Hi, I’m Chris Wilson from Grinding Gear Games. Welcome to this episode of Build of the Week, a weekly video series that showcases a character build submitted by a Path of Exile community member. Today’s build is a level 94 Shadow created by a player called Unhost. This build is extremely powerful but uses an array of difficult-to-obtain items. It uses dual totems that cast Ethereal Knives coupled with massive increases to spell damage. A total of nine Power Charges are maintained by using a level one Ice Spear gem supported by Power Charge on Crit. Due to the Ancestral Bond keystone which allows dual totems, the Ice Spears do no damage but cost barely any mana and generate a lot of Power Charges.
The build’s Primary skill is Ethereal Knives, supported by Spell Totem, Faster Projectiles, Faster Casting, Increased Critical Damage and Added Fire Damage. Void Battery grants you an additional maximum power charge. Although it reduces your spell damage by 80%, it more than compensates for this by providing a 25% bonus to spell damage per Power Charge. This build uses two Void Batteries so that the nine total Power Charges contribute a 290% total increased damage bonus on top of the massive critical strike chance that those Power Charges and the two wands provide.
The Malachai’s Simula helmet is used for some minor snapshotting so that seven auras can be maintained at once. These auras consume half of the mana pool and push the life total well below the low-life threshold. This results in a lot more damage due to the Pain Attunement keystone. The use of Shavronne’s Wrappings means that energy shield is an effective defense against all forms of damage. Because of its low life total, the character would be very susceptible to long duration freezes, so it runs Dream Fragments to eliminate this weakness. The Lavianga’s Spirit flask is used to support the very mana-hungry Ethereal Knives totems. This flask recovers mana and also grants you free casting during this recovery period. The remaining items this character uses are near-optimal rare and unique items picked without much regard for budget. Many of the gems where the level really matters have been corrupted to level 21.
These include Ethereal Knives, Faster Casting, Increased Critical Damage and the Reduced Duration gem used on Lightning Warp. The Power Charge On Critical gem has been corrupted to 23% quality rather than level 21 because the quality has more effect in this case. On the passive skill tree, skills from the Shadow, Witch and Templar areas are primarily used. A small diversion to the Ranger part of the tree was made to allocate the Ballistic Mastery notable passive which effectively increases the attack range of totems.
As we already mentioned, the Ancestral Bond keystone is used to get two totems. The other keystone allocated is Pain Attunement which provides a multiplicative 30% bonus to damage because of the tricks with life allocation and Shavronne’s Wrappings. Arcane Vision is used so that the character’s light radius is unaffected by its low life. The remaining passives allocated include all three additional Power Charge notables, critical strike chance and multiplier, energy shield, auras and cast speed. A weakness of this build is that in order to go for the extreme damage of using two Void Battery wands, it forgoes using a shield.
Having said that, the player reached level 94 in the Invasion league before he died, in a fight rather similar to this one. One of the goals in the design of Path of Exile was that there would be many tools for players to make interesting and extreme builds with. We greatly enjoyed examining this build because it displays mastery in both the way the build is put together but also the advanced itemisation options that were used to get the most out of it. It’s not a build that merely gets better with better items, but one that requires them from the start to be effective. This is a great example of a build that takes most of a four-month challenge league to complete and can’t be easily built in a short race. For next week’s episode we’ll also be selecting an interesting character build from the class forums on pathofexile.com. If you’ve got a cool character you’d like to show off, please post a build guide there. Good luck and see you next time!
As found on Youtube