[Something Clever About Burning]: Chaos Flames of Ignaffar Mage Hunter (SR80, controller friendly)

Part four of my controller friendly build series: Chaos FoI Mage Hunter
grimtools link (get one good stun resist and two pierce resist or physical bonuses.

Playstyle: cast Word of Pain, throw down an Inquisitor Seal, cast Solael’s Flame, use Flames of Ignaffar to burn them all!

Stats with Deadly Aim, Abomination, and Dying God inactive:

Stats with Deadly Aim, and Abomination and Dying God active (but only at level 13 right now)

Introduction

AAR is super popular due to its strength, but awful to play on a controller due to target lock; you can’t aim between targets to make sure you hit multiple enemies, since it just snaps onto one. FoI, since it does its damage in a cone, doesn’t suffer from this, so I wanted to try to make an FoI build. My first attempt was with a purifier, coveting the chaos RR from Hellfire Mine, but it was awful; in order to get enough energy regen, it had to sacrifice pretty much everything else. It was left with little defense and nowhere near enough OA to capitalize on FoI’s big crit multiplier, and I didn’t see a way to make it work. Since Arcanist has a big passive bonus to spirit and OA, and can handle any remaining energy problems with Mental Alacrity, I thought a mage hunter might work. Since it can clear SR80, I think it’s safe to say that it works. With good mutators, it probably can do 85, but I don’t really feel any desire to try.

There is a Voidsoul chaos FoI on the compendium, but it seems about as different as a Voidsoul FoI build can be.

This build is very controller friendly: although FoI does still have the frustrating target lock that AAR does, it’s a lot less noticeable and a lot less infuriating. I also had to choose between using nullification and putting Acid Spray on Inquisitor Seal, or using Horn of Gandarr. Ultimately, since this build’s RR is a little on the low side, and since it depends on lifesteal for survival, I decided that I wanted to guarantee that I got the RR from Acid Spray out as reliably as possible, so I use Horn of Gandarr to proc Abomination.

Video proof of clear
Fight tips
  • Offense: you shouldn’t automatically use Solael’s Flame if you’re fighting an enemy without high Chaos resist. It triggers Dying God, and you want to ssave Dying God for tough enemies and long fights. With only five points in Arcane Empowerment, you don’t need to be in Inquisitor Seal. It’s just nice.

  • Defense: the most important thing is to keep casting FoI, since its lifesteal will quickly heal you to full. Be careful when casting Inquisitor Seal, Word of Pain, Horn of Gandarr, or Solael’s Flame, as FoI has a small but noticeable delay before you can recast it, and that leaves you vulnerable.
    Without shield buffs, Voidsoul Bulwark doesn’t provide great blocking, so don’t expect that to save you. With 2300 armor, up to 49% physical resist, the slowed attack and impaired aim from Word of Pain, and the Fumble from FoI, auto attacks aren’t much of a threat. It’s magical/piercing attacks that are, so position yourself accordingly. With only four points in Inquisitor Seal, you don’t need to be in it. It’s just nice.

Gear

Essential Gear:

  • Voidsoul set: core

Stuff I’m pretty sure is best in slot:

  • Vampirris: seems like it was made specifically for this build, weapon damage, good ADtH, great skill buffs, and it even helps you stack physical resist!
  • Voidheart: this build is a little low on chaos RR, so this item is crucial.
  • Combustion band: this build is a little low on chaos RR, so this item is crucial.
  • Voidsteel Gauntlets: Gauntlets of Ignaffar are a tempting alternative, especially if you find yourself pressed for energy, but Voidsteel Gauntlets offers better damage (and therefore healing), and it’s hard to beat the much needed poison resist that they offer.
  • Arcane Harmony Leggings: there aren’t any pants that are great for chaos FoI, and with the importance of lifesteal to your survival you really need max disruption resist. This build is also a little tight on DA, so these are great. Plus I have a pair with a 12% stun reduction crafting bonus.
  • Timewarped Walkers: chaos damage, some useful skill points, and a boatload of important resists make these an excellent choice. There are other good boots for this build, but it’s hard to beat slow+poison+bleeding+aether+physical resists.
  • Ignaffar’s Combustion: this is slightly awkward, as you don’t benefit a ton from its stats. Mostly, it’s an important source of chaos RR for mosters with high chaos resist. You should probably be fine running Serenity though, as long as you have all the other sources of chaos RR.

Other stuff:

  • Sash of the Bloodlord: with Tained Flame, you don’t need these conversions for FoI, and you should haeve 22 points in Infernal Purge regardless. The bonus OA and spirit are good, and so are the resists, but I think Arcanoweave Cord could be better with +1 to all skills.
  • Essence of the Grim Dawn: I’m not entirely convinced this is better than a Conduit of Runic Whispers with the 20% weapon damage to FoI bonus.
  • Serenir’s Commendation: gives 100+ DA, increases max elemental resists, give an insane boost to vitality resist, and helps make your shield a little more useful. All logic tells me this is a great choice, but it feels weird to use on a caster build like this. A Demonic Bloodsworn Sigil of the Cabal should also be really strong, but good luck getting one to test that.

Components

  • Symbol of Solael: I haven’t seen this too much in end game builds, but I really like the chaos RR here, and it’s great for proccing Dying God.

  • Seal of Resonance: I love this component, since it boosts a ton of important CC resists. I think it’s best with this on the shield and Symbol of Solael on the weapon, but I’m not 100% sure.

Augments

  • Rune of Murmur’s Kiss: great for disengaging, or just for using when your back is up against a wall. This build doesn’t have good damage reduction (does this stack with Horn of Gandarr, or overrule it?) or OA reduction, so this really helps you stay alive in a pinch. I suppose there may be better options if you aren’t using a controller.
Devotions

Core

  • Solael’s Witchblade: Chaos RR

  • Manticore: this is the next best source of RR there is. Plus, this build does a not insignificant amount of burn and vitality damage, which benefit from this too.

Core 2

  • Abomination: this gives a huge boost to damage, plus useful health regen for mitigating Dying God’s health cost.

  • Dying God: this gives a ton of damage, great OA from the passive points, and total speed to help you lifesteal back its health cost.

You could try a version of this build without either of these, relying on the high base damage of FoI combined with defensive devotions. Honestly, I thought I would end up doing that, or at least dumping Dying God, but I found that this has enough defense to avoid having to do that.

Not core

  • Everything else: with the above requirements, the rest of the devotions almost picked themselves.
Skill choices
  • Word of Renewal: I really needed the DA it provides.

  • Steel Resolve: I really needed the resists it provides, in order to have enough overcap to deal with high SR bosses.

  • Mirror of Ereoctes: I’d really like to have more than 3 points in this, but I feel like more aren’t actually necessary.

  • Elemental Balance: it mght seem like this is inferior to Arcane Empowerment, but I prefer it for its reliability.

  • Inquisitor Seal: I despise this skill, since it forces you to stay put instead of positioning yourself dynamically. It is really useful though for when you are stationary, so I felt compelled to put a single point into it. If more defense was needed, points could’ve been taken out of Elemental Balance, but I never had to.

  • Aura of Conviction: while the piercing is basically useless, this build loves crits so the OA is not. And going from 33 physical resist to 46 is a huge deal. The skill disruption and damage reduction of Aura of Censor are tempting, but ultimately unnecessary.

Leveling tips

My main tip for leveling this build is: don’t. Do a leveling specific mage hunter, then swap the points over once you hit 94 and can use the gear. I tried not doing that, and from level 65-84 it was absolutely brutal. I didn’t have the resists to minimize damage taken, the health to survive it, or the lifesteal to heal through it. I died a LOT. This was probably the worst leveling experience I’ve had in this game. At level 84 I was able to use good enough items that it was manageable, but I still died at the slightest mistake.

It probably would have been a significantly better if I had a Bloodsworn Sigil for its damage to health, but I don’t even know if that would be enough. About the only thing that went well was keeping the cost of FoI manageable, and not only because you can’t cast skills when you’re dead.

I think it’s important when creating a build to level with its skills, so that you get a better idea of the nuances of the build. I’ve done that so you don’t have to, and you can spare yourself a lot of pain.

Try to get Dying God and Abomination as soon as possible because they take so much experience to max out.

Final note: If you get a good crucible or SR clear, let me know and I can update the build. Suggestions are welcome.

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