[3.5 no more updates] Poison Scourge Arrow/TS and Barrage Assassin | 1+M Shaper DPS | 6k HP

Hello everbody,

I'd like to share with you my version of poison stacking Assassin. There are so many Toxic Rain Pathfinders and good old Tornado Shot or good new Scourge Arrow are beeing left behind. It's great maper, delver and boss killer. And most of all ... fun and not as expensive as you might think. Enjoy!

I wont be updating this guide anymore, not becouse 3.5s nerf of Quill Rain would be that serious, but just becouse i play a lot of builds during league and i simply don't know if i will want to play SA this way again. I'll make a small update to build to be playable in 3.5.

Update 1: videos are up.
Update 2: added Chain Support as a gem choice, few items into gear section, Forge of the Phoenix video.
Update 3: added Shaper kill video.
Update 4: added Scourge Arrow rework section.
Update 5: 3.5 update.

Patch 3.5 - Quill Rain nerf

Quill Rain now causes you to deal 40% less Damage (as opposed to Weapon Damage). This affects all versions of the item.
This means that our poisons will also have 40% less Damage.

We'll see if there is fated version of Quill Rain, if not, we could still use QR just keep in mind we will loose 40% of our damage. We could also use rare bow with delve mods (double damage, more poison damage etc.). Or Stormcloud/Tempest bow with Volkuur's Guidance (Lightning) and stack lightning damage.

Patch 3.4.2 - Scourge Arrow rework

"Scourge Arrow: Additional Projectiles now apply to the primary arrow instead of the thorn arrows. The number of thorn arrows at lower levels has been increased to compensate. Pods are now distributed evenly among all primary projectiles."

The pods are now placed in cluster on the spot your mouse cursor when you release the arrow.


It's hard to say is it's buff of nerf. The biggest issue with SA is that obsticles are blocking pods to spawn, so with one narrow line we could place them when we know they won't be blocked. Now with GMP/LMP/Volley we don't have that control. The fact that we fire additional primary arrows increases our clear DPS, but we might loose some DMG from pods.

My advice: in open area maps, use GMP/LMP/Volley. In small or forest like areas, play without any multiple proj support. I actually played without GMP before this rework, not all the time, but sometimes, and the difference was hardly noticeable.

So this rework is actualy DPS buff :) Use Void Manipulation/Swift Affliction instead of GMP/LMP/Volley.

Pros & Cons

- safe (5k++ life, 30%+ evade chance, 50% dodge attack, 40% dodge spells)
- fast (up to 600k trash DPS with poisons - atack once and move to next pack), 100%+ movement speed while maping
- DPS (1M+ base DPS with Barrage, no ench, no dying sun)
- can do any map mode
- with more currency invested, everything goes up big time
- leveling as poison char is not great until you have decent added chaos gem level and 100% chance to apply poison
- a bit tricky with caping resistances (only 3 rare items, upgrade to 2 rares only, ups)
- sometimes you have to backtrack to pickup loot
- 3M+ DPS and 6k+ life is expensive


Attack once into pack and move to next one, Mirage Archer and poison will finish previous one.

Attack once and run through the pack, let the Archer and poisons to do its job.

Attack for a while (until its not safe to stand on one place) and then watch the boss .. ehm .. burn? decay? die from poison. If the boss survives, repeat.

Tornado Shot vs Scourge Arrow and Damage Calculation

The biggest difference between TS and SA is in strenght of poisons and number of arrows - potentional targets.
Scourge Arrow has almost tripple damage with single poison (if not using Mirage Archer, with him its "only" double the damage), making it more "attack once" playstyle, it can also hit around 30% more targets:
SA - 6 pods each with 12 arrows = 72 hits, with pierce 144 per usage, with 13.2 APS its 2.64 full charges per second = 380 hits.
TS - 5 arrows wach with 3 secondary projectiles = 15 hits, with pierce 30 per usage, with 7.14 APS = 214 hits.

SA poison DPS - 4.6k with Mirage Archer, 6.7k without.
TS poison DPS - 2.5k with Mirage Archer, 3.7 without.

In reality it comes down to what do you like more and using Thief's Torment's life on hit advantage. With TS you are constantly gaing life from the ring but it takes a bit more attacks to clear. With SA you have to stay like 0.4s without doing anything and then it's split seconds before the pods explode so it makes you vulnerable to be hit spamed to death. But the clear with SA is way better and better looking.

How to calculate single target PoB damage
There are couple stats you need to calculate with. Attack Rate, Hit Chance and # of Poisons applied Recently (in Config tab) and number of projectiles.
The formula is:
APS * number of arrows * 4 (recently) * hit chance (0.89 for example)
In my case its:
8.76 * 9 * 4 * 0.89 = 280 poisons applied Recently. Put this into PoB and you get real Total DPS inc. Poison.

If you don't want to use Barrage you can play with TS/SA. Besides the already mentioned advantages and disadvantages of each skill, here is some info about theirs single traget DPS:
SA - 6 pods, each will hit boss once (guaranteed) + main hit = 65 poisons applied recently.
TS - 5 arrows, each will hit boss once (usualy) + main hit = 152 poisons applied recently.
With Mirage Archer:
TS - 5 arrows + main hit = 199 poisons.

Big BUT!

TS's poison damage is way lower then SA's. So even TS can apply more poisons, it wont make up for the less poison damage. Here are numbers with damage:
SA - 847k DPS
TS - 463k DPS
TS with Mirage Archer - 401k DPS

So if you are looking for one skill playstyle, Scourge Arrow is the right (and only) choice.

Clear DPS calculation
Important stats are Attack Rate, Hit Chance, number of projectiles and Poison DPS. You attack just once so total DPS inc. Poisons is irelavant. Just Poison DPS and how fast yuu can apply these poisons. Take this in mind when building your char and choosing gems, items etc.

Wither stacks
It is tricky to setup wither stacks in PoB. You have to select Wither in "Main Skill" and set number of stacks you want to calculate with. If you are using Withering Touch, number of stacks can be set in Configuration tab.


Tree lv 89

Next upgrades
More jewels, more life nodes, more mana nodes, possibly more DPS with Lethality (bottom right corner).

We are assassins ... duh.
Normal lab - Noxius strike, helps us with poison stacking and increased Poison Duration is what rumps up our DPS.
Cruel lab - finish the branch with Toxic Delivery, reduced DOT is helpful, more damage for crit poisons and life recovery if poisoned enemy dies, that is very helpful in maps and during leveling.
Merci lab - Opportunistic. Movement speed after we killed recently is nice QoL, 100% inc. damage while there is only one nerby enemy, sux on uber elder, great everywhere else. The fact that we dont take any extra damage from crits helps a lot with our survivebility.
Uber lab - Ambush and Assassinate. Full life aspect of this ascend dont realy matters, but inc damage and more crit chance when target is on low life is good damage boost. The biggest damage boost is culling strike on critical hit.

Why not Unstable Infusion and Deadly Infusion? First of all, the power charges branch deals +-8% less damage, second, addition to 8% more damage we also get culling strike, imunity to extra damage from crits and 20% movement speed while maping. That beeing said, the difference in damage is not big, in 40 second fight, its +-4 second so it's the QoL stuff like movement speed, cull that makes difference.

PoB link

Kill all for 2 passive points or help Alira if you struggle with resitances.

Gem links

6L Scourge Arrow/Tornado Shot: 20/20 Scourge Arrow|20/0 Tornado Shot - 20/20 Greater Multiple Projectiles|Void Manipulation - 21/0 Added Chaos Damage - 20/20 Deadly Ailments - 20/20 Vile Toxins - 20/0 Mirage Archer|20/20 Swift Affliction|20/20 Chain (if using TS)

If using Kaom's Heart: 5L Scourge Arrow/Tornado Shot in The Embalmer gloves: 20/20 Scourge Arrow|20/0 Tornado Shot| - 20/20 Greater Multiple Projectiles|Void Manipulation - 21/0 Added Chaos Damage - 20/0 Mirage Archer|20/20 Swift Affliction|20/20 Chain (if using TS)

The Mirage Archer is actually a DPS boost. It attacks at 40% of our attack rate and apply the same poisons as we do, so while calculating number of poisons, multiple your APS with 1.4. If you dont like the Mirage Archer playstyle, swap Archer for 20/20 Swift Affliction. It's also better to swap to Swift Afliction in high tier maps to kill monsters a bit faster = safer travels. Another option for the 6th gem in the Tornado Shot is Chain which can also help with faster clear. Unfortunately Chain appears to not work with Scourge Arrow.

6L Barrage: 20/0 Barrage - 20/20 Greater Multiple Projectiles - 21/0 Added Chaos Damage - 20/20 Faster Attacks - 20/20 Deadly Ailments - 20/20 Vile Toxins|20/20 Withering Touch

We use Faster Attacks instead of Swift Affliction for the same reason we use Mirage Archer in our clear setup. More APS means more poisons means more poison damage output.
If you mostly map and wear Kaom's Heart, put Barrage into gloves.

Wither and Withering touch
Its simple, if you have sockets for Spell Totem - Wither AND you are able to keep totem up for most of the fight, use Vile Toxins. If your totem has little uptime, no Faster Casting or Inc. Duration support, it can stack up to 11 max, in that case the Withering Touch setup is better choice.
For Shaper fight, totem with Inc. Duration support is better. On Uber Elder type of fight (Hydra, Phoenix, Minotaur, some T15s bosses) or if you just don't want to care about totem, Withering Touch would be much better.

4L Herald of Agony: 20/20 Herald of Agony - 20/20 Vicious Projectiles - 20/20 Damage on Full Life - 20/20 Minion Damage

If NOT using Kaom's Heart, put this into The Embalmer gloves.

Remaining mandatory links
20/20 Blood Rage
20/20 Blink Arrow
20/20 Spell Totem - 20/20 Wither - 20/20 Increased Duration

Remaining optional links
20/0 Summon Lightning Golem
1/0 Vaal Blight
20/0 Vaal Haste
20/0 Vaal Grace
x/0 Cast when damage taken - x/0 Immortal Call


Quill Rain. For its very fast attacks its easily best in slot weapon. Not valin since 3.5 if there will not be fated version.
Rare bow. With fine Delve mods like double damage, more poison damage etc.
Stormcloud/The Tempest. With Volkuur's Guidance (Lightning) and stacking flat Lightning damage.

Drillneck. For maping, it has +1 arrow pierce, which helps us with clear.
Maloney's Nightfall. A bit less damage for single target, but has nice defence in form of Smoke Cloud when we get hit. Clear is a bit worst becouse we have to put Pierce or Chain into gem setup.

Starkonja's Head. Life, Attack speed and Evasion.
Devoto's Devotion. Movement speed but no Life.

Body Armour
Belly of the Beast. If you need 2x 6L and struggle with Resistances. Also Life.
Kaom's Heart. 6k+ Life but its a tricky to cap Strength (191).
Loreweave. A bit more damage.
Yriel's Fostering (snake). Decent Life, more damage if you have Bestial Minion summoned.
Lioneye's Vision. Some good HP and 7th Pierce gem for your clear setup. But Armour based.

The Embalmer. Its our 5L for clear if we need big single target. 5L Barrage if you mostly map. If using only TS or SA, put Herald of Agony here.
Fenumu's Weave. Best in slot, but very expensive.
Volkuur's Guidance (Lightning). If using Stormcloud/The Tempest version and stacking flat lightning damage.

Rare boots with 30% movement speed, Resistances and Life. Evasion based are the best choice.

Impresence (chaos). This is best in slot for amulet but its quite expensive (4+ ex now) and it would make Resistance caping a nightmare. Caping Strength for Kaom's Heart too.
Rare amulet with Accuracy, Life, Resistances, open prefix for flat Chaos/Lightning (if Volkuur's) Damage to Attacks (Elreon lv 7 craft).

Thief's Torment. Solves our Resistances, Mana and Life regen issues.
Rare rings with life, increased Chaos Damage, Resistances, Strength if using Kaom's Heart.

Rare Stygian Vise. Life, Resistances. Strength if using Kaom's Heart.

Maximum life.
Damage with Poison.
Attack speed with Bows/Attack speed.
Chaos damage.
Global Accuracy.
Resistances (unavoidable stat at least on 2 jewels)

Abyssal Jewels
Flat maximum Life.
Flat Lightning damage (if Volkuur's)
Accuracy Rating.
Attack speed.
Attack speed if you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently.
Onslaugh on Kill.
Accuracy Rating if you haven't Killed Recently.

Dying Sun. Top choice, boosts our clear and single target by a lot.
Witchfire Brew. Damage boost if not using Impresence.
Coralito's Signature. Another damage flask.
Quicksilver (Surgeon's and Adrenaline). Gota go faster.
Life flask (Catalysed/Panicked/Cautious/Seething) of Staunching.
Quartz Flask (Surgeon's). Phasing buff and more dodge. Put immunity to curses, shocks, poisons, freez.


We need to cap our chance to poison as soon as possible. Its a big deal. We will have to use Lesser Poison and then Poison to cap chance to Poison. So your first destination in the passive tree should be thowards Duelists area and take Master Fletcher, Toxic Strikes, Fatal Toxins for damage.
Next is Deadly Draw next to Ranger and Acrobatics.
Now head to the oposite end of the tree, Mind over Matter and Discipline and Training.
Pick up the rest, Life nodes, jewel slots, Mana nodes, Phase Acrobatics and Accuracy nodes (Acuity and Precision).

Any fast hitting bow/Stormcloud and anything you can find. Thief's Torment at lv 30 and then wheeeee.

Pantheons and Map modes

Soul of The Brine King with idealy all upgrades.
Soul of Garukhan with Stalker of the Endless Dunes upgrade. This is basicly only usable minor power.

Map mods
We can run any map mode but there are is one that makes our runs a bit annoying.
Monsters have a #% chance to avoid Poison - while it's not game breaker, it makes our run more difficult. Swap one gem to Poison Support or TS/SA for Toxic Rain.


Impresence. This is our biggest damage upgrade. It will be hard to cap Resistances and Strength for Kaom's Heart. You can use Rare Gloves for Resistance cap.
Kaom's Heart. You want to head thowards Kaom's Heart. It means get belt with 40+ Strength, amulet with some Strength, the more Strength you get on amulet the less or none you'll have to get on jewels. Also take +30 Strength in tree in Duelist's area.
+1 Arrow quiver. Damage boost, expensive.


+2 Tornado Shot secondary Projectiles - expensive.
+1 Barrage Projectiles - expensive.
Additional pod with Scourge Arrow - more clear.
Herald of Agony reduced Mana Reservation - more mana for MoM.

Gloves - not mandatory
Commandment of Blades on Hit - Physical projectiles that can poison.
Commandment of Fury and of Spite - Projectiles based on our weapon, so they can poison.
Commandment of War - minion that attacks and can apply poison.

Adds Chaos Damage if taken critical strike recently.
2% life regen if hit recently.
16% attack speed if killed recently.
10% movement speed if haven't been hit recently.
120% critical strike chance if haven't crit recently.


I hope you all will enjoy this build, it's quite a hipster build amongst all the Toxic Rains.

If any questions, leave them in this thread for everybody to see.

See you next time, delvers.

Other build guides of mine
Last edited by blekotacz on Dec 7, 2018, 4:43:50 AM
Last bumped on Jan 14, 2019, 5:56:50 AM
Nice to see someone write up a Scourge Arrow poison build finally. What part of this is theoretical and what part is something you have tested? I am only just getting into red maps and am running half-budget gear still, so I can't make too authoritative statements myself.

I loved the DPS discussion. Just one note about SA - it seems really tricky to achieve the theoretical DPS, since you have to release manually precisely in the moment you get the fifth stack. If you release too early (only 4 stacks) or too late (leave it hanging at 5 for a moment), you are leaking a lot of DPS. Quill Rain makes this much worse. Sadly the ability visual doesn't represent this too well, so you need to watch the counter if you want to be precise about this (at least that is my impression).

Leveling this character is a breeze - I just leveled as Toxic Rain with Quill Rain. The pod DoT is very strong, so you don't really need anything else. 4L is more than enough.

I am also not sure about pathing to MoM through the Witch area, pathing from the bottom through the Scion life wheel would make more sense IMO. The path itself is exactly as long (without counting the life nodes) and including the detour to the jewel socket. You won't get as much intelligence though, which is something I am struggling with.

I am liking Herald of Purity a lot in my version of SA. It adds a bunch of flat phys and the little minions make for an excellent protection since they taunt the enemies, letting you to unload your full DPS. I don't run MoM though, so I can afford to reserve must of my mana pool.

I will definitely look into this deeper when I get home.
Last edited by CommanderZ on Sep 11, 2018, 4:55:17 AM
SO far i did all the red maps and since i usualy farm Shaper i can tell this can do it also. With Uber Elder ill have to wait and see how far it takes me :)

The DPS of SA is in theoretical form just if we are using it as single target. Thats somewhere around 800k DPS with perfect timing but also stationary, always attacking etc. The same goes for barrage in every build with every skill. So yeah, your DPS will be a bit lower, but not drasticly and not just becouse bad timing but also from having to move from time to time.

Regarding MoM and pathing... i was doing some testing about his pathing and the results were almost the same. It has potential to use Might of the Meek jewel for a bit more life and better dealing with resistances so could be possibly used with Impresence amulet.

The whole point of MoM is that we use Thief's Torment so it doenst matter as much to have a lot of spare mana since we are getting mana back insanely fast. But sure, if you want more damage, there are other ways, i belive Haste would be better than HoP.
Last edited by blekotacz on Sep 11, 2018, 11:01:29 AM
what do you think about Rigwalds quill as quiver? would it be an option aswell?
I cant justify the price of that quiver for its value of this build. The fork sure helps with clear but so does pierce. if you have it, use it, but i find it better to sell and buy impresence for example or kaom's heart with corrupted %inc max life
im playing a CA trickster atm and got rigwalds quills as drop from "the Wolf" divinition card ^^ and using chaos impresence aswell ^^. thats why im asking :D. and i would like to try out your build aswell ^^
im in love with Poison Bow chars and cant wait to try out your build ( farming atm some more currency to respec) :D
Last edited by Odshadow on Sep 12, 2018, 1:06:39 PM
Looking into the PoB link. How do you know that u can stack 299 poison stacks?

- Isimode
Its not number of poison stacsks, its number of poison applied recently. I write about it in the guide. You know your attack per second, multiple it by number of projectiles, then * 4 seconds (recently) and * your hit chance (0.88) and you'll get number of poisons applied recently. ANd the reason it increases our dps is Noxious Strike. Each poison applied recently increases poison duration by 5%. So with 299 applied recently my poisons have 34.26s duration and with that i can have up to 436.9 poison stacks. I apply 74.8 poisons per second (APS*# of projs * hit chance) so im at max dps after 5.8 seconds. As long im attacking i am doing listed DPS. Clear?
Very nice! Thanks!

- Isimode

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