[3.7] Winter Orb League Starter Build - Leveling Guide - All Content Done in 3.5 and 3.6


This guide aims to give you a basic, playable and powerful Winter Orb build which is able to kill almost everything in the game. And with a little effort truly everything!
Since it is set up as a league starter it requires absolutely NO superrare or superexpensive items. You can buy some with currency later but this build will also work on a use what you find basis.
It grows into a very good endgame build as you obtain items and currency.

Me and this build did our first UberElder UberAtziri and 100% Atlas completion in 3.5. And it was cheaper and more efficient than any other build I played before. This build allows you to find the items it needs by itself. You do not need a headhunter or a superrare unique. It is playable with only rare items if it has to be done - and all of those can be selffound. None of them need to be perfect or superexpensive!

I do not min max this build but keep it broad and open to personal changes. The reason being: I do not want you to have to trade too much or wait for that one special item to be affordable for you. Take Inpulsas Chest for example. It is a very good unique, but it is only slightly better than a Carcass Jack for this build. Carcass Jack is usually way cheaper. But even a Rare chest will get the job done! Because it will probably provide you with more defenses. you don't have a 6 Link chest? Fine, use a 5 Link - just 20% less powerful and you can still kill guardians with it.
The build focuses a little on Critical Strike Damage, but whether you use Scepters with very little crit, Wands with medium crit or very high crit Daggers is up to you. All options are playable!
The point is: I want you to be able to play and love this build no matter how mediocre your gear is.

Table of Content
* Introductions
1. Pros and Cons of this build
2. Current Patch Info
3. Additional Infos
4. Mechanics of this build
5. Current and past Gear
6. Gear options for each slot (Order of Upgrading for expensive items)
7. Tree - Ascendancy - Bandits - Pantheon
8. Gem Links

1. What's nice about this build?
  • 6k life and more
  • HC viable*
  • SSF viable
  • Very high damage - single target and AoE
  • Easy to play
  • Good starter build
  • Easy to gear

I don't play hc a lot. Leveling definitely works if you know how to adjust for survivability. Late game there are quite some oneshot mechanics that will give you a headache. Especially since leech changed it is herder to survive red maps and bosses.

Farming potential:
  • Lab (not superfast but fast)
  • red Elder Shaper and their Guardians
  • all the maps
  • Uber Elder requires you to know the fight

I cannot:
  • Elemetal reflect

Depending on gear:
  • No regen or less regen (is fine with a mana flask)
  • phys reflect (is fine as long as you don't use +phys damage to spells abyss jewels)
  • No MF-specific build

Current Patch 3.7 Info

I am playing SSF this league so I am way slower to progress.
poeurl.com/cunl this is my level 91 tree.
Be wary that it is my personal tree. the majority of points goes for everyone tho

A few changes to Skills have occurred:
Warlords Mark: now only works with Attack Hits. Since this build never performs an attack hit it is useless now. So no life and mana leech for spellcasters any more. Bereks' Ring is a good option to leech anything. However not a full replacement of Warlords Mark
Arctic Breath: stays in place now. Which means it no longer hovers towards enemies keeping them in the AoE. I tried playing with it and have now replaced it entirely with Vaal Cold Snap.

Gearing stays pretty much the same apart from the warlords mark curse on the elder ring. Which means we are a lot more cheaper now - also means no leech...
If you are interested here is my 3.7 gear. No Shaper done yet, yellow elder done and two guardians. I don't see a problem with shaper for now. Even without the Shapers Mark ring the build feels quite rounded.

I am still optimizing for 3.7
Since I have not as much time to play atm it might take a bit. However the build is still 100% playable and cheap and nice.
As you can see it works fine in SSF.
I am also debating whether I should keep Beacon of Ruin since it got changed and feels a lot less useful now. Paragon of Calamity would definitely be a plus for life leech and ele reflect maps.
Screenshot of SSF Progression

3. Additional Info

Leveling guide is in second post in this thread. if you feel lazy click here

Outdated Video Guide: here
(might still be useful)

3.7 Lootfilter if you need one:
Yellow Maps or above recommended only! Do not use this as a league starter Filter. It'll only show endgame rares and no scrolls. ready to use but adjustment is advised.

4. Mechanics of this Build

Just like Blade Vortex, Right click charge up to 10 run in circles around bosses. A lot of boss mechanics and Sydicate mechanics can be dodged by just walking in circles.
Winter Orb attacks faster at stage 10! So your main focus is to keep it at 10 during boss fights. Move a little, cast, rinse repeat.
Your second Spell is there to lower enemies defenses by applying Bonechill to them.
Your Heralds do the AoE Damage and apply curses if used.
Your Golem and maybe another spell Cull enemies, meaning kill them instantly once they fall under a certain life pool threshold.

Profitable Stats
Spell Damage is your main stat and can be gotten from:
- % spell damage
- % cold damage
- % elemental damage
- % fire damage (if you run cold > fire conversion but %cold damage is still better! because conversion technicalities)

Cast Speed

Global Critical Strike Chance ("normal" Critical Strike Chance does not work for spells!)
Critical Strike Chance to Spells
Critical Strike Multiplier (this works for spells and attacks)

+# Cold Damage to Spells
You profit most from flat Cold damage, then Fire if you use conversion and Lightning damage gets the least multipliers.
Especially during Leveling you character the flat damage mods give you more damage than actual spell damage! Late game it's just an added bonus that you can get on weapons and abyssal jewels - and should you use it elder and shaper based rings and amulets.

Resistances 75 to all at least! Try and make Cold your highest if you use the Wise Oak Flask. Make two or even all three even to win more damages from Wise Oak (it'll never happen)
Chaos Resistance if you can find some but you don't need it as much.
We do not focus on either Energy Shield, Evasion or Armour. So Pick Evasion and Armor bases if you can. Hybrids with ES will make the coloring way cheaper!

We are pretty set on Int and Strength from the tree BUT we need a lot of Dexterity.
111 Dexterity and no less! Get whatever you are missing from the tree with Alacrity and Physique nodes, on your Rare Gear Slots or on jewels.
We need 111 because that is the amount a level 20 dexterity based support gem needs - and we use a few of those.

5. Current Gear
for more detailed info and alternatives look further below!
I also list past Gear, because every league is different. As of 3.7 all the gearing options are still viable

3.7 SSF Gear Endgame

everything but UberElder and UberAtziri done - stopped progressing. sry.

3.7 SSF Gear

shaper done, red elder done, vaal temple done, 151 maps completed. still working on questline for UberElder

3.6 Gear UberElder done

3.6 Gear Mid red Maps

3.5 Gear Endgame

6. Gearing options for each slot

Order of Upgrading Endgame Items

I usually play some sort of semi-self found. Up to late red maps I will use gear that I found myself - simply because I don't have to trade then.

First of all you want to have high cold spell damage weapons. Check the Weapon / Offhand section for help on what qualifies as such. Also search on the official trade site for weapons that have an open prefix for spell damage or cold>chaos damage enchants.

Since weapons can only do so much I suggest you first invest 20 maybe 30c at most. And If you do not find anything yourself later (adjust your loot filter accordingly! do not rely on neversink to pick all the bases that are interesting for you!!!) then you can invest an ex or more. But I usually find or craft them myself. It's maybe not mirrorworthy then but affordable and still 90% as good.

As for Gloves, Boots, Helmet you go with Rares Life and Resistances first. Any will do as long as you can afford and they balance your resistances over 75% and provide you with a comfortable life pool. starting red maps you should have 5000k life - ending I suggest 6000k at least! At this point they become expensive so adjust your loot filter for bases you want.

Secondly you want a good chest piece. Starting the league you can find a 5L or 6L corrupted chest yourself doing vaal side areas or every sacrifice fragment apart from the Midnight fragment (which is worth more than the others).
If you find one with the right colors - use that. Otherwise sell it and use the currency to buy one that has the colors you want. For a 6L corrupted chest with 60 life and 60 total resistances we are looking at a 35c -ish investment. make sure you watch the market. A 4L will carry you to red maps if it has to.
After that go for uniques Belly of the beast was really cheap this league and I 4linked that. For a 4c investment it was decent.
If you want to invest around 30c Carcass Jack it is.
Inpulsa or Shroud are options that cost way more and only give you a small upgrade. I suggest buying them later - way later.

Third is your rings. Switching from decent rings with life, resistances and (cold) spell damage or cast speed to Mark of the Shaper setup gives you a huge damage increase for the amount of ex you invest.
You also need an elder ring for the 2nd slot. Two-Stone rings are best. Sometimes you can snapshot a decent life rolled corrupted ring for a few dozen chaos.

Fourth you want to upgrade your amulet. Either of the unique options are fine. A really good rare shaper or elder base might do it as well.

And then you can buy an inpulsa if you feel you need it. The Heralds kind of do the same thing but there you go.
And last but not least you can buy a helmet enchant. but these are really pricey so bring your spending pants with the big pockets.
I suggest rounding up your build at this point. So invest into good gloves with the damage mods and open prefixes for enchants. Buy really good shoes, buy a high life double resistances helmet or one with the +2 winter orb enchant. At this point there is no way to tell you what to upgrade next because you will literally spent a fortune on everything you buy.

As for endgame weapons - just find some... Or spent around 3ex+ on a really good one. We are getting into cookie cut territory here. like the 0.1% best items in the league. So this is where my guiding hand leaves you. It's for you to decide where and how to spent it all. You will know at this point because honestly it's only worth doing it past character level 95 and then you just know what you want.

Weapon & Offhand

3.5 Weaponslots:

Main Hand: (cold) Spell damage + extra chaos damage + (maybe) cast speed
Shield: (cold) Spell damage + cast speed (expensive) + Life + resist

Shield or Dualwield?
Hardcore I recommend a shield.
Softcore I'd go dualwield unless you need life or resistances from a rare.
For Dualwielding the same stats apply as to the offhand.

Wand? Dagger? Sceptre?
Using Wands gives you more spell power and makes damage more even
Using Daggers gives you critical strike chance which makes damage spike
Using Sceptres gives you the best stats.
I just use whatever I find. Scepters should be shaper-items or Atzoatl Temple drops to give you an edge over the other choices. Otherwise they are about the same.
If you want me to tell you what I think is best, it's scepters. Personal choice tho.

Cheap-ish unique options:

VERY expensive endgame option:
You need an itemlevel 85 Void Sceptre shaper item.
Craft 16-20% Ele as Chaos Damage on it and then craft some other useful things on it like spell damage, crit and again extra chaos damage.


For Chests I recommend certain uniques. Obviously Inpulsa is the best isn't it? No it's not the best. Carcass Jack and Shroud of the Lightless are viable alternatives that feel just as good!
For Starters you want a 4Link chest, later 5link. I was using a 4L Winter Orb until I got into red maps. No joke.
Cheapest for League starters is a 6L corrupted with the colors you need/want. 30-60c
For red maps you might want to invest into one of these:

probably most expensive. comparable in a lot of ways to Carcass Jack otherwise.

Had the fortune to find this early 3.6
I love it so far! a lot. It's an alternative to Carcass Jack and Inpulsa

good damage and cheap-ish

good defense, very cheap in 3.6 but harder to color. consider going 2red 2 green 2 blue and use cold>fire and increased duration

very defensive, but if you don't have enough evasion you will be superslow. We do not have a lot of dex on the tree so getting evasion will be hard



Rare - Life + Resist + open Prefix for AoE enchant!
Lab enchant +2 Winter Orb stages is best. any other Winter orb enchant will do as well.
A Herald enchant might be nice for a while or an enchant for your second attack



Life + Resists + any of the below.
with + % damage against chilled enemies (Atzoatl Temple from Omnitect or certain Architect chests)
projectile / AoE enchant is an option.

Shaped Gloves with:
* slower projectiles & projectile damage
* faster casting

Obviously anything beyond life and resists is going to cost you more and more.
increased damage while leeching is to be used with care since you only leech as long as you are not on full life or mana.
I'd rather use a Increased Damage during Flask effects enchant


Life + Resist + movespeed
I recommend having at least 20% move speed, better 30 and if you can afford 35%.
35% can be gotten from itemlevel 86 boots or with synthesized boots.
70 Life and 2 resistances above 30 should be the minimum and affordable.

Windshriek/Windscream for double curse: Frostbite + Temporal Chains if you feel like it.


switched to this lategame because I needed more survivability. 6.7k life at the moment feels real good.
It also prevents Ignites and Shock on you! making it easier to survive. Since I always use remove Freeze and Chills on my Adrenaline Flask I feel pretty safe with ailments.


your run of the mill Stygian Vise with Life and Resists


[3.7 Changes!!!]
Warlords Mark is no longer of use to us. you can still use the Elder ring but just use a regular Life + Resistances (maybe cast speed or Cold Damage) version of it.
Before you are able to afford it I recommend Bereks

Those are a duo and expensive! Use rares for starters.
Shapers Mark with good %life and %spell damage rolls
itemlevel 80 elder based ring (I prefer Two-Stone) Craft level 8 or 12 Warlords Mark on it. Both are okay. Use Augment and Regal on it. Craft life, resist or extra damage on it - whichever you are missing. If you want to chaos spam you can but I recommend using Alterations. I also don't use Exalts on it. Just the syndicate exalt chests if I get one.

Before you use Shapers mark you should use rares.
Life (70ish) + Resistances
Cold Damage or Cast Speed are nice to have.
Dexterity as well
Two-Stone Rings are the best base to balance out Resistances.
Opal Rings or Crit Rings are okay but inferior to the Shapers Mark setup


The alternative is:

I bought one and I am not blown away. It's a very small damage upgrade compared to Impressence. The only upside might be that it can make it easier to balance resistances because it frees up the boot slot. And you have 2 more sockets that you can use for something else. like a second CWDT.


A shaper based Amulet might be nice as well since it can roll projectile damage. Otherwise the same old Life - (cold)Spell damage - resistances game.


Bleed remove and quick life

Freeze Remove and Speed

curse remove for lab or temp chains maps

Nemesis league item a little harder to get maybe but very nice life refill

Very Expensive but worth it!

Damage and life leech. make sure Elemental>Chaos is rolled 15%

Wise Oak requires Cold res to be highest and is less profitable than other dps flasks

Found this during leveling - an easy way to get charged if you don't get them anywhere else yet!

NOTE: I put in a Mana Flask instead of the Crit Flask or Dying Sun for no regen maps. Also with curse remove! Do not switch out Atziri, Adrenaline or any Life Flasks for this!


Rare abyssals: Life + flat Spell damage + onslaught/phasing on kill + increased damage if you have killed recently.

Most important is life to be honest.
Make absolutely sure you have NO "+physical damage to spells" on any jewel. Because you will notice when you run a physreflect map.

These are medium good examples - all self crafted:

You want the Hypnotic base on itemlevel 82 or higher so you can get max life rolls.
For onslaught you want a Searching or Murderous base.

7. Tree - Ascendancy - Bandits - Pantheon

3.7 tree Level 91: poeurl.com/cunl
3.6 tree Level 94: poeurl.com/ck8o

Leveling Trees

3.6 Trees, but still valid!
19 points = level 15 ish
Pick either [Frost Walker] or [Lightning Walker] - depending if you level with Freezing Pulse or Arc. Arc is level 12 so by this point you should know. you can remove these two point when switching to winter orb and allocate them really late.
80 points = level 50 ish
100 points = level 70 ish

Path of Building?
I have decided to no longer add a path of building.
1. my profile is public. Just import my character
2. I don't craft a wishlist of items in PoB. I use Items that are self found or I can afford. No mirrorworthy 200ex items. A build should be playable by everyone and not just 1% who can actually afford the top items in the league
3. I prefer a well rounded playable build well over a build that works on paper but plays horrible ingame - thank you very much.
4. You are better than me at this game anyways, so there's no need to pretend I am actually more bearded than you are.

Alira is an option. She makes it easier to balance resistances, gives you mana regen and some crit damage. all good for this build. However a jewel might be better and we touch more jewel slots than we can actually allocate.
Rule of thumb: If this is your main build and you want to sink currency into it kill all. If not then help Alira. She helps you round up a build.

Solaris or Lunaris is Major
I prefer Solaris
Minor: Shakiri because it handles Poison resistance

For Shaper/Elder I pick Brine King and Yugul to counter the Frost damage a little more

Ascendancy Pathing - Labyrinths
1 - Pendulum of Destruction
2 - Mastermind of Discord
3 - Shaper of Desolation
4 - Beacon of Ruin
[[ Paragon of Calamity would be HC choice. If you feel you need it. ]]

[3.7 Changes!!!]
For now I use Beacon of Ruin like before - it has been changed tho.
For life leech and reflect reasons Paragon of Calamity might be an option! Decide for yourself

8. Gem Links

Winter Orb 6 Link:

Those 5 are "set". as a 6th I recommend one of these

Cold to Fire Support is your endgame choice. We touch some Cold&Fire nodes on our tree, spell damage as well as elemental damage increases apply to this. The Damage with burns is actually nice.
If you use this I recommend using Herald of Ash as well, and to have +# fire damage to spells on either a weapon or jewel. So that your Heralds and other spells also apply some fire damage

just useful for damage

this one helps you keeping the stacks at 10 a lot. which results in a lot of damage as well. if you replace it with Cold>Fire then you have to drop Herald of Ash as well - because it will no longer be useful to you.

It is also possible to run Increased Duration with Cold>Fire. Then you either drop Infused Channeling (defenses) or Efficacy.

Ice bite is your number one frenzy charge generator!
Greater Multiple Projectiles should NOT be replaced with Lesser Multiple Projectiles. Yes it shows more damage, but it is actually feeling a lot less powerful!

Second Spell
[3.7 Changes!!!]
I use Vaal Cold Snap instead of Arctic Breath - support gems stay the same.
Those are my reasons:
- more powerful
- a lot more AoE than Arctic Breath
- Instant
- has a Vaal AoE skill that helps on bosses and Timetrapped Monsters.

Arctic Breath, Ice Spear, (Vaal) Arc are Gems that I played around with before. In 3.7 they are inferior to Cold Snap.
The second spell is actually doing a lot more now! Applying Bonechill lets you kill enemies a lot faster. Cold Snap has a cooldown that can be circumvent by using a frenzy charge.

Flame Dash

If for some reason you need an additional socket on your gear drop Faster Casting. It is only Quality of Life
Also make sure Arcane Surge is 20% Quality and Level 8 and not higher. This way using Flame Dash twice gives you the Arcane Surge Buff. Level 9 is fine as well, using a level 20 as shown here is not too smart.


All Heralds should be at least 20 - 20% since quality on Herald gems does not increase the Aura like on Wrath Zealotry and the like but gives us damage
Herald of Ash is ONLY required if your Winter Orb uses a Cold>Fire support gem - otherwise it is pointless to use it.
Enhance support is recommended because we do not need our mana for anything else

Can be a quality of life addition if you need more mana regen - you probably won't. Quality not needed on this one, Vaal also not needed! I recommend it for leveling

Vaal Righteous Fire is a damage cooldown! Get it with 20% quality if you can afford it. you can socket it with the Heralds in your Head or Glove slot to get the +1 level of AoE gems on it!
We do not ever use righteous Fire! just the vaal skill from it!

Golems and Culling Strike

Use either Lightning or Ice Golem with culling strike.
Lightning Golem = faster casting for quality of life if you do not use increased duration on winter orb
Ice Golem = crit = damage
Culling Strike will kill bosses faster.
I always have Culling strike linked to my golem, if need be I recast him when the enemy gets close to cull range. I sometimes link Herald of Thunder with it. The other two Heralds only do AoE damage around the enemy you kill. If nothing dies close to the boss it won't cull. Herald of Thunder strikes lightning at enemies when it is procced - culling enemies.

Cast when damage taken CWDT

Option 1:

"Classic Setup" which I recommend

Option 2:

Set up so that Cold snap is auto cast and Vaal Cold Snap is your cooldown. Allowing you to take something else as second spell, but also depriving you of excellent Cold Snap Damage.

CWDT support only works on Skill Gems that require the same level as CWDT requires or lower!
Meaning a level 4 CWDT will support and trigger a level 6 immortal call - but not a level 7 immortal call!
It will also trigger a level 6 phase run but not a level 8 phase run!

Here is the whole logic to it:
The higher your CWDT the more damage you need to take before it can trigger. A level 4 requires you to take less damage than a level 10 before immortal call is cast. Immortal call gets very little bonus to any level upgrades. So we don't care as much what level it actually is and just adjust it to our CWDT gem.
I usually use a CWDT level 4 for early maps and once I reach 6000 life I use a level 6 CWDT - HOWEVER:
Since the highest gem that absolutely needs level 20 in our build requiring dexterity is a support gem we need 111 dexterity. getting dexterity on gear is expensive and takes up modslots - so we want to be as close as possible to 111 Dexterity.
This means a level 8 Phase run is the highest we can go because level 9 requires 113 dexterity and it is not worth buying new phase run gems all the time. Especially since we want it at 20% quality.
Support gems are not triggered by CWDT so increased duration can be as high as it wants

The maximum we can go is:
CWDT lvl 6 - 0% quality
Immortal Call 8 - 0% quality
Increased Duration 20 - 20% or higher
Phase Run 8 - 20% or higher quality but not higher level.

This way we can still self cast Phase run - which is affected by increased duration and Immortal Call is Autocast with increased duration support!

Same goes for Option 2:
Make sure your Cold Snap is autocast by CWDT
You can still cast your Vaal Cold Snap as a cooldown! and it will also apply Bonechill

I hope you enjoyed this guide and if you have anything supportive to say please do so.
Questions are welcome!
Last edited by JeansJoe on Aug 21, 2019, 7:34:28 AM
Last bumped on Jul 16, 2019, 9:39:26 AM
Leveling Guide for this build or similar Winter Orb builds

It's my first leveling guide so I might forget some things. It should have you covered for the most part tho. Especially if you have some experience in the game already.

I'm going to use this lootfilter for league start: www.filterblade.xyz/#oZZPhCw735dY (just updated it to 3.6)
Be advised that I modified this filter a lot. I don't think I missed anything but you know how this works. you always forget something.

Leveling Trees:
3.6 ready and good to go - but not optimized yet!
19 points = level 15 ish
Pick either [Frost Walker] or [Lightning Walker] - depending if you level with Freezing Pulse or Arc. Arc is level 12 so by this point you should know. you can remove these two point when switching to winter orb and allocate them really late.
80 points = level 50 ish
100 points = level 70 ish

General Advice

  • pick up all the currency you can get - you will need Chance orbs once you get to Zana, you need Alchemy Orbs to make good socketed items rare and so on
  • Use portal scrolls during hard bossfights to reset your flasks in town
  • get all the waypoints you come across!
  • When you enter an area and the quest for an Ascendency trial pops up search for that trial and do it! (if it pops up in town don't mind)
  • Your character level (push C for character sheet) should be within 3 levels of the zone level. Do not fall below. If you are above it is fine - but you can try skip a lot of mobs if you are above the current zone level. The reason behind this is you will get less experience from the monsters if you are out of their level range. being 4 levels below makes the fights harder and gives you about a third less experience.
  • Do not vendor unidentified items! In the first act it will be very hard to collect enough Wisdom Scrolls so only identify items that you will likely use or that are a potential big upgrade. In later acts you always want to identify items before vendoring because the vendor will then give you more currency in return. This does not take effect on "recipe" items such as Chromatic recipe or Jewelers Recipe.
  • Use a smart lootfilter. Neversinks is fine but not perfect.
  • Vendor Recipes: Wiki Link
    Do them to set you up for 6 Link crafting in endgame!

    Wisdom Scrolls
    A good way to get wisdom scrolls early on is vendoring Blacksmith and Armorer Scraps. they give you a couple of wisdoms.

    Chromatic: any item with red-green-blue sockets linked together will result in a Chromatic Orb. Definitely pick up small weapons 1x3 inventory spaces and small armor pieces like small shields, boots, helmets gloves with 2x2 inventory spaces. Do not pick up Body armors and big weapons unless you really want to go to town a lot.

    any item with 6 sockets - linked or unlinked in any way will give you 7 Jewelers Orbs.

    Alchemy Orbs
    A big portion of Alchemy orbs will come from Rare items endgame. But if you find unique items and vendor them identified they are also a great source of Alchemy Shards - resulting in Orbs. Provided the Unique item is not worth anything and useless to you

    Chaos Recipe
    You will need Stashspace for this - probably 3-4 tabs. A full itemlevel 60+ armor set + weapon + amulet + rings will result in a chaos orb. read the wiki for further information.

General Advice on Upgrading Gear

  • Upgrade your Flasks with the 3:1 recipe at the vendors. Collect 3 of the current life flasks vendor them together and get the next tier
  • We switch gear a lot during leveling. Focus on items that already have the socket setup for your main spell. Fill all the other gear with life resist and spell damage rolls. It is not advisable to "craft" sockets or links early on. because you just might get unlucky and not get the desired outcome. During leveling you should mainly make do and just wait for a better drop if an item doesn't fit your setup. just keep it in your bag / stash and wait till you find something else.
  • What stats do I want on which gearslot?

    You cannot get everything all the time. First mentioned means more important.
    Head, Gloves, Chest: Life and 1-2 Resistances
    Boots: Movement Speed, Life and Resistances
    Rings: Life, Resistances, Cast Speed, Cold Damage,
    Amulet: Life Resistances, Cold Damage, Spell Damage, Crit Chance or Multi for spells
    Weapons: Spell Damage, % Cold Damage, adds x cold/fire/lightning damage to spells, critical strike chance for spells
    Shield: Life, Resistances, Spell Damage, Cold Damage, Cast Speed
  • What weapons do I use? Shield?
    You start out with Wands - always use the highest spell damage wands you find. Press C to view your character sheet, click on your main attack skill and check the damage. if you switch with a new wand or weapon it will show you if you do more or less damage now.

    Weapons are for damage. Do not optimize weapon slots for resistances or anything else apart from damage. The physical damage on a weapon is uninteresting to us.

    A shield can help you surviving a lot of things better but you will also sacrifice around 20-40% of your damage. I advice you to not use a shield in Softcore.

    You have 3 weapon types available to you:
    Wands: are Spell Damage bases
    Daggers: are Crit Bases and less interesting than wands.
    Scepters: are Elemental Damage bases - which count towards spell damage and are very neat.
    The problem is that wands are exclusive - meaning you can only dualwield a wand with another wand.
    Scepters and Daggers can be dualwielded in any combination.

    I recommend using scepters once you find decent ones. Most of the time I have been more lucky on getting high Elemental+Spell damage on those than on Wands. A good shield with high Spell damage can also help you make the swap between a wand setup and a Scepter setup - so make sure to keep a spell damage shield when you find a good one. meaning having around 50-70% of the spell damage of your current weapon.
  • Vaal Side Areas
    Do them all the time as long as the don't have elemental reflect.
    there are a few reasons for this:
    1. you want vaal gems of righteous fire and cold snap (and maybe arc for leveling)
    2. These areas can drop fully linked items of the maximum sockets.
    meaning on ilvl 25 - 4 linked
    on ilvl 35 - 5 linked
    on ilvl 50 - 6 linked
    Whether you are on a trade league or SSF these fully linked items come in handy. Especially if they match the colors you need. Even if a 6 linked item only matches 5 colors you need you can fill the 6th with a not as good support gem. And if all fails trading them for 20-50 chaos is a nice compensation as well.
    3. Sacrifice Fragments will drop.
    Make sure to collect full sets. Sacrifice at Midnight is the rarest of them. It is the top right corner.
    So any spare Dusk Dawn and Noon can be run once you hit Maps for additional chance on vaal gems and 6 linked Chest items!

Act I

1. Pick up wand, equip it, kill zombie, put *Fireball in Wand. Walk along the beach and pick up *Arcane Surge. Link it with Fireball. Kill Hillock
Pick up ALL the gear and vendor it if it is not an upgrade.

2. Enter Town, Get *Freezing Pulse as Quest reward and replace it with your Fireball. Vendor said Fireball.

Advice what gear to look out for:
Boots with 10% movement speed. Check the vendor once every level up if you can and identify rare and magic boots.
Any 3 Link item with [3 Blue] or [2 Blue 1 Green] sockets that are linked!
Any belt that gives you a lot of energy shield or life!
Keep all Chain Belts for Crafting! Dagger/Wand/Scepter + magic or rare Chain belt + Blacksmith Whetstone = Weapon with spell Damage
A quicksilver Flask for movement speed from the quest and maybe a drop, Use 2 if you can.
Your Flask setup should be: Life Life Quicksilver Mana Mana
If you have a second Quicksilver drop one Mana.
Two Weapons for your offhand. I recommend using a 2blue 1red and 2blue 1green setup. This way you can passive level every color and we mainly focus on blue gems. Your offhand weapons should have 3 sockets in the desired colors. a shield is fine as well. we just use them to store gems for later or level them for later. In endgame we use them to level our main gems a second or third time to get a desired vaal outcome.

3. The Caged Brute
Make sure you have upgraded your life Flasks for Brutus. then you can facetank him.
After killing Brutus set up these gems:
* Added Lightning Damage
Link with *Freezing Pulse *Arcane Surge
* Flame Dash
can be on it's own
* Clarity
can be on it's own. Use it for mana regen. It will get stronger later. This is just a quality of life choice.
* Lesser Multiple Projectiles
Has to be bought from vendor
Link with *Freezing Pulse *Added Lightning Damage
In this case link Flame Dash with Arcane Surge.

Gear at Brutus

4. The Siren's Cadence
Around Level 12 you should enter Merveils Cavern. In town you can now get the * Arc Gem. It is up to you if you want to continue using Freezing Pulse or Arc from this point on. I usually use Arc because it gets the job done a little cleaner.

Act 2

1. leave town towards the right. Do sidequest for the belt reward if you feel like it or if you want an energy based belt for the vendor recipe.

2. Keep to the roads in this act. When you reach Crossroads waypoint go north first and do the chamber of sins + Ascendancy trial.

3. Go back to Crossroads and if you feel like getting the Ascendancy trials out of the way and you need some leveling go south towards the Crypt and finish that. Sidequest not needed but since you are there...

4. Last time towards Crossroads, go East towards Broken Bridge and kill Kraityn.
Kill all if you want to invest currency endgame - help Alira if you want to switch to a different build later. If you are unsure roll a dice.

5. Leave town towards left. Grab Riverways waypoint and go further West.
Note: From the riverways waypoint there is always a path towards the north leading to Oak. Also stay on the main path and use Flame Dash to cross gaps.

6. Stay on the main path in Western Forest.
This area has a fixed setup. On one side of the main road is Aliras Camp - the path towards it is marked by a lit torch and a pathway next to it. Follow that path and kill/help Alira. (see 4.) keep on that side of the road and walk towards the very west end of the level and kill the NPC there. use the seal on the thing and then circle back on the opposite side of the area (meaning opposite from the Alira side) and find the entrance to the Weavers Chamber. Kill weaver and go to town. and Act 1 town for your quest rewards.

7. Riverways waypoint, go north, kill Oak in Wetlands, grab Waypoint there, go to town for Bandit reward and move on.

Gems in this Act:
Herald of Thunder
Herald of Ice
use at least one of them. If you also use Clarity you might hunger for mana. One of those + Clarity should be fine. Both + Clarity depending on your mana regeneration.
Herald of Ash (passive level this one in offhand) One of the heralds can be picked as quest reward, the others have to be bought.
Cold Snap for passive leveling in offhand

Controlled Destruction used with main attack instead of Arcane surge. passive leveling if you use Freezing Pulse until you get a 4link.
Faster Casting - used with Flame Dash if you can, else passive level it.
Elemental Focus is up to you. Freeze/Shock increases your damage and using Ele Focus removes those Ailments from the spell. I'd rather not use it.

8. Vaal Oversoul Boss does Lightning Damage.

Act 3

Gear to look out for:
Get at least one 4 linked item with those colors:
[4blue] if using Arc
[3blue 1green] if using Freezing Pulse
[2blue 1green 1 red] For Winter Orb which we use soon-ish-tm
Do NOT craft these but find them. If you cannot find any of them just make do. you are not swimming in Chromatics at this point. if you are you need an INT item base to reforge a 4 link item. Do not think you can make a Strength item base change into 4 blue sockets.

Sever the Right Hand gives you Winter Orb.
Level it first or start using it right away. Depending on your gear and general feeling. I mostly just level it for a while before using it. Once you have Greater Multiple Projectiles and Increased Duration Support it feels way better. But it is a good damage dealer as well. You can use it with your other mainspell from this point onward. At some point you will realize you use it way more than the other spell.
Winter Orb - Added Lightning Damage - lesser Multiple Projectiles - Controlled Destruction.
Added Cold Damage from Siosa might be an idea.
Efficacy Support from Fixture of Fate Quest

Lost in Love reward:

mid Act 3 gear

already set up for winter orb in chest
check my profile for now. gonna link tomorrow when it doesn't bug. off to sleep.

A Fixture of Fate reward:
Efficacy Support - Great for Winter Orb!
buy those from vendor for passive leveling
Blasphemy (will be using it later)
Cold Penetration ( also will be using it later - maybe)

Questwise it is pretty straigforward.
Do the Siosa Quest and buy Warlords Mark. You can either use it as a Blasphemy aura or selfcast it. It gives you survivability on bosses

Act 4


Lightning Golem - Cast Speed - Quality of life for Winter Orb leveling
Ice Golem - more Crit - nice for Freezing Pulse or Arc.

Bonechill support - for Cold Snap CWDT setup
Greater Multiple Projectiles (GMP) - replace with lesser Multiple in Winter Orb

Cast when damage taken Support (CWDT)
Immortal Call
Both only obtainable from Vendor

In this act you definitely want this:
Boots with movement speed and life
At least two 4 link items for Winter Orb and your other spell or Winter Orb and a CWDT setup
A three link will do for CWDT
A two or 3 link with blue gems for Flame Dash - Faster Casting - Arcane Surge

CWDT - Cold Snap - Bonechill [1 Red - 2 Blue]
CWDT - Immortal Call - Increased Duration [2-3 Red]
Make sure to not level your CWDT! only level the supported skill gems up to the point where they are still supported by your CWDT. if this puzzles you take 5 minutes and read the text on your Cast when Damage taken gem and the linked skill gems. Other support gems are not affected by this!

Winter Ork Setup as Following:
WO - Efficacy - GMP - Controlled Destruction [3 blue 1 green]
WO - Efficacy - GMP - Increased Duration [2 blue 1 green 1 red] for quality of life

Arc - Added Lightning - Controlled destruction - Arcane Surge
From this point onward Arc is more of a support damage dealer. proccing Arcane surge for you and making WO stronger.

Keep WO at 10 stacks if possible. Cast Arc/freezing pulse on bosses

Curse on Hit Support
you might want to use a curse on hit or Blasphemy setup now.
Warlords Mark can be obtained in Act 3 after completing Siosa Quest in the Library.
Use Cast on Hit - Warlords Mark together with either Herald of Ice or Thunder. Both if Possible. Depending on your free 3 or 4 link items and their
Still DO NOT use Herald of Ash. we still passive level this one.

If you haven't done your Ascendancy Trial yet - now would be a good time. It is level 33 and you should be overleveled by now and have enough life and damage to make it easier.

Act 5 and onward will come soon-ish-tm.

Finished the soryline. Was quite the cakewalk. already have capped resistances so this is what I will use to start maps.
I'm not a good speedrunner and the Synthesis content got me sidetracked a lot. So I was mostly overleveled by 3-10 levels. Did all the labs like it was nothing - except uber of course.
PoB: https://pastebin.com/xjNdfisy

End of Storyline Gear and links

Last edited by JeansJoe on Mar 14, 2019, 5:52:01 PM
srsly ? now 20+ same builds with DPS < 200k GJ
use pandemonius

0 reason to use shit frostbite neck
Pandemonius is little overrated imo.
Somethin like this is better imo, and cheaper
Last edited by Fornal89 on Feb 5, 2019, 4:42:06 AM
Can you maybe give us a pastebin of your end game items?
Added the pastebin.

Also if you want a cookiecut build go somewhere else. I am not claiming I have the best build.
Switching to pandemonius gives me a very small damage upgrade. While messing with my resistances. So I don't use it.
My shoddy amulet is cheaper hence more accessible. if you don't like using it don't use it and use something else. A good shaped Amulet will do as well.

Fact is I did a ton of things this league with this build and found a lot of gear myself. Weapon and Gloves for example. I crafted my abyssjewels and and and.
I don't even have the friggin head enchant and I do good damage.
So thanks for constructive input - not.
With the 3.6 patch now published do you think that this build was hit in any way?
I am quite a newbie and it's the first time when i play from day 1 of a new league, so I want to start with this build.
vaidaraul wrote:
With the 3.6 patch now published do you think that this build was hit in any way?
I am quite a newbie and it's the first time when i play from day 1 of a new league, so I want to start with this build.

yes it was "hit". But it's still viable.
Winter Orb had a slight damage nerf - not too serious tho. And the support gems might change.
I'll publish a leveling guide for this build in the 2nd post of this thread.
I expect it to be a little less powerful but still very good - especially as a starter build it can still carry you to at least red maps without big investments.
flu3r wrote:
srsly ? now 20+ same builds with DPS < 200k GJ

man winter orb use 5 PROJECTILES = <200k dps x 5 = 1 mil dps +-

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