R.I.P. [2.6] Explosive Arrow - Elementalist Build Guide (multi class + version, in depth theory)

It's been fun while it lasted. This build is dead in 3.0

Ea is still strong but different... This is my new EA thread:

This is a fast paced tanky build with good DPS and burning dot. Reflect is not a big deal. Just a minor nuisance.

I also made a guide for Explosive arrow Champion (the HC version). You can find that here.
Other classes are also covered in this thread. Check the notes at the bottom.

Updated 17.4.2017

>>> At glance:

  • Scales on the explosions and Burning damage
  • Awesome AOE and damage with proliferation
  • About 7k - 8k or more life
  • Great mobility

  • The helm Hrimnor's Resolve is now a very good alternative to Devoto's Devotion. It got significant buffs in this patch! It now has life, more damage and some utility. In terms of clear speed Devoto is still better with 20% movement speed. But life and damage is something that might be worth looking into. However, dexterity might be an issue with this helmet.

  • The Wise Oak is a new interesting flask that can be used to mitigate reflect, or it can be used to amp the damage and reduce the damage taken from other elements. Furthermore, this flask can potentially help in Elemental Weakness maps!

  • The node Ash, Frost and Storm, next to Elemental Equilibrium got a nice buff. However reflect was never a problem with Elementalist. It is however a must choice for all other classes.

  • Please note that AOE from tree got nerfed. Investing in that may not be as desirable any longer. Maybe just a bit. The Elementalist doesn't really need any AOE since Beacon of Ruin provides free proliferation.


  • The Grand Spectrum jewels got nerfed. Each jewel now only gives 4% damage increase. The damage we get with 10 of the new jewels (400%) will be approximately as high as the damage we get with 6 good rare ones. With 12 Spectrums however we get 576% damage increase which is pretty good. Depending on the price of the new gems, it may still be worth getting them.

  • The Red Dream and The Red Nightmare are interesting. They need to be tested but I have high hopes. They may fix one of the biggest problems with this build. Porcupines spikes!

  • The Formless Inferno is a new helmet in Breach. This needs to be tested. Dex will be a big problem. It can potentially be great, especially for the Elementalist, since it synergies well with the Paragon of Calamity ascendancy node. It will not only reduce the physical damage taken, but also provide us with a quite reliable 40% fire damage increase and 8% reduced fire damage taken. The helm also provides a healthy dose of Armour and life.

  • The new amulet Xoph's Heart is pretty cool. However, I feel that Ngamahu Tiki is stronger.

    This new amulet has a new unique property "Cover Enemies in Ash when they hit you". This causes enemies to take increased Fire Damage and have less movement speed. Specifically:

    20% less Movement Speed
    20% increased Fire Damage Taken

    Especially the increase fire damage taken should be a global effect. That means that other party members also benefit from it.

    There is also an upgraded version of this amulet called Xoph's Blood. The amulet has some great potential with some fire based builds. However it is not going to work well with Explosive arrow, because it grants us Avatar of fire and thus conflicting with Elemental Equilibrium.

    However it may still be worth dropping EE for this amulet. Honestly I don't know, because I don't play EA in Breach I will not get to test it. If anyone does please report, so I can make the info available in this thread.


My older build was using Champion. This time around I decided to roll with the Elementalist. She provides better clear speed and damage. Please note that I play SC.

My recommendations are:

  • Use the Doryani's Invitation belt (fire variant).
  • Get Ngamahu Tiki and maybe you can even corrupt it...
  • Use Rearguard instead of Hyrri's bite.
  • Try to use Winds of Change. You can potentially use Purity of Elements instead of Purity of Fire. Especially if you are Elementalist. If you are using Grand spectrum my bet is on some rare gloves though.
  • Use Immortal Call!
  • Try to get empower on swap for reduced duration for bosses.
  • A good flask that seems to be made for EA is also Dying Sun.
  • The new Opal Ring base type is the best in slot for rings now.

As a side note let me say that the Champion is probably the better bet for HC. He will clear a bit slower, but he will be tankier.


Bosses to avoid like a plague are the ones that can't be ignited. they still can be done, but you need to use Elemental Focus support gem instead of Chance to Ignite Support:

  • Atziri (normal form only)
  • The last standing Vaal construct and trio boss in Atziri's map and Vaal temple map
  • Argus
  • The Phoenix guardian
  • Any enraged boss

These are the map mods that this build should NEVER do:

Avoid Prefix:
  • Mirrored - Monsters reflect 13% - 18% of Elemental Damage *

And these are the ones that are doable but not ideal:

  • Chaining - Monsters' skills Chain 2 additional times (you have 2 golems!)
  • Incombustible - +40% - +80% Monster Fire Resistance

  • of Insulation - Monsters cannot be affected by Elemental Status Ailments **
  • of Insulation - Monsters have 60% chance to Avoid Elemental Status Ailments **
  • of Stasis - Players have no Life or Mana Regeneration ***

* The Berserker can do Elemental reflect maps and the other classes might be able to do it so long as they use leech + Vaal pact.

** Can be done but it will be a bit tedious. Switch Chance to ignite to Elemental focus.

*** Can be done if you have some leech on gear (Doryani's invitation, 0.2 fire damage leeched as life on the corrupted quiver is enough for a grand spectrum set up).

>>> Let's get started:

Leveling the Elementalist

First you need to chose your endgame tree and then follow different paths depending on your choice!

We level with Magma Orb, Fire trap, flame totem and then Firestorm. Flameblast is also an option.

  • For single target Fire traps with Flame Surge is great but generally not needed.

  • For mobility you can use Flame Dash.

  • For auras (assuming you use Firestorm) you can use Blasphemy (Flammability / Temp chains / Enfeeble) + Purity of elements (if resists are low) + Clarity.

  • Get a +1 to fire gems wand or sceptre with the vendor recipe or get a Lifesprig. Use dual wands or dual scepters.

You can use this build guide for reference about Firestorm. But use the directions and tree from this post instead.

>>> Start with this tree: Leveling tree for Elementalist <<<

First go in the Templar area. Get "Discipline and training" take all damage and aoe nodes and take "Light of divinity".

Then get elemental overload and "Explosive impact" cluster above Templar area.

Take Dexterity, and "quick recovery" if needed.

After that proceed straight towards "Blood magic" with the following trees respectively depending on the endgame tree you chose:

  • If you go for the recommended version go this way. Once you reach Mortal conviction do the respec and then go towards the Duelist area.

  • If you go for the alternate version go this way. Once you reach Mortal conviction do the respec.

    * Then fill out any defensive or offensive nodes that you need. Ultimately go towards the Duelist area.

Use the final tree for reference when you respec. EA cant use spell damage nodes. After completing all these nodes you can start looking at the Endgame tree.

At this point you must have:

  • A 4 link for Explosive arrow
  • The Explosive arrow gem has to be as high level as possible! Explosive arrow scales with levels, just like a spell would. Don't neglect this. A low level gem will not do damage.
  • Quill Rain
  • Quiver probably Hyrri's Bite to start with.
  • Elemental overload keystone and if possible the Elemental Equilibrium node as well.

Your basic EA setup is:

Explosive arrow > Fire penetration > Greater / Lesser multiple projectiles > Slower projectiles / Chance to ignite

Please note that you should also get "Elemental Equilibrium" as soon as you meet the requirements to use it!

If you have Tabula rasa and you are struggling with life regen you could try use life leech gem for the 6th link instead of reduced duration.

Your Ascendancy points order:

  • Liege of the Primordial
  • Shaper of Desolation
  • Beacon of Ruin
  • Paragon of Calamity

Good luck and have fun!

Grand Spectrum tree

There is an option to use Grand Spectrum jewels. That is without a doubt the highest DPS option but also WAY more expensive.

Nevertheless here's the tree. It uses 11 jewels (484% increased damage) and has less life than the normal build (236% increased life from tree).

The second option uses 12 jewels (576% increased damage) but it has less life (217% increased life from tree). Here it is.

The 11 jewels tree is ok. You can get up to 484% damage increase. With the the 12 jewel tree you get up to 576% increase but you have less life.

There are more tree options for other classes in the notes at the bottom next to the social media links. Those are not tested yet.

>>> In detail

How it works

General "cleaning":

The play stile is quite fast. All you need to do is shoot 1-2 times at mobs and they die. Maybe shoot few frenzy shots between packs to keep up your frenzy charges.

Boss man:

You can use a decoy totem. I also like to throw a Vaal lightning trap. After that it's the usual biz. Just tag them and try to keep your frenzy up of course. Try stacking 5 Explosive arrows and use the walls to your advantage if that is possible. Stay mobile and use blink arrow. Don't forget to use the Sulphur flask!

*For more check the video section.

Ascendancies, Keystone mechanics and curses


Here's a video from Project PT that explains the Elementalist, before Ascendancy was released. The nodes have been slightly changed in 2.4. Check the wiki for more info about Shaper of Desolation ascendancy node. I don't think that's a nerf. The change also has it's advantages. You have a 100% chance to shock (compared to 20% to proc. on kill). But just not all the time.

You can see my choices for the nodes to take in the skill trees. However I would like to mention here that a good option for boss kills might be to use Mastermind of Discord and proc the effect by using Orb of Storms or Lightning Arrow. The down side of using Lightning Arrow is that we lose the more damage effect of Frenzy (charges) and attack speed.

I don't feel the Mastermind of Discord is really needed in this build as there are plenty of options to scale damage. Furthermore the "free" prolif. is just too much fun not to use. Of course prolif. is not needed but it allows us to neglect our aoe and just focus on damage.

If you have a set up with 2 Quill Rains then you can potentially (If you have enough damage) drop Beacon of ruin and take Pendulum of Destruction instead. The huge increase to damage is very welcome, but you can't rely on it. I am now using a Elemental proliferation gem instead of the ascendancy. It provides bigger radius but it also decreases damage.

Of course you can drop proliferation entirely if you so desire. In that case You should be scaling your aoe as much as you can. For example you can use Increased Area of Effect Support instead of the Elemental proliferation.

Elemental equilibrium:

This is a big damage booster. In order to use this properly we need to make sure that our weapon damage doesn't deal any fire damage. We need to get a source of either cold or lightning damage. This type of damage can be found on some Armour gear or crafted on jewelry.
The target gets hit with cold or lightning damage. They will gain +25% resistance toward that element type. They will lose -50% resistance to the other element/s.

When you hit the enemy with frenzy or Explosive arrow the hit will apply some physical damage and the elemental damage from your other gear. Note that the Explosive arrow doesn't deal any fire damage. Only the after effect explosion does. You can also check what kind of (elemental) damage you deal with your attacks in the Character window > Offense > any attack skill / Explosive arrow > Main hand "xy" damage.
After the explosion you will need to reapply the effect to gain EE again.

Elemental overload:

The reason why we need to stack accuracy and some critical strike chance. Combined with the high attack speed it's quite reliable to work at about 10% critical chance and up. Every time we score a critical strike this buff will add 40% more elemental damage for 8 seconds. In practice this buff stays up most of the time.

Blood magic

You may not know this but a 6 link Explosive arrow is a very high mana consuming skill. With blood magic we are able to get a higher life pool that help us sustain the mana cost of Explosive arrow. We also stack all the life regen we can find. This makes us very tanky.


Daloco wrote:
Lets say we put out 300k damage on a monster with 30% fire resistance, our 300k damage will be cut of by 30% (300*0.70=210). That is a severe damage reduction.

If we use modifiers that remove resistance we directly increase our damage by a lot. Since enemies can have minus in resistances its always a huge damage increase to lower their resistances.

Curses are very powerful mechanic. I have personally opted for 1 curse myself. I don't want to be too dependent on them as sometimes you can encounter mobs or even maps that are immune to curses (Hexproof). Bosses will get a curse effectiveness reduction of 60% by default. The reflected damage we take is also higher. There are many other ways to improve our damage and some defensive curses also synergise well with our build.

Monsters and maps can have modifiers that make them (or monsters inside of them, in the case of maps) hexproof or immune to curses.

Act and map bosses have 60% less Curse Effect.

If you still want to scale with curses, then there are ways to get 2 or even 3 curse setup. The easiest way is to take the Whispers of doom passive node on the tree. This node is not too far from our main pathing but it still requires us to sacrifice the passive points.
The other option is to get +1 to curses by corrupting our amulet. The downside here is that the chances of getting this are quite "slim" and we can even lose the item entirely. The up side is that there are other results we can get with corruption that also benefits our build. Here's the full list of possible corruption results.

If you do decide to go for 2 or more curses you could also get an Intuitive Leap jewel and stick it in the socket on the left side of the start tree for Scion. Then leap to Skittering Runes and potentially get the Scion aoe nodes as well.

Gems and links

Main attack - Explosive arrow:

Explosive arrow > Fire penetration > Lesser / Greater multiple projectiles > Slower projectiles > Chance to ignite / Elemental focus > Less duration / Empower

There are other options too. But I used this set up when I only had 1 6 link. It worked just fine. If you have 2 six links your set up may be different.

A 5 link should be plenty for endgame. Of course the 6th link does not hurt (but requires more life regen). The last in the chain would be Less duration as the damage modifier got nerfed in 2.4. It is still however a great quality of life improvement. A high level Empower should be much more desirable for damage. You can also try Increased Burning Damage Support if your Empower is not leveled yet.
I decided to focus on burning damage. Ignite is a powerful mechanic.

This combo turned out to be working the best for me. I would switch out Chance to Ignite Support for Elemental Focus Support gem for bosses that cant be ignited. Additionally you can use Culling Strike Support for the T15+ maps bosses. But I'd suggest that you still have a LMP setup on the weapon swap!
The Less duration gem is a must for the Berserker! I am also using it with my Grand Spectrum setup.

There are many more options you can try out, especially if you Own a second Quill rain that you can use to swap between single target and the pack clearing setups. For example you could opt out of Beacon of Ruin ascendanycy and instead get the Pendulum of Destruction. You could then use the Elemental Proliferation gem that grants much bigger radius for the prolif.

These are the links to be used if you only have 1 Quill rain with no second setup:

This is the combo to be used when you have 2 quill rains for single and clearing set up separate. If you only have 1 6 link, use it for the single target setup:

Secondary attack - Curse on hit:

Since we only have a 4 link for this we need to make the most of it. After some testing I landed on this combo.

Frenzy > Greater multiple projectiles > Curse on Hit > Flammability

Other options here could be:

  • Ice Shot that also chills the enemy. The gmp may not be needed.
  • Split Arrow does not require gmp support and could be suitable for a 2 curse set up.
  • Lightning Arrow may be used to proc Mastermind of Discord.
  • Rain of Arrows provides aoe. Does not benefit from gmp and can be used for a 2 curse set up.

Golem and Blink arrow:

Cast when damage taken lvl 20 > Summon flame golem > Summon stone golem
Blink arrow

Cast when damage taken lvl 20 allows us to keep the golems up all the time. I use the Stone golem for life regen and the occasional taunt of enemies.

Cast when damage taken and Vaal lightning trap:

Cast when damage taken > increased duration > Immortal Call > Vaal Lightning Trap

There's many options available. You can do whatever you want. This is my current preference.
Immortal Call is really important and Vaal Lightning Trap is a great damage boost for bosses. Both gems benefit from increased duration.
Keep the CWDT gem at about level 5-9.

Essence Worm:

The Elementalist doesn't need this. But for other classes use with "Purity of Fire". It will keep you alive. You can also use Purity of Elements for Elemental Weakness maps or other purity gems in some cases.

Gear explanation

Bow - Quill Rain

Quill Rain is a no brainer for any EA build unless you own a "fast" bow with +1 or ideally +3 level of gems. A +3 bow is great for single target boss kills while Quill rain is still the king on the general clearing front. The Thicket bow is also much slower and that can get you killed since with the Quill Rain you can blink away much faster:

Quiver - Hyrri's Bite / Rearguard

Hyrri's Bite is the best starter choice for a quiver with the much needed dexterity, increased AOE and attack speed. It is also very cheap. I can also be made with vendor recipe. That makes it an ideal candidate to "science" it for an additional arrow.

Later on I recommend using Rearguard. It's better for survivability and it has increased projectile damage that will scale both the initial hit and the burn damage! Another solid choice is also a rare quiver with life and a lot of resists. This can be really good because it will alloow us to use a second Opal ring!

Helmet - Devoto's Devotion

Bull says "It's like a boot but you put it on the head". Devoto's Devotion works great! It adds attack speed, movement speed and a lot of Armour and evasion along with a healthy dose of dexterity which is in demand and quite scarse on the tree. Of course chaos resistance doesn't hurt at all. I also had a lucky enchant on this one.
You can also use a Rare helmet if the finances doesn't allow for Devoto. A rare helm can be good because it can have life, resists and accuracy.

Yet another option is to use a Redblade helmet! This helmet will grant the Elementalist a "permanent" 40% of elemental damage (instead of it being circumstantial) due to the Paragon of Calamity. That might get expensive tho.

Chest piece - Kaom's Heart

"The" Armour of choice. I did try a 6 link Belly of the Beast and I had a 6 link Carcass Jack in the past. That also worked great. But Kaom's Heart is just soo good with tons of life and the fire damage on top. Just pure awesomeness.
As a stepping stone you can use a Tabula Rasa or a Rare 5 link chest.

Gloves - Winds of Change

I recommend using Winds of Change. These will give you a lot of damage and they even have life. Projectile damage scales both the initial hit as well as the burning damage.
Otherwise you can use simple rare gloves with Life, resists and accuracy rating or attack speed. If you feel like you have enough damage rares can actually be a better choice.


On boots you look for Life, resists, movement speed, maybe some dexterity:

Amulet - Ngamahu Tiki

Ngamahu Tiki can give you the most damage. You can also try to corrupt these as they are not too expensive. Of course you can also use a rare amulet... A rare should have Life, accuracy rating, fire damage. Other stats are just optional. Resists if you need and critical strike chance is fine.


Essence worm is very important for the other classes. Not important for an elementalist though. This is a great mitigation for reflect. With it we can get a free aura slot that we use for Purity of Fire. Bam! Reflect problem is no more. Other uses for this can be to use Purity of Elements for elemental weakness maps, or other purity gems for certain difficult bosses that are known to be associated with a specific element.

This is a filler for the remaining resists that we need. It should have a lot of accuracy if that is possible and of course life. I also added the flat elemental damage to attacks that we need to proc. elemental equilibrium:

Of course a rare ring can have much more resistances than a Purity of Elements gem on an Essence worm. You also don't have to color the ring when you want to change auras. I use a second ring for elemental weakness maps. It also has some life on it. The best in slot Ring right now is a rare Opal Ring.

Belt - Doryani's Invitation

The last piece of gear. The fire variant of Doryani's Invitation is great as it provides double dipping damage and mainly a lot of resist. We do lose some life though.
A rare belt will also do. It just needs life, resists and maybe some strength or dexterity. I also like the flask life recovery rate although it's not really needed:


We are looking for rare jewels with:

Most people can't really afford to buy 10 or more Grand spectrums, so rare jewels will do just fine.

  • increased maximum life
  • increased fire damage
  • increased projectile damage
  • increased Area Damage
  • increased Damage
  • increased Damage over Time
  • increased Accuracy Rating
  • increased critical strike chance with fire skills
  • global critical strike chance
  • increased Attack Speed with Bows
  • increased Attack Speed
  • increased Attack and Cast Speed
  • chance to Ignite

*Note that the list goes from most to least important. Critical strike chance is not really that important. You only need about 10% - 15% to make it reliable.

Best in slot:

Get your self at least 10 Grand Spectrum jewels.

The Grand Spectrum jewels got nerfed in 2.5. Each jewel now only gives 4% damage increase. The damage we get with 10 of the new jewels (400%) will be approximately as high as the damage we get with 6 good rare jewels. With 12 Spectrums however we get 576% damage increase which is pretty good.

  • 10 jewels = 400% increased damage
  • 11 jewels = 484% increased damage
  • 12 jewels = 576% increased damage

(This is the legacy version. The new one only has 4% increase)

As a stepping stone you can also combine your Viridian Jewels with the Crimson Jewels. This was hinted to me by Deericious (on Reddit).
I'd suggest to not start with Spectrum jewels until you have at least 8 Viridian spectrums.

For example if you have 9 Viridian and 2 Crimson jewels you would get:

  • 432% increased elemental damage
  • 1800 armour


  • Two instant flasks with dispel freeze and bleed. Must have. The flasks with Panicked prefix are especially great because of our high life pool.
  • The sulphur flask is amazing in this combo. With the High life pool and super life regen this flask really does a great job in sustaining life and adding that sweet extra 40% damage increase.
  • The ruby is not even needed most of the time but it's a great extra safety measure. And of course if you like the more fancy stuff you can get a Dying Sun flask.
  • Quicksilver flask dooh... Use 1 or 2 depending what kind of content you play.
  • The Wise Oak is a new interesting flask that can be used to mitigate reflect, or it can be used to amp the damage and reduce the damage taken from other elements. Furthermore, this flask can potentially help in Elemental Weakness maps!

  • For the defenses we can use the unique flasks Taste of Hate and Rumi's Concoction. These are especially good for the pathfinder and the Berserker. A very solid option is also a nice Basalt Flask. I feel that if your life pool is higher than 7.5k life you don't really need those but it's a matter of preference.
  • The Berserker can use Doedre's Elixir to manually proc the ascendancy Cloaked in Savagery.


  • Normal > Help Oak (or you can also Kill all)
  • Cruel > Kill all
  • Merciless > Help Kraityn

We have enough life and attack speed. No more is really needed, but if you prefer you can get that 40 flat life in normal.
We do rely on our frenzy charges. It is very easy to sustain them and they do give more damage (or provide a much longer phase run).

Grand Spectrum setup details

With the 12 Jewel set up I had about 7.1k life, and on the 11 jewel set up I had about 7.6k. At the end I had 7.9k life and 11 G. Spectrum jewels.

Gear update for the Grand Spectrum setup:

I am now using more rare gear as I don't need the damage from gloves and the -10% movement speed is not ideal. Instead I opt for more life (since the Grand Spectrum tree has less life).
I also get more resistances, accuracy and attack speed. This way I only really lost 10% of movement speed and 3% of attack speed from devoto. I gained about 600 life and resistences are easier to over cap.

Later on I bought this beauty.

I got lucky again. I am now using these quivers that allow me to get a second opal ring. This provides more life and essentially more damage as well!

If you have a single 6 link Bow your set up may be different, but here's what I am currently using. The first Quill is for comfortable fast clean ups and the second one is for the more persistent "stains". The Thicket bow provides much more damage. But the downside is much lower attack speed. This can get you killed. So you have been warned.

>>> In action!



  • The normal setup (pre Grand Spectrum) playlist on Youtube.

  • And Here's the playlist for the Grand Spectrum setup.

  • If you don't like to read Here's a great video from HaZZoR that covers just about all you need to know.

  • Check out The Lioneye's Watch Podcast #11 as they discuss this build with special guest ZiggyD.


>>> Credits:

Thanks to

  • F4F_Lucifer for the theory crafting and opinions.

  • The Lioneye's Watch Podcast (#11) Hosts LiftingNerdBro, Hegemony and especially Project PT, as well as their special guest Ziggy D, for featuring this build on the podcast.

  • Bawtzki, Daloco, Deericious (on Reddit), dwperry.

  • Everyone who ever supported my content.

Greengroove's Loot Filter Scripts: poeurl.com/OMs
Last edited by Greengroove on Aug 25, 2017, 7:32:29 AM
Last bumped on Aug 14, 2017, 7:40:17 PM
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This is the build for Berserker. Here's the tree. This option promises great damage and provides a 100% instant leech when taking a Savage hit. We can reliably proc this effect by using Doedre's Elixir.

Yet another Grand Spectrum option for Berserker with 12 Jewels. This might be the best option of them all. We take RT this time and we use Vaal Pact to make us nearly immortal while maintaining insane deeps!
A very good enchant to have on boots is: 0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you've Killed Recently.
Note that his guy can do elemental reflect maps if he has enough leech!


Then we have the Pathfinder's tree. Also needs different flasks. Here's the Grand Spectrum version.
Check Incredible Witness as he explains the guardian fights on Youtube.

I'll try test as much as possible and then update

>>> Q & A:

What class is the best for HC?

I have played Champion in Perandus and now I play Witch. Just started testing on the Berserker and I plan to also test the Pathfinder (in standard). All choices are quite strong. They all have a great life pool.

I think that defensively Champion is awesome because that permanent fortify and high life regen. I had about 900 life regen. with the Sulphur flask up.

I just started testing the Berserker and it is quite insane. It has the ability to leech 100% of the damage you deal. That means, if you don't get 1 shot you probably won't die. The leech might come handy with tough bosses too. But I don't want to comment too much until I feel comfortable. All I can say for now is that he needs to use a Rare helmet instead of Devoto (at least until he gets Aspect of Carnage) and can use a Doedre's flask instead of the Sulphur one. The flask will deal damage to us and thus proc Cloaked in Savagery insane leech effect.

The pathfinder has already killed all endgame bosses. The ability to refill flask in a long fight seems very good. In addition the flasks have a longer duration and effect. Thus making them very powerful. The tree Itself doesn't even lose a lot of damage, because it has some projectile damage at the start.

For a HC scenario I think the witch will be the weakest one. Don't get me wrong she is still great and it's safe to play most of endgame content. But She just can't compare to the "endurance" of Berserker or Pathfinder. She grants "free" prolif and that makes it very fun to play. For tough bosses you could switch to Mastermind of discord ascendancy. That would give the Witch loads of damage for bosses. But I just havent tested that yet. Essentially you would need to cast an orb of storm near the boss and that would give you an additional 25% fire penetration.

As a side note let me tell you that in this quide I'm mentioning a lot of unique gear. I play Soft core, because I'm a "soft touch". Getting more Rare gear with life might not be a bad idea. Especially the Pathfinder can use the Flask Effect Duration and Flask Charges Gained on the belt!

The trees for Berserker and the Pathfinder as well as a Grand spectrum options can be found below in the notes section. At least for now.

Is this build suitable for a beginner?

I would not recommend this build for a beginner unless you are willing to put in some work and research.

The basic gear needed for this build is easily obtainable and leveling is quite easy as well.
However we use a lot of different game mechanics you need to learn them to be successful.

We use a 6 link or ideally 2x 6 link Quill Rains and a Kaom's heart chest armour. These items are quite expensive and they are mandatory for the ~T16 maps (very top end of the content).
But you can also use cheap gear if you just want to have some fun in lower level and mid tier maps. A 5 link Quill Rain or even just a Tabula Rasa can be used to have some fun and blow shit up.

Why is the level of EA gem so important?

The Explosive arrow's damage scales from the gem level just like a spell would. Unlike attack skills that can scale of your weapon.

For more information check the Wiki.

Other things to know about (from Wiki):

Radius: Base radius before any charges is 15. Each charge will add +2 radius. % area modifiers are applied after adding the fuse radius to base (e.g. 5 charges with 40% increased area = (15 + 5*2) * 1.40 = 35 radius).

Block: Like any arrow skill, the arrows can be blocked. However, the explosion cannot (neither with Spell Block). Because monsters usually cannot block, this affects usually players. This may look natural, if the player fails to block the arrow, he should not have another chance to block the explosion, but if the explosion comes from another target, a player with high block might find himself in unexpected trouble. Minions (unless affected by Necromantic Aegis) and walls will help the user of Explosive Arrow to damage the blocker easily.

What are the best enchants for this build?

Helm enchants are the most important ones. There's a variety of useful enchants available. It really depends on your set up. You can read all about enchants here.

I will just mention the most obvious ones in order of relevance:

  • Increased Explosive Arrow Damage
  • Increased Flammability Curse Effect
  • Increased Explosive Arrow Radius
  • Increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Flame Golems
  • Increased Explosive Arrow Attack Speed

There are many great Boot enchants. They are also much more easily obtainable. Just make sure they don't deal any fire damage and you are golden. Here's the list in the same fashion as for helmets:

  • increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
  • increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven't Crit Recently
  • chance to Freeze, Shock and Ignite if you haven't Crit Recently
  • Damage Penetrates x% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently
  • x% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you've Killed Recently
  • chance to Dodge Spell Damage if you've taken Spell Damage Recently
  • Chance to Dodge if you've taken a Critical Strike Recently
  • increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently
  • Regenerate x% of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently

The Glove enchants are the least important / useful ones. You can even get away by just using the enchants from merciless lab or even not use them entirely as they can sometimes be more distracting than useful. Make sure the enchant doesn't do any fire damage!
I'd say there is only 2 enchants for gloves I would like to use:

  • Attack with X of Spite when Hit. - Releases a nova of projectiles based on your weapon, leaving chilling ground in their wake.

  • Cast X of Reflection when Hit. - Creates a clone of you that attacks with your weapon.

  • Cast X of War on Kill. - Creates an animated copy of your current weapon.

>>> Things to try:



Mastermind of Discord + http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Orb_of_Storms

It has been suggested to me by Deericious (on Reddit) to try Warped Timepiece.
I think that it's great for easy content fast cleaning, but for hard bosses I'd rater use Ngamahu Tiki. It also has life, damage and resist. But for easy maps that amulet is definitely an option.

The Marble Amulet can also be a good defensive option. Especially if we stack more life regen on the tree. With essence it is possible to craft increased elemental damage on it so if you are really lucky you can get a nice defensive amulet. Just remember not to neglect your rng.

Yet another option can be to use Grace or even Vaal Grace in conjunction with Essence Worm. This might be a decent mitigation especially against something like Porcupines. The down side is that we lose life, potentially resists and even pure damage in this slot.

If there's anything else I haven't covered please let me know.

Greengroove's Loot Filter Scripts: poeurl.com/OMs
Last edited by Greengroove on Jun 15, 2017, 4:12:40 PM
Awesome guide, can't wait to put in action. I have all the gear beside Kaom's Heart, instead i got a decent 6L armour, can i use it for bosses? If yes, what gems should i use?
6 link will do great. The links are all listed in the guide:

Explosive arrow > Fire penetration > Lesser / Greater multiple projectiles > Slower projectiles > Chance to ignite / Elemental focus > Less duration / Empower

Make a combination of these. I still have to try Burning damage gem and potentially test conc. effect.

Kaoms is the end goal as it will give you so much life and a decent chunk of damage as well.
As far as sockets are concerned I can say that Kaoms will make things tight. But tight is good. The second 5 link is not needed.

GL and have fun.
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Good stuff.

What are main differences between your version and IamPeyters scion version?
This is a tough question. I'll try to answer it today. But I suggest that you take anything you think it's good from either guides.

I am not familiar with IamPeyters scion version. From what I gather that build can be very fast. He also has an Elementalist variant. One nice thing about Elementalist is that it has "free" proliferation. So in the end it mostly depends on what you want to achieve with your build. I think both builds can be fun. But to be able to comment properly I need to compare trees and maybe even test the scion thing on standard.

If you plan to play HC I think Champion is the king.

I am scaling burn. You can also focus purely on the explosions... I will think about it and update when i get the chance.
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I've been thinking about rerolling to EA since I'm not happy with fireball but before I do I'd like to know how this build fares versus the endgame bosses in Essence - namely Shaper and that fire immune resistant boss (Phoenix?) - also, how is single target in general? And would going for RT be worth it instead of trying to stack accuracy?
RT is a big no no. Because if you have RT you can't use Elemental overload. Accuracy is good but you don't need that much of it. That being said the more the better...

I have been looking at the IamPeyters guide. That guide is a bit outdated but still provides relevant info. I don't have a definitive answer yet for the previous question.

It really depends on what you want to do. For example I try to scale burning damage, while he has more fire damage and aoe. For Elementlist aoe is not that important since you have prolif. and it's not that relevant for single target. Now if you are in a map with mobs that are resistant to fire or can't be ignited you will not have fun. Frost wall can't be used anymore either.

For now I can say that I don't think Blood dance boots are worth using because the other gear I use will get me more damage. Frenzy charges are only needed for bosses and you can also use a curse on hit that way. I need a lot of resistances on the boots to compensate. My tree has a bit more life.

My tree or the one from IamPeyters can be easily adapted for a Marouder, Champion, Scion or Elementalist.

I think the Elementalist is the most fun, the Champion has to be the most defensive and apparently the Berserker is the best for damage.

I have not been able to properly test (all that I want) with this build in high maps. The drops are not that great and I am constantly occupied on the forum and my filter.

We have done some ridiculous T 16 today and I failed miserably (along with the others) but the mods were just insane. It was 3 man hp and I had lag as well. But I'm sure EA can perform well in high maps with reasonable mods. Also I have previously done all but Core map and Uber with my Champion (with worse gear that I use now) easy.

I only have a 5 link at the moment in Essence.

In short EA has done Shaper. I haven't seen the video myself, but I imagine you will need insane gear and skills to do it. Phoenix can't be ignited so that's some info. You have to work with stuff like conc. effect, elemental focus, Empower and Culling strike.

If you want to have fun and like the EA game play I'm sure you will like the build. If your only goal is to kill the Shaper them you may be better off with a meta build like Blade vortex,...

All that being said I am still evaluating my decisions and need to test stuff. But in general I'm happy.

PS: I also have a tree option for 11 Grand spectrum Jewels, but it might take a long time to do. That build would cost at least 20 ex not including the 6 link quill rain. Expensive but without a doubt the most dps this build can have.
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Last edited by Greengroove on Sep 14, 2016, 12:41:20 PM
Greengroove wrote:
RT is a big no no. Because if you have RT you can't use Elemental overload. Accuracy is good but you don't need that much of it. That being said the more the better...

Derp, you're right. The last time I played EA was before EO was introduced so I completely forgot about it.
Back to the original question that brunowa asked.

Scion seems inferior compared to Elementalist and Champion. As far as Berserker goes I just don't like the 10% increased damage taken.

The (Scion) tree itself has less damage and the Ascendancy has less damage and utility. Still you are welcome to try it. I am sure that having Onslaught can be fun.

IamPeyters also uses a great tree for the other classes. It is a bit different than mine.

It has (compared to mine) with 123 points allocated:

- 40 Dex (quite important)
- less armour and evasion
/ more resistances (can get these on gear anyway)
+ 1 to max resist (not needed for soft core)
+ 20% Increased life recovery from flasks (i don't have this)
/ it doesn't ignore movement penalty from armour (not a big deal as it only affects armour)
- 2%~ less life regen
- less life
- 88~ less accuracy rating
- 15% less attack speed
+ it has 2% fire pen (I don't)
+ 20% more AOE (I don't feel its needed cause free prolif.)
- 50% projectile damage (double dip)
+ 110% combined elemental damage
- 70% burning damage
+ 30% AOE damage
+ 1 endurance charges (don't know why I don't find them particularly useful)
/ some other minor differences

If you want to focus on explosion his tree might be better. The gear requirements will also be slightly lower because the tree also have elemental resistances.

As I mentioned The above comparison is with 123 points allocated. I have tried scale it down to a more realistic number but at 118 points it starts to be hard to chose what to take away. My tree on the other hand is pretty much completed at 111 points.

You can download https://github.com/EmmittJ/PoESkillTree/releases.
This utility is essential for build planning, reviewing,... You can easily load the trees you want and then compare them by clicking:
View > Skill tree comparison
Greengroove's Loot Filter Scripts: poeurl.com/OMs
Last edited by Greengroove on Sep 14, 2016, 1:54:24 PM

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