Scourge Maps OP y'all! Mini guide I wrote up if anyone else is looking to farm them:
This is what I learned from doing probably 100-200 scourged maps this league. Certainly not an exhaustive guide, but a good point for those looking to get started. My record in a single map has been 813 simulacrum splinters, or 189 scarabs. Total net worth in Exilence is 420 ex (dank) after 160 hours played.
Transformation Type: You donít want random, full blood, or rare or unique monster. They are annoying to do, and donít give you the free ~10 rare monsters you get on manually shifting. My returns/drops were much more consistent going with the 2 manual shift types only.
Layouts: Haunted Mansion and Tower are the best/most consistent. Estuary is also good. Others can be fine if thereís enough good reward types.
Juice: I used a rusted shaper scarab and beyond for 90% of maps. If a map was really juicy, or white quality, or had annoying mods (-100% move speed), Iíd add rusted breach or abyss for a little bonus juice. The Twins prophecy is also very worth it, even at a 30c price tag.
Buying Maps: Scourge Tier 1-4 maps can be bought with good rewards (simu ,exp, scarabs) for relatively cheap (40-50c), and cooked up the rest of the way. Iíd also buy Scourge 10 maps with 3+ tiers of S-tier rewards.
Shifting: Itís easiest to run ahead to a pack, drop ground DOTs if you have them (Caustic Arrow OP), then shift and shoot all the mobs around you. You donít really want to be shifting and running for a long time in the map, more frequent shorter shifts are better.
Map Mods: The only real brick for me was 6000+ physical damage taken on shift. ES builds will have a rough time, since lots more mods are bricks for them. An extra health pot is also very helpful to deal with the various degen mods.
Knowing what my build plan is, my main skills and when I swap them
Knowing precisely what gems I want in advance and where to get them
Knowing which links I need for later, or still need for current setup
Limiting vendor visits as far as possible, e.g. I go to A1 vendor after The Way Forward only once I have 8 transmutes to get everything I need from her
Planning ahead for when I can do which recipe - e.g. in A2, going to vendor after Sins 2 at level 17 exactly, so I can get quartz wands already (I'll do quartz + rare ruby + alt to get +local fire wands for later)
Knowing how a lot of layouts work
Move speed boots an absolute priority, except over QS flasks
Skipping a lot of quests. I'm only doing +1 skill point sidequests, and know which to skip now
Having a better idea of what I'm doing in A8 or whatever. Previously, I only REALLY know A1-3
Currently doing stormblast mine, orb of storms, frost bomb 'til 28, then armageddon brand, wave of conviction 'til at least white maps.
To get to 5h, I need to know later acts better, be better at the actual mechanics of swapping my gems (sitting still for 5 minutes is no good), be more aware of what gear I need next, get better at smoke mine + flame dash uptime, arrange gems better (e.g. don't socket in boots unless you really have to, you want to upgrade them as soon as there's a movespeed bump), use vendor walking, figure out some more layouts, never die on super long layout areas... And just generally not need to look at my notes each act, by repeating the process.
Won't have time to do more than one or two more before campaign, but I'd really like to get under 6h at least.