[2.2]->[2.6] Pathfinder Budget / Lightning Arrow / 100% pierce / Crit / Infractem

**Update for 2.6 in progress**

This is a BUDGET build

This build allows any new player to clear up to Tier 6 maps without any problems (that means SPEED clears) and can safely clear up to Tier 10 maps. It has 2 mandatory items: Infractem (that 99% people consider trash) and Thief's Torment. All other items are there just to cap resists. build needs one 5 link for maps, but can work with 4link without any issues before acquiring 5L.

This is squishy build! But you are your own enemy as this build relies on knowing when to take a step back and kite.

Video teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZuRQLZmtEQ (Jungle Valley, Fracture)

The hero of this build:
Pre-buff 6Link with almost perfect roll. Current Infractem rolls higher Phys% and can leech mana. It changes nothing for us as the mana costs are already covered with Thief's Torment. The Phys% increase is nice but your damage is already high enough

Section below is written when 1.2 patch hit (2 years ago?) so it might seem to be out of date. Im keeping it for sentimental purposes.

Lightning Arrow (LA) is not a popular skill nowadays. It is overshadowed by crit Split Arrow or crit Tornado Shot or even recently with Ice Shot.

But it is still quite potent when built around - its inherent property is to hit targets around main target. The more targets the better. GMP + Chain is a nice option but these two between have HUGE Less damage multiplier. Same can be achieved with Pierce.

After extensive testing LA + Pierce is WAY better than GMP+Chain approach when it comes to clear speed (mainly due to controlled nature of pierce volleys compared to random Chains)

2.0 change - adding back Shock Chance to the skill gem is a HUGE damage boost. It literally is near to 50% MORE damage all the time. LA just melts packs now

The Idea

I wanted a 100% pierce, multiple projectiles LA setup and a strong single target setup. After fiddling with Infactrem (that i wanted to use since forever..) and testing passive tree options/gearing options i decided to go for a unusual approach of an active weapon swap.

The rest of the build is typical: some crit, some ele nodes, lots of phys nodes, evasion, dodge, one aura, two heralds. Pretty much all bow builds look the same (Sadly). Lightning Coil is an OK choice but it really does not matter that much for ranged build.. reflect is not a problem anyway - esp with 2.0 changes that pretty much removed 'reflect packs' form the list of dangers. Reflect maps are the same as before for this build - appropriate section is down below.


Current (lvl90) stats:
Pathfinder: Master Surgeon, Veteran Bowyer
3.8k HP, (buffed with flasks) 59% evade, 40% dodge, 30% spell dodge, 14% phys reduction.
91% chance to hit
13.1k Town tooltip DPS
20.7k field DPS (Hatred/HoA/HoI + Ice Golem)
40k combat DPS (6 Frenzy + 3 Power charges

The Setup

I use two bows.

Infractem (lvl 53 item!) for LA

Chin 'king of the puncture' Sol

This setup allows me to get both of two worlds (aoe and single target) without extreme gear. There is no Drillneck, no 3ex+ item.

The Gear


And Thats it. Thief's Torment solves our mana issues (Infactrem cannot leech) and sustain issues and has pretty good stats anyway. Infractem is 'the build'

Other pieces
Life, resists, accuracy

The Links

Lightning Arrow + WED + LMP/GMP + Physical Projectile Damage + (Added Fire/Faster Attacks) + Increased Crit Strike

LMP/GMP is a matter of personal preferences. Both work well. Difference is in how controllable the spread is and if the map is open or not (LA explodes on walls/obstacles and GMP is very good to uber shotgun rares that way). Faster Attacks provide more 'dps' but in reality it is not needed and mana can be a problem.
With 2.2 a Increased Crit Strike gem got a LOT better and might even be a 5th link before Added Fire. Check your performance as it depends a lot on your other gear and passives

Single Target (on swap):
Puncture + PPAD + Trap + Point Blank + Inc Duration + Chin Sol. Used to one shot stuff like Igna Phoenix, map bosses (including all time fav Merveil etc)

Curse on Hit:

Frenzy + GMP + CoH + Assasins Mark + Blind/PCoC

I finally managed to BBBGG my chest via the lucky 'at least two blue' from Vorici. This is THE setup for this build. Both Frenzy and Power Charges decoupled from curse and always on + the obvious benefit from Assassins Mark on Hit. 2.0 Frenzy charges change provides INCREDIBLE damage boost.

Other stuff:
Vaal Burning Arrow as a rare sniper (or pack clearer with 100% pierce.. it is awesome)

Hatred / Herald of Ice / Herald of Ash

HoA is important as it solves the issue of stragglers. Most LA builds have this issue that packs are cleared and frequently one or two mobs on 10% health remain. HoA burns them pretty quickly

Herald of Thunder - while powerful - does not fit here as it is a short range effect and this build pretty much never is in melee range. Also the INT requirement is very high and this is an issue.

CwDT + Enduring Cry does not work in 2.0 So I've decided to go along the 'distraction' route and opted for:
CWDT (high level) + Summon skeletons + Summon Zombie + Molten Shell

How does it work

Endgame Tree (lvl90):


lvl → 20

this gives lots of life and attack speed making leveling bit quicker (also movement speed). no jewel sockets, not that much damage. try to get 2 iron rings to boost damage and a phys quiver

lvl → 40

lots of damage nodes, right now the character should feel A LOT stronger. two nodes next to Aspect of the Eagle are to be respeced into the two crit/phys nodes above (at this level crit is not good enough to prioritize). same with Essence Sap - these 3 nodes wont be needed once Infractem + Thief's Torment combo is equipped
Try to get yourself a Deaths Harph bow at this point

lvl → 60

transition. this is the tree when you are able to equip Infractem and Thief's Torment: lvl 53. some nodes are respeced, some removed. you should have reasonably good jewels at this level to equip them. if you do not have them - skip the jewel slots!

from now on just fill what is missing. prioritize life not damage on your items and keep an eye on accuracy (chance to hit should not drop below 85% and it is best to keep it around 92%+)

Build gets most of the easily available life. Gets Acro/Phase Acro. Gets crit and accuracy. Lots of movement speed.

Arrow Dancing (old 'Ondars'). This is tricky one. I HAVE NOT picked it. Still debating and testing.

Pierce gem and nodes are not needed as Infractem gives us all the pierce chance we need. This is effectively one less 'less' multiplier and it alone allows a lvl53 bow to be used endgame.

Shadow 'Projectile Speed' (Sniper) node allows for extreme offscreen carnage. While one can get it also on a quiver - be careful as reflect CAN kill you if not prepared on reflect maps. Arrows with proj speed can travel several screens. It is really dangerous when stacked.

Accuracy nodes allow 90%+ accuracy. Remember that 'real crit chance' == 'crit chance' * 'accuracy' and in some cases it is better to pick accuracy instead of crit. Drawback == reflect bypassing Arrow Dancing.. but if someone is uncomfortable with that, just respec one or two 20% acc nodes

Strength and Intelligence are in short supply. Try to find both on gear and/or Jewels. Same applies to resistances. Had to waste two passives to get +30 in both.

Why no elemental quiver? Tested it. Didnt like the results. Have these on hand:

Ofc 100% conversion is nice as this build picks some ele nodes but quiver i use currently beats ele quivers easily.

How to handle reflect? Normal reflect mobs are not an issue, not at all. Reflect maps are bit trickier - if you do not trust your eye - replace Added Fire with Life Gain On Hit. This solves reflect totally.

Normal - Oak
Cruel - I took Oak, but next time I'd take ASPD from Kraitn
Merc - skill point (if one uses Darkray's - then frenzy)

The Damage

I remind you that Infractem is a ~220pdps lvl 53 bow. This has to be said. But the damage comes from two sources:

- shocks. pretty obvious. just multiply theoretical damage by 50%

- EXTREME shotgunning potential vs packs + offscreening. One salvo might not do much 'point damage' but this salvo hits several mobs at once dealing that 'low' paper dps to many, many targets at the same time. Effective damage is quite high (but ofc - not comparable with 350pdps harbringer+drillneck setups)

Another source worth mentioning that due to using weapon swap single target is absolutely not a problem. This saves links and allows using Infractem that has VERY LOW single target potential.

I purposefully decided AGAINST Crit Multi gem. Thief's Torment Life Gain on Hit is not enough to cover for reflect with Crit Multi gem. DPS goes up a lot with it but it is a certain suicide.

Herald of Ice with Hatred + Crit + packs == chain reaction. In most cases packs die in one shot.

Best setup:

Carcass Jack -> AOE, it matters for LA (makes shotgunning much easier, does not affect dmg ofc)
Quiver with +Arrow is a Best in Slot item pretty much regardless of other stats.
Amulet with +Curse -> Poachers Mark + Assasins Mark == no need for frenzy, can be replaced with split arrow and still have place for PCOC. Sadly on standard such stuff is pretty much nonexistant or out of my reach

Leveling Gear/Links

Use ice shot/split arrow up to around lvl 30, get Deaths Harp at lvl 32, and murder everything with LA.

Experiment with Unique quivers - Asphyxia and Sharktooth quivers are both very nice and do come in handy. Drillneck gives me more paper damage than my current quiver but real clear speed goes down.

To solve inevitable early game mana problems i went DIRECLY for Essence Sap and put ONE point into that cluster. That was enough. After equipping Thiefs Torment mana issues went away. Used mana leech from the tree for some time but at lvl 53 respeced out of it (Infractem == no leech of any kind).

I suggest Siege Balista totem as an extra skill to use vs difficult targets. It draws aggro, it deals damage and it is easy to replace if it dies.


Build has no leech. So reflect has to be approached with care.

If you have a 'Projectile Speed' on your Quiver BE VERY CAREFUL. This one affix can kill you as arrows can travel VERY far with it. Consider replacing this quiver for reflect maps with some other item. This stat can and will kill you.

Elemental Reflect
Resistance flasks are not an answer unless you plan to devote 3 slots for them. In my case my ele dmg is split 16/14/13. Better flask to use is Jade flask. It provides EXCELENT synergy with Arrow Dancing and pretty much makes reflect a no-issue for a duration. I'm used to heavy flask usage so it is a second nature to a) be careful b) stay on Jade all the time.

Phys Reflect

CWDT + Molten Shell
Jade flask.
It is more dangerous in 2.0 than previously.

For a very difficult map or to be extra safe - Life Gain on Hit to replace Added Fire or WED gem.
Replace Assasins Mark with Poachers Mark (and AM with PCOC).


2 life flasks, 1 if you are very brave.
Granite of Iron Skin, Jade of Reflexes, Basalt + one movement speed to replace our quicksilver
This build has incredible base movement speed so Quicksilver is pretty much always an overkill.


Great flask support. This character was always a glass cannon carried by the flasks. ~4k life is hardly enough and you NEED whatever help you can get. Flasks, augmented flasks, flasks that you can have always on are perfect form of 'help'.
I've selected this ascendancy because I do not need more damage (funnily enough this class still gives us some offensive bonuses when 'on flask') and augmented always-on flasks beat defensive bonuses from other classes.

Dream bowyer class however for this build a rather poor choice. Infractem is 100% pierce so +Chain branch is out. With GMP i release enough projectiles to cover entire area so that branch is also out. The Far Shot is cool (more damage is always good - however it means that offscreen reflect is 30% more likely to kill you).
Powerful precision (100% pierce chance == +100% crit chance) is a good node as our pierce is always 100%. However is the class worth picking up because of one good passive?
Sharp and Venomous is rather not fitting for this playstyle - maybe for the Puncture trap but even then it is rather weak

Ultimate DPS bonanza. This is THE dps class for ranger. But this build hardly needs more damage.
Avatar of Veil branch gives us some Dodge/Spell Dodge - good bonuses esp because we already have lots of these stats. Good defensive bonus.
Avatar of the Chase gives us semi-perma Onslaught with quite strong Evasion bonuses. I like Dodge/Spell dodge more as the spells are biggest threat to this character.
The 'damaga' branch is pure DPS madness - no further comment needed.

Changes 1.2 -> 1.3

- Dropped elemental nodes. These were very dangerous with Herald of Ice and while clear speed went up, risk went up, too. Replaced with projectile damage nodes and Ballistic mastery. Ondar's saves us from our own arrows, but not Heralds!

Changes 1.3 -> 2.0

- Due to Aura changes: Include Charisma cluster, remove Reduced Mana (+1 socket net gain)
- Add Golem (high level).
- Replace low lvl CWDT setup with high level CWDT setup.

Changes 2.0 -> 2.1

No general changes. But one general comment: addition of Duelist leech nodes kind of removes Thief's Torment great strength and as such undermines the very essence of this build. It does not invalidate it - it still works perfectly well. But one can just take a 350pdps Harb and spec into one life/mana leech node and call it a day. I do not like that this leech applies to bows too as it trivializes the game.
- Crafted myself a 6 link Infractem (most probably the best roll that exist at that) and by a sheer luck vaaled +1 arrow on one of my vendor quivers. It is no longer a vendor one :)
- Rerouted a tree a bit acquiring 6th frenzy charge
- 2.1 buffed Lightning Arrow (why.. i just do not understand) and changed mana cost. Nice free buff. Have to say: unwarranted one.

Changes 2.1 -> 2.2

Increased Crit Strikes gem now grants flat base crit chance. This is a huge buff to Infractem as its balancing factor so far was the low base crit.

Videos (1.3)

2.0 Videos in making.

Mine (72) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4wDS0ualco Probably one of the worst map for this type of play (narrow paths without many walls to splash LA from + horrid desync). Reflect and YOLO strongbox. Havent died with this char for like last 10 levels except for Jungle Valley boss that does not like evasion chars it seems..

Crema (74) (Zana) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVu1lZR5GbA. Ran like a headless chicken due to blinding sun glare.

(72) Mine + Fracture (this one is with final setup) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NYgrC17Xbc

Gorge (74) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcFWY0vYd2U semi-speed clear (3:55)
Last edited by sidtherat on Mar 19, 2017, 8:55:07 AM
Last bumped on May 2, 2017, 6:50:15 PM
short video added
added another video, linked current (83) tree, for anyone trying to get a mid-high end bow build Infractem is a perfect choice

Bow is cheap and universally dissed as 'garbage'
Theifs Torment is semi-cheap

no mana management, no pierce nodes/gem/gear (opportunity cost of these is high, can be used for other stuff), considerable clear speed with very modest budget

ofc it cannot rival with RMTed gear etc but for new players - this is a very good item that brings all the best from (currently) underrated skill


People thinking 'but Thiefs Torment eats 2 ring slots and is pretty meh'?

look closely - '50% reduced curses effect on you'

Enfeeble map WITH ring: 6800 dps
Enfeeble map WITHOUT this ring: 5300 dps

think again
Last edited by sidtherat on Nov 4, 2014, 3:59:06 AM
final update

seeing how much traction it got (lol) it seems that a build without 'tornado shot' or '1m dps' cannot be good/interesting. i might add 'crit' into the title for double views..

even tho, going with the 'budget' theme - i strongly recommend this build/idea to anyone looking for a cheap, effective and very fun build that will get one to the 'realistic' endgame. and allow to farm for currency needed to get to the 'end end end game'

this build probably CAN do atziri (the damage is there - chin sol puncture trap point blank kills EVERYTHING). but i havent tested it and i have no plans to do so.

but i can see what will happen - no sick dps -> bad. funny how easy is to deceive people with paper dps :)
Its just that people prefer the more faceroll builds and
dont trust some seemingly weird/crazy build.

I mean at first i really didnt think it was that promising
to make a build around Infractem and Thief`s Torment which i have
honestly never even used before.^^

But having played it partially and seeing your videos i must say its an
effective and fun build, everything works so well together from the multi-pierce to
curse reduction and mana gain on hit as well as the additional mana nodes and ofcourse
the boss killer swap.... its so damn effective, will use it from now on, never used it with puncture before.

Only problem i have is my life isnt very high so i have to be pretty carefull, also when using LA so i dont get out of mana when i aim/shoot too fast or too much and dont hit anything. (Have mana flask for now)

What are the flasks you use by the way?

Great build. Thanks!

IGN: Firorath / Ninpa

just realized that i use non-Q Qsilver..

if rich enough, get this to replace your Granite

Diamond flask works in a way that provides most benefit when your natural crit is ~50%. mine is just that, so i use it for extra damage. but this slot is up to you - Hybrid flask with some utility stuff or Jade flask for reflect (should work much better than resistance flask as my setup deals pretty much 1/1/1 lightning/cold/fire and one flask wont do much)

i have (at 86) ~3700 life and have died twice in last 15 levels. both times to strongboxes - one to desync-box, second to reflecting myself to death with a 2 reflect rares from box and reflect from map.. that was brutal. but i still yolo boxes as there is pretty much nothing else that can kill me quickly enough

as for the mana - in low levels i've used 'Revelry' cluster (bottom right, close to Mind over Matter). also - my LA setup is 37 per shot, i have ~130 mana unreserved and it is easily sufficient for comfortable play. i was afraid to spec into more attack speed but it is not a problem.

you can get one 60% aura and 2 non-supported heralds with just Reduced Mana gem. Try to get some flat mana on gear. mana regen is not important.
Last edited by sidtherat on Nov 10, 2014, 1:31:41 AM
Final update - managed to get BBBGG on my chest that completed the auxiliary setup.

Build complete.

I hope that more people realize just how good and fun to build around this bow is. Quiet hero of 1.2 patch

don't fret if people don't catch on to your build. be proud for what you built up for yourself, regardless if people recognize it or not. great job mate
So, i saw your videos and it looks great. Nice way to use infractem in endgame.
For try, for see, and for know.

This is a buff
i tried this out on standard and it works surprisingly well and doesnt cost too much at all, tornado is better but i have a feeling that's going to get nerfed so ill probably use this as my first build in the league coming up :)

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