[3.8][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | Tanky | 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, 50/40% 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.


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, many ways of end-game optimization
+ 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 spells



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

Level 93 - 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.

If you've reached level 93 using any of the trees, start picking up closest jewel slots. You can also replace some life/damage nodes for 2 point jewels if you have the money for it.

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 merciless 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. Beware, the guide is NOT optimized for these ascendancies.

Starting with the best one:



Trickster
Ascendancy: Patient Reaper -> Prolonged Pain -> Ghost Dance -> Escape Artist
Base passive tree (Level 95)

Highest damage output out of all ascendancy classes. Good survivability against all type of content. Lower speed and QoL compared to Raider.



Pathfinder
Ascendancy: Nature's Reprisal -> Master Toxicist -> Nature's Boon -> Master Alchemist
Base passive tree (Level 93) - 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 94)

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 93) - 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 - Caustic Arrow:
Your bread and butter. 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 the second one). Empower has no downside but requires level 3 or 4 to be worth using. Costs a lot of money or time.

Other Support Gems you can use:
Greater Multiple Projectiles - for massive AoE which translates to clear speed. Use only for clearing if your damage is high enough. Use instead of Swift Affliction, switch back for bosses.
Efficacy - Use instead of Concentrated Effect to get rid of AoE penalty for small price in damage. Recommended for console players.
Mirage Archer - Additional clear speed if you have necessary AoE to make it worth. You cannot use Concentrated Effect OR must have at least 3 arrows total. Good situational gem.

Wither Totem:
Nearly doubles damage against bosses. Place the totem somewhere on the side and let it do the work. It also slows their movement speed, so keep that in mind against some bosses. Totems are squishy and destroy easily, you might have to resummon them.

Cursed Frenzy:
Setup designed for additional damage against bosses/rares. Each successful hit generates Frenzy charge and curses enemies at the same time. When at maximum charges, it refreshes their duration.

Guard Skill:
Steelskin for extra durability. If manually cast, it's great for any encounter. If you're lazy and linked Steelskin with CWDT, it protects you from multiple hits in quick succession. The entire setup is optional, but recommended nonetheless.

Primary Auras:
Malevolence is undoubtly best aura you can use. Significantly increases your damage and duration of your skills.

Grace is used primarly for levelling and early mapping. Once you're capable of reaching evade chance cap, the aura should be replaced with Malevolence. Vaal version of Grace is still used as a situational skill.

Clarity is not mandatory, but it's the easiest way to greatly increase mana regeneration. Without it, you will find yourself running out of mana all the time. Clarity's maximum level should be 10, do NOT level the gem above it.

Situational Skills:
Blink Arrow is used to cross gaps and escape tough situations quickly. Your primary way of moving around is still on foot.

Vaal Grace allows us to cap Dodge / Spell Dodge. It's a temporary aura which is best used during harder encounters like abyss/breaches/harbingers etc. Vaal Grace should be linked with Increased Duration support for longer uptime.

Vaal Blight is a great utility skill for slowing down enemies, so it's easier to keep them inside degen ground. Also applies some extra damage. Vaal Blight should be linked with Increased Duration support for longer uptime. It's an optional gem, but very much recommended.


These are the only mandatory gems and we still got 2-4 free gem slots. How you fill the rest of them is your choice.

Optional Setups
Spoiler
Bestiary Aspect / Flesh and Stone:
You won't be able to use both of them due to already high mana reservation from primary auras. You have to choose one.

Aspect of the Crab is an amazing source of physical mitigation for evasion characters. With very high evade chance numbers it can easily act as permanent 20% physical damage reduction. It's a reservation skill only obtainable through specific uniques and beastcrafting.

Flesh and Stone is a short-ranged defensive aura that blinds nearby enemies and slightly reduces attack damage of enemies unaffected by blind. You're going to be evade chance capped against all blinded enemies, even without flasks. Onslaught buff is still required to reach evade cap.

Enlighten support gem reduces the high mana reservation of the auras, allowing for easier mana management. You can link it to Malevolence, Flesh and Stone, Clarity to increase your unreserved mana pool. It cannot support Aspect of the Crab since it's not a skill gem.

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

Optional setup to Wither Totem. It's much, 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.

6-link Cursed Frenzy (GGGGBB):
Frenzy - Greater Multiple Projectiles - Curse on Hit - Despair - Additional Accuracy - Enhance

If you're rich, that's probably the best 6-link body armour setup. Additional Accuracy for more reliable cursing and frenzy generation. Enhance for extra damage from Despair. You can also use Culling Strike, but in best case scenario you'll get lucky to save more than a single second against end game bosses.

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.

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? Pair with Enhance support for extremely fast portals.

Equipment
My current gear / TL;DR:
Spoiler
Weapons: +3 CA Bow (self-crafting recommended, see crafting section)
Quiver: Life and Resists, late game get +1 Arrow shaper quiver
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


Belt: Life and Resists, Leather / Heavy Belt with Elder mods if possible
Rings: Life and Resists, at least one elder ring with +5% chance to Evade Attacks
Amulet: Life and Resists, Agate/Lapis/Marble base preferred


Flasks: 2 Life flasks, 3 utility flasks recommended. Flexible, however you need Jade Flask with 90%+ increased evasion rating and another one with curse immunity.


Jewels: Life and damage on all of them, very efficient if you have at least 3 good mods.

Notes: High evasion is important. Not as much as life, but use evasion bases if possible.
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 very good QoL.

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

+3 Caustic Arrow 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% 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, any tier already gives really good bonus and you can upgrade it as you unlock tiers.

Elder versions of the bow can roll few amazing QoL mods on top of socketed gem modifiers, 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.

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. 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
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.


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

Shaper quivers can roll +1 arrow. It's a quite rare mod, so getting one with high health is going to be damn hard. Crafted 41-55 life is going to suffice for majority of the game. Shooting 2 arrows feels a bit weird at first, but it's a huge QoL and effective AoE increase.

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. You can totally ignore the gloves enchantments.

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
#2 - 40% increased Caustic Arrow Damage

Both are on similar power. In my opinion Duration enchantment and the QoL it gives are more valuable, you should be aiming for it. The latter gives around ~7% more damage, small but welcome upgrade.

Belt
Spoiler
Once again, life and resistances. Strength is also a desirable stat. Leather Belt is the best base, with Heavy Belt being slightly weaker 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)
* 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
* +(4-5)% chance to Evade Attacks (elder mod)

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 are also necessary to hit evade chance cap with their "+(4–5)% chance to Evade Attacks" mod. It's required in the end game maps, for safety reasons.

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. 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.

Life flasks - i recommend 1 Bubbling and 1 Seething with bleeding/freeze/poison immunity for emergencies.

Utility flasks - you should use Quicksilver and Jade. You NEED curse immunity and 90%+ increased evasion rating on them. They should also have "Reduced Charges" mod, 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 can adjust it if you like. However anti-bleeding life flask and two utility flasks mentioned above are MUST have.

From unique flasks:

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

* 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 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 is incredibly strong both offensively and defensively. Primary mod you would look for is 18-22% Chaos DoT multi while having Malevolence, as it provides around 10-15% more damage. Anything else is just a bonus. Worthwhile mods from strongest to weakest:

* +(18–22)% to Damage over Time Multipliers while affected by Malevolence
* Unaffected by Bleeding while affected by Malevolence
* (15–20)% increased Recovery rate of Life and Energy Shield while affected by Malevolence
* (-5 to -10) to Total Mana Cost of Skills while affected by Clarity
* (20–30)% increased Mana Recovery Rate while affected by Clarity


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, single cast should be 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.

Dash : Your primary movement skill during levelling
Blink Arrow : Your secondary movement skill, to cross gaps.
Grace : Your levelling 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 4 - Dash

* 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 ~30 (Act 3)
Level ~46 (Act 4-5)
Level ~54 (Act 6-7)
Level ~54 (After Respec)
Level ~61 (Act 8)
Level ~71 (Blood Acqueducts farm)
Level ~73 (Before Kitava)

Bandit Reward: Kill all (recommended) OR spare Oak

Ascendancy Order: Way of a Poacher (1st Frenzy) -> Avatar of Chase (Onslaught) ->
-> respec Way of the Poacher (merciless lab) -> Avatar of Veil (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 pretty hard. Around the end of this act, you should have all points from provided level ~53 passive tree and 10 respec points. Once you do, you should unallocate Ranger's starting nodes and take Atrophy chaos wheel. You might have to go back to earlier acts to have necessary amount of respec points.

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. 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 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems with alteration/augmentation orbs. You should roll it within ~100 tries, still a bit RNG dependant. Or you can try buying the 5-link with specified mod already. The 5-link CA setup is:

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

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 80) - 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 3 very simple goals:

* 6-linked bow with +2 socketed bow gems (ilvl 64+)
* Correct Flask setup
* 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. Body armours are optional boost to damage/clear. They're meant to help you early on, only to be replaced once you engage harder content.

Your primary goal right now is acquiring 6-linked bow, it's 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 - Damage on Full Life - Concentrated Effect

Keep in mind that you can use Efficacy instead of Concentrated Effect permanently, provides higher AoE for small price in damage. You also 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.

One of the things you should get are flasks with right mods. They're very important. Not having right flasks will heavily affect your survivability. 2 instant Divine Life Flasks with at least one having bleeding removal, Jade Flask with at least 90% increased evasion and Quicksilver Flask with curse immunity. Having these flasks means being evade chance capped.

Yellow maps:
Passive Tree Progression (level 87)

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
* Phasing path (uber Labyrinth)
* Malevolence aura
* Level 21 CA gem
* 20% quality gems
* 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.

Once you have proper damage and defences, 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.

After you acquire correct flask and only after that, you will be able to switch aura from Grace to Malevolence without hurting your defensive capabilities... If you haven't switched earlier. The new aura gives you significant damage boost.

Around the high tier yellow maps most of your gems will reach level 20. When that happens, the most important part is to vaal your maxed CA gems. Corrupting level 20 gem might increase it to 21, giving you significant damage boost.

Non-CA gems shouldn't be vaaled, quality is much more important on them. You can easily raise it with following vendor recipe (sell to shopkeeper):

Level 20 gem + 1 Gemcutter's Prism = Level 1 gem with 20% quality

It will lower your damage/defence for a short while, but within an hour or two there will be barely any difference at all with higher end game potential.

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

Red maps:
Passive Tree Progression (level 93)

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 5 following goals of this map tier will fix all these issues tier:

* Kintsugi
* Elder Ring with +4-5% 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, as you progrses through the maps the monsters get more accurate. To counter that you want to use an Elder Ring with +4-5% chance to Evade Attacks. You need ~73% chance on character sheet with Jade Flask up to be evade capped. One ring is enough, with two you can even remove Survivalist node from your passive tree.

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. 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 else - 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:
Optional gem setups: Decoy Totem

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).

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.

Uber Elder:
Optional gem setup:
* Enduring Cry - Immortal Call - Increased Duration
* Aspect of the Crab
Optional Pantheon: Soul of Arakaali (recovery upgrade), Soul of Ralakesh

This is mostly mechanical fight. None of the above setups are required, just allow to make more mistakes and allow to handle the physical degen if you couldn't kill Elder's squids fast enough. Against Shaper balls, i recommend kiting. You're fast enough and playstyle allows for near indefinite kiting by simply running in circles. Everything else depends on your skill. You can do it.

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 striker -> Cycloner. 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).

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.

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.
/view-thread/2077932 - [3.8][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.8] Crimson Bow Gladiator, Tornado Shot + Ballista | Pure Bleed Build
Last edited by DankawSL on Oct 13, 2019, 2:12:09 PM
Last bumped on Oct 22, 2019, 8:37:55 AM

IMPORTANT NOTE: 3.5/3.4 videos are old now, but show gameplay quite well. You can expect around ~75-150% more damage in end game than what you see in them. Additionally most videos have timestamps and commentary about the run in the description - character info and DPS, what went wrong and what to improve etc.

3.8 Build Videos (SSFHC)
T16 Syndicate Mastermind
T15 Blighted Colonnade
T14 Blighted Lava Lake

3.7 Build Videos (SSF, Grace aura)

T16 Elder Conservatory
T16 Elder Conservatory with Incursions
T16 Elder Conservatory with Immortal Syndicate
T15 Desert Spring

Azurite Mine:
Abyssal City run, depth 270
Grand Architect Ahuatotli, Depth 270
Grand Architect Ahuatotli, Depth 261

3.5/3.4 Build Videos

Shaper kill
Guardians: Minotaur / Phoenix / Chimera / Hydra

T11 Syndicate Mastermind
T13 Elder kill
T16 Shaped Scriptorium
T15 Shaped Siege (~100% more monster life)
T16 Uluman lich


Path of Building
PoB code:
https://pastebin.com/7bTNQcK3

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 has 3 different bows available, depending on the budget. Medium budget bow is default.

It features 5 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 +3 7-link Elder Bow 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.

Crafting Section
How to craft your own gear. 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
My personal cheat sheet

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.

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

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

NOTE: You can also use Prismatic Fossil instead of Jagged, but the bow HAS TO be within 64-82 ilvl.

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% 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

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 gives bonus utility/AoE while being more expensive to craft.

Regardless of what you want to do, you should increase quality of the bow with perfect fossil or Hillock's transportation bench (25%+) and craft 15-18% quality mod. 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+
Average cost: 2-4 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% Chaos DoT Multiplier" OR "+2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems" (End of crafting)

Expensive version (4-7 ex bonus 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: 7-9 exalts, ~1000 alts, ~400 augs, 4 chaos, few regal, few scours, few annulment orbs

Step 1: Spam alts/augs until you hit Bow Attacks fire an additional Arrow
Step 2: Regal the bow. If you hit a prefix, jump to step 4. If you hit a suffix, you have two choices:

Step 3a: Use annulment orb in attempt to remove the suffix (recommended if you have only 2 affixes total)
Step 3b: Scour the bow and return to step 1

Step 4: Craft "Can have multiple Crafted Mods"
Step 5: If you have any prefix, craft "Suffixes cannot be changed" and scour the bow to remove prefixes
Step 6: Craft "Cannot roll attack mods"

Step 7: Slam the bow with exalted orb for guaranteed +1 Socketed Gems
Step 8: (optional, 2ex cost) To gain a bonus suffix, remove crafted mods and re-craft "Can have multiple Crafted Mods"
Step 9: Craft following mods in this order:

* Can have multiple Crafted Mods
* +2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
* 33-40% 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 + Jagged

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% Chaos DoT Multiplier"

Shaper Quiver crafting
Spoiler

Let's start with a quick look at good exclusive shaper mods:

* 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%)

Chase affix here is obviously +1 arrow. Massive QoL that will increase your clear speed. It is a quite rare mod, it will take many tries before you get it. Cheap and reliable method is to use alterations and mastercraft life. RNG dependant method is with fossils, it will also have high chance of hitting life rolls. You can also try your luck spamming chaos orbs in order to hit both life and +1 arrow.

Alt -> Regal Crafting Method
Spoiler
Required: shaper quiver ilvl 80+
Average cost: ~300 alts, ~150 augs, 1 regal, ~10 alchs, ~4 scours

Step 1: Spam alts/augs until you hit "Adds an additional Arrow" prefix
Step 2: Regal the quiver
Step 3: If you regaled life that's below 50, scour the quiver and go back to step one.
Step 4: Craft "+41-55 to maximum Life". If you already have life above 50, craft any suffix you need.

Fossil Crafting Method
Spoiler
Required: shaper quiver ilvl 80+
Method: Corroded + Metallic + Serrated / Pristine

Step 1: Use the 3-fossil combo until you hit +1 arrow AND at least 50+ life
Step 2: Craft anything you need on the remaining affix (assuming you have one)

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 55 life that you can mastercraft.

Useful non-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)

Jewellery crafts
Spoiler
Elder Leather Belt
Fossil method: Aberrant + Pristine
Fossil mods: 20-30% increased Chaos Damage (prefix)

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

Crafted mods:
* 17–20% increased Damage
* 2% of Life Regenerated per second during any Flask Effect

With this method it's insanely easy to roll a decent belt in ~10-20 tries. Pristine fossil removes 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.

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

Essence method: Screaming/Shrieking Essence of Envy
Essence mods: 23-26%/27-30% increased Chaos Damage (suffix)

Elder mods:
* (1.6–2)% of Life Regenerated per second
* (13–16)% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
* (3–5)% additional Physical Damage Reduction
* (13–15)% increased Area of Effect
* Projectiles Pierce an additional Target

Crafted mods:
* 13–16% increased Area Damage / 10–12% increased Area of Effect
* 13–16% increased Projectile Damage / 17–20% increased Projectile Speed
* -9 to -8 to Total Mana Cost of Skills
* 0.7–1% of Life Regenerated per second
* 13–16% increased Chaos Damage

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 rolling life, Aberrant gives you the damage. I advice to only use it on Marble amulet or elder influenced Agate/Lapis. Elder's chaos DoT multiplier and chaos damage can turn your amulet into huge damage increase.

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.

Essences have a guaranteed effect, but it will take quite a lot of attempts to roll a good one. The mod also occupies valuable suffix slot. Fossil method is better in the long run.

Elder Ring
Crafting method: Chaos Orb spamming

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

Crafted mods:
* -9 to -8 to Total Mana Cost of Skills
* 17–20% increased Damage
* 13–16% increased Chaos Damage

It's all about the evade chance mods. Not much can be done to increase chances of hitting it. Chaos spam should be the best way. You can also try using Dense fossils, but it's not very efficient since it prevents life roll from occuring.

Armour crafts
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, in short it reduces elemental damage by a small but in reality significant amount. 4-6% max life is always good to have if you don't have anything better.

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

Crafted mods:
* (36–40)% increased Evasion Rating / +(24–28) to maximum Life
* Projectiles Pierce an additional Target / +1 to Level of Socketed Projectile Gems
* 7–8% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Fire Damage

Aberrant for the reduced resistance mod. It's a huge damage boost, especially against bosses. Should be reasonably easy to craft. You can add Pristine fossil for high chance of rolling 100+ life, but it will remove possibility of getting evasion mods and make it harder to roll reduced chaos res mod.

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

Elder mods:
* (13–16)% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
* (7–10)% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill

Crafted mods:
* (36–40)% increased Evasion Rating / +(24–28) to maximum Life
* Projectiles Pierce an additional Target / +1 to Level of Socketed Projectile Gems
* (24–28)% increased Damage during any Flask Effect

First method focuses on crafting chaos DoT multiplier with optional bonus Aetheric to increase chances of rolling frenzy on kill mod. The second method is aimed for the latter mod. Pristine as always for higher chance of rolling life mods. Aberrant for higher chance of rolling chaos DoT multi. Aetheric and Metallic block bad prefixes from spawning.

Elder Boots
Crafting method: Chaos Orb spamming
Essence method: Screaming/Shrieking Essence of Greed

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

Crafted mods:
* (36–40)% increased Evasion Rating / +(24–28) to maximum Life
* (20–24)% increased Movement Speed
* (17–20)% increased Movement Speed / (6–9)% increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently

Great defensive craft. Chaos spam should give highest chance of hitting any of these two mods. High life, desired mod and movement speed/open prefix are the key mods. 20%+ MS can be crafted, it's more than enough for the build. Essences will guarantee high life roll, but might be really costly.

Other crafts (Jewels, Flasks)
Spoiler
Jewels / Abyssal Jewels
Fossil method: Aberrant + Pristine (opt)
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.

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)

Flasks
Crafted mods:
* 3% of Life Regenerated per second during Flask Effect
* (20–25)% reduced Mana Cost of Skills during Flask Effect
* 50% Chance to avoid being Stunned during Flask Effect / (8–12)% increased Movement Speed during Flask effect

There's not much to say. All 3 of those mods can be really, really good. 3% Life regen is amazing, equals ~2 mods on gear. Mana cost reduction should solve any mana problems during mapping. Stun avoidance can potentially save your life if you receive heavy hit. These mods can only be acquired by unveiling unique flask that drops only from Syndicate Mastermind.

I should probably mention, use Beastcrafting for easy Warding/Staunching mods on your flasks. Simply roll a right prefix and finish it off in menagerie.

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 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 investment to sustain it. It also requires small passive tree changes in order to scale Toxic Rain's damage to reasonable levels.

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: 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: How do i know that i'm evade chance capped?
A: Check your character sheet (C) and find estimated chance to evade attacks. With flasks activated you need ~73% to be capped. That's assuming you have onslaught buff active which enables Raider's 30% more chance to evade. That buff is not included in those calculations.

I did not include 15% less monster accuracy while phasing debuff as it should be treated as an extra buffer against certain monster/map mods.

Q: I have problems sustaining mana, what can i do?
A: Taking Druidic Route should solve all your mana issues. If not, a single or max two ~40% mana regen mod OR Non-Channelling Skills have -(8-9) to Total Mana Cost on jewellery is going to be sufficient.

If the problem persists, that's due to incorrect playstyle. Only a single cloud can deal damage at the same. Your job is to spread degen or reapply it right before previous one expires, not to spam it.

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: How good is this build for magic finding?
A: Depends. It won't outperform specialized MF builds that run a single map in 1 minute. Caustic Arrows clear abilities are simply limited compared to other skills. However you can use few very effective pieces of MF gear in order to get bonus loot without any real drawbacks to the build itself, allowing you to safely run high tier content. The recommended MF gear:

2x Ventor's Gamble, IIQ Shaper Amulet, Divination Distillate
Max IIQ: 48%
Max IIR: 170%

I would bother with any other setup. MF flask requires lower mana regeneration in order to give you any benefits.

Q: Where can i find 33-40% Chaos DoT Multiplier and +2 Socketed Support Gems crafts?
A: Both of them can be acquired through unveiling items. Chaos DoT Multi can appear on any weapon, relatively easy to acquire. +2 Levels to Socketed Support Gems is a Mastermind exclusive mod, so unlocking it will take a lot of time or luck. Item level 80+ items can give you +2 levels. Below ilvl 80 items only have +1 level.

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 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: 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: 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 ~3-4 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
* 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.

* How about you finally do that video guide?

* Proof read every single time there's a new big update.

For future reference:
October 20th, 2019
Crafting Section:
* Updated exalt costs for elder bow crafting - last update increased cost of +2 support gems craft to 2 exalts (from 1)

October 17th, 2019
Videos:
* 3 new videos, T16 Syndicate Mastermind, T15 Blighted Colonnade, T14 Blighted Lava Lake

October 13th, 2019 - Goodbye Classic build
Classic Build:
* COMPLETELY REMOVED, along with all mentions about it across the whole guide.
* With passive tree changes in 3.7 the classic build simply no longer grants big enough damage advantage to be worth it. Low damage increase, high cost, extra buttons to click. Essence Drain swap served well back when CA struggled with single target. This is no longer an issue. It's time to say goodbye to the original build.

Gem Setups:
* Changed Culling Strike to Additional Accuracy in optional 6-link Cursed Frenzy setup

Path of Building:
* Updated PoB to reflect newest changes to the build.
* Fixed Watcher's Eye DoT Multiplier affix.
* Fixed +3 7-link bow attack speed mod, now it's local like it should've been.
* Quiver no longer has multimod and "#% Projectile Speed" craft (it doesn't exist anymore for... 10 months actually)
* PoB is also affected by removal of classic build

FAQ:
* Updated answer about mana issues to reflect recent changes to elreon's mod.
* Removed "Q: Why do you pick up skill effect duration nodes?" since build doesn't take those passives anymore.

September 4th, 2019 - Blight League
Passive Tree:
* Passive trees are completely unchanged.
* Added a warning that this guide is not optimized for other ascendancies.

Gem Setups:
* Removed Dread Banner
* Moved Flesh and Stone, Enlighten to optional skill gems and merged with Bestiary Aspect.
* Removed Grace as an optional end game aura. Malevolence is now clearly superior.

Levelling and Progression:
* Moved Malevolence aura to yellow maps.
* Adjusted commentary about Elder rings.

Videos:
* Removed 3.4 Azurite Mine videos, why didn't i do it earlier?

Crafting Section:
* Adjusted wording on some mods to match new/changed modifiers.

Path of Building:
* Updated PoB to reflect newest changes to the build.
* Added Aspect of the Crab, as it's the best way to use remaining ~35% mana reservation.
* PoB link for convenience: https://pastebin.com/qLNmn1Rp

Changelog's... changes:
* Due to constant updates and really long list of changes, i'm removing old updates from it.
* You can still find archived 3.7 build with changelog on page 140 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 - [3.8][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.8] Crimson Bow Gladiator, Tornado Shot + Ballista | Pure Bleed Build
Last edited by DankawSL on Oct 20, 2019, 8:53:56 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 - [3.8][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.8] Crimson Bow Gladiator, Tornado Shot + Ballista | Pure 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 - [3.8][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.8] Crimson Bow Gladiator, Tornado Shot + Ballista | Pure 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 - [3.8][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.8] Crimson Bow Gladiator, Tornado Shot + Ballista | Pure 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 - [3.8][HC] Caustic Arrow Raider, DoT Focused | 6k+ Health | All Content | In-depth
/view-thread/2247655 - [3.8] Crimson Bow Gladiator, Tornado Shot + Ballista | Pure Bleed Build

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