So I made a little more progress to my Sunder Juggernaut and created a new Vaal Reave Ascendant. Both are very fun but I did hit a few walls here and there and wanted to discuss my experiences with both, especially my Ascendant as that has been a recent project.
First, the thing I had done with my Sunder Juggernaut since my last Path of Exile update was purchasing an Atziri’s Disfavour axe. While I never was able to six link it to get the maximum potential, I did manage to 5 link it. Just the damage along boosted me from roughly 30k to around 70k+. I was able to destroy T8-9’s without a sweat and started progressing into my T11’s a bit.
That along with level 91 motivated me into finally completing Uber Lab. I managed to get my Juggernaut to 5.5k life which gave me enough confidence to take a blow or two from Uber Izaro. Let me say that the first trial pretty much made me nerve wracked since I got chunked by a nasty hit. However, at that point, I became super cautious and played more conservatively to avoid the big hits. Also, I went after a few dark shrines which helped to a lesser degree, since the one I managed to find was for speed. Once I completed the Uber Lab, I got my last ascendancy points and can feel the full benefit of the tankiness of the build.
I think there’s still quite a few opportunities to grow but it might be a bit late since the season will end in about a month. The big problem is that I haven’t been able to six link my Atziri’s Disfavor and don’t have a few BiS items like a 6 linked Belly of the Beast nor Kaom’s Roots. I think those items and some decent rings would really push my DPS and health up another major level. However, I don’t see myself really grinding at the rate necessary to accumulate the wealth necessary in order to procure the last few costly items and/or getting enough fusings.
The other thing is that despite seeing the build really come together, I do feel certain limitations. As a Delve build, I think it’s fine but not a great pusher compared to some other meta builds. I have read that it’s not great against Atziri and I’m uncertain how it’ll handle other major end game bosses.
As a league starter though, it’s a fairly decent build. Very straight forward and doesn’t require that much to get started. I think it would have problems against certain bosses early on if you don’t have the twink gear. But the way I handled him was through certain dependencies on items that are costly. Also, I got lucky to a degree early on in finding two six linked items. So those helped at the starting stages of the build in mapping yet moving forward would require a bit of currency to correct the issues.
That’s partly why I wanted to try out a Scion Reave type of character. I tried Vaal Reave on another character before but didn’t get far. The thing I discovered was that Reave isn’t a great leveling skill. And even with a Tabula Rasa, it lacks certain things to make it a solid early skill.
Instead, I started off just using Molten Strike up until around level 50 or so. However, I encountered two deaths on Act 5; one from Innocence and the second from Kitava. This was from me using Molten Strike at that point. It just felt awkward since I don’t think the way I was leveling really allowed Molten Strike to synergize all that well with the way I was leading towards Reave.
So upon hitting Act 6, I decided to make the switch there. Even in the early 50s, I found Reave to be a bit weak. The build guide I used suggested doing Blade Flurry for single target, so between boss fights, I would swap gems. For the most part after switching over, I found the build to be less and less awkward. Part of that is getting a decent foil and making sure I kept hitting the critical strike multipliers and attack speed skills.
As those skills increased along with getting the Slayer and Raider Ascendancy nodes, Reave started to really hit its stride. For the most part, when you have large chunks of mobs, Reave just blasts them nicely. Add a Lion’s Roar and you can keep most enemies at bay. Even for non-major boss fights, Reave does well against single targets. It’s not great by any means but you can still take things out. Combined with Life Leech, you should be fine.
Right now, I think that I’ll wait a bit to do Uber Lab once I finish up Kitava Act 10 and get through a few levels from maps. The main priority would be to improve my life to around 5.5k minimum or maybe more to avoid getting chunked by some of the more ridiculous blows. One good thing is that as a Scion, I don’t really need to push for that last Ascendancy point the same way that a purer class would. Most of that would be gaining more passive points and then respeccing points to move the tree to Raider/Ranger.
At any rate, I’m pretty happy thus far with both builds. If I manage to get one more build in prior to the end of the league, it might be revamping my actual Molten Strike build into a Juggernaut. I’m seeing more benefits in the way people are using Nebuloch with Juggernaught. However, it is expensive so I might just sit it out or try something like an elementalist.