I’ve been playing Elemental Hit as my 2nd build this league. I didn’t find any guide when I started, later found MBXtreme’s guide, which helps to understand the mechanics but isn’t really up-to-date gearwise so I mostly had to pull things together from poe.ninja.
As an effort to save some people’s time I’ll share some of my observations playing it as a high-budget character. The POB for my current build is https://pastebin.com/PEKcLTYr , it’s not finished but I’ll be discussing possible improvements – that I probably won’t go with but still. This thread is an aggregation of the current meta for the build with a lot of personal takes.
To cover the basics Fire Elemental Hit Raider is a bow build, well-suited for HH, with top tier single target damage, excellent movespeed and good defensive options. Its main downsides are a slightly underwhelming clear (compared to similar budget builds) and the budget. It’s a good zoomer build, working well in simus, or deli hard content, and its single target damage makes it able to do all bosses, although it lacks the tankiness of bossing builds and DPS is dealt while standing at the same place (and having to aim) so it’s not its best point.
My goals for the characters were made to improve as much as possible the feel of the mapping gameplay and I made choices to reflect that. Specifically, I wanted the build to feel great without flasks, with the full flask-berserker burst only being useful for endgame bosses and invitations. As such, I tried to get excellent DPS while not using flask and 100% crit with only bottled faith – which at 20 charges out of 60 per use and >6 seconds duration, can be used often enough in a boss fight.
Now here are the things I had to figure out myself on the build.
Asenath’s Chant is BiS (for my playstyle) as otherwise you need to cast the curse yourself, usually through arcanist brand. The issue with arcanist brand is your char doesn’t have good cast speed, so it feels clunky to use and you end up only using it for bosses. Asenath’s Chant solves that issue.
Now a thing that I feel is a basic mistake (or rather, a POB-warrior move) is using Wave of Conviction in Asenath’s Chant to spread the curse. This is terrible as it has a slow spread from your character and as a raider you already apply a slightly weaker exposure to nearby enemies. I struggle to see why it’s so popular on POE.ninja and (outside of the POB warrior thing) I suspect it’s due to the fact Elemental Hit is also played with slayer, which would make way better use of a source of exposure, and some raiders copied over without thinking. For a raider, the only spells that make sense in my opinion are :
– (divergent) purifying flame as it synergizes incredibly well with Bottled Faith and the slow projectile is attenuated by the 2nd wave of damage
– arc for a good curse+culling strike spread
As for the other links, Sniper’s mark is obvious, as is combustion. I’ve seen tons of people use a 2nd curse (with the 2nd curse on chest) but culling strike is way better in my opinion, since if you really need a 2nd curse , which is debatable, you can use gloves or rings to spread it. Obviously you can get culling strike from gloves too if you don’t go with Hands of the High Templar so it’s a question of playstyle here.
Hands of the high templar is also BiS – again, for my playstyle, with the max frenzy charges and additional critical strike chance as necessary corruptions, and +2 AoE/Aura gems, % max life, %attack speed and ele weakness (if 2nd curse) as good accompaniments. This one depends a lot of personal preferences as using rare gloves can make getting resists way easier (not to mention intimidate, stun avoidance, and other good mods), which in turns helps getting better rings. My reason for preferring that unique is because the critical strike chance is pretty much necessary if you want 100% crit with only Bottled Faith, or in general for a massive critical strike chance increase while mapping. The build feels massively better to play when you don’t have to rely on the crit from cinderswallow since it’s such a terrible flask (40 charges per use and 60 max).
If you’re constantly using damage flasks however (say, in a simulacrum situation) then rare gloves are strictly better.
A lot of Raider players use that bow : Imgur: The magic of the Internet . In my opinion, this is a massive mistake. I bought one myself and the lack of crit chance felt absolutely terrible. That bow is BiS for Slayer builds, which have their 8% base crit chance and don’t care about crit on the bow. On raider, the only way you reach 100% crit with that bow is by using intuitive leap in the bottom side of the tree, which is a massive sacrifice of accuracy and health, near perfect bottled faith, elevated crit chest, and tons of crit chance medium cluster jewels. Even if you do that – and I did- the build will only have 100% crit on full flask burst and feels terrible during 99% of the playtime. Replacing the 10% chance to deal double damage craft with crit is cheap (you can just use a bench craft if you don’t like buying r/a crit) and is a vast gameplay improvement.
Rest of the gear / Gems
Nothing much here, most of what people already use is good.
– Chest : elevated crit is the most important, I went with elevated explode as well cause I bought my gear but it doesn’t matter. I don’t think the additional curse is necessary and I’d much rather have crafted or hunter % life on my prefixes but that’s debatable and I might go back on that. In particular, while an additional damaging curse is unnecessary, a debuff-applying curse could be an additional defensive option so good Hands of the High Templar gloves with enfeeble could make me switch. I bought an astral plate because that’s what available but an Assassin’s Garb is obviously the better option as it lowers str requirements and helps your defences.
– Belt : if you don’t use HH we have massive playstyle differences and this is not the guide for you. I went with the accuracy onslaught enchant as it allows to lower precision’s level by quite a lot but the evasion rating while phasing is good too. I don’t think the reduced crit on blind matters as it’s a reduced crit not a less but I might be wrong here.
– Boots : onslaught, tailwind, elusive, ele pen enchant. Didn’t feel any difference with elevated mods.
– Rings : synthetized max frenzy charge rings are BiS but those with good ilvl are costly and rare (don’t have any myself yet). you probably want a T1 int as suffix on one of your rings and I’d be distrustful of any build/POB that doesn’t feature a double – mana ring craft. In my opinion, rings are the last place to optimize and you’ll be good with 1ex ones for a looong while.
– Flasks : Wise Oak is a terrible idea if you need it for res, and otherwise isn’t as good as a life flask imo. I’d consider it if the build had a spot for enduring cry but I don’t see any.
Everything else in the gear is straightforward. For the gems, if you’re using dash the anomalous version is way better and remember to keep precision as low level as you can while maintaining 100% chance to hit.
Now let’s talk about Skill tree and jewels.
Lethal Pride / Berserk
I was hesitant to put it as it felt like some POB-warrior thing but I was wrong, Berserk is incredible and Lethal Pride really helps with the strength requirement for the Astral Plate. Of note: a lot of people go from blood drinker to coordination then path downside to the jewel socket. It is way better to reach the jewel socket by pathing left from the cluster (as shown in the POB), costing the same amount of skill points, for several reasons :
– it’s 2 more strength thanks to Lethal Pride
– it gives you access to Lethal-Pride-boosted Revenge of the Hunted. Now Revenge of the Hunted and the nodes leading to it aren’t that great, but you can divine your Lethal Pride until you get %life or 20 strength (if you use Astral Plate), making it overall excellent nodes.
– it allows you to use the 6% max life node to the left of Blood drinker as a flex point. I personally use it but you may need the point.
– it gives you access to 30 str/int nodes you may want as option.
I talked about it before in my bow explanation, but in my opinion using Intuitive Leap to grab Acuity, Herbalism and Heartseeker is the kind of thing that feels clever but is terrible in practice because the nodes leading to them are actually all good nodes, and the extra points go into medium cluster jewels but medium cluster jewels aren’t too great in this build. I’d much rather have 40% crit multi and 7% life.
First large Cluster jewel
So the first cluster jewel is always 12% bows with Fuel the fight / Feed the fury / Martial Prowess. There’s actually a clever idea that I saw a build use, which was using Calamitous / Fuel the fight / Martial Prowess instead, because that combo will place Calamitous as the third notable, and you don’t take it, which gives you 2 “free” points. As much as I liked the idea it makes no sense at all as Feed the Fury is the best notable of the cluster and you really don’t want to skip on it (and the other 2 notables are very good too).
Second large cluster jewel
So this one will be advice I still don’t follow since I’m still rocking as do a lot of other builds, a 12% fire with Cremator/ Disorienting Display / Prismatic Heart. The issue is that Cremator becomes useless as soon as you get an explodey, and Prismatic Heart while nice is usually the third notable, which means :
– for early builds lacking in res, Alira will give more res (and the crit multi compensates a bit for lost damage)
– for endgame builds you may be able to replace it (at the cost of chaos res possibly).
So you’re left with mostly disorienting display, which while a great node doesn’t justify using a whole large cluster on it. Imo the best option here would be to go with a 3-passive Voices (or, well, 1-passive if you can afford it) and use an abyss jewel to get the blind back (and some resists if you really need it). The extra points can go in small medium or anything really.
Medium cluster jewel(s)
The only good notables for medium cluster jewels are Repeater (from projectile damage clusters) and Pressure points (from critical strike clusters), so a ton of builds end up only taking that single point from the medium they use – which explains why a lot of POB on poe.ninja are overcapped on points.
In my opinion only the critical strike cluster is worth taking – again because I want as good critical strike chance as I can get even without using flasks. Now a lot of people do the “mistake” (probably a POB-warrior thing) of taking 2 notable clusters even if they only plan to use one. Obviously it’s better to just craft something else instead for the small passive. As I don’t value medium cluster jewels much my build only uses one but that’s a contentious point and as discussed in the Second large cluster section I’d use more of them if I could afford a good Voices.
A disconcerting number of high-end builds use that node and I suspect it’s purely to get strength and intelligence. Strength is only useful for the astral plate, and here’s how you can get it instead :
– 20 str from Lethal Pride on Revenge of the Hunted, it costs a bit of %life
– Headhunter qual, it costs a little bit of life
– Xoph’s blood qual, it costs 2% fire pen or a little bit of life
So the strength isn’t really an issue, but intelligence is : even with T0 (essence) intelligence on a ring and attribute modifier quals you’ll be short. However as discussed in the Medium Cluster jewel section you only need one notable per medium, which means it’s quite easy and cheap to craft an i84 cluster with 8 intel and your notable (even easier with several medium). Doing so will free 2 points so there’s really no reason not to.
This one is debatable, I first wanted some 4% crit multi synthesis jewels (or 3% att speed with bows) but I feel that getting stun immunity on the build is extremely good and the build uses 11 or more jewels so taking into account the corrupted blood one you have enough to get 100% chance to avoid stun, which is well worth the 40% crit multi. If not for the stun immunity, another good option would be to try to get 8% crit from corruption but that’s kinda extreme.
I’m not claiming to be an expert and I may have made mistakes so don’t hesitate to correct me. I gathered the remarks I wish I had stumbled upon when starting this build but I acknowledge there are different, valid approaches to the build, including the POB-warrior one, so feel free to contribute yours.