[3.17] Wallach's Hierophant Freezing Pulse Totems (No Further Updates)

SKeLeToNya wrote:
@Wallach Hi
What about CI + MoM? Will they work together? with tree like this https://pastebin.com/6JHrpK2u
I didnt change items, just sketched a tree.
If it will work - should be better with survivability

This won't work, Mind Over Matter does not protect Energy Shield, only Life.
I think it would be worth pointing out in the boots section that you can craft "30% increased effect of non-damaging ailments". Sure, it is not the 40% from redeemer boots, but it comes with the immense upside that we can just throw it on any boots we want that have an open suffix. So going for dodge boots, or just well rolled resist boots with that mod becomes very affordable when compared to the expensive gamble that is the Redeemer option.

Also, my PoB says that Sniper's Mark is not stronger than Frostbite. Would have thought the same as you, that it would be the better curse to use in single target situations, but somehow it isn't. I mean, its close, but still weaker. So I guess only worth it with Whispers of Doom.
Last edited by Mecielle on Sep 26, 2020, 9:05:54 AM
Wallach wrote:
Hey folks,

Welcome to my Freezing Pulse Totem guide for the Hierophant! This guide is currently being updated for patch 3.12 (Heist League).

UPDATE: As of 9/21's first hotfix, Soul Mantle now applies curses with 80% more effect rather than 80% increased effect, so we are now again able to fully neutralize the curses applied by Soul Mantle when reaching 100% reduced curse effect! Bear in mind that since this was done as a server-side hotfix, the item will not reflect this change until the next client patch.

PLEASE NOTE: Map modifiers which apply curses to players now do so with X% increased effect (20%/40%/80% depending on map tier), so these curses are still going to have some effect on you when wearing the Kikazaru & Sanctum of Thought setup. Between the remaining reduced curse effect and Wise Oak flask, the elemental resistance curses are not too meaningful, however curses such as Vulnerability or Temporal Chains can still be annoying and you may want to consider rolling away from those map modifiers unless you are in an Atziri's Reflection setup instead.

Summary of 3.12 Changes

- Curses have been separated into Hexes and Marks, with alterations to each curse type. When Hexes are self-cast, they will now gain 10 Doom per second up to a maximum of 30, which increases the effect of that curse by 1% per point of Doom. Marks are now curses limited to one target, but have more powerful effects that cannot be resisted by bosses, making them ideal boss-killing curses. We'll be wanting to utilize both in the long run thanks to how powerful Sniper's Mark will be for single target damage, so Whispers of Doom has become our ideal anointment in the long term.

- Curse on Hit support has been changed to Hextouch Support and is restricted to Hexes only. This means we really don't have a reason to utilize this support any longer, as Sniper's Mark is simply much more powerful than a second Hex option if we want to apply more than one curse to a boss.

- Soul Mantle now only applies random Hexes to you when your totems die, which lowers the pool of curses it can select from. There are now only 9 curses we can put on ourselves at a time, which lowers the effectiveness of the Self-Flagellation jewel slightly. We don't often reach this curse cap except for the opening of boss fights where we can spam totems for a while, so it's not going to be a big nerf in practice. It is however going to result in a slightly lower average number of curses on you from Soul Mantle as there are just less curses available for it to pick from.

- The Vengeful Commander cluster jewel notable was reduced to 20% increased effect of Hatred aura. Not a large nerf for us since we are not a physical conversion skill, but still going to cost us around ~1.5% damage for those utilizing cluster jewel setups.

- Glancing Blows was nerfed to where you now take 65% damage of blocked hits rather than 50%. For me, that is enough to not recommend going Glancing Blows anymore with this kind of build (as we simply cannot utilize on-block procs very effectively). As such I am going to be removing all Glancing Blows setup recommendations from this guide.

Overall, the net result of the 3.12 changes is actually likely to be a slight single target damage increase against bosses due to Sniper's Mark not being reduced in effectiveness, but a slight nerf to our average hit damage while clearing. Since we generally need single target damage more than clear speed in this build (especially at the higher end of gearing), it's really not much of a change overall and could probably just be seen as an upgrade. I would say maybe there is reduced quality of life in that we will be forced to self-cast Sniper's Mark (as there are no curse on hit ring variants that apply this particular mark) and self-cast our Frostbite curse (both for more damage and our main Arcane Surge trigger), but curses have such a high cast speed that I don't think this is a big deal.

Changelog (9/17/2020)

Guide has been updated a bit for initial 3.12 recommendations and the removal of Glancing Blows setups.

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[Heist League] 3.12 Freezing Pulse Totems - Build Changes Summary

Skill Tree

Path of Exile Website

Coming Soon

This is the basic level 95 skill tree. See the Path of Building import below for more detailed skill tree options, or the guide sections below for cluster jewel recommendations.

Path of Building Import


This Path of Building import contains all of the leveling skill trees, as well as example level 95 trees without clusters and with some basic clusters. See the gear & gem links sections below for recommended gearing (or the leveling tips section for gem links for the Holy Flame Totem setups while leveling).


This is an example of a higher-end investment build that includes items like Atziri's Reflection for those planning to take the build that far (this was simply my own character from the end of Delirium league with a few relevant tweaks for 3.12).



A good Rare helm is your target here. Treat this slot as a defensive piece; you'll want life, mana, and resistances mostly. This is also one of the most ideal places to pick up your main Dexterity bonus.

For your helm enchant, pick up the Freezing Pulse +30% Projectile Speed if you can. Freezing Pulse drops off in damage and freeze chance the further it travels, so the faster you can make the projectile go, the more damage it will do at any given point in its travel path.

If you're looking to invest a bit more into your helmet, getting a Hunter influenced helm will allow you to add some flat elemental damage to spells prefixes to the pool, where Frigid fossils will also help you specifically hit the cold damage to spells prefix. You also have a chance of hitting Shocking Conflux in the suffix pool, but your Frigid and Pristine fossil weightings will make this pretty unlikely to show up. You can also consider a Shaper helm for potential flat cold to spells and/or "nearby enemies take increased Elemental damage" aura, or Warlord helm (which has a fair amount of nice affixes like increased elemental damage or critical strike multiplier, but nothing that will be weighted via Frigid fossils). Redeemer now has the previously Fossil-exclusive "nearby enemies have -9% Cold Resistance" modifier which is another good choice as well.

It's worth noting that all of the previously Fossil-exclusive aura effects (-9% Cold Resistance to Nearby Enemies, Nearby Enemies take 6% Increased Elemental Damage, etc) now require item level 85 bases to even have a chance to roll. Be sure to check what item level your helmet is before you consider using something like a Conqueror Exalted Orb to add influence. Comparatively, the other good Hunter and Warlord mods such as flat damage to spells, increased elemental damage or global critical strike multiplier only require item level 75, so there are still good options to look for with lower item level bases.

Overall there are a lot of good influence options in this slot. Personally I would recommend focusing on the helm enchant first; if you can get an enchanted helmet that already has influence, you can simply roll that helm into something desirable. Otherwise wait until you have more currency to spend and use a conqueror's Exalted Orb to slam influence onto the item before you start Fossil-crafting anything in particular.


Body Armour

This build utilizes the Soul Mantle unique chest piece for two reasons: one it gives us another +1 to maximum totems, and two because we are going to actually make use of the fact that this chest piece applies Curses to us every time a totem dies (which also counts if you summon new totems beyond your maximum, as the oldest totems are destroyed). When we combine this chest piece with two Kikazaru rings and the Sanctum of Thought passive tree notable, we have a full 100% reduced effect of curses on us, meaning we no longer suffer the effects of any Curses applied to us whatsoever (even though they will still apply and appear on our character visually). We'll then turn these Curses into damage buffs via the Self-Flagellation unique Jewel, which grants +20% increased damage for every Curse effect on you. This chest piece is mandatory for this build guide to function properly as written.



Gloves are one of our most flexible armor slots with a lot of interesting options you can consider.

For the baseline affixes, you're generally going to just be looking for things like Dexterity, Life, Mana, and / or good resist totals. On top of that, there are a lot of influence options that can get you some great damage bonuses:

Incursion armor has the Puhuarte suffix, which is a hybrid that grants both T1 cold resistance and up to 35-50% increased damage with hits against chilled enemies, which works with our Freezing Pulse totem strikes. Especially in 3.9, the availability of these type of gloves is pretty high, because Metamorphs fairly frequently have the "drops Incursion armor" reward, which is resulting in a lot of these gloves winding up in the trade pool (or something you can at least target for yourself in SSF).

Hunter influence can add the "chance to Unnerve enemies for 4 seconds on hit" prefix, which is a very powerful debuff that causes enemies to take 10% more spell damage; since this is a debuff, it is multiplied after your final damage is calculated, so assuming no other debuffs in play this is a 10% more damage multiplier essentially. Unfortunately there isn't much else in the Hunter pool that is good for this build and the minimum ilvl required is quite high, so it can be pretty hard to get an ideal set of gloves with this suffix alone. Alteration orb searching for this prefix into Regal -> multimod is probably the best way to isolate this one.

Warlord influence has the "Culling Strike" suffix at ilvl 73, which means any enemy that you hit that has less than 10% health dies instantly - including boss targets. A very good affix to have against fights like Sirus where you want to end the last phase as quickly as possible. The only fight that I know of where Culling Strike doesn't work is against Uber Elder (either boss in this encounter). Against anything else, it is up to a 10% damage increase since it functionally removes the last 10% of an enemy's potential health bar. There are some other decent affixes in this pool on gloves (such as increased spell damage in prefix, or chance to avoid stun in suffix) which make these a better crafting target than Hunter in my opinion. Like Hunter, Alteration orb spam -> multimod is worth considering in my opinion to isolate Culling Strike and craft some very strong gloves.

Shaper influence still remains one of the better glove options for the "socketed gems are supported by Faster Casting" hybrid prefix at ilvl 84, which always comes with a global increased cast speed bonus (and you can slot your self-cast curse here to gain the socketed gems effect, increasing its mana cost for Arcane Surge). You can also get the "socketed gems are supported by Slower Projectiles" prefix (ilvl 83) which comes with an increased projectile damage roll. Shaper influence items are noticeably more rare in 3.9 however, and you don't have the option to Hunter / Warlord Exalted Orb slam a good base that you want to craft into.



Rare boots are my preference here as well; like the helmet slot I treat this mainly as a defensive piece, so life, resists and mana are the focus on top of getting as much movement speed as possible.

For the boot enchant, the best option here is "Damage Penetrates 10% of enemy resistances if you have not killed recently". Since our totems do killing instead of us, we have this effect up permanently. The "120% increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven't crit recently" isn't terrible in a pinch, but we do self-cast Frost Bomb fairly frequently which - even though it will deal no damage due to Ancestral Bond - will still roll its critical strike chance and may disable this bonus sometimes, especially in boss fights.

As far as influence options, it is worth considering a Redeemer or Warlord Exalted Orb slam depending on what you have open on boots. Redeemer has a few good options such as "increased effect of non-damaging ailments" in suffix, which will greatly improve the effect of your chill & freeze (especially powerful if you are running the Cold Conduction medium cluster notable as it improves the effect of your Shock as well), as well as having some good defensive suffixes in case you don't hit that one. Warlord also has a set of less impactful but safe suffixes such as "chance to avoid stun" or "chance to avoid fire/cold/lightning damage", "regenerate 1% life per second", or "additional % physical damage reduction". Hunter could be considered if you are running something like Storm Brand to apply curses, which would allow you to use "you have Tailwind if you have dealt a critical strike recently" more easily, but everything else is a pretty big whiff in Hunter's pool.


Main Hand Weapon

A Rare Sceptre or Wand is generally what you're after here. You're looking for standard "caster" stats - +1 to cold spell skill gems, spell damage, cold damage, global critical strike multiplier, cast speed, cold (or other flat) damage to spells, non-chaos / cold damage as extra chaos, critical strike chance to spells or projectile speed (roughly in that order of priority).

Incursion Temple mods are strong here, in particular the Topotante's or Tacati's prefixes which grant 70-79% increased Spell or Cold damage and come with either flat cold to spells (Topotante's) or non-chaos as extra chaos (Tacati's) in a single prefix. These are great prefixes to build a strong wand around and ones you should be keeping a sharp eye out for (whether in the trade pool or in SSF).

Unfortunately, influence options aren't super exciting for this slot. I would say the most compelling options here are "Hatred has X increased aura effect" or "Spells have X chance to deal double damage" suffixes in the Redeemer pool, or "Chance to Unnerve enemies for 4 seconds on hit" in Hunter. The latter is going to be extremely hard to acquire as the rest of the Hunter influence pool is a total minefield for us, so even considering a Hunter's Exalted Orb on an open suffix would be an enormous gamble unlikely to pay off. I'd be more inclined to find a strong Incursion base with other good T1-T3 rolls that has an open suffix and slamming a Redeemer orb, as you have about a 1/3 chance of hitting one of the desirable suffixes. More realistically, I'd say ignoring influence altogether is probably the better option and just crafting on an Incursion base will be your best bet overall.


Off-Hand Weapon

A Rare Shaper shield is one of the better options here (that we know of so far) for the "+1 to number of maximum summoned totems" affix. This only requires an item level of 70 or higher to appear on Shaper shields, but as of 3.9 with the Shaper and Elder no longer being part of the core Atlas mechanics, this may be significantly harder to acquire than before. If you can choose, I recommend crafting on something like a Fossilised Spirit Shield base for the highest possible Spell Damage implicit bonus. Since patch 3.8 this slot can also roll +1 to all cold spell skill gems like 1-handed weapons, so that would generally be one of the highest priority affixes after +1 to maximum totems. Otherwise, look for either defensive stats where you're currently lacking (life, mana, resists) or general offensive caster stats like cast speed, spell damage, or spell critical strike chance bonuses.

Another good option is to just skip the shield altogether and dual wield a second Rare wand or sceptre with similar stats to your main hand weapon. This generally means you have slightly less access to defensive affixes like life or mana, 1-handed weapons can still roll resists, and your per-totem DPS will be noticeably higher than your average Shaper shield. This is generally close to a wash in terms of total single target DPS since the shield route will give you an entire extra totem to work with, and sticking with 4 stronger totems tends to have a positive impact on your general map clear speed (as you will generally never be setting all your totems down in any one given spot while progressing forward through a map). It'll just generally leave you with slightly less effective health to work with, and possibly trickier resists to balance.



As mentioned in the Body Armour section, this build makes use of two Kikazaru rings to give us 80% reduced effect of Curses on us, with the final 20% coming from the passive skill tree. These rings are required to prevent the Curses that Soul Mantle will be applying to you from actually applying their negative effects. Thankfully, these rings are common and relatively cheap, so they shouldn't be hard to acquire even early into a league.

As expected, Catalysts aren't particularly useful on these since the only thing you can really do is increase either the lightning resist (which you probably won't need more of anyway) or the life / mana recovery affixes (which is incredibly costly relative to what you get out of them). Better to save your Catalysts for other pieces.



A good Rare is my general recommendation here, especially if you are running two unique rings as your resists will be harder to cap. Offensively the most important affix you can get in this slot is global critical strike multiplier as it rolls higher in this slot than any other jewelry slot we have. Life should also be on this slot; beyond that pick up whatever resists you need patched and then grab more offensive caster affixes (critical strike chance, cast speed, spell & cold damage). You should also look for these stats on Jade, Citrine or Turquoise amulet bases, as that will give you some additional Dexterity towards your skill gem requirements.

Influence wise, I think your best bet is probably Redeemer to have a chance at the "+1 to all Cold spell skill gems" prefix, which even at the high end of gear is worth around the same as a 38-40% critical strike multiplier roll. Crafting one of these will be tricky; your best bet is probably Alteration orb spam looking for +1 cold spells and a T1 critical multiplier roll, then trying to Regal into another good T1 roll like life (or search trade for such a base you can multimod). While Hunter also has the "+1 to Intelligence skill gems" - meaning a dual-influence Redeemer / Hunter amulet with both prefixes is a possibility - you are dealing with incredible opportunity cost issues in trying to actually get both prefixes alongside something like T1 critical multiplier, which increases the cost of crafting such an item exponentially. Realistically, it's not really something worth considering unless currency is really no object to you, and you couldn't invest the currency in another slot for a more deterministic upgrade (which is pretty unlikely considering what such an amulet is likely to cost).

The Pandemonius is the other main late-game option that provides a large amount of damage through the cold penetration against chilled enemies and bonus cold damage, and applies blind to enemies when they are chilled for additional safety against attacks. It is also a Jade amulet base so you still get to pick up some Dexterity in this slot for your skill gem requirements. Blind is a bit of a tough thing to evaluate defensively, and much of its value is relative to the content you are most concerned about; for general mapping, Blind is pretty good, especially if you are running maps that make enemies immune to elemental ailments and cannot Freeze them (so you are dealing with vastly more incoming attacks). However, if your main target is endgame boss fights like Uber Elder or Sirus, Blind doesn't serve much purpose here as the actual threats in this encounter simply aren't affected (Sirus in particular has no attacks whatsoever).

You should consider Pandemonius sort of the high-end benchmark; when you're considering the cost of an amulet upgrade, this is the baseline you're weighing against in terms of cost. It can be extremely difficult to justify a rare amulet once you can afford a Pandemonius.



Another Rare slot, but there are a couple good options here: either a Rare Stygian Vise for the ability to socket a strong Abyss Jewel, or a Leather Belt which rolls an additional implicit maximum life bonus.

Treat this like a standard defensive belt slot - as much life as you can get, resists, and flask bonuses. Increased damage from Veiled crafting is another good option for this slot. Fossil crafting with Frigid Fossils will allow you to roll a potential additional 30% Cold Damage affix. As of patch 3.8, we can also roll mana on belts, which gives you some flexibility if you need help balancing your life-to-mana ratio for Mind Over Matter.

In terms of Influence, Redeemer is a strong option - "Increased Cold Damage" and "Damage with Hits against Chilled Enemies" prefixes (both ilvl 80) are able to be weighted with Frigid Fossils, and still has some good suffix options such as "Increased Mana Recovery Rate" (ilvl 75, which increases our total global mana regeneration) or "Remove Chill & Freeze when you use a Flask" (ilvl 75) which can free up a flask suffix for something like Ignite removal or a Catarina veiled flask craft like "increased critical strike chance during flask effect".

Hunter also has a couple good suffixes such as "Increased Cast Speed during any Flask effect" (ilvl 68) or "Increased Movement Speed during any Flask effect" (ilvl 81) which you can consider weighting with a Shuddering Fossil (speed modifiers). You could even consider Pristine + Shuddering fossils here to also weight life and the "Increased Maximum Life %" (ilvl 84)

Catalyst-wise, this is a good target for defensive gains - either the life & mana rolls or resists, depending which you need more of at the time.


First Snow is the first unique jewel in this build, and one of your first priorities in gearing is to unlock your first two jewel slots to equip these as soon as you possibly can. Each of these threshold jewels will add 2 projectiles to Freezing Pulse, which massively improves the amount of enemies the skill can hit per cast. You also get minor damage bonuses in the form of +10% projectile damage and another +25% damage for 4 seconds after you shatter any enemy. These jewels are usually quite cheap, so it is worth trying to track down corrupted versions that have bonus implicits such as You Cannot Be Maimed / Hindered.

Self-Flagellation is the second unique jewel you'll want to have access to, which you can make use of once you have equipped your Soul Mantle body armour and Kikazaru rings. This jewel grants up to +20% increased damage for every Curse effect on you, which thanks to Soul Mantle you will have plenty of pretty much at all times. This is an enormous source of damage for this build, but don't worry about picking this up until you have your Soul Mantle setup equipped.

Clear Mind is the last jewel for this build and simply grants a nice chunk of mana regeneration and spell damage, so long as you are not reserving any of your mana pool. Since we are avoiding mana reservations to make use of our 40% Mind over Matter damage split, this jewel fits nicely into the build. This jewel should come as a last priority after the above three jewels are already in your build, and generally the first jewel to remove if you need to make room for a higher budget option such as Watcher's Eye.

Cluster Jewels

Large Cluster Jewels

Increased Cold Damage - When using any kind of large jewel, the first priority is having a base that only has 8 passive points. The more points you have to waste in minor nodes drops the value of your large cluster significantly. Beyond that, you are mainly looking for a jewel that has the following affixes:

* Blanketed Snow
* Vengeful Commander OR Prismatic Heart / Disorienting Display
* (Any third notable)
* 2 Jewel Sockets

Blanketed Snow is the most important notable for this cluster and is desired both before and after you have an Atziri's Reflection. Vengeful Commander is the next best notable if you are using an Atziri's Reflection and are utilizing Hatred aura; if you are still using Kikazaru rings, take either Prismatic Heart or Disorienting Display here. 2 jewel sockets for jumping out to two different medium clusters from here is optimal.

Finally, you want any other notable occupying the final affix slot. The reason the notable doesn't really matter here is that we won't actually be allocating this notable, but having a notable in the fourth affix slot will shape the large cluster such that you will be able to get Blanketed Snow + Vengeful Commander as well as both jewel sockets for only 5 skill points.

When crafting a jewel like this yourself, you want to grab a solid Cold Damage large jewel base (ilvl 75 or higher, 8 passive points), Alteration Orb until you hit either Blanketed Snow or Vengeful Commander and 2 jewel sockets, then Regal Orb to try and hit whichever notable you did not hit first (Blanketed Snow or Vengeful Commander). Once you have a jewel with those three mods, you can either Exalted Orb slam or T3 Leo bench from Betrayal (Research safehouse) to try and get a fourth notable.

If you are still in the Kikazaru version of the build, you may not want to invest a ton of currency into a Large cluster until you can utilize one with Vengeful Commander. In that case, focus mainly on getting a cluster that has at least one jewel socket and Blanketed Snow with as few skill points as possible. More notables or jewel sockets are still better though as they will reduce the total amount of possible minor node travel within the jewel.

Medium Cluster Jewels

We have a lot of good options in medium clusters. Like large clusters, we want to use as few skill points as possible here, but in this case we can utilize either 4 or 5 point medium clusters (since you can still get 2 notables + 1 jewel socket for 4 skill points on a 5 point medium cluster by pathing to the jewel socket via whichever side does not have the extra minor node).

As far as which medium clusters to use, I think it varies a bit on what your priorities are. In my opinion, there are two clusters that stand out:

Increased Effect of Non-Damaging Ailments - These clusters can roll the notable Cold Conduction, which applies a 15% Shock effect to any enemy that is Chilled by your hits. This does work with your totem hits, and the effect of the Shock can be further amplified by increased effect of non-damaging ailments (which conveniently this cluster jewel offers). I think the best option to pair this with is Astonishing Affliction, which will grant you 20% increased damage, 20% increased effect of non-damaging ailments (improving both all your chills & freezes and the shock effect of Cold Conduction), and 20% increased duration of non-damaging ailments.

Increased Effect of your Curses - These clusters have two extremely powerful notables in Master of Fear and Wish for Death, significantly improving the power of your curses. Master of Fear applies Unnerve to any cursed enemies, causing them to take 10% increased spell damage; since Unnerve is a debuff, this is far more powerful than just "10% increased damage" and is effectively a 10% more multiplier. Wish for Death will grant you and your totems Culling Strike against any cursed enemies, which is great for clipping high health boss targets like Sirus and effectively reducing the health of enemy targets by 10%. Note that these two effects (Culling Strike and Unnerve) are accessible via other means, such as Hunter influenced gloves (Unnerve on Hit chance) or Warlord influenced gloves (Culling Strike) - if you gain access to either effect outside of your clusters, you should replace this medium cluster with one of the damage options listed below.

If you are doing heavy mapping and just want pure "first hit" damage increases, you can also consider these high-value damage clusters:

Increased Projectile Damage - One of these clusters with the notables Streamlined and Repeater will give you a solid damage boost while also picking up an additional 30% projectile speed. A great cluster for those purely focused on mapping efficiency.

Increased Critical Strike Chance - A very high raw damage cluster if you can get one with any combination of Precise Commander, Precise Retaliation or Pressure Points.

Small Cluster Jewels

Unlike the Large or Medium cluster jewels, I generally prefer 3 point jewels over 2 point jewels if we're investing points into a cluster jewel chain.

Increased Maximum Life - In general, I think we will always want a jewel with increased life minor nodes. Holistic Health, Fettle and Blessed are all great choices for notables here; I personally prefer Blessed as Chaos Resistance is still highly valuable in the current state of the game.

These small cluster jewels are also a good place to stack up extra effects in the minor nodes. In particular, you can get up to +12-14 Dexterity per minor node on max level cluster jewels, which can make your gear & gem requirements much easier to meet. Otherwise, look for bonuses to resistances (especially Chaos Resistance) or flat life or mana on the minor nodes.

Gem Links

Main Gem Setups

Primary damage links in order of priority:

Freezing Pulse -> Hypothermia -> Controlled Destruction -> Cold Penetration -> Added Cold Damage -> Increased Critical Strikes

Note that if you are not yet using a Soul Mantle you'll need to equip a Spell Totem gem to convert Freezing Pulse into a Totem; the support gems above are listed in order of priority so drop gems as needed to fit your current available links.

Offensive support 4-link:

Frostbite -> Arcane Surge -> Increased Duration -> Spell Cascade

This should be your priority for your first spare 4-link. Remember to level your Arcane Surge gem such that the mana cost of Frostbite is equal or higher than the trigger for Arcane Surge to grant its buff effect. You want Frostbite to grant Arcane Surge every single time it is cast; maximum uptime is worth more than slightly increasing Arcane Surge's buff effect. Spell Cascade allows you to both increase Frostbite's cost (to give you more room for a higher level Arcane Surge) and allows you to blanket a much larger area without increasing Frostbite's cast time.

Remember that your rank of Arcane Surge should be adjusted to account for the mana cost of your Frostbite curse! I personally keep Arcane Surge low enough that a single Frostbite cast will trigger it, but keeping it within two casts of Frostbite is also reasonable.

Offensive support 4-link:

Frost Bomb -> Spell Totem -> Multiple Totems -> Second Wind

This 4-link setup gives us access to Cold Exposure, an additional -25% Cold Resistance penalty that stacks on enemies on top of any other sources of penetration we are using. By linking it to Spell Totem and Multiple Totems, this turns Frost Bomb into a totem that has +2 to maximum number of totems, allowing us to drop an additional 2 totems alongside our Freezing Pulse totems. In turn this grants us stronger effects of our Ritual of Awakening ascendancy bonus, which scales with the number of active totems. Since the totems will have a cooldown inherited by Frost Bomb, adding Second Wind allows us to store 2 charges of the totem, ensuring we can still drop 2 of these totems with one button press (though they will have a brief recharge time before you can drop more). Remember that you want to refresh your Freezing Pulse totems before you attempt to refresh any active Frost Bomb totems, lest you wind up destroying any of your active Freezing Pulse totems (which must still obey their 4 active totem limit). This is generally not an issue since the Frost Bomb totems have a brief cooldown and don't need to be replaced that frequently, but you can play around with this in your hideout so you can see it for yourself.

Utility support 4-link:

Steelskin -> Cast When Damage Taken -> Increased Duration -> (Your Choice)

I've actually started running Steelskin over Immortal call as of late; even though we do generate Endurance Charges in this build, we have a low base amount of physical mitigation, and do not rebuild our Endurance Charges that consistently after Immortal Call consumes them, which can leave us a bit vulnerable to physical damage once Immortal Call wears off if we are not fully out of danger. Steelskin doesn't consume our Endurance Charges when it triggers, so we get to keep the additional physical mitigation at all times. The downside of Steelskin is that it requires a much higher rank of skill gem to really be useful later, so you'll want to level up Steelskin and Cast When Damage Taken to relatively high levels. I personally run a level 17 Cast When Damage Taken and a level 19 Steelskin, which allows Steelskin to absorb up to around 2k damage during its buff effect. Remember that if you want to increase Steelskin to rank 20, your Cast When Damage Taken must be leveled all the way to 20 as well for it to work.

The final link here is yours to decide; Vaal Righteous Fire would be my recommendation as it is a big damage increase when available. Just make sure whatever you slot here is high enough rank that it is not triggered autoamatically by Cast When Damage Taken unless you want it to be. You can also simply break this 4-link into two 2-links on this gear slot, so that your Vaal skill is only linked to Increased Duration; it isn't important for your Steelskin to be linked to Increased Duration as well, and this will prevent your Cast When Damage Taken from triggering anything but Steelskin if the gem levels are misaligned.

Damage support 3-link:

Cold Snap -> Cast When Damage Taken -> Bonechill

I run this 3-link setup in my weapon so that when enemies strike me, it will drop a Cold Snap chilling area under them that increases the cold damage they take thanks to Bonechill support. Enemies that die while in the chilling area will also generate Frenzy charges for us occasionally, which is a nice bonus during map clearing. Keep Cast When Damage Taken at level 1 in this setup (which will allow you up to a level 7 Cold Snap) since we don't care how much damage Cold Snap itself does, so we want this to trigger as often as possible.

Note that using Vaal Cold Snap will also grant you a Vaal version that you can self-cast, which grants you Frenzy charges every second enemies are standing in the chilling ground. Useful for some additional Frenzy charge generation against certain bosses, but requires souls to charge, which isn't possible in some encounters (such as Sirus).

Movement support 3-link:

Flame Dash OR Dash -> Second Wind -> Sniper's Mark

Your main movement skill link. Personally after testing these in 3.10 I prefer Dash to Flame Dash, but this will come down to personal preference. Early game, you may have a easier time using Flame Dash since you are likely to have fairly low access to Dexterity bonuses for higher levels of Dash. The Portal gem is just a luxury, and can be replaced with whatever you prefer if you don't mind picking up Portal Scrolls (Phase Run, Lightning Golem, Lighting Warp, etc).

This is also a good place to fit your Sniper's Mark curse in for bosses. You can also choose to slot it into your Frostbite 4-link setup in place of Spell Cascade, which will allow it to benefit from Increased Duration at the cost of losing Spell Cascade for Frostbite (which will lower Frostbite's mana cost for Arcane Surge purposes). If you choose to do that, you can use the third gem socket here for whatever you prefer!

Awakened Gem Priority

Primary damage links:

Awakened Controlled Destruction, Awakened Added Cold Damage and Awakened Cold Penetration are the three Awakened gem variants we can currently utilize in this build.

In terms of opportunity cost, I'd say your first priority is Awakened Controlled Destruction, because the 10% increased cast speed gain over regular Controlled Destruction comes via the quality bonus, so you can access that boost immediately instead of having to level the gem up to rank 5 to see the benefits. Awakened Added Cold Damage would come in second; even though it provides a larger increase over Added Cold Damage, it doesn't really gain the large jump in damage until rank 5, which takes a massive amount of experience to reach and is a significant time investment. Awakened Cold Penetration would come in last and is a pretty meager increase compared to regular Cold Penetration, though is likely to be the cheapest of the three as well.


Pursuit of Faith -> Ritual of Awakening -> Conviction of Power -> Divine Guidance

Not much choice here for a totem build. Luckily all four of these nodes are very strong and make Hierophant the standard bearer for totem builds.

I highly recommend that your first 4 points go towards Ritual of Awakening - it is both an immense power boost and enormous quality-of-life change for the totem playstyle, and the most important Ascendancy notable we have access to. Unlocking it should be your top priority. Conviction of Power and Divine Guidance can be taken in whichever order you prefer, with Divine Guidance being a more defensive notable and Conviction of Power being a more balanced split between offense and defense. If you are uncertain, just stick to the order listed above.


Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching - Your first flask slot should always be a life flask to help heal back from any big hits you might take. The ideal suffix here is Staunching so that you have the ability to remove dangerous bleed effects (such as the heavy bleeds put on you by Labyrinth spike traps) on demand. I personally recommend a Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching, which will reduce the overall amount healed but grant some instant healing to help counter spike damage. Some folks prefer Seething prefix for purely instant healing at an even slightly lower value. Use whatever you're comfortable with here so long as it has the Staunching suffix for the bleed removal.

Wise Oak Bismuth Flask - This unique flask will grant us up to 15% Cold Penetration so long as our Cold Resistance is the highest of our three elemental resists. It will also grant some additional damage mitigation against whatever elemental damage type we have the lowest resist of. While quite difficult to do, if you can get all three of your Fire, Cold, and Lightning resists to the exact same number, you will get both of the flask's effect in all three elements (since all three resists will technically be both your lowest and highest elemental resists). Worth doing as a very endgame point of min-maxing, but for the most part you should be concerned only with ensuring your Cold Resistance is highest so that you get the Cold Penetration effect from this flask.

Chemist's Diamond Flask of Heat - Our most vital damage flask, as making your critical strike chance "Lucky" means it rolls twice to attempt to score a critical strike with every hit. This is also a good place for your Heat suffix to allow you a way to escape from being Frozen; you don't want to open any magic or rare strongboxes if you don't have a Heat flask handy, or they can be guaranteed death if they Freeze you upon opening. Chemist's prefix here gives us 2 uses from full charges with 10 charges left over, meaning you will get a 3rd use almost immediately.

Chemist's Silver Flask of Grounding - Another good damage flask that also grants movement speed. We take Grounding here since we don't need Curse removal on flasks with our build setup, and Shock can be dangerous in some situations so its nice to have access to Shock immunity. Chemist's affix will grant us 2 uses from full charges.

Chemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline - This isn't the fastest build around, so a Quicksilver flask is great for improving your mapping speed and general quality of life. Adrenaline affix here gives us even more movement speed than a regular Quicksilver, and Chemist's ensures we get 3 full uses at full charges, with a few charges to spare.

Mecielle wrote:
I think it would be worth pointing out in the boots section that you can craft "30% increased effect of non-damaging ailments". Sure, it is not the 40% from redeemer boots, but it comes with the immense upside that we can just throw it on any boots we want that have an open suffix. So going for dodge boots, or just well rolled resist boots with that mod becomes very affordable when compared to the expensive gamble that is the Redeemer option.

Also, my PoB says that Sniper's Mark is not stronger than Frostbite. Would have thought the same as you, that it would be the better curse to use in single target situations, but somehow it isn't. I mean, its close, but still weaker. So I guess only worth it with Whispers of Doom.

Yeah, I should probably mention the craft in the guide.

As for Sniper's Mark, it's because the PoB fork doesn't handle the new Marks correctly yet. It still applies boss curse penalties as if they were the old curses, so you have to manually simulate them by editing items a bit.
Wallach wrote:

Yeah, I should probably mention the craft in the guide.

As for Sniper's Mark, it's because the PoB fork doesn't handle the new Marks correctly yet. It still applies boss curse penalties as if they were the old curses, so you have to manually simulate them by editing items a bit.

Oh, thought I had read in the notes that the marks were working. Good to know, and that explains it I guess. Snipers Mark should be pretty insane then, since its only slightly worse with the 66% less curse effect.

Pretty comlicated single target fights then. Really not looking forward to manual dual cursing on top of keeping up Frost Bomb, but I guess its the only way to go. No room to work in a CoH setup, would have to give up other things for it.

Although maybe worth it with an Awakened CoH? Making the rotation a lot easier and freeing up the amulet annoint.
Last edited by Mecielle on Sep 26, 2020, 12:33:58 PM
Mecielle wrote:
Oh, thought I had read in the notes that the marks were working. Good to know, and that explains it I guess. Snipers Mark should be pretty insane then, since its only slightly worse with the 66% less curse effect.

Pretty comlicated single target fights then. Really not looking forward to manual dual cursing on top of keeping up Frost Bomb, but I guess its the only way to go. No room to work in a CoH setup, would have to give up other things for it.

Although maybe worth it with an Awakened CoH? Making the rotation a lot easier and freeing up the amulet annoint.

Unfortunately Curse on Hit is now Hextouch, and does not support Marks. You can get Frostbite on Hit from Redeemer wands or in the ring slot (if you're not running double Essence Worm) and just manually cast the Sniper's Mark, but there is no way to automate Sniper's Mark at all.
Wallach wrote:
Mecielle wrote:
Oh, thought I had read in the notes that the marks were working. Good to know, and that explains it I guess. Snipers Mark should be pretty insane then, since its only slightly worse with the 66% less curse effect.

Pretty comlicated single target fights then. Really not looking forward to manual dual cursing on top of keeping up Frost Bomb, but I guess its the only way to go. No room to work in a CoH setup, would have to give up other things for it.

Although maybe worth it with an Awakened CoH? Making the rotation a lot easier and freeing up the amulet annoint.

Unfortunately Curse on Hit is now Hextouch, and does not support Marks. You can get Frostbite on Hit from Redeemer wands or in the ring slot (if you're not running double Essence Worm) and just manually cast the Sniper's Mark, but there is no way to automate Sniper's Mark at all.

Right, I actually knew that CoH was changed, but didnt make this connection yet. Alright, guess its MMO skill rotation for this build :D
I dont know for anomalous freezing pulse, but the anomalous hypothermia seems very good to me, because it enhance freezing chance from 10% to 30% on chilled ennemies, the classic one giving extra chilled duration, that seems irrelevant. Very good defensice bonus in my opinion.
anomalous freezing pulse wording make it that freezing pulse no longer have a dmg drop off but at a cost of 10% dmg reduction at the end of the projectile. as at the start u lose 20% dmg but gain 10% of the 50% reduction after the projectile ends.
PoB link is not working.

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