Arctic Breath

I'm leveling a low level Cold Snap, with plans to use AB to help with bosses. I'm in my 30s.

The biggest problem is that monsters just walk right out of the cold dot area. The cold on the ground is too slow! As in, unusable slow. The spread from cold snap is faster, and travels farther than it.

It fails in this regard. As the skill is now, it it's too slow to cast, too slow a projectile, and does to little on hit damage and has too small an area for what it is.

I think this skill has great potential to be an interesting and useful skill. The only thing that needs is an increase to the ground effect's base speed to more than double, and allow it to be further buffed by projectile speed. Homing ice patches that move and can actually catch slower monsters is super.

Also, the duration is a little short. If it could increase a little bit as the skill levels, that would be great.
Last edited by golgol12 on Dec 14, 2018, 6:41:37 AM
Played Arctic Breath at the start of the league with my Trickster. Compared to Cold Snap, which I ended up switching to, there currently doesn't feel like any incentive in the skill's mechanics to run it over Cold Snap. If the CDOT could proliferate on its own (enemies killed emit a short, small "arctic breath") then I'd feel comfortable using that skill to clear packs since it would be harder for them to just walk out of it. The skill is really close, and already much better than its original form, but it just needs one more nudge to sit at the same table as Cold Snap in my opinion.
Level 45 Templar. Build is elemental / MOM focused. Supporting gems are 4-link AB, GMP, Hypothermia and Bone chill.


* Damage output feels very low compared to other options with the same or less gem links used. This is especially the case against Rares, Bosses and high HP targets.

* Dot is almost useless against moving targets as they run through it.

* Spell targeting revolving around the cursor feels clunky.

* Animation of projectile looks terrible.

I basically gave up using AB because there are so many better options that feel less rigid to play with, don't look terrible, and do far more damage. Also AB's mechanics are kinda blending into coldsnap and vortex way too much. Its basically a second rate knock off. Boring.
Saboteur, 84.

Arctic Breath + Cluster trap + Bonechill + Trap + Trap Damage(From gloves)
Vortex + Traps + Trap Damage + Hypothermia
Frost Bomb
Vaal Lightning Trap + GMP + Inc Duration
Fire Golem + Elemental Equilibrium(Malachais artifice)

Uniques - Tinkerskin and a Malachais artifice

Focused on Cold damage over time

This is my league starter and so far, I am really enjoying it. Arctic breath is working very well as my clearing spell. Since I'm a trapper, projectile speed isn't an issue. I can just spam AB Traps and cover the ground with Cold Ground, chilling and killing. I have the tooltip cold ground dps up to 17026 a second. It could be higher (Efficacy brings it to 25k) but I'm using it with bonechill. The frozen ground makes bonechill perfect for Arctic Breath and the damage increase is definitely noticeable when I combine it with my single target spell Vortex.

My Vortex dps is 52447 a second, no buffs, no golems, sitting in hideout, lvl 19, and 4 link. It is increased by Bonechill from AB, Fire Golem Elemental Equilibrium, Frostbite, Shocked ground from Vaal Lightning Trap, and frenzy charges. I have very little trouble vs the syndicate so far. Next links for it will probably be Efficacy or Swift Affliction and Cold Penetration.... or Concentrated Effect.

So, I have no complaints. Which seems out of place on this tread. However the use of traps make some of the other complaints irrelevant. It isnt as fast and easy as other builds.. *cough arc* but it does't seem nearly as bad as others say. But of course, I haven't touched high tier maps yet.

Cold snap and Vortex are not spam-able, for my build that is what separates it from them. Since it is spam-able, it seams reasonable that the damage isn't as high. I tried Cold Snap and Vortex as a clearing spell but they don't work with cluster traps and I was not a fan of having to wait for cooldowns. (Don't think I get a frenzy charge from cold snap effect if it's a trap) Arctic breath traps actually perform better for clearing.

I feel arctic breath wants to be a high clear speed skill which sacrifices raw damage output to compensate. It is competing for sockets in a Cold DoT build vs Cold Snap. I am playing a Cold DoT trickster taking advantage of the new Diadem helm to almost always have ghost dance fully procced for 40% extra cast and attack speed etc. The build is very fast with the only issue I've had being that sometimes a cold snap or arctic breath doesn't finish up stragglers. Here is my take on the comparison Cold Snap vs Arctic Breath:

Cold Snap has greater area coverage, a vaal version with high damage, generates frenzy charges, base cold snap has higher DoT damage than arctic breath as well.

With this said, I love the concept of arctic breath and I wish to have more reasons to use it. For context, I am absolutely in love with the new brand skills, which I find to be very well made skills. I like how the brands proliferate to nearby enemies and progressively kill them off over time. I wish I could get a similar feeling with arctic breath.

This is what I think arctic breath would need to stay unique by focusing on keeping it's strengths and weaknesses. It should become stronger for clear speed while still trailing far behind Cold Snap in potential damage and utility. In order to make this happen, I would suggest making the ground effects move faster towards enemies and/or have a larger base area. This will allow arctic breath to become a trade off where you might clear the map faster, but the boss will become more challenging without a vaal cold snap. You will also need to find other ways to generate frenzy charges. Another alternative might be buffing the base cast speed or adding an additional baseline projectile.

In my closing thoughts, I'd like to stress that I fully agree with Jonathan on his take on balance and how a well designed skill should have clearly defined weaknesses and strengths. Therefore, I'd like to mention changes I wouldn't be a fan of: buffing the damage, buffing it's utility by making it grant frenzy charges, giving it more chill effect. Please let it stay weaker on paper than the alternatives while making it stronger at what it feels to be intended for. I have full faith in the dev team and I want to just say that I think the new arctic breath is really cool and interesting so you have most of the work done already in my opinion. Also, thanks for the amazing league, I love betrayal to death!

Edit: I forgot to mention I am in maps, have uber lab completed, I'm lvl 86. I'm using Vortex to complement my cold snap both for damage on bosses and map clear. I'm playing this build on SSF so I don't have access to all gear I might want. Since arctic breath can take advantage of projectiles, I want to try the skill more when I get a dying sun etc.
Last edited by Ejun on Dec 14, 2018, 9:11:17 AM
Currently Occultist Lvl 76 - PoB for lvl 90 below

I started out wanting to use it as a main skill but it can't be justified as a main skill since the damage of the cold damage over time doesn't stack for the 10 chilling areas so one of the chilling area damage is about 50k dps less than cold snap - so I ended up using that as main.

I have a build focusing solely on using the new items and cold for damange and mitigation as best as I could in an attempt to have a build "as GGG intended" but also to take advantage of the new mechanics of the new skills - gives me about 500k DPS for shaper if the multipliers from Bonechill actually apply to all skills (from wording it seems they do).

Enemies in Chilling Areas from Supported Skills have Cold Damage taken increased by Chill Effect - this to me said that the cold damage taken is not just from supported skills - but for all skills. so the DoT from cold is increased by chill effect for cold snap as well - since cold snap is about 160k shaper DPS increased by 150% from added chill effect increase from all items.

- cold damage over time as the main damage from Spine of the First Claimant, all the DoT nodes I could find (except for one as it's mostly chaos damange and you get more from other sources) + effect of chill from Crystal Vault + bonechill + 2 types of cold DoT stacking on bonechill (Arctic Breath and Cold Snap)

- ice golem to add crit chance and trigger Elem Overload for extra 40% damag

- using Arctic breath for packs to apply CoH from Herald of Ice but also DoT that smacks most packs - not very good for single target though..

- mitigating all damage into cold back to me as well with CI and 75% fire, 76% lightning and 84% cold resist on Crystal Vault for 20-30% of fire and phys converted to cold + Topaz flask to remove 20% from lightning - giving me more damage reduction than having Incandescent Heart mitigating into CI

- using Aegis Aurora for the extra 5% max cold damage and ES to bring it up to about 5.5k ES

- (planned) to get Pandemonious to add some extra damage and blind for defence

- Taste of Hate to add more phys to cold + reduce 20% cold damage

- Wise oak to remove 10% of light and fire and add to cold damage overcap of more than 150% (light & fire are equal resists as planned so it applies to both)

- 2 Le Heup fo All - because we can

- only 1 rare item used in this build though :( - gloves with over 40% equal res of fire + lightning

- Sorrow of the Devine to trigger ES recharge (and extra damage) for occ node not interrupting ES recharge by damage

- cyclopean coil + pantheon + Occultist ascn to be immune to all ailments (ignite, freeze, bleed, shock, stun)

- rainbowstride for more block chance, elemn res and movespeed

- mindspiral to add max mana into ES and mana regen since it's about 5% of mana unreserved

- 2 maelstrom jewels for extra DoT, cast speed and es recharge start

- CWDT - Immortal Call - Increased duration - Tempest shield
- Arctic breath - GmP - Bonechill - Faster Csting (or spell echo)
- Herald of Ice - Curse on Hit - Frostbite
- Frost Wall - CWDT - Ice Golem (for c
- Cold Snap - Conc Ef - ElemFocus - Efficacy - SwiftAffliction - Controlled Destruction
- Discipline + Purity of Ice for ES / Max cold Res

PoB link below - please note - bonechill effect does not apply in PoB and Shaper/Boss is selected in DPS calcs that's why Cold Snap only shows 140k - also all flasks and extras (except frezy charges) are disabled from calculation

Comments appreciated
I like pizza
As /u/Kenzorz on reddit has already said:

"Can have up to 10 chilling areas"...why???? You make a skill that pretty much can't function without GMP and multiple casts since the base damage and DoT is on the lower side yet the limited number of chilling areas is anti-synergistic with GMP and multiple casts? It just sucks that my DoT has a 7.25 duration but actually lasts like 2 seconds due to recasting removing the old chilling areas.

If you ask me, this is absolutely the biggest problem with Arctic Breath currently. Cast speed and projectile speed are not that much of a problem in my opinion as that does give the skill some identity.

The problems of the skill could be fixed by
(a) removing the limit on chilling areas and
(b) giving the skill a more damage multiplier for each chilling area affecting an enemy (5% per area, up to maybe 30% or something).

Then the skill would be in a nice place in my humble opinion and it would preserve its identity as a distinct hybrid skill that has both a projectile form and a DoT form.

For reference: I'm playing an Ascendant with Winter Orb CwC Arctic Breath, effectively ignoring the cast speed limitations of Arctic Breath. I'm scaling chill effect to make use of the new skill mechanics (using Hypothermia and Bonechill) increasing both the damage of projectiles and DoTs.

Edit: If someone wants to check out my character, my profile is public and the character is called AdoraBelleDearheart.
IGN: Laubblaeser
Last edited by Laubblaeser on Dec 14, 2018, 11:03:45 AM
level 90 occultist using arctic breath to buff vortex and cold snap damage in an autocast staff, too weak to clear with so i only use it to inflict buffed up chills.

skill is fine for this usecase but i miss the flying skull
I was really excited about Arctic breath changes. My character name is MarararaAB. I'm currently lvl 91 trying to get to 93 or even 95 to finalise my build. I'm AB 6link with cold snap trigger with bonechill. I'm using two wands too. I have to day that single target for AB even with 6link is not there. Cold snap does way more damage if I would put it in a 6link and same does vortex. The AoE is underwhelming even with using multiple projectiles or in my case volley. The spread is just not enough the dot doesn't stack and the ground effect moves way too slow. I've not even implemented vortex in my build but if I ever wanna take this build to endgame I will have to swap it in and use a +3 staff. AB is fine for smashing yellow maps but it's underwhelming as that's on a 6link. I want to love AB but there are better choices out there.
70 Occultist, Cold DoT build.

I started out using arctic breath the moment I could get it and it was... slow. The projectile was slow, the creeping of the ground effect was slow, even the cast speed felt slow. It was improved by LMP, but only because a few more ground effects meant things might be killed slightly faster.

When I decided to add Vaal Cold Snap and Vortex to my build, as a triple layer of cold DoTs, I found they were more effective at everything. Cold Snap is ground targeted meaning no travel time, did pretty much the same DoT damage with nearly the same cast speed, and a significantly larger area even after accounting for the creep. While Vortex does more dot damage, is instant and as I've levelled has become better with reduced cool-down.

By my early 40's I'd stopped using Arctic Breath as the only cool thing about it was the creep of the ground effect, everything else was done better by two other skills. Another factor to this decision was the AI of the ground effect, if there were two enemies ping-ponging out of range then the effect would also ping-pong without doing anything.

While levelling I kept thinking that Arctic Breath's ground effect needs to be MUCH faster and deal MUCH more damage (and lock onto the FIRST living target it finds), but also be mutually exclusive to Cold Snap so you pick one or the other. I'd be fine with a slow projectile and small radius if the unique thing about the skill was actually useful

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