[3.5] Freezing Pulse Totem Hierophant | Cheap, Starter, Guide, Guardians, Shaper



3.5 Update
The new patch for Betrayal League gave us several buffs.

The biggest change in 3.5 is that with the "Ritual of Awakening" ascendancy we summon 2 Totems instead of one (and we also get 3% MORE damage per totem). In return we have to give up additional totem and now only have 3 from ascendany and tree. For mapping this is certainly a big buff and fortifies Hierophant as one of the fastest leaguestarters. We also have much more incentive now to go for additional totems because before we were replacing totems with our 5th cast (4 totems, 1 per cast), now it's the 2nd cast. It remains to be seen how accessible the additional totem craft on shields is. Soulmantle would be the alternative to get to a total of 4 totems.

Many people see the Multiple Totem support as a way to make totem builds possible for other ascendancies. Hierophants don't wanna use it on their main 6-link, but we actually have access to utility totems now. We could use Multiple Totems + Decoy Totem and we even get the new 3% more damage buff per totem. (Decoy Totem will have an increased totem limit, so you can cast a decoy totem even after you placed your maximum amount of Freezing Pulse Totems)

Banners have a new ascendancy for Hierophant. We have to see how Banners really turn out, but I expect it doesn't fit in our build.

Vaal Haste and Vaal Grace now have an instant cast. Until now the cast time was the big downside of running them, everyone should be running at least one of them now.

The skilltree doesn't change for us.

Unrelated to patch notes, I made other improvements to the build: (currently work in progress)
- Flame Dash as main movement skill, Shield Charge/Vigilant Strike to apply fortify
- Loreweave added as BiS endgame chest (even better now that you can use Resistance Flasks with it)
- Fossil crafted helmet added as BiS helmet


Since there doesn't seem to be a current guide for this powerful build, I decided to write one and give back to the community which helped me with other build guides. Feel free to make comments and suggestions to make this guide even better.

Pros:
- NO gear requirements (except 2 threshold jewels), so cheap and SSF viable
- Transitions nicely from levelling to mapping without any problems and big investments
- Easy to cap resists
- Easy to reach 7k-8k EHP with 40% MoM
- Able to clear maps up to T15 comfortly
- Very safe because we freeze all minions except bosses instantly
- Can go Magic Find
- Can run all map mods (I would reroll Ele-Reflect since your totems 1 or 2-shot themselves, but clearing the map is possible)
- Can reach 1.5 million Shaper DPS (300k DPS per totem) - this is specific damage gear, 80-100k DPS is enough for mapping
- Possible to kill guardians and shaper with some investments (someone even killed uber elder)

Cons:
- No leech


Why not Frostbolt?

- higher base crit
- faster projectiles, so faster freezing and clearing

You can still try frostbolt. It's essentially the same skill tree, so just swap the gems and threshold jewels. (and you don't need projectile speed, so replace faster proj)

Pastebin: (for "Path of Building") https://pastebin.com/Mk5kpPUZ

Video (T12 Shaped Dunes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vbW4I5M47c
Video of Red Elder Fight (Credit to Sinxar): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vePe0xd1ylY
For Videos of Guardians and Shaper see the corresponding section.


Gameplay style
Spoiler
You run around (and flame dash) and place totems preemptively. You don't wanna jump directly into a large pack of mobs before freezing them. When we need more DPS we can cast Frostbomb (linked to Bone Chill) and Projectile Weakness for a huge damage increase.

MoM (Mind over Matter) explained
Spoiler
With the Mind of Matter keystone and the Divine Guidance ascendancy, 40% of our Damage is taken from mana before life. This means we optimally want to have a Life/Mana ratio of about 60/40.

There are many powerful mana nodes on the tree and we should look to have a lot +Mana on our gear in additon to +Life. I am currently on about 4200 Life, 2800 Mana (which is a 60/40 ratio) with just a tabula. That's 7k EHP.

You don't wanna run auras with MoM and we don't really need to. That also allows us to equip a Clear Mind jewel.

With MoM having flat mana and mana regen on gear is very important.

Gem Links:
Spoiler
Mandatory Links:
Get those as soon as you start mapping. Don't complain about your damage if you don't use a Curse, Frost Bomb and Arcane Surge.

Main skill: Spell Totem - Freezing Pulse - Faster Casting - Controlled Destruction - Hypothermia - Cold Penetration
- If you want your projectiles to travel farther, you can use Faster Projectiles, it also means the damage doesn't fall off that fast.
- If you want reliable crits and your double totems can one shot most mobs, you might wanna run Increased Critical Strikes instead of Controlled Destruction. It's overall less damage though.

Flame Dash + Faster Casting + Arcane Surge (+ Portal)
(pay attention that your Arcane Surge is low level so that it procs with one cast, for this combination it's level 7)

Frostbomb + Phase Run + Increased Duration

Cast When Damage Taken + Immortal Call + Enfeeble + (Increased Duration)
(Cast When Damage Taken should be lvl1, Immortal Call lvl3, Enfeeble lvl5)

Projectile Weakness + Vaal Haste / Vaal Grace + Increased Duration
(We need 155 Dex for level 20 on Projectile Weakness which is hard to get for us. But it's totally fine to leave the gem at a lower level, since we only lose a little bit of DPS against bosses)

For fortify: (if you use dagger/sceptre)
Shield Charge + Faster Attacks + Fortify

Alternatively use Vigilant Strike (with jewel) - this should be your endgame setup:
Vigilant Strike + Ancestral Call (+ Faster Attacks)

Optional:
Decoy Totem + Multiple Totems for Bosses
Summon Lightning Golem

Bandits
Spoiler
Alira, since both CritMulti and ManaRegen are very good for us and resists are never bad.

Ascendancies
Spoiler
Pursuit of Faith - Ritual of Awakening - Conviction of Power - Divine Guidance

Don't be scared of labs. You can do every lab as soon as you reach the required level. If you have a 6link and Freezing Pulse lvl18, you should be fine to solo Uberlab (on SC).

Pantheon
Spoiler
Major: Brine King, if no Kaom's Roots, else probably Solaris
Minor: Gruthkul

Gear
Spoiler

Most people overprioritze getting damage from the gear. Make sure you cap your resists and get as much life, mana and mana regen (mana is life for us!!!) as possible on your gear.

Weapon:
Spoiler
Optimally you want a dagger or sceptre to apply fortify with Shield Charge or Vigilant Strike. Especially early on it's totally fine to use a wand though.

- Spell Damage, Elemental Damage
- Critchance for Spells
- Cast Speed
- Critmulti
- Added Damage to Spells

Endgame crafting: The shaper mod "Gain Elemental Damage as extra chaos damage" (max 20%) is a very strong multiplier. It might be pretty difficult to craft a decent one though. Try Fossil crafting with Aetheric Fossils.


Shield:
Spoiler
- +Life
- Critchance for Spells
- +Mana
- Mana Regen
- +Resists
- Spell Damage (expensive to get with the other stats)

Endgame: The new +1 totem mastercraft is insanely strong for us. It remains to be seen how accessible this craft is.


Body:
Spoiler
A Tabula should be one of your first investments. Getting a unique or rare 6link armor is not a high priority since we can easily reach 7k EHP without it. So you might consider getting a +1 Tabula to boost your damage.

The standard option would just be a regular body with Life, Mana and Resists. Often you can these rather cheap (especially corrupted with the right colors) or craft on a white 6-link yourself.


Endgame: Loreweave is the best endgame chest IMO. The big selling point is getting 80% max resists (divine until you get this). You also get some life, mana, critchance and eledamage.


Unique option: Some people opt for a Soul Mantle to get an effective 7-link. But you have to use 2 Kikazaru rings then to lower curse effectiveness on yourself. (check the Variants section for more info)


Helmet/Boots/Gloves:
Spoiler
Look for:
- 30% movement speed (on boots)
- +Life
- +Mana
- +Resists
- +Dex (we need a little bit of Dex somewhere)

Helmet enchant: All are viable. Freezepulse Damage gives slightly more DPS than castspeed. But get a castspeed one if it's cheap. I personally favor the Projectile Speed since we sacrifice less DPS than with a Faster Projectiles gem.
If you can't find good pre-rolled helmets with enchants and you don't wanna roll your own, taking a Starkonja's is a fine choice, we need the dexterity and critchance and attack speed is still useful for shield charge.

Boots enchant: Often underestimated. And you can even farm the enchant yourself. The "10% Elemental Penetration if you have not killed recently" works well for us because the totem kills don't count for us. It gives us roughly 7% more damage which is almost as good as the Helmet Enchants. "2% of Life and Mana regenerated if you have been hit recently" is a nice defensive option.

Endgame: You want to craft your helmet with Pristine+Frigid Fossil to get the "Nearby Enemies have -10% Cold Resistance" mod. You could also get Life Regeneration as a nice extra. Make sure you use a ES (hybrid) base so you can also roll or craft +Mana.

Unique options
Boots: Kaom's Roots gives us more life and stun immunity. You probably only want to use this in HC or when fighting the toughest bosses.


Belt:
Spoiler
Look for:
- +Life
- +Flask effect duration (very nice to get on a belt)
- +Resists

Optimally we are looking for a Stygian Belt, so we can equip an Abyss jewel.


Jewelry:
Spoiler

You probably want to get your hand on a Karui Ward as soon as you can, the projectile speed is amazing for us, especially in the beginning when we don't get it somewhere else. The other stats are all very useful, especially dex+strength for the gem and gear requirements.

Before the Freezing Pulse buff, Karui Charge (fated version of Karui Ward) was my overall recommendation as amulet. So feel free to use it as long as you want. With the buffs we don't need projectile speed that much anymore, so you can upgrade into a good amulet with life and critmulti. Critmulti is one of the best damage stats for us. A good amulet like that won't be cheap.

Endgame: The Blind from Pandemonius works with totems and is very strong defensively. It also gives us an 20% Cold Penetration and more cold damage.


Stats on rings/amulet: (in this order)
- Life
- Mana
- Critmulti, Spell Damage (only amulet)
- Mana Regen
- Resists
- Castspeed
- Increased Cold Damage
- Crit Chance
- +Dex (we need a little bit of Dex somewhere)


Jewels:
Spoiler
Of course 2 Threshold jewels and a Clear Mind.


Endgame: Use Vigilant Strike with the Jewel to apply fortify. You can place the Vigilant Strike jewel in the most left slot.



My gear: (before going magic find)
Spoiler
Gear is from 3.2. I would suggest slightly different gemlinks now.


Flasks
Spoiler


Flasks are very powerful and often underestimated by new players. Make sure you get these flasks soon and when you start doing maps craft new flask with 20% quality and needed affixes. (Bleed, Freeze and Curse immunity are important, as is more movement speed)

While leveling you wanna use a mana flask instead of Basalt. As well as in No-Regen maps.

Leveling and skilltrees
Spoiler
Note: If you are ever in need of dexterity, just pick one of the +30 dex nodes which are available to us.

- Start out with Freezing Pulse + Arcane Surge + Onslaught (just one of those supports is fine of course). We need a BBG wand (also pickup one BBR wand for later). If you can get your hand on an Explosive Trap (Templar doesn't get it, you could mule it), that would be helpful in Act1 Boss Fights. You should keep Arcane Surge at level 1 for now, we want it to proc as often as possible.
- At lvl4 switch to Frostbomb + Arcane Surge + Onslaught and enjoy the speedy levelling with Frostbomb. You will still need Freezing Pulse (or Explosive Trap) for bosses.
- Get Clarity and Flame Dash at level 10. (we drop Clarity when we get a Clear Mind jewel). Also get Added Lightning as a support against bosses.
- With level 12 we start using Arc Totems. Until you get Ancestral Bond you should still use Frostbomb as well. Craft a +1 Lightning BBR Wand (topaz ring + magic wand/sceptre 3-linked BBR + Alteration Orb). Links: Arc + Spell Totem + Added Lightning
- You can take any Herald gem to boost your damage a bit. Drop them later when you spec into Mind over Matter.
- Replace Added Lightning with Controlled Destruction once you get it

Skill tree around level 20

- When you get Ancestral Bond, you get 2 Totems, but can no longer use Frost Bomb. Link Flame Dash to Faster Casting and Arcane Surge.
- You can start looking for BBBR 4link. The 4th link will be Faster Casting.

Skill tree when you reach level 43

- Around level 43 we should finish the quest in act5 which gives us a Freezing Pulse threshold jewel. Invest your first chaos/alchemy to buy a second jewel and place them in the fresh acquired slots on our skilltree. Replace Arc with Freezing Pulse. (if you are SSF you should stay Arc Totem until you find a second jewel, the skilltree is pretty much the same, levelling another character to act5 is not worth the time).
- In Act 4 we can buy Cast When Damage Taken and Immortal Call and link them. We also get a Lightning Golem.

Skill tree when you reach around level 55

- We started picking up some crit nodes and got a Diamond Flask from the Silver Locket Quest in act 7.
- If you did the Fallen from Grace quest in Act 6, you can buy all gems now from Lilly. You might wanna have a look at the "Gem links" section and see if you can add more useful gems or start levelling support gems. But don't try to get that exact setup right now. It's usually not worth to invest jeweller's or chromatics in levelling items (if you are in desperate need of gemlinks use essences on 4-links you find).

Skill tree when you reach maps (or slightly after)

- Try to get your hands on a Tabula. This should be your first big investment. You can buy single gear pieces for 1c if you are not resist capped or just have really awful gear in some slot.
- If you have found or bought decent gear pieces, color and link them. You should try to complete your gem links now and get decently rolled flasks.
- Try to get your Freezing Pulse gem up to 20% quality (or buy a 20/20 if it's not leaguestart).

Skill tree at level 90

FAQ: Why is my DPS so low? / Common mistakes
Spoiler
Several people asked about this and all of them didn't follow the guide properly.

A very important note is that our actual damage is much higher than the tooltip damage. The tooltip damage doesn't account for:
- Hypothermia damage against chilled enemies
- Curses
- Frost Bomb
- Elemental penetration from "Conviction of Power"
- Diamond Flask
- Certain Boots Enchants
If you are standing still in hideout, it also doesnt count:
- Power charges
- Silver Flask
- Damage boost from "Pursuit of Faith"

So if your tooltip is around 20k, you can actually reach around 100k actual DPS per totem. Because you can have 4 totems, that is 400k DPS and totally enough for T15 maps.

Now the most common actual mistakes were:
- Not using Projectile Weakness and/or Frostbomb with Arcane Surge, which gives you a huge damage boost against strong enemies.
- Not using a Diamond and Silver Flask.
- Not taking mana nodes on the tree or getting mana on gear.
- Trying to get too much offensive stats/gear.

Variants: Soul Mantle / Shimmeron
Spoiler
Disclaimer (READ THIS BEFORE): Soul Mantle or Shimmeron can give you a lot more damage, but it is absolutely not necessary and my choice was to not equip either of them. Look at my video or look at my MF gear, those characters clear up to T15 just fine. If you feel that you desperately need more damage, check the guide again, you are most likely doing something else wrong. And if you really want more damage (which is totally fine), make sure your other gear has good life/mana and resists, because you will be sacrificing defenses.

First Option: Soulmantle + Dual Kikazaru
Soulmantle gives you a 7-link and a 5th totem. We use 2 Kikazaru to negate most of the curse effects on us. We should be able to cap our resists and get life+mana on other gear pieces.


Only go Soul Mantle if it's 6-linked. Else you don't get the benefit of the effective 7-link. (the addtional support should be Added Cold)

We should also use a Self-Flagellation jewel (probably instead of Clear Mind) to get a big damage boosts out of our own curses.


Second Option: Dual wield Shimmeron
After the Shimmeron nerf, I wouldn't advise using them anymore.
Shimmeron got change in 3.4, we now also take the Lightning Damage per second, which was reduced to 200 per second. With 2 Shimmerons and 75% Lightning resistance, that's 100 damage per second. That's something we can outheal, but of course it makes us less durable when we suffer consistent damage from other sources.

In addition to that we sacrifice the defense stats of our shield and fortify. It is a huge damage buff though, about 40-60%.

If you are in SC and don't mind the occasional death or you wanna push deeper delves and need the damage, Shimmeron might be an option.

Of course it's also an option to have dual wield Shimmerons as a weapon swap against bosses.

OUTDATED Pastebin with skilltree for Shimmeron (you wanna invest in Powercharges): https://pastebin.com/UnRD2YPf

Magic find
Spoiler
You can wear lots of magic find items and still cap your resists, reach 7k EHP and reach over 100k DPS per Totem which is enough for mapping. It requires some investment though. I could even get most of resists on Brightbeak/Helm/Shield/Chest/Belt, so I didn't have to invest more than 100c for the Ventors.

The 60% Manaregen on Goldwyrms is actually really nice for us. This should probably be your first MF item.

Gear from 3.2: (would recommend other gemlinks now)

Guardians and Shaper
Disclaimer: This was done before the Shimmeron nerf. It's still possible to do bosses, just without Shimmeron. Someone did uber elder (even deathless on 3rd run): https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2102655/page/31
Spoiler
With high end gear you can reach 300k shaper DPS per totem and actually farm guardians and shaper quite comfortly. I would NOT suggest gearing up like that if you wanna mainly do normal maps. You will be faster and get more drops with Brightbeak and MF gear.

All guardian maps are rare and corrupted
Pit of the Chimera (full run): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4cQyotHYKw
Lair of the Hydra (boss fight): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH_0yhX_iC8
Forge of the Phoenix (boss fight): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeWtGc8VHJw
Maze of the Minotaur (boss fight): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jECjurmxLTk
Shaper (full run): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOJwkrcZqng

I had deathless runs of Hydra, Minotaur and Shaper, but unfortunately there were not recorded properly. You can propably judge that most of my deaths in these videos are avoidable. I mess up a lot not dodging big attacks, not using flasks properly and not using Vaal Lightning Trap.

Pastebin (including shaper dps): https://pastebin.com/AYGJkvsg (outdated)

Gear (Shimmeron was only used for bossing, Brightbeak+Shield in weapon swap):
Last edited by VisorX on Dec 12, 2018, 7:32:09 AM
Last bumped on Dec 13, 2018, 8:38:19 AM
Very nice, currently level 74 in BHC doing freezing pulse hierophant.
This guide is very informative and is gonna help me out alot.
Thank you for taking the effort to write it.

Very nice. Very nice indeed.

I was planning on playing flame totem, but i think i like Freeze Pulsing more.

Hope to see some videos though.

Thanks and have fun!
I'll try to record a video. Hopefully my PC can do this.
coming back for this new league and gonna give your build a try to start fresh :D
"
Completed 3 ChallengesAksys wrote:
coming back for this new league and gonna give your build a try to start fresh :D


Great to hear. Please give feedback if anything is unclear in the guide or if you have additional questions.
Hello! Thanks for this informative build!
Do you have enough health to kill the bosses on the maps? I just play in HC and I do not want to take chances.
"
Completed 9 ChallengesBellark wrote:
Hello! Thanks for this informative build!
Do you have enough health to kill the bosses on the maps? I just play in HC and I do not want to take chances.


You can reach 7k EHP rather easily and while fighting bosses, you can focus on manually dodging all damage. Often the bosses will also attack your totems and not you. So this character is actually one of the safer map boss killers I have played.

If you get close calls getting stunned, you might wanna consider getting Kaom's Roots.

Also if you are fighting red beasts in maps, those are often scarier than map bosses, especially because you don't know what they will do.
Last edited by VisorX on Mar 9, 2018, 8:51:09 AM
Nice guide, thanks.

I'm running something similar, but hadn't thought about the frost bomb.

Also I'm running Arctic Armour to have at least a little bit of physical hit damage reduction, but I'm not sure it's that efficient. I might drop it of the clear mind jewel.




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