[3.15] Enki's Archmage Hierophant - a beginner-friendly Lightning Caster

Welcome to my Archmage guide!

This build combines Orb of Storms and Ball Lightning together with the mana-stacking Archmage playstyle to create a reliable character that's ready for all content in this game.

Instead of just showcasing a build, this guide is made to be a comprehensive learning experience.
There's many indepth explanations and links to various wiki pages for new players to understand.

My Discord channel has a help channel for any questions about this build.
Please don't ask questions in private messages here, on Discord or in game!

If you want to support me, please consider checking out my stream.

Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/2TWTQ5z3
(Read the Notes inside to set it up properly!)
Requires the Path of Building Community Fork

Art done by sk_gunoo!


  • Videos
  • About this Build
  • Act 1-10 Progression
  • Passive Tree & Ascendancy
  • Gem Setup
  • Gear & Flasks
  • Mapping & Pantheon
  • Changelog



Uber Elder
Maze of the Minotaur (Map & Boss)


About this Build


+ cheap to build
+ good damage scaling
+ smooth gear progression
+ gets quite tanky later on
- two active skill playstyle
- can't run all mapmods
- not made for SSF

Main Mechanics in this Build

Mana: This build relies heavily on stacking mana for various offensive and defensive buffs through skillgems and keystones.Archmage and Arcane Cloak build the foundation of our damage, while the latter also provides defense together with Mind over Matter and Agnostic.
This makes mana our highest priority modifier on both equipment and passives. Sustain is provided by combining %-based Mana Regeneration (such as the base 1.8%) with Mana Regeneration Rate and -Recovery Rate.

Elemental Overload: This keystone provides a 40% more damage multiplier in exchange for removing all critical strike multiplier, with the condition to crit atleast once within 8 seconds.
While the damage potential is lower compared to scaling crits, the damage is also way more consistent and only takes small investment, which allows us to invest more heavily into mana.

Is this the best starter build?

No, but it's one of the many solid starters. There is no such thing as "the best" in Path of Exile.
Too many factors play into this, even if you can narrow it down to one or two builds they might not be the best for you, because everyone plays differently. If you can't play a build properly or just don't enjoy playing it, then it won't be the best for you no matter how good other people think it is.

That's why I always recommend new players to try out many different build archetypes. This will teach you about the game and its mechanics, and you'll learn which playstyles you like to play.


Act 1-10 Progression

Before you start

Here's a small collection of generic advice for newer players:

Information: Knowledge is a strong skill in Path of Exile, and it helps to know where to find it. First there's the ingame Help Panel, which you can reach through its icon next to your skillbar.
The Path of Exile Wiki should be your first stop for further information, poedb for plain data.
If you prefer video guides, Zizaran has an informative video series called PoE University that contains information about most aspects of the game.

Lootfilter: You will soon realize that there's lots of redundant loot in this game, a good Lootfilter reduces screen clutter and highlights potentially valuable or important drops. Neversink's Filter is always a good start and you can further customize it at Filterblade.

Flasks: Unlike most ARPG's, this game is directly balanced around using all of your flasks.
This goes beyond the typical life & mana flasks that you're probably used to from other games, during your act progression you'll gain access to various utility flasks which grant buffs. Flasks can also be crafted, but it's not needed until maps so i've kept it for their own section. For now, focus on keeping your life & mana flasks updated, get all utility flasks from quests when mentioned and try to get a feeling for your flask usage.

Crafting: Gear can be enhanced through crafting and recipes, while the latter can also create currency used for crafting. You outlevel gear pretty quickly during act progression, so it's not advised to invest too much at this point. Limit it to a couple of Orb of Transmutation, -Augmentation, -Alteration, -Binding, Chromatic Orbs and various Essences you may find for now,
use Jeweller's Orbs and Orb of Fusing only on useful gear you've looted. Try to focus on intelligence-based gear for an easier time to get the right colors.

Crafting Bench: After unlocking your first hideout, you'll gain access to the Crafting Bench.
This can be used to craft a targeted affix on gear, if it isn't already there and has a slot open.
Use it to craft any damage affixes, Life, Attributes or Resistances missing on your gear.
Recipes need to be found first, the Crafting Bench tells you all undiscovered recipe locations.

Trading: You can freely trade with other players if you have a Lv25+ char and aren't in SSF. Path of Exile's trading site is good for buying gear, poemap is convenient for bulk map trades.
If you want to sell something, you either need premium stash tabs, set up a shop in the trade subforums or use Acquisition. For pricechecks, look for similar stuff on the trade site, check poe.ninja or use Awakened POE Trade.

Stash Tabs: The default stash space is pretty limited, if you like the game and are able to, consider buying more stash tabs. Getting a Currency and Map Tab is highly recommended, Premium Tabs make trading easier and if you want, a Quad Tab for extended storage.
Purchased tabs are account-wide and won't be lost when temporary leagues end.
There's also a stash tab sale weekend every three weeks if you're not in a rush.

Full Leveling Section

Your journey through the ten acts can be seen as an extensive tutorial, slowly confronting you with the majority of game mechanics and increasingly more difficult enemies to learn to counter.

This section will help you while playing through the ten acts and shows the recommended
passive tree progression, gem setups, quest progression and exp farming zone for each act.
The passive tree goals are just a pointer, it's not a big deal if you're over- or underleveled.

Keep in mind that this section includes major storyline spoilers, if you care about that.


Act 1

‣ Kill the Zombie, socket Glacial Hammer and switch left-click to move-only
‣ Get Elemental Proliferation from Large Chest and kill Hillock
‣ Buy Spark from Nessa in town and throw away the other two

From here on, if the guide tells you to get a gem and it isn't offered to you as quest reward,
you can buy it from the towns currency/wand/jewelry vendor after finishing the quest.
Selling unidentified magic (=blue) gear to a vendor nets you Transmutation Shards, while identified rare (=yellow) gear gives Alteration Shards. Finishing a stack gets you a full orb.

‣ Check vendors for Boots with Movement Speed and a second Sceptre or two Wands
‣ Get the Coast Waypoint, finish your quest in Mud Flats and enter Submerged Passage
‣ Go back to Coast Waypoint, kill Hailrake on Tidal Island and get Quicksilver Flask in town
‣ Also get Arcane Surge and link it to Spark
‣ Back to Submerged Passage, look for Flooded Depths and kill the Dweller of the Deep
‣ Get Orb of Storms, Frostblink and Skillpoint in town
‣ Set Orb of Storms to "attack without moving" (left-click icon in skillbar)

Use Spark within Orb of Storms for extra damage. If you can lure bosses towards walls,
the bouncing Spark projectiles can hit them multiple times for even more damage.

‣ Make your way to Lower Prison, get Waypoint and then go back to town
‣ Get Added Lightning Damage and link it to Spark + Arcane Surge
‣ Check vendors for any item with 3-linked blue sockets if needed for above

Craft two Sceptres or Wands by selling the following items to any vendor:
Magic-rarity Sceptre/Wand + Normal-rarity Topaz Ring + Orb of Alteration
The resulting weapon will also appear in the vendor window to confirm before selling.
If needed, the recipe for Topaz Rings is: Iron Ring + Green Skill Gem.

‣ Start looking out for 2x Sapphire Rings or use the Recipe: Iron Ring + Blue Skill Gem
‣ Complete Trial of Ascendancy in Lower Prison
‣ Kill Brutus, then get Clarity and Flame Dash in town
‣ Replace Frostblink with Flame Dash and set it to "attack without moving"
‣ Activate Clarity
‣ Progress to Ship Graveyard and get the Waypoint
‣ Look for Ship Graveyard Cave, get Allflame then get Cavern of Wrath Waypoint
‣ Travel to Ship Graveyard Waypoint and kill Fairgraves
‣ Go to town to get Skillpoint
‣ Equip Sapphire Rings and kill Merveil

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Ledge

Act 2

If you find a Vaal Arc gem, don't use it! It's not very effective with this build later on.

‣ Once in town, enter the Old Fields first
‣ Start looking out for 2x Topaz Rings or use the recipe: Iron Ring + Green Skill Gem
‣ Look for the Den, kill Great White Beast and get second Quicksilver in town
‣ Continue to Crossroads and get Waypoint
‣ Enter Chamber of Sins, complete Trial of Ascendancy on Level 2 and kill Fidelitas
‣ Get Herald of Thunder and activate it
‣ Get Wave of Conviction, this provides temporary Exposure on bosses
‣ Keep Wave of Conviction at Level 1, we need it at that level later
‣ Go back to Crossroads, enter Broken Bridge and kill Kraityn
‣ Back to Crossroads once more, enter Fellshrine Ruins and Crypt
‣ Complete Trial of Ascendancy in Crypt
‣ Back to town, enter Riverways and get the Waypoint
‣ Go to Western Forest, get Waypoint, kill Alira and Captain Arteri
‣ Look for Weaver's Chambers and kill Weaver
‣ Go back to Lioneye's Watch to get Skillpoint
‣ Go back to Riverways and follow the small dirt path to Wetlands
‣ Kill Oak, get Wetlands Waypoint and get two Skillpoints in town
‣ Make your way to the Ancient Pyramid, equip Topaz Rings and kill Vaal Oversoul

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Northern Forest

Act 3

Once you're Level 20, upgrade your weapons with the same recipe as before, but this time using rare Topaz Rings. You can use Essences to turn normal rarity Topaz Rings rare.

‣ Focus on having 75% Cold-, Fire- and Lightning Resistance from now on
‣ Kill the Blackguards in City of Sarn and enter town
‣ Go to Slums, enter Crematorium, finish Trial of Ascendancy and kill Piety
‣ Get Sewer Key in town and go back to Slums
‣ Enter Sewers, get Waypoint, find three busts and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Marketplace Waypoint and finish Trial of Ascendancy in Catacombs
‣ Enter Battlefront, get Waypoint and kill Captain Aurelianus
‣ Go to Docks and get Thaumetic Sulphite
‣ Back to Battlefront, enter Solaris Temple and talk to Lady Dialla
‣ Destroy the Undying Blockade in Sewers
‣ Enter Ebony Barracks, get Waypoint and kill General Gravicius
‣ Get Ball Lightning in town and replace Spark with it
‣ Enter Lunaris Temple, kill Piety and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Imperial Gardens Waypoint and finish Trial of Ascendancy
‣ Go to Library and finish Siosa's quest
‣ You can now buy all unlocked gems at Siosa (currency needs to be in inventory!)
‣ Throw away Herald of Thunder and Added Lightning Damage
‣ Get Arcane Cloak, take Arcane Surge from Ball Lightning and link it to Arcane Cloak
‣ Get Increased Duration and link that to Arcane Cloak aswell
Arcane Cloak gives extra damage and hitpool during its duration
‣ Get Sniper's Mark, this gives extra damage during bossfights
‣ Get Lightning Penetration and Archmage and link them to Orb of Storms
‣ Get another Lightning Penetration and Archmage and link them to Ball Lightning

Use Orb of Storms for clearing, add in Ball Lightning while within its radius for bossfights.

Archmage will eat through your mana, it's a good idea to use two mana flasks now
‣ Enter the Sceptre of God and kill Dominus

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Docks

Act 4

Start looking out for 4-linked intelligence-based gear.

‣ Enter the Dried Lake, kill Voll and enter the Mines
‣ Free Deshret's Spirit in Mines Level 2, progress to Crystal Veins and get Waypoint
‣ Get skillpoint in town
‣ Go back to Sarn Encampment, enter the Labyrinth and get its Waypoint

Read up on the Lord's Labyrinth and Izaro to get an idea what's going on.
Poelab shows you the daily layouts and Izaro buffs.

‣ After finishing the Labyrinth, ascend to Hierophant and get Divine Guidance
‣ Go back to Crystal Veins, enter Kaom's Dream and kill Kaom
‣ Now enter Daresso's Dream and kill Daresso
‣ Get Spell Echo in town and link it to Ball Lightning
‣ Get Chain and link it to Orb of Storms
‣ Get Arcanist Brand in Highgate
‣ Link Arcanist Brand with Wave of Conviction and Sniper's Mark

Use Arcanist Brand on bosses to automatically cast the linked spells in sequence.

‣ Kill Piety in Belly of the Beast, and finally Malachai in the Harvest

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Dried Lake

Act 5

Weapons with 30%+ Spell Damage scale better with Archmage, there's a recipe if needed: Weapon + rare Chain Belt + Blacksmith's Whetstone.

‣ Kill Overseer Krow and enter town
‣ Find the Miasmeter in Control Blocks and kill Justicar Casticus
‣ Get Diamond Flask and Skillpoint in town
‣ Replace a Mana Flask with Diamond Flask and try to roll of Staunching on it
‣ Make your way to Templar Courts and kill Avarius
‣ Get Ruined Square Waypoint and finish the quest in Ossuary
‣ Back in Ruined Square, kill Utula and finish the quest in Reliquary
‣ Get Skillpoint and optionally Unique Jewels in town

None of the jewel choices are useful to us, but you might want to keep it for later.

‣ Kill Kitava on Cathedral Rooftop
‣ You will suffer a permanent -30% resistance penalty after this fight

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Chamber of Innocence

Act 6

‣ Clear the Twilight Strand to unlock Lilly as Skillgem Vendor
‣ Get to Mud Flats and kill the Dishonored Queen
‣ Enter Karui Fortress, kill Tukohama and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Use Soul of Tukohama
‣ Finish Trial of Ascendancy in Prison and kill Shavronne
‣ Enter Prisoner's Gate, kill Abberath and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Riverways Waypoint
‣ Enter Wetlands, kill Puppet Mistress and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Light the Beacon and kill the Brine King
‣ Use Soul of the Brine King

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Southern Forest

Act 7

‣ Find the Silver Locket in Broken Bridge and get Granite Flask in town
‣ Replace your low item level Quicksilver Flask with Granite Flask
‣ Enter Crossroads, get Waypoint then enter Crypt through Fellshrine Ruins
‣ Finish Trial of Ascendancy and find Maligaro's Map
‣ Go back to Crossroads and enter Chamber of Sins
‣ Kill Maligaro in Maligaro's Sanctum
‣ Finish Trial of Ascendancy in Chamber of Sins Level 2 and enter the Den
‣ Make your way to Ashen Fields and kill Greust, then get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Northern Forest Waypoint and enter Dread Thicket
‣ Collect all Fireflies and kill Gruthkul, then get Skillpoint in town
‣ Find Kishara's Star in Causeway and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get the Vaal City Waypoint, enter Temple of Decay and kill Arakaali

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Northern Forest

Act 8

‣ Finish the Cruel Labyrinth and get Arcane Blessing
‣ Enter the Toxic Conduits and kill Doedre
‣ Go for Quay first, find Ankh of Eternity, kill Tolman and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Kill the Gemling Legionnaires in Grain Gate and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Enter Solaris Temple and get Sun Orb
‣ Go back to Doedre's Cesspool and go for the Grand Promenade now
‣ Get Bath House Waypoint and finish Trial of Ascendancy
‣ Enter High Gardens, kill Yugul and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Back to Bath House, get to Lunaris Concourse and get Waypoint
‣ Enter Lunaris Temple and get Moon Orb
‣ Back to Lunaris Concourse, enter Harbour Bridge and kill Solaris & Lunaris

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Harbour Bridge

Act 9

‣ Find the Storm Blade in Vastiri Desert and look for a blocked entrance
‣ Go to town, talk to Sin and then to Petarus & Vanja
‣ Go back to the blocked entrance, kill Shakari and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Get Foothills Waypoint, enter Boiling Lake and get Basilisk Acid
‣ Enter the Tunnel and finish Trial of Ascendancy
‣ Get Quarry Waypoint, enter Refinery and get Trarthan Powder
‣ Go back to Quarry, kill Garukhan and get Sekhema Feather
‣ Go to town and give the feather to either Tasuni or Irasha to get Skillpoint
‣ Enter Belly of the Beast and kill the Depraved Trinity

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Blood Aqueduct

Act 10

‣ Go left on Cathedral Rooftop and kill Plaguewing
‣ Now go right, enter the Ravaged Square and go south
‣ Enter the Control Blocks, get Waypoint, kill Vilenta and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Go back to Ravaged Square and get its Waypoint in the upper part
‣ Enter Ossuary and complete Trial of Ascendancy
‣ Finish the Merciless Labyrinth and get Illuminated Devotion
‣ Get to Desecrated Chamber through Torched Courts and kill Avarius
‣ Enter the Canals and make your way to the final bossfight
‣ You will suffer another permanent -30% resistance penalty after this fight

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Desecrated Chambers


‣ Talk to Lani for two Skillpoints
‣ Find Kirac in the Templar Laboratory and finish his quest
‣ Change your setup according to the Gem- and Gear Section
‣ If you lack currency, run Currency Delve nodes and/or start doing the Chaos Orb recipe

tl;dr: Leveling Section

Spark -> Ball Lightning
+ Arcane Surge -> Lightning Penetration
+ Added Lightning Damage -> Archmage
+ Spell Echo

Orb of Storms
+ Lightning Penetration
+ Archmage
+ Chain

Arcanist Brand
+ Wave of Conviction (Lv1)
+ Sniper's Mark

Arcane Cloak
+ Arcane Surge
+ Increased Duration

Frostblink -> Flame Dash


Herald of Thunder until Archmage

Life Flask
Mana Flask
Mana Flask -> Diamond Flask
Quicksilver Flask -> Granite Flask
Quicksilver Flask

Kill Kraityn - Kill Oak - Kill Alira

Act 1 Passives
Act 2 Passives
Act 3 Passives
Act 4 Passives
Act 5 Passives
Act 6 Passives
Act 7 Passives
Act 8 Passives
Act 9 Passives
Act 10 Passives


Passive Tree & Ascendancy



Lv80 Passives
Lv90 Passives
Lv90 Endgame Gear Passives
Lv100 Endgame Gear Passives

If you struggle with Agnostic allocated, remove it until you have more mana sustain!



Divine Guidance (Normal): Grants us extra Mana, 10% Damage Taken from Mana before Life that adds to Mind over Matter and Transfiguration of Mind, which gives a damage increase based on 30% of total Mana% modifiers.

Arcane Blessing (Cruel): Triggers Arcane Surge when we hit an enemy with our spells and increases its effect by 50%.

Illuminated Devotion (Merciless): While Arcane Surge is active, this gives us some Area of Effect, Leech for our Spells and reduces the effect of non-damaging Ailments on us by 50%.

Conviction of Power (Eternal): Raises our maximum Power- and Endurance Charges by 1 and minimum by 4. Simplified, this means that we have 4 of each up at all times.


Gem Setup


Non-corrupted Lv20 Gems can be upgraded to Lv1 20% by vendoring them together with a Gemcutters Prism. Do this with all gems that are marked with a *

All gems are worth corrupting at Lv20 20%, for the ones not needing quality just do it at Lv20.

Any Awakened Gem versions of listed support gems are worth using.


Ball Lightning - Archmage - Spell Echo - Lightning Penetration - Slower Projectiles - Controlled Destruction

Ball Lightning* is our single target skill. It's an AoE projectile spell that damages enemies within its radius every 150ms, which we build around for great damage potential.

Zaron31116 has provided additional information about Ball Lightning's AoE hitrate tresholds, you can check your current AoE in Path of Building.

Archmage* is the backbone of this build. It increases mana cost and adds flat lightning damage based on mana cost, in this case at 50% value because of Ball Lightnings damage effectiveness.

Spell Echo* substantially boosts our cast speed and repeats each skill use without consuming mana for the repeated cast, all at the cost of a minimal damage penalty.

Lightning Penetration* is a hidden damage increase - it doesn't affect our tooltip damage, but rather acts as a dynamic more multiplier by reducing the enemies lightning resistance during damage calculations, and can even drop it into negative values.

5th Link: Slower Projectiles* gives a damage multiplier and reduces projectile speed, which translates into enemies staying within our Ball Lightning AoE for a longer time.

6th Link: Controlled Destruction* provides a huge damage multiplier in exchange for reducing Ball Lightning's crit chance.


Orb of Storms - Archmage - Lightning Penetration - Chain - Elemental Focus - Onslaught

Orb of Storms* is our clearing skill. It's an AoE spell that, once placed on the ground, periodically damages enemies within its radius until its duration runs out or we replace it.

If we use a lightning skill, such as Ball Lightning within its radius, it unleashes additional bolts to provide additional single target damage.

Archmage* and Lightning Penetration* do the same as above.

Chain* amplifies our clearspeed by adding two additional chains at the cost of a damage penalty.

5th Link: Elemental Focus* gives a huge damage multiplier but prevents us from inflicting Elemental Ailments with Orb of Storms.

6th Link: Onslaught* has a chance to grant us the Onslaught buff upon killing an enemy or hitting a rare or unique enemy, which grants us a significant mobility and cast speed increase.

We don't necessarily need the 6th link here, keep it at pretty low priority.


Arcane Cloak - Arcane Surge - Increased Duration - Efficacy

Arcane Cloak* spends a percentage of our mana and temporarily grants us a damage absorbing buff and flat lightning damage based on mana spent. This is great for extra burst damage during bossfights or to soak up some incoming damage.

Arcane Surge grants a temporary buff after spending a certain amount of mana, which grants a more damage multiplier and mana regeneration rate. Since Arcane Cloak spends lots of mana, we can proc a max level Arcane Surge which overrides the Lv1 version from Arcane Blessing.

Increased Duration* and Efficacy both increase the linked skills duration.


Arcanist Brand - Wave of Conviction (Lv1) - Sniper's Mark - Increased Duration

Arcanist Brand* casts a brand that, once attached to an enemy, triggers linked spells in sequence. We use it to keep up the following buffs/debuffs without having to manually cast them.

Wave of Conviction debuffs enemies with Exposure based on its highest elemental damage.
It deals base physical damage with inherent 25% Fire and 25% Lightning Conversion, with any Lightning Damage to Spells we can ensure to get Lightning Exposure.

We keep it at Level 1 to stay safe from physical reflect.

Sniper's Mark* is a Mark curse that makes the enemy take increased damage from projectiles, such as our Ball Lightning. It also gives us additional Life- and Mana Flask charges while hitting, which is extremely good during bossfights.

We keep it at Level 10 since we don't get much Dexterity with this build!

Increased Duration* increases the link skills duration.


Leap Slam - Faster Attacks - Fortify - Clarity

Leap Slam is our movement skill once using a staff. Its movement is neither limited by cooldowns or skill usage limits and it can cross gaps and obstacles.

Leveling raises its Strength requirement without benefit for us, so we keep it at Level 1.

Faster Attacks* adds a good amount of attack speed to speed up our Leap Slam.

Fortify grants us the Fortify buff on hit, which reduces damage we take from hits by 20%.

Clarity is an aura that grants mana regeneration to help with sustain. Unlike most other auras, it reserves a flat amount of mana instead of a percentage, which doesn't hurt as that much.

Don't use Vaal Clarity, it would remove all damage granted by Archmage!

Alternative Quality Gems

The following Alternative Quality Gems are useful to us:

Anomalous Ball Lightning - Cast Speed
Anomalous Orb of Storms - +2 Beam Splits
Divergent Onslaught - Cast Speed
Divergent Arcane Cloak - Buff Effect
Anomalous Arcane Surge - Mana Regeneration
Anomalous Efficacy - Skill Effect Duration
Divergent Wave of Conviction - Debuff Duration
Divergent Sniper's Mark - Chance to Knockback
Phantasmal Leap Slam - Attack Speed
Anomalous Wrath (w/ Essence Worm) - Aura Effect

Last edited by Enki91 on Aug 15, 2021, 8:12:56 PM
Last bumped on Sep 19, 2021, 1:46:16 PM
Gear & Flasks


Gearing in Path of Exile is all about opportunity cost - sure, that unique item may look good,
but is it better than all other options? Can you make up the loss of vital stats somewhere else?
In this section I want to give you a quick rundown on what to look out for in each slot.

Basic Information about Gear

‣ Rare item names are randomly generated out of a gearslot-tied wordpool and meaningless

‣ Rare items can have up to six affixes, split into three prefixes and three suffixes

Item level decides which affixes can roll, and up to which tier

‣ Socket color probability is tied to attribute requirements: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence

‣ Quality increases the probability to hit the maximum number of sockets and links

‣ Corrupted Items can't be modified outside of socket amount, -links and -colors

‣ Affixes saying "attacks" don't affect Spells, flat damage on weapons only if it's "to Spells"

‣ Each Unique that's not listed here is either too weak to compete with better choices,
too expensive for too little gain or simply doesn't synergize at all with this build

‣ The Crafting Bench can add powerful affixes for cheap, which is especially helpful to create
Life + Mana gear. Use poedb to figure out open affix slots



This build uses staves as weapons, just avoid warstaves as they can't roll caster-specific stats! The most important stats to look out for are 100%+ Spell- or Lightning Damage and 100+ Mana, any Mana Regeneration Rate or Cast- and Attack Speed are good additions.

Avoid Cold Damage added to Spells and Fire Damage added to Spells, both can ruin the Exposure applied by Wave of Conviction!

Pledge of Hands is our endgame staff. It comes with lots of Spell Damage and Mana, and grants Greater Spell Echo to socketed skills. This adds two additional repeats as well as 30% more Damage and 50% AoE per repeat, which synergizes perfectly with our Ball Lightning setup.

Another advantage is that it helps mana sustain, since we get 4x casts of Ball Lightning while only spending mana for one. Be aware that this also locks us in place for longer when casting!

The best Harvest enchantment is Grants 1% increased Elemental Damage per 2% Quality.


Body Armour

Any intelligence-based body armour works, focus on 80+ Life, 40+ Mana and Resistances.

Cloak of Defiance is our endgame body armour. It provides a ton of Mana and another %-based Mana Regeneration modifier, saves us a passive point for Mind over Matter and adds another 10% of Damage taken from Mana before Life.

The best Harvest enchantment is Grants +1 to Maximum Mana per 2% Quality.



A basic helmet with 60+ Life, 40+ Mana and Resistances is a good start.

On higher budgets you can add in #% maximum Mana or Nearby Enemies have -#% to Lightning Resistance.

The best enchantments are Arcane Cloak spends an additional #% of current Mana and Spells Triggered by Arcanist Brand Unnerve enemies on Hit for 4 seconds.



Atleast 60+ Life, 40+ Mana and Resistances are once again the baseline here.

Cast Speed, Spell Damage, Culling Strike and #% chance to Unnerve Enemies for # seconds on Hit are good additions.

The Ritual-specific basetypes Leyline-, Aetherwind- and Nexus Gloves are insanely good.
We gain lots of mana sustain from their #% chance when you pay a Skill's Mana Cost to gain that much Mana modifier and the 30% reduced maximum Mana is not as much as it sounds.

Enchantments aren't really significant for us here, don't bother with them.



Focus on 60+ Life, 40+ Mana and Resistances together with 20%+ Movement Speed.
Two-Toned Boots and Fugitive Boots are desirable for their Resistance implicits.

You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently is a good addition for endgame boots.

The best enchantment is #% increased Mana Regeneration Rate if you've cast a Spell recently, don't settle with anything else.



An entry level amulet should have 40+ Life, 40+ Mana and either Cast Speed or Spell- or Lightning Damage.

The Aylardex is our first endgame choice. It gives us the basic Life and Mana, +1 Power Charge and Mana Regeneration Rate as well as Damage taken from Mana before Life based on active Power Charges, but also removes the Crit Chance we'd gain from Power Charges.

Atziri's Foible is another endgame choice. It provides more Mana and -Regeneration Rate than Aylardex and saves us some Dexterity investment, but lacks the other stuff.

Eventually we want to improve its stats with Fertile Catalysts.

Good anointments are Mind Drinker, Disciple of the Forbidden (w/ Aylardex) and Mana Flows.



Rings are great to gain lots of Resistances from, once again together with 40+ Life and 40+ Mana.

A highend ring has all that on a Cerulean Ring base and with Mana Regeneration Rate, enhanced with Fertile Catalysts.

Essence Worm should be our second ring. It allows running an aura without reservation cost while raising the reservation cost of other auras, our choice is Wrath for more damage.

Without this ring, running Wrath would remove most of our damage and defenses!



Surprisingly, 80+ Life, 40+ Mana and Resistances are also our focus here. Stygian Vise gives an additional Abyss Jewel socket, otherwise go for a Leather Belt or Heavy Belt.

For endgame we want a belt with all that and high Mana Recovery Rate. This stat multiplies our Mana Regeneration and Mana Flask Recovery and is insanely helpful for endgame sustain.

Fertile Catalysts are once again our best choice here to perfect an endgame belt.



Our jewels should have Life or Mana together with some of the following: Increased Damage, Increased Lightning Damage, Increased Spell Damage (-while wielding a Staff), Increased Cast Speed (-while wielding a Staff), Increased Attack & Cast Speed and Increased Mana Regeneration Rate.

Avoid Cold Damage added to Spells and Fire Damage added to Spells, both can ruin the Exposure applied by Wave of Conviction!

Tempered Mind socketed near Mind over Matter gives a great amount of Mana Recovery Rate. This doesn't affect Mana Regeneration in your character sheet, but will be very noticeable.
It can only drop from the Vaal Omnitect in the Temple of Atzoatl.

Healthy Mind converts life passives in its radius to mana at twice its value. We can use it next to Mystic Bulwark to convert Cruel Preparation, Heart and Soul and the small passives for a massive mana and damage increase.

Militant Faith with Carved to glorify # new Faithful converted by High Templar Dominus can be used in the socket near Mind over Matter instead of Tempered Mind. This will grant us Inner Conviction for a great damage increase at the loss of Mana Recovery Rate. It can only drop from the Templar Legion within the Domain of Timeless Conflict.

When using this, make sure that you have Mind over Matter allocated and that the jewel doesn't transform any Notables we use within its radius.

Unnatural Instinct is a very high budget option that grants the effects of all Small Passives within its radius at the cost of the effects of allocated Small Passives within its radius. We can use it near Shaper to gain Mana, Mana Regeneration Rate, Skill Effect Duration and Cast Speed.

When using this, we have to path to the Jewel Socket through both Life Regeneration- instead of the Mana passives.

Watcher's Eye is a highend option that gives Life, Mana and two or three aura-related affixes.
They can only drop from the Elder (2-affix) or Uber Elder (3-affix).

Useful affixes for this build are:

Watcher's Eye Affixes

#% increased Mana Recovery Rate while affected by Clarity
#% chance to Recover 10% of Mana when you use a Skill while affected by Clarity
#% of Damage taken from Mana before Life while affected by Clarity
Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance while affected by Wrath
#% increased Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath


I've already briefly explained flasks earlier in the guide, just as a reminder they're more than just Healing Pots that you may know from other ARPG's.

There's two types: Life/Mana/Hybrid Flasks which heal the respective stat over a duration, and Utility Flasks which grant buffs during their listed duration. Prefixes augment the flasks effect or duration, while suffixes add additional buffs that are active during the flasks duration.


Crafting Advice: Start by scouring all flasks and put 4x Glassblower Baubles on each, which can be bought for 8x Blacksmith's Whetstones each at the gear vendor in town. Transmute and use Orbs of Alteration until you hit one of the listed prefixes without a suffix, and add one of the listed suffixes through Einhar's Beastcrafting in the Menagerie. If you hit a listed prefix already together with a listed suffix, you should of course keep that.


Your Flask Setup should be the following:

Divine Life Flask - Eternal Mana Flask - Diamond Flask - Granite Flask - Quicksilver Flask

Divine Life Flasks are best for instant heal, get Panicked with Staunching to remove Bleeding.

The Eternal Mana Flask backs up our mana drain while casting, for that we want Concentrated with Curing to remove Poison.

Diamond Flasks add additional Crit Chance to proc Elemental Overload, we want with Experimenter's and Warding to remove Curses.

Our Granite Flask adds a tiny amount of Armour to mitigate small physical hits, best with Experimenter's or Alchemist's with Iron Skin.

Quicksilver Flasks provide Movement Speed, aim for Alchemist's with Adrenaline.

Cluster Jewels

Cluster Jewels expand the passive tree by adding new branches when socketed in any outer 3-point jewel socket. There's three types, Large-, Medium- and Small Cluster Jewels, each with their own implicits and pool of notables. They only drop from Delirium encounters and need to be crafted first, therefore i'm including them as optional choices rather than an integral part.


Our Large Cluster needs to be Lightning Damage based and ideally has only 8 added passives.

Disorienting Display is our main goal to gain Blind for added survivability, additional notables are Scintillating Idea, Thunderstruck, Vengeful Commander, Storm Drinker and Tempt the Storm.

Our Small Clusters need to be mana based, ideally with 2 added passives.

We want Mindfulness here, which provides additional Mana and lots of Mana Regeneration Rate while stationary, which we happen to be while casting.

Upgrade Order

This section is here to answer the everlasting "What to upgrade next?" question.

It's based on the assumption that you have no gear and have reached maps, if you haven't then you shouldn't even be reading this part of the guide yet, stick to the first part for Acts.


‣ Basic Gear (check Trade Links) & Flasks

‣ Mind Drinker Anointment

‣ Farm Merciless Lab for Mana Regen Boot Enchantment

‣ 5L Cloak of Defiance & 5L Pledge of Hands
If cheaper, buy them unlinked + Jeweller's Touch Prophecy

‣ Healthy Mind

‣ Cluster Jewels

‣ The Aylardex + Oils for Disciple of the Forbidden Anointment
‣ Atziri's Foible + Oils for Mana Flows Anointment

‣ 6L Pledge of Hands

‣ Endgame Gear w/ Influence modifiers

‣ Farm Uber (Eternal) Lab for Mana Regen Boot Enchantment

‣ 6L Cloak of Defiance

‣ Watcher's Eye

‣ Unnatural Instinct

‣ Awakened- & Alternative Quality Gems

Basic Gear Trade Links

This section provides trade links to very basic gear that gets you started. They're currently set to Expedition Softcore, change that to your current league if needed.

I will not provide any trade links for higher end stuff here!

Take it as a tutorial about equipment and planning. Import your character into Path of Building, check potential upgrades on the trade site, import them to your character in Path of Building and check poedb to see which craft you can add with your Crafting Bench, while keeping the affix rules mentioned in Basic Information about Gear in mind.


Weapon: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/wB63Y3Qcb
Body Armour: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/ZDkXEK0uQ
Helmet: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/pGaK4KWh0
Gloves: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/r09bV0GSQ
Boots: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/Eaq3jmKU5
Amulet: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/nGZwoqJT0
Ring 1: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/KmqyqonU5
Ring 2: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/2gvGsk
Belt: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/LnqalVZfn
Jewel 1: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/2p33OZ5ik
Jewel 2: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Expedition/z9YRW2I4


Mapping & Pantheons



Before you start mapping, make sure that your Elemental Resistances (Fire, Cold & Lightning) are capped at 75% and you have atleast 3.5k Life and 4k Mana.

Your first maps shouldn't be an issue with this build, just keep on progressing through the Atlas. Read up on monster mods and map mods to understand what everything does and how they may affect enemies or yourself, and this guide for Atlas progression.

Use Orb of Storms for packs of enemies, Ball Lightning is only needed for anything that refuses to die quickly. Use Leap Slam and the Quicksilver Flask to move between enemies or dodge their skills, if it's safe to do you can leap into the enemies to gain Fortify.

Try to keep Arcane Cloak up as much as possible. A good way to do that is putting it on your Left-Click - you can still move freely, but Arcane Cloak will be casted when possible.

Enemies usually give visual cues to react and often lock target on the position you're at during their animation start, so in that case simply move to avoid all damage. Sometimes you can also use the environment to block enemies from getting to you or preventing damage from their skills.

That said, there's many things in this game that aren't meant to be tanked in the first place,
and may kill you if you try. There's lots of trial and error involved to figure them out.

As a general rule, remember: Standing still for too long is a death sentence in this game!



Bossfights are all mechanical, the build can take some hits and allows you to learn those fights. Generally going in circles around the boss works well. You only want to gain distance for a few skills such as AoE slams, explosions or burrow attacks.

Same as above, keep Arcane Cloak up at all times! Put Arcanist on the boss, start the fight, cast Orb of Storms and burst them down with Ball Lightning. Move to dodge skills or replenish mana and repeat the rotation until the boss is dead.

Beware of any iteration of Atziri! She has an inherent 2% damage reflection, use Sibyl's Lament and Soul of Yugul to be safe.


Mapmods to look out for

Temporal Chains - absolutely annoying

Players have less AoE - single target damage loss

Elemental Equilibrium/Resistance/Enfeeble - overall damage loss

Monsters poison/ignite on hit - can mess up your mana regeneration

No Regeneration - can't safely run this, skip

Elemental Reflect - equip a Sibyl's Lament and use Soul of Yugul, or skip.


Soul of the Brine King (Major) - Prevents stunlocks. The second upgrade prevents freezelocks.

Soul of Shakari (Minor) - Reduces chaos damage we take. Its upgrade limits poisons on us to 5 and halves their duration.

Soul of Yugul (Minor) - Mitigates reflected damage. Its ugprade reduces curse effect on us.

Soul of Gruthkul (Minor) - Gives additional physical damage reduction when hit. It's upgrade slows enemy attacks after hitting you.




30th July 2021: updated POB
30th July 2021: adjusted Leveling Section and replaced Freezing Pulse with Spark
30th July 2021: added Efficacy back to Arcane Cloak
30th July 2021: moved Sniper's Mark to Arcanist Brand
30th July 2021: replaced Arc with Orb of Storms for the sake of this build
30th July 2021: added Unnatural Instinct
30th July 2021: added Videos
29th July 2021: added a little word of advice
29th July 2021: added more Mapmods to look out for
29th July 2021: added upgrade to Soul of the Brine King
28th July 2021: updated POB
28th July 2021: switched Curing and Warding Flask suffixes around
28th July 2021: replaced Conductivty with Sniper's Mark
28th July 2021: added line about Mapping requirements
28th July 2021: updated Trade Links now that there's an economy
27th July 2021: updated Upgrade Order
27th July 2021: expanded Pros & Cons
26th July 2021: updated Anointments
26th July 2021: changed 6th Link Gem choices
26th July 2021: updated Act & Endgame Passive Trees
25th July 2021: added warning about The Agnostic
24th July 2021: Trade Links added
23rd July 2021: added Art to the intro
23rd July 2021: added Militant Faith
22nd July 2021: Guide created


Special thanks to everyone who helped improving the guide or supported it in any other way,
and to GGG for this awesome game and their exceptional support!

Hope you enjoy the build and have a nice day!
Last edited by Enki91 on Aug 16, 2021, 11:52:09 AM
First comment...
Another Enki build ?, In!
Let's GO!!!!!
Screaming rn
Obligatory comment re: fishing rods YEP
<3 big time
Oh damn girl your build looks good.
Could this work in HC?

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