Need help: I survive ultimate just fine, but lack DPS

I’ve reached ultimate for the first time, and in contrast to the horror stories I’ve heard I actually have no issues surviving. As in: I can facetank pretty much anything, don’t need potions, and don’t need to get out of ground effects. The key to my survival is an insanely high HP regen (1000-2000hp/sec) and almost all resistances maxed out.

The problem is: I lack in damage. My sheet DPS with Blade Arc is 8420, mostly chaos, some vitality and acid. Acid Spray, Eldritch fire, and a component give me a total of -49 enemy chaos resistance (of which -32 is any res, more for elemental).

This is my build (with extra skill points): See picture for stats (also have 12% damage absorption, 16% physical res, 80% stun res, and when Overguard is on: 54% block chance for 2000dam with 0.20sec cd).

I’m lvl74 but did not find a single weapon upgrade since buying the Legion Voidcutter from the Legion store at lvl50. Seriously: 24 levels without an upgrade (and I pick up and check out everything I find).

Other than finally finding a weapon upgrade, could anyone suggest a way for me to increase DPS?
As I said, I have no trouble surviving and I’m still progressing through Ultimate (just reached Twin Falls), but it can be painfully slow (godmode can be boring :P).

Mark of Dreeg on the shield? You know it’ll only apply the resist debuff with Shield Attacks, right? Like Blitz, Shield Slam, Forcewave, etc.

Try that.

Oh did not know that. However, the -res has a 5sec duration so I can keep it up permanently on single targets.

I just tried it out and Squad Tactics gives a surprisingly good boost to damage! I thought it would be underwhelming giving how badly +dam% stack, but I guess the attack speed really helps. Dropping points in Blood of Dreeg is bad though, as the flat +acid damage and OA gives a solid DPS boost.
I wish I could drop the Hellhound, but his Hellfire aura gives +1400 DPS… I need some more points in him to keep him alive more consistently though.

I’ll try and figure out how I can fit Squad Tactics in, thanks for the advise!

EDIT: Completely dropping Hellhound/Hellfire to max out Squad Tactics actually lowers my damage. Sigh. I’ll see which defensive skills I can lower in favor of ST.

Alright, this might sound crazy: but 1 point Bloody Pox (which I use to proc Eldritch Fire) with the transmuter gives an insane DPS boost. Against heroes I go from ~86% hit rate to 100% with 20% crit chane. Sure, they hit me more as well, Juggernaut takes care of any crits I get and gives another insane HP regen boost.
The poor Hellhound gets instantly killed though. I wonder how many points he needs to stay alive.

Hmm, you can try and get some gear with + summon hellhound, or + all skills occult, and change into that gear before summoning him. That will give him stats appropriate to his buffed level until he dies. There is epic boots (silth scale or something) with +2 summon hellhound for sure, “occultist” prefix may give it too, and some epics and legs give +1 all occult.

Are you focusing on bleed damage at all or is it just ancillary to the aoe for blade arc? If you are, Curse of Frailty would be a good idea.

Kind of tough to tell what you are trying to do. I mean, Solael’s is a nice boost, and you have nice +%chaos but the base damage on it, being an aura, is not huge to begin with. Have you tried converting physical to chaos with consecrated blade? With all that +chaos you have going, I’d think that might help. If that works, you could get more with riftstones/symbols of solael.

My weapon only has chaos damage, so the conversion doesn’t really do anything. CoF also doesn’t really help either, as only 1/3 of my damage will get boosted. Blade Arc is mainly for the AoE, and because of the 135%WD I deal even more chaos damage.

I think you greatly underestimate the power of Soleal. Of the 8000 damage I deal, 3000 is due to Solael. It being an aura doesn’t matter for the damage; why would it? Aura’s still get boosted by +% damage, even Hellhound’s Hellfire aura gets boosted (which is why it gives a big damage boost, if you can keep the hound alive).

Get rid of Hellhound and put 1 point in Sigil of Consumption and 12 points in Destruction. It wont raise your sheet DPS but it will raise your clear time. Also switch your Components on your weapon and shield. This way Blade Arc will get credit for the Mark of Dreeg.

Other then that you need to get better gear. If you can farm BoC in elite at a decent speed farm their and hope you get lucky and drop a pair of Voidsteel Gauntlets (the proc is very good for your build)

Using a weapon that deals chaos damage makes the whole thing moot, so never mind. I was thinking that the aura might be your primary source of chaos damage (and that it might be on the smallish side for that purpose), but it isn’t.

I’ll try that.

So far I see these options, sort of ranked on how likely I think it’ll significantly help my clear speed:

  1. Blood Pox w/ Fevered Rage for an amazing DPS boost; only time will tell if I’m indeed tanky enough to survive against +50% OA (so far I am). Maxing Wasting -180 OA (seems low for ultimate), Field Command +90 OA/DA +25% armor (armor is nice, DA low), or War Cry -25% damage (good and reliable %) seems mandatory. If War Cry works on bosses that seems to be the best option. Does it?
  2. Sigil of Destruction: as it doesn’t benefit from flat +damage it’s really inconsistent with the rest of the build, but it might work. Surely the safest option, due to the life steal. A big problem is that with Blade Arc and Blitz, monsters are flying all over the place. Other than knockback-immune monsters, nothing actually stays on the Sigil. I would need to replace Blade Arc for Markovian Advantage (nice -DA) or Cadence, but a non-maxed Cadence isn’t really worth it imho.
  3. Hellhound w/ Hellfire: biggest sheet DPS increase, by far. Have to spend quite some points into the hound itself to keep it alive though.
  4. Squad Tactics: mainly for the attack speed. Not that good though. Upside is that I can get Blindside and Laceration, as 1-pointers or to actually invest in them. So many points wasted on mastery…
  5. Doom Bolt, maybe. I have a belt with +4 to it, at lvl16 it deals about 10k damage. Main purpose would be to reduce hero/boss killing time. Not sure if effective as Sigil seems to have a higher DPS, given that HP reduction doesn’t work against heroes/bosses.

I seriously wish I could re-invest the 10 skill points I put in Soldier. Field Command doesn’t seem worth it and I have plenty of other skills to invest in. Is it easy to hack a character’s mastery points with an editor?

blad arc work with laceration

You are using both Acid Spray and a Mark of Dreeg - these two don’t stack with each other so you can drop the Mark of Dreeg for a more useful component (I’d recommend a Riftstone if that weapon has base physical damage - of if you just want the skill) or you could use the below weapon w/ a mark of dreeg in it and dump acid spray… if you are looking for some easy tankyness to fuel using a transmuted bloody pox.

For weapon upgrades check if you have Blueprint: Master’s Spellblade that could be a good upgrade - or you could also run Darkvale Gate a few times and check the various bloodsworn wands for ‘of the void/abyss’ and perhaps get lucky and get a 150%+ chaos wand. A note on the Spellblade - it won’t stack with Acid Spray, but it would stack with a Mark of Dreeg (attached to the spellblade itself, not the shield)

As for field command - if you are benefiting from the attack speed it will most definitely be worth it by lvl 85 so don’t worry about it (and you’d be hard pressed to find enough attack speed so that you don’t benefit from it)

If you are still looking to take some points out you may want to re-think fully maxing out Overguard (seriously like 8-10 points after +skills should be plenty)

Oooh and on the weapon upgrade front (and resistance reduction in particular) if you can get a Master’s Spellblade of the Abyss (given the preference for caster weapons to roll w/ their native damage type - not as daunting a task as it might seem) and attach a Mark of Dreeg + Essence of Ch’thon to it you could really wreck things. That’d give you near 40 flat reduction and up to 60% on top of that! Likely while having a bigger chaos modifier than your current weapon - and freeing up a devotion constellation.

Wait what, I thought -(%)res fully stacked now? I have -20%chaos from Eldritch, -30% all from Symbol of Solael, and flat -allres from Acid Spray and Mark of Dreeg. Are you saying that flat -res doesn’t stack, but percentage -res does? But if you stack multiple flat -res on a single item, they do stack?
Do multiple flat -DA stack?

If that’s true than I’ll certainly drop Acid Spray. Maybe I’ll pick up Gaurdian’s Gaze again, with Blood Pox you get an insane number of eyes. Or maybe Wendigo’s Mark; never tried it.

I’m still skeptical about Field Command and Squad Tactics. I would have to invest 12 more points just to get Squad Tactics. I won’t even be able to max it out unless I drop points from other skills. I tried it (on a copied char, so I could revert) and it didn’t improve my DPS that much for 24 skill points, about 600 or so, iirc.

Good tips, thanks. I’ll almost nearing Homestead so I can go farm Blood Grove afterwards and hopefully finally get a good weapon upgrade. Essence of Ch’thon is certainly on my wishlist, but the Legion’s reputation is so darn hard to increase (mind you, this is my first ultimate character, don’t have the +100% rep increase). I intended to first do all legion’s missions in ultimate and then see how much more rep I need.

I found that any weapon that doesn’t deal 100% chaos is not worth it. Even massive two-handed weapons with 15-30% chaos conversion deal hundreds less damage than my lvl50 chaos-only weapon. It also rocks +120% chaos damage (iirc), that helps.

Eldritch fire is a debuff - so stacks with everything except Eldritch fire. Solael is % based so stacks with everything except other % based (of the Abyss and Essence of Ct’thon are % based btw) and then most weapon based pre/suffix are flat such as plaguebearers, master’s spellblade, mark of dreeg, and yes acid spray. So you can stack as many debuffs as you like, one source of % based (and if it is a weapon damage source you can stack as many pieces of gear in as you like iirc) and one source of flat - which can also be stacked into a single attack. When using a shield and another source of resistance reduction main hand (or in a non-debuff attack like acid spray) the two won’t stack.

See here for more info

Thanks for the info! I wasn’t happy with Acid Spray anyway, so now I’ve another reason to start the Devotion puzzle again. Heck, I might even try Abomination for the absurd amount of chaos damage it gives. I would then lack Tree of Life and Tortoise, but with still having Giant’s Blood and getting more defensive skill points it might give me equal survivibility with (much) higher damage. Worth a try.

EDIT: Oh wow, if GrimCalc is up-to-date, and my estimation correct, than a maxed out Abonimation proc (the Abominable Might one) should give me at least +4000 DPS (on top of the ~8k I have now), probably more. Will try this once I’m home! Stacking so many flat damage sources is insanely powerful. On max it also has 50% physical->chaos conversion, which I can easily raise to 80%, meaning I could use any weapon as well as maybe switching to Cadence for the flat physical damage it gives (which - atm - is useless to me).

No. It’s not worth it. The suggestion of using pox to trigger fiend proc is very good. Also, use Shard of beronath on your main attack (cadence is horrible) and put Eye of the guardian on it. These two procs alone should massively increase your dps. Drop blade arc, obviously, and grab Markovian’s advantage and a few points into Zolhan’s.

Second, drop your dagger for an actual weapon. Craft a decent Devil’s cudgel until you can get something better (recipe is in the Devil’s crossing shop). You should be able to stack enough physical->chaos between your skills, weapon mods and components to get a net benefit in dmg over a dagger.

Thanks for the advise! However, Devil’s cudgel is vastly outperformed by Legion Voidcutter, even with 50% chaos conversion it deals 1000 less DPS. I’m not sure if/where the breakpoint would be, probably around 90%+.

I don’t have Shard of Beronath (as I said, first ultimate character, completely self-found, so really lacking in item options), but I’ll try it if/once I get it. I would love dropping Blade Arc if I get an item skill which can replace it.

Level 1 abominable might already gives +1100 sheet DPS, based on the 46-365 flat damage it gives. On level 2 that’s already 81-472 damage. Assuming linear increase (and ignoring the additional +%chaos damage!) this means that on level 10 the damage raw boost will be 361-1328. In terms of actual DPS that’ll be pretty crazy. I’ll try it out and let you know once it reaches higher levels.

EDIT: It’s good damage, even at lvl1, but having it only 8 out of 18 seconds kinda sucks. Especially since the duration doesn’t seem to increase, in contrast to what GrimCalc says.