[2.1] Shockwave totems (HC build)

This is a proof of concept and leveling guide. There are many options available for further improvement, which have been noted where possible, but if you wanted to see my personal GG endgame gear, sorry, don't have GG endgame gear. Also, I reserve the right to stop updating this next patch (2.2) because I've specced the character into something else.

No video available. Try these threads instead. I'll see what I can do, but it won't happen soon.

If you have a question relevant to the build, please post it in the thread instead of spamming my forum PM inbox. You might get sage advice from other people who are also following the build, in addition to my response. And I get free publicity, so it's a win-win situation. Thank you for your cooperation.

This guide is valid for HC and SC. Proof by construction since I played it on HC exactly as listed.

Guide below is current as of 2.1. Let me know if I missed anything.

What and why?
Shockwave totems. Because it isn't flame totems. My day 1 party had 9 or 11 flame totems, which I personally think is a bit too many. And it's much safer than melee, which made sense because I really wanted to get to maps. And it's cheap, so it suits a first character. (Third, okay. Shh. Isn't like I didn't rip half my available currency and all the good leveling gear with those first two.)

Pros and Cons
- All the totem build pros, such as no reflect.
- And then some more, like freeze/chill/knockback.

- All the totem build cons, such as no lifesteal.

Skills and Supports
No quality gems required. That'd break the bank anyway, this early in a league.

Shockwave Totem - AoE - Conc.E - Faster Casting - Hypothermia
or SWT - Added Fire - Physical to Lightning - Faster Casting - Increased AoE
Reduced Mana - Hatred - Herald of Ash - Arctic Armour (or Herald of Thunder)
Cast when Damage Taken - Temporal Chains/Enfeeble - Immortal Call - Tempest Shield
Ice Golem (or your choice of golems)
Ice Spear - GMP - PCoC
Vulnerability and/or Assassin's Mark
Vaal Discipline and/or Vaal Clarity

If you only have four links, try both Hypothermia and Faster Casting, see which one suits you better.

I thought about Physical to Lightning gem. But the Lightning Coil damage mitigation method also applies to enemies. Not that it really matters at these numbers; the bigger problem is with enemies with lightning resist. If I want to stack shock, I should just add a bit of flat lightning, say from Herald of Thunder. Instead, I'm using Hypothermia, which has pretty much the same effect of increasing my damage dealt to enemies. It's less tooltip, but more reliable at the amount of crit chance I have.

NB: I've added an alternative gem setup from a guildie's character. I actually tried that combination and it didn't feel as good to me, but there's a lot of room for personal preference here.

Other options: Added Fire, Increased Crit Strikes/Damage, Empower. If I added a sixth link it would be a good Empower.

Oh yeah, don't run Herald of Ice, the explosions deal no damage.

You might notice that Hatred, Herald of Ash and Arctic Armour take up 100% of mana reserved. That's because this character is EB. It makes sense here, you recharge ES between packs, and there's at least one Vaal Discipline or Vaal Clarity to serve as a pseudo-mana potion.

I chose Ice Golem for crit chance. This is flexible, so of course you can run a chaos golem instead for survivability. But I think I have good enough survivability as a totem build.

The other thread uses a Romira's with Incinerate for power charges. Which is actually a lot more reliable than Ice Spear. To be honest, I don't really use the IS, but that's because I'm lazy. It's nice for breaking barrels though.

Also thinking of linking a CDT setup to do knockback. It's a thought, anyway.

This character can be built from a Templar or Witch start. Templar is slightly more defensive, Witch slightly more offensive. Shadow can make the same endgame build (also more offensive), but will level differently.

Remember, all of the build links are SUGGESTED builds, and you should always seek to tailor a build to your own play style, available gear and acceptable level of risk.

Leveling up, first get two totems and all the HP on the way. Then spec into the usual passives: prioritise things that will help your leveling build, and try to get AoE nodes ASAP so you can go shockwave totems sooner.

Get EB when you have 700ish ES from gear or when you switch to 5L, or maybe just when you reach it. That should be around level 60. (For Tabula users, you probably want a bit more ES because 6Ls are expensive to cast.)

Level 70~ build

120 useful points (feel free to rearrange points so you can take Light of Divinity)

I'm actually thinking of de-speccing EB in the end game in favour of a regular hybrid build. But that would require much better gear than I have, and likely an Enlighten too.

I don't want to take ZO. Probably personal preference at this point, but I like having HP regen, since I lack any other means of replenishing HP.

It is actually a good idea to take MoM. Be really sure to have Vaal Discipline when you do, though.

Bandit rewards
Normal: 40 HP (Oak)
Cruel: 18% IPD, 5% cast speed or skill point (Oak, Alira or kill all, respectively)
Merciless: Power Charge or skill point (Alira or kill all, respectively)

When in doubt, just take the skill point. It's fine. I took Oak/SP/SP because I wanted more points for HP nodes.

- HP, resists, small amount of ES (for EB) or large amount of ES (for hybrid)
- Spell damage, cast speed, spell crit

- Take a dual curse unique. Why not.

Uniques good for the build:
- Carcass Jack is probably your end game.
- The ever popular Divinarius. I swear, if it didn't cost as much as every other gear piece I have combined...
- Empire's Grasp, Goliath Gauntlets. So good.

As always, the list is not exhaustive and common sense is recommended.

Leveling up
You switch to shockwave totems at level 50 or so, once you have the AoE nodes from tree. At this point, if you don't have and can't get a 3L (AoE and Conc.E), you probably shouldn't be playing this game. If you want to switch in before having the AoE nodes, you won't get to use Conc.E - try running Hatred and linking AoE and Hypothermia, should work fine if your initial damage is sufficient to chill.

Raise totems. Run around avoiding attacks and watch as things die. If it's your cup of tea, all kinds of things to be done in between raising totems, like cursing/trapping or raising a new golem. Your ES recharges fine while running between packs. In an extended fight, you may need to hit Vaal Discipline or stop cursing for a second to let it recharge. But that's okay, you're a totemer.

Be nice to your party, position your totems so they don't split packs. Right on the edge of the group is good. Also the usual warning about overcursing your party members.

What gear are you using?
My current gear

About 30c worth on Tempest, at least the ones that weren't self-found. That's well within range of what a single character gets during the leveling process. Proof by construction and it's even cheaper on SC leagues.

How's the build working out for you?
Ripped to Magnus at 75 (my fault) so I finished the build on SC. Play tested through killing Malachai merciless and clearing 78 maps at level 82 without changing any gear after ripping. I can more or less carry 2-3 person parties in 76 maps at this stage.

About the author
Kiri is a reroll addict with a penchant for big numbers, less popular skills, and building around specific items and playstyles.

Kiri is happy to take PMs and in-game questions. Streaming-on-request not available until Kiri gets back to NZ.
How to make a build: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/510084
Current guides: N/A
Last edited by Kirielis on Dec 11, 2015, 11:50:49 PM
Have you tested Atziri?
Not yet - I'm actually hoping to finish out the last spellcrit cluster before I do. That's in 3 levels' time, so I'll be 85. Also, there's a fair amount of reworking to be done before I can even test it. Since Hypothermia is useless at herself (chill immune), I'm thinking increased crit strikes or crit damage - the only green support that works is trap, and while I know a guy who did do trap totems, the idea does not really appeal.

I'll get to it. Ya know, eventually. Kind of busy with Tempest and Warbands at the moment.
How to make a build: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/510084
Current guides: N/A
I hate to see people doing build for shockwave totem.. Im running one of those ansd find them so much better then flames. It is atziri viable just like flame totem. Reaching 30k dps aint really hard either. Physical to lightning is really the best dps gem though. Not quite sure why you don't want use that. Good for boss,good to stack shock. The INC DPS is huge too. But nice build.

A thought : I personally use vaal haste. JUst for faster noob map clearing AKA farming. Not like exp farm but just loot farming.

Second: Since I play tempest I found using zealot oath was really good. If you pair it with ENDURANCE CHARGE - enduring cry ( manual cast ) . If you use end cry you can then use a cwdt/imm call/inc duration set up. And for the last link I personnaly use Frost wall. Really OP. When shit attack you from distance your cwdt just throw frost walls infront the mobs and then you don't have to worry at all.­ PoP a totem,wait 2sec.

*** Endurance charge regen your hp... With eb,zealoth oath,your life regen (from endurance charge,is now ES regen.)

5k HP,2.6k ES. Far from optimal gear,that was at lvl 73. I Rekt from being noob and working on a second one.
Well, I actually was running P2L at one point, then I changed colours and put in Hypothermia instead. Less tooltip DPS, better clear speed. I haven't revisited P2L since, though I would imagine it gets better with more crit chance so maybe I should. And Hypothermia isn't really useful on bosses...unless you can force chilled ground somehow.

Thing with changing half my physical to lightning. Any mob with ele resist takes less damage. I don't know if any mob has enough armour that the reduced physical is significant, but the lightning coil effect technically applies too. There's link pressure anyway, I'd love to add P2L, but my sixth link is reserved for Empower.

Ya, I played this on Tempest too. Rip was my own fault and I finished testing it in SC. And as I said, my reason for not taking ZO is I like HP regen. Frost wall is a very interesting thought though! I have a CWS frostwall on my icestorm in warbands and I love the thing to death, even though it's sometimes inconvenient.
How to make a build: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/510084
Current guides: N/A
Last edited by Kirielis on Aug 16, 2015, 11:06:08 AM
would this work with empires grasp?
I'm curious, why skip the 130% totem crit cluster near the witch area?
empire's grasp

Yes yes yes yes so gooooood.....

why skip the 130% totem crit cluster near the witch area?

Cos I'm an idiot and wasn't paying attention? Yeah, I dropped the ball on that one, thanks for the call out.

121 points with that cluster
How to make a build: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/510084
Current guides: N/A

Cos I'm an idiot and wasn't paying attention? Yeah, I dropped the ball on that one, thanks for the call out.

Hahah, far from it. I found that leaving it to last and travelling to shadow area instead makes a better build pre-endgame. Thought that was intentional tbh :D

This was very close to a build I had in mind, and helped me a great deal fleshing it out. I had a couple defensive changes, went hybrid, played on tempest and died only because I had desync and got rubberbanded into a room full of titt-... ahem, tentacle ladies.

My skill tree looked like this, more or less:

The reason why I specced aura nodes was, I wanted to run hatred, discipline and clarity together, while having MoM to help mitigate incoming damage. The cold damage from hatred is enough to keep mobs frozen most of the time, since the build is crit-spec. That added a nice defensive layer, while boosting up dps quite a bit.

I left EB out, because with enough levels of clarity, +flat mana and mana regen on gear, I could keep up with mana costs and still have about 400 mana regenerate back up (after the aura reserves)in couple seconds. That'd mean -400 damage from big hits AND would save me the ES (which I had around 2.5-2.7k), which adds a great deal of survivability with the use of vaal discipline. Downside was I did not have AA running, but the trade seemed quite favorable to me.

Grabbed celestial punishment because the dps increase was so worth it, since mobs were shocked and/or frozen 99% of the time.

Anyways, this is a very well thought out and very capable build. Some people I mapped with even requested my skill tree. Thank you for sharing it!
Last edited by krc86 on Aug 22, 2015, 4:24:50 PM

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