[3.11] Hateful Hierophant- Non-Crit Glacial Cascade Totems! 5M+ sDPS, Easy Mapper & Bosser
Hatred is a Powerful Drug: Glacial Cascade Totem Hierophant
- Video Guide and Gameplay Showcase
- Review: Early Version of Glacial Cascade Totems
Pros and Cons
+ Melts bosses quickly!
+ Strong defenses: 200+% life on passive tree, plus armor, life regeneration, and some block.
+ Immune to elemental ailments and curses.
+ Totems have inherent defensive benefits and will tank hits for you.
- Not SSF-viable as very specific uniques are needed.
- Some people don't like totem playstyle.
Budget: Medium. 1-3 exalts worth of gear to start, more to fully optimize.
Overview and FAQs
This is a non-crit, Glacial Cascade Totem Hierophant build.
I also played this build in 3.10, but it had some survivability issues which have been significantly improved by passive tree and cluster jewel changes in 3.11.
We use Glacial Cascade, and convert all of its physical damage to cold. The Hatred Aura double-dips for more damage off both physical and cold, and then we scale the effect of Hatred to boost DPS to very high numbers!
If that sounds confusing, the next section will explain.
Core Concept: Hatred Scaling with Supreme Ego
Glacial Cascade: Spell, AoE, Cold, Physical
Hatred Aura (Level 20):
A Quick Bit of Math: first, Hatred aura gives 25% of physical as extra cold. Then, 18% more cold damage. If a skill converts 100% of physical to cold, that is
1.25 * 1.18 = 1.475 or 47.5% more damage!
With Supreme Ego and Hatred alone, we are getting 47.5% * 1.5 = 71.25% more damage from the aura.
This gets really nutty, however, when we start adding increased aura effectiveness from gear, the passive tree, and Vengeful Commander cluster jewel notables. With 100% increased aura effectiveness to Hatred (which is on the low side of what we can accomplish) the calculation becomes:
(47.5% * 2) * 1.5 = 142.5% More Damage from Hatred!
Self-Casting Glacial Cascade would require us to stand still and get hit a lot, so we deliver this damage with Totems and get further buffs from the Hierophant Ascendancy.
Totem Mechanics and Keystones: The Basics
If you're unfamiliar with how Totems work in Path of Exile, the Wiki page is a good place to start.
The important bits to know: totems inherit all of your damage stats but not your defensive stats. They have their own HP pool and resistances.
Totems count as "allies", but are not "minions" or "party members."
Totems cannot gain power/frenzy/endurance charges, but their damage does benefit from your own power/frenzy charges.
Increased cast speed will improve the rate at which totems cast their spells to damage enemies, but there is a separate stat (totem placement speed) which affects how quickly you can summon a totem. Placement speed is very helpful for a smooth playstyle! Hierophant ascendancy boosts this without further investment.
The starting limit of totems summoned is one. With keystones, the Hierophant ascendancy, and gear we can raise that limit to five totems summoned at once (for 5x the damage!)
Sources of additional totems:
The other keystone we take is Elemental Overload (EO):
Note that the critical strike we deal to trigger this does not have to deal damage, so it still works with Ancestral Bond. We'll trigger EO with a separate spell (Storm Brand with Increased Critical Strikes Support) to get the buff for our totems.
One common annoyance for totem builds is that the mana costs for summoning a totem can become very high (150+ mana each). We solve this problem by getting Blood Magic as an effect from items and cast with life instead of mana - see the gearing section.
Why Glacial Cascade instead of Freezing Pulse Totems?
Freezing Pulse has a higher crit chance and wants to shatter lots of stuff. Builds going that direction scale off crit chance and multiplier. Glacial Cascade is preferred here because of its physical-cold conversion which is much stronger with scaling Hatred.
Freezing Pulse Totems is also a classic Hierophant build and totally viable, but that's a different guide.
Import to Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/T7adyF4N
Read the "Notes" section in PoB for how the DPS figures are calculated, and some other tips on leveling! You need to have the Forked version of Path of Building.
What is Path of Building?
The program was created by Openarl, and can be downloaded here:
You will also need the community-maintained fork version, which adds several useful features and more regular updates. Once PoB is installed, follow the instructions here:
After you update Path of Building to the newest version, follow these steps to load a build:
- Click "New" (top middle) for a new build
- "Import/Export build" at top left
- "Import from Pastebin", paste the URL given above, and click "Import".
Passive Tree (Level 93)
Hierophant gives great buffs to totem playstyle and is the obvious choice for the build.
Explanation of Recommended Order:
1. Pursuit of Faith allows summoning an extra totem, as well as a large damage buff.
2. Ritual of Awakening increases totem placement speed and summons two at once - a huge QOL improvement.
3. Illuminated Devotion for more AOE and damage while having Arcane Surge.
4. Finally, Arcane Blessing gives nearly 100% uptime on Arcane Surge, plus ailment immunity.
NOTE, if in a new league where you might not have Eternal Lab unlocked right away - you could take Conviction of Power instead as #3 to get power/endurance charges. The Arcane Surge buffs are better in the late game but if using Blood Magic with Tukohama's Fortress, it may not be possible to trigger Arcane Surge easily. To make leveling easier you could take Conviction of Power, and then re-spec when you get access to the Eternal Lab.
This build gets a huge portion of its damage from cluster jewels to scale Hatred's aura effect.
Ideally, your large cluster jewel will have just 8 added passives, and the medium 4 added passives, in order to save on points. Get better ones as budget allows.
Large Cluster Jewel Implicit: 10% Increased Elemental Damage (or 12% Inreased Cold Damage, rarer).
- Vengeful Commander: Hatred has 30% increased Aura Effect.
- Other notables: Disorienting Display, Prismatic Heart, Blizzard Caller (cold jewel only). Large clusters are hard to craft so if you get Vengeful Commander, another useful notable, and 2 sockets that is good enough.
Vengeful Commander can also roll on medium jewels, for a total of 3 stacked notables!
Medium Cluster Jewels Implicit: 6% increased effect of Non-Curse Auras from your Skills.
- Vengeful Commander and one of the following:
- Replenishing Presence: 8% increased effect of Non-Curse Auras from your Skills; You and nearby Allies Regenerate 1% of Life per second.
- First Among Equals: 10% increased effect of Non-Curse Auras from your Skills; Non-Curse Aura Skills have 20% increased Duration.
Aura-effect scaling is not in the meta right now so these jewels can be relatively cheap to trade for.
I recommend Soul of Lunaris for its defensive buffs. When upgraded it will prevent projectiles from chaining to you when totems are hit, which is helpful.
Minor God doesn't matter very much, but I favor Ryslatha for the added effect of flasks when on low life - it saves you occasionally.
Final Gem Links
(in Soul Mantle Armor, for Spell Totem Support):
- Glacial Cascade
- Concentrated Effect
- Controlled Destruction (Awakened)
- Elemental Focus (Awakened)
- Cold Penetration (Awakened)
- Faster Casting
If you have an Empower (Level 4) or Awakened Added Cold Damage it can be swapped in for Faster Casting to get slightly more DPS (check PoB).
Optional: swap Hypothermia for Elemental Focus for slightly less damage but gain ability to freeze/shatter enemies.
Utility Gem Links
Storm Brand - Increased Critical Strikes - Curse on Hit - Frostbite
Storm Brand serves two purposes: will crit to trigger the Elemental Overload buff for 40% more damage, and apply a curse at the same time.
Frost Bomb - Spell Cascade, Lightning Golem.
Socket these in a weapon with "trigger socketed spells when you use a skill" crafted onto it.
Movement: Flame Dash - Second Wind, Portal (optional).
Other Option: you could use Shield Charge - Faster Attacks - Fortify. Personally I dislike Shield Charging around but many people favor it for the Fortify buff.
CWDT #1: Cast When Damage Taken (Level 1) - Cold Snap - Bonechill.
Cold Snap will generate frenzy charges while clearing maps. Bonechill Support will cause enemies in the chilling area to take more cold damage.
CWDT #2: Cast When Damage Taken (Level 15) - Steelskin (Level 18) - Increased Duration - Vaal Righteous Fire.
Righteous Fire must be leveled above the CWDT so it isn't triggered. It's linked in with these solely to benefit from Increased Duration. Steelskin gives a small defensive boost which helps to avoid getting killed by several hits in a row.
General Totem Leveling Tips
For some general tips that apply to all builds and will be helpful to new players, see my Build Resources Thread.
These leveling tips assume you have some currency and gear already from previous characters.
It's perfectly fine to level with Glacial Cascade in a new league, but you may find it easier to use Holy Flame Totem because it's less gear dependent. Visit my Holy Flame Totem Hierophant Guide! You can easily level with HFT, and then switch to Glacial Cascade totems later after building up some gear and currency as there is a lot of overlap.
Assuming you do level with Glacial Cascade, The Path of Building link in the Passive Tree section includes leveling trees and suggested perk placements, check that out as well.
Leveling with any totem build can feel a bit awkward in the first few acts. Stick with it, as everything becomes much smoother around Act 5, and really great after taking the second ascendancy!
Acts 1 to 2
Early Item Goals:
- 2 scepters with added elemental damage.
- B R R and B B B linked sockets on some gear.
- Boots with added movement speed (check vendors).
Take Frostbolt after killing Hillock.
Mercy Mission: Quicksilver Flask, take Arcane Surge (leave this support at Level 1, don't level it up). You can buy Spell Cascade but won't need it right away.
Submerged Passage: take Frost Bomb and Frostblink (link Arcane Surge) and buy Holy Flame Totem.
Before Brutus: take Added Fire and buy Added Lightning (link both to Holy Flame Totem). Buy Clarity Aura if desired.
After Brutus: take Flame Dash, replace Frostblink. You can buy Spell Totem Support and begin leveling it in unused gem slots if desired.
Before Merveil: take Storm Brand. Use this to supplement damage from the totem.
In Act 2, use a vendor recipe to get 2 caster weapons with "added lightning damage to spells" (or some other element, doesn't really matter).
- Magic Weapon + Orb of Alteration + Topaz Ring = Added lightning Damage Weapon.
- (Iron Ring + Green Skill Gem = Topaz Ring, and so on for other colors/ring types).
After Chamber of Sins: buy Herald of Ash and Herald of Thunder, use both.
After the Weaver: take Elemental Focus, replace Added Lightning. You can also buy Controlled Destruction and Faster Casting and link them to Storm Brand for now.
Kill all the Bandits for skill points.
Holy Flame Totem - Elemental Focus - Added Fire
Storm Brand - Controlled Destruction - Faster Casting.
Flame Dash - Arcane Surge (Level 1).
Acts 3 to 5
Item Goals: acquire a 4-linked armor piece (check vendors).
After Tolman: take Frostbite, begin leveling it (won't need this right away).
Gravicius: take Glacial Cascade!
Fixture of Fate: optional, can take Cold Penetration and buy Hatred Aura if you do this side-quest, or just wait to get those in Act 6 if you are continuing to level with Holy Flame Totem.
Take Lightning Golem after defeating Voll.
After Kaom and Daresso, take Multiple Totems Support, and place this in 4-link with HFT until you've completed the Cruel Labyrinth.
Complete the normal Labyrinth sometime before entering Act 5. Wait to take Ancestral Bond Keystone at least until you've gotten the first ascendancy done.
If using Glacial Cascade, the links:
Spell Totem - Glacial Cascade - Controlled Destruction - Elemental Focus.
Acts 6 to 10
Various quests will give defensive utility flasks which are helpful.
Progression starts to be determined by the level requirements of various uniques. Leveling from this point should be smooth and intuitive.
Level 49: Soul Mantle body armor. Also trade for two Kikazuru Rings at the same time, a Self-Flagellation jewel, and take the Sanctum of Thought notable to reach 100% reduced curse effect on you.
Level 60: can place a Large Cluster jewel and begin assigning passives there.
Level 61: Tukohama's Fortress. This is the time to take the Supreme Ego Notable and damage goes through the roof.
Because of their mechanics, totems will never be the fastest possible clearing skill, but they make up for that by having huge advantages for bossing and survivability - if you play them right.
A few helpful tips to improve performance with this build:
- Totems play differently than other skills because there is a brief delay between summoning the totem and it starting to deal damage.
If you play like other skills and charge pack to pack, eventually you will be stunned by a big hit and die before your totem can save you. Early on while leveling and in white/yellow maps you can get away with running through packs, but in hard content it becomes dangerous to charge ahead too fast.
- Instead, cast totems ahead as you move, run near to where your totem is, and cast again. You should ideally always have your character in range of at least one totem to protect you.
- Clearing is fastest when all your totems are pointing the same direction and their spells overlap, rather than sending off bursts in all directions (this happens if you place totems in the center of a pack of monsters). Also, totems can be stun-locked if placed in melee range near many fast monsters - try not to do that.
- Glacial Cascade fires a series of overlapping AOE hits. Most enemies will be hit more than once per cast unless they are at the very closest or very farthest part of the spell's range. When fighting a boss, set your totems a short distance away (rather than directly on top of the boss) and it can roughly double your effective damage!
- The more increased area of effect you have, the larger Glacial Cascade's bursts become and the farther they reach, but the less potential they have to overlap (so less boss DPS). The AOE from the skill itself and Hierophant ascendancy is plenty - there's no need to take more AOE nodes on the tree.
- Set your totem skill on the skillbar to "always attack without moving" option (the same as you do for Flame Dash). That way if you click at the edge of the screen to summon totems, your character won't walk before casting, instead just raising totems in that general direction. This also makes it easier to do the tips above, casting totems ahead of the direction you plan to move.
- MTX Review: the Demonic Glacial Cascade effect is (in my opinion) ugly and hard to see. However, if the brightness of all the Glacial Cascades going off starts to strain your eyes, it's an alternative. Yeah, P2W.
Map Mods to Avoid
This build can in theory do any map mod, but a few are better to re-roll.
Very Bad Mods:
- Players Cannot Regenerate Life. You could in theory carry along an extra life flask and use it to sustain Blood Magic, but not recommended to run these.
- Monsters Reflect Elemental Damage. This will cause totems to kill themselves instantly on casting, making them effectively single-use.
...and that's about it.
Other mods such as Monster Increased Move/Attack Speed, big extra damage rolls, etc should be treated with respect and played very carefully. "Players Cursed With" is just funny because it only increases our damage ("cursed with Temporal Chains? Yay!")
Required Unique Items
These are needed for the build to function as intended.
Brief Explanation of Uniques:
- Tukohama's Fortress gives us Blood Magic, removing the mana pool to cast spells with life, which solves the problem of high mana cost for totems. Mortal Conviction lets us have one aura (Hatred) without any reservation cost, synergizing with Supreme Ego. The extra armor and +1 Totems is also very nice.
- Soul Mantle grants an effective 7-link armor, by supporting Glacal Cascade with Spell Totem. The downside of self-cursing is negated by two Kikazuru Rings plus the Sanctum of Thought passive, for 100% reduced effect of curses on us.
Rare Items - Armor & Accessories
Overall, the goal for EVERY rare item is to have:
When choosing items, Armor is the preferred defensive stat because it is scaled by the passive tree. Energy shield is okay, and Evasion is worthless.
Additionally, there are a few places to get extra damage on the "flex" rare spots. These are:
Amulet Anointments from Blight Oils:
Best in slot will either be a rare Stygian Vise to socket an Abyssal Jewel, or a String of Servitude with increased Hatred aura effect for maximum DPS.
In addition to The Long Winter unique jewel (converts 20% of Glacial Cascade physical damage to cold) we need to get another 20% conversion and the easiest place is on gloves. Cold Conversion Gloves can be dropped in Alva's Incursions, Crusader-influenced, or crafted by Jun (open prefix).
If for some reason you didn't want to use The Long Winter, you could use Hrimsorrow Goathide Gloves to accomplish all the conversion, but their lack of other useful stats is a big downside.
Ideally use Fingerless Silk Gloves for the implicit of #% Increased Spell Damage.
Other useful mods on gloves:
Increased Movement Speed +25% or better. Other useful mods:
Mostly used for life and resistances, but a few damage possibilities as well.
Rare wand or scepter, either is fine. Avoid daggers.
Good mods for DPS:
Required Unique Jewel: The Long Winter for cold conversion to Glacial Cascade, plus an extra burst (improves range).
"Strongly Recommended" Unique Jewels:
Clear Mind's condition is always met: because we have no mana due to Blood Magic, we always have no mana reserved. Lots of increased spell damage!
Self-Flagellation grants extra damage from self-cursing with Soul Mantle armor as totems die.
Situational: Spire of Stone will prevent totems from being stunned, relevant against some bosses and convenient to have - but not necessary always.
Watcher's Eye: "Damage Penetrates #% Cold Resistance while Affected by Hatred." Expensive but a huge DPS boost against bosses! "Increased Cold Damage while Affected by Hatred" is cheap, but much weaker.
Regular Jewels - Good Mods:
Hypnotic Eye Jewels - Good Mods:
Glacial Cascade has a damage effectiveness of only 60%, so Abyssal Jewels tend to be much worse than regular jewels for this build.
With ailments and curses taken care of, there's room for a lot of DPS flasks.
I always carry a Seething/Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching. Quartz Flask (for phasing and dodge) is also a favorite because it prevents being jammed in corners by mobs - especially important for delve.
Unique Flasks, in order of effectiveness:
1. The Wise Oak (make sure cold resistance is highest) - gives resistance penetration
2. Taste of Hate. Physical as extra cold, also mitigates some incoming physical damage for a defensive boost.
3. Atziri's Promise. The cheapest option, not as effective as the other two. Chaos resistance from it is sometimes relevant.
This build can function for less than 1 exalt worth of gear.
Prices of items vary a lot depending on what stage the league is in and what the "meta" builds are, so these are approximate.
- 5-link Soul Mantle: 10-25c (depending on league).
- 2x Kikazuru Rings: 3c
- Tukohama's Fortress Shield: 5-20c (depending on the life rolls)
- Self-Flagellation Jewel: 5-20c (depending on the damage rolls. Try to get a good one)
- Shade of Solaris Unique Wand. 10-20c. A fantastic non-crit budget option which can out-damage most rare caster weapons, with the downside of not being able to craft "trigger socketed spells..." onto it.
- Cluster jewels: for the large, can get a 2-notable 1-socket 8-passives, or 2-notable 2-socket, 9+ passives (cost: ?. Cheap)
- Atziri's Promise Flask with crappy rolls: 3c
- The rest: assorted rare gear for resistances. Most of this you can find yourself.
The budget setup should be more than enough to clear through yellow to early red maps, and farm up enough currency to trade into the better items.
Not sure how to make currency? Read my guide here.
- 6-linked Soul Mantle (2-4ex)
- corrupted Kikazuru Rings with Hatred Aura effectiveness. (10-50c each - varies a lot)
- 8-passive, 2-notable, 2-socket large cluster jewel with Vengeful Commander, and 4-passive medium cluster jewels with Vengeful Commander and something else that's useful.
- Assorted good jewels. These can go from anywhere between 10c - 1ex. Most of my jewels were 15-50c each.
- Corrupted The Long Winter jewel with "Corrupted Blood Cannot be Inflicted on You" (50c-1ex)
- Excellent caster weapon (cost varies wildly - mine was 100c - but there are better ones)
- Awakened Support Gems (cheapest 50c, most expensive 5ex+)
- Taste of Hate and The Wise Oak flasks (35c each)
- Level 21/20 Quality Glacial Cascade (1-2ex - or get lucky, level and corrupt it yourself)
- Hatred Watcher's Eye (4-8ex)
Thank you for reading this far!
Please leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback on the build. I am always trying to improve.
Last edited by MoLoK13 on Jul 2, 2020, 3:08:40 PM
Last bumped on Jul 8, 2020, 5:06:36 PM
on Jun 29, 2020, 4:47:38 PM
(reserved post for future updates)
Last edited by MoLoK13 on Jun 29, 2020, 4:48:03 PM
on Jun 29, 2020, 4:47:50 PM
Very good guide, very clear and well layed out. I'm a big fan of Wallach's FP totems build, but I played it a lot already, so my next totem guy might be this one.
Thanks for sharing !
on Jun 30, 2020, 5:20:55 AM
This is one of the most clearly written guides that I've seen. I just swapped my typical crit GC totem guy to this to see how it does. So far, the damage on bosses feels a little worse, but will post again after giving it some more time.
Very nice job with the guide!
on Jun 30, 2020, 10:03:24 AM
Thank you! :)
Thanks for giving it a try!
If DPS is an issue, the easiest upgrade to make is Kikazuru rings with Hatred efffect corruption. Losing the resists hurts a bit, but it does help DPS a lot to get more aura effect wherever possible.
on Jun 30, 2020, 2:41:55 PM
I'm working on the rings, but I've used 30ish vaals with no luck and they're a couple ex to buy with the implicit. We'll get there eventually.
on Jun 30, 2020, 7:10:57 PM
Got a couple of questions:
- No self-flagellation ? Seems a good match for any Soul Mantle build.
- Is the typical "Atziri's Reflection / Coward's Legacy" combo a possibility for endgame optimizations ? Or does it mess up some other setup ?
on Jul 1, 2020, 3:48:54 AM
Self-flagellation is in the "highly recommended" jewels section within the guide.
About Atziri's Reflection, other people have asked about it as well, and I've given it some thought.
Detailed reasons why I don't think the Atziri's Reflection / Cowards Legacy is worth it for this build:
1. Weighed against losing an extra totem, the 30% more damage from Pain Attunement isn't that much. Tukohama's Fortress gives +1 totems, life, armor, and totem damage vs the Reflection which has basically no other relevant stats.
Suppose Pain Attunement = 30% more damage per totem...
5 totems doing 100% damage (Tukohama's) = 500% damage
4 totems doing 130% damage (Reflection, Cowards, Pain Attunement) = 520% damage
520/500 = 1.04 = 4% more damage. Not a dramatic DPS improvement. After losing the 40% increased totem damage from Tukohama's, it's almost a wash.
2. Requires giving up life rolls on belt and shield. That's a loss of as much as 225 flat life, or about 750 less HP than the current setup.
3. Loses armor from Tukohama's shield, and evasion/ES is not very valuable to this build, making it still less tanky.
4. Loses access to Blood Magic. With Supreme Ego, Hatred is reserving 75% of the mana pool so you now need a large investment into mana and mana regen in order to cast totems at will, or more likely, use a mana flask (and lose a DPS flask).
5. Requires an additional 5 passives to reach Pain Attunement. You probably drop Sanctum of Thought notable at the same time, but you're still spending extra passives which, realistically, means less life nodes.
6. Budget. Maybe this doesn't matter to some, but 13+ exalts for Atziri's Reflection could otherwise be spent on a Hatred Watcher's Eye, corrupted rings, insanely good caster weapon, +2 skill levels amulet, etc etc.
TLDR Atziri's Reflection is best if you're going CI with totems, but for this build which is designed around stacking life and using Blood Magic, it's not that great.
on Jul 1, 2020, 4:26:55 AM
Am I missing some big level of defense here or something ? Looking over it a heck of a lot of mod's / bosses could just about always one shot you if you get hit. Totem's implies staying a bit away from attacks for sure but.... Aside from that there is next to nothing in personal defense, because as good as any of us may be your eventually going to get hit.
Last edited by WolfDrone on Jul 1, 2020, 7:36:34 AM
on Jul 1, 2020, 7:36:22 AM
Sure, there are some boss slams that can one-shot basically any caster. There will always be some stuff you need to dodge.
With ~6000 HP and some ES, curse and ailment immunity, reduced damage taken from crits (Sanctum of Thought), around 6000 armor, and a lot of life regen, it is at least tankier than most spellcasters will be.
You could put in Enduring Cry to generate endurance charges if you so chose, or use Shield Charge-Fortify for that buff if more damage reduction was a high priority. Also more defensive flasks are an option.
Last edited by MoLoK13 on Jul 1, 2020, 2:01:31 PM
on Jul 1, 2020, 2:00:47 PM