[3.20] Frostbolt Ice Nova Hierophant | A blast from the past | 90M DPS

This build is an experiment to bring self-cast ice nova back to life.
The general idea is based on this post: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2687717.
I tried updating it in this league and came up with a pretty decent result, killing all uber bosses and all invitations at 80%+ quantity.

I don't think this build is gonna be successful on a budget.
My gear is currently worth about 150 divines and i get to about 90M DPS with flasks.

This build utilizes the combination of frostbolt and ice nova.
In combination with the spell echo support gem and greater spell echo from pledge of hands, this allows us to cast 8 overlappig ice novas per cast because the frostbolts will cast all repeats.

We use Hierophant ascendancy for multiple reasons:
1) We don't need to 'waste' a support gem slot for mana cost handling
2) We get a nice EHP pool with MoM and Sanctuary of Thought
3) Free power and endurance charges
4) Scaling mana for more damage

Occultist might be the better class at this point but i decided to stick with Hierophant.

Basic offensive mechanics:
Basic overview of the most important offensive aspects of this build
1) Scaling Mana together with Transfiguration of Mind, Sanctuary of Thought and arcane cloak, gives us alot of %damage, aoe and flat lightning damage
2) We get 6 min/max power charges with Conviction of Power, the tree and the helmet. These scale our crit chance and give a nice damage multiplier with Inner Conviction (Millitant Faith)
3) We use Anathema to apply 4 offensive curses
4) low life
5) cast speed from tree, tailwind, onslaught, gems and jewellery

Basic defensive mechanics:
1) decent mana pool with MoM
2) 78% max all ele res (chest + militant faith)
3) Petrified blood for low life and bigger max hit taken due to MoM
4) HP and mana recoup to counter petrified blood degen
5) Sanctuary of Thought

- High single target dps
- Decent movementspeed
- Freeze
- High aoe
- tanky enough to tank 1-2 hits from stuff like uber maven's cascade of pain

- Too expensive for the given result
- Not tanky enough to tank big hits like uber sirus die beam
- Two button playstyle
- Mapping can feel awkward when frostbolt flies too slowly
- Not enough gem sockets for more defensive options


Current Gear:

Detailed Item explanation:
Pledge of Hands with high spell damage and ele damage enchant.
This gives us two extra repeats on ice nova without any downside.

Blizzard Crown with +1 maximum power charges, nearby enemies have -9 cold resistance (go for the elevated -12 if you have the money) and ice nova damage enchant. The rest is pure luck when using the awakener orb. Look for life and resistance. (We don't need/can't even use aspect of the spider. This was just a leftover from another build)

Another good option is eye of malice with ice nova enchant and +1 max power charge corruption (don't know how well the "nerby" feels though).

Body Armor
We use a sacrificial garb since we can use vaal ice nova.
We take elevated all res, elevated spell crit and some other good defensive mods.
Crafting my chest:
1) Get elevated spell crit/elevated all res, with one of them being on a sacrifical garb
2) Awakener orb them together
3) Hope for open prefix -> suffiex cannot be changed -> reforge fire. We will get phys taken as fire if we had full suffixes, otherwise we can go again with full suffixes
4) suffixes cannot be changed -> aisling -> hope it doesn't remove phys taken as fire -> unveil %life/%mana
5) craft life

Gloves with temple mod, high dexterity, another resistance, life and mana. Cold exposure and unnerve as implicits.
Crafting my gloves:
1) Buy Gloves with high item level and temple mod, high dexterity and another high res. The temple mod can be any res temple mod
2) Harvest res swap for the desired cold damage temple mod
3) Eldritch currency for prefixes
4) eldritch implicits

Elevated tailwind, elevated onslaught, elusive, ms boots (Fugitive if you have enough res). These boots give us alot of cast speed which is key to make the build feel well.

+2 amulet with crit multi, cast speed and minimum frenzy charges.
Crafting this amulet:
1) get a crit multi fracture with your desired base (fix attributes)
2) alt/aug for +1 all
3) regal
4) if you hit a prefix, go to step 5, otherwise suffix to prefix
5) cannot roll attack + harvest add/remove cold (this can remove +1 all if you are unlucky -> go again from 2)
6) prefixes cannot be changed -> reforge caster (hope for open suffix) until you hit good cast speed and an open suffix (you can use harvest add/remove if you want to be on the safe side but getting high cast speed might take a few tries). Otherwise go for aisling/veiled chaos and take double res/double attributes or attack/cast speed
7) craft min frenzy

Ring 1
Anathema for all offensive curses.

Ring 2
Double recoup ring with mana, res and cast speed.
We need the recoup to completely counter the petrified blood degen. This stat might not be necessary when you don't use the 10% increased life mastery.
Mana recoup turns out to be not that great, so you can ignore it.
Crafting my ring:
1) Get a life recoup fracture
2) spam cast speed essence until t1 res
3) suffixes cannot be changed veiled chaos -> unveil mana recoup
4) craft life

res, life, %life, mana stygian.

abyss jewel
life, mana, attributes and cb

1) Instant life flask
2) Lavianga's spirit for nice mana regen
3) bottled faith for crit and damage
4) diamond flask for crit
5) quicksilver flask

for a more defensive option, swap the diamond flask with progenesis

1) Grand spectrum with min frenzy and %life to get to 3 min frenzy charges
2) Massive thread of hope
3) Double clarity watcher's eye/mom clarity plus zealotry is probably better
4) Militant faith for inner conviction
5) Blanketed snow, prismatic heart, widespread destruction large cluster
6) Megalomaniac with blanketed snow, pressure points

notes for militant faith
1) Try to get a good node in the herald wheel to get the life reservation mastery
2) We need one minimum power charge

Detailed Gem explanation:
Vaal ice nova
Straight forward most dps. Divergent vaal ice nova level 21 might be hard to get, so take a normal 21 vaal if thats cheaper.

Petrified blood
We reserve petrified blood with our life pool. Together with Anomalous Arrogance, enlighten lvl 4 and the life reservation mastery, we get to 50% life reservation for petrified blood. Together with a lvl 1 clarity, we get to 49% for permanent low life.
Petrified blood, together with mom, gives us a really nice defensive boost since we don't reserve 49% of our ehp pool (just our hp pool).

Arcanist brand
Applies all our curses. Use enfeeble instead of enhance if you want to get
a little bit more defensive power for bosses.

Our damage aura together with eternal blessing.

Arcane cloak
Together with a high level arcane surge gives huge dps boost.

With gmp to cast ice nova on. Use divergent for (uber) bosses and change to anomalous/superior if you do alot of maps.

We use frostblink together with bonechill. I really don't like frostblink for bosses but this is the only remaining way to apply bonechill.

Last edited by Forxconn on Feb 19, 2023, 6:20:30 PM
Last bumped on Feb 26, 2023, 11:53:52 PM
Just wanted to say thanks real quick for working on this build. Always enjoyed fb ice nova, though I like when the frostbolts can be automated without losing much.

Any thoughts on fated end ring or eye of malice?
Last edited by savagetsunami on Jan 27, 2023, 4:02:45 PM
I don't know how fated end works when the curses are applied with arcanist brand but if it works, it would be a nice dps upgrade. Not sure though how difficult it would be to get the relevant stats the ring slot provided.

Eye of malice should be a damage downgrade compared to the blizzard crown (I think).
well I've been working on the gear and have most of it, though I need to rework my DEX/STR balance a bit

Haven't finished leveling the character, I like to take my time.

I'm not 100% on arcanist brand interaction but the curse effect shouldn't get reset so it should work.

Eye of Malice can be corrupted to match the +1 power charges from Blizzard Crown. With both Elemental + Frostbite curses and increasing effect,

With that said, I have Eye of Malice beating the crown out (~10% more total damage output to build). This would be even more apparent in an Elementalist or Ascendant build where you have even more penetration.

I do not know how annoying the range of Eye's nearby effect will be.

Current setup so far
Yes, you are correct, with ice nova enchant and power charge corruption, it's actually a nice dps boost.

Only problem is tankiness, because you'll lose the potential of a good life roll (if you are as lucky as i was when woke orbing the helmet).

In terms of the "nearby" im not sure. If it is like nearby enemy cold res, it should be fine. But it's poe so idk ^^

One thing for your pob: I don't know how your tankieness feels atm, but getting life reservation node is really good for ehp.

Another point: the aspect of the spider I rolled on my helmet is actually bait (forgot to deactivate in my pob or mention it). I just had it on the helmet from my bv build. Aspect of the spider is just a straight up downgrade I think (or pob doesn't calc it).

I might add a little bit more about my item choices. I think that will help to clear Things up.
Last edited by Forxconn on Feb 3, 2023, 9:59:18 AM
I do agree the other rolls on the helm would help the build defensively.

Yeah I was hoping to use this build for bossing, thus the focus on high burst dmg.

I did take the bait regarding Aspect -- Can't even utilize it with Eternal Blessing Zealotry. Makes the item look pretty though.

That PoB is work in progress, I hadn't yet realized where you were getting the reservation from as those nodes to me were worthless with my jewel.

I would like to work on a defensive version since it seems like dps is pretty easily scalable with the curses and rings.
Updated my post with a more detailed item/gem explanation.
I don't see 2.5B armour. Where's your defenses? 90% all res, spell suppress, block, all that won't matter.
I don't know why I have forum access, even. Or why I didn't adblock it until now.

PM's through this site, or emails, will not be seen whatsoever.
Defenses are overrated.

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