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I recently tried out a build that utilizes the elite Vampiric Spirit. The build is described here. The build consists of the following skills:

Necromancer/Assassin or
Necromancer/Dervish (see below)

Dark Aura
Masochism
Vampiric Spirt
Dark Pact
Blood of the Aggressor
Dash
Optional
Optional

Max out Blood Magic (with runes)
Death Magic at 12
Rest in Soul Reaping (3 in Earth Prayers, see below)

The intent behind the build is to deal spike damage of 200+ in around 2 seconds. This is done through a combination of effects.

Dark Aura causes AoE damage whenever you sacrifice health. Masochism gives you energy in the same situation. Vampiric Spirit steals life from foes around you whenever you cast a spell.

Both Dark Pact and Blood of the Aggressor sacrifice a small amount of life, thereby triggering both Dark Aura and Masochism. The increase in spell cost for spells cast while enchanted with Vampiric Spirit is swallowed by the energy regen of Masochism. In addition, the stolen health from Vampiric Spirit makes up for the health sacrificed by Dark Pact and Blood of the Aggressor.

Ingenious really.

Dash (assassin skill) is used to get to your opponent and to pursue them if they kite (run away).

My changes would include the following:

Instead of Dash, I like the dervish skill Pious Haste. You don’t move as quickly (33% increase instead of 50%) but you can move constantly considering the 5 second duration and 5 second recharge. In addition, I like the idea of adding Aura of Thorns and perhaps Mystic Regeneration (both dervish) for an AoE cripple/bleed and extra regen for me (a problem I found in large mobs). The downside is having to spend points in Earth Prayers, though putting 3 points will net you an overall +6 regen given your standard 3 enchants.

I use a +5 20% enchant sword and a -5/20% shield with this build, though ideally, I would like to have a focus that is 10% half recharge and -2 damage while enchanted. This will solve many of the energy issues and give me added damage reduction.

As far as equipment is concerned, I disagree with the author of the original build slightly. Lower health means less life sacrificed. Ten percent (10%) sacrifice from Dark Pact hits hard if your health is high (in the 480 range as the author suggests) and it may not be covered by your health steal from Vampiric Spirit. Besides, the lower your initial health, the more you heal from the health steal skills and the more effective Mystic Regen is. I prefer 2 Superior Runes (Blood Magic and Soul Reaping) to bring my health down. I also don’t use any +health mods on my weapons or any vigor/vitae runes. This puts my health in the low to mid 300 range meaning, with Blood Magic at 16, I sacrifice say 35 health from Dark Pact and steal 53 from Vampiric Spirit for a net health gain.

It is a gamble, but to each his own. Watch out for spikes and let your monk know that you are running this build so they can keep an eye on you. Having a bonder would be a good thing too if you plan on playing with low health. I wouldn’t suggest going below 300 health with this build and, in rough areas, I’d stay around 400 health to be safe. Consider swapping items and armor with health mods/runes to manage your health through Death Penalty.

There you have it.

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