edit 16/04/2019 - Updated for patch 2.6.4.
edit 24/02/2019 - Added gr122 solo seasonal clear
edit 27/01/2018 - Reworked it for patch 2.6.1 changes. Added some informations as well as a d3planner link and a grift 115 clear.
edit 03/06/2017 - added fire DoT mechanics, boss informations…
First of all, the tl;dr d3planner link is at the end of this post. Feel free to skip to it, but do not ask any question unless you read everything else here.
As you may or may not know, I am an avid Roland Sweep attack (SA) player.
I recently cleared gr115 (see at the end for video), so I thought I would a make a guide on how to gear, what to look for and how to play the grifts.
Until some time ago I was advising playing the lightning rune for any kind of push, however I after trying the fire rune instead it turned out to be much better. While still being tanky, you output so much more damage that it’s no question which one should be used.
I will start by going over the skills, then the gear and stats needed on each piece, and finally I will explain some of the mechanics you should be aware of.
But first, I want to be clear : this is a guide on the build I pushed with. You can go for different skills and especially different gems/stats on gear but that would not be the same build as mine then.
Due to 2.6.4 buff to Roland, getting the highest breakpoint on sweep attack is now trivial. Literally, you get it by having the 5 stacks of the 6p set, even with a furnace and no other attack speed buff.
Unlike some builds where the skills are set and nothing can change, SA offers quite a bit of diversity on skill you want to use.
The mandatory ones are :
- Sweep attack (Fire)
- Iron Skin (Flash rune)
- Akkarat’s champion (Prophet)
- Laws of Valor (Unstoppable force)
You cannot do without those. Now the two other skills I settled for are :
This one is IMO also mandatory but feel free to try some other skills like Judgement if you don’t feel like you need to group mobs better
Steed charge (Draw & quarter)
This is the most controversial choice. But in the end, being able to drag an elite to a place I like and just the ability to skip maps fairly fast outweights the other possibilities available such as provoke (wrath regen against the boss) or judgement (bit more damage).
With the new weapon effect on the golden flense, you might ask yourself : “but why aren’t we using a 1-H”. Well, as it turns out, gaining 20% (additive) damage but losing roughly 80% (multiplicative) damage, not so great. Of course, in other builds the attack speed from a 1-H matters and counters the damage loss. Here, we already have max attack speed breakpoint so it doesn’t. So we use a 2-H, and that’s all.
15% (multiplicative) damage and 10% armor for free.
You are very tanky once every defensive cooldowns are in use however it does take a couple of seconds to get those going, and you usually lose them when you’re moving from pack to pack, especially on map transitions. I would not change this for anything.
If you can’t survive or don’t have any Life per hit on your gear (bad idea), you can run Wrathful instead.
If you just want optimal gear choices for (very) high paragon level, just check this d3planner link :
If for some reason you do not want to use d3planner, here’s a rundown of the stats and some insights. Keep in mind, as I said, that it’s a very strict build stat wise so if you are having trouble with damage or survivability, make sure that you have all the stats advised.
Another important thing to note is that area damage is a stat you should focus on only after you have everything else. It increases your damage by a lot, but only in very specific situations that you probably won’t encounter very often until you’re pushing high grifts with good gear (because said situations are quite hard to survive if you are low paragon with not so great gear). For that reason, I will here put in brackets what’s the next best easy stat to get instead of area damage.
- Roland’s visage (helm) - Str / CHC / %SA / Socket (it’s not possible to use vitality here any more due to the change that was made to Golden flense, 15% sweep amounts for at least 10% damage now, which is huge)
- Roland’s mantle (Shoulders) - Str / RCR / CDR / %AD [All rez] (you can potentially live without cdr but try not to)
- Roland’s Grasp (Gloves) - CHC / CHD / CDR / %AD [Str]
- Roland’s bearing (Chest) - Str / Vit / Elite dmg reduction (you can go for %life instead of elite damage) // better with secondary rez and no All rez here
- The Witching hour (Belt)- Str / vit / All rez / %CHD - You don’t need AS on the belt thanks to the insane amount of AS given by Roland 6p
- Roland’s determination (Pants) - Str / vit / all rez (keep in mind, if you have a secondary rez, you can’t have all rez)
- Roland’s stride (Boots) - Str / vit / all rez / %SA
- Strongarm bracers (Bracers) - %elem / CHC / Str / Life per hit or vitality (If you don’t have LpH on your weapon, go for LpH here. You don’t necessarily need on both to survive though)
- CoE (Ring) - CHC / CHD / %AD [Str / CDR]
- Compass rose (Ring) - Str / CHC / CHD / %AD [CDR / RCR]
- Traveler’s pledge (Amulet) - %elem / CHC / CHD
- The Furnace (Weapon) - %dmg / Life per Hit / %AD [Str] (%dmg is a true 10% damage multiplier. Life per hit is a ton of survivability. Strength is good at low paragon, better than 10% dmg until you have at least 15000 strength without finery.) // You need a furnace for max damage output, as you still get 5 aps with it, even without %as on the weapon.
- Denial (Shield) - Str / CHC / RCR / CDR (see the mechanics information below)
For all those items, always try to get secondary rez when you can. That is, on helm, gloves, chestpiece, rings, amulet, bracers (though ranged/melee damage reduction are better).
Also, gold & globe pickup radius is amazing if you can get it. Optimally : boots, pants, helm, belt (if WH) and shoulders.
Cubed items :
- Golden Flense
- Aquila cuirass
- Bane of the trapped
- Bane of the stricken
- Esoteric alteration
- Go for the Templar, he is the easiest to manage (though he will still wreck your pull). More importantly, he provides 1.1 wrath regen from his last skill, which is extremely important against the boss.
- I would advise against using Ess of johan on your templar. It can mess up your pulls, and you really don’t want that. Pets are too dumb to be trusted.
Legendary potion :
- Get a potion that gives +30% resource when used below 50% HP.
3/ Mechanics explained
Why is fire so great :
The fire DoT from sweep can stack (ie : you can have several different ones ticking at the same time) and, as all DoTs, scale on (basically) elemental (elite) sheet DPS (which includes atk speed). Since you have very high atk speed, you have a lot of DoTs ticking and they tick for a lot of damage.
Basically, at 4.8 attack speed, you can consider the 120% Weapon Damage (WD) DoT to be a 120*4.8 = ~580 WD DoT, so fire does 480+580 = ~1060% WD per swing, which is more than double what othe runes does (so expect ~4-5 grs difference).
Thanks to WorkWorkWork and the chinese community to bring this fact to the US forums so that we can understand why fire is better !
One important thing about fire (compared to lightning) is that it works, throughout the rift, without the need to use Laws of Valor to get its breakpoint. What it means is pretty much that you get much more zodiac procs on actually important skills, especially akkarat’s champion. This is the reason you can keep it almost permanently up despite having overall low cdr.
Strongarms is, now, a necessary item as it gives 30% (additive) damage which, as it is implied, stacks with the 20% debuff from Heavenly Strength. It’s pretty much a true 20% damage multiplier, you just can’t ditch something that great. Condemn - Vacuum applies the necessary knockback even if the mob isn’t moved, as long as it could have been moved but wasn’t due to crowd control resistance.
Resource cost reduction, Cooldown reduction and Sweep attack :
Laws of valor is a great tool for reducing the wrath cost of sweep attack but by itself, it’s not enough to sustain wrath against a pure single target boss like Cold Snap for example. Because it’s annoying to get to a boss and not be able to kill it because you run out of wrath, I tried to tech the build with some RCR so that it is possible to sustain against even single target bosses. It’s easy to get enough rcr for that, however, it’s is hard to do it while keeping enough CDR to keep perma akkarat’s champion during the rift.
You have the possibility to get RCR on shoulders together with CDR so that’s the first thing you should aim for. Next spot is on the shield. However, getting a tri-factor shield with cdr/rcr/crit (and str) is not easy so if you have to sacrifice cdr, do it. Keep in mind, you can sacrifice CDR on shield, but also on gloves, rings and gloves. Try to keep it where it’s the most efficient. I mean, don’t remove 8% cdr on your shield and keep 7% CDR on your ring, if you can have 8% RCR on a ring and 8% cdr on your shield.
As far as CDR is concerned, since we are not using Gogok anymore due to survivability issue (in was fine in 110-115, not so much in 125-130), you need to have a baseline of at least 38% CDR. If you can squeeze another cdr roll, it will get you to 43.58% CDR which is more than enough to keep perma AC during the rift.
CDR is not an issue on the boss.
Roland is a truck. It is slow but you just get everything in your path and kill it.
The way I play it is :
1 - Go into a rift.
2 - If rift is bad, exit game and start from step 1
2.5 - It is important to never use your Laws during the rift unless you’re running out of wrath. Running out of wrath is rarely possible but can happen during conduits. Using your laws of valor will eat zodiac procs that should go towards AC resets. Same for Iron skin, don’t use it on cooldown, only use it if it’s (almost) out.
3 - Find the first pack of trash. You should aim for at least 6% of trash + an elite.
4 - Gather density and scout during the 8 seconds of your CoE following your main damage (= holy and lightning).
5 - Stop and start attacking during physical. Reason is you want the full bonus of endess walk for your main element CoE, as well as Fire DoT running.
6 - If an oculus area spawns, try to go into it. Do that only if you’re still hitting the elite. Use Condemn to bring mobs with you to the Oculus area if you do.
7 - Once the pack starts thinning out, start looking for a new one. If you have one elite, use your horse to drag it. If you have several elites, lead them just by baiting.
8 - Always stop to do your fire CoE on the pack even while moving from a spot to another. You should almost always have enough density to get your 5 denial stacks
9 - Find a new spot with trash, go back to step 4
10 - Always be on the lookout for pylons. Pylons come usually every 20 to 30% density. Conduit is the most welcome pylon. Do use power pylons unless you’re sure to have the boss soon. Channelling is almost useless, take it if you feel like you need the CDR to survive. Leave it for the boss just in case otherwise. Shield is usually bad for the simple reason that you can’t proc your iron skin flash while it’s active, which means you can’t go into occulus areas.
11 - Boss ! Now you need to start using the law to get the RCR. You should use your potion to get resource as much as possible. I never ran into a boss that could kill me when playing fire, because with diamonds you can tank a lot. If you have a pylon, always wait before taking it UNLESS it is a channeling and you fight with a boss that spawns adds after a certain health threshold. Saxtris comes to mind, so does Voracity and Binder for example. Power is extremely strong on bosses like Saxtris, you can take it at 75-70% and just kill it in a matter of seconds due to very high stricken counts.
If you have any question feel free to ask here.
Grift 122 Season 16 clear : youtube.com/watch?v=c57S8FzjYm8
My NS profile : eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Kikaha-2290/hero/59623037
[tl;dr d3planner link]