We’re going to be talking about two common unique weapons that are going to be quite good with the addition of the new Trauma Support.
In POE 3.22 Trial of the Ancestors patch notes, we actually learned that the Trauma Support will grant flat added physical damage instead of a more damage multiplier per Trauma stack, like it does on the Boneshatter skill gem. And that’s very good for specific POE Orbs.
FrostBreath & Pillar
The two unique items that we’re going to be talking about are Frostbreath unique mace and the Pillar of the Caged God unique staff.
Both of these unique items benefit largely from flat added damage.
No Gem Info
Now, we are still lacking the gem information in terms of numbers, and that’s very important. But we can take a look at another support gem that provides flat physical damage to try to get an idea of what we can expect from the Trauma Support gem.
Rage Support Comparison
The Rage Support gem grands flat added physical damage. But it’s capped by the total Rage a character can have.
And at a baseline maximum Rage of 50, this support grants an average of 83 flat physical damage, which is not very much. But this support is made up of a larger flat damage component when you’re at 10 Rage and then a scaling flat damage bonus per 10 Rage, which is much lower.
Trauma Support Scaling?
I think it’s probably quite likely that Trauma will scale in a similar way to prevent the impact of this support at the very top end where builds are able to accrue many stacks of Trauma and maintain them.
However, even if Trauma scales in a similar way, it’s likely to provide a lot more flat damage when compared to the Rage Support gem. Due to the fact that it has a large downside of taking stacking amounts of physical damage, every time you actually hit an enemy with the attack based on how many Trauma stacks you have. And it doesn’t grow on any extra bonuses, like Rage support does, for example, with the actual raid generation itself.
Rage Support is also quite a generally weak gem overall. It probably needs some buffs. So, I’m going to be using these numbers as an example as we won’t know this until the actual gem info is released.
Let’s say a level 20 Trauma Support gem grants 4 to 7 physical damage per Trauma stack and also grants 39 to 72 physical damage as a baseline. Most of the good Boneshatter builds are able to sustain somewhere between 20 and 40 stacks of Trauma with some of the really high-end builds able to scale into the hundreds of Trauma.
So, let’s say at 20 stacks of Trauma, the Trauma Support could grant an average of 165 flat physical damage. And with 40 stacks, you could reach an average of 275 flat physical damage.
Now, these are obviously just guesses for how much damage you could gain from Trauma. You might be able to gain more or less.
But let’s take a look at the Frostbreath and Pillar of the Caged God unique weapons. These are a unique mace and a unique staff, respectively. And both of these POE Items are common enough that they’re cheap and accessible in trade league. Even in SSF, you’re quite likely to run into these.
Firstly, let’s take a look at Frostbreath.
This is a unique mace that is actually used a moderate amount right now for a specific build, which uses Glacial Hammer. And that build typically makes use of the Added Cold Damage Support or the Ice Bite Support or both along with stacking Frenzy Charges to gain a bunch of flat cold damage.
A well-rolled Frostbreath is only about 210 DPS. But the weapon has a very special property “Attacks With This Weapon Deal Double Damage To Chilled Enemies”. And this modifier is relevant even in non-cold damage builds.
Let’s say you’re using Brutality in a physical build or Avatar of Fire in a fire damage build, so that you’re no longer dealing any cold damage to be able to chill by default. That’s fine, too. Because a Mace Mastery exists, which allows you to chill with all damage from hits with maces.
So, no matter what type of damage you choose to go with, you can chill enemies and benefit from this double damage modifier all the time.
Let’s take those numbers from earlier. So, with 20 Trauma stacks, you’d be looking at a 385 physical DPS weapon and about 435 full DPS, including the cold roll, too. And with 40 stacks, you’d have a 535 physical DPS one-handed weapon, and 585 full DPS.
That’s kind of crazy when you consider that this weapon also essentially has a 100% chance to deal double damage modifier inherently attached to it. And this is going to make Frostbreath an incredibly competitive weapon, especially in early and mid game progression if you also want to make use of a shield in your build.
Realistically, it’s going to be hard to beat it even in the late game of POE 3.22 Trail of the Ancestors League. You’ll need a very strong weapon to compete. I think that a Champion, using Frostbreath with the new Trauma Support along with Glacial Hammer and then making use of the Hatred aura with all of that aura effect, stacking is going to be very powerful.
Pillar Of The Caged God
Then, there’s the Pillar of the Caged God unique staff, which is a little different. But once again, this is a weapon that massively benefits from flat added damage, particularly flat added physical damage.
Now, a lot of builds make use of this staff in combination with the Bloodthirst Support gem, which is another support gem that grants added flat physical damage. And these builds will sometimes have around 8,000 or maybe even 10,000 health, so they’ll be gaining about 200 flat physical damage with this support gem.
But I still think that the Trauma Support gem will grant competitive levels of flat physical damage. And you can, of course, scale further and further into Trauma stacks if you’re able to sustain it. Because there’s presumably no cap on the amount of stacks that you can have.
So, with the Pillar of the Caged God, you’re going to want to stack as much strength as possible along with the flat damage to benefit from the 16% increased physical weapon damage per 10 strength. And this is going to outscale the majority of well-crafted rare weapons once you’re getting into heavy levels of investment.
However, compared to Frostbreath, this is definitely more of an endgame setup. You really want to be investing lots of POE Currency into strength stacking and gaining as much flat physical damage as you can.
While with Frostbreath, I think that will serve as a great weapon for early progression and will even compete well into mid and late game progression, too. But I absolutely expect to see some crazy Pillar of the Caged God builds this league.
We don’t know yet if Trauma Support will be usable with Boneshatter itself. If they are, I do expect them to provide two separate buffs. I know that they’re both called Trauma. But I think it would be a kind of crazy if you gained two stacks of the more damage multiplier and the flat damage per hit.
That is possible considering how much damage you’re going to be taking. We’ll have to wait and see with that one in POE 3.22.