[Something Else Clever about Burning]: Vitality Flames of Ignaffar Apostate (SR80, controller friendly)

Part fifteen of my controller friendly build series: Vitality FoI Apostate

grimtools link

Playstyle: cast Word of Pain, throw down an Inquisitor Seal, cast Siphon Souls, use Flames of Ignaffar to burn them all!

This build is very similar to my Voidsoul Chaos FoI Mage Hunter. In playstyle, itemization, and performance, they areso similar that I’m going to skip my normal pro and con comparison; instead: Chaos is easier to gear and sometimes more durable, with easier energy management, while Vitality has substantially higher damage (even after you factor in its slightly inferior resist reduction).

Stats with Abomination active, and Deadly Aim inactive:

As you can see, this build has high DPS.

Stats with Abomination inactive

Still has a ton of damage.


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’ve been making FoI builds instead of AAR. This is the 4th successful one, and competes with its chaos sister for top spot.

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 Inquisitor Seal or Bone Harvest, but Bone harvest isn’t that important on a low % weapon damage caster build.

Strength demonstration at SR80 chunk 1

I’m not sure how I pulled Valdaran, but I did manage to survive, proving that this build is pretty tough.

Video proof of clear

Fight tips

  • Offense: You should cast Siphon Souls as soon as it’s available (more for defense), and you should refresh Word of Pain with every other cast of Siphon Souls. With only five points in Arcane Empowerment, you don’t need to be in Inquisitor Seal for offense. It’s just nice.

  • Defense: the most important thing is to keep casting FoI, since its lifesteal will quickly heal you to full. It’s important to apply the OA reduction from Siphon Souls/Blood Boil as much as possible. With 16 points in Inquisitor Seal, you can be very tanky. However, against heavy hitters you can still die surprisingly quickly. Be careful when casting non-FoI spells, as they will interrupt nearly all of your healing.

  • Controller: if you have FoI bound to “A”(xbox)/“X”(sony)) When you interrupt FoI by casting another spell, there will be a slight delay before restarting FoI. If FoI is on “A”, the game will initiate an auto attack before realizing that FoI is available, robbing you of damage and delaying your healing. If you bind FoI to another button, this should go away.

Without shield buffs, Voidsoul Bulwark doesn’t provide great blocking, so don’t expect that to save you. Health, resists, OA reduction, and healing are all essential for your survival.


As usual, the resists are overcapped to deal with resist reduction on high SR.

Essential Gear:

  • Voidsoul set: core

  • Decree of Malmouth: core. It’s a pain to farm (It took me about a minute per run with my spinner Dervish, and it drops about 4% of the time. If you don’t have one or don’t want to farm one, go with my chaos Mage Hunter FoI instead. I think its fire to vitality conversion applies equally with Tainted Flame, so it, in effect, converts 50% of the base fire damage to vitality, and 100% of the burning to vitality decay.

Stuff I’m pretty sure is best in slot:

  • Voidheart: provides vitality resist reduction, and the build has enough chaos damage that the chaos RR isn’t completely wasted.

  • Signet of the Fallen: 15% vit RR and a huge boost to cast speed make this an obvious choice.

  • Conduit of Runic Whispers: Essence of the Grim Dawn is a good alternative, and it offers slightly more damage (and may be a lot easier to acquire). But the +1 to all Inquisitor skills and 3% to all resist caps make the correctly prefixed conduit the better choice. The resist affix is very important. I happened to have Aether, of which about half was used.

  • Voidsteel Gauntlets: Gauntlets of Ignaffar are a tempting alternative, especially if you find yourself pressed for energy, but you’re able to max Intensify without them, and Voidsteel offer more damage and very valuable poison resist.

  • Arcane Harmony Leggings: I know I’m probably the biggest fan of these, but I believe a build is only as strong as its weakest link, and without disruption protection you will really struggle against certain enemies, especially since this build can only heal by casting FoI. The +84/126 DA is essential, as is the spirit boost.

  • Seal of Resonance: gives a lot less damage than another Seal of Blight would, but the passive ability is essential for maxing your CC resists, and frees up the ring components for Mark of Illusions, which are huge for your energy regen.

Stuff that is best in slot unless you have an incredibly lucky MI

  • Gildam Arcanum Commendation: it gives cast speed, much needed OA and DA, pierce resist, and a bunch of damage to FoI, plus 10% total slow on Word of Pain. The aether and elemental damage boosts aren’t useful, but this medal is still great. A perfect Bloodsworn Sigil (perhaps Demonic Bloodsworn Sigil of Tormented Souls) should be better. You’d need to swap Voidsteel Gauntlets for Gauntlets of Ignaffar to keep Intensify maxed, but it should be worth it.

  • Cord of Deception: gives great DA, and somehow boosts vit damage and all skills in inquisitor. An ideal Lunal’Valgoth’s Waistguard should be better, but it’s a pain to farm and not necessary.

Other Stuff

  • Timewarped Walkers: these don’t feel like a compete fit, since they don’t boost vit damage, but the +2 to Spectral Wrath is nice, and the slow resist is huge. The poison resist is important, and the aether would be if you don’t have aether resist on your Conduit of Runic Whispers.

  • Uroboruuk’s Reaping: I wasn’t sold on this, because skills in Inquisitor are more valuable, but the vit damage and the casting speed mean that this provides much more damage than Serenity, and you don’t end up needing the defense from Serenity. Meditation would give more damage outright, but it provides minimal utility, so I didn’t opt for it. But, looking at it now, it may be the stronger option. If you do use Uroboruuk’s Reaping, ideally you’d use one with +1 to Harbinger of Souls and Spectral binding.


This build needed points in red and green, and that precluded the good DA boosting devotions on the right side of the tree (that I normally use). Instead, I got big OA boosts here, and looked for DA in my items. With Siphon Souls/Blood Boil, you can still have enough DA to almost never be crit, barring really bad mutators.


  • Rattosh: vit RR. Goes on FoI because it has a low activation chance and FoI applies damage extremely frequently.

  • Revenant: it has 4 points fewer of resist reduction than Manticore, but Manticore’s other points aren’t very useful. Also essential, the activation synergizes very well with Siphon Souls, whereas Manticore would effectively need to be on FoI, which would push Rattosh onto Sihpon souls, which I don’t think would be ideal. Scales of Ulcama would be an interesting alternative, but I didn’t try it out. You would take out Oklaine’s Lantern for Scholar’s Light and free up at least one of the ring slots in the process. However, you would have less cast speed and less resist reduction, and the resist reduction would be less reliably applied. I think the Revenant path is better.

Core 2

  • Abomination: this gives a huge boost to damage. It would have been one of the first things to go if I needed more defense, but I didn’t.

  • Chariot of the Dead: I’m not crazy about its ability, since it doesn’t have reliable uptime, but the OA boost is huge, given the crit damage bonus from Infernal Purge, and the application of resist reduction on crits (from your rings) and the slow resist is good too.

  • Oklaine’s Lantern: need something for energy regen, and this has other good stuff.

Not core

  • Everything else: with the above requirements, the rest of the devotions almost picked themselves.
Skill choices

  • Flames of Ignaffar: it’s important to max Intensify for the terrific DA reduction it provides. Infernal Purge gives a huge boost to crits, and Endless Flame is essential for energy management. I thought Tained Flame would decrease your damage once you have a Decree of Malmouth, but it doesn’t. Your vit damage should stay the same, and your chaos goes up tremendously.

  • Word of Renewal: The DA is essential, and the health and cc resist from Vigor are great too.

  • Word of Pain: the 15% vit resist from Decree of Malmouth is the main draw, but it has other uses. I think the chaos resist reduction from 1 point in Death Sentence is worth it since this build does do substantial chaos.

  • Deadly Aim: I’d like more points in this, but they needed to be spent on defense.

  • Inquisitor Seal: I’m not a huge fan of it in general, but this build is so stationary that it works very well, and is worth maxing and standing in constantly. Arcane Empowerment isn’t too important here.

  • Harbinger of Souls: this is the main reason I chose Necromancer over Oathkeeper or Occultist. The 15% casting speed it provides is not easily replaced with this build.

  • Spectral Binding: health and OA are great, and Spectral Wrath works very well with a stationary build like this.

  • Siphon Souls: Blood Boil is maxed for its OA reduction, and a few points in Siphon Souls increase its radius, otherwise it would be too difficult to apply to everyone.

  • Mark of Torment: a great skill for surviving bursts. It’s difficult to cast with a controller, but still worth a few points. 46% damage absorption is plenty for this build, and 4.6 seconds is a decent duration. You’re never going to have great uptime on Mark of Torment, so I think I put too many points in it.

  • (Bone Harvest/Soul Harvest): this build does do weapon damage, and overall will definitely benefit from the offensive power Soul Harvest offers. It would also provide a nice spell to proc devotions, I think. However, my controller didn’t have any more spammable buttons available, and I figured Inquisitor Seal and Word of Pain were more important. On a keyboard, I’d definitely try this out.

Leveling tips

My main tip for leveling this build is: get a Bloodsworn Sigil, and never replace it. Without it you should struggle for healing, although Necromancer has some nice damage to health stuff going on.

You will need to manage your energy throughout the levelling process, so be careful of dumping points into FoI/Intensify/Infernal Purge. I used max ectoplasm from the start to 94. Incendiary Casques are great, due to the conversion in Tainted Flame. You will do a lot of chaos damage throughout the levelling process, but you will have more vit RR from Rattosh, so try to stick to maxing vitality damage.

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