Content of the article: "I played a self-cast Purifying Flame build to 95 on HSSF. Here’s my thoughts on self-casting."
It was a straight forward self cast PF, played as Assassin. In fact, this was my league starter. As it is available right from the get go, I levelled with it, and it is a pretty decent levelling skill especially with harvest crafts. I initially planned on going for some unleash setup so that I could take advantage of thunderous salvo which is now on the passive tree, and I don't need to scale cast speed. But as I played through maps, it became clear that it's just not working out. My clearing became really awkward as I move between packs quick, but because of lack of cast speed, each unleash of PF (usually around 2 or 3 stacks) are clunky, and often gets me killed before I can kill the enemies. On a side note, this led me to believe unleash is really only good for select skills like BV and SRS but maybe I'm mistaken.
So I switched to traditional spell echo route. Initially because of my lack of cast speed, just spell echo alone still feels slow and so I start to stack cast speed everywhere I can, and then it starts to feel good and safer. But trudging through yellow and red maps, it also dawns on me that my sustain is shit. No regen, no leech, nothing. I also don't have Cinderswallow till much later. Here comes cluster jewel and harvest crafting to save the day with Doryani's Lesson to give me some much needed life leech. I thought of getting fire leech mod from like amulet or ring but it just didn't happen.
Next issue to tackle is mana. I use enduring mana flask but I find that I burn through mana like a motherfucker like boss encounters, probably due to my poor flask management, the mana flask is not enough. I could get mana regen in a hindsight but here's what I did. Switched to EB/MoM. Got a Command of the Pit to give me Arcane Surge. Problem solved right? Nope. Too fast cast speed, ES leech could not sustain my mana cost, EVEN after I tried to reduce its cost with -total cost of skill mods.
Then I thought of Soul Tether, that makes your life leech goes to ES when life is full. VIOLA. I just need to get my first cast of PF out (ES starts at 0, so I need just enough mana left to squeeze out one PF cast), then my ES will stay full due to overleech for me to spam casting, except for certain maps with the annoying less ES recovery rate mod. Eventually I replaced it with Doryani timeless jewel for immortal ambition keystone. If I were to go back in time, I would do it differently and keep using Soul Tether, and use the jewel for Divine Flesh, since harvest should make capping chaos easy.
But otherwise for SC, Assassin's survivability is surprisingly decent. Going all out elusive stacking dodges, and I have blind aura on my rare chest armor. Down A8 Sirus, did take quite awhile to get there. A lot of bumpy rides along the way, but it's an memorable one.
So my overall thoughts on self-casting, I think I would like GGG to reduce base cast speed on many of the spells, even if it means tweaking their damage effectiveness and base damage. It would make self casting a lot more competitive with spellslinger setup or coc or mines, etc. Spell echo can be a bit dangerous for boss fights as it locks you in place. It also disappoints me that unleash also does lock you in place, the more stacks you got. The mana problem can be handled with different ways I suppose. Mapping is great once you got the cast speed issue solved. Thanks for reading if you make it here.
- A (sorta) Short Guide to Base Jewels and Abyss Jewels
- Crafting an entire set of Fire BV gear for “quite cheap”
- A Note to Manamune Users
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