[3.5-3.12 + 3,18 HC] Pure Herald of Agony Jugg. All content. Videos+Link to 3.14 & 3.15 Updates

Most of this build is archival now, but I share here at the top a POB for an updated 3.18 version. The game has changed a great deal, and one really cant stand still forever without being pursued by some evil ground effect or mortar from an archnemesis mod. That said, as long as you are staying aware for those types of effects and moving when necessary, a lot of the old face-tank-the-world feel is still possible with the new version. I present the POB for the 3.18 Pure HOA Jugg, using Quill rain just like we used to.


Have fun,


Guide has been cleaned and updated with outdated or inaccurate info corrected and/or archived. Current through start of 3.12.

NEW UPDATE is now in the Duelist section, as we have switched the build from Jugg to Champ for 3.14 [and 3.15!] Here is the link to the new guide https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3103733

Original opening discussion from 3.5

I have been asked by a few people now to do a proper write up of this one.

First, a disclaimer--this is not an sc build. While it will level, under good conditions, at 150-200m xp/hour there are much faster clearing builds out there. This one is by and for hardcore, and is designed to have the best sustain I could figure out while still having the damage to be able to take down T16 maps and endgame bosses. [I used a similar, but not identical, build to take down Uber Elder almost deathless in standard, video of that is also linked below] It was designed out of my frustration with a rough league start in betrayal and desire to take revenge on Catarina. So far it has been living up to my hopes for it.

[edit] Several folks from sc have now provided feedback that they have, in fact, tried and enjoyed this build for taking on the content in Betrayal. Just proves how little I understand sc after all :>

[3.7 edit]
Did some post-nerf testing of the build at the end of Legion. Build not nerfed nearly as badly as I had feared. Still runs over T16s with any mods. Shaper and Guardians themselves a touch slower, but still perfectly solid. Succeeded with my first deathless Uber-Elder run with this build post-nerf (video 12 below). Planning to use as my starter for HC Blight. If any of the new gems or gear appear to provide upgrades, I plan to post as they are discovered.

[3.8 edit]
throughout the guide I will now also present sections on the dual wield cold iron point cyclone variation using fortify and self-cast vaal molten shell instead of dodge. Because of the way IC was nerfed when the guard skills were changed, molten shell now provides stronger defense. Dual wielding cold iron point takes the crawler back to stronger than it was before the last nerf. It's the most fun I've had in quite a while]

[3.9 edit]
I plan to update for 3.9 as we go along, but for starters here is the suggested lvl 94 tree: https://pastebin.com/8pjfF0bf I have also added a detailed set of suggestions for those of you planning to use the build in the upcoming hcssf race. This is under question 6 of the FAQ.

[3.10 edit]
After ripping almost a dozen times on other builds, I have gone back to basics in 3.10. With the addition of the Calamitous visions unique cluster jewel and the Pure Agony node on a medium jewel, the quill rain version is once again viable. Not the super-fast clear of some builds, but delightful for sitting in the middle of a T16 delirium. Current Pastebin is here: https://pastebin.com/8s99CPz0

Dramatic dps improvements upon adding in a second and third pure agony node. lvl 95 pastebin is here: https://pastebin.com/62LE09dv Drops to about 8.5k Life, but gains roughly 70% -more- damage over a single pure agony. (And even more when I respecced entirely to fit in a 4th while maintaining same-ish life total. POB: https://pastebin.com/JvrWQBPZ

[3.11 edit]
The version I am currently running in 3.11 feels the strongest the build has ever felt. Clocks in around 8.3-8.5k life with 3 Pure agonies + Calamitous visions. Adds in Enduring cry on left click once we take the Call to arms node (1 point for instant cast warcries. Placing it on left click causes enduring cry to activate automatically anytime we walk and it is off cooldown. Good intermittent extra defense and regen exactly when we need it (when we have stopped attacking to reposition) are a notable buff to the build.

Here is the POB for my current character: https://pastebin.com/SqY8LMEb

Please note that the offensive numbers are very misleading, as follows:
1. POB won't calculate the damage from any of the cluster jewels
2. POB won't calculate damage for over 40 stacks of virulence (we get 55)
3. POB doesnt automatically count the extra level from the Hunters Amulet

To get an accurate calc, First up the HOA level to 22 to account for the amulet. Then take the number from POB (Roughly 375k map clear dps/ 267k Shaper dps) and multiply first by 2.6 to account for the 15 extra virulence and then by another 1.27 to acccount for the increased damage on the cluster jewels and then by another 1.25 to account for calamitous visions. This yields around 1.5M Map clear dps and 1.1M Shaper dps. Which sounds about right given how the build feels.

Sirus lvl 5 down, Labyrinth of Opportunity Down, Currently in first place on the HC delve ladder. Build feels good to play this league.

3.12 Edit:
The changes in Gluttony and poacher's mark require a little adaptation.

Fix is to substitute Mark of submission with your favorite new hex with vulnerability or despair for the thief's torment and add a well rolled elder or hunter ring with solid LGOH for the second ring slot. The mark can later be replaced with a vuln on hit or despair on hit ring, available from delve nodes or rollable on a warlord influenced ring over ilvl 75 (vuln only). This will bring down our LGOH some, but it should remain solid enough for almost all purposes. The changes to Gluttony mean we can now rely on the belt alone to solve almost all mana problems, so setting aside thief's torment becomes viable. (Exception is situations where your only enemies are completely uncursable--some totem bosses for example. Have an enduring mana flask set aside for those in particular)

NOTE: The new gluttony can be a trap at low levels. It used to have a req lvl of 48. The req lvl is now 8, but the flat damage you take has not changed. Highly recommended to wait to equip gluttony until your life pool is comfortable. If equipping below 3k life or so, pay attention to the damage roll on the belt. There's a big difference at that level between 100 per dash and 200 per dash. This largely disappears later as your life climbs above 5-6k and you have regen to match.

Basic Overview:

Juggernaut using Quillrain-barrage to maintain Herald of Agony. At full build, most of the game is face-tankable, and all of the content can be completed with good play. [3.8 update: Can also Dual wield cold iron point with cyclone and golden rule to maintain HOA, using molten shell/vaal molten shell for excellent survivability]

Offense: Hard to calculate accurately in 3.10, but estimated at 600k/sec+ with ordinary gear, and the potential for over 1M/second with top end gear.


Life pool: 8k+ late endgame

Evasion: minimal from gear, but enough on the tree to give around 40-50% chance to evade with jade and stibnite flasks up. The remaining chance to hit is cut in half again for blinded enemies, either by the stibnite cloud or the on hit chance to blind, once we have it via jewel or quiver.

40% base dodge
30% base spell dodge
(vaal grace {not in use in current version})

7 End charges up perpetually via gluttony and dash
Archive from 3.5, outdated
7 end charges alternating w 3 second CWDT-IC renders us virtually immune to any physical damage that doesn't one shot.

LGOH: Life gain at full build is approximately 8k/second against bosses. Significantly more against groups.

Travels via Dash>Second wind>Blood magic

Videos (now including 3.11 Gameplay and deathless Sirus at lvl 5)

3.11 General Gameplay: QR vs. well rolled T15 Tower & lvl 83 Abyss

3.10 QR Variation vs lvl 5 Sirus, deathless

Cold Iron Variant

1.Deathless lvl 83 Catarina https://youtu.be/QoVvX8Rccpk
2.Shaper walkover https://youtu.be/SSwV4AjIgSI

Bow variant

Videos 1-6 were made with the 3.8 current version of the character. 7-11 are from a -less tanky- version with similar damage output from 3.7 last league, post death. 12 is post 3.9.

1. Facetanking lvl 68 Catarina:https://youtu.be/F4EsTtr5Ubo
2. Defeating lvl 83 Catarina: https://youtu.be/rzuZs-IzgMc
3. Delve Abyss & Kurgal Facetank:https://youtu.be/215ec4Vl06M
4. Deathless Shaper: https://youtu.be/LdLJQDSZRzQ
5. Deathless Hall of GMs https://youtu.be/GTSOAJjXdtI
6. Lvl 76 version vs. Corr. T13 Colosseum https://youtu.be/o-auWc5qf3c
7. Uber Elder (Almost deathless):https://youtu.be/p5WCf1Y8Pfw
8. Uber Purifier:https://youtu.be/OxyEFqXDyXA
9. Uber Eradicator:https://youtu.be/TAvTdotz4go
10. Uber Constrictor:https://youtu.be/uOKZy1xeIf0
11. Uber Enslaver:https://youtu.be/6JXNb0yHBI0
12. Deathless Uber Elder run post-nerf https://youtu.be/AvvgogLdpdI

Explanation of links:

A. Your sole real damage source will be herald of agony with the following links, as you level:

1. Up to level 34: HOA>Minion Damage>Damage on full Life>Pierce

2. Level 34-53: same set up, but use Wraithlord helm for a free lvl 3 empower

3. Level 54-mid-endgame: Shift to any Helm with +2 level of minion gems and useful stats

4. Mid-endgame-late endgame (T12+): Elder helm with +2 to minion levels and supported by minion damage. Links are HOA>DOFL>Pierce>Vicious Proj or lvl 3 empower.

5. Late Endgame: Same helm or +3 helm, lvl 4 empower and lvl 21 HOA (Now can also add awakened supports. Awakened Vicious proj should be superior to lvl 4 empower for most purposes.

Notes: Getting the equivalent of a 6L in the helm is important, because it allows the build to use Kaom's for the late endgame, which boosts survivability. Vicious proj and lvl 3 empower are roughly equivalent damage output. Level 4 empower is significantly superior, but very expensive. It is also possible to craft a 7L equivlaent helm using essence of insanity.

B. Your Herald of Agony will be powered by Barrage (lvl 1-3, no higher) used with Quill Rain, linked as follows:
1. Level 16-30 Barrage>LMP>Lesser poison>Life Gain on hit
2. Level 31-37 Barrage>LMP>Poison>Life Gain on hit
3. Level 38-53 Barrage>GMP>Poison>Life Gain on hit

4. Level 54-Late Endgame: Elder Gloves Supported by either Poison or faster attacks. Options for links are:
Better Defense Barrage>GMP>LGOH>whichever the gloves don't have.
Better Offense (supported by poison only) Barrage>GMP>LGOH>withering touch

5. Late Endgame: Elder Gloves supported by both Poison AND faster attacks. Link Barrage>GMP>LGOH>Withering Touch

[3.8 Edit] For the cold iron point variation, I recommend leveling to 62 using the above set ups. After 62, your HOA will be powered by cyclone dual wielding cold iron points. Links are Cyclone>LGOH>Poison>Faster attacks>Fortify>Withering touch, with faster attacks and poison ideally to come from gloves.

Notes: The set ups above are magnified defensively with a thief's torment ring and gluttony belt (More on these later). In the late endgame, you will have an attack rate of around 6/second firing 9 arrows per attack and gaining around 148 life per hit. As the build uses RT, every properly aimed arrow will hit. The result is life gain of around 8k/second, so long as you are hitting a valid target. Significantly more against groups once you have piercing on your quiver. As long as your life pool is adequate, this is sufficient to facetank 99% of the game. Specific exceptions are noted below. (Original variation had LMP in place of withering touch for over 10k/sec life gain. However it is not hard to maintain 15 stacks of withering touch via barrage, and this will boost damage against bosses by nearly 50% more--no brainer)

[3.8] edit: We drop gluttony in favor of maximizing armour for powering up molten shell/vaal molten shell] this no longer allows a completely facetank style (though this is still possible for most of the game) but requires some judgment re: where to step out of a fight until molten shell refreshes.

[3.10] edit: Resumed using gluttony with self cast steelskin for periodic extra defense

C. You will also have the following auxiliary gem setups in boots, armour and weapon:

Weapon (Either 6L or 4L/2L: Dash>Second Wind>Steelskin>Convocation>Increased duration>Blood Magic. If no 6L, make sure Dash>Second wind>convocation>Blood magic are linked and make sure steelskin>inc duration are linked.

Boots> 3L CWDT>Desecrate>Spirit offering and unlinked Arctic armour. Alternately, if you can get aspect of the spider, replace arctic armout with a linked increased duration, cold snap, or vortex, to your taste.

Archive old set up

Pre-Kaom's heart/6L helm/6soc Quill rain
1. Phase run>Vaal grace>Frost Wall>Increased duration
2. (Unlinked) War Banner, Arctic Armour, Convocation, Blink Arrow/Flame Dash
3. CWDT (lvl 1)>IC (lvl 3)>Desecrate (lvl 7)>Spirit Offering (lvl 8)

Post-Kaom's heart/6L helm/6 soc Quill rain (with kaoms heart we lose the space for the banner and with the top end helm we don't have enough mana to reserve for the banner and still have smooth play):
1. Now is the time to take the minion nodes to replace the accuracy from war banner with the minion accuracy on the tree. If you upgrade your gear and drop war banner without taking the minion accuracy nodes, you will see a significant drop in performance, even though your technical dps goes up.
2. 6 socket Quill rain, 5 linked: Phase Run>Vaal Grace>Blink Arrow>Increased duration>Convocation, Arctic Armour
3. 4L boots:CWDT>IC>Desecrate>Spirit offering

a. CWDT/IC: With the jugg ascendancies and gluttony belt, you will maintain 7 endurance charges effortlessly. When IC procs, it will last slightly over 3 seconds, which is almost always enough time to be back up to 7 endurance charges by the time it is complete. [3.8 edit IC has been nerfed to no longer provide perfect uptime. Still playable, but there will be brief defensive gaps. For this reason, now prefer molten shell]

b. Desecrate/Spirit Offering: 23% more damage with good uptime, given our largely face tank playstyle.

c. Frost Wall: Required for fighting Shaper (protect Zana phase) and Elder (Protect Shaper phase) otherwise left unused. After you equip Kaom's Heart, save your leveled frost wall and sub it in for convocation during the necessary fights. This is the only reason for a 5L quill rain-so frost wall will link to increased duration when you sub it in for convocation.

d. War Banner: Accuracy is a big deal for HOA. War Banner allows us to leave the minion wheel accuracy nodes until late endgame, after we have a 6L helmet. Just leave it turned on and never plant it.

e. Convocation: important QOL for placing the crawler where you need it.

f. Blink Arrow, Arctic Armour, Vaal Grace: should be self explanatory. [Post 3.7 edit--since the upgrade to the cast time on flame dash, I have a definite personal preference for flame dash over blink arrow. This is a matter of taste and ymmv, since flame dash provides no decoy]

Explanation of Gear

1. Quill Rain: BIS for keeping Virulence at max and defensively for life gain. Nothing else comes close

2. Thief's torment: BIS for Life gain while also solving mana problems, solid for rezzes and useful in cutting harm done by curses. Item quant is icing. Improveable through attack mod catalysts.

3. Gluttony: lvl 30 poachers mark provides a non trivial 34 life gain and 15 mana gain per hit, and applies to hexproof enemies. Belt also adds to effective accuracy of the crawler and provides cull. Downside of the belt is well mitigated by Jugg ascendancies/CWDT>IC setup. Damage from belt allows us to self proc jugg endurance charge gain by using blink arrow or phase run so that all boss fights begin with 7 charges. This also makes it trivial to maintain 7 charges at almost all times.

4. Gloves: Level with Ondar's until your first pair of elder gloves

5. Helm: Level from 34 with wraithlord (Earliest available +2 minion gems helm by 20 levels) for easy clear. The helm pictured is overkill. If crafting with insanity essence, the insanity mod and either +2/+3 minion gem levels OR supported by minion damage is sufficient. Though the 7L helm is nice if you can get it. When bound fossils are less expensive, craft with those instead looking for supported by minion damage and +2/+3 minion gem levels.

6. Quiver: Level from 10 with Hyrri's bite until you don't need it for stats. A piercing quiver is a buff offensively since poacher's mark will apply one extra row deep, and defensively as it allows LGOH to hit one extra row deep. Bonus points if it has a chance to blind on hit mod, but you can get this on an abyss jewel. Maim on hit from a large cluster jewel with smite the weak is a fun posibility also.

7. Armour: Ambu's charge is a good budget option until you can afford something with a solid life roll. Late endgame goal is a Kaom's.

8. Ammy, boots: Life & Res. Atziri's step are a good option if you are going the dodge route once you can get adequate resists on other gear (will need significant resists on jewels to make this work.

9. Flasks:
a. Forbidden Taste is important, and provides back up for those moments when you are out of enemies or fighting a boss that has become untargetable and suffer a severe hit or DOT.

b. Stibnite and Jade together with a fair bit of evasion on the tree provide a solid base defense against attacks. I prefer warding on the stib because it almost never runs out. Staunch on the Jade.

c. Quartz: Provides some extra dodge defensively and good uptime for grounding or dousing (matter of taste/particular enemy or map)

10. Jewels (not pictured): 3-4 Cluster jewels containing Pure Agony, with at least one disciples as a secondary. Calamitous visions unique cluster jewel. Volley fire unique cluster jewel with corrupted blood cannot be inflicted once affordable (for fighting Sirus).

For other jewels, prioritize Life and filling out resists. I also recommend one abyss jewel with flat life and any chance to blind. Secondarily Bow attack speed is useful.

11. Optional: Aspect of the Spider can replace Arctic armour to good effect. stronger offensively and provides additional defense by slowing enemies via hinder. This can be magnified -significantly- if you also get maim on hit either via a crafting the mod on a warlord's penetrating quiver or by using smite the weak from a large cluster jewel. The combination of maim and hinder together is one of my favorite defensive set-ups in the game, when I can manage it.

Cold Iron Points Variation Gear List:

Not pictured is Golden Rule unique jewel

Additional notes
1. Cold Iron Points: The extreme power up from the Cold Iron Points made them BIS in 3.8 and 3.9

2. Golden Rule: Makes it possible to maintain 40 stacks of virulence easily when using melee weapons, since the reflected poisons also count toward those stacks. Make sure you have enough chaos res/regen to mitigate the effects. Use great caution is you are going to use this while leveling, before taking regen nodes and ascendancy. Recommend for this purpose a pair of fidelitas's spikes (no physical damage) and a jewel with a little added phys or chaos.

3. Use vicious proj until you can afford an empower.

Archived original gear set:

Gear List:

Skill Tree:

3.11 lvl 96 Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/yN3pgWBB

Cold Iron Points version

[3.8 edit] New POB at lvl 92: https://pastebin.com/50tef2sz
Notes: Prioritize Dex/int, rezzes, life, charges (after cruel ascendancy), armour. Exception is Adamant, which I would take as soon as you feel comfortable with enough life, as the QOL from the cooldown in front of it is excellent.

[3.9 edit] New lvl 94 POB, tree only https://pastebin.com/8pjfF0bf.

[3.10 edit]

3. Pure Agonies 8.5k life lvl 95 pastebin: https://pastebin.com/62LE09dv

4 Pure Agonies 8.2k life lvl 95 pastebin: https://pastebin.com/JvrWQBPZ

Archived old variations:

POB Pastebin to lvl 89 version: https://pastebin.com/AbYwPifA
POB Pastebin to lvl 95 version: https://pastebin.com/1V1runuy

Notes: Between lvl 89 and 95, I was pushing delve hard. Around level 350-375, things began to become a bit more dangerous. I tried a respec in which I gave up around 500 max life (from ~9600 to ~9100) for more attack speed and a little more minion accuracy and I was pleased with the resulting feel and continued on down. As of this writing, I am at depth 401 and in second place on the solo delve ladder for HC betrayal. My sense is that beyond a certain point, attack speed is more important for survivability than raw life, at least in certain types of encounters. My guess/feeling is that the breakpoint is in the neighborhood of 9k life, but that is far from scientific.

Bandits: Kill all

Ascendancies in order:

Unstoppable (stun avoidance key to maximizing value of LGOH)

For Cold Iron Points variant, if stacking armour, swap the last two


If going QR gluttony & dodge, Lunaris/Tukohama.
If stacking armour and going CIP: Solaris Ralakesh

Leveling Advice:

1. Early Leveling:
Use whatever you find easy. At league start I use smite>Ancestral call. Once I have gear, I like Ice shot>Pierce>Volley>Mirage archer. On tree, your first stop is the dodge cluster. It is a ways off, but provides a massive survivability boost.

2. Next Steps:
Don't be tempted by the minion nodes. You don't need them as long as you are running war banner. Grab life and then grab Endurance charges when you do your cruel ascendancy. You will also grab Resolute technique around this time. Then more life until you are ready to take your final helm/kaom's upgrades.

3a. If you are running Cold Iron points, you will not be using pure agony cluster jewels. Cyclone has been shown to have a difficult time getting over 40 stacks of virulence, even with golden rule and one disciples. If you become wealthy, we theorize that three Pure Agony/Disciples jewels might allow the CIP version to maintain 55 stacks of virulence, but I am unaware of anyone trying it yet. Otherwise, you will want a calamitous visions jewel as soon as one becomes available.

3b If you are running the Quill rain version, you will want one pure agony jewel slotted early, with calamitous visions as an add on. The second and third pure agony can wait until you are in your 70s and 80s respectively. I would not try to slot a 4th one sooner than 92-95 depending on your other gear /cluster jewels. As a personal preference, I would focus on having over 8k life before slotting the 4th pure agony. (And the jury is still out on whether the 4th pure agony is really necessary)

4. Late Game: When you upgrade to a 6L helm, If you are going with armour grab the minion accuracy nodes and drop war banner (since you wont be able to afford the mana anymore). Then keep improving your life pool. If you are going gluttony/dodge you may not need accuracy, depending on the final level of your HoAg due to the effects of poachers mark. Decide by feel how much you need. may be efficient to find this on jewels.

Notable Non-Facetankables:

1. Atziri / Uber Atziri trio/Vaal Temple: Do -not- leave the dual striker for last. With this build, actually, a'alai is safest left for last. When the dual striker is last and enrages he has a virtually unique effect that does flat damage to anyone who attacks him, even at range, on a per hit basis. This may still be ok for regular trio, but against the Uber trio or Vaal Temple trio, you will kill yourself, as the damage, after mitigation, per a GGG representative (because i thought it might have been a bug) is around 900 per hit. At 54 hits a second . . . . As a sidenote, don't stand in the empowered flame blasts or empowered lightning circles, as these can do sufficient overlapping damage to one-shot.

2. Hall of GMs: There are GMs with enough dodge/block to reduce your number of hits per second, and hence life gain, sufficiently for them to kill you. Particularly some that use scorching ray can be extremely dangerous. There are GMs with tempest shield that will damage you with every hit from barrage. There are also GMs with sufficient regen that you won't be able to kill them with your normal set up. To get past these last two, kill all the other gms around, and then have a weapon swap ready to balefire and and a shield that replaces the resists on your quiver. For my run I used Prism Guardian, but any shield with enough res will do.
You will be able to burn the GM down with balefire, then swap back to the normal set up. Hall of GMs is completable, but it is definitely not trivial content, even for this build.

3. Shaper:
a. Shaper critting on a slam can still one shot us, though a 9k life pool with 7 end charges up will tank an ordinary slam.
b. Facetanking the slow orbs is dubious as they come quickly with significant cold pen. It is also unnecessary.
c. During his teleporting orb phase, there is nothing to attack, so we can die.
d. With practice, you can use strategically placed frost walls to protect Zana long enough for the crawler to kill all the adds. I did not find this to be trivially easy, but I have managed it successfully. Without frost wall, the crawler is too slow. If Zana dies, abort the run or you will too.

4. Uber-Elder (Elder):
a. Either Elder or Shaper Slam can one-shot on a crit. Likewise Elder's slow expanding circle. Also, there is enough chaotic damage coming from various sources that you may not be at full health when the slam comes in. (this is how I died during the uber-elder video posted above)
b. Shaper's balls as above.
c. Honorable mention to the Enslaver. He can inflict a sufficiently powerful ignite that if he happens to crit with it just as you kill him, you will see your health plummet. If you are out of dousing flask charges/forbidden taste charges at such a moment, it is possible to die.

5. Any Red Map/deep delve/syndicate mob that crits hard enough with a sufficient number of added damage mods. This one is an assumption.

6. Anything that gets you with a rapid succession of hits when you are repositioning and not attacking, though dodge will help mitigate this.


1. Wouldn't rain of Arrows be Better?

No. ROA is great when you have packs and on bosses with adds. It is not so great when there is a single high end boss to fight. Barrage is your friend.

2. Um . . . there isn't enough mana to run grace and Herald of Agony . . .?
You are correct. You are not meant to actually run grace. The gem is only slotted for the use of vaal grace, which when linked with inc duration gives you nearly ten seconds of being extremely tanky to help with sticky situations.

3. My spirit offering isn't proccing all the time, wtf?

CWDT linked skills proc in clockwise order from the CWDT. Make sure your desecrate is before your spirit offering in the order and this should fix the problem.

4. I met something that I can't seem to poison, is this a bug?
There are rare enemies that have enough physical/chaos damage reduction that you may not be able to poison them with your normal setup. This can usually be fixed by simply removing your GMP gem and finishing the fight. For those very few enemies for which this does not work, replace Poison with Lesser Poison and then finish the fight. A leveled Lesser Poison gem has enough flat chaos damage to fix this problem in every case I have encountered.

Notable places this situation may occur are Deliriums over a certain percentage or with phys/chaos resistant mobs in the simulacrum, the empowered version of Shavronne/Brutus in Act VI and the fully enraged Rhoa/Skeletal Rhoa in maps. Also, when partying with someone of lower level with level downscaling enabled, just switch to lesser poison. The downscaling can nerf your damage to the point where the ordinary set up will be unable to poison anything.

5. Could I use a wand and shield instead? I like block.

You can, but you sacrifice a dramatic amount of the LGOH that makes the build feel so tanky. Dodge is better than block in this build anyway. Quill Rain FTW.

6. Can I ssf with this build?

Answer for 3.9 HC SSF race

Leveling from a cold league start in ssf:

I believe it would be challenging, but it can definitely be made to work. All necessary leveling gear is craftable.

1. Begin with Smite and Grab ancestral call at lvl 4, followed by ancestral protector for extra damage. Add links to both skills as you are able. For leveling I would use:
Smite>ancestral call>melee phys>LGOH (or replace LGOH with added fire if you feel confident)
Ancestral Protector>melee phys>added fire>faster attacks

2. As you go along, If you don't find a reasonable drop of a melee weapon soon, buy a rustic sash, turn it blue (later yellow) and do the phys weapon recipe on a level appropriate weapon as you level. (Weapon+sash+weapon scrap) You will be on smite until lvl 31 or so. The totem will help with bossing.

3. Keep your eyes open for any short bow with links to save for later. Bonus if it has attack speed. While the build wants QR eventually, an ordinary shortbow will level just fine up to maps.

4. When you get to the library you will be able to buy all of your gems. Don't switch over just yet, but socket them on your weapon swap and let them level a bit until they catch up

5. Make yourself a Hyrri's bite; I believe it's a white sharktooth quiver, yellow onyx ammy, rain of arrows gem with at least 1% qual, and a chance orb.

6. Make yourself a +minion gem level helm if one doesn't drop for you. Blue helmet+life flask of animation+alt

6a. If you need to craft yourself that flask, it's: life flask+bone spirit shield+transmute orb.

The short bow, quiver with Barrage>poison>LGOH>LMP/GMP and HOA>minion damage>DOFL>Pierce (in a +minion gem level helm) will see you all the way to maps.

Bonus post mapping section;

Hoard your chance orbs (and scours) as you go beecause you are going to use them to make at least two uniques if they don't drop: Quill rain and thief's torment.

Farm for a set of porcupine cards. (Turn in for a 6L shortbow). Chance/scour yourself a 6L QR. Put your barrage links here for now.

Save every white 2stone ring past ilvl 30. Combine all 3 types to get a white prismatic ring. Chance these until you get your thief's torment.

Delve for bound fossils. Once you find an elder helm, bound/scour until you get your 6L.

Delve for Abberant fossils. Once you find elder gloves, Abberant/scour until you get your 6L.

If you are feeling really dedicated: farm a set of king's heart cards and turn in for your Kaoms.

Hope this helps. I expect SSF to be extra challenging, but the build is definitely doable with sufficient dedication (and a little recipe knowledge).


Old Answer

Challenging, but yes. Quill rain is really non-negotiable for late game, but you can do the rest of the build via crafting/fossil crafting and quill rain is not hard to chance. Someone did an experiment and estimated it's about 1 in 175. You can do this on every short bow you can find or buy from vendors--save your chance orbs. Since you don't need a 6L, just a 6soc, you can add the extra sockets via jews later. Early leveling will be fine even without QR--just look for the best attack speed bow you have access to without worrying too much about other stats.

Thief's torment and gluttony are significant upgrades, but the build can function without them. Farm for elder rings when you get to maps and craft with Pristine fossils to get life gain on hit. Spend your first 20 GCPs to quality your LGOH gem. For the mana, you will need to take revelry early, and then craft jewels using alts to get the +mana on hit affix. You will know when you have slotted enough of those by feel. Until then, you will need a mana flask.

For the helm and glove fossil crafting, you won't have the leveling uniques, but I can confirm that the build will work fine without them up through low-mid maps, since i have done something similar as a league start. Once you get to maps, you will farm for elder helms and gloves and you will farm for sulphite to delve for the fossils you need. The craft for the gloves is a corroded/aberrant & or shuddering fossil. The craft for the helm is a bound fossil. Last league I was able to self craft both the 6 link gloves and helm using this method.

7. What changes do I make for SC with infinite currency?

a. Drop Kaoms in favor of a 6L Coming Calamity. Slot HOA there with these links: HOA>Minion Damage>DOFL>Pierce>Vicious Proj>Empower.
b.. Drop Arctic Armour in favor of hatred+Generosity. This will require all of the aura reservation reduction nodes we are already next to (4 nodes) or a lvl 3-4 enlighten (expensive).

Per POB, the overall result will boost your damage by approximately 60%--you will hit close to 1M dps, 750k Shaper dps. It will drop your maximum life pool from +/-9500 at lvl 95 to +/- 7500 at lvl 95. This version is more likely to find places it can be one shot, but you might enjoy it more in SC.

Alternatively if you have infinite currency but still want the tanky feeling of Kaom's, get an ilvl86 elder helm base and a large stack of insanity essences. Craft until you roll this, or the equivalent:

8. Is Dodge really that important? It seems like a lot of travel nodes.
(3.8 edit: Dodge version is still possible, but molten shell version is preferred for the cyclone version post 3.7 nerfs to IC) (3.10 back to using dodge/gluttony for the QR version and because many of the more lethal delirium situations involve many smaller attacks instead of one large slam)
Here is the math on why we take dodge: Let's say you have 9k life and lets leave aside the possibility of one shots which, though they can happen, are actually very rare. Let's also leave aside your life gain for the moment and just assume that you die when you suffer that total damage Without dodge, you die when the mobs hit you for 9k.

Attack dodge Math: If you have 40% dodge, then when the mobs have normally done 9k damage, you have on average sustained only 60% of that, or 5.4k. in order to kill you, on average they now must do 15k damage (15k, reduced by 40%=9k). It gets more ridiculous when you add in vaal grace. While that is up and running, you have 74% dodge. For the mobs to do 9k damage while vaal grace is up, they now have to do on average a little over 34.5k. This is true whether they are doing physical, elemental, or chaos damage as long as it is attack based.

Spell dodge math: If they are using spells, they have it a little easier, since you start with only 30% spell dodge. Still, they have to do, on average. 12.8k damage without vaal grace and 25k with vaal grace.

There are no other nodes on the tree that provide this kind of extra magical survivability (unless you are playing a block/spell block champion). And while they are trying to do that much damage, you get to heal at a rate of 8k/sec as long as you are attacking.

9. Why sacrfice all that armour to use gluttony? Are you an idiot?
(3.8 edit: Dodge/Gluttony version is still possible, but Molten shell defense is now preferred after 3.7 nerfs to IC.) Answering the second part first, I hope not. But if that was your reaction, go check out the POE wiki on how armour actually works. Here's the short recap on why we use gluttony in this build:

a. The phys damage reduction from armour is not absolute. Armour becomes less effective against bigger hits. Armour works best mitigating against many smaller hits. See the wiki for more details.

b. We could care less about many smaller hits as long as they are mitigated to below 8k damage/second. which is almost always the case with 7 endurance charges + dodge/spell dodge and our other defensive layers.

c. The phys damage mitigation from endurance charges _is_ absolute. It is much more effective against the large hits we are concerned about than armour.

d. For phys, we are only concerned about enough damage to one-shot us. With an 9k life pool, full ascendancies, and 7 endurance charges up (leaving aside arctic armour and the tukohama ascendancy, since they are both conditional) this would require a single physical hit of 15k damage. Outside of avoidable wind up boss mechanics with crit, nothing hits that hard. (edit-I finally found a mob that could one shot through this down on lvl 537 of delve. It had 100%+added fire, 100%+added lightning, several other mods and the mob itself had powerful crits)

e. Gluttony is not just another 34 life/15 mana per hit, it is also:
i. a roughly 10% more damage multiplier via cull which eliminates the most difficult moments of many boss fights.
ii. a guarantee of being able to get back to full endurance charges without requiring an enemy to hit us (via the damage we take when using a move skill proccing the jugg ascendancy.
iii. a significant accuracy boost to the crawler (since Poacher's mark debuffs mob's evasion)

10. Are there any map mods we can't run?
No. If you start adding more than 2-damage mods to red maps you may need to be slightly more cautious, but this build can run every mod and combination of mods. Alc and go your T16s, ignore reflect, etc.

11. Post 3.8: Which version is stronger, Quill rain or Cold Iron Points?

"Stronger" is a tough adjective to decide, as each has pros and cons. But I would rate them this way on the things that are important to us:

Raw survivability goes to the QR version. The QR version is the one I have been able to to do uber-elder with deathless multiple times now. I could not manage it with the CIP version because (for me) the life gain just wasn't there. At peak, it's the difference between a bit over 8k life gain/sec with QR (without fortify) and around 1800 life gain/sec on the CIP version (with fortify). Fortify just doesnt make up the difference. That said, 1800/sec plus your regen of +/- 1k/sec at full build is plenty for most purposes in the game. As a side note, the QR version gets an extra 90+ flat life (which will translate into over 300 life at full build) and other stats from the quiver slot that the CIP version gives up.

Manuverability goes to the CIP version. The fact that you generate stacks while moving can make some fights feel easier, even though the raw survivability is less.

Clear Speed goes to the CIP version, for both general map clear and for every-boss-except-uber-elder, but not by as much as you might think. The difference between a lvl 22-24 HOA (QR) and a lvl 31-33 HOA (CIP) is significant, but not as much as is implied by the level numbers. This is because the CIP version both gives up vicious proj and also maintains only +/- 7.5 stacks of wither vs. the full 15 stacks maintained by the bow version. The CIP version also achieves 40 stacks slower and spends less time, overall at a full 40 stacks, usually hovering 30-35. According to my back-of-a-napkin rough calculations, I would expect the CIP version, at full build, to average roughly 60% more damage, depending on the circumstances.

[3.10 update on Clear Speed]: Pure agony cluster jewel nodes can now make up for the damage difference and then some. the QR version can fully support 3 pure agony nodes against only a single target (maintaining 55 stacks) and can support 4 nodes with the addition of disciples. The CIP version, even with Golden Rule and 1 disciples will have a difficult time maintaining over 40 stacks against a single target. I have not tested this version with 3 or more disciples. I theorize that the CIP version with 3-4 Pure agony nodes AND 3-4 disciples nodes would be most powerful of all, offensively, but I haven't yet tried it out. This will be expensive.

Overall At the end, like so many things, it's really a matter of taste. Having played both multiple times through the game now I think for me it would really be a matter of what mood I was in. Though I will say that even if I were using the CIP version, I would probably switch over to a QR setup to do uber-elder. Post 3.10 I have a definite preference for the QR version until I am able to test CIP with at least 3 disciples nodes.

12. Can I try to change it in some way?
YES. No matter what it is. These guides are only ever meant to be a jumping off point. Go and experiment and learn something new about the build and come back here and post it for the rest of us. If it sounds like fun try it.

13. The leveling section of your guide was kinda TLDR. Can you give some step by step leveling advice?
Re Leveling: There are many ways to do this, but here is a brief guide to what I feel is the most straightforward. I note changes I make to Gear at -roughly- certain levels. None of this is set in stone, and many substitutes are available.


Gems: Smite>ruthless
Weapon: Low: any (Last Resort x2)
Rings: Blackheart x2
Helm: Goldrim
Armour Any (Tabula)
Shoes: Wanderlust

4: Add
Gems: Smite>Ruthless>Ancestral call>Onslaught
Movement: Dash
Guard: Steelskin

5: Add
Amulet: Karui Ward
Gloves: Ondars

6: Change Weapons to:
Med: Screaming Eaglex2

10: Add Enduring Cry

16: Add Herald of Ash

18: Add
Gems: Smite>Ancestral Call>Melee Phys>Onslaught>(Added fire)>Faster Attacks
Off hand/spare gems slots: Begin leveling 7 copies of Herald of Agony

22: Weapon: Quecholli

31: Begin Hoag and change gear and links as follows (Drop anything not listed):

Weapon: Quill rain
Quiver: Hyrri's Bite
Ring: Thief's torment
Amulet: Whatever stats you are missing, probably int
Helm: Any (Baron)
Jewel: Volley Fire

Gem links:
Hoag>Pierce>Damage on Full life>Minion damage (in +minion gem levels helm)
Barrage (lvl 3 or less)>Poison>LMP>Life Gain on hit>(Faster attacks)
Dash>Second Wind>Convocation>Steelskin>(Blood magic)
Enduring Cry>Inc Duration>Blood Magic
War Banner

34: If you couldn't afford a Baron, start using Wraithlord here for Helm slot

38: Change Barrage links to:
Barrage>Poison>GMP>Life Gain on Hit>(Withering Touch)>(Faster Attacks)

48+: Add gluttony belt. Switch to Penetrating Quiver when you can afford losing the stats from Hyrri's Bite.

68+: Add in high end gear as you can afford in roughly this priority order

Elder Gloves Supported by Poison
Kaom's Heart (Change out gem links to match POB here)
Insanity Elder Helm with either +minion gem levels or Supported by Min Damage
6s 5L Quill Rain
Elder Gloves Supported by Poison & Faster Attacks
Anything else pictured in POB


1. Follow the curving road as it wends its way out to the left, across the the bottom and up the right to Acro and Phase Acro. In this first phase, stop along the way only to pick up the major life nodes, call to arms, and to slot Volley fire in a normal jewel slot in the middle to right side of the tree.

2. Proceed next up to Purity of flesh, which will help solve the int you need and grab you some needed Chaos res.

3. Grab one of the cluster jewels and slot your first Pure agony. Add Calamitous visions also, if you can afford at this stage.

4. Grab all 3 extra endurance charge nodes

5. Focus on life nodes until lvl 80 or so

6. Around 80 (or when it feels comfortable, or when you can afford it) take your second cluster jewel with Pure Agony

7. Around 94-95 take your third cluster jewel with Pure Agony. When you do, also take the extra 10% chance to poison node in the lower right (it isn't really relevant until here).

Hope some of you who have found Betrayal frustrating in hc (like I did) have a chance to enjoy it more with this build.

[3.8 edit] The Cold iron points provide a new, fun alternative. The cyclone style does want more play skill to use and takes a bit of practice, but i have found it very enjoyable. Good Luck!

Last edited by Orion72 on Jul 25, 2022, 5:13:20 AM
Last bumped on Dec 7, 2021, 8:14:19 AM
Wow I'm playing a nearly identical build.
I can fully vouch for this build works brilliantly.

Last edited by Kurzonate on Dec 19, 2018, 5:27:13 AM
Updated Gear at lvl 90:

Updated Tree in pastebin

Not pictured is one unique jewel, an 8% anatomical knowledge slotted in the upper left jewel slot.

Last edited by Orion72 on Dec 19, 2018, 8:45:26 AM
In the barrage set up, I am currently experimenting with withering touch
instead of LMP as the 6th link. Improves dps significantly at the expense of some life gain.


Edit: Can confirm from lvl 93 that 8k/sec life gain appears to still be more than enough. Withering touch for the 6th link is a definite. Guide has been updated.

Last edited by Orion72 on Dec 21, 2018, 6:35:21 PM


ım curently leveling event after 20 level its starting to show :)
easy for leveling ..
crawler is beatifull with herald effect :P

And @Orion72 .. this guy just perfect.. always answering to me and helping for understand the build ..

p.s:( sorry for my english not main leanguage.. )
Extra Tech: An Abyss jewel with even 3% chance to blind enemies on hit will give you, on average, slightly over 1 blinding hit per second with barrage. Just equipped one with flat life and 6% blind and every enemy that doesn't die instantly is blinded. Guide has been updated. This is a buff. :>

Last edited by Orion72 on Dec 20, 2018, 3:45:58 PM
Yeah dude, i have a champion using a very similar setup. This build very effective. I'm loving it so much that i'll probably make this Jugg version as well now.
Whats better for HC on this build Jugg or champ? which one is better at surviving? and why?

Great build idea btw, feels way smoother than glad cyclone/hoa
Re: Jugg vs. champ in HC

Assuming as a champ we would take unstoppable hero, fortitude, inspirational, and first to strike, I would say it is a fair question.

Both have the necessary stun avoidance, and the endgame trees could be very similar. Champion will have slightly better offense since enemies will be intimidated and he could potentially keep war banner into the endgame by giving up the increased duration slot. Perma fortify even puts the champion in a slightly better place vs. elemental hits, since he will get 20% reduction vs. the Jugg's 5%-13% (depending on whether the Jugg is at full end charges that moment) at full build.

But, for hc, there is no comparison between how the two handle incoming physical damage, and most of the big knockout hits are at least part phys. The champion has fortify. The jugg, because of the ascendancy that gains back endurance charges when damage is taken, and the use of a lvl 1 CWDT>IC, is functionally immune to any physical damage except for a one shot, even after we eliminate all the "armour" by using gluttony. And you have to go a long way to find a one shot that can do over 9k damage after it's been reduced by 40% (which is the Jugg's phys reduction at full build, full end charges) or 53-61% if stationary due to arctic armour and Tukohama ascendancy.

So for HC, I choose and recommend the Jugg. (And glad you like the build idea)

Last edited by Orion72 on Dec 21, 2018, 6:39:55 PM
I am playing it right now and love it, i played full block glad hoa last league but couldnt keep full stacks with cyclone, but with this i keep em on bosses i meant
Another question, is barrage better than rain of arrows? which gives more loh and gets stacks faster?


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