Unholy Caster Paladin

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Unholy Caster Guide

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Unholy Caster is a simple yet solid build, capable of clearing 95% of ubers untwinked. Unholy Caster fries his enemies with lightning and banishes them back to the Burning Hells with magic sentries. Having both a shotgun (Mind Flay) and a turret (Slayer) in his toolkit, he can quickly adapt to any situation to come out on top. Unholy Caster is easy to build and stays versatile all the way to late game. In this guide, I'll cover the traditional Mind Flay Paladin, as it's the easiest to play and build around. However, Unholy Caster is more than that if you want to explore the possibilities.

Compared to his melee counterpart, he is a lot squishier but has higher burst damage and the advantage of being ranged in many ubers. Simlarly, he doesn't pack as much damage against bosses like holy caster, but he has better clear speed in farming ubers. Overall, Unholy Caster isn't particularly great at anything, but he is a comfortable character with a simple playstyle for those who are looking for a more consistent experience with the game.



TABLE OF CONTENT
click to jump to section
Change Log - Pros and Cons - Play Style - How Spell Damage Works - Breakpoints - Main Skills

Early Game - Mid Game - Late Game

Mercenary - Ubers - FAQs - Credits - Oskill Builds



change log
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pros and cons
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PLAY STYLE
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HOW SPELL DAMAGE WORKS
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break points
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Main Skills
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Early GameLevel 1-105
Attributes
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Skills
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Crafting in Early Game
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Gear
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Progression
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mid gameLevel 105-130
Attributes
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Skills
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SHRINECRAFTING AND JEWELCRAFTING
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Gear
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Progression
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late gameLevel 130+
Attributes
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Skills
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Gear
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Progression
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Edited by NotCube 2 days.
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mercenary
I love mercs. They’re fun to watch and add some chaos to the screen. This is as close as we can get to the screen cancer builds pre-sigma. Mercs can provide a great deal of support and entertainment without requiring expensive gear.
  • Upon a new game or a resurrection, the mercs need to be activated before they can survive hard contents. Do this by letting them kill some weak mobs. Watch their stats change. When their damage and defense suddenly increase by a large margin, they're ready.
  • You can cast Rapture on mercs to speed them up greatly. This is a cheap way to make them hit higher breakpoints without investing in gear, but you have to keep buffing them if you choose this method.
  • As always, preferred items are listed first, followed by alternatives, unless explained otherwise.

They all have their strong points:
Act 5 mercs are SWOLE!
Act 3 mercs are COOL!
Act 2 mercs
Act 1 mercs are CUTE!

Act 5: The Barbarians
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Act 3: The Iron Wolves
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Act 2: The Town Guards
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Act 1: The Sisters
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ubers
This section covers tips and relevant info to clear ubers with this build. I rate the ubers based on how difficult they are for this build as a fresh, untwinked character (ie. completing them as soon as they're available), not how they’re rated in the docs. I've put both the names of the quests and names of the bosses for easy search.

Ubers with the Image icon have trophies that are useful for us. While not necessary, the bonuses are very nice so I recommend farming them if you have time.

Dungeons
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Rifts
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frequently asked questions
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special thanks
Thanks to the Median XL Sigma dev team for this fun mod
Thanks Igneus for the guide template
Thanks mortimer_85 for his informative guide and gearing tips
Thanks Ben- and Seekers for gear testing, suggestions, and proofreading the guide


Feel free to contact me on Discord @Cookie Doge Ice Cream#2402 if you have questions
Edited by NotCube 14 hours.
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OSKILL BUILDS


Unholy caster is a very good "base" class to build oskills on. The benefits of using oskills on unholy caster are: free EF, free stats from Stormlord, easy 40 pierce from Euphoria or free all speeds from Rapture if the oskill isn't elemental, 80-90% spell damage from Superbeast and the fastest cast frame in the game: 5 fpa (ties with sorceress with a staff). You even get a cool edgy morph as icing on the cake.

There are many oskills in the game that we can use. Some good, some not-so-good. Because oskill builds are almost never newbie friendly, nor playable from scratch, I will only provide miniguides for these skills. The purpose of these miniguides is to discuss the concept of each skill and how to build around said skill. For the vast majority of oskills, soft levels are very good for boosting total damage because they raise the base damage of the oskills. Think of it as adding flat damage to a wdm build.

The builds below are the ones that I have personally tried and found them viable. Please note that except for a handful of super strong oskills, some of these are more for the fun factor than for... killing Samael, for example.


build list
I. Pentagram-Flamestriker
II. Cataclysm Paladin
III. Apocalypse Paladin
IV. Ring of Light
V. Banshedin
VI. Avalancher
VII. Stormclasher
VIII. Graveyardin
IX. Dawndin
X. Trinitydin
XI. Voidstardin



Attributes
All in energy until reaching 2k, then full vitality. This is the default setting for all oskill builds in this section unless specified otherwise.



PENTAGRAM-FLAMESTRIKE PALADIN

Concept
Pentagram is very strong but awkward to use due to the short cooldown. The playstyle is similar to trapsin: lure a big pack around you then release the pentagram nova. This is very effective in melee-centric ubers such as sunless seas, cows and Duncraig. The playstyle of pentagram paladin takes some time to get used to but is quite fun once you get the rhythm down.

For single target, we'll use Flamestrike found on The Pyre. If you have played fire sorc before, you'll know this powerful skill. Technically if you want to min-max, Flamestrike and Pentagram are different builds but they're kinda similar so I'm rolling them into one build to save some space.

Paladin has access to many fire oskills so these two aren't the only viable ones. Feel free to mix fire oskills together as you see fit. If you don't like Pentagram, you can use Flamestrike alone or with Ring of Light/Path of Flames/Pyroblast. They're all good.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Stormlord, Euphoria, Tainted Blood.
Blessed Life: max or enough points to hit 50 PR
1 point: Divine Apparition, Scourge
Leftover points can go to Blessed Life for more flat DR or Scourge if you use them.

Gear
► Show Spoiler


how to play
Cast all your buffs. Walk around to lure a big pack, or teleport into one (with your Scourges) then cast Pentagram. Anything that isn't a fire absorb will die. Path of Flame and Scourges will take care to the rest. For big targets, equip the Pyre and spam Flamestrike.



CATADIN

Concept

Cataclysm releases a fireball nova that does splash damage and can shotgun at close range. He's a very fun farmer, and the cool factor is undeniable. Paladin gets Cataclysm from
Apostasy
Apostasy
Scepters

'Shaad'
Runeword Level: 100
+3 to Paladin Skill Levels
50% Cast Speed
+20% Enhanced Damage
+(21 to 25)% to Lightning Spell Damage
+(21 to 25)% to Physical/Magic Spell Damage
+(24 to 29) to Cataclysm
+(24 to 29) to Frozen Crown
Total Character Defense (21 to 30)%
,
Veil of the Tainted Sun
Veil of the Tainted Sun
Blackguard Helm (Sacred)

Defense: (3042 - 3434) to (3680 - 4093)
(Paladin Only)
Required Level: 100
Required Dexterity: 387
Item Level: 120
+150 Spell Focus
+(3 to 4) to Paladin Skill Levels
+(25 to 30)% to Fire Spell Damage
-(20 to 25)% to Enemy Fire Resistance
+(35 to 40)% to Physical/Magic Spell Damage
+(10 to 15) to Cataclysm
+(160 to 200)% Enhanced Defense
+(500 to 1000) Defense
Physical Resist -6%
1% Reanimate as: Howling Spirit
Socketed (4)
,
Armageddon
Armageddon
(Paladin Oskill Set)

Eye of Wisdom
The Witness

Set Bonus with complete set:
After using Cataclysm:
Total Character Defense = 50%
+50% Movement Speed
+500 to Energy
4% Chance to cast level 50 Cataclysm on Death Blow

set and
Relic (Cataclysm)
Cornerstone of the World
Relic
Required Level: 120
Can be Inserted into Socketed Items
+6% to Fire Spell Damage
+(7 to 11) to Cataclysm
. Traditionally you would stack Cata levels as high as possible, but the mp cost then becomes too much to sustain without investing in UMOs. Therefore I prefer to skip either Apostasy or Veil helm (preferably the scepter since it does literally nothing except for +cata lvls). The ideal setup would skip Apostasy and make up for slvl with cata relics.
Casting Cataclysm gives you a 2s buff that grants 500 energy, so make sure you check your synergy values with this buff on.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Stormlord, Tainted Blood, Blessed Life
1 point: Divine Apparition
Next there are 2 options: Euphoria for pierce and Rapture/Sacred Armor for speed/regen. The latter is much better but is only recommended if you have 135 pierce without Euphoria. This is achievable with Astro trophy, Kab sleep and good rolls on gear.

Gear
Gearing for this build varies wildly since many pieces we need have stats that roll over a wide range. As always, max pierce first, then everything follows.
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how to play
Walk in the middle of a group and blast it.



APOCADIN

Concept

This build is a meme. Apocalypse releases a fire nova that hits almost everything on the screen at the same time. Think of it as a weaker Cataclysm but with pierce. This means it clears large but weak mobs faster than Catadin, but lacks the shotgun ability at close range. Damage is beyond terrible and it takes at least 2 good crafts to play. Even at max synergy and 500+ fsd, it's only a p1 farmer. Putting this here because people have asked about it.
The only way to make it good is with
Relic (Apocalypse)
Cornerstone of the World
Relic
Required Level: 120
Can be Inserted into Socketed Items
-5% to Enemy Fire Resistance
+(8 to 14) to Apocalypse
so I only recommend playing this if you have at least 2 relics.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Stormlord, Tainted Blood, Blessed Life
1 point: Divine Apparition
10-15p in Rapture. Rest in Sacred Armor.

Gear
► Show Spoiler


how to play
Herd a big group and kill.



bRINGer OF LIGHT

Concept
Despite how awkward it can be to use, Ring of Light has always been extremely powerful, and patch 1.5 just made it stronger. RoL is basically the fire version of Vortex and Abyss, in that there is a blind spot (the eye of the storm) in the center, where we stand. When spaced correctly, however, RoL deals an obsence amount of damage over time.

Besides the weakness in the center, RoL also has no range. Therefore, the goals of this build are: covering the weak spot, and findIng a way to do damage at long range.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Stormlord, Tainted Blood.
Blessed Life: max or enough points to hit 50 PR
Rapture: 10-15 points to reach breakpoints & a comfortable duration
1 point: Divine Apparition, Hoplite

Gear
I prefer to just use the entire
Curse of the Zakarum
Curse of the Zakarum
(Zakarum Set)

Wyand's Perfidy
Maffer's Frenzy
Bremm's Retribution
Geleb's Greed

Set Bonus with 2 or more set items:
Maximum Life 10%
Maximum Fire Resist +4%

Set Bonus with 3 or more set items:
Level 12 Wolf Stance

Set Bonus with complete set:
+2 to All Skills
+84 fire damage
+50% to Fire Spell Damage
-60% to Enemy Fire Resistance
+3 to Path of Flames
+75 to all Attributes

set. It's really good and not too rare either. Lot's of +skills, decent fire dmg and pierce, plus Pyroblast and Path of Flames, which complement our RoL perfectly. If you don't have the set, try to get Path of Flames on Elemental Band or Auhe belt. PoF fills in our blind spot with more fire. The rest can be just crafts.
► Show Spoiler


how to play
Buff with Path of Flames and everything else. In cows and dunc, simply cast RoL every few steps while kiting around. In fauzt, you'll want to use Pyroblast to hit necrobots & harpylisks. RoL melts any boss that doesn't teleport much.



BANSHEEDIN
Concept
As one of the better oskills available for paladin, it would be a shame if this build wasn't mentioned. Bansheedin gets the skill from
Darkfeast
Darkfeast
Goedendag (Sacred)

One-Hand Damage: 53 to 54
Required Strength: 574
Required Level: 100
Item Level: 105
(Paladin Only)
Strength Damage Bonus: (0.18 per Strength)%
+(0 to 2) Projectile to Hunting Banshee
+(50 to 200) Energy Factor to Spell Damage
+50% Damage to Undead
+(30 to 50)% to Cold Spell Damage
-(10 to 25)% to Enemy Cold Resistance
+(18 to 30) to Hunting Banshee
+50 Life Regenerated per Second
Total Character Defense (30 to 60)%
+50 Life after each Kill
Socketed (3)
, a quite common item that nobody uses, and with it, he can do pretty much all ubers from 120 and under. and clear Fauzt in crafted gear.

Banshee releases up to 3 homing beams that explode into frost novas. These novas multihit, which is why they're actually good despite the low sheet damage. The downside is, you can't control where the beams go. This is a problem in fights with multiple invincible (but still targettable) enemies such as Xazax. Good news is, it doesn't matter for farming because you spam it anyway.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Stormlord, Euphoria, Tainted Blood.
Blessed Life: max or enough points to hit 50 PR
1 point: Divine Apparition, Scourge
Leftover points can go to Blessed Life for more flat DR or Scourge if you use them.

Gear
► Show Spoiler


how to play
Buff with everything you have. Summon Scourges. Spam Banshee. Not much to say.



AVALANCHE PALADIN
Concept
Avalanche is a really fun farming skill. It casts 2 streams of snow to your left and right that travel straight forward. When you first try it, it may look stupid and make you wonder how in the world will you ever aim this thing, but you don't have to. You swipe it from side to side. Most of the time, simply click a little to your left then drag the cursor to your right. This will cover the middle blind spot. Avalanche is strong enough to farm Dunc and Fauzt and the graphics is quite good too.

The only drawback of Avalanche is the hefty mana consumption, which can be countered with Sur runes or honorific boots stacked with 5x
The Moon Crystal
The Moon Crystal
Mystic Orb

Cube Reagent
Cube with Any Armor to Add Bonus
10% Cast Speed
Cold Resist 15%
Lightning Resist 15%
Regenerate Mana +10%
+10 Required Level
. Another option is to not use our main weapon to cut the mana cost. You'll do less damage but Avalanche will be spam-able. Haven't tested this though so do it at your own risk.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Stormlord, Euphoria, Tainted Blood.
Blessed Life: max or enough points to hit 50 PR
1 point: Divine Apparition, Scourge
Leftover points can go to Blessed Life for more flat DR or Scourge if you use them.

Gear
► Show Spoiler


how to play
Swipe your mouse across the screen. From left to right. From north to south. From east to west. From dusk til dawn. Literally. spam. the. hell. out. of. it. You don't care what's on the screen, just swipe until everything is gone then take their loot from their cold, dead bodies. It's really fun.



STORMCLASHER

Concept
Despite the lack of class specific support, Pala is a good Stormclasher, only beaten by Druid and Amazon. SC gains +1 spear per 25 levels. Everybody will get 3 spears without trying, but reaching the 4th spear (slvl 75) can be a challenge until end game.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Stormlord, Tainted Blood, Sacred Armor
Blessed Life: max or enough points to hit 50 PR
Rapture: 10-15 points to reach breakpoints & a comfortable duration
1 point: Divine Apparition, Hoplite

Gear
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how to play
Play like Mind Flay. Buff with SA frequently for easy mode.



GRAVEYARDIN

Concept
Kind of a meme. Not much of a boss killer, but he's a pretty chill, lazy dunc farmer. Indirectly nerfed in patch 1.3 when Symphony of Destruction was changed from poison to magic so he lost most of his boss killing status. However Graveyardin is still a pretty fun meme build that can lazy farm at a decent pace. The reason I say it's a meme is because he can't do much without twinking gears and charms at higher levels.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Stormlord, Tainted Blood, Blessed Life
1 point: Divine Apparition, Scourge
Leftover points can go to Scourge to farm fauzt more comfortably.

For this build, you can also go Rapture when you have enough pierce for better speeds. Scourge makes fauzt easier but you don't need them for dunc.

Gear
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how to play
Buff with Superbeast, Tainted Blood, Hive and just walk around.



DAWNDIN
Concept
Rising Dawn (RD) recently got a big buff in patch 1.5, elevating it from meme status to one of the best oskills in the game. RD's unique scaling makes its damage climb with soft levels (slvl) up to lv 28, beyond which its damage takes a rapid nosedive. Therefore the goal of this build is keeping RD's level at exactly 28 while stacking synergy and spell damage.

For paladin, RD comes from crafted Bonebreaker/Goedendag/Angel Star as a random rare affix that rolls between lv 15-20. You get around 10-15 skills from charms. Then there are inevitable +skills from gear. Needless to say, you want as low a roll as possible on your weapon, and there are a few charms that we don't need for this build such as
Neutrality Pact
Neutrality Pact
Required Level: 130
Keep in Inventory to Gain Bonus
+(1 to 2) to All Skills
+(61 to 100)% Bonus to Summoned Edyrem Life
+(2 to 5) to Purify
,
Books of Kalan
Books of Kalan
Required Level: 130
Keep in Inventory to Gain Bonus
+1 to All Skills
+(3 to 15) to Teleport
+25 to Life
+50 to Mana
and
The Glorious Book of Median
The Glorious Book of Median
Required Level: 130
Keep in Inventory to Gain Bonus
+1 to All Skills
Adds 10-15 damage
+(24 to 45)% Damage to Demons
Elemental Resists +(5 to 15)%
. Depending on your RD roll, You'll most likely want a +0
The Ancient Repositories
The Ancient Repositories
Required Level: 125
Keep in Inventory to Gain Bonus
+(0 to 1) to All Skills
(101 to 150)% Bonus to Attack Rating
+(11 to 15)% to Spell Damage
(6 to 10)% Chance of Crushing Blow
Cold Resist +(5 to 20)%
Lightning Resist +(5 to 20)%
Fire Resist +(5 to 20)%
too. Just make sure to keep RD at 28 because it's nigh impossible to make up for the loss of dmg beyond 28 with sheer spell dmg.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Blessed Life, Stormlord, Tainted Blood
1 point: Divine Apparition
10-20 points in Rapture to taste
Rest in Sacred Armor

Gear
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how to play
Simply spam it for farming. For bossing, be familiar with where RD explodes. You want to space yourself so that RD explodes on top of a boss. Here's a makeshift diagram of RD's range:
► Show Spoiler



TRINITYDIN

Courtesy of Vikan in Showcase
Concept
Aka. Tgdin, QTdin, Balancedin, Knifedin. Accidentally made godlike in patch 1.5, then nerfed in 1.6 and again in 1.7 but it's still stronger than everything else. Trinity Beam shoots a high dmg beam that randomly targets enemies. Basically a super powerful beam with aimbot. GG.
Damage of this skill has 3 components: fire, cold, light that scale individually with spell damage of each element. The idea here is to simply get as much spell damage as possible while maxing synergy.

Disclaimer: gear/MOs I'm suggesting in this section are accessible to most players, and are meant for general gameplay. For Dimensional Labyrinth and Samael, you need more pierce, resists and life and therefore necessitate a different (and expensive) approach that I won't go in details here. Please follow the link under the video for more info.

Skills
Max: Blessed Life, Superbeast, Stormlord, Tainted Blood
1 point: Divine Apparition
10-20 points in Rapture to taste. Rest to Sacred Armor

Gear
► EXPAND


how to play
Spam it. Don't die.
Some teleport bosses don't like beam very much. In this case just equip
The Pyre
The Pyre
Bonebreaker (Sacred)

One-Hand Damage: 51 to 52
(Paladin Only)
Required Level: 100
Required Strength: 544
Item Level: 105
Strength Damage Bonus: (0.11 per Strength)%
+(2 to 3) to Paladin Skill Levels
50% Cast Speed
+50% Damage to Undead
+(15 to 25)% to Fire Spell Damage
-15% to Enemy Fire Resistance
+(30 to 40)% to Physical/Magic Spell Damage
+(17 to 28) to Flamestrike
Elemental Resists +15%
+(75 to 100) Life after each Kill
30% Gold Find
Socketed (3)
or a
Relic (Flamestrike)
Cornerstone of the World
Relic
Required Level: 120
Can be Inserted into Socketed Items
+(31 to 40) Spell Focus
+(7 to 16) to Flamestrike
. You already have high fire pierce and spell dmg as a beamer anyway.



VOIDSTARDIN
Concept
Think Bloodstorm, but with godly damage and piercing projectiles. He's easily a p8 fauzt farmer but getting the
Despondence
Despondence
Voidforged Staff
Two-Hand Damage: 13 to 16
Required Level: 125
Item Level: 110
Nearby enemies lose 10% Magic and Elemental resistances
+30% to Spell Damage
+20 to Voidstar
+1 to Vindicate
+(600 to 1000) to Life
Lightning Resist -100%
staff for this build is a meme in itself. If you play on ladder, by the time you can acquire the staff, ladder is likely already dead, so your p8 farmer has no purpose. Still, he's a very fun, satisfying build. I'm hiding this build down here because it's quite unrealistic to achieve for most players.

Voidstar does cold spell dmg, but scales with every type of SD (but cold sd still scales it faster than others). So generic spell dmg is best. For this build you really starve for cold pierce so get it from as many sources as you can (astro trophy, kab sleep). You can probably already tell that just like trinity beam, this is another build that benefits the most from
Lodestone
Lodestone
Mystic Orb

Cube Reagent
Cube with Any Armor to Add Bonus
+5% to Spell Damage
Requirements +10%
+10 Required Level
, making it even more of a meme due to how expensive it can get.

Skills
Max: Superbeast, Blessed Life, Tainted Blood, Euphoria
1 point: Divine Apparition, Scourge
Rest to Stormlord

Gear
► EXPAND


how to play
Spam it to the side or in front of a group. Same for bosses. Don't put voidstars ontop of them as they can miss.
Edited by NotCube 1 week.
Manu300000
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I played this char at the start of the ladder, can you tell me, is it even worth to get 4 beams to mindflay? It seems like it still has a next hit delay.
Nice guide btw!
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NotCube
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Manu300000 wrote:I played this char at the start of the ladder, can you tell me, is it even worth to get 4 beams to mindflay? It seems like it still has a next hit delay.
Nice guide btw!


Yeah it's worth it. The extra beams do add damage when they hit. This is very visible against beefy targets: the difference in dps between 1-2 beams and 4 beams is big. Not to mention that more beams makes farming a lot faster.
Zanpakutaiso
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What about Imperius set? Is it any good at mid game?
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Zanpakutaiso wrote:What about Imperius set? Is it any good at mid game?

Unfortunately, the set is garbage. It hasn't been updated to fit the new tree yet. You get a lot more pierce, spell damage and almost the same amount of +skills from crafts.
mortimer_85
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A small hint on the Crafted Weapon part:

Paladin Blunt and Sceptres:
-max + Paladin skill is now 4 down from 5
-max innate single pierce: 15
-Sockets: 3(Paladin) 6(War Scepter)
-max innate single sd%: 50(Paladin) 40 (Scepter)
-max innate EF: 50

Crsytal Swords:
-max all skill is now 4 up from 3.
-max innate single pierce: 20
-Sockets 6
-max innate single sd%: 40
-max innate EF:100
-less phys dam affixes

So Crystal Swords seems to be far superior for crafting a good one handed caster weapon, especially for oskills that only roll on non weapon items.
Have not tested much though….
stevofasho
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just to point out(and correct me if i am wrong) but lightning spell dmg is not an affix that will roll on crafted boots. i'm also pretty sure EF cannot be rolled onto boots so i'm pretty sure you can't get 100+
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stevofasho wrote:just to point out(and correct me if i am wrong) but lightning spell dmg is not an affix that will roll on crafted boots. i'm also pretty sure EF cannot be rolled onto boots so i'm pretty sure you can't get 100+


Boots don't innately roll EF nor spell damage, but with eerie (60 EF a pop) craft + bless you can get a maximum of 120 EF.
You're right about spell damage though. I switched from ornate to eerie for boots but didn't remove that part. Thanks.