[3.9] Enki's Arc Witch - a beginner & SSF-friendly Lightning Caster - new Setup!

Welcome to my Arc guide!

With this guide I want to provide a simple & balanced caster build for beginners and veterans
that is fun and easy to play, scales well into endgame and has as few restrictions as possible.
It's not the strongest caster build out there, but it perfectly fits the niche I want it to be in.

Instead of just showcasing a build, this guide is made to be a comprehensive learning experience.
There's many indepth explanations and links to various wiki pages for new players to understand.
I've tried to keep it short, but some things just can't be explained properly with only a few words.

Questions and Discussion about the current build version start at Page 1358.
If you have a question, please check from that page onwards first if someone already asked it!
For questions about your setup, please make your character tab public - it's hidden by default!

‣ 25th January 2019: more Videos added

Only showing the newest change, you can find the full changelog here!

Plans for 3.10

There's a few things in the current setup that i'm not very happy with or that ended up not working as well with the new content, so my focus will be on improving those.

Here's what's currently planned:

‣ no need for Glorious Vanity
‣ no Three Dragons (rip Porcupine protection but atleast elitists finally shut up about it)
‣ Eldritch Battery for better "mana" sustain
‣ getting rid of most conditional buffs, way more upfront damage
‣ around 3x the damage potential on higher end than the current version
‣ Paragon of Calimity is back

Art done by sk_gunoo!


  • Videos
  • Path of Building
  • About this Build
  • Leveling this Build
  • Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon
  • Gem Setup
  • Gear, Jewels & Flasks
  • Mapping & Bossfights



AL8 Conquerors & Awakener
Uber Atziri
T16 Maze of the Minotaur
T13 Blighted Plateau


Path of Building


https://pastebin.com/r3EEZjCa (read the Notes Tab!)
Path of Building Github Page
Browser Version
How to import builds

LocalIdentity's PoB Fork adds lots of new features and missing stuff.

I know that some people jump straight to the PoB without ever reading the guide, which often leads to failure and is then blamed on the build. Don't be that person!
I've invested lots of time into this guide and find it very rude when people just disregard that
and ask about things that are already well explained. This unfortunately keeps happening.


About this Build


+ cheap & fully SSF-capable
+ smooth gameplay & progression
+ capable to do all bosses & mapmods
- not as high DPS potential as some other builds
- Lightning has inconsistent damage output
- not a deep-delving (depth 1k+) build

Main Mechanics in this Build

Chaining: Arc is a lightning-based spell with the ability to chain from monsters and destroyable objects, even around corners and out of your line of sight! Each time it chains, it will also split to
a second nearby enemy from where it can't chain further. The amount of times Arc can chain depends on its gem level and can be increased by enchantments.

Crit: An effective way to increase damage which consists of two parts, Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike Multiplier. The former decides if your hit crits or not, the latter decides by how much its damage is amplified. Crits also have a 100% chance to apply Elemental Status Ailments if all other conditions are met. It takes some investment to work properly however, so until reaching maps we use Elemental Overload instead.

Freeze: An Elemental Status Ailment which prevents enemies from moving or using skills and makes them shatter on death, which disables most on-death effects. Freeze Duration is based on the amount of Cold Damage dealt in a single hit relative to the enemies Ailment Treshold.
For this build we use an item that enables our Lightning Damage to freeze instead.

Golems: A type of minions that grant buffs to the player while active, once per type of golem. With our Ascendancy and the Golem Commander notable we can summon a total of 4 golems.

Block: A defensive layer which can prevent all damage caused by hits, but may stun you.
Block comes in two forms, Chance to Block Attack Damage and Chance to Block Spell Damage, each being capped at 75% by default.

Hybrid Hitpool: In context of hitpools, Hybrid refers to combining Life and Energy Shield.
This allows us to reach a respectable hitpool while staying in the upper part of the passive tree and layer the stun resilience of Life with Energy Shields inherent 50% chance to avoid stuns.


Leveling this Build

Before you start

Here's a small collection of generic advice for newer players:

Information: Knowledge is a strong skill in Path of Exile, and it helps to know where to find it. First there's the ingame Help Panel, which you can reach through its icon next to your skillbar.
The Path of Exile Wiki should be your first stop for further information, poedb for plain data.
Lastly, Engineering Eternity is a youtube channel with lots of informative videos.

Lootfilter: You will soon realize that there's lots of redundant loot in this game, a good Lootfilter reduces screen clutter and highlights potentially valuable or important drops. Neversink's Filter is always a good start and you can further customize it at Filterblade.

Flasks: Unlike most ARPG's, this game is directly balanced around using all your flasks.
This goes beyond the typical life & mana flasks that you're probably used to from other games, during your act progression you'll gain access to various utility flasks which grant powerful buffs. Flasks can also be crafted, but it's not needed until maps so i've kept it for their own flask section. For now, focus on keeping your life & mana flasks updated, get all utility flasks from quests when mentioned and try to get a feeling for your flask usage.

Crafting: Gear can be enhanced in various ways through crafting and recipes, while the latter can also create currency used for crafting. You outlevel gear pretty quickly during act progression, so it's not advised to invest too much at this point. Limit it to Orbs of Transmutation, Orbs of Augmentation, Orbs of Alteration, Chromatic Orbs and various Essences you can find for now,
use Jeweller's Orbs and Orbs of Fusing only on useful gear you've looted. Try to focus on intelligence-based gear for additional defense and an easier time to get the right colors.

Crafting Bench: After unlocking your first hideout, you'll gain access to the Crafting Bench.
This can be used to craft a targeted affix on gear, if it isn't already there and has a slot available. Use it to craft any damage affixes, Life, Attributes or Elemental Resistances missing on your gear.
Recipes need to be found first, the Crafting Bench tells you all undiscovered recipe locations.

Trading: You can freely trade with other players if you have a Lv25+ char and aren't in SSF. Path of Exile's own trading site is good for buying gear, currency.poe.trade and poemap are convenient for bulk currency- and map trades. If you want to sell something, you either need premium stash tabs, set up a shop in the trade subforums or use Acquisition. For pricechecks, look for similar stuff on the trade site, check poe.ninja or use the trade macro (ctrl + alt + d).

Stash Tabs: The default stash space is pretty limited, if you like the game and are able to, consider buying more stash tabs. Getting a Currency- and Map Tab is highly recommended, Premium Tabs make trading easier and if you want, a Quad Tab makes a good dump tab.
Purchased tabs are account-wide, you won't lose them when temporary leagues end.
There's also a stash tab sale weekend each month, wait for that if you're not in a rush.

Full Leveling Section

Your journey through the ten acts can be seen as an extensive tutorial, slowly confronting you with the majority of game mechanics and increasingly more difficult enemies to learn to counter.

This section will help you while playing through the ten acts and shows the recommended
passive tree progression, gem setups, quest progression and exp farming zone for each act.
The passive tree goals are just a pointer, it's not a big deal if you're over- or underleveled.

Most builds don't come alive or work before reaching maps, and that's true for this build aswell. We finish the acts with a slightly different setup than what's planned for endgame, which reduces investment both gear- and passive-wise. Infact, you don't have to buy any gear until maps at all!

Keep in mind that this section includes major storyline spoilers, if you care about that.


Act 1

‣ Kill the Zombie, pick up Fireball and switch left-click to move-only
‣ Get Arcane Surge (keep it Lv1 -> right-click "+") from Large Chest and kill Hillock
‣ Buy Spark from Nessa, link it with Arcane Surge and throw away Fireball
‣ Check vendors for Boots with Movement Speed and a second Wand
‣ Get the Coast Waypoint, kill Hailrake on Tidal Island and get Quicksilver Flask in town
‣ Finish your quest in Mud Flats and Enter Submerged Passage
‣ Get the Waypoint, look for Flooded Depths and kill the Dweller of the Deep
‣ Get Orb of Storms, Frostblink and Passive Skillpoint in town
‣ Set Orb of Storms to "attack without moving" (left-click icon in skillbar)
‣ Enter Prison, get Added Lightning Damage and link it to Spark + Arcane Surge
‣ Check vendors for any item with 3-linked blue sockets
‣ Craft both wands with the following recipe: Magic Wand + Topaz Ring + Orb of Alteration
‣ If needed, the recipe for Topaz Rings is Iron Ring + Green Skill Gem
‣ Start looking out for 2x Sapphire Rings
‣ If needed, the recipe for Sapphire Rings is Iron Ring + Blue Skill Gem
‣ Complete Trial of Ascendancy in Lower Prison
‣ Kill Brutus, then get Clarity (keep it Lv5) and Flame Dash in town
‣ Replace Frostblink with Flame Dash and set it to "attack without moving"
‣ 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 and Arc
‣ Replace Spark with Arc and set it to "attack without moving"
‣ Get Storm Brand and replace Orb of Storms, this will provide extra boss damage
‣ 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
‣ If needed, the recipe for Topaz Rings is Iron Ring + Green Skill Gem
‣ 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
‣ 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
‣ Follow the path opposite of Riverways Waypoint until you reach Wetlands
‣ Kill Oak, get Wetlands Waypoint and go back to Riverways
‣ Go to Western Forest, get Waypoint, Help Alira and kill Captain Arteri
‣ Look for Weaver's Chambers and kill Weaver
‣ Get Elemental Focus and link it to Storm Brand
‣ Go back to Lioneye's Watch and get Passive Skillpoint
‣ 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 Intelligence-based gear
‣ Focus on having 75% Cold-, Fire- and Lightning Resistance from now on
‣ Kill the Blackguards in City of Sarn and enter town
‣ Go to Slums, enter Crematorium, finish Trial of Ascendancy and kill Piety
‣ Get Sewer Key and Zealotry in town, disable Clarity if needed
‣ 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
‣ 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!)
‣ Get Lightning Penetration & Energy Leech, take off Arcane Surge and link them to Arc
‣ Link Arcane Surge to Flame Dash, still keep it Lv1 for now
‣ Get another Lightning Penetration and link it to Storm Brand
‣ Get Steelskin & Increased Duration and link them together
‣ 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, Summon Lightning Golem and Summon Stone Golem in town
‣ Go back to Act 3, get Meat Shield and link it to your golems
‣ Hold CTRL and put your golems into the secondary skillbar
‣ 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 Elementalist and get Liege of the Primordial
‣ Go back to Crystal Veins, enter Kaom's Dream and kill Kaom
‣ Now enter Daresso's Dream and kill Daresso
‣ Get Spell Echo in town and replace Added Lightning Damage in your Arc Setup with it
‣ If you don't have a 4L for your Arc Setup yet, focus on this before continuing
‣ 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 kill Justicar Casticus
‣ Get Silver Flask and Skillpoint in town
‣ Replace a Life Flask with Silver Flask and try to roll of Staunching on it
‣ Make your way to Templar Courts, kill Avarius and get any unique jewel in town
‣ Get Ruined Square Waypoint and optionally kill Utula
‣ Finish the quest in Reliquary and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Look for the Sign of Purity in Ossuary
‣ Kill Kitava on Cathedral Rooftop
‣ You will suffer a permanent -30% resistance penalty after this fight

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Chamber of Innocence

Act 6

‣ Clear the Twilight Strand to unlock Lilly as Skillgem Vendor
‣ Get to Mud Flats and kill the Dishonored Queen
‣ Enter Karui Fortress, kill Tukohama and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Use Soul of Tukohama for now
‣ 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
‣ Use Soul of the Brine King for now

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Southern Forest

Act 7

‣ Find the Silver Locket in Broken Bridge and get Diamond Flask in town
‣ Replace a Quicksilver Flask with Diamond Flask
‣ 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
‣ Use Soul of Gruthkul
‣ Find Kishara's Star in Causeway and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get the Vaal City Waypoint, enter Temple of Decay and go back to town
‣ Finish the second Labyrinth and get Elemancer
‣ Go to Act 4 and get Summon Chaos Golem, then link it to your golems
‣ Get back 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
‣ Use Soul of Lunaris

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Harbour Bridge

Act 9

‣ Find the Storm Blade in Vastiri Desert and speak to Petarus & Vanja in town
‣ Look for a blocked entrance in Vastiri Desert
‣ Go to town, talk to Sin and then to Petarus & Vanja
‣ 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
‣ Now go right, enter the Ravaged Square and go south
‣ Enter the Control Blocks, kill Vilenta and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Optionally find the Teardrop in Reliquary
‣ Go back to Ravaged Square and get its Waypoint in the upper part
‣ Enter Ossuary, complete Trial of Ascendancy and get Elixir of Allure
‣ Get to Desecrated Chamber through Torched Courts and kill Avarius
‣ Finish the third Labyrinth and get Pendulum of Destruction
‣ Enter the Canals and make your way to the final bossfight
‣ You will suffer another permanent -30% resistance penalty after this fight

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Desecrated Chambers


‣ Talk to Lani for two Skillpoints
‣ Find Kirac in the Templar Laboratory and finish his quest
‣ Now it's time to look at the second part of this guide!
‣ Gear up for endgame and switch to the endgame gem setup and -passive tree
Don't forget to unspec Elemental Overload!
‣ If you lack currency, run Currency Delve nodes and/or start doing the Chaos Orb recipe

tl;dr: Leveling Section

Spark -> Arc
+ Arcane Surge (Lv1) -> Energy Leech
+ Added Lightning Damage -> Spell Echo
+ Lightning Penetration

Orb of Storms -> Storm Brand
+ Elemental Focus
+ Lightning Penetration

Frostblink -> Flame Dash
+ Arcane Surge (Lv1)

+ Increased Duration

Summon Lightning Golem
+ Meat Shield
+ Summon Stone Golem
+ Summon Chaos Golem

Clarity (Lv5)

Herald of Thunder


Life Flask
Life Flask -> Silver Flask
Mana Flask
Quicksilver Flask -> Diamond Flask
Quicksilver Flask

Kill Kraityn - Kill Oak - Help Alira

Act 1 Passives
Act 2 Passives
Act 3 Passives
Act 4 Passives
Act 5 Passives
Act 6 Passives
Act 7 Passives
Act 8 Passives
Act 9 Passives
Act 10 Passives


Guide continues below! Everything down there is only relevant once you've reached maps!
Still waiting for much need Selfcast buffs and Elementalist rework.

Last edited by Enki91 on Feb 9, 2020, 3:01:53 AM
Last bumped on Feb 25, 2020, 8:55:34 AM
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
GGG please remove that comment, it's not relevant anymore and the player publicly quit years ago. It's so old, there's not even a report button to get some attention to this!


Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon



Lv80 Passives
Lv90 Passives
Lv100 Passives

Ignore any warnings, all passive trees are updated for 3.9.



Liege of the Primordial (Normal): Enables us to summon another Golem, raises our damage and Golem Buff Effect and makes our golems immune to elemental damage.

Elemancer (Cruel): Gives us yet another golem and Golem Buff Effect, and makes us immune to elemental ailments with atleast 3x golems summoned.

Pendulum of Destruction (Merciless): Pretty unreliable buff that switches between AoE and Elemental Damage. We need it to reach..

Mastermind of Discord (Eternal): Allows us to run two Heralds while buffing them slightly and giving us a large amount of resistance penetration.



Soul of Solaris (Major): Lots of damage reductions when upgraded, use this as main.

Soul of Shakari (Minor): Additional chaos damage mitigation, use this as main.

Soul of Gruthkul (Minor): Additional physical damage mitigation if needed.

Soul of Ryslatha (Minor): Use this for Labyrinth and longer bossfights.

Soul of Yugul (Minor): Needed to run Elemental Reflect content.

You can have 1x major and 1x minor Pantheon node active at once.


Gem Setup


Non-corrupted Lv20 Gems can be upgraded to Lv1 20% by vendoring them together with a Gemcutters Prism. Do this with all gems that are marked with a *

All gems are worth corrupting at Lv20 20%, for the ones not needing quality just do it at Lv20.

Any Awakened Gem versions of listed support gems are worth using.



Arc is our main skill - it has high base damage, decent cast time and a more damage modifier for each remaining chain. This simply means that if for example your Arc can chain 7x and there's nothing to chain to, it will get a 105% (7*15%) more damage multiplier for that hit.

We can also use Vaal Arc, which grants both the regular Arc skill and a buffed up Vaal Arc that grants us the Lucky Buff. This buff counters our high lightning damage range by rolling each damage roll twice and taking the higher one. However, it can still happen that it rolls two low values and you end up getting a few small hits.

To help with this decision, a Lv21 Arc is always better than a Lv20 Vaal Arc. Since Vaal Arc is corrupted by default, the only reliable way to get it at Lv21 is using the Lapidary Lense on an uncorrupted Lv20 Arc gem in the Temple of Atzoatl, although it's not a guaranteed outcome.

Spell Echo* substantially boosts our cast speed and repeats each skill use without consuming mana for the repeated cast, all at the cost of a minimal damage penalty.
Lightning Penetration* is a hidden damage increase - it doesn't affect our tooltip damage, but rather acts as a dynamic more multiplier by reducing the enemies lightning resistance during damage calculations, and can even drop it into negative values.
Energy Leech* lets us sustain our Energy Shield pool while also giving a huge more damage multiplier while leeching, and a smaller more damage multiplier when it's full.

5th Link: Inspiration* reduces our Arcs mana cost and gives an Inspiration Charge per cast, up to 5 total, with each giving a more damage multiplier and increased crit chance.

6th Link: Added Lightning Damage* adds lots of lightning damage to our base damage,
at 80% of its listed value due to Arcs damage effectiveness. Alternatively, a Lv3/4 Empower can be used to raise Arcs level and with that its base damage, although this is only worth if the result is atleast Lv26 to get that extra chain.



Storm Brand* adds damage for bosses and is good to snipe "Allies Cannot Die" enemies within bigger packs of monsters. It's a duration-based skill and allows us to keep using Arc while passively dealing damage after being casted. Up to three brands can be casted but only one can attach to an enemy and deal damage, the buff bar gives a visual indicator for this.
Energy Leech*, Lightning Penetration* and Inspiration* do the same as before.

5th Link: Power Charge on Critical* provides Power Charges for more crits during bosses.

6th Link: Elemental Focus* gives a huge damage multiplier at the cost of being able to apply Elemental Ailments with the linked skill. We can still do that with Arc, so it's no issue.



Our little golem army. We don't care about their damage, we only want their buffs.

Summon Lightning Golem* gives us attack & cast speed.
Summon Stone Golem* gives us lots of life regeneration.
Summon Chaos Golem* gives us physical damage reduction.
Meat Shield* raises their survivability and enables them to taunt, which takes focus from us.

While we're able to summon four golems and only get the buff of each golem type once, I find this setup more effective than using a fourth golem gem. Simply just cast one of your golems twice for the extra buff effect.



Clarity helps our mana sustain. Unlike most other auras, it reserves a flat amount of mana that increases with its level. Keep it at a Lv5!
Zealotry vs. Wrath. Both are great auras for this build, unfortunately we can only fit in one without investing too much. Zealotry is a little bit weaker, but also gives some crit chance and the ability to proc Consecrated Ground on top of a damage multiplier.
Herald of Thunder* adds Lightning Damage and -Penetration with Mastermind of Discord.
Herald of Ice* gives us lots of clearspeed in combination with the Three Dragons helmet. Shattering enemies explode in a cold damage AoE, which scale with all our generic & elemental damage modifiers.

You need Mastermind of Discord to run them all, skip Herald of Thunder until then!



Flame Dash* is our movement skill of choice, it has three uses and a short cooldown. Additionally, it removes Grasping Vines and prevents us from taking damage from stationary damage over time sources when dashing through.
Steelskin* temporarily extends our hitpool with a short cooldown afterwards, great to soak up some incoming damage from projectiles and such.
Arcane Surge grants a buff giving a damage multiplier, cast speed & mana regeneration.
Its activation is based upon mana spent with linked spells and increases with gem level,
keep it at Lv6 to gain Arcane Surge with a single cast of Flame Dash or Steelskin.
Increased Duration* increases all buff durations.



This setup goes into your weapon swap (default key: x)!

Wave of Conviction applies Exposure, which temporarily lowers enemy resistance by 25%. It's only needed for tougher bosses, which is why we don't need it within our active links.
Physical to Lightning assures Lightning Exposure and allows to use it at physical reflect.
Increased Duration and Efficacy maximize the debuffs duration.

5th Link: Increased Area of Effect makes it easier to target, but isn't necessary to have.


Gear, Jewels & Flasks


Gearing in Path of Exile is all about opportunity cost - sure, that unique item may look good,
but is it better than all other options? Can you make up the loss of vital stats somewhere else?

In this section I want to give you a quick rundown on what to look out for in each slot.
It's structured into three sections for different budgets or as crafting goals in SSF.

Important basics about Gear

‣ Rare item names are randomly generated out of a gearslot-tied wordpool and meaningless

‣ Rare items can have up to six affixes, split into three prefixes and three suffixes

Item level decides which affixes can roll, and up to which tier

‣ Socket color probability is tied to attribute requirements: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence

‣ Quality increases the probability to hit the maximum number of sockets and links

‣ Corrupted Items can't be modified outside of socket amount, -links and -colors

‣ Affixes saying "attacks" don't affect Spells, flat damage on weapons only if it's "to Spells"

‣ Unique Items aren't best in slot unless mentioned otherwise

‣ Each Unique that's not listed here is either too weak to compete with better choices,
too expensive for too little gain or simply doesn't synergize at all with this build

‣ The Crafting Bench can add powerful affixes for cheap, which is especially helpful to create
Life + ES gear and weapons. Use poedb to figure out open affix slots

How to read this Section

All relevant affixes are listed in Affix Priority and sorted by their approximate strength.

Required affixes are in bold.

The following tags mean which crafting method or influence type is required for that affix:

N = Normal, B = Crafting Bench, F = Fossil, Es = Essence
S = Shaper, E = Elder, C = Crusader, R = Redeemer, H = Hunter, W = Warlord

If you want to learn how to look for upgrades and compare them, check this tutorial!

If you want to craft some higher end gear on your own, check this tutorial!


This build uses staves in endgame to run two 5L+ setups and make use of some decent staff passives. The Flora's Gift and The Dark Mage are easy ways to get a 5L respectively 6L staff, which together with basic Essence-, Fossil- or Alteration crafting are enough to get started.

Agnerod West is great for this build. It gives decent damage, penetration, a global +2 Level modifier for all our active Lightning Spell gems and some Mana + ES through Intelligence. Agnerod South, -East and -North can be used aswell, they give slightly less damage but are currently also much cheaper.

Duskdawn is another unique for medium budgets. It gives more Block and slightly more damage, which however is mostly conditional. Can only be gained through its recipe.

The highend option is a +3 Level rare staff, either global or for socketed gems. The global option has the advantage that it also affects Storm Brand, while the socketed option is able to roll on Warstaves and allows to reach Lv31 Arc for a 10th chain with the right setup. Other than that,
just stack damage affixes and Double Damage chance while Focussed.

Warstaves can't roll caster affixes by default when crafting!

Affix Priority

+2/3 to Level of all Lightning Spell Skill Gems N
+2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems B
+2 to Level of all Spell Skill Gems N
+2 to Level of Socketed Lightning Gems N (Warstaff-only affix)
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems N (Warstaff-only affix)
Socketed Skills deal 20% more Spell Damage F
80%+ increased Elemental Damage F
80%+ increased Lightning Damage N B
80%+ increased Spell Damage N B Es
Gain #% of Non-Chaos Damage as extra Chaos Damage B
Gain #% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage S
Gain #% of Lightning Damage as Extra Chaos Damage N B
Damage Penetrates #% Elemental Resistances S
Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance C F Es
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 10 Power Charge On Critical Strike E
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 1 Arcane Surge S
Adds 1 to 80+ Lightning Damage to Spells N B Es

30% chance to deal Double Damage while Focussed B
Spells have a #% chance to deal Double Damage R
#% chance to deal Double Damage S B
20%+ increased Cast Speed N B Es
+1 to Level of Socketed Intelligence Gems F
Wrath/Zealotry has #% increased Aura Effect C
20%+ to Global Critical Strike Multiplier N B
80%+ increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells N B Es
#% chance to inflict Lightning Exposure on Hit C
% increased Damage per Power Charge C

Body Armours are our main slot to get Life and Energy Shield (= ES) from. A basic one with that and some Resistances is enough to get started. Emperor of Purity gives an easy 6L in SSF.

Ambu's Charge is a pretty nice starter unique, and currently really cheap as 6L.

The Queen's Hunger is a really good chest for this build, coming with high ES, Life, Cast Speed and two veiled modifiers. The Offerings occasionally grant attack- & spellblock chance, attack- & cast speed or ES. It can only drop from Catarina, Master of Undeath.

The highend choice is a Vaal Regalia with Spellcrit and Life gained as ES together with the usual. With a bit luck you can also get full reflect immunity on top of that.

Affix Priority

80+ to maximum Life N B Es
100+ base Energy Shield
Gain #% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield B
100% reduced Reflected Elemental Damage taken S
#% Chance to Block Attack Damage B

Spells have +#% to Critical Strike Chance S H
Resistances N B Es

This build revolves around Three Dragons to freeze with Arc, giving another defensive layer and enabling Herald of Ice's explosions. It also allows us to use any source of Lightning Penetration to full effect and comes with lots of resistances, but lacks Life and ES.


Arc Chains an additional time
#% increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Stone Golems
#% increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Lightning Golems
#% increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Chaos Golems
Steelskin Buff can take #% increased amount of Damage

Our focus on gloves is as much Life, ES and Resistances as possible, and that's pretty much it. Fingerless Silk Gloves add some minor damage through their implicit and have good base ES.

The highend choice is the usual together with global Culling Strike.

Only useful enchantment here is ..of Light.

Affix Priority

60+ to maximum Life N B Es
60+ total Energy Shield N B Es
#% increased Spell Damage W

Resistances N B Es
Culling Strike W
#% Chance to Block Attack Damage E W

Once again, focus on Life, ES, Resistances and some Movement Speed.

Doryani's Delusion are insanely good, just make sure they're Sorcerer Boots base and have added lightning damage. It can only be obtained (and configured) in Doryani's Machinarium.

The highend choice are ES-based boots with Tailwind for extra speed and DPS.

The best enchantment is #% increased Mana Regeneration Rate if you've cast a Spell recently.

Affix Priority

60+ to maximum Life N B Es
40+ total Energy Shield N B Es
#% increased Movement Speed N B Es

You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently H
Resistances N B Es

Amulets are a damage slot, so that'll be our focus here together with Life and ES.
They're also one of the slots to get some Life Leech from if needed.

The highend choice has high Life and atleast three well-rolled damage affixes.

Aul's Uprising is another potential highend choice that allows us to run both Wrath and Zealotry at the cost of one gem socket. Either replace Arcane Surge if you have another way to gain it,
or use an Unset Ring. Can only drop from Aul, the Crystal King.

The best anointments are Prodigal Perfection for additional mana and damage at a low oil cost,
or Cleansed Thoughts to cap Chaos Resistance if you have atleast 15% and Atziri's Promise.

Affix Priority

40+ to maximum Life N B
#% increased maximum Energy Shield N B Es
+1 to Level of all Lightning Skill Gems C
+1 to Level of all Intelligence Skill Gems H
#% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life S C
Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance C
Damage Penetrates #% Elemental Resistances S H F
#% increased Lightning Damage F
#% increased Spell Damage N
+# to maximum Mana N B
Regenerate # Mana per second B

20%+ to Global Critical Strike Multiplier N Es
+1 to Minimum Frenzy Charges B
#% increased Global Critical Strike Chance N B Es
#% increased Mana Regeneration Rate N B Es
#% Chance to Block Spell Damage S C
Wrath/Zealotry has #% reduced Mana Reservation C

Your first ring should go all out on Life and Resistances, ES and Mana are also good to have.

The highend choice is still pretty basic, simply all of that on a Vermillion Ring.
Optionally you can add some damage prefixes or even Life Leech to that.

Affix Priority

40+ to maximum Life N B
+# to maximum Energy Shield N B Es
#% increased maximum Energy Shield C
#% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life F
#% increased Spell Damage C
#% increased Damage B
Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Spells and Attacks S
# to # Lightning Damage per Power Charge C
+# to maximum Mana N B
Regenerate # Mana per second B

Resistances N B
#% increased Mana Regeneration Rate N B Es

Your second ring needs Assassin's Mark on Hit for better crit consistency and damage output,
and of course again some Life, ES and Mana if needed. If there's an open suffix you should also add Shock on Focus, which shocks nearby enemies for 15% increased damage taken.

Mark of Submission is a cheap way to get Assassin's Mark on Hit at the cost of all other affixes. You can change its socket color, so no need to overpay for blue or white sockets.

The highend choice has Assassin's Mark on Hit, high Life, an open suffix for Shock on Focus and optionally ES and damage on a Vermillion Ring. I recommend to not get any resistances here,
so you're able to easily switch it for the next ring on demand.

Sibyl's Lament together with Soul of Yugul is only needed to safely run elemental reflect content such as (Uber-) Atziri. No need to use this for anything else, if you do then you haven't read this.

Affix Priority

40+ to maximum Life N B
+# to maximum Energy Shield N B Es
#% increased maximum Energy Shield C
#% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life F
#% increased Spell Damage C
#% increased Damage B
Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Spells and Attacks S
# to # Lightning Damage per Power Charge C
+# to maximum Mana N B
Regenerate # Mana per second B

Curse Enemies with Level # Assassin's Mark on Hit S
Shock nearby Enemies for # Seconds when you Focus B

Belts are yet another basic slot for Life, ES and Resistances, and can also roll some flask related affixes to extend their uptime. Stygian Vise base gives another Abyss Jewel socket.

The highend choice has all the basic stuff and Gain a Flask Charge on Crit, optionally damage too.

Affix Priority

80+ to maximum Life N B
+# to maximum Energy Shield N B Es
Gain a Flask Charge when you deal a Critical Strike H
#% increased maximum Life E H
#% increased maximum Energy Shield S C
+# to maximum Mana N B
#% increased Damage B
#% increased Lightning Damage C F

Resistances N B Es
#% increased Flask Effect Duration N B
#% increased Life Recovery rate E W
#% increased Energy Shield Recovery rate S C
#% increased Elemental Damage F


Abyss Jewels are fairly easy to craft, regular Jewels have more damage potential at higher cost.
I've planned the build around having Life on Jewels, even with just one damage affix it's worth it.

Affix Priority

Abyss Jewels:
+# to maximum Life
+# to maximum Energy Shield
+#% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Spells (-while wielding a Two Handed Weapon)
Dexterity/all Attributes

regular Jewels:
#% increased maximum Life
#% increased maximum Energy Shield
+#% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
+#% to Critical Strike Multiplier with Lightning/Elemental Skills (or -for Spells)
#% increased Spell Damage (-while wielding a Staff)
#% increased Lightning Damage
#% increased Damage
#% increased Critical Strike Chance with Lightning/Elemental Skills (or -for Spells)
Dexterity/all Attributes

Glorious Vanity with "..in the Name of Doryani" gives us lots of extra ES through Corrupted Soul. The 50% of damage bypassing ES is covered by Regeneration, Flasks and optional Life Leech.
They can only drop in the Domain of Timeless Conflict with a Vaal Emblem used.

Please read through their wiki page to understand how Timeless Jewels work. In short, their seed mechanic makes it impossible to fully plan around in build guides beyond their keystone.

There's three possible locations for them in this build, check them all to see which one gives the best nodes and do some passive tree adjustments based on that, or try for a better seed.

Glorious Vanity Locations

Passive Priority

#% increased maximum Life
#% increased maximum Energy Shield
0.2% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life
Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance
+#% to Critical Strike Multiplier
#% increased Movement Speed
+#% to Chaos Resistance
#% of Life Regenerated per second
#% increased Skill Effect Duration
#% chance to Blind Enemies on Hit
+1% to maximum Chaos Resistance
+1% to maximum Fire Resistance
+1% to maximum Cold Resistance
+1% to maximum Lightning Resistance
#% increased effect of Non-Curse Auras from your Skills
#% increased Lightning Damage
#% increased Spell Damage
#% increased Cast Speed
#% increased Critical Strike Chance
#% increased maximum Mana
#% increased Mana Regeneration Rate

How to make it work in Path of Building

First, remove all passives within its radius that aren't needed for travelling.

Next, remove the effect of all travelling nodes within radius. Click on your Glorious Vanity in the Items tab, Edit and then type in for example -40 to Intelligence and 12% reduced Elemental Damage if used near Avatar of Fire.

Now do the same to add the effect of all passives you take within in your seed, including
Gain 20% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield from Corrupted Soul, then save.

Watcher's Eye gives Life, ES, Mana and two or three random aura-related affixes. This pretty much decides if you gotta use Zealotry or Wrath, depending on what you get your hands on.
They can only drop from the Elder (2-affix) or Uber Elder (3-affix).

Useful affixes for this build, ranked by their strength and divided by offensive and defensive:

Affix Priority

Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance while affected by Wrath
Consecrated Ground you create while affected by Zealotry causes enemies to take #% increased Damage
Critical Strikes Penetrate #% of Enemy Elemental Resistances while affected by Zealotry
#% increased Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath
#% increased Critical Strike Chance while affected by Wrath
Gain Arcane Surge for 4 seconds when you create Consecrated Ground while affected by Zealotry

Gain #% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity
#% increased Maximum total Recovery per second from Energy Shield Leech while affected by Zealotry
#% increased Mana Recovery Rate while affected by Clarity


Crafting Advice: Start by scouring all flasks and put 4x Glassblower Baubles on each, which can be bought for 8x Blacksmith's Whetstones each at the gear vendor in town. Transmute and use Orbs of Alteration until you hit one of the listed prefixes without a suffix, and add one of the listed suffixes through Einhar's Beastcrafting in the Menagerie. If you hit a listed prefix already together with a listed suffix, you should of course keep that.


Provides fast life recovery on demand, which gets scaled by Flask Effect, Flask Duration and Life Recovery (-from Flasks). Eternal Life Flask is the best base for that.
Prefixes: Catalysed
Suffixes: of Staunching

Makes our Crit Chance lucky, which provides lots of effective Crit Chance.
Prefixes: Experimenter's
Suffixes: of Warding

Grants us Onslaught for some extra speed and DPS.
Cinderswallow Urn is an amazing flask that adds lots of damage and sustain. Herald of Ice + Three Dragons assures that we get the damage buff aswell. Increased Critical Strike Chance during Flask Effect is the best veiled mod choice. Can only drop from Catarina, Master of Undeath.
Prefixes: Chemist's
Suffixes: of Curing

Gives some extra Physical Damage Reduction.
Rumi's Concoction gives additional chance to Block Attack & Spell Damage and can be somewhat reliably farmed through Earth Drinker.
Prefixes: Chemist's
Suffixes: of Curing

Our mana sustain for No Regeneration maps. Eternal Mana Flask is the best base for this that.
Atziri's Promise provides extra Damage, some Leech and lots of Chaos Resistance.
Can only drop from Atziri in the Apex of Sacrifice or Temple of Atzoatl.
Prefixes: Enduring
Suffixes: of Efficiency

Upgrade Order

Just a small aid to help you figuring out what to upgrade next. It's based on the assumption that you have nothing better available, if you do then of course use it.

And as a reminder, the second part of this guide is only relevant once you reach maps and so is this section. You don't have to buy anything while still in the acts.


‣ Basic Life/ES Gear, Three Dragons, proper magic Flask setup

‣ (Cheap) 6L Staff & Body Armour, Atziri's Promise, Glorious Vanity

‣ Lv21 0% Quality Arc or Vaal Arc

‣ Assassin's Mark on Hit Ring, Cinderswallow Urn

‣ Spellcrit Body Armour, Staff & Amulet upgrade

‣ Watcher's Eye

‣ Tailwind Boots, Flask Charge on Crit Belt, Culling Strike Gloves

‣ Lv21 20% Quality Storm Brand, optionally Awakened Gems

‣ Highend Jewels & other Gear Upgrades if possible


Mapping & Bossfights



Before you start mapping, make sure that you have:

‣ atleast 3.5k Life and 1k Energy Shield

‣ Fire, Cold and Lightning Resistance capped at 75%

‣ Arc and Flame Dash set to "attack without moving"

‣ the correct Pantheon powers activated (unlock extra powers as you map)

‣ a proper Flask setup (check the Flask section above)

Your first maps shouldn't be an issue with this, just keep on progressing through the Atlas. Two things you should read up on are monster mods and map mods to understand what everything does and how they may affect enemies or yourself.

Your character will naturally progress while mapping - your gems level up, which is especially important for the Arc gem itself, your character levels up and you will build up currency for upgrades, even if you just do Chaos Recipe. Don't focus on "what DPS should I have at this level?" or such, as long as you play and follow what the guide says, you can't do anything wrong.

Try to find a good rhytm between Arc, Flame Dash and flask usage. All enemies give you some cues and time to react. Very often, their skills also lock target on the position you're at during their animation start, so in that case simply move to avoid all damage. Sometimes you can also use the environment as defense and last but not least, don't forget that Arc is a ranged skill.
If you sense lots of incoming damage and can't get out of the way, cast Steelskin and use defensive flasks to mitigate as much as possible.

That said, there's many things in this game that aren't meant to be tanked in the first place,
and will absolutely kill you if you try. There's lots of trial and error involved to figure them out.



This also applies to bossfights - they're all mechanical, so try to learn how to play around them.

Start with Wave of Conviction, cast Storm Brand then circle them while using Arc. If the boss gives you enough time to damage for a few seconds straight, buff up and spam Arc.

Note that freezelocking bosses prevents them from doing their phase transistions, so if you notice the fight seems stuck, simply stop casting and wait until the next phase starts.

POELab has a section with guides & GIFs for all Endgame Bosses.

For highest tier bossfights, I recommend atleast:

‣ 4.5k Life and 3k Energy Shield

‣ 1m sustained Shaper DPS

‣ (surprise) 75% Elemental Resistances

‣ atleast 0% Chaos Resistance

‣ upgraded Pantheon powers

‣ a good Flask setup



While we can run all mapmods, decide for yourself if it's a good idea in that combination or against that boss. Things that are usually harmless can really start to hurt with the wrong mods!

The following mods require special attention:

all Curses: Counter them with your Warding Flask

Elemental Reflect: Equip Sibyl's Lament and use Soul of Yugul

Projectiles chain: Can be completely ignored with Soul of Lunaris upgrade

Chance to avoid Elemental Ailments: Worst one for us, huge damage & safety loss

Elemental Equilibrium/Resistance/Hexproof/reduced Damage from Crits: Damage loss

Less Recovery Rate: Lowers our recovery from Leech, Regeneration and Flasks

No Regeneration: Disable Clarity and equip Enduring Mana Flask


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!
Still waiting for much need Selfcast buffs and Elementalist rework.

Last edited by Enki91 on Jan 18, 2020, 10:17:33 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
Zentr0x 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.
Still waiting for much need Selfcast buffs and Elementalist rework.

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?
Chrispherto wrote:
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.
Still waiting for much need Selfcast buffs and Elementalist rework.

You tried with Pledge? If so how much dps you got? Nice Build btw!
funkeherkules wrote:
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.
Still waiting for much need Selfcast buffs and Elementalist rework.


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