The Single Strongest Solo Build Variation is here. Why play sub-par summoner builds?
Now the answer to the question “how many projectiles can be fired?”
-3×5 Fireballs, each fork into 2x = 30 Fireballs
-2×5 GMP ice spears = 10 Ice Spears
=40 Total projectiles maximum potential
New Users Please Read This
This. Is. A. Mid. To. Late. Game. Build. If you are new to game and don’t understand the mechanics or how to play properly, you are gona hate this build and this game. Plus the fact that gems are harder to get since everyone got their items wiped, if you try to do this build early (pre-40)you are gona suck, hard, and rage quit.
HOWEVER, most early roflstomp builds start to fall off when it gets to merciless difficulty all the way till the end. POE is a game that forces the players to survive on grinding for gear upgrades and dedicate all their stats to a specific build or fail completely. This build cheats the rules because 1) nothing threatens you 2) you can kill everything 3) you dont need gear. Once you get to lvl 50ish, you can troll through content while other players grind and cry for gear upgrades just to survive. Ask anyone that played this build in CB.
How do I get past early game? Public party leech. Easy.
What do I use early on?
Freezing pulse, decoy totem. Ethereal “OP” Knives, the most OP early-mid lvl skill in the game.
OMG I CAN’T GET MOST OF THE GEMS WTF! Get to cruel difficulty and do act 2 quests…
OMG I CAN’T DO DAMAGE AT LVL 30 WHY? Well the guide tells you not to use this build pre-40ish and stick with leeching and public parties.
Build Description: This build utilizes the use of two totems continuously shooting ice spears to 1) lockdown (freeze) the screen with its sheer fast cast speed and x10 (GMP x2) projectiles with 600% crit chance added to ice spear’s 2nd form, and 2) insane DPS clearing potential with double elemental/projectile debuff curses. Bear traps and fire traps used for single/AOE nuke, and conversion traps makes impossible mob packs to fight for you for 10+ seconds.
My gear – 5k ES. Doing maps lvl76 – using Spectre variation
My complete items and gems (goal)
Gear aim for:
-pure spell dmg on wands with cast speed
-high base energy shield
-more cast speed, resistances
Basic Gems you need:(for all gems that are NOT BLUE, becareful not level them too much. You may not have the basic stat requirements at higher levels). (Dex recommended cap 115, str 110 end game).
-Ice spear (quality works very well, max level)
-Frostbite (quality works very well)
-Elemental weakness (quality works nicely)
-Temporal Chains (quality doesnt matter)
-Critical Weakness (quality is alright)
-Projectile weakness (quality doesnt matter)
-buffs: Clarity, discipline (quality doesnt matter, personal choice lvling but recommend low)
-Frostwall (quality is nice for luxury but not a big deal, why not lvl)
-*bear traps and fire traps! (Dex cap)
-increased cast speed (for ice spear, max)
-Lesser Multiple Projectiles (easier to get), upgrade to Greater multiple projectiles (for ice spear, Dex cap)
-Spell totem (quality doesnt matter). (for ice spear, Str cap)
-reduced mana x2 (1 for ice spear, 1 for self buffs, Str cap)
-increased critical damage (for ice spear, max)
-increase AOE (for curses, max)
Three different build variations – NEW spectres variation
*why pure CI? Hybrid hp/CI builds usually have something like life leech to sustain their health pool. Spell totems cannot life leech for you. It’s better to just go pure CI and late game ur energy armor will stack better with more % ES nodes.
*adjustments: if you have an item that lets you cast additional curse, you can save the loop at top (4 points). If you have good cast speed gear, save the cast speed nodes. If you never run out of mana, that’s impossible.
*CI nerfed -50% energy shield, but every energy shield node increase by 2%. And you get more skill points in the game overall (21 vs. 16 max) to add in more ES nodes.
Leveling guide and tree progression (for classic only)
Please follow the main one if there is any discrepancy.
For all difficulties, kill all the bandits quest. You need max skill points for this build.
CLICK LINK->>>level 20ish
The hardest part of this build is early levels. You will have very little damage and sometimes mana problems. We do not grab ice damage early on, and we wont do so until a bit later. We also won’t grab double totem ASAP because it is simply not feasible -you wont have the mana to cast or the damage to make it effective. Investments into energy shield is made but not too much, only grab the big nodes for max effectiveness per point.
Leveling gets harder and harder, but your goal at level 30 is progress to the double totems.
DO NOT RUSH TO GET THE DOUBLE TOTEM NODE. Head to the general direction so you can grab it anytime you want, but don’t get it too early. Hex master node helps your curses stay up permanently, grab that. We grab 16% chaos resist node because act 3 mobs are tough as hell with the chaos damage, and you wont be getting CI until much later.
By level 40ish you should get double totems. We will head to the Shadow tree after this. Grab the evasion/energy shield nodes cluster. Grab some additional energy shield if you need from body and soul top side left cluster.
Now its time to rofl stomp. We can get CI now if you have good ES gear. Get some mana nodes.
At this point just follow the first post end game or do your own adjustments
Skill path inspired by Invalesco’s EB/EK shadow build. Equal ES/life/armor amount.
If this works, it will much stronger than ES version with less limitations.
Point of this build is to stack 300+ strength and convert all of them to spell damage with iron will support gem (red). (rate is 2% dmg/10 str, 60% dmg). Also stacking str will give you both tons of life and damage. However there are many requirements for this build to work effectively, hence luxury.Requirements
1. Iron will must be at high lvl (13+) to avoid most of the cast speed penalty.
2. Unique items (Astramentis, meginord’s girdle)
3. Decent armor/ES hybrid gear, decent dual wand spell damage.
4. Elemental weakness and frostbite curses, preferably high quality
5. at least 5L armor (lmp/gmp-ice spear-faster cast-spell totem-iron will). with 6L works best because you can throw in reduced mana which will be really good.
In this version, I put the strongest of two current solo builds together until an unstoppable force. 1. The insane DPS pillars of summoner builds: Spectres
2. The iron wall of defence and mass freeze utility and DPS that is dual ice spear totems
3. Support skills from the dual ice totem build: traps, curses for massive DPS increase
4. Support skill from summoner build: Skeletons wall
*Warning, parties will hate you for lag. Anything that is not a shtty school laptop (like mine) will handle this no problemo.
This build is largely still dual ice spear totem build, but with 5 points taken out of main build and put into minion nodes. However, these 5 points are all you need to succeed: 4 points to get additional spectre +1, and last point in “Lord of the dead”, easily accessible and the best single minion node out there. We do not want to overdo minion nodes because it would compromise the ice spear totem’s usefulness. This is a build for mainly late merciless to end game, should not be used before lvl 60s.
We aim to get 3 spectres that follow us semi-permanently. To get 3 spectres, we need 1 node and +1 from the unique boots (check my gear). Spectres are precious, and we do not want them to die because they give us tremendous DPS. Therefore, the 3 nodes leading to additional spectre +1 node is all health, as damage is enough. We want Flame sentinels most of the time.
YOU DO NOT NEED TOO MUCH DAMAGE BOOST FOR MINIONS. The damage boost comes from elemental weakness + flammability and it will melt the hardest mob packs and backs. Flammability also significantly boosts damage of fire traps, although we no longer use bear traps and favor skeletons instead. We only have so many skill slots.
Any further investment in minion nodes is a waste as we are not summoners; we only take the best from the summoner build and leave the rest.
Switch between Flammability and Frostbite as double curse depending on whether your flame sentinels are still alive or not. Remember you are still ice spear totem build and your main damage can easily be switched to ice spear totems in case your minions are dead. Whereas summoners are fked.
The multi-level walls of buffer theory:
In PoE you want to maximize survivability so you don’t die. With this build, there are five defence buffers the mobs must breach before getting to you:
1. Conversion trapped mobs
2. Constantly casted skeletons
3. (optional) Frost wall
4. 2x Ice totems
Ya, you are safe most of the time. Looking at the order of importance, #1 being least important and at the front-most buffer, and 6 being most important -YOU, we can understand the casting order. After YOU, your preciously collected Flame Sentinel are important because they provide a huge DPS buff to you, which you don’t want to lose. Therefore, you would protect them in the 2nd highest priority. After that, you also want to protect your ice spear totems because they give you utility and is your other main source of DPS. Lastly, Skeletons are trash spammable walls, and converted mobs you want them to die anyway.
To understand Spectres and summoning and how they work, check out this Spectre guide Spectres guide.
Favourite Spectre and why
The best spectre to summon for us is Flame sentinels from Solaris temple 2-3 floor. They already have LMP+Fork, which makes them powerful already. We link minion life (survivability), minion damage, and another LMP to make them extremely powerful. Flame sentinels are also fast casters, constantly moving, and smart in positioning so they dont die easily.
The best way to capture Flame sentinels is to throw converted traps, stack traps under them, and let them die by traps or uncursed ice spears. If you freeze them and kill them, their corpses will break and you will get nothing.
We do not get other Spectres because they lack the AOE coverage or not as survivable (*cough cough* burning miscreations and tentacle titty machine guns)
Flame sentinels will die from time to time, because maps are hard and minions that never die are impossible.
The logic is this: if the mobs are so strong they managed to wipe the floors with your Spectres, maybe you should make them as temporary replacements. Be creative and choose your Spectres like pokemons!
How to protect your minions
We sacrifice one of the pot slots to heal them when their health goes low (check out my gear section for the health pot). Because you have 3 spectres and can’t see the health of each one, you have to constantly preemptive pot. Might as well since you don’t use the pot yourself as a CI character. They heal slowly but will save you.
Again, Spectres are precious. Protect them by using the walls of buffer theory. If it’s too dangerous, pull them out when needed. Simply run far away, and your Spectres will be instantly “leashed” to you.
Spectres will die to elemental reflect mobs so becareful, either pull them back and let ice spear totems do the damage, or get physical damage Spectres if no other choice.
Pros and cons:
*Low to zero risk with double totems. Most of the times you can stand in front of your totems and still face almost no risk. Even more often you dont even have to be in the same screen as the mobs
*Totems protect each other with perma freeze and are hard to kill. Any other totems don’t have this kind of survivability. Traps also serve as protection and secondary offensive.
*Versatile in dealing with any map mods (with 1 exception other than blood magic). no need to think about changing strategies or trading maps, all maps can be cleared the same way. Mobs that are near impossible simply convert them.
*Elemental resist , curse immune, status alignment immune mobs are no threats.
*Can deal with projectile mobs known to snipe totems with ease through ice spear’s range and temporal chains lockdown. Most mobs that outrange totems with projectiles (chaos constructs, skeley casters, spark spammers) can be blocked by frostwall, but conveniently does not block ice spears.
*Very high DPS with double curse, single target nuke or huge mob clear both possible with ease
*Versatile in both offense and defense due to the positioning and playstyle variations and offensive and defensive curses that you have.
*Low gear requirements, but scales very nicely with good gear
*Good soloer, amazing party potential
*The mana costs of two totems and two curses (or three) constant cast is very high
*Map mods with mana restrictions must be overcome with either different gear or the Warlord’s Mark curse
*The totems are both your main offence and defence. you support your totems. without them you are vulnerable
*Totems get retarded (blind) in narrow doorway’s/crammed rooms because the game has reached OB yet the devs did not fix this and the targeting system is buggy as hell.
*You don’t need good gear, but you need a variety of gems and their sockets. hence making the true versatility of this build possible
Build Vs. map mods, a comparison
This is mostly for spectre and classic version, mainly spectre as it is now my absolute favorite. A comparison of this build vs. difficult map mods is down below. You can see this build is extremely flexible when it comes to map mods.
“Difficult” map mods (not for us!)
1. Slow regen/no regen:
Solution: Swap 2nd curse to “Warlord’s mark”, carry 4 mana pots (or 5). I would be surprised if you ever run out of mana. Don’t spam stupidly of course.
2. Temporal chains:
Solution: None needed. Temporal chains doesnt affect totems and spectres. You only cast totems slower so maybe be careful a lil bit. And ya you will be a bit slower so its annoying but thats what the mod does.
Solution: Not impossible, just slow and pain in the ass. If you see this mod just reroll its not worth your time.
4. Ele./phy. reflect:
Solution: This mod is a joke to us because we cannot be damaged from reflect. Totems die overtime but just recast them. Bring either physical spectres or ele. minions depending on what type of reflect.
Other map mods
1. Elemental weakness and any type of “damage oriented mods”:
Solution: With this build you rarely take hits. And you cannot get reflected yourself. These mods are easy.
2. Burning ground:
Solution: Totems cannot be damaged from burning ground, flame sentinel spectres float.
Impossible map mods:
Blood magic: we are a CI class, impossible to do blood magic maps.
Spells and explanations
Ice Spear Totems:
The reason I chose ice spear is simply due to its damage, utility potential, and the range of how far they travel. Ice spear’s 2nd form gives +600% crit chance. Combined with GMP x2 and Frostbite debuff, almost everything will be frozen. Freeze resistant mobs will be chilled and controlled with temporal chains, or simply nuked to hell in matter of seconds. The high crit. chance also mean I don’t need crit. chance nodes in the tree. There is also no need to invest too much in spell damage nodes. DPS and utility can be simultaneously increased with cast speed or crit. multiplier nodes, or simply anything else you want.
Ice spear is boosted by the following: (40%+ elemental weakness debuff, 40%+ Frostbite debuff) with standard double curse.
Frostbite: cold resist debuff and greatly chance to chill and freeze
Elemental weakness: cold and lighting resist debuff.
Temporal chains: chill/freeze and temporal chains can pretty much lockdown any mob
Projectile weakness: I don’t use this primarily simply because elemental weakness is stronger. However, its very useful with this build due to the freeze+knockback, and projectile piercing in 2nd form of icespear.
Critical weakness: very powerful skill because ice spear is almost guaranteed crit.
Warlord’s mark: very good for party play and mana restriction maps, refill flasks
Enfeeble: another variation, put that with temporal chains if you are superduper defensive.
Curse Mechanics and Choices Explanation
First, understand that your DPS does not come from holy sh*t paper DPS and spell dmg % stack. Your DPS comes from 10+attacks per second (or 20 if u have really high DPS) + guaranteed crit and high crit multipliers + mob’s taking more damage from your curses instead of you doing more dmg. This is why paper DPS (lol pathetic sub 300 DPS) is so deceptive if you do not THINK what is really going on and do the math.
now let me ask you a simple question, do you think its better to have mob’s damage reduction lowered by 50% or your total damage increased by 50%?
With that said, in merciless some mobs start to have around 50% resist or higher for a particular element. Other mobs stay the same. Mobs resist can go negative, and as I have discussed with the game developer in chat, the elemental resist deduction has a much greater effect from positive to zero than from zero to negative.
Therefore, the focus of your curse will be 1) reduce mob’s resist to zero so your ice spears do true damage 2) use most effective curse to increase the damage mobs take 3) protect yourself or give yourself utility in specific situations (defense, flask recovery, etc.)
So, if a mob has 70 cold resist, I will need both elemental weakness and frostbite to reduce it to zero (and a bit more) because i dont want to take a 30% dmg hit with only one curse. However, if a mob has only 40 cold resist, i only need to use the frostbite curse and can use a much more dmg effective critical weakness curse which grants me 100% crit dmg at higher lvls. This is alot because ice spears shoot so many times and have guaranteed crit at second form (also a chance to crit+pierce in the first form).
Of course, if i am getting raped by flickers or haste spammers, i use TC instead and forgo the extra dmg. or i go dmg anyway to nuke them down rather than dragging the fights out. The decision is up to you, ultimately, you have so many curses at your disposal you can use whatever you want.
Traps are OP!
Traps are one of the strongest groups of spells in the game due to their scaling with simply leveling them up, and utility. Therefore, the restriction on traps is 1) you can only have 3 traps out in total of all your traps combined 2) each trap gem have recharge time, not CD, recharge. They stack to 3 and stops there. To counter this, having multiple traps of same type means each gem will recharge separately, giving you ability to continuously throwing out 6 traps in a row if you have 2 trap gems, 9 traps if you have 3, etc.
We are not using the trap support gem! active gems only! Traps are better than mines because 1) there are not many types of mines, and freeze mine is useless for us 2) mines require more links in armor, which takes up space 3) Traps are better and do more dmg
For the purpose of this build, although 3 fire traps is OP as hell in term of AOE as each of them can do 1500 DPS with average gear, I prefer a mix of 3 different traps for different purposes. Oh, and bear trap does like 2500 DPS per trap leveled.
Bear trap has one of the highest scaling damage skill in the game, therefore restricted as a trap. Bear trap has some utility potential because it locks mob in place (doesnt work on bosses and 1 sec duration on rare mobs). However, we want Bear trap for single target nuke damage.
Why bear trap so strong? Bear trap do physical damage and scales very high. Mobs in Path of exile behave same way as players in terms of stats. Mobs have armor values and elemental resist just like we do; they have cap and deficiencies just as we do. Armor works like this, the more damage you take (physical), the less effective your armor will be.Example: if you take 1000 damage, say your armor % reduction is around 50%. If you take 100000 damage with same armor value, your damage % reduction will be 1%. Basically the more damage you do to enemies with bear trap, you do even more damage because more armor will be ignored.
Fire trap does not lag behind bear trap in terms of damage. It does a flat AOE fire burst damage when first triggered, then burns in AOE area for smaller ticks per second for a few seconds. This works well because you are doing damage (burn) without casting new skills, essentially free damage over time. Don’t get me wrong, the burst is very strong already.
My converted doggies doing work
Conversion trap is amazing. Not only can you tackle near impossible packs by converting the strongest mobs and let them attack for you, the converted mobs also acts as an aggro magnet away from your totems, which gives you one extra defense wall. Furthermore, if you convert a rare mob that spread auras to nearby allies, that aura now applies to you and no longer the mobs beside it! If you get an ES aura mob converted, it basically gives you 1k energy shield with this build! And haste aura makes you move like lightning.
Once the pack is cleared and only 1 rare mob is left, still converted, it will stop moving so just stack 3 traps under it and finish the job.
Of course, nothing is more hilarious than a rare golem rolling over other mobs and rare fire dogs decimate an entire pack.
Stagger Totems- When advancing, drop first totem, drop second totem in front of first , redrop first totem in front of the second one. This is very safe play, especially for entering rooms and turning blind corners because the two totems always cover each other in case one gets swarmed. Also can be done when kiting the boss, but opposite direction.
Trap bait totems- This is extremely useful against powerful mobs such as Merciless Oak or other fast moving hard hitting mobs. Basically they can kill your totems in 1-2 hits, and immediately target you without any warning. What you do is plant a totem, and throw all your traps on the totem, when the mob gets near the totem it will get nuked. Plant another totem somewhere else, repeat. I did this vs. merciless Oak solo and I never even get damaged.
This build is extremely strong in party play. Ice spear can freeze entire map allowing protection for teammates. Conversion trap use against impossible aura mobs (reflect damage). Your variety of curses is your strongest point:
-Use warlord’s mark in maps where regen is limited, or some party members are flask reliant and cant get enough charges (diamond or granite). fills extremely fast. Also provides endurance charges on kills at around 20% chance to party members, summons, and totems.
-Use projectile weakness to knock back dangerous mobs with projectiles and significantly boost ranger’s dps.
-Use temporal chains against dangerous mobs like skeleton casters or flickers.
Math for crit. damage calculation
Math: (assuming zero global crit. chance mods from gear and other things
Passives total from tree: 300%
Ice spear inherent base crit chance: 7%
Ice spear second form addictive base chance: (7%*600%)=42% (Independent addition)
Critical weakness: independent addictive 5% at level 1 (10% higher lvl)
Total: [7*(1+(300%)+42%]+5%(or 10%)=75% (or 80% with lvled curse). You can replace wand with a spell dmg dagger with global crit chance mod.
Testing Section (righteous fire and frenzy)