.. I recommend following this skill tree path which was explicitly designed to make the gaming experience as pleasant as possible for new players. That being said, it focuses more on survivability and comfort than damage since these are way more important at the beginning, but the guide will elaborate on options to adjust the skill tree in order to be more damage centric for the endgame later.
Due to the fact that you are going to farm and maybe even craft some of the items for the early endgame soon, this might be the right time to explain some basics regarding modifiers without claiming that the provided information is neither holistic nor complete. But it should give you an idea of how things work and what things to consider when you craft items for and in the early endgame.
The amount and type of modifiers on an item is based on their rarity:
Normal items can have: 0-1 implicit (this is the modifier above the separator)
Magic items can have: 0-1 implicit, 1 prefix, 1 suffix
Rare items can have: 0-1 implicit, 1-3 prefixes, 1-3 suffixes
Let me give you an example of when all of this information becomes relevant: Imagine you need 30% Lightning Resistance to reach your Lightning Resistance cap of 75% and you find a rare item with ‘+ Maximum Life’ (which is a nice prefix) as well as one other random prefix and ‘+33% to Fire Resistance’ (which is a nice suffix) and two other random suffixes. Now, your item has 5 modifiers and you might think: “Pretty cool, I can now use my Crafting Bench to add +#% Lightning Resistance to hit my Lightning Resistance cap because the item has a free modifier slot”. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. Why? Because although you have only 5 modifiers on your item and 1 modifier slot is open, you can still only have up to 3 suffixes on an item. And due to the fact that ‘+#% Lightning Resistance’ is a suffix, you can’t craft it on the item – you can only use the free modifier slot to craft an additional prefix on the item (you can identify the type of modifier by reading the gray text above the modifier).
Are you confused? ;) Fair enough. Just play the game – you will eventually learn which modifiers are prefixes and suffixes by playing the game and by testing out things.
Due to the fact that there can drop valuable items for this build, The Foothills are a great farming spot in the campaign. To make your transition to the early phase of the endgame as smooth as possible, you should run it until you have most of the items and gems you need for the endgame (check the next two tasks before you actually start farming to know which items you are actually looking for).
Hint for Solo Self-Found (SSF) players: There currently exists an advanced version of this farming strategy which helps you to efficiently farm cluster jewels with 8 passive skills and the modifiers this build needs in The Foothills. Here, the strategy is to open a new instance to The Foothills, run a few seconds into the area and check if there is a Delirium mirror like this one (normally, it is very close to the waypoint of The Foothills, so you should recognize it fast). If there is one, clear the area with Delirium activated as fast as possible and get the rewards. If you don’t see a Delirium Mirror, run back to the waypoint immediately and open a new instance. Repeat until you have most of your endgame setups (check the next two tasks before you actually start farming). Note: Once you’ve reached level 73, there won’t spawn any Delirium mirrors anymore in this area.
This guide didn’t elaborate on cluster jewels yet because normally, they are not relevant at this stage of the game, but since you will farm The Foothills anyway, this is a way to be more efficient. But if this playstyle/strategy bothers you, just don’t do it, especially if you are playing Trade League. It really is just efficiency- and SSF-related. If you decide to do it anyway, just know that you want to store all cluster jewels you’ve found in your Stash so you can use/inspect them later (when it becomes relevant).
While farming your items in The Foothills you want to keep in mind which modifiers are important in order to be able to identify decent items. Decent modifiers right now are:
+# to Maximum Life
+#% to Fire Resistance
+#% to Cold Resistance
+#% to Lightning Resistance
+#% to all Elemental Resistances
You want to aim for 105% for each Fire Resistance, Cold Resistance and Lightning Resistance. You might ask yourself „105%? Wasn’t the cap 75%?“ – Yes, by default the resistance cap is 75%. Nevertheless, you can still have more than that, but the game doesn’t take it into account when you are hit (in general referred to as ‚Uncapped Resistances‘ – that’s the number in brackets in your defense tab). So why 105%? Just like in Act 5 after killing Kitava, you will lose 30% of all elemental resistances after killing the campaign endboss in Act 10. So in order to be resistance capped after killing the endboss in Act 10, you want to aim for 105% total Elemental Resistances beforehand.
Make sure to use your Crafting Bench on items that are already decent (decent = two or more useful modifiers).
Trade players can speed up the acquisition process of items with elemental resistances by using the trade website:
Note: By default, the search result show all respective items types which provide at least 25%+ resistances to two of the three elemental resistance types. By clicking on „Show filters“ on the rop right of the trade website, you can adjust both the type of elemental resistances, the needed amount (count) and the numeric values.
You should already have most of the gems. Make sure they are all linked.
As soon as you have Multiple Totems Support, you can summon five totems in total, but using the skill will still only summon two of them. Therefore, you now have to press the skill twice to get the most out of it.
3. Aura & utility setup (preferably in your helmet) This is your aura & utility setup (gems listed in order of importance):
Make sure to assign Molten Shell as your default left click (to autocast it)
4. Flask setup: Right types & decent modifiers
Divine Life Flask
Roll for ‚Instant Recovery‘ prefix + Freeze or Bleed Immunity suffix. This will be your endgame flask, so don’t hesitate to use Glassblower’s Bauble to increase its quality which enhances its duration as well as its base modifiers.
Roll for ‚Increased armour during Flask Effect‘ suffix. This will be your endgame flask, so don’t hesitate to use Glassblower’s Bauble to increase its quality which enhances its duration as well as its base modifiers.
Roll for Freeze or Bleed Immunity suffix. This will be your endgame flask, so don’t hesitate to use Glassblower’s Bauble to increase its quality which enhances its duration as well as its base modifiers.
Enduring Mana Flask
Best case scenario would be a Mana Flask with ‚Flask effect is not removed when Unreserved Mana is Filled‘ modifier (=Enduring Mana Flask). This won’t be your endgame mana flask since you are looking for an Eternal Mana Flask which only drops in areas higher than 65.
Choose a 5th flask (depending on your needs / playstyle)
Good choices for more survivability are: Additional Life Flask or Basalt Flask. Good choices for more clear speed and damage are: Silver Flask or Sulphur Flask. For modifiers, go for “Immunity to Ignite during Flask effect + Removes Burning on use’ if you don’t have it yet on another flask. Otherwise, pick whatever you like / need (e.g. freeze immunity, bleed immunity, remove curses).
A Cast When Damage Taken setup consists of a (R) Cast When Damage Taken Support (generally referred to as ‘CWDT’) linked to one or more skill gems. Once linked with CWDT, these skills can’t be used manually anymore. Instead, the linked skill is triggered each time you’ve received a specific amount of damage (as long as the skill is not on cooldown). There are few things to consider when using a CWDT setup:
The damage threshold is dependent on the level of the CWDT gem. For example: If linked to a level 1 CWDT, a skill is triggered each time you’ve received 528 damage.
A skill is only triggered if the level requirement of the skill gem is the same or lower than the level requirement of CWDT (this doesn’t apply to support gems connected with a skill supported by CWDT)
As a consequence – and taking the build’s already high defense into account – it’s recommended to use the following CWDT setup:
By doing this, you will get a big shield based on your current armour provided by Molten Shell each time you receive 1485 damage (provided that Molten Shell is not on cooldown).
By the way:
In case you already have leveled Molten Shell higher than level 16, you can sell it together with an Orb of Scouring to any vendor to lower its level by 1 (you can repeat this several times to get the gem level you need). If you don’t have Orb of Scourings, you can buy (R) Molten Shell from Nessa in The Lioneye’s Watch in Act 1.
Pantheons are strong permanent passive effects your character gets by defeating specific bosses. Here, you can choose the minor Pantheon ‘Soul of Garukhan‘ after defeating ‚Garukhan, Queen of the Winds‚ in The Quarry in Act 9 by talking to Sin who provides you the following buff: “60% reduced Effect of Shock on you”. This Pantheon is your minor endgame Pantheon.