Mythical Basilisk Claw theorycrafting discussion

Before you read the rest of the post, let me explain the goal here. While the theorycrafted build sketch I’ll present below is certainly something I’d like input on, the purpose of this post is NOT to present a build. Instead, the main goal here is to try to understand what on earth to do with the Mythical Basilisk Claw, specifically can it be made to perform in a way that is unique, ideally more than meme-level successful, and not outclassed on an otherwise identical build by a more optimal choice of weapon. So feel free to comment not only on the build sketch, but also the Mythical Basilisk Claw in general and maybe suggest totally different build ideas of your own.

Without further ado, here’s my theorycraft attempt to get the discussion started.

Theorycraft in progress:
So I’m really intrigued by the odd collection of skill modifiers on the Mythical Basilisk Claw, and I thought I’d take a crack at building around the Nightblade bonuses it offers, specifically the flat CDR and poison retaliation bonuses to Blade Barrier. Essentially I started with kind of a mash-up of ideas from these three builds

and after some deliberation, I ended up with this:


Like the first build above, the concept here is to use Blade Barrier to bump up your Throw Feces damage, but here, we go all-in on Blade Barrier CDR with Time Dilation, Belgothian’s Carnage relic, and 7 full seconds off of Blade Barrier cooldown from double Basilisk Claws and Blade Barrier Night Whispers conduit. As the byproduct of our choices, we also get a not-totally-horrible percent acid and poison stat for the non-retal portion of acid/poison damage we happen to inflict.

Obviously, it needs some work (maybe revert some of the the cunning dump to patch up low DA?, etc.), but for the sake of discussion, I’ll go ahead and point out a few things in my thought process.

  1. 2-piece Sentinel of the Three set really seems like the obvious choice for a weapon that leans toward acid+acid retal, so why two basilisk claws? Why not Defender of the Three in the shield slot for more set bonuses and the natural synergy between retal and shields? This is an interesting question, especially considering that the CDR from Defender of the Three softens the blow of the loss of the CDR bonus from a second Basilisk Claw. However, if you take the shield, you have to ask yourself why you’re taking the Basilisk Claw at all instead of the full Sentinel of the Three set. So to avoid this uncomfortable question and commit to Basilisk Claw as a unique and interesting item, I’ve taken two of them and gone for some dual wield bonuses and Belgothian’s Carnage relic. This also means that I’ve chosen to avoid some standard shield-focused retal devotions.

  2. Why Occultist as secondary mastery? Oathkeeper, for example, certainly has gear synergy already, and even Arcanist and Necromancer maybe deserve at least a passive consideration since I’m going all-in on Blade Barrier CDR with Carnage relic and Time Dilation anyway, but I went with Occultist for now since the defensive tools (Bloody Pox OA shred, free 100% poison resist, damage absorption, phys resist) should give me more flexibility elsewhere in the build. As a bonus, Curse of Frailty nets me both physical and elemental RR for the non-poison/acid retal damage I have.

  3. Why poison/acid rather than conversion to physical? Certainly the Sentinel of the Three Witchblade build above makes a compelling argument here for physical conversion, but the belt and helm chosen in my build (which would need to be swapped out to achieve conversion to physical) are already really interesting-- the 16% chance of 600% retaliation damage in the helm seems made for poison retal, and +1 all skills is really nice; as for the belt, the conversion of fire damage synergizes nicely with my devotions, and we also get some support for non-retal acid damage here.

  4. Passable non-retal acid damage is one of the primary things making this build unique in my eyes. Mythical Basilisk Claw supports this well, as do the acid+acid retal devotions I’ve chosen. If you’re going to commit to DW Basilisk Claw, then Carnage relic requires you to fish for crits when Blade Barrier isn’t up.

  5. Devotions: Time Dilation is absolutely mandatory for this concept. Affliction seems nice, but even here, I feel like I’m paying a kind of high price to obtain it. Depending on survivability outside of Blade Barrier, it might make sense to drop it for Ghoul and Eye of the Guardian for example. (The build has no ADCTH.) On the other hand, Phoenix, Tortoise and frequent Blood of Dreeg+Pneumatic Burst may help out enough. I don’t know. Kiting with Throw Feces is part of the gameplan, but you kind of want at least short bursts where you feel comfortable enough to fish for crits with your autoattacks so that the relic proc can activate. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but the crits need to happen on autoattacks, right?)

Like I said, this is not meant to be a build presentation (nor can it be, since recently I’ve lacked the time to give this a proper test run). I also don’t claim that I’ve presented a good build here. (I’m no build expert, especially when it comes to retal.) Instead, I want to get some discussion going on the Mythical Basilisk Claw. How do we build around it? Can we build around it? Are there some ideas above that work for this weapon? Are there parts of the weapon itself that really work well? Are there parts of the weapon that don’t make sense at all?

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Cutting to the chase- does this build basically have 100% uptime for Blade Barrier?

Not exactly, but it should be pretty close to the highest uptime you can achieve (at least without stacking percent CDR on your gear at the cost of a number of other things). 22/12 blade barrier, double Basilisk Claws and Blade Barrier conduit means that the base cooldown of Blade Barrier is only 7 seconds. No gear has any global percent CDR, so 7 seconds is what we’re stuck with. In a perfectly lined up skill rotation, you can cut that down to basically 0 by taking -6 seconds from Time Dilation and -1 second from Belgothian’s Carnage, but remember that in order for Carnage to proc, you need to crit with autoattack, which you can’t do when Blade Barrier is up. Then you have to take into account that Time Dilation has its own 16 second cooldown and Carnage has 4.5 seconds of cooldown (and needs a crit to trigger so it’s technically not 100% reliable because you could get caught waiting for that crit to come) whereas Blade Barrier only has a 3 second duration. There’s probably an optimal way to operate the rotation of skills to minimize Blade Barrier downtime (and actually maybe Carnage is not quite as helpful as it first appears, though with more than one devotion to benefit from the proc, it’s still probably pretty good), but the bottom line is that the rotation of skills is never going to line up consistently enough to offer near 100% uptime. it should be pretty good, though.

The hope here is that the uptime is good enough that phoenix+tortoise are frequently available, ideally letting you facetank autoattack during Blade Barrier cooldown, at least until you proc Carnage, after which you start throwing feces and can even kite a little if you need to, until you feel the need to Blade Barrier again. If for whatever reason, your defenses during cooldown are generally not good enough, then you may have to make a change like Ghoul+Guardian’s Eye over Affliction to further bridge the gap during cooldown. Here’s an example of Ghoul+Guardian’s Eye devotion map: To make this particular map work, I’ve had to lose Jackal as well, which I neglected to mention in my first post.

(Lots of words to say the whole thing needs the testing I haven’t yet had the time to do.)

What do you think about following?

  • Change helm to and get one point in sigil of consumption
  • Drop bloody pox in favor for DEE - Terrifying gaze
  • Get Merciless repertoire up to max for more +% retal dmg

Now you will have more attacks that deals retaliation damage.

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Do you know how DOT retal works(?), because I’m not really familiar with the mechanics here, and it seems really important in the context of your proposed changes. In particular, is each of these new retal attacks a separate source of poison retal DOT, or does %retal added to attack work like %weapon damage when it comes to DOTs so that it all counts as a single source? If it’s the latter, then even though Sigil has ADCTH, the 16% chance of 600% (max roll 720%) retal damage on the original helm might be too much to give up as a massive multiplier to your poison retal DOT. Helm change also loses you a lot of skill points, but it is interesting with Oathkeeper instead of Occultist.

As for the Pox-DEE swap, I think this is really interesting, especially with transmuter and the focus on flat CDR the build already has. There might even be a Mythical Bramblevine angle to explore here for more shield-focused retal play with our flat CDR sources (well, really just Time Dilation if you take the shield) working to offset the extra DEE recharge… *my obsession with Time Dilation deepens*

I agree that it’s nice to have Merciless Repertoire higher, but I think it’s really mostly a place for a skill point dump after the essentials are taken care of, since the per-point returns aren’t all that great (especially initially) and I’ve already made a similar skill point dump into Aspect of the Guardian after 12/12 with the added bonus of physical resistance and similar %retal per point. Merciless Repertoire is definitely where the extra skill points go next, but I think extra investment here is mostly a matter of trimming the fat elsewhere (and indeed there may be some to trim). Also, just as a reference, %retal on Merciless Repertoire is 7% per point from 5-11 and then 8% from 12 until the max of 15 my gear allows, so there aren’t any notable breakpoints for retal here, at least not without a gear change.

Ah yeah right you are focusing on dot retal :slight_smile: my bad

I am not sure how retaliation added to attack works with dot retal. I tried to google a bit but I could not find anything on that matter.

I couldn’t find anything explicitly definitive either, though I did find this

which says that your innate retal DOT does not stack with retal DOT on skills with %retal damage added to them. No mention of whether retal DOTs on multiple skills stack with each other, but I strongly suspect retal is like weapon damage in that there is one unified DOT no matter how many skills it’s attached to. @Ceno, can you confirm or deny? (It was your answer in the thread.)

Edit: my wording here is confusing. See Ceno’s post below for a clear explanation of retal DOT.

That’s not how either of those things work…unless I’m misunderstanding you.

DoT’s from the same source do not stack with themselves - Weapon Damage is a source, and Retal Added to Attack is a source. However, Retal Added to Attack DoTs will stack with Weapon Damage DoTs and with any individual DoTs from any other sources.

Thanks! You confirmed what I suspected. I clearly phrased it badly in my earlier post, though. What I meant to communicate is that there is a parallel between retal and weapon damage:

Both %weapon damage and %retal damage can be added to or innately present in skills, but when it comes to DOTs, weapon damage and retal damage are each just single sources of DOT regardless of how many skills they appear on.

The confusing wording is probably “there is one unified source.” (I didn’t mean to imply that retal and weapon damage were the same source, but rather that even if you had a bunch of skills with %retal damage added, retal is still just once source of DOT.) Poor sentence structure on my part.

Update: still haven’t got around to proper testing of any of this, as I haven’t had a ton of time to play (and what time I have had has been devoted to a variety of Necromancer builds I’ve found to be of greater overall interest). That being said, I thought I’d share a theorycraft I’ve been fiddling with for a Basilisk Claw Dervish which brings together a number of strange ideas:

It’s a little hard to estimate how well it should do on paper given the mix of retal, acid, and even some cold damage on top of full fire-to-acid conversion and almost full vit-to-acid conversion. (You can have full vit-to-acid for your devotion damage if you swap in other shoulders to avoid vit-to-elemental from dawnshard pauldrons, but low-rolling vit-to-elemental conversion on the shoulders and high-rolling vit-to-acid elsewhere actually nets you up to about 85% vit conversion to acid, which is even a little better than it appears when you consider that the cold damage coming via vit-to-elemental isn’t totally wasted.)

It’s tempting to swap in, say, 2 piece sentinel of the three set (shield and shoulders plus absolution relic) and maybe even the chest as well, but as I encountered before, it’s kind of a slippery slope where you start making alterations and suddenly you’ve dropped Basilisk Claw to wear the full set. At least for this theorycraft, I went with Great Guardian chest which helps bump up OA so that we can more effectively use Carnage relic and Phoenix devotion procs (the latter of which has fun synergy with the belt and fire-to-acid conversion from Path of the Three. I also resisted even 2 piece sentinel of the three set and instead went with Mythical Scion of Bitter Winds rather thanf a shield for some odd synergy that allows us to pick up both RR (for acid AND cold) and a fair chunk of physical resistance.

Thoughts? Other ideas for Basilisk Claw weapon? (Sorry to necro the thread, but I had enough fun during my second round of pondering the weapon that I thought I’d share.)