Please help me improve my Deathknight

Hi guys, what’s up. I just got super into this game all of the sudden and I’m finding the devotion system and the build system in general to be really intricate and engaging. It’s like PoE with better ambiance, graphics, and game pacing!

I am playing a vit conversion Deathknight with Cadence and Ravenous Earth as main skills. At some point if I get the right gear I might try Aether conversion, but those builds are completely gear dependent, so I won’t do anything with it for a while. (Oh, but I do have an Empowered Soul Splitter…would you recommend trying a 2H Aether build?).

At this exact moment, my character looks like:

(I can’t link).

I am trying to build something that will let me farm gear but that doesn’t need gear…this being my first (good) character. The 15% conversion from the aura makes a big difference when playing self-found. (Also, building vit makes Ravenous Earth better, and RE gives me a much-needed way to clear trash and to proc Twing Fangs).

I know there’s a random drop shield with 10% and a random drop trinket with 10% as well, but those will just have to wait until they drop.

I’m finding him to be quite strong. My only other character is about a ~69 purifier and this character is much much stronger. I’m loving the tanky style, too.

I was comfortably doing Crucible without ever spiking down in damage until I got straight ONESHOT by the final boss of wave 150. (Grrr, no idea what he did to me, anybody know? Or are the bosses random in Crucible?).

Anyway, I’m mostly just here for suggestions. What would you do if this were your character and you wanted to improve it? What gear would you try to get, etc?


I do have a better plan for devotions. After working on it for at least an hour I finally found a few different ways to get Hourglass, Dying God, and Rattosh in the same build. I think the best I found for a vit DK is this one:

Not a single point is unused, so I will switch to this build when I have 55 (I have 52).

Basically, this one ended up working by switching Scorpion for Imp. Scorpion is useful for my build and Imp really isn’t, but Scorpion is 5 for 5 and Imp is 5 for 6, and I can’t find a way to make it work with the Scorp. (Does anyone know a better way to get those three devotions?).

There’s also the option of lizard + 1 point in Wendigo.

And, for another way, non-synergistic, but at least creative, I actually managed to get there with lion, panther, wretch:

Thanks in advance for all your advice. I love this game and look forward to many years of theorycrafting here.

Welcome to the game and to the forum. :slight_smile:

Make another post in this thread

and then you’ll be good for linking builds from grimtools. It’s part of the anti-spam measures here on the forum I’m afraid. Certain functions of the forum are “locked off” until you’ve made 3 posts and proved you’re human. Then you get full access.

Thanks. Done (and edited OP)

I am also quite new, but I went with the Manticore (for more resist reduction) and Wendingo (for more heal and damage over time) instead of the Dying god

That’s an interesting option as well. I had a problem with Wendigo and Manticore: 15% chance on hit means they’re hard to proc. Most of our skills are on cooldowns, so it’s not easy to proc 15%ers. It seems like we have room for only two 15% procs: Ravenous Earth, and Siphon Soul/Sear Soul. How are you assigning your skills?

Anyway, I started playing with dropping Dying God. It seems like it would be a very very different devotion tree if you drop Dying God. Because if you do that, you’ll also want to drop Hourglass (they have almost the same requirements). And if you drop Hourglass then you can also drop most of your blue requirement. In the end it frees up about 25 points.

I spent a few minutes playing with it and came up with this:

…Then you realize that the only remaining blue devotion requirement is coming from Wendigo, and if you get rid of Wendigo you free up another 10 points:

Note that this one still has 4 points to allocate. There’s a similar variation but you miss -50% vitality in affliction to trade Crane for any two of Turtle, Dryad, Assassin’s Blade, e.g.:

Bind them on skills that have duration and procs every second/multiple times like Raveouns earth and Siphon souls. The chance of proccing also increases if you bind them to skills that have long cooldown.

I have will of rattosch to Ravenous earth, 28% to proc and since it hits many times eventually the whole group of monsters get Rattosh on them (I use ravenous earth instead of war cry btw) and then I have acid spray to siphon souls which also makes the whole group of monsters “sprayed”. I only have one point into siphon souls but it is level 8 now with all my +skills.

You could also increase the number of points spent in Foul Erruption instead of Manticore. Reducing resistances are such powerful way to increase overall damage output so it should be prioritized I think. Dying god gives a nice dmg boost, but what does that help if monsters still have 50 or so resists?

How much physical damage do you deal, is assassins mark justified? You need very high OA to proc it

So try to either increase skill points into Foul Erruption, or bind manticore on it.

So you have Rattosh and Manticore bound on the two high-proccing skills.

What do you do with Bat and Wendigo? Both 15% skills. And if you have nowhere to put Wendigo’s proc, is it worth taking?

I have bat on Blitz, I just need the Bat for the red and green devotion points at this stage. Wendigo I have on Cadance, it procs often enough and is mostly relevent on bosses since you get a nice life regen over time with it. My life steal is high enough anyway now that I have Siphon souls on a high level so perhaps I will spec out of it. But you definitely want to prioritize resistance reduction, it helps a ton.

Are you doing a physical-vitality dmg build btw?

Perhaps another option is skeletons. Skeletons do a large portion of their damage as vit damage. Do you know if pets benefit from our +damage stats, such as +% vit or +flat physical?

We could use pets to proc manticore and put Bat onto Ravenous Earth:

Dying God really works well with pets too, gives huge bonuses to them…

Yes I am trying to do phys-vit conversion, but only at 50% conversion right now. With two more pieces of gear I could get to 70%, but I don’t think it can go to 100% in game.

I reworked the devotions for skellies to add a more pet support. Shepherd’s Crook + Crane instead of Turtle-Dryad. Toad can be swapped for Bysmiel’s Bonds but not sure. Once again, this build sucks at proccing stuff.

I am going to try skeleton version tonight.

Just tried skeletons. Really terrible, was dying on trash packs. Couldn’t keep the skeletons alive either. There goes that idea.

I also tried getting rid of Dying God and going for Manticore:

My DPS is somewhat less than with Dying God, but even without bat procs I am mostly able to face tank everything. I did get chased off of my position by the fire dreadlord boss of the Cthonic Rift when he put a volcano under my feet. I’m going to let it bake a little bit and see if leveling the new devotions makes this work better.

So far, I think Dying God was slightly better. Kill speed was higher and I didn’t notice any drop in tankiness. The fact that you can eventually get Hourglass with Dying God makes that path look really good to me. Also, you get some nice utility stuff and defenses when taking blue stuff, like move speed and project evade.

Oh, one thing is that I’m testing on Elite. Maybe the resistances on Ultimate are higher and it’ll be enough to make Manticore better. Are even sure Manticore debuffs vitality and/or physical? It says “resistances” but…it’d be suprising to give that much of a debuff to Physical at least.

yes manticore acid spray reduces all resistances.

Let’s say a monster have 50% resistance of your dmg type, you deal 50% of your dps to it. If you can reduce the resistance to 25% you then deal 75% of your dps. That is a total increase of 50% damage! If your total damage enhancer for that dmg type is, lets say +800%, that dmg increase corresponds to an increase or the damage enhancer from +800% to +1250%

Lowering resistances is huge, especially to monsters with somewhat “high” resistances.

You might wanna read this regarding resistance reduction also

Thanks for the link to RR. I will spend some time processing that later! Gist of it seems to be: -resistances is good on all monsters, not only monsters with lots of resistance.

What I can say for sure is that I’m doing more damage with Dying God than Manticore + Affliction setup. With higher level of gear so that I’m getting more +% vit from gear, Dying God might not be as good as it currently is. But currently it’s no contest.

Also I think I get more utility with the Dying God setup for taking all those blue nodes.

Well at this level, the enhanced damage bonus from Dying god is relatively big since you probably don’t have that high enhanced damage from the rest of your gear plus you don’t have manticore leved up yet (?).

And you are only level 69, things will get harder and monsters will get higher resistances and hit points. Especially bosses

Ill Omen is great at proccing devotions should you need a 1 pointer to bind a skill to, it spreads among crowds proccing devotions like crazy, you should 1pt it and put fangs or acid spray on it.

Oh that’s a great tip, I will try that

I just tried Ill Omen. It’s really good at proccing things when in a group, but I’m not clear on how it works when it’s just me vs the boss. Does it tick once per second for 5 seconds on each affected enemy?

Also, everything was going fine until Elite “For the People” quest (retaking Steelcap waypoint). I just got rocked 5+ times in a row until I figured out how to split the bosses. There was a boss with some kind of frost nova which was freezing me every three seconds. If I can’t attack I can’t survive…have to do something about being frozen/stunned/petrified…

Yeah it ticks once per second vs single targets, lackluster for proccing important things like rr debuffs against single targets

Even 5% will proc like crazy on an ability like bloody pox.

The chance of proccing also increases if you bind them to skills that have long cooldown.

That explains it. I proc almost every charge, and I thought it was a bug.