[3.4] Enki's Arc Witch - a beginner & SSF-friendly Lightning Caster - All Content & Mapmods

Welcome to my Arc guide, fellow exile!

With this guide I want to provide a well-balanced caster build for beginners and veterans alike
that scales well into endgame, has great mapping consistency and can even be played selffound.

Instead of just showcasing a build, this guide is set up as a comprehensive learning experience.
I've tried to explain everything you need to know, and there's additional miniguides at the bottom.
If you still have some questions left then please ask them here, DO NOT message me ingame!

I'd love to go into more detail in this guide, but i'm restricted by this forums limits. GGG please help!

Questions and Discussion about the current build version start at Page 528.
If you have a question about your setup, please make your character tab public!

I'll reply to all questions every Wednesday & Saturday until Patch 3.5 starts!



Uber Elder
Elder and his Guardians
Shaper and his Guardians
The Alluring Abyss (Uber Atziri)
T16 Jungle Valley w/ double Beyond & 4x Sextants

All these were recorded with a very highend setup (PoB-Code) that's attainable in temp leagues.

You can also watch me play this build live at twitch.tv/enki91!


About this build


+ cheap & fully SSF-capable
+ smooth gameplay & progression
+ capable to do all content & mapmods
+ immune to all kinds of reflected damage
+ fairly safe, lots of damage reductions & ranged playstyle
- not made for facetanking, physical damage hurts
- good boss damage requires some investment
- Lightning has a huge damage range

Main Mechanics in this build

Chaining: Arc is a lightning-based spell with the ability to chain between monsters.
Each time it chains, it will also split to a second nearby enemy from where it can't chain further. The amount of times Arc can chain depends on its gem level and can be increased by enchantments, with a maximum of 10 chains attainable with this build.

Shock: An elemental status ailment which increases the damage an enemy takes by up to 50% for a duration, based on our lightning damage dealt within a single hit. Arc comes with an implicit 10% chance to shock, which we further amplify and back up through shock effect to assure consistently strong shocks on all targets.

Semi-Crit: Instead of going all out on crit, we just get some to proc Elemental Overload, a conditional buff which gives us a 40% more damage multiplier if we've crit in the past 8 seconds.

Mind over Matter: This is a Keystone which redirects 30% of damage we take to our mana pool, as long as we have sufficient mana. In order for this to be effective, we need an unreserved mana pool equal to approx. 43% of our life pool and a quick way to refill mana, which we gain through regeneration and optional leech.


Path of Building


Here's the full Path of Building setup for this build, including all passive trees, gear choices and gems. To use this, click Import/Export Build and paste the full code or use Import from Pastebin, then read the Notes Tab to learn how to properly use this.

I know that some people jump straight to the PoB without ever reading the guide, which often leads to failure and is then blamed on the build. Don't be that person!
I've invested lots of time into this guide and find it very rude when people just disregard that
and ask about things that are already well explained. This unfortunately keeps happening.


Leveling this build


This section will help you while playing through the storyline and shows the recommended
passive tree progression, gem setups, quest progression and exp farming zone for each act.
Keep in mind that it may also include some major storyline spoilers, if you care about that.

If you want to explore zones or do quests not mentioned here, or even want to level with
a completely different skill then do that, this section is just an aid.


General Advices during Storyline

‣ If you find a Vaal Arc along the way, level it alongside with you to have it at an appropriate level once you reach endgame maps.

‣ Keep your flasks updated. I recommend to start with 2x Life Flasks, 1x Mana Flask and
2x Quicksilver Flasks, switch to a quest reward flask whenever the guide mentions it.

‣ Upgrade your gear. While not as relevant in the beginning, it's important to look out for gear with solid life and resistance rolls. Ideally you want to have all three Elemental Resistances capped at 75% at the end of Act 3, only Chaos Resistance may be at whatever value.

Rare or Unique gear pieces are not always the best for this purpose, sometimes you're better off with Magic gear giving life and a single resistance.
You can easily craft your own gear, ideally on already 4-linked pieces you get from vendors or drops, however only use Orbs of Transmutation/Augmentation/Alteration at this point, everything else is a huge waste!

‣ Great Uniques for leveling are Lifesprig, Dark Seer, Cerberus Limb, Crest of Perandus, Goldrim, Wanderlust and Tabula Rasa, but prioritize a good lifepool and capped resistances!

‣ If you happen to get a 5-linked, or even 6-linked Intelligence-based gearpiece, check the damage skill setups in the gem section to know what gems to add.

‣ We don't use the full gem setup during leveling. You're likely to replace gear very often,
and it's just not worth preparing all temporary pieces to fit in all gems.

‣ Use Portal Scrolls and enter town to refill flasks during bossfights.

‣ Get all waypoints you can find. I mention specific waypoints you will definitely need, but generally it's recommended to get them all, since you never know if you may disconnect or need to get back to that zone for other reasons.

‣ If there's multiple gems listed to get, it means you're supposed to get one of those as quest reward and buy the rest from the gem vendor in town.

‣ The passive tree goals for each act are just a pointer, if you're short by 1-2 points or overleveled that's not a big deal.

Act 1

‣ Get Arcane Surge (keep it Lv1 for now!) from Large Chest and kill Hillock
‣ Get Freezing Pulse, link it with Arcane Surge and throw away Fireball
‣ Start looking out for a 3-linked, all blue socket Wand or Sceptre
‣ Get the Coast Waypoint, kill Hailrake on Tidal Island and get Quicksilver Flask in town
‣ Enter Submerged Passage, look for Flooded Depths and kill the Dweller of the Deep
‣ Get Orb of Storms and Passive Skillpoint in town
‣ Enter Prison, get Added Lightning Damage and link it to Freezing Pulse + Arcane Surge
‣ Start looking out for 2x Sapphire Rings
‣ Complete Trial of Ascendancy in Lower Prison
‣ Kill Brutus, 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 Passive Skillpoint, Clarity, Flame Dash & Arc
‣ Throw away Freezing Pulse and craft a +1 Lightning Gem Wand/Sceptre
‣ Put Arc + Arcane Surge + Added Lightning Damage in there
‣ If needed, the recipe for Topaz Rings is Iron Ring + Green Skill Gem
‣ Equip Sapphire Rings and kill Merveil

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Ledge

Act 2

‣ Once in town, enter the Old Fields first
‣ Start looking out for 2x Topaz Rings
‣ 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
‣ 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, kill Alira & Captain Arteri
‣ Look for Weaver's Chambers and kill Weaver
‣ Back in town, get Controlled Destruction and replace Arcane Surge with it
‣ Link Arcane Surge to Orb of Storms
‣ You may now start leveling Arcane Surge, keep its treshold below Orb of Storms' mana cost
‣ Enter Lioneye's Watch and get Passive Skillpoint
‣ Go back to Riverways, enter Wetlands, kill Oak and get Waypoint
‣ Get two Passive Skillpoints from Eramir 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

‣ Start looking out for 4-linked Intelligence-based or Hybrid (Int + other stat) gear
‣ 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
‣ 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
‣ 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 bag!)
‣ Get Lightning Penetration from Siosa and replace Added Lightning Damage with it
‣ Also get Decoy Totem and Mana Leech from Siosa
‣ Link Mana Leech to Orb of Storms
‣ Enter the Sceptre of God and kill Dominus

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Docks

Act 4

‣ 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 Passive Skillpoint and Summon Lightning Golem in town and optionally farm Dried Lake
‣ Complete the first Labyrinth, you can enter it through the Sarn Encampment
‣ Read up on the Lord's Labyrinth and Izaro to get an idea what's going on
‣ After finishing the Labyrinth, ascend to Elementalist and get Paragon of Calamity
‣ Go back to Crystal Veins, enter Kaom's Dream and kill Kaom
‣ Now enter Daresso's Dream and kill Daresso
‣ Get Spell Echo from Dialla and buy Cast when Damage taken in town
‣ Put your Arc setup into a 4L and add Spell Echo
‣ Replace your now-outdated weapon with a good sceptre, the Spell Damage recipe can help
‣ Get Enfeeble in Act 3 and add it to CwDt (keep CwDt Lv7 and Enfeeble Lv10!)
‣ Also get Shield Charge and Faster Attacks in Act 3 and link them together
‣ Kill Piety in Belly of the Beast, and finally Malachai in the Harvest

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Dried Lake

Act 5

‣ Kill Overseer Krow and enter town
‣ Find the Miasmeter in Control Blocks and kill Justicar Casticus
‣ Get Silver Flask and Skillpoint in town
‣ Replace one Quicksilver Flask with Silver Flask and try to roll of Staunching on it
‣ Make your way to Templar Courts, kill Avarius and get a unique jewel in town
‣ Get Ruined Square Waypoint and optionally kill Utula to get Assassin's Haste in town
‣ Finish the quest in Reliquary and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Look for the Sign of Purity in Ossuary
‣ 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 Immortal Call and link it to CwDt (keep it at Lv3!)
‣ Get Increased Duration and link it to Orb of Storms + Arcane Surge
‣ Get Fortify and link it to Shield Charge + Faster Attacks
‣ Get to Mud Flats and kill the Dishonored Queen
‣ Enter Karui Fortress, kill Tukohama and get Skillpoint in town
‣ 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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Southern Forest

Act 7

‣ Find the Silver Locket in Broken Bridge and get Basalt Flask in town
‣ Replace one Life Flask with Basalt 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 go back to town
‣ Finish the second Labyrinth and get Shaper of Desolation
‣ Get back to the Temple of Decay and kill Arakaali

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Northern Forest

Act 8

‣ 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, get Sun Orb then enter Solaris Concourse and get Waypoint
‣ 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
‣ Enter Lunaris Temple through Lunaris Concourse and get Moon Orb
‣ Go to 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 speak to Petarus & Vanja in town
‣ Look for a blocked entrance in Vastiri Desert
‣ Go to town, talk to Sin and then to Petarus & Vanja
‣ 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 and kill Garukhan and get Sekhema Feather
‣ Go to town and give the feather to either Tasuni or Irasha, 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
‣ Get Sulphur Flask in town, replace Quicksilver Flask with it
‣ Go back to Cathedral Rooftop
‣ Now go right, enter the Ravaged Square and go south
‣ Enter the Control Blocks, kill Vilenta and get Skillpoint in town
‣ Optionally find the Teardrop in Reliquary
‣ Go back to Ravaged Square and get its Waypoint in the upper part
‣ Enter Ossuary, complete Trial of Ascendancy and get Elixir of Allure
‣ Get to Desecrated Chamber through Torched Courts and kill Avarius
‣ Finish the third Labyrinth and get Beacon of Ruin, if this is too hard then keep it for later
‣ 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
‣ Enter Templar Laboratory and get a map from Zana, then buy all maps she's selling
‣ That's it, you've reached the endgame! Gear up and switch to the endgame gem setup
‣ Optionally farm yourself a Tabula Rasa through Humility cards in Blood Aqueduct


Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon



Lv80 Passives
Lv90 Passives
Lv100 Passives



Paragon of Calamity (Normal): This is our source of life leech and enough to reach leech cap. Also provides a powerful defensive boost, some offense and protects us from Damage Reflection, which includes the mapmod, Atziri, Racecourse & Waterways boss and one of Izaro's Lieutenants!

Shaper of Desolation (Cruel): Helps with shocking and chilling more consistently.

Beacon of Ruin (Merciless): Gives our shocks a minimum damage increase of 20% and enables us to chill with any cold damage by atleast 10%, which both get multiplied by their respective ailment effect modifiers. To reach the maximum 50% shock damage increase we need 150% shock effect, with less you can calculate your final shock damage increase with this formula:
damage * (1 + (0.2 * (1 + shock effect))) = final damage

Liege of the Primordial (Eternal): Allows us to use our second golem and buffs them.



Soul of Solaris (Major): Overall great damage mitigation, try to unlock the extra powers asap.

Soul of Gruthkul (Minor): Additional physical mitigation is always good to have.

Soul of Shakari (Minor): Additional chaos damage mitigation. Upgrade saves a flask suffix.


Gem Setup


This is the endgame setup, for Act 1-10 check out the Leveling Section!

Arc is our main skill - it comes with high base damage, decent cast time, shock chance & -effect and a more damage modifier for each remaining chain. This simply means that if for example your Arc can chain 7x and there's nothing to chain to, then it will get a 105% (7*15%) more damage multiplier for that hit.

We can also use Vaal Arc, which grants both the regular Arc skill and a buffed up Vaal Arc that grants us the Lucky Buff. This buff counters our high lightning damage range by rolling each damage roll twice and taking the higher one. However, it can still happen that it rolls two low values and you end up getting a few small hits.

Instead of artificially inflating tooltip numbers, our support gem setup is laid out for the highest real damage output. Here's a summary of what each support does, in order of importance:

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.
Controlled Destruction is a straight up more multiplier with a crit chance penalty for the linked skill. This reduces our probability to proc Elemental Overload with Arc to the base 5%, but doesn't affect any other skills we can use to proc it.
Lightning Penetration is a "hidden" damage increase - it doesn't directly 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.
Added Lightning Damage adds lots of flat lightning damage at 90% value due to Arcs damage effectiveness. Replace this with a Lv4 Empower if you have a +1 to Level of socketed Gems chest.
Hypothermia is another damage increase that's not represented in our tooltip. It gives a huge more multiplier against chilled enemies while also buffing the effect and duration of our chills.
To reliably make use of this, we need Beacon of Ruin and atleast 1 cold damage dealt with Arc, which we can gain through gear or jewels. Due to that, it's our 6th link choice.


Orb of Storms is a great tool for us to proc Elemental Overload by creating many individual hits on a relatively large duration. We also use it to proc Arcane Surge, a buff that grants a more Spell Damage multiplier, cast speed and mana regeneration. Increased Duration increases both Orb of Storm's and Arcane Surge's duration. Mana Leech backs up our mana sustain.

Arcane Surge procs based on total mana spent with the linked spell. To reliably proc it with every cast you need to keep it at whatever your mana cost allows, usually Lv8!


Cast when Damage taken (CwDt) is a trigger gem which will proc all linked spells after reaching a certain treshold of damage received, as long as the spells are within the level limitation.
This doesn't refer to the spells gem level, but rather its required level - in our case max. Lv38.
Immortal Call helps surviving physical damage by temporarily giving us physical immunity. Ignore the Endurance Charge part, it has a base duration and works even without charges!
Cold Snap helps with chilling in maps with the Chance to avoid Elemental Ailments mod, and occasionally grants Frenzy Charges. Increased Duration maximizes their duration.

Keep CwDt at Lv1, Immortal Call at Lv3 and Cold Snap at Lv7 for consistent procs!


We use Shield Charge to move and proc Fortify. The skill has its own base attack time that gets scaled by attack- and movement speed, Faster Attacks is a big boost to said attack time.
Fortify is a defensive buff that reduces all damage from hits by 20% and is easy to keep up.
Flame Dash is our secondary movement skill and helps to cross any obstacles Shield Charge can't pass over. It's also great to avoid taking damage from damaging ground effects, such as Desecrated Ground that some monsters leave on death, or to pass through a group of monsters.


Clarity helps sustaining mana for skill usage costs and Mind over Matter by adding flat mana regeneration to our base amount, which then gets multiplied by all respective % modifiers.
Unlike other auras, it reserves a flat amount of mana which is dependent on its gem level, keep it at a level where you're comfortable with the reservation cost compared to regeneration gain.
Enfeeble curses the enemy with a debuff that greatly reduces their damage as well as hit- and crit rate. We link it to another Cast when Damage taken to automate casting.

Keep CwDt at Lv7 and Enfeeble at Lv10 for a good proc/effect ratio!


Decoy Totem uses a taunt skill, that with a good rhythm can prevent you from getting hit at all in the majority of bossfights. Shaper, Elder and their guardians can't be taunted!
Summon Lightning Golem grants us a companion that boosts our attack- & cast speed and occasionally casts a mini-Wrath aura, giving us some flat lightning damage.
Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance helps both of them surviving, you can also consider switching this with Empower to raise their base life.

After speccing into Liege of the Primordial you'll be able to summon a second golem, and since there's no point for us in having two of the same this will occupy another gem slot.
Choose one of the above and remove Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance, since our golems are immune to elemental damage now.

Summon Flame Golem is good to maximize damage and boost explosions caused by Inpulsa's, Summon Stone Golem adds a huge amount of life regeneration and occasionally taunts and Summon Chaos Golem gives physical damage mitigation.


Once your gems reach Level 20, you can vendor them together with a Gemcutter's Prism to get a Level 1 gem with 20% Quality back, as long as the gem wasn't corrupted.

Do this with the following gems:

Spell Echo, Controlled Destruction, Lightning Penetration, Added Lightning Damage, Hypothermia, Orb of Storms, Increased Duration, Mana Leech, Shield Charge, Faster Attacks, Fortify, Flame Dash, Decoy Totem, Summon x Golem

Furthermore, 20% Quality also helps on our triggered skills Enfeeble and Cold Snap.

Quality on Arc is not important, we already got enough Chance to Shock and occasionally cap it through Shaper of Desolation.


Gear, Flasks & Jewels


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.
It's structured into base stats to start with, additional stats to add at a higher budget
and optional unique gear choices to consider, each with their own specific purpose.

Before I go into more detail, here's some important basics about gear and this section:

‣ 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

Shaper/Elder items can roll special affixes, those are accordingly colored in this section

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

‣ 20% Quality increases the probability to hit the maximum possible number of sockets and links

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

‣ Stack Cast Speed until you reach 5 casts per second, after that focus on other damage affixes

‣ Armour, Evasion and Energy Shield can be ignored, all we care about is Life and Mana

‣ We need 37 Dexterity from gear to meet some support gems attribute requirements

‣ Each Unique that's not listed in this section 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

‣ League-specific affixes (currently Fossils) are not included. They're usually tied to higher end crafts, once you can afford that you should be able to tell which ones synergize with this build


All gearpieces shown are just examples, focus on the text written underneath!

Weapons are just a statstick for spellcasters, the base damage comes mostly from the gem itself, increasing by roughly 10% with each gem level. This makes the base weapon choice much easier.
For this build we choose Sceptres, which come with useful implicit mods for elemental casters and allow us to use Shield Charge, which requires a melee weapon. Wands won't work!

A rare sceptre with Spell- or Lightning Damage and Cast Speed is all we need, optionally with Lightning Damage added to Spells. Damage Penetrates x% Elemental Resistance and Gain x% of Elemental Damage as extra Chaos Damage are good additions at higher budgets. Cold Damage added to Spells enables our Arc to chill with Beacon of Ruin to make Hypothermia more effective and can be crafted with Catarina, or you can get it on a jewel.

A good Fossil combination for crafting sceptres is Aetheric + Metallic + Sanctified or Prismatic
on a high item level Sambar Sceptre base, preferably shaper-influenced.

Cerberus Limb is a good budget choice for Delve players. We don't make use of any other stats than the Spell Damage and Cast Speed, and it doesn't scale our Inpulsa explosions outside the implicit so eventually you want to replace it.
Doryani's Catalyst is a great allrounder that comes with basically all the stats we need.
It's not the absolute best weapon for this build, but being a unique makes it very accessible.
They're usually pretty expensive early in a league, but get very affordable as time passes.
It can only drop from Atziri in the Apex of Sacrifice, so it can be farmed in SSF if needed.

Start with a rare shield with 80+ Life, Cast Speed and some Spell/Lightning/Elemental Damage, additionally with Resistances, Mana or Mana Regeneration Rate.

Ahn's Heritage is our final shield choice. At base, it grants up to 100 Life and +3% to all maximum Resistances, which is one of the strongest defensive modifiers in this game and at this value reduces all elemental damage we take by 12%. This alone would already be reason enough to use this shield, but the true power unlocks together with two Fragility jewels to permanently gain Onslaught, which is just insane for a mobility-oriented build like this and much more consistent than any other way to gain this buff!

Note that the game currently gives no buff icon for Onslaught gained this way, but you can see the speed increases in your character sheet!

Fragility jewels can be obtained by corrupting any Crimson jewels, their rarity doesn't matter!

Best corruptions are +1 to socketed Gems and x% increased maximum Life, or any of the
x% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Lightning/Cold/Fire Damage ones.

Another slot where a rare is only temporary. 80+ Life, Mana and some Resistances is all you need.
You can get a cheap 6L through Emperor of Purity cards, or even completely farm it yourself.

A corrupted Tabula Rasa with +1 to Level of Socketed Gems is an affordable DPS boost, at the cost of having no other stats. When using Vaal Arc, you can also get one with +2 to Level of socketed Duration Gems or even both of those corruptions.

Inpulsa's Broken Heart is the highend option and absolutely recommended, focus on a high Explosion and Shock effect roll. When using this chest you won't need the ..of Grounding suffix on flasks, and your focus should be on Lightning Damage %, Elemental Damage % or Damage % instead of Spell Damage % to buff up those explosions.

Absolute highend is an Inpulsa's with +1 to Level of Socketed Gems or +2 to Level of socketed Duration Gems corruption or even both, but I don't recommend trying to corrupt it on your own. The chance is very low and you can end up destroying your item!

Lots of choices here. A rare helmet is more than fine, should have atleast 60+ Life, some Mana and Resistances. At higher budgets you can look out for Adds x to x Lightning Damage to Spells and/or x% increased Effect of Shock.

Getting a proper enchant is really important. If you can buy a shaped base with the right enchant then great, otherwise look for a regular base and craft it. The Arc chains an additional time enchant is our strongest option here. Note that it has been nerfed, in temp leagues you will only be able to get +1 extra chain. If you can't afford this, then try to get x% increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Lightning Golems. I'd only recommend the x% Arc Damage enchant if you happen to hit it yourself in lab, don't pay currency for it instead of the other choices.
Alternatively you could go with a x% increased Effect of Shock corruption, should be easy to get by mass corrupting unique helmets.

Skullhead is a great budget choice to get started, until you can afford something better.
Devoto's Devotion is a purely mobility-oriented helmet for us, worth considering if you want to charge through maps like a maniac and can cap your resistances through other slots.
Mind of the Council is good for SSF Players to gain better mana sustain, Trade League Players are better off with a Watcher's Eye instead. It can be farmed through the Unbearable Whispers prophecy chain, unlike a Watcher's Eye with the desired mod. It lacks life, but makes that up with a mana multiplier, some shock chance and a lightning-only Mind over Matter-like mod.
However, its mana sustain is very unreliable in maps with the Elemental Ailment Avoidance mod.

Start with some basic gloves with 60+ Life, Resistances and Attack Speed. Later on, upgrade to a pair with Attack and Cast Speed for a mobility- and DPS gain, or Socketed Gems are supported by Mana Leech/Faster Casting/Blind to buff Orb of Storms and gain utility/DPS. You could even go with an Essence of Insanity crafted pair to boost your movement skills.

Command of the Pit allow us to have a Lv1 Arcane Surge up pretty much all the time and grant 1-2 additional Abyss Jewel Sockets, at the cost of potential Shield Charge speed from this slot. You won't need to link Arcane Surge and Increased Duration to Orb of Storms with these gloves.

Fingerless Silk Gloves are good for their 16% Spell Damage implicit, or try to get ..of Light, ..of the Tempest or ..of Thunder enchant here.

Focus on 60+ Life, Resistances and Movement Speed with optionally Mana and Socketed Gems are supported by Increased Duration. The recommended enchants are Damage Penetrates x% of Elemental Resistances or Adds 1 to x Lightning Damage if you haven't Killed Recently for bossfights, x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently is a decent mapping speed boost and x% of Damage leeched as Life/Mana is a cheap way to help mana sustain.

70+ Life and Flask Duration are required, fill the remaining two suffixes with Resistances.
At higher budgets, decide between getting this on a Stygian Vise to use another Abyss jewel or getting a shaped belt with You take x% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes, x% increased Mana Recovery Rate and/or x% increased Cast Speed/Spell Damage during any Flask Effect.
Tora can add Movement Speed prefix or Flask Duration suffix if needed.

Any amulet with 40+ Life, Spell/Lightning Damage and optionally Cast Speed, Mana or Mana Regeneration Rate is a solid start. Great additions at higher budgets are Damage Penetrates x% Elemental Resistances, x% increased Movement Speed, Gain x% of non-Chaos Damage as extra Chaos Damage, x% additional Physical Damage Reduction and x% increased Attack Speed.

A good basic ring should have 40+ Life, Mana and Resistances, optionally with Mana Regeneration Rate, Cast Speed or Lightning Damage %. Opal Rings are the most highend & expensive base.
Good high-budget mods are Adds x to x Lightning Damage to Spells and Attacks, Adds x to x Lightning Damage against shocked Enemies and x% increased Spell Damage.

Essence Worm with Wrath socketed is absolutely recommended! It doesn't just provide us a substantial DPS boost, but also enables us to use powerful Watcher's Eye Wrath mods.
Mark of the Shaper is only recommended together with an Elder Essence Worm. This setup is really expensive, but it's also the best possible damage setup if you don't have to sacrifice other substantial DPS stats to be able to run it. This ring can only drop from the Uber Elder.


Flasks are really powerful in Path of Exile. Unlike in most other ARPG's, they aren't just limited to Life & Mana healing, but can also grant various offensive & defensive buffs and even immunities. For this build we use three magic flasks to cover Curse-, Bleed- and Freeze/Chill Immunity.

We get the majority of base flasks for this setup through quests, the others are common drops.
Scour the quest flasks and put on 4 Glassblowers Baubles, for the drop flasks look for high quality ones straight away. After that is done, start crafting them one by one until you hit the listed mods.
Glassblowers Baubles can be bought for 8x Blacksmith's Whetstones at the gear vendor in town.


Our savior in many situations. Eternal Life Flasks provide the best heal per second ratio.
Don't use a Seething Divine Life Flask, they are bad and will only cause issues!
Prefixes: Catalysed, Bubbling
Suffixes: of Staunching

Great mitigation against all sources of physical damage.
Prefixes: Chemist's, Ample
Suffixes: of Warding, of Heat

Gives a damage boost and drops Consecrated Ground, which provides 6% life regeneration.
Don't use any of the unique Sulphur Flasks, they're not listed for a reason!
Prefixes: Experimenter's, Chemist's, Ample
Suffixes: of Warding, of Heat

Temporary flasks that are meant to be replaced with the unique flasks below.
An Eternal Mana Flask helps with mana sustain early on, but isn't needed with good gear.
A Silver Flask grants you Onslaught during flask effect, replace it once you got Ahn's Heritage.
Prefixes: Catalysed or Saturared (Mana Flask), Chemist's or Ample (Silver Flask)
Suffixes: of Warding, of Heat, of Curing, of Grounding

Wise Oak gives offense and defense, but requires some juggling with resistances.
Uncapped Resistance refers to the value inside brackets in your characters defense tab.
Atziri's Promise provides extra Damage, some Leech and lots of Chaos Resistance.


We have two choices here - regular jewels or Abyss jewels. The former are better to boost mobility and have overall more relevant damage modifiers for us, while the latter are an easy source of shock effect and can add additional safety at bosses through 30% Hinder slowing.
Use Path of Building and the shock effect formula posted in Ascendancy section to figure out
which option gives you more total damage.

No matter what, if you don't have this covered by your weapon i'd recommend to use one Abyss jewel with Cold Damage to Spells (or -while holding a Shield) to chill with Arc and make Hypothermia more effective. The value doesn't matter, even lowest roll is fine.

For regular jewels, priority order is:

Attack & Cast Speed > Lightning Damage > Life > Cast Speed > Spell Damage > other Defenses

For Abyss jewels, priority order is:

Shock Effect > Life > Hinder > Lightning Damage > Penetration > Cast Speed > other Defenses

A Watcher's Eye with x% of Lightning Damage leeched as Mana while affected by Wrath is recommended for great endgame mana sustain in combination with Essence Worm + Wrath.
This allows you to switch Mana Leech in your Orb of Storms setup with Culling Strike or Blind.
You may also use a lower level Clarity, or disable it completely for one of the following jewels.

If you can afford, good additional mods are:

x% of Damage taken from Mana before Life while affected by Clarity
x% increased Mana Recovery Rate while affected by Clarity
x% chance to recover 10% of Maximum Mana when you use a Skill while affected by Clarity
x% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit while affected by Clarity
x% increased Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath
Damage Penetrates x% Lightning Resistance while affected by Wrath

Grand Spectrum is a great raw damage boost, boosting both our Arc and Inpulsa explosions.
However, it's only worth it if you use three of them, and you'll end up with substantially less life.

A good rolled Clear Mind is another option for a cheap damage boost. You have to stop using Clarity to make this jewel work, the unreserved mana gained makes up for its lack of life.


Mapping & Bossfights


Before you start mapping, make sure that you have:

‣ atleast 3.5k Life and 1k unreserved Mana

‣ Fire, Cold and Lightning Resistance capped at 75% (ideally +34% to counter curses)

‣ the correct Pantheon powers activated (unlock extra powers as you map)

‣ a proper Flask setup (check the Flask section above)

If you meet all these conditions, mapping should be a breeze. Move around with Shield Charge, occasionally drop Orb of Storms, keep your DPS flasks up and kill stuff with Arc from distance.
Try to get a feel for your flasks and their durations, so that you don't end up wasting charges.

Bosses can be challenging at first, but get easy with some practice. Read up on them here and try to learn their patterns, Decoy Totem helps with that. Once you got their mechanics down, you'll know when to move, where to lure them, what mods to avoid and all that, it's really just practice. Rule of thumb is: if their skill is highly telegraphed in some way, then it's meant to kill you!

While we can run all mapmods, decide for yourself if it's a good idea in that combination or against that boss. Things that are usually harmless can really start to hurt with the wrong mods!

The following mods affect our build negatively in some way:
Elemental Weakness: Counter with Wise Oak, Warding flask or 34% resistance overcap

Chance to avoid Elemental Ailments: Huge damage & safety loss, play cautiously

Enfeeble/Elemental Equilibrium/Resistance: Minor damage reductions, avoid stacking them

Chain: Deactivate your golems so projectiles can't chain from them to you

Less Recovery Rate: Lowers your recovery from Leech, Regeneration and Flasks

No Life/Mana Regeneration: Avoid unless you have additional ways to sustain mana

No Leech: Can be done if not coupled with No Regeneration/Reduced Recovery


Additional Guides

First steps for new players - collection of helpful tips to get started
Upgrade Order Guide - shows you in what order to get which upgrades
How to look for & buy gear - gear buying tutorial with three examples
SSF Arc Progression - based on my Lv100 progression in SSF Incursion


My Characters

Check __Whaitiri__, _Anpanman_ and GoodbyeToEverything in my profile!

However, stick to the guide and not my characters! I'm often testing new stuff!




‣ 6th November 2018: Added note about guide expansion limits to Introduction

Only showing the newest change, you can find the full changelog here!


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 Nov 13, 2018, 10:55:34 AM
Last bumped on Nov 18, 2018, 11:54:52 AM
Can you dual wield fishing rods? Do you think you could get the fastest cast speed lightning warp with two fishing rods or with a +3 lightning 22% cast staff?
All my builds /view-thread/1430399

T14 'real' clearspeed challenge /1642265
I really don't remember what i wrote here.
Last edited by Enki91 on Aug 13, 2017, 10:30:25 AM
Hi, i came back after some time to try the game again, and i somehow stumbled into your thread.

I like the concept of Arc. It reminds of the old days in another game :)
After reading your guide i have some questions.

Is it possible to play this as EB + CoD build? (im sure its possible, but do you think its worth it? With all auras running, my mana pool would be reduced by a lot...)
Im not very rich and CoD is probably the only good item i have, thats why im asking :P

I would have to safe currency for a long time to buy both, catalyst and invitation. Thats why i hope i can use a rare belt to gain some extra life, mana and res + a wand with 1% leech from catharina.

Is 1% leech enough with and without Vaal Pact? Can Vaalpact really safe me vs reflect mobs? (i never used this node, so i have no idea)

Would be nice to get some feedback.

Merry Christmas
Completed 10 ChallengesZentr0x wrote:
Hi, i came back after some time to try the game again, and i somehow stumbled into your thread.

I like the concept of Arc. It reminds of the old days in another game :)
After reading your guide i have some questions.

Is it possible to play this as EB + CoD build? (im sure its possible, but do you think its worth it? With all auras running, my mana pool would be reduced by a lot...)
Im not very rich and CoD is probably the only good item i have, thats why im asking :P

I would have to safe currency for a long time to buy both, catalyst and invitation. Thats why i hope i can use a rare belt to gain some extra life, mana and res + a wand with 1% leech from catharina.

Is 1% leech enough with and without Vaal Pact? Can Vaalpact really safe me vs reflect mobs? (i never used this node, so i have no idea)

Would be nice to get some feedback.

Merry Christmas

Hi, and Merry Christmas!

CoD will be possible, but you'll have to drop one aura, either PoL or HoI, i'd recommend dropping the ladder.

VP does save you against reflect, especially when combined with the maxres of PoL and popping your Topaz flask. With only 1% leech it gets kinda funky though, i would in the meantime replace Empower with Life Leech until you can afford the Catalyst/Invitation setup.
Thx for the fast reply,
i will go with the LL Gem, should make it much easier to find a cheap Wand with decent stats.
When i drop HoI, i can replace it with Arctic Armor and i wont need an unset ring for know. Gives me more choices for this slot.
Suddenly this build is affordable, for me ;)

thx again!
Last edited by Zentr0x on Dec 25, 2014, 12:09:59 PM
Nice guide!

I want to ask you a question: what's your opinion on apep's rage?
Chrispherto wrote:
Nice guide!

I want to ask you a question: what's your opinion on apep's rage?

Apeps is great, but not for this build. The mana cost jumps to 170 mana/cast which is simply unsustainable. DPS is at 38.5k fully charged and it's bit less exposure to reflect, but yeah, the mana cost.
You tried with Pledge? If so how much dps you got? Nice Build btw!
funkeherkules wrote:
You tried with Pledge? If so how much dps you got? Nice Build btw!

Thanks! Unfortunately i do not have a Pledge of Hands to hand, so i can't test it, but it's most likely beaten out by dual Catalyst.

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