WARNING: Wall of text and it is long
I am a HC player, and have unfortunately fallen in love with Cold Spellbreakers. The fact you are riding the edge of massive damage, but if someone looks at you wrong, death is fun. I have roughly 550 hours in game, probably more like 375, because the game will be up in the background while I work from home (will do the occasional quest while on the phone or brainstorming for work).
My highest level character made it to level 71, before he was hosed by a hero aetherial in the same chamber as Lucius. Unfortunately, said hero had reflection, and while I killed him, I was at half health due to reflection (I missed that he had it up when I went in for the coup d’grace). I awoke Lucius by trying to leave the Aetherial fire left by the hero, he stunned me, and charged, and I was dead before I could do anything.
My next guy made it to level 69, I was breezing through everything, decided to do the Steps of Torment. I had one close call (2500 health left) due to getting cornered, but other than that had no issues. I got to Alkamos, and holy cow, he kept Shadow Striking to me. I tried to kite, but he had a stun (which was only momentary) but he would immediately Shadow Strike and I really couldn’t do anything. It was the first fight I really thought was unfair. I was probably at 3000 health, got Shadow Struck (got me to about 1500), stunned, and then dead.
The level 67 one before that died due to getting stuck in Aetherflame on the way to do the Novera Starfire quest for the Order. A bunch of guys were in the cabin and I couldn’t get out of the Aetherfire (this was primarily on me not paying enough attention to my health).
My play style with a Spellbreaker is to get in with Shadow Strike, use ABB to proc Lethal Assault, use Ring of Steel for the AoE, get out and do it again. I max Night’s Chill and Nightfall. The dual blades line gets enough points to get the proc chances for Belgothian’s Shears, Quick Cut, Whirling Death, and Execution to 20%.
From the Arcanist line, I max Star Pact, I take a point of IEE, a point of Mirror, a point of Nullification, a point of Arcane Will, and that is it. These are used to amplify damage, or to negate it in the case of hard fights/reflected damage.
Some things I have tried, a point of Blade Trap for CC. This has worked well, except for the bosses, which is fine. I have tried OFF, but I feel as though the investment does not lead to an adequate benefit. However, it has been a while since I have tried it. I have tried TSS, but it seems a bit too random for trying to hit a boss. PRM and PB are neat in theory, but they do not mesh with the Cold/X damage model a Spellbreaker works best with.
With regards to devotions, I normally go with:
Chariot of the Dead
(Green is an issue because nothing really meshes, I have tried Raven, Fox, Scholar’s Light, and Quill)
Also, since I am playing hardcore, I max my resists as much as possible. Also, I tend to let chaos and aether resist lag, as it is easier to gear specifically for one or the other. Plus, Herald and Praetorian sets are great to cover these if I can get them. My OA and DA are typically in the 1650-1725 range at this point end of Act 3.
So all this being said, is there anything I am missing here? Also, I do not want to post a character because this is more than fixing one character. Most of the ideas I can come up with are problematic, getting tankier with a Spellbreaker is easier said than done. I am willing to dump some constellations (I’m thinking Amatok) to take others that will make me tankier, but none standout to me (maybe Rhowan’s Throne), but this does not solve the issue of how I have died lately, stun, and then apparently getting critted to death.
Also, one of the issues I have had, most of my legendaries have not been conducive to Nightblades. I think I have gotten two, maybe three legendaries for Nightblades, and two of those were really gears for Witch Hunters.
So my questions are:
What are some alternatives to the constellations I have used for the Spellbreaker?
What can be done to mitigate or reduce the impacts of getting stunned?
Should I focus on getting more lifesteal? I normally have 10-15% on my character, but it depends upon drops. Are there constellations that help with this?
Is there another class that has a similar play style, but is tankier?
What is the best relic for a late game Elite Spellbreaker? I tried Nemesis this last game, and it did not seem to be as good as the Deathchill I had been using through early elite/late normal.