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Vaal Molten Shell

Vaal Molten ShellVaal, Spell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Souls Per Use: 50
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Soul Gain Prevention: 0 sec
Cast Time: Instant
Applies 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:1Superior1% increased Skill Effect DurationBase 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
Vaal 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
For the non-Vaal counterpart, see Molten Shell.

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 Shell inventory icon.pngMolten ShellMolten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Radius: 15
    Mana Cost: (8-12)
    Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Soul Gain Prevention: 0 sec
    Cast Time: Instant
    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:1Superior2Anomalous3Divergent1% increased Skill Effect DurationBuff can take additional Damage equal to 0.25% of your ArmourReflected Damage Penetrates 1% of Enemy Fire ResistanceBase 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
    Molten Shell inventory 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 gem StrengthIcon small.png DexterityIcon small.png IntelligenceIcon small.png Level up icon small.png
Arcane Cloak inventory icon.pngArcane CloakArcane CloakSpell, Duration, Guard, Lightning
Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cast Time: Instant
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:1Superior2Anomalous3Divergent1% increased Skill Effect Duration0.25% of Damage taken Recouped as Mana0.5% increased Buff EffectBase 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
Arcane Cloak inventory icon.png
N/AN/A Yes.png16
Immortal Call inventory icon.pngImmortal CallImmortal CallSpell, Duration, Guard
Mana Cost: (21-36)
Cooldown Time: 3.00 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Soul Gain Prevention: 0 sec
Cast Time: Instant
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:1Superior2Anomalous3Divergent1% increased Skill Effect Duration1% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate-0.1% less Physical Damage taken per Endurance Charge removed
0.1% less Elemental Damage taken per Endurance Charge removed
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
Immortal Call inventory icon.png
Yes.pngN/AN/A34
Molten Shell inventory icon.pngMolten ShellMolten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
Radius: 15
Mana Cost: (8-12)
Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Soul Gain Prevention: 0 sec
Cast Time: Instant
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:1Superior2Anomalous3Divergent1% increased Skill Effect DurationBuff can take additional Damage equal to 0.25% of your ArmourReflected Damage Penetrates 1% of Enemy Fire ResistanceBase 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
Molten Shell inventory icon.png
Yes.pngN/AN/A4
Steelskin inventory icon.pngSteelskinSteelskinSpell, Duration, Guard
Mana Cost: (4-16)
Cooldown Time: 3.00 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cast Time: Instant
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:1Superior2Anomalous3Divergent0.5% increased Cooldown Recovery RateSteelskin Buff can take 0.5% increased amount of DamageBuff grants +1% to all ResistancesBase 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
Steelskin inventory icon.png
Yes.pngN/AN/A4
Vaal Molten Shell inventory icon.pngVaal Molten ShellVaal Molten ShellVaal, Spell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Souls Per Use: 50
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Soul Gain Prevention: 0 sec
Cast Time: Instant
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:1Superior1% increased Skill Effect DurationBase 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
Vaal Molten Shell inventory icon.png
Yes.pngN/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 Support inventory icon.pngCast when Damage Taken SupportCast when Damage Taken SupportSupport, Spell, Trigger
Icon: !
Cooldown Time: 0.25 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
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 with a reservation cannot be triggered.Per 1% Quality:1Superior2Anomalous3DivergentSupported Skills deal 0.5% increased DamageSupported Skills have 1% increased Skill Effect DurationSupported Skills require 1% reduced amount of Damage taken to TriggerTrigger 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.

Cast when Damage Taken Support inventory icon.png
.

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

Gem level progression

Level Level up icon small.png StrengthIcon small.pngArmourDamage ReflectionExp.Total Exp.
1416N/A300%00
2620N/A390%841841
3927N/A540%30993940
41233N/A750%743311373
51641N/A990%2289534268
62050N/A1260%4972583993
72458N/A1590%95714179707
82867N/A1950%169595349302
93275N/A2340%283759633061
103683N/A2760%4539961087057
114092N/A3240%7031281790185
1244100N/A3750%10612232851408
1348109N/A4290%20658704917278
1452117N/A4860%25071107424388
1555123N/A5460%25737319998119
1658130N/A6120%761135117609470
1761136N/A6780%1343790831047378
1864142N/A7500%2505214756099525
1967148N/A8220%4386943699968961
2070155N/A9000%242081178342050139
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
9 Divination card inventory icon.pngVolatile Power
Volatile Power card art.png
Divination card frame.png
Volatile Power9Superior Vaal Gem
Quality: +20%
Corrupted
Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.
Divination card inventory icon.png
random corrupted superior Vaal gem with 20% qualityAutomatic
1 Gemcutter's Incubator inventory icon.pngGemcutter's IncubatorGemcutter's IncubatorAdds an incubated Quality Gem item to an equippable item
Item drops after killing # monsters
Quality GemRight click this item then left click an item to apply it. The Incubated item drops after killing a specific number of monsters.
Gemcutter's Incubator inventory icon.png
random superior gemAutomatic
6 Divination card inventory icon.pngThe Fox
The Fox card art.png
Divination card frame.png
The Fox6Level 20 Gem"Masters of wit, strength and cunning. To survive the harsh winters, you must be like the fox."
- Ezomyte Proverb
Divination card inventory icon.png
random level 20 gemAutomatic
13 Divination card inventory icon.pngThe Cataclysm
The Cataclysm card art.png
Divination card frame.png
The 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.
Divination card inventory icon.png
random corrupted level 21 Spell gemAutomatic
3 Divination card inventory icon.pngGemcutter's Promise
Gemcutter's Promise card art.png
Divination card frame.png
Gemcutter'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
Divination card inventory icon.png
random superior gem with 20% qualityAutomatic
1 Divination card inventory icon.pngThe Void
The Void card art.png
Divination card frame.png
The Void1Reach into the Void and claim your prize.
Divination card inventory icon.png
random divination card set exchangeAutomatic

Video demonstration

Alternate skill effects

Vaal Molten Shell has the following alternate skill effects:

ItemEffect(s)
Invisible Buff Effect
Invisible Buff Effect inventory icon.png
Invisible Buff EffectSkill Gem EffectRemoves the visual effects on the player from arctic armour, tempest shield, blood rage, molten shell, phase run, any aura, any blasphemied curse, or any herald gem.
Invisible Buff Effect inventory icon.png
Removes the visual effects on the player from arctic armour, tempest shield, blood rage, molten shell, phase run, any aura, any blasphemied curse, or any herald gem.
Stygian Molten Shell Effect
Stygian Molten Shell Effect inventory icon.png
Stygian Molten Shell EffectSkill Gem EffectYour Molten Shell becomes a Stygian Molten Shell Effect.
Stygian Molten Shell Effect inventory icon.png
Your Molten Shell becomes a Stygian Molten Shell Effect.
Viper Molten Shell Effect
Viper Molten Shell Effect inventory icon.png
Viper Molten Shell EffectSkill Gem EffectYour Molten Shell becomes a Viper Molten Shell Effect.
Viper Molten Shell Effect inventory icon.png
Your Molten Shell becomes a Viper Molten Shell Effect.

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 Shell inventory icon.pngVaal Molten ShellVaal Molten ShellVaal, Spell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Souls Per Use: 50
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Soul Gain Prevention: 0 sec
    Cast Time: Instant
    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:1Superior1% increased Skill Effect DurationBase 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
    Vaal Molten Shell inventory 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 Shell inventory icon.pngMolten ShellMolten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Radius: 15
    Mana Cost: (8-12)
    Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Soul Gain Prevention: 0 sec
    Cast Time: Instant
    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:1Superior2Anomalous3Divergent1% increased Skill Effect DurationBuff can take additional Damage equal to 0.25% of your ArmourReflected Damage Penetrates 1% of Enemy Fire ResistanceBase 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
    Molten Shell inventory 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 Shell inventory icon.pngVaal Molten ShellVaal Molten ShellVaal, Spell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Souls Per Use: 50
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Soul Gain Prevention: 0 sec
    Cast Time: Instant
    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:1Superior1% increased Skill Effect DurationBase 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
    Vaal Molten Shell inventory 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.
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