[2.0] Angryaa's beginner's guide to Ball Lightning Shadow.

Video introduction of the build in action:
http://youtu.be/UM7dCy3Jo3Y .

Polish translation: http://pathofexile.pl/forum/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=4083

Step-by-step guide through Normal difficulty:

Act 1

A note on currency: throughout your journey in Path of Exile you will find various orbs that allow you to change items. I recommend you don't use them unless you absolutely have to. Currency is important for buying things from vendors and changing more potent items you will find later in the game.

Levels 1-6

Level using Freezing Pulse.

Skill tree:


Skill gems:

Freezing Pulse from Enemy at the Gate (killing Hillock) quest.
Cold Snap from Breaking Some Eggs (mudflats runes) quest.

Take Quicksilver Flask from Mercy Mission (killing Hailrake) quest.

Look for 3 socket, 3 link Driftwood Wand and Goat’s Horn OR 3 socket, 3 link Driftwood Sceptre and Darkwood Sceptre. This will be a solid weapon for leveling.

I suggest using 2 life, 1 quicksilver and 2 mana flasks. Always use the highest level flasks you can, especially for life flasks. You can buy flasks suitable for your character from Nessa for 3 Wisdom scrolls each.

Look for any Iron Ring or Topaz Ring. We will use this later for a vendor recipe.

Useful vendor Recipe: vendor 3 flasks of the same level to get a flask of the next higher level. http://imgur.com/AkQVTnv,gdYUq1G,xERJsRz

If you don't have the ingredients for this recipe yet, don't stress, just complete the recipe when you do.

Levels 7-14

Level using Freezing Pulse. When you get the Arc skill gem, replace Freezing pulse with Arc.

Skill tree:


Skill gems:

Take Added Lightning Damage on completing The Caged Brute. Go to Nessa and enter her buy menu. On the second tab she will have a long list of skill gems (as you complete quests, all your quest options for gems and a few additional ones get added onto this vendor list for each act). Buy Added Cold Damage.

Start by linking your Freezing Pulse to Added Lightning and Added Cold (if you can only link one or none of these support gems, that’s ok for now). When you get Arc from entering Merveil’s Caverns, link Arc to Added Lightning and Added Cold. This means you want your weapon to be Blue Blue Green colors ideally.

After killing Brutus talk to Tarkleigh. Take Smoke Mine (this gem is largely useless, keep it in your stash for a later vendor recipe). Talk to Nessa and buy a Lightning Warp. Use it for mobility and to teleport up/down cliffs.

After completing the Siren’s Cadence (entering Merveil’s Caverns) buy Arc from the vendor (you can take any skill gem you want for the quest reward, its not too important). Replace Freezing Pulse with Arc.


Continue to try find 3 socket, 3 link Driftwood Wand, Goat’s Horn and Carved Wand OR 3 socket, 3 link Driftwood Scepter, Darkwood Scepter and Bronze Scepter.

Vendor Recipe:
Here, we use two vendor recipes to make a very powerful leveling item. First, we vendor an Iron Ring + Green Skill Gem (buy one from Nessa or use your Viper Strike gem/Smoke Mine). This gives you a Topaz Ring (if you already have a Topaz Ring, skip this step). http://imgur.com/AkQVTnv,gdYUq1G,xERJsRz#2

Second, vendor a magical (blue) 3 link Wand or Scepter (if you have a white 3 link Wand/Scepter, use an Orb of Transmutation to make it magical) with an Orb of Alteration and Topaz Ring. http://imgur.com/AkQVTnv,gdYUq1G,xERJsRz#1

This recipe crafts you a weapon that adds +1 to lightning gems socketed into this item. Placing your Arc skill gem in this will greatly increase your damage with Arc.

Act 2

Levels 15 -22

Skill tree:


Skill gems:

After completing Intruders in Black, take Herald of Thunder. Buy Herald of Ice from Yeena. Using both of these Heralds will greatly increase your damage, but you will need to be more careful in managing your mana, because the Heralds combined reserve 50% of your mana (unable to be used).

After completing Sharp and the Cruel (killing the big spider) take Faster Casting. Swap out Added Lightning Damage for Faster Casting.


Look for items in order of this stat priority:
1. Resists for Fire, Lightning and Cold (until 75% resist cap.)
2. Life
3. Cast Speed/ Added elemental damage to spells on weapons
Keep your +1 Lightning gems weapon for now. It’s still the best option to maximize your damage. Your offhand can be another wand/scepter for more damage or a shield for more defense. Whatever you prefer.
Bandits: Kill Kraityn and Alira. Join sides with Oak for the +40 hp reward.

Act 3

Levels 23 - 32

Skill tree:


Skill gems:

After completing Lost in Love (rescuing Tolemon and Clarissa) take Conductivity. Use this on high hp targets to kill them faster with lightning damage.

After completing Sever the Right Hand (killing Gravicius) take Ball Lightning. Replace Arc with Ball Lightning.

After completing A Fixture of Fate (optional side area in the north west of the Imperial Gardens, very important to do this quest) take Lighting Penetration. Go to Clarissa and buy Slower Projectiles.

Once you have a 4 link item with BBBG colors, link your Ball Lightning in it. You links should be Ball Lightning + Faster Casting + Lightning Penetration + Slower Projectiles. If you cannot find a 4 link item, use Ball Lightning in your +1 lightning gems weapon with the links Ball Lightning + Faster Casting + Lightning Penetration.


Look for a 4 link item with Blue Blue Blue Green colors. The links are much more important than any stats the item might have. You can also check Hargan’s vendor screen for a chance of 4 link items every time you level up.
Look for items in order of this stat priority:
1. Resists for Fire, Lightning and Cold (until 75% resist cap.)
2. Life
3. Cast Speed/ Added elemental damage to spells on weapons

Act IV

Levels 33 – 40

Skill Tree:

Skill gems:

After completing Breaking the Seal (killing Voll) take Flame Golem.

After completing King of Fury and King of Desire (Daresso and Koam) take Spell Echo. Go to Petarus and Vanja and buy Increased AoE for 1 Alchemy orb. Link Ball Lightning to Spell Echo + Increased AoE + Lightning Penetration.

Later, when you have the currency buy Arctic breath and Tempest Shield (bought from Act 2 Yeena), Greater Multiple Projectiles and Cast When Damage Taken (bought from Act 4 Petarus and Vanja) and link them together in a 4 link item. This will give your character an additional defensive tool. It might be some time before you have enough currency and a 4 link item for this, don’t worry there is no big rush. In a pinch, using a 3l item and dropping Tempest Shield is fine.

Make sure that Arctic breath level requirement is always lower or equal to the level requirement of Cast When Damage Taken, otherwise the skill will not work.


Look for a 4 link item to use for your Cast When Damage Taken setup. The colors will need to be RGBB.
Look for items in order of this stat priority:
1. Resists for Fire, Lightning and Cold (until 75% resist cap.)
2. Life
3. Cast Speed/ Added elemental damage to spells on weapons.

Here are some general guidelines for the end-game of this build:

Endgame Passive Tree:
Pick up Vaal Pact and Ghost Reaver, you will be leeching a lot of energy shield to prevent reflect damage and keep alive.

Note we use the Conqueror's Efficiency unique jewel to help increase our mana pool.

Endgame Gem links :

5l/6l Chest: Ball Lightning + Spell Echo + Increased AoE + Lightning Penetration + Faster Casting. 6th Link is Increased Critical Multiplier.
4l: Cast When Damage Taken + Arctic Breath + Greater Multiple Projectiles + Tempest Shield .
4l: Herald of Thunder + Curse on Hit + Assassin's Mark + Warlord’s Mark . Swap Assassin's Mark for Enfeeble on difficult bosses.
3l: Discipline + Wrath + Warlord’s Mark We use a second Warlord's mark (or if you're feeling more aggressive, Assassin's Mark) for cursing bosses if there is a lack of trash to proc our Herald of Thunder.
3l: Vaal Haste + Increased Duration + Vaal Haste
4l: Flame Golem + Minion Life + Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance + Blind

Make sure you focus on high energy shield + life items to have a big buffer for taking damage.
Crit focused items, like Maligaro’s Virtuosity and crit/crit multi rolls on amulet/weapons will be a big help to dps. However you can do fine with no unique items, just looking for high life/ES items with high crit.

Mana for Ball Lightning can be sustained with good mana regen gear/Atziri's foible unique or Elreon Master jewellery. If you're missing all that just drop an aura and run Clarity mana regen aura instead.

Bandits: Help Alira for the cast speed in Cruel and kill all bandits in Merciless for the extra skillpoint.

Watch me live at: http://www.twitch.tv/angryaa
Last edited by Angryafrican on Sep 14, 2015, 6:50:00 AM
and how do you wanna leech energy shield ? I dont see any leech in your tree or gemsetup ?
Nudelstrudel wrote:
and how do you wanna leech energy shield ? I dont see any leech in your tree or gemsetup ?

The gem setup says that he will be using Warlord's Mark, which provides leech.
So its an Hybrid build, that looks interesting, but its kind of half-crit ... No assasin mark, no power charge in tree, the crit chance is gonna be pretty low, im i missing something ??and with the effectivness nerfs (30% to 20%) do you think BL is still a ''good'' endgame spell ?? and 90.2 mana reserved with the jewel and all the reduction from the tree is a lot, hope ur mana regen is really good !!
Last edited by Arnaud85 on Jul 8, 2015, 10:55:35 AM
Forgot to change Conductivity to Assassin's Mark for lategame. Mana can be sustained with good mana regen gear/Atziri's foible or Elreon jewellery. If you're missing all that just drop an aura and run Clarity.
Is Slower Projectiles really not better than any of the other links? On paper it looks like it should add a lot more damage than Faster Casting at least. Is it just an ease of use thing or am I missing something?
Might try this out. Viable for endgame in Hardcore?
Stroggoz wrote:
Might try this out. Viable for endgame in Hardcore?

Cruel Malachai answered "No", i guess.
Stroggoz wrote:
Might try this out. Viable for endgame in Hardcore?

Yeah. Double curse helps a lot, on tough fights like Malachai you can use Enfeeble over a dps curse. Late-game you can easily have over 8k EHP.
When you tested this in CB, did it include the 24% damage reduction that is listed in the patch notes for ball lightning, or is that new as of today?

*edited for clarification.
Last edited by Gixxerdude on Jul 10, 2015, 9:29:02 AM

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