[3.14] Enki's Arc Witch - a beginner friendly Lightning Caster

Welcome to my Arc guide!

With this guide I want to provide a simple caster build for beginners that is fun and easy to play.
Instead of just showcasing a build, this guide is made to be a comprehensive learning experience.

There's many indepth explanations and links to various wiki pages for new players to understand.
I've tried to keep it short, but some things just can't be explained properly with only a few words.

Feel free to ask questions in this thread, in my Discord channel or at my stream!

‣ 8th May 2021: updated Act 1 weapon recipe

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

Art done by sk_gunoo!


  • Videos
  • Path of Building
  • About this Build
  • Leveling this Build
  • Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon
  • Gem Setup
  • Gear, Jewels & Flasks
  • Mapping & Bossfights
  • FAQ



T16 Burial Chambers
Sirus & Conquerors
Shaper & Guardians
Elder & Guardians
Uber Elder
Uber Atziri


Path of Building



Path of Building is a tool that lets you fully plan characters from scratch, check out other peoples setups or import your own character to check or compare potential upgrades.

https://pastebin.com/r3EEZjCa (read the Notes after importing!)
Browser Version
How to import builds

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.


About this Build


+ cheap to build
+ smooth playstyle
+ good damage scaling
- not made for SSF and HC
- Mana sustain needs some gear

Main Mechanics in this Build

Chaining: Arc is a lightning-based spell with the ability to chain from monsters and destroyable objects, even around corners and out of your line of sight! Each time it chains, it will also split to
a second nearby enemy from where it can't chain further. After chaining twice it can chain back to the initial enemy, hitting them twice within a single cast. The amount of times Arc can chain depends on its gem level and can be increased by enchantments.

Mana: Usually, mana is used to cover skill costs and -reservation. We heavily invest into mana for great damage scaling and defenses provided by skillgems and the Mind over Matter keystone.
This makes mana our highest priority modifier on both equipment and passives. Stacking mana also makes %-based mana regeneration sources (such as the base 1.8%) much more valuable.

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

Block: While blocking a hit normally prevents all damage, we only get a 35% damage reduction in return for doubling our block chance with the Glancing Blows keystone. This lets us reach high block chance on relatively low investment to use a powerful Mana recovered on block modifier.


Leveling this Build

Before you start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Leveling Section

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

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

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


Act 1

‣ Kill the Zombie, pick up Fireball and switch left-click to move-only
‣ Get Arcane Surge from Large Chest and kill Hillock
‣ Get Freezing Pulse, link it with Arcane Surge and store away Fireball
‣ Check vendors for Boots with Movement Speed and a second Wand
‣ Get the Coast Waypoint, finish your quest in Mud Flats and enter Submerged Passage
‣ Go back to Coast Waypoint, kill Hailrake on Tidal Island and get Quicksilver Flask in town
‣ Back to Submerged Passage, look for Flooded Depths and kill the Dweller of the Deep
‣ Get Orb of Storms, Frostblink and Skillpoint in town

Orb of Storms provides extra damage while you cast Lightning Spells within its radius.
Once you've specced into Elemental Overload, it's also useful to quickly proc the buff.

‣ Set Orb of Storms to "attack without moving" (left-click icon in skillbar)
‣ Make your way to Lower Prison, get Waypoint and then go back to town
‣ Get Added Lightning Damage and link it to Freezing Pulse + Arcane Surge
‣ Check vendors for any item with 3-linked blue sockets if needed for above

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

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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Ledge

Act 2

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

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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Northern Forest

Act 3

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

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

You can get Strength from Heavy Belts, any Strength-Implicit Amulet or the Might notable.

‣ Get Lightning Penetration and Archmage and link them to Arc
‣ Get Second Wind and link it to Flame Dash

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

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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Docks

Act 4

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

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

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

‣ After finishing the Labyrinth, ascend to Elementalist and get Liege of the Primordial
‣ Get Summon Lightning Golem and Summon Stone Golem in town
‣ After taking the Golem Commancer notable, also get Summon Flame Golem

The golems can be bound to your secondary skill bar (hold Ctrl).

‣ Go back to Crystal Veins, enter Kaom's Dream and kill Kaom
‣ Now enter Daresso's Dream and kill Daresso
‣ Get Spell Echo in town and link it to Arc
‣ Get Hextouch in Highgate and link it to Wave of Conviction
‣ Get Conductivity in Sarn Encampment and link it to Wave of Conviction
‣ 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 a Mana Flask with Silver Flask and try to roll of Staunching on it
‣ Make your way to Templar Courts and kill Avarius
‣ Get Ruined Square Waypoint and finish the quest in Ossuary
‣ Back in Ruined Square, kill Utula and finish the quest in Reliquary
‣ Get Skillpoint and optionally Unique Jewels in town

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

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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Chamber of Innocence

Act 6

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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Southern Forest

Act 7

Start looking out for a shield with Spell Damage to use once you take your first block nodes.

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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Northern Forest

Act 8

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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Harbour Bridge

Act 9

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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Blood Aqueduct

Act 10

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

Passive Tree Goal

Exp Farming Zone: The Desecrated Chambers


‣ Talk to Lani for two Skillpoints
‣ Find Kirac in the Templar Laboratory and finish his quest
‣ Now it's time to look at the second part of this guide!
‣ Gear up for endgame and switch to the endgame gem setup
‣ If you lack currency, run Currency Delve nodes and/or start doing the Chaos Orb recipe

tl;dr: Leveling Section

Freezing Pulse -> Arc NO VAAL ARC!
+ Arcane Surge -> Lightning Penetration
+ Added Lightning Damage -> Archmage
+ Spell Echo

Orb of Storms
+ Increased Critical Strikes

Wave of Conviction (Lv1)
+ Hextouch
+ Conductivity

Frostblink -> Flame Dash
+ Second Wind

Arcane Cloak
+ Arcane Surge
+ Increased Duration

Herald of Thunder until Archmage

Summon Lightning Golem after Liege of the Primordial
+ Summon Stone Golem after Liege of the Primordial
+ Summon Flame Golem after Golem Commander
+ Summon Chaos Golem after Elemancer

Life Flask
Mana Flask
Mana Flask -> Silver Flask
Quicksilver Flask -> Jade Flask
Quicksilver Flask

Kill Kraityn - Kill Oak - Kill Alira

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


Guide continues below! Everything down there is only relevant once you've reached maps!
Last edited by Enki91 on May 7, 2021, 10:48:38 PM
Last bumped on May 11, 2021, 10:19:35 PM
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
Let's just pretend that comment isn't there.


Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon



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

For the Witch Start node change, first put two points into the +10 Intelligence nodes,
then remove the small Cast Speed and Spell Damage nodes using quest respec points.

The +30 Dexterity node is temporary and can be respecced if not needed.



Liege of the Primordial (Normal): Raises our golem limit by 1, gives us extra damage and golem buff effect per golem and automatically resummons our golems 4s after they die.

Elemancer (Cruel): Raises our golem limit by 1 and gives us golem buff effect per golem. Additionally, makes our golems immune to elemental damage and gives us 35% chance to avoid Elemental Ailments per golem, making us immune with at least three golems summoned.

Mastermind of Discord (Merciless): Causes Wave of Conviction to reduce Lightning Resistance by another 25% and gives us 1% of maximum mana as regeneration for 4s when doing so.

Bastion of Elements (Eternal): Makes us immune to Elemental Reflect and grants Primal Aegis. This passive buff gives us a shield based on amount of notables in our passive tree, which takes elemental damage from hits we'd take to our life, but doesn't protect mana.



Soul of the Brine King (Major): Prevents us from getting stunlocked and shortens stun duration.

Soul of Lunaris (Major): Its upgrade is useful for maps with Chains 2/3 additional times.

Soul of Shakari (Minor): Additional chaos damage reduction.

Soul of Ryslatha (Minor): Life Flask sustain for longer bossfights.

You can have 1x major and 1x minor Pantheon node active at once.


Gem Setup


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

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

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


Arc is our main skill - it has high base damage, decent cast time 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, it will get a 105% (7*15%) more damage multiplier for that hit.

We don't use Vaal Arc, as its lack of mana cost doesn't synergize with this build!

Archmage* increases our mana cost and adds flat lightning damage based on mana cost at 80% value because of Arcs damage effectiveness. This synergizes extremely well with mana stacking and makes up the majority of our damage, but also creates a huge demand for sustain.
Spell Echo* substantially boosts our cast speed and repeats each skill use without consuming mana for the repeated cast, all at the cost of a minimal damage penalty.
Lightning Penetration* is a hidden damage increase - it doesn't affect our tooltip damage, but rather acts as a dynamic more multiplier by reducing the enemies lightning resistance during damage calculations, and can even drop it into negative values.

5th Link: Elemental Focus* provides a huge damage multiplier but removes the ability to inflict ailments with the linked skill.

6th Link: Controlled Destruction* gives another huge damage multiplier at the cost of 100% crit chance for the linked skill. This is a reduced modifier, not less, therefore we're still able to crit with some crit scaling.


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

Arcane Surge grants a temporary buff after spending a certain amount of mana, which grants a more damage multiplier, cast speed and mana regeneration. Since Arcane Cloak spends lots of mana, we can proc a max level Arcane Surge within a single skill use.

Increased Duration* increases both buffs duration, Second Wind* reduces cooldown.


Summon Lightning Golem offers lots of cast speed to make the build feel smooth.
Summon Stone Golem grants a massive amount of life regeneration and occasionally taunts.
Summon Flame Golem gives a good amount of damage.
Summon Chaos Golem provides %-based physical damage reduction.

Bind all golems to your secondary skill bar (hold Ctrl).


Wave of Conviction debuffs enemies with Exposure based on its highest elemental damage.
It deals base physical damage with inherent 25% Fire and 25% Lightning Conversion, with any Lightning Damage to Spells we can ensure to get Lightning Exposure.
We keep it at Level 1 to stay safe from physical reflect.

Hextouch* lets us apply Hex skills with the skill they're linked to.
Conductivity is a Hex skill that reduces enemy Lightning Resistance by a good amount.

Vaal Righteous Fire provides the regular Righteous Fire skill and its Vaal version. Both grant us damage multipliers, the regular skill has a sustained life drain while the Vaal version spends 60% life on use and has a duration. Stone Golem and the Agnostic keystone allow us to sustain both.

You can get this gem by running Vaal Side Areas or in worst case by corrupting regular Righteous Fire gems. Until then, just leave this socket free.


Cast when Damage taken triggers linked spells upon accumulating enough damage from hits for its treshold. The spells required levels also need to be within Cast when Damage takens listed trigger level limit. While a higher level gem allows to triggger higher level spells, the damage treshold also increases and often makes it not worth it. We just keep it at Level 1.

Tempest Shield gives us extra block- and spellblock chance with a relatively high duration.
The amount of block chance gained is the same across all levels, so we just keep it at Level 1.

Orb of Storms is an AoE-spell with a good hit rate to quickly proc Elemental Overload. It also produces additional hits when using a lightning skill, such as Arc, within its radius. Its hit rate increases with gem level, keep it at Level 10 so it's still within our CwDt restrictions.

This setup eventually changes once we have a Trigger weapon, all information about that can be found at the Weapon part of Gear Section.


Flame Dash* is our movement skill of choice, it has three uses and a short cooldown. Additionally, it removes Grasping Vines and prevents us from taking damage from stationary damage over time sources when dashing through.

Second Wind* reduces cooldown and adds another Flame Dash use.


Clarity is an aura that grants mana regeneration. While it goes into the same piece of gear as the two gems above, it should not be linked as Second Wind would increase its mana reservation!

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

Alternative Quality Gems

The following Alternative Quality Gems are interesting for us:

Anomalous Arc - Chain range
Divergent Arc - damage against multiple targets
Divergent Arcane Cloak - buff effect
Anomalous Arcane Surge - mana regeneration
Divergent Wave of Conviction - debuff duration
Anomalous Lightning Golem - buff effect
Anomalous Stone Golem - buff effect
Anomalous Flame Golem - buff effect
Anomalous Chaos Golem - buff effect
Divergent Vaal Righteous Fire - spell damage
Divergent Tempest Shield - block- & spellblock chance


Gear, Jewels & Flasks


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

Basic Information about Gear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‣ Unique Items aren't best in slot unless mentioned otherwise

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

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

How to read this Section

All relevant affixes are listed in Affix Priority and sorted by their approximate strength.

Required affixes are in bold.

The following tags mean which crafting method or influence type is required for that affix:

N = Normal, B = Crafting Bench, Es = Essence, S = Shaper, E = Elder,
C = Crusader, R = Redeemer, H = Hunter, W = Warlord, T = Temple

If you want to learn how to craft items, check out my (currently outdated) Crafting Tutorial.


Wands, Rune Daggers and Sceptres can be used for this build. Rune Daggers have crit chance implicits that help us with Elemental Overload procs, Wands and Sceptres have equal damage implicits for us. An exception are Sambar Sceptres for more elemental resistance penetration.

Regardless of which you choose, weapons can roll the single highest mana roll of all gear pieces so we want to focus on that together with spell/lightning damage.

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

Heartbreaker is a good choice to get started, providing spell damage, mana and Culling Strike.

Eventually we want Trigger a Socketed Spell when you use a Skill to automate Tempest Shield, Orb of Storms and Sigil of Power, which replaces Cast when Damage taken and allows us to fully level all those spells. This suffix can only be unveiled from map tier 6+ loot and crafted with the Crafting Bench once unlocked, you don't have to buy one with it already crafted.

Best Harvest enchantment for us is Grants 1% increased Elemental Damage per 2% Quality.

Affix Priority

100+ to maximum Mana N B
40% increased Spell Damage N B Es T
40% increased Lightning Damage N B T
# to Level of all Spell Skill Gems N
# to Level of all Lightning Spell Skill Gems N
Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance C Es
Damage Penetrates #% Elemental Resistances S
Gain #% of Lightning Damage as Extra Chaos Damage N B
Gain #% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage S

Trigger a Socketed Spell when you use a Skill B
Wrath has #% increased Aura Effect C
#% increased Mana Regeneration Rate N B
#% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells N B Es
#% increased Lightning Damage N B
#% increased Cast Speed N B Es T

Intelligence-based shields can give us spell/lightning damage together with life, mana, resistances and other useful stuff such as spell crit chance.

For endgame we want that with Recover #% of your maximum Mana when you Block for improved mana sustain, which helps both our survivability and damage output.

The Heist-specific basetypes Exhausting-, Subsuming- and Transfer-attuned Spirit Shield can provide extra survivability through sapping enemies on block, reducing their damage by 6%.
They can only be obtained from Experimented Basetypes Grand Heists.

Affix Priority

70+ to maximum Life N B Es
50+ to maximum Mana N B
40% increased Spell Damage N B Es
40% increased Lightning Damage N B
# to Level of all Lightning Spell Skill Gems N
Gain #% of Lightning Damage as Extra Chaos Damage N B

Recover #% of your maximum Mana when you Block S R
Recover #% of Life when you Block S W
#% increased Mana Regeneration Rate N B
#% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells N B Es
#% increased Cast Speed N B Es T
#% Chance to Block N B
#% Chance to Block Spell Damage N B S
Resistances N B Es

Any intelligence-based body armour works for us, focus on life, mana and resistances.

Cloak of Defiance is our endgame chestpiece. It provides a ton of mana and another %-based mana regeneration modifier, saves us a passive point for Mind over Matter and even redirects another 10% of damage from our life to mana.

Best Harvest enchantment for us is Grants +1 to Maximum Mana per 2% Quality.

Affix Priority

80+ to maximum Life N B Es T
50+ to maximum Mana N B Es
#% increased maximum Life E H B T
#% increased maximum Mana S C B

Resistances N B Es

Start with a very basic life, mana and resistances helmet.

Crown of the Inward Eye is a great helmet if no resistances are needed. It comes with up to 21% life and mana and all three Transfigurations, of which only Soul and Mind are interesting. The former provides 30% of increased/reduced maximum Energy Shield as increased Spell Damage, the latter provides 30% of increased/reduced maximum Mana as increased Damage.
It can only drop from Sirus, the Awakener.

While it's a very powerful helmet, it's possible to beat it through Maven's Orb + Awakener's Orb crafting a helmet with #% increased maximum Mana + Transfiguration of Mind and Nearby Enemies have -#% to Lightning Resistance.

Best enchantments here are Arcane Cloak spends an additional #% of current Mana and Arc chains an additional time. The various Golem Buff Effect enchantments are good too.

Affix Priority

70+ to maximum Life N B Es
50+ to maximum Mana N B Es T
#% increased maximum Mana E C T
Transfiguration of Mind E

Resistances N B Es
Nearby Enemies have -#% to Lightning Resistance C
#% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Lightning Damage C T
#% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold Damage R T
#% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Fire Damage W B T

This may come as a surprise but we want life, mana and resistances from our gloves.

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

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

Affix Priority

70+ to maximum Life N B Es
50+ to maximum Mana N B Es
Spell Damage W

Resistances N B Es
Culling Strike W

Nothing new here, just get as much life, mana, movement speed and resistances as you can get.
Two-Toned Boots grant some extra resistance implicit.

Tailwind is a good addition for highend boots.

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

Affix Priority

70+ to maximum Life N B Es
50+ to maximum Mana N B Es
20%+ increased Movement Speed N B Es

Resistances N B Es
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently H

Ungil's Harmony is a great starter amulet for this build. It brings some life, mana and lots of crit chance, which makes it easier to proc Elemental Overload. The crit damage penalty doesn't affect us at all, as the aforementioned keystone already does the same.

Atziri's Foible is our endgame choice and provides lots of mana and -regeneration. Eventually we want to improve its stats with Fertile catalysts.

Mind Drinker is a great anointment for cheap, but eventually we want to anoint Arcane Swiftness.

Affix Priority

50+ to maximum Life N B T
40+ to maximum Mana N B T

#% increased Global Critical Strike Chance N B

Rings are another slot to gain lots of resistances from, once again together with life and mana.

A highend ring has all that on a Cerulean Ring base, enhanced with Fertile catalysts.

Essence Worm allows us to run an aura without any reservation cost, our choice is Wrath for another huge damage multiplier. It also increases reservation cost of our other auras, but the damage gain outweighs this downside. It's not necessary, but highly recommended for endgame.

Affix Priority

40+ to maximum Life N B T
40+ to maximum Mana N B T
#% increased Spell Damage C
#% increased Damage B

Resistances N B
#% increased Mana Regeneration Rate N B Es

Finally, our last slot to stack life, mana and resistances on. Stygian Vise gives an additional Abyss Jewel socket, otherwise go for a Leather Belt or Heavy Belt.

For endgame we want a belt with all that and high mana recovery rate. This stat multiplies our mana regeneration and mana flask recovery, and is insanely helpful for endgame sustain.
This doesn't affect Mana Regeneration in your character sheet, but will be very noticeable.

Affix Priority

70+ to maximum Life N B
50+ to maximum Mana N B
#% increased maximum Life E H
You take #% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes S W
Flasks applied to you have #% increased Effect B
#% increased Flask Mana Recovery Rate N Es
#% increased Damage W B

#% increased Mana Recovery Rate S R
Resistances N B
#% increased Flask Effect Duration N B


Abyss Jewels are fairly easy to craft, regular Jewels have more damage potential at higher cost.
I've planned the build around having Life on Jewels, even with just one damage affix it's worth it.

Affix Priority

Abyss Jewels:
# to maximum Life
# to maximum Mana
Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Spells (-while holding a shield)
#% increased Cast Speed
#% increased Mana Regeneration Rate while moving

regular Jewels:
#% increased maximum Life
#% increased maximum Mana
#% increased Lightning Damage
#% increased Spell Damage (-while holding a Shield)
#% increased Damage
#% increased Cast Speed (-with Lightning Skills)
#% increased Mana Regeneration Rate

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

Pure Talent provides another %-based mana regeneration multiplier and attributes from being connected to both Witch and Scion start, which allows us to respec atleast the +30 Strength node and focus on other suffixes on our gear.

Watcher's Eye is a highend option that gives Life, Mana and two or three aura-related affixes.
Best choice for us is #% of Damage taken from Mana before Life while affected by Clarity.
They can only drop from the Elder (2-affix) or Uber Elder (3-affix).

Useful affixes for this build are:

Affix Priority

#% of Damage taken from Mana before Life while affected by Clarity
#% increased Mana Recovery Rate while affected by Clarity
Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance while affected by Wrath
#% increased Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath
#% increased Critical Strike Chance while affected by Wrath

Transcendent Mind is the upgraded version of Tempered Mind and can be used to maximize Mana Recovery Rate, however it's also fairly expensive. It can only be obtained by upgrading Tempered Mind with a Vial of Transcendence in the Apex of Ascension.

Healthy Mind converts life passives in its radius to mana at twice its value. We can use it next to Mystic Bulwark to convert Cruel Preparation, Heart and Soul and the small passives for a massive mana and damage increase, but it also makes us squishy. Use at your own risk!

Cluster Jewels

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


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

Disorienting Display is our main goal to gain Blind for added survivability, other good notables to have are Scintillating Idea, Supercharge, Vengeful Commander and Corrosive Elements.

If leveling beyond Level 90, we can fit a Medium Cluster into this build.

Our Medium Cluster needs to be curse effect based with either 4 or 5 added passives.
We want Master of Fear to unnerve enemies and Wish for Death lets us cull cursed enemies.

Our Small Clusters need to be mana based, no matter if with 2 or 3 added passives.

We want Mindfulness here, which provides additional mana and lots of mana regeneration rate while stationary, which we happen to be while casting.


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

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


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


Provides some instant and duration Life Recovery, best on an Eternal Life Flask.
Prefixes: Bubbling
Suffixes: of Staunching

Concentrated on an Eternal Mana Flask helps sustain mana while spamming or taking damage.
Prefixes: Concentrated
Suffixes: of Curing

Grants Onslaught for some extra speed and DPS.
Prefixes: Chemist's
Suffixes: of Warding

Lots of evasion to help us avoiding hits, such as from porcupine spikes.
"of Reflexes" can't be crafted with the Menagerie.
Prefixes: Experimenter's, Alchemist's
Suffixes: of Reflexes

Gives us quick movement speed bursts, best used to move between packs.
"of Adrenaline" can't be crafted with the Menagerie.
Prefixes: Experimenter's, Alchemist's
Suffixes: of Adrenaline

Upgrade Order & Trade Links

Upgrade Order

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

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


‣ Basic Gear (check Trade Links) & Flasks

‣ Pure Talent & Tempered Mind

‣ Atziri's Foible

‣ 5L Cloak of Defiance

‣ Lv21 Arc

‣ Weapon upgrade (100+ Mana, 60%+ Spell/Lightning Damage, open suffix for Trigger)

‣ Cluster Jewels

‣ 6L Cloak of Defiance

‣ Endgame Gear w/ high Mana or Influence modifiers

‣ Watcher's Eye

‣ Awakened Gems

Basic Gear Trade Links


Mapping & Bossfights


Before you start mapping, make sure that you have:

‣ atleast 3.5k Life and 3.5k Mana

‣ Fire, Cold and Lightning Resistance capped at 75%

‣ Arc and Flame Dash set to "attack without moving"

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

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

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

Your character will naturally progress while mapping - your gems level up, which is especially important for the Arc gem itself, your character levels up and you will build up currency for upgrades, even if you just do Chaos Recipe. Don't focus on "what DPS should I have at this level?" or such, as long as you play and follow what the guide says, you can't do anything wrong.

Try to find a rhythm between Arc, Flame Dash and flask usage, and keeping Arcane Cloak up. Enemies usually give visual cues to react, and often they lock target on the position you're at during their animation start, so in that case simply move to avoid all damage. Sometimes you can also use the environment as defense and last but not least, don't forget that Arc is a ranged skill.

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

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

Once you start pushing into the highest content, you want atleast:

‣ 4.5k Life and 7k Mana

‣ Cloak of Defiance

‣ Trigger a socketed Spell on Skill use Weapon

‣ capped Elemental Resistances & 0%+ Chaos Resistance

‣ upgraded Pantheon powers


No Regeneration: Can't safely run this, skip

all Curses: Counter them with your Warding Flask

Chain: Use Soul of Lunaris

Elemental Equilibrium/Resistance: Damage losses

less Life Recovery Rate: possibly can't safely run Righteous Fire


Bossfights are all mechanical, the build can take some hits and allows you to learn those fights.

Start each bossfight with Wave of Conviction, Arcane Cloak and Vaal Righteous Fire, then burst them down with Arc. Circle around the boss if you have to move.
You only want to gain distance for a few skills such as AoE slams, explosions or burrow attacks.




Q: Why is the PoB-Setup giving me an error?
A: You need the Community Fork.

Q: Is this build Hardcore and/or SSF viable?
A: I've made the current version mainly for Softcore Trade, but you can try.

Q: Can this build do all content?
A: For most of the part, yes. It's not made for deep delving (1k+ depth) or juiced up 100% delirious T16+ maps, however I assume new players don't care about that.

Q: How much investment does this build need?
A: It's on the cheaper side, however there's some words I want to lose about this topic:
The economy in this game is not a static thing. There's no way to say exactly how much currency you need to invest to do specific content and any guide doing so is clickbait and lying to you.
It also depends on how you invest your currency. If you spend 100 exalts on a single item while everything else is extremely bad and not synergizing with the build, then you'll still struggle.

Q: I have a Trigger Weapon and the socketed spells never trigger. Why?
A: Triggers can't trigger other triggers. Replace Cast when Damage taken with Sigil of Power.

Q: How can I fix my mana sustain issues?
A: Pure Talent and Tempered Mind are a good start. Atziri's Foible, Cloak of Defiance and the Mana Regeneration boot enchantment are the next steps. Finally, Ritual-basetype gloves and Mana Recovery Rate on belt help aswell.

Q: Why am I always out of mana with Agnostic?
A: Respec it until you've fixed your mana sustain.

Q: Why does my Elemental Overload hardly ever proc?
A: Check your character sheet if Orb of Storms has atleast 10% chance to crit, and if not, you can get more crit from Dagger implicits and Critical Strike Chance for Spells on weapons and shields.

Q: My survivability feels bad. What can I do to improve it?
A: Assuming that you have a lifepool of atleast 4k and capped elemental resistances at 75%, the answer is to stack more mana. Additionally you can shift more damage taken to mana before life and use the Arcane Cloak helmet enchantment.
It could also be a playstyle issue, such as trying to tank things that will kill you no matter what. As mentioned before, standing still for too long will get you killed in this game so try to find a good rhythm between Arc and Flame Dash.

Q: Why am I out of mana when using Vaal Righteous Fire?
A: You're using the regular Righteous Fire, Vaal Righteous Fire is a different skill on your skillbar.

Q: When can I sustain Righteous Fire?
A: You should be able to once you have a Level 20 Summon Stone Golem, Cloak of Defiance, Atziri's Foible, Tempered Mind, Pure Talent and the Mana Regeneration boot enchantment.

Q: Is Pledge of Hands good for this build?
A: No. It locks you in place for way too long unless you have a really high amount of cast speed. And even then I wouldn't recommend it for Arc.

Q: Can I use Unleash instead of Spell Echo?
A: No. Even with full investment into Unleash it'll just hold you back in endgame content.

Q: Why are we not using Shaper of Storms?
A: It takes high investment to be just as good as using Elemental Focus, but even then it can be hard countered by the "Monsters have #% chance to avoid Elemental Ailments" mapmod.

Q: Can I use Heart of Destruction instead of Bastion of Elements?
A: Yes, if you want some boss damage burst and don't care about the survivability loss.

Q: I've seen Arc Elementalists with 50m+ DPS, are they better than your build?
A: If all you care about is killing bosses, then maybe, but i've checked those kind of characters and not seen a single good build yet. They have to drop all survivability and sustain from the build to reach that damage, which makes them completely useless outside of bossfights and honestly even in that situation, if they don't crit or the boss reacts faster they will die. And all that comes at a currency investment where you're better off just running an aura stacker.


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 May 6, 2021, 12:35:33 PM
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
Zentr0x 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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