[3.9] Frost Nova Golementalist | Deathless Uber Elder Gameplay | 9K EHP | 5 - 6 Million Shaper DPS
Why I love this build and why you probably will as well!
I've been playing POE since Incursion league and this is by far the funnest and most well rounded build I have played. For me I want my builds to meet certain criteria first it needs to be able to do all game content competently. Second the build must be tanky enough to take an occasional big hit without dying. A build must also be able to kill bosses quickly and complete maps relatively efficiently.
This build easily does all of these things and allows me to tackle whatever content I want without having to have dedicated characters for different tasks. This build begins to come together very early on and with low tier gear you can very easily to get into white maps. Once you get some currency flowing you will quickly grow in power as you upgrade each piece of your gear. Most slots are very flexible early on making leveling much less restrictive. The only truly mandatory piece of gear is an enduring mana flask thus making this a pretty good option as a league starter. I hope some of you give this build a try as it really is a blast to play!
Pros & Cons
+ Over 5 Mil Shaper DPS
+ Smooth Mapper
+ Easy Mid Level delving taken to around 300 so far
+ Active play style
+ Competent Boss Farmer
+ Can farm Lab without much worry for traps
+ Elemental Ailment Immune
- Chaos damage can still be a bit scary for us
- Somewhat Reliant on Flasks
- Very rarely a Golem dies
- This build does require some crafting for BIS Gear
- Resistances can be a bit tricky to work out
3.8 Video Gameplay Will Update to 3.9 When Feasible
The Gameplay footage I have posted here shows the build in varying stages from low tier SSF possible gear all the way to end game gear.
Low Tier SSF Obtainable Gear
Crappy Gear | Tier 10 Beach map Run
This video showcases my Frost Nova Golementalist with very low tier gear to simulate a league start or SSF environment.
The staff was self farmed from "The Flora's Gift" Divination card. A really easy card to farm.
For the chest I somehow didn't have a Tabula Rasa on hand so I had to use a stand in.
Deathless Uber Elder
This Uber Elder kill was with a significantly weaker version of this build.
I did not have a Shaper Base Crit Body Armour
I was not using Kalisa's Grace
I was still using a Diamond Flask instead of a Cinderswallow
I was using Faster Casting instead of Cold Penetration in our Ice Nova setup
I was using a different ring setup as well
Our Aura setup was Hatred, Herald of Ice and a level 1 Precision. (Which is a much weaker setup)
Ice Nova was 20/20
This iteration of the build had around 2M less DPS than our current version.
Full Shaper Run
This Shaper run was done using a weaker version of this build though much closer to our current than the Uber Elder kill
At this point we do have our Shaper Base Crit Body Armour
We are using Kalisa's Grace
We have dropped the Diamond Flask for a Cinderswallow
We're still using a much weaker aura setup of Hatred, Herald of Ice and a level 1 Precision (Which is a much weaker setup)
We're using a weaker Ring setup here as well
We're still using Faster Casting instead of Cold Penetration in our Ice Nova setup.
Ice Nova was 20/20
This iteration of the build has about 1-1.5M less DPS than our current version.
Full Minotaur Map
This showcase is current with the build guide.
In Game Stats
With all Flasks up
What is a Frost Nova Golementalist?
I had a pretty tough time coming up with a name for this build before finally landing on Frost Nova Golementalist. Our build primarily uses two mini archetypes The first of these is Frostbolt, Ice Nova and the interaction between the two. The second is heavily scaling Golem Buff Effect through the Elementalist Ascendancy. Its these two mini archetypes that give our build its name.
In this section of the guide I'm going to attempt to break down a few of the main component parts of the Frost Nova Golementalist and explain what each of those parts do, how we utilize it and why. Keep in mind some of the mechanics we use are a bit obscure and may only be explained in part here and later fully expanded upon when there is enough context around it to make sense.
Elementalist & Golem Buff Stacking
Golem Buff stacking is something that became viable during 3.8 Blight league. 3.8 changed the Liege of the Primordial and Elemancer Elementalist ascendancy nodes as well as adding the Golem Commander wheel to the witch section of the skill tree. With all of these nodes and a few unique jewels we reach a total of 6 Golems and around 400% increased Golem buff effect! This is how we scale both offense and defense as efficiently as we do. So what does 400% increased buff effect actually equate to. Well it causes our stone Golem to give us 600+ Life Regen compared to the 105 it would normally provide. We of course also get tons of crit, cast speed, phys damage reduction and generic damage scaling from our other Golems.
Ice Nova Frostbolt
For those that don't know Ice Nova and Frostbolt have an interesting interaction when used together. If you cast Ice Nova while you target a Frostbolt that you cast Ice Nova will expand out from the Frostbolt instead of you. It will also cast from 2 Frostbolt's simultaneously. This is already a huge benefit to us as it instantly doubles the damage of a single Ice Nova cast but that isn't the only benefit of this combination. Any repeats that Ice Nova would have instead repeat from the Frostbolt it was cast on instead of us. Allowing us to have 3 repeats of Ice Nova without us ever being locked down. This gives us tons of clear potential and we can easily cover entire screens with Ice Novas.
Ice Novas high Mana cost how we sustain and leverage it
Ice Nova's High Cost
A single cast of our Ice Nova can easily cost 140+ Mana. Our cast speed with buffs up should easily reach 6.00 meaning we spend over 800 mana/second. This actually allows us to us a level 20 Arcane surge in our main Ice Nova setup which provides tons of damage and some supplemental mana sustain. We are also able to take full advantage of the unique item Kalisa's Grace because of this high cost.
Enduring Mana Flask
Our only real source of mana sustain comes from our use of an Enduring Mana flask. The enduring mod causes the flask effect to not end when full mana is reached. Think slayer life leech. Mana Flasks however have always had the ability to be qued up one after another this is absolutely huge when paired with an Enduring flask because it allows us to stack flask uses with no limit. While mapping if you spam your mana flask to zero for a few packs you will have an enough flask uses qued up to complete the map. You can of course keep mashing that flask key to have even more qued up. During boss encounters like Uber Elder you just have to be a little smart with flask usage until the first add phase then its same as maps keep mashing that flask key while you kill everything. After that you will have enough Mana to get through the fight.
Pledge Of Hands & Greater Spell Echo
The main reason we choose this staff is because it gives us Greater Spell Echo as a 7th link for our Ice Nova setup. Greater Spell echo gives us 2 additional repeats, 35% More Damage per Repeat and 50% Increased Area of Effect per Repeat. This greatly improves our clear potential and gives us a bunch of extra damage if you can position yourself intelligently. Pledge also gives us 100% increased Maximum Mana and up to 160% increased spell damage.
This is a lower tier unique that is rarely used in any build. For us however we take advantage of every aspect of these gloves. Kalisa's Grace is a hybrid item providing good amounts of both Life and Energy Shield which is perfect for us because we are after all a hybrid build. The next interesting buff is a +2% Spell Crit for 2 seconds after spending 800 Mana. As explained earlier we spend 800 Mana/Sec so gaining this buff and sustaining it is fairly easy as long as we are casting. Essentially these gloves serve as an on demand diamond flask :) It also provides a lvl 18 Faster Casting giving us a 5th link for our Frostbolt setup.
Glorious Vanity & Corrupted Soul
The Corrupted Soul keystone provided by the Glorious Vanity Timeless Jewel Has two effects The first is "50% of Non-Chaos damage taken bypasses Energy Shield" the second is "Gain 20% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield". This essentially allows us to treat life and ES as one continuous pool of HP instead of two independent layers one reduced to zero then the other. This jewel is one of the cornerstones of our defenses and provides a significant amount of ES. For a Glorious Vanity to give you the Corrupted Soul keystone it must have the Name "Doryani" on the first line.
Pledge of Hands is our weapon of choice here
While gearing up early on look for these mods on Rare Staffs
% Increased Spell Damage
% increased Crit Chance for spells
+ to level of all cold spell gems
This slot is best filled by a Rare Helmet. This is great slot to try to stack Resists, Life and Energy Shield as we aren't trying to get any damage from this slot. You could potentially fossil craft -X% cold resistance to nearby enemies but I feel like that would be a bit of an unnecessary flex more than anything. To get our maximum amount of damage we need to be a decent distance away from our target so that mod would be pretty useless.
Mods to look for
High Life roll
Large amounts of Energy Shield
Resistances as Needed
Helm enchants aren't super beneficial for this build but here are some ones to look out for.
Zealotry Reduced Mana Reservation
Herald of Ice Reduced Mana Reservation
Assassins Mark curse Effect
Ice Nova Damage
I really don't Recommend spending large amounts of currency to get any of these enchants.
Our Body Armour slot is very flexible while gearing into mid tier maps. You can easily get away with a Tabula or any good 5 socket Body Armour for quite some time. Once we have some currency built up we will be switching to a Rare Body Armour that we are going to craft ourselves.
Tier 1 Body Armour
Our Tier 1 Body Armour comes in the form of a Multimodded Item Level 85 Shaped Vaal Regalia. To be fair this is totally not necessary and you should really only try to craft this if you have the extra currency and enjoy the crafting process.
Our goal with this Body Armour is to get as much total Life and Energy Shield as we can in conjunction with the Shaper mod "Spells have +X.XX% to Critical Strike Chance". We also want to make sure to craft on "Gain X% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum energy Shield" from the crafting bench as this is a very chunk of ES for us.
I do explain how to craft this Body Armour if you aren't already familiar with the process.
Tier 2 Body Armour
Our Tier 2 Body Armour is quite a bit easier to acquire than our Tier 1 as the only real requirement is that we have an open Prefix to craft "Gain X% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum energy Shield". Other than that our goal is to stack as much Life and ES as possible.
Tips to help you craft
The Process for crafting something like our Tier 1 Body Armour is fairly simple and mainly involves using Alteration Orbs on an item until a desirable set of mods is rolled.
I'm going to attempt to give a quick rundown of the crafting steps here.
First we need a base to craft on! For this Body Armour we need an item level 85 minimum Shaped Vaal regalia but keep in mind this process works on any base you plan to multimod with.
Once we have our Base item we need to reduce it to White rarity using an Orb of Scouring. We will then take the base to 20% quality and turn it into a Magic item with a Transmutation Orb.
Now we begin using Orbs of Alteration on our base while looking for specific mods.
For this particular craft we are looking for Shaper base crit mod for our Suffix as well as one of the following as either tier 1 or tier 2. Life, flat Energy Shield or % Increased Energy Shield. Once we have achieved a set of mods we are looking for we will move on to the next step.
At this point we will use a Regal orb on our Magic Base turning it into a Rare item and adding 1-2 more mods. Here we are hoping that we get a single mod that works really well with our build. Another Life or Energy Shield mod here would probably be ideal. If our Regal outcome is not favorable we can use an Orb of Scouring on the item and start the process all over from the beginning. Our other option would be to use an Orb of Annulment on the item randomly removing one of the mods on the item. If it removes the bad mod great if not you will have to start over.
Once we have a 2-3 stat Rare Item with mods we want we will be using the crafting bench to craft on the suffix "Item can Have Multiple Crafted Mods" this is a 2 Exalted Orb craft and is acquired by defeating the pale council.
The only other mod we have to craft on is "(8-10%) of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield". Use any mod space available on additional beneficial mods.
Given the reasons explained earlier in this guide Kalisa's Grace is clearly my choice for this slot and given its usually a 1 Alch item I don't really see a reason to run anything else Unless you're forced to because you need resists.
Here again Rare boots are the best and these are the mods you should be looking for
Movement Speed 25%-35%
As much Life as possible
As Much Energy Shield as Possible
Best in slot here is The Pandemonious Jade Amulet
This guarantees a 30% chill on enemies that hit us, causes enemies hit by to be blind, gives us 20% Cold Penetration as well as some much needed Dexterity and Cold Resistance.
If you are on a budget you can use the unique amulet Yoke of Suffering for Similar damage but less defense.
Here we are shooting for an unset Shaped ring with lvl12 Assassins Mark on hit and as much life and resists as possible. The best way to get a good ring is to use the same crafting method outlined in the Body Armour section. Here you are looking for life and Assasins Mark on hit before multimodding.
If you cant afford to craft or purchase one of these rings use a normal unset rare ring while looking for these mods.
% increased cold damage
Resistances as needed
Our choice in this slot is a Circle of Fear Synthesised Sapphire Ring.
This Ring gives specific buffs to Herald of Ice the two effect that we care about are Increased Herald Buff effect and Increased Cold Damage While affected by Herald of Ice. Its unlikely to get both of these on one ring so try to find a ring that also has the mod 0.x% of cold damage leeched as life. If you cant find that mod you will need to work out life leech somehwere else in the build.
If you cant afford to craft or purchase one of these rings use a normal rare ring while looking for these mods.
% increased cold damage
Resistances as needed
Here we want a Stygian Vise so we can gain an abyssal socket.
Here are the moods you should be looking for
Resistances as needed
1. Life Flask With Bleed Immunity
2. Enduring Mana Flask
3. Alchemists Quicksilver flask of Adrenaline
4a. Wise Oak if Cold Resistance is highest
4b. Atrziri's Promise if you need the leech or cant use wise oak
5a. Cinderswallow Urn if you have spell crit Body Armour
5b. Diamond flask if you need the crit
One Frozen Trail Cobalt Jewel
--This gives us two extra Frostbolt Projectiles as well as some Projectile Speed
One The Anima Stone Prismatic Jewel
--This gives us one additional Golem
Three Primoridial Eminence Veridian Jewel's
--With three of these plus the Anima Stone Prismatic Jewel we gain an additional Golem
One Glorious Vanity Timeless Jewel
--This is our source for the Corrupted Soul Keystone.
Skill-gems & Setups
Staff - Ice Nova
This is where our Ice Nova setup should be socketed so we can take advantage of Greater Spell Echo. When I originally posted this guide I was using Cold Penetration in our Ice Nova setup. After some in game testing and a little bit of theory crafting I do believe Faster Casting is the better option. Using Faster Casting causes us to begin casting sooner after using Frostbolt. This really does make the build feel more responsive. That is subjective so take it for what you will. Due to Faster Casting causing us to begin casting sooner as well as more often we should easily be able to hit enemies with at least one additional pair of Ice Nova repeats. That causes Faster Casting to do an ever so small bit more damage than Cold Penetration.
Spell Echo Support
Gloves - Frostbolt
There are two setups for these gloves depending on your ring.
Gem setup with Assassins Mark Ring
Greater Multiple projectiles
Power Charge on Crit
*I no longer use or recommend*Culling Strike
Faster Casting from Kalisa's Grace
Gem setup without Assassins Mark ring
Greater Multiple Projectiles
Curse on Hit
Body Armour - Golems
While our Body Armour doesn't need to be a 6L having it that way will greatly improve Golem survivability thanks to Meat Shield Support. You will need 3 off colors on this Body Armour piece so try to use the betrayal mechanic to get 3 white sockets.
Summon Flame Golem
Summon Stone Golem
Summon Lightning Golem
Summon Chaos Golem
Summon Ice Golem
Meat Shield Support
Helmet/Boots - Aura's
In one of our 4 links we will want to place our Aura setup.
Herald of Ice
Lvl 3 Enlighten
Helmet/Boots - Movement/CWDT
In our other item we will use a 2 link CWDT setup. The other two unlinked sockets will house our movement skill of choice and Blood Rage for Frenzy Charge generation
lvl 12 Cast When Damage Taken
lvl 10 Immortal Call
Flame Dash or Smoke Mine
Here we socket Frost Bomb for cold exposure
3.8 Blight Gear
Both Bandits and Pantheon are largely personal choice so choose what you think is best.
Path of Building and Skill Trees
***WE NO LONGER USE OPENARL'S PoB WE USE A NEW FORK FROM LOCAL IDENTITY***
***PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS BEFORE LOOKING AT THE POB***
PoB Setup and Pastebin
Here are the steps to update your PoB to the new fork. ***YOU NEED TO INSTALL THIS OR THE BUILD WILL NOT DISPLAY CORRECTLY*** Local Identitys PoB fork supports many new mechanics that Openarl's does not. This is because Openarl is now actually a dev for GGG and doesn't have much time to update PoB.
My goal with PoB is to create an accurate representation of real in game damage and defense instead of the unrealistic stars have to align setups we so often see. To accomplish this I make sure to not have anything selected that I don't believe I will consistently and realistically achieve in game. This includes things such as charges, curses and item effects.
Leveling Skill Tree's
In the PoB will be multiple skill trees to guide you during your leveling process. You can change which skill tree you're viewing by using the drop down box in the lower left hand corner of the skill tree window. Keep in mind you may want to make some changes to the tree depending on the gear you get as you level to maximize what you have and the respeccing later on as you get end game gear.
PoB Setup and Changes
There are a few things that we have to manually enter into PoB that it can't calculate on its own. The first is Golem buff effect because PoB cant calculate our ascendancy nodes we manually enter these effect as extra lines on the unique item The Anima Stone. PoB also doesn't support Timeless Jewels so we create our own in PoB. Your tree will be effected differently by your jewel than mine was so make sure to edit the jewel to match the effects that yours provides. In game the Chaos Inoculation Keystone is what take for Corrupted Soul so in PoB we leave it unselected otherwise we can't see our Life and ES. Lastly we do edit Kalisa's Grace so we can see our DPS with the buff active.
Boxes we tick in the Configuration Tab and why
When in Combat
---We maintain these charges during mapping and boss fights
---We maintain these charges while mapping but only have limited uptime in fights like Uber Elder
Leeching Energy Shield
---We are almost always leeching energy shield especially if we have Blood Rage enabled.
---While mapping we have high uptime on Onslaught granted by Cinderswallow Urn. During bossing we only really have this during bursts because of limited flask charges.
Pendulum of Destruction
---We leave this at none as it cant really be relied upon.
For Effective DPS
Is the enemy Ignited
---Because we have such a high crit chance inflicting ignite is basically guaranteed as long as we have some added flat fire damage somewhere in our build.
Is the enemy Chilled
---We have a near 100% chance to chill on hit
Is the enemy shocked
---We set this to 15% for Summon Skitterbots
Is the enemy a Boss?
---we select Shaper/Guardian
Cast on Frostbolt
---We select this so we see an accurate AoE for Ice Nova's
We also do have Frost Bombs effect enabled in the skills section because it is very easy to keep this up on big boss fights which is the only place in the game this type of damage is even needed.
Calculating The Damage of this build
****Big Disclaimer**** I am not a math guy and all of this is speculation all I know for sure is this build melts the Shaper so I have a feeling my damage calculation has to be somewhat close even if my methodology isn't perfect.
This is probably the biggest headache of this entire guide because there isn't really a "correct" let alone straight forward way to calculate our damage. If you only look at PoB and then multiply the DPS by 2 because we are casting on two Frostbolt's at once then the build looks as if it barely does 2Mil DPS. The problem is that this is wildly inaccurate for quite a few reasons that I will go into here. First is this doesn't take into account the 20% shock from our Skitterbots. Secondly it doesn't take into account additional overlaps from our seven Frostbolt projectiles. Finally it doesn't account for the additional damage from Pledge of Hands. I have attempted to do my best to calculate the damage of this build against a target like Shaper.
If you position Shaper at the edge of the screen use Frostbolt and Instantly start casting Ice Novas Shaper should be hit by around 22 Ice Novas before you would need to recast Frostbolt.
By ignoring the added damage from Greater Spell Echo I believe its reasonable to assume this is an accurate representation of real in game damage with all buffs up.
Here is an example
(330638.5 * 0.8)*22= 5.8M Shaper DPS
With the Elemental Damage buff from Pendulum of Destruction we reach around 6.3M Shaper DPS
Ascendancy Nodes in order
Normal Liege of The Primordial
Merciless Pendulum of Destruction
Eternal Mastermind of Discord
Last edited by itssowrong on Dec 12, 2019, 11:52:26 AM
Last bumped on Feb 21, 2020, 2:38:54 PM
on Nov 29, 2019, 11:53:38 PM
on Nov 30, 2019, 1:34:54 AM
Am I missing something? I haven't seen the ice nova. Basically it looked like a normal fbolt clear. Or you just mashing the Q or how does it work?
on Nov 30, 2019, 5:09:08 AM
I know this might be a lot to ask, is there anyway you can set a cheap budget item list for when you just hit maps in the build?
it helps for new players
on Nov 30, 2019, 5:35:02 AM
Well, according to my calculations you got more than 15 millions Shaper DPS, if all Ice Novas spawned hit the target in one second. PoB only shows DPS of a single Ice Nova spawn. In your setup 8 Ice Novas are spawned in a single cast.
From one cast of Ice Nova on a Frostbolt with Spell Echo and Greater Echo enemy is being hit 8 times - first Ice Nova x2 (x2 because of the Frostbolt interaction), then 3 repeats x2 - 8 hits total.
Greater Spell Echo adds more damage per repeat. There are 3 repeats. It can translated into around 53% more Spell Damage. You can add it anywhere on your gear.
In total this builds has solid 15m Shaper DPS if Frostbolt has Slower Projectiles.
on Nov 30, 2019, 10:40:35 AM
- no ele reflect maps, right?
on Nov 30, 2019, 12:08:52 PM
That's correct Ele Reflect = Instant Death
on Nov 30, 2019, 2:32:39 PM
I will definitely work on it. I am planning to run this as my league start in 3.9 so hopefully before that I can have some form of documented ideal item progression. Which of course I would add to the guide.
on Nov 30, 2019, 2:34:23 PM
Thank you very much, I am also looking at trying it for 3.9 if GG does not fuck something up. Now with shaper and elder rare bases being less available its going to be a bit harder for a lot of builds
on Nov 30, 2019, 3:39:40 PM
tips on leveling with this build?
on Nov 30, 2019, 5:55:14 PM