[3.18]Bleed Explosive Arrow Ballista totem| league starter| cheap | 2m+ w starter gear

3.18 changes

no changes for this league

3.17 changes

Ailment modifier to explosive arrow is back. so the build is viable again.
Also buffs to bows and quivers damage mods
I made a quick update for starting tree. please note that PoB does not have the ailment more damage per arrow yet so the damage should be doubled.
also with bone offering nerf I don't think it is worth it any more.
I think going pathfinder node for flasks or Hierophant for extra totem or maybe even berserker node for more damage.

3.16 changes

Ailment more modifier per arrow is removed from explosive arrow which halves the damage for bleed
so I don't recommend it any more
I may start with an ignite version of the build. If I do I will make a separate post for it

3.15 changes

all damage supports in the game got hit. PoB is not yet updated to calculate the difference.
The good news is at least explosive arrow got a buff for damage per arrows from 3% to 5% (at 20 arrows from 60% to 100%) which should help to counter the nerfs.

3.14 changes

Chain breaker got nerfed which means less uptime for Berserk
I don't know how it will look in practice or if it is still worth using
but generally since it has lower uptime it is better to plan attack speed away from Berserk
also survivability will take a hit during Berserk down time
not sure if corrupted blood interaction can be added to the build since we can have 2 separate 6 links for non scion versions of the build

I also added deadeye dodge based version of the build since deadeye is now good with bleeding -> as always only the starter gear

3.13 changes

Ballista Totem Support got buffed so we got damage increase
Gladiator version got slight bleed nerf
Champion version more tanky now

3.12 changes

The build mostly unchanged but the nerfs to bone offering and glancing blows makes us a bit less tanky.
this can be compensated by using Hunter chest with increased offering effect And going full block without glancing blows
The Champion with fortify looks more attractive if you don't want to invest into full block and removes the need for trigger bow which allow us to get more attack speed on it.
We can also go Gladiator and go full damage with free explosion.

I added PoB links for theoretical gladiator and champion variants

There is also quality gems that seems interesting but I didn't test them myself
Divergent Explosive Arrow: max arrow stacks means a lot of damage but we lose a lot of duration which we need to compensate for by either more duration nodes or more attack speed

Divergent Chance to Bleed Support: should increase damage

After my necromancer ignite explosive arrow build was killed by the 20 arrows limit nerf, I wanted to try something else with it. The next ailment that would benefit the most of the big hit is bleed.

The main challenge is that with strong bleed bow it will be hard to get high attack speed to reach 20 arrows without using barrage support which reduces the damage. also barrage would would lock you in place.

So I came up with the idea of using Balliste totems. with up to 7 totem we can reduce the number to hits required per totem to reach the cap

I went with Scion to also get easy block with help of necro bone offering but you can use another Ascendancy like (Gladiator - Champion - Hierophant) even Necromancer might work since you would not need attack speed investment and you get free shock. (but far starting location on the tree)

How EA Works with bleed:
The first EA arrow places a debuff on the target that lasts for a duration.
for each arrow that hits the target during the debuff the damage will be stored until the debuff expires or a max of 20 arrows is reached.
when the debuff expires you will get AoE Explosion that deals the combined damage of all the arrows.
This will result in a very big hit if you can reach all 20 arrows before the explosion which in return will result in a strong bleed + 60% more damage (3% per arrow).
This gives EA a higher bleed potential than any other skill in the game with the down side that you have to reach 20 arrows in a short duration.
so to reach the max number of arrows you have few options
- increase attack speed.
- increase debuff duration
- using barrage support to increase the number of arrows per hit
- increase attack sources with totems
while playing with PoB I found that barrage support while still can be an option it reduces the damage by alot and it will be really hard to reach 20 arrows within reasonable duration without it if you self attack so I went with totems which you can get 7 of them. (last league you could stack more totems but that was removed)


3.11 videos:
Sirus A8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIRN4VsSFW4 posted by FGTwinkle
Uber Elder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J80x8GJm7d8 posted by FGTwinkle
Simulacrum: https://youtu.be/VMDP5tW-OBg posted by FGTwinkle
Sirus A5 last phase: https://youtu.be/nsFJWjyRIU8
took a beam in the face but was saved by blocking
Drox: https://youtu.be/lGSnuJyp2Co
map clear: https://youtu.be/0Uc1EPup-lc


- Good clear with Rain of Splinters and EA Explosion. also EA initial hits causes bleed and kills most trash and they trigger the explosion on death.
- Strong single Target.
- Single skill for both clear and single target. (most bleed bow builds ueses split arrow for clear and puncture for single target)
- easy and cheap to level and get started. (explosive arrow fire damage is very strong for leveling)


- totems play style not for everyone.
- no pierce can sometimes be annoying but most of the time not a problem since EA is an area Explosion and you group things together with knockback.
- no leech makes us dependent on enduring cry for life sustain + life on block - mana sustain requires mana flask until you can invest in mana cost rings.


You will need to use the community fork version of path of building
The Gear I used in PoB are only from league start perspective with crappy gear. The damage can be scaled further similar to any bleed bow build available. I am only providing the starting tree here. I am a casual player so feel free to share your suggestions and improvements.
3.17 scion PoB: https://pastebin.com/F39B99AK

older PoBs for other classes (not updated for 3.15):
Scion PoB: https://pastebin.com/XaKReNbS
Gladiator PoB: https://pastebin.com/VtkQQCF8 less defenses but more dps. also note that you can get challenger charges while mapping because bleed kills will count as your kills but on single target you will need to hit him yourself.
Champion PoB: https://pastebin.com/6t9hW8NR prema fortify and totems taunts enemies on hit
Deadeye PoB: https://pastebin.com/NJWCMeRP

in Harvist I made some small investments to my gear which pushed my dps near 2m while still using the same starter weapon
PoB: https://pastebin.com/n0KjibNz


This is strong and cheap bow for bleeding builds that costed in harvest 15c.
In Heist it started a bit expensive but now the prices seems to be droping.
If you can't afford it just get a bow with the highest physical damage you can get.
A good Elder bow with more bleed damage mod would be better end game option if you have the currency to afford it.
I used trigger spells mod so I don't have to manage bone offering and curse
If you don't go with scion glad-necro then you can go with attack speed + quality mod

Extra totem. you can replace it with normal bow if you have enough attack speed. Damage overtime multi would be really good. or you can use

to get block without "Glancing blows" to be more tanky.

enchant for the EA duration and the 10% attack speed from Starkonja helps.
not sure about rare with betrayal ailment duration would help with boses.
for some reason poe don't show damage change even some of "bleed inflect damage faster" mods

Rest of the gear are life and resistance gear. If you have the currency aim for damage over time multi on gloves and amulet and/or flat physical damage which you can also find on rings. faster bleeding on boots is also a damage multiplier.

Explosions Note:
if you like using explosion items (like gloves or crusader explode chest) note that the bleed kills will count as your kills so they will trigger explosions but totem hits are not your hits so they will not trigger them.
If the map level is high enough that shouldn't be a problem since the build does not scale hit damage.


Leveling is easy. Start by investing in totem nodes first until you can go bleed later with strong bow.
I recommend leveling using fire based explosive arrow since it's fire damage scales well with gem level so you don't need to look for bows with high physical damage. and when you can buy/equip crimson storm then switch to bleed setup.
but if you have a nice physical bow you can switch early.

if anyone has better ideas to how to improve the tree please let me know

Last edited by ebadr on May 6, 2022, 12:17:27 AM
Last bumped on Dec 22, 2022, 8:12:57 PM
Hi. Thanks for the POB

I will try it anyway, let's see how it goes.
Let me know how it went.

btw I am also currently using chainbreaker from lethal pride to get free rage as totem hits don't make you loose rage.
This way you can get extra attack speed and also use berserk.
Last edited by ebadr on Jun 30, 2020, 4:39:02 PM
any update? This looks promising and I am definitely into non-meta builds
So far going really well into early red maps T12.
basically drop totems and move.
and fairly tanky with block + enduring cry + berserk
Will give it a try :D
If it's possible, can you post mapping? I know the single target is great but I'm not sure how's the clear? Do you swap GMP or the +2 Proj from Rain of splinters is good?
I never recorded in game video before but I will look into it.
For clear I drop one or 2 totems and move. EA has an Explosion when the target dies or the buff ends. combined with Rain of splinters they clear most packs.

Also the build is flexible and I am sure that I did not fully optimized it yet. you can work around with it. for example you can use split arrow for clear and use EA only for single target (so it just replaces Puncture in normal bleed bow setup).
But generally I believe for the same gear EA will outperform puncture if you can get enough hits on the target.
I made a quick gameplay video
Level 89 so far and it's good till tier 12 maps, need more points for cluster jewel, what can I drop in the tree to get the cluster jewel earlier and improve damage? Or just keep on leveling in tier 12 maps? It's kinda slow exp.
I'm using devoto instead starkonja for more speed and chaos res.

Need some advice
Thanks :)

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info