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POE 3.4 Witch Elementalist Blade Vortex Build - High Clear Speed & League Starter

PoeCurrencyBuy Date: Sep/14/18 12:58:06 Views: 1318

"Feed a storm with savage intent and not even the strongest walls will hold it back."

Elementalists deal in all things elemental. They have access to conditional but powerful element damage bonuses, some granted periodically or with a skill requirement.

The renewed Elementalist ascendancy offers a good synergy with the Blade Vortex skill and the heralds.

POE 3.4 Witch Elementalist Blade Vortex Build - High Clear Speed & League Starter

 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • + Good clear speed
  • + Good single target damage
  • + Fairly cheap to gear, not gated behind rare/expensive uniques. Good league starter, SSF is possible.
  • + Scales exceptionally well in the end-game.
  • + Witch

Cons

  • - Blade vortex mechanics may feel clunky to some
  • - Have to be in melee range to deal damage

 

Skill Tree

Ascendancy

Ascendancy

Pendulum of Destruction -> Mastermind of Discord -> Shaper of Desolation -> Beacon of Ruin

Bandits

Help Alira.

Crit multiplier, resists, mana regen - the lot, everything is useful for this build.

Pantheon

Major: Brine King (prevents stunlocks)

Minor: Gruthkul (phys damage reduction) or Shakari (poison immunity)

Passive Tree

Skill Tree

 

Gems Setup

Blade Vortex

Blade Vortex - Added Fire Damage - Controlled destruction - Physical to Lightning - Increased Critical Strikes - Efficacy / Power Charge on Critical / Increased Critical Damage / Concentrated Effect

Replace Added Fire Damage with Hypothermia once you get the Beacon of Ruin ascendancy node.
Last slot is situational. Use Conc effect on tough bosses, and a support of your choice for mapping. Even Increased AoE gem is on the table.

Movement

Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify - Culling strike

If using shield replace Whirling Blades with Shield Charge if you like it better.

If using MoM replace Culling strike with Blood Magic.

Orb of storms

Orb of storms - Arcane Surge (level 5/6) - Power Charge on Crit

This is the "give me more juice" button. Arcane surge gives 13% more damage, extra cast speed to spin up the blades faster and some mana regen on top of that. And you also get power charges when it crits. If you are already using PCoC with Blade Vortex, replace it with Blind here.

Important: keep Arcane surge low level so it gets triggered by a single cast of orb of storms.

Golem

Lightning golem is the best for this build. Allows to move faster with whirling blades or shield charge as well as spin up vortex blades quicker.

Heralds

We use all three heralds: Ash, Ice and Thunder.

Here is how we are going to utilize them:

Herald of Ash doesn't hit and doesn't trigger any on kill events, so just leave it alone and use as is.

Herald of Thunder is going to be linked to Curse On Hit - Warlord's Mark gems. This doesn't reserve any extra mana and reliably curses enemies around you while exping. The fourth link is going to be Blind - our chance to evade jumps to over 50% against blinded enemies.

Herald of Ice can be used on its own, however if you have enough spare links and mana you can try the following combination, it works great if you don't have Inpulsa's armor yet:

Herald of Ice - Culling Strike - Onslaught - Ice Bite

Do not use this setup with Inpulsa's armor as it steals herald's kills most of the time.

If you have Inpulsa's and want to clear even faster you can use this setup borrowed from the autobomber builds:

Herald of Ice - Ice Bite - Innervate - Increased Critical Strikes

This will however reserve a lot of mana so you will need to either switch to Watcher's jewel based mini-MoM or unspec MoM altogether which would have a negative impact on survivability.

CWDT

CWDT (12) - Immortal Call (14) - Increased Duration - Warlord's Mark (14)

This setup serves two purposes: it triggers Immortal Call to prevent all physical damage for the duration, and also casts the Warlord's Mark curse. The latter is required in single target situations (bosses) where the curse cannot be applied by the heralds.

You don't want to keep your CWDT too low level as you don't want your endurance charges to be consumed every time someone looks at you funny. Level 12 appears to be a good balance, although you may keep it lower early on.

Here's the cheat sheet for all gem links

Body: Blade Vortex

Weapon1: Orb of Storms - Arcane Surge (5-6) - Power Charge On Crit

Weapon2: Herald of Ash - Herald of Ice - Golem

Helmet: Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify (+ Blood Magic with MoM)

Gloves: Herald of Thunder - Blind - Curse On Hit - Warlord's Mark

Boots: CWDT (10-12) - Immortal Call (12-14) - Increased Duration - Warlord's Mark (12-14)

You can use blood rage if you can sustain it (have enough regen).

If you have the Warlord's Mark curse on hit ring, you can remove Warlord's Mark gems, opening up a few slots. There are no hard and fast rules on how to use these extra slots, here is a few possible ideas:

* Add Frost Bomb to your CWDT setup. It adds 25% cold penetration when triggered and we do deal quite a big deal of cold damage. It also greatly reduces enemies life regen which is useful against high regen targets.

* Link golem to CWDT to have it automatically resummoned.

* Link heralds to Enlighten support to free up a bit more mana for MoM.

* Add Blind to Orb of Storms setup.

* Add Flame Dash as an extra movement skill for lab or rough terrain when you need to jump which you cannot do with whirling blades or shield charge.

 

Gear

General Notes

Aim to have at least 70 life on every rare piece of gear. Do not overlook mana regen and flat mana mods. Always make sure your elemental resists are capped.

Weapons

Dual wield either 2 Daggers or Dagger and Scepter.
Stats to look for:
* Critical chance for spells - this one is a priority
* Spell damage
* Elemental damage
* Crit multiplier
* Damage added to spells
* Gain % of physical damage as [element] damage (shaped weapons mod)
* Elemental resists penetration

Shield

Shield is also an option if you prefer to use Shield Charge as a movement skill, it is faster and arguably better for mapping where you don't need to maximize your damage output.

If you are specifically interested in clear speed mapping you can use Brightbeak + Shield combination once you obtain Inpulsa's armor. Use any rare shield with spell crit chance or Esh's mirror.

Chest

Inpulsa's Broken Heart is the BiS armor for this build.

It boosts both single target damage (via the increased shock effectiveness and increased damage mods) and AoE (via the shocked enemies you kill explode mod).

Until you obtain Inpulsa's, use any rare or unique armor, preferably with life and resists.

Helmet

Starkonja's Head

Lots of life, crit chance, attack speed and very importantly up to 70 dex - and this build is dex starved.

Alternatively use any rare helmet with life and resists.

Best helmet lab enchantment is 30% increased blade vortex duration.

Gloves

Hrimsorrow

Important part of the build to get the 50% cold conversion. Very common and cheap item. Fated version (Hrimburn) is only marginally better, don't chase it but upgrade if the opportunity arises.

Boots

Rare boots with movement speed, life and resists.

Best lab enchantments are:

* 16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently - for mapping
* Damage Penetrates 10% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently - for end game bosses

Belt

Stygian vise with life and resists.

Amulet

Rare with life, crit multi and whatever else you can get - crit chance, resists etc
If you are rich then look for shaped amulets with the Gain % of physical damage as [element] damage mod on top of the above.

Yoke of suffering is a good damage option but unfortunately it doesn't have any life on it.

Rings

Life and resists. Cast speed, mana regen and flat mana is a bonus.

Warlord's mark curse ring for leech and extra tankiness (endurance charges).

Note that this ring is recommended but not required. If you can't get one you will need to obtain warlord's mark curse from gems. It will be explained later in the Gems and links section.

Warlord's Mark elder ring can be paired with Mark of the Shaper ring for a very solid damage increase:

Jewels

Crit multi, Life and some extra damage mod(s).

Flasks

* Life
* Quicksilver
* Atziri
* Diamond
* Sulphur/Silver/Stibnite

Craft antibleed, antifreeze and curse immunity.
Replace Quicksilver flask with Basalt or Taste of Hate once you start using Whirling Blades.

Wise Oak can be an excellent option but only if you manage to balance all your elemental resistances.

Flasks management is very important for this build. You can almost double your damage output by using all your utility flasks at once.

Useful Incursion Gear Mods

  • Amulet: 0.4% of Cold Damage Leeched as Life or 0.4% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life - source of extra leech, especially useful in hexproof maps
  • Boots:Chance to Dodge Attack Hits or Chance to Dodge Spell Hits - extra damage avoidance
  • Helmet:% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Lightning (Fire, Cold) Damage - extra physical damage mitigation if you are using a rare helmet

 

Leveling

15point

Pick Witch starting damage nodes followed by life/mana nodes.
Level with Freezing pulse, switch to Arc or Firestorm at level 12 if you like.

25 points 

Head over to the templar area.
Don't forget to level blade vortex gem is a spare slot. You'll need to get some extra dexterity on gear (jade amulet) or take Precision node earlier.
Take Herald of Ash as a quest reward and start using it.

40 points 

Go to the scion life wheel to get some extra life and regen. If using firestorm as your leveling skill, take the duration cluster sooner rather than later.
Do the first lab around level 35-38 and get the Pendulum of Destruction ascendancy node. Start using Blade Vortex. Recommended 4 link setup is Blade Vortex - Added
Fire Damage - Controlled Destruction - Physical to Lightning. When you get 5 links, add Increased Critical Strikes support. You will also need a source of leech to solve the sustain issues. Do the Siosa library quest, buy Warlord's Mark and Blasphemy gems from him and use them along with Herald of Ash.

63 points 

Dexterity is becoming a bottleneck now. Take Precision for +20 dex if you haven't taken it earlier. Take AoE node in the templar area and move towards the shadow area picking up +30 dex node on your way there. Take a jewel slot and put Assassin Haste (quest reward) there. Do the second lab when you have around 2-2.5k life and take the Mastermind of Discord ascendancy node. Add Herald of Thunder as your second herald.

84 points 

Take the second duration cluster in the scion area as well as the increased life recovery from flasks nodes there. Then take life and mana nodes above the witch start.
Buy Hrimsorrow gloves and switch to aura-less Warlord's Mark setup described in the Gems and Links section and start using all three heralds. It is probably a good idea to get MoM after that.

101 points 

Take the shadow area nodes, then Devotion life cluster in the templar area. Pick jewel slots as you find decent jewels.
Then just finish the tree by picking remaining life and damage nodes. Focus on life first.
 

Expectations

Expectations

 

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