Lightning Strike Raider Build Guide (PoE Ultimatum 3.14)

LunaWolve

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Introduction

The Raider Ascendancy from the Ranger class is one of the best choices when you decide to build any Elemental-damage oriented attack build. With the 3.13 buffs, it is even more desirable, both as a singular Ascendancy, as well as an Ascendant option.

For this particular character we choose to dual wield One-Handed Swords, as they currently represent the strongest and most versatile option out of any dual-wieldable bases in the game.

If you follow along with this guide, it should be fairly easy to roughly mirror my setups, as I will be league-starting this particular build as well, making every item I list in this build a “realistic” option to acquire for you during a league start as well. I play exclusively solo, with no group play to speak off.

Build Summary

The build does not require any build-enabling items, as I am setting it up as a league starter. We will be making use of the recently buffed Lightning Strike Lightning Strike ability. For the gear pieces, we are looking for Evasion bases with as much Life as possible.

You’d like to get yourself a The Pandemonius The Pandemonius as soon as possible, as it provides a large amount of defensive and offensive capabilities. Furthermore, getting ONE Call of the Brotherhood Call of the Brotherhood, with a 20% increased Elemental implicit (using Turbulent Catalyst Turbulent Catalyst s on it), will be extremely worthwhile and is HIGHLY recommended early (mid-tier maps) on. Having Rings with decently-rolled flat Physical amount added to attacks is likely going to be ideal.

Our optimal weaponry setup will be a main-hand Paradoxica Paradoxica and an off-handed The Saviour The Saviour. Of course, these will be the absolute end-game options and aren’t required. Some more budget options are Ichimonji Ichimonjis or Beltimber Blade Beltimber Blades. Rare Weapons should focus on primarily pDPS, Attack Speed, and Crit Chance. Jewelled Foil Jewelled Foil bases will be your best option, when it comes to crafting your own Rare weapons.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Easy to follow along with a high ceiling
+ Amazing scalability due to being a league starter
+ Absolutely ridiculous clear speed and fun mapping
+ Decent defensives with Evasion-capped Raider + Dodge and Wind Dancer

Cons

Potentially awkward scaling, due to multi-elemental scaling
Expensive to max out entirely, due to rare Uniques being BiS
Bad-mediocre Bossing damage, depending on your budget and setup

Map Modifiers to be Avoided

The build cannot do Elemental Reflect. Other mods that should be avoided but CAN be finished (with some hardships): Cannot Leech, No Regeneration.

Playstyle

Mobility wise, you will want to use Leap Slam Leap Slam and potentially (based on personal preference) Smoke Mine Smoke Mine to get around the maps; both abilities allow you to cross chasms and other environmental objects, allowing for a very fast traversal. If you DO opt into the Smoke Mine, make sure pick up a “Divergent” alternative quality version of it, as it will also permanently give you a free 10% attack speed bonus!

Offensively, you will want to keep your distance from enemies, as you do have some range on the abilities and standing near enemies in Path of Exile is oftentimes a fairly bad idea. Try to keep up your Blood Rage Blood Rage permanently for the increased Lifesteal, Frenzy Charge generation and overall attack speed steroid it provides.

Additionally, you will be able to place down an Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector in order to vastly improve your attack speed against tough monsters or bosses, as it applies its attack speed increase to any friendly targets nearby.

If the gem-slots allow, we might also consider adding a Vaal Double Strike Vaal Double Strike in order to call in THE BOYS for some additional burst potential for the odd tough monster or map boss. You can drop the CWDT setup for a 4-link BOYS setup, if you don’t think you will require the additional defenses (not generally advised).

Defensively, you will have to keep up your Fortify Support Fortify Support using your Leap Slam Leap Slam in order to permanently reduce incoming damage by a considerable amount.

We will also be making use of a couple of defensive flasks like a Quartz Flask Quartz Flask, in order to further emphasize the Dodge/Evasion playstyle. Additionally, our CWDT setup coupled with a maxed-out Steelskin Steelskin will keep us fairly healthy throughout the general mapping period.

For playstyle, you will first want to Leap Slam Leap Slam into a pack of enemies, to:

It is better to use more Leap Slamming on enemies rather than too little, as it is IMPERATIVE to have the Fortify buff up AT ALL TIMES.

Outside of those specific situations, you will want to mostly keep your distance from enemies, as Lightning Strike Lightning Strike is the ONLY true-range melee ability in the game, providing you with unparalleled safety and ranged capabilities, compared to every other melee ability. The best Defensive in the game is to simply not be near the damage sources. This is what Lightning Strike Lightning Strike excels at, thanks to its high range.

Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links

This is the the Endgame goal. We focus on picking up all the efficient Sword and Crit nodes along the way, as well as a ton of health, some defensive clusters, as well as all the relevant Keystones (Call to Arms, Wind Dancer, and lastly Point Blank).

You can find a more detailed breakdown, as well as a leveling-tree example and an in-depth Path of Building link in the page linked below, along with all the Gem Links in the build.

Passive Skill Tree & Gem Link Page

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Ascendancy, Bandit & Pantheon Power Page

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and should be moderately easy to acquire throughout the first few weeks of the league and will carry you to most of the endgame.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet The Pandemonius The Pandemonius
Chest Rare Body Armour
Gloves Rare Gloves
Boots Tailwind Rare Boots OR Atziri's Step Atziri's Step
Belt Rare Belt OR The Nomad The Nomad
Rings Rare Ring + Call of the Brotherhood Call of the Brotherhood
Weapon Ichimonji Ichimonji -> Paradoxica Paradoxica OR Jewelled Foil Jewelled Foil
Weapon Ichimonji Ichimonji -> The Saviour The Saviour

For more detailed breakdowns and explanations on potential alternatives, as well as affix priorities, we have prepared an in-depth Gear sub-page, which you can find below.

Gear, Jewels & Flasks

Leveling

Focus on moving towards the right side of the tree as early as possible, while picking up the nearby minor nodes. Aim to acquire “Point Blank” at around level 40 or so, as it’s a HUGE damage upgrade for the build. Once you have “Call to Arms”, make sure to get yourself an Enduring Cry Enduring Cry from Act 3 and put it on your Left Mouse button, to use as a movement button. It will trigger on cooldown, keeping you healthy over the course of your playing.

Focus on getting all the attack-speed, Dexterity and Intelligence upgrades first. Make sure to check with the 4 different PoB leveling paths provided (like this one).

After that, move on towards the other nodes that haven’t been picked up yet. Leave the majority of the Crit nodes for later in the run.

Specific Leveling Advice

Try to focus on any sources of “flat added damage” of any kind for your support gems. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support is usually a great choice for the early start.

Try to keep your Smite Smite buff active at all times. Once you switch out to Lightning Strike Lightning Strike, simply keep it as a 1 or 2-link setup (with Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support) and use it as a 4-5 second burst buff, whenever you need it.

Once you clear the “Siren’s Cadence” quest in Act 1, you will be able to acquire the Lightning Strike Lightning Strike gem, which will likely be our main gem for the remainder of the game.

Gem Link Setup for Early Leveling

The gem setups listed here, will be listed in order of importance from top to bottom. If you do not have the required amounts of slots, simply drop the lowest ones on the list first. Whenever a level is mentioned after a gem, it denotes the acquisition level of the gem, aka., at which level you should be able to get it.

Level 1-8

Level 4-12

Level 12-31

Level 31-38

Level 38+

Useful Leveling Unique Items

As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters.

If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league, just as it is mine), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.

FAQ

How to Deal with Mana Problems?

During single-target fights (usually bosses), make sure to apply your Poacher's Mark Poacher's Mark in order to sustain your Mana, as the leech provided by the jewel will not be enough to sustain you.

Outside of bosses, the one Mana leech node on the tree should suffice to sustain your Mana. If this is not the case, drop a few levels of your Precision Precision gem.

Conclusion

This is a character to deal with all the content in the game and offer a great amount of scalability for the players that don’t want to start over with a new character every 2 or 3 days.

The Lightning Strike Raider excels at dealing Elemental-based Damage and makes great use of the innate conversion features of the Call of the Brotherhood Call of the Brotherhood Unique, in order to deal a ton of cold-based damage, which, coupled with The Pandemonius The Pandemonius, provides a large amount of survivability as well.

Gear, Jewel & Flask Page

Passive Skill Tree & Gem Link Page

Ascendancy, Bandit & Pantheon Power Page

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  1. Posts
    1

    I’m very new to PoE and using community resources. The pastebin link for PoB is erroring out on my when I attempt to import the build to look at the skill tree. Is there an update issue I’m running into?

  2. LunaWolve

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    On 21/01/2021 at 8:20 PM, PitchDarknes said

    I’m very new to PoE and using community resources. The pastebin link for PoB is erroring out on my when I attempt to import the build to look at the skill tree. Is there an update issue I’m running into?

    You might have the wrong version of POB. All the content creators use a community fork that is managed by LocalIdentity, rather than the official POB< as the official one is often times outdated and vastly behind in terms of features.

    If that is not the case, it might be that pastebin itself is overloaded, trying it again at a later time might be your other option.

  3. Posts
    1

    Hi,

    thank you for the guide, I am just confused that the gem links (especially in the CWDT setup) are vastly different in the endgame POB than in the description. Would you currently recommend the enfeeble or the frostbomb CWDT?

  4. LunaWolve

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    On 04/02/2021 at 10:23 AM, Nezyrael said

    Hi,

    thank you for the guide, I am just confused that the gem links (especially in the CWDT setup) are vastly different in the endgame POB than in the description. Would you currently recommend the enfeeble or the frostbomb CWDT?

    Oh my bad, I forgot to update that one!

    Thanks for pointing that out.

    I’d highly recommend the Frostbomb, as otherwise the Enfeeble will constantly override your Poacher’s Mark during boss fights, heavily reducing your single-target DPS.

  5. Posts
    1

    I always wanted to try a lightningstrike or wildstrike build, ever did because all the feedback ive seen were they cant kill mapbosses etc. Youve tried this now, will I be able too zoom the maps, do the rituals etc w/o chain dying on 4 k hp?

  6. LunaWolve

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    On 11/02/2021 at 3:04 PM, Swingie said

    I always wanted to try a lightningstrike or wildstrike build, ever did because all the feedback ive seen were they cant kill mapbosses etc. Youve tried this now, will I be able too zoom the maps, do the rituals etc w/o chain dying on 4 k hp?

    Should be fine, yes!

    Single Target is not amazing, as that’s the major problem that the ability has, but it’s completely fine for mapping. You might struggle a bit more with things like A9 Sirus and equivalents, but outside of those, with proper gear, you’ll be fine.

    Especially mapping wise, Lightning Strike has always been a blazingly fast clear ability.

  7. Posts
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    Hey I have couple of questions.

    1. What do you think about Impulsa chest?
    2. Where do you cover in details Thread of Hope issue?
    3. I’ve seen you are speaking something about Divine Flesh, can you give me some more details about that?
    4. There are really no good cluster jewels that excel in this build?
    5. No good watcher’s eye either?
    6. What about mana issue, I see you are speaking about Poaching mark, but i don’t see it anywhere. In path of building i see jewel that is called Mana fix, +2 mana on hit gonna make it for us since we do no phys dmg?

    I am really looking forward to play LS because I believe it was my first skill when I started the game, but I failed my character completely and dropped it. Now I believe I am gonna hit late game hard :)

  8. LunaWolve

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    On 16/04/2021 at 9:36 AM, Exathil said

    Hey I have couple of questions.

    # What do you think about Impulsa chest? # Where do you cover in details Thread of Hope issue? # I’ve seen you are speaking something about Divine Flesh, can you give me some more details about that? # There are really no good cluster jewels that excel in this build? # No good watcher’s eye either? # What about mana issue, I see you are speaking about Poaching mark, but i don’t see it anywhere. In path of building i see jewel that is called Mana fix, +2 mana on hit gonna make it for us since we do no phys dmg?

    I am really looking forward to play LS because I believe it was my first skill when I started the game, but I failed my character completely and dropped it. Now I believe I am gonna hit late game hard :)

    Hey there! Sorry for the late reply here!

    1. Inpulsa is really good, for clear. It doesn’t do anything for bossing, which is Lightning Strike’s only real weakness. As a result, I’d generally recommend against it and instead opt for a more single-target focused chest piece, as LS is one of the best clear skills in the entire game already.
    2. I’m not entirely sure what you mean with the Thread of Hope issue in particular, my apologies! Thread of Hope is quite useful for our build here, as it allows us to pick up another 18% max life, as well as a couple strong nodes, such as Versatile Stance and potentially the Disciple of Slaughter/Unyielding nodes as well.
    3. My entire rundown of Divine Flesh can be found in the 2.1 section of this page here: https://www.poe-vault.com/guides/impale-cyclone-champion-gear-jewels-and-flasks
    4. There are no cluster jewels that blow the passive tree out of the water. If you min/max extremely well, I’m sure there are some cluster jewel combinations that could beat corresponding passive tree clusters, but the gain is not as big as with other builds, so I opted into omitting them entirely instead.
    5. Any of the Hatred Watcher’s Eyes, aside from “Phys to cold conversion”, is considered an upgrade. Unfortunately there’s no real game-changer ones like an extra +2 Impales for Pride or similar, which is why I mostly ignored Watcher’s Eyes for the build. The gain is not large enough to justify chasing one, in my opinion.
    6. +2 mana on hit should fix you up for clearing easily. If you require even more mana leech, I fear that you won’t get around picking up one of the two % attack damage mana leech nodes on the tree. Poacher’s Mark will help you sustain mana on bosses and single enemies. And you’re right, I forgot to add Poacher’s Mark to the skill setup. It requires only a singular gem slot, so just throw it in somewhere that you find space. You’ll be self-casting it on the specific bosses that you require the help on (it also vastly increases ST target too!).

    Thanks for the in-depth questions. I hope I was able to clear some of them up.

  9. Posts
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    Thanks for reply! <3 This is gonna be my only character for leauge, so I am gonna post some question soon for sure.. I’ve just hit maps I have 2 Ichimonjis and running 5L but dmg is poor unfortunately. What is the real health pool I can reach with decent items? And do we have any life leech / sustain ability here?

  10. LunaWolve

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    On 18/04/2021 at 8:19 PM, Exathil said

    Thanks for reply!

    Single target is definitely on the poorer side for Lightning Strike. You can try out the newly buffed Vaal Lightning Strike, see if the extra buffs it received can bump up the Single Target a bit, but it’s unlikely to ever reach levels similar to a Bladestorm. The real strength of Lightning Strike lies in extremely fast mapping!

    You can expect about 5-5.5k HP with decent gear.

    For sustain, there are multiple layers. Firstly, you’ll always want to make sure you got your Panicked Divine Life Flask of Staunching with you. Blood Drinker will provide you with proper life-leech (attack damage leech), as well as Poacher’s Mark providing you with on-hit life gain on bosses.

    Later on for the late-game, you can try to get a poacher’s mark on-hit ring, which will indefinitely provide extra single-target and life-gain/mana-gain on hit against all rares/uniques and bosses.

  11. Posts
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    Hmm. 5k is not that much. I hope it will be enough for late game.

    • Is not worth to swap ancestrall call for any other gem for bossing?
    • I see that I have serious attribute problems, we need to grab those on equipment?
    • And what about some source of piercing? When I am surrounded I am hitting only those enemies which are close to me. Should we not grab any?
    • And what is the purpose of enduring cry? End charges? Or ? Is it that good to worth to pick it?
    • And last question for now about CWDT – it is optimal setup? It reminds me very old times. Maybe we should some sort of the golem to it?

    I am gonna to look at your guide about Divine Flesh.
    About Thread of Hope those nodes you’ve listed. Are they fit to our build? We don’t use Blood Stance nor Sand Stance. Those about frenzy / Endurance charange seems meaningless too. Or am I missing something.

  12. LunaWolve

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    On 18/04/2021 at 10:26 PM, Exathil said

    Hmm. 5k is not that much. I hope it will be enough for late game.

    * Is not worth to swap ancestrall call for any other gem for bossing? * I see that I have serious attribute problems, we need to grab those on equipment? * And what about some source of piercing? When I am surrounded I am hitting only those enemies which are close to me. Should we not grab any? * And what is the purpose of enduring cry? End charges? Or ? Is it that good to worth to pick it? * And last question for now about CWDT – it is optimal setup? It reminds me very old times. Maybe we should some sort of the golem to it?

    I am gonna to look at your guide about Divine Flesh.
    About Thread of Hope those nodes you’ve listed. Are they fit to our build? We don’t use Blood Stance nor Sand Stance. Those about frenzy / Endurance charange seems meaningless too. Or am I missing something.

    1. Ancestral call is the best option for bossing on Lightning Strike, as it has a unique interaction with it. If you stand far enough away from the boss to only hit the ranged portion of it, but close enough to let ancestral call trigger, you can hit the boss twice (ancestral call hitting it in melee, while you hit from ranged), despite the ability usually only being able to hit one OR the other. It’s similar to the old Molten Strike overlap, if that helps you imagine it. If you end up getting a +1 target for strikes glove, or similar, then ancestral call can be switched out for other gems that might fit your needs better, but generally we don’t AIM for that, specifically.
    2. Yes, mostly on the amulet and boots, is where I like to fix things up. You can also take the +30 str/int nodes in a crutch, before you can finalize your gear.
    3. We do pick up an early pierce node on the tree. I just realised I somehow messed up the order of PoB tree. If you check the Level 95 tree, you can see the 2 nodes below Arcobatics/Phase Acrobatics that will provide the QOL pierce, before you can acquire your helmet enchant. I will try to get this sorted asap, so it’s properly fixed for the lower-level POBs.
    4. Enduring Cry’s purpose is life recovery, endurance charges and the physical damage reduction it provides. As we automatically trigger it as our movement button (leftclick/rightclick), it’s going to be used on cooldown, allowing for extremely easy access to endurance charges and a VERY potent healing income for free.
    5. Enfeeble CWDT is still an extremely strong option, especially for defensively-light builds. If you want, you can try to place Steelskin in a different slot (if you have one left over) and add a Frost Wall into it. As we’re raiders, we completely ignore it (permanent phasing), but it provides an insane amount of survivability against ranged attacks.

    Lastly, for the Thread of Hope parts, Versatile Stance is a 30% increased damage node for 1 point, which is solid. By default, your character is considered to be in Blood Stance, which is why Versatile Stance can be taken, even by builds that don’t use Blood/Sand switching mechanics at all.

    The Frenzy/Endurance charges provide further uptime for Endurance charges, specifically, as it grants you an 8% chance to get them on-kill, meaning that you’ll have them maxed out during mapping 100% of the time. Furthermore, both provide an 8% increased damage multiplier, meaning that during mapping, those two nodes will provide an additional 48% increased damage and (at least, as enduring cry can provide more charges during bossing) 16% increased damage for all other purposes, as it will provide 1 of each charge permanentely.

    I hope this cleared more stuff up!

  13. Posts
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    Hm. Ufnortunately we gonna use unique dex ammy. So we have to look on int / str somewhere else. Thanks!

    And very thanks for this pierce node, I did not notice it, because I was looking at Poe Planner mainly :)

    About CWDT setup once again. I saw in PoB you linked lvl 3 CWDT with lvl 20 steelskin. It will work?

    So CWDT + Enfeeble + Steel Skin + Frost Bomb / Frost Wall which in your opinions suits us better?

  14. LunaWolve

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    On 19/04/2021 at 4:15 PM, Exathil said

    Hm. Ufnortunately we gonna use unique dex ammy. So we have to look on int / str somewhere else. Thanks!

    And very thanks for this pierce node, I did not notice it, because I was looking at Poe Planner mainly :)

    About CWDT setup once again. I saw in PoB you linked lvl 3 CWDT with lvl 20 steelskin. It will work?

    So CWDT + Enfeeble + Steel Skin + Frost Bomb / Frost Wall which in your opinions suits us better?

    Yes at a later stage we’ll be using Pandemonius, but until we get there, you can fix your stats on the amulet first. I generally try to aim for Intelligence on the Helmet, Strength on the gloves and boots. Those are usually the easiest to acquire. Rings can also be used for those purposes fairly easily.

    Steelskin won’t be triggered automatically. You’ll have to use it yourself. It’s just in the link for gem-slot purposes.

    Frost Wall is vastly superior, defensively. If you got a 4-link available (as some gems are optional, like smoke mine for example), then put Steelskin outside of the CWDT link and go with CWDT + Enfeeble + Frost Wall + either Frost Bomb OR Increased Duration support, depending on if you run into a lot of trouble with regenerating enemies (metamorphs, deliriums for example) or not.

  15. Posts
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    Och. So many things to trigger manually.. Mark, Warcry, Blood rage, steel skin.. I think I am gonna leave on cwdt maybe for now..

  16. LunaWolve

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    On 19/04/2021 at 6:44 PM, Exathil said

    Och. So many things to trigger manually.. Mark, Warcry, Blood rage, steel skin.. I think I am gonna leave on cwdt maybe for now..

    Warcry is auto-triggered. We put it on our leftclick as it allows us to normally walk while on CD and it’s an instant-cast thanks to Call to Arms.

    Blood Rage is a 1-time cast at the beginning of a new instance and should not be a problem to keep up.

    Marks are only used on bosses or really tough enemies.

    So for your normal mapping experience, the only thing you’re really self-casting is Steel Skin.

  17. Posts
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    Hehe :) I played blade blast last leauge and now I want as small clicks as possible ^^ Tell me.. I run two ichimonjis, sword with how many pdps outclass them before I can take paradoxica / saviour?

  18. LunaWolve

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    On 20/04/2021 at 7:52 PM, Exathil said

    Hehe :) I played blade blast last leauge and now I want as small clicks as possible ^^ Tell me.. I run two ichimonjis, sword with how many pdps outclass them before I can take paradoxica / saviour?

    It’s hard to exactly say, as it entirely depends on the exact state of the build.

    I’d recommend importing your build into POB with the import function and then simply checking which swords out-DPS them that way.

  19. Posts
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    I’ve hit 93 right now. But started to struggle a lot. Especially vs bosses, I literally do almost no dmg. I’ve uploaded my build to Path of Building, and when I comparing Ichimonjis to Beltimber, Ichimonjis wins in dps-wise. Ichmonjis even outscale 400ish pdps swords. I really don’t know what should I first focus to boost my dmg :) Because I need it so much. Still don’t have pandemonius, because it is extremely expensive at the moment. I’ve gathered 13 ex so far and wondering at what should I focus first..

  20. Posts
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    Haha, I just realised that according to PoB Paradoxica is way better than godlike 770+ pdps sword. Am I doing anything wrong? :S

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