Help needed for HC dual-melee Ultimate build

DISCLAIMER: I have NOT currently tackled either Elite or Ultimate but wish to create a build I can take there as I dislike respecing or restarting. I am a one-build per game kinda guy (yeah, I know, what am I doing here?)

tl;dr - Please suggest me a dual-melee HC character I can finish Ultimate with. I favor playing with one blink skill, one AoE for crowd control plus, if possible, a perma-pet. Would also love to use life-leech :slight_smile:

Please suggest skill allocation, Devotion points (I have 15 right now but I plan to farm the Crucible for as much as I can since the cost scales based on how many you have already so assume as many as 30-35) and/or equipment that would help (ideally together with where/how to farm it!).

The long version:

I have tried it all sorts of ways but I still come up (way) short.
I currently I have an (almost) level 50 BLANK HC character that I’ve played with since around B15 or so but it has now been nearly impossible to equip or level him up any further.

As you can probably tell, I like playing the typical Nightblade;
Two melee weapons, an AoE attack for crowd control plus a blink skill. Ideally I’d also love a loyal friend!

The problems I face are that every time I tried to make a Spellbreaker (best synergetic class for Nightblade’s multiple cold enhancements) it turned out TOO DARN SQUISHY and with damage output problems in prolonged fights.

[ul]Shadow Strike

  • Takes too long to cooldown, in which time I am utterly vulnerable (same for Pneumatic Burst)
  • As it also is my highest damage ability, if it fails to kill the intended target in one strike, I end up in a prolonged fight, probably in the middle of a mob
  • Reflectives! I cannot count how many times I blinked at an enemy and ended up dead instead! (ties in with squishy)
  • Optionally, I’d love to make it as instant as possible to get in and out of trouble and even, ultimately, replace the auto-attack button with it!
    [li]Olexa’s Flash Freeze is way awesome but too expensive to fully upgrade and forces me to skimp on other necessities[/li]
    [li]Nullification and/or Mirror of Ereocles helped with defense a bit but only if I could anticipate the damage before taking it because after would be too late.[/ul][/li]

Ideally, I am looking for a way to (finally) implement enough life/energy leech (in Torchlight it was my bread and butter!) with fast enough auto-attack to counteract the damage I’d take while actually being able to take a little more beating without dying all the time.
Every attempt at either has ended a horrible failure.

Also tried at various ways to save on skill points by finding those sweet-spots at my favorite skills, with no appreciable results.

Finally, I tried using a pet but I just can’t work with Shaman and Occultist has poor synergy with what I’m playing. Would love it if there was an item close to my level (I know about Nemesis) that I could use!

Thanks and sorry for the long post!

Wow, not one taker.

I wonder, is it that what I am asking is too difficult, too broad, maybe too limiting?
How about we break it down?

  • Is it possible to create a built whose life-leeching abilities make it able to forgo potions?

  • How about Blink abilities like Shadow Strike?
    What can be done to make them re-activate almost instantaneously, I mean activate every 250-500 ms instead of 3.0-3.5 sec.

Is it casting speed that needs to be increased, is it cool-down time, is it both?

Any items irrespective of rarity and/or level that are of particular help on that?

And what about Total Speed, does it help with either?

For attack builds, it’s kinda easy to get enough ADCTH and forgo potions. However, some bosses are immune to ADCTH, and if that’s your only sustain/defence, you will be screwed.

You can stack items, that reduce cooldowns, but it’s pretty impossible to nullyfy cooldown, cause bonuses are pretty weak (especially after change for Shadow Strike). You can also use Belgothian Carnage relic, that has a proc to reduc cooldowns. But that proc has CD itself.
Overall - skills with cooldown cant be spammed, and arent meant to.

Casting speed affects spell-like abilities, and attack-like ones use attack speed. It doesnt affect cooldowns.

Total speed just increases move, cast and attack speed on same amounts.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer me!

After that post I said F-it and used a tool to artificially level a copy of the character to 85 and give him what I believed to be appropriate equipment.

The intention is to have a clear plan well ahead of time to level up & upgrade as I go.

So I got him JUUST enough to satisfy my lowest-spectrum of what I wanted.
Here’s the BASE Grim Calc:

I loaded him with the Deathmarked set (sans Cleaver, not very good)
Empowered Essence of Beronath
Deathchill Grasp
Spellbreaker Waistguard
Nidalla’s Legwraps
Footpads of the Grey Magi
plus two custom-made rings (Glacial xyz of the Eagle + Menacing xyz of the Eagle) to help with Phy/Cun/Spi requirements, a custom-made Magi’s Loxmere’s Frostblade of Fury and a generic medal (will see what to replace it with).

I’m still debating between the Belgothian Carnage and Nemesis relics, depending on whether I’ll like using SS more often versus a perma-pet.

The Grim Calc AFTER equipment is this:

And I still have 60 Skill Points and 52 Attribute Points to allocate (although according to Grim Calc I SHOULD have 65 and 56 respectively, do not know why).

Any suggestions on where to put the remaining points or improvements?
What about Components (I intentionally made the build without depending on them for maximum freedom).
Which constellations should I go after?

And how can I appreciably increase the ADCTH number?