[3.1] Enki's Arc Witch - a beginner & SSF-friendly Caster

Welcome to my Arc guide, fellow exile!

With this guide i want to provide an affordable selfcast build for beginners and veterans alike,
that scales well into mapping and can even be played completely selffound.

It's not meant to be an overpowered meta build to faceroll all content with, but rather a solid build to get into and actually learn the game with the intention to prepare you for your future builds.

Even if you aren't new, please read the guide carefully.

Questions & Discussion about the current build version start at page 354.

Huge thanks to LiftingNerdBro for featuring this build in his 3.1 League Starters video!



Chinese Version by xinfangshaozhi

If you'd like to translate this guide into other languages, please message me here in forum.



Apex of Sacrifice w/ 5L's
T11 Shaped Spider Forest
T12 Vault
T15 Shaped Courtyard

These are slightly outdated, but still show how the build works.

Updated videos will follow someday!


About this build


+ extremely cheap to gear
+ fully SSF-capable
+ relatively fast mapping
+ flexible, can run most mapmods
+ high Block, Spellblock & Mind over Matter
- can't reliably do Guardians, Shaper etc. (T15 & below is fine)
- Lightning has a very large damage range
- not the best single-target damage
- can't facetank everything

Main Mechanics in this build

Chaining: Arc is a lightning-based spell with the ability to chain from monsters.
After chaining to two individual enemies, Arc can also chain back to the initially hit monster.
The amount of times Arc can chain depends on the gems level and can be further increased by enchantments, with a maximum of 11 chains attainable with this build.

Chaining is not represented in our tooltip, it simply shows DPS per enemy hit and is thus not always accurate. Taking all the above things into account, we can deal up to 4x the tooltip damage under perfect conditions.

Shock: An elemental status ailment which increases the damage an enemy takes by up to 50% for a fixed duration, based on our lightning damage dealt.
Arc comes with an implicit 10% chance to shock, which we further amplify to assure relatively consistent shocking for maximum damage output.

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.

Block: Having good defenses is extremely important in Path of Exile. Block is a powerful form of defense that lets you prevent taking any damage from a blocked hit, and comes in two ways: Chance to block attacks & Chance to block spells, both with a cap of 75%.

We get a decent amount of both through Bone Offering, originally a minion skill which applies to us through our Ascendancy, and further raise our block chance with passives and gear.
Unfortunately block won't keep us save from any damage over time and secondary damage, so we make use of another defense called..

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 both leech and regeneration.


First steps for new players


Bookmark & use the following websites:
  • PoE Wiki - Your place to go for any questions about the game, no matter if mechanics, item-related or whatever else.
  • PoeDB - Useful to look up datamined data such as enemy stats and stuff.
  • poe.trade - Most popular shop indexer, use it to buy gear or pricecheck rare gear.
    Beware of price-fixers, always check for average prices instead of cheapest listings!
  • currency.poe.trade - Same as above, but for currency trades.
  • poe.ninja - Use this site for pricechecks. Keep in mind that rolls can heavily affect the value of uniques with big variables.
  • Poelab - Shows the current Labyrinth layouts, services and other important stuff.
  • Poeaffix - Great resource to look up possible affixes, ilvl requirements and roll ranges for gear.
  • Aura Planner - Helpful tool to work out your aura setup when creating a new build.
  • Vorici Calculator - Tells you the average of chroms needed to recolor your gear to desired colors.
  • Build List - Looking for a new build? This page will help you finding builds based on their main skill.

Use the help panel: This is a new feature that you can find on the lower right next to the shop button, and should be helpful with many different aspects of the game.

Learn recipes: Path of Exile offers an extensive recipe system which you can use for your advantage - if you know all the good recipes.

Level your masters: Elreon, Haku and Catarina can all substantially help you while gearing. Zana is very helpful once you hit endgame maps and should have a fixed spot in your hideout.

Make use of crafting benches: After having unlocked masters by leveling them up once, you gain access to their crafting bench which you can place into your hideout.

Use an item filter: You can find most relevant filters including a preview of each at Filterblast. Neversinks is the most popular choice and can be easily customized at FilterBlade.

Create a shop: Setting up a shop with Acquisition or through Premium Stash Tabs will help you selling stuff to buy upgrades for yourself. This guide can help you to find out what is valuable.

Level gems: Make use of your secondary weapon slot to level a few copies of Arc and Ball Lightning, or other popular gems to vaal or sell. Even if technically not active, these gems will gain experience.

Additional Guides: Engineering Eternity and Huizui are Youtube channels with video guides explaining different mechanics that are worth checking out!

Don't give up: Path of Exile can be very harsh, even for people with experience in ARPG's.
So don't give up if something seems too difficult or you made some mistakes, and rather try to learn from the situation.

Have Fun: While Path of Exile has an overall great community, there are always some black sheep around. But seriously, screw all that. Having fun is all that should matter to you in a videogame, so play what and how you want, not how someone else wants you to!


Leveling this build


This section will help you while playing through the storyline and shows the recommended
passive tree progression, gem setups, quest progression and exp farming zone for each act.

If you want to explore zones or do quests not mentioned here, or even want to level with
a completely different skill then do that, this section is just an aid.


General Advices during Storyline

‣ Keep your flasks updated. I recommend 2x Life Flasks, 1x Mana Flask and 2x Quicksilver Flasks, switch the Mana Flask with a Basalt Flask of Staunching in early Act 7. You can find a list of all flasks here.

‣ 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.
We also don't use Staves before endgame, it's better to stick with a wand/sceptre and shield while progressing through the storyline.

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/Alteration at this point,
everything else is a huge waste!

‣ If you happen to get a 5-linked, or even 6-linked Intelligence-based gearpiece, check the damage skill setups on the gem section to know what gems to add.

‣ Great Uniques for leveling are Lifesprig, Reverberation Rod, Amplification Rod, Goldrim, Wanderlust and Tabula Rasa, but prioritize a good lifepool and capped resistances!

‣ 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.

‣ 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.

Act 1

‣ Get Arcane Surge (don't level it beyond Lv8!) 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 & Arc
‣ Optionally buy Rallying Cry, possibly needs an Amber Amulet to equip
‣ Replace Freezing Pulse with Arc and craft a +1 Lightning Gem Wand/Sceptre
‣ Cast Orb of Storms, then Arc to kill faster
‣ Equip Sapphire Rings and kill Merveil

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Ledge

Act 2

‣ 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
‣ Get Herald of Thunder in town and use it for now
‣ 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 Faster Casting and Controlled Destruction and link to Arc
‣ Link Arcane Surge to Flame Dash and Orb of Storms and throw away Added Lightning Damage
‣ Enter Lioneye's Watch and get Passive Skillpoint
‣ Go back to Riverways, enter Wetlands, kill Oak and get Waypoint
‣ Get two Passive Skillpoints 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

Act 3

‣ Start looking out for 4-linked gear
‣ Kill the Blackguards in City of Sarn and enter town
‣ Go to Slums, enter Crematorium, finish Trial of Ascendancy and kill Piety
‣ Get Conductivity and 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
‣ Get Ball Lightning in town, optionally make another +1 Gems weapon for it
‣ 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 needs to be in bag!)
‣ Link Arc with Controlled Destruction and Lightning Penetration
‣ Link Ball Lightning with Controlled Destruction and Lightning Penetration
‣ Link Blasphemy with Warlord's Mark and throw away Herald of Thunder
‣ Enter the Sceptre of God and kill Dominus

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Docks

Act 4

‣ Enter the Dried Lake, kill Voll and enter the Mines
‣ Free Deshret's Spirit in Mines Level 2, progress to Crystal Veins and get Waypoint
‣ Get Passive Skillpoint in town and optionally farm Dried Lake a bit
‣ Complete the first Labyrinth, you can enter it through the Sarn Encampment
‣ Read up on the Lord's Labyrinth and Izaro to get an idea what's going on
‣ After finishing the Labyrinth, ascend to Necromancer and get Mistress of Sacrifice
‣ Now get Bone Offering and Desecrate
‣ Go back to Crystal Veins, enter Kaom's Dream and kill Kaom
‣ Now enter Daresso's Dream and kill Daresso
‣ Get 2x Spell Echo in town
‣ Put Arc & Ball Lightning in seperate 4L's and link with Spell Echo if available
‣ If not, replace Controlled Destruction on both skills
‣ Kill Piety in Belly of the Beast, and finally Malachai in the Harvest

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Dried Lake

Act 5

‣ Kill Overseer Krow and enter town
‣ Find the Miasmeter in Control Blocks and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Make your way to Templar Courts, kill Avarius and get a unique jewel in town
‣ Get Ruined Square Waypoint and optionally kill Utula to get Assassin's Haste in town
‣ Finish the quest in Reliquary and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Look for the Sign of Purity in Ossuary
‣ Kill Kitava on Cathedral Rooftop - this is an extremely dangerous fight!

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Chamber of Innocence

Act 6

‣ Clear the Twilight Strand to unlock Lilly as Skillgem Vendor
‣ Buy Cast when Damage taken and Immortal Call and link them (keep at Lv1 & Lv3!)
‣ If possible, also link Desecrate with the above setup
‣ Optionally also get Frost Wall and link with the above setup
‣ Get to Mud Flats and kill the Dishonored Queen
‣ Enter Karui Fortress, kill Tukohama and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Finish Trial of Ascendancy in Prison and kill Shavronne
‣ Enter Prisoner's Gate, kill Abberath and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Riverways Waypoint
‣ Enter Wetlands, kill Puppet Mistress and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Light the Beacon and kill the Brine King

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Southern Forest

Act 7

‣ Find the Silver Locket in Broken Bridge and get Basalt Flask in town
‣ Enter Crossroads, get Waypoint then enter Crypt through Fellshrine Ruins
‣ Finish Trial of Ascendancy and find Maligaro's Map
‣ Go back to Crossroads and enter Chamber of Sins
‣ Kill Maligaro in Maligaro's Sanctum
‣ Finish Trial of Ascendancy in Chamber of Sins Level 2 and enter the Den
‣ Make your way to Ashen Fields and kill Greust, then get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Northern Forest Waypoint and enter Dread Thicket
‣ Collect all Fireflies and kill Gruthkul, then get Skillpoint in town
‣ Find Kishara's Star in Causeway and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get to the Temple of Decay and kill Arakaali

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Northern Forest

Act 8

‣ Enter the Toxic Conduits and kill Doedre
‣ Go for Quay first, find Ankh of Eternity, kill Tolman and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Kill the Gemling Legionnaires in Grain Gate and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Enter Solaris Temple, get Sun Orb then enter Solaris Concourse and get Waypoint
‣ Go back to Doedre's Cesspool and go for the Grand Promenade now
‣ Get Bath House Waypoint and finish Trial of Ascendancy
‣ Enter High Gardens, kill Yugul and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Enter Lunaris Temple through Lunaris Concourse and get Moon Orb
‣ Go to Harbour Bridge and kill Solaris & Lunaris

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Harbour Bridge

Act 9

‣ Good time to finish the second Labyrinth, get Commander of Darkness
‣ Find the Storm Blade in Vastiri Desert
‣ Kill Shakari and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Foothills Waypoint, enter Boiling Lake and get Basilisk Acid
‣ Enter the Tunnel and finish Trial of Ascendancy
‣ Get Quarry Waypoint, enter Refinery and get Trarthan Powder
‣ Go back to Quarry and kill Garukhan and get Sekhema Feather
‣ Go to town and give the feather to either Tasuni or Irasha, get Skillpoint
‣ Enter Belly of the Beast and kill the Depraved Trinity

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Blood Aqueduct

Act 10

‣ Go left on Cathedral Rooftop and kill Plaguewing
‣ Get Sulphur Flask in town, then go back to Cathedral Rooftop
‣ Now go right and get Ravaged Square Waypoint
‣ Find the Teardrop in Reliquary and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Enter Ossuary, complete Trial of Ascendancy and get Elixir of Allure
‣ Get to Desecrated Chamber through Torched Courts and kill Avarius
‣ Enter the Canals and make your way to the final bossfight
‣ Warning: This fight is extremely difficult, i recommend to overlevel until ~Lv70

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Desecrated Chambers


‣ Talk to Lani for two Skillpoints
‣ Enter Templar Laboratory and get a map from Zana
‣ Start farming for proper gear and switch to the endgame gem setup listed in main post
‣ Once you've finished the core passive tree, go for the third Labyrinth
‣ That's it, you've reached the endgame


Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon


For those who prefer direct passive tree links
Finished Base Tree
With all optional choices active
Path of Building setup (read Notes tab)

Right Click > Open in new tab if it's too small.


Major: Brine King or Solaris
Minor: Tukohama or Shakari

*Pantheon will be added as picture when i got time.


Gem Setup


Gems are listed in order of importance!

This is the endgame setup, for Act 1-10 check out the Leveling Section!

Socketed in: Staff

Arc is our clearing skill. This gem setup is laid for a good balance between raw damage, cast time and shock chance.

Spell Echo gives a large multiplier to cast speed and also doubles each cast, with the second cast costing no extra mana.
Controlled Destruction gives a large damage boost at the cost of some crit chance.
Lightning Penetration is a variable damage multiplier and gets stronger the more lightning resistance an enemy has.
Life Leech heavily increases our survivability by doing what the name suggests.
Empower raises Arcs gem level and with that the base damage and if the result is Lv24 or higher, also gives another chain. This gem is only useful at Lv2 or higher.


Socketed in: Chest

Ball Lightning is our single-target damage skill, since Arc is pretty limited in that regard.
Each cast damages nearby targets every 200ms, the number of strikes per cast can be maximized by stacking AoE and reducing projectile speed.


Socketed in: -

Orb of Storms is our tool to proc Elemental Overload - it generates many hits in an area and isn't affected by the Controlled Destruction penalty, as it's not linked to it.
Flame Dash can be used to pass over ledges and other obstacles, or just for generic movement.
Arcane Surge is a conditional buff which grants a more spell damage multiplier, cast speed and mana regeneration but can only be activated by casting linked spells.
We use both of these spells frequently, which assures consistent Arcane Surge procs and since both have a Duration Tag, we can increase the duration of all three skills with Increased Duration.
Arcane Surge procs are based on the skills mana consumption, depending on its level.
You need to keep Arcane Surge at Lv8 to be able to proc it with each cast of these skills!


Socketed in: -

Bone Offering is our key to survival. It provides a large amount of Block Chance, Spell Block Chance and gives us a huge amount of Life on blocking. Necromancer's "Mistress of Sacrifice" overrides the minion limitation and makes all these stats apply to us aswell.
Cast when Damage taken is a support gem which will proc linked spells after reaching a certain damage treshold, if the spells gem level is within its level requirement.
Conductivity increases our damage output by lowering the enemies Lightning Resistance, and adds some chance to shock on top of that. Desecrate creates corpses to use Bone Offering in bossfights.

Keep CwDt, Conductivity and Desecerate at the shown levels, Bone Offering should be leveled above CwDt's level requirement so we can use it on demand.

Optionally you can use Flesh Offering for faster clearing, but do this at your own risk!
The block we gain from Bone Offering is our main defense, only switch that out if you're really confident you can handle the content without block.


Socketed in: -

CwDt + Immortal Call provides us some valuable protection against quick physical damage bursts.
Rallying Cry is for mana sustain in difficult situations and can only be selfcasted.
Clarity is our only aura - it gives flat mana regeneration to aid our casting costs and Mind over Matter, enables the Commander of Darkness buff from our Ascendancy and doesn't reserve much mana.

Same as above, keep the CwDt setup at the shown levels, Clarity and Rallying Cry can be maxed.
Only the CwDt setup needs to be linked, the rest doesn't matter.


Some unique item choices require a changed gem setup, which you can find here:

Pledge of Hands

Socketed in: Staff

Kitava's Thirst

Socketed in: Helmet

*Desecrate can be any level, Quality on Desecrate and Molten Shell isn't needed

Essence Worm

Socketed in: Ring


Gear, Jewels & Flasks


This build can work entirely with very basic rare gear - all important stats can be covered with Essence- and Mastercrafting. I've included crafting advices for that purpose.
That makes gearing very cheap, and enables a smooth progression for beginners and SSF-players.

Resistances are extremely important - each Elemental Resistance needs to be capped at
75% or you will get massive issues in maps, overcap by another 34% to be safe against curses!

Any amounts of Armour, Evasion or Energy Shield on gear are relatively unimportant for us,
although i recommend mostly Energy Shield-based gear as it's simply easier to get the right colours.


All gearpieces shown are just examples, don't take them too literal!

Required: +2 to socketed Lightning Gems, 18%/20% Block (implicit)
Optional: +1 to socketed Gems, Spell Damage, Cast Speed, Lightning Damage (%/flat to spells)

Additional Notes: Can be farmed through The Flora's Gift and The Dark Mage.

Crafting Advice: Farm a white base through the Divination Cards and use a couple Shrieking Essences of Spite until you get 2-3 good stats, then put a finishing touch with any useful Catarina master mod.
If you can't afford the Essences, just craft with your Orbs of Transmutation / Alteration / Augmentation until you hit +2 Lightning Gems with a useful suffix, use a Regal Orb and then add Spell Damage or Cast Speed with Catarina.

Required: 80+ Life, Elemental Resistances
Optional: Mana, Dexterity, Strength, Chaos Resistance

Additional Notes: Aim for an Intelligence (Energy Shield) based chest, it will make getting the correct socket colors much easier.

Crafting Advice: Farm or buy Emperor of Purity cards and use a couple Shrieking Essences of Greed, then refine with Haku's crafting bench.

Required: 60+ Life, Elemental Resistances, 20%+ Movement Speed (Boots)
Optional: Mana, Dexterity, Strength, Chaos Resistance

Additional Notes: Fingerless Silk Gloves provide a small spell damage boost through their implicit.
Haku can add a costly Block suffix to gloves.

Crafting Advice: You probably get good enough stuff drop, just refine it with Haku.

Required: 80+ Life, Elemental Resistances
Optional: Increased Flask Effect Duration, Strength

Additional Notes: Leather- or Heavy Belts are the best base.
Tora can add the important Increased Flask Duration suffix, if already present add 1-5% Movement Speed if there's an open prefix.

Crafting Advice: Another slot you probably won't need to craft, just refine a usable drop with Tora and you're good to go.

Required: 60+ Life
Optional: Spell Damage, Mana, Cast Speed, Lightning Damage, Mana Regeneration Rate, Dexterity, Strength, All Attributes

Additional Notes: Base should be either Dexterity based or a Blue Pearl Amulet.

Crafting Advice: Get one of the mentioned bases with an appropriate itemlevel and spam some Essences of Wrath until you get atleast a good liferoll, then add Mana or Mana Regeneration Rate with Elreon.

Required: 60+ Life, Elemental Resistances
Optional: Mana, Cast Speed, Lightning Damage, Mana Regeneration Rate, Dexterity, Strength, All Attributes

Additional Notes: Opal Rings are the best base, but might be a little expensive.

Crafting Advice: Pick up white rings in yellow/red maps and alch them. If the result is bad, keep it either for chaos recipe or to vendor 5 of same base for an unidentified rare ring.
If you can get your hands on an Opal Ring, spam some Essences of Wrath until you get something useful with a high liferoll.


This section is divided into Recommended Uniques and Optional Uniques.

While technically all listed uniques are optional choices, those in the Recommended category are highly recommended for an overall stronger setup while the Optional ones aren't as vital.


Recommended Uniques

The new, absolute BiS chest for every Arc build! This item single-handedly fixes the chain limit issue Arc has in high-packed situations such as Breaches, and provides other great stats on top.
You can even use the explosions to quickly kill bosses, if there's enough monsters around.
Might be tough to cap resistances in combination with all other unique choices, but it's absolutely worth it! Get one or divine yours to "..explode for 10% of their maximum Life.." stat.
Requires: -

Pledge of Hands is pretty much BiS for this build. The 100% mana roll translates into roughly 1000 extra mana and up to 160% Spell Damage is great too.
The built-in Lv30 Spell Echo allows an easy pseudo-5L for Arc, up to a 7L setup for maximum cast speed with a fully linked staff.
Please note that this unique requires a different gem setup, which you can find in the gem section above.
Requires: -

Kitava's Thirst is a huge convenience and gives us more reliable uptime for our Offering skill and curse, while also adding in Molten Shell for extra protection. Everything inside this helmet will be automatically casted as long as the skill we're using costs 100+ mana.
To achieve this, we need to use either atleast one Fevered Mind jewel or 6-linked gear to get both damage skills above 100 mana cost.
Since we don't use any support gems in it, this item doesn't have to be 4-linked.
Please note that this unique requires a different gem setup, which you can find in the gem section above.
Requires: 6-linked Staff or Fevered Mind

Stone of Lazhwar lets us to get near the Spell Block cap while also giving some decent mana and cast speed. Being a unique, it's also easy to get with useful corruptions for this build.
Requires: -

Essence Worm allows us to run Wrath for a huge damage boost without reserving a large part of our mana pool. The 40% increased Mana Reserved stat increases our Clarity's reservation cost only by a miniscule amount.
Requires: -

Careful Planning helps getting all the Dexterity we need for some support gems if used in the jewel socket near Mind over Matter. Only use this if you can't get enough Dexterity through gear.
Requires: -

Requires: -
Spirited Response can be used to strengthen our mana sustain. One is usually enough, with two you should barely ever run out of mana.


Optional Uniques

Agnerod West is another pretty decent unique staff that provides lots of damage to both our skills, and some mana through its Intelligence roll.
Requires: -

Agnerod South is similar to the previous staff, but trades some damage for +5% maximum Lightning Resistance. This is great to sustain Elemental Reflect better.
Requires: -

Null and Void give pretty solid stats and free Rampage, but can currently only be obtained through Divination Cards and Cadiro.
If you can find a cheap pair and don't need Resistances on this slot, i'd still recommend them just for the fun factor.
Requires: -

Sibyl's Lament is needed if you want to run Elemental Reflect maps, or for additional safety against reflect in Hardcore.
Requires: -

Reckless Defense can be used to cap Block Chance, or to raise Spell Block if you don't want to use Stone of Lazhwar. Using too many however may hurt if you receive too many crits, and you won't be able to use great rare jewels in the occupied sockets.
Requires: -

Fevered Mind is only useful to raise the mana cost of your skills high enough to work with Kitava's Thirst, i wouldn't recommend it for any other purposes.
Requires: Kitava's Thirst

Enchantments & Corruptions

This section shows all useful enchantments and corruptions for each gearslot, if there is any. Recommended choices are always written in bold.

Enchantments can be farmed in the labyrinth, Corruptions can be gained by using a Vaal Orb.
Be cautious with corrupting items, you can only modify corrupted items with a Lv8 Vorici at high costs or can even destroy your item!




‣ +1% to all maximum Resistances
+1 to Level of socketed Gems

Please note that corrupting 6-linked chestpieces can get really expensive!



Arc chains an additional x times
x% reduced Ball Lightning Projectile Speed
‣ Bone Offering grants an additional x% Block Chance



Commandment of the Tempest



x% increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven't Crit Recently
‣ x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Damage Penetrates x% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently
‣ x% increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently
x% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you've Killed Recently



x% Chance to Block
‣ x% Chance to Block Spells
x% of Damage taken Gained as Mana when Hit
+1% to all maximum Resistances
‣ Enemies can have 1 additional Curse


Flasks are an extremely important, but often overlooked part of our survivability.

We get the majority of base flasks for this setup through quests, the others are common drops.
Scour the quest flasks and put on 4 Glassblowers Baubles, for the drop flasks look for high quality ones straight away. After that is done, start crafting them one by one until you hit the listed mods.


Our savior in many situations. Eternal Life Flasks provide the best heal per second ratio.
Prefixes: Catalysed, Saturated, Ample, Chemist's, Panicked
Suffixes: of Warding, of Heat, of Curing

Additional life and mana recovery for emergencies. For higher content i recommend getting a Vessel of Vinktar (10% Penetration) for extra leech and damage output.
New Vinktar flasks have no mana leech!
Prefixes: Catalysed, Saturated, Ample, Chemist's, Panicked
Suffixes: of Warding, of Heat, of Curing

This flask gives a small damage boost and creates a ground effect that gives us 6% life regeneration per second, all while having a good duration and relatively low charge cost.
Grounding suffix is needed to counter Vessel of Vinktars downside unless you're using Inpulsa's Broken Heart - in that case, use one of the suffixes from the flasks above.
Prefixes: Experimenter's, Chemist's, Ample
Suffixes: of Grounding

Huge physical mitigation boost. Most bleed is tied to physical damage, which makes it a good flask to get Staunching suffix.
Prefixes: Chemist's, Ample
Suffixes: of Staunching

Great speedboost for clearing or repositioning. Only ilvl 5+ Flasks can roll Adrenaline suffix!
Prefixes: Experimenter's, Chemist's, Ample
Suffixes: of Adrenaline


Priority order for jewels is life > cast speed > damage > everything else.

We use jewels mainly as an additional way to boost life, even just a 2-stat jewel with life and one offensive stat is worth using.

Here's a list of all stats that you can look out for:

x% increased maximum Life

x% increased Cast Speed while wielding a Staff
x% increased Cast Speed with Lightning Skills
x% increased Cast Speed
x% increased Attack and Cast Speed

x% increased Spell Damage while wielding a Staff
x% increased Spell Damage
x% increased Lightning Damage
x% increased Damage

x% increased maximum Mana
x% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
x% additional Block Chance with Staves
x% additional Chance to Block Spells with Staves

Upgrade Order Guide

This section is based on the assumption that you start from nothing. If you already have one of the pieces, obviously use them even if you haven't completed the prior steps yet.


Step 1: Basic Gear, 5L Staff & Chest

Step 2: Uniques of your choice

Step 3: 6L Chest, 21/20 Arc, Lv3 Empower, Jewels

Step 4: 6L (Unique) Staff, 21/20 Ball Lightning

Step 5: Highend Gear & Enchantments

Step 6: Lv4 Empower, Highend Jewels

How to buy Cheap Gear

I've noticed some people bought way too expensive gear despite this build being very low on gear requirements, so here's a guide on how to buy cheap gear with mastercraft potential.

This section is based on poe.trade, but you can use whatever indexer you like.


In this example, we will look for an Intelligence-based pair of boots with the required values for Life and Movement Speed, atleast 40% Lightning Resistance, one out of atleast 25% Cold or Fire Resistance and optionally 35+ Mana.

‣ If it's your first time using poe.trade, i recommend taking the tutorial at the top of the page.

‣ Now select the item type and league in their respective dropdown menus. We're not looking for any specific base, so that dropdown can be ignored.

‣ Under Defense, put in a 1 at Shield minimum value. This means we will only find Intelligence-based boots, as that item requirement is usually tied to Energy Shield.

‣ Next are the mods, this includes any prefix, suffix and implicit mod on the item.
You can open the dropdown and directly type in which mod you're looking for.

‣ First we will put in the required stats for this gearslot, you can check them in the Gear section.
In this case it's 60+ Life and 20%+ Movement Speed. Type in "maximum life" and choose the
+# to maximum Life mod without Total tag, then put in 60 as minimum value.

The Total tag would include all boots with mastercrafted Life, ignoring it assures us that atleast this vital stat is fixed on the item, and we potentially still have the slot for a mastercraft.
It's generally better to have a high Life value fixed on the item, as the mastercrafted Life is pretty low and expensive to recraft, while f.e. Resistances can be cheaply added with a good value.

But enough talk, we also want atleast 20% Movement Speed and 40% Lightning Resistance, just put in those values following the same rule as above.

‣ Now to the other resistances. Click "Add filter group" and put in both resistances seperately, this time using the Total tag. This will show already mastercrafted boots, but also boots with a fixed resistance roll and potentially an open suffix to mastercraft a third one.
The latter can be difficult to detect, check the possible suffixes on poeaffix and compare.
After that is done, click the dropdown below and choose "Count", then put 1 as min value.

‣ Add another filter group for the optional Mana, choose the option with Total tag and put 35 as min value, then choose "If" in the dropdown below. This will exclude any boots with a Mana value below the best mastermodded Mana, if a Mana mod is present.

‣ As last step you can filter results with Online only, Buyout only and only up to or starting at a certain price, but we will ignore that now.

‣ Click search and check your results. The search form should look like this.

‣ If you've found something you'd like to buy, click "Whisper" to copy a premade message then paste this message ingame. Don't forget to say thanks after a successful trade!


Mapping & Bossfights


This build requires a very active hit & run playstyle. Most important thing is proper timing:
learn the duration of your skills, buffs and flasks and try to get a feel for when to update them.
It can be overwhelming at first, but gets pretty easy once you're used to it.
You can optionally cut down most of the casting with Kitava's Thirst.

Another important rule: don't rush map tiers too fast! There's just no point in running the highest tiers at Lv80 for example, while you still get good exp in lower map tiers.

Other than that mapping is pretty simple - run near a pack, burst them down with Arc, run to the next pack and repeat the whole process. Use Flame Dash occasionally to proc Arcane Surge, and drop Orb of Storms once in a while into a pack to proc Elemental Overload.
Our offering skills have a pretty long duration and don't need to be onscreen to be active - as long as the buff icon is there, you get the bonus.

Bossfights deserve their name again since Patch 3.0 - some will take significantly longer to kill, and with that get more chances to hurt you. Rule of thumb is: all highly telegraphed skills are meant to kill you, so don't even try to tank them.

My recommended strategy is cast Bone Offering if possible, start the fight, drop Orb of Storms, cast Rallying Cry then burst the boss down with Ball Lightning and refresh buffs if needed.


Monsters reflect x% Elemental Damage: Activate Yugul's Pantheon power, equip Sibyl's Lament, use Bone Offering and keep up your Vessel of Vinktar. It's still risky sometimes.

Cannot regenerate Life & Mana: Disable Clarity, equip a Mana- or Hybrid Flask or switch Onslaught & Slower Projectiles with Mana Leech.

Cannot leech Life & Mana from Monsters: Technically possible, but risky.


My Character




9th December 2017: Added new unique chest, lowered CwDt + IC to Lv1/3
8th December 2017: Added Rallying Cry & Spirited Response, PoB-link updated
7th December 2017: Updated for 3.1


Special thanks to everyone who helped improving the guide or supported it in any other way,
and to GGG for this awesome game and their exceptional support!

Hope you enjoy the build and have a nice day!
Last edited by Enki91 on Dec 14, 2017 6:41:49 AM
Last bumped on Dec 15, 2017 4:57:11 PM
Can you dual wield fishing rods? Do you think you could get the fastest cast speed lightning warp with two fishing rods or with a +3 lightning 22% cast staff?
All my builds /view-thread/1430399

T14 'real' clearspeed challenge /1642265

IGN maks
I really don't remember what i wrote here.
Last edited by Enki91 on Aug 13, 2017 10:30:25 AM
Hi, i came back after some time to try the game again, and i somehow stumbled into your thread.

I like the concept of Arc. It reminds of the old days in another game :)
After reading your guide i have some questions.

Is it possible to play this as EB + CoD build? (im sure its possible, but do you think its worth it? With all auras running, my mana pool would be reduced by a lot...)
Im not very rich and CoD is probably the only good item i have, thats why im asking :P

I would have to safe currency for a long time to buy both, catalyst and invitation. Thats why i hope i can use a rare belt to gain some extra life, mana and res + a wand with 1% leech from catharina.

Is 1% leech enough with and without Vaal Pact? Can Vaalpact really safe me vs reflect mobs? (i never used this node, so i have no idea)

Would be nice to get some feedback.

Merry Christmas
Completed 8 ChallengesZentr0x wrote:
Hi, i came back after some time to try the game again, and i somehow stumbled into your thread.

I like the concept of Arc. It reminds of the old days in another game :)
After reading your guide i have some questions.

Is it possible to play this as EB + CoD build? (im sure its possible, but do you think its worth it? With all auras running, my mana pool would be reduced by a lot...)
Im not very rich and CoD is probably the only good item i have, thats why im asking :P

I would have to safe currency for a long time to buy both, catalyst and invitation. Thats why i hope i can use a rare belt to gain some extra life, mana and res + a wand with 1% leech from catharina.

Is 1% leech enough with and without Vaal Pact? Can Vaalpact really safe me vs reflect mobs? (i never used this node, so i have no idea)

Would be nice to get some feedback.

Merry Christmas

Hi, and Merry Christmas!

CoD will be possible, but you'll have to drop one aura, either PoL or HoI, i'd recommend dropping the ladder.

VP does save you against reflect, especially when combined with the maxres of PoL and popping your Topaz flask. With only 1% leech it gets kinda funky though, i would in the meantime replace Empower with Life Leech until you can afford the Catalyst/Invitation setup.
Thx for the fast reply,
i will go with the LL Gem, should make it much easier to find a cheap Wand with decent stats.
When i drop HoI, i can replace it with Arctic Armor and i wont need an unset ring for know. Gives me more choices for this slot.
Suddenly this build is affordable, for me ;)

thx again!
Last edited by Zentr0x on Dec 25, 2014 12:09:59 PM
Nice guide!

I want to ask you a question: what's your opinion on apep's rage?
Nice guide!

I want to ask you a question: what's your opinion on apep's rage?

Apeps is great, but not for this build. The mana cost jumps to 170 mana/cast which is simply unsustainable. DPS is at 38.5k fully charged and it's bit less exposure to reflect, but yeah, the mana cost.
You tried with Pledge? If so how much dps you got? Nice Build btw!
You tried with Pledge? If so how much dps you got? Nice Build btw!

Thanks! Unfortunately i do not have a Pledge of Hands to hand, so i can't test it, but it's most likely beaten out by dual Catalyst.

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