[3.0] Whaitiri's Arc Witch - a beginner & SSF-friendly Mind over Matter 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 endgame and can even be played completely selffound.

This is one of the oldest guides that still gets updated to keep it strong with every major patch, and has been fairly successful over the years. Part of its success is due to the heavy focus on teaching new players about important game mechanics and -knowledge, even beyond what is relevant for this build.

Even if you aren't new, please read the guide carefully to understand why certain choices were made.

Questions & Discussion about the current build version start at page 291.

Update finished! Improved gem setups, added new gear choices and a Path of Building link!

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Main Mechanics in this build

Spoiler

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: This has been a very crit-focused build for the longest time, but the investment needed to reach a consistently high crit chance with Arc got to a point where it's just not worth it anymore.

Instead of going all out on crit now, 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.
This allows to get good damage output with much less investment, and with that makes the build strong for endgame content at a much lower level.

Curses: They are a powerful source for temporary debuffs such as letting enemies take more damage, weakening them or granting you specific things on hit/kill.
Each character can have one curse by default and raise that limit with some investment.
We use two curses - one offensive, one defensive - with the option to switch the former with a second defensive curse if needed.
Monsters can gain immunity to curses through specific monster- & mapmods, bosses have a default 60% and shaper/guardians 80% less curse effect modifier.

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.


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Videos

- None yet! Getting a new PC soon, which will allow me to record some. -

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First steps for new players

Spoiler


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.
  • Exilemods - 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.

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 little guide can help you to find out what gear is worth selling.

Level gems: Make use of your secondary weapon slot to level a few copies of Arc and Storm Burst, 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 some black sheep who will ridicule anything that doesn't come up to their "efficiency standards".
But seriously, screw all that. Having fun is all that should matter to you in a videogame, so play what and how you want!


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Leveling this build

Spoiler

This section will help you while playing through the storyline and shows the recommended
passive tree progression, gem setups and quest progression 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.

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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 Granite- or Basalt Flask of Staunching around Act 4 and one Quicksilver Flask with another Basalt Flask around Act 8. 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 recommend 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
‣ Optionally get Lightning Tendrils if you want to use it for single target
‣ 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
‣ 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


Act 2

‣ Once in town, enter the Old Fields first
‣ Start looking out for 2x Topaz Rings
‣ Optionally 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
‣ Get another set of those gems when using a seperate single target spell
‣ Link Arcane Surge to Flame Dash 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


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
‣ Optionally get Storm Burst or Ball Lightning if you want to use it for single target
‣ Enter Lunaris Temple, kill Piety and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Imperial Gardens Waypoint and finish Trial of Ascendancy in Hedge Maze
‣ Go to Library and finish Siosa's quest
‣ You can now buy all unlocked gems at Siosa (currency needs to be in bag!)
‣ Get Decoy Totem
‣ Link Arc with Onslaught, Controlled Destruction and Lightning Penetration
‣ Link single target spell with Controlled Destruction, Lightning Penetration and Faster Casting if Lightning Tendrils, Lesser Multiple Projectiles if Storm Burst or Slower Projectiles if Ball Lightning
‣ Link Blasphemy with Warlord's Mark and throw away Herald of Thunder
‣ Enter the Sceptre of God and kill Dominus

Passive Tree Goal


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 and link with Faster Casting
‣ 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
‣ Optionally get another Spell Echo if not using Storm Burst
‣ Replace Controlled Destruction with Spell Echo on Arc
‣ Replace Faster Casting with Spell Echo on Lightning Tendrils, if used
‣ Replace Controlled Destruction with Spell Echo on Ball Lightning, if used
‣ Buy Cast when Damage taken and Immortal Call from Siosa and link them (keep at Lv10 & Lv12!)
‣ Kill Piety in Belly of the Beast, and finally Malachai in the Harvest

Passive Tree Goal


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


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
‣ 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
‣ Add Enfeeble to the Blasphemy setup once you have Whispers of Doom
‣ Light the Beacon and kill the Brine King

Passive Tree Goal


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


Act 8

‣ Enter the Toxic Conduits and kill Doedre - nasty fight
‣ 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


Act 9

‣ Good time to finish the second Labyrinth, get Commander of Darkness
‣ Find the Storm Blade in Vastiri Desert 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
‣ Don't use Bone Offering for this fight, or the feather might not drop!
‣ Go to town and give the feather to either Tasuni or Irasha, get two Skillpoints
‣ Enter Belly of the Beast and kill the Depraved Trinity

Passive Tree Goal


Act 10

‣ Go left on Cathedral Rooftop and kill Plaguewing
‣ 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


Epilogue

‣ Talk to Lani for two Skillpoints
‣ Enter Templar Laboratory and get Jungle Valley 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



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Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon

Spoiler

For those who prefer direct passive tree links
Finished Base Tree
With all optional choices active
Path of Building setup (read Notes tab)
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Right Click > Open in new tab if it's too small.

TMb8tHO
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WoVSqaB


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Gem Setup

Spoiler

Gems are listed in order of importance!



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 and Lightning Penetration directly increase our damage, but only the former is a visible increase in tooltip.
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.
Onslaught gives us 20% Cast- & Movement Speed through its buff on kill. Level it as high as your Dexterity allows.


Life Leech can be switched with Empower, which raises Arcs gem level and with that the base damage and if the result is Lv24 or higher, also gives another chain.

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Socketed in: Chest

We have three different choices for out single-target spell, each having their pros and cons:

Ball Lightning offers great damage on a fairly good range coupled with low casting times and is my personal favorite. Downside is the relatively high Dexterity requirement for Slower Projectiles.

Storm Burst is a pseudo ranged ability and gives decent damage through overlapping explosions,
which this gem setup maximizes. Downside is its clunky playstyle - you need to channel for approximately 0.5-1s, release and repeat the whole process - and huge Dexterity requirements.

Lightning Tendrils has the maximum damage potential out of these choices, at the price of a very small range and long cast time. Not recommended for HC unless you know each bossfight!

If you test and compare all skills, note that spells get their base damage by gem level,
so if one spell is significantly lower level than the others it will give skewed results!



Empower is once again an option to swap for Life Leech if you want more damage and don't need extra leech.

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Socketed in: -

Bone Offering is our key to survivability. It grants up to a flat 35% Chance to block attacks, 34% Chance to block spells and if that wouldn't be enough already, also recovers up to 594 life whenever we block.
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!



If you're confident enough, you can also swap Bone Offering with Flesh Offering for extra speed while mapping, although i wouldn't recommend this in really hard content or against bosses.

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Socketed in: -

Orb of Storms is great to keep up Elemental Overload, but we also use it to apply our curses.
Warlord's Mark provides us life- and mana leech, Conductivity gives extra damage and shock chance.


You can switch Conductivity with Enfeeble for harder content if needed.

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Socketed in: -

Immortal Call helps us surviving physical damage bursts and gets procced by Cast when Damage taken after a certain damage treshold is reached.
Keep both gems at the shown levels for the best proc/duration ratio!

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Socketed in: -

These gems don't need to be linked together, put them wherever you got a spare socket.

Clarity gives a nice boost to mana regeneration for a relatively low reservation cost and enables all the nice boosts from Commander of Darkness.
Desecrate is only needed to cast Bone Offering when no corpses are available, leveling it doesn't help us in any way.
Decoy Totem is good to kite away bosses or other nasty stuff and gives you time to kill them.

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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


Socketed in: -


Socketed in: -


Essence Worm

or

Socketed in: Ring


Clear Mind


Socketed in: -



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Gear, Jewels & Flasks

Rares

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!

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Staves are the best choice for this build in endgame. They allow us to use more than three support gems on Arc while also being able to boost its gem level, give some block chance
(ignore the fact that mine has none) and most importantly, can be rather easily farmed through The Flora's Gift and The Dark Mage.

The main stats to look out for are +2 to Level of socketed Lightning Gems or +1 to Level of socketed Gems - just like Empower these stats raise Arcs base damage and make it easier to reach a Lv24 Arc for that extra chain. Aside from that, Spell Damage, Lightning Damage and Cast Speed are great to boost damage, while Mana Regeneration and Critical Strike Chance for Spells can add some utility.

Crafting Advice: Farm a white base through the aforementioned 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.




Most important thing about our chestpiece is that it must be either an Energy Shield or Armour/Energy Shield base, otherwise getting the right colours will become a nightmare.
Chestpieces can roll the highest Life out of all gear, try to get atleast 80 Life with maybe one or two Resistances.

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



Helmet, Gloves and Boots all need 70+ Life and Resistance rolls, other than that only thing to look out for is 20%+ Movement Speed on boots and no Evasion bases for easier chroming.
For min-maxing, Fingerless Silk Gloves provide a small spell damage boost through their implicit.

Crafting Advice: Usually crafting isn't needed here.



Leather Belts are the best base to maximize our lifepool, again with 70+ Life and some Resistance. Belts are also the only gear that can roll Reduced Flask Charges used, Increased Flask Effect Duration and Increased Flask Charges gained, which are all very powerful mods.
If there is an open prefix, you can also add Movement Speed with Tora.

Crafting Advice: Another slot you probably won't need to craft, but if you do then get a good itemlevel Leather Belt and spam Essences for whatever Resistance you need.



Amulets are an extremely versatile slot with lots of potentially good mods for this build.
It starts with the base - i recommend either any Dexterity base or a Blue Pearl Amulet.
Prefixes are pretty limited, 60+ Life is mandatory, Spell Damage and Mana are optional.
Suffixes offer Cast Speed, Lightning Damage, Mana Regeneration Rate, Critical Strike Chance,
Dexterity, All Attributes and Resistances to choose from, although i recommend to cap Resistances through other slots.

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.



Rings offer a similar pool of mods as amulets, minus the Spell Damage and Critical Strike Chance. Opal Rings are the best base here, 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.



Uniques

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.

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Recommended Uniques


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 nothing to laugh at.
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 an extremely huge convenience for this build - both curses, Desecrate and our offering skill 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 to raise both damage setups mana cost high enough, or a 6-linked Pledge of Hands to get Arc above 100 mana cost.
Please note that this unique requires a different gem setup, which you can find in the gem section above.
Requires: 6-linked Pledge of Hands 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 or Purity of Lightning for safety in Hardcore, without reserving a large part of our mana pool. The 40% increased Mana Reserved stat only increases our Clarity's reservation cost by a miniscule amount.
Requires: -

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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: -



Kaom's Heart gives a large amount of life at the cost of sockets. To effectively use this chest,
you will need a second Staff for your single target spell and switch between both by pressing x.
Requires: 2x 5/6L Staves



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: -



Ungil's Harmony is great to keep up Elemental Overload and has some basic Life and Mana rolls.
Requires: -



Rashkaldor's Patience gives a minor boost to our Shock and has decent Life and Mana rolls.
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: -



Clear Mind can replace Clarity if you want more unreserved mana. It gives a little less mana regeneration, but more damage similar to a rare jewel. But you will have to use Essence Worm + Wrath to still get the Commander of Darkness buff with this setup.
Requires: Essence Worm



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!

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Chestpiece

Corruptions

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

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


Helmet

Enchantments

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


Gloves

Enchantments

..of Light
‣ ..of Reflection
‣ ..of Spite
‣ ..of the Tempest
‣ ..of the Grave
‣ ..of Thunder
‣ ..of War

Corruptions

x% Cast Speed
‣ Curse Enemies with level x Elemental Weakness on Hit


Boots

Enchantments

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


Amulet

Corruptions

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

Flasks are an extremely important, and often overlooked tool for survivability.

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Recommended Base Setup

Please ignore the affixes on shown flasks, just focus on the base!


Mainly used to heal any hits that get through block, or to counter damage over time.
Prefixes: Catalysed, Saturated, Ample, Chemist's, Panicked
Suffixes: of Warding, of Heat, of Curing



Additional life and mana recovery for emergencies. Can be substituted with a unique Flask.
Prefixes: Catalysed, Saturated, Ample, Chemist's, Panicked
Suffixes: of Warding, of Heat, of Curing



Extra maximum Lightning Resistance to sustain Reflect. Grounding suffix to counter shocks.
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 for both clearing maps and quick repositioning in bossfights.
Prefixes: Experimenter's, Chemist's, Ample
Suffixes: of Adrenaline

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Unique Flasks


The Wise Oak is an extremely strong flask if used correctly.
Uncapped Resistances refers to the resistance value in brackets in your character sheet.
You can either get lots of resistance penetration or reduced damage taken with this flask,
or both if you manage to balance all three resistances at the same value.



Atziri's Promise is a fairly cheap damage boost, and gives some leech and Chaos Resistance.



Vessel of Vinktar got heavily nerfed, but is still good when using the 10% Penetration version.
Please note that you need a flask with Grounding suffix to counter the shock from Vinktar.



Blood of the Karui is an extremely strong flask for emergencies.
Highly recommended if you can find a cheap one.



Lavianga's Spirit is basically a bottled Vaal Clarity with some extra mana recovery.
Can be useful if you run out of mana too often.


Jewels


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:
Spoiler

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 Life/Resistance 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, Helmet Enchantment

Step 5: Highend gear, 21/20 Single Target Spell

Step 6: Lv4 Empowers, Highend jewels


_________________________________________________________________________

Mapping & Bossfights

Playstyle

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.

Drop Orb of Storms at enemies, then kill them with Arc and move with Flame Dash to the next pack. Keep your Quicksilver for longer distances, or if Flame Dash is out of charges.
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 - if you've played the game before, expect them to take longer due to a significant boss life buff. My recommended strategy is cast Desecrate 3x before engaging the boss, get Bone Offering up, cast Decoy Totem near the boss, Flame Dash to start the fight, drop Orb of Storms then burst them down and refresh buffs if needed.

Here's a list with all map bosses, their approximate difficulty and other, possibly outdated info.

Mapmods

Monsters reflect x% Elemental Damage: Activate Yugul's Pantheon power, equip Sibyl's Lament, use Life Leech on your damage setups, use Bone Offering and keep up your Topaz Flask. It's still risky sometimes.

Monsters are Hexproof: Use Life Leech on your damage setups and equip a Hybrid- or Mana Flask.

Cannot leech Life & Mana from Monsters: Technically possible, but not worth the risk.


_________________________________________________________________________

My Character






Lv95 Passives

_________________________________________________________________________

Changelog

Spoiler

19th August 2017: Gem-, Gear- and Leveling sections updated, Path of Building setup added
16th August 2017: small additions to Mapping & Gem sections
15th August 2017: shortened Guide, updated Mapping, Gear and Leveling sections
13th August 2017: Updated all sections
5th August 2017: initial Storm Burst testing done, updated Gem & Leveling section
4th August 2017: small Mapping Section fix, improved format & fixed typos
3rd August 2017: Guide remade from scratch

_________________________________________________________________________

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!
Wealthy without flipping, scamming or other shady stuff.

Guides - Arc: 1147951 | Unique Collection: 1637159 | Temp League Builds: 1678487
Last edited by Enki91 on Aug 19, 2017 10:49:15 AM
Last bumped on Aug 22, 2017 7:10:27 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.
Wealthy without flipping, scamming or other shady stuff.

Guides - Arc: 1147951 | Unique Collection: 1637159 | Temp League Builds: 1678487
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.
Wealthy without flipping, scamming or other shady stuff.

Guides - Arc: 1147951 | Unique Collection: 1637159 | Temp League Builds: 1678487
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.
Wealthy without flipping, scamming or other shady stuff.

Guides - Arc: 1147951 | Unique Collection: 1637159 | Temp League Builds: 1678487
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.
Wealthy without flipping, scamming or other shady stuff.

Guides - Arc: 1147951 | Unique Collection: 1637159 | Temp League Builds: 1678487

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