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(UPDATED ON NEW POST) Wave 719 clear (Now wave 1389). My Feedback to the devs!

UPDATED BUILD WITH GUIDE:
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Hi, wanted to share my thoughts on the build I made to reach Rank 1 so the devs can look at it for future balance.

After playing the Lich class for a few weeks, I decided to create a new character to use all I learned to try to push arena. The build ended up clearing wave 719 on my first push (can do way more and I stopped playing properly as soon as I took the first spot on Ladder).

This was achieved with very basic gear with a few uniques.

Build

The only core item you need is the Exanguinious Unique chest piece, so you can benefit from all the damage bonuses while beeing low HP and the Ward. Yes, this is a ward build. Having the unique Boneclamor helm will help with the Ward but you don’t need it to make it work.
The Plague staff unique will really help with the poison damage (our main source of damage). The amount of damage this build does just using poison stacks is insane and comes mostly from the pasives and skills, so it requieres very little investment guear-wise.

I reached up to 150k ward with this build while I just kitted the enemies, runnin in a circle around the arena.

With a decent pair of boots, you can outrun everything in the game, and use your 4 second cooldown dash (transplant) over walls so you can take advantage of the mobs pathing.

The build is very simple to use.
At the start of your skill rotation, you cast Wandering Spirits. These will deal poison damage to your enemies while you run around.

While you run, the enemies will group while they follow you, use Mark for Death on all of them.

Then you cast the main skill of the build: Soul Feast.
WARNING! This hability is currently bugged and it recasts way more times than it should.
This makes it very convinient as you dont need to recast the skill manually, but even if it gets fixed, the build will be the same.
Soul Fest has a very high mana cost with the nodes I am using, but if you use Transplant and RIP Blood together to generete mana, you can cast Soul Fest like the current bugged version.
So basically cast Soul Fest (all you mana drains), then you dash with transplant (all your mana goes back up) and you repeat that till the wave is gone. With a single Ornate Idol with CD reduction for Transplant, you can cast it very 3.4 seconds.

Made a quick clip to show the mana sustain for perma cast of Soul Fest

If you add the fact that we can perma cast Soul Fest with the infinite times its ward gain component can proc, in arena you can surpas the 150k barrier (without the bugged multiplicative ward retation small idols)

The stronger and more oponents you are against, the better it is, since you can proc it more times. In early levels your ward will be way lower due to enemies dying too fast to your poison damage.

Over all, the build is really easy to play, really easy to build, and it is too strong. I am putting all of this info here to help the devs blance it.

My suggestion is too look at how easy is to generate ward with some of the skills.
Really love the game, can’t wait for next update!

Lizard_IRL

1 Like

Very insightful, I knew this skill was broken/ bugged/op months ago, and knew it was only a matter of time before someone would test it to its full potential, and make a detailed report to follow. good job. that skill, but also Ward mechanic for mages, and acolyte just seem way stronger, then in sentinel, and zero in primalist, HOW will devs plan to balance ward? Are they going to limit it to 3 classes, and not allow other base classes to have ward generating builds equally? There’s been talks from devs of attunement scaled characters benifitting from intelligence but would that also allow them to get ward abilities/scaling off of intelligence too? messy, messy mechanics but it is beta :stuck_out_tongue:

ohh, and welcome to the forums lizard, its great to have you in the community!

Ty very much for the wellcome ^^

In my personal opinion, I think is cool that the different classes benefit more from a certain playsyle or defense mechanic. The difference is some of them are extremely easy to get or build into.

For example, previous to this build I made (with no Soul Fest) a Ward on crit Harvest Lich Melee build that used Reaper Form.
The build needed 100% crit, high HP and I also wanted to get around 60% dodge as I struggled vs range packs (like the axe throwers) in high arena waves. In order to itemize that, I spent more than 2 weeks and gambled more than 3 million gold to get “decent” gear.

The character took a lot of griding and ended up clearign wave 288, having to play with perfect mechanics as you basically die on the first mistake.

I think that is ok, put a lot of time to make a decent character that becomes strong due to gear and grind.

This character I posted, took less than 24 hours to assemble, and apart from the unique, requieres no gear at all. If it took a lot of time and perfect gear to reach this level of OP, I think Ward itself will be balanced. The problem at the moment is that you can do this too easily with just the passives and OP skill nodes, and overshadows any other build that relies on gear.

Game is still amazing!

Thank you for posting this Lizard! Another example of ward being OP right now. However, given that there are several aspects of ward generation and retention that are not working as intended, it’s hard to tell just how OP ward would be if these were fixed. For example, in this particular build you are taking advantage of two mechanics which are not working as intended. One you mentioned, which is the soul feast recasts that allow for much higher ward generation, but you were also using the 1x1 ward retention idols that are multipliers, instead of being additive like all other source of ward retention. In fact, all of the builds that have pushed 600+ are, to my knowledge, using these idols. I think it is fair to say that even without these idols and without using a bugged skill like soul feast, ward is still in a state where other forms of survivability are largely inferior, but the question is by how much?

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Hey thanks!

I get what you say, but the point of the post is to let the devs know that even with the fix on Soul Fest recasting automatically more times than intended, you can still do it manually with my current set up. The amount of procs and ward you will get is the same, as they dont overlap, only difference will be you have to manually click Soul Fest after the intended repetitions.

The idols are not needed at all, I started the run with 4 4% ones, and then I added more as I found them while in the actual run. This idols make my idle ward go from 3k to 3.7k.
In the spellblade build these are core so your idle ward is 20k and you wait for it to regen before you engage.

With this build you insta create 40k ward in 1 tick of Soul Fest. Retention is nice, but I barely notice it when i dont use them, in fact if you can get chance to poison idols, i would use those!

Even if they fix everything you mentioned, build will be equaly strong! Just more tedious with the manual recast of Soul Fest!

Hey thanks for your reply Lizard. You pose an interesting dilemma.

If it’s the case that the instant procs on soul feast have no bearing on the power of your build, and if that is also the case for the idols, then theoretically this build can still do 700+ waves without those idols and with soul feast in a fixed state, so let’s just consider this mathematically:

You found that your ward on idols only brought the number from 3k to 3.7k. Assuming your numbers are correct, and you tested with the maximum number of idols you used, that’s an increase of 23% ward retained. Given your base, that’s not a huge number (although many health builds run with around 700 health, so it’s also not inconsequential). However, ward retention doesn’t only affect your base ward using Exsanguinous, but also any ward you generate through other means, like Soul Feast.

Now here is where the math gets complex, and it’s beyond the necessary scope of the discussion, but a 23% increase in ward retention on 50k ward is actually pretty massive. It wouldn’t make sense for you to be able to push to the same level with 23% less ward. But you did say that you stopped without dying, so maybe you can still do 700 waves with 23% less ward

However, you also state that Soul Feast would be just as powerful if it didn’t autocast, so lets consider that. I’m not sure how many times it actually autocasts, but watching your stream it seemed to be at least 5 times. That of course means 5 times more ward then a single cast. That’s a huge number, but it isn’t the only advantage, because you’re running a poison build. Poison provides an 8% stacking poison damage buff on the target, so each stack of poison they get, the damage they receive from poison is increased by 8%. If each cast of Soul Feast were applying 1 stack per cast, that would of course give you 5 stacks, but you’re also running Plague Bearer, which alone gives you more than one stack. However, for simplicity’s sake, and because scaling should be similar, let’s assume one stack of poison per cast. This means at 5 stacks of poison, you are actually increasing your poison damage from the 8% you would otherwise be getting to 40%, which is substantial to say the least, and since you’re actually applying more stacks, it’s much higher than that (at least double, but probably more like 3-5 times depending on other sources of poison in your build).

Now, like you said, you could just manually cast Soul Feast, but are there any downsides to that? Well, for starters, you said that this is a build focused on kiting, but it’s much harder to kite when you have to manually cast 5 times instead of 1 time, so you’ll certainly be standing in place longer, thus subjecting yourself to more damage. Secondly, you almost certainly couldn’t cast as quickly as the auto casts, and even if you could, casting 5 times in a row right now would actually net you 25 casts instead of 5. You clearly aren’t casting 5 times in a row because it’s more valuable for you to kite than to stand there and risk getting hit. And if you are casting 5 times right now, then with Soul Feast working as intended, your power from casting Soul Feast would drop by at least a power of 5 for both ward generation and damage. If you choose not to cast five times, then your power is severely diminished in ward regeneration, poison stacks, and poison damage, so not casting the same number of times as Soul Feast auto casts is unquestionably a huge loss in power.

Given the numbers, I cannot see how this build would perform at the same level without the multiplicative ward idols and the Soul Feast autocasts. If it is the case, then it also seems like it would be a reason why the devs could simply leave these unintended features alone instead of fixing them in an upcoming patch, because characters wouldn’t be gaining any power from the way they are working now, but we know that they are gaining substantial power, as other theorycrafters like HolyCoffee, FoE, and Boardman have shown. So I think the best way to interpret what you’re saying here is that Soul Feast and ward would be sufficiently powerful enough even without the unintended parts that if they were fixed, this build would still perform very well, albeit not nearly to the heights it can currently reach, at which point I would absolutely agree with you, and then the question steers back to “but just how good is it?” :slight_smile:

Ok so one addendum to my previous post. After talking with HolyCoffee, I may be misunderstanding how the recasts in Soul Feasts work (I don’t have a lot of experience with it myself). It may be that recasting Soul Feast refreshes the recasts instead of stacks them, so you wouldn’t get 25 casts by continuously recasting it. If this is so, the ultimate point would still stand, since kiting would be diminished plus the speed at which a player can manually cast would likely be slower.

This can be solved by getting 4x cd reduction idols on transplant and cdr helm+mana efficiency amulet. 1 transplant casts 3 rip bloods that tops your mana, with idols and helm your cd will be very close to 2-2.3 seconds, so you can cast soul feast every 2-2.3 seconds, which will provide the same effect as it does now

Moreover there are idols that can give 18% cdr on transplant AND 15% chance to cast soul feast when u use trasnpalnt, if you get 4 of this kind of idols itll be even stronger

I’m pretty sure that would be significantly slower than the autocasts, which seems to be several per second, but it also wouldn’t overcome the kiting problem.

autocast isnt casting it many times per second, as i see it casts 1 thing per second.

I think it depends on your cast speed, need to test it to confirm

Well 1 cast per second is still at least twice as fast as the CDR suggestion would be, which also requires more investment in gear, which might take away from how many 1x1s could be run in the current setup. That would help though, which is why I’d really like to see this run in such a way, to see how close it would get to Lizard’s current setup.

I replied you on discord, the recasts do not make it faster, there is fixed interval between recasts. so you cast it and every next second it recasts. So if the recast node is fixed you will cast it manually then it procs 1-6 times and will recast itself for 1-6 seconds depending on the proc number, as soon as it stops recasting you cast it again and replenish mana with transpalnt

You can watch lizard’s replay on twitch and even with bugged thing it is just casting iteself every second, which can be done manually with ~2 sec transplant mana refund. since the only case you will lose mana is when it recasts 0-1 times, which is highly unlikely due to the range of recast times

I don’t see a Disc message from you, but yeah I replied to my own post about that. But oh I see you were talking about transplant, not Soul Feast with the CDR, which makes sense. I used transplant with rip blood in my own build, but that sounds like a different build then what Lizard is running, where his main damage is coming from Soul Feast, and that auto cast definitely seems to put more stacks on then what I was able to (I also wasn’t running the multi retention idols).

Tested the build on stream with no idols and manually recasting every 3 proc, to simulate a complitely buggless run. Got the same result and gameplay.

In fact I foud I could literaly clear wave 400 only casting Wandering Souls, and nothing else, running in a circle (takes longer but you can definetly do it xd)

When I start a wave, I have no ward at all and with a single proc of Soul Fest i get 20-40K ward instanly. Ward retantion is not even needed becouse of how much ward you create per tick. My current ward retention with no idols is 500%, with idols 680%

Keep in mind you recast Soul Fest every time you dash with Transplant, and you dash off coldown non stop. So the amount of time you stop to cast is the same you would otherwise as you stop all the time to spam cast Marked for Dead.

The literal only downside is I have to press my 4 key (binded to Soul Fest) more often, the kitting is the same, just rerquires more mechanical input so it makes it slighlty “harder” to play. Still easier than any melee build ive tried!

There are a few issues I have with base game mechanics that your push has brought out.

Namely, I think ailments need to have some kind of cap or certain things need to not count as hits for high application, especially poison given its exponential scaling.

Wandering Spirits darts are actually so insanely broken with poison chance, and I don’t know why they count as hits. Also the fact that there are some uniques, originally just for ignite, but now for poison, that give an excessive amount of ailment on hit chance.

Of course, the other issues here are that ward and soul feast are both bugged due to idols, but those are things that will be fixed. Really, I think ailments are the main issue here, and something needs to be done about them, or no other forms of damage over time will be viable. [see, disintegrate being a meme]

Poison is the best dot by a quartermile and they never did something about it. I don’t know why but it looks like the devs are happy with posion as well as ward outside of bugged idols. If this will stay this way I’m not sure what to think about it.

As a new player, I was hoping to try this build - could you link it? I saw the link in the first post, but it only shows the 3 skill trees - could someone list or give guidance ot the other 2 skill trees and the passives?

Thanks!

Watch the last minutes of this VOD: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/571609067

I explain everything on detail after clearing wave 1175!

for people like me
who likes screenshots and doesn’t like text )))

Passives + Skills + Idols
Other 1x1 Idols id for % Ward Retantion
Gear for GB, Int, Health, Mana and Poison Dmg

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2 Likes

soo there are two issues.
1 poison stacking needs a limit around 10 stacks to be balanced from.
ward gain needs to be better for melee focused characters over ranged characters whom are less likely to be in danger. very impressive to get that much ward , i still not understand how it is possible.