[v1.0.0.9] The Glacier, S&B Frostburn Blademaster, Crucible Demigod...slightly


I’ll edit this post later, but new grimtools is here.


He’s in the heart of the Glacier

Howdy! Before I get started with the guide I wanted to give a huge thank you to the one and only Slightly Crucible God Drizzto for the inspiration for this build, as well as some advice on skills and devotions. If you’re seeing this thread and somehow haven’t seen his other builds, check out his Poison Witchblade here and his Bleed Warder here.


I was inspired to make the build after reading the DEE Witchblade build and thinking “hmm, is it possible to do this with cold/frostburn?” I crunched some numbers on Frostburn sources and figured out that comparable numbers could be achieved; while the poison damage and buffs are stronger for WB, a Frostburn Blademaster build would have higher -RR through Night’s Chill to make up the difference. Other issue was hitting the high OA numbers needed, but with a few points in Lethal Assault along with support from gear/devotions, it manages to get enough.

The idea of the build is that we can focus on tankiness with skills through Soldier tree, while getting our hands on as many decent Frostburn procs as possible. Nightfall is the second highest base Frostburn source in the game, which provides a solid base to build off of. We lack solid +% to Frostburn damage in the mastery (aside from Elemental Awakening), but fortunately what makes this build possible is Malkadarr’s Chillbane. This juicy augment has everything we need, and we can get 3 of them! This lets us get the DPS necessary to take down Nemeses in a reasonable time.

I feel bad that I didn’t try this build BEFORE Night’s Embrace was nerfed, as the combination of Freeze exploiting with this build would probably make it super top tier, but the build really doesn’t need it to be great. Other fun thing about this build is Blade Spirit with Blizzard; I would actually say this is the greatest source of DPS of the entire build. Blizzard does VERY good damage now, it’s biggest problem though has always been proccing it consistently and frequently. Blade Spirit solves both of those problems beautifully.[/spoiler]

I say Crucible Demigod for two main reasons…


  1. I haven’t actually tested this in Gladiator yet as it’s a WIP. However, I’m very confident it will perform well. I’m currently level 82 with about 70% of BiS gear and I am clearing Challenger Crucible without banners/buffs (facetanking Fabius + Iron Maiden without popping Menhir’s Will). I’m sure when I hit 85 and if I got a hold of BiS gear it would do fine.

  2. The tankiness of the build is somewhat lacking compared to Drizzto’s builds, mainly because there is no real source of HP regen or heal outside of PB, Tonics, Wayward Soul and Menhir’s Will. Menhir’s Bulwark and PB give us a little bit, but it’s not enough to really depend on. DA is good though and along with solid physical resistance, damage reduction, and especially dodge chance (30% for each) + CoS Fumble @ 23%, it can go through Ultimate content with 0 deaths no problem.[/spoiler]

Here is the grimtools.



10/16 Menhir’s Will - Solid circuit breaker. Diminishing returns for more points invested, skill at 10/16 is plenty strong enough.
12/12 Overguard - Makes you practically invincible while it’s on. Important for tank builds. Diminishing returns in ultimate ranks means just leave it at 12/12.
10/10 Military Conditioning - Great passive health boost. Could invest more skill points here if you want to be tankier, but not necessary.
10/10 Shield Training - Makes having a shield turn you into much more of a tank. Diminishing returns in ultimate ranks.
MAX Field Command - Very strong passive buff. Smaller diminishing returns means it’s worthwhile to max this.
7/8 Scars of Battle - Great passive buff for tanking/CC reduction. Would max if I had one more skill point :wink:
15/12 Menhir’s Bulwark - Great passive for tanking due to health regen and damage absorption. Get to 15/12 since after that damage absorption starts getting diminishing returns.

10/10 Veil of Shadow: Great debuff increasing your defenses, also needed to apply Night’s Chill. Greatly diminishing returns in ultimate ranks.
MAX Night’s Chill: Frostburn damage and -% RR. Two very important things that need to be maximized.
10/12 Pneumatic Burst: One of your very few heals. 10/12 is fine because the last 2 points only give 4% heal, 1% total speed, and +6 health regen. Not very important.
12/12 Shadow Dance: Do this only after you get all the + to skills items, otherwise leave at 1 point. Great defensive buff for you, extra dodge chance helps you tank longer. Diminishing returns in ultimate ranks.
MAX Elemental Awakening: Flat Frostburn + Frostburn buff + Elemental resists. Yes please.
MAX Nightfall: Your main source of damage in your mastery trees.

One Point Wonders:
Blitz - Great for mobility and applying 2 sources of Flat Frostburn at once with a decent magnifier.
Fighting Spirit - Nice OA + damage boost.
Decorated Soldier - Resist buff passive.
Squad Tactics - Little bit of damage.
Amarasta’s Blade Burst - Level this to 17/16 if at all possible during the leveling phase as you will need all the Frostburn sources you can get. Once you get your core legendaries though, the damage per skill point invested becomes a little too much and you should revert this back to 1 point since you won’t need the DPS quite as much.
Lethal Assault - When the expansion hits, this will be maxed with the new skill points. In the meantime though, just leave it at 1.
Phantasmal Armor - Nice passive armor buff.
Anatomy of Murder - Nice +% damage to humans buff and helps OA through buffing Cunning.
Merciless Repertoire - Great Frostburn damage boost, but only leave at 1 point because other Frostburn boosting skills do more (Elemental Awakening + Lethal Assault).
Blade Barrier - 3 seconds of invulnerability on demand that will save your ass numerous times in Crucible.
Shadow Strike - Needed to apply Nightfall.
Ring of Steel + Ring of Frost + Circle of Slaughter - 24% Fumble chance and a nice bit of damage for minimal skill point investment.
Blade Spirit - Makes Blizzard Great Again™.[/spoiler]

Attributes: 70 Physique/20 Spirit

Gear (in-depth analysis, long)

I went with Crescent Moon for the -15% Cold RR proc along with the +1 to NB skills. That being said, Olexra’s Chill could also be an effective choice. Feel free to test and let me know what you think. Component is Coldstone for the extra frostburn damage buff, and augment is Outcast’s Frostbite for extra damage + health. This build doesn’t need Essence of Ch’thon because we have Viper, and we don’t need Kymon’s Will because we have Oleron’s Blood in our shield.

I went with Siegebreaker for the +1 to Soldier skills and the huge physical resistance. Vanguard of the Legion is an acceptable substitute if you don’t have the MI ring, and The Untouchable is another great option if you don’t have Siegebreaker and you have your resistances capped. For the component I chose Oleron’s Blood because of the damage reduction to enemies and also for the large % weapon damage on it’s skill, which magnifies our Flat Frostburn damage. Another option that warrants testing would be Serrated Shell for the Brutal Shield Slam, because it would allow our shield to apply a magnified source of Flat Frostburn that’s separate from the weapon. The downside would be that we’d have to give up Coldstone to put Oleron’s Blood in the weapon, and I’m not sure if it’s worth the +100% to Frostburn that it gives. Anyone willing to test, please share your findings! Augment is same as weapon.

I went with Clairvoyant’s Hat for the +1 to all skills, energy regeneration, and skill cooldown reduction. There aren’t any really good Frostburn-centric helms out there, so you could fit whatever you wanted in here really. Stonehide Milton’s Casque of Attack wouldn’t be too shabby either, because that would enable you to swap out your boots for Golemborn Greaves. Component is Leathery Hide for Stun resist as well as extra health.

This one was a little tough. I went with Peerless Eye of Beronath for OA, crit damage, and +1 to all skills. Night’s Embrace is a solid choice as well for the +1 to Nightblade skills and the Frostburn damage proc. The -% Freeze reduction basically means your 2 second freeze procs will freeze bosses for 0.1 seconds. In other words, useless. Still a good amulet though. Avenger of Cairn is another good option to add tankiness + resistances, and a few alternate gear choices could add Cold/Piercing retaliation as a solid damage type. For the component I went with Focusing Prism for -% Skill Cost and +% critical damage. Augment is Malkadarr’s Chillbane, accept no substitutes.

One is going to be Band of the Eternal Haunt. Great AoE cold damage proc with -% RR, and visually it just makes the Glacier build look awesome. The other ring just needs to help fill stat deficits; I went with Incorruptible Viloth’s Ring of Attack for the OA, resists, and +2 to ABB. An Incorruptible Gollus Ring of Attack would work just as well, and certainly make you safer. Components for both are Vengeful Wraith’s for Frostburn damage buffs, but if mana is a problem (may happen if you go Aether Soul for Medal component) you can swap for Ectoplasms without much DPS loss. Augments for both are Malkadarr’s Chillbane.

Since there’s no really good tanky Frostburn sets, that gives us a lot of freedom for choices in Helm and Chest for this build. I went with Divinesteel Hauberk because it’s a solid tanky armor that gives lots of Chaos resist (which we lack otherwise from our Frostburn proc gear) along with physical resistance, large projectile dodge chance, lots of health from its ability, and a +2 to Fighting Spirit to boot. You could try doing the Frostdread Cuirass for the tanky Cold theme, but the armor doesn’t really do as much for the build as one might think. Sure pluses to Frostburn/Cold damage and energy regen are great, but everything else we care about Divinesteel Hauberk does better. That being said, the Cold retaliation on this armor will do well if you take the build in a Retaliation direction and with alternate gear choices this could work nicely. For component I went with Chains of Oleron for the OA, but you could fit other components in there if you wanted to try them out.

Deathwhisper Leggings. Everything about these pants are things we need. Frostburn damage boost? Check. Melee dodge chance? Check. Physical Resistance? Check. Plus to ABB and Lethal Assault? Check. 100% on hit AoE Frostburn proc with solid base damage? Check. Along with the ring, gloves, shoulders, and medal, this item is mandatory for the slot. You can safely clear the vanilla game on Ultimate without dying with these extra Frostburn proc items, but your DPS will be very low compared to other builds here. Component is Ancient Armor for extra armor boost, especially because we use pieces low in armor.

Chilldread Mantle. Basically all the reason we want Deathwhisper Leggings for pants, we want this for shoulders. I wish the proc chance was better than 33% being hit on melee attacks, but when you’re Crucible farming it shouldn’t be a problem having this go off consistently. If you don’t have this item, any shoulder piece to fill stat deficits (OA, resists, health, etc.) will be fine. Component is Scaled Hide so that we can hit 100% armor absorption, very important in any build but particularly for tanks.

Iceskorn Talons. One of the 5 items core to the build. If you don’t have it (I don’t, actually), use something to fill stat deficits. I’m using Stonehide Exalted Vambraces of Attack (level 51 drop though) and it works OK. For the component I have Unholy Inscription for resistance reasons, but Mutated Scales, Spellwoven Threads, or even Restless Remains are all good options if you have resists covered.

Used to fill stat deficits. I put Stonehide Exalted Treads of Attack to fill OA and resist problems. If you have other gear to fill resistances though, I’d use Golemborn Greaves for the very nice proc as well as +% to Armor and physical resistance. Component I have Antivenom Salve to help with poison, but again if you have other gear covering it I’d use Mark of Mogdrogen.

I have Blade Breaker Sash for help with Frostburn and OA as well as +1 to NB skills. Spellbreaker Waistguard will be fine as well. This slot isn’t really a dealbreaker, so if you need more resistances or tankiness you can use something like Hammerfall Girdle or Tinker’s Ingenuity as well. Component is Antivenom Salve for resistances.

Mark of Dark Dreams. With the recent buffs it’s been getting, it actually does decent damage in a very large AoE and has an awesome visual effect. It also buffs Nightfall and Night’s Chill, 2 of the key skills in the build. Everything else on there is fantastic. One of the 5 core items. For component I have Arcane Spark for OA and energy regen, but it may work out better to put Aether Soul instead and switch resist augments around to get everything maxed. Not much of an issue either way, although I’d definitely rather have Aether Soul if I’m doing Port Valbury.

Menhir’s Bastion. The only real Cold mythic relics are Nemesis (which is OK with +1 to Nightblade skills and Cold but has nothing to do with Frostburn which is what we really care about), and Scourge (also does no Frostburn). This means we should let our relic slot develop our tankiness more. Menhir’s Bastion is solid with +1 to Soldier skills, more damage reduction, and great shield buffs.
Little note on relic progression, start with Glacier then develop to Fortress, Citadel, then Menhir’s Bastion.[/spoiler]

Leveling Guide

I will make this more in-depth if I have requests, but basically just level Nightblade tree to 50 first ASAP to get Nightfall going, EXCEPT for getting Menhir’s Will in Soldier tree to 4/16. Get Amarasta’s Blade Burst to 16/16 and Pneumatic Burst to 10/12 along the way. Get Night’s Chill maxed and Veil of Shadow with 5 or 6 points as well. Once you have Nightfall maxed, start investing in Soldier tree to get tanky. Put a Chipped Claw in your weapon and Battered Shell in your shield and use both abilities on heroes/bosses to whittle them down quicker. You’ll probably need Ectoplasms in jewelry to keep up all the ability spam.

Devotion should be Tsunami with first 5 devotion points, then when you get 11 take them out of Tsnuami and get Spider, Hammer, and Rhowan’s Crown to get Elemental Storm up and running ASAP. Bind it to ABB. Eventually replace Spider with Hawk + Scholar’s Light and Hammer with Owl, then get Eel so you can get Amatok for Blizzard. Bind it to Blade Spirit. Then work your way to getting Chariot of the Dead, then Leviathan.

For relics look for Glacier first. It’s a neat relic that you probably won’t ever use on any other build, so you might as well enjoy it. Fits the build perfectly and gives more DPS early. From there, work on getting the Fortress relic for tankiness, then Citadel then Menhir’s Bastion. For gear, prioritize resistances, health, and armor in that order before anything else. If you find a neat epic item that seems to fit the build, feel free to use it.[/spoiler]

EDIT - Here is a grimtools of my current character who clears Challenger Crucible and cleared SoT, MQ, Log, Edge, and Sentinel without breaking a sweat (0 deaths + no Menhir’s Will popped, all Ultimate ofc). Haven’t unlocked any Nemeses yet or done BoC or PoV yet, but I’ll update when I do.


Definitely room for improvement gear-wise, but still gets the job done well enough :slight_smile:

Also, here’s a dead bug.

Thanks so much for reading everyone! Please feel free to leave comments/suggestions.

1 Like

I’m really liking this surge of cold builds recently. I’d probably be tempted to try this one if I weren’t too busy trying to get Soulrend (which I’m pretty sure the devs implemented for the express purpose of getting me to shut up about buffing Bane of the Winter King).

Looks awesome man thanks for sharing.

Lot of cool tips on gear, thanks.

I wonder with all the crucible builds popping up, what they plan to nerf, or can it be accepted that farming Glad Crucible is the new “normal” and nerfs aren’t necessary just cause certain builds clear the content(am i hoping too much?)

Shields have been meta for a while, if anything the underperforming non shield builds need buffs for the sake of build diversity (two handed needs some serious help)
Not that i am implying non-Shield builds can’t clear crucible. But i noticed a some difference between Skybreach SJ Elementalist and ToN SJ Elementalist during a Party Glad Crucible.
Then again, it’s just me since i never found crucible the best way to run tests due to the randomness of mutators and waves

Also, sorry to hijack this thread

Nice concept, you need more screens and less spoiler tags :stuck_out_tongue:

Nice one :wink:

Im really glad to see so much people posting new build lately :slight_smile:

Tho I will have to disappoint you, I have a similar build and its not so strong in cruci like commando or DEE WB, it unfortunately lacks single target dmg and fer chunk of survivability when compared to them :frowning:

Thanks for feedback everyone!

@Chthon - I’m with you, I hope they don’t nerf a build just because it can compete in Gladiator Crucible. TBH I feel like there’s nothing wrong with shield builds thriving in Crucible more so than others; it makes sense because you’re being bombarded by way more damage than in vanilla, and monster health is reduced to compensate, which plays to the strengths of a shield build (higher survivability, low DPS). Of course a more glass-cannony build is going to have less success there, but that should ideally be balanced by the fact that they can clear/farm vanilla dungeons much faster and drop vanilla bosses (with extra health and defenses) quicker. If anything, Crate should differentiate between the two modes more by buffing health/defenses for Ultimate vanilla content, and make it equally lucrative to farm Ultimate dungeons quickly compared to a shield build farming Crucible. But that’s just my opinion =P

@JoV - Thanks for chiming in! I’d be very curious to see your take on the build and what struggles you’re coming across.

2h itemization is terrible tbh, for this reason a 2h build doesn’t have noticeably higher damage than a shield build. I think if warborn set had another piece but didn’t give any bonus for wearing full set 2h builds could use 4 pcs and use it. it sucks that both warborn and markovian sets prevent us from using 2h

about the build, I still don’t understand why people like siegebreaker so much, what makes it special? I use vanguard of the legion, it blocks more damage and has much better resists, can someone explain?

TBH I’m starting to think if anything is nerfed, it should be Crucible. It seems off to me that a DLC is used to measure a build. Seems to be causing issues as well. If a build can do Edge, or Ult Mog, it should be great automatically…But instead, people are asking if it can do Glad Cruc. Not sure the warped build standards are helping anything around here.

About the build: Seems interesting. Didn’t realize Blizzard was good now, might have to give that some thought. I’m also enjoying the multiple cold builds, because until recently, cold sucked. It’s still an underdog in many ways, but it seems to be getting better.

Edge of Reality is not exactly hard, i would put it beneath any Nemeses in terms of difficulty. The whole thing is probably the worst case of resistance check in the game currently.

I read somewhere that builds weren’t going to buffed or nerfed based on Crucible perfomance. Well if this is true, then it’s a lie then, because i’m sure some builds were nerfed due to their performance in the Crucible.

Wait what ? did they really nerfed BWC & Physical S&B build because its was overperforming into the Crucible ?

Me too.

I always loved Holy Freeze, in Diablo 2.

I’m determined to make a killer out of her, though - despite the pitfalls.


It was something along the lines that Crucible wasn’t going to affect the main game in terms of balance. Well, it sure as hell did because BWC and SB Withcblade/Commando were nerfed after people posted vids of them crushing Gladiator with them.

With Gladiator being (for some reason) so much harder than anything Vanilla can offer… Anything that can solo Gladiator, must be insanely OP in Vanilla. So if that IS why they were nerfed, it’s less because it’s an issue in Crucible, and more because that indicates a large problem in Vanilla.

If Gladiator wasn’t so massively ahead of Vanilla, then perhaps this wouldn’t be an issue.

I guess i failed the trolling aspect feelsbadman. :frowning:

This is untrue, Vanilla & Crucible have 2 different meta, Crucible build are way to slow for my Vanilla standard.
Actually i started to post Crucible build because the forum was lacking in this part.

This has always been my impression, too.

Thermite Meteors… what a waste in Vanilla. :cool:

Does it even beat the current thermite + reckless tempest ?

It isn’t so massively ahead than vanilla

Pretty much what Drizzto mentioned

Crucible builds require extreme amounts of defensive stacking a lot more than vanilla builds.
While Single target is important but having powerful AoE in the form of skills/procs/devotions is much more preferable

Currently crucible builds have been backed in a corner and not many are free to use offensive options (i said “not many”, so there are some)

Obviously a build that can perform in Gladiator can do so in Vanilla and the same goes for Vanilla meta builds performing in Crucible
But their kill speed and survivability and ultimately their success rates would be different

Calling it a waste is exaggerating it

Vanilla had pretty big enemies as well :wink:

Sad but true

Speaking of Physical S&B, I still don’t think Targo is as good pre-nerf, not sure why you still use it Drizzto. I could be wrong since i might have picked the wrong place to test it (Plains of Strife)

Ofc targo its not as godlike as before :D, it is still at a reasonable level damage for a T1 devo proc, tho you are swarmed a lot into the crucible (i dont play S&B into Vanilla), so the effectiveness of the proc is probably more consistent for cruci purpose than Vanilla.