Welcome to Navandis Gaming's Arc Witch Elementalist build. This is an excellent league starter which can afterwards transition into a full blown, min-maxed build to carry you through an entire league. New players and veterans alike can pick up this build and crush pretty much all the content in Path of Exile. It won't top any DPS charts and it won't be the quickest farmer, but it will be steady, safe and simple.
Navandis Gaming had a much easier time running extremely tough maps, with just a bit of kiting and taking advantage of Arc's excellent range. The only mod you cannot run is "elemental reflect". Everything else is fair game. This build is not recommended for Hardcore play nowadays, as a perfect storm of overlapping bad stuff can kill you before you get a chance to react.
Path of Building import code: https://pastebin.com/4rAgVC2p
Non-cluster jewels PoB: https://pastebin.com/2sW58dUE
Arc Chains 7 + times (Deals more damage for each remaining chain)
The build's main skill, Arc, is quite straightforward, without overly complicated mechanics or confusing gameplay. It shoots a lightning bolt which targets the enemy closest to your mouse cursor, and from that, it will chain to the next valid target and so on until it has chained for the maximum number of times. On top of that, every time the beam arcs, it will also fork from the target to another nearby target. As you level up the gem, the maximum number of chains, or jumps, will increase, providing much better coverage and overall area of effect.
Arc also deals a lot more damage for each remaining chain, so it does a great job at killing closer enemies, which usually pose a higher threat. This also means it doesn't lose its effectiveness against single targets, as Arc won't chain at all in those situations and will thus deal a lot more damage. That is quite a unique advantage, as the vast majority of Path of Exile skills require two different gems setups for single target combat or map clearing. With Arc, you'll be equally effective in all combat scenarios, without needing to swap any gems.
Elementalist = Ailments (Your Arc shocks, chills and ignites, all in one hit)
Being an elementalist build, there's ample focus on elemental ailments, primarily shock, but also chill and ignite. With a single Arc hit, you'll generally apply all these 3 debuffs on every target. You just need to ensure you have at least 1 point of added cold and fire damage to spells, somewhere on your gear. Jewels are the best option, but I'll talk more about this in the gearing section. Shocked enemies take more damage from all sources, and you'll be investing quite a bit into shock effectiveness, greatly increasing this debuff's strength.
Chilling enemies will lower their movement, attack, and cast speed, indirectly boosting your defenses. But apart from the basic benefit of these ailments, their simple presence on your targets really expands your arsenal with a lot of fancy tools. For example, Inpulsa's Broken Heart armour causes shocked enemies you kill to explode, dealing 5% of their life as lightning damage, in an area around them. This creates some amazing chain reactions which quickly clear entire screens worth of mobs.
Golems are another staple of elementalist builds, and this one is no exception. By default, each of the four golems you summon provides a really solid damage or defensive buff. With a few ascendancy and passive points, those buffs are drastically improved, and you also become immune to elemental ailments while at least 3 golems are alive. Pretty much every single end-game boss fight or high level map was designed to hurt you through those elemental ailments, so being completely immune to them is actually a huge deal. Finally, you have a few more tricks up your sleeve to further boost your damage and defenses, such as double-cursing, Mind-over-Matter, Elemental Overload, Arcane Cloak, and so on.
Passive Tree and Leveling
You start off as a Witch and up to level 12, when Arc becomes available, you can use Freezing Pulse, Spark, or even Stormblast Mine to level up through the first few zones. As for the passives, Act 1 is packed with great picks: "Arcanist's Dominion" and "Lightning Walker" provide a great deal of spell damage and cast speed, while "Heart and Soul" along with "Quick Recovery" wheel will boost your life, mana and mana regen.
Act 2 continues in a similar fashion, by taking "Deep Wisdom" and "Arcane Will" which further increase your mana pool and mana regen. Follow up with "Discipline and Training" along with its adjacent minor nodes for a hefty chunk of extra life. Finally, add 3 excellent passives, "Retribution", "Holy Dominion" and "Light of Divinity". It's actually incredible how much useful stuff these three nodes bring to the table: damage, cast speed, strength, elemental resistances, and chance to apply elemental ailments such as shock and ignite.
This act also brings with it the "Deal with the Bandits" quest, and for this build the best option is to kill them all and grab the two passive points. None of the other rewards would significantly benefit this build, and there are plenty of good options for spending two additional points.
Acts 3 and 4 are a balanced mix of offense and defense, as you start working your way through the top part of the tree. "Cruel Preparation" and "Deep Thoughts" are the familiar pair of life and mana nodes. The game's difficulty starts ramping up a bit, and, at about this stage, you'll likely go through your first labyrinth as well. Extra survivability is more than welcome in these circumstances.
On the damage front, you have "Heart of Thunder" and "Breath of Lightning", two passives with an obvious focus on lightning damage and shock ailment. Then grab "Golem Commander" wheel, allowing you to summon an additional golem, as well as improving the buffs they provide. Golems are quite an integral part of this build, and, once you get this passive, you should run around with at least two of them.
In Acts 5 and 6, path through the first jewel socket of the build and then grab "Mystic Bulwark" and "Prodigal Perfection" for more mana. However, the 2nd passive will also increase your spell damage for every 100 maximum mana, allowing you to double dip this stat. Lastly, it's time to pick up two very important keystones for the build: "Elemental Overload" and "Mind over Matter". Elemental Overload provides an insane amount of elemental damage for 8 seconds after you've dealt a critical strike. While this build has a very low crit chance, as we don't invest anything into that, thanks to your high cast speed combined with "Storm Brand", this buff will have an almost permanent uptime.
As for "Mind over Matter", this passive causes 30% of damage from hits to be taken from mana instead of life. I hope it becomes clearer now why there's so much emphasis on mana in this build.
With this passive and all that investment into mana, your effective HP can go over 10,000, turning you into a really beefy witch.
Going through acts 7 and 8, stack up some life, strength and chaos resistance through "Purity of Flesh" and "Devotion". Add "Arcane Capacitor" wheel for more mana and increased effect of Arcane Surge buff. This jewel socket is also easily reachable nearby, so it goes without saying you should take it while in the area.
As you approach the end of story mode and act 10, the game starts throwing more dangerous stuff at you, so, it's definitely a good time to boost your defenses. First, drop a whole bunch of points into the so-called "life wheel" around "Constitution" which will greatly increase your HP. On the way you can easily snatch another regular jewel socket, as well as "Shaper" passive for a solid amount of mana and life regen.
Finally, grab a cluster jewel socket, setting up the stage for the cluster jewels part of the build. If you're unfamiliar with these, they are a special type of jewel which expand your tree with new passives, most of which are generally stronger than other available options.
Depending on how early or late you're able to get the necessary cluster jewels you can start building this part of the tree sooner or later. The order you take passives at this stage in the game is not set in stone, so adapt to your own situation. By level 80 you should have enough points to fill a large cluster jewel. In order of their importance, these are the passives you're looking for: "Supercharge" for lucky non-crit lightning damage, "Overshock", greatly boosting your shocks effectiveness, and the third can be "Disorienting Display", "Doryani's Lesson", or "Widespread Destruction" - these are all pretty similar in terms of added damage.
Just to clarify, in Path of Exile "lucky" means the game will roll twice and apply the highest value for the damage you deal with a hit. If you look at your Arc spell tooltip, you'll notice its damage is always displayed as range, for example 400 to 600 damage. Lightning in particular has a very wide range between lowest and highest possible values, so luck will have a huge impact on your overall damage output. Ideally, you're looking for a large cluster jewel which has two medium sockets, but if you can't afford one like that, then check the Path of Building guide aid for an alternative passive tree option.
As you progress towards level 90, try to get some decent medium and small cluster jewels. On the medium ones, my suggestion is to look for "Overshock" and "Astonishing Affliction", both heavily buffing shocks and lightning damage. For the small cluster jewels, the best option is "Fettle", stacking up a huge amount of life. Additional mods such as resistances, strength or dex are more than welcome on any cluster jewel, but don't go out of your way for these.
From this point onward, focus on getting "Whispers of Doom" wheel, allowing you to cast a 2nd curse on your enemies. Afterwards, invest any extra passive points you get towards these two jewel sockets. And that's about it for the passive tree and leveling.
In the next section, I'll be covering the Ascendancy class which improves pretty much every single aspect of this build.
There's probably no other ascendancy class in the game that would better match a Lightning archetype than the Elementalist. It provides equal parts of offensive and defensive tools, and along with its focus on boosting elemental ailments, it fits great with the overall approach for the build. Your first points go into "Liege of the Primordial", a passive which focuses exclusively on golems. Not only does it boost the buffs your golems provide, but it also allows you to summon an additional one, bringing your cap to 3, when paired with "Golem Commander" passive from the tree.
After completing Cruel labyrinth, follow up with "Elemancer" and double down on the golems aspect of the build. Not only do you get an extra golem and more damage, but you also become immune to elemental ailments while you have at least 3 golems alive. Ignoring chill, freeze, ignite and shock, as well as a few other esoteric ailments is a hugely important defensive mechanism. So, make sure you keep your golems alive and re-summon them as needed. There's a lot more resting on their shoulders than their own DPS.
Third in line is "Shaper of desolation", a passive which helps you more consistently shock, chill and ignite enemies. Apart from the actual benefits of the ailments themselves, a lot of your damage effectiveness revolves around the simple presence of elemental ailments on targets. Now, the wording for "Shaper of desolation" might be a bit confusing, and what are confluxes? What's important to take from it, is that during a certain conflux, let's take for example chilling, so during chilling conflux, any damage from hits, be it fire, chaos, lightning, even physical damage, will apply a chill ailment on your targets.
The second thing you need to keep in mind is Shaper of Desolation does not disable the ability to cause other ailments during the conflux of a different element. So, for example, you can still shock normally with Arc during chilling or igniting conflux. In practice, a single spell hit will apply multiple ailments at the same time.
Finally, with your last ascendancy points grab "Beacon of Ruin", yet another very confusing passive, at least at a first glance. However, it's actually quite simple. Normally, the actual effectiveness of chill and shock ailments is based on the amount of cold or lightning damage dealt to the target with that hit, as a percentage of their total HP. So, the more damage you deal, the stronger the chill or shock effects will be and, conversely, the more HP your enemy has, the weaker the debuffs.
Well, Beacon of Ruin basically says that no matter how much cold damage you would hit for, you will always chill with at least a 10% effect. It provides a similar minimum baseline effect for shock as well, which you are then increasing even further through passives and gear.
To summarize, guaranteed chills and much stronger shocks greatly increasing any damage your enemies take.
With the ascendancy out of the way, we can take a quick look at the Pantheon choices. Generally speaking, Pantheon choices are situational and there isn't a "best" pair that will outperform all others in any scenario. However, there are certain options that complement specific builds quite well in a wide range of situations. For this particular case, here are my recommendations:
For the major god, "Soul of the Brine King". Stuns are one of the few remaining weaknesses for this build, so mitigating that to some extent is more than welcome. Generally speaking, your play-style should involve kiting, killing stuff from afar, and staying mobile. Stuns can obviously completely mess this up and leave you in a vulnerable position. Unfortunately half of the bonuses for this pantheon are wasted, as you're already immune to chill and freeze. Still, other pantheon choices suffer from the same issue, so Brine King is as good as it gets.
As for the minor god, the optimal choice is "Soul of Shakari". It comes with decent defense against chaos damage, which is encountered quite more often nowadays. Poison immunity is also very valuable as that's a very common type of DOT encountered in higher level maps, and it usually deals a serious amount of damage.
Gems and Links
Having covered the Pantheon choices, we can now focus on one of the most important aspects of any build: gems and links. Before I begin, I just need to remind you there are Awakened versions for a few of the gems used in this build.
Awakened gems are a stronger variant of their base, but at the same time much more expensive. Needless to say, if you can afford them or get a lucky drop, just replace the base gem with the awakened version.
(XX/YY) = (Level/Quality) (Some gems are kept at lower level/Zero quality)
With that out of the way, as usual, I'll start off with the main skill, Arc and its supports. It's quite important to get this gem to level 21 through corruption, as the extra level provides an additional chain to your Arc, increasing both your area of effect and single target damage. You can level up to 6 Arc gems in your secondary weapon slots, and once they're level 20 with 20% quality, you can use a Vaal orb on them and hope you get the right corruption. If you're not familiar with this method.
Then, the first support gem is "Spell Echo". With this, for each Arc spell you cast, a second one will be automatically cast by Spell Echo, at zero mana cost. On top of that, you get a significant cast speed increase, with the only downsides being a small damage penalty and the fact that you are briefly stuck in place.
Up next is "Controlled Destruction", a pretty obvious choice for a non-crit build. You basically trade some useless crit chance for a metric ton of spell damage. Besides, by taking "Elemental Overload" passive, your crit multiplier is non-existent, making critical strike chance almost worthless as well. On the other hand, the spell damage bonus provided by Controlled Destruction is some of the highest you can get on a support gem.
The 4th gem in this setup is "Hypothermia". This might seem like a bit of an odd choice for a lightning focused build, but this support has great synergy with your ascendancy. I've said earlier that, with Beacon of Ruin passive, any amount of cold damage you deal to enemies will chill them, and this in turn enables Hypothermia's spell damage bonus against chilled targets.
Next support gem is "Lightning Penetration". With it, Arc's hits reduce enemies' effective lightning resistance. Due to how elemental resistance penetration is calculated, this gem is actually much more effective against targets that have very high resistances, such as bosses. Single-target damage is likely one of the weaker points of this build, so Lightning Penetration will definitely help with that.
Finally, the last support gem is "Added lightning damage". It simply adds a solid amount of flat lightning damage to Arc's base damage. That base damage is what gets multiplied by all those % increased lightning damage passives and item affixes. Nothing really complicated. If you're using the recommended, best-in-slot weapon, the "Pledge of Hands" staff, make sure you socket your Arc setup in it. This way, it will benefit from "Greater Spell Echo", effectively turning this into a 7-gems setup.
With a staff as your weapon, you get a second 6-gems setup in your body armour, and you'll be using that for your golems. As hinted a few times until now, this build sports 4 different golems: lightning, flame, stone, and chaos. Each of these dudes provides some passive buff, such as cast speed, damage, life regen, or physical damage reduction. On top of that, as long as you have at least 3 of them alive, you're also immune to elemental ailments, thanks to the "Elemancer" ascendancy passive. And just to clarify, you don't really care at all about the actual damage these minions deal. They're basically buff bots for yourself, so your main goal is to keep them alive. One of the best ways to do that is simply by leveling up their gems. Minions themselves gain levels along with the gem, and that in turn buffs their life total. As such, having level 21 golem gems will really make a difference when it comes to their survivability.
You double down on this by linking your 4 golems to "Minion Life" support which massively increases their HP.
Finally, the 6th gem is "Elemental Army". With this, your golems apply elemental exposure on enemies they hit, lowering their resistances. You can also pretty much ignore all the other stuff on this gem. Its only purpose is to debuff your targets.
Next gem setup is also aimed at weakening your enemies, and the vehicle for that is "Storm Brand".
This interesting spell summons up to 3 mobile brands which attach themselves to nearby enemies.
Once a brand is attached, it starts zapping lightning bolts in a small area around that target. Same as with your golems, Storm Brand's damage is irrelevant, and the only important thing is that it hits multiple targets, very often. With up to 3 of them out at the same time, really high activation rate, and decent area of effect, Storm Brand will consistently proc Elemental Overload buff, even if its crit
chance is rather low.
You then link this spell to "Curse on Hit" support, along with two curses. The way this setup works is quite simple: Storm Brand triggers "Curse on Hit", which in turn will cast the two linked curses on any targets hit by Storm Brand. First curse you'll be using is "Conductivity" which drastically lowers enemies lightning resistance and increases your chance to shock them. Second curse is more flexible. You can go with a damage oriented one, such as "Elemental Weakness", further chipping away at your targets resistances. Or you can use something like "Temporal Chains", slowing down your enemies and indirectly boosting your defenses. Keep in mind that it's not necessary to use Storm Brand on each and every mob pack. I generally cast it against tough rares or bosses, or whenever I encounter a large group of targets, to trigger a quick Elemental Overload buff. Finally, "Arcanist Brand" repeatedly triggers linked spells directly, without the need of a trigger gem such as Curse on Hit. It might replace Storm Brand once the gem is released, so check the pinned comment for this video, after the new league drops.
Moving on to next gem setup, this is the build's Swiss army knife. First, you have "Arcane Cloak", a really interesting and powerful guard skill. It consumes over half of your current mana, creates a damage absorbing shield and provides a lightning damage buff. Both the shield and the buff are proportional to how much mana was used. Now, the way I use this skill is to bind it to my left mouse button, replacing the default "move" action. As I keep the button pressed, it will move my character as usual but also cast Arcane Cloak on cooldown. Since this is an instant cast skill, it won't interrupt movement at any point. And I know, all the Path of Exile experts will tell you never do that, and instead cast it whenever you need it, right before you expect big incoming damage. And they would be correct: if you're good enough to always time it right and you're able to read each combat situation on the fly, or you're playing Hardcore, then yeah, don't bind it to your movement slot. But the vast majority of players will get much more benefit by using this fire-and-forget method. Sure, you might sometimes take more damage because Arcane Cloak was on cooldown, but over time, it will save you many more times than if you had always kept it only for the perfect situations.
Next gem in this setup is "Flame Dash", the build's movement skill. It teleports you towards your mouse cursor, passing through any enemy in your path, and dealing a small amount of fire damage. The skill has 3 charges that can be used back to back, and you regen these every few seconds.
You then link these with "Second Wind". This very simple support will decrease the cooldown of both spells, and add an extra charge to Flame Dash. This might seem somewhat inconsequential, but trust me, Flame Dash will save your life many times when used defensively. You want to have it readily available as often as possible to make sure you can dodge boss abilities or move out of harmful stuff.
Finally, add "Arcane Surge", an amazing support gem which will grant you a spell damage and mana regen buff, after spending a certain amount of mana with linked skills. With Arcane Cloak, using over half your entire mana pool on each cast, Arcane Surge should have an almost permanent uptime. By the way, this buff alone accounts for over 20% of your total damage output, so don't ignore or downplay the importance of this gem.
Next, you have a simple "Cast when Damage Taken" setup. This trigger gem will cast any linked active skills after you take a certain amount of damage. A higher "Cast when Damage Taken" gem will be able to cast a higher linked gem, but it would also require a lot more damage to be triggered. As such, for this particular setup, we'll keep the trigger gem at level 2.
You then link it with a level 8 "Wave of Conviction". The only purpose of this skill is to apply exposure debuff on enemies it hits, lowering their lightning resistance. A bit earlier, I've said that your golems will also do this, but you cannot stack multiple exposure debuffs for the same element. Still, it's always good to have some overlap, as neither source of exposure has a permanent uptime.
The 2nd triggered spell is "Cold Snap". This ability creates a large area of chilling ground, slowing any enemy it touches. Moreover, you have a chance to gain a frenzy charge when killing targets in that area. In turn, frenzy charges increase your cast speed and damage.
The last gem in this setup, "Clarity", doesn't actually have to be linked with the others. This aura simply adds a large amount of mana regen, a stat which is more than welcome, considering how much mana you consume with your spells.
Finally, you have "Wrath" aura which greatly boosts your lightning spell damage. It's pretty much mandatory to socket this gem in an "Essence Worm" ring, so it doesn't reserve any mana. Between Mind over Matter, Arcane Cloak, and Arc's own cost, you would otherwise be unable to afford reserving half of your mana pool for an aura.
Gear, Flasks, and Jewels
With the gems out of the way, it's time to take a look at the recommended gear for this build. In this section, for each gear slot, I will outline three tiers: basic, mid-tier and best-in-slot.
Generally speaking, prices increase significantly with each tier, but so do the benefits that the items bring.
Starting from the top, a good basic-tier helmet has some elemental resistances, 60+ maximum life, some Intelligence and perhaps some additional mana.
A mid-tier one is actually quite a common unique, "Crown of the Inward Eye". In fact, most of the time, this item will be even cheaper than a basic tier helmet, so you might as well jump straight to this. It provides 3 "transfiguration" passives which are normally hidden on the passive tree. I'll only talk about "Transfiguration of Mind", which is the main selling point for this helmet. This passive translates into "Increases and Reductions to Maximum Mana also apply to Damage at 30% of their value". Otherwise put, you're basically triple-dipping all the mana you've kept piling up, gaining even more value from this stat. On top of that, the helmet also comes with up to 21% increased maximum life and mana, a huge amount for any single item. Its only downside is a total lack of resistances, but you can get those on other items, without sacrificing much.
Finally, for best-in-slot, you're looking for an enchanted "Crown of the Inward Eye". The most expensive and extremely powerful enchant is "Arc chains an additional time". Decent and significantly cheaper alternatives are "increased effect of the buff granted by your lightning golem" or "increased conductivity curse effect"
Moving on to your weapon, as hinted earlier, the build normally uses a 2-handed staff. While leveling, you can go with 2 wands or 2 sceptres, but you won't be able to accommodate two 6-link gem setups. A basic-tier one needs a solid amount of lightning spell damage, cast speed, flat lightning damage added to spells, and ideally some mana or intelligence.
For mid-tier and best-in-slot there's really only one option, "Pledge of Hands" unique staff. While it's not absolutely mandatory, a rare staff that would come even close to it in terms of damage, would cost a few Exalted Orb at the very least. However, "Pledge of Hands" is a really common unique item, always cheap, and easily obtainable through divination cards or prophecies. Its main selling point is the unique mod "Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 30 Greater Spell Echo". It goes without saying that you need to socket the Arc setup in this staff, to benefit from this bonus. Greater spell echo will repeat each Arc you cast, two additional times, without spending any mana. On top of that the staff comes with very solid increased spell damage and mana mods. All in all, this item will almost double your DPS output, so try to get it as soon as possible.
Moving on to body armour, a basic one should have at least 5-links, 70+ total elemental resistances, 60+ life, and as usual, some intelligence or mana are more than welcome. Even in the first few days of a new league something like that should cost at most 10-15 Chaos Orb.
For mid-tier and best-in-slot, you should already aim for 6 links, and the absolute best candidate is "Inpulsa's Broken Heart" unique. The main reason for going with this armour is the mod saying "shocked enemies you kill explode, dealing 5% of their maximum life as lightning damage". We've already established earlier that anything you hit will be shocked, so these explosions are guaranteed as well. Their damage scales with any source of increased lightning or elemental damage, and also benefits from all those reduced lightning resistance debuffs on targets. As such, the explosions are capable of clearing entire screens with a single Arc cast, in a very satisfying chain reaction. While it's impossible to say exactly how much damage this mechanic adds, your overall efficiency will skyrocket and gameplay will feel much smoother. With the remaining gear slots, your main focus is to cap your elemental resistances, that is, get each of them over 75%. Then, you need to gather enough Dexterity to level up your Hypothermia gem, and enough Strength to equip Pledge of Hands staff. Some chaos resistance here and there wouldn't hurt either. The way you'll distribute these between gloves, boots, belt, ring, and amulet, generally depends on your budget and how willing you are to min-max your gear. Personally, I got the bulk of my resistances on boots and belt, as these slots don't have that many easily obtainable DPS mods.
The rest were a mix between ring and amulet, with jewels and cluster jewels filling in the gaps. Don't forget you can also use catalysts on ring, amulet, and belt to increase certain stats even further. Your hideout crafting bench is also really useful for adding additional mods on items with less than 6 affixes.
Soul Knuckle. On basic gloves, look for 60+ life and elemental resistances, along with some dexterity or intelligence. Additional maximum mana or chaos resistance are good extra stats to have here.
Corruption Nails. On mid-tier ones, you're looking for pretty much the same affixes, but replace dexterity or intelligence with cast speed. Generally this mod is found on shaper base gloves, and it's paired with "Socketed gems are supported by level 16 faster casting". Placing your Storm Brand setup into gloves like these will really increase its efficiency.
Bramble Fingers. For best in slot, the optimal combination of mods is 60+ life, cast speed, global chance to blind enemies on hit, and an empty prefix where you can craft "% increased damage while leeching". Blinding enemies drastically reduces their chance to hit you, so a simple affix like that can really boost your defenses for a very small investment.
Moving on to boots, an excellent pair of basic ones are the unique "Rainbowstride". Movement speed, elemental resistances, chance to block, and a big chunk of mana. Nothing is wasted from this great item.
Cataclysm Tread. Mid-tier ones should have at least 25% movement speed, 60+ maximum life, and elemental resistances, along with some much needed dexterity.
Damnation Goad. The best-in-slot boots need pretty much the same affixes but with higher numeric values, and ideally 40+ DEX to gather enough for your Hypothermia gem. Since you'll mostly move around using Flame Dash, you might want to craft the hybrid affix Movement Speed + % chance to gain Onslaught on kill. Onslaught buff increases your cast speed as well as movement speed, making mapping somewhat smoother.
Phoenix Snare. A basic one should come with about 90+ life, elemental resistances and some maximum mana.
Torment Leash. Mid-tier and best-in-slot will have quite similar affixes, but with higher numeric values, as well as replacing the mana mod with some form of lightning spell damage. Either "% increased elemental damage" or "% increased lightning damage" will do the trick. If you're willing to spend even more PoE currency on this slot, then look for an additional mod such as "% increased cast speed during any flask effect" or "% increased spell damage during any flask effect".
The amulet is a versatile slot in this build and it should be used to squeeze out as much damage as possible, while having just enough resistances to be capped.
Dusk Rosary. On basic amulets look for a good amount of life, some elemental resistances and some form of increased lightning spell damage. Ideally, look for Onyx, Jade, Turquoise or Citrine base, so you can squeeze out some extra dex or strength from the implicit.
Oblivion Heart. Good mid-tier amulets should have some additional cast speed on top of the affixes I've mentioned for basic tier. Chaos resistance, mana or mana regeneration are good secondary affixes that would fit here as well.
Dragon Idol. For best-in-slot, a shaper or crusader influenced amulet with one of their specific mods is the top choice. Damage penetrates lightning or elemental resistance, +1 to level of all lightning spell gems, 9-12% increased Intelligence, these are all good examples of affixes you should aim for.
Amulets can also be anointed using oils dropped from Blight encounters to add a notable passive to them, without changing the item in any other way. For this particular build, the best option is "Soul of Steel", one of the strongest defensive passives on the entire tree. Increased maximum resistances and a very solid physical damage reduction boost will do wonders for your survivability.
A cheaper, close second, option is "Heart of the Warrior", for a huge amount of extra life. While I don't really recommend going with an offensive passive, if you already feel very tanky, then "Divine Judgement" is a strong DPS alternative.
With rings, as mentioned in the gems section, an "Essence Worm" unique is pretty much mandatory. Aura gems socketed in it won't reserve any mana and get 2 extra levels, so it's the perfect place for your Wrath aura. Running a really strong aura while not reserving half of your mana pool is ideal for a Mind over Matter build. Not only that but Arcane Cloak's efficiency scales with the total amount of mana it uses.
With the other ring, it's the same story as with the amulet. Squeeze out as much DPS as possible while using just enough affixes for capping your resistances. You might even end up stacking mostly resistances on this slot, and that's totally fine.
Rune Eye. On basic ones, look for 40+ maximum life, just enough resistances to be capped, and maybe some form of lightning spell damage.
Ghoul Coil. Mid-tier and best-in-slot ones should have pretty much the same affixes, but higher numeric values. If possible, squeeze in a flat lightning damage to spells mod.
Jewels are an excellent source of DPS, life, and utility. They really add up. so don't ignore or downplay their importance. Even a shitty 2-mod jewel is still better than an empty socket. There are a few key things you want to get on jewels, and you should really focus on having 1 affix for each of the following: Hollow Orb, Carrion Desire, Brood Curio.
First, you need some flat added cold and fire damage to spells, to get Arc to also chill and ignite enemies. I've already explained a few times why this is a crucial thing, so make sure your Arc skill tooltip indicates that it deals even a tiny bit of cold and fire damage.
Then, look for "% chance to hinder enemies with spells, with 30% reduced movement speed". This is an amazing defensive tool for such a tiny investment. It basically translates in extra time you get to kill enemies before they get a chance to reach you. You can get all these 3 affixes on a single Hypnotic Eye jewel and tick all the boxes in one go.
Once you've taken care of these mods, the 2nd most important thing is to try and get % increased maximum life or flat life on every regular jewel. Everything else is dedicated to filling in any resistance holes, getting enough dexterity and pure damage mods. Cast speed, cast speed with lightning skills, attack and cast speed, lightning damage, spell damage, are a few examples of excellent DPS affixes you can find on jewels.
Watcher's Eye is one unique jewel which, although really expensive most of the time, can really push your DPS to the next level: a "Watcher's Eye" with a mix of Clarity and Wrath aura affixes. Some of the best mods you can get are "Damage Penetrates x% Lightning Resistance while affected by Wrath", "Damage taken from Mana before Life while affected by Clarity", or "increased Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath".
As for the cluster jewels, I've already talked about the passives you're looking for in the passive tree section, so check that out if you've skipped it. Here I'll just mention the overall structure of the cluster jewels. The large one should have maximum 8 passives: 3 significant ones, 2 jewels sockets and 3 minor. The medium cluster jewels should have maximum 5 passives: 2 significant ones, 1 jewel socket, and 1 or 2 minor passives.
Finally, the small cluster jewel can have 2 or 3 passives, one being a mandatory significant. If the cluster jewels have more total passives than what I've listed, you'll be wasting more points than necessary.
Moving on to flasks, these are quite an important component of this build, and they will greatly boost your overall damage.
First you need a Seething Divine Life Flask of Staunching. Instant healing is a real life saver and bleeding removal is absolutely mandatory while mapping.
Second one is the really versatile "The Wise Oak" flask. Ideally, you should balance all your elemental resistances to have the same value, including the over-cap part so the defensive bonus applies to all three. If that's not possible, then you need to at least ensure that lightning resistance has the highest uncapped value of all, so the damage bonus applies to lightning damage. When I say "uncapped value", I'm referring to the number that's shown in parentheses for each resistance, on your character sheet.
Third flask is Atziri's Promise for a good chunk of additional damage and some life leech. On top of that you get 35% chaos resistance while the flask is active.
Then you have a Catalysed Divine Mana Flask of Warding. With Arcane Cloak constantly consuming more than half your total mana, you need a reliable way to quickly restore it back to full. After all, Mind over Matter doesn't really work with an empty mana globe either.
Finally, the last flask is flexible. You can either go with a Chemist's Quicksilver flask of Adrenaline, for some extra movement speed, or with a "Cinderswallow Urn", for some extra life and mana recovery, as well as Onslaught buff.
To wrap up the gearing section, here are some excellent leveling unique PoE items which will help you easily progress through the campaign.
Pros & Cons
With the gearing out of the way, it is time to take a final look at the pros and cons of the build so you can better understand if it's what you're looking for.
An excellent league starter: it's very cheap to gear up for the first few tiers of mapping, and this will help you generate currency real quick and get a head start.
Amazing clear speed: the build is very efficient at quickly killing large packs of mobs without any downtime.
Very beginner-friendly: without any complicated mechanics or gimmicky gameplay.
Very rarely nerfed: a Path of Exile staple skill, not particularly overpowered, pretty much guaranteed to be safe from nerfs.
Impactful gear progression: each gear upgrade will be a significant buff, generally proportional with the investment. As such it has a very high performance ceiling and the build is great for a long-term project.
Not a creat boss killer: the build isn't a great boss killer – while respectable, its single target DPS isn't stellar and doesn't have the absurd ability of other builds to insta-phase end-game bosses.
Cannot run all map mods: it cannot run elemental reflect maps. Still, this is less of a problem nowadays, since there's a sextant mod which grants immunity to reflected damage.
Not a top-tier build: the build won't win any trophies, and it is not the best in any particular category, so if you're looking for an absolute top performer, some other builds might be more suitable.
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