1.5.11b - Cursevoker guidelines

Cursevoker

aka The Pyre vs. The Dreambreaker

This guide is for people who …
… want an alternative style of play. (be an asset not an ass-hat)
… want to be more support-oriented on their dps class.
… are on a budget. (when compared to other full-build guides)

This is NO step-by-step or leveling guide for new players!

Do your own adjustments according to your needs! (especially Expertise!)
This is only showing a playstyle that I really enjoyed in parties. It is NOT a solo-yolo-dps show. It CAN be hybrid though, if you are willing to invest and adjust things further.
This build focuses heavily on cc-ing and inflicting sfx on packs of mobs.

General notes:

For all intents and purposes, this build was/is made for parties. While it is definitely able to solo quite a lot of stuff, this is not where the build shines.

The on-death explosion from SC, Broms healing and lowered resistances on packs as well as Ele-Drain on key targets helps everyone.

Running end-game stuff and/or bosses (mostly Emissaries, deeper Catas, etc) solo is, from my POV, a sinful waste of time and potential. So do as you wish at your own risk of displeasure.

Links for those who don't want to read:

These are templates only! (includes +skills from items and cast-sets) Be sure to spend the remaining skill points according to your needs and preferred skills.

  1. Barebones core of curses:
    Skill Calc Test

The bare minimum when going down this cursed road.

  1. Naturalism-style (no Ember)
    https://waipahe.co.uk/web_drive/Tree/tree.html?build=Evoker_2540201-2550201-2560101-2640201-2650201-2740101-2440305-2570101-2690007-2420205-2470005-2490101-2510101-2530101

  2. Spiritualism-style (incl. Ember)
    Skill Calc Test

Questions? Read on. - Don’t ask me stuff, if you didn’t read the rest in here!

To gear up:

  • 2x The Keel Brand (2 slots, 2 in each skill, 50%++ curse duration)
  • Glittens of the Archmage (3 Ele Drain)
  • Hexer’s Shroud (Ele-Drain, 50%++ minion dmg; +1 AS aug)

Yup, that’s right, you’ll only ‘need’ 4 items in total. The rest is up to you and how you want to supplement your preferences/needs. This makes it so much cheaper to get started as you aren’t bound to some obnoxiously expensive shit on the CH.

Truth be told, these pieces by themselves might not be the cheapest ones out there and neither are there a lot of them, but you really don’t need as much palladium, when compared to other fully geared build guides. If you manage to dig through all that junk on the Consignment House, you might find some hidden gems here or there.

When aug-ing your stuff, look out for :

  1. anything that offers +curse duration until you get your core items
    Early-game Broms doesn’t really last long enough to be of great value. On top of that, it has a 1s ICD to its healing. That’s why we need +duration, as every second helps.

  2. +1 all skills (helmet, ring only if you are really starving, which you shouldn’t)
    This one’s pretty self-explanatory. You always want more skill-points.Go for your helmet first. If you have a +1as ring to spare, then take that instead, as you might mess up your helmet augs. Sometimes it is better to not aug your helmet, if you have exceptional or max rolls on it.

  3. +(%) sfx attack strength
    Mostly found on invoker gear - ele-specific mythics are very good as well.
    You’ll want that +phase/ignite sfx as much/high as possible. Look out for DE placeholders in chat/CH/drops until a mythic comes up. They’re usually pretty cheap and not too demanding, depending on their negative affix.

  4. +minion/evocation damage / ele-damage
    Also self-explanatory. Once you have your +curse/sfx gear, you should slot as much damage as you can. You don’t want to needlessly drag your party down.
    If you want even more offense, you can swap this and +%sfx in this priority table.

  5. +stats
    Yes, stats are important, but why at the end? Because, if you don’t screw around and mess up, you shouldn’t be starving for points. Quite the contrary. If you did all the sidequests, you’ll have a nice surplus. You’ll most likely need 3/4 stats anyways, depending on your preferred style. Remember to always check your feeds, if you equip new gear!

Use cast-sets for Venom Armour/Ember/Tempest if you want/need. Personally, I use a VA cast-set most of the time for bosses and tougher areas. Cast-weapons can be pretty much any rarity, as long as they don’t mess too much with your feeds. Look elsewhere, if you actually have to spend points for them. Also, not aug-ing your gear to the max can be a healthy choice sometimes, if you have really high or even max rolls on a certain piece.

Expertise:

Alright, here’s some more customization. Lots of useful and less useful stuff.
But basically it boils down to this: Pick up whatever you need the most to fill your blanks.
Here are some things you might want to consider though:

Don’t shy away from not maxing out a specific expertise. The last rank is 4 points and thus suuuuper expensive. (maxing out a single exp costs: 1+2+3+4 = 10 pts!!)
So pick wisely which ones you truly need and which are still useful even at lower ranks.

  • Example 1)
    Surgical Precision 4/4, Cruelty 4/4, Affliction 3/4,Arcane Resolve 3/4, Toughness 3/4, Tranquillity 3/4.
    This gives you a nice, flat amount of offence as well as some defence.

  • Example 2)
    Enhanced Willpower 4/4, Tranquillity 4/4, Leadership 4/4, Viigor 4/4, Fortune 4/4
    Looks weird and weak at first, but once you’ve got some +userate and some Swarm/Serpent/Tempest combo going, there’s gonna be some loot. And Fortune helps with that, even if just a tiny bit.

General gameplay:

Usually you’ll want to wait for your guardian to clump up mobs. If there’s no Guardian in your party, that’s not really an issue. When we’re looking at ~100-200% +curse duration from gear, you can use your curses pretty casually.
If you see the number of cursed targets going down fast, just recast. But don’t be reckless, spamming like an idiot. Not only will this prevent you from dps-ing and being quite (power-)costly, you’re also being an ass-hat. Nobody likes ass-hats.

The most relevant skills are:

  • Broms
  • Elemental Drain
  • Spectral Curse

Not particularly in this order as you’ll want to re-apply them all the time anyways because mobs are getting killed. Ele-Drain and Brom’s synergy is important as it reduces resistances by 15% on all enemies affected by Brom’s Curse.

Lucky for you guys, there is no real rotation that you need to keep in mind. You can open up with almost anything you like. But for those who are unsure, here is an example:

  1. debuff
    Use SC and/or WoB to soften up packs for the next step.
  2. assist
    Assist in killing mobs affected by SC. This usually vaporises almost all the weaker mobs like Zombies, etc. in one go and mostly only rare+ mobs survive this.
  3. clean-up
    If anything survived the first two steps, assist in cleaning up the rest that’s left.
  4. loot
    We’re all in for the loot anyways, so go get it. :stuck_out_tongue:

There is two main variants which can be built:

Naturalism < — > Spiritualism

I will cover some more alternatives down in the corresponding section of this guide.

Naturalism

Fire, physical or electricity spells are a staple in many builds. It’s the same here.

Tempest is more viable against bosses than crowds due to its nature of concentrating its attacks when there is only one target around.
Fire/phys in particular provide a lot of heavy-hitters and nice aoe. Also some burst through Flameshards and Bone Shards without vomiting unnecessary CDs.
Skullsplitter is a really nice skill, but more suited for crit builds as each fragment by itself can crit. Also requires some getting used to.

Wall of Bone provides some sort of soft-cc by having a higher threat-level than the player, so it helps a bit with hordes and Tormentors. Thorns working their wicked magic here.

Getting as much ignite/phys attack strength as possible is self-explanatory. You want that passive damage/crowd control coming from it.

Electricity - really nice against bosses and rare+ mobs with specific affixes which might cause issues. (e.g. regen, etc.)

Hellfire/Bone Shards - nice aoe without projectiles, still be careful. HF can be reflected and the SC+Bone Shards combo triggers thorns from SC. (most prevalent in Australia)
Lightning Field - Although stackable and semi-spammable, it is kinda lackluster for this build.

Further, it doesn’t increase in damage, only aoe-radius, the more you specc into it. Also no sfx increase. :frowning: The initial projectile can be reflected, so be careful to not fuck yourself over. (shock proccs are a bitch to deal with)

Spiritualism:

Nice combos for smaller packs through Bolt+Venomous Spirit. Also VS tends to make the target run away at higher ranks, but this isn’t really an issue due to homing projectiles. Also helps with staying alive a tad longer.

Overall great survivability through SC, Summon Ember, Venom Armour and frequent phasing. (through Lash Mastery’s aoe)

SLash + Mastery - More of a long-range, sniping skill but soooooo underrated against crowds! Despite its wonky workings it really clears out a yard in no-time. (Orbiles go splat)

Swarm + Serpents - These help out with some amazing minion damage. Especially Swarm rips dem demons a new one. Serpents can be stacked 4+ times if enough +userates are there.

Spectral Curse - A staple for clearing out small groups, up to multiple packs of trash with just 2 ezpz clicks. (SC → Bone Shards → ??? = profit!) Helps with creating some breathing room to move into a more advantageous position. Be prepared for lagg, once it pops.

Summon Ember - Becomes really nasty later on with its juicy amount of projectiles. Also pulls aggro quite nicely from time to time. Needs a solid amount of +minion stats though.

Overall, get as much phase/poison sfx and minion damage as you can. Phase helps with both. increasing damage and survivability, whereas poison prevents mobs/bosses from healing/regen. ‘But why minion damage?!?’ Well, because Swarm, the Ember and SSerpents deal significantly more damage, if you have it. (which you should in this build)

Things to look out for:

  • Stun heavy mobs (e.g. Blade Slayers, Bruisers, etc.)
    These probably fuck you up the most. High level Bruisers have a tendency to stun you, even through massive (8k++) resists with their ranged attacks. So look out for those, especially when rare+.
  • Shock heavy mobs (e.g. Shock Slayers, etc.)
  • Fire/Poison proccs are mostly negligible. Why?- Broms will heal you through both easily and consistently as long as you keep it up.
  • Getting cornered is never good, so get yourself ganged up on.
  • Phasing, while annoying, is not as dangerous as on other builds.
    Why? Because we do not rely on damage as much as e.g. MMs and because of our great access to curses we don’t need to worry about that 50% increase in damage taken as much. It can still be dangerous, so do not overestimate yourself.

Alternatives and variants:

More build-variants to look forward to are:
  • fire/lightning vs physical/lightning vs. triple trouble (fire, physical, electricity)
    All of these variants have their own perks and downsides. In the past, I played a fire/lightning spec for years. Focusing on Flameshards and LF, but mostly because of how lazy I was. Flameshards and Lightning Field are super comfortable to chain back2back, whilst providing decently sized aoes for smaller packs. It is also great for cleaning up after your Hellfire/Swarm softened the incoming mobs.
    In these variants I highly suggest some decent +userate.

  • any crossover between nature, spirit and arcane skills (e.g. Drain Power/Life)
    Certainly doable, but requires adjustments on your overall specc and augment priorities. At the moment I run a rather offensive Spirit/Arcane build, without ember. It works, but has its downside in other areas. (small, but strong phasing aoe - on kill)

  • Word of Fear
    Errybody gangsta until Moloch gets feared.
    This piece is actually a whole beast of its own. Now you might want to intervene and say, ‘But mobs running away is never good. Even in a party.’ Yes, this is true. But think again, what tools are at your disposal. With SC at minimum lvl8 you will slow mobs by 50%. So they might be running, but not nearly as fast as they would without SC. Besides, your job is to apply debuffs/curses first, damage second.

More gear suggestions and alternative:

Boots
  • Night Striders vs. Way of the Eternal Mist vs. Nadja’s
    All three pieces offer very good mobility in one way or another. Generally Night Striders Or Nadja’s are considered BiS for many builds simply because of how strong they are. But here, Eternal Mist being an Invoker piece offers some more flexibility alongside some cirt and massive shields. Possible affixes like +nat/spirit or +%sfx strength are really a big help in general.
Legpieces
  • Obraim’s Tassets vs. Nagahaku’s Optional Jeans vs. Harrowing Truce
    Obraim’s provides you with massive shields, stats and power-regen. What does Nagahaku offer us? Yes. Simply, yes. You probably want this one more than any other piece, if you run the naturalism variant.
    Harrowing Truce is an extremely good survivability choice here with its massive +% health bonus
Belt
  • Belts are really a matter of choice. Pick whichever suits your build best.
    Pure, straight-up damage? Balbi’s. Super low feeds as well, also no need to nano, really. More centred on Swarm/Tempest? Hellion Hasp and that’s it.
Gloves
  • Glittens of the Archmage vs. Gehenna Grasps
    There is no dispute here. Absolutely none.
    Any amount of offensive affixes on Gehenna Grasps might be more damage, but is worth nothing, compared to what Glittens offers you, your party and this build. We’re here for party support and debuffing. Not some weirdo dps-nonsense. Further, if you have at least 20% crit chance, Glittens will offer you more crit than Grasps could ever. Even if only against demons - Now go guess what most bosses are …
    If you want to run an offensive naturalism build with primarily phys damage, I’d suggest Grasps as an alternative though. But not in general.
Chest
  • Demeter’s Eleusis vs. Heart of Darkness
    In essence we’re talking about defence/utility vs. offence here.
    While most people will likely settle for a nicely rolled and augged HoD, Demeter’s is worth a look. First of all, it becomes available super early, if you are lucky. (Shulgoth has a chance to drop one of the tribute items!) Secondly, it offers points in Brom’s which will give you 2 more points to spend elsewhere. Next up, ele-damage is always useful and Mind Power userate helps with a lot of skills.
Shoulders
  • Shoulder pieces are highly flexible as well, depending on your needs.
    Pretty much every unique out there offers something you can make use of. Early on I can definitely recommend the Sulfuric Guru. Later down the line, pick what you need. Pit Pauldrons for resists and some +acc. Pyke’s for some specific affixes like +naturalism/spiritualism damage. Norak’s is a great piece as well, given that everything it provides is helpful.
Helmet
  • Tegument vs. Hexer’s vs. Face of Death
    Now, this is a really tricky one, imho. Tegument can offer you some more health for your Wall of Bone and ccm alongside a generous boost to power-regen and armour-penetration. Most people would probably ignore or disregard armour-pen but it has its perks. More so at higher mob levels where the issue with armour and armour-increasing affixes becomes apparent.
    Face of Death seems like an odd choice to begin with, but here is why it’s actually quite good. It is available pretty early, offers some really nice +phase and shield-pen alongside free Word of Fear.
Focus items
  • The Keel Brand vs. Tuskull vs. Fist of Ruax
    Tuskull offers massive poison and phase sfx, so this easily supports a Spiritualism build. You get some points in Brom’s, chunky tankiness, but lose out on SC and curse duration as well as aoe. So, if you want to be more of a frontliner, you should consider this one. Ruax on the other fis… eerhm, hand offers some evasion and an absolutely bonkers amount of shields.

Last notes and closing

This build probably isn’t what people might expect when they see and hear ‘Evoker’, but it can definitely hold its own in a fight around St. Pauls and Hell itself. Yes the mobs are super tough and the wrong affixes straight-up kill you, but this is to be expected. Thinking otherwise is just foolishness.

All of this ‘guide’ is much less strict than most others as you only have so many items that are seemingly necessary. You can substitute a lot of stuff, if you prefer your own variant or simply want to adjust things more to your liking. (which is totally fine)

In the end Evo has had some really nice adjustments done to it, so whatever you do, it’ll work out most of the time. Unless you screw up really really really bad.

So with all that said, I want to thank you, gentle reader, for your patience in reading all of this.
Maybe this piece brought you some new insights or just some ideas and inspiration, to loosen that pabulum called Galactic Conquest.

Should there still be some further questions, feel free to post them below.

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