[2.2] ELE Firestorm/Heralds A Storm of Frost, Thunder and Ash

This has been a late league project of mine. I set out to create a build that I thought really went to the heart of the new Elementalist subclass: a walking tempest of fire, cold and lightning damage. I'm currently 83 at the moment, on tier 8 maps and quite happy with how it has turned out so far. It absolutely cuts thru groups of mobs like butter and is showing no sign of letting up.

Concept
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This build centers around Three Dragons and the synergy it creates between Firestorm, Herald of Thunder and Herald of Ice.



It gives Firestorm the ability to activate the active buff from Herald of Thunder by granting fire damage the ability to shock, instead of ignite. This synergy is then heightened by taking the Shaper of Desolation ascendancy, which grants a chance to activate Conflux on kill, granting all of our hits a 100% chance to apply shock, ignite and chill.

Both of these combined allows for pretty much 100% uptime of Herald of Thunder, which gains a chance to freeze due to Three Dragons, thus allowing it to activate the Herald of Ice's on kill AoE effect. We increase this chance to freeze via support gems (it's not part of Conflux) and enhance it even more via the Beacon of Ruin Ascendancy, which spreads ignite, chill, freeze and shock to nearby units. Thus, a single strike from Herald of Thunder can freeze an entire group, causing them to explode into ice when killed with the Firestorm stacks.

The passive tree focuses on elemental damage to scale up Firestorm, Herald of Ice and Herald of Thunder. It also scales up the burns applied by Conflux, which is 20% of the damage of the hit performing the ignite, creating a sort of double dipping.

As a result, you become a walking storm of fire and lightning bolts raining from the sky and exploding monsters in a blast of ice shards. As long as you feed this raging storm a steady stream of fresh kills, it doesn't let up.

The gameplay sort of goes like this...

- Cast Firestorms.
- A shocked mob dies.
- Herald of Thunder activates and begins randomly striking monsters with lightning bolts.
- The lightning bolts apply Warlord's Mark and Enfeeble
- One lightning bolt freezes a mob.
- Freeze triggers Beacon of Ruin, spreading the freeze to the entire group.
- Firestorm or a lightning bolt kills one of those frozen mob, triggering the Herald of Ice Explosion.
- Herald of Ice explosion kills nearby frozen mobs, which then in turn kill other frozen mobs.
- At some point in all of that, you reach 3 Frenzy and Endurance Charges and Elemental Overload and Conflux proc. You probably get hit by some elemental damage, increasing the damage from that element by another 40%.
- Conflux begins to apply burns to everything and keeps Herald of Thunder up 100%.
- Everything begins to delete out of existence.
- Your mom's dead. Your dog's dead. Your cat's dead. Your mailman's dead. Everybody is dead.



Video
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T7 Terrance - Gameplay Footage

Just a short clip to show how it plays. I want to record a full run, but having FPS issues and this was all I able to produce that was salvageable.


Pros
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- Once the storm gets roaring, it destroys everything that gets in it's way. This is with 0 quality gems that haven't reached full level yet.

- Very cheap. The only unique item required is The Three Dragons and I did most maps on a 4 link. I didn't really feel the need to use a 5 link, but I wanted to get more out of Herald of Ice. But even with bad gear, the damage this setup can do is still impressive.

- Easy to gear. The item types match our color choices and the passive gear grants a good bit of elemental resistance, making it easy to cap.

- You begin using the build when you get Flame Totem and Firestorm and it just grows in power as you progress. No need to respec.

- Fairly tanky. With cheap rares (4 chaos total), I have 3.75k HP and 1k ES. I still have another 49% life increase and +20 maximum life to get out of the tree before I hit 90.

- Beginner friendly.

- Absolutely a blast to play a walking tempest.


Cons
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- Once the storm gets roaring, it can completely destroy your FPS if you go balls to the wall on the firestorms.

- Even though there is a number of ways to deal with elemental reflect in this build and I have yet to kill myself, I won't want to do an elemental reflect map with this setup.

- Sustain and damage mitigation comes primarily from curses, so curse immune mobs can be problematic. Potions largely negate this issue.

- Atizari is immune to status ailments and curses, so thus, this setup is not idle for Atizari farming. But you can use this talent tree interchangeably as just a pure Firestorm and Flame Totem build, making it doable. I have yet to try it yet, as my character is not ready.

- Since it's fueled by on kill effects, there is a drop off in power when you fight a boss that does not spawn waves of trash for you to kill. However, so far, I would describe the drop off as going from really great damage to just good damage; Firestorm is still strong independent of the Heralds

- Also, since it's fueled by on kill effects, it won't shine as much in a party.



Gem Links: How It Works
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4L Gloves - Firestorm - Spell Echo - Hypothermia - Fire Penetration

This is our main damage skill. Spell Echo and Fire Penetration are self explanatory; Hypothermia is to take advantage of Conflux, which due to the nature of this build, applies Chill to everything, therefore increasing the damage of Firestorm. The 10% chance to Freeze applies independently of any elemental damage type and rolls on each fireball from Firestorm, thus greatly increasing the number of Herald of Ice procs we get.

5L Chest - Herald of Thunder - Curse On Hit - Enfeeble - Warlord's Mark - Icebite

I was doing quite fine with a 4L, but the 5L investment is worth it to make the build shine. Herald of Thunder proccing Herald of Ice is the weak link in the chain, which is why it's in a 5L with Icebite. Icebite also grants us 3 Frenzy Charges, which boosts our cast speed. If I get a 6L, I will add either Lightning Penetration or Hypothermia. Warlord's Mark provides all of our sustain and Enfeeble provides damage mitigation; swap Enfeeble for Elemental Weakness at your own risk.

4L Helm - Herald of Ice - Cold Penetration - Increased Area of Effect - Elemental Focus

It's important to put the Herald of Ice in the Three Dragons. It is the only gem combination that uses 2 blue 2 green and that is very difficult to roll on the other gear. We want to increase the size of the ice explosion as much possible so we take Increased Area of Effect. Cold damage applies burning with Three Dragons, but we don't need burning damage to trigger anything, so we remove it for Elemental Focus. Conflux provides all the ignites for this build and this build does not scale well with spell power, so no Controlled Destruction.

4L Boots - CWDT - Immortal Call - Wall of Frost - Molten Shell

If you run a shield with this build, Tempest Shield is a good choice for Wall of Frost replacement, if you don't like the clunkiness of Wall of Frost.

3L Scepter - Lightning Wrap - Faster Casting - Lesser Duration

My preferred movement skill for skipping entire trap sections in Lab and opening strongboxes.

3L Scepter or Shield - Flame Golem - Portal - Flame Totem

Flame Golem for the 20% damage buff increase and Flame Totem for dealing with reflects, tanking for you and also, because it's still really strong with this passive tree line.

Unset Ring - Lvl 1 Clarity

4L Firestorms are really cheap mana cost, but we can cast a LOT of them. I've found that just having a Lvl 1 Clarity will allow my mana regen to match my high cast speed, making me not dependent on Warlord's Mark to solve my mana issues.



Passive Tree
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Level 90

Some notes...

The pathing might seem a bit weird, but I am avoiding spell damage, because it doesn't scale up the active effects for Herald of Ice and Herald of Thunder. This is not a con, but a pro, because elemental damage also scales up the burns applied via Conflux, creating a double dipping, which is where a lot of the damage comes from.

Even though we have no auras, we still take the Sovereignty cluster for the mana reduction, so we can actually use both Heralds with all their mana multipliers.



Ascendancies
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Shaper of Desolation
Beacon of Ruin
Paragon of Calamity

As I already mentioned, taking Shaper of Desolation and Beacon of Ruin is essential for this to work.

In addition, Paragon of Calamity is essential for not killing yourself to elemental reflect. Herald of Ice's active effect does not get reflected, but you still have to contend with Herald of Thunder and Firestorm. Paragon of Calamity grants you an additional 8% reduction to whatever element is reflected back at you, allowing you to react with potions and slow down the Firestorms. This Ascendancy plus a Ruby Flask will keep you alive as long as you don't go psycho with the Firestorms.

Plus, something somewhere is always going to be hitting you with elemental damage in a map, so the 40% damage increase buff is always up for one of your elements.


Bandits
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Oak
Kill Them All
Kill Them All


Enchantments
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Word of Reflection Enchantment - The clone it spawns is great for tanking for you
8% chance to Freeze, Shock and Ignite if you haven't Crit Recently Enchantment - This is not a crit build, so this will be up a lot.
Flame Golem Enchantment - With three different sources of damage, getting the Flame Golem Enchantment to apply an additional 20% damage increase to them works the best


Gear
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Defense
- Life
- Maxed Elemental Resistance (75%)
- Armor/ES
- Chaos Resistance
- Stun Recovery

Offense
- Elemental Damage
- Cast Speed
- Some Crit Chance for Elemental Overload
- Elemental Damage Added to Spells
- Fire Damage Increase -> Shock Damage Increase -> Cold Damage Increase

Only unique required is the Three Dragons.

This is a scepter only build; spell power does not increase the damage of Herald of Ice or Herald of Thunder. Doryani's Catalyst is best in slot for weapon and I use two of them. They give cast speed, more critical strike chance to proc Elemental Overload and a large elemental damage increase. I also recommend carrying a good shield to switch out for tougher single target fights like Izaro where you can't rely on your curses; I like Rathpith Globe for the life increase, spellblock and energy shield increase.

I also Wyrmsign to add an addtional Lvl 5 Concentrated Effect to my 4 Link Firestorm and to take advantage of my endurance charges from Warlord's Mark to gain more mana reduction and Rampage. Due to this build's ability to decimate large groups of mobs quickly, the Rampage stacks can reach impressive numbers.

Best armor is Armor/ES, because there is some scaling for both in the passive tree and it is easiest way to get the socket color combinations you need.


Last edited by MadRabbitPoE on Apr 13, 2016, 4:35:14 PM
Last bumped on Jun 13, 2016, 6:55:57 AM
Started using Wyrmsign and Hypothermia instead of Innervate to much impressive results. Updated guide accordingly.
Fixed my FPS issue and was able to produce a low quality clip that shows how it plays.
Hi. Gotta say this looks really interesting and I'll probably be giving it a try soon.

What do you think about replacing Paragon of Calamity with Liege of Primordials, and then running Clayshaper x2, having all 3 golems up at the same time.

This would remove the defenses against reflect but do you think it would be viable if one focused on avoiding reflect maps?
Hi mate,

cool idea with the conversion and using 3 dragons.
I used you implement this helm a lot in my builds too.
Anyway I was thinking about a firestorm for a while now, and with recent changes to the asendency I was thinking about a 3 golem crit firestorm prolif sort of build.

the tree:


Of course this would still use 3 dragons helm.
I would use doryianis mace (that damage is insane to drop it :P)
as off hand I would use Clayshaper for the +1 golem (even tho its a bit of a waste to only use it for 1 stats, I think the overall bonus a golem would give is greater than the cons from using this weapon)

Its only a theorycraft build, but with some tweaks i think it could be pretty nice
YES I support the game, NO I dont agree with many GGG decisions
Atlas of Worlds is the worst thing that happen to POE.
Lab still sucks balls.
Why don't you take extra frenzy charge from bandits. It seems easy to gain with ice bite support.

Would Liege of the Primordial be the best 8th ascendancy point to take?
-> 40% increased damage + 40% increased fire damage + 40% lightning damage + 18% cast speed.
-> 40% increased damage + 40% increased fire damage + 40% cold damage + 40% crit chance.
Last edited by Foortsatak on Jun 13, 2016, 7:39:35 AM

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