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Old 08-29-2015, 06:59 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Default [B27] Plague Champion

[B27]'s been a large update with a host of different changes though due to the Shaman's release a lot of them have taken a back seat to the final class. Having had my fill of the Shaman (for now), however, it was time to go back and take a look at one line in the patch notes that particularly caught my eye.

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Originally Posted by Zantai View Post
Damage over Time from multiple sources (ex. Poison on Weapon and from Dreeg's Evil Eye on the same target) no longer suffer from diminishing returns and now deal full damage
Stacking DoTs in full? Well, someone's got to see how high this pony can fly...and so was birthed from vile depths, the Plague Champion!

Video: Darkvale Gate clear, Steps floors 3-5 clear

Build Link: Basic

Class: Witch Hunter



Occultist Skills:

Dreeg's Evil Eye/Blood Burst/Focused Gaze: [B27] saw Dreeg's Evil Eye get some reduction to its % Weapon Damage, whilst Focused Gaze received several significant buffs including a slightly large radius. Overall, a net buff for the transmuted variant of the skill line, which forms a large part of the build's AoE ability.

Curse of Frailty/Vulnerability: An excellent amplifier for the build's Poison damage, Curse is kept at level 1 because, really, the only thing you'll need it for is Bosses.

Solael's Witchfire/Consecrated Blade: Can't go wrong with 5% more OA from the transmuter. The skill is a good dump for excess skill points one may have after item bonuses, since Focused Gaze boosts Chaos Damage, and the extra %Poison is welcome as well.



Nightblade Skills:

Shadow Strike/Nidalla's Justifiable Ends: It wouldn't be a proper Poison build without the single strongest single target DoT ability in the game and Nidalla's doesn't disappoint, forming a large portion of your single target DPS. Shadow Strike is kept at 1 due to level limitations, and to keep the skill cheap, mana-wise.

Pneumatic Burst/Breath of Belgothian: A simple healing option which offers the best value with just 4 points in it. Amongst other things, the transmuter lets the build dual-wield without needing to take Dual Blades.

Veil of Shadow/Night's Chill: Another significant change in [B27], Night's Chill now reduces Poison and Acid resistance as well, stacking with the Occultist's Vulnerability for a painful -95% resistance reduction with both skills at max. Veil of Shadow is kept at 5/10, for reasons explained below.

Blade Barrier: Normally a one-point wonder but not here - Blade Barrier is exceptionally useful when your primary form of damage is DoT since it offers you invincibility whilst you are still dealing damage. It also helps to cover the squishy nature of the Witch Hunter, which is arguably amongst the most fragile mastery combinations.

Merciless Repertoire: Straight damage boost. Perhaps less significant when gear is taken into account, but the intent is to see how high the DoT stack can go so it gets maxed.



The build can work without specific gear but where's the fun in that? Since DoTs stack in full as per [B27], I present the Ten Plagues of Dreeg!


1st Plague - Nidalla's End: Nidalla's Justifiable Ends is the 1st Plague and the most used one. Use it to move around or deal massive damage to single-targets.


2nd Plague - The Eye of Dreeg: The focused Dreeg's Evil Eye is the 2nd Plague and is used to deal with groups. In [B27] Focused Gaze now alters the trajectory of Dreeg's Evil Eye, making it travel in an arc, allowing you to hit targets over certain low obstacles such as fences. You can also target the ground to let the AoE splash on far apart targets.


3rd and 4th Plagues - The Bile's Touch: A pair of Rhowari Biletouches form the 3rd and 4th Plagues, dealing poison damage with each strike. Since Shadow Strike hits with both weapons, the 1st, 3rd and 4th Plagues can all be stacked off a single attack. Furthermore...


5th and 6th Plagues - The Poison Novas:...both Biletouches grant the Poison Nova skill which sets off more stacks of Poison damage on attack. The 2nd Plague (Dreeg's Evil Eye, transmuted) is excellent at triggering this effect, due to its large AoE.


7th Plague - The Mark of Dreeg: The materia Mark of Dreeg is the 7th Plague, and grants the skill "Dreeg's Infinite Gaze" launching 12 of Dreeg's eyes in a 360 degree AoE. Along with reducing enemy resistance even further, it is another Poison effect for the Poison stack...


8th Plague - Miasma: Though rather low-levelled, the Miasma Robes offer the 8th Plague, the "Miasma" skill, poisoning the earth and causing confusion and fumble, shoring up the build's defences.


9th Plague - Pestilence: The Plaguemancer's Amulet gifts the 9th Plague in its active ability, "Pestilence" which deals a large amount of Poison damage passively in an AoE around you. It's radius of 4m helpfully corresponds to level 5/10 Veil of Shadow's 3.9m radius for easy indication - almost anything caught by the veil will also be swallowed by the Poison.


The 10th and final Plague - Blight: The relic Blight is the final Plague - not only does it deal a large amount of Poison damage like "Pestilence", it also causes confusion, fumble and impaired aim. When used in conjunction with the 8th Plague (Miasma), it would theoretically protect you well from enemy attacks - in practice the enemy usually doesn't get to attack on pain of being already dead. The active ability can be alternated with the 9th Plague (Pestilence) for almost permanent passive AoE Poison damage or activated simultaneously to stack their effects.



Assorted Notes:

- In attempting to get all 10 Plagues to stick on a single target, I unfortunately found it difficult to obtain a test subject which didn't die before I could get all the Poison stacks up. Most Bosses don't survive for long and most Heroes die after 2 ticks. My best attempt so far was a 16.6k tick of Poison damage per second on Thall'Nosh. I didn't get to see if the damage could stack higher, he died after that tick. In general, with a 624% Poison damage modifier most Bosses/Heroes appeared to take roughly 10k-14k Poison damage per second before they run out of HP depending on how many of the 10 DoTs I managed to apply.

- If for kicks you want to add an 11th Plague, the Devil's Crossing Rep Vendor sells Slithblood Tincture, a potion which provides another AoE Poison DoT.

- The Herald of Flame has an obnoxious amount of %Poison resist and/or reduced Poison duration. It is the hardest boss to beat bar none for this build at the current cap since it shrugs off almost all Poison damage.

- Poison Resistance is highly recommended, preferably capped at 80%. Otherwise, any sort of reflection no matter how minor will likely kill you with you own poisons.

- The build is quite squishy, so standard procedure is to just stack as many DoTs as possible then go into Blade Barrier. Blight/Pestilence can be kept up through Blade Barrier to keep infecting new targets. Almost all Bosses/Heroes will die before Blade Barrier's 3s duration expires if they have sufficient simultaneous DoTs stacked on them.

- Overall, stacking DoTs is brutally effective. Poison is the best candidate, Bleed is another option though getting shafted by undead is a concern.

Last edited by Tonberry; 08-30-2015 at 02:17 PM.
  #2  
Old 08-29-2015, 08:41 PM
Hyvel Hyvel is offline
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Very interesting build. I believe it's the third time I've contemplated posting a build, but you've beaten me to the punch. Doesn't help that I've only been able to spend very limited time on Grim Dawn in B27, so my build is only lvl 30 atm.

Build at lvl 30: http://grimcalc.com/build/rCPN2B

Intended build at lvl 50: http://grimcalc.com/build/79puF5

Weird part is, that despite the builds being very similar, I am (at lvl 30) using 3 types of 'plague', none of which are included in your list of 10 plagues!
  1. Noxious Poison Bomb (from Venom-Tipped Ammo in my focus)
  2. Poison Bomb (from Mutagenic Ichor in my weapon)
  3. Throw Feces (yes, build gets bonus points for actually finding a use for this skill)

All of these are item granted skills with AOE, no cooldown, and come with various debuffs built-in.

At the moment I am using mainly the Noxious bomb, only tagging bosses with Poison Bomb & Throw Feces to speed up the kills.

I am intending to get Nidella's Hidden Hand as well, but would use it only for bosses, possibly on a weapon switch so I could dual wield & use Mark of Dreeg components just because you can never have too many debuffs. I was also planning on using Pestilence later on, but that would be my final plague, as you mentioned I'm worried I won't be able to reliably apply everything after that. At that point I'll probably stop Throwing Feces around as well.

I am playing this build non-twinked at the moment, so my gear is abysmal (mostly single affix yellows or useless epic aside from the pants). I think I'm running with about 200% poison damage (incl spirit bonus), but still the Noxious Poison Bomb is sufficient to kill all thrash in 1 tick at the moment. With all 3 skills together my poison ticks for about 1700, but there's obviously massive potential for further improvement there. I'm intending to level my build until 50 untwinked, and then I'll see how high I can boost it with great gear before retiring the character and moving on to the next build (something around Chaos Strike probably).

I never used Mend Flesh before, so I was keen to incorporate it into the build, but I'm very pleasantly surprised by it: the raven keeps me topped up 99% of the time, and with a fairly large amount of active skills (especially at the end game) I'm enjoying the automated healing process.

Once I've been able to level my character up, I'll report on the results, will be interesting to see how it compares to your approach. Despite the large amount of similarities, I guess they're still playing fairly differently.

Last edited by Hyvel; 08-29-2015 at 09:48 PM.
  #3  
Old 08-29-2015, 10:31 PM
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Chibba Chibba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Solael's Witchfire/Consecrated Blade:Though not indicated in the patch notes, Solael's Witchfire received a very large buff to flat Chaos damage, making the skill a good dump for excess skill points one may have after item bonuses, since Focused Gaze boosts Chaos Damage, and extra %Poison is welcome as well.
Are you sure this is not simply the new skill window mechanic?
  #4  
Old 08-29-2015, 11:43 PM
Druidys Druidys is offline
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I don't know to me it seems that 10 dots is way too many and that there would be better use for other items et cetera to replace those. 10 dots just don't seem effective when probably around 3 with good gear could kill everything.
  #5  
Old 08-30-2015, 01:50 AM
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RxJunkie RxJunkie is offline
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Cool build Tonberry. Having just made a BAMF Nightcrawler and now finishing up a DEE Warlock, this would be a welcome combination of the two to try!

Great job on the write-up and theme.
  #6  
Old 08-30-2015, 02:04 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyvel View Post
Weird part is, that despite the builds being very similar, I am (at lvl 30) using 3 types of 'plague', none of which are included in your list of 10 plagues!
Poison is very generous when it comes to the variety of debuffs, though I admit I completely forgot about "Throw Feces" while levelling - too bad it's only level 18. You seem to have built around throwing multiple "Poison Bombs" which stack, an interesting approach!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chibba View Post
Are you sure this is not simply the new skill window mechanic?
Silly me, you're right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Druidys View Post
I don't know to me it seems that 10 dots is way too many and that there would be better use for other items et cetera to replace those. 10 dots just don't seem effective when probably around 3 with good gear could kill everything.
I somewhat agree. A lot of damage is "wasted" in that enemies with a large enough HP pool for the most part don't exist and you get some diminishing returns for effectiveness because of this. Still, I've yet to test the build in multiplayer, where the extra enemy health actually would let me stack quite a lot if not all of the DoTs.

That said, many of the DoTs are AoE (7 out of 10), and have a cooldown - alternating between them is a decent way of just bulldozing through an area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RxJunkie View Post
Cool build Tonberry. Having just made a BAMF Nightcrawler and now finishing up a DEE Warlock, this would be a welcome combination of the two to try!

Great job on the write-up and theme.
Glad ya like it!

Last edited by Tonberry; 08-30-2015 at 02:30 AM.
  #7  
Old 08-30-2015, 03:06 AM
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Silben Silben is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Druidys View Post
I don't know to me it seems that 10 dots is way too many and that there would be better use for other items et cetera to replace those. 10 dots just don't seem effective when probably around 3 with good gear could kill everything.
Well, half of them are passively activated and 2 have long-ish cooldowns so it shouldn't be too hard to juggle all your dots.

Btw Tonberry what are your thoughts on the new-ish Nidallia's Hidden Hand in the DW blades line? Is it a candidate for this build?
  #8  
Old 08-30-2015, 02:33 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silben View Post
Btw Tonberry what are your thoughts on the new-ish Nidallia's Hidden Hand in the DW blades line? Is it a candidate for this build?
Hidden Hand is probably better off with its own dedicated build that stacks attack speed. The tooltip seems to indicate that all three modified skills can stack poison with each other, but I've never tested it, and no one seems to talk about the tree even post-change.

Also, added 2 videos to showcase how the build plays! Unfortunately the Darkvale run I ended up going with had 0 Hero enemies along the way, oh well. I actually recorded a second run but that one ended up with 0 Hero spawns as well.

After playing with the build a bit more and recording the videos, I actually think the new DoT mechanic may be a little too good. On one hand, the masteries that can take advantage the most do suffer from their own problems (squishiness in the Witch Hunter's case) - on the other, my character with half her equipment from just faction vendors, a few Epics and even some "Magic" quality gloves is doing damage comparable to some of the pre- %weapon damage/resistance reduction nerf cheese builds with top-end gear.

At this point perhaps somewhere in between [B26] and [B27] is the best place for DoTs, maybe start at 100% and depreciate by 15% (85%, 70%, 55%...) with each DoT? Hmm, I guess I'll wait for the dust to settle 1st and see what other builds can reach this level of silliness, perhaps my reaction is premature.
  #9  
Old 08-31-2015, 12:26 AM
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RxJunkie RxJunkie is offline
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DOTs really needed some love and as you mentioned several times in your posts, this build in particular sacrifices defense for pushing damage high. Seems like the same trade-off that other builds have that focus on straight damage types, wouldn't you agree?

Plus, this build seems to be up-in-your-face versus say a DEE build that uses some Poison and Acid as well. That definitely has a downside where you can't kite mobs to avoid damage versus other classes.

Anyways, I'll give this build a spin with some minor changes.
  #10  
Old 09-02-2015, 05:04 PM
Druidys Druidys is offline
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So i have decided to make a character with this build and maybe some variations. Anyone has any tips for leveling, which plague to take first and what stats to really focus on?

Basically any advice is welcome.
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