Since nobody likes too much mumbo-jumbo, lets hop straight into the fray.
This build features very high ranged elemental damage and bulkiness. It works for any player, works on any game mode (pick up more HP and less damage on HC!); however requires good gear to truly shine. The goal of The Shocker is to provide stylish effectiveness through comfortable play style.
The passive skill tree backbone of this build can be found here. It uses 83 points, which equal to around lvl65, depending on which rewards you picked up from bandits, and when you finished all the other quests.
The player is free to modify/expand on that template as he finds necessary. Experience taught me that not everyone shares the same opinion, and some people enjoy some things more than others.
Good ways to expand this build are adding more HP nodes, extra Frenzy Charges, Projectile Damage, Attack Speed; however some prefer getting more armour, or movement speed.
The endgame build variants: HC variant, SC variant. [As an SC player you might want to decide you want straight out more DPS and less bulk, so go for the BM keystone and pop an additional support gem on your LA. Personal preference!]
Which skills to use with this build, and how to link them up?
The main skill this build revolves around is Lightning Arrow.
4L – LA+LMP+WED+LoH
5L – LA+LMP+WED+LoH+BM (Don’t need 5L before you need BM gem)
6L – LA+LMP+WED+LoH+BM+FAttacks (Don’t need 6L, but FAttacks is gorgeous)
Tip: level your BM gem in advance, so when you make the switch, it boosts mana cost less!
Auras: Anger + Wrath + Grace + Reduced Mana.
Endgame auras: Anger + Wrath + Purity + Reduced Mana.
Single target skill is a matter of personal preference, though the most commonly used one – for good reasons, is Elemental Hit. Link it to Weapon Elemental Damage, Life Leech and Faster Attacks. At 5L and endgame, add Blood Magic (don’t need 5L before you need BM gem). Personally, I am torn apart between Frenzy and Elemental Hit. Both are so, so good.
Stacking up Frenzy Charges is accomplished through use of Frenzy. They are easy to stack and maintain once stacked, and provide a major DPS boost.
The best Curses to be used are Elemental Weakness and Temporal Chains; the first being more offensive, the latter defensive. At endgame, switch up Elemental Weakness for Projectile Weakness (it is a superb curse which will help “fix” the “lack” of Chain in DPS and provide an extra layer of defense as well). [endgame setup due to not having mana to cast them is: EW/PW+TC+BMagic+FCasting]
The Shocker appreciates good items. However, some stand out as his favourites!
He prefers a bow with high fixed Elemental Damage and Attack Speed. Bows with 1.55 base attack speed are preferred, most common one being the Thicket Bow. A bow always comes in pair with a Quiver, which preferably also has high fixed Elemental Damage, ideally in tandem with HP and/or percentile Elemental Damage. Holding a bow may be cumbersome for the ordinary; but The Shocker never forgets to take a pair of gloves. The gloves ideally have a mix of Attack Speed, HP and fixed Elemental Damage.
Being shiny and standing out is The Shockers favourite passtime activity. Jewelry makes for quite a large amount of damage; so he likes to wear rings and amulet with high Elemental Damage and HP. The best amulet is going to be an Onyx one with a high innate bonus to attributes. A comfortable belt will always have HP and percentile Elemental Damage.
We all know comfortable sneakers make for fancy moves on the playground – The Shocker always gets high Movement Speed boots, and really likes HP on them as well.
Lastly, it is the armour that makes a knight. The chest piece and the helm should be defensively oriented; having high HP and Elemental Resistances. Combining Unwavering Stance and Iron Reflexes brings the player a wide choice of equipment which can be used with no immediate penalty – one can either opt for Armour pieces, Evasion pieces or nearly any mixed combination. The best chest piece to use is Armour Evasion hybrid, because it makes it easier to get desired slots.
A short section about Flasks!
Since this build is all about HP, and mana is never being used (except for auras later), you do not need any Mana flasks or Hybrid flasks. That leaves us with HP flasks and utility flasks. Resistance flasks are not needed with this build, and using them will most likely just hinder your game by using a slot unnecessarily. If you are playing in HC, you might want to consider replacing one HP potion with a Topaz Flask; and you would pop that flask when you encounter Elemental Reflect packs. This is because the majority of your damage will usually end up being Lightning Damage.
Granite Flask – use one, ideally you want to have +40% Charge Recovery and +100% armour during flask duration.
Quicksilver Flask – use one, ideally you want to have +40% Charge Recovery, and the second bonus can differ depending on personal preference. I prefer Movement Speed addition.
HP flasks – normally you would use three of these. One of them should be an “Instant Recovery on Low Life”, and it is your life saver flask. Be careful when you pop this one. The other two are largely personal preference based. Acceptable affixes are Fending, Iron Skin, Adrenaline, Refilling, Warding, Ample, Saturated, Seething and Bubbling. An example of three acceptable HP flasks is shown here.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions – READ BEFORE POSTING
Why no Iron Grip?
Ok so what does Iron Grip do? “The increase to Physical Damage from Strength applies to Projectile attacks as well as Melee attacks.” As you can see, I underlined the important part of its explanation. It only boosts the tiny amount of physical damage you do, it does not work like “Projectile damage” nodes in the Ranger section, for example. Since this build is all about elemental damage, you really won’t get a high physical base to increase with Physical damage buffs. If your skill tooltip says it deals 50 Physical, 300 Lightning, 200 Fire and 150 Ice damage, the Iron Grip keystone will only buff the 50 Physical. So considering the amount of points you pay to get there, it is not worth it at all! There are other specific builds which utilize Iron Grip much better.
Does this work in HC? Check the first paragraph of the OP!
Why does this not start at Ranger/Duelist/Templar? Because it is a waste of points to start in those positions. You can do it if you want though!
Where do I get the Dexterity to use my bow? By the time you finish the build you will have plenty of both INT and DEX for all the skills and items, and in the meantime pick up +30 Dex nodes, use Onyx amulet, and get a Light Quiver if you need even more DEX.
Can I use XXX skill? You can, but this build is designed to work best with the skills outlined in the skill section!
Should I level up my gem(s)? As the base rule of thumb, always level up every gem.
Where do I go in the skill tree first? It doesn’t ultimately matter, but if you want Me to make Your choices, go RT>BM>US>IR then Static Blows and Templar WED ring.
Is item A better than item B? Go inside an area the highest difficulty you can, find a safe spot, and buff up. Equip each item, and check your stats to determine which item wins!
Why LMP and not GMP? Because LMP is better for this build.
I do not have Chain, what to do? Just don’t worry about it until you do get it, use the 4L variant.
Which Bandit rewards should I take with my Shocker? The first, always good option, is to take straight out all skill points. You cannot fail by doing that. If you want to take rewards though, the clear winners are: Normal Oak (+40 HP), Cruel Kraityn (+4% iAS), Merciless Kraityn (+1 Max Frenzy Charge).
What do all these abbreviations mean?
HC = Hardcore
5L = an item with 5 sockets all linked
LA = Lightning Arrow
LMP = Lesser Multiple Projectiles
WED = Weapon Elemental Damage
LoH = Life Gain on Hit
BM = Blood Magic
FAttacks / FA = Faster Attacks