About this build
+ cheap & fully SSF-capable
+ smooth gameplay & progression
+ capable to do much content & mapmods
+ immune to all kinds of reflected damage
+ fairly safe, lots of huge damage reductions & ranged playstyle
- not made for facetanking, physical damage hurts
- good boss damage requires some investment
- Lightning has inconsistent damage output
Main Mechanics in this build
‣ Chaining: Arc is a lightning-based spell with the ability to chain from monsters and destroyable objects, even around corners and out of your line of sight! Each time it chains, it will also split to
a second nearby enemy from where it can't chain further. The amount of times Arc can chain depends on its gem level and can be increased by enchantments.
‣ Shock: An elemental status ailment which increases the damage an enemy takes by up to 50% for a duration. Normally this is based on the amount of Lightning Damage dealt within a single hit relative to the enemies total life, however this build overrides that rule and can consistently put strong shocks on all enemies. I'll explain how further down the guide.
‣ Semi-Crit: Instead of going all out on crit, we just get some to proc Elemental Overload, a conditional buff which gives us a 40% more damage multiplier if we've crit in the past 8 seconds.
‣ Damage Reductions: Our passive tree pathing and Ascendancy class don't really offer many possibilities for secondary defenses, so we focus on reducing all incoming damage through various buffs and debuffs instead. Elemental Damage can be reduced by up to 85%, Physical Damage by up to 46%, only Chaos Damage remains mostly unchanged. On top of this comes an additional damage reduction towards Critical Strikes, regardless of their damage type.
‣ Mind over Matter: This is a Keystone which redirects 30% of damage we take to our mana pool, as long as we have sufficient mana. In order for this to be effective, we need an unreserved mana pool equal to approx. 43% of our life pool and a quick way to refill mana, which we gain through regeneration and leech.
Path of Building
Here's the full Path of Building setup for this build, including all passive trees, gear choices and gems. To use this, click Import/Export Build and paste the full code or use Import from Pastebin, then read the Notes Tab to learn how to properly use this. You can get Path of Building here.
I know that some people jump straight to the PoB without ever reading the guide, which often leads to failure and is then blamed on the build. Don't be that person!
‣ If you find a Vaal Arc along the way, level it alongside with you to have it at an appropriate level once you reach endgame maps.
‣ Keep your flasks updated. I recommend to start with 2x Life Flasks, 1x Mana Flask and
2x Quicksilver Flasks, switch to a quest reward flask whenever the guide mentions it.
‣ Upgrade your gear. While not as relevant in the beginning, it's important to look out for gear with solid life and resistance rolls. Ideally you want to have all three Elemental Resistances capped at 75% at the end of Act 3, only Chaos Resistance may be at whatever value.
Rare or Unique gear pieces are not always the best for this purpose, sometimes you're better off with Magic gear giving life and a single resistance.
You can easily craft your own gear, ideally on already 4-linked pieces you get from vendors or drops, however only use Orbs of Transmutation/Augmentation/ at this point, everything else is a huge waste!
‣ Great Uniques for leveling are Lifesprig, Heartbreaker, Goldrim, Wanderlust and Tabula Rasa, but prioritize a good lifepool and capped resistances!
‣ If you happen to get a 5-linked, or even 6-linked Intelligence-based gearpiece, check the damage skill setups in the gem section to know what gems to add.
‣ We don't use the full gem setup during leveling. You're likely to replace gear very often,
and it's just not worth preparing all temporary pieces to fit in all gems.
‣ Use Portal Scrolls and enter town to refill flasks during bossfights.
‣ Get all waypoints you can find. I mention specific waypoints you will definitely need, but generally it's recommended to get them all, since you never know if you may disconnect or need to get back to that zone for other reasons.
‣ If there's multiple gems listed to get, it means you're supposed to get one of those as quest reward and buy the rest from the gem vendor in town.
‣ The passive tree goals for each act are just a pointer, if you're short by 1-2 points or overleveled that's not a big deal.
‣ Get Arcane Surge (keep it Lv1 for now!) from Large Chest and kill Hillock
‣ Get Freezing Pulse, link it with Arcane Surge and throw away Fireball
‣ Start looking out for a 3-linked, all blue socket Wand or Sceptre
‣ Get the Coast Waypoint, kill Hailrake on Tidal Island and get Quicksilver Flask in town
‣ Enter Submerged Passage, look for Flooded Depths and kill the Dweller of the Deep
‣ Get Orb of Storms and Passive Skillpoint in town
‣ Enter Prison, get Added Lightning Damage and link it to Freezing Pulse + Arcane Surge
‣ Start looking out for 2x Sapphire Rings
‣ Complete Trial of Ascendancy in Lower Prison
‣ Kill Brutus, progress to Ship Graveyard and get the Waypoint
‣ Look for Ship Graveyard Cave, get Allflame then get Cavern of Wrath Waypoint
‣ Travel to Ship Graveyard Waypoint and kill Fairgraves
‣ Go to town to get Passive Skillpoint, Clarity, Flame Dash, Storm Brand & Arc
‣ Throw away Freezing Pulse and craft a +1 Lightning Gem Wand/Sceptre
‣ The recipe is Magic Wand/Sceptre + Topaz Ring + Orb of Alteration
‣ If needed, the recipe for Topaz Rings is Iron Ring + Green Skill Gem
‣ Put Arc + Arcane Surge + Added Lightning Damage in there
‣ Replace Orb of Storms with Storm Brand
‣ Equip Sapphire Rings and kill Merveil
Passive Tree Goal
Exp Farming Zone: The Ledge
‣ Once in town, enter the Old Fields first
‣ Start looking out for 2x Topaz Rings
‣ Look for the Den, kill Great White Beast and get second Quicksilver in town
‣ Continue to Crossroads and get Waypoint
‣ Enter Chamber of Sins, complete Trial of Ascendancy on Level 2 and kill Fidelitas
‣ Go back to Crossroads, enter Broken Bridge and kill Kraityn
‣ Back to Crossroads once more, enter Fellshrine Ruins and Crypt
‣ Complete Trial of Ascendancy in Crypt
‣ Back to town, enter Riverways and get the Waypoint
‣ Go to Western Forest, kill Alira & Captain Arteri
‣ Look for Weaver's Chambers and kill Weaver
‣ Back in town, get Controlled Destruction and replace Arcane Surge with it
‣ Link Arcane Surge to Storm Brand
‣ This spreadsheet by Banana_Lee shows which level you should keep your Arcane Surge at
(AS = Arcane Surge, ID = Increased Duration)
‣ Enter Lioneye's Watch and get Passive Skillpoint
‣ Go back to Riverways, enter Wetlands, kill Oak and get Waypoint
‣ Get two Passive Skillpoints from Eramir in town
‣ Make your way to the Ancient Pyramid, equip Topaz Rings and kill Vaal Oversoul
Passive Tree Goal
Exp Farming Zone: The Northern Forest
‣ Start looking out for 4-linked Intelligence-based or Hybrid (Int + other stat) gear
‣ Kill the Blackguards in City of Sarn and enter town
‣ Go to Slums, enter Crematorium, finish Trial of Ascendancy and kill Piety
‣ Get Sewer Key in town
‣ Go back to Slums, enter Sewers, get Waypoint, find three busts and get skillpoint in town
‣ Get Marketplace Waypoint and finish Trial of Ascendancy in Catacombs
‣ Enter Battlefront, get Waypoint and kill Captain Aurelianus
‣ Go to Docks and get Thaumetic Sulphite
‣ Back to Battlefront, enter Solaris Temple and talk to Lady Dialla
‣ Destroy the Undying Blockade in Sewers
‣ Enter Ebony Barracks, get Waypoint and kill General Gravicius
‣ Enter Lunaris Temple, kill Piety and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Imperial Gardens Waypoint and finish Trial of Ascendancy
‣ Go to Library and finish Siosa's quest
‣ You can now buy all unlocked gems at Siosa (currency for Poe needs to be in bag!)
‣ Get Lightning Penetration from Siosa and replace Added Lightning Damage with it
‣ Also get Decoy Totem and Mana Leech from Siosa
‣ Link Mana Leech to Storm Brand
‣ Enter the Sceptre of God and kill Dominus
Passive Tree Goal
Exp Farming Zone: The Docks