Cold Build

Been looking for a cold Arcanist builds, and couldn’t find any, is there any that use Shard of Asterkarn?

I’ve got a cold druid that is currently wrecking late elite HC. Maxed OFF and close to maxed shards. Wind devils for -res. A few in storm totem for cold immunes and supplemental damage. Will max star pact soon.

I’ve heard the damage is not stellar in Ultimate but I’m not sure the people saying it have tried it recently. Potentially going heavier lightning can offer higher damage but the crowd control from the 2 cold skills is great for HC.

Scale both cold and frostburn and a decent amount of lightning.

I’ll put a guide up once Ive tackled ultimate. Although look out for the new Starcaller (spellbreaker) guide - it has some similarities and is fairly cold focused - seems like a good bet.

Overall id say the druid though is more tanky even though its a standoff range character so great for HC, clears trash and crowds fast and safely, and probably a touch slower on some bosses and elites than say an AAR character can be. Can’t have everything though right!

I recently tried it in hardcore ultimate minus the shaman parts and ended up becoming a DW Cold melee spellbreaker instead because the damage is lackluster comparatively.

I was using maxed OFF, Shards+Shattered core, devastation, star pact, IF. It’s still pretty good, I got through act 1 fine with just the Arcanist tree but just not that good in comparison.

I am still determined dammit! Haha.

Just curious spfun (and probably relevant to the thread):

1)did you have pretty much all cold/frostburn/light scaling or were you spreading amongst other damage types for the devestation and anything else?
2)Did you have all 3 TSS maxed and both OFF?
3)did you have any sources of -res prior to doing your respec?

I know ultimate is a different story to elite but my clear speed if anything has gotten better into late elite…no signs of slowing. Will have to see how quickly (or not) log can be dealt with.

If you have enough crit chance log will take a lot of damage since he is so big. Literally every devastation meteor and TSS will hit him.

That’s a good point and something I forgot to mention - a good bit of OA from the tree and gear also helps a great deal for a cold build for this reason. Larger tankier bosses are its weak point so more crits dont go astray. And due to the natural CC it provides you can certainly care a bit less about DA.

  1. If the gear had it, mostly cold or elemental, Devastation was still useful though as it uses fire and some good gear has elemental, it has good base damage. Lightning gets quite a boost from all the cold/lightning designed gear which really suits the Druid caster.

  2. I had 1 point into frozen core, 1 point into absolute zero - Frozen core doesn’t do enough to justify spending more than 1 point, even in TSS builds. TSS needs to be overleveled to close or maxed out at 26/16 to be good in Ultimate. I think I was around 22/16 in my gear on my pre 1.0 accounts L75 Arcanist.

  3. I had some, before speccing i had elemental storm on TSS and Viper. After speccing into Nightblade I used Malediction relic, crescent moon axe, Nights chill at 16/10 and Viper.

Yeah + skills is important, On my L75 Arcanist I had found some good gear from other characters which really boosted the character. Clear speeds while leveling were the fastest I’ve leveled so far. OFF is a really good skill. :slight_smile: - Problem i see is even with +skills most of these skills need to be overleveled. I guess you could remove devastation which would open it all up. I think i would rather Storm totem over WD, and just use devotion -resists instead which puts me back to the problem with Druid caster is it really needs more skill points to play with for me to get everything.

Thanks for the response.

I wanted to go all out on cold and frostburn to see for myself. I have some %frostburn on my gear as well as increased duration and it does respectable damage with points put into frozen core and absolute zero. Yellow enemies at 1/2 health from the initial cold blast usually drop from the extended frostburn for example.

I’m going to single point dev and fully max out all the OFF and TSS line and see if the added frostburn scales ok into ultimate. critting DOT for the win!

EDIT: yep dru is definitely point hungry. my dev and storm totem will have a handful each at most compared to your spread there.

shakes be aware that dots in ultimate generally need multiple stacking sources to be viable. Not saying that it can’t be done, there are definitely viable bleed and poison dot builds floating around. But using OFF and TSS as your only sources I think will be lacking. If you can make it work that is awesome though and you should definitely post a frostburn dot build, it will be the first of its kind! Just don’t go into SoT lol :slight_smile:

Yea that’d definitely be a sore point hahah. I mean at this stage the frostburn is just extra damage on top of the cold - but I think if you invest a bit on your gear and in the skills it can put out worthwhile extra damage. If we did skillpoint to damage calculations there’d probably be more efficient things to spend points on but I definitely wanted to make an all out cold caster so I’m going to take it as far as I can and put out some suggestions to the team if it just doesn’t work. Honestly though from a balance perspective, the natural CC provided by cold means it should be marginally worse damage wise than the other elements. But not so much that it can’t be built around.

Extra ele DOT damage in the devotion tree would be very nice to take builds like this further.

I guess the real shame is DOTs should really shine on helping take bosses down quicker (and be a little slower clearspeed wise to make up for it) but unfreezability means they don’t take the damage they should.

EDIT: my planned build for the curious. not entirely sure raging tempest deserves full points but ill do some testing. it does help slow unfreezable bosses though from what im guessing. could swap those over to elemental balance for extra frostburn damage - does anyone know if that affects all frostburn or only that applied by melee?

Personally I use these weapons on a cold melee spellbreaker.

I waste the +skill to TSS and its modifier, but the freeze retaliation and -%freeze resistance is just great. Combined with Frostdread cuirass and Chilldread Mantle the probability to freeze a foe is very high.

The freeze resistance reduction also allows you to freeze Fabius with ring of frost :smiley: