[3.16] Holy Flame Totem -- Hierophant+Chieftain -- League Starter / HC SSF viable

INTRO

This is a build I homebrewed that can be used as a League Starter since it doesn't require much to get into late game, as well as for HC and SSF, since it's tanky and cheap.

It uses the great interaction between Hierophant and Chieftain ascensions with Holy Flame Totem.

I currently have two viable paths:
- Mind over Matter (MoM)
- Raw life (with 8% mana before life from Hierophant ascendancy)

Disclaimer: This build is not min/max'd, but I'll add some ideas on how it could be done, in the end. Some builds uses my HC SSF lvl80 gear as base, which is good for the low budget.


POBs

- [3.16 - HC SSF lvl90 budget] https://pastebin.com/L2gwW1P0

- [3.16 - my endgame take on it] https://pastebin.com/3Wc0CpXM


- [3.15 / outdated] Updated Mind over Matter: https://pastebin.com/jQZpCZHi
(I recommend this if you want to start right now!)

- [3.15 / outdated] Endgame example: https://pastebin.com/XHNmLG4b
- Without Calamity visions: https://pastebin.com/tnN1n0RT
- Using Life instead of MoM (Tankier version): https://pastebin.com/ipKe5Hvw

- [3.14 / outdated] Mind over Matter: https://pastebin.com/V4ZQdHh3
(Passive tree: http://poeurl.com/dlfh)

- [3.14 / outdated] Life: https://pastebin.com/HSRnnnaL
(Passive tree: http://poeurl.com/dlfg)

I've played it in HC SSF in ultimatum league until maps, lvl 80, MoM:
- poe.ninja: https://poe.ninja/ultimatumhcssf/builds/char/gui_orioli/Oriolicka
- POB: https://pastebin.com/ZKhu3rSh (3.14)


STRONG/WEAK POINTS

Strong
- Clears campaign effortlessly - gets high DPS for it very easily
- High HP pool
- High regen and lifesteal
- Survivability through minions/totems and general totem playstyle
- Several synergies along the tree
- Cheap and safe - doesn't depend on specific items to play

Weak
- Not min/max'd
- Totems playstyle isn't for everyone
- Must keep track of HP/Mana ratios since MoM / Hierophant


EXPLANATIONS

I use Hierophant for extra totem and some mitigation through 8% MoM.
And Chieftain for extra fire DPS, totem lifesteal, and tankiness.

Then I get Avatar of Fire for its interaction with HFT, and Ancestral bound obviously because of +1 totem.

Then, Elemental Overload, which I proc through Orb of Storms, since Totems can't proc it (and even if they could, I use controlled Destruction too)

I use Summon Fire Golem to proc fire exposure through elemental army, and Combustion Support's reducion. And Flammability, which also procs Arcane Surge


PROGRESSION

General Tree progression:
- Starting life and mana regen nodes, then down through resist nodes to get Totemic Zeal
- Battle Rouse, Constitution, Shaper and Dynamo
- "totem placement" from Primal Manifestation small circle
- up to Ancestral Bond, getting Devotion and Divine Fury while at it
- Avatar of Fire and Purity of Flesh
- Shamanistic Fury, and then Elemental Overload, pretty much having everything needed, now there's much freedom to choose next steps, according to needs

Gem progression is quite simple:
- HFT by playing with a witch (get it after eggs quest; Important for SSF) or asking someone to buy it when @lvl4
- Added Fire Damage, Orb of Storms, Clarity, Vitality while at Act 1
- link arcane surge to Orb of Storms
- Elemental Focus and Controlled Destruction on Act 2
- These 4-links can be used until the end of the game.
- Herald of Ash (And Herald of Purity, but don't use it if on mana problems) on Act 2
- Flammability on act 3, link it to a higher level Arcane Surge
- Flame golem and Combustion on act 4, link both and Elemental Army from Act 3. This can pretty much finish the game.


3.15 update

Build is pretty much the same, and you can use previous POBs too. Main difference is that INFUSED CHANNELING doesn't work with totems anymore, so we switch it for the next best DPS option, which is Multiple Totems

This is what I recommend for anyone starting: https://pastebin.com/jQZpCZHi

This is the POB from my current char, playing SC endgame: https://pastebin.com/XHNmLG4b

Some endgame considerations (not very HCSSF viable, I guess):
- MoM is better for T14+ maps, the pool is higher;
- Using 2x Circle of anguish and Calamitous Visions for the endgame DPS boost;
- Using Skin of the Lords with Wind Dancer and Immortal Call with Cast When Damage Taken gives a virtual 20% damage reduction, needed in T14+ maps;
- Skin of the Loyal is fine too;
- Using Faster Casting instead of Added Fire because I couldn't get the right socket colors;
- Using Shaper shield with +1 totem and added global damage, both helping the DPS
- Dropped multiple golems and don't recomend it anymore because of how hard it is to keep them alive. A single buffed flame golem is very good, tho.


CLOSING

Thanks for your time reading!

Also, something to keep in mind, I'm just sharing a build I like to play and spent some time into. If you don't like it, no problem, just don't call it thrash without stating reasons, so that we can think about it.
Another thing, this was me trying to make this combination of ascendancy work. I won't compare to what I could do with Templar or Marauder, because the point wasn't this to begin with.
Last edited by gui_orioli on Oct 18, 2021, 3:51:00 PM
Last bumped on Oct 18, 2021, 3:49:34 PM
Thanks, looks great.

It seems you have two ascendancy points left? What would be great to spend them on?

Also, why Fire Penetration instead of Immolate or Combustion?
"
Thanks, looks great.

It seems you have two ascendancy points left? What would be great to spend them on?

Also, why Fire Penetration instead of Immolate or Combustion?


Oh sorry, you are correct, I totally forgot my HCSSF char was missing uber lab. Basically you get to Path of the Marauder, but only for 3 extra skill points. I'll update the lvl 90 POBs

Combustion is used in Flame Golem, so that you get the debuff for free.

Immolate is viable, I usually go for Pen cuz it's better in the worst case scenarios, when mobs are fire resistant.

EDIT: Updated the POBs
Last edited by gui_orioli on Jul 15, 2021, 5:18:02 AM
For those who want to play this build in 3.15 (as I also will), Infused Channeling no longer works with Totems, so the next best option is Multiple Totems Support.

If you want to replace Fire Pen (which isn't the best DPS but helps the most when a mob has above 75% resist), the next best gem would be Inspiration, but it requires you to have two inspiration gems, one linked to totem and one linked to Orb of Storms, to gain inspiration elsewhere (I don't like this idea because you need to spam the "elsewhere" spell). The next best option is Cruelty, just for the raw "more damage".

If you guys intend to go for a more DPS oriented build, some things can help ramp the DPS:
- switch Chaos golem for Lightning golem, for extra cast speed
- switch Shield for a caster shield or dual wield, with +1 level to all fire spells
- ideas from original post can still be used as well

3.15 POB with multiple totems, Lightning golem and dual wands:
https://pastebin.com/deH9TRU8
Last edited by gui_orioli on Jul 28, 2021, 7:02:17 AM
Still pretty viable on 3.15, I'm on level 78 doing maps, playing SC this league

This is more or less what I'm aiming for, so far, for reference:
https://pastebin.com/Wx2285cg

Some considerations:
- The above build is based on my level 78 gear with some extra DPS juice, which I'm planning for SC. This is my current build, which is *mostly* solo found (bought shield and wand when I reached Maps):
https://pastebin.com/hYbGA5im
- Mana is now a problem, so, maybe it's worth it to convert this life build into MoM. I had to add regen nodes and am running clarity. I really like having the lifeasteal replenishing my pool all the time, which doesn't happen with MoM, so I'm staying on life at the moment.
- Only part of the game I died while rushing through Expedition SC was Izaro on 3rd lab. Take care if playing HC.

General Tree progression:
- Starting life and mana regen nodes, then down through resist nodes to get Totemic Zeal
- Battle Rouse, Constitution, Shaper and Dynamo
- "totem placement" from Primal Manifestation small circle
- up to Ancestral Bond, getting Devotion and Divine Fury while at it
- Avatar of Fire and Purity of Flesh
- Shamanistic Fury, and then Elemental Overload, pretty much having everything needed, now there's much freedom to choose next steps, according to needs

Gem progression is quite simple:
- HFT by playing witch or asking someone to buy it when @lvl4
- Added Fire Damage, Orb of Storms, Clarity, Vitality while at Act 1
- link arcane surge to Orb of Storms
- Elemental Focus and Controlled Destruction on Act 2
- These 4-links can be used until the end of the game.
- Herald of Ash (And Herald of Purity, but don't use it if on mana problems) on Act 2
- Flammability on act 3, link it to a higher level Arcane Surge
- Flame golem and Combustion on act 4, link both and Elemental Army from Act 3. This can pretty much finish the game.
Added updates for 3.15 in original post, inclusing a slightly more endgame oriented POB
So far, I'm level 32 and I'm having a lot of fun with this.

I'm a noob and I'm a bit confused about some of the choices here. What is the Herald of Purity supposed to do? It doesn't seem to affect totems and since they're killing everything...I'm not getting any minions to spawn.
"
So far, I'm level 32 and I'm having a lot of fun with this.

I'm a noob and I'm a bit confused about some of the choices here. What is the Herald of Purity supposed to do? It doesn't seem to affect totems and since they're killing everything...I'm not getting any minions to spawn.


It grants increased physical damage to Holy Flame Totem, which is then converted to fire damage. So it's a damage buff.

If you need to turn off something due to mana problems, it is the first option, since the buff is small.

When you use Orb of Storms (used in this build just to proc Elemental Overload, since Totems doesn't proc it), it will spawn minions when you hit rara/uniques (orb hits, even if it doesn't do dmg), but this isn't something this build counts on ^^
Updated some POBs and added recommended 3.15 POB
Very good

I had a scion holy flame, its a blast.

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