[3.11] CoC Ball Lightning Assassin - 20M+ Shaper DPS/10k ES/fortify - League Starter Guide Included

I played coc ball lightning for the entirety of harvest league and I want to share my experience to help people who are considering this build.

Spoiler
I was able to do insanely juiced delirious maps, completely deathless. My character had over 65 million shaper dps, 11000 energy shield, stun immunity, elemental ailment immunity, fortify.
Disclaimer: my gear is harvest crafted and probably impossible to reproduce in heist league.
https://pastebin.com/snFrJRKP
https://poe.ninja/challenge/builds/char/vlockhead/BallsOf



The dps formula in the guide is bit simplified and maybe outdated so I've come up with a more accurate dps formula. The formula currently listed in the guide might give players an inflated dps number.
Ball Lightning Single Target DPS = (([Ball Lightning Radius] + [Cyclone Radius]) / [Ball Lightning Projectile Speed]) * [Cyclone Attack Rate] * [Cyclone Crit Chance] * [Ball Lightning Activation Frequency] * [Ball Lightning Average Hit Damage]
My BL DPS before 3.12 = ((23 + 19) / 33.6) * 10.1 * 0.98 * (1 000 / 150) * 868 000 = 71 595 533
My BL DPS after 3.12 = ((19 + 19) / 33.6) * 10.1 * 0.97 * (1 000 / 150) * 635 000 = 46 905 081 (34.5% Less DPS)

With how much the base ball lightning aoe was nerfed in heist notes, increased aoe has large diminishing returns.
Area of Effect Radius = [Base AoE Radius] * sqrt(1 + [Increased AoE %] / 100)
Example: Area of Effect Radius = 22 * sqrt(1 + 15 / 100) = 23.54

Shock effect is a bit confusing. The formula for shock effect was changed in patch 3.9 (metamorph). Shock is an elemental ailment that causes targets with lower maximum health to take more lightning damage. Target Ailment threshold is equal to the enemy's maximum health in most cases except for bosses. The ailment thresholds for bosses are undocumented but a reddit post theorized a8 sirus to have a threshold of 25 million.
You put this value as your shock value in your PoB configuration.
Shock Effect % = ([Damage Per Hit] / [Target Ailment Threshold]) ^ 0.4 * 0.5 * (100 + [Increased Shock Effect])
Example: Shock Effect % = (795 000 / 25 000 000) ^ 0.4 * 0.5 * (100 + 18) = 14.85

Skill Links that I use
Spoiler
6 link
Cyclone > Awakened Cast on Critical Strike > Ball Lightning > Slower Projectiles > Awakened Added Lightning Damage > Inspiration
This one is already explained in the guide.

4 link
Vortex > Awakened Curse on Hit > Conductivity > Elemental Weakness
Vortex provides chilled ground for algor mortis. Awakened curse on hit allows an additional curse to be used. Both curses reduce enemy lightning resistance.

4 link
Vaal Discipline > Wrath > Zealotry > Enlighten
I socket these into algor mortis with +1 level socketed gems corrupted implicit for an additional enlighten level. Vaal Discipline is useful to activate ES recharge.

3 Link
Frostblink > Second Wind > Arcane Surge
Frostblink is very nice because it has instant casting. Instant casting means that you can use the spell without interrupting other skills. You can use frostblink while cycloning and cyclone is not interrupted. Second wind reduces the cooldown time but second wind charge does not work with instant skills. Arcane surge grants 10% more spell damage for 4 seconds. Arcane surge level should be limited to the mana cost of your frostblink so that it activates every cast, around level 7 to 9.

Vaal Righteous Fire
Sacrifice 30% of your life/es. Gain 28% more spell damage for 4 seconds.

CWDT gems
Bladeblast (7) - Affected enemies are unnerved for 4 seconds, causing targets to take 10% increased spell damage. Does not require blades to cast but blades increase the spells aoe.
Wave of Conviction (7) - Inflicts lightning exposure which reduces enemy lightning resistance by 25%
Tempest Shield (7) - Increases block chance and inflicts lightning damage to attackers. Looks cool.
Immortal Call (2) - Less Physical and Elemental Damage taken.


If you are new to this build and considering playing it next league, I will give you my opinion of the biggest pro and the worst con of this build. This build is absolutely lag proof. During harvest, I was successfully clearing insanely juiced delirium maps at 5-10 fps and not dying, sometimes dipping below 1 fps. The biggest downside of this build is that your dps is accelerating and not immediate. You will not reach your maximum dps on a single target until 1-2 seconds after you start attacking. This can be quite frustrating versus targets that move around a lot.
Hey awesome build having a blast with it. question, what are the slight mods you were talking about for iiq?
"
vlockhead wrote:
I played coc ball lightning for the entirety of harvest league and I want to share my experience to help people who are considering this build.

Spoiler
I was able to do insanely juiced delirious maps, completely deathless. My character had over 65 million shaper dps, 11000 energy shield, stun immunity, elemental ailment immunity, fortify.
Disclaimer: my gear is harvest crafted and probably impossible to reproduce in heist league.
https://pastebin.com/snFrJRKP
https://poe.ninja/challenge/builds/char/vlockhead/BallsOf



The dps formula in the guide is bit simplified and maybe outdated so I've come up with a more accurate dps formula. The formula currently listed in the guide might give players an inflated dps number.
Ball Lightning Single Target DPS = (([Ball Lightning Radius] + [Cyclone Radius]) / [Ball Lightning Projectile Speed]) * [Cyclone Attack Rate] * [Cyclone Crit Chance] * [Ball Lightning Activation Frequency] * [Ball Lightning Average Hit Damage]
My BL DPS before 3.12 = ((23 + 19) / 33.6) * 10.1 * 0.98 * (1 000 / 150) * 868 000 = 71 595 533
My BL DPS after 3.12 = ((19 + 19) / 33.6) * 10.1 * 0.97 * (1 000 / 150) * 635 000 = 46 905 081 (34.5% Less DPS)

With how much the base ball lightning aoe was nerfed in heist notes, increased aoe has large diminishing returns.
Area of Effect Radius = [Base AoE Radius] * sqrt(1 + [Increased AoE %] / 100)
Example: Area of Effect Radius = 22 * sqrt(1 + 15 / 100) = 23.54

Shock effect is a bit confusing. The formula for shock effect was changed in patch 3.9 (metamorph). Shock is an elemental ailment that causes targets with lower maximum health to take more lightning damage. Target Ailment threshold is equal to the enemy's maximum health in most cases except for bosses. The ailment thresholds for bosses are undocumented but a reddit post theorized a8 sirus to have a threshold of 25 million.
You put this value as your shock value in your PoB configuration.
Shock Effect % = ([Damage Per Hit] / [Target Ailment Threshold]) ^ 0.4 * 0.5 * (100 + [Increased Shock Effect])
Example: Shock Effect % = (795 000 / 25 000 000) ^ 0.4 * 0.5 * (100 + 18) = 14.85

Skill Links that I use
Spoiler
6 link
Cyclone > Awakened Cast on Critical Strike > Ball Lightning > Slower Projectiles > Awakened Added Lightning Damage > Inspiration
This one is already explained in the guide.

4 link
Vortex > Awakened Curse on Hit > Conductivity > Elemental Weakness
Vortex provides chilled ground for algor mortis. Awakened curse on hit allows an additional curse to be used. Both curses reduce enemy lightning resistance.

4 link
Vaal Discipline > Wrath > Zealotry > Enlighten
I socket these into algor mortis with +1 level socketed gems corrupted implicit for an additional enlighten level. Vaal Discipline is useful to activate ES recharge.

3 Link
Frostblink > Second Wind > Arcane Surge
Frostblink is very nice because it has instant casting. Instant casting means that you can use the spell without interrupting other skills. You can use frostblink while cycloning and cyclone is not interrupted. Second wind reduces the cooldown time but second wind charge does not work with instant skills. Arcane surge grants 10% more spell damage for 4 seconds. Arcane surge level should be limited to the mana cost of your frostblink so that it activates every cast, around level 7 to 9.

Vaal Righteous Fire
Sacrifice 30% of your life/es. Gain 28% more spell damage for 4 seconds.

CWDT gems
Bladeblast (7) - Affected enemies are unnerved for 4 seconds, causing targets to take 10% increased spell damage. Does not require blades to cast but blades increase the spells aoe.
Wave of Conviction (7) - Inflicts lightning exposure which reduces enemy lightning resistance by 25%
Tempest Shield (7) - Increases block chance and inflicts lightning damage to attackers. Looks cool.
Immortal Call (2) - Less Physical and Elemental Damage taken.


If you are new to this build and considering playing it next league, I will give you my opinion of the biggest pro and the worst con of this build. This build is absolutely lag proof. During harvest, I was successfully clearing insanely juiced delirium maps at 5-10 fps and not dying, sometimes dipping below 1 fps. The biggest downside of this build is that your dps is accelerating and not immediate. You will not reach your maximum dps on a single target until 1-2 seconds after you start attacking. This can be quite frustrating versus targets that move around a lot.


You are right, the DPS calculation is outdated. BL hits 7-8 times with 40% inc AoE in Heist, not 13 times.

"
DreadHed wrote:
Hey awesome build having a blast with it. question, what are the slight mods you were talking about for iiq?


I used 2 Ventor's gambles and Goldwyrm. But that was in Delirium, and I'm not sure if it's still possible in Heist because of the nerfs.
"
N0esy wrote:
@Irfy84
Yes, Hex breaker is not good anymore. it's outdated. Thanks for pointing it out.

As for the second point, I tried GMP in the past, but it was underwhelming most of the time. As a player who always try to push to level 100, I prefer having good DPS to kill dangerous enemies like Syndicate members and beyond bosses quick enough. Additional projectiles doesn't help you very much because BL projectiles travel very slowly, even without slower projectiles support.

The Doppler effect stuff has nothing to do with extra projectiles, doesn't it?
It does, and that's precisely my point. It makes the BL into a moving wave-like phenomenon like sound waves, so that overlap can happen on our sides and not just along our line of movement as would be with a single projectile.

Look at the fourth doppler diagram, when we move faster than the balls. The maximum overlap points are to our sides, and shotgun area extends even further than that because the balls will overlap due to their area of effect. I'm marking the shotgun area in a copy of the diagram here:



Black is the GMP shotgun area, red is the Slower Proj general coverage area.

With Slower Proj you almost completely miss the shotgun effect for two reasons:

1. Slower Proj covers an area in a single line, while the shotgun effect with GMP is this boomerang-shaped area above that moves with us as long as we're hitting monsters.

2. For any shotgunning comparison to be made between GMP and Slower Proj, you would have to move 30% slower with Slower Proj. In reality, the only thing that gives you clear DPS with Slower Proj is its basic DPS (which is very good in and of itself). You will have no significant shotgun effect because the projectiles are 30% slower, and no one wants to move that slow for them to overlap significantly. The real effect on gameplay here is that while with Slower Proj maybe 2-3 projectiles overlap for shotgun effect, we can count on 3-5 GMP projectiles (from different casts/triggers) overlapping for shotgun effect.
Full math
Let's take Slower Proj (SP) projectile speed as baseline.

GMP has 1/0.7 = 43% more proj speed corresponding to 43% more overlap than SP while keeping the speed of character movement constant.

SP21 has 1.3 baseline multiplier damage while GMP21 has 0.75. So our gunshot DPS multiplier is 1.3 for SP and 1.43*0.75=1.07 for GMP. In relative terms a single gunshot burst with GMP is 1-1.07/1.3=18% less dmg than a single gunshot burst of SP and thus far better than the pure DPS comparison without gunshot: 1-.75/1.3=42% less dmg.

In other words, with GMP instead of SP we lose 18% dmg but increase the gunshot area to about (ballpark estimate: # of GMP projectiles -2) 300% of SP's area of coverage.
These two things add up to superb clear speed because we can move faster and maintain shotgun effect and superb clear area because the shotgun effect happens in a (much, much) wider area than with Slower Proj.

---

Having said all this, the comparison with syndicate fights is obviously in favor of Slower Proj. GMP can never be as good as Slower Proj for single target fights, period. If you *want* to run Jun or Einhar missions and this is a concern, then for these individual high-HP fights, Slower Proj will be superior. My argument goes only towards the general clear speed of monster packs, including rares. So the argument to be made for GMP or SP depends on your goal: if you want to be on the safe side while running Jun missions and dont have overpowered gear, then SP is the safer choice. If you care for maximum speed to get max XP/hour or drops/hours, then GMP is the better choice.

Saying that GMP is underwhelming as a general statement in the guide is silently assuming that others share your goal of being safe while fighting harder single-target fights which is most certainly not always true :)
"
Irfy84 wrote:
Spoiler
"
N0esy wrote:
@Irfy84
Yes, Hex breaker is not good anymore. it's outdated. Thanks for pointing it out.

As for the second point, I tried GMP in the past, but it was underwhelming most of the time. As a player who always try to push to level 100, I prefer having good DPS to kill dangerous enemies like Syndicate members and beyond bosses quick enough. Additional projectiles doesn't help you very much because BL projectiles travel very slowly, even without slower projectiles support.

The Doppler effect stuff has nothing to do with extra projectiles, doesn't it?
It does, and that's precisely my point. It makes the BL into a moving wave-like phenomenon like sound waves, so that overlap can happen on our sides and not just along our line of movement as would be with a single projectile.

Look at the fourth doppler diagram, when we move faster than the balls. The maximum overlap points are to our sides, and shotgun area extends even further than that because the balls will overlap due to their area of effect. I'm marking the shotgun area in a copy of the diagram here:



Black is the GMP shotgun area, red is the Slower Proj general coverage area.

With Slower Proj you almost completely miss the shotgun effect for two reasons:

1. Slower Proj covers an area in a single line, while the shotgun effect with GMP is this boomerang-shaped area above that moves with us as long as we're hitting monsters.

2. For any shotgunning comparison to be made between GMP and Slower Proj, you would have to move 30% slower with Slower Proj. In reality, the only thing that gives you clear DPS with Slower Proj is its basic DPS (which is very good in and of itself). You will have no significant shotgun effect because the projectiles are 30% slower, and no one wants to move that slow for them to overlap significantly. The real effect on gameplay here is that while with Slower Proj maybe 2-3 projectiles overlap for shotgun effect, we can count on 3-5 GMP projectiles (from different casts/triggers) overlapping for shotgun effect.
Full math
Let's take Slower Proj (SP) projectile speed as baseline.

GMP has 1/0.7 = 43% more proj speed corresponding to 43% more overlap than SP while keeping the speed of character movement constant.

SP21 has 1.3 baseline multiplier damage while GMP21 has 0.75. So our gunshot DPS multiplier is 1.3 for SP and 1.43*0.75=1.07 for GMP. In relative terms a single gunshot burst with GMP is 1-1.07/1.3=18% less dmg than a single gunshot burst of SP and thus far better than the pure DPS comparison without gunshot: 1-.75/1.3=42% less dmg.

In other words, with GMP instead of SP we lose 18% dmg but increase the gunshot area to about (ballpark estimate: # of GMP projectiles -2) 300% of SP's area of coverage.
These two things add up to superb clear speed because we can move faster and maintain shotgun effect and superb clear area because the shotgun effect happens in a (much, much) wider area than with Slower Proj.

---

Having said all this, the comparison with syndicate fights is obviously in favor of Slower Proj. GMP can never be as good as Slower Proj for single target fights, period. If you *want* to run Jun or Einhar missions and this is a concern, then for these individual high-HP fights, Slower Proj will be superior. My argument goes only towards the general clear speed of monster packs, including rares. So the argument to be made for GMP or SP depends on your goal: if you want to be on the safe side while running Jun missions and dont have overpowered gear, then SP is the safer choice. If you care for maximum speed to get max XP/hour or drops/hours, then GMP is the better choice.

Saying that GMP is underwhelming as a general statement in the guide is silently assuming that others share your goal of being safe while fighting harder single-target fights which is most certainly not always true :)


I understand that everyone has a different goal. I just feel from my experience that the benefit of using GMP is too small - maybe the clear speed is increased by 5% of something, which is not enough to justify the DPS loss. This feeling may be biased because I usually run Toxic sewer and Promenade in the endgame. If you run more open maps like Summit, GMP might be more effective, but I don't know.

I stated in the guide that GMP is useful in Legion encounters, which indicates that GMP is sometimes useful. I believe this information is enough for people who is looking for better clear speed.
I've tested the build a bit in normal league now after the nerf and can confirm that the dps loss isn't that noticable (at least with good gear).

With my harvest character I am still able to do a delve on depth 1326 and the dps is still enough to clear it before they can even hit me properly.

Just if someone thinks because of the nerf it wouldn't be OP as heck in the endgame.

(And yea I know, it is with harvest gear. But my gear wasn't optimized.)
In your guide under this information I have a question. How do you fix the mana issue ? can't have 3x4 gems socketed, cause of the mana reserved pool ?

level 31
Complete the quest "A Fixture of Fate" in the Library and buy slower projectiles and innervate gems. Your gem setup is the following:
spellslinger - ball lightning - slower projectiles - elemental focus
spellslinger - arc - controlled destruction - innervate
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning
frenzy
"
PRYMZ wrote:
In your guide under this information I have a question. How do you fix the mana issue ? can't have 3x4 gems socketed, cause of the mana reserved pool ?

level 31
Complete the quest "A Fixture of Fate" in the Library and buy slower projectiles and innervate gems. Your gem setup is the following:
spellslinger - ball lightning - slower projectiles - elemental focus
spellslinger - arc - controlled destruction - innervate
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning
frenzy


You can't use all of them because of the nerf to spellslinger in 3.12. You have to drop either arc or wave of conviction setup. I would drop arc.
"
In your guide under this information I have a question. How do you fix the mana issue ? can't have 3x4 gems socketed, cause of the mana reserved pool ?

level 31
Complete the quest "A Fixture of Fate" in the Library and buy slower projectiles and innervate gems. Your gem setup is the following:
spellslinger - ball lightning - slower projectiles - elemental focus
spellslinger - arc - controlled destruction - innervate
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning
frenzy


I made it work by using
spellslinger - ball lightning - elemental focus
spellslinger - arc
spellslinger - wave of conviction - physical to lightning
for several levels, until my spellslingers leveled up enough to swap phys to lightning on WoC for controlled destruction on arc. I eventually invested in the sovereignty cluster while leveling to make it easier, but remember that you can keep casting spellslinger stuff with 100% reserved mana thanks to default wand attacks. frenzy just gives you more damage from frenzy charges and curse on hit.
"
xdnil5xd wrote:
I've tested the build a bit in normal league now after the nerf and can confirm that the dps loss isn't that noticable (at least with good gear).

With my harvest character I am still able to do a delve on depth 1326 and the dps is still enough to clear it before they can even hit me properly.

Just if someone thinks because of the nerf it wouldn't be OP as heck in the endgame.

(And yea I know, it is with harvest gear. But my gear wasn't optimized.)


Really? I did the same, and imo the build is dead af.

I ran a 100% delirious t16 underground river as a test, and it felt awful. The damage is halved, the regen is halved.

Such a shame, I think this was the cheapest entry to 100% delirious farming, and I'm not sure of anything else that can do them safely at close to the same investment requirement. CoC Nova and Aura stacker are both 3-10x more expensive, not sure what else.

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