, but frankly, I prefer spending an hour theorycrafting a new character rather than shuffling an existing character’s devo tree, gear, component and augment setup just to squeeze 5 % more damage out of it. I don’t care that much.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the build itself.

Build Concept

Berielle Hawl

Here we are, my last build! Continuing from the theme of “things left undone” from my previous three overviews, I wanted to make something based around Stun Jacks. I have used Stun Jacks before, quite extensively, on an early version of my Barrelsmith Bombadier Purifier. And I liked them a lot, especially when combined with the Light’s Defender set. Unfortunately, I was eventually forced to cut the skill, because with Barrelsmith there was no way to sustain off of any of the Ulzuin’s Chosen skills. Since then, I’ve wanted to come back to Stun Jacks in some form as the primary skill. Harra provided the perfect opportunity, as it was directly addressing the sustain issue I had with the skill before.


1.2 UPDATE: No real changes. Wrath of Agrivix has gotten a boost in % TDM and %WD but nothing dramatic. Leech nerf has hurt the Fabius fight a little bit. On the plus side, Kuba should heal less now, making the fight faster, and the build can finally kill Moosi’s crystals. Does 80-81 comfortably, haven’t tried going higher.

Though I don’t like reusing the same skills on multiple characters, I will make an exception if the skill works very differently between them. The best example of that is if a skill has a spam version and a CD version. So far I have done that for Primal Strike, Phantasmal Blades, Amarasta’s Blade Burst, Dreeg’s Evil Eye, Blackwater Cocktail. On this build, I chose to complement Demo with Arcanist not just because Harra suggested it was a thing to do, but primarily to cross off another thing I haven’t done yet: use the CD version of Callidor’s Tempest (CT). It all came down to a simple question: what conditions would have to be met for me to ever try to use the cooldown version of CT? Either
a) I’d have to be able to reduce the cooldown in a major way or
b) I’d need a very powerful primary skill so that I can get a lot done in between the CT cooldowns. Ideally, this primary skill should be something that doesn’t overlap with CT’s AoE capabilities, so that CT doesn’t become superfluous.

Now as for a) that’s not really a thing that can be done. There is exactly one item in all of GD that reduces CT’s cooldown, and it’s Kyzogg’s Skull. Not only have I already made a Fire CT build, I’ve also already tried and dismissed Kyzogg’s Skull before. Regardless of the item’s other merits, in terms of the actual cooldown reduction -0.4 CDR wouldn’t exactly do much, and with that being the only item with that kind of mod for CT, the only way to get the cooldown any lower would have to be global, i.e. stacking % CDR, perhaps taking the Eternity relic or speccing into Aeon’s Hourglass. Those are some pretty restrictive conditions and CT probably isn’t worth all that sacrifice, at least not on its own. I’d need additional powerful CD skills like Devastation, which is again quite restrictive on the build.

But b) I could do quite easily with Harra. Spam Stun Jacks are an incredible single target tool thanks to the potential for shotgunning, but their AoE isn’t the best. With the Quick Jacks transmuter the overlap between the projectile explosions diminishes dramatically and this time around I wouldn’t even have Light’s Defender to boost the AoE back up. The end result would be that, ideally, with Stun Jacks I’d like to rush as close to high priority enemies as possible and nuke them into oblivion with my Stun Jack shotty. Meanwhile, all the other common enemies, champions and heroes around me would get to wail on me with impunity as all the potential Stun Jacks AoE would be getting sunk into a single target only. With CD CT I could just blast them all at once. In the case of white mobs, that’d probably be enough to kill them and I could continue focusing in single target. In the case of champions and heroes, transmuted CT has a hefty bit of knockdown so I could just incapacitate them and take care of them later once the priority targets have been nuked down.

However, I do not want to mislead you into believing that this is a genius idea. Cause it has problems. On my current setup, CT has sheet DPS of about 30k. In reality it will have a bit more because of DoT, and more again because I’m using Eternity to periodically reduce the cooldown. Either way, even if the DPS was double, that’s not a lot, considering I’m maxing the skill as much as I can without hampering Stun Jacks and I have a set that directly supports it. For pure DPS gain CD CT isn’t great. Granted, it’s not the DPS I’m after but the burst AoE, but still, the net effect on the build’s damage output isn’t massive. And it comes at a cost. Skill points. You’ve probably noticed, to your shock and horror, that I’m not using Star Pact. I’d love to, not just for the % damage but for the CDR to further improve the damage output of CT and improve safety by reducing the CD on Mirror. But I just can’t afford to take it. If I’m using CT as more than just a proccer (for which it would still be required cause I need ways to proc 3 devotions), and I’m maxing Stun Jacks, and climbing all the way to the top of Demo for Ulzuin’s Chosen, and trying to max my cast speed through Mental Alacrity and Vindictive Flame, and getting Mines, and trying to get good enough OA or debuff enemy DA with Flashbang to be able to crit, there just aren’t points left to climb all the way to the top of the Arcanist tree and spec into Star Pact. Like, try to take the above skill tree, spec into capped Star Pact and tell me where you’re getting those 30 skill points. Not from Flashbang or Overload because of OA issues. Not from Inner Focus, Mental Alacrity or Vindictive Flame. Definitely not from RR or Stun Jacks. The only real option left is CT. So the decision commit to the bit and try to squeeze in capped CD CT directly interferes with the ability to get the most out of CD CT by reducing its cooldown via Star Pact. It also directly interferes with Stun Jacks DPS. Without CT there’d be points for Star Pact and more points for IEE to get more % damage. With the current setup the % damage is fairly low, especially for a class lacking a second RR mastery. So yeah, the decision to take CD CT comes at a price, both in skill points and even just globally in terms of mastery choice. We’re now an elemental build with a single on-tree RR because CT requires us to go for Arcanist. Is Wrath of Agrivix CT worth all that? I think you can guess the answer based on the above. But I’m nothing if not committed to the meme.

Alright, enough yappin’ about CT, let’s talk about the rest of the setup. The central idea was, of course, to maximise Stun Jacks in all its aspects. Cap cast speed, cap the nodes, stack projectiles, get as many Ulzuin’s Chosen points as reasonably possible and solve the sustain. Harra gets me partway with 6% direct lifesteal, but that won’t be enough. Hence why I also took Korvaak’s Storm-Blade to get the second half of the sustain. Unfortunately, the weapon leans so heavily into Lightning that getting a good Cold roll on it is a job and a half. Elemental rolls will generally have to suffice, but it’s also important to get cast speed on the weapon at the same time. The weapon is also physical, so the %WD aspect of CT is going to blow. Thankfully, Stun Jacks have no %WD component on this setup to suffer from the same issue. On the offhand I took the only real option there was, as the only other Stun Jacks offhand is all wrong for this build. The rest of the setup is fairly self explanatory: Harra, RR ring and the best ways to cap the skill lines, increase RR or fix resists that I could think of. On the relic I was originally using Serenity cause there isn’t any Cold or Tri-Elemental Demo relic, but with the low % damage the build was sporting on the character sheet, it seemed better to forego the Demo points and just get some extra there. As luck would have it, the only real choices if I wanted to at least keep the Arcanist skill points were Iskandra’s Balance and Eternity. Given the build looked to be in a pretty bad state DA-wise, Eternity was the clear choice, which incidentally synergises nicely with CD CT.

The one item slot that I was conflicted on was the medal. There’s nothing there for Stun Jacks, as in, there are no further item mods, and I don’t need any extra skill bonuses anymore to hardcap it, so the best I could hope for there was % Cold damage or Ulzuin’s Chosen points. But there is an option there for CT in the form of Mark of Nacrathan. The conversions are useless as Harra handles all of that on its own, but it’s more flat damage on a skill with a 170 % TDM, it’s the extra point for CT I’m missing to hardcap it, which could be some extra 10-ish % damage for the skill, and it’s naturally leaning towards Cold so it would be easy to get a good Cold affix roll on it. I chose to not go with that option partly out of laziness (didn’t feel like farming Harvoul just to boost a skill the build is using once every 3 seconds or so) and partly because of defensive concerns. With the build set up the way I planned it, it was very squishy. Not necessarily defensively weak, it just didn’t have much health at all. With Mark of Divinity I could get that health to a more comfortable number without having to farm my ass off for a good Vitality roll on Nacrathan, while boosting survivability through increased elemental resist caps, and providing a free circuit breaker with 3 seconds of damage immunity. And while it didn’t have a % damage roll, it was still making impact on damage through the Ulzuin’s Chosen points.

Speaking of Ulzuin’s Chosen, as I was originally theorycrafting the build I had this worry gnawing at the back of my mind. This Cold devo setup is nice and all, with its powerful flat RR, its %RR and both T3 Cold devos all neatly squeezed in. But what if I start having issues with Energy sustain? I’m gonna be spamming Stun Jacks like crazy, while tossing Flashbangs every few seconds and popping CTs on cooldown. That has to be pricy, right? Will Arcanist be enough to cover all that? I might have to take some Energy sustain on the devo tree and how do I do that with all the devos I wanted to keep. Turns out, I didn’t have to worry. Cause thanks to Ulzuin’s Chosen, Mental Alacrity and Quick Jacks, Stun Jacks are literally free.


The Energy cost line isn’t even showing up for work anymore :laughing:

Before I move on to performance, I just want to emphasise that this is far from the only way to build a Harra Sorc. As I mentioned already, even with a spam Stun Jacks setup this isn’t the only way to go, and I’m quite convinced it’s not even the right way to go, as CD CT costs a lot of points for not a lot of gain. But the whole build can be flipped around too. You can take CD Stun Jacks instead and spam CT. Gearing that setup will be a lot more difficult though. There isn’t really much at all that you can do for Cold CT on gear outside of hardcapping both nodes. There’s the Nacrathan medal, and that’s kinda it. There are very few weapon and offhand slot options for it, as a ton of the gear has interfering conversions. Pretty much the only viable choices are Consumption of Agrivix for the flat damage mod and sustain, but you’ll have to contend with absence of cast speed or % damage (and the fact you have no good weapon to use for CT). And there’s Fleshwarped Core, which at least doesn’t fuck with the conversions in any way. That would probably have to be the go-to, but good luck getting a Cold roll on it. I’m not sure that amount of support is enough to make Cold spam CT viable. Alternatively, as with the spam Jacks setup, the spam CT setup of course also has the option of just skipping the CD skill and focusing on just the spam. In this case though, I’m not sure it’d be worth it. Spam Stun Jacks can serve as both a great single target tool and a passable AoE skill. With spam CT there would be a distinct lack of proper single target. I haven’t tried it, it’s possible with Harra, Nacrathan and Fleshwarped Core the damage of CT will be good enough for both AoE and single-target duties. But CD Stun Jacks would definitely be bringing a lot of single target burst to the table.


(DPS for Stun Jacks with permabuffs up. Note that this is DPS for a single Stun Jack projectile. Of which we fire 11. You do the math. That’s, uh…ouchie!


Stun Jacks, Stun Jacks, I love you so. Though my ears might protest the constant frosty chunking of the Jacks spam, I say the auditory sacrifice is worth it… Boy do those health bars go down nicely when you really snuggle up to your target for a full shotgun. The % Cold damage might be low, but who cares when you make up for all that through raw flat/projectile count?

The two skills complement each other nicely. Even though I still believe the CT isn’t all that worth it given what it costs, it does slot into the playstyle perfectly. This is essentially the most melee of melee builds. Just being in melee isn’t enough, you want to be as close to your target as possible so that those Jacks don’t have the chance to spread out to the sides and miss the target you’re nuking. In that environment, Jacks have next to no AoE. And CT addresses that exactly as I imagined, by blasting the white mobs dead and putting the rest of the enemies on their ass while you focus on the main threats. The build could definitely work without CT, but I have to say, it does feel a lot more comfortable to be able to rush into the middle of an army, right up to the enemy you’re going to be nuking, and not have to spin around throwing Stun Jacks everywhere to weed out the white mobs before you start your single target DPS. You just zoom in and blast once, AoE problem solved. With pure Jacks the build would have to be played a bit more “normal”, by starting the engagement from a distance, laying out a field of death with Jacks and letting the white mobs die as they try to close in. Then you’d just be left with the ones that survived the field you laid out, and you’d nuke those one by one at facelicking distance. CT just flips that sequence by making you be the proactive party. You get to initiate, you get to blow apart the white mobs, regardless of whether they close in or fight at range, and you get to choose which enemies get prioritised first, not because they approached you first, but because those will be the ones you’re rushing into at the start.

Whatever the merits of CD CT might be, there’s no denying that it’s a secondary skill at best. Almost more a devo proc (and a devo proccer) than an actual active skill, because of how relatively infrequently it gets used. The core of the build is and was always going to be Stun Jacks. And holy fuck are they glorious. If you’re at SR80, as long as there’s no mutators reducing your damage output, Grava is dead before he casts his dispell. Reaper is dead about 2 seconds after his first Wraith summon. Benn dies just as his crystals pop up, sometimes even before. Aleks gets one meteor, two at most. There’s little need to kite Kaisan away from his crystals, cause when he summons them, he has so little health left that you can usually kill him within your Blast Shield duration. The chunkage is real. And though the build demands that you’re as close to the target as possible, ideally even inside their model, it’s able to survive in that environment despite the low health pool and concerning DA number.

Part of that is, of course, the damage output. With around 3.1k effective OA and 60-ish % crit damage on Stun Jacks, which on paper output some 900k DPS (probably a bit less because of DoT), all that with 12 % direct leech, not only do enemies die so fast they often don’t get to do their most dangerous stuff, but there’s a loooot of health coming in. On top of that, the build has the usual Sorcerer rotation of Blast Shield, Mirror, Blast Shield, though this time slightly less smooth because of lower Mirror levels (then again, Eternity helps). Beyond that, the build has 24 % absorb, 16 % DR, 21 % deflect scaling up to 80 % with Blast Shield, 23 % fumble/impair, decent enough phys res, Nulli for debuffs, and the circuit breaker from the medal for when shit really hits the fan. With these tools, and the freeze from mobility skill and periodic knockdown from CT, the build is quite resilient even if the health and DA numbers would indicate otherwise (effective DA is also helped by Rumor but it’s not a reliable defensive tool since it only has about a 50 % proc chance on CD CT).

Pretty much the only bad thing I have to say about the build is that it’s not as fast as you’d expect, mainly because of its weaker AoE. I want to be clear. The AoE coverage is great. Stun Jacks create a very nice, large field of death that will be hard for the weaker enemies to cross. The problem is, when used in this “long range AoE” fashion, the damage of the Stun Jacks gets very spread out. And while Stun Jacks deal astounding damage in aggregate, individually it’s not nearly as impressive. Taken broadly it’s still good AoE, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not good damage by this build’s standards. If a horde of heroes is approaching you and each only eats like 3-4 Jacks before they approach, that’s not going to leave as much of a mark on their health pool as you’d expect. That makes the build distinctly different from my previous build, the Chillwhisper Reaper, which dealt just as good damage on single target as it did on AoE because it just pointed Drain Essence at an area and everything was taking more or less the same amount of damage as if they were the only target. With Stun Jacks the damage gets heavily spread out (and some of it straight up doesn’t connect as the Jacks go to the sides) and it takes some persistent spamming to get the horde down. Hence why I generally gravitate towards just rushing into melee range, periodically blasting with CT and then working down priority enemies one at a time with the full Jacks shotgun, as you’ll see in the videos below. Overall, the build ends up getting some decent completion times thanks to the outstanding single target burst but the AoE slows the build down to a more average performance than what the single target would indicate, especially in some of the low density maps. The build only really picks up on AoE on hyper-dense maps, like Immolation where you’re dealing with so dense packs that all Stun Jacks you throw across the field connect with something, and CT blasts like 30 enemies at a time. The moment the hordes get more sparse, a lot of the Jacks projectiles get wasted without going into full melee range.

Other than that, the build makes for a reliable (almost always deathless) SR75-80 clearer that dispatches bosses with extreme prejudice (except for Kuba and Moosi, as usual for Cold builds). It’s also a beautiful visual show, though the clarity leaves a bit to be desired. Between Whirlpool and Elemental Storm you won’t be seeing much of the human sized enemies. It’s also a bit tough to see effects in the middle of all that, even your own. It used to be the case that this build would be an absolute icy spectacle and in the middle of it would be your Thermite Mines blasting fire to the sky. They stood out like a sore thumb, true, but they were easily identifiable. At some point after I last tested this build (I think I last played it in 9.6) Crate changed it so that if you have the Harra amulet on, the Thermite Mines are all blue and icy. Looks really cool, literally. But in the middle of all the blue/purple effects from devos, it becomes rather difficult to tell if your mines are still up now. A minor complaint though, as this is a temporary issue. Unless you intend to stick with 9.8 forever, you can just enable enemy debuff indicators when 1.2 releases and see your Mine effect just fine :slight_smile:

Here are the traditional SR75-76 and SR80 parts of one of my runs. This was one of the few runs where my damage was neither heavily nerfed (increased enemy res + reduced cast speed were a common sight) nor heavily buffed, so this is about the average you should expect. Completion times will depend heavily on shards, as always, but in this build’s case that is particularly pronounced because of how disgusting the single target is versus how the AoE feels more average.

With this, I have officially covered every single build I’ve ever made and played across my (currently) 6003.9 hours with GD. Thank you for reading my Overviews, whatever form and scope that reading took. This is it from me, at least for now. I had planned to start creating new builds again after I’m done with this project (which took 6 months to complete, pretty much to the day). I even already theorycrafted a second build for every class and planned to start levelling them after this. But that was before FoA was announced. I don’t really see a point in making new builds now and covering some of the skills I haven’t explored yet when there’s going to be a massive flood of new items, overhauling of Epic sets, and a whole new mastery to synergise with in about a year. With that, I’m going to take a break until FoA. I’ll probably check out 1.2 just to get acquainted with the new mechanics, and I’ll definitely be looking into what changes my existing builds will need in the new environment and with the patched gear, but I will not be making any new Overviews for the foreseeable future. I’ll also likely not be doing any major testing for my existing builds until FoA, as the upgrading of Epic sets in particular will probably unlock a lot of gearing avenues for some of the more memey builds I made in the past. So I’ll leave extensive testing until then.


Hmmmmn, levelling this would have been “fun” - Anyhow, for levelling it I’d go with softcapped Stunjacks with cooldown as the starting skill then use Trozan’s Skyshard as the main nuke until level 94, since changing it to cold is very easy with an MI mace the ghosts drop. This allows you to stay cold focused and there’s even some gear with lightning to cold conversion too to help shift stunjacks towards cold.

Obviously you’re going to aim to max out the Acarnist mastery to get Star Pact, but since we can now take points out of the mastery bar, that’s fine to do (I’m so ancient lawl) and advisable since where’s going for skills with cooldowns. But you also need to get Thermite Mines asap, since they + Crown in the devotions are your go to resistance reduction sources for the moment.

Of course, you could just go quickjacks, but it’s painful to support that energy drain early on and since this is aiming to be a cold build, better off just going for cold focused damage skills for the moment. While a combo of Trozans and Stunjacks gives you some evil kitting opportunities and normal Stunjacks is great for crowd control too, since it stunlocks nearly everything in Vet and Ultimate bar bosses. And getting lightning to cold conversion while levelling is difficult too.

And if you’re looking at those two MI’s in the final build and going “oh fuckballs that’s a lot of farming” - all you need is cold + casting speed, anything else is nice to have, but the build will still melt without them, just a bit less fast.

I just levelled it as normal Lightning Quick Jacks, doesn’t matter that the skill’s element doesn’t align with the Cold devo path, enemies are easy to kill all through Veteran and then you can jump to Ultimate and still be fine with the various RRs as long as your gear supports Lightning, which most Stun Jacks gear does (you’ll have Overseer Eyes as early as Burrwitch and you can get the lifesteal weapon by heading straight into FG after Krieg).

Also, while I appreciate the enthusiasm, please don’t add your levelling guides onto other people’s guides. If people need help figuring out how to level a build, they can ask the OP.

Imo spam CT would be best to level this. With some Elemental 2hander, Mark of Nacrathan and CT faction rings. Has AoE in contrast to Stun Jacks and can be spammed in contrast to Trozan.

CT is basically another Primal Strike these days.

@lMarcusl sorry for continuing this ; )

No probs :slight_smile: Once it’s here, might as well discuss it.

I was beginning to get worried some days ago when i saw 4000 hours spent on this game on my steam, but now i am relieved :joy::joy: nice job btw excellent build

The golden rule of gaming: there’s always a bigger madman.

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