(hardcore) ktbanh's Fiery Blood Witch + Video (pvp,tanky,mobile,quill,range,explosive,dots,survival)

Last Revision

2/15/2013 : updated and added acknowledgement, gems linking, and miscellaneous for bandit quest choices and frequently asked questions/concerns pertaining to the choices e.g. why Witch.
2/16/2013 : added some crowd control gem recommendations at the bottom of the reading.
2/21/2013 : added demo video of the build in play at merciless docks
2/22/2013 : added another demo video, displaying maps (67) sewer


The purpose of this Guide is to help players understand, break down the reason and concept of why, and guide those that are interested in the play style. By no means is this build perfect, or does it claim to be. Most of the written serve as the basis of the core understanding for what this build strives for. There is always room for improvement, as play styles differ across player(s).

Demo Game Play

Displays elemental damage reflect, basic combat, some with flammability, some without, versus fire resistant mobs and not. This mainly focuses on Explosive Arrow (EA) and does not showcase the entire build or strategy.

Merciless Docks

Sewers Map (67)

I also wanted to showcase other mechanics such as weapon swapping for mobility using leap. Poor demonstration however, but the point is reached.

Other Variation/Player Videos


Current Status : ALIVE : 80

All quests, way-points, and game-maps explored/completed. Currently solo or partying for end maps.

Current Gear

This build is not gear dependent with the exception of Quillrain at level 50+.

Your basic needs are focused on hp and and resistance with the extra DEX where needed. E.g. quivers and onyx amulet. The extra gear with % fire damage and DEX after serve as bonuses.




I started playing Path of Exile a day after Open Beta launched. At first I started learning about the basics of the game while playing on Hardcore. After a few days of playing and trial/errors with several ideas. I wanted to make something fitting for player versus players, for the cut-throat atmosphere, for the raw punishing aspects of merciless. I wanted something that has the adaptability, the survival and the mobility to adapt to my fast paced play style. Something that can work without heavy demand of high cost gear.

I came up with a concept of a tanky Witch, with the contribution to survival, health, and elemental damage. I did a bit of research and theory crafted which then lead me to the first build of the Fiery Blood Witch. However, all that came to a down fall at level 75 during a merciless Map run. I was desynced, lagged, and soon found myself surrounded by spiders and roahs after reawakening. The screen popped up with a message, you are dead. I really enjoyed my build and thought it really heavy, the way I went about dying; being still to lag while mobs mauled on my flesh. I was a bit off and did not want to start over for some-time.

After a day, I decided to see If I can further improve the build, and even write a guide on it due to the numerous questions I get from players during my play time of the old ktbanh(75). From this, I hope that players will be able to help further improve the build core to its ideology, hope that it helps players, new and veterans to Path of Exile, or those who wants to try something new.

Since the start of this guide, I decided to remake and revise into a more improved selection, the current status screenshot below will entail you of my current status.


Why This Build?

This build encompasses mobility, survival, being able to take hits, being able to dish out quick and explosive damage. This build was design to be adaptable, as you can branch out in different play styles and not have to follow the path fully; it would function as long as the core idea is played. It also takes into account the various damage over time skills and totem play if the user desires. This build is skill based; your damage does not rely on your weapon attributes or physical power, but rather gem levels.

Here are some brief pros and cons of the build:

o mobility, survival, range, utility
o high health regeneration
o high elemental resistance threshold
o high attack speed
o high stacking damage
o damage over time
o skill based game-play
o quick progression
o very strong player versus player (if utilized correctly)
o blood magic
o resolution
o unwavering stance (optional)
o iron reflexes (optional, complements unwavering stance)
o static blow (optional)
o ancestral bond (optional)
o highly flexible branching

o starts mediocre slow/weak depending on luxury item(s)
o requires Quillrain (lvl.5 unique bow) at level 50+
o low base DEX
o damage is heavily dependent on level of gems
o possibility of self-kill due to not being careful versus reflect mob when undergeared
o this is a mid-to-late game build


Build Break Down and Requirements


o Resolution (required) *
o Blood Magic (required) *
o Unwavering Stance (optional)
o Iron Reflexes (optional)
o static blow (optional)
o ancestral bond (optional)


starting requirements (level 1)
o poison arrow gem (obtained from ranger)
o fire trap gem (can be obtained from self/quest)
o bear trap gem (can be obtained from shadow)
o clarity (obtained from self/quest)

o luxury items

+2 bow skill will ensure your poison arrow do a great amount of damage over time early game to speed and breeze through content(s)

core of build item(s) (you will ultimately require)


This is your main bread and butter. Quillrain will be required at level 50+.


o poison arrow
o fire trap
o bear trap
o molten shell
o flammability / elemental weakness
o concentrated effect
o decoy totem
o lesser/greater multiple projectiles
o explosive arrow
o grace


o conversion trap
o flame totem
o more to be added


Passive Build and Leveling Guides


o Your first priority is reaching the Templar's 1% hp regeneration node.
o After reaching the hp regeneration node you want to follow the left side towards resolution.
o The third goal should be reaching the 1.5% regeneration or up to .4% regeneration node on the marauder tree along with extra resistance.
o Once you have completed those, follow-up the resolution tree and make your way to blood magic.


Your main utility in leveling is speeding through, firing shots of poison arrow every few seconds, this is not a skill to be spammed but rather dropped for the AOE chaos damage over time.

Mobs will melt easily if you have silver branch +2 bow skills.

Use traps as necessary to instant kill big groups, and along with bear traps for elite.

This should breeze and speed you up to cruel fellshine where you'll be below the required level but can still easily solo.

* note
The tree is completed with all passive skill quest on normal completed.

level(41-60) (current experimental/revised path)
This portion is experimental and does not follow the old tree below. Ignore this if you plan on following the old route.


Once you obtain at the bare minimum of 2.2k hp, you can start the swap to your Quillrain and explosive arrow + lesser multiple projectiles.

After the translation, i recommend the following:

o molten shell + fast casting + increase duration practically free armor with no cost
o grace free evasion, or armor if you later go for iron reflex
o fire trap + fire penetration + culling strike
o flammability / elemental weakness
o bear trap / conversion trap (for those pesky epic fast elites you don't want to bother dealing with ahead of mobs)
o Poison arrow (always, free quick dot, you will notice a huge speed change)


At this point, you can choose to go for a basic decoy totem, or flame totem.

Flame totem will be much stronger late game once you obtain levels or even if you branch for the more hp totem node/dual totems.

Flame totem + monster flee on hit/fire penetration + lesser multiple projectile

You won't need to worry about the damage at this point until you get much better gear late game.


You out range them massively, just pull back dish a few stack of arrows/one poison arrow and flammability them right away, watch them melt.

Archers at fellshrine can hit hard depending if you have gear or not, just use range to your advantage as you have a huge increase in projectile.


Be careful of elemental reflect mobs as you can kill yourself early game before getting 4k+ hp. Just pop shot them, use traps etc. Do not stack more than 4+ arrows until mobs are gone.

Experimental Path End Build
Will fill in description and explanation on a later time. This build tree will be completed at level 87 along with all skill quests complete. Extra Points are not included into the below tree.

To Be Added

old level 72
As mentioned in the Background, this is my old build prior to desync death.



Bandit Quest Reward Route

o normal : oak
explanation - purely for the purpose of this build and the core idea; the +40 health might seem insignificant early on, but late game it will have a tremendous impact. Right now I gain approximately 200-300 health from items that vary between 40-80health increase.

o cruel : kill all bandits
explanation - if you are following the guide then the +1 skill will be most beneficial. However, if you decide to use the build as a base of ideas but decide to branch towards others e.g. going melee, the overall increase physical damage could be more alluring.

o merciless : kill all bandits
explanation - at this point, if you are following my path, the +1 skill point is more beneficial, however; the endurance charge is also something to consider if you do route off and into your own different variation. There are two other accessible endurance charges in your passive skill tree available which makes it possible to obtain a total of 6 endurance charges.

6x5 = 30% resistance to melee physical, and elemental (which you would essentially be already at max(80).

Frequently Asked Questions

o Why Witch?

The reason I started playing as a Witch was due to the sheer size. As a personal taste, I do not like having a big Marauder. The idea built around the fact that Witch are usually played as spell casters, magical, but usually rarely tanky. I wanted to play the opposite of that and make use of PoE's flexibility.

o Can you start as a Marauder or Templar?

Yes, you can start as a Marauder, it is more beneficial if you plan on going pure without any offset-spells. This route is the easiest among others like Templar, or Witch.

I do not recommend starting as a Templar, you will have to route towards 40% mana regeneration; This is absolutely useless for the specified build. Unless you decide to formulate a melee based build, or purely like the Templar's character features e.g. looks; I recommend not starting as a Templar.

o What is the difference between starting as a Witch opposed to Marauder, or Templar?

The difference between the three is minor and also for gem convenience. Starting as a Witch, you will spend about 2-3 extra points in the beginning that can be deem useless to some players. However, I do not deem them useless.

In my example, the 10% spell power node might seem useless to take since you are forced as a witch driving left outwards in the passive tree.

However, that 10% spell power does in fact factor into the skills you use. E.g. bear traps, fire traps, spell totems (if you choose to go this route), among other gems that have the spell tag.

All the extra intelligence will be enough for later gem level 17-20. You'll have the right fit without need any int items. One example, concentrated effect, increases your explosion damage by a huge amount. This boosters your DPS.

The other difference is minor gem quest rewards for those that do not have the luxury of purchasing. E.g. Clarity (mana regeneration early game before you obtain blood magic), Explosive Arrow, Spell Totems, Fire Penetration, Fire Trap, and so on.

o When can I swap to Quillrain with explosive arrow and lesser multiple projectile to level?

You can do the swap once you can cover the cost of the spell 3x (due to having 3 attacks per second with Quillrain) via regeneration. I usually recommend a base of 2.2k health or near. If you are following the guide, this would be around level 50~.


Other variation, guides, and recommendation(s)
Marauder Variation

Explosive Arrow, Burn Damage, Mana Based
The True Fire Witch: Explosive Arrow


Gems and Linking In-Depth (currently not finished)

Main Attack Explosive Arrow

o Explosive Arrow
o Concentrated Effect
o Fire Penetration
o Lesser Multiple Projectile

Crowd Control (CC)

Decoy Totem *

An all rounder, decoy totem is good for dire-escape situations or just a distraction.

setup : Decoy Totem + Faster Casting

Fleeing Fire Totem *

A very good crowd control totem especially in narrow corridors. Flees enemies back with constant triple flames. This is however does not work versus (yellow) elites.

setup : Flame Totem + Chance to Flee + Faster Casting (or Increase AOE) + Lesser/Greater Multiple Projectile

Skeleton Summon Totem *

Another good crowd control especially for single yellow elites, this totem continuously summons the max number of minions allowed. (pop the weasel)

setup: Summon Skeleton + Spell Totem + Minion Life (not required) + Faster Casting

Conversion Trap *

A very good gem to carry if you are lacking gem slots. This can convert any enemy (elite or below) to your side as a battle companion.

setup: Conversion Trap + Increase Duration + Faster Casting

More to be added, feel free to post recommendations!


Feel free to post questions, comments, or ideas to improve this build.

- ktbanh
Last edited by ktbanh on Feb 22, 2013, 1:45:04 PM
im trying this build and it surprised me that i has no coments. I think this can be very fun to play. Thanks for the guide!

btw what does TBA means?
also would like to know what kind of gear do u have

Last edited by ElDoN on Feb 8, 2013, 5:04:15 PM
Why witch? ^^
ElDoN wrote:
im trying this build and it surprised me that i has no coments. I think this can be very fun to play. Thanks for the guide!

btw what does TBA means?
also would like to know what kind of gear do u have



TBA means to be added.

For the reason I picked witch, It is mainly closer to elemental e.g. fire nodes although you can start out with maru or templar as well.

It doesn't make much of a difference, that and I like witches over maru/templar and provides a bit of a different game play early on.

You also get one of your main gems from quest on cruel with witch.

I'll be doing a mini update as my witch died @ level 75 a day ago due to rubber band / desync on a level 70+ chaos/spider/roah map.

(From what I was told, I was standing still surrounded by 8 spiders and roahs charging at me)

Good news is I'll provide step by step on leveling quickly to level 30 / 50 / 60+

And the tree required.

This build tries to be cost efficient as possible, meaning it can still work without having extreme high end gear, although you'll benefit more from those like most classes.
- updated the build and some notes
- should now have a basic outline for level 1-40 breeze and basic starting requirements.
ktbanh wrote:
This build tries to be cost efficient as possible, meaning it can still work without having extreme high end gear, although you'll benefit more from those like most classes.
i'm new to this game, i read a lots of guide but this is what i want to hear the most lol
btw good guide, i'll try this on my second witch
Going to give this a go - where does the Silver branch drop?
Why dont you pick the 30 Dex node? 44 Dex total without gear? Poison Arrow on lvl 16 needs 130 dex, should i get all the missing dex from gear alone? and what gear should i take, armor/eva or just eva or should i just use any gear that gives me dex?

it looks like a very nice build and id like to try it but the dex seems to the a big problem, on paper.
jeido wrote:
Going to give this a go - where does the Silver branch drop?

It's a random drop, I found my the first time on hilllock, you can also trade players for it, hence why I labeled it as a luxury item. :3

Blisdon wrote:
Why dont you pick the 30 Dex node? 44 Dex total without gear? Poison Arrow on lvl 16 needs 130 dex, should i get all the missing dex from gear alone? and what gear should i take, armor/eva or just eva or should i just use any gear that gives me dex?

it looks like a very nice build and id like to try it but the dex seems to the a big problem, on paper.

Thanks, I forgot to mention, you could pick the extra 30 DEX node in case you don't have enough from equipment early on.

I did not have any trouble with having low DEX due to DEX amulet + generic resistance; later found onyx + DEX.

You can also scour the npc from time to time and hope they sell a "perfect" +40 DEX quiver and random roll it with transmute orbs perhaps for a random + DEX bonus.

I have a quiver in game from before at +70~ DEX alone.


Once you obtain quill rain, you'll have a base of +10-20 more DEX just from quiver and bow for a nifty boost.

I'll try to update the guide when I have some time.

Right now I'm sitting at a remake of level 52 (about 10 hours old) going the same path except I took shock and dual totem to try out with blood and will spend a few points to remove these at 60. I wanted to see how flexible this can be for leveling. Poison arrow + 2 spork (spark+fork+spell totem) to mess around while I have the main gems in socket to gain experience with.
Last edited by ktbanh on Feb 10, 2013, 4:05:09 PM
ok been working on a viable witch bow build for a couple weeks i tried going into shadow tree to ranger tree but it was lack luster.

This looks great but i am curious why go blood magic VS sticking with mana?

Would love to know why it is in there and if mana would work just as good. I was kicking around clarity + soul siphon with regens should be ok...

Also does the elemental damage passives increase the damage this build is going to do VIA. poison arrow and traps or explosive arrow fire arrow?

It seems that you could stick in mage tree pick up fire damage nodes, mana nodes and energy shield nodes for the points on that long trip to blood magic.
I'm just a bit lost here seems you could get a higher energy shield and mana pool and still be ok.
Last edited by dennismafo on Feb 11, 2013, 3:40:10 AM

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info