Hi all, I’ve been having a blast with this game and would like to thank EH for creating such an engaging and fun ARPG, I think it has the potential to be the best on the market. I’ve been playing a flame reaver ignite build on my Spellblade and loving the visuals of setting the world on fire with the damage to match. The build uses the crazy interactions of Flame Reave and Fireball to create huge ignites then Enchant Weapon’s Conflagrate to destroy large enemies. I was really struggling to generate enough defensive capability with the build though, especially after 0.7.8’s nerf to Ward. Enter Ring of the Third Eye, a ring which gives a 30% chance on crit to grant 15 Ward. Alongside the mage’s normal ward gain means this is just enough ward to make you viable in the end game. Currently I’ve got to wave 112 and wasn’t having any damage issues before getting slapped by fireboi so it’s definitely viable for high arena and MoF! Obviously, it is not as strong as the Shatterstrike build but I think it’s a very fun alternative and could definitely climb high with some iteration.
I’ve built this on my Spellblade but I’m confident that the Sorc version is viable with even higher damage, but with less ward generation. Sorcerer gearing would favour less crit on gear and more on int or other defensive affix’s (dodge, HP, prot etc).
Pros and Cons
- High Damage
- Interactive playstyle
- Visually Satisfying
- Can kill high hp enemies
- Defensively weaker than Shatterstrike/Manastrike builds
- Different gearing requirements from those builds – harder to transition
- Slower arena clearing – requires setting up, kiting and balling
- May put some strain on your gpu when killing big packs
Your active skill bar will consist of Teleport*, Flame Ward, Focus, Enchant Weapon and Flame Reave
*Teleport will not be specialised!
Your specialisations are Fireball, Flame Ward, Focus, Enchant Weapon and Flame Reave
4/4 Piercing Heat
2/2 Orb of Destruction
4/4 Burning Wounds
1/1 Flame Burst
2/2 Volatile Flames
Fireball is where all your ignites and crits are coming from. If you don’t have access to Cinder song or a good sceptre, use Reen/Humming Bee and put 3 points in 2 points in adept and 3 Points in Mana Sphere over Flame Burst, Volatile Flames and Burning Wounds.
2/5 Stalwart Defence
This set up of Flame Ward is about buying you a burst a window for 4 seconds where you can unload rather than autocasting. You can also go for additional charges over Energise/Recollection, but the most important is the 4 seconds of Barrier!
3/5 Energy Battery
1/1 Energy Infusion
5/5 Mind’s Shield
4/4 Desperate Meditation
4/4 Mana Flooded
Standard Focus build, use to keep up mana and additional ward retention.
2/5 Immolating Strikes
5/5 Eternal Flames
4/4 Searing Conflagration
4/5 Shiver Blade or Celerity
Unlike other Spellblade builds, Enchant weapon is there to finish your damage window and create a powerful execute through Conflagrate. It will consume all ignite stacks on enemies nearby to do 3x the remaining ignite damage to each enemy. Unfortunately, this damage isn’t displayed as a number but I have a sneaking suspicion that it may double dip and be able to crit/scale with fire and spell damage. Even if it doesn’t, it is still a huge burst. Currently, I am able to get over 10k ticks of ignite on the training dummy (keeping in mind it has no protections) which when factoring in ignite duration means Conflagrates of over 100k.
3/5 Rending Ire
4/4 Catalyst of Ire
2/3 Explosive Blood
1/5 Ire Sap
1/7 Flame Blood
1/1 Flame Caller
4/4 Reaving Assault
4/5 Dancing Flames
Flame Reave is your bread and butter skill, while it does do some damage, it’s main purpose is to generate as many fireball’s at once. Each enemy hit by flame reave’s wave has a 40% chance to proc a fireball. This is how you are able to generate a LOT of ignite stacks on a large enemy when it’s surrounded by other enemies. More on this in the interaction section.
Infernal Calling can be a very potent skill for keeping your enemies grouped, but I ultimately found it too risky, bringing in golems and fireballs within nuking range of you.
5/5 Mage Flurry
10/10 Knowledge Destruction
8/8 Calculated Destruction
4/5 Whirling Snow
5/5 Arcane Warden
10/10 Infernal Imbuement
10/10 Volcanic Blade
5/5 Spell Weaver
15/15 Triple Strike
10/10 Flame Tender
5/10 Mind Slayer
5/5 Mind Flayer
Triple Strike should be your last skill to fill.
5/5 Mage Flurry
10/10 Knowledge Destruction
8/8 Calculated Destruction
5/5 Whirling Snow
8/8 Crackling Precision
10/10 Arcane Insight
2/10 Dragon Mage
10/10 Dragon Breath
1/1 Mirror breath*
*If running mirror breath, take one point out of Reaving Assault in Flame Reave and put it in to Rolling Thunder to trigger the Lightning tag. Alternatively, you can take that point out of Mirror Breath and put it back into Dragon mage if you take 1 point of Stalwart Defence and 1 point Energize and put them into Fire Aura and Frost Ward in the Flame Ward Skill.
5/5 Arcane Warden
10/10 Infernal Imbuement
5/5 Spell Weaver
Infernal Imbuement is actually fairly weak since most of your ignite stacks come from the fireball, but Spell Weaver gives you enough spell damage so that fireballs actually start chunking!
Dragon Breath/Mage last to fill.
Final Gear Set
I’ve kept Yellows to level 16 as something achievable. I’m still swapping in and out to find an optimal arrangement but be the best, and hoping with more data being available and development of my spreadsheet I can work out the optimal set up.
4x1 Ornates: Ignite Duration & Ward Per Second
1x3 Increased Ignite Effect & Ward on Melee Hit
1x1 Ward Retention & Fire Damage
Ward when hit and Fire damage over time are also good.
Maintain 100% Glancing and CSA.
Ignite on hit and Dodge after Potion are OP!
Intelligence is king for offence and defence.
Spell Crit will push your Fireball into 100% crit territory.
Movespeed is severly underrated.
Flame Ward Charge on Chest is huge and allows you to stockpile in between waves.
Ignite on Hit, Ignite on Firehit, Elemental DoT are the last things you need to push your build high, currently working on this myself.
Dodge/HP: always good.
Keep in mind to look for chance to hit on fire skills, as melee ignite chance only affects flame reave and not fireball.
Cinder Song: Best weapon choice, not only does is free up 5 slots in your fireball talent tree with the mana reduction, it gives a huge chunk of your fire damage and adds 2 additional projectiles.
Soulfire: Crux of the build, most of your ignite will come from this, putting less reliance on skills and passives.
Ring of the Third Eye: A huge portion of your ward generation when you burst. Ward Per Second is there to give you a healthy buffer to kite everything into place, and ward on crit/kill will give you a few thousand ward to kill the pack. Currently do not believe it’s worth running both of these. Alternatively, you could cut this out of the build along with all the crit aspecs for more traditional defensive capabilities, but that’s boring
Alternate Gear options:
This build is set for a huge boost if the CSA/GB requirements are made easier as there are heaps of good legendaries competing to get in this build.
Vipertail: It was hard to work this in the build and there are definitely other options, but the slow on hit is so valuable and it’s the only source to get it outside of the weapon. Combining chill on hit from Shivering Blade (Enchant Weapon) and Whirling Snow (Passives) with the slow is enough to shutdown a lot of deadly melee enemies and give you some breathing room. The dodge, poison, and melee attack speed all help as well.
Boneclamour Barbute: Just an amazing helmet for all mage builds, huge int, dex and Ward/s.
Calamity: Easy to get, with huge amount of ignite and fire damage. Use this while you’re building the perfect set with set Glancing on your neck.
Eye of Reen: Sounds like it would be the perfect weapon, unfortunately it only adds ignite chance on your melee hits (Flame Reave not fireball) and Eye of Reen is currently not working. Fast Attack speed.
The Humming Bee: Probably the better choice while farming low MoF, unfortunately just requires you to rearrange up to 5 points in fireball to make it free (or cheaper). Will OoM you quick.
Fiery Dragon Shoes: Very strong, especially in the Ornate Idol Variant, but ultimately not enough over other swap outs.
Invoker’s Scorching Graph: Good ignite and fire DoT
Ward Trail: Could be an alternative version that focuses on ward on dodge over crit!
Prism Wraps: Generic good chest.
Exsanguinous: Still a decent defensive item for mages.
Plague Bearer’s Staff: Get out of here.
Interations, Math, Testing and Alternate Talents
The crux of this build, like many others, is grouping up tough enemies with trash to increase the damage done to the tough enemy. Going quadratic, the living bomb effect etc. It’s all about realising that the damage to each enemy scales with the number of enemies – as opposed to typical AoE where the damage done to each enemy is the same regardless of how many enemies are hit.
The goal is to apply as many hits as possible with fire skills, as each hit is going to apply several stacks of ignite. First off, Flame Reave has a 40% chance to proc a fireball on hit, launched at the enemy hit. Combine that with fireball’s ability to pierce and home, with additional projectile, and baby you got a stew.
Fireball does not shotgun. This means that extra projectiles from the same cast cannot hit the same enemy. It will count the first fireball hit and will not register any further hits from any fireball that originated that cast. This does not devalue extra projectiles or homing though, as extra projectiles can still hit other enemies, and homing will help seek out those far enemies.
Flame Burst is the hidden gem of the build. Every 3rd time an enemy is hit with a fireball, they explode, dealing substantial damage to them and other nearby enemies. Flame Burst is considered a fire skill and hence applies ignite. This is how you can manage to get insane stacks and pack burst!
As a quick example of how of the power of this build, here is the amount of ignite stacks each enemy would have after 3 casts of Flame Reave. Assuming that all enemies are directly on top of each other and that each hit applies 4 stacks of ignite.
|Number of Enemies||Total Flame Reave hits||Total Fireball casts||Total Fireball hits||Total Flame Burst Casts||Stacks of ignite on each enemy|
As you can see, from 3 casts of Flame Reave you can get over a 100 stacks of ignite on a single target with some modest ignite chance. Combine that with attack speed, fire damage %, DoT%, ignite duration and ignite effect and you are ready to set the world ablaze and see bodies drop when you hit Enchant Weapon.
Fireball Crit chance:
Fireball has an innate 5% crit chance, which goes up to 8% with orb of destruction. Burning Wounds is 100% more on ignited enemies, taking it up to 16%. This means you need 625% increase spell crit chance to get it to 100% crit. You will get 210% of that from passives, 30% from Ring of the Third Eye, leaving 385% to be achieved through gear. It’s not essential to hit 100% crit chance, but as you can see from the table above, at 153 hits from fireball alone at ~5 ward per crit, it’s very quick to stack up when bursting.
Developing a spreadsheet to help with these damage calculations but hoping another website pops up first
Here is just some quickfire testing of interactions I’ve observed.
Flame Burst can apply ignite and crit.
Fireball can reach 100% crit.
Not working :
Fireball will not shotgun
Embers does not trigger properly when fireball is cast from flame reave (Would like to see if the dev’s fix this)
Eye of Reen is not working as intended, crit multi and DoT isn’t being added.
Explosive Blood isn’t correctly adding additional mana cost.
Worldfire significantly reduces the area, making it pretty average.
Fireball – Mana Sphere: Needed at least 2/3 points if you are not running Cindersong
Fireball – Unchained Fire: Not worth, very low return on value. Could be very strong if you focus on Fireball damage over ignite damage.
Fireball – Plasma ball: Add’s a lightning tag to Fireball and can drastically increase the base damage, could be strong in fireball damage over ignite damage.
Fireball – Conflagration 6/6: sounds like you want to maximise your ignite chance in an ignite build, but it’s far better to pick up flame burst and focus on crit to sort out your defences.
Fireball – Spreading Flames: This is trash.
Fireball – Fire Spray: Since there is no shotgunning, this does not help.
Flame Ward – Telepyrosis: Could help with those pesky range enemies, essentially creating an aoe on enemies instead of around you. Prefer not to do this as I will typically be right in the toughest enemies fast when I hit this.
Flame Ward – Frost Ward: Converts this to cold, chance to freeze.
Flame Ward – Dual Aegis: I managed to get my best run with this talented but believe that it’s more beneficial to just get the chest affix.
Enchant Weapon – Celerity: The added Attack speed can be amazing, but generally you want to get your ignite stacks in before the conflagrate. I prefer Shivering blade to get those chill stacks up and reduce enemy attack and cast speed.
Enchant Weapon – Burst of Fire: Trash.
Flame Reave – Ember Infusion: BuT aMaRAtHy iTs a cRIt BUiLd. Yeah, but you don’t crit as much from flame reave as you do from the fireballs. Compare the Flame Reave to Fireball hit counts in the Math section.
Flame Reave – Infernal Calling: Great for most of it as it also seems to push away enemies that are too close, however can be super dangerous vs siege and fire golems.
Flame Reave – Worldfire: The reduced area (not listed) makes this undesirable. Also you won’t go as quadratic, as it’s better to stack enemies up and hit them with a conal attack.
Flame Reave – Manafused Flurry: Reaving Assault is better.
This is not a faceroll build. You will have to learn enemy’s attacks and avoid them. Keep moving and avoiding their attacks.
The goal is to drag your enemies so they ball up. In MoF you can run till you hit a choke, in Arena you will need to be creative in dragging you enemies together when things get tough. You should aim to have the toughest/highest hp enemy as the focus point for your conal attacks.
When you have an opportunity, teleport right in front of the biggest enemy, hit flame ward and go to town for 3 seconds, then hit enchant weapon. Watch as bosses go from 80%->0% in a blink.
Critless: This build absolutely does not need to go the crit route to be successful, and I’ll be looking to try different ward generating set ups in the future such as high int with ward on kill, dodge with Ward Trail, or block with Ice Ward. If you have any ideas, comment below!
Lost Knowledge: Lost knowledge is in the Sorcerer passive tree and grants 7-70 ward when you cast a skill that costs over 40 mana. Unfortunately, the most you can make fireball cost is 17*2.32=39.44, it’s almost as if some sneaky dev’s considered this.
Sorc Version: I think Sorc Version will go further, but may need to look at different means of generating enough ward. Blackhole could be very powerful as well, possibly over focus as this build isn’t that mana heavy.