Hello, I wanted to post the build that I started theory-crafting during the end of closed-beta (which was when I learned about PoE’s existence and bought my kiwi). This build takes advantage of CI and obtaining a suitable amount of energy shield to survive end-game whilst doing respectable damage. Although I acknowledge that HP seems to be a more effective defensive strategy than ES I believe that an ES build should still at-least be viable.
It may be important to note that I am relatively new to Path of Exile, but I have attempted to properly interact with knowledge on the forums and believe that I have a decent enough understanding of the game’s mechanics. Also, My Witch is currently only level 50 as I am a university student, and as much as I’d love to simply play PoE constantly, I can’t justify doing so.
Without further ado, here is my Witch in its current state, what I wish to eventually accomplish with the build, and discussion on how I play this build. I would love to hear your critiques/comments, and thank you for taking the time to peruse my build.
Current Passive Tree State
Hypothetical End-Game Build
Skill Gems (Passive and Active)
Fireball-Exclusive Damage Source
Flammability-In Order to Maximize Effectiveness
Clarity-Because Mana Regen is Important
Discipline-Because I’m Focusing on Energy Shield
Fireball Support Gems[
Lesser Multiple Projectiles-May be upgraded to GMP when able
Chance to Ignite
Obviously I’m not at end game yet so I won’t post actual items, however, the important things to stack should be somewhat obvious. I will most likely be rocking wand+shield as the shield allows for both ES stacking as well as some damage.
Offensive stats will include as much Spell Damage (in the form of elemental, fire specific, or spell damage[I’m not picky]) and Cast Speed as possible, in addition to things like +levels to fire gems.
Defensive stats will primarily focus on as high energy shield values (both flat and percent) as I can obtain and resistances.
Now that you’ve had a chance to peruse my build, both current and future, I’d like to offer some explanation as to how this build plays. At its core it is based off of the very simplistic archetype of a fire-mage, and is a character designed to destroy things with fire whilst remaining survivable. When I first started Path of Exile I was all about glass-cannon passive selection, and had every point in fire spell-damage that I could get to. However, I’ve learned that PoE doesn’t reward that type of play nearly as much as it does more well-rounded options. The End-Game Passive Build that I posted has the following stats from the passive tree:
Spell Damage 113%
Cast Speed 15%
Energy Shield 181%-from Passives +74% from INT (excluding gear)=255%
Energy Shield Cooldown Recovery 45%
Mana Regen 60%
Elemental Resistances 82% Fire and Frost 97% Lightning
This build clearly focuses on stacking as much bonus energy shield as possible, and the reasons behind doing so are simply because that is essentially my hp bar, and I don’t like dying (speaking of I play soft-core, sorry). Also note that INT directly affects energy shield, so stacking INT on items is never a bad thing. The mana and mana-regen passives are meant to allow me to spam Fireball and interact well with Clarity. The reason for getting a +30 DEX node is because I would like to level LMP fully, which caps at 79 Dexterity. Reaching that shouldn’t be difficult with any +all gear, and if absolutely necessary I could invest in another +30 node. I grab a decent amount of resistances, which should allow reasonably coming close to capping resistances with gear. And finally damage, which although the most exciting aspect, is also the least focused upon. I believe that this amount of damage, in combination with max level gems and decent gear, should be plenty of damage to clear enemies.
Also, I’m aware that many builds have a single-target ability and an aoe ability, however LMP modifies Fireball in order to fulfill both roles. Even at level 1 LMP’s drawback can be nullified if two of the projectiles hit the same target. LMP Fireball has thus-far managed to be quite effective at killing both groups of mobs, and also single enemies. In single-target/boss fights burning damage is a wonderful tool in kiting situations, and most bosses are pretty easy to hit with at least two of the three projectiles.
This build could be altered in multiple ways to change it slightly depending on what one is interested in doing. Burn damage could be utilized more heavily by putting points into Pyromaniac and Blaze passives which would help with boss fights. One could also pick up more cast speed, building into Nimbleness, which would be a cheap investment that could potentially increase dps by a decent amount. I personally disapprove of focusing on Critical Damage/Chance with a Fire Witch simply because Frost would benefit so much more from it with Ice Spear. If you want a crit. caster, go frost.
The way that my Witch has played during the first 50 levels is as a pretty hard-hitting caster who occasionally does have to go wait for Energy Shield to recharge. I run with a Crystalline Flask, which has saved my life too many times to count, and only use it if I feel that I’m in a perilous situation. I really enjoy this build so far and have yet to find a mob that can’t be kited to death (or simply nuked down). Once again feel free to leave a commment and have fun in Wraeclast!