[1.1.4] Blood Magic Flame Totems: Solo, Self-Found, Beginner-friendly (not updated for 1.2)

Note for 1.2 and beyond: I'll probably not update this guide for the Forsaken Masters expansion. With the nerf to life, and the heavy reliance of this build on a large life pool and the resulting high HP regeneration, I'm not convinced that the build will be as strong. I believe that with the 1.2 changes, a mana-based Flame Totem build would be the more attractive choice, which will also allow for defensive auras.



Blood Magic Flame Totems Guide for Scion and Marauder -- Updated for Path of Exile v1.1.4.

poe_toviandtotems


This guide's audience

This guide is aimed at both new and experienced player. I've tried to write it in a way so that it is suitable for everyone, including those of you who may not yet have in-depth knowledge of the game. The build is a good choice for a first character starting out with an empty stash, and it is very suitable for fresh leagues as well.

Since it is my goal to provide a usable guide for everyone, there is some material in here that may seem very obvious to veteran players. Still, many guides are targeted at advanced exiles who know the game inside and out, and when I was new, I felt confused because so many details were skipped or assumed to be known. I have attempted to be mindful of this when putting together the guide.

This build doesn't require any specific items (but benefits from two inexpensive unique in particular) and is suitable for solo players, league starters, self-found enthusiasts, softcore and hardcore players. It is well suited for a first or second character and isn't hard to play. It is easy and efficient, allows you to beat the entire game without bumping into roadblocks, can be used for farming, and offers a smooth entry into end game mapping even when all you have is a 4-linked item (you'll want 5L eventually).

(The build also works for the Marauder! Only the first five points are different. It can be used with the Templar as well, but since you'd have one useless mana regeneration node and a little less HP regeneration, the Templar is a less optimal choice. Best classes for this build are Scion and Marauder.)



What this build is about

Like many players, I cycled through a lot of different builds, trying to find that one build that "feels right". Something that "clicks" and really works for the person. It's highly subjective, of course. I wanted a build that "doesn't annoy me". Pretty vague, but it's really just that "feel" of a build. Some are very strong, but twitchy, or you teleport into walls, desync, have to kite endlessly, nudge stuck minions, need top gear, get reflected into oblivion, leveling is a chore, or bosses are tricky and you have to ask people to help you.

In the week between Domination and Ambush, I decided to just goof around and try out Flame Totem. I knew some people had played with it, but it seemed pretty niche. But there was nothing to lose, so I made a new HC character (nothing in the stash) and leveled him. He made it to 70s when my router balked, and that was it. Still, I had never leveled so smoothly, taking every boss that's usually difficult for me (Vaal in merciless, The Weaver, Kole) without the slightest issue.

My build wasn't ideal and I soon realized how expensive Flame Totems get in terms of mana, so I went back to the drafting board and came up with an entirely different build. One that uses Blood Magic. And no, not gems, but the keystone. Right here people probably go like "What the ...!", but bear with me, I'll explain it in a bit. The result was a build that sailed through all three difficulties and had no trouble starting maps. Let's look at the ups and downs. At the time of writing this, my Scion is level 87. The build has changed over time, as a result of experiments, theorycrafting, and the discussion with others.

Let's look about what's good and not so good about the build.


Pros

- Low gear requirements initially, but can make excellent use of expensive gear as well.
- Easy and straight-forward to play. It's not twitchy.
- Great damage while leveling with only 3 or 4 links.
- Large pool of healthpoints.
- Easy to max out resists and raise the cap.
- Amazing life regeneration.
- Works very well on act bosses, (most) map bosses, champions.
- Clears maps and areas quickly.
- Flexible gear: You can swap in what you want, including IIR.
- Suitable for HC. (Worked well for me in the 2-week charity race.)
- Very suitable for solo players, can be played self-found.
- You get all essential gems as quest rewards (Scion).
- Causes no desync (very rare).
- Can handle all map mods except one.
- Reflect maps are no problem.


Cons

- No auras (don't hit the "back" button, I'll explain why this doesn't matter for solo play).
- Playstyle may be boring to some, but it can actually be intense.
- In the first 24-40 levels you won't have Flame Totem.
- Dual totems mean you can't cast any direct damage spells (but you can use traps and mines)
- You'll come to loathe Lightning Thorns if you don't already hate them.


Class Choice

The build works with both the Scion and the Marauder and the skill tree differs only slightly. The Scion has the advantage that she gets all of the essential gems needed for the build as quest rewards. This mostly matters if this is your first serious character or you play self-found. A few gems need to be found or traded, but none of them are essential. As a Scion, you can start at level 1 and play right through.


Blood Magic and No Auras

This is the elephant in the room, so let's talk about it a bit. Blood Magic means that all your spells and skills will use life instead of mana. You won't have mana once you take the Blood Magic passive (we won't do this immediately). The advantage is that you can fully concentrate on life and life regeneration. You won't have to take nodes for mana, mana regeneration, reduced mana reservation. Since augmented Flame Totem end up costing hundreds of mana per cast, this is a ton of points that you can use to make your red ball big. Granted, you'll only have one ball, but at least it'll be big and full of juicy life stuff!

And since we don't run Arctic Armor (this would require even more nodes, and Eldritch Battery, which is far away from where we want to be), we need lots of life with high life generation (we're looking at at least 350 HP per second, and it scales with your gear). You can fully concentrate on gear with life (on every piece, ideally), resistances, amror and ES. You'll have maxed out resists with an increased cap. You are als free to play with 2H weapon or 1H or shield, depending on what you have or need.

The drawback is that need to watch your life and can't use auras. For many people this is bad news, but consider here that your totems don't benefit from auras. They would only benefit from Haste, but that simply isn't worth the heavy investment into mana- and aura-related nodes. This doesn't make the character very group-friendly, I guess, because you offer little in terms of synergies (except your curses), but this guide is written from a solo perspective. If you mostly play in a group, this build is probably not ideal for you.



Playstyle

Like with all totem builds, you run around and place your totems strategically and recast them when they go down. They can also be used for scouting (totems do not trigger Devourers) and for blocking passages. Flame Totems are no exception. The nice thing about them is that they are very predictable. They usually throw their flames in the direction of where the closest monster is, and they do more damage the closer the monster is to the totem. Two of them work extremely well together. They also can take a few hits with the passives that we take. Flame Totems are very good at drawing "aggro", that is, they grab the attention of monsters. If something still comes to you, you can run to your totems and they will pull the aggro off of you. It's very rare to get swarmed if you play correctly.

You can support your totems with a curse. Actually, we want to use two curses, but this requires a unique item that you may not have initially: Windscream boots. These are inexpensive and do allow you to use both Elemental Weakness and Flammability. But don't worry. I didn't get the boots before my character was 78 or 79, and you'll do fine with only one curse. Also, corrupted items (at least amulets) can get the +1 Curse inherit mod, so this would be another way to get the second curse without relaying on the boots.

Elemental Weakness is better because of two reasons: quality further lowers the resistance penalty for monsters, and second, we might be using Added Lightning Damage as our 5th gem, and that's damage that's amplified by the curse ("might", because it depends a bit on your gear). Flammability is the second curse for when and if you get the boots.

While you cannot use spells to damage monsters directly (this is the price for being able to cast two totems), you can still use mines and traps. You can also use Ice Nova to destroy containers like crates, vase, and urns. You are unlikely to need the extra damage, certainly not before maps, but you can use Fire Trap, as well. Originally I recommended a quality Shocknova, which is still an option, but a quality Added Lightning Damage gem and the Static Blows passive at high levels may be a workable alternative (this is debatable, see below). This is more end game stuff, though, and nothing you need to decide or even try out before the 80s.

I use Lightning Warp for mobility and to get out of stick spots, and this also destroys urns and crates. Teleporting to your totems can be a nifty trick, too. Again, remember you use life as your casting resource, so get a feel for how much wiggle room you have. Normally, you are always behind your totems anyway and they collect all the monsters in the area.

Something I added later to my arsenal is Conversion Trap. Leaving it at level 1, it allows you to turn up to three monsters into temporary tanks and decoys that fight for you (and above all: keep monsters off of you and your totems) for five seconds. This is extremely handy and the spell needs no support gems. For me, this gem is essential. (But it is not required.)



Gems and Links

The build works well with only 4-linked gear, and is even potent with only three links, but you can substantially boost the damage of your totems if you get a 5th or 6th link. 6L really isn't necessary, 5L is recommend past the low level mapping stage. By the time you want that you are at a point in the game where you have the means to farm. You also have some flexibility here. Let's look at our options.

Flame Totem + Lesser/Greater Multiple Projectles + Fire Penetration + Faster Casting + Added Chaos Damage + Faster Projectiles (OR Totem and Minion Resistances OR Iron Will)

GMP is essential, but you can use LMP until you get GMP. LMP is given to you in act2/normal as a quest reward, if you're a Scion. Fire Penetration is a direct damage boost even if monsters have no fire resists, and it makes fire resistant mobs very manageable. It stacks with the curses. Faster Casting is also a dps boost since your totems will blow fire at a higher rate. These are your four essential gems. When adding quality to your gems, GMP and Faster Casting are your priorities.

For the sixth gem, if you get a 6L chest or staff (chest is better, see below), you have various options. Possible choices are: Faster Projectiles for longer beams, Item Rarity for better drops, Iron Will for more damage from all your Strength nodes, or Totem and Minion Resistances if you feel your totems fold too quickly (not an issue, just recast them).

Note: For some time I considered Added Lightning Damage as an alternative to Added Chaos Damage, but the shocking effect you get from it (with Static Blows) is spotty and unreliable. It is far better to get the unique helmet Three Dragons, which allows your fire damage to shock. Note that Three Dragons isn't required, just very helpful (I did not obtain one until level 86). Three Dragons is (as of writing) an inexpensive unique. If you do get Three Dragons, grabbing the Static Blows and Chance to Shock passives is highly recommended.

Most of the other stuff is more or less optional and you can go with what you prefer (except for the curse). Personally, I use these:

Elemental Weakness + Flammability + Increased Area of Effect - Increased Duration (highly optional)
Cast When Damage is Taken (level 1) - Enduring Cry (5) - Molten Shell (7) - Immortal Call (3)
Lightning Warp - Faster Casting - Reduced Duration
Conversion Trap

You can also use the curses and the teleport without support gems, especially if they increase the casting costs too much during early leveling. It's certainly possible to also have a second Cast When Damage Taken setup (even with Lightning Warp for a quick way away from something that hits you, but that is risky because you may end up in a worse position!).


Quest Rewards

As a Scion, you get most of the gems you need simply by playing through the game. The only tricky part is that both GMP and Cast When Damage Taken come from the same quest. If you haven't found either of them, I'd suggest to take GMP and trade or unt for CWDT. Here's an almost complete list of relevant rewards:

Flame Totem: Scion, Act 1 Cruel, Enemy at the Gate
Lesser Multiple Projectiles for leveling: Scion, Act 2 Normal, Sharp and Cruel
Greater Multiple Projectiles: Scion, Act 3 Merciless, Library
Faster Casting: Scion, Act 2 Cruel, Sharp and Cruel
Fire Penetration: Scion, Act 3 Normal, Sever the Right Hand
Elemental Weakness: Scion, Act3 Cruel, Library (Added Chaos Damage is an alternative here)
Faster Projectiles: Scion, Act 3 Normal, Sever the Right Hand, but we need to take Fire Penetration here unless we found it before.

Flammability: Scion, Act 2 Normal, Intruders in Black (you get this earlier than Elemental Weakness)
Increased Aera of Effect: Scion, Act 3, Cruel, Severer the right Hand
Increased Duration: Scion, Act 1, Cruel, Mercy Mission

Lightning Warp: Scion, Act 1 Cruel, Caged brute
Reduced Duration: buy or find, not a reward
Faster Casting #2: buy or find, as we only get one.

Shopping list as you don't get these from quests: 1 Faster Casting, 1 Reduced Duration, either 1 Elemental Weakness or 1 Added Chaos Damage, whichever you do not have. If you have neither, I'd take Elemental Weakness and trade for Added Chaos when you get a 5th link.


Vaal Gems

I don't use any. The only one that I feel warrants a gem slot is Vaal Summon Skeletons, which is fun and can actually be useful once or twice on a map, but it's entirely optional.


Gear

This build works well with self-found gear, but it also scales well with currency you throw at it.

For the weapon, you can use a 2H caster staff or, better, two wands with spell damage, faster casting, increased projectile speed, fire and even lightning damage. You cannot use the high-INT requiring wands that expect you to have 179, 188 o 200+ INT, but you can use the lower INT ones. These drop in maps, too. Not as frequently as the high INT wands, but you can and will find them. What matters for the mods they can roll is the item level, not the base type of the wand. This frees up several points in your skill tree. If in a tight gear spot, you can also use a shield with a wand, or a scepter, or even two scepters, but they can't have the faster projectiles mod.

If you find the ultimate wand that requires a ton of INT, you do have the option of grabbing a few INT nodes (there's a +30 INT node just off the path to the tree's left side, and another nearby the route into the Duelist area), but I'd try to avoid having to do this.

The Searing Totem staff is not as good an option as originally believed. Two good wands give you better damage, and they are also much cheaper. This does mean you eventually want a chest with five or six links. You can start maps with a 4L chest (I used a 2H staff with 5L until 83 and had 4L for 66-68 maps) and then obtain something with more links. A Tabula Rasa would work, but you really want a nice chest with some stats. ~90 Life and resists help you more than a 6th link.

You can wear all kinds of armor types, and while leveling you should use whatever has the best life and resist stats. Later on, it's a good idea to go for hybrid STR/INT armor. Why STR/INT? Because you do benefit a bit from the energy shield they provide, but above all it makes it easier to get blue sockets. Pure STR armor will be very hard to color properly. (And the higher the STR requirement is, the harder it is to get off colors.)

Resists and life are the most useful, as are casting speed and spell/elemental/fire damage bonuses.

For the rings and amulet you want pretty much the same again: damage increases, resists, life. IIR is obviously fine. Cast speed is nice, as well, because your totems use YOUR casting speed, too. The suggest skill tree is pretty flexible and aims at making you somewhat independent of gear, so it may take more resists and dexterity passives than you need. You can take these out or move them around, depending on your needs.

For the other pieces you want the same. Movement speed on the boots is always nice, and your priority for all of these pieces is life.

There are two uniques that will have a major impact:




The boots allow you to put two curses on monsters simultaneously without having to invest passive points. In practice, you won't always drop two curses on monsters (they melt very quickly with one or none), but it is a significant damage boost nonetheless. The helmet allows your fire damage to shock monsters (you do not have to critically hit for this), which causes them to take more damage. It is a very nice damage increase, almost a game changer. Both uniques are inexpensive at the time of writing this guide (I paid 15 chaos for both together in Ambush).

The downside of both uniques is that they do not have +life (but they at least have resists!). This is a sacrifice, but the benefits outweigh this without a doubt. Neither unique is required for this build to work, so not having either or both of them will not break it. But I highly recommend that you eventually get them.

Shields

I'm mostly playing with dual wands, but if you eventually find yourself too squishy, or want to utilize shield stats, there are plenty rare shields that will work. As for unique shields, I've played a bit with these two:



Both actually dropped for the character in Ambush. Saffell's is neat for the resists boost (and higher cap), but I found Rathpith's Globe substantially nicer for this build (ignore the Vaal gem, it's just there to level!).



The next post shows the passive tree.
Last edited by Mivo on August 19, 2014 3:55 AM
The Passives


Here's the suggested skill tree for a Scion, assuming level 80 (100 points used):


http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgABAdwCcQSzBS0GoAthEMwUIBRNFHEWbxmFGjgabBv6HRQhYCSqJd8nLyftKU8qEyu2LKc26TwtQKBBh0bXR35KxEz_UEdVtVXGWfNaK13GXz9gS2EhZU1mnmh0cql07XTxeA14aXloeu-Cm4TZhO-MRo9GkFWUoJ65ns2iAKPypBmkrKcwp4Srxayqr2y1BLc-vJ--isAawQTE9sWKxq7PZdDQ2E3aYt-_4urjauOf5CLqGO8O8B_yL_Pd9q73MviT-Ov5vfno-tI=


You have some flexibility here, so don't hesitate to move around a few points, but the build as shown above gives you a solid character that works.

Where to go from here? If you play higher than level 80 (which is easily possible and it won't get too slow until 85), a strong candidate is Static Blows (upper left, right above the life/chaos resistance cluster we have taken) and the 10% shock chance passive next to it. If you have the Three Dragons helmet, Static Blow is something you definitely want to get. It costs you 3 points. You can also go into the Scion Life wheel (the 6% and 10% nodes), fill out the totem clusters (the 8% damage nodes), or grab the +1% max resist nodes in the Marauder area. You could even grab some cast speed nodes near the Scion, or get the additional life regeneration nodes in the Marauder start area (if you're a Scion, and vice versa if you're a Marauder).

For reference, here's my character's skill tree as it was at level 85.


Leveling Goals

These are only recommended goals. You can spend points differently as well, just look at the level 80 passive tree above for orientation. In general, you'll want to have Ancestral Bond when you start using Flame Totems, which will be between level 31 and 42. You'll also want to switch to Blood Magic as soon as feasible.

40 skill points:


60 skill points:


80 skill points:



Work-in-progress HC leveling trees

Spoiler
During the two-week Invasion/HC race, I leveled a character with this build. I spent the skill points a bit different than in the suggestions above to lower the need to compensate for missing stat points (DEX and INT) and to emphasize survivability. Unlike the suggestions above, the below trees are not based on "points spent" brackets, but on levels (including the points from quests at the appropriate levels):


Level 40 with all quest rewards from normal (75 points left), end of normal:

http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgAAAnEEsxRNFHEnLyftKhMspzwtQYdM_1W1WfNaK18_Zp5odHKpeWiUoJ7NogCj8qSspzCsqq9stz68n8AawQTE9sWKxq7YTdpi37_jn-oY7w7wH_Iv9zL46_no


Level 50 with Victario's reward from act3/cruel, without Piety's two points (60 points left):

http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgAAAdwCcQSzBS0LYRRNFHEhYCcvJ-0qEyynPC1AoEGHTP9VtVnzWitfP2BLYSFmnmh0cql07XTxeA15aHrvhO-UoJ65ns2iAKPypKynMKyqr2y3PryfvorAGsEExPbFisau2E3aYt-_4urjn-oY7w7wH_Iv9zL46_no


Level 60 with the rewards from act1/merciless (46 points left):

http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgAAAdwCcQSzBS0GoAthFE0UcRmFHRQhYCSqJy8n7SoTLKc26TwtQKBBh0rETP9VtVXGWfNaK18_YEthIWaeaHRyqXTtdPF4DXhpeWh674Tvj0aUoJ65ns2iAKPypKynMKyqr2y3PryfvorAGsEExPbFisauz2XQ0NhN2mLfv-Lq45_qGO8O8B_yL_au9zL46_m9-ej60g==



When to get Ancestral Bond

You'll want to put a point into the Ancestral Bond passive right when you get Flame Totem. This will either be at level 31 if you found or traded the gem (this makes Dominus a cakewalk) or when you get it early in act 1 of cruel (around 38-42). You can use Flame Totem right away. The damage will be superb.


What skill to use before Flame Totem

Whatever you have and that works for you. Spectral Throw, even after the low level nerf is still a good choice, as is Sweep with a beefy 2H weapon. You can even use a spell, but we aren't picking up any mana nodes, so you may run into problems with that. Quaff mana potions as needed. Searing Bond is an obvious option as well. Those early levels pass quickly and it should never be tedious. Gear with mana on it is useful at this stage. Personally, I used Spectral Throw with whatever I found (the league was new and I started with an empty stash.


When to take Blood Magic

This is tricky. It really depends on your gear. When you get Blood Magic, you'll be using life to cast your spells, so you'll want three things: a good amount of life nodes taken, life on most pieces of your gear, and most if not all of the life regeneration nodes. Press "C" and look at how much life you regenerate per second. If your regeneration is about half of what casting one Flame Totem costs, you're in the green. This is a very general rule of thumb only. In general, you should switch to Blood Magic as early as possible. Not before 31, but anything later than 40-42 makes it tedious since you won't have enough mana. Blood Magic is really great and you won't have the troubles you may be worried about. At 83, with this build, I regenerated almost 400 HP per second, and casting a totem with 5L cost less than 300. Your red bubble will barely change.



Bandits

In normal, help Oak for the 40 HP.
In cruel, kill them all for a skill point.
In merciless, kill these clowns again for another skill point.

You could take the Endurace Charge in merciless or the cast speed in cruel, but the skill points are more flexible. Just get the point. :)
Last edited by Mivo on May 13, 2014 4:38 PM
Maps and Tips

Under construction still


Map modes

This build is capable of doing any map mods except one: "No life/mana regeneration." Everything else works, though as with all builds there are some mods that are pretty tedious, like "Fractured" (this will cause massive FPS drops if your system is an average one, and probably even if it's a pretty good machine, too). 50% regeneration is not an issue, either. You will need to be more mindful when you spam totems, but unless the rest of the mods are very nasty, it's not an issue. 75% Fire Resistance is barely noticeable if you can curse. Combined with curse immune monsters it will be slower and I'd reroll the map, but it's not impossible.

Obviously, maps with Blood Magic and Chaos Damage per second, both mods that most players skip, are absolutely no problem for this build. You won't notice the Chaos Damage even if your Chaos Resist is negative. Both of these mods get a nice IIQ bonus.


Map bosses

Map bosses are generally not an issue unless they are the kind that are also tricky for summoners, like Temple Piety, where your totems go down extremely fast. Dropping totems on top of the bosses (sandwiching them) is a good approach here. With various bosses you'll want to stay on the edge of the screen so that you don't eat stray hits or drown in AoE damage. You have no leech, just your massive life regeneration, but a lot of incoming damage is still something to be mindful of. Typically difficult bosses, like the Museum one, or Brutus versions, are trivial with this build. Cast on the edge of the screen (Brutus types will even pull the totems to himself, the fool!) and remain mobile.


Conversion Trap

It's become a bread and butter skill for me. Still at gem level 1, I use it frequently on the more difficult maps. The temporary extra tanks can really give your totems a break, and they make large groups of Lightning Thorn casting mages with their charging minions a lot easier. It also works wonders with a clogged door entrance where your totems may go down without doing much damage. Also, if something sticks to you and you can't seem to get away (something extra fast on a Temporal Chains map, and yes, I run those!), a trap helps.


Ambush lockboxes

This is an ideal build to open them safely. Just drop down two totems and three Conversion Traps, and then open the chest. You can safely walk away without having to do anything that may get you desynced. You should have a thawing flask with you (of Heat). You can also use Lightning Warp to get away, but chances are your gems aren't maxed yet, so it can be useful to start casting, then open the box, and then get warped when the monsters appear. But as mentioned, I almost always just walk away. Between the three converted mobs and the two totems, you don't get targeted, usually.


More to come!
Last edited by Mivo on May 10, 2014 3:25 AM
This build is almost exactly what I was expecting. I still decided to go to the Sentinel route south of the starting area. I may or may not change that depending on my choices. I found that the early armor/resists really helped me through normal content in invasion.

As for HP regen, yes it should be extreme. The last patch actually increased the total number of hp/sec, though most who play again will notice a change in total health pool.

All in all, it's still a great build that has been very handy to have in a new league.
"
Vulajin wrote:
This build is almost exactly what I was expecting. I still decided to go to the Sentinel route south of the starting area. I may or may not change that depending on my choices.


Sentinel is an excellent choice. I had this on my list of possible options for later on (the posted tree is only until 71, so there's at least 15 more "realistic" points to be had before the grind becomes tedious) since not only it is another boost for armor and 10% resists, but it also puts you right in front of more resists (if you need them) and the totem cluster. Totem Range should prove pretty strong later on when Faster Projectiles is added as the 5th or 6th link.

I'll put this in the tips section too, but while mapping I was experimenting with Conversion Trap, and it makes a world of a difference in certain situations (rooms full of Tentacle Miscreations, ice mages that freeze the totems, etc). It gives the totems a break to do damage and it doesn't really need any support gems. In fact, it works best at level 1 since you don't want your temporary tanks to live too long. Conversion Trap is also an "oh shit!" button if something runs straight up to you, and it works wonders when opening lockboxes! (I had used Conversion Traps with a claw build a few months back and remembered today to give it a try, and it worked so well!)

I'm still mapping with 4L only to test the limits of the build. I'm actually surprised how well "doing maps with crap" works with this build. None of my other builds was able to pull this off.
ops no wonder its familiar, but yeah this build awesome, i can easily farm piety for currency/uniques, thumbs up!
Last edited by Hexogen on March 11, 2014 7:08 PM
I'm using the build to do invasion currently. Still only a moderate level in the invasion league, but the resists are very demanding with some of the new insta-gib that can happen out there.

As for my standard flame totem character, the 5L and 6L are great. I generally go crazy on the MF gear and push the DPS just fine. End game maps haven't been an issue--though the 50% or 0% health regen is hard/impossible.

Faster projectiles is amazing, though it's sort of a flavor. I have run with added chaos, but I also enjoy Iron Will. Both are reasonably similar. GMP>Faster Casting>Fire Pen>IronWill OR Added Chaos> Faster Projectile.

Health regen on the invasion league is just over 120 hp/sec, which is okay for now.

Regen on Standard is 270/sec. Delicious stuff!
I picked up a 5L staff on Ambush for just 2c, and when the 10th alt yielded a +25% fire damage and (lousy) 9% spell damage, I stopped re-rolling. The darn regal only added 10 mana, which is totally wasted. But this is OK for now, it's a new league after all, and the Searing Bond craze made Searing Touch completely outside of what I can afford (maybe if they nerf SB some more! :p). Life reg is at 240 HP/s, and a 5L totem (chaos damage) costs 302, which works out perfectly.

I've also fallen in love with Conversion Trap. It works well both offensively and defensively, and adds to survivability. I added some thoughts on this in the third post. Also been keeping notes about maps and map mods, but need to transcribe those still. I love doing chaos damage/sec maps, because I could never do those before with any build. :)

Finally, I decided that Sentinel is going to be my next node (76 now on Ambush), partly to increase survivability, to be able to free up two other points by getting that 10 dex node (only need 10 currently, not 30), and to be right outside the Totem Range cluster. After that, I'll most likely grab a few damage nodes and/or the five points directly by the Marauder (for Marauder readers: getting the Scion's life regeneration and first life node would be the equivalent).

Good luck on Invasion, by the way! I'll give it a whirl when Tovi gets to 90, which is my goal for this league (to get the SC achievement out of the way). In Domination I had several characters in the 70s and early 80s, but spread myself way too thin. This time around, I only play one character (ok, I may or may not have leveled a shadow a bit on the side!).
That was really fun to read and what a great build, cheap and effective :). Going to try it, first time playing with totems.
like the build idea and gave it a try. level 54 scion.
totems die instantly. Anything more than 2 mobs and they just die.

followed the build to the letter. Have a 5l chest to include chaos dmg.

any thoughts?

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info