I took a small break from my Pathfinder just to level up a new Champion Ground Slam guy. But I got a bit bored and read an article about how I could improve my Pathfinder’s DPS. The answer: Nature’s Adrenaline.
Initially, when I re-spec’d my Pathfinder I took Master Toxicist, which was something I used before. However, what I failed to realize was that this skill was better when you employ a Herald of Agony crawler because of the Virulence stacks. After ripping out Herald of Agony in favor of Malevolence and Haste, I didn’t realize how gimped I was for damage because of this node.
What I failed to notice was how important attack speed stacking means for Toxic Rain. This was especially discernible once I moved from a Quill Rain to a +3 crafted bow. While the overall damage was better, the speed wasn’t the same. So I switched to Nature’s Adrenaline and noticed just how much the dot ramps up on enemies!
Another thing I did was take out Soulrend from my Asenath’s Chant and add in Controlled Destruction and Void Manipulation. This really has helped my overall area clear. Things dissolve quite quickly except for bosses.
Beyond that, I’m looking at a few other optimizations. The biggest is to switch to Wind Dancer from Iron Reflexes and speccing into Phase Acrobatics down the road. I think those will be pretty big changes but they do require a few more levels to get to.
But the real thing I want more than anything else is a Maloney’s Mechanism. I’m trying to save up for one on Standard just because I think having permanent Onslaught, Frenzy charges and Culling Strike will truly help my single target, which is the weakest aspect of this build.
Right now, the build feels great up until you hit a boss. From there, you have to keep up your Wither totem to slow them and just spam cast your Toxic Rain. Some bosses just seem too sketchy and I’ve become afraid of doing legion. I feel that the Culling Strike out to help out, although the new Hunter quivers with the DoT multiplier probably would be a safer bet.
With regards to my latest Champion, I found that I had a fully ascended Slayer lying around with a full respect. So I did a normal lab and hit that reset button and converted him into a Facebreaker Earthshatter fister. Rather than leveling from scratch, I decided to just give this build a go since I’ve read a lot of good things about it.
First, it’s fairly tanky. Permanent Fortify and Adrenaline from First to Strike, Last to Fall really help survivability, despite employing a sketchy Abyssus. But the standout aspect is the sheer damage output. You use three war cries, Intimidate, Seismic and Enduring, which are annoying but the area obliterates huge packs.
Not only that but when facing a boss, you can just line those up with an Ancestral Warchief and practically dissolve bosses in a hit or two. Since the damage fans out around you, you can clear good sized pockets of mobs.
The main issue is that it’s super slow. Triggering all the war cries and zipping around with Dash along with flask management do require a great deal of button pushing. This button pushing makes the clear speed less than optimal compared to say the Pathfinder character I just mentioned. Also, not everything gets destroyed with a single hit. You will have stragglers frequently.
However, the damage is very reliable and easy to scale. I had an excellent Facebreaker with 797% more damage and Enfeeble corrupted, a Ryslatha’s Coil, Abyssus and Great Old One’s Ward lying around. These items give a huge amount of physical damage boost. From there you just need to get more physical damage from good Steel Rings and an amulet.
That said, your weakness is a struggle for resistance and stats (a lot of dexterity). Also, you might want to use reduced mana cost on your jewelry. Because of this, you have to juggle between damage, resistance, life and an open prefix.
I think if I had leveled this character from scratch on a normal league, I probably would’ve gone 2-hander. The great thing is that there’s no real gear requirements. Really all that’s required is a good weapon or highly rolled Facebreaker. But I think the 2-hander is much easier to start with since you don’t have to worry about resist as much. Also, you will have extra slots for gems like a better movement skill.
Overall, the champion Earthshatter wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. At least, the near end game version. If I feel motivated at all, I might try it on Heist.