In the latest patch of Forbidden Sanctum 3.20, The Explosive Arrow Ballista is a great all-rounder build, especially for the league start, as it can quickly kill bosses by dealing colossal damage done by ignites. The build also ignites massively applied on mobs with the help of Ignite Proliferation Support as it spreads to enemies around the first target.
Attention matters for this build to truly shine, so you need to keep on the mechanics. For more in-depth analysis and how to farm currency quickly, remember to check out the news page of Mmogah.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Explosive Arrow Build
Build Difficulty – Moderate for Beginners
Investment Budget – Very low and cheap
Map Clear Speed – Somewhat Average
Boss Battles – Great Actually
Defensive Potential – Average
Skills Breakdown for Explosive Arrow Build
Let's look into the primary skills you need for this build to work properly.
This skill is our primary damage dealer, which your build should always support with Ballista Totem Support, hence the name of the build. The skill applies a fuse to the arrows where they land; they either explode after a set amount of time or if multiple arrows are applied. So the more arrows stack, the higher the damage dealt. Ballista shortens this duration and helps to apply more fuses, thus dealing tons of damage.
Ranged attack skill that stacks Frenzy Charges with each attack you do, buffing DMG and ATK SPD with each stack.
We will stack four auras for this build.
Determination – Granting you and your allies armor-reducing DMG from PHY DMG.
Grace – Staple Evasion gem.
Defiance Banner – This skill will further enhance the armor and evasion rating of your champion while lower the enemies' chance to crit.
Precision – Improves your accuracy and enhances your chance to crit.
Essential for single target DMG when you are fighting bosses after getting attached or branded on an enemy, it periodically activates the skills linked to it, such as Flammability and Flame Surge. Flammability here reduces enemy RES, while the Flame Surge places the Burning Ground effect under enemies and damages those who walk on it. This skill link combo helps you to apply ad forget and worry about other important things or surviving.
A defensive skill that enhances more the more armor you have. The skill has no cooldown, so you can assign it to your movement skill to be applied instantly when moving. You can swap this skill for Vaal Molten Shell in the end game, enhancing this buff and giving you a short invincibility.
Staple movement skill for this build.
Ascendancy Breakdown for Explosive Arrow Build
We are going the Elementalist route for this build as it enhances our DMG, AoE, plus other DEF-oriented boosts.
Shaper of Flames – Ignite now deals all your DMG types to the enemies, plus igniting enemies on each hit, so there is no need to look out for a chance to ignite on gear.
Mastermind of Discord – Reduces Elemental Res of enemies, allowing you to deal more damage from your Ignite.
Heart of Destruction – Adds AoE bonus helping clear mobs off the map.
Bastion of Elements – Superb Res to Elemental damage.
Gear Progression for Explosive Arrow
Let's look at the necessary gear you need to excel with this build and what items are changing from Early game goals to End game goals.
Leveling gem is the primary goal, so start linking your important skill gems and finding gear for similar color coding.
Weapon – Storm Cloud: For elemental damage and ATK SPD, no PHY DMG.
Off Hand – Two-Point Arrow Quiver: For a boost in accuracy, increased totem summons, and leeching life.
Helm – Nightmare Bascinet: For enhanced armor and max HP. It remains the same in the mid and end-game.
Armor – Tabula Rasa: For 6-link early gem leveling
Gauntlet – Dragon Scale Gauntlets: Max HP, Elemental Res, and increased DMG when you are leeching life. Remains the same for mid and end-game.
Belt – Heavy Belt: For strength and max HP. Keep the same for mid-game.
Rings: For enhanced HP and Elemental Res. Remains same.
Boots – Dragon Scale Boots: Increased Move Speed other than standard attributes. Elemental Res preferred. Remains the same for mid-game. Please keep it for the mid and end-game as well.
Flasks: Divine Life Flask of Allaying, Effervescent Eternal Life Flask of Insulation, Delinquent's Quicksilver flask of the Lynx, Delinquent's Jade Flask of the Gazelle, and Delinquent's Granite Flask of the Pangolin. Keep the flasks for mid till the end game.
You should enhance your gear to finish the game's Red Maps and other challenging content. Focus on Spell Suppression with the best mods on your gear.
Weapon – Bow with Shrieking Essence of the Dread: For enhanced fire DMG multiplier with time.
Off Hand – Decent 2 Point Arrow Quiver: For increased speed with other attributes.
Armor – Triumphant Lamellar: Increased Determination effect and same for other auras, with increased max HP and other attributes. This will last you until the end game.
Rings – Vermillion Rings: for Lighting DMG increase.
You must make expensive upgrades to make your Exile a monster-killing machine for the end game.
Rings – Added Polaric Devastation Opal Ring: Increased elemental DMG and enhanced chance to either Freeze or Ignite. On the other side, you will keep Vermillion's ring from the early game.
Belt – Heavy Belt: For enhanced leeching done from frozen enemies. It ties in nicely with Polaric Devastation.
Farming Content Recommended for Explosive Arrow
You can tackle almost all content in the game with this easy-to-play all-rounder build, especially atlas maps. You can always repeat content if you need help completing more challenging content.
Early Game – Alchemy-and-Go, Chaos Recipe, Endless Heist
Mid Game – Add Expeditions and Blights here while forgoing Endless Heists
End Game – Add Eldritch Altars to the mix from content you are tackling since the mid-game
Remember to learn more about the Path of Exile Forbidden Sanctum 3.20 and its new mechanics. In the meanwhile, the following is the summary of what we just discussed:
The Ballista combo with Explosive Arrow is a wonderful build to enhance your speed during map clears. A tremendous all-around build overall.
The main mechanic of this build to deal damage relies on ignite. You proc ignite by placing turrets around enemies that shoot arrows. The faster these arrows shoot, the quicker ignite explodes, dealing massive damage.
While the Ballista is doing the damage dealing for you, you can move around the map to better place these turrets allowing you to stay away from damage.
If you love min-maxing, this build rewards you greatly.