[2.5SC/HC][Videos]King of the Forest(Crit): Top Tier Archer. 6K+ Life,Uber Atziri,Guardians&Shaper!


Please read the "FAQ" at the bottom of the post before you ask questions. Thanks!

hey guys, very short update for 2.5:

nothing really changed :D the only nerf is towards decoy totem. It is slightly less tanky now, because it cannot evade (therefore grace does nothing for it) bbut it still distracts bosses very very nicely and it is still great to use. Should you be in doubt you can also use mirror arrow instaed, its also a great decoy.

Changes I made for Breach league

- I couldn't find cheap jewlry with %chaos damage, so I decided a slightly different gearing: Getting a huge amount of INT on gear, so I can change to tree into a bit more damage.
- I left out cast when damage taken. Somehow I do not miss it, and I never died because I didn't use it. Therefore I have free gemslots for a curse on hit setup, meaning the Curseonhit-gloves are not important anymore !
- I am experimenting with point blank. It helps covering single target damage if you dont have all the endgame upgrades. It comes with the risk of having to be near the boss though, so its more or less softcore only.

Here is what I am running with so far:

check out the second post of this thread for some amazing feedback of CadmiumFlow

You can leave suggestions here for new videos that you would like to see. I also have a strawpoll here:

>>> http://www.strawpoll.me/11775409 <<<



I recommend using blade vortex for leveling, and then bladefall until you are in merc. dried lake. It is complete faceroll and very easy. Start using a bow once you can afford drillneck+snakebite+deaths harp !


I want to thank the guys in the comments that suggested using Death's Opus as a cheap replacement for the Reach bow if you can't afford it. DPS wise it should be almost equal, if not better than Reach of the Council in some cases, and you might want to get one until you can afford a Reach. I'll try to do some damage testings with it.
Also I've uploaded a Video where I killed the Shaper with a white Crude Bow instead of Reach of the Council.

Also we have been featured on The Lioneye's Watch Podcast #8 Build of the Week ! You can find Hegemony, ProjectPT and LiftningNerdBro talking about the build here:


Discussion starts at 01:05:39 in case the link doesn't work for you. Of course the rest of the Podcast is very nice to watch too :D Thank you guys for featuring my build !

Hey guys,

after posting my King of the Forest build in the Marauder forums last league (link here) I got pretty good feedback, so I will post some sort of follow-up modified version of it as a guide for 2.4 here in the shadow forums.

It is a Bow character utilizing reach of the council, added chaos/chaos damage, poison mechanics to the extreme with superb aoe clear and single target damage.

For AoE clear, it uses Lightning arrow+pierce.

For single target it uses Barrage with applied poison through Snakebite for very good single target damage, enough to kill Uber Atziri, guardians and the Shaper !

Using Queen of the Forest (hence the name King, because Shadow/Marauder is male) and stacking movespeed on gear, the character gets most of its defense from super high evasion (over 20.000 possible with good gear) and moving at a very high rate.

This movespeed also provides an insane boost in clearspeed, as you are only limited by how fast you can move between packs once your damage is high enough.

This is one of the most versatile and powerful builds right now. It can farm all content, including Uber Atziri, Shaper, all Guardians, high level maps and Uber lab. One Build for everything !


Completed 23 Challengesfiqst wrote:
Been really enjoying this build so far. The beauty of this build is that it doesn't require a ton of damage nodes to work as we let the chaos damage scaling to do the work. This frees up lots of nodes and more choices for us to use them.
I'm really enjoying this build and my thanks goes to cmphx for designing a great guide.

Completed 36 ChallengesS1xE wrote:
This is one of the most fun and fastest builds I've ever played! (I can even keep up with vaal sparkers, lol :))
Uber Lab/Argus/Izaro are a breeze and really easy to farm. Just place your decoy, pop your pots and go mad at them, can easily do full key runs.

Definitly the most fun i have with a build in this league thanks for sharing it :D
this game was made for archers

Completed 39 ChallengesMFJones wrote:
Doing the build on ESC. This is a great build. Last time I played a lightning arrow build was in Tempest league and the DPS and clear speed was not even close. Reach of the council is truly OP, all other unique bows don't even come close anymore.
Very fun build with fast movement speed and generally better survivability than the average bow build.

Thanks for sharing, this build is MFJones approved.

I must say this is THE BEST build i have played until now. Very balanced, fun and strong.

Good gear is kinda expensive, but it's worth it.

I'm struggling a little with my resists(just a few % overcapped) but that aside i'm totally in love.

Thank you.

Completed 26 ChallengesBambulix wrote:
I've been playing bow-builds right from the beginning and i have to admit: I've barely seen a build that's been more impressing than this one. I am in to this build for a week so far and got to say: Lovin' it!

Clearspeed is amazing while still feeling incredibly strong versus single targets. On top of that, this build provides a lot of options in terms of modifications that can be done based on personal preferences. I am trying out the Arrow Dancing/Enfeeble-Blasphemy version right now and really like it. But I am not sure wether or not it is worth switching from the standard AA-Setup.

For everyone who is about to start this build: Use Snakebite as soon as possible. Leveling becomes amazingly smooth once you are able to handle Bloodrage combined with the gloves.

Completed 31 ChallengesDratax9 wrote:
Hi there I have just made it into the 70s with the build and I have cleared t11 and t12 maps already at 75-6and compleated poorjoys this new version is amazing and anyone with enough currency for it should make it. Also this is my 2nd time playing this build and it's still great fun

Well, all i've got to say is that i'm absolutely in love with this build. Insane clear speed, insane single target damage combined with super stong survivability. The cost is relatively small compared to other bow builds where you have to invest a lot of currency. Definately would recommend to use this.

Nice job with the build :)!

For a long time I wanted to play an archer. A dream come true. Thank you.
Nice build.

Completed 40 ChallengesdankNstein wrote:
Back to post that I dropped ice golem completely as a gem slot, linked faster casting to my wither spell totem + started using a sulphur flask like the creator of this build and killed the shaper. Died 2 times because Zana died to his adds and then he instantly black ball phased but was easily able to pick it back up with wither totem and sulphur flask. Thanks to cmphx for this amazing build. This was the first POE expansion/league I ever tried to push into any sort of endgame and get to level 90+ and it was a blast on this character. Sadly no starforge but I will get it one day! ;)

Completed 18 Challengesaristona37 wrote:
It is one of the strongest builds I've ever played since open beta. Kudos!

Update ! I did Uber Atziri, Shaper and all Guardians deathless !!!



This is _NOT_ your standard average Rats Nest 4.5k life crit Bow squishy full dps yolo build. I guess most of us have played this kind of character before and while its fun to start out with, at certain point you start to hate it because its just not reliable and fun to play in the highest levels of content. Your dps is fine, but you die alot because you're too squishy.

This build covers all the weaknesses of average Joe's Bow build while maintaining very high dps.

The main feats of the build stay the same:


- very high life pool (over 6000 easily achievable)
- tanky ( 20.000 evasion, acrobatics) - Porcupines are no danger for this build !
- very high movespeed: over 90% possible without flasks, over 200% fully buffed !
- new: arctic armour as extra defense & chill
- also new: knockback on crit pushes away dangerous enemies by spamming barrage
- superb aoe clear : oneshot packs with lightning arrow. pierce through the pack to oneshot even the next pack offscreen. The new unique Flask Dying Sun even puts the AoE clear to a new level !
- no reflect issues: most of the damage is chaos, so no reflect rare can kill you. easy solution for reflect maps
- almost all mapmod viable/can basicly alc and go
- excellent Uber Lab runner due to high life regen and high burst single target damage / decoy totem mechanics
- excellent Uber Atziri farmer
- shaper and all guardian viable with good gear
- one of the highest non-whirling blades clearspeed
- very fun and satisfying to play
- good pvp character
- viable as a first character in a new league (as I have done)

This guide here is basicly a mana-based, crit version of King of the Forest, which now uses Barrage as single target, since Frost Wall is gone. If you havent seen or tried King of the Forest as a Marauder already, I recommend checking out the Guide in the Marauder forums aswell. While the frost wall mechanics is outdated, the rest of the things written there still remain valid and might be useful to understand the build.

What is different from the Marauder RT version ?

A question that you might ask now. I will list the pros(+) and cons(-) of both here so you can decide for yourself which one you might want to give a shot.

Marauder Berserker:

+ RT, BM, no powercharges makes it very easy to use and immune to things like blind, bloodmagic mapmods, and Enfeeble maps are less devastating
+ a bit higher life pool
+ enough to have 2x 5L, a 6L is not truly needed
+ easy leveling as melee eathquake/sunder/whatever you want
- no real mitigation, and the 10% increased damage taken can hurt sometimes
- a bit less damage than assassin in a high-budget situation
- very high INT requirements, almost no INT on the tree
- cannot level as bow and needs to spend some regrets at around lvl 68 to spec into the build

Shadow Assassin

+ can level as bow character right away (or level as bladefall for faceroll)
+ mana based, can use another aura therefore (in my case arctic armour)
+ access to flask nodes like druidic rite
+ doesnt need as much INT on gear and can use 2x rare rings so easier to cap resist
+ insane single target DPS if you have a higher budget, outperforms berserker with a 6L
+ is a crit character, therefore has access to all the good things: Shock/freeze/ignite, surgeons flasks, satisfying playstyle
+ gets knockback on crit which is great defense against dangerous melee enemies
- mana based, therefore 60%less regen maps/no regen maps can sometimes cause issues
- accuracy dependent, therefore enfeeble maps are tough if you havent got great gear yet / blind can be annoying
- dependent on crits/power charges to get the highest burst damage
- top end dps only reachable with a 6L

Overall the Berserker version is easier to play and has almost no weaknesses. The Assassin version which is posted here has higher top-end dps, but has situational weaknesses and is more dependent on flasks/powercharges to get to the highest dps.

I chose assassin this league because I wanted something different. It is very fun to play a crit character again, and very satisfying. I never had issues with damage so far, and farmed Uber Atziri plenty of times already this league.

I'll post my current gear and tree here. My gear is very close to being perfect, but you dont need this level of gear to feel good.
I used a 5L Lighting Arrow with a Lioneyes Glare and a 4L Barrage until T11 maps, because Reach was not able to drop at the start of the league. I was among the top 200 players in Ladder after the first weekend.


Deathless clean 6 minute speedrun
I managed to kill him in a very quick and clean run, with a lucky drop at the end :) With better RNG and more tryharding, a 5 Minute run should be possible.
Thanks go to user Freshour for pointing out that wither totem is incredible. It boosts my damage by alot, but is hard to place down and make use of it. I can recommend it for shaper fight 100% ! Decoy totem is not that useful in this fight.

(NEW) Shaper Kill with a White Crude Bow !

T16 Phoenix Guardian:
Complete map run - was a corrupted 8mod map with 49% more monster life and other difficult mods! Still the trashmobs are oneshot, and Phoenix is the easiest of the guardians, he usually cannot hit you. Be careful with his Phoenix spawns to kill them quickly, or the fight can get hectic. You can kill him with just about any map mods.

T16 Minotaur Guardian:
Minotaur fight on a TempChains reduced critdamage map
very easy fight once you understood his attacks. Use a decoy totem all the time, and dont stand in the rock rain. The damage is good enough to burst him down quickly, even with harder map mods.

T16 Hydra Guardian:
Waterdance with the Hydra Watch me dodge all the shit for 4 minutes. She is immune to poison, so the fight takes much longer, but the damage is still good enough to carry you through the fight.

T16 Chimera Guardian:
Chimera Boss fight on a rare T16
Chimera is immune to poison and bleed, so on paper a very hard fight. However again decoy totem is the MVP. Place it to have 100% uptime. Chimera will focus it, allowing you to do 2-3 barrage volleys and do alot of damage (despite his immunities) since we still are a crit bow build with a good single target setup.
Be careful with map mods, too much extra damage for Chimera means he can one- or twoshot the totem, which makes the fight MUCH harder.

Uber Atziri fight:
Replace Vaal haste with vaal lightning trap. Dont use bloodrage, use decoy totem all the time. My connection cannot handle uploading a whole run. Trash clear is very simple, so I'll just show the boss fights here:
Uber Vaals
Uber Trio
Uber Atziri

T13 Waterways run showcasing the power of Dying sun

Note that the burn effect comes from a tiny bit of fire damage on my ring; it also indicates how much i crit, because on crit things burn. Also its beautiful :D

More videos soon! You can also suggest what you want to see.

Current Gear

If you can't afford Reach of the Council, you can start with a Lioneye's Glare Bow, it costs 1 Chaos and will carry you all the way to T11 maps.

(If you cannot afford a Reach, you can buy a Death's Opus ! It is almost as good as Reach if not better in some cases, and is alot cheaper.)

This gear is very close to being perfect. I am trying to push the limits with this build. You do by far means not need this level of gear to be strong. However every extra upgrade is worth it and scales the damage very well.

For Phys reflect maps I use

For elemental reflect maps I use

instead of Lightning arrow.

gear swap:

For shaper fight I use Sulphur instead of Silver Flask. For Uber atziri, I use Witchfire brew instead of Dying sun, and Vaal lighting trap instead of vaal haste, and no Curse on Hit gloves. For cannot leech maps, I use a mana pot and play carefully.

For Shaper fight, I also move some gems around (remove decoy, remove golem, remove vaal haste) and use different boots with a spelltotem-wither-fastercasting-increaseduration setup. It is incredibly boosting the damage, allowing you to burst down shaper's hitpoints by 50% in one go if you can get a few seconds of flasks+charges up dps time. INSANE !

Older gear
old gear

My very old Gear

fiqst's Cospris Will Version

So in the comments on page 21 (check his original post for gem links if it doesnt work here) fiqst has posted a very nice variant using Cospri's Will istead of Queen of the Forest. I like his approach alot, and maybe you want to have a look at it yourself. Thanks fiqst for posting your Ideas !

Completed 23 Challengesfiqst wrote:
Hi. I'd like to showcase my current adaptation of this build:





111 Points

The tree is basically identical to the OP's, minus the frenzy and movement speed nodes


I use Cospri's Will to bypass the need for frenzy generation. I lose out on the movement speed but thats a minor hindrance (IMO). I feel i'd rather not be constantly aware of my charges at all times, especially during nervous boss fights. It also saves a gem slot and a hotkey bar slot since i don't need the frenzy skill.

I use Vuln on hit gloves to curse and poison enemies. Being non-Snakebite, i was able to get a cheaper pair with life and res for 70c

It's true that the first shot is needed to curse and the second to poison, but i haven't felt lack of performance in any way, since my preference is to spam at enemies off-screen. It also doesn't matter so much in groups as everyone does the cursing for you in every direction.

CW also has the advantage of allowing a second curse to boost any aspect i need, in this case i have Blasphemy-Enfeeble for added safety in close quarters.

Starkonja's Head is a great helmet which gives moderate crit chance and attack speed offensively, while offering up to 100 life and added evasion when you're close to death.


This is one of the great builds going around atm.

With 6k+ life, and a clear speed above most other builds, i have never felt more safe and powerful.

Whether you decide to stick the King, or use my unorthodox version, you can't go wrong with this guide.

Character tab screenshots

Imgur album of everything

Defense Tab in hideout with auras

5L setups hideout dps

5L Lightning arrow:
5L Barrage:

6L setups hideout dps

6L Lightning Arrow:
6L Barrage:

6L setups fully charged+blood rage

6L LA:
6L Barrage:


Normal: Help Oak
Cruel: Passive Point
Merciless: Help Alira


Unstable Infusion -> Deadly Infusion -> Noxious Strike -> Toxic Delivery

Gem Setup

The Main AoE attack:
5L: Lightning Arrow - Added Chaos - Pierce - Increased Critical Strikes - Slower Projectiles
If you can't use reach, you have to use GMP.
The 6th link is Void Manipulation.

Single Target attack:
5L: Barrage - Added Chaos - Pierce - Increased Critical Strikes - Slower Projectiles
The 6th link is Void Manipulation.

3L Charges/Mobility Setup:
Frenzy - Blink Arrow - Faster Attacks
I recommend linking both with faster attacks, it is a nice boost.

Misc. Gems - Put them where you want:
Grace - Summon Ice Golem - Decoy Totem - Blood Rage


Second Aura:
Arctic Armour
You can also experiment with a 2L Blasphemy-Enfeeble

4L Cast when damage Taken + Vaal Haste setup:
Cast when damage taken (low lvl) - Immortal Call (low lvl) - Increased Duration(lvl20) - Vaal Haste(lvl20)


Boots: Movespeed, Leech or Regeneration are useful
Gloves: Choose what you like
Helmet: The "+2 Barrage Projectiles" is a huge damage boost and honestly overpowered in its power. Get one if you want more single target damage ! it will yield you about 20% more damage, it is too strong ...
A +1 Barrage enchant can be an intermediate step. Also the 40% Barrage damage is very good !

Tips & Tricks:


Easy, short description:

I tried to level spell based in Breach league and I think its better. You can read about it here:


Just follow that if you dont have good leveling gear, it can be done solo selffound if you copy it 1:1.

Or you level as Bow right away. Use heralds or wrath if you need more damage. Get a deaths harp and a drillneck it will carry you to maps. Get snakebite, Lioneyes glare and a 5L or a Tabula, that is enough for T11 maps. Fill out the tree basicly as it is, pick life whenever you feel like you want to be tankier.

Use and level a decoy totem on bosses, it is so helpful !

Equip snakebite as early as possible, its a great damage boost.

If you dont have a reach, use Lioneyes Glare it costs 1 chaos and is great damage. 5L links will be Lighting arrow - GMP - added chaos - critstrikes - pierce.
For Barrage, use Barrage - added chaos - pierce - critstrikes. 5th link if you can afford it will be slower proj.

Gearing Priorities

with my tree, you need 21 Intelligence on gear. I also recommend getting ~300 accuracy on gear
Step 0:
Level to Merciless dried Lake. Get a Lioneye's glare, snakebite, Drillneck, level added chaos, and buy a cheap 5L yellow evasion chest or a Tabula. 5/6L Lightning Arrow, 4L Barrage.

Step 1: Buy a reach or a deaths opus
(If you cannot afford a Reach, you can buy a Death's Opus ! It is almost as good as Reach if not better in some cases, and is alot cheaper.)
It is the most important item in this build and your damage will get a HUGE boost. The roll on the bow does not really matter. You can buy a cheap one, and later divine it a few times. All the rest of your items can be rare (except for drillneck and snakebite of course). I think reach is a bit better than opus, due to the higher base attackspeed, and more arrows, but its highly subjective. I just like it alot more after testing.

Step 2: Get better rares
- Getting boots with high life, movespeed and resist is a great upgrade.
- A leather belt with high life, lots of resist also is helpful. If you can get it, try to get at least 17% Reduced Flask charges used on your belt. That will allow you to pop your Quicksilver 3 times, which is great. It is not mandatory, but it can give you alot of faster map clearing in some situations. Crafting 1-5% Movespeed with Tora also is a nice boost, but not needed of course.
- Rings with High resist, life. Accuracy is nice too.
- An amulet with high life , resist, crit multi if you can get it
- A rare helmet to cap resists if you need to

Intermediate Step: Don't neglect your flasks
A Witchfire Brew Unique flask can boost your damage by alot. Also a Sulphur flask can add alot of damage. Atziri's Promise also is nice damage and leech. Get 20 Quality on all your flasks at this point and make sure you use a Seething or Bubbling Life Flask.

Step 3: Include Uniques into your build
- Buy Jewels with "increased maximum Life", and if possible, some sort of resist, and one of these damage mods: Chaos damage, projectile damage, increased damage, attack speed with bows, crit multiplier.
- Get a 5L queen of the forest
- get a Devoto's devotion
- maybe upgrade your jewlry to cap resistances

Congrats! Now you have a nice build going. From now on, your upgrades will cost alot more, but are nice to boost your damage further.

Step 4: Get endgame upgrades
For mapping clearspeed, a Dying Sun Flask is the best upgrade you can get. The AoE increase also works on Lightning Arrow, since it increases the radius in which it searches for the secondary effect, making it supreme for AoE coverage.
A +1 Arrow drillneck, and a Devoto with +2 Barrage projectile enchant is giving you ALOT of extra single target damage.
A 6L Barrage setup adds even more single target damage.
A 6L Lightning arrow is luxury and not needed for normal mapping.
Curse on hit Vulnerability Snakebites are a huge damage boost and allow you to exchange the witchfire brew. I am blown away by how much damage it adds !
A 21/20 added chaos will add alot of damage.
Crafting "adds chaos damage to attacks" with Elreon lvl 7 to jewlry is a nice damage boost, but it costs 13c to craft, so only do it on rings that you will use for a long time.
Getting jewlry with the Essence of Envy (%chaos damage on rings and amulets) is an extremly powerful upgrade ! Try to integrate that onto your jewlry if you can. It will give you a nice boost for endgame boss fights.

Finding good jewels

In general I highly recommend getting a %life roll on every jewel. It helps alot with gearing if you also get a resistance roll in any form on it too. The most efficient jewels cost-wise are %life+resist+1 damage mod in my opinion. this might change in future leagues, but as of now (Breach) those jewels usually cost between 2 and 20 chaos each. If you can get ele weakness capped with very good rare gear, you can use life+2-3 damage mod jewels, but they tend to get very expensive.

Here is a list for damage mods on jewels that are useful.
Jewel damage mods: ordered from most (++++) to least (+) useful:

projectile damage
increased damage

attackspeed with bows
crit multiplier
chaos damage

damage over time
attack and cast speed

crit chance
physical damage
physical damage with bows

Essence of Envy can yield insane OP Jewlry

Jewlry like this is insanly powerful. each ~30% chaos damage roll on jewlry will give you about 10% more total damage (at least in my calculations). The %Chaos damage will apply to both your chaos damage on attacks, as well as the DoT poison, making it an incredible power boost. These Jewlry are worth every penny and you can look for good ones, or try to craft it yourself. It is super strong, and basicly counters all the damage nerfs on poison from last patch. OP !!

The Snakebite Playstyle

Snakebite are not everyone's thing. You always need to be at max. Frenzy charges, which can be a tedious thing to play with when you are not used to.
The Poison on hit is very strong in this build, and you are missing out alot of damage without. For normal mapping, bloodrage takes care of all your frenzies.
However, against bosses with no adds, bloodrage does nothing, since it only grants a charge "on kill". Therefore, you need to hit bosses with your frenzy gem from time to time to keep the charges going. This requires some practice. You can watch me fight against Uber atziri bosses. Some times I shoot with normal arrows, that is when I use frenzy. You can also watch the Frenzy charge duration counter to see how often I am using it.

It takes some practice to do, but once you got it in your memory, it rewards you with a great deal of damage.

If you cannot seem to get it going, you can try to use a poison gem instead in your setup. You will loose tons of damage, but it comes with easier playstyle.

Useful Flasks

There is plenty of Flasks for this build waiting to be used. In fact, more than we can acutally carry, so we need to chose. I will make a list of useful Flasks for this build. You can create your own mixture :)

Good damage Flasks:
Diamond Flask
Atziri's Promise
Sulphur Flask
Witchfire Brew
Sin's Rebirth

Good defensive Flasks:
Basalt Flask
Taste of Hate
Stibnite Flask
Life Flask

Movespeed/Clearspeed Flasks:
Silver Flask
Dying Sun
Jade Flask
Stibnite Flask
Any "of Reflexes" Flask
Any Quicksilver of Adrenaline

Pick any you like best, or just copy my setup.

Crit Chance and Diamond Flask

As you might have seen, my Crit chance fully buffed is not quite 95%. I am sitting at 78% with full power charges. That however is enough, and I don't need any more crit chance on gear, i.e. on rats nest.
Why is that? Because Diamond Flask exist.

Critical strike chance is Lucky means that the crit is rolled twice, and the higher one is taken Therefore, to calculate your effective crit chance, you need to do the math:
Chance to get at least one crit in two rolls = 1 - chance to not crit in both rolls (basic math probability rule)
So my chance to not crit is 100% - 78% = 22%

Therefore, my effective chance to crit is

1 - 0.22*0.22 = 1 - 0.0484 = 0.9516

So my effective crit chance with a diamond flask is 95% ! that means I do not need to spend any more passives, gears etc into critical strike chance, making this very efficient.

Decoy Totem, aka the best gem in the Game

I cannot write about this enough. A fully leveled decoy totem is so helpful in many difficult situations. Use it whenever you feel in danger !

- it helps while leveling: it taunts the hard hitting bosses, giving you time to do damage.
- it helps vs. end game bosses like guardians and uber atziri: it can take a few hits, allowing you to retreat, get better positions, not get hit, get frenzy charges up or do damage to them with no danger. watch my uber atziri kill to see how good it is. In split phase, it often draws attention of the flameblast clone.
- it is the most useful gem in the game and seriously OP. Use it!!!!!

Avoid these 3 common mistakes with this build

1. Make sure you are leveling and using an Added Chaos gem. It is responsible for 50% of your overall damage for both barrage and Lightning arrow.

2. Poison on hit happens through the unique glove Snakebite. You need to be at max. Frenzy charges (4 with my tree) to feel the insane damage of this build. If you're not at max. charges, you are missing out almost 50% of your potential damage. If bloodrage is not enough in some cases, just shoot with the frenzy skill at some enemies until you have all 4 charges. It takes some practice , but you will get used to it.

3. Make sure you use at least 2x 18% Increased Frenzy charge duration nodes (Like in my tree). Snakebite reduces Frenzy charge duration, so you need to compensate that. Noone wants to play with frenzy charges that only last 6 seconds.

how this works/Theory

The goal of this build was to abuse "double dipping" Poison to the maximum:

When applied by a Projectile, "Projectile Damage" applies to the initial hit as well as to the Poison DoT damage, effectively "double dipping" in the total damage.

Using a bow skill with added chaos - slowerproj-pierce-void manipulation combined with Drillnecks Projectile damage, Projectile damage from the tree, Frenzy Charges, and Assassin's "100% More Poison Damage with crits" now combine together to a huge doubledipping fest.

We get a free poison effect on all attacks at max. frenzy charges using snakebite. We only use 4 charges in total so that they are easy to get (use frenzy for bosses, bloodrage enough for maps) and to sustain. Getting more would be detrimental, because of snakebite's 10%reduced duration per charge.

I chose Lightning arrow as a skill because of its supreme AoE coverage. You should definetely try and compare it for example with Tornado shot. Personally I feel LA is much better. Despite what other people claim, I still think it is one tier above Splitarrow/Tornado shot or whatever. Its too good and needs a nerf.
You might think its a bad idea to use it, since 50% of physical damage gets converted to lightning, right? Yes, but since we use added chaos damage and void manipulation, we dont really care about that. The physical damage is a great bonus, but chaos is the real deal. And with Crits, the Lightning part can also apply shock. While split arrow / Tornado do more damage against a single enemy, the AoE Lightning effect also applies poison, allowing several stacks through one attack if you hit a pack, which makes it so good.

Reach of the Council is the most OP unique Item GGG has released since Skyforth. It is GG BIS for this build. Why ? Because we dont need a GMP gem. The 26% LESS Damage modifier on it double dips as well, i.e. it reduces the inital hit damage by 26% AND the Poison damage by 26%. That was the reason why your DOT suffered so much from being applied by an AoE skill. With reach, you can use your single target skill now for pack clearing ! Balanced!!!!!11111 Even after the recent nerf, it is still insanely powerful !

As this build does mostly chaos/poison damage, we dont need any offensive auras. Yet Grace is very good, providing defense and Movespeed if you chose to use Queen of the forest. For the second aura you can use whatever you want. Blasphemy setup, Arctic armour, a Purity or a herald for styling bonus.

Once you reach the point of damage where you oneshot everything and your single target damage is great, all that limits your clearspeed is movementspeed as a bow character. This build also has a very high movespeed: 90% without any flasks or buffs possible ! Devotos devotion, 30% Movespeed on boots, and some from the tree, plus the bonus from queen of the forest all add up to alot. You can scale it to absurd amounts with a quicksilver, silver, Jade and Stibnite Flask, pumping your Evasion and therefore your Movespeed into insane levels.

On top of having insane damage, one of the highest movespeeds of any archers, this build now also gets a huge life pool on top. I am almost at 6500k life at lvl 93, and there is some life left ready to get in the tree. Using a rare helmet with life instead of devotos pushes me to over 7000 life. You can get even higher with a belly of the beast/Kaoms heart if you really want.

All these features combined make up for a very versatile, reliable and fun archer to play, so definetely not your average ratsnestmaligarocritbow4klife build!

Endgame viability

Will be updated later with videos and more infos.

Red maps are no problem with this build, the damage is insane. Any map boss until T15 is very easy to do and dies within seconds. Mapmods are usually ignorable. For ele reflect maps, use Tornadoshot instead of Lightning arrow. For physreflect maps, you either reroll or use a dyadian dawn belt.

I have farmed Uber Atziri in Essence league, no failed run and the last one was deathless. 20 runs so far, overall very easy and reliable to do. Will post a guide how to do it if you guys are interested.

I have also killed the Minotaur and Phoenix guardian it was very easy to do.

Chimera and Hydra guardians are immune to poison, so the fight takes way longer than the other two guardians, but decoy totem again is the MVP and the fights are very easy once you understood the mechanics, it just takes a bit longer.

I also was able to kill shaper with this build ! It feels easier to do than uber atziri to be honest.

I also farmed alot of uber lab, it is also very easy to do, again place decoy totem, watch izaro trying to kill it, and burst him down with your OP barrage.

Poison damage calculation

Since the poison damage is not shown in tooltip, you might ask yourself how it is calculated? I will give an example calculation for my gear, you can do it on your own gear if you are interested.

So poison base damage is 8% of physical and chaos damage combined per second, for two seconds.

"Increased skill effect duration" modifiers will apply to the poison length, therefore increasing the damage since it lasts longer. It can be a very strong boost.

The Wiki on poison also says the following:

The following stats will directly affect the damage of poison; note that some of these stats apply only to the poison whereas some may also apply to the skill that triggered it:

Damage over Time
Poison Damage
Chaos Damage
Area Damage if applied by an area skill
Projectile Damage if applied by a projectile skill
Trap Damage if applied by a trap
Mine Damage if applied by a mine
Totem Damage if applied by a totem
Minion Damage if applied by a minion

Since we apply poison with a projectile skill (both lightning arrow and Barrage are "Projectiles"), the following damage modifiers on gear, tree, gems will apply to the base 8%:

- general "increased damage" like from a sulphur flask
- general "more damage" from frenzy charges
- "increased projectile damage" from tree, jewels, drillneck etc
- "increased chaos damage" from tree, jewels, rings etc.
- "increased damage over time" from tree, ...
- "more Projectile damage" from things like Slower Projectiles, pierce, etc.
- "more chaos damage" from void manipulation gem etc.

Some of these modifiers not only apply to the poison damage, but also to the inital hit, i.e. the arrow damage. The goal of this build was to stack as many of those, so that we get alot of damage with just 1 skillpoint/one gem etc.

So an example in my case (simplified and some details left out, but you'll get the idea).

Lets say I am at full frenzy and power charges, and I am attacking a boss with barrage in my 6Link setup.

My reach and drillneck give me 205 combined average physical damage.
Added chaos gem and my ring/amulet give me 285 combined average chaos damage.

Then I need to sum up all "increased modifiers" that apply to physical attack damage. Chaos attack damage. Poison damage, and physical damage over time (bleed).

In my case, I get the following stats (ask me if you want a detailed run down how to get those numbers):

Increased physical attack damage: 373%
Increased chaos attack damage: 406%
Increased Poison damage: 424%
Increased Bleed damamge: 355%

Now for Barrage, it fires 11 arrows in my case, each arrow dealing 61.4% of base damage. Since it is linked with Pierce, Slower Projectiles and Void manipulation, we get the following total damage numbers per arrow:

Total physical damage: 205(base)*4.73(sum of all increased)*0.614(base barrage)*1.29(slower)*1.19(pierce) = 913.94

With 4 Frenzy charges, we also get 16% more damage, therefore

913.94*1.16 = 1060 average physical damage per arrow

Similarly, for average chaos damage per arrow we do the same, but for chaos we also get the 39% more damage from void manipulation:

285*5.06*0.614*1.29*1.19*1.16*1.39 = 2191 average chaos damage per arrow

That is the initial damage. Now comes the poison.

Poison deals 8% of base chaos and physical damage combined. But it also will be increased by

- 16% frenzy more damage
- 39%more from void manip
- 29%more from slower proj
- 19%more from pierce
- 424% increased damage from tree, gear, jewels, passives

Therefore each poison stack deals

0.08*1.16*1.39*1.29*1.19*5.24 = 1.037, that means that poison in this build deals 103.7% of base damage on top as chaos damage over time, for two seconds !!

But we are not done yet. Lets assume we deal a crit strike. My Crit multiplier is 334%.

So. one arrow deals 1060+2191= 3251 total average combined physical and chaos.

With a crit, that is 10858 damage.

Now Poison damage is 103.7% of that damage per second for two seconds. But, since we are assassin, we get 100% more poison damage from a crit !! so the total poison damage per second is

10858*1.037*2 = 22520 damage per second for two seconds as chaos damage over time.

Therefore poison is responsible for 66% of the total damage !

Now multiply these numbers with 11 arrows per attack, and 3.14 attacks per second, then you get how strong single target damage can get.

I hope that was understandable :D


Q: Why no Phase Acrobatics ?
A: I think it is useless. I never get hit by spells. I think those 4 points are better spent into more life nodes.

Q: What about Power charges ?
A: Assassin's "Unstable Infusion" is enough. You can link your Frenzy with Power Charge on Crit vs. bosses if you want to.

Q: What about Atziri's Acuity ?
A: It is good, but you probably need two 6Links and use a Poison gem instead of Void Manipulation to make it worthwhile.

Q: What about mana ??
A: Use a pot during leveling. Later, you will need these passives to sustain mana: http://i.imgur.com/IqpLd8b.jpg

Q: How about using Voidheart ?
A: Voidheart only works with melee, so it cannot be used with a bow.

Q: Why no Fatal Toxins or Dirty Techniques ?
A: The main damage you want to stack is projectile damage. Fatal Toxins/Dirty techniques only increase the DoT damage and do not double dip. The damage of this build is crazy and is not the problem. Getting enough life to not get oneshot is most important. However if you want to give up life for more damage, you can pick those nodes for sure. I just dont feel like its needed.

Q: What about Cospri's Will ?
A: It is useable, but not that great. It has no Life and no Resists, and you need to reliably curse enemies to get the poison going. If you can fit that into your build, it will work for sure. You can check out fiqst's version that I quoted in the gear section, I think its a very good alternative.

Q: What about Volley Fire Jewels for Barrage?
A: They are useless. volley fire adds projectiles to the sides, not into the straight line. so volley fire adds an AoE effect to barrage, which we don't need. We use Lightning Arrow for AoE clear, which is far better than volley fire barrage.
We only use barrage for single target.

Q: what about immortal call how do we get endurance charges
A: We don't. Immortal call has a base duration of 0.4 seconds even without endurance charges... with increased duration that is almost 1 second which is enough

Q: What gem setup for opus on Lighting arrow?
A: Try the same setup as for reach. If you don't like only having 3 arrows, you can try replacing slower proj. with LEsser multiple projectiles, but I didn't like that. Getting a +1drillneck early helps here.

Q: What about Tornado shot?
A: Yes it is great too, but I personally hate it and I like Lightning Arrow much more.

Q: Can you have a look at my gear and tell me what to do next
A: Check out my progression thread: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1775830 and copy my steps if you are unsure. Usually it will go like this:
1. Opus 5L + 5L chest 2. devoto 3. decent rares 4. 6L queen 5. chaos craft jewlry 6. +1drillneck 7. Reach 8. Dying sun 9. +2devoto 10.vuln gloves (optional)

Q: I die alot this build sux omg
A: Don't facetank shit. Keep moving around. Use an Instant life flasks in risky situations. Be sure to have gear with life on it, dont do red maps before you have 5k life, dont do yellow maps before you have 4k life. Be sure to be at max. charges. The last two ascendancies are important so don't judge the build before you have that.

Q: What about Ascendancies? Isn't it better to go Toxic delivery first?
A: I dont really know, I havent tried it, but it might be. You can test yourself.

Q: What about Raider for this build ?
A: It's good, raider is faster than Assassin, but less crit and only about half as much damage as Assassin, so you need really good gear or it will suck. With really good gear I mean 20ex investment minimum.

Again the important note: If you cannot afford a Reach, you can buy a Death's Opus ! It is almost as good as Reach if not better in some cases, and is alot cheaper.

If you have any questions about the build, gearing or anything else, you can post it here or ask me ingame. My IGN is SneakySnoozer. I hope the guide helps you, and I hope you're having fun ! Cheers !

2.5 King of the Forest Crit Assassin Version: view-thread/1738625
2.5 King of the Forest LA Poison ReachZerker Guide: view-thread/1696139
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Last edited by cmphx on Dec 22, 2016 12:32:02 PM
Last bumped on Jan 21, 2017 6:06:02 AM

great feedback/help by CadmiumFlow
Man, this thread is interesting to read. You've got some people clearing Uber Lab and T14-15 maps at level 83, and others having trouble with T10s. I'm going to share some of my thoughts on the wildly differing reports of strength:

This entire build revolves around delivering as much poison damage as possible via Barrage and Toxic Delivery. This is enhanced by several critical factors that you absolutely cannot neglect, or the build simply won't work:

- Extra projectiles from Death's Opus or Reach of the Council. Death's Opus should easily carry you into red maps. This also lets you skip GMP on Lightning Arrow (and eventually LMP) - don't underestimate how much extra clear-speed you pick up from piercing projectiles off-screening and poisoning packs.

- Added Chaos Damage Gems. You need two of these, and they must be leveled. You cannot just throw a level 1 in and expect to run T10 maps. Each level is flat damage (like a spell gem) so they need to be 18+ ASAP. I would recommend buying the GCPs to quality them as well (and use your vendor recipe GCPs), because you cannot afford to run it at level 1 20% in a T12 map and expect to kill the boss. The +% chaos damage is also huge, because jewelry with this on it is extremely expensive.

- Get good Jewelry (some combination of life, resistances, accuracy, flat damage, and then crit multi on the amulet) with an open prefix and spend the 13c to Elreon flat chaos damage on to it. Alternatively, buy some Essences of Envy and try to get lucky on a Diamond or resistance ring:

I crafted the % Chaos Damage Diamond Ring, so I had to spend a decent amount on my other ring to make-up for the lack of defenses. However, buying % Chaos Damage rings with a good life roll and just one resistance is often extremely expensive.

- Keeping Frenzy Charges up to apply poison via Snakebite. If you're having trouble with a boss, you probably lost your Frenzy Charges. Make sure you get in the habit of firing Frenzy every 5 seconds or so to ensure you don't lose your 4-stack.

- Landing Critical Strikes because of the insane 100% more poison damage modifier from Toxic Delivery - this is also a good argument for taking TD before the Uber Lab. This involves using your Diamond flask properly. You should not open a tough fight by using it. Instead, fire a few barrages without it to build Power Charges - you actually need a lower crit chance to generate these. Once you're at 4, then swoop in, pop Diamond, and unload. I've yet to see a map boss (I've run up to T14) survive me for longer than 5 seconds.

- Running a Wither Totem can help a lot here too, because those Wither stacks really add up. In combination with critical strike-fueled Poison damage single targets get absolutely shredded.

- Might be a controversial opinion but I've had success with it: a 6L Barrage is more useful than 5L QotF. Buy a cheap 6L evasion chest with a good life roll (or use an essence of greed to make it yourself) and use that until you can afford to 6-link a QotF.

In terms of survavability:

- Stay mobile. This is not a tanky build. 6K+ life will allow you to do some stupid stuff and survive, but if you get surrounded in a Breach while standing still you will absolutely die. Use blink arrow, blink arrow, decoy totem, or a wither totem. Awareness is required - recognize dangerous situations as they develop and get out. Poison damage means you can keep doing damage even while you run like a sissy.

- You absolutely need high life rolls (T3 at least, T1 or T2 preferred) on all non-unique gear because this build uses uniques in several slots.

- Jewels need 6-7% increased maximum life. This is mandatory if you want 6K+ life. Do not waste rolls on increased critical strike chance. These are cheap for a reason because 10% isn't going to make much of a difference and you don't need it anyway. On the flip side, critical strike multiplier is huge. Also read up on how Poison damage "double-dips" - this limits the types of damage mods you should go for, but also means you get much more from each jewel.

- Fill out the tree - if you skip the far left sides of it you are missing out on over 50% of increased maximum life. This is what gets you out of the typical 4-4.5K bow build health range and into the upper 5Ks. As mentioned, Jewels will then put you over 6K.

- Use a basalt flask and Arctic Armor. I like layered defenses rather than banking entirely on Evasion, but this comes down to personal preference.

- CWDT with Immortal Call and Increased Duration is enough - we don't need Endurance Charges. This question gets asked like every page of this thread.

- Don't get hit. Seriously, the high-tiered bosses hit like trucks but a lot of them are pretty well telegraphed. If you get hit by a big spell, expect to die. That's how the the game is unless you have 15K+ ES.

- KEEP YOUR CHARGES UP! You fight without them and your damage suffers greatly. Then you die, because the fight goes on a lot longer than it should.

- Watch the map mods. As I said before, this is not a tanky build. Throw on unlucky dodge chance, -max resistances, monster critical strike chance, vulnerability, etc and hits can be extremely painful. Bow builds tend to lend themselves to popping a Quicksilver Adrenaline and yolo'ing from pack-to-pack, but even with 6K life this stuff can and will kill us quickly. I also suggesting getting red map elemental weakness capped (169% in hideout) - jewels can help with this.

- Consider a Kintsugi instead of a QotF if you don't trust yourself to not get hit. Sometimes I'm tired and play stupid, and I hate getting one-shot, so I think I'm going to try this when I can afford to 6L it.

I hope this helps for those who have been struggling a bit. This is an expensive build and it does take a while to get it going. But in terms of run and gun bow builds, it's easily one of the best if not the best out there.
2.5 King of the Forest Crit Assassin Version: view-thread/1738625
2.5 King of the Forest LA Poison ReachZerker Guide: view-thread/1696139
2.4 Low Life Champion Kinetic Blast Guide: view-thread/1646732
My Lootfilter: view-thread/1696052
Last edited by cmphx on Dec 22, 2016 12:34:20 PM
OooOo very cool. What makes assassin better than deadeye/raider builds??
OooOo very cool. What makes assassin better than deadeye/raider builds??

minimal investment into crit because assassin has extra crit available, so more points can go into life and you end up being tankier with same crit rate. also you get 100% more poison damage with crits, which is insane amounts of damage. so very efficient
2.5 King of the Forest Crit Assassin Version: view-thread/1738625
2.5 King of the Forest LA Poison ReachZerker Guide: view-thread/1696139
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This is one of the most fun and fastest builds I've ever played! (I can even keep up with vaal sparkers, lol :))

Uber Lab/Argus/Izaro are a breeze and really easy to farm. Just place your decoy, pop your pots and go mad at them, can easily do full key runs.

Gonna attempt Atziri soon and Uber Atziri when I hit 90 probably.

Definitely wanna take this to shaper and see if I can kill him.

I can agree with anything that the author states in the post.
A very nice build and explanations. I just wanted to know if it would work well with Kintsugi body armor?
Completed 26 Challengesbabicko wrote:
A very nice build and explanations. I just wanted to know if it would work well with Kintsugi body armor?

Of course, queen of the forest is purely used for clearspeed/movespeed reasons. You can use any chest armour you want, Kintsugi is a very good choice for being tanky.

However I highly recommend trying out using Queen of the forest a bit. The movespeed is incredible !
2.5 King of the Forest Crit Assassin Version: view-thread/1738625
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Last edited by cmphx on Sep 19, 2016 5:32:39 PM
great guide
Great guide. Gonna use use this guide as a reference to make my first ever bow build. Would be really nice if you could upload a couple of high tier content videos (would really help to see the mechanics in action). Had a couple of questions
1. why isnt the spell dodge node taken on the tree?
2. why not take more frenzy/power charges on tree ?
Great guide. Gonna use use this guide as a reference to make my first ever bow build. Would be really nice if you could upload a couple of high tier content videos (would really help to see the mechanics in action). Had a couple of questions
1. why isnt the spell dodge node taken on the tree?
2. why not take more frenzy/power charges on tree ?

Hi ! I am glad you like it, if you need help you can contact me here or ingame, my IGN is SneakySpinoza.

Do you have any special map that you want to see ? I still have to record videos so now is a good time for wishes :D

to answer your questions:

1. I feel like spell dodge is wasted. I never feel threatend from spells, only from attacks. I rather would spend those 4 extra points in life, those help alot to not get oneshot.

2. Getting more power charges would require alot of passive points, and this is not efficient. With my tree and the crit strikes gem, 4 power charges and the ice golem, crit chance is at 78%. This is the sweet spot for a diamond flask, because it rolls the crit twice, you are basicly crit capped with that. Therefore you do not need to waste any more passive points into crit, powercharges etc or gear for crit chance. That saves you lots of points that can go into life or other useful things, and saves you money for expensive crit gear (that usually has little to no life on it too)

Getting more frenzy charges also is problematic as long as you use snakebite :

"10% reduced Frenzy charge duration per charge"

is a big problem. If you just use snakebite and the basic 3 frenzy charges, you already get 30% reduced duration for them, so they only last 7 seconds. That is way too short time for comfortable mapping.

If you pick another charge, it goes down to 6 seconds. Thats unplayable. That is why i picked 2x 18% increased frenzy duration nodes on the tree to counter that, so the reduced amount is only 40%-18%-18% = 4% (since increases and reductions cancel each other out), so those frenzy charges will last 9.6 so almost 10 seconds, which is good.

So for every new charge that you get, you also need to pick at least one, if not more duration nodes to make it still be playable. So the passive point invest is quite huge.

On top of that, you only are reliably poisoning enemies (and getting the full potential of your damage) at max. charges. The more charges you have, the longer it will take you to be at max. charges. After playing this build for several months i found that 4 is a good spot. It is decent damage ( 16% more ) but still easy to get ready in situations where you start with 0 charges, like uber atziri fights. It only takes a few seconds to shoot with frenzy to get the charges, then you are ready to do crazy damage. If I had 6 or 7 sure the damage would be higher, but it is not worth the time it takes to get all of them.

tl;dr: More powercharges are a waste of passive points. More frenzies are too tedious to do and wont matter that much.
2.5 King of the Forest Crit Assassin Version: view-thread/1738625
2.5 King of the Forest LA Poison ReachZerker Guide: view-thread/1696139
2.4 Low Life Champion Kinetic Blast Guide: view-thread/1646732
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