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Affliction Meta Report Week 4

Last Updated: January 5th 2024

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Affliction 3.23

Welcome to the Path of Exile Affliction Meta Report Week 4 Maxroll news wrap-up. We're covering several powerful Transfigured Gems and the clever ways players are using them. Today's Transfigured Gems have a lot of potential, but aren't fully solved. Be sure to check Week 2 for more builds using Transfigured Gems!

Lancing Steel of Spraying

In the Week 1 Affliction Meta Report, we highlighted Splitting Steel and for Week 4 it's time to look at another Steel Skill. The Steel Skills got reworked in Affliction, with their Steel Shard synergy being removed and damage adjusted accordingly. In the case of Lancing Steel however, this works a bit differently. You need 4 Steel Shards to power the normal Lancing Steel skill, making it a clunky way to deal burst damage. But that's where Lancing Steel of Spraying comes in. A variant of the skill, which fires projectiles sequentially, has added Physical damage similar to the original and requires no Steel Shards.

The initial hit is much higher than regular Lancing Steel, but subsequent hits deal 90% less damage. This leads to a playstyle where your initial projectile does as much damage as the next 10 hits. Lancing Steel of Spraying pierces all targets, allowing you to easily scale the coverage with Projectile Speed. Throw in Sniper's Mark and you'll tear through everything in your path.

Lancing Steel of Spraying's unique behavior makes it an ideal trigger skill for Cast On Critical Strike Support. Create a cluster, then move on to the next pack as the projectiles fire in sequence. When the projectiles critically strike, your Spell is triggered. This is a great alternative to cyclone for players who want a zoomier playstyle and can't use a bow. Lancing Steel of Spraying probably won't take over the meta any time soon, but it's a flexible skill with powerful synergies.

Ethereal Knives of the Massacre

In the past, Ethereal Knives was reliant on a Threshold Jewel or Helm Enchantment for the Nova effect. Alternatively, you could use Nimis and stack projectiles to create a pseudo-nova effect. The new Ethereal Knives of the Massacre fires more Projectiles than the normal version of EK and uses a nova pattern by default. However, it has a slightly longer base cast time at 0.75s in comparison to the original 0.6s.

The longer cast time primarily affects builds which cast the skill directly, lowering the DPS in exchange for higher quality of life. On the other hand, an Ethereal Knives of the Massacre Ignite build only casts the skill once a pack, using Ignite proliferation to clear while moving on to the next pack. If you trigger the skill, this eliminates the penalty entirely and allows you to take full advantage of the better clearspeed.

Ethereal Knives of the Massacre benefits from being a Physical Spell. The damage can be converted to Cold and scaled via Hatred. Alternatively, playing a Chieftain or Inquisitor enables Fire conversion and going Pathfinder is great for Poison EK. Most of these builds feel similar to play but scale their damage and defenses very differently.

If you want to play an Ethereal Knives of the Massacre Build, our EK Ignite Elementalist is getting a facelift soon!

Lightning Conduit of the Heavens

When it was first released, Lightning Conduit offered prodigious damage locked behind a clunky playstyle. You need to Shock an enemy, while scaling Shock Effect to increase the damage. The skill also adds its cast time to the cooldown when triggered to prevent use in trigger builds. Lightning Conduit of the Heavens flips all of this on its head. There's no Shock scaling, or trigger penalty. But in exchange, the cast time increases from 0.5 to 0.7 and the skill has much higher base damage.

Due to the target cap and limited radius of effect, you need to pay attention to AoE and gem quality to maximize your clearspeed. If you just want to clear quickly useInpulsa's Broken Heart. Then get Shock proliferation on your gloves to take advantage of the random targeting Lightning Conduit of the Heavens uses to explode packs. Unfortunately, this setup lacks defenses and struggles on single target.

Alternatively, Lightning Conduit of the Heavens fits into the standard Energy Blade Spellblade, Cast On Critical Strike setup. When you trigger the skill 10 times per second, the target cap stops mattering. The skill is still being explored, so check out what other Exiles are doing on PoENinja.

Kinetic Bolt of Fragmentation

Kinetic Bolt is one of the most infamous Wand skills in Path of Exile. Many Exiles have been tempted by the Attack and Spell Damage scaling only to find the direction change difficult to manage. Luckily, Kinetic Bolt of Fragmentation solves a lot of this by reducing the number of direction changes to 2. Because Multiple Projectiles can hit the same target, there's a lot of single target damage potential. Use Returning Projectiles Support or Nimis to take full advantage of the Secondary Projectiles on Kinetic Bolt of Fragmentation.

Intelligence stacking is very effective here, you get access to 1% increased Spell Damage per 16 Intelligence. This becomes 2% increased Attack Damage per 16 Intelligence for Kinetic Bolt. Your ascendancy choice has also changed from before. Intelligence Stacking Deadeye is legendarily squishy, but Trickster offers great baseline defenses for builds invested into Energy Shield.

Another way to achieve this is Strength stacking with Battlemage's Cry. You get base damage, attack speed, crit, and increased damage all by stacking 1 stat. Build a Strength Stacking Kinetic Bolt of Fragmentation Juggernaut for ample defenses on top of the damage.


Tenkiei's Week 4 Affliction League Meta Report

Hungry for More?

That's the Meta Report for Affliction League Week 4 looking at more Transfigured Gems. Some gems like Penance Brand of Dissipation, Scourge Arrow of Menace and Storm Rain of the Conduit have already become a part of the Meta. But with so many new gems the meta is far from being solved this league.

Head over to our Discord and select the Path of Exile role in #roles to stay up to date with our content development. Stay sane, Exile!

Written by: Tenkiei

Reviewed by: Dredscythe

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