[3.5][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | MFing | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth



Overview
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Starting with the most important question: "Why Raider of all classes?"
For powerful defensive abilities, QoL features and speed. When damage is not a problem, these are more valuable qualities than slightly higher dps number. That's why i believe this is the best ascendancy choice for life based CA.

This build features over 6000 life, very high evasion with up to 95% evade chance cap, 46/40% dodge/spell dodge. It's also immune to all ailments and can run absolutely any map mod. Any incoming damage can be easily solved with two instant life flasks healing you back to full life. Capable of clearing all content in the game. Everything with possiblity to use some magic find gear.

I've been pushing Caustic Arrow to the limit every league for almost 3 years now. I'm certain that this version is strongest, safest and most versatile of them all.


Pros
+ Cheap starting cost, great league starter
+ Very easy to play
+ Tanky end game, over 6000 life and very high evasion + dodge
+ Fast without flasks (over 100% ms, high AS)
+ Flexible build, adjust how much you want to go MF / damage / tanky
+ Can run any map mod, including "No regen"
+ Capable of clearing all end game content
+ Permanent flask uptime while mapping (except bosses)

Cons
- Mediocre single target damage
- Slightly expensive end game gear
- Weak against physical spells



Passive Tree and Bandits
There are two basic trees you can use:

Level 94 - Base passive tree

This is the recommended path for majority of the players, focuses on scaling Caustic Arrow only. Budget and beginner friendly. Guide will be focused on this tree.

Level 94 - Classic tree

Old school tree for experienced players. Focuses on generic chaos/DoT increases to scale Caustic Arrow and Essence Drain. The latter skill is used in second weapon slot to further increase damage output. This playstyle has it's own section at the end of the guide's main post. It's a straight upgrade to CA only tree. Beware, it's really expensive.


If you've reached level 94 using any of the trees, start picking up closest jewel slots.

Bandit Reward: Kill All (recommended) OR spare Oak

Ascendancy: Avatar of Veil (Phasing) + Avatar of Chase (Onslaught)

Avatar of Veil and Chase provides amazing defensive, speed and QoL features. No other ascendancy can really match it. Best used for pure mapping, but still works against end game bosses.

Build uses Way of Poacher for levelling purposes, before finishing uber Labyrinth.

Other Ascendancy Classes
Spoiler
Allright, i get it. You dislike Raider for some reason, probably not enough damage. There are alternative ascendancies using the exact same passive tree. Starting with the best one:



Trickster
Ascendancy: Patient Reaper -> Prolonged Pain -> Swift Killer -> Ghost Dance
Balanced passive tree (Level 98) - CA focused tree
Classic tree (Level 98) - CA+ED Classic tree

You can use Weave the Arcane instead of Ghost Dance. Both are viable choices for the last point.

Highest damage output out of all ascendancy classes. Suitable for both CA only and classic CA+ED version. Lower defence and speed than Raider.



Pathfinder
Ascendancy: Nature's Reprisal -> Master Toxicist -> Nature's Boon -> Master Alchemist
Base passive tree (Level 94) - Same as Raider's

Great middle ground between Raider and Trickster. Almost as high damage as Trickster while having elemental ailment immunity like Raider. Flask recharge is incredible as well.

You can sacrifice one of the Master nodes to take Nature's Adrenaline node for additional speed.



Champion
Ascendancy: Unstoppable Hero -> Fortitude -> Conqueror -> Worthy Foe
Base passive tree (Level 96)

If you hate dying, here's your choice. Perma fortify makes Champion strongest against big hits. Taunt branch is also great for clearing packs of mobs. Low QoL with great defence and decent damage.

You can use Inspirational and First to Strike, Last to Fall nodes instead of Taunt branch. Gives massive conditional damage and defence.



Deadeye
Ascendancy: Gathering Winds -> Far Shot -> Endless Munitions -> Fast and Deadly
Base passive tree (Level 94) - Same as Raider's

Good option for mapping. Great offensive QoL features with good damage. Quite weak defensively.

You can pick Ricochet as 4th point if you prefer. Gives higher damage output at cost of mobility.

Pantheon
Major God: Soul of Lunaris

Nuff said, straight up has the best synergy with the build. Others barely do anything except few specific cases.

Minor God: Soul of Shakari OR Ryslatha OR Garukhan

All three of them are pretty good, but my personal favorite is Shakari. Having full ailment immunity simply feels great. Use it only if you upgraded it.

Ryslatha is 2nd most useful minor god, i use it for any end game boss encounter. It's great for labyrinth as well and overall best choice if you don't want to look at pantheon ever again.

Garukhan is also great option for defence during mapping. Additional evade chance is very powerful combined with high evasion.

Gem Setups
Main Skill (GGGGBR):
Caustic Arrow - Void Manipulation - Swift Affliction - Vicious Projectiles - Concentrated Effect
6th Link: Damage on Full Life OR Empower lvl 3/4

Your primary damage setup. First 3 support gems have no real downsides and should always be included in the build. Conc Effect and Damage on Full Life have downsides, which one you prefer is up to you (i recommend first one). Empower has no downside but requires level 3 or 4 to be worth using. Costs a lot of money or time.

In case you feel that your damage good enough, you can use Greater Multiple Projectiles for clearing instead of Swift Affliction.

Wither Totem (BRRR):
Wither - Spell Totem - Multiple Totems - Increased Duration

Free 90% more damage against bosses. Place the totem and let it do the work. It also slows their movement speed, so keep that in mind against some bosses.

Cursed Frenzy Setup (GGBB):
Frenzy - Greater Multiple Projectiles - Curse on Hit - Despair

Setup designed for additional damage against bosses. You can generate Frenzy charges
(12% more damage) and curse enemies at the same time.

CWDT Immortal Call (RRR):
Cast when Damage Taken lvl 3 - Immortal Call lvl 5 - Increased Duration lvl 20

Standard CWDT setup. Immortal Call is useful against random bleeding from bosses / lab traps. Not a mandatory setup, but very much recommended.

Aura: Grace / Vaal Grace

Grace gives huge amount of additional evasion. Vaal Grace allows us to cap Dodge / Spell dodge, and is best used during abyss/breaches/harbingers etc. Vaal Grace can be linked with CWDT Immortal Call setup for longer aura duration, it will not trigger automatically but still benefit from Increased Duration.

Banner: Dread Banner

Used for it's massive 21% less accuracy to nearby enemies. Great defense for mapping for small mana reservation. It doesn't require you to impale enemies in order to gain the primary benefit.

Bonus Mana Regen: Clarity lvl 10

Not a mandatory setup, but very much recommended. If your mana regeneration is too low, this will fix your problems easily. Even if you don't have mana regen problems during mapping, it's great to have Clarity against mobile bosses like Pheonix Guardian.

Movement Skill: Blink Arrow

These are the only mandatory gems and we still got 3 free gem slots. How you fill the rest of them is your choice.

Optional Setups
Spoiler
Withering Rain (GGGR):
Toxic Rain - Mirage Archer - Withering Touch - Increased Duration

Optional setup to Wither Totem. It's much worse when it comes to raw damage increase and reliability. However this setup can be used in any situation for additional utility/damage which is not possible with totem.

Bestiary Aspect: Aspect of the Crab

Any source of damage mitigation is great for evasion characters. With very high evasion numbers it can easily act as permanent 20% physical damage reduction. End game only, otherwise low mana pool might cause troubles.

Cursed Frenzy Setup (GGGGBB):
Frenzy - Greater Multiple Projectiles - Curse on Hit - Despair - Enhance - Culling Strike

If you're rich, that's probably best 6 link body armour setup. Enhance for that extra damage from Despair. Culling strike is for finishing the bosses, but i personally hate it.

Essence Drain Swap (BBBGGR):
Essence Drain - Efficacy - Controlled Destruction - Void Mani - Swift Affliction - Empower

Used in classic version of this build. To learn more, head to the Classic CA+ED Build section.

Fortify: Vigilant Strike with The Vigil threshold jewel

Only usable if you have melee weapon swap. Gives ~35 second long Fortify, awesome bonus for hard hitting bosses. Without threshold jewel the duration is only ~12 seconds, but it's enough if you facetank a monster. Best used in classic build.

Golem: Stone Golem OR Flame Golem OR Chaos Golem

Stone Golem is most useful with his taunt and high flat health regeneration. Flame golem for the damage, Chaos golem if you want to try some phys dmg reduction shenanigans. Golems tend to die quite often in high tier maps, but are very useful in early mapping or against labyrith traps (stone golem).

Portal Gem

If you have a free gem slot, why not? Best socketed inside 6-linked cursing setup instead of culling strike.

Equipment
My current gear / TL;DR:
Spoiler

Weapons: +3 CA Bow (self-crafting recommended, see crafting section)
Quiver: Life and Resists, late game get one with increased AoE (Elder) or +1 arrow (Shaper)
Armour: Kintsugi


Helmet: Life and Resists, 30% CA duration enchantment
Boots: Life and Resists or Atziri's Step unique, 8% chance to Dodge Spells enchantment.
Gloves: Life and Resists, of Spite enchantment


Belt: Life and Resists, Leather / Heavy Belt with Elder mods if possible
Rings: Life and Resists, can be Ventor's
Amulet: Life and Resists, Agate/Lapis/Marble rare preferred, can be Bisco's


Flasks: 2 Life flasks, 3 utility flasks recommended. Flexible, use what you want.


Jewels: Life and damage on all of them, very efficient if you have at least 3 good mods. Watcher's Eye unique with +5-8% to Evade is invaluable (BiS) for this build.

Notes: Aim to have ~160 strength and intelligence, so you can use lvl 20 gems.
It's good to cap elemental weakness curse (109%). X% Mana regen is pretty good QoL.

Below you will find the gear explained in-depth. Piece by piece.

+3 CA Bow
Spoiler

The first core item of this build.

Caustic Arrow's cloud has very limited options when it comes to increasing it's damage output. Additional levels and crafted mods are the only way to make your bow actually benefit the build in the first place. CA setup socketed inside +3 bow easily increases the damage output by ~50-60% more compared to a normal 6-link.

To make it clear, on the bow we NEED:

* +1 to Level of Socketed Gems (prefix)
* +2 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems (prefix)
* +33-40% Non-ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier (prefix, crafted)

You can also use super budget version with only +2 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems,
it's enough to actually beat almost any encounter in the game. However the more damage, the easier it gets. Crafting +3 bow is not that expensive and massively boosts the damage.

I recommend to self-craft the bow as it's the cheapest way to do so. Plus, you can directly upgrade the +2 6-linked bow into +3 once you acquire currency. Chaos DoT Multiplier doesn't have to be highest level, 2nd tier already gives really good bonus.

Elder versions of the bow can roll few amazing QoL mods on top of +3 bow gems, but crafting one is extremely expensive and you shouldn't bother with it until there's no other significant upgrade you can make.

Bow crafting and elder versions of the bow are fully covered in crafting section.

Chaos Staff (Classic)
Spoiler

Used in Classic ED+CA Build, check it's section at the end of the guide's main post.

The second and last core item of this build. Reasoning for this is pretty much the same as +3 CA Bow above.

It is a core item, but most likely you won't be using it until VERY late game. It's not going to be cheap either. You can craft the staff yourself or use unique Cane of Unraveling that you most likely have to 6-link yourself... Crafted staff is going to be stronger than max rolled unique one.

Stats we NEED on the crafted staff, 3 out of 4:

* +1 to Level of Socketed Gems (prefix)
* +2 to Level of Socketed Chaos Gems (prefix)
* +2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems (prefix, crafted)
* +33-40% Non-ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier (prefix, crafted)

You can also multicraft the staff for additional cast speed and little bit of bonus damage. It's not necessary, but still an awesome QoL upgrade.

Staff crafting is fully covered in crafting section.

Armour
Spoiler

Kintsugi
My personal choice of body armour. I use it to mitigate potential oneshots from bosses, and it saved me multiple times in the past. Additional 50% evasion if you get hit is a really nice bonus for mapping. The "20% Less Damage Taken if you've not been hit Recently" also works against degens (LAB TRAPS!) until you've been hit.

Kintsugi is a mandatory end game body armour for Raider. Combined with with very high evasion + dodge, the unique passive acts as 25% more life. It is true for many bosses.

Before you reach the end game, you might want to use Carcass Jack or Cherrubim's for additional DPS. You can also use Loreweave for 80% maximum resistances. If you're non-Raider ascendancy, you might want to consider Queen of the Forest instead. You will find more explainations below.

Optional Armours:
Spoiler

Loreweave
Viable Kintsugi replacement in the end game, best defense against elemental damage. It will increase your maximum resistances and prevent reducing it below that number. Requires 79/80% maximum resistance roll to be considered worth using. It will not protect you from physical hits tho.

Carcass Jack
Best chest for start of the league. Good amount of additional damage, life and some resistances. Also massively boosts the AoE which is a bit small without high gem level. It's still inferior in the long run and should be used only for league start.

Cherrubim's Maleficence
Best choice if you want more damage. It has up to 80% increased chaos damage, giving around ~15% more damage in the final build. Has a lot of life as well, making it OK defense wise. Can be used instead of Kintsugi in the end game, but i wouldn't recommend it for hardcore characters.

Queen of the Forest
Option for non-Raider ascendancies. Movement speed is our primary way of moving around the map and dodging skills. Raider has enough speed on her own, allowing the use of defensive chests. Others ascendancies don't have that luxury, so you should consider using it.

The Brass Dome
The only mod this chest really has is "Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes". Nothing else, but it's so powerful on it's own to earn the spot in this list. Mandatory chest to run Hall of Grandmasters, unless you have Kintsugi with "50% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes" vaal implicit.


Quiver
Spoiler

A rare pierce quiver with life and resistances. Later on you'll want to craft or buy elder/shaper quiver. Something like the first one i linked, the more life and resists the better.

Shaper quivers can roll +1 arrow. It's quite rare mod, so getting one with high health is going to be damn hard. Crafting 55-64 life from Tora should be enough. Shooting 2 arrows feels a bit weird at first, but it's a huge QoL and effective AoE increase.

Elder quivers can roll increased AoE, highest affix grants 13-15%. It's cool alternative if you dislike 2 arrows. However, those quivers are mostly used for it's frenzy charge generation.

Elder/shaper quivers are fully covered in crafting section.

Helmet, Gloves and Boots
Spoiler
Packed into same category, as you want same thing from all of them:

* Life
* Resistances
* Open Suffix (optional)
* Movement Speed (boots only)

Evasion based preferred, especially the helmet (can achieve really high evasion). Atziri's Step unique boots are amazing defensive option if your resistances allow it. That's pretty much it, what's left is to look at the enchantments:

Gloves: of Spite

Nothing else is useful, really.

Boots: 8% chance to Spell Dodge if you've taken Spell Damage Recently.

Best late game enchantment. The build is nearly invincible against attacks, but spells still hit quite often. 80% chance to avoid stuns is also a great alternative.

Helmet:
#1 - 30% increased Caustic Arrow Duration (default choice)
#2 - 40% increased Caustic Arrow Damage (ONLY if you have Exceptional Performance passive cluster)

This might seem like an odd choice, but duration is not to be underestimated. It allows to shoot CA less frequently, cover larger area with degen, and silently boosts damage if you couldn't reapply degen in time...

The second one is just more damage, a minor ~7% more damage. Not recommended, but is an option if you picked up Skill Duration Effect nodes on passive tree.

Belt
Spoiler
Once again, life and resistances. Strength is also a desireable stat. Leather Belt is the best base, with Heavy Belt being an option.

I also have to remind that elder influenced belts are absolutely amazing. They can roll few VERY good mods:

* 8–10% increased maximum Life (prefix)
* 8–10% increased effect of Flasks on You (prefix)
* 16–20% increased Life Recovery rate (suffix)
* 13–15% to all Elemental Resistances (suffix)

That's not even all of the good mods. If you ever accumulate enough money to buy/craft it for yourself, i recommend getting one.

Rings and Amulet
Spoiler

Like majority of other gear and little more:

* Life
* Resistances
* Strength and Intelligence
* #% Mana Regeneration

Attributes to reach ~160 requirement for lvl 20/21 gems. Mana regen is not required but allows to drop Clarity if you have enough of it.

Once you hit the end game, i recommend buying a good Marble amulet. Life regen is really helpful in mitigating degens / small hits. Elder rings have an amazing mod "+(4–5)% chance to Evade Attacks". Combined with high evasion it's completely broken.

Jewellery also have best unique items for magic finding. Well rolled Ventor's Gamble is great addition to this build, even if you don't want to focus on MF. Shaper amulets fall in the same category since they can roll 10% IIQ. Combined together they give great IIQ+IIR mix without hurting your defences too much.

Magic Finding has it's own section.

Flasks
Spoiler

This is the setup i run personally and recommend it for everyone. 2 life flasks to quickly heal from 0% to 100% health in a single hand motion. 3 utility flasks which you use every ~6 seconds. The mods on those flasks combined with Raider ascedancy and Soul of Shakari allow for complete ailment and curse immunity during mapping plus very high evasion.

For life flasks, i recommend 1 Bubbling and 1 Seething with bleeding/freeze/poison immunity for emergencies.

From utility flasks, i suggest Quicksilver / Jade / Sulphur / Basalt. They should have "Reduced Charges" mod on them, it's undoubtly the best affix for flask uptime in maps. For additional effects, curse/bleeding immunity and increased evasion rating are the only good options.

Flask setup is flexible, you're not forced to use what i recommend if you don't want to. Adjust it to your liking.

From unique flasks:

* Dying Sun - Ultimate AoE flask. Luxury upgrade to the build, not required, very expensive.

* The Writhing Jar - Great flask for end game bosses. Allows you to generate fortify and onslaught before the fight starts or to refresh frenzy charges during waiting phases.

* Divination Distillate - for MFing purposes. Allows you to run "no regen" maps without changing a setup, at slower pace. You might want to use mana flask for some bosses/breaches/fast mapping instead.

* Witchfire Brew - Good flask if you start out the build, but as you progress with the build it starts to feel like a dead weight. Especially against bosses, where the flask overrides the Curse on Hit setup and will "delete" the curse once you're out of blasphemy range.

Jewels
Spoiler

There's not much to discuss, you want any 3 out of these 6 mods on your jewels:

* 5-7% increased maximum life
* 3–4% to Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
* 9–13% increased Chaos Damage
* 10–12% increased Damage over Time
* 10–12% increased Projectile Damage
* 10–12% increased Area Damage
* 8–10% increased Damage

Life on the jewel is especially valued, get it if you can. Getting a jewel with all 4 good mods is kinda impossible, but finding one with 3 mods at once should be easy. Be sure to look out for other mods that can be beneficial for you:

* 14–18% increased Evasion Rating
* 7–13% to Chaos Resistance
* 4–6% increased Rarity of Items found
* Any resistance / strength / intelligence mods


Watcher's Eye is an expensive jewel you want to acquire once you reach the end game maps. It has "+5–8% chance to Evade Attacks while affected by Grace" mod, which provides incredible defence boost if it's combined with a very high evasion chance. Together with Onslaught path, it's possible to reach 95% evade chance cap. Mods from strongest to weakest:

* +5–8% chance to Evade Attacks while affected by Grace (MUST have)
* +6–10% chance to Dodge Attacks while affected by Grace
* +10–15% increased Movement Speed while affected by Grace
* Unaffected by Enfeeble while affected by Grace
* 30–50% chance to Blind Enemies which Hit you while affected by Grace

Levelling and Progression
Caustic Arrow levelling (Act 1-10)
Spoiler
I've tried to be beginner friendly in this section, but didn't want to write essay either. If you're a veteran, i'm sure you can get all important information without reading guidelines. Please do read the short "Preparing for maps" section anyway.

Gem Progression:

Caustic Arrow - Pierce / Swift Affliction - Void Manipulation - Vicious Projectiles

You'll get Void Manipulation at lvl 8, Vicious Projectiles at lvl 18. Use Pierce Support gem until you pick up pierce nodes on passive tree, around level 40-45. Once you do, use Swift Affliction instead (buy from Siosa).

Toxic Rain - Mirage Archer

Additional utility/damage setup for bosses. Shoot Caustic Arrow, then attack once or twice and repeat. Slows enemies and can easily generate frenzy charges/onslaught from Raider ascendancy.

Wither - Spell Totem - Multiple Totems

Used for additional damage against bosses, can be used starting from level 38. Place and forget, 2 totems are enough. You might need little bit of strength/intelligence to use it.
Do NOT level up Wither until you reach act 9.

Despair : Curses enemies to increase damage. Use on bosses, tough packs, rares etc.
Do NOT level up Despair until you reach act 9.

Blink Arrow : Your movement skill
Grace : Your aura, grants additional evasion.
Purity of Elements : If you really need resistances. Use instead of Grace if necessary.

Gem Rewards:
* lvl 2 - Caustic Arrow
* lvl 3 - Mirage Archer (Medicine Chest side quest)
* lvl 8 - Void Manipulation
* lvl 10 - Blink Arrow

* lvl 12 - Toxic Rain
* lvl 18 - Vicious Projectiles
* lvl 24 - Grace, Despair
* lvl 38 - Greater Multiple Projectiles

Any gems you don't receive as a quest reward can be bought from Siosa (act 3) or
Lilly (act 6) once you complete their quests. Petarus and Vanja (act 4) also sell Multiple Totems after you enter Belly of the Beast.

Passive Tree Progression:
Level ~9 (Act 1)
Level ~18 (Act 2)
Level ~28 (Act 3)
Level ~45 (Act 4-5)
Level ~55 (Act 6-7)
Level ~71 (Blood Acqueducts farm)
Level ~71 (After Respec)
Level ~73 (Before Kitava)

Bandit Reward: Kill all (recommended) OR spare Oak

Ascendancy Order: Way of a Poacher (1st Frenzy) -> Avatar of Chase (Onslaught) ->
-> Quartz Infusion (1st Phasing)

Additional twink gear:
* Silverbranch/Silverbough
* Tabula Rasa
* Goldrim
* Wanderlust
* Hyrri's Bite (Int/Str)
* Karui Ward

Important reminder: Don't forget to level additional CA gems in your weapon slot. They still level even if you don't use them.

General levelling rule: First and most important to remember - when searching for equipment, your priority on them is Life and Resistances. Links are equally as important, be sure to look out for correct socket colors. This applies to all acts.

Act by act guidelines:
Spoiler
Act 1-3 should be very easy in general. That's where you slowly shape up your main skill. Majority of the necessary gems are rewards from quests. The ones you can't, you can buy from a Nessa, Yeena and Siosa as you progress through the main story.

In act 4 it's important to have good resistances, especially fire resist. Outside of that, it should be a breeze. It's a good idea to enter Labyrinth after you find waypoint inside Crystal Veins. Should be trivial at this point.

Act 5 is where things get little bit tougher. Monsters out there are quite dangerous and it's recommended to have capped fire and lightning resitances. It's also a time where bleed removal life flask becomes necessary. I suggest to farm Chambers of Innocence until you reach level 45 and then face the Innocence himself. Next boss is Kitava, 1600 life is enough to tank all of his abilities.

Once you arrive in act 6, check your resistances. If they're below 60%, you should pick up Purity of Elements from Clarissa (act 3) - use it instead of Grace aura until you solve the resistance problem. It's recommended to have them capped before the final boss.

Act 7 is quite easy. Beware of ghosts inside the Crypt, they can hit quite hard.
Act 8 features Deodre, the hardest boss you encounter during levelling. It's relatively safe if you have 2500 life, but that might be hard to acquire. After that, the act is going to be trivial. It's good to have freeze removal flask for Lunaris area, in case you don't have it already. Kill the final boss of this act and proceed to Blood Acqueducts.
Preparing for maps:

The area with a long stream of blood is where you'll spend next 1-2 hours. It's a great place to farm experience. Farm until level 70 and then respec the projectile nodes at ranger starting area. Look for gear upgrades and slowly replace your gems to recommended final setups. Before you proceed, you need a Tabula Rasa which you can farm in Blood Acqueducts OR you can buy 5-link bow with ilvl 64, high attack speed base if possible. The second option is better in general. On your newly purchased 5-link you can craft +2 bow gems with alteration/augmentation orbs. You should roll it within ~100 tries, still a bit RNG dependant. The 5-link CA setup is:

CA - Vicious Projectiles - Void Manipulation - Swift Affliction - Concentrated Effect

Now you're ready to get into maps. Progress through last 2 acts and face Izaro in merciless Labyrinth before the final fight. After you complete 3rd labyrinth, you should respec 1st frenzy ascedancy node. You can acquire all necessary points from side quests. When you're ready, defeat Kitava once and for all. 4000 life is enough to not get one-shot in both fights.

Mapping Progression
Spoiler
If you're here, i assume that you have at least lvl ~73 and CA gem lvl 17. Cursed Frenzy setup and Wither Totem should be included in your build as well. If you don't have all of them, you might find single target damage disappointing. This build is dependant on levels, especially if you're starting the league. Don't rush the content.

Before you begin mapping, it's wise to pack as many CA gems to level as possible (if you didn't already). Once they hit lvl 20, you can corrupt them with Vaal orbs for a chance to get lvl 21 gem. You can have up to 12 gems levelling at same time, as CWDT setup isn't very useful until red maps.

White maps:
Passive Tree Progression (level 81) - rush Phase Acrobatics.

They shouldn't be a problem at all. Most map mods are trivial, running them blue is completely viable. No real danger outside of few bosses like Pen, Grotto or Spider Lair. For this map tier, you have 2 very simple goals:

* 6-linked bow with +2 gems (ilvl 64+)
* Carcass Jack / Cherrubim's Maleficence (optional)

It's possible that you've acquired money for all of them before killing Kitava. If not, simple unid chaos recipe should do the trick. From body armours, you should buy the one that's cheaper. Carcass Jack is better as a league starter, but usually costs more than Cherrubim's.

Acquiring the bow is very simple. Buy ilvl 64+ 6-link bow, then spam alts/augs to roll +2 bow gems (prefix). You should get it within ~100 alts. The links on the bow should look like this:

CA - Vicious Projectiles - Void Manipulation - Swift Affliction - Concentrated Effect -
- Damage on Full Life

Keep in mind that you can always switch Swift Affliction with Greater Multiple Projectiles for map clearing. The AoE coverage is massive QoL in exchange for single target damage, which you can always solve by switching the gems again.

Yellow maps:
Passive Tree Progression (level 88)

This is where you'll spend quite a lot of time, recommended level is 80-90. This map tier isn't too risky, but some map mods might be deadly without proper defences/damage. Goals for this tier:

* +3 gems 6-linked bow
* Level 21 CA gem
* Phasing path (uber Labyrinth)
* General gear upgrades

The +3 bow is the primary goal in yellow maps. You should craft it by yourself, as it's the cheapest way of acquiring one. Check crafting section for full details how to do it.

You should get level 21 CA through vaaling all the gems you're levelling, once they reach level 20. If you're unlucky and didn't get one, i recommend buying it instead.

Once you have proper damage, you can face Izaro inside uber Labyrinth. You will be safe as long as you dodge his attacks, which you should do with ease. Allocate remaining points in phasing path and ignore elemental ailments! Do not forget you need to have phasing/onslaught/maximum frenzy charges in order to gain the immunity.

Do not forget about your other gear, it's equally important. Get more life and resistances, good jewels, 30% CA duration helmet and all the good stuff. In short, upgrade it whenever you need, whenever you can.

Red maps:
Passive Tree Progression (level 94) - start with Druidic Route

That's where mapping becomes tough. Monsters can hit hard, map bosses become tanky, map mods are huge pain. Your damage should carry you through most maps easily, but the bosses combined with some map mods can be too scary. The 4 following goals of this map tier will fix all these issues tier:

* Kintsugi
* Watcher's Eye with +4-8% chance to Evade Attacks.
* Empower 3/4
* 7-link +3 Elder bow.

In that order. It's best to acquire Kintsugi as soon as possible. It's a cheap and underrated unique. Gives massive defensive boost for your character.

Despite very high evasion and Kintsugi on top of it, some maps might still give you a lot of troubles. Watcher's Eye should solve these problems. Paired with Jade Flask and 25% more evasion from Onslaught path, it can reach 95% evade chance cap.

Once you upgrade your defences, the next upgrade should be Empower gem. Level 3 is easily enough for majority of the content. Level 4 would be ideal, but it costs massive amounts of money. Price is very high early on and drops over time. You can try collecting The Dragon's Heart divination card too, but that might be tricky sometimes. Empower replaces Damage on Full Life OR Concentrated Effect, your call.

Elder 7-link bow is a goal you probably won't reach. It increases damage output by 15% more... for a price. It's not necessary to do all end game content, just makes it slightly easier. Once you get all other upgrades, optimize your gear and everything - you can think about wasting money on crafting/buying one.

After that, all you can do now is enjoy the build, kill some end game bosses and look for another build you want to play.

End Game Bosses/Maps Guide
Spoiler
As a rule, you're capable of killing pretty much any boss deathless. Scary red maps, end game bosses, all of them. Some of them are not worth the risk tho. Learn to skip them.
+3 6-linked bow is required.

Shaper:
Required gem setups: Decoy Totem
Optional setup: Temporal Chains - Blasphemy

Shaper himself isn't an issue, but the portal phase is problematic. The spawned monsters have too much health to die quickly. Decoy totem should be enough to protect Zana. Using The Writhing Jar for the talking phase is also recommended (otherwise you might lose frenzy charges).

Shaper Guardians: You shouldn't have many issues with them. Chimera and Phoenix are the easiest. Hydra's turrets can be deadly if you don't watch out. Minotaur's lightning gates apply deadly debuff that can easily be a death sentence.

Elder:
Required gem setup: Frost Wall

Once you get to know his moves, he's very easy. In first phase you should prioritize killing spawned minions, so they won't drop decaying ground (phys degen). Damage elder whenever you don't have to focus minions. Second phase, just protect Shaper with Frost Wall (see video). Third phase can be tricky and even deadly, but overall try to burst down the Elder while killing mobs to recover flask charges.

Elder Guardians: They shouldn't be a problem. All of them have some scary attacks, but you can avoid them easily. Using Purity of Lightning against Eradicator is wise idea as well, his damage can be spiky sometimes.

Uber Elder: WILL UPDATE LATER, check description of my video against this boss

Uber Atziri:
Required gem setup: Purity of Fire, Purity of Lightning, Vigilant Strike
Required gear: The Writhing Jar, The Vigil, Topaz/Ruby Flask

Thing with Atziri is, that she's mostly a mechanical fight. You can dodge almost anything... until RNG screws you over and you die. It's possible to kill her without getting hit at all (we got lots of speed after all), but you want to be prepared for anything. Vigilant Strike gives long lasting fortify, Kintsugi reduces damage by another 20%, Purities gives 4% resist each. It won't save you from everything, but gives you chance to actually take a single hit and live. Not sure which resistance flask is more important, so choose it yourself or take both (1 life flask left).

As for Alluring Abyss itself, the zone can be really dangerous. Take it slow, don't tank mobs (rare soldiers hit super hard). It's nothing too hard. Vaals are probably the hardest part to be fair. Use The Writhing Jar to fortify and refresh frenzy charges in waiting phase. Trio is pretty easy, see Vaal Temple below. Disable Grace and start using PoF/PoL for Atziri, also fortify yourself between phases.

Vaal Temple: Shouldn't be a problem. Additional speed, double damage mod, temp chains or twinned are probably too risky. Titty bitch -> Dual strike dude -> Cyclone. You can kite dual striker with Wither totem easily. Beware of Titty bitch's physical blade rain, it's good idea to remain mobile until it's on cooldown (after she casts it).

Breachlords: Elemental breachlords are weak enough to be killed with ~22 level CA. Uul-Netol is more dangerous, CWDT-IC setup is required to prevent one shots. Chayula's domain might give you big troubles. It's doable tho, be sure to kill rare mobs as you go. Boss can be really dangerous, equipping Ming's Heart / Chaos resistance breach ring is a good idea.

Hall of Grandmasters:
Required gem setup: Scorching Ray
Required gear: The Brass Dome

Easy for the most part. The tough part are few exiles that can deal absurd damage in short time. Lethal map purely thanks to them. CI forces us to use Scorching Ray against them, Balefire unique is the easiest way to get the setup. Use it in or even 2 of them in a weapon swap. You need chaos resistance yourself, at least make it positive. Be elemental weakness capped.

Poorjoy's Asylum: Since CA can't off-screen mobs and shatter / explode corpses, it's a scary map. Those DD assholes are capable of killing you in split second. I generally avoid this map. I recommend using Mirage Archer for it, you can even combine it with Writhing Jar to actually off-screen enemies.

Uber Lab: This might not be the safest build for a full key run, but kills Izaro quickly enough for it to be possible. Kintsugi's amazing for lab traps, or you can also use QotF if you prefer.

Map Mods
As i already mentioned before, we can run pretty much anything... within common sense. So no Twinned Core with LMP + Turbo + -10% max res + 2x 100% bonus ele dmg, or anything like this. We're not immortal RF guardian.

I only mention actual deadly mods that you really gotta watch out for. Triple increased damage and stuff is obvious anyway.

Dangerous mods:

* Player Dodge chance is Unlucky / Monsters have #% increased Accuracy Rating
This is actually one of the hardest mods. Very noticeable in high tier maps or breaches etc. Onslaught path negates the problems for the most part, but spells are problematic.

* Monsters have #% increased Critical Strike Chance / +#% to Monster Critical Strike Multiplier
With high evasion, attacks should almost never crit you. Spell on the other hand can still hit hard.

* Monsters fire 2 additional Projectiles
Scary mod on some bosses and monster types. Some monsters are still able to shotgun, like few new Oriath monsters.

* Area contains two Unique Bosses
This is dangerous mod in some maps as you know. You should be able to do majority of them quite easily. Some can be done safely only with enough damage.

* #% increased Monster Movement Speed / #% increased Monster Attack Speed / #% increased Monster Cast Speed
Speed might be deadly in some boss encounters. The faster boss is, the less damage you deal and the more time you spend kiting him. With temp chains + speed you might not be able to kite at all. Watch out for such combos.

* Players are Cursed with Vulnerability
Negated during mapping thanks to warding flask, but not against bosses. Can be very deadly if you receive bleeding.

* Players are Cursed with Temporal Chains
Not a problem most of the time, but worth mentioning. Mod can be easily negated by Timetwist ring, if you're against a tough boss.

* Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
Not a deadly mod, but worth mentioning. You can do it easily, just bring mana flask instead of utility flask. Almost any high level mana flask can work. Don't forget to turn off Clarity for higher mana pool.


Besides that, typical damage mod combinations shouldn't be understimated. Everything applies like to every other build out there.

Classic CA+ED Build
Old school version of the build that was used before 3.4 patch. With changes to the passive tree in 3.5, it once again is the most optimal way to play this build. You can squeeze ~50% more damage that way.

Pros:
* MUCH Higher damage output
* Awesome active playstyle (warning: personal opinion)

Cons:
* Very expensive (but not as much as +3 7-link bow)
* Significant gear limitations
* Might be too mechanically intensive for some people

If it's worth trying using it, it's up to you to decide. If you're still interested, read further:

What changes compared to normal build:
* Chaos Staff in weapon swap, Essence Drain setup.
* No elemental resistances on Bow/Quiver - otherwise your resists might be negative after you swap weapons.
* Level 94 - Classic tree - Big changes on passive tree. Focused on scaling DoT/Chaos/Global damage through tree and jewels to benefit both CA and ED. Uses Frenzy charges for the same reason.

* Speaking of jewels, there are only 4 mods that truly benefit this build. %max Life and DoT/Chaos/Global damage increases. Much harder to acquire them.
* Must use Wither Totem, cannot use Wither Rain (MA disappears on weapon swap).
* Skill Effect Duration nodes are NECESSARY for this build to work.

Frenzy generation during mapping:
Spoiler
Since classic build focuses on Frenzy charges for additional damage/speed, it would be great to have them up all the time. With onslaught and phasing path you don't generate frenzies on kill, so you need another source. Without charges, the build doesn't have the same smooth feeling while mapping. Pick one of the following:

* ilvl 84 Elder Quiver: (7–10)% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill
* ilvl 84 Elder Gloves: (7–10)% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill
* The Green Dream: 18% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill (duelist jewel slot)
* Precursor's Emblem: 10% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill

Jewel is the easiest way to get them, but you lose decent amount of life/damage you would get from normal jewel. Cheapest way would be crafting the Quiver, but you lose potential for +1 arrow (not a problem if you use Dying Sun).

The ring is new Azurite mine unique. Not the most efficient option but it's decent. Finding a good mod combination to make it worth is going to be hard. The best option and also most expensive of them all is crafting Elder Gloves. That way you can have a jewel slot and +1 arrow quiver at same time.

7-10% change for frenzy is required to have reliable upkeep, the more the better. If you hit T1 affix, make sure it has at least 9% chance, otherwise you will lose charges constantly.

Two more things:
1 - Keep in mind that you can deal damage with both of the skills at same time. CA's cloud doesn't disappear after you switch weapon, same goes to ED's DoT debuff after it hits the enemy.

2 - ED projectile has to hit enemy while you wield Staff, otherwise it flies through enemy like nothing happened.

That's about it. These might appear trivial but it's a massive difference in gearing up. I don't think i need to explain playstyle, check out one of my 3.2 videos. The only difference is that in 3.5 CA's duration is going to be short and ED's is going to be long.

Have fun
/view-thread/2077932 - [3.5][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.5] Crimson Dance Bow Gladiator | Actually viable bleed build
Last edited by DankawSL on Dec 14, 2018, 9:48:49 AM
Last bumped on Dec 14, 2018, 12:36:26 PM

Note: Most videos have timestamps and commentary on the run in description - what went wrong and what to improve.

3.4 Build Videos

Shaper kill
Guardians: Minotaur / Phoenix / Chimera / Hydra

T13 Elder kill
T16 Shaped Scriptorium
T15 Shaped Siege (~100% more monster life)
T16 Uluman lich

Azurite Mine:

300 depth Delve run
300 depth Abyssal City
300 depth Vaal Outpost
300 depth Primeval Ruins
200 depth Delve run (monster level 78)

3.1 - 3.3 Build Videos
Spoiler
Uber Elder deathless - requires a lot phys degen mitigation to be possible.

Shaper kill - Pretty easy with correct gem setup

Chayula's Domain clear - on the razor's edge. Timer part is hard, boss himself can be lethal.

Uber Atziri - deathless despite lots of mistakes. Working on more reliable way to tank mini-flameblasts and stormcalls atm.

T16 Vaal Temple

T15 Elder

T16 Shaper Guardians:
Minotaur / Phoenix / Chimera / Hydra

Elder Guardians:
T12 Constrictor / T13 Purifier / T15 Enslaver / T13 Eradicator

T15 Sunken City / Turbo + Dmg

T15 Basilica

T11 Waterways / No regen - example how you run that mod, more or less

Hall of Grandmasters, 5 runs - after learning what to watch out for, it's actually quite easy. It's good idea to wear Brass Dome / Ahn's Contempt for this map (Danzig almost oneshots, almost)

Uber Lab, full key run

All videos from 3.1 patch, frenzy path

Delve League
This league introduced Azurite Mine. Unlike maps, it scales infinitely and pushing it's limits requires a different strategy than you would normally do.

This section will help you improve your setup to get as low as you possibly can. It also covers fossil crafting and what mods you should aim for.

Monsters
Spoiler
A short guide what to watch out for. Focusing on the monsters that seem innocent but hit like truck.

Unstable Weta

This is the most dangerous enemy of the mines, period. These little insects will take your life if you're not careful. It's all about the delayed corpse explosion that chunks really hard, the cold degen ground also depletes health rapidly. They aren't too much of an issue when escorting the crawler because of your speed. You will have to avoid them a lot during mine exploring and azurite deposit encounters. I follow few easy rules:

#1 - Watch your step, always.
#2 - If you're exploring in the darkness, run through them the moment you kill them or don't move until they explode.
#3 - During azurite encounters, don't move and facetank them. Explosions can't hurt you (they can with 100% increased AoE)

You can see this strategy in my Delve run videos.

Monsters with projectile spell

Living azurite, golems, big spiders, spectral phantasms - they all share same quality. They shoot not very intimidating rocks/projectiles at you that are... spells. That's complicates things a little bit, only spell dodge works against them. Easy way to avoid the damage is to pop Vaal Grace when you meet them. That applies to living azurite and golems mostly. Also applies to monsters in Vaal Outposts (constructs/chaos casters).

Azurite Widow, Cavestalker and Turong

Your usual big, rare monster. Do not underestimate them. If poe.db data is to be trusted, all new monster types have physical damage converted to elemental. The lion, shrieking bat and big blue spider have 100% conversion on their basic attacks, making extra phys as ele mod INCREDIBLY deadly. See a rare monster? Avoid it at all costs. Most of the time you won't get hit, but when you do... you get chunked really damn hard. I advice to not go through biomes with more than 1 damage mod at a time.

Bloodlines mod

Rare monsters covered, time for blue ones. Bloodline mod in delves is really dangerous. The amount of mods that can spawn is really small. Union of Souls, Otherworldly and Herald of the Obelisks is pretty much everything you'll ever see. The last one is especially deadly, never stay near the slain bloodline pack. Chances that it spawns lightning ball or lightning "ground" thing are quite high.

Necromancer's Ritual

The necromancer is surprisingly deadly. I don't know why, but his blood geyser deals insane amounts of damage rapidly. Once he's about to take care of you yourself, use Vaal Grace and stay mobile to avoid it. You should also try to stay away from zombies, just in case.

Exile Camp

6 rogue exiles. When you see the tents, quickly use Vaal Grace and prioritize Orra Greengate (archer) so she won't pin you down. Kite the rest of the exiles, half of them will die to a random CA degen before Orra dies anyway. It's easy encounter in general but being pinned down can easily mark your death. You can't move, but you can use blink arrow.


Other dangers are kind of obvious. Not going to cover them as you probably learned to avoid them anyway (like the massive screen wide explosion ball).

Equipment
Spoiler
Before i begin, there's very important note about the Azurite Mine itself. Deep down, the mine has mods just like the maps. With one big difference:

Azurite Mines mods only empower monsters. They do NOT change player's stats in any way.

It might be small difference overall, but it's big for gearing up:

* You don't need to be elemental weakness capped
* There are no monsters that can curse (AFAIK)
* Bleeding doesn't exist in mines with maybe few exceptions. (No corrupted blood)

One more thing before i begin, you won't be able to use all possible changes/setups, some of them overlap. They're all optional and might give you the ability to push little bit farther than you would with a standard setup. I personally got to 341 depth in HC without any real changes to the core build:

Quicksilver flask of Reflexes

Because curses are absent in delves (from what i know anyway), you can change your movement speed flask to give you additional 60-100% evasion instead of curse immunity. Even tho you should have 95% evasion chance, having extra above cap for 50% accuracy rating mod or accurate monsters is always welcome.

Witchfire Brew

Considering that enemies are close to you majority of the time, this flask is a really good offensive option. Can replace Staunching Jade flask, since you should have anti-bleeding life flask anyway and corrupted blood packs/rares don't spawn in delves.

Impresence (Chaos)

Following the same logic as Witchfire Brew, but instead of the flask you would use this amulet for cursing the enemies and have additional Blasphemy - Despair setup. It will have higher AoE and damage than the flask.

Cospri's Will and Enfeeble Blasphemy
Enfeeble - Blasphemy - Vaal Grace - Enlighten lvl 3/4

Again, same logic. Since monsters are close to you, curse auras will be very handy. Unfortunately, many blue monsters are rares have Hexproof mod PLUS you can only have 1 curse on enemy, leaving Despair to never be used (Blasphemy overrides any curse).

That's where Cospri's Will body armour comes to the rescue - Hexproof bypass and additional curse. Should be really reliable, even against 60% less curse effectiveness mod. Enlighten is necessary, otherwise your mana pool is going to be too low.

Withering Rain (GGGR):
Toxic Rain - Mirage Archer - Withering Touch - Increased Duration

In delves, Wither Totem is useless except the bosses. This setup allows for little bit extra damage and slow utility against hordes of monsters.

50% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes

That's right, it's an insane implicit, obtained through using vaal orb on a body armour. Since the build doesn't require 6-link and has 5 extra free gem slots, it's relatively cheap thing to get. Still you have to get lucky to roll that mod. You can also get some other useful mods like 40-50% increased damage, 4-6% maximum life and +1% all maximum resistances.

This mod is AMAZING to have in both mines and normal maps. Massively reduces chances to get one-shot. You can potentially use Ahn's Contempt instead (or even both!), but you'll probably lose your CA enchantment in the process. Up to you to decide.

Elder influenced boots

They have 2 very strong mods:
* 7-10% chance to gain Endurance Charge on Kill (prefix, T2: 4-6%)
* 9-10% chance to Dodge Spell Hits (suffix, T3: 3-5%, T2: 6-8%)

While the scariest monsters in delve deal elemental damage, physical damage can be really deadly as well. Endurance Charges will boost your physical mitigation by a little bit until you get hit - Immortal call will consume them for up to 2 second long physical immunity. 6% chance to gain charge should be enough for delving, since there's A LOT of monsters to kill on the way. The more the better obviously.

Spell Dodge is always useful, since you can't have Vaal Grace up permanently. Should be treated like a bonus, endurance charges are more important.

Those boots are also great for mapping, but getting a good pair is going to be really expensive.

Fossil Crafting
Spoiler
Bow crafting with fossils is covered in normal Crafting Section. This section focuses on anything else worth crafting besides the bow.

Additional resources:
Fossil Cheat Sheet
PoEDB.tw


Elder Leather Belt
Method: Aberrant + Pristine
Fossil mods: 20-30% increased Chaos Damage (prefix)

With this method it's insanely easy to roll a decent belt in ~10 tries. Pristine fossil sremoves majority of bad mods and makes rolling Life + Life Recovery rate really common. In case you crafted a good RF belt, you can sell it for money and buy another base and try again.

Helmet
Method: Aberrant + Pristine
Fossil mods:
* Nearby enemies have -9% Chaos Resistance (suffix)
* 1% Life Regeneration (suffix)
* 2-3% increased maximum Life + 15-25 maximum Life (prefix)

Same as leather belt, except selling is probably not an option here because of an enchantment. Reduced chaos res is a really good against any curse resistant monster (bosses, hexproof, 60% less curse effectiveness). Huge boost to damage output, high chance for 100+ life helmet.

Jewels / Abyssal Jewels
Method: Aberrant + Pristine (optional)
Fossil mods: 13-19% increased Chaos Damage (suffix)

Jewels have a really high pool of mods, so prepare for a lot of failed attempts. Just keep spamming Aberrants until you hit 5-7% maximum life. Adding Pristine is probably not worth it, however it will crafting easier for sure. It's probably the cheapest way to get a decent jewel in hardcore right now.

This method also allows Abyssal Jewels to be a decent option, since they're easier to craft than normal jewels (smaller affix pool) AND you can finally roll 2 damage mods that will actually boost your damage permanently. (10-14% damage when using 2-handed weapon + fossil 13-19% chaos damage)

Shaped Quiver, +1 Arrow & Life
Method: Corroded + Metallic + Serrated / Pristine
Fossil mods: 1% Life Regeneration (suffix)

First two fossils block majority of the prefixes. Serrated fossil should massively increase chances of rolling +1 arrow on top of low prefix pool. Pristine fossil is optional to Serrated, gives higher chance of hitting good suffixes but isn't nearly as good at hitting +1 arrow itself. Don't get your hopes up tho, hitting both prefixes at same time is still rare, or you might hit low hp roll. In the long run, it's best way to make +1 arrow quiver with over 64 life that you can mastercraft.

In case you want elder influenced quiver, this method can also be used for that purpose.

Amulet
Method: Aberrant + Pristine + Aetheric/Corroded (optional)
Fossil mods: 20-30% increased Chaos Damage (prefix)

Rolling amulet is going to be tough. They have a lot of potential mods and you probably know from your experience that finding a good rare jewellery is hard. Pristine helps a bit with that, Aberrant gives you the damage. I advice to only use it on Marble amulet or elder influenced Agate/Lapis.

You can also try blocking some undesirable mods with Aetheric (less attack mods, more caster mods) or Corroded (no elemental mods, more poison/bleed), but i'm not sure how effective it's going to be.

Elder Gloves
Method: Aetheric + Pristine + Metallic (optional)
Fossil mods:
* 1% Life Regeneration (suffix)
* 2-3% increased maximum Life + 15-25 maximum Life (prefix)

Aetheric fossil will drastically reduce chance of bad prefix spawn, allowing for much higher chance of hitting "7-10% Frenzy charge on kill". Pristine as always for life and no evasion. Metallic will further reduce chance of spawning bad prefixes, but that shouldn't be required.

Elder Boots
Method: Pristine
Fossil mods:
* 1% Life Regeneration (suffix)
* 2-3% increased maximum Life + 15-25 maximum Life (prefix)

Elder boots can roll really great stuff, as you probably read in Equipment section above. Simple Pristine spam is definitely the best, since the prefix pool on boots is really low. Hitting high life, movement speed and endurance charge on kill is going to be tough tho.

Path of Building + Tooltips
PoB code:
https://pastebin.com/At0iWXmF

This PoB is based on my character from Bestiary HC league. Some items are slightly different from the original for easier damage calculation and recommended gem setup. It also has CA+ED Tooltip bow for classic version of this build.

It features 7 different passive trees, CA focused Raider is default. You can change them at any time for quick comparison. Number indicates required level for that tree.

In Calcs tab, "In Combat" calculation shows tooltip dps. "Effective DPS" shows fully buffed damage with 15 stacks of Wither and Despair. When checking dps for +1 7-link Elder Bow and Classic build, do not forget to enable Empower support. To see boss damage, simply change the option in Configuration tab and look at number on the left.

Tooltips (currently VERY outdated)
Spoiler


That's fully buffed with 3 frenzy charges. The damage on CA can easily go over the 200k value if you invest into damage on gear. Same goes for ED in classic build.



Defence fully buffed. Such a long list i couldn't fit everything in. Realistically, the evade chance is around 95% using Onslaught path (it doesn't show on the tooltip tho). Phys damage reduction is 2-10% depending on Soul of Lunaris.

Magic Finding Setups
One of the perks of Caustic Arrow, being able to go MF. You should be using any of the Ranger's ascendancies for that purpose, other ascendancies aren't nearly as good. Let's get started:

Pool of MF Items:
* Divination Distillate
* Goldwyrm
* Ventor's Gamble
* Bisco's Collar
* Sadima's Touch
* Greed's Embrace
* Shaper IIQ Amulet
* Rare IIR Jewellery

There's few MF items i didn't list. I have a very good reason for that, it's called opportunity cost. Items like Perandus Blazon just don't give enough benefits to justify wasting important life/resistance slot for them.

There are compatibility problems with Goldwyrm and Divination Distillate. Any more regeneration than what you get from passive tree makes it impossible to gain benefits from MF flask. Div Distillate is better in general, but also big pain to use at the same time. I'll focus this guide on the flask rather than the boots.

How to effectively use Divination Distillate
Spoiler
There are gear limitations in order to be able to run MF flask reasonably:

* You CANNOT have "X% mana regeneration" and "+X mana on kill" affixes on gear
* You CANNOT use Clarity
* You MUST have at least have 6-link bow
* It's very good idea to use Greater Multiple Projectiles to increase mana consumption

That's it, what's left is the proper way of using the flask to it's full effectiveness:

Shoot CA, use utility + MF flasks, shoot again if mana regen is high enough. You get full benefit and refill flask charges that way. Quite simple, isn't it? It's the proper way to use flask nearly all builds to be fair.
I've prepared 3 MF setups for most common cases:

Semi-MF
Items: 2x Ventor's, IIQ Amulet, Div Distillate
Max IIQ: 48%
Max IIR: 170%

The optimal setup that allows you to clear all content without neglecting your defences too much. You can be Ele Weakness capped, don't lose too much life and still use Kintsugi. This is what i personally recommend if you want to go MF.

Unfortunately, finding good Ventor's Gamble and IIQ amulet is going to be expensive. However, with Divination Distillate it's a perfect mix of decent IIQ and IIR.


Full MF
Items: 2x Ventor's, Sadima's Touch, Greed's Embrace, IIQ Amulet OR Bisco's, Div Distillate
Max IIQ: 73% / 73% + 50% Bisco's
Max IIR: 220% / 220% + 150% Bisco's

Recommended full MF setup. High IIQ with a very decent IIR number. You should still have decent health and defense despite everything. Unfortunately it will have low movement speed. You should use Chemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline to counter that.

This setup isn't suited for running high tier maps. It might be hard to cap ele weakness, lower HP pool, no Kintsugi, lower evasion. You can try it, but i can't guarantee your safety.

It's a mapping setup, don't try T16s or any hard bosses. You get 60% mana regen from Goldwyrm so you don't need it on jewellery.


Cheap MF
Items: IIR Jewellery, Sadima's Touch, Greed's Embrace, Div Distillate
Max IIQ: 43%
Max IIR: ~200%

In case you don't have money or want to invest a lot. Should be relatively cheap. Same potential as semi-MF, but inherits downsides of full MF. Just read the full MF setup for info.

Crafting Section
How to craft your own +3 bow / staff, +3 elder bow / quiver. To remind:

Magic items can have 2 affixes: 1 prefix and 1 suffix
Rare items can have 6 affixes: 3 prefixes, 3 suffixes
To check what mod is prefix or suffix, enable Advanced Mod Descriptions in game (Options -> UI)

Additional resources:
Poeaffix.net
PoEDB.tw

In case you don't have required crafting recipe, ask a trusted mastercrafter. You can find them on forums under Trading -> [your league] - Shops. They'll require a small fee for their services.

+3 Bow crafting
Spoiler

NOTE: Fossil crafting method is currently the cheapest way to craft +3 bow. It's not 100% reliable, but usually costs only a fraction of classic method in the long run. Should take below 10 attempts to get one. If you're playing BHC league, i recommend classic method for safety (cheap exalts).

Fossil crafting:
Spoiler
Requirement: 6-linked bow ilvl 64+
Method: Corroded + Metallic + Prismatic

Step 1: Spam 3-fossil combo until you hit +2 Socketed Bow Gems AND +1 Socketed Gems
Step 2: Craft 33-40% Non-ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier

NOTE: Bows with ilvl 83+ have MUCH lower chance of hitting +3 gems due to additional prefix.

Classic method:
Spoiler
Average cost: 6-link ilvl 64+ bow, 2 exalts, ~200 alts, 4 chaos, few regals, few scours, few tens of augs

Step 1: Spam alts/augs until you hit +2 to Socketed Bow Gems (prefix)
Step 2: Add a suffix with augment orb if it doesn't have already
Step 3: Regal and pray for another suffix. If it's a prefix, scour the bow and return to step 1

Step 4: Craft "Cannot roll attack mods"
Step 5: Slam the bow with exalted orb for guaranteed +1 Socketed Gems
Step 6: Remove the crafted mod, and then craft 33-40% Non-ailment Chaos DoT Multiplier

Useful suffixes you might want on the bow:
* +#% to Fire/Cold/Light/Chaos Resistance
* #% increased Projectile Speed (makes CA feel more responsive)
* +# Life gained on Kill
* #% increased Attack Speed

Bow bases, from best to worst:
* Highest base attack speed OR Maraketh Bow (+6% MS)
* Lowest base attack speed

Chaos Staff crafting (Classic Build)
Spoiler

Average cost: 6-link ilvl 55+ staff, 3-4 exalts, 4 chaos, few hundred alts, few regals, few scours, few annulment orbs, 5 blessed orbs.

Crafting Method:

Step 1: Spam alts until you hit +2 to Socketed Chaos Gems OR +1 to Socketed Gems
Step 2: Regal the staff
Step 3: Use annulment orbs to delete 1 or 2 mods, so only the mod from step 1 remains. If you annuled the required mod, scour the staff and go back to step 1.
Step 4: Once you only have +2 to Socketed Chaos Gems OR +1 to Socketed Gems on the staff, craft following mods on this order:

* Can have multiple Crafted Mods
* +2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
* +33-40% to Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
* 16-20% OR 21-28% Cast Speed
* 5-6% increased Damage per Frenzy Charge

Note on the steps 1-3. Ideally you want to roll +2 Socketed Chaos Gems OR +1 Socketed Gems as a single mod on the staff, so you would have to remove only 1 mod. However, from my experience it's better to try your luck and remove 2 mods than keep rolling. It should cost less in the long run.

This method is currently the only guaranteed way of creating staff like that. Other methods rely heavily on luck, and require much higher currency investment. Getting +2 Socketed Support Gems craft might be really hard... You'll have to use a service for it.

Staff's base doesn't really matter, but you should have one with block for that little bit extra defence.

Elder/Shaper Quiver crafting
Spoiler
Let's start with a quick look at good exclusive mods:

Elder:
* 13–15% increased Area of Effect (prefix, T3: 7-9%, T2: 10-12%)
* Projectiles Pierce an additional Target (prefix)
* 31–35% chance to Avoid being Stunned (suffix, T3: 15-22%, T2: 23-30%)
* 7–10% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill (prefix, T2: 4-6%)

Shaper:
* Adds an additional Arrow (prefix)
* 7–10% increased Movement Speed (prefix, T2: 3-6%)
* Attacks have 20% chance to Maim on Hit (suffix, T2: 15%)
* 9–10% chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill (suffix, T3: 5-6%, T2: 7-8%)

Shaper quiver with +1 arrow is definitely a better choice overall. Elder quiver is mostly used for frenzy charge generation (onslaught path), but the 15% AoE is pretty good too.

I recommend simple alt spamming until you hit +1 arrow/frenzy on kill/AoE, aug for suffix, regal and craft life at Tora 6. You can also multicraft the quiver for additional good mods.

Or you could chaos spam, but i'm not a fan of it. Be sure to check if there are good quivers for sale, especially elder ones.

Useful non-elder/shaper mods you might want on the quiver:
* +#% to Fire/Cold/Light/Chaos Resistance
* #% increased Projectile Speed (makes CA feel more responsive)
* +# Life gained on Kill
* #% increased Attack Speed
* Projectiles Pierce 2 Additional Targets (Deafening Essence of Misery)

Elder Bow crafting
Spoiler

That's literally the last upgrade you should do for this build. Crafting one takes huge amount of currency on top of having to 6-link the bow yourself. Only craft it if you have no other upgrades to get.

What can you roll on elder bow:

* Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Vicious Projectiles (prefix, T3: lvl 16, T2: lvl 18)
* Adds an additional Arrow (suffix)
* 16–20% increased Area of Effect (suffix, T3: 5–10%, T2: 11–15%)
* Culling Strike (suffix)

There are two chase mods here, Level 20 Vicious Projectiles and +1 arrow. Prefix is easy to get and gives you additional ~15-20% more single target damage. Suffix on the other hand... is random and will take a lot of money to be crafted.

Regardless of what you want to do, you should increase quality of the bow with perfect fossil (25%+) and craft 15-18% quality. This will increase chance of 6-linking the bow, reducing the overall cost of crafting. Once the bow is 6-linked, proceed to real crafting:

Alt -> Regal Crafting Method (7-link):
Spoiler
Required: 6-linked elder bow ilvl 80-82
Average cost: 2 exalts, ~1500 alts, ~500 augmentations, 4 chaos, few regals, few scours

Step 1: Spam alts/augs until you hit Level X Vicious Projectiles (prefix)
Step 2: Add a suffix with augmentation orb if it doesn't have already
Step 3: Regal and pray for another suffix. If it's a prefix, scour and return to step 1

Step 4: Craft "Cannot roll attack mods"
Step 5: Slam the bow with exalted orb for guaranteed +1 Socketed Gems
Step 6a: Remove the crafted mod, and then craft "33-40% Non-ailment Chaos DoT Multiplier" OR "+2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems" (End of crafting)

Expensive version (5-6 ex cost):
Step 6b: Remove the crafted mod, craft "Prefixes cannot be changed" and use a scouring orb on the bow
Step 7b: Craft following mods in this order:

* Can have multiple Crafted Mods
* +2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
* 8–10% OR 11-13% Attack Speed
* 13–16% increased Chaos Damage

Alt -> Regal Crafting Method (+1 Arrow):
Spoiler
Required: 6-linked elder bow ilvl 82+
Average cost: 5-7 exalts, ~1000 alts, ~400 augmentations, 4 chaos, 1 regal, 2 scours

Step 1: Spam alts/augs until you hit Bow Attacks fire an additional Arrow
Step 2: Regal and pray for another suffix.
Step 3: If you have at least one prefix, craft "Suffixes cannot be changed" and use scouring orb on the bow
Step 4: Craft "Cannot roll attack mods". Depending on number of suffixes,
you have to:

Step 5a - 3 suffixes: Slam the bow with exalted orb for guaranteed +1 Socketed Gems.
Step 5b - 2 suffixes: Slam the bow with exalted orb. If you hit a 3rd suffix, slam the bow with exalt for the second time for guaranteed +1 Socketed Gems.

Step 6: Remove the crafted mod
Step 7: Craft following mods in this order:

* Can have multiple Crafted Mods
* +2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
* 33-40% Non-ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
* 8–10% OR 11-13% Attack Speed (if you have a free suffix)

Fossil Crafting (suffixes):
Spoiler
Requirement: 6-linked elder bow ilvl 82
Method: Corroded + Metallic + Prismatic

Step 1: Spam 3-fossil combo until you hit +2 Socketed Bow Gems AND desired suffix
Step 2: If you also hit +1 Socketed Gems prefix (+3 gems total), go to step 7
Step 3: You need 1 free suffix in order to craft +3 bow. If you don't have one, use
Orb of Annulment to remove a random affix.
Step 4: If you removed one of required affixes from step 1, scour the bow and go back to the beginning

Step 5: Craft "Cannot roll attack mods"
Step 6: Slam the bow with exalted orb for guaranteed +1 Socketed Gems
Step 7: Remove the crafted mod and craft "33-40% Non-ailment Chaos DoT Multiplier" OR "+2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems"

NOTE: ilvl 82 is REQUIRED for highest chance of hitting good suffix. Bows with ilvl 83+ have MUCH lower chance of hitting +3 gems due to additional prefix. Therefore, only 82 is worth crafting at all.

Chase Shaper/Elder/Vaal mods
Spoiler
In case you want to min-max the build. I only listed chase mods or very useful ones that will really benefit the build one way or another.

Chase elder/shaper mods for bow and quiver are already covered in their own crafting sections are aren't included in here.

Armour
Spoiler
Body Armour - Vaal implicits:
* You take 50% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
* (40–50)% increased Damage
* +1% to all maximum Resistances
* (4–6)% increased maximum Life

Considering we're using unique body armour and don't need it 6-linked, this is a great opportunity to acquire very powerful vaal implicits.

Both 40-50% damage and 50% reduced crit damage mods are chase mods, for offensive / defensive purposes respectively. Next up is +1% to maximum resistances, really powerful when combined with Div Distillate for total 80% max resistances. However, not nearly as strong as previously mentioned mods. 4-6% max life is always good to have if you don't have anything better.

Boots - Elder mods:
* (7–10)% chance to gain an Endurance Charge on Kill
* (9–10)% chance to Dodge Spell Damage

First mod is INCREDIBLY powerful, but also hard to get with decent life and movement speed. If you can afford it (so few hundred chaos for rolling decent pair), it's a silly not to have it. Spell dodge is also great for general mapping/bossing when Vaal Grace isn't up.

Gloves - Elder mods:
* (7–10)% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill

As you probably know already from Onslaught path, this is the best option for frenzy charge generation.

Gloves - Vaal implicits:
* +1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
* (4–6)% increased maximum Life

You probably won't be vaaling gloves, but i think it's worth mentioning. Glove enchantments are quite shit and/or you might use other type of frenzy generation. Maximum charges is free ~3% damage and life is always good.

Jewellery
Spoiler
Belt - Elder mods:
* (8–10)% increased maximum Life
* (16–20)% increased Life Recovery rate

As mentioned in the in-depth equipment section, elder belts are amazing. Max life is great as always. Life Recovery rate mod increases life regeneration which i value quite a lot. Really worth it if you have additional life regen on gear.

Belt - Shaper mods:
* You take (21–30)% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes

While Elder belts are best choices overall, this single Shaper mod is incredible too. Can be great option for HoGM, especially if paired with body armour vaal implicit.

Amulet - Elder mods:
* (1.6–2)% of Life Regenerated per second
* (3–5)% additional Physical Damage Reduction
* (13–15)% increased Area of Effect
* Projectiles Pierce an additional Target

Life regen is definitely the chase mod here. Second best mod is 3-5% phys damage reduction, which should be paired with endurance charges and Crab aspect (assuming it's available) - otherwise it's not that good.

AoE is also good but it's usefulness falls off with additional arrows. Pierce is really nice in case you have only 2 pierces total.

Amulet - Shaper mods:
* (8–10)% increased Quantity of Items found
* 1% increased Damage per 15 Dexterity

I don't think i need to explain. Item quantity is a chase mod. The damage mod should give ~20-25% damage, nice bonus but not worth using the amulet for that purpose only.

Amulet - Vaal implicits:
* Enemies can have 1 additional Curse
* +1% to all maximum Resistances

You probably shouldn't Vaal amulets, but if you find a good amulet with crappy base and get lucky... Well, the additional curse mod beats any other shaper/elder mod. Ability to use enfeeble / temp chains against bosses is amassive defensive boost. +1% max res is also really great defensively, but not nearly as bonus curse.

Ring - Elder mods:
* +(4–5)% chance to Evade Attacks

While you should be using Watcher's Eye with similar mod, this is also an option. Not really worth it money wise tho, because rolling amulets/rings is damn hard.

Bow, Quiver and Jewels
Spoiler
Bow - Vaal implicits:
* Bow Attacks fire an additional Arrow
* (9–11)% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill
* Socketed Gems are supported by Level 10 Faster Projectiles

You probably won't be vaaling the bows since elder bows exists, but who knows... Additional arrow is obvious. Frenzy charge on kill would allow you to drop elder gloves. Faster Projectiles gives little bit of extra damage (~25-29% increased) and has 110% mana multiplier for easier mana management.

Quiver - Vaal implicits:
* Bow Attacks fire an additional Arrow

More arrows, more AoE. No other explaination needed.

Jewels - Vaal implicits:
* Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you
* (4–5)% increased Area of Effect
* (4–5)% increased Damage
* You cannot be Maimed
* You cannot be Hindered

In case you have excess of jewels, you can vaal them for one of those 5 nice bonuses. Corrupted Blood one allows you to drop staunching utility flask and replace it with something else like (not like there is much but still). AoE and Damage are obvious. Cannot be Maimed/Hindered are also pretty good for some monsters.

FAQ
Q: Is this build good for a new player?
A: Yes. Assuming you understand basics of Path of Exile, this build should carry you through whole content. Caustic Arrow is really strong right now and that means forgiving, allowing you to be slightly inefficient and still have a great time.

Q: How about Mirage Archer?
A: Mirage Archer has few very annoying flaws for general mapping. It messes up flask uptime and doesn't even contribute to clear speed that much. It has troubles clearing a whole pack of monsters too, so you will end up attacking afterwards anyway. With that in mind,
Greater Multiple Projectiles is simply better unless you're using Dying Sun + additional arrow quiver.

However, Mirage Archer has few good uses. If you disconnect often, it might save your life by killing monsters during 6 second period. It's really good for maps with "Cannot regenerate" mod. You should also use it for speedrunning through zones, when you only want to refill the flask charges on the way (act carries/labyrinth/prophecy farming etc.)

Q: How about additional Toxic Rain setup?
A: Can be possible with some sacrifices. Toxic Rain has huge mana consumption, so you would need quite a lot of mana regen to sustain it. It also requires significant passive tree changes in order to scale Toxic Rain's damage to reasonable levels.

For easier way to gain more damage, take a look at classic CA+ED build.

Q: How about scaling Herald of Agony minion?
A: This build does not focus on poison and therefore Herald of Agony isn't going to be very reliable or powerful tool. The opportunity cost is simply too high.

Primary issues are virulence stack generation and high mana reservation cost (4-link+) or underwhelming damage (3-link or worse). You can convert the build to include the scorpion, but it's not worth it at all.

Q: (Classic) Wouldn't Blight be better for bossing?
A: That's important question. Without doubt it kills bosses faster and you might want to use it against shaper guardians or shaper himself. That's not exactly the case for all bosses however. In some fights there are too short windows to get up close for Blight to be any useful. In other fight you might be forced to keep your distance. Generally, ED synergizes much better with CA playstyle. If you want to, you can use Blight instead, or even both Blight and ED depending on the boss you're facing. They use the same gem setup after all.

Q: How about Abyssal Cry?
A: You won't need it for clearing monsters quickly. Only useful for Null Portals or some bosses with adds, but that shouldn't be necessary.

Q: What is Caustic Arrow's cloud scaling with?
A: It's a degeneration area that scales off DoT / chaos / projectile / area / global damage increases. It's not a poison and doesn't scale with it.

It's not an attack itself, but the gem has an attack tag allowing it to be scaled with chaos / DoT increases with attack/bow skills. I know it's a bit confusing, but it's exactly what i said.

Q: Why don't you pick X node on the passive tree?
A: Because jewels are better, period. I provide level 94 tree that's as efficient as possible, many people won't even reach it. If you're above that level, it probably means you have resources to make or buy good jewels that will be worth using over the nodes you have in mind.

Q: What do you think about Impresence amulet? What about Despair aura?
A: It's a good amulet that's usually quite expensive. It's main attribute is 0 mana reservation for Despair and really good stats. However it's not worth it's cost. Everything should be dead before it gets into range of Despair Aura. For bosses we use Cursed Frenzy setup.

The stats on amulet are good but it's possible to craft better one with Essence of Envy on a better base.

Q: Why do you link Vaal Grace with CWDT? You can't trigger it!
A: It's linked so it can benefit from Increased Duration. You save one gem slot that way. CWDT won't trigger Vaal Grace, and that's for the better. It's best to manually activate it when you need it the most.

Q: Why do you take Master of the Arena node on passive tree?
A: For life regen and little bit of strength. Life regen is great for mitigating small degens for Damage on Full Life and defensive purposes. Strength for easier gearing and that little bit of life you get.

Q: I have troubles progressing through acts / maps, what can i do?
A: Get more life and resists on gear, that's the most common answer to this question. If you've followed the guide, the damage shouldn't be a problem at all. That's true especially in maps.

Not having enough defense is a common mistake among new players. All you gotta do is buy or find gear with high life and/or resistances on them. 75% resists is pretty much required starting from act 5. When it comes to life, the more the better.

Q: Is it good for party play?
A: Should be OK for ~4 man party. 5-6 is doable but not that great.

=====
These are questions i've been asked a lot by random people i've spoke to in game. Keep more questions coming.

Changelog
To do list (for myself mostly)
Spoiler
* Update crafting section (very long task)

* Do something about Delve League, probably unify it as a master mission section.

* Minor adjustments everywhere i guess? I bet i've messed up somewhere.

* Better formatting for the guide, second wave (colors in big sections, i guess?) ON HOLD, kinda looked bad when i tried. Maybe later.

* Add pure mastercrafting cost in crafting section. ON HOLD, not sure if it's worth it. Might split average cost into crafting and meta-crafting

* How about you finally do that video guide?

* Proof read every single time there's a new big update.
December 14th, 2018
Equipment:
* Updated Chaos Staff to reflect new crafting method and optional unique staff

Crafting Section:
* Updated Elder Bow crafting to reflect +2 Socketed Support Gems mod.
* Elder Bow crafting now has guaranteed method of crafting +1 arrow bow.
* Chaos Staff has completely new method of crafting. Cheaper and stronger than it used to be before. Finding a person who can craft +2 Socketed Support Gems might be hard...
* Added a recommendation for BHC players to use classic method for +3 bow crafting.

December 13th, 2018
Equipment:
* Updated +3 Bow and +3 Staff sections to reflect newest crafting possibilities

Path of Building:
* Updated PoB to include new gems, new bow/staff crafting options and reflect newest changes to the core build.
* Added new bow for effective dps calculation, +2 CA Budget bow.
* Added notes, in case you forgot something. Text is identical to PoB section.

Crafting Section:
* Updated +3 Staff and Elder Bow crafting to reflect newest crafting possibilities
* +3 Elder Bow crafting renamed to +1 7-link Elder Bow crafting.
* Removed essence crafting method and old alt -> regal method.
* In Elder Bow crafting, it's now better to 6-link the bow first, then start crafting. Craft quality to increase chance of linking!

December 12th, 2018
General:
* Updated all passive trees to 3.5.0 web version to avoid confusion.

Levelling and Progression:
* Changed ascedancy progression, Avatar of Chase (Onslaught) is now picked in cruel/merciless Labyrinth.
* Frenzy ascendancy node should be respec in favour of Quartz Infusion after finishing Merciless Labyrinth.
* Added Passive Trees to Mapping Progression.
* Changed levelling setups, updated to be most effective way of progression.
* Levelling now requires less links overall, less additional gem purchases and no more gems that are useless after a short while.
* Few other minor adjustments to better reflect recent discoveries and changes to the guide.

December 9th, 2018
Equipment:
* Loreweave added as an optional body armour

Levelling and Progression:
* CA levelling passive trees / estimated levels were adjusted, again. Levels 55 and above.

Crafting Section:
* +3 CA Bow, +3 Staff and +3 Elder Bow crafting updated to reflect newest crafting options.
* These sections still require minor clear up. I've tried to provide info once i knew the possibilities.
* Best bases for CA bows updated. Best base is highest AS base OR Maraketh bow.

December 6th, 2018
Levelling and Progression:
* CA levelling passive trees / estimated levels were adjusted to include 2 passive points you now get as a bandit reward

December 5th, 2018 - Betrayal League
General:
* Guide renamed to "Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | MFing | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth"
* Since the build no longer uses Div Distillate as a core item, removing Semi-MF part was important.
* Many minor improvements everywhere, too long to list plus i've forgotten most of them already.

Passive Tree and Bandits:
* Default bandit reward are now 2 passive points.
* CA focused passive tree was replaced with a new one that doesn't focus on Frenzy charges anymore.
* Classic Tree received no changes.
* Other Ascendancy classes got their trees updated as well.
* Removed mentions of Divination Distillate and Frenzy charge generation, as they're no longer are core parts of the build.

Gem Setups:
* Dread Banner is a new mandatory gem.
* Mana Balancing setup (Clarity) is now "mandatory" setup. Renamed to Bonus Mana Regen.
* Faster Casting has been replaced with Multiple Totems in Wither Totem setup.
* Cursing setup renamed to Cursed Frenzy setup. The commentary adjusted to reflect changes to the passive tree.

Equipment:
* 30% CA Duration helmet enchantment is now default.
* 40% CA Damage helmet enchantment is optional, and ONLY possible if you picked up Skill Effect Duration nodes on passive tree.
* Divination Distillate is no longer core item of this build. Replaced with Dying Sun as an end game goal.
* Removed any mentions of "mana on kill" and "X% mana regen" being bad for the build.
* Added recommendations for "X% mana regen" in TL;DR and Rings/Amulets sections.

Levelling Section:
* Twink Toxic Rain levelling and End Game Mapping / Onslaught Path has been removed.
* Added bonus twink gear to Caustic Arrow levelling.
* Updated levelling passive trees / bandits / ascendancy to reflect changes to main passive skill tree.
* Early mapping renamed to Mapping Progression, also includes red maps now.
* Minor adjustments to Mapping Progression based on recent changes to the build. Mostly still the same.

Classic CA+ED Build:
* Updated majority of the section to reflect current changes to the build.
* Added "Frenzy generation during mapping".

Path of Building
* Updated PoB to reflect changes to the passive tree/gear (gems are still missing).

Magic Finding:
* Added Goldwyrm to MF item pool, cannot be used with Div Distillate.
* Added small section, "How to effectively use Divination Distillate".
* Adjusted max IIQ values to reflect Sadima's Touch nerf.

FAQ:
* Minor adjustments to a lot of questions.
* Most notable change is the stance on Toxic Rain as an additional setup. With changes to Div Distillate, it's now possible to use it with some significant changes to the tree. Classic CA+ED Build is still preferred.
* Added "(Classic) Wouldn't Blight be better for bossing?".
* Removed question how to use Div Distillate properly, moved to Magic Finding section.

Changelog's... changes:
* Due to massive changes to the build and already long changelog (i actually hit 50k char limit during the update), i'm removing previous patches from it.
* You can still find whole changelog prior to 3.5 update on page 50 inside archived guide.

Final words
========

I'm really glad i've made this guide. I've spent tens of hours at this point, improving and polishing it to be the best it can possibly be. It wasn't the guide alone that improved over time, but the build itself too. I'll keep updating it for as long as i can.

Of course, a big thank you to all people who are lurking and people who contacted me one way or another. No doubt that this guide wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for you, giving me a reason to do my best.

Thanks for checking out the build, i hope you've had fun using it!
/view-thread/2077932 - [3.5][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.5] Crimson Dance Bow Gladiator | Actually viable bleed build
Last edited by DankawSL on Dec 14, 2018, 9:55:24 AM
love the build what do you think about the impresence dot dmg amulet i love it great work
Impresence looks like a good amulet to start the league with. It's pretty good stat wise (high HP, high DoT, Onyx base) and the free Despair blasphemy. It's a better alternative to Witchfire Brew i've been suggesting for early mapping, if you lack the damage. With it and jade flask you should be able to run through mobs and curse without a fear of dying at all.

However, in the long run it doesn't feel like it's worth it. You could craft a better amulet with an Envy essence, on a better base (Marble/Agate). Blasphemy still has the annoying issue of cancelling your CoH curse, and you should be able to kill monsters outside of it's range in end game anyway. Same goes for Maddening Presence.
/view-thread/2077932 - [3.5][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.5] Crimson Dance Bow Gladiator | Actually viable bleed build
Last edited by DankawSL on Feb 28, 2018, 5:53:27 PM
Guide updated to 3.2

In case it's not your first time checking out this guide, i've been constantly updating and upgrading it over the last month. What changed, starting from most important 3.2 improvements:


Raider ascendancy:
* 3.2 made Onslaught path a viable choice now. Previously it sucked for bosses, now with 14 second duration the uptime should be close to permanent. Requires The Green Dream for frenzy charge generation

Levelling/progress section:
* Completely re-done. Covers everything from fresh league start, through mapping into end game boss/map guide.

Videos:
* Plenty of them added. Chayula/Uber Atziri, T15 maps, HOGM. I will re-record most of them this league.

Added Other Ascendancy Classes:
* In case you want play different one. This skill tree can be used by any other good ascendancy. Buffed Trickster is obviously main contestant here.

And many other small tweaks everywhere. You can find full changelog in 2nd post.
/view-thread/2077932 - [3.5][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.5] Crimson Dance Bow Gladiator | Actually viable bleed build
Last edited by DankawSL on Feb 28, 2018, 6:12:53 PM
Are you going to do this build on 3.2? I'm willing to try it as well, never played CA so :) Also good job on the guide!
Is leveling with bows superior to leveling with ED/Contagion and just going for the endgame tree right away?
"
Are you going to do this build on 3.2? I'm willing to try it as well, never played CA so :) Also good job on the guide!

Yep, as always. Want to test onslaught path and maybe try my chances against uber elder. If you need anything, just ask.

"
Is leveling with bows superior to leveling with ED/Contagion and just going for the endgame tree right away?

Assuming you're going Raider, then yes:

#1 - Ranger doesn't get them as a quest reward, so you would need to buy them from Siosa.
#2 - You'll be handicapped by quite a lot of passive tree points early on.
#3 - Getting through act 2 and 3 would be even bigger pain in the ass than it is now.

If you want to play as Trickster, then it should be very much viable. I don't have experience with it tho.
/view-thread/2077932 - [3.5][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.5] Crimson Dance Bow Gladiator | Actually viable bleed build
Big fan of the looks of this build, I am however interested in taking the trickster route instead. However the linked tree starts from raider, how to I adapt the tree for trickster, do I take the chaos damage nodes and skip the first raider nodes?

Simply take shadow's starting chaos nodes and follow the rest of the tree. Trickster has a lot of freedom when it comes to skill tree, as his damage is kinda nuts. You can skip damage nodes for life and vice versa. My 2 recommended choices:

#1 Tree - Stick with original ranger route. Nice QoL with decent life+evasion.
#2 Tree - Pick up Scion's life wheel instead. Should give ~20% increase life in the long run.


Choice is yours.
/view-thread/2077932 - [3.5][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.5] Crimson Dance Bow Gladiator | Actually viable bleed build

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