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Vaal Molten Shell

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Vaal Molten ShellVaal, Spell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
Souls Per Use: 50 (N) /
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Soul Gain Prevention: 14.000 sec
Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
Requires Level 4Applies a buff that raises your armour, and takes some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Each second, the skill deals reflected damage to surrounding enemies based on the damage taken by the buff in that second. When the buff is removed, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken by the buff. You cannot have the buff at the same time as any other Guard skill.Per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
Base duration is 9 seconds
Buff grants +(25-429) to Armour
(30-35)% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to 30% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 30000
Reflects (300-9000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage each second,
or when Buff expires or is depleted
Buff grants (20-29)% more Armour
Modifiers to Skill Effect Duration also apply to this Skill's Soul Gain Prevention
Corrupted
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Vaal Molten Shell skill icon.pngVaal Molten Shell inventory icon.png
Acquisition
Level: 4
Sell Price
1x Scroll Fragment
Miscellaneous
Item class: Active Skill Gems
Metadata ID: Metadata/Items/Gems/SkillGemVaalMoltenShell

Vaal Molten Shell skill screenshot.jpg

Vaal Molten Shell is a vaal spell that creates a shell around the user that grants extra armour and absorbs incoming hits, absorbing more damage with increased armour. Each second or when expiring, the shell deals fire damage around it based on how much damage it has absorbed.

Skill functions and interactions

  • Duration: Skill duration modifiers will increase the duration of Vaal Molten Shell.
  • Critical Strike Chance: Since Vaal Molten Shell deals reflected damage, its damage cannot critically strike.
  • Molten Shell: Casting Molten ShellMolten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Radius: 15
    Mana Cost: (8-12)
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
    Requires Level 4Applies a buff that adds to your armour, and can take some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. When the buff expires or is depleted, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken from the buff. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Per 1% Quality:
    1% increased Skill Effect Duration
    Base duration is 3 seconds
    Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
    75% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 20% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 10000
    Reflects (100-3000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted
    This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
    Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
    Molten Shell skill icon.png
    while Vaal Molten Shell is active will terminate the Vaal Molten Shell buff and replace it for the cast Molten Shell. This will happen both ways (when Vaal Molten Shell is cast while Molten Shell is active). This makes it unfavorable to use both skills in conjunction with one another.[2]

All Guard skills

Below are the 5 skill gems with the Guard gem tag:

Skill gemStr.Dex.Int.Lvl.
Arcane CloakArcane CloakSpell, Duration, Guard, Lightning
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
Requires Level 16Spends a portion of your mana to grant a buff that takes some of the damage from hits for you until depleted. The buff grants added lightning damage based on the amount of mana spent by this skill. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
Base duration is 3 seconds
75% of Damage from Hits is taken from Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to Mana Spent by this Skill's effect
Spends (45-64)% of current Mana
Buff grants Added Lightning Damage equal to (10-14)% of Mana Spent by this Skill's effect
This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Arcane Cloak skill icon.png
N/AN/Ayes16
Immortal CallImmortal CallSpell, Duration, Guard
Mana Cost: (21-36)
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cooldown Time: 3.00 sec
Requires Level 34Take less Physical and Elemental Damage for a short time. Consumes up to 5 Endurance Charges to lengthen the buff and further lessen Physical Damage taken. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
Base duration is 1 seconds
(25-34)% less Elemental Damage taken
(25-35)% less Physical Damage taken
15% less Physical Damage taken per Endurance Charge removed
20% increased Buff Duration per Endurance Charge removed
This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Immortal Call skill icon.png
yesN/AN/A34
Molten ShellMolten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
Radius: 15
Mana Cost: (8-12)
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
Requires Level 4Applies a buff that adds to your armour, and can take some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. When the buff expires or is depleted, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken from the buff. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
Base duration is 3 seconds
Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
75% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to 20% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 10000
Reflects (100-3000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted
This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Molten Shell skill icon.png
yesN/AN/A4
SteelskinSteelskinSpell, Duration, Guard
Mana Cost: (4-16)
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cooldown Time: 3.00 sec
Requires Level 4Applies a buff which can take some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Per 1% Quality:
0.5% increased Cooldown Recovery Speed
Base duration is 1.5 seconds
70% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take (54-2209) Damage
This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Steelskin skill icon.png
yesN/AN/A4
Vaal Molten ShellVaal Molten ShellVaal, Spell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
Souls Per Use: 50 (N) /
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Soul Gain Prevention: 14.000 sec
Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
Requires Level 4Applies a buff that raises your armour, and takes some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Each second, the skill deals reflected damage to surrounding enemies based on the damage taken by the buff in that second. When the buff is removed, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken by the buff. You cannot have the buff at the same time as any other Guard skill.Per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
Base duration is 9 seconds
Buff grants +(25-429) to Armour
(30-35)% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to 30% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 30000
Reflects (300-9000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage each second,
or when Buff expires or is depleted
Buff grants (20-29)% more Armour
Modifiers to Skill Effect Duration also apply to this Skill's Soul Gain Prevention
Corrupted
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Vaal Molten Shell skill icon.png
yesN/AN/A4

Strategy

Unlike its non-Vaal counterpart, Vaal Molten Shell will persist for the full duration, regardless of how many times an explosion is triggered. This unique property offers potentially vastly more utility than Molten Shell at the cost of less availability. Because of this, it is recommended that Vaal Molten Shell be saved for an occasion in which it will offer the greatest benefit, such as during an encounter with a unique monster or even a troublesome rare.

Due to the nature of Vaal Molten Shell, it has synergy with support gems that utilize the potentially frequent explosions, such as stun or life leech; however, the rather steep soul cost of Vaal Molten Shell gates the strength of the gem. In addition, while the armour offered during Vaal Molten Shell's duration is first-rate, it may cause conflicts with Cast when Damage Taken SupportCast when Damage Taken SupportSupport, Spell, Trigger
Icon: !
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cooldown Time: 0.25 sec
Requires Level 38Each supported spell skill will track damage you take, and be triggered when the total damage taken reaches a threshold. Cannot support skills used by totems, traps, or mines. Vaal skills, channelling skills, and skills that reserve mana cannot be triggered.Per 1% Quality:
Supported Skills deal 0.5% increased Damage
Trigger Supported Spells when you take a total of (528-3272) Damage
Supported Skills deal (-70-6)% more Damage
This Gem can only Support Skill Gems requiring Level (38-70) or lower
You cannot Cast Supported Triggerable Spells directly
This is a Support Gem. It does not grant a bonus to your character, but to skills in sockets connected to it. Place into an item socket connected to a socket containing the Active Skill Gem you wish to augment. Right click to remove from a socket.
.

Items which deal damage to you will also trigger the explosion:

Gem level progression

LevelLvl.strengthArmourDamage ReflectionExp.Total Exp.
1416N/A300%00
2620N/A390%841841
3927N/A540%3,0993,940
41233N/A750%7,43311,373
51641N/A990%22,89534,268
62050N/A1260%49,72583,993
72458N/A1590%95,714179,707
82867N/A1950%169,595349,302
93275N/A2340%283,759633,061
103683N/A2760%453,9961,087,057
114092N/A3240%703,1281,790,185
1244100N/A3750%1,061,2232,851,408
1348109N/A4290%2,065,8704,917,278
1452117N/A4860%2,507,1107,424,388
1555123N/A5460%2,573,7319,998,119
1658130N/A6120%7,611,35117,609,470
1761136N/A6780%13,437,90831,047,378
1864142N/A7500%25,052,14756,099,525
1967148N/A8220%43,869,43699,968,961
2070155N/A9000%242,081,178342,050,139
2172159N/A9810%N/AN/A
2274N/AN/A10650%N/AN/A
2376N/AN/A11490%N/AN/A
2478N/AN/A12390%N/AN/A
2580N/AN/A13320%N/AN/A
2682N/AN/A14280%N/AN/A
2784N/AN/A15270%N/AN/A
2886N/AN/A16290%N/AN/A
2988N/AN/A17310%N/AN/A
3090N/AN/A18390%N/AN/A
3191N/AN/A19500%N/AN/A
3292N/AN/A20640%N/AN/A
3393N/AN/A21780%N/AN/A
3494N/AN/A22980%N/AN/A
3595N/AN/A24180%N/AN/A
3696N/AN/A25440%N/AN/A
3797N/AN/A26700%N/AN/A
3898N/AN/A28020%N/AN/A
3999N/AN/A29340%N/AN/A
40100N/AN/A30690%N/AN/A

Item acquisition
Questionmark.png

Upgrade paths

This item can be acquired through the following upgrade paths or vendor recipes:

AmountIngredientGeneral
Notes
Type
9Volatile PowerVolatile Power9Superior Vaal Gem
Quality: +20%
Corrupted
Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.
random corrupted superior Vaal gem (Q20)Automatic
6The FoxThe Fox6Level 20 Gem"Masters of wit, strength and cunning. To survive the harsh winters, you must be like the fox."
- Ezomyte Proverb
random level 20 gemAutomatic
13The CataclysmThe Cataclysm13Level 21 Spell Gem
Corrupted
The mighty warriors traded in blows, the nimble archers in arrows, yet it was the brazen thaumaturgists who would bring catastrophe to all.
random corrupted level 21 Spell gemAutomatic
3Gemcutter's PromiseGemcutter's Promise3Superior Gem
Quality: +20%
"I swore to use my position to help the people. What good is power when it just accumulates on the already-powerful?" - Erasmus, Imperial Gemcutter
random superior gem (Q20)Automatic

Video demonstration

Version history

Version Changes
3.11.0
  • Now grants 25 additional armour at gem level 1 (from 60), up to 429 additional armour at gem level 20 (from 1030).
  • Now grants 20% more armour at gem level 1, up to 29% more armour at gem level 20.
  • Now causes 30% of Damage taken from hits to be taken from the buff before your life or energy shield at gem level 1, up to 35% at gem level 20 (from 80% at all levels).
  • The buff can now take Damage equal to 30% of your armour (from 60%), up to a maximum of 30000.
  • Now reflects 300% of Damage taken from buff as Fire Damage each second or when the buff expires or is depleted at gem level 1 (from 100%), up to 9000% at gem level 20 (from 3000%).
  • Now removes and is removed by any other Guard skill.
3.7.0
  • Now has a base duration of 9 seconds at all gem levels (from 5).
  • Now grants 60 additional armour at gem level 1 (from 17), up to 1030 at gem level 20 (from 943)
  • Now creates a buff that can take damage equal to 60% of your armour.
  • Now causes 80% of damage from hits to be taken from the buff before your life or energy shield.
  • Now reflects a portion of the damage taken from the buff as fire damage every second until the buff expires or is depleted.
  • Now reflects 100% of damage taken from the buff as fire damage when the buff expires or is depleted at gem level 1, up to 3000% at gem level 20 (previously stated 1050% at gem level 20).
  • Now has a Vaal Soul generation cooldown of 14 seconds (from 7 seconds).
  • No longer has an added damage effectiveness multiplier or critical strike chance, as reflected damage cannot benefit from added damage, nor can it critically strike.
  • Shares its cooldown with other guard skills (Steelskin and Immortal Call).
3.4.0
  • Now has a Soul Gain Prevention duration of 7 seconds (up from 5).
2.6.0
  • Changed the explosion effect. The new one has better performance.
2.4.0
  • Vaal Molten Shell now causes an explosion when it prevents any physical damage, rather than when it takes any hit.
2.3.2
  • When switching between regular and Vaal Molten Shell, the shield will now visually destroy and recreate itself.
  • Fixed a bug where Molten Shell buff effect bonuses did not apply to Vaal Molten Shell.
2.3.0
  • Vaal Molten ShellVaal Molten ShellVaal, Spell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Souls Per Use: 50 (N) /
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Soul Gain Prevention: 14.000 sec
    Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
    Requires Level 4Applies a buff that raises your armour, and takes some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Each second, the skill deals reflected damage to surrounding enemies based on the damage taken by the buff in that second. When the buff is removed, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken by the buff. You cannot have the buff at the same time as any other Guard skill.Per 1% Quality:
    1% increased Skill Effect Duration
    Base duration is 9 seconds
    Buff grants +(25-429) to Armour
    (30-35)% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 30% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 30000
    Reflects (300-9000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage each second,
    or when Buff expires or is depleted
    Buff grants (20-29)% more Armour
    Modifiers to Skill Effect Duration also apply to this Skill's Soul Gain Prevention
    Corrupted
    Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
    Vaal Molten Shell skill icon.png
    's duration has been reduced from 10 seconds to 5 seconds at all gem levels. Its damage has been reduced at high levels. It does the same damage at gem level 1, up to half the damage it previously did at gem level 20.
2.2.0
  • Cast time reduced from 1 sec to 500 ms.
2.1.0
  • Fixed a bug where Molten ShellMolten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Radius: 15
    Mana Cost: (8-12)
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
    Requires Level 4Applies a buff that adds to your armour, and can take some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. When the buff expires or is depleted, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken from the buff. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Per 1% Quality:
    1% increased Skill Effect Duration
    Base duration is 3 seconds
    Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
    75% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 20% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 10000
    Reflects (100-3000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted
    This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
    Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
    Molten Shell skill icon.png
    could be applied multiple times via Spell Echo.
1.1.0d
  • Vaal Skill soul counts were initially balanced for Merciless difficulty, where there are more monsters. We want them to be easier to use in Normal and Cruel difficulty. We have halved the number of souls required for each skill. In Cruel difficulty, skills require 50% more souls to uses. In Merciless difficulty, they require 100% more (which is the same as before the patch).
1.1.0b
  • Fixed a bug with damage feedback on Vaal Molten ShellVaal Molten ShellVaal, Spell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Souls Per Use: 50 (N) /
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Soul Gain Prevention: 14.000 sec
    Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
    Requires Level 4Applies a buff that raises your armour, and takes some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Each second, the skill deals reflected damage to surrounding enemies based on the damage taken by the buff in that second. When the buff is removed, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken by the buff. You cannot have the buff at the same time as any other Guard skill.Per 1% Quality:
    1% increased Skill Effect Duration
    Base duration is 9 seconds
    Buff grants +(25-429) to Armour
    (30-35)% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 30% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 30000
    Reflects (300-9000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage each second,
    or when Buff expires or is depleted
    Buff grants (20-29)% more Armour
    Modifiers to Skill Effect Duration also apply to this Skill's Soul Gain Prevention
    Corrupted
    Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
    Vaal Molten Shell skill icon.png
    .
1.1.0
  • Introduced to the game.

References

  1. Mark_GGG (May 31, 2016). "New unique sword "Hiltless" Coming in prophecy.". Official Path of Exile Reddit. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  2. Mark_GGG (March 25, 2014). "Vaal Molten Sheel Overwritten By Molten Shell". Official Path of Exile Forums. Retrieved January 6, 2016.