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Mana before Life is a defensive technique that utilizes the The Agnostic and Mind over Matter keystone passive skills. By using both keystone passives, a character's mana pool acts as both a source of effective hit points and a source of life recovery. The technique's effectiveness can be improved by additional sources of Damage is taken from Mana before Life and other modifiers related to increasing maximum mana or mana recovery. The strategy also synergizes well with builds that cast spells like ArcArcSpell, Chaining, Lightning
Level: (1-20)
Cost: (8-23) Mana
Cast Time: 0.70 sec
Critical Strike Chance: 5.00%
Effectiveness of Added Damage: 80%
Requires Level 12An arc of lightning stretches from the caster to a targeted enemy and chains on to other nearby enemies. Each time the main beam chains it will also chain to a second enemy, but that secondary arc cannot chain further.Per 1% Quality:1Superior2Anomalous3Divergent4Phantasmal0.5% chance to Shock enemies1% increased Chaining range0.5% increased Damage for each time this Skill has Chained1% reduced Enemy Stun ThresholdDeals (6-133) to (33-754) Lightning Damage
10% chance to Shock enemies
Chains +(4-7) Times
(10-29)% increased Effect of Lightning Ailments
15% more Damage for each remaining Chain
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Arc skill icon.png
or Ball LightningBall LightningSpell, Projectile, AoE, Lightning
Level: (1-20)
Cost: (12-23) Mana
Cast Time: 0.70 sec
Critical Strike Chance: 5.00%
Effectiveness of Added Damage: 50%
Projectile Speed: 400
Radius: 22
Requires Level 28Fires a slow-moving projectile that periodically damages enemies in an area around it with bolts of lightning.Per 1% Quality:1Superior2Anomalous3Divergent1% increased Lightning Damage0.5% increased Cast SpeedProjectiles have 0.5% chance to be SuperchargedDeals (3-22) to (48-426) Lightning DamagePlace into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Ball Lightning skill icon.png
, especially those linked with Archmage SupportArchmage SupportLightning, Support, Spell
Icon: ^
Level: (1-20)
Requires Level 31Supports spell skills that deal damage with hits and have mana costs. Cannot support triggered skills, or skills used by totems, traps or mines. Cannot modify the skills of minions.Per 1% Quality:1Superior2Anomalous3DivergentSupported Skills have 0.5% increased Mana CostSupported Skills gain Added Cold Damage equal to 2% of Mana Cost, if Mana Cost is not higher than the maximum you could spend
Supported Skills lose Added Lightning Damage equal to 2% of Mana Cost, if Mana Cost is not higher than the maximum you could spend
Supported Skills have 1% reduced Mana Cost
Supported Skills have (1-7) to (15-134) added Lightning Damage
Supported Skills have base Mana Cost equal to 5% of Unreserved Maximum Mana, if that value is higher
Supported Skills gain Added Lightning Damage equal to 75% of Mana Cost, if Mana Cost is not higher than the maximum you could spend
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.
.

Builds with large mana pools using The Agnostic can easily mitigate damage over time. For example, the resulting life recovery can completely counteract the damage from traps in the Labyrinth. Such builds will also strive for high mana regeneration and mana recovery, and may use Eternal Mana FlaskEternal Mana FlaskRecovers 1800 Mana over 7.00 seconds
Consumes 8 of 42 Charges on use
Requires Level 65Right click to drink. Can only hold charges while in belt. Refills as you kill monsters.
s, even forgoing Eternal Life FlaskEternal Life FlaskRecovers 2080 Life over 4.00 seconds
Consumes 15 of 45 Charges on use
Requires Level 65Right click to drink. Can only hold charges while in belt. Refills as you kill monsters.
s entirely.

Mechanics

Incoming damage that would be inflicted on the character's life is deducted from mana instead. If the character has insufficient mana, then the remainder of the damage will be taken from life.

Damage is applied to energy shield before life, and as a result there is no opportunity for any damage to be absorbed by mana.

Suppose you have 50% damage taken from Mana before Life, and you have 5000 life. If you have 5000 mana or higher, then a 10000 damage hit will deal you 5000 life damage and 5000 mana damage, hence your Effective hit points is 10000. However, if you have only 3000 mana, then an 8000 damage hit will deal you 5000 life damage and 3000 mana damage, hence your EHP is 8000.

When the passive skill Eldritch Battery is allocated energy shield protects mana instead of life. This energy shield will absorb the converted non-chaos damage before it is applied on mana. Since chaos damage bypasses energy shield the chaos damage will then be applied directly on mana.

It does not reduce total incoming damage or increase a player's actual life total, and so does not affect the threshold or effectiveness of stun and ailments applied to players.[1]

Skill tree

Players can obtain 40-50% mana before life from skill tree passive nodes:

  • Mind over Matter - provides 30% of Damage is taken from Mana before Life
  • The Agnostic - Allows rapid regeneration of life by draining a percentage of your unreserved mana
  • Hierophant - Ascendancy Notable that grants an additional 8% of Damage is taken from Mana before Life
  • Divine Guidance - Ascendancy Notable that grants an additional 10% of Damage is taken from Mana before Life

Useful items

Items

Jewels

  • Watcher's EyeWatcher's Eye
    Prismatic Jewel
    Limited to: 1(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
    (4-6)% increased maximum Life
    (4-6)% increased maximum Mana
    <Two or Three random aura modifiers>
    One by one, they stood their ground against a creature
    they had no hope of understanding, let alone defeating,
    and one by one, they became a part of it.
    Place into an allocated Jewel Socket on the Passive Skill Tree. Right click to remove from the Socket.
    with the mod (6-10)% of Damage taken from Mana before Life while affected by Clarity

Body armour

  • Cloak of DefianceCloak of Defiance
    Lacquered Garb
    Quality: +20%
    Evasion: (1201-1487)
    Energy Shield: (235-291)
    Movement Speed: -3%
    Requires Level 52, 76 Dex, 76 Int(300-400)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
    +(100-150) to maximum Mana
    Regenerate 1% of Mana per second
    10% of Damage is taken from Mana before Life
    Mind Over Matter
    When the throat roars,
    As eyes weep,
    When the hand grips hard
    With trembling fingers,
    When belly twists
    Yet legs stand strong,
    That is the work
    Of the Defiant Heart.
    provides 10% of Damage is taken from Mana before Life
  • Any Shaper body armour with (5-10)% of Damage is taken from Mana before Life, or its Elevated counterpart, (11-15)% of Damage is taken from Mana before Life

Related Mods

Damage taken Gained as Mana when Hit

If the character has equipped items with the x% of Damage taken Recouped as Mana modifier, this can help with maintaining mana. This mana gain is spread over 4 seconds following the hit.[2] This modifier can be found on certain items and passive skills:

  • MindspiralMindspiral
    Aventail Helmet
    Quality: +20%
    Armour: 121
    Energy Shield: 24
    Requires Level 37, 42 Str, 42 Int(10-15)% increased Cold Damage
    (10-15)% increased Lightning Damage
    +(100-120) to maximum Mana
    Gain (5-10)% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield
    Enemies Cannot Leech Mana From you
    (5-10)% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
    Cannot Leech Mana
    Where top is bottom and weak is strong.
  • PraxisPraxis
    Paua Ring
    Requires Level 22+(20-30) to maximum Mana+(30-60) to maximum Mana
    Regenerate (3-6) Mana per second
    -(8-4) to Total Mana Cost of Skills
    8% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
    The Thaumaturgical masters of the Eternal Empire,
    as unpredictable and varied as they were,
    all understood one thing:
    Free thinking leads to free action.
  • Victario's FlightVictario's Flight
    Goathide Boots
    Quality: +20%
    Evasion: (92-113)
    Requires Level 12, 26 Dex+15 to Dexterity
    +15 to Intelligence
    (100-150)% increased Evasion Rating
    15% increased Movement Speed
    (5-10)% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
    10% increased Movement Speed for you and nearby Allies
    Alive but not unscathed, Victario fled
    as slaughter blossomed at the gates.
  • Any Warcry with Spirited ResponseSpirited Response
    Cobalt Jewel
    Limited to: 1
    Radius: Medium
    (7-10)% increased maximum Mana
    With at least 40 Intelligence in Radius, 10% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit if you've Warcried Recently
    The Purity Rebels fought with heart and soul,
    To free their empire from corruption.
    And the fires of war did merely serve,
    To temper the steel of their spirits.
    Place into an allocated Jewel Socket on the Passive Skill Tree. Right click to remove from the Socket.
  • Battle Rouse

References

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