[Archived] Archmage Hexblast | 4M+ Ignite DPS | Budget Options League Start to Endgame

3.15 Changes
Spoiler

- Nerfed by a lot, more than 50% of our damage was lost.

- I do not think it is viable anymore.


Changelog
Spoiler

- Updated PoB for 3.15.
- Changed cluster jewel notables.
- Merged all PoBs into one.


Build Concept
Spoiler

We use Hexblast to apply huge ignites. Ignite scales with the base damage, not the actual hit itself, so increases or reductions that apply only to direct hits do not concern us (such as spell damage, resistance penetration and others). We increase the ignite damage with two major factors.

Archmage support increases the hexblast mana cost and the base hexblast damage depending on how much mana we have spent to cast it - meaning the more mana it takes to cast a hexblast the more damage it will deal. The added base damage scales off of our unreserved mana so we aim to increase our max mana as much as we can and we do not reserve any of it.

The second factor is doom. Whenever you cast a curse yourself (it cannot be triggered, aura, or anything else), it will gain 10 doom per second which increases its effectiveness. Default max doom is 30 but it can be increased up to 55. Ignites applied by hexblast will then deal up to 385% increased damage if you have max doom on the target. Hexblast removes the curse with the highest doom so you have to reapply it after every hexblast.

We further increase our damage by applying many curses. We self-cast Flammability which then gains doom and it is consumed by our Hexblasts and we use unique gloves that automatically cast every socketed curse in them onto our target whenever we self cast Flammability. The default number of curses on one target is one, but we increase it to 3. Curses applied by our gloves are triggered so they don't gain doom and cannot be consumed by Hexblast. The best curses to use are Flammability (self-cast) and then Elemental Weakness and Despair.

The most important thing to know about ignite in general is that it does not stack. If you apply more ignites to one target, only the one with the most dps will deal damage. Because of that our boss-damage rotation looks something like this:

self-cast Flammability (gloves automatically cast other curses) > wait for doom > cast Hexblast > immediately after that re-apply Flammability > wait (depending on your ignite duration - usually 3 to 4 seconds) > Hexblast > Flammability > wait > etc...

meaning that we do not have to stand still to deal damage, we can dodge out of mechanics and stop only for a brief period of time to re-apply ignites.

It is more than enough to cast Flammability and Hexblast immediately after it (with no delay) to clear maps.





PoB
Spoiler

- PoB contains 3 separate setups (Early Mapping, Endgame, Late Endgame) and leveling trees.

https://pastebin.com/eH9WiCSP


Videos (3.14)
Spoiler

- Build should be still fine in 3.15, just lower numbers, but I will not be playing it just so that I can try some different playstyles.

- If you try it out in 3.15 and have videos to share, let me know!

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Build Showcase on Atoll T16, lvl 97
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joh-1ENhuLg

T16 Ultimatums - Budget clusters, no 6-link cloak, using staff instead of scepter + shield
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS4lV-2CtLk

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Clearing T16 (low lvl, budget gear)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMHVKa2WsaQ

Cortex
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDmWOvD7edI

Catarina
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-sJiX6XcwE

Conquerers of the Atlas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ_Q_HySnEE

Sirus Awekening Level 6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxxy2EMTlKg

Elder Guardians
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL5UzPR64Nw

Elder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpwIJewtOX8

Shaper Guardians
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM43KZ8qe5w

Shaper
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT82yHaRlR4

Uber Elder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khLHHB8nSzQ

Simulactrum Final Wave
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iNud3-vPwo

100% Delirious Map
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyAkorVGCWU

Uber Atziri with Maven
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbJlwGXMfJY

Uber Elder with Maven
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZKbVZD3wAo

Sirus Awakening Level 9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkoUvQhCId0

Maven's Invitation: The Formed (Shaper Guardians)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukDJlAUNKIs

Maven's Invitation: The Twisted (Elder Guardians)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ykl_tCikfw

Maven's Invitation: The Forgotten (Synthesis Bosses)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63fIlLL2x9o

Maven's Invitation: The Hidden (Breachstone Bosses)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqYYit3KisA

Maven's Invitation: The Feared (Cortex, Shaper, Elder, Atziri, Chayula)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HxZQyvDgAk

Maven
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh-FicBX77U



Pros and Cons

Spoiler

+ fast clear
+ good single target damage
+ do not have to stand still to deal damage
+ no visual clutter so you can actually see stuff to dodge
+ great for Maven fights when there are multiple bosses (you can apply ignites to each one at the same time)
+ active playstyle, it is not a brain-dead one-button build
+ can do all content on a budget

- you cannot face-tank big hits
- cannot do some map mods (like ele reflect or hexproof)
- active playstyle, it is not a brain-dead one-button build
- does not scale well with higher investments (if you have over 100 exalt orbs, this build won't perform much better than with 10 exalts)

Despite my efforts to make the build as tanky as possible without losing too much damage, it still cannot face-tank some of the big hits that are in the game (like Sirus die beam) so you actually have to dodge out of the way. On the other hand, you can actually move without losing damage and you can apply your damage from a distance so dodging mechanics is quite easy.

That being said the build is not completely squishy either. We have consistent fortify and endurance charges combined with a respectable amount of life and mana and an insane amount of recovery from the Agnostic notable.

A big advantage for me personally is that this build doesn't require a huge amount of currency to function and you can still do all the content in the game. Also, it doesn't require any involved crafting - it consists mostly of uniques and rares that can be easily bought on trade.

However, some builds out there can reach over 100M dps so they can one-phase all boss fights but that usually requires over 100ex investment for it to properly function. This build cannot do that, so if you have over 100 exalt orbs to spare, it will be better spent elsewhere.


Leveling
Spoiler


There are optional quests in each Act that give you passive skill points. Make sure to complete all of them.

If this is your second character, you can buy some cheap gear to speed up leveling:


Otherwise just pick up rare gear from the ground that has mana, life, resistances, and anything that boosts damage for casters.

You can dual wield wands in Acts 1 to 3, but get a shield around Act 4. It is also a good idea to pick up any rare Cloth Belt that will help you against being constantly stunned. You can buy a normal Cloth Belt from a vendor in town and upgrade it using either Essences or Orb of Alchemy.



Act 1
Spoiler

Quests rewarding a passive skill point:
- The Dweller of the Deep
- The Marooned Mariner
- The Way Forward

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler

We simply rush to Elemental Equilibrium and Elemental Overload (only pick up Elemental Equilibrium once you get the Storm Brand gem). Both of these passives are proced by Storm Brand, boosting our boss damage.

https://www.poeplanner.com/b/6OF


Gems
Spoiler

Select Fireball as your quest reward from Nesa after defeating Hillock.
Fireball

Select Elemental Proliferation Support as your quest reward after you find the medicine chest and link it to fireball.
Fireball > Elemental Proliferation

Get Flame Wall after you get to Mud Flats. Buy Arcane Surge Support and Link it to Flame Wall. Quickest way to kill most mobs is to just place multiple flame walls and go. Only cast fireball against stronger enemies. If your Fireball passes through Flame Wall, it deals more damage.
Flame WallArcane Surge

Get Unbound Ailments Support after you kill Brutus and link it with your fireball. Also, buy Flame Dash for movement and Clarity to help your mana regen. Don't forget to activate Clarity after you equip it.
Fireball > Elemental Proliferation > Unbound Ailments
Flame Dash
Clarity

If you are leveling with Tabula Rasa you can also get Lesser Multiple Projectiles Support and Arcane Surge Support and link it with Fireball.
Fireball > Elemental Proliferation > Unbound Ailments (> Efficacy > Arcane SurgeLesser Multiple Projectiles)

After you complete Act 1 by killing Merveil, travel back to Lioneye's Watch and purchase Storm Brand from Nesa (you don't get it as a quest reward). Also purchase Increased Critical Strikes Support and Onslaught Support. Link all these 3 gems toghether. From now on, you can kill most enemies by simply placing one Flame Wall and Storm Brand. Only cast Fireball against tougher enemies.
Storm Brand > Increased Critical Strikes > Onslaught

Storm brand is a big damage boost very early on thanks to the Elemental Equilibrium passive skill. Every time Storm Brand hits (and it hits often) it will increase enemies' resistances against lightning but decrease fire resistance. Flame Wall does not hit so it does not proc Elemental Equilibrium! Meaning that you can place Flame Wall + Storm Brand together to kill most enemies. Casting Fireball will proc Elemental Equilibrium passive skill but if you have a Storm Brand active, it will be very quickly overwritten by it.



Act 2
Spoiler


Kill all bandits (2 passive skill points).

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler

We rush to ignite passive skill points to hit 100% ignite chance and increase our damage.

https://www.poeplanner.com/b/6O_


Gems
Spoiler

Buy Arcane Cloak from Yeena after Chamber of Sins. Equip it to level the gem but do not put on your movent only key as you won't have enough mana regen to sustain it yet. Simply use it when you think you will take a lot of damage or to boost your own damage (it is an offensive buff as well).
Arcane Cloak

Get Deadly Ailments Support after killing the Weaver as your quest reward from Yeena. If you have only 3-link Fireball, replace Unbound Ailments. If you have Tabula Rasa, replace Arcane Surge. Buy Faster Casting Support and link it with your Flame Dash.

Keep Unbound Ailments socketed to level it up and link it together once you find your first 4-link.

Fireball > Elemental Proliferation > Deadly Ailments
Flame DashFaster Casting




Act 3
Spoiler


You can skip The Labyrinth level 33 (because Scion only gets strength and one passive point) and do it with the second one on level 55.

Quests rewarding a passive skill point:
- Victario's Secrets
- Piety's Pets

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler

Transition to Hexblast. We pick Doomsday and then some mana regen nodes that will be important when we pick Mind Over Matter and Agnostic in the next Act.

https://www.poeplanner.com/b/6OX


Gems
Spoiler

Get Flammability after the Lost in Love quest. Buy Malevolence from Clarisssa. Also buy Elemental Weakness and Despair. Simply socket them in your secondary (weapon-switch) weapons to level them up. You don't need to use them yet.
Flammability
Malevolence
(Elemental Weakness, Despair)

Get Hexblast after Sever the Right Hand. You have two options how to continue leveling now. Either do not use Hexblast yet and use Fireball + Flame Wall to level up or replace Fireball with Hexblast (supported gems stay the same for now).

Once you find a 4-link, you can also link Unbound Ailments support.

Hexblast > Elemental Proliferation > Deadly Ailments (> Unbound Ailments)

If you decide to level up with Hexblast, you will need to change a few things:

- Drop Flame Wall, you won't need it.

- Link Arcane Surge Support with Arcane Cloak and get the passive skill point Dynamo as soon as you can. Once you have it, set the Arcane Cloak as your move only button (as I do in the videos). That will cause you to cast it off cooldown which will proc Arcane Surge after every cast, boosting our mana regen. Also make sure you have plenty of mana flasks.
Arcane CloakArcane Surge

- Allocate the passive skill Doomsday. This fundamentally changes how doom works. It makes it so after you cast a curse skill, it will gain max doom (that is 30 doom by default) after 1 second. If you do not have it, self-cast curses gain only 10 doom per second by default. Hexblast damage scales with doom. We don't use Doomsday in endgame because it is slow for clear (after every curse-cast you need to wait 1 second) - the way we deal with doom in endgmae while clearing maps is that we have so much damage that even 1 or 5 doom is enough to kill all trash mobs. You will not have that much damage while leveling, so it is a very good idea to get Doomsday.

- If you have the Doomsday passive skill your rotation will change: self-cast Flammability, wait one second (you will see the circle on the group 'pop'), cast Hexblast - repeat. Also, cast Storm Brand for bosses to boost damage.

- Never stop moving to speed up leveling! If you have Doomsday allocated, always cast your curse, move past the enemy blob (move until you see the Doomsday 'pop') and then cast Hexblast behind you to kill the mobs. This is will greatly increase your clear speed compared to just standing still while waiting for Doomsday.

- If you can afford it buy the Vixen's Entrapment Embroidered Gloves (you can equip them since lvl 36 and they should cost around 1c). If you cannot afford them, buy them immediately when you get your first chaos!


- After you get the gloves socket Elemental Weakness into them. Do not socket Flammability in them! What happens then is that every time you cast Flammability, the gloves will cast Elemental Weakness automatically, immensely boosting your damage. You can theoretically self-cast Elemental Weakness and Despair but I wouldn't recommend it. There is already too many buttons to press!

ALTERNATIVE TO DOOMSDAY: - if you completely hate Doomsday, you can also sacrifice 4 passive skill points and get the 4 passive skills leading to Hex Master. That will increase the doom gain rate to 20 per second, so you will have to wait 1.5 seconds for max doom (30 doom by default). However, you will probably need less doom for trash mobs (around 10 doom) so it will be a slightly faster clear speed.

You can also try not allocating Doomsday, nor doom gain passives and your damage might still be fine. Try it out and if you kill mobs fast enough (depends on your gear), skip Doomsday completely.




Act 4
Spoiler

Quests rewarding a passive skill point:
- An Indomitable Spirit

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler

Deactivate Malevolence but keep it socketed to level up the gem. This will decrease your damage slightly but you will need a lot of unreserved mana for defenses. Keep Clarity active to help with mana regen.

We pick Mind Over Matter which causes some incoming damage to be taken from mana instead of life and Agnostic which will drain our mana when we are not full hp to recover the missing hp. Both of these points are great for defense but you need to make sure that you have enough mana regen for them! During leveling, you will rely on your mana flasks quite a lot. Equip multiple mana flasks and link Arcane Surge with Arcane Cloak as described in the Gems section to boost mana regen.

https://www.poeplanner.com/b/6Of


Gems
Spoiler

Purchase Sigil of Power from Petarus and Vanja after Breaking the Seal. Use it in stationary situations to boost your damage.
Sigil of Power

Buy Ignite Proliferation Support from Petarus and Vanja after killing Malachai. Simply socket it to level up. Do not use it yet.
(Ignite Proliferation Support)




Act 5
Spoiler

Quests rewarding a passive skill point:
- In Service to Science
- Kitava's Torments

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler

We simply increase our mana regen.


https://www.poeplanner.com/b/6Ot


Gems
Spoiler

No new skill gems.



Act 6
Spoiler

After finishing act 5, you will get -30% to all elemental resistances. Make sure that you get gear with enough elemental resistances so that you are capped at 75% of each elemental resistance (fire, cold, lightning). Act 6 has mainly fire damage, later cold. Use your Essences, Orb of Alchemy or crafting bench in your hideout to craft resistances on every piece of gear that you can.

Quests rewarding a passive skill point:
- The Father of War
- The Puppet Mistress
- The Cloven One

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler

We increase the mana cost of our skills by Forethought which in turn increases our damage thanks to the Archmage support gem. We also increase max doom by Skittering Runes which again increases our damage output.

https://www.poeplanner.com/b/6OV


Gems
Spoiler

Immediately after entering Act 6, do the optional quest for Lilly Roth (Fallen from Grace) that will unlock you the option to buy all possible skill gems from her.

Buy Combustion support to replace Elemental Proliferation Support, Archmage Support to replace Deadly Ailments Support and Ignite Proliferation as your 4th link. If you have Tabula Rasa, also link Deadly Ailments Support and Burning Damage Support. If you do not have it, socket Deadly Ailments Support and Burning Damage Support somewhere in your gear to level them up.


Deactivate Malevolence (for now), but keep it socketed to level it up. Keep Clarity active if you need the mana regen, otherwise deactivate it too.

Archmage Support will increase your damage depending on how much unreserved mana you have. Malevolence reserves way too much mana so that's the reason to deactivate it. Clarity reserves less so you can keep it active.

You can also get Second Wind Support and link it to your Flame Dash. This is simply a quality of life change (faster cooldown), not necessary.

Your limit to curses that you can apply to one target is still only two so keep Despair socketed somewhere outside the gloves to level it up but do not use it yet.

After this your links should look like this:

Hexblast > Archmage > Combustion > Ignite Proliferation (> Deadly Ailments > Burning Damage)
Storm BrandIncreased Critical Strikes > Onslaught
Flammability (not in gloves!)
Elemental Weakness (socketed in gloves!)
Clarity (active only if you need the mana regen)
Malevolence (not active, just leveling the gem)
Sigil of Power
Arcane Cloak > Arcane Surge
Flame DashFaster Casting (> Second Wind)

(Despair - socketed on weapon-switch to level the gem)




Act 7
Spoiler

Quests rewarding a passive skill point:
- The Master of a Million Faces
- Queen of Despair
- Kishara's Star

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler


Gems
Spoiler

No new skill gems.



Act 8
Spoiler

Complete the first two labyrinths after Act 7 to get your ascendancy points. Hierophant ascendancy will be a big defensive boost. Once you get the Hierophant ascendancy, you can drop the Arcane Surge Support gem linked to Arcane Cloak.


Quests rewarding a passive skill point:
- Love is Dead
- Reflection of Terror
- The Gemling Legion

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler

We are heading towards the curse wheels.

https://www.poeplanner.com/b/6b6


Gems
Spoiler

No new skill gems.



Act 9
Spoiler

Quests rewarding a passive skill point:
- Queen of the Sands
- The Ruler of Highgate

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler

Once you get Whispers of Doom you can apply another curse to the target (the default limit to the number of curses that you can apply is one). If you have Vixen's Entrapment Embroidered Gloves you can apply 3 courses total. Socket Despair and Elemental Weakness into the gloves and self-cast Flammability.

https://www.poeplanner.com/b/6bd

Gems
Spoiler

No new skill gems.



Act 10
Spoiler

After finishing Act 10 you will get another -30% to all elemental resistances. Make sure to have +75% to all elemental resistances from your gear before you start mapping.

Complete the third labyrinth either shortly before or shortly after you finish Act 10 and get the Chieftain ascendancy.

Quests rewarding a passive skill point:
- Vilenta's Vengeance
- An End to Hunger (2x)

Passive Skill Tree
Spoiler


Gems
Spoiler

No new skill gems.






Gems

Spoiler


• Main skill •

Hexblast > Archmage > CombustionIgnite ProliferationDeadly Ailments > Burning Damage

Archmage increases the base damage depending on how much mana you have spent to cast Hexblast. It is a huge dps boost and we scale it heavily in our build by investing in as much max mana as we can. Combustion so that we hit 100% ignite chance. Ignite Proliferation spreads our ignites to nearby targets - great for clear and fighting multiple bosses at the same time.

• Self-cast Curse • (cannot be socketed in the gloves)

Flammability

This is the curse that you self-cast. You don't have to link it with anything, but do not socket it in your gloves.

• Other Curses • (must be socketed in gloves)

Despair > Elemental Weakness > Enhance

Despair and Elemental Weakness are best for our damage. Enhance increases their effectiveness.

• Support skills •

Storm Brand > Increased Critical Strikes > Faster Casting > Blind support

Storm Brand hits very often so we use it to proc all our passives that have a chance to proc on hit. It procs Cover in Ash from our the Chieftain ascendancy, Arcane Surge from the Hierophant ascendancy, Elemental Equilibrium to reduce fire res, Elemental Overload to increase damage and it blinds our target thanks to the support gem.

Increased Critical Strikes Support gem increases uptime for Elemental Overload.

You don't need to cast Storm brand for trash mobs, use it only for bosses and cast it here and there so you have at least one active.



Malevolence

Malevolence is a strong aura that boosts our damage by a lot. We further increase it by Supreme Ego. Due to archmage, we do not want to have any mana reserved so use it only if you can equip the Essence Worm Unset Ring and socket it in the ring.

Sigil of Power

Sigil of Power is a stationary AoE that boosts our damage and lowers damage dealt by monsters standing inside it while at maximum stages. Sigil of power gains stages when you spent a certain amount of mana while standing on it but it can only gain 1 stage per second. Use it only for bosses or in stationary situations such as rituals.



• Movement •

Flame Dash > Faster CastingSecond Wind

Second Wind gives you another charge on your dash and makes it recharge faster. It can be dropped if you need space for more gems.

• Defensive Skills •

Arcane Cloak

Arcane Cloak is instant and thanks to the Dynamo passive skill you can spam it off cooldown. I would advise you to put it on your movement key so that you don't forget to press it. It does not have to be linked with anything. Optionally, you can link it to Arcane Surge so that you have more uptime on it, but you should have enough from the Hierophant ascendancy.

Vigilant Strike > Ancestrall Call + Faster Attacks

You have to hit enemies with Vigilant Strike from time to time to keep your fortify buff up.

You can also use a shield charge setup, but only for mapping. It is not consistent for bosses.
Shield ChargeFortify supportFaster Attacks



Gear
Spoiler

League Start gear can get you to red maps, endgame gear will be enough for Sirus, Elder, Shaper and late endgame gear for Uber Elder, The Feared Maven Invitation and Maven herself.


Early Mapping
Spoiler

Once you get decent League-Start gear, I would advise you to unspec Doomsday. This is only my preference though, you can keep it if you like playing with it.

In my opinion, Doomsday is slow for clearing maps. The only reason to use it for leveling was to compensate for damage. Once you get gear, your damage will be good enough to simply cast cure + hexblast without the need to wait 1 sec for the Doomsday 'pop' and you will still kill all trash mobs easily.

League Start Order of Upgrades
Spoiler

Prices of unique items used will be high during the first week of the league and they will decrease day-by-day quite a lot so it is a good idea to get all the rares and cheap uniques first.

- Skip Cloak of Defiance completely for now, get a decent 4-link rare body armor.

- Get Dance of the Offered Carnal Boots instead of Skyforth boots.

- Make sure that you have Soul of the Brine King selected in your Pantheon.

- Consider investing a little bit more in a good 6-link staff. You will need to use it until you can afford 6-link cloak. The main modifier is Fire damage over time multiplier and correct colors (4B + 1G + 1R), then mana, burning or fire damage. You can use this link to find a decent staff: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ultimatum/rl4r2ygSQ

- Skip Atziri's Foible for now. Use a rare amulet or the cheap Ungil's Harmony.

- Vixen's Gloves should be cheap. The rest of the armor is just rares.

- Jewels should be cheap, or you can always buy the budget option.

- Skip anointment for now. Oils will drop in price.

- Use blue flasks that you can roll yourself by using Orb of Alteration.


Cloak of Defiance is a huge mana regen boost, it gives stronger Mind Over Matter and a huge chunk of mana. It is pretty much mandatory for this build but buying a 6-link can be expensive. I would advise you to buy a cheap unlinked Cloak of Defiance. You can 5-link it using the Jeweller's Touch prophecy but if you use a staff, it is not necessary. 4-link will be enough for now.

Before you can afford it, simply use a rare 4-link chest piece with a lot of life and mana. Try not to rely on any resistances from your body armor as you will need to switch to the cloak that gives none.

Once you get the Cloak you can unspec Mind Over Matter from your passive skill tree.



Our main skill Hexblast will then be temporarily socketed in a staff. You can get either a cheap 6-linked staff with either Fire damage over time multiplier, Burning damage / Elemental damage / Fire damage and if you can get some mana or mana regen on it as well but don't spend too much on it. You can usually find decent corrupted staves with these stats for quite cheap.

Another option (much weaker though) is to buy the unique The Searing Touch Lathi and 5-link it with Jeweller's Touch prophecy (if you choose this option temporarily drop either Deadly Ailments support or Burning damage support, getting 4 blues and 1 red will be easier than 4 blues and 1 green).

CAUTION: Make sure not to have the "adds fire damage to spells" modifier on your weapon as it messes up your elemental equilibrium.



Vixen's Entrapment Embroidered Gloves are mandatory. They should be cheap and you can buy them even during lvling if you plan to lvl up with Hexblast.


Atziri's Foible Paua Amulet is again a great boost to our mana regen and max mana. You should get it as soon as you can afford it.

Before you can afford it, simply use either a rare Paua amulet or Blue pearl amulet with a lot of mana and mana regen. You can also get some attributes here but do not spend too much on it and try not to rely on any resistances here!


Get Skyforth Sourcerer Boots. They provide a big chunk of mana and make you basically immune to stuns.

Before you can afford them, simply use boots with a lot of mana and life.

UPDATE: Use the new Dance of the Offered Carnal Boots! They are much better and cheaper.

OPTIONAL: If you feel like you are having issues with stuns, consider getting the boot enchant "80% chance to Avoid being Stunned if you've Killed Recently".



Other slots should be filled with rares with stats like: mana, life, resistances. Nothing special.

If you cannot find any cheap rings with dexterity, then simply buy them without dexterity and use lower level dexterity gems or temporarily allocate the +30 dexterity passive skill points. Never spend too much extra chaos because of dexterity!

Get a mana flask with the 'Enduring prefix'. The mana regen from the flask will then not be removed when on full mana. Immunity to curses is not mandatory but if you have it, you can run maps with curse modifiers.

You should also have immunity to bleeding and freeze on your other flasks. Immunity to poison is also nice, but not required. Get a quicksilver flask for movement speed and then a quartz, granite and basalt flask for defense.



If you want to have more cast speed, you can also temporarily replace the basalt flask with a silver flask (not needed if you use the Dance of the Offered Carnal Boots). You can switch back to the basalt flask once you upgrade your boots to the endgame version Omeyocans.


For even more defense, you can use Rumi's instead of a normal granite flask. Prioritize the attack block chance roll.


For early mapping, when you don't have big mana and life pool, I would also strongly advise you to get a cheap medium cluster jewel with Evil Eye notable on it. That will cause your curses to blind enemies for the first 4 seconds of the fights (which is all you need for trash mobs) and it will help you survive. The cluster jewel will be changed to damage cluster jewel later in the progression so don't spend too much on it.


You can also purchase 3 rare jewels with life, mana and burning damage and socket them in your passive skill tree. You can get them with mana, burning damage, and resistances as a very early on budget option.


If you use the General's Cry setup for fortify, get the Vigil jewel. Otherwise, get a 4th rare jewel - same as before.

After the nerfs to the Vigil, it is better to self-cast Vigilant Strike linked to Faster Attacks and Ancestral Call. This option does not need the Vigil!


To further improve your defenses, you can also anoint the cheap notable Disciple of the Unyielding (Violet, Crimson, Opalescent oils) that provides endurance charges while mapping. Only anoint your amulet if you already have the Atziri's Foible.




Endgame
Spoiler


League Start Order of Upgrades
Spoiler

- Get the rare jewels (life, mana, burning damage) and some with resistances. A budget option would be omitting life or burning damage.

- Get the cluster jewels or their budget variant. Get resistances on the small passives if you can. Budget option would be getting any two good notables. I have set up a link to help you find cheap budget cluster jewels: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ultimatum/O6BMM8lfE
All listed jewels should be viable.

- Get Essence Worm. You should have enough resistances now, upgrade your rare gear if you do not have enough.

- Unlinked Cloak of Defiance.

- Atziri's Foible amulet.

- Invest in gems - gems quality, alternate qualities (look at late endgame section and check for cheap ones) - mainly Anomalous Flammability. Get awakened gems (Deadly Ailments, Burning Damage) if they are cheap.

- Skip Empower and Enhance gems for now if they are expensive.

- You should be able to farm T16 easily with your current setup. Save up for 6-link Cloak of Defiance.

- 6-link cloak.

- Scepter and shield with resistances. If you can find a good and affordable shield that is uncorrupted and has a free prefix for crafting, get that one. We will use it in Late Endgame section.

- Crown of the Inward eye helmet (you can try to fit it in before the 6-link if you get enough resistances on your jewels).

- Intuitive Leap

- Omeyocan boots (do not equip them until your mana regen is high enough).

We use a bunch of normal jewels that give max mana, max life/mana regen, and burning damage/fire damage overtime multiplier. If you can afford it, you can also get some resistances on them, which will lower the number of resistances that you have to have on your other gear.


Normal Jewels are not that important compared to our cluster jewels. We use two medium cluster jewels with 5 passive skills and notables: Circling Oblivion and Smoking Remains. Getting these cluster jewels or their budget options is very important for boosting our dps.

After some testing, I came to the conclusion that Blowback is not worth it. It increases your dps by a lot but it also makes your ignites way too short (it can get to 3s) which means that you have to reapply them constantly. I rather scaled the overall total damage per ignite while not sacrificing too much dps and for this, the best option is Burning Bright and Circling Oblivion. You can get these cluster jewels with either 4 or 5 passive skill points, do not get 6 points as it is too much and we don't have any passive skill points to spare.


Budget option would be getting a cluster jewel with any two good notables. You can use the following link to find cheap and viable cluster jewels: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ultimatum/O6BMM8lfE

You should have enough resistances now to get the Essence Worm Unset ring. Upgrade your rare gear if you do not have enough resistances. Socket Malevolence gem into it and activate the aura.



Either buy a 6-linked Cloak of Defiance or buy the expensive Fated Connections prophecy and 6-link it yourself, either one of these is currently cheaper. You can then socket Hexblast in your body armour and get a scepter and shield.


Sceptre modifiers should include: Fire damage over time multiplier / Damage over time multiplier, increase Fire / Elemental / Burning damage, a huge amount of mana, and if you can also an increased mana regen. For optimal endgame scepter, you should also get the Hunter influenced suffix which increases Malevolence aura effect.

CAUTION: Make sure not to have the "adds fire damage to spells" modifier on your weapon as it messes up your elemental equilibrium.



The shield should have a lot of resistances because we will switch one of our rings and helmet to uniques which give none, then also mana, life, mana regen.


Once you have a shield with resistances, you should also be able to get the helmet Crown of the Inward Eye, Prophet Crown. It is an insane damage boost but it doesn't give any resistances or mana meaning that your shield, belt, and one ring will have to have a lot of these elemental resistances so that you have all of them capped at 75%. (Do not buy the hexblast enchant, it is not worth it. Buy Arcane Cloak enchant if you can afford it later on.)



We use The Vigil Crimson Jewel for fortify and Intuitive Leap Viridian Jewel to save a few passive skill points.


Once you have enough mana and life, you should be able to afford an offensive anointment and still survive. Get Burning Brutality if you want the most dps, Growth and Decay if you want the most damage per ignite.


Boots

There are several good options for endgame boots.

Skyforth Sourcerer Boots give you a lot of mana and making you pretty much stun immune.


Windshriek Reinforced Greaves lets you use another curse and they have resistances on them, but no mana.


Omeyocan Carnal Boots give 20% chance to dodge attack and spell hits, some mana, resistances and permanent onslaught but also lowering our mana regen.


After testing all of them, I came to the conclusion that Omeyocan Carnal Boots are overall the best option. You self-cast a lot and that permanent Onslaught is just too good. Together with 20% dodge and some resistance, they definitely come out ahead.

Whatever boots you choose to use, you should get the lab enchant on them that increases mana regen by 70% if you have cast a spell recently. You should be able to get this enchant yourself. There are 16 possible boot enchants that you can get and if you use the prophecy Twice Enchanted, you will have to run the lab 8 times on average to get it. Archmage builds with the Agnostic notable have quite a lot of regen so you can stand in traps and still survive which will make the runs much easier and less annoying than with some other builds.





Late Endgame
Spoiler

Most of these upgrades are really optional as I believe that you should be able to beat the game with only the endgame gear setup but every upgrade that you get will definitely make it a lot easier!

Purchase Anomalous Flammability. It has to have 20% quality so be careful if you buy a corrupted one. What that does is that its quality increases the max doom that you can get, drastically increasing your damage!

We can further increase its quality by purchasing enhance lvl 4 (lvl 3 as a budget option).

We can go even further and purchase pretty much the same shield (life, mana , resistances) that we had but with a free prefix and crafting the "+2 to level of socketed support gems"
modifier on it. You can unlock this modifier by defeating Catarina, Master of Undeath at least two times, picking up the veiled weapons that she drops and selecting this modifier while unveiling. It costs 2ex to craft.

As your third gem link in your shield, you can get Divergent Arcane Cloak 20/20. It will be a considerable damage boost but only for the duration of your arcane cloak. If you choose this option, make sure to cast hexblast while you have arcane cloak up.

Another option is to get Anomalous Sigil of Power as a defensive option (it does not have to be charged for the defensive buff effect).




Get the same gloves but with the corrupted implicit modifier "+1 to level of socketed gems". Also, buy Despair and Elemental Weakness with 23% quality and link them to lvl 3 enhance and empower (lvl 4 does not do much for dps, but you can get it if you can afford it).


Get the enchant "70% increased mana regeneration if you've cast a spell recently" on Omeyocan Carnal Boots if you haven't already. Get 20% quality on all gems.


Upgrade your 6-link setup. Buy Divergent Hexblast 20/20 if you can afford it (I got it for 2ex but I was lucky, lol) or get Hexblast 21 lvl, 20 quality. 20% quality on Archmage support. Get Anomalous Combustion if you want the most ignite dps, Divergent Combustion if you want the most damage per ignite or just quality on default Combustion if you want a balanced option. Ignite Proliferation 21/23. Awakened Burning Damage and Awakened Deadly Ailments with 20% quality (get the awakened gems as soon as you can so that you can start leveling them up). You can also get alternative quality on your body armour with 30% quality. Ideally, you would go for the max mana. I got cold resistance because I was tight on resistances while gearing up.


Get quality for the Storm Brand gems setup. Also, get the helmet enchant for Arcane Cloak that makes you spent more mana on it.


Get Diverget Malevolence 20/20.


Belt and one ring stay the same (just bunch of mana, life, resistances). Get mana regen if you can, but mainly buy a bunch of Fertile Catalysts and use them on your belt, one ring and amulet.

You can also upgrade your belt to Redeemer or Shaper influenced Stygian Vise with the "Increased Mana Recovery Rate" influenced suffix to almost double your mana regen.



Buy Watcher's Eye with the "+% to damage over time multiplier while affected by Malevolence".


Once you have enough mana and life, you can afford to drop one defensive flask for an offensive one. The best option is to replace Quartz flask with Atziri's Promise.


Get pretty much the same scepter but with the hunter-influenced modifier "Malevolence has % increased aura effect". Also, get the alternate quality with elemental damage if you can. Socket either General'd Cry or Shield Charge setup into it.


If there is no sceptre on trade like this one, then look for a similar one. Try to lower the rolls or omit some of the modifiers completely.

The scepter can no longer be harvest-crafted the same way I did it in the Ritual league. I will update later an alternative version.






Ascendancy
Spoiler

1. Strength and Intelligence + Passive Point (direction to Templar)
2. Hierophant + Strength (direction to Marauder)
3. Chieftain + Passive Point
4. Path of the Templar + Passive Point


Pantheon
Spoiler

Major: Soul of the Brine King

Every hit that you take has a chance to stun you, which interrupts you and you cannot move for a while. Most builds do not have a problem with stuns because the chance to stun depends on your max life. However, as an archmage build your max life will be fairly low making you easy to stun. Soul of the Brine King helps you to reduce the stun chance.

Minor: Soul of Garukhan

Savage hit is a hit that deals 15% of your max life and since an archmage build doesn't have much max life, you will take a lot of savage hits. Soul of Garukhan gives you 5% chance to evade after a savage hit.



Anointment
Spoiler


Growth and Decay for the most damage per ignite, Burning Brutality for the most ignite dps.

Disciple of the Unyielding as a defensive option early on.



My Other Guides
Spoiler
Last edited by GimbO on Aug 31, 2021, 5:31:43 AM
Last bumped on Oct 21, 2021, 6:53:00 PM
How would you level this? Really interested in trying this out, would just like to know some skills, gear, and passive tree progression.

The guide is wonderful btw.
I leveled using Fireball + Flame Wall and Storm Brand and it was surprisingly good! Then I switched to Hexblast when I got it.

I will put together a leveling section where I elaborate more and post it by tomorrow.
Thx, can't wait to see it!
I'm levelling this build and it's pretty good but it seems like everytime i hexblast i'm putting EE up on the mobs making them more resistant to the ignite unless i'm missing something. i know storm brand is there but i'm not trying to storm brand, curse, then hexblast every single mob
"
Ramasama wrote:
I'm levelling this build and it's pretty good but it seems like everytime i hexblast i'm putting EE up on the mobs making them more resistant to the ignite unless i'm missing something. i know storm brand is there but i'm not trying to storm brand, curse, then hexblast every single mob


So, hexblast is quite funny in this way. It actually does not deal any fire damage in the hit itself - it is pure chaos damage (the hit at least) but it has the unique modifier that 'all damage can ignite' so you are actually igniting your enemies with chaos hits!

Once you get Archmage Support, you will add a lot of lightning damage to the hit so you will actually be hitting with chaos + lightning that will proc a beneficial EE for your ignites afterwards with no need of casting Storm Brand. Casting Storm Brand for bosses is still a good idea though to proc other stuff like Elemental Overload and others.

I'm actually curious how your leveling experience with this build will be. I wrote the leveling section off top of my head so it is possible I left out something. Let me know if you ever feel like you do little damage or low survivability and I will look into that.
Hey looking at the Atoll gameplay - I thought the Xiven's Entrapment would "automate" curse casting for trashmobs, do we really need to do the 1-2 cast every pack?

.edit: Nevermind I'm dumb, I always forget Doom doesn't apply when curses are triggered
Last edited by XenoPOE on Feb 21, 2021, 11:39:34 AM


"
I'm actually curious how your leveling experience with this build will be. I wrote the leveling section off top of my head so it is possible I left out something. Let me know if you ever feel like you do little damage or low survivability and I will look into that.



I don't have a whole lot of time to play and just started this build recently but so far (early mapping) the damage is good, although i find myself wanting for cast speed. survivability isn't great but i think it's completely my fault for being lazy with gear upgrades. overall i'm still having a good time and above all love to see new scion builds!
"
Ramasama wrote:

I don't have a whole lot of time to play and just started this build recently but so far (early mapping) the damage is good, although I find myself wanting for cast speed. survivability isn't great but I think it's completely my fault for being lazy with gear upgrades. overall I'm still having a good time and above all love to see new scion builds!


I updated the PoB and the Gear section with some improvements.

To improve your survivability early, make sure that you have the Vigil jewel and fortify setup (using General's Cry). Also , make sure that you have defensive flasks (mainly quartz, granite) and immunities mainly to bleeding and freeze. The cluster jewel with Evil Eye notable will also help a lot. Then the last thing that you can get early is the anointment on your amulet (only if you have the Atziri's Foible already) that gives endurance charges.

To solve cast speed issue, you could upgrade your boots to Omeyocan if you can afford it or you can simply use a silver flask for onslaught.

I believe that all of these combined should help you a lot but if you still have any issues let me know!
Such a fun build!
Still levelling it but it goes smooth as butter.

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