Nightshade's Reach build?

So, I got a Nightshade’s Reach on my DW Pierce Blademaster and have been wondering; how viable is changing my build for it? I’m guessing since it has so much acid and poison I’d have to put a lot of points into Spirit, but I’m not worried about that, I’m worried about changing my entire build only to find out there’s no way to make a good build for it.

Its an acid/poision shadow strike item. It is not a good item for pierce blademaster, not to mention it is 2 handed. While the +2 to all nightblade skills is attractive, I am pretty sure it is a bad idea for your toon.

I can’t see much good coming from that item. Most nightblade/melee based poison characters seem to use the multiple DW procs to stack up different devotion poison procs - which this two hander can’t do. While it does offer a nice proc on its own it sorta leaves you relying on shadow strike and…auto attack? Either that or using non-poison/acid skills as filler, or using Dreeg spam to fill the gap (not bad per-say but I suspect a dreeg spammer would be better off with a foci/spellblade)

Although damn that is a nice proc…

The weapon seems to have a specific build in mind and the only class that I see having any real use of it would be the Witch Hunter. The obsession with the dual wield line seems to distract people from how big a point sink it can be. It’s effective to be sure, but not putting points into it opens some doors. Especially if brawling enemies isn’t something you intend to do.

Poison still seems to bear the stigma it had in Titan Quest (because it was shit in TQ by end game), but a Shadow Strike Spam build has a nice selection of damage types available to it and paired with Occultist’s awesome Curse of Frailty Debuff, can reduce innately enemy resistances to most damage types it would end up using and further debuff them using devotions and Night’s Chill.

For Nightshade’s Reach, the obvious intention seems to be Shadow Strike spam. Full upgrade Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends and Nightfall. Spec into Blood of Dreeg to grab Aspect of the Guardian and put some points into Curse of Frailty and Merciless Repitoire. The Manticore devotion is pretty strong.

To avoid the crippling of you build against poison heroes, you can expand into other damage types. Cold and Frostburn would be an obvious choice with Shadow Strike Spam to boost Nightfall’s aoe damage and you have a wait to reduce cold resistance as a Nightblade and the Serpent Devotion is really easy to spec into to further reduce enemy resistances.

A single point in Ring of Steel and Blade Spirit can be used to proc effects. Ring of Steel imo makes an interesting combo with Nightfall enhanced Shadow Strike, as Nightfall can spread something like Assassin’s Mark, which Ring of Steel can exploit as a high piercing damage ability.

I’d put Windigo’s Mark on Blade Spirit, Assassin’s Mark on Shadow Strike, and Eldrich Fire on Ring of Steel. Use Possessed and Aspect of the Guardian to boost your damage by a big chunk. Cast Curse on a group, throw down a Blade Spirit, jump in with Shadow Strike and immediately follow with Ring of Steel. Run out, wait for your cool downs and repeat until mobs/boss is dead.

LordOfHats - thank you for showing why this weapon is near impossible to build around. There aren’t any good posion skills that work well with two handed weapons and/or attack speed except shadow strike - so your options are A) split your damage types way outside of useful synergies or B) use skills that don’t work well with the weapon but do work well with the damage type (Dreegs) although then you’ll be missing damage and a boatload of cast speed that other similar builds would have. Either way I’m having trouble picturing it working better than choices available at the epic level.

And seriously, vitality, chaos, fire, pierce, cold, and poison all in one build? That’ll go over like a lead balloon in the higher difficulties.

Well if I were to seriously build it (and actually use Nightshade’s Reach) without my mind wandering to other tings, I’d probably focus exclusively on Piecing, Cold, and Acid/Poison. Something like this; theory crafting silly stuff. Not sure what to do with the last five devotion points. Scorpion on Ring of Steel, Manticore on Shadow Strike. Assassin’s Mark on Blade Spirit. Though still, pretty much all your skill points that boost Acid and Poison also boost Vitality and you’re debuffing vitality resistance anyway, but I’d have to actually drag the character up to Ultimate to test whether the base concept is viable, let alone adding another damage type. Alternatively, piercing could be dropped and vitality adopted instead.

Of course, I think the reality is that this playstyle would actually play out better on a Spell Breaker focusing on elemental and piercing damage than on a Witch Hunter focusing on Poison/Cold/Pierce.

If I get it to drop I’d probably go for something like this

I think the issue would be that once you have NJE fully upgraded you’ll be using Shadow Strike every 3 seconds (a little less). Specing Blade Arc, would seem counter productive to me, as you can easily make Shadow Strike you’re go to AOE and a heavy single target dot. Shadow Strike/Blade Arc strings also leave no opportunities to really use Zolhan’s. But that might just be me obsessing with the hit and run style I see the weapon as encouraging.

A Blademaster could stay in the fight harder than a Witch Hunter though, so if I were to try it, I’d try this; linky. A different sort of us. Shadow Strike as a means of killing specific mobs/procing manitcore and Blade Arc with Rend as a general damage dealer. Rather than running in and out of the fight, stay in it and use defensive procs to keep you alive. Blitz and Shadow Strike would allow you to zip around at your leisure from primary target to primary target, or out of the main group if you were getting hit too hard (also sounds fun :D) I think my issue with it though is that bringing poison into Soldier stretches your skill points thin.

Shadow Strike isn’t AOE unless you take Nightfall, and if i was taking nightfall then I wouldn’t use Nightshade’s Reach :slight_smile: Shadow Strike as I specced it would be single target damage and I would use Transmuted Blade Arc & ZT to spread poison in AOE with obvious poison Procs from gear and Devotions.

Would it really be for hit and run, given the petrify effect the weapon has?

I agree with sfbistimg though, transmuted Blade Arc + Shadow Strike for single target seems like a good way to go, as Nightfall doesn’t seem useful enough in this build to justify all the points in the mastery just to get to it.

…On the other hand, that Witch Hunter also seems okay, but I’m not sure it’d have enough AoE…

How would the Spellbreaker build work, though?

See, I say this because I have a DW Pierce Blademaster, a DW Cold Spellbreaker and a pet-based Occultist so I have plenty of room to try and get a single working build for the sword. Not even thinking about Ultimate yet, as my Blademaster just hit Blood Grove on Elite and the other two are getting to Homestead on Normal Veteran still.

I’ve got a character in the 40s (Vet) hoping to use one of these. Witch Hunter.

SS spam for bosses, Transmuted DEE for AoE. I’m also running Mark of Dreeg for the active, which works decently. The important thing about transmuted DEE is that it’s an all around stronger DoT option than DEE spam. +125% Total Damage makes it tick harder, and poisons from the same source don’t stack, so it’s a great filler when SS is on CD. The radius increase is pretty fabulous, though changing the spell to an arc takes some getting used to. If Vile Eruption gains the damage boost it might be worth it.

So far, with DEE + Blood Burst maxed, I’m still lacking for good options vs trash. Maxed SS + NHH rapes bosses, though. This build is going to rely heavily on stacking poisons, even in Elite. Nuking down trash is going to be implausible. On the plus side I have two sources of stacking -resistances available just from the masteries.

For Devotions I’ve gone Akeron’s Scorpion, Rat and Manticore for offensive options. After that it’s all defensive. It feels like they don’t proc terribly often; I’m guessing poison ticks don’t count for that. I’ll need to get a persistent poison AoE if I want one to proc consistently, me thinks.

Leveling still feels a bit slow for my taste (coming off an OFF/Devastation/Ray Arcanist, though, so it’s not really a fair comparison). We’ll see how it goes in Elite I suppose.