[3.4] Ballista Tourista Build - Viable 9 totem MoM Hierophant


Intro :

Updated 3.6 news :
Well, I never ended up having time to finish the guide during 3.5, too many RL issues came up and hindered play time.

I'm starting the adventure again for 3.6, as new possibilites for items are out with implicits, and tree was changed a little. Also some suggestions for multiple totems and bonechill were made. So I will take a look into all that, and update as soon as I can.

I had a quite interesting thought and plan on trying it out ASAP : Investing into Spiritual Aid/Command and replacing starkonja with speaker's Wreath provides an absolutely massive damage and QoL increase (biggest pain in the ass is the initial set-up of the ballista, which is lessened by attack speed) while also lowering costs of getting the 4 links set-up.

For those who enjoy this build and are still coming back to it : Thank you, and I'm glad this build serves someone else than me!

My three ballista characters are BallistaTourista (3.2), TowahDefence (3.5) and DidSomeoneSayBallista (3.6) if you want to take a look.




Have you ever felt the need to run along maps happily listening to the sound of currency falling while playing a tower defence? Well, wait no longer! I present to you the Ballista Tourista build. Nine totems all outputting consequential damage and actually resulting in more resistance on your part due to the new hierophant ascendancies.

Edit: Updated the passive trees for 3.4, the actual build dates back to 3.2.
PoB links are the most recent ones, and have the tree I've optimized the most.


Pro's & Con's :

+ Relatively safe to play
+ Good dps
+ 8 Totems
+ Resistant with 6k5 Effective HP & Massive regen
+ Rapid totem summoning
+ Good Uber Lab Farmer (You need your enchant anyways)


- Totem build (A lot of people don't like them)
- Can be hard to gear up, costly early league
- Prone to one shots on higher end bosses
- Elemental resistances are a pain to cap
- Not a 8M dps build
- All maps contain many totems

Cleared Bosses (Videos) :
Spoiler

- Uber Izaro (or this one if you want to watch me struggle for 13 useless minutes of traps and not managing to open doors)
- Atziri Deathless
- Elder t5
- Rare T11 Corrupted Unid'd map (Reflect) & Rare T14 Corrupted map


More coming as I clear through Red Maps, Red Elder planned soon




Defences :
* 40% dodge
* 30% spell dodge
* 43% evade w/o blind (72 with)
* 6k5+ EHP (4k+ life, 2k5+ mana)
* 8% HP and 4% mana regen per second with Hierophant ascendancy alone

Damage :
* 8 Totems pelting out destruction
* 8 Totems placed per second with helmet enchant
* 64,000 * 8 = 512,000 dps on shaper/guardians without flasks and Hierophant totem kill buff (This is subject to a lot of change. I intentionally lowered my damage currently to survive better. It's a simple question of switching phase acro out for the totem damage near EO)
* Did I say 8 totems?

Pastebin for the numbers (Outdated)


Gear:
Spoiler

Currently used Gear :


As for enchants, Placement speed is less valuable than before, but still gives quite good QoL on bosses/AoE heavy encounters

If you want damage, 40% damage is better than the increased attack speed, at least PoB says so, and I trust the thing with my life. (My IG one that is)

One thing to note however, is that the attack speed will reduce the initial time it takes for a ballista to fire, thus leading to a different kind of QoL. If someone runs tests on that, please hit me up.

Devoto's devotion is also an option, I used only that until t13+ maps back in bestiary, but the extra life on Starkonja was just becoming way too attractive


Gear explanation :
Spoiler

Iron Commander :
Self explanatory, stack dex, build a wall of ballistas!
Hyrri's Demise :
Brings us closer to our required dex cap, and gives us a fair amount of added flat elemental damage thanks to our high stats.
Starkonja's Hood :
Hey look at that, more dexterity! And a substantial amount of life that, well, will save your life (Haha... Ha... I'm sorry)
Devoto's Devotion :
Alternative if you don't need the life, and want to move faster and throw turrets all over the damn place.
Garukhan's flight :
This lil beauty got updated in 3.5, it now gives a whopping 200 flat life, movespeed, elemental ground immunity & even more dex. Who the hell needs Kaom's?
Hrimsorrow :
Mainly the convert, because if i've learned one thing it's that if you don't have enough DPS, convert it an arbitrary number of times and you're in business.
Wildwrap :
15% Increased Dexterity, that rings a bell.
A consequential damage boost, with the amount of dex we reach endgame it ends up giving 60+% increased damage. And we move a bit faster which is always nice to clear and dodge.
Astramentis :
I think by this point the concept of stacking dex is understood, but since I must explain my choices : More dexterity.
Cyclopean Coil :
Immune to freeze and shock, dexterity, additional damage, and life. What else could you possibly need? (Resistances, I know, stop looking at me like that)
Rings :
Resistances, oh please resistances. At this point you're probably going to get steamrolled by anything with elemental damage if the rings don't stack some serious resistance.
- Life
- Dex
- Elemental resistances (Priority on lightning/fire which are your lowest)
- Elemental damage with attacks
- Added flat cold damage
Gloves (if rare) :
Multimod gloves. Ideally some gripped gloves. If you're rich, alt/regal/annul your way to insane gloves, then drop 2ex for the multimod. For the scrubs like me, go buy a pair of gloves with multimod on it and the stats you need. watch the affixes and make sure you have enough free!
You're probably going to need double res, definitely will need the double convert, and will need some life/mana.



Flasks :
Spoiler



I'd highly recommend bubbling/catalysedas prefix depending on how you feel comfortable. I tend to enjoy having access to catalysed here and there, and not solely bubbling. I think that's just me though.

Other prefixes aren't as worth it in my opinion.

Always have the anti-bleed and warding, past that it's up to you, I just tend to go movespeed.

Diamond if you feel like elemental overload doesn't proc often enough.
Quicksilver for clearspeed.
Atziri's promise provides a substantial damage boost and helps cope with chaos damage better.
Silver flask is a very nice choice for clear and damage. Great QoL when clearing.

More will be added as I test


Jewels :
Spoiler


Free lesser multiple projectiles effectively giving us a 7link (6 and a half more like, but one does not look a gift horse in the mouth)

Increased dexterity

Three of these Allows us to gain even more dexterity and reach our 9 totems

Gear Cost :
Spoiler

Outdated. Will try to update this early on in next league. Nobody plays ballista, nobody cares about us fools. 6l Iron commanders go for like 3 exalts less than your usual 6l.
The only expensive elements are mainly the gloves if you go for rares, and the enchant. (Past the obvious fact of getting 6links.)



Skill setup :
Spoiler

Main damage setup (6L) :

Frenzy (6l) :

Generates our frenzy charges and curses for more damage and knockback.
Blind will give us more survivability, culling strike is culling strike.

Movement skill (4l) :

Last two are essentially entirely optional. Slot in what you want. Could be CWDT (1) and IC, could be vaal skills, whatever floats your boat. (Portal gem)



I decided to leave both, as the old set-up was still efficient, and some people may prefer different options. My current set-up of choice is the 3.5 one, which I find preferable in terms of survival/damage and because it's entirely automatic.

3.2 remaining 4 links
Spoiler

Defensive setup (4l) :

Immortal call makes good use of our endurance charges helping us endure big physical hits

Golem & Buffs (4l) :

Vaal Haste gives us a damage boost, Vaal grace survivability. Flame Golem is the highest damage boost from a golem we can get.


3.5 remaining 4 links
Spoiler

Defensive setup (4l) :
CWDT (20) - Holy relic - Stone Golem - Immortal call
I decided to switch to this as a defensive set-up, for a few reasons : First, it's a massive increase in regen for us. Stone golem + holy relic gives us around 200 life per second, and the holy relic sustains our totems while we're frenzying.

As for the Immortal Call, it'll still proc when you truly need it, and gives you 1.8 seconds of physical immunity (Considering you had 3 endurance charges) which should be more than enough to react, regen a bit, and pop a flask if required.

Damage set-up (4l) :
CWDT (1) - Frost Bomb (10) - Arctic breath (8) - Bonechill

This set-up gives us a reliable burst in the form of -25% cold res, reduced life regen for enemies, and a 10% more damage to any enemy on the chilled ground of arctic breath. If you find that you prefer using vaal skills, simply remove arctic breath and bonechill to slot in vaal grace/haste.




Pantheon :
Spoiler

For major gods I view only one suitable option : Lunaris.

One of your major problems as a totem build is mainly ranged attacks (unless you play like me and are somehow continuously running face forward into packs, in which case they’re still one of the bigger issues.), Lunaris allows us to have an extra layer of RNG defence (10% projectile avoidance), which turns out to be quite appreciated. It also adds some dodge when hit, and makes us immune to one of our other big problems : Getting slaughtered through a door for dropping totems in a room because you didn’t read the damn map mods and didn’t see the +2 chain.
Also, a paltry amount of physical reduction, and, icing on the cake, a lil’ bit of movespeed for clearing. Which, I think we can all agree, is what we all want to a certain extent.

As for minor gods, a few options are present :

Ralakesh -> Some extra defence against bleed, blind immunity, and maim immunity, I don’t like walking slow. I don’t like bleed. This tends to be my personal choice.
Shakari -> Your chaos res is -60%. If you can even smell chaos on a map/boss, or poison, this is a fair go-to.
Ryslatha -> If you feel you need more flask sustain, go for it. Typically this is a good choice for non bleed non poison bosses that tend to last a while (Looking at you Shapey and friends. And tentacle overlords.)



Levelling & Tree : (Outdated)
Spoiler

Glad for feedback on this, personally levelled molten strike until lvl 40-50 due to loot.
78 points in tree
Level 70 tree
Level 80 tree

Kill all bandits
Ascendancy order : Pursuit of Faith -> Ritual of Awakening -> Conviction of Power -> Divine Guidance
Path of Building lvl 91

With uniques ready/Some luck:
Spoiler

As far as when you can actually play ballista, I personally did a swap once I had my second ascendancy, and the non-expensive uniques ready (Hyrri's bite, Iron Commander, Wildwrap) and it absolutely shredded through all the bosses past that point (deathless all levelling bosses, most dead in a matter of seconds, if not it's because of phases).
Have gotten feedback, playing with IC+Ballistas is viable as early as 42 with hrimsorrow.
Once you have iron commander and 4-5 totems, all you're doing is optimizing.
I started mapping with all uniques listed in the build, but a 4l and uncapped resistances. Steamrolled through yellow maps, then got extremely lucky and 6l'd my bow, and recently vaal'd my hyrri for a +1 arrow for shits & giggles.

It's dirt cheap to start off with (If you're not going for max dex on each item, the most expensive ones together are worth 60c total at this point), and optimizing it helps, but isn't a massive upgrade (110 or 116 astramentis isn't going to change much for example)

Starter/Low Luck:
Spoiler

Had a different experience during 3.6, sped through all the content, around 6-9 levels behind areas for most of the time and died way too often due to no gear/stats. My gear was utter garbage (had gray iron rings and magic amulet in a10) and the struggle was painful.

In a situation like this, I'd recommend not pushing ballistas too early, and going for Toxic Rain/Arc/Bane/Molten Strike levelling paths depending on uniques/gear you've looted.

Grind and catch up in Aqueduct (act4) - Tidal Island (act 6) - Concourses (act 8) - blood aqueduct (act 9) when/if you need to.

As soon as uniques (Astramentis not included) can be acquired, you're good to go roll on everything up to yellow/red maps and grind more serious currency.



Playstyle :
Spoiler

Mapping : drop totem, walk around 1/2 - 1 screen away, drop totem.... Sustain your frenzy charges,



Credits :
A huge thanks to Svarions23, who helped me to obtain many items during 3.5 and without who, I probably never would have decently updated the guide during Betrayal league.

Cheers to c9q9md for his 2.4 10 totem meme ballista build which, coupled with a state of hilarity, and the release of 3.2 hierophant, lead to the thought process behind the build.
Many thanks to Epi_Hermyn for the optimisation of the build and maturing it to a more dps viable candidate. (3.2)
A pat on the back for Vixenize, who gave the cyclopean idea!
Finally, thanks to eviL_Bison for providing guides on how to format a guide and make it more readable!
Last edited by Roshgar on Mar 21, 2019, 6:57:44 AM
Last bumped on Jul 14, 2019, 3:56:02 AM
I'm playing a similar build... Might want to pick up The Nomad unique belt.
Will test that out and see once I get the last few life nodes in my tree.
Going to update the build soon with red Elder/Guardians videos, or die, or both. Just need to get the last bit of 90.
Hello I was wondering if you could post the minimum requirements to get this build up and running? (Actually using the Ballista Totems as a main skill). I'm very much interested in becoming a fellow tourist, but I'd like to know how much investment I'm gonna need.



Thanks for putting together such a fun playstyle!
Last edited by Wreckson on Mar 14, 2018, 9:58:17 PM
Super cool build!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Glad you are making it work and looks so fun to play!!!!

Did you ever think to add the abyss jewels that taunt on hit with attacks. I think a taunting siege ballista would be a huge defensive boost especially with bosses.

Also what about fending for the knockback (maybe not that useful just wondering)!!!!

thanks for the build!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The stun enchant isn't helping you much. You're not killing things, your totems are killing things.
"
KellionBane wrote:
I'm playing a similar build... Might want to pick up The Nomad unique belt.


The Cyclopean Coil is a whole lot cheaper and actually adds more DPS overall

The tree looks great but the lack of life is a problem interested in seeing how this build evolves :)
"
Frugality wrote:
The stun enchant isn't helping you much. You're not killing things, your totems are killing things.

Fair point, but look at my helmet. Still do not have a ballista one so all my enchants are going down that path.

"
Wreckson wrote:
Hello I was wondering if you could post the minimum requirements to get this build up and running? (Actually using the Ballista Totems as a main skill). I'm very much interested in becoming a fellow tourist, but I'd like to know how much investment I'm gonna need.


Added some more info about that in the levelling section, if you feel more info would be better, PM me and i'll add it.

"
LilyKittens4 wrote:
Did you ever think to add the abyss jewels that taunt on hit with attacks. I think a taunting siege ballista would be a huge defensive boost especially with bosses.

Also what about fending for the knockback (maybe not that useful just wondering)!!!!


As far as knockback, the knockback from projectile weakness is almost too much. Point blank in our tree makes sending them further not necessarily the best thing, but it's always nice to just trap a boss in a corner and watch him melt. Probably a question of preference and gameplay.
As for the abyss jewel, i'll be honest, didn't play abyss league, no idea what happened during that whole period of time, quite possibly interesting, but the tree isn't exactly close to another free jewel IIRC

"
vixenize wrote:
The Cyclopean Coil is a whole lot cheaper and actually adds more DPS overall

The tree looks great but the lack of life is a problem interested in seeing how this build evolves :)


EDIT : Plan on adding this belt as soon as I can balance out the resistances, DPS and life gain is quite pleasant.
To be fair, we are at 5k5 life due to the 40% MoM. If i sit there like an idiot, yes, I will get shredded. But then again it's not a facetank build.
I'll be able to answer this one in more detail once I start trying the Red Elder Guardians and Elder.
Last edited by Roshgar on Mar 17, 2018, 10:01:09 AM
Wow, this is amazingly fun! I've been firing mah ballistae since level 42, after I picked up a Fluid Motion jewel and Hrimsorrow gloves. Destroyed Innocence/Izaro like a hot knife through butter and I imagine Kitava will be the same. I also got lucky with a Tabula Rasa though, so my dps is a few hundred higher than it should be.

Is there some uncommon reason to level Blink Arrow or Frenzy? I don't do any damage myself and the skills don't seem to gain anything other than damage and a higher mana cost from leveling up.
Last edited by Wreckson on Mar 16, 2018, 4:43:59 AM
"
Wreckson wrote:

Is there some uncommon reason to level Blink Arrow or Frenzy? I don't do any damage myself and the skills don't seem to gain anything other than damage and a higher mana cost from leveling up.


Not Really, you gain a bit of life on the blink arrow minion, that's it. I just like levelling my gems for no real reason other than having them all 20.

Glad you like the build though!

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