[3.20] Ice Crash Ignite Elementalist


Hello there,

PinguinTorpedo here with my take on a melee ignite build in 3.20. There was a lot of discussion that melee builds in general are in really bad spot. Especially ignite builds with the removal of the Divine Inferno jewel.
I came up with an Ice Crash Ignite Elementalist that should be pumping 5.1m to 26m in a mapping environment, 9m to 17m against standard bosses and arounnd 2.4m to 4.2m Uber dps with 4s ignite uptime. The damage range exisits because of the interaction of the key items. In the Damage Output section i will go in detaill about the damage.

In my opinion it's not only viable to play a melee ignite build in 3.20, it should be actually good. This build is not tested at all. It is a concept in my mind and i will league start it in 3.20 softcore trade. I appreciate every feedback and comment from the community to make this build better or point out big mistakes.
I played Ice Crash Ignite Elementalist multiple times in a SSF environment and want to push it to its limits this time. I'm really excited to see where this is going.



Chonking around with a big ass Karui Chopper (already good dps).
Chill enemies with the "Shaper of Winter" (every damage chills / max chill effect 40%) Elementalist ascendancy.
Freeze enemies with the "Frigid Wake" (15% more cold damage / cannot be chilled and frozen / every 4 seconds freeze nearby non-unique enemies for 0.6 seconds / every 4 seconds 33% chance to freeze nearby unique enemies for 0.6 seconds) Occultist ascendancy, granted by Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh.
Dip a lot of extra damage from Heatshiver (1% cold damage as extra fire per 1% chill effect on the enemy / gain 100% cold damage as extra fire damage against frozen enemies).
Juicy Ignites from the "Shaper of Flames" (all damage can ignite) Elementalist ascendancy.

Even without the small window the enemies are frozen the build is capable to put out decent damage numbers and works without this interaction (damage range mentioned above, should be fine for the endgame). But it will allow for insane numbers in certain situations.

Divine Inferno would add a lot of extra damage to this build. Thankfully, this garbage item was bugged anyway and was never working even a year after it was released in patch 3.17. (lol, what the fuck ggg)



PoB: https://pastebin.com/dZdDhKLw

The Elementalist ascendancy note "Heart of Destruction" grants convergence. I disabled convergence in the PoB and added in configuration the damage from the average uptime of convergence.

Damage Output


I'm not a PoB warrior that is pumping up the damage numbers to sell an OP build. Actually I'm writing this guide, because i found my league starter really early this league and I have nothing to do. I will explain the configuration and the resulting damage numbers.


Mapping Ignite DPS without the Arcanist Brand Setup (Wave of Conviction, Flammability, Flame Surge), no frenzy charges and no chill/freeze interaction, because we assume that we one shot random map mobs anyway: 5.1m DPS
Mapping Ignite DPS without the Arcanist Brand Setup (Wave of Conviction, Flammability, Flame Surge), no frenzy charges, hitting an enemy two times and double dip from the chill/freeze interaction: 9.4m dps
Mapping Ignite DPS without the Arcanist Brand Setup (Wave of Conviction, Flammability, Flame Surge), three frenzy charges, hitting an enemy two times and double dip from the chill/freeze interaction: 10.5m
Mapping Ignite DPS with the Arcanist Brand Setup (assuming we are fighting a tankier rare mob), three frenzy charges, hitting an enemy two times and double dip from the chill/freeze interaction: 25m

A lot of damage relies on the Arcanist Brand Setup, but when you need it the most (tanky rares, map boss or end game bosses) it should have a reliable uptime.


Map Boss without chill/freeze interaction: 9.4m
Map Boss with chill/freeze interaction: 16.9m
Pinnacle Boss without chill/freeze interaction: 7.6m
Pinnacle Boss with chill/freeze interaction: 14m
Uber Boss without chill/freeze interaction: 9.4m
Uber Boss with chill/freeze interaction: 4.2m

Gear Choices


Karui Chopper (slow and high base attack damage - perfect for an ignite build).
Really cheap to get a fractured tier 1 cold damage to attacks base.

Chest, Gloves and Boots:
Hybrid armour/energy shield base.
Get life, lightning resistance, chaos resistance and life regen on every piece.

The amulet is a good source for damage over time multiplier and this stats should be focused. Take a hunter influenced amulet to get Damage over Time multiplier and Fire Damage over Time multiplier.


Heatshiver: Helmet with a lot of damage potential in certain situation. The "Shaper of Winter" ascendancy note allows us to get up to 40% chill effect, which could result in up to 40% of cold damage as extra fire damage. This will even be increased by 100% of cold damage as extra fire damage when the enemy is frozen.

Polaric Devastation: Covered in Ash gives a decent damage boost

Pyre: Decent amount of Burning Damage and Cold to Fire conversion (fire damage needs to be the highest damage type to get extra damage from "Shaper of Flames").

Dyadian Dawn: The best belt for the build, which gives a 25% total damage upgrade.

Atziris Promise: This flask gives a 10% total damage upgrade and the chaos resistance helps for defense.

Taste of Hate: This flask gives a 7.2% total damage upgrade and helps increasing defense against physical hits.

Watcher's Eye: I tried to take a combination that should be fairly cheap. Builds that can make a profit out of "increased cold damage" and "damaging ailments deal damage faster" should be really rare and this Watcher's Eye should be cheap enough.

Forbidden Flame/Flesh with "Frigid Wake": I have no idea what they will cost at league start, but they will be the first items i will gather my currency for. "Frigid Wake" allows a huge damage increase with Heatshiver.

Gem Choices

Endgame Main 6-Link "Ice Crash"
Ice Crash - Fist of War - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Swift Affliction - Unbound Ailments - Burning Damage
Possible upgrades: Awakened support gems

Utility 6-Link Arcanist Brand Setup
Arcanist Brand - Wave of Conviction - Combustion - Flammability - Flame Surge - Increased Duration

Hatred - Malevolence - Determination (no need for Enlighten Support, because the unreserved mana gets 1%)

Dash -Second Wind - Enduring Cry (Left click) - Lifetap

Blood Rage (maximal lvl 13)

CWDT - Vaal Molten Shell - Increased Duration - Summon Stone Golem/Lifetap


Resolute Technique vs. Elemental Overload: We are not hitting often enough to trigger Elemental Overload. Taking Resolute Technique frees up a lot of affixes on our gear, that would be wasted on accuracy.

Eldritch Battery: Should solve mana problems in addition to the chest craft "Regenerate 150 Energy Shield per second while a Rare or Unique Enemy is Nearby".

Call to Arms: Left-click Enduring Cry

Unwavering Stance: This is really important. The attack speed is slow. The attack will be interrupted, when we have no stun immunity.

Leveling Section

Talent trees and gem choices for leveling in the PoB (https://pastebin.com/dZdDhKLw).


Level 1 to Level 15: Spark
Level 16 to Level 69: Wave of Conviction
Level 70+: Transition to Ice Crash

There are plenty Wave of Conviction build guides out there. If you want a step to step explanation for leveling i advise you to look those build guides up. For an experienced player the talent tree and gem choices should be enough to get through the acts. With this setup the leveling to maps should be very fast. Don't transition to early, even if its tempting. I've done it before and if you do not have enough attack speed you will attack in slow motion.

Crafting Section

Weapon Crafting

The weapon of choice is a Karui Chopper. Karui Chopper has really high base damage and slow attack speed. While we need a little bit of attack speed as quality of life, it's not necessary for the damage output. But it would feel extremely clunky to play without a little bit of attack speed.
For the early game weapon buy a Karui Chopper with a fractured cold damage mod. Then spam shrieking/defeaning essences of contempt. Craft attack speed as a suffix and the early game is saved.
For the end game weapon buy an item level 83 Karui Chopper with a tier 1 fractured cold damage mod. They are really cheap. A few weeks into the league they should cost 10 chaos, if fractured items are dropping very often like with the old archnemesis system. Suffixes are not even close as important as the prefixes. Attack speed is prefered here as well. Depending on your budget you can just craft attack speed, prefixes cannot be changed/veiled chaos orb or aisling slam.

Chest Crafting

I would'nt recommend getting a fractured base with a tier 1 modifier, because six-linking it yourself should be more expensive than rolling with essences.
The chest is actually substantially for our mana sustain. In my first version i tried to build the utility gems around life tap support, but was missing a few gem slots. So i decided to go with Eldritch Battery and sustain mana this way. Ice Crash costs only 31 energy shield and can easily be sustained alone with energy shield leech. Once we are facing a rare or unique enemy we are using Arcanist Brand as well to boost the single target damage. Each cast of Arcanist Brand and the gems attached to it will cost 174 energy shield. The craft "Regenerate 150 Energy Shield per second while a Rare or Unique Enemy is Nearby" should solve all sustaining problems, because we are only in the need of energy shield if a rare or unique enemy is nearby.

Amulet Crafting

I would just farm currency and buy an amulet.

Cheap Anoint: Arsonist
Midgame Anoint: Acrimony
Endgame Anoint: Snowforged

Endgame Corruptions

There are two items that are worth corrupting.
Heatshiver for burning damage and Dyadian Dawn for Hatred aura effect. I advise to get a corrupted heatshiver first and pay a lab runner for the right enchant.



Added soon.


I hope i could inspire some of my fellow neck beards for league start.
Please do not copy this build i like my items on trade cheap.
Last edited by PinguinTorpedo on Dec 8, 2022, 1:14:11 AM
Last bumped on Apr 5, 2023, 10:14:57 PM
Why not go for shaper of the storms instead of shaper of winter? It gives like +2m dps (when you check the shock box).
Sorry if it's a dumb question, i just really like the concept of "melee" elementalist and your build.

Edit: Is it for the +10% chill effect? As a defensive layer?
Last edited by Raidki on Dec 7, 2022, 5:41:35 PM
Hi there! :-)

There are three uniques that synergizes with my enemies beeing chilled in this build. Chill is an important offensive aspect and a defensive layer for us.

at first there is Heatshiver. Heatshiver first effect says "Gain 1% of cold damage as extra fire damage per 1%$ chill effect on enemy". With 40% chill effect we will get 40% of cold damage as extra fire damage.

The jewels Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh allocated the Occultist ascendancy passive Frigid Wake. Frigid Wake gives this:

"Cannot be Frozen.
Cannot be Chilled.
15% more cold damage.
every 4 seconds 33% chance to freeze nearby unique enemies for 0,6 seconds
every 4 seconds freeze nearby non-unique enemies for 0.6 seconds.
Nearby chilled enemies deal 10% less damage with hits"

As you can see, we will get 10% damage reduction and a chance to freeze if we chill the enemy.

Now we come to the second effect of heatshiver. "Gain 100% of cold as extra fire damage against frozen enemies". If we can hit this effect it will nearly double the damage.

As you can see we need a source to chill.

hope i could help and if you have further questions i will answer them for sure!
Last edited by PinguinTorpedo on Dec 8, 2022, 12:56:53 AM
Thanks a lot for the answer.

Now i get it why to use shaper of winter. For now there aren't any more questions but thanks.
I don't see anything about bandits, what to do there?
you kill them it says it in pob
hi there, i see you havent included which ascendancies to get first, im assuming shaper of flames into shaper of winter?
I was thinking if this build can gain some extra damage from searing bond. From what I understand, burns from searing bond should stack with ignite. But searing bond can't hit so it can't replace the brand, making it hard to fit. Guess it's a dead end after all.
Also, I have a question about brand setup. Combustion grants -10% fire resistance to enemies ignited by supported skill, but does it still apply if that ignite is overridden by a stronger DoT?
Last edited by FemaleRepellent on Dec 11, 2022, 12:56:06 AM
any idea why i cant have the 3 auras active? i have all the mana reserver nodes
How does deadly ailments support interact with ignite? Does "deal 80% less damage with hits" affect resulting ignite damage, making it pointless?

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