A quick guide for optimizing Squirts with Gizzard gem/Fortress Ballista

Update on the build. Still haven’t beat 117 but my stats now stand at…

Shield: 383,770
Life: 23,275
Toughness after Evasive Fire: 60,260,232
Effective Shield Toughness: 993,601,322
Paragon: 2412
Sheet damage: 4,090,534

Not too shabby.

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I wonder if this thread could get stickied.

When I gave Rage a quick over view of how the build works, he seemed really interested, but there’s a ton of useful information in this for folks that wonder how the build works and at least to me it’s an important enough topic to be stickied since it discusses the new item Squirt’s and it’s relation to Gizzard and what it takes to toughen your shield.

I know it took forever for us to get the one sticky we do have but I think we should get at least a few more and this thread should be one of them.

To add something to the topic with regards to season 20, we should consider testing Fortress Ballista instead of Pride’s Fall or Visage of Gunes in the armor cube slot. While the shield toughness will be less, the ability to heal your shield could be awesome (I’m assuming that you can refresh all your shields and not just 30% of your max life).

I literally discussed this exact thing with dmkt a few days ago, stating I was going to update this thread with the inclusion of Fortress Ballista for seasons lol. Guess I need to do it sooner than later now that you brought it up haha.

And yes, you can regenerate all of your shields quickly, making it better than gizzard as long as you continue to fire.

I’ve also thought about doing some updates with just squirts in general. About 2 months ago I experimented with swapping out vault for smoke screen displacement for both speeds and higher GR’s. Given that we have more RCR, the hit to discipline isn’t big and well timed smoke screens will keep you topped off for max damage.

Smoke screen has the advantage of allowing you to gain near 100% up-time on squirts. Each time you use smoke screen, mobs redirect their target to a follower or pet. More useful, timing smoke screen allows you to disrupt an elite pack casting affixes and it resets the cool-down on those affixes. It’s literally possible to fight an elite pack and have them never cast a single affix during.

I haven’t played much in the recent, but I put in a single key on PTR and I didn’t get hit once. The setup is present there (and probably my profile).

As far as stickies, I think Peewee’s S6 boss killer thread deserves it a bit more since more players would be inclined to run that as it’s group friendly.


Agreed. Peewee’s thread deserves it, perhaps a bit more, but maybe this one can get a sticky too. But maybe we should do his first because of how long it took to get the one we have stickied. Yeah, do what you folks think is best.

Hi DIEoxidE,

thank you for the guide :slight_smile: A quick question, all else being equal what would you replace in the ring slot if switching out the traveller’s pledge (right now Im using N6M4 Cold) …

Sorry if its already there and I missed it, or if its obvious. I havent played for a bit so just checking things out.

Cheers and thanks again

Hi! N6/M4 hybrid is pretty much gear locked so there’s not much wiggle room for this combo in that setup.

It is possible to do squirts and use convention of elements in the ring slot for big burst damage, however using gizzard as a 3rd gem is tough because enforcer is such a strong gem throughout the rift that I don’t think it’ll be worth losing it for the shield.

If you can wing it, i’d skip gizzard all together, run bane of the trapped, zei’s, and enforcer (replace bane of the powerful with enforcer, enforcer is a stronger gem for N6/M4) and rely on freeze procs to prevent you from taking damage. Even then I’d only recommend this if you do not like travelers/compass combo of having to stand still to rack up damage.

Hope this helps and happy pew pewing!

Edited main post to include Fortress Ballista for Season 20.



Thanks mate, much appreciated :slight_smile:

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Just throwing it in here…

But I’m running the Squirt’s/Crimson’s/Gizzard build this season again. But in place of Gunes in the cube I’m running Flavor of Time. Fortress Ballista looks like it could work too so thanks for adding that to the OP. But I think this season Gizzard is really all you need and the double pylon time has enabled me to beat a 113.

I’ll go put my stats for the heck of it because that’s what I used it for before.

Tier 113
Time: 14:14
Paragon: 1227
Shield: 353,074
Toughness after Evasive Fire: 312,200,928
Shield Effective Toughness: 284,119,252

This isn’t to dispute that Fortress Ballista fits more into the theme of the thread, I just felt like reprising posting my progress with the build.

Added note: Took exactly 100 keys to get the right pylon, map, and mob type to get that time, though quite a few time I only missed the time by about 30 secs.

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Tier 114 down.

Time: 14:06.200
Paragon: 1277
Shield: 353,074
Life: 387,971
Toughness after Evasive Fire: 291,351,200
Shield Effective Toughness: 265,144,904

Inside the top 50 as of this posting with Rank 47.


I believe d3planner does not take vitality / HP / %life into equation for DR. And you can check precisely how much DR you have during a rift (with all buffs you gain from skills / items / set bonus etc). I’m at 96.81% DR for example, will most likely push past 97% DR with a better bow (only 45% RcR instead of 50%, 48% on wraps of clarity instead of 50% etc).

So this should help you gauge much better how big the shield really is no?


I don’t think it was being promoted, but rather an alternative for those that don’t like giving up a gem slot and it just happens to be easier to use/gear for. The issue though is that with CoE being in the picture, it sorta sours that option a bit.

I haven’t made a “push” in weeks, but when I decide to, I am thinking about going back to gizzard, but with CoE cubed and shadow power gloom in place of wolf/boar. In the little bit of playing around with it, shield up time has been rather nice with that 35% DR and it’s practically free with decent RCR.

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Interesting, if you use Tactical Advantage you could maybe use it instead of vault for mobility too. Then you could still use your Companion.



Lmao, I literally was doing this as soon as I stopped streaming and said I was going to bed. I have that setup saved for more trial and error runs, it’s a lot of fun and kept at near max disc. It’s technically steady aim vs wolf at that point in terms of buff.


I’m working on a 115 but I’m having trouble deciding between my Primal Yang’s with Cooldown Reduction and the other Primal with Increased Attack Speed.

I’m not sure about the calculations but the tooltip says the one with Attack Speed does 7% more damage, but I don’t that that’s “correct” as in a true representation of it being the better bow.

On the other hand the one with Cooldown Reduction bumps my cooldown reduction from 46.somesuch to 51.somesuch (about a 5% increase) but that could be wrong too.

I’ve also switched from Flavor of Time to CoE in the cube because the latter is less RNG dependent. At this point I can spawn the Grift Gaurdian with about a minute on the timer which isn’t quite enough to kill the Guardian with the bow with cooldown, so just by trial and error I think it might be the better bow.

At any rate, I think I can beat a 115 if I can ever get an Ancient Squirts with the correct stats.

Just about ready with enough Forgotten Souls to run some bounties for about 25 or so Reforges.

I guess what I’m asking is which bow is truly better?


That seems like a good problem to have!

I’d prefer the attack speed in that situation. The value of attack speed will depend on where you are in relation to breakpoints, but it’s probably going to be worth more than CDR in this situation.

The value of additional CDR purely from a DPS with Crimson’s isn’t all that strong. In your case, if it’s bumping you from about 46% CDR to 51% CDR, that’s only worth about 3.4% DPS (1.51/1.46). It’ll be a bit trickier if you’re running Wolf since the extra CDR will give you a little more uptime, but that’s a smaller effect.

I tend to prefer attack speed here.


2 Primal yangs? Lol.

If we’re just comparing the bows, the difference between the two is so minute that it won’t effect the outcome of any GR you’re trying to reach, however the AS will be more fun because it feels better so that would be my choice.

Personally I would go with the CDR bow, but only after swapping diamond to topaz in helm and then run wolf instead of boar. The topaz will help me make up some of the DR loss from boar, while providing me with more MS’s and less strain on my disc (more damage) and of course a straight damage boost from wolf.

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The one with Attack Speed I reforged pretty early in my time playing this season but it lacked Discipline so I had to roll that onto it. I attempted to get a more perfect one about 5 days ago and got the second one but it also lacked Discipline.

So in both cases I’m missing the resource cost reduction.

With these two from this season, it brings my total to 5 Primal Yang’s.

Sadly the other three rolled with Discipline but I wasn’t aware that rolling off Dex for another stat would have made them perfect, so I rolled a different stat. At any rate all 5 can now have different stats. Attack Speed, Cooldown Reduction, Resource Reduction, Area Damage, and I’m not sure about the 5th.

God I’m lucky, lol.

So… you weren’t happy with your Primal Yang’s, and you went out and got another one just like that. I … uhhh… Damn.

I have something like 40 souls right now. Not sure of the exact number, but I know it’s under 50, because I burn literally every soul I get reforging. (full disclosure: I’m not reforging Yang’s, but still :stuck_out_tongue: )

But I have found 4 Primal Aquila’s this season, so I guess there’s that?

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Yep. But on the other hand, I’ve spent tons of mats on a Squirts or Flavor of Time trying to get an ancient with the correct stats over the last 2 weeks and have yet to come up with one. So my luck only extends so far. lol

But on another note…

Tier 115 down.
Time: 14:45.266
Rank 40 as of this posting.
Toughness after Evasive Fire: 242,288,384
Shield: 319,247
Life: 387,971
Shield Effective Toughness: 199,370,158

Thanks for the suggestion, DiE. That did the trick. You’re frickin’ awesome!