[2.3] Meltquake - Earthquake Degen Elementalist [PHC]

If you ever wanted to play a melee Witch, I strongly recommend this build. The general idea is to use a large hit from two-handed Earthquake to apply triple degen from bleed, poison, and ignite (from Elemental Conflux). We use triple curse to scale our damage while also providing defense. Leap in, smack the ground, and watch everything melt around you.

My character is currently level 84 with 5k life on Prophecy Hardcore. I can't really comment on viability for red maps and such at this point, but it's been successful enough so far that I feel confident recommending the build. As a point of reference, I can kill merciless Voll in 2-3 swings and I don't have all my damage nodes yet. Most mobs in maps die before the Earthquake aftershock even hits. IGN: Hexe_Herrenvolk

NOTE: The build requires the new Prophecy unique Voidheart Iron Ring. You could make a similar build using Atziri's Disfavour, but you would have to sacrifice some gem links.

Pros and Cons

- Melee Witch is pure badass
- Good clear speed and great for boss killing
- Great curse support
- Good sustain from life leech and regen
- Can easily handle all map mods except blood magic and physical reflect
- Good defenses from fortify, curses, evasion, Vaal Grace, and kiting around during degen

- Requires some unique items that may be expensive
- Life total is less than ideal due to using multiple uniques
- Mobility is decent, but less than ideal
- Relies mostly on endurance charges, CwDT + Immortal Call, and flasks for physical mitigation

Passive Tree

Early Game
Late game

Bandit Rewards
Oak (+40 life), Eramir (+1 passive), Oak (+1 endurance charge)

Elementalist was chosen for Elemental Conflux to get ignite, shock, and chill based on our physical damage from Earthquake. Voidheart ring provides the bleed and poison. Liege of the Primordial allows us to run a Flame Golem and Stone Golem for additional damage scaling and sustain.

We don't take any weapon damage nodes in this tree. Instead, we focus on physical damage and damage over time; physical will scale both the initial hit and the resultant bleed, while damage over time will scale all three degens. Attack speed isn't really needed for DPS, although it is useful for Leap Slam.

Whispers of Doom plus a unique item (Cospri's Will, Windscream, or Doedre's Damning) allow us to run triple curse. We also get as much curse effectiveness as we can efficiently. I considered getting Hex Master, but it would be 4 points for only 10% curse effect. We need at least 6% reduced mana reserve to run 3 Blasphemy curses, and Sovereignty is the easiest way to get it with this pathing.

During leveling we only have 1 jewel socket, but if you level into the 90's you can get up to 4 cheaply. The build gets 190% increased life by level 81.


Hezmana's Bloodlust is arguably best in slot because it gives free blood magic to our attacks, has high per-hit damage, and 1% life leech. You could use a different weapon, but you would need to sacrifice a gem slot on Earthquake and Leap Slam to link Blood Magic gem.

Voidheart is essential for getting bleed and poison on our attacks. If you can't get this, you could use Atziri's Disfavour to apply bleeding, but it's not as efficient. Note that Cospri's Will also provides poison, so you only really need a source for bleed.

Cospri's Will is probably best in slot, although there are certainly other good options. If you can't or don't want to use Cospri's, you will need to use either Windscream or Doedre's Damning to get triple curse. Any good defensive armor will work.

Doedre's Scorn gives us 60% increased damage that will scale our initial hit as well as all of our degens. The +1 curse levels is also nice. Not strictly needed, but probably best in slot for offense. If you need more life or resists, you could use a nice rare helm.

Southbound is pretty nice because it gives significant life scaling with decent resist and a little flat damage. The downside doesn't matter for this build because we kill through degen. As long as you don't have any added fire damage on your gear, the added cold damage will actually scale your ignite damage on Elemental Equilibrium maps. You could replace this with some good rare gloves if you prefer.

Your other gear slots should be rare items with as much life and resists as you can get. You will also need some dexterity to meet the requirements for Cospri's (if using). Movement speed on boots is nice, but not required since you can use Leap Slam for mobility. Flat physical damage on jewelry is nice to have as well. Note that my amulet needs to be upgraded for more life.

If you want, you can use Brightbeak + Prismatic Eclipse in your weapon swap for super fast Leap Slam. You could also replace Brightbeak with a high attack speed weapon for Whirling Blades. This is useful in the Labyrinth and traveling quickly in general.

Gem Links

Gems are listed in order of importance. If you have fewer links, just trim from the end of the list for that slot.


For tough bosses, swap

in place of





Weapon Swap
If you need faster mobility, use one of these 3-links in your weapon swap:


Since we have life leech and regen, we only need 1 instant heal flask for emergencies. Seething Divine Life Flask has the highest instant life recovery. Grounding suffix is nice since when you're taking heavy damage, you might also be shocked.

The Writhing Jar is useful for maintaining Elemental Conflux during boss fights, and it doubles as a mediocre instant heal. It's not really required though, and you could replace this with whatever you want.

Stibnite Flask of Staunching is nice because it gives us a lot of avoidance, has long duration, and multiple uses available. Chemist's mod is the best prefix here.

Basalt Flask of Warding is very nice for general mitigation. It has a long duration, and with a good Chemist's prefix roll you can get 2 uses before recharging.

Granite Flask of Heat is my final flask choice. Iron Skin suffix would be nice to have, but I needed an anti-freeze/chill mod and this was the last slot I could put it on. Chemist's prefix is probably best here as well, but there are several other good options.
Last edited by BurnedInEffigy on Jun 21, 2016, 12:17:18 PM
Last bumped on Jul 14, 2016, 11:01:11 PM
I like this build so much.
I just got the Cospri's Will and I'm going to try this build.
Glad to hear it! I'm really enjoying it myself.
This looks really interesting!

Could you post a video when you get the chance?
It will probably be a while before I can post any videos because I'm going out of town for a month and will only have a low-end laptop.
Bump. I can't play PoE for a few weeks because the internet here is abyssmal, but I recommend trying the build. It's great for both solo and party play.
Please add videos

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