[outdated] Caustic Arrow Solo Map MFer (20/300+)

Aug 2, 2018: Due to IRL complications, I will no longer be updating this thread, until further notice, if at all.



Before We Get To The Guide…

The Item Rarity Gem and Degeneration Skills:
  • As of patch 1.0.6, the IIR/IIQ gems have full functionality with degen skills. The patch notes say "Righteous Fire," but it applies to all sources of degeneration: Searing Bond, RF, CA Cloud, Viper Strike DoT, etc… So yes, the IIR gem works for this build.

A Shadow Build in the Ranger Section:
  • This originated as a ranger build in 2.0, and now covers over 600 pages of questions and replies. Even though it's better built from Shadow, I don’t want to kill anyone’s bookmarks, and there's a fair amount of people that follow the build every league.

    As such the build will remain in Ranger.

    To that end:

Passive Tree for the Ranger Start:
  • I will not be posting a Ranger tree, but I'll be glad to answer questions about building it as a Ranger if that's your preference. You can closely follow the Trickster tree, as it's virtually identical save for starting node changes.

Special Credit:
  • Thanks to all the people who provide constant help to players in this thread. Answering all the questions, especially in when a new league kicks off, would entail entire WORKDAYS of effort if it wasn't for your assistance. You all help make the continued existence of this thread possible.
  • Special SPECIAL thanks to ChronoExile for the snazzy new formatting for the guide to help make this easier to navigate.

3.2 Changelog:

Just a quick compendium of changes for 3.2. This spoiler will cycle every league and delete / refresh only for new leagues (in other words, not retain prior changes). This is here specifically for players who use this build every patch and just want to keep up to date with the main changes:

  • The build is now done from Shadow-Trickster. No other significant changes to report.

And one more thing: I will not respond to private messages (either on the website or in-game) regarding the build.

Post your question in the thread. Thank you.


- Table of Contents -

[01.00] - Overview
[02.00] - Media
[03.00] - Skill Tree & Ascendancies
[03.01] - Shadow Trickster Tree
[04.00] - Bandit Rewards
[05.00] - Pantheon
[06.00] - Gearing
[07.00] - Enchantments
[08.00] - Gems & Links
[09.00] - Finished Stats
[10.00] - Tools
[11.00] - FAQ (Post 2)


- Overview -

The purpose of this build is for those that don't like to party or do boss runs, although with the changes introduced in 2.2, it actually now functions reasonably for boss runs and can work decently in parties as long as you're willing to organize a culling setup for bosses and such. That said, this setup is designed specifically for solo map farming with good MF, life and res balance, combined with a relatively fast clear speed.

Oh, and it can run any map mod comfortably up to T14 maps.

Any. Mod. T14.

  • Earn 0.5ex/hr** without selling a DAMN THING. (See the FAQ)
  • Fast pack clear speed, solid boss kill speed (pending 3.0 boss changes?).
  • Runs any map mod
  • Extremely mobile
  • Cheap starting cost (buy any item level 64 5L bow for 5c, alt-spam for +2 bow gems) NOTE: +2 bow gems requires an Ilvl 64+ bow
  • Atziri capable (just remove Andvarius'. Or don't, if you're badass!)
  • HC viable with some adjustments.

  • Semi-Late Acrobatics - mid 50s.
  • It's evasion, so it's prone to physical burst damage if entropy hates you.
  • Not the fastest leveling, but it is better in 3.0.


- Media -

Deathless Atziri Run with almost full MF spec - didn't *quite* have full res balance =( --- June 15, 2015. While outdated, undergeared and less powerful than CA currently is, this video remains to give you an idea of how to go about doing Atziri in general with CA and I feel is still relevant for showing how you can go about fighting it before you're fully kit.

Inventory and Stash Management - Exactly what it sounds like! A video talking about stash and inventory management while mapping.


- Skill Trees & Ascendancies -

With 3.2, Scion Ascendant-Occultist no longer provided -chaos resistance, rendering it a suboptimal choice for the build.

In addition, Trickster became a LOT more powerful for the build. The short version is the new Trickster adds 20% more chance to evade, 5% additional chance to dodge attacks and spells, 20% increased DoT (and mana/life/es recovery on kill), and 15% MORE Dot (compared to 3.1 Trickster).

The combined changes make Trickster far superior for the build compared to Scion-Ascendant and as such, this build is now Shadow Trickster.

- 3.3 Shadow Trickster Tree

  • Is the same as the 3.2 Tree. Nothing's changed.

Ascendancy Order:

Swift Killer
Patient Reaper
Prolonged Pain
Ghost Dance

I don't have any Trickster CA characters built, so there will be no PoB pastebin or updated stats for 3.2 or beyond.


- Bandit Rewards -

My personal recommendation is to go with Kraityn for some QoL for the Frenzy CoH setup, dodge chance and movement speed. If you're in HC, Oak is probably your preferred option though a MoM variant should probably take Alira for the regeneration and to help make gearing easier.


- Pantheon Powers -

With the Pantheon system, you can have one major god and one minor god active at a time. When you're in town, you can cycle through these at will.

Major God: Soul of Lunaris

  • 1% additional physical damage reduction for each nearby enemy, up to 8%
  • 1% increased movement speed for each nearby enemy, up to 8%
  • With Soul of Arachnoxia: 10% chance to avoid projectile damage
  • With Soul of Master of the Blade: 5% chance to dodge spells and attacks if you've been hit recently
  • With Lycius, Midnight Howl: 50% chance to avoid projectiles that have been chained.

This is a drastic improvement to our general mapping. For certain boss fights, you may want to switch to Soul of Solaris (6% physical damage reduction if only ONE enemy is nearby | 10% chance to take 50% less area damage from hits | (With Penitentiary Incarcerator: 5% reduced elemental damage taken if you haven't been hit recently and some other less important stuff).

Minor God: There a bunch of good options here. I'm going to list these in my ordered recommendation from most recommended to least.

  • Soul of Grukthul: 1% additional physical damage reduction for each hit you've taken recently up to a maximum of 5% (Upgrade from Legius Garhall: Enemies that have hit you with an attack recently have 8% reduced attack speed).
  • Soul of Tukohama: While stationary, gain 2% additional physical damage reduction each second, up to a maximum of 8% (Upgrade with Tore, Tower Ancient: While Stationary, gain 0.5% of life regenerated per second each second, up to a maximum of 2%
  • Soul of Garukhan: 5% chance to evade attacks if you've taken a savage hit recently (Upgrade with Rek'tar The Breaker: 6% increased movement speed if you haven't been hit recently)
  • Soul of Ryslatha: Life flasks gain 3 charges every 3 seconds if you haven't used a life flask recently (Upgrade from The Winged Death: 60% increased life recovery from flasks when used on low life).

The reasoning here is that Grukthul helps mitigate problems with the way entropy works with evasion, and increases survivability against physically-oriented bosses. Tukohama is more of an option if you prefer to stand in the pocket and fire, rather than dodge. If you feel as though you're good on physical damage reduction front, then take Grukthul instead for better map QoL clear speed and to counteract the entropy a bit. Ryslatha is last because our life flasks typically take care of themselves with how fast we clear through regular packs, but it is an option to take if you would prefer some extra QoL for flasks during boss fights.


- Gearing -

The goal of this build is to maximize magic find and survivability, so for gearing you are looking to get life, rarity, and resistances on the majority of your gear. The spoilers show examples of gear, some suggestions on gear progression, and crafting help where applicable. Do not use this section for Gems or Links, there is a section specifically for those after the gear section.

Note for HC Players: You will want to prioritize eva/es hybrid gear where you can.


Caustic Arrow cloud damage scales with gem levels, thereby we want a +3 bow (Paragon’s (+1 level of socketed gems), Sharpshooter’s (+2 levels of socketed bow gems)),

For the other affixes, you're looking to craft Damage Over Time (15-30%) from Leo, the arguably most useless master in the game. Thankfully it only requires level 3 Leo, and you can crush that with just a few PvP missions. Heck, you can even get a friend to help you.

For suffixes, not much really benefits the build. We don't particularly need attack speed, but resistances will be lacking, especially if you want to run Carcass Jack. So, ideally, you will look to eventually mastercraft your own +3 bow with dual resistances.

Other semi-beneficial suffixes you'd want to keep an eye out for before your crafted bow (if you choose to craft one) are:

  • Attack Speed
  • Mana Gain on Kill
  • Life Gain on Kill

Crafting a +3 Bow with room for Damage over Time:
There are three different methods for guaranteeing a +3 bow, and it all comes down to personal preference. All three methods start off with an item level 64 or higher white 6-link bow of your choice. Maraketh is the recommended base for the additional 6% move speed, and decent attack speed.

Worth noting, in most cases it will be cheaper for you to just buy a 6L +3 bow gems these days. The major exceptions where you would want to pursue crafting are:

* SSF (you will need minimum 2 exalts to drop)
* Dual res crafting
* You specifically are looking for a Maraketh base and none are available

Method One

Original method from reddit:
  • Use Alterations until it is a single stat Sharpshooter’s (+2 level of Socketed Bow Gems)
  • Mastercraft “Cannot Roll Attack Mods” (Caterina, level 8)
  • Regal the bow, the only prefix available is Paragon’s (+1 level of Socketed Gems)
  • Did you hit Paragon’s? If not Exalt the bow
  • After hitting Paragon’s remove the “Cannot Roll Attack Mods” (Tora, level 7)
  • Mastercraft (15 to 30)% increased Damage over Time (Leo, level 3)
  • Exalt out the last suffixes or call it done

Method Two

Second method from reddit:
  • Use Alterations/Augmentations until Sharpshooter’s (+2 level of Socketed Bow Gems) with a Suffix
  • Regal the bow. If a suffix was hit continue, if a prefix was hit Scour and start over
  • Mastercraft “Cannot Roll Attack Mods” (Caterina, level 8)
  • Exalt the bow, you will hit Paragon’s (+1 level of Socketed Gems)
  • Remove the “Cannot Roll Attack Mods” (Tora, level 7)
  • Mastercraft (15 to 30)% increased Damage over Time (Leo, level 3)
  • Exalt out the last suffix or call it done

Method Three

Method Three, Serleth’s Method

This is EXPLICITLY if you want to get a dual-res bow. Otherwise, use one of the aforementioned methods.

  • Mastercraft Dexterity (Vagan, level 2)
  • Regal the bow, did you hit Sharpshooter’s (+2 level of Socketed Bow Gems)? If not Scour and start over
  • Remove the mastercrafted Dexterity (Tora, level 7)
  • Mastercraft “Can have multiple Crafted Mods” (Elreon, level 8)
  • Mastercraft “Cannot Roll Attack Mods” (Caterina, level 8)
  • Mastercraft a random suffix / random prefix so you only have one prefix slot left
  • Exalt the bow, you will hit Paragon’s (+1 level of Socketed Gems)
  • Remove the mastercrafted mods, (Tora, level 7)
  • Mastercraft “Can have multiple Crafted Mods” (Elreon, level 8)
  • Mastercraft two resistance rolls (Tora, level 5)
  • Mastercraft (15 to 30)% increased Damage over Time (Leo, level 3)


With the changes to Drillneck in 3.0, Drillneck is no longer considered BiS in my opinion, however it is a valid option still. The important note to make here is that "Drillneck now grants Arrows that Pierce deal 50% increased Damage."

What this essentially means is if you're firing at the enemies feet, Drillneck does nothing. You need to be firing through packs in order to see any benefit, and on bosses you have to be a lot more precise in order to proc the benefit. The arrow is essentially the payload for the cloud, so it will require a hit AND pierce in order to benefit the cloud damage. It will be a lot less consistent until you practice and get used to it.

In my opinion, given that we will be getting resistances on all six jewel slots in order to make gearing the rest of the build easier, and the fact that Drillneck now only provides a 50% damage boost, we're better off going with a:

Rare Penetrating Arrow Quiver
- High flat life
- Tri res 35%+ for each resistance

What this will allow us to do is drop the resistance rolls on our jewel slots and instead get damage affixes. This will increase our total damage by over 60% (minimum), beating Drillneck's effectiveness by at least 10% while being a consistent source of damage, and generally just providing more QoL. The better quiver you get, the easier it will be to also add Carcass Jack to the build (which is buffed in 3.0).

Regardless of what quiver you go with, you should strive for a +1 arrow corrupted implicit as this will benefit your overall clear speed more than an additional pierce will, even in cases of Drillneck.


Life, IIR, resistances. If you can get additional defenses, great. If not, oh well. Look for a pure evasion base if you can, hybrid eva + ar/es if you have to.


Same as the helmet: life, res, IIR, defenses if you can, preferably an evasion base if you can, hybrid evasion + armour/es if you must.

As you're progressing, you have a couple other options:

Sadima’s Touch is a solid pair of gloves to use while leveling, but these will need to be replaced with a pair of rare gloves to help with resistances, and survivability.


Due to the nature of how IIR and IIQ interact, you do want at least a modicum of IIQ for MF, hence we go with Goldwyrm. While the movement speed isn't the best, it's easily compensated by two Quicksilver flasks while the boots themselves provide a high-roll fire resistance and mana regeneration.

While saving up for Goldwyrm a good pair of rare magic find boots can be used.

Body Armor

In my opinion Carcass Jack provides the best balance of QoL with the AoE and dps with the buffed 3.0 version as well as some resistances, making it easier to equip in light of the Andvarius rings. However if you end up with a +1 arrow quiver, the AoE is less important and, if you're willing to min-max the rest of your gear to make it work, then:

Cherribum's Malefience is your best option for raw damage output. Important to note it has no resistances on it, so while it's BiS for damage, it's going to require some pretty hefty investment to equip with the Andy rings in play. (Just a note, that's a legacy chest, the damage rolls are now 50-80%).

Until you can get either of those going:

A rare chest that covers off your life, and other resistances. Look for a pure evasion base if you can, hybrid eva + ar/es if you have to.


Andvarius is the core of the item rarity in this build, start with any ring you can afford and work your way up from there. Max implicit rolls on gold rings are 15%, and the max explicit roll is 70%

Ventor’s Gamble looks good in theory, but the practical application of the IIQ/IIR map coefficient means you need to have a Ventor’s rolled with +7%IIQ and +40%IIR explicit mods. The math for these calculations can be found here.

Any rare gold amulet life, rarity and resistances. There's no other option here better than a decently rolled rare amulet, at present.

A rare leather belt with life and ALL three elemental resistances. If you manage to land a belt with an open prefix, you can compensate a bit more for the lack of good MS on Goldwyrm by mastercrafting the MS prefix here from Tora (Level 6).


We use two Seething Hallowed Flasks, one Catalysed Divine or Eternal Flask, and two Chemist's Quicksilver Flasks of Adrenaline (superior to Ample as we can recover a use ~7.5 charges instead of per 10). You can find an explanation for the Hallowed choice in the FAQ.


The desirable mods on jewels for the build are:
  • Chaotic (Chaos Damage 9% to 13%)
  • Vivid (Max Life 5% to 7%)
  • of Archery (Projectile Damage 10% to 12%)
  • of Wounding (Damage 8% to 10%)
  • of Entropy (Damage over Time 10% to 12%)
  • of Blasting (Area Damage 10% to 12%)
  • of Resistance (Additional All Elemental Resistance 8% top 10%)


Full details provided by Nasty Toxic
Surprisingly, the Crimson Jewels have the best chance to roll our desired affixes. Here is the source of the Crimson Jewel values as pulled from poedb.tw/us/mod.php?type=42&attr=136 (link may be unreliable depending on the site-owner).

Jewel Affixes and Chance to be Rolled, by Jewel Color:

%increased life:
R 2.84%
G 1.81%
B 2.00%

% increased Chaos Damage:
R 1.14%
G 1.04%
B 1.14%

% increased Area Damage:
R 3.79%
G 3.66%
B 3.60%

% increased Projectile Damage:
R 3.03%
G 3.66%
B 2.88%

% to all Elemental Resistances:
R 2.27%
G 2.20%
B 2.16%

% Damage over Time:
R 3.79%
G 3.66%
B 3.60%


- Enchants -

For the below enchants, I have bolded my personal preference for each category. You can feel free to adjust based on your own playstyle.


Word/Edict/Decree/Commandment of Light
  • Deals a portion of your main hand damage in an area around you and creates Consecrated Ground, Causing You and your Allies to Regenerate Life.

Word/Edict/Decree/Commandment of Reflection
  • Creates a clone of you that attacks with your weapon.

Word/Edict/Decree/Commandment of Spite
  • Releases a nova of projectiles based on your weapon, leaving chilling ground in their wake.


  • Chance to Dodge if you've taken a Critical Strike Recently.

  • Increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently.

  • Chance to Dodge Spell Damage if you've taken Spell Damage Recently.


Due to the nature of how difficult it is to achieve a desireable helmet enchantment, my recommendation is to just stick with the first one you find that more directly benefits the build (Damage, Radius, Curse Effectiveness).

  • Increased Caustic Arrow Damage

  • Increased Caustic Arrow Radius

  • Increased Caustic Arrow Duration

  • Reduced Grace Mana Reservation

  • Increased Despair Curse Effect

  • Increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Flame Golems

  • Blood Rage grants additional XX% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill

  • Increased Blink Arrow Cooldown Recovery Speed


- Gems & Links -

Primary Skill:
  • In a completed build the primary set up in a +3 Bow is - Caustic Arrow - Void Manipulation - Conc Effect - Swift Affliction - Empower (5L) - IIR (6L).

Q: What about before Ascending?
A: Before gaining Deadeye it is up to you if you want to run Increased Area of Effect or not. If you do decide to run AoE your gem links would be Caustic Arrow - Void Manipulation - Conc Effect - Increased AoE - Swift Affliction / Empower (5L) – IIR (6L). There are some situations where Empower should be used over Swift Affliction, and the explanation can be found in the FAQ.

Curse Setup & Terrain Breaker:
  • In a 4-Link we run Frenzy - Greater Multiple Projectiles - Curse on Hit - Despair. Faster Attacks or Lesser Multiple Projectiles are potential fifth link options, but neither is needed for the setup. I leave the decision up to you. Personally, I prefer the extra projectiles to make it easier to break barrels and spread the curse more effectively. If you decide to get a 6L chest, you can add the other one in.

    In a 5L, you will also want to add Decay, to help improve single-target damage against bosses. You can choose to drop GMP here if you only have a 4L.

Damage Boost & Utility
  • Wither - Spell Totem - Faster Casting to help kill bosses, and the occasional tankier blue/rare or high chaos resistance mob, Wither totem is your friend. Increased Duration or AoE could be added as the fourth link, but is not required. Duration would be more beneficial for more situations, as Wither's primarily used as a single-target boost except in high-life, high-tier maps where you may want more coverage for the generally tankier mobs. But Duration will generate more stacks, which is a single-target damage boost: the primary reason to drop a Wither totem, normally.

  • Blood Rage - Vaal Lightning Trap - Increased Duration – (Enduring/Rallying Cry) Vaal Lightning Trap is the only reliable source to create shocking ground which provides 50% more damage, useful for bosses. Blood Rage allows us to automate our frenzy charge generation, as most monsters do not need to be cursed to melt. One of the most common questions I get is why run Blood Rage if we're running a Despair CoH setup.

    Fact is, you'll only be cursing bosses and tankier monsters. This automates the frenzy generation and dramatically improves your clear speed.

    Enduring/Rallying cry is listed in brackets to indicate it's optional and at player discretion.

  • Grace- Clarity – Enlighten will be your core aura setup, with Enlighten added mostly as QoL in order to provide a slightly larger mana pool in order to assist with reduced recovery maps. It is not required to have Enlighten.

    While levelling, and especially before you're fully geared, you may want to run any of the Purity auras to help out with res balance. If so, drop Grace, and ensure you take Acrobatics.

    You shouldn't need to exceed a Clarity Level 10, and in fact the central reason we even still have this aura in the final build is to make reduced recovery maps possible without having to reroll the map, or swap in a mana flask.

  • Any other spare gem slots should be used to fit in Flame Golem, Blink Arrow and Portal.

    As you reach the final stages of this build, you'll see why Portal is so beneficial: it's very easy to run out of Wisdom scrolls. This 5-7 chaos gem allows you to sustain your Widsoms more reliably.

    Lastly, don't forget to level other gems in your swap gear. And keep special attention to when you're levelling Empower or Enlighten: you will want a Haku Weapon for this.


- Finished Stats -

3.0 DPS Stats on Scion-Ascendant With:

* CA 21
* Empower 4
* 20/20 Concentrated Effect, Void Manipulation and Swift Affliction
* 6 frenzy charges
* Occultist's increased damage if you've killed a cursed enemy recently.
* 50% AoE dmg Carcass Jack
* Post-Drillneck era (so, rare quiver)

The rest of these stats are "outdated" but the only real relevant thing here is life and MF. Your life will vary typically anywhere between 5000-5300 depending on how you prioritize your passives by level 90-94.


- Tools -

Path of Building - OPieOP.

Effective IIQ/IIR map coefficient (C Value) calculator by Caliark.
Jul 27, 2011 - Sept 30, 2018.
Last edited by Serleth on Aug 31, 2018, 11:30:29 PM
Last bumped on Nov 8, 2018, 2:35:28 PM


- Frequently Asked Questions -

Q: Please Explain your 0.5ex an Hour Calculation.
These calculations use the Standard League exchange rates as of January, 2015. They have not been updated, and are not expected to reflect Challenge League currency ratios.

edit (August 10, 2015): Warbands rates are around 60c:1ex and 110f:1ex. Meaning the currency earned is adjusted to around 0.3ex/hr.

This value was compiled after spending two weeks running nothing but blue maps level 66-70 (and the Zana dailies, 74-77) tracking the net currency over time played, and ONLY includes currency earned from:
  • Raw drops
  • 6S / chrome vends
  • Chaos, gcp and regal recipes

January, 2015 exchange rates
Fuse 42-44:1
Chaos 36-38:1
Gcp 11-13:1
Regret 15-18:1
Vaal 25-27:1
Chrome 220-250:1
Alts based off fuse @ 42:1 (336:1)
Alcs/chisels 90:1

The 0.5ex/hr figure does NOT include ANY sales whatsoever, and will vary at the start of new leagues where exchange rates are closer to 45c:1ex and 70f:1ex, whereupon the exalt/hr rate will dip to about 0.35-4. But the market takes care of the balance anyway, and the value for currency vs item cost ends up equalizing.

It also assumes that you are converting all of your income straight to exalt, and does not factor in how you might be spending that currency (rolling maps, alc'ing jewelry, etc).[/spoiler]
Q: Can you do a Gear Check for Me? What is the Gear Progression?
I'm no longer going to be doing gear-checks on this thread. That takes up a significant amount of my time to run through everybody's gear-checks, particularly early in the league.

The thought process is simple: get as much life, as much resistance, and as much IIR as you can on everything that isn't a unique.

TLDR; Progression

Sadima's > 5L +2 bow (ilvl 64 required) > stack IIR as much as possible elsewhere (gold rings, gold amulet, iir on hat) > Goldwyrm > Andvarius > replace Sadimas with IIR gloves > 2nd Andvarius > +3 bow. The last two are italicized to indicate you can adjust that progression based on your preference.

Q: Does Item Rarity/Item Quantity Work with the Cloud?
Yes. If you want to use the IIQ gem in Standard, I do not personally recommend supplanting a damage gem with it. But if you insist, and you want to run both IIQ and IIR at the same time, drop Empower if level 3 or less, and drop Rapid Decay if your Empower is level 4. If you want to run one or the other (rather than both concurrently), your decision between choosing IIQ or IIR is based off of C = (1 + [IIQ/100]) * (1 + [IIR/100]). Whichever gem gives you the higher C coefficient is the gem you use.
Q: In a Standard League Build, Do you Think it would be Better to Take Item Quantity Over Item Rarity?
Depends on the rest of your gearing progression, but generally, yes. You would need to be roughly at around 230-250 IIR to make it worthwhile though, in my experience.
IIQ/IIR: MF Balance and Diminishing Returns guide (v2.2)
Q: Where's the leveling guide?
[spoiler="A:"]The leveling section has been removed due to two factors.

a) Questions still arise in the thread all the time regarding leveling and the consensus is that it's better to address these questions as-needed on an ongoing basis
b) The workload to maintain it, especially during heavy patch changes like 3.0, is extremely intensive, especially given that what I wanted to do was provide leveling trees for people. The trees alone take up an entire workday to adjust and maintain, and it's just no longer feasible.[/spoiler]
Q: What Modifiers Affect the Cloud Damage?
There are currently five modifiers that affect the cloud damage:
  • Chaos Damage, Passive Tree & Jewels
  • Damage over Time, Passive Tree & Jewels
  • Projectile Damage, Passive Tree & Jewels
  • Area Damage, Jewels
  • Global Damage, Jewels
Q: How Should I Prioritize the Damage Modifiers?
Does not matter. All five affect the cloud equally. Just keep in mind area damage will not show up on the tooltip. But don't worry, it works.

For a detailed explanation, please refer to this post..
Q: How does IIR apply with multiple damage sources?
[spoiler="A:"]In solo play, if two different DoT's are applied (ie, the CA cloud and the Decay from the Essence or Support Gem), the one that is applied first will get the kill credit and thus the IIR bonus. To maximize ease of play, your eventual goal is to also 6L your chest and have an IIR gem on the Frenzy Curse-On-Hit Decay setup so that you don't have to worry about which damage source will provide the IIR bonus. Until that time, however, you're just going to have to get a feel for how fast you kill bosses and cycle your damage appropriately so the right damage source gets kill credit for the IIR bonus.

On this front, it's important to note the your cloud duration will be significantly shorter than your Decay duration. So for example, you might fire off a CA cloud which expires in 4 seconds and immediately fire a Decay shot which lasts for 10 seconds. After the CA cloud expires, Decay will be the one tagged for kill credit.

For party play, if two damage sources of the same DoT type are applied (eg, two CA clouds), the one with higher damage takes precedence.[/spoiler]
Q: Okay, so why not use Decay to tag with IIR?
[spoiler="A:"]Because it's clunky, unreliable, but most importantly the vast portion of our currency generation is going to come from general map clearing, not bosses, so tagging the boss appropriately with IIR isn't as big a concern, so it's more important IIR stays on the CA gem links for greater overall benefit.

That said, for bosses, feel free to adjust by dropping GMP for Culling Strike in the CoH setup and add an IIR 6th link if you want to ensure the boss also drops max IIR.[/spoiler]
Q: Why not Aurseize too?
Reddit discussion comparing the effects of diminishing returns based on scaling Item Rarity above the balance threashold with Item Quantity.
Q: How does the change to maps having IIR affect the build? And why not IIR boots instead of Goldwyrm?
Drastic improvement for map rolls. Details on the math can be found here and here, the second link also goes towards explaining why we opt for dual Andvarius instead of Aurseize.
Q: Should I Craft a +3 Bow?
A: Early league, yes, but it's cheaper to do it yourself rather than go through a service or buy one off the market. But that depends on you getting Catarina 8. Mid to mid-late league, it's actually just cheaper to buy one, if all you care about is the +3 roll. So just keep tabs on the market. Self-crafting the +3 bow, using Method One, will cost you 3-4ex (1ex Cata mod, 1ex for the first exalt attempt, 1ex if you're unlucky, and maaaaaaaaybe ~1ex in alterations to get single-stat +2 bow gems).
Q: Why not Phase Acro / Quickness / Etc?
I've deliberately designed this guide to finish at 88. Any other things you decide to pick up afterwards, or in lieu of other options, is your discretion.
Q: How do you progress to earning enough to buy all the upgrades?
You can go pretty much self found gear. For the first bit.

All the expensive stuff is really just gravy. All you need to get this build going is a +2 5L bow. You can buy a cheap 5L for 5-7 chaos, and spend 60 alts or less getting +2 on it. Details of how fast it can progress to fully geared can be seen here

Stack as much IIR on your rares as you can, taking resist nodes on the tree as necessary. You'll be able to hit 100 IIR without much issue (12% per gold ring = 24% + 15% on amulet = 39%, let's say 12% explicit rolls on each of those slots = 39%+ (15x3) = 85% + 15% on helmet and gloves each = 115%).

Then as and when you get bank, start punching out the upgrades as per the Gearing Progression question(second question in the FAQ).
Q: Why no Eldritch Knowledge jewel?
Eldritch Knowledge gets you 20-25% chaos damage depending if you place in Witch or above Blood Drinker.

Compare that to Poacher's Aim (25%) and literally any rare jewel with dual damage mods (10% + 10% at the minimum, capping at I think 13% + 13%), Eldritch Knowledge is, at best, a temporary jewel for this build.

The moment you get a well rolled dual damage rare jewel with any other useful affix (third damage roll, life, resistances), EKno. becomes sub-par. It's an interim choice.
Q: What about Ventor's Gamble?
Nope, not unless it's 7/40 or better. Analysis here.
Q: Why Hallowed Seething Flasks?
Math and discussion found here.
Q: This tooltip? What the f**k??
Look at the Chaos Damage Per Second in the Expanded Tooltip

Q: How do you organize your mapping? I'm taking 9 years to vendor =(
I made a video about it
Q: Uncle Serleth waah y I no haz GG unique drops qq sadface =(
MF setups are never about getting the uniques. You should be approaching it with the mentality that if you happen to get a good unique, great, but it's mostly about brute forcing the RNG to get as many rares as possible to have something halfway decent to sell at all times, and pushing the raw currency farming by vendoring rares and shit uniques for alterations, doing as many recipes as possible, and generally just grinding the hell out of currency farming faster than you would without any other MF.

The GG unique drops are meant to be treated as just gravy on the potatoes: adds flavour, but not the substance of the meal.

At the time of this comment, I earned 100ex in Warbands over 1 month or so of playtime. Of that wealth, these are the GG uniques I got: Lightning Coil (7ex), Soul Taker (5ex), Divination Distillate (2ex), Kaom's Heart (7ex).

That's it. 21ex from GG unique sales. The other 85ex came from more minor sales and just grinding the hell out of maps.
Q: Why spec into "Master of Arena"?
To help with the Blood Rage degen. It was more important in 2.0 before the regen from Growth & Decay. You can spec out of it if you want but I personally find it beneficial for things like desecrated ground maps, vuln (Despair now?) maps, puncture, etc.
Q: Okay, but why Blood Rage? Frenzy CoH setup takes care of the frenzy charges, amirite?
Because the majority of the time you don't actually need to curse. You really only need to curse bosses and certain tanky rares / blue packs. Meaning that if you're stopping to fire frenzy, you're actually slowing down your clear speed. Blood Rage allows you to generate the charges automatically, which improves your clear speed, and thus your currency generation/hr.
Q: Empower vs Slower Projectiles / Void Manipulation / Swift Affliction / Efficacy / Vile Toxins / Lesser Poison?
First, Slower Proj is your last damage link, before the upgrade to Empower.

However, Empower "4" trumps Slower Proj.

In quotes, because you'll need a raw Empower 4 in a +2 bow, but an Empower 3 in a +3 bow, due to it becoming Empower 4 from the +1 all gems.

Once you have Ascended however, and drop the AoE gem, it's all about the dps. Remember that clear speed is effective IIQ. The faster you can kill shit, the more loot you'll drop. Therefore, in the 5L setup, it's more beneficial to run dps-centric rather than running IIR as your fifth link, because the more things you drop, the more chances you're giving your existing IIR to roll.

Efficacy does not scale well enough to warrant using, while Vile Toxins and Lesser Poison are specific to poison builds, which this is not.[/spoiler]
Q: I Want to Run Caustic Arrow without MF? How do? (Answer courtesy of ChronoExile et. al.)
There are a few guides elsewhere in the forums focused on a DPS/high survivability version of Caustic Arrow, but here are the bare bones of it:
Gearing non-MF Caustic Arrow:
  • 6-Link +3 Bow:Caustic Arrow - Concentrated Effect - Rapid Decay - Void Manipulation - Empower - Slower Projectiles/Pierce
  • Rings: Drop the dual Andy -> Rings with life and resists
  • Bow: Can drop resistance suffices -> Mana Gain on Kill, Life gain on Kill, or attack speed
  • Boots: Drop Goldwyrm -> Boots with 30 Movespeed, life, high evasion, resistances
  • Jewels: Resistance is not a requirement -> 3 damage + life jewels
  • Chest: Carcass Jack is easier to use because resistances are easier to gear -or- Kaom’s Heart if you are comfortable dropping 6 sockets -or- Really any good rare or unique chest piece
  • Everything else: Life, high evasion, resistances

Gearing Hidden Potential Caustic Arrow:

  • 6-Link +3 Bow:Caustic Arrow - Concentrated Effect - Rapid Decay - Void Manipulation - Empower - Slower Projectiles/Pierce
  • Bow (Rare): +3 and resistances if not capped
  • Quiver: Drillneck
  • Boots (Rare): Move Speed, Life Resistances, Evasion
  • Rings (Magic): Resist Base + Life and Resist, x2 (+50% damage)
  • Ammy (Magic): Str Base(for life) + Life and Resist (+25% damage)
  • Belt (Magic): Life Base + Life and Resist (+25% damage)
  • Helmet & Gloves (Magic): High Evasion Base + Life and Resist (+50% damage)
  • Chest (Magic): Assassins Garb(move speed) + Life and Resist (+25% damage)
  • Jewels (Rare): A mixture of Life, Resist, Damage (likely expensive if going for 4 prop jewels

Q: I Would Like to Play with Some Friends, What do You Suggest? (With notes from ChronoExile)
If you are playing with a single curse support, don’t change anything, just ask them to have one of their curses be Vulnerability, and watch the monsters melt pretty quickly with the added bonus of party rarity and quantity.

In most situations for party play you will want to replace your golem with Flame Totem - GMP - Cull - IIR, unless your party prefers other curses, then you can Frenzy - Cull - GMP - IIR - (Faster Attacks/LMP).
Q: I Do Not Have Enough Intelligence!? (Answer courtesy of ChronoExile)
That’s right, you don’t. Well at least not to level your Vulnerability and Wither gems to level 20. Thankfully those gems are not required to be level 20 in the completed build, the two intelligence gems you are looking to max out are Concentrated Effect and Item Rarity. The former maxes out with a 111 intelligence requirement (114 if level 21), and the ladder also maxes out with a 111 intelligence requirement (114 if level 21). So let us say the target number is 115, this is really easy to reach. We have the base starting attribute of the Scion (20), three travel nodes (30), Coordination (10), Mana Flows (20), and the travel node on the Ascendancy Tree (40) for a total of 120 intelligence without needing to pick up intelligence on any pieces of gear. As long as you keep the intelligence requirements of your other skills at or below 120 you should be fine.
Q: Y u no Divination Distillate? (Answer courtesy of ChronoExile, with notes from Serleth)
This comes down to personal preference, as you'll need to sacrifice a flask slot for it and likely adjust your Clarity level (or outright drop it) in order to make it work reliably. Personally, I can't be bothered to run it, but I leave it to player discretion to add it in. If you want to, yeah, absolutely, it's worth it.

If you are going to run it, drop the Catalyzed life flask. Dropping a Quicksilver will be a significant hit to your clear speed in less linear maps, and dropping a Seething flask is too big a hit to your survivability. The Catalyzed flask is there mostly for a) moments where you have time between mobs and can save your Seething charges b) boss fights where there's more freedom to be picky about quick flask you recover with and c) the utility of having a suffix like Warding to remove curses.[/spoiler]
Q: What about The Ascetic? Or Bisco's Collar?
For the purposes of this build, where the goal is to provide a balance between survivability & MF, the answer is no. The MF benefit of running The Ascetic is too minimal to warrant sacrificing the survivability / damage / MF combination. Analysis is provided after the jump, but note: it was called Tarnished Treasure at the time of the discussion, so... same thing.

For the discussion on Bisco's Collar, go here[/spoiler]

Q: What about which masters we should use?
Since you can now get all masters in a large hideout (four in a medium-sized), the answer is: "all of them," but prioritize Haku, Elreon, Vagan and Zana until you get a large.
Jul 27, 2011 - Sept 30, 2018.
Last edited by Serleth on Dec 4, 2017, 8:57:37 PM


- Reserved -
Jul 27, 2011 - Sept 30, 2018.
Last edited by Serleth on Aug 2, 2017, 4:52:52 PM
Got my interest for sure!

See your thread as bookmarked mate, I look forward to your development of this!


Edit: How far do you think this build can reach, endgame wise, yet keeping the rarity? Mostly curious about your confidence in Atziri farming. (And maybe something similar in 2.0).
Last edited by hoeken on Jun 15, 2015, 12:17:04 AM
78 rare maps are confirmed good to go, so at least level 80 rare maps imho without much issue.

And Atziri is probably doable in this spec without dropping a single thing, once you finish up the res balance. Since my fire res is just a bit under cap, I'd replace one of the Andvarius rings atm and go do Atziri. In a completed build (20/300 MF), dropping that Andvarius ring with a life/rarity gold ring (30ish IIR) would put an Atziri run at about a 20/250 MF run with 4,500 life.

I was already farming Atziri with a level 19 PA and 4,500 life before I levelled up and switched to the MF spec, so I can confirm it's definitely doable worst-case scenario with the ring swap, and with proper min-maxed gearing and some good mechanical play, it'll be doable with both Andvarius rings in.

In short, tweak the gear for res balance and this build will take on virtually anything in the game (that we've seen so far) without sacrificing any MF.

Unrelated spoiler. Ignore this.

Jul 27, 2011 - Sept 30, 2018.
Last edited by Serleth on Apr 8, 2017, 5:27:35 PM

Just found these today within an hour of each other, so once I 6 link it I may give poison arrow a try.
IGN: Emfx
Last edited by Emfx on Jun 15, 2015, 1:16:56 AM
Yo Ser!

from levelling spoiler
At level 38, you have complete access to Conc Effect (18), AoE (31) and Conc Effect (38)

some small thing to correct, twice Conc Effect.

Else your guide's golden as usual. I'm looking forward to be playing, think I'll level with Ice Shot through normal and compliment that with some additional clouds here and there hehe!

Somewhere you could add the Leo lvl 3 craft for Damage over time, suits us if we have the place for it.

@Emfx nice bow there!
IGN: WildTortillaFart
hey, nice guide!

what would you prefer: getting a 6L bow and chaos it for the +3 or getting a +3 bow and link it?
Chronodroid wrote:
Yo Ser!

from levelling spoiler
At level 38, you have complete access to Conc Effect (18), AoE (31) and Conc Effect (38)

some small thing to correct, twice Conc Effect. Else your guide's golden as usual. I'm looking forward to be playing, think I'll level with Ice Shot through normal and compliment that with some additional clouds here and there hehe! Somewhere you could add the Leo lvl 3 craft for Damage over time, suits us if we have the place for it.

@Emfx nice bow there!

Nice catch re: double conc. The 38 is slower proj. Editing now.

And good suggestion re: DoT. I guess I avoided it because it's a Leo craft. But, should be there.

Skip511 wrote:
hey, nice guide!

what would you prefer: getting a 6L bow and chaos it for the +3 or getting a +3 bow and link it?


The +1 all gem affix has roughly a 0.418% chance to spawn, and that's before they introduce the new affix tiers.

Using the above numbers to calculate the probability, it goes like this:

60 alts per +2 bow gem roll. Then you regal it. You have to do that 240 times (240 regals). I believe regals are approximately 20:1ex? So that's 13ex of regals. Alterations let's say are 300:1. 60 * 240 = 14,440 / 300 (alts per ex) = 48 ex + 13ex of regals = 61ex.

Either way you cut it, it's statistically cheaper for you to buy the +3 bow, then 6L it. You would have to exceed 2745 fusings (61ex * 45 fuse per exalt) in order for it to be more expensive to 6L it.
Jul 27, 2011 - Sept 30, 2018.
Last edited by Serleth on Aug 12, 2015, 2:41:57 AM
Don't get me wrong, I love your build and your explanation video about it... but!

Going MF is something that most people do with a cheap character to start off in a league, just to farm lots of currency/items for other specs that require good gear to do well.

I think the investment you have in your character right now (6L +3 bow mostly) is far too high on the spectrum of what people want to spend on their average MFer, BUT, also considering this is probably one of the first MF builds I've seen in beta doing a 78 map, so mad props to you for that mate.

Personal suggestion: I'd aim for a more "budget" MFer that can at least scratch the surface of mapping, in the long run for a new league it should work better. I'm planning on doing one on the next wipe, and would def look at some of the options you've taken in order to improve mine.

Last edited by daemmon on Jun 15, 2015, 1:32:43 AM

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info